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Old March 20 2011, 10:04 PM   #256
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


20. The Illusionist (B)
21. The French Connection (B+)
22. Network (A+)
23. Incendies (A+)
24. Mrs. Miniver (A)
25. A Fistful of Dollars (B+)
26. For A Few Dollars More (B)
27. WALL-E (A+)

The second film in the trilogy. It's okay, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much; if the first one was pretty much a stripped-down story about Clint Eastwood being badass, this one introduces a lot of additional elements and takes a few stabs at having emotional resonance, but they aren't sufficiently developed to really work. Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Mortimer has good presence, I will say. Also, the continued obvious disconnect between the dialogue and the actors' mouthes in a lot of places is distracting.

Also watched WALL-E again, since my nine- and five-year-old cousins were visiting and they hadn't seen it. Still one of the top films of the last decade.
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Old March 20 2011, 10:18 PM   #257
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


27. Righteous Kill: B
28. Dracula II: Ascension: B-
29. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li: D
30. You Don't Mess With the Zohan: C+

Another Sandler film I'm glad I didn't pay to see in the theater. I didn't have a spontaneous laughter moment till about 30-40 minutes into the movie. His films for me have been more hit than miss the past 7-8yrs. I think it's cause he does the same schtick in each movie, he only changes the focus.

By that I mean here he is doing stereotypes with Arabs, Jews and Rednecks and incorporating his standard penis, boob, fart and bathroom jokes. I just saw Chuck & Larry a few weeks back and there it was the same "Sandler Standards" just using the Homosexual/Heterosexual stereotypes as the backdrop.

I have GrownUps in my queue a few films down and I'm sure it's going to be the same schtick just in the "reunion" format.
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Old March 21 2011, 06:14 PM   #258
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



25. Book of the Dead (2005) - C. Ye gods this movie was boring. I elevated it a letter grade because of the artistry of the stop-motion, but it definitely wasn't my cup of tea. I think the story is intended as an allegory for Buddhist enlightenment, but actual meditation would probably have more entertainment value. Has one or two cool scenes, and a lot of exposition.

26. Megamind - B. Funny movie, if a little self-conscious. It's difficult not to compare this movie to The Incredibles, a comparison which only serves to highlight how much less is going on in this film. Still, it's a fun goofball romp if you don't over-analyze it.
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Old March 21 2011, 06:40 PM   #259
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I'm not sure if it's fair to compare Pixar to any animated film. Because of that, I made comparisons between Megamind and Despicable Me (Also came out last year) and found Megamind to be a much better movie.
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Old March 21 2011, 07:28 PM   #260
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if it's fair to compare Pixar to any animated film. Because of that, I made comparisons between Megamind and Despicable Me (Also came out last year) and found Megamind to be a much better movie.
I agree, comparing it to The Incredibles really isn't fair, but they are superficially similar in tone and are both super hero satires, so I just found myself unable to stop making that comparison. This may just be me and how my mind works.

Despicable Me on the other hand was lampooning James Bond style villainy, something Pixar has not done before, and so it avoids those kind of comparisons. I also thought it was a better movie than Megamind, mainly because it was more original. (How To Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 are much better than either)
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Old March 21 2011, 07:40 PM   #261
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


27. Righteous Kill: B
28. Dracula II: Ascension: B-
29. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li: D
30. You Don't Mess With the Zohan: C+
31. Finding Bliss: C

Starring Leelee Sobieski, Jaime Kennedy and Denise Richards this movie is about a NYU film student who yearns for a job in Hollywood but the best job she gets is an editor at a porn studio. Released in summer 2010 it had a very limited release it seems looking at its total of $6,783.00. What is that 1 showing in one theater??

Anyway it had a few funny scenes and as you could imagine it plays up all manner of vernacular, innuendo and sight gags. I was more than a bit surprised to see Jaime flash his, um, deflated male organ around. When he bared his ass that was normal I thought for Jaime but his penis??

