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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old June 23 2011, 08:06 PM   #526
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

84. Performance (B-)
85. Star Wars (A)
86. Captain Milkshake (C+)
87. Some Like it Hot (A-)
88. The Hangover (B)
89. The Informant! (A)


Performance: This is a bizarre gangster movie that meets up with Mick Jagger and heads down even stranger territory half-way through. The story is pretty simple -- a gangster kills someone and is forced to hide out as a result -- but Nic Roeg's editorial and camera choices make the film a total labyrinth. At times, it's almost an experimental film, but there's always enough of a reminder of the narrative that you don't get completely lost.

Star Wars: It's still a classic, well-made space opera. I don't care for most of the changes Lucas has made over the years, though.

Captain Milkshake: An interesting anti-Vietnam movie that was produced during the war (1969) but mostly unreleased for thirty years do to assorted legal wranglings. It's well-shot and mostly well-acted, but the politics are awfully on the nose at times -- basically the filmmakers just let a few hippies who are more or less playing themselves rant about the war to a returning soldier who is briefly stateside after a death in the family. The proceedings are more interesting when the film focuses on the returning soldier, who was raised by a hawkish, military family, but has profound misgivings about Vietnam after serving there.

Some Like it Hot: This comedy made by Billy Wilder is hilarious and terrific, right down to the last shot and line (from what I've seen, Wilder was so good at nailing the closings of his films). Marilyn Monroe can't act her way through a paper bag, of course, but manages to pull off her character. The only downside is George Raft's cameo as a gangster who orders the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. For reasons I can't explain, I just find his presence on screen to be intolerable.

The Hangover: This is a funny, but never transcendent movie. And perhaps it's minor, but every time I watch the scene where Bradley Cooper takes his student's field trip money to go spend at Vegas, I can't help but totally hate the character. Honestly, he's a jerk throughout (and even worse in the awful second film). I'm not crazy about the inept cops, either. I think the movie would be funnier if it was more down to earth, but the cops are so uprooted from reality that it doesn't happen.

The Informant!: Here's a comedy, on the other hand, that gets better every time I see it. Damon's voice-over catches me off-guard every time it is heard in the movie. The tangents his character's mind goes off on are just so funny and bizarre that it's hard not to be surprised by the twist that important information has been held back every time I see the movie.
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Old June 23 2011, 08:50 PM   #527
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Here's what I can recall seeing thus far this year. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch.
  • (A)sexual (B)
  • Beginners (B+)
  • Black Swan (B-)
  • The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story (B)
  • The Pixar Story (B-)
  • Tales From the Script (B)
  • Walt & El Groupo (B)
  • The Universe of Keith Haring
  • The Bourne Identity
  • Waking Sleeping Beauty (C+)
  • La Ronde (A)
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001) (C)
  • Bob Le Flambeur (A)
  • The Good Thief (B-)
  • The Score (C)
  • X-Men First Class (B)
  • Your Highness (F) (Visual Effects Society Screening)
  • True Grit (A-)
  • Kinsey (B+)
  • Judas Kiss (2011) (C+)
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Old June 26 2011, 06:26 PM   #528
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


80. To Have and Have Not (B)
81. The Big Sleep (A-)

The superior follow-up by the same production team that made To Have and Have Not. A lot of the stuff I'd read about this movie beforehand focussed on its confusing plot versus strong characters and atmosphere; the plot isn't really that confusing, for the most part (but then, I had the same reaction to the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, which I followed quite easily despite a lot of people saying they found it very hard), though the conclusion is a bit abrupt. Bogart is as compelling a detective as ever. There's notably a lack of familiar faces among the supporting cast.
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Old June 27 2011, 02:49 AM   #529
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I watched RED last night, a fun movie overall and so dam funny to see Helen Mirren using a sniper in snow camo . Great performances by the entire cast and I would love to see a sequel.

B grade.
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Old June 27 2011, 02:41 PM   #530
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



48. Pinnochio (Disney, rewatch) - B. An amazing achievement for it's time, but comes across a bit dated now. There's kind of a creepy evangelism underlying the story that always kind of bugged me (still does).