I had wondered what Denise Richards had been doing with all the Charlie Sheen news going on and that's how I came upon this in her IMDB. I've not seen her in her new cable show Mountain State but I hope that is regular work for her if the best she can land is projects like Finding Bliss.
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Old March 22 2011, 12:47 AM   #262
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Helen of Troy (1956)

An adaptation in name only of the Iliad, it is still a moderately entertaining film. Troy (2004), surprisingly enough, is a closer adaptation of the story but I'm not sure which film I like more.
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Old March 22 2011, 12:47 AM   #263
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Also, the continued obvious disconnect between the dialogue and the actors' mouthes in a lot of places is distracting.
I've seen a lot worse--considering the Italian practice at the time of recording all dialogue non-synchronous, the Leone films are not a bad job of dubbing (especially since so many of the actors were speaking different languages on set). Still, it's nothing near the synchronized dialogue we've grown accustomed to in the US.

44. Invictus (B+)
45. Unstoppable (C+)
46. Knight and Day (B-)

Invictus: This turned out to be surprisingly good (knowing Clint Eastwood directed, I shouldn't have doubted it would be). It's sold as a sports movie (about rugby), but it's really about Nelson Mandella. Rugby just provides for greater insight into his character. It's certainly not the key to the whole affair, because after the movie ended, I still couldn't tell you a single thing about the rules of rugby. Both Freeman and Damon are great, with stronger accents from both than I had expected. The local performers are similarily good. My only complaints would be the songs used in the movie--they're too heavy-handed for my tastes--and the tour scene when Damon's character visits Mandella's jail sell. Seeing the cell is powerful enough--we don't need to see Damon's imagined flashback of Mandella there.

Unstoppable: This is a perfectly serviceable thriller, but never more than exceptional. It suffers from the use of the best equipped local news channel, frankly, ever, as a way to dump exposition on the audience. The action is pretty good, but it's not the deepest movie ever. Average, but watchable. Chris Pine is certainly shaping up to be quite a leading man.

Knight and Day: The reviews for this were a little harsh, I think. At times, it can be a little serious for its own good (actually, anytime the movie takes itself seriously it is too serious), but, luckily, the absurd action is mostly played for laughs. The point-of-view montages where Diaz's character is drugged are inspired. The movie isn't aided by rather dodgy visual effects work for a feature, but Diaz and especially Cruise pull it all together with strong performances (she may not have aged well, and he might be crazy, but they work together here). It's not a masterpiece, but it's not a bad way to spend an evening.
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Old March 22 2011, 12:55 AM   #264
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The thing I liked most about Invictus was Freeman's performance - well, obviously Freeman's amazing, but doing Mandela had him break out of his usual acting style for the first time in a while. Not just the accent, but his diction, etc. is completely different.
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Old March 22 2011, 04:59 AM   #265
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief - HBO
Tron Legacy 3D - theater
Clash of the Titans (2010) - HBO on Demand
Take Me Home Tonight - free screenin'
Sanctum - free screenin'
The Green Hornet - free screenin'
Green Zone - HBO
Fantastic Mr. Fox - HBO
True Grit (1969) - AMC
Ringu - DVD
Black Swan - Alamo Drafthouse (its not just a movie theater)
Unknown - free screenin'
The Losers - HBO
The Sunset Limited - HBO on Demand
Starsky & Hutch (2004) - Cinemax
Kick-Ass - DVD
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - DVD
The Adjustment Bureau - free screenin'
Rango - theater
Red (2010) - DVD rental
Hot Tub Time Machine - DVD rental
Harry Brown - DVD
Faster - DVD rental
Jonah Hex - DVD rental
Battle: L.A. - theater
The Girl who Played with Fire - DVD
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - DVD rental
Leaves of Grass - DVD

Got a used copy of this for cheap a few weeks ago, finally got around to watchin' it. I bought it 'cause I like Edward Norton, and he plays twins in this one. One is a college professor, the other a pot dealer, both smart in their own ways. Tim Blake Nelson (who also wrote & directed the movie) plays the best buddy of the drug dealer. Keri Russell is the love interest, Susan Sarandon is the mom & Richard Dreyfuss is a criminal kingpin in Oklahoma.

So, yeah...good cast.

But the movie is really kind of lame, and I didn't like it much at all. There were a few good laughs in it, but I should have known better than to watch a pothead movie...
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Old March 22 2011, 03:49 PM   #266
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I saw Burn After Reading and loved it. It had a peculiar story, oddball over-the-top characters and some dry offbeat humor with a lot of swearing from John Malkovich. I recomend it.
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Old March 23 2011, 03:21 AM   #267
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
The thing I liked most about Invictus was Freeman's performance - well, obviously Freeman's amazing, but doing Mandela had him break out of his usual acting style for the first time in a while. Not just the accent, but his diction, etc. is completely different.
Definitely, I agree. It was nice to see him break out of the mold set for him by his performance in The Shawshank Redemption.

47. Robin Hood (B+)

Robin Hood: My reaction to the trailers was something along the lines of, "why do we need another one of these movies again?" Well, maybe we didn't need another version of the Robin Hood myth, but this is a pretty damn good one that departs from the usual way in a few ways (Robin is less light on his feet than he is a physical fighter, which makes sense given Crowe; Richard is killed rather than captured). People might complain that it departs from history, but since Robin Hood is fantasy anyways, I don't mind. I kind of hope we get a sequel, even if it would probably be the "more of the same" movie that I feared this would be. This is an origin story (a fact that was oddly neglected by the previews) not the usual Robin Hood narrative. Ridley Scott's attention to visual detail was, as always, excellent. And I don't know what was added in the extra 15 minutes that are in the Director's Cut I saw, because it all felt essential to me.
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Old March 24 2011, 01:53 AM   #268
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


20. The Illusionist (B)
21. The French Connection (B+)
22. Network (A+)
23. Incendies (A+)
24. Mrs. Miniver (A)
25. A Fistful of Dollars (B+)
26. For A Few Dollars More (B)
27. WALL-E (A+)
28. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (A)

To commemorate the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, I set aside the evening to watch what is generally regarded as her last great film role (and which earned her her second Oscar in 1966).

Adapted from a stage play, much like the Long Day's Journey Into Night film from the same era that I reviewed at the end of last year, it's set almost entirely in and around a house, and has only four characters (plus one super-minor other speaking part). These can be difficult to make work in film, but Mike Nichols, in his first directing gig, pulls it off. And unlike the aforementioned LDJIN (which I liked, mind you), it's a much more reasonable length. Taylor and Richard Burton are the leads, and they spend the whole film tearing at each other with remarkable ferocity, occasionally turning their guns on the hapless couple that stumbles into their house and inexplicably doesn't run screaming within the first two minutes. George Segal and Sandy Dennis (who also won the Oscar) are very good too, but it's hard to compete with the leads.

Rest in peace, Liz.
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Old March 24 2011, 08:44 AM   #269
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief - HBO
Tron Legacy 3D - theater
Clash of the Titans (2010) - HBO on Demand
Take Me Home Tonight - free screenin'
Sanctum - free screenin'
The Green Hornet - free screenin'
Green Zone - HBO
Fantastic Mr. Fox - HBO
True Grit (1969) - AMC
Ringu - DVD
Black Swan - Alamo Drafthouse (its not just a movie theater)
Unknown - free screenin'
The Losers - HBO
The Sunset Limited - HBO on Demand
Starsky & Hutch (2004) - Cinemax
Kick-Ass - DVD
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - DVD
The Adjustment Bureau - free screenin'
Rango - theater
Red (2010) - DVD rental
Hot Tub Time Machine - DVD rental
Harry Brown - DVD
Faster - DVD rental
Jonah Hex - DVD rental
Battle: L.A. - theater
The Girl who Played with Fire - DVD
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - DVD rental
Leaves of Grass - DVD
Whiteout - Cinemax on Demand
Sucker Punch - free screenin'

I don't know why I watched Whiteout, bored, I guess...

At least Sucker Punch didn't suck. Went up to Plano for a free screenin' tonight, got a free miniposter out of the deal, too.
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Old March 24 2011, 08:49 AM   #270
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