49. Network - A. Maybe even an A+. This movie is great. First of all, I had no idea this was where "I'm mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore" came from. So many memorable scenes in this movie that I had practically seen before due to parody. My favorite scene was probably when the CEO (I forget his name) is proselytizing the gospel of the material continuum - SO true. In context this might be one of the most prescient movies ever produced since so much of it has come to pass (and a great movie besides). Excellent commentary on consumer culture.
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Old June 28 2011, 07:06 PM   #531
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

90. Inside Job (B+)
91. The Hangover: Part II (C-)


Inside Job: A solid documentary that would have received a healthy A if not for the heavy-handed ending and a few other minor quibbles. It manages to make the reasons for the recent financial crisis pretty clear in under two hours, too, which is no easy feet, considering how complicated the whole mess is.

The Hangover Part II: My grade is probably being generous. It's exactly the same as the first movie (which I don't love as much as most people seem to), only with fewer jokes and a lot of crude humor (i.e. Ed Helms getting raped by a shemale) that just isn't funny. Bradley Cooper's character is an even bigger asshole. It feels at least 25 minutes too long -- and the film is only 102 minutes! I won't be there for Part III.
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Old July 2 2011, 01:42 AM   #532
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I was originally going to post after every five movies with a short comment after each. Then I thought after ten, then after a month. Well the year is half over and I haven't listed any yet, so here is my list without comment:
The most memorable films on my list (in the order I saw them) are:

6 Tokyo no kôrasu [Tokyo Chorus] (1931)
37 Suna no onna [Woman in the Dunes] (1964)
49 Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
50 Metropolis (1927) Restored
70 On the Waterfront (1954)
84 The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
90 Splendor in the Grass (1961)
118 Ladri di biciclette [Bicycle Thieves] (1948)
145 Missing (1982)
175 Smultronstället [Wild Strawberries] (1957)
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Old July 2 2011, 04:07 PM   #533
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


53. Green Lantern: C
54. The American: C-
55. Super 8: A
56. Green Lantern: First Flight: B
57. Transformers: Dark of the Moon: B-

Better than the last film but it still has it's problems. I'm going to be seeing it one more time with a separate friend than my first viewing. Perhaps I'll find a few answers to the plot holes.
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Old July 2 2011, 04:22 PM   #534
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Alice in Wonderland (2010) - C-
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) - A
3. Black Swan (2010) - A+
4. The Social Network (2010) - A
5. Cannibal! The Musical (1996) - B
6. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (2009) - B
7. Winter's Bone (2010) - C+
8. The Kids are All Right (2010) - A
9. The Lovely Bones (2009) - D
10. 127 Hours (2010) - A
11. Source Code (2011) - B
12. Kick-Ass (2010) - B
13. Thor (2011) - B+
14. X-Men: First Class (2011) - B
15. Easy A (2010) - B
16. Bridesmaids (2011) - A+
17. Super 8 (2011) - B+

This movie was a cross between ET and Jurassic Park. For what it was, it did remind me of classic sci fi movies from days gone by and I really enjoyed it. Really liked the kid actors (good chemistry together) and even though the ending felt a little clunky, the end credits did make up for it. Also, it wouldn't be a JJ Abrams film without Lens Flare and there was some in this movie. I tried to not have it detract from what was going on too much, but they were noticable.
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Old July 2 2011, 06:15 PM   #535
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


80. To Have and Have Not (B)
81. The Big Sleep (A-)
82. Barry Lyndon (B+)

My first movie in a week or so, as I spent that time watching my Breaking Bad Season 3 DVDs.

Kubrick's oddball follow-up to A Clockwork Orange is an adaptation of a rather obscure William Makepeace Thackeray novel. Kubrick is actually a good fit for Thackeray (who was considered second only to Dickens in his lifetime, but whose subsequent reputation is based almost entirely on Vanity Fair), whose worldview was generally caustic and cynical, and lacking emotional investment in his characters. Though while watching the movie, I thought Kubrick might have done better to adapt Vanity Fair, a more significant and interesting work; afterward, I learned that he had in fact considered doing that, but decided it was too long to film (and given that this is three hours, that's saying something). The production design of the film is stellar; those four technical Oscars were well-deserved. Ebert called it one of the most beautiful films ever made, and I could believe that. As a film, it's never dull, but I don't think it ultimately amounts to much either. This is the point, I guess, but, ehh.
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Old July 3 2011, 11:44 PM   #536
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
In context [Network] might be one of the most prescient movies ever produced since so much of it has come to pass (and a great movie besides). Excellent commentary on consumer culture.
Agreed. If you want to see a movie of similar prescience on media demagoguery, you might check out Elia Kazan's 1957 A Face in the Crowd.

Conan O'Brien has selected Network as one of his "guest programmer" movies on TCM July 4th.

--Justin
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Old July 4 2011, 12:21 AM   #537
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Madigan (1968) A-.

Three years before revolutionizing the cop movie with Dirty Harry, Don Siegel made this crime picture with long-time tough guy Richard Widmark as the title character, a NYPD detective who likes working the streets and bends the rules if he needs to. As far as I know this is the first of several cop movies to use older-generation actors in somewhat badass roles (McQ, The Yakuza) but somehow I had missed seeing it. The movie takes place over three days as Madigan and his partner, played by Harry Guardino, try to catch a murderer who got the drop on them and escaped with their guns.

Aside from being a pretty good manhunt story, the movie makes some fine observations about the police's "caste system." Upright Henry Fonda is the police commissioner who punishes cops who cross the line but is so out of touch with street police work that he doesn't understand the gray areas his cops must work in. Always-affable James Whitmore is Fonda's closest friend, the police chief inspector who may not be quite on the straight-and-narrow. Star Trek alums Michael Dunn, Warren Stevens, Lloyd Haynes and Steve Ihnat also appear. There are some scenes in the characters' personal lives that wear a little thin and could have been tightened up, but for the most part they do make important contributions to the characters. This movie seems to have been a little ahead of its time in using a noir-ish anti-hero as a police detective rather than a private eye and having him at odds with the police bureaucracy; its influence is pretty apparent though the movie itself seems somewhat forgotten.
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Old July 4 2011, 04:05 AM   #538
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates in Bold:

The Adjustment Bureau (8)
Afro Samurai: Resurrection (7)
Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Alone Again (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Finder (8)
Babylon 5: Thirdspace (7)
Black Swan (9)
Broken Blade 3: The Mark of the Assassin's Dagger (9)
Broken Blade 4: The Land of Disaster (9)
Broken Blade 5: Death's Horizon (9)
Cutthroat Island (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
Green Lantern (8)
Hanna (8)
I Am Number Four (8)
Infernal Affairs (7)
Kamui (4)
The Garden of Sinners Movie 8: Epilogue (9)
Loups=Garous (8)
The Mechanic (2011) (9)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakeening of the Trailblazer (8)
Munto: The Movie (6)
Musashi Miyamoto (6)
Outlander (8)
Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides (9)
Priest (5)
Source Code (9)
Thor (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (9)
Unknown (7)
Versus (6)
X-Men: First Class (8)
Your Highness (3)
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Old July 5 2011, 07:01 PM   #539
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



50. Paprika - B+. Was on a short list of best animated movies of all time that I read recently, so I Netflixed it. It was really very good, though the story was a bit silly and I think doesn't hold up under scrutiny. B story with A+ visuals. A great looking Blu-ray. Similar dream/reality themes as Inception or the Matrix.

51. All The President's Men (1976) - A. Here is another movie that I'd mostly already seen due to the amount of parody that's been done about it. Nearly every important scene in the movie was parodied in The Simpson's "Sideshow Bob Roberts". This is just a really excellent example of the political thriller genre, and the art direction and cinematography are also first rate (I later learned this won an Oscar for these elements, and rightly so).
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Old July 6 2011, 08:52 AM   #540
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I watched Fast Five and battle Los Angeles recently, the two movies were awesome and I have no words to describe them.
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