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

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Old August 1 2011, 12:09 PM   #601
sednar
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

In 2011 most popular movies are below:
Green Lantern
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Mechanic (2011)
Pirates of the Caribbean
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
X-Men: First Class
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Old August 2 2011, 02:29 AM   #602
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


90. The Apartment (A-)
91. Captain America: The First Avenger (A-)
92. Ordinary People (A-)
93. Days of Heaven (B+)
94. Yojimbo (A-)
95. Tangled (A)
96. Cowboys and Aliens (B)
97. Crazy, Stupid, Love (A-)
98. Beginners (A-)

Semi-autobiographical relationship drama from director Mike Mills about his relationship with his father after he came out as gay in his 70s and his few final years before his death of cancer; I don't know if the only part, about the Mills proxy's (Ewan MacGregor) relationship issues and romance with Anna (Melanie Laurent), also has a basis in reality. Either way, it's a charming little courtship that addresses both characters' emotional baggage that came courtesy of their parents. The buzz around this film mostly centres around Christopher Plummer as the dad, and he is indeed magnificent; don't be surprised if he wins the Oscar for it, though it's kind of a small movie. Elegant in handling the social pressures of the day and the consequences of it (there's a great scene where the dad finally reveals why he decided to marry Macgregor's mom). Has some random indie film quirks (occasional subtitles on the family's terrier's expressions), but these are handled in a subdued manner.
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Old August 2 2011, 08:23 AM   #603
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. True Grit (2010) [B]
2. Toy Story 3 (2010) [A]
3. Ghost Rider (2007) [D]
4. Elektra (2005) [F]
5. The Hangover (2009) [A]
6. The Hangover Part II (2011) [B]
7. X-Men: First Class (2011) [B]
8. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) [B-]
9. I Am Number Four (2011) [D]
10. Thor (2011) [A-]
11. Green Lantern (2011) [D]
12. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) [B]
13. Cowboys & Aliens (2011) [C+]


It's a bit corny and the storyline is really simple, but the entertainment value is high. Great use of SFX and solid directing from Favreau.
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Old August 2 2011, 08:51 AM   #604
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
I hadn't seen these two Harrison Ford films in a good 14-15yrs. So long in fact I got to be re-surprised by the ending to Presumed Innocent. Both are Roman Polanski and I was given this Blu-Ray double feature by a friend.
To be pedantic for a moment, Frantic was directed by Roman Polanski, but Presumed Innocent was directed by Alan J. Pakula.

110. Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (A-)
111. Stagecoach (B-)


Mr. Death: A terrific, heart-breaking account from director Errol Morris of Fred A. Leuchter, an execution specialist whose career and personal life was destroyed when he wrote a report based on poor science backing the claims of a Holocaust denier, and refused to retract that report due to outright stubbornness. Wikipedia claims the man is now working as a telemarketer, which is an even bigger fall than the dramatic one seen in this documentary.

Stagecoach: It's hard to look at this film with fresh eyes, since so many of the things that appear to us as tired cliches of the Western genre were new and innovative at the time. The cast is terrific -- perhaps one of the best ensembles for a Western, ever -- and the end nicely upends our expectations by putting John Wayne's final duel mostly off-screen. Still, it features typical American Indians for a western of this period -- two-dimensional savages hell bent on destruction -- and it's hard to take a movie that tries to make so many cliches (i.e. the charge of the cavalry) into major dramatic moments seriously.
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Old August 2 2011, 10:07 AM   #605
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I've seen the Singaporean films:

*My Magic (leaves you hanging)
*Be With Me (leaves you hanging with some characters)

And an older US produced films:
*That Man Bolt (with Fred Williamson and Miko Mayama; horrible...but I want to do something with it in the future)
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Old August 2 2011, 02:54 PM   #606
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Just seen HP 7 Part 2 and it was alright, a decent ending and a decent franchise overall though it never grabbed me like other films because it always felt like you needed to read the books to become a proper fan.
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Old August 3 2011, 01:17 AM   #607
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Cowboys & Aliens, it was better than I thought, enjoyed it, except for the Asshole who brought a infant/toddler to the show who wouldn't shut up.
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Old August 3 2011, 03:02 AM   #608
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


90. The Apartment (A-)
91. Captain America: The First Avenger (A-)
92. Ordinary People (A-)
93. Days of Heaven (B+)
94. Yojimbo (A-)
95. Tangled (A)
96. Cowboys and Aliens (B)
97. Crazy, Stupid, Love (A-)
98. Beginners (A-)
99. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (A+)

Someone should suggest to John Boehner that they bring back dance marathons. Hey, something's gotta replace Social Security.

Amazingly bleak 1969 Great Depression drama from director Sydney Pollack starring Jane Fonda (who looks a lot like Sigourney Weaver here). Set during a grueling dance marathon that functions as a microcosm of contemporary society: the poor struggle and suffer for the amusement of the better-off, and the "winner" gets screwed over in the end (the film doesn't even bother telling us who wins the contest, since it doesn't matter). Feels exhausting to watch everybody. The end balances on the edge of being a bit melodramatic, but I think it works. Gig Young won the Oscar for his portrayal of the promoter, a believable ordinary huckster who is utterly banal at being a complete heel.
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Old August 3 2011, 11:21 PM   #609
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



56. American Psycho - B. At times hilarious satire. Seems oddly reminiscent of a screwball take on Dexter, though of course this came before. My copy skipped in a couple of places which affected the pacing and may have skewed my grade slightly (I want to see this again on a good copy).

57. Rango - A-. Really very good. I like that this movie had a different visual style than most big-screen CGI films- it's a much more photo-realistic and surreal style than the one employed by Pixar and most of the rest of Hollywood. As the first feature length animated film by ILM (if I'm not mistaken), it's a very good effort, though not quite as masterful as the best efforts in the genre.
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Old August 5 2011, 03:27 AM   #610
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


100. Bonnie and Clyde (A-)

On August 3rd I hit 100 films for the year; last year it took me until December 31st to do that. Spending six months unemployed means lots of spare time.

One of the more famous films of the late 1960s, credited with revolutionizing Hollywood (supposedly, Jack Warner's inability to stop it from being made signalled the degree to which his influence had declined). The violence and sex is rather banal by today's standards, of course (primetime TV can do as much), but it's still raucous fun to watch. Faye Dunaway, in particular, is great as Bonnie. I wasn't feeling Warren Beatty as Clyde quite as much; the youngish Gene Hackman was good in his supporting role. I admit I had a hard time taking Gene Wilder's appearance at all seriously.

Also rewatched The Social Network tonight with friends (seems we're going to be making a thing out of Thursday movie night), since one of them hadn't seen it. Still a very strong drama, though I still have reservations about some of Sorkin's writing choices. Great showcase for some rising young stars, especially.
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Old August 5 2011, 03:31 AM   #611
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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: A Call to Arms (8)
Babylon 5: River of Souls (7)
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)
Broken Blade 6: Bastions of Sorrow (9)Cowboys and Aliens (8)
Cutthroat Island (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
Green Lantern (8)
Hanna (8)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (8)
Honey and Clover (6)
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)
Super 8 (8)
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 August 5 2011, 03:34 AM   #612
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
On August 3rd I hit 100 films for the year; last year it took me until December 31st to do that. Spending six months unemployed means lots of spare time.
I feel you. I spent 9 months unemployed back in 2008. Made my way through plenty of DVDs and books. There really is only so many sites to surf, people to network and resumes to send out after the first few months.

Good luck to you soon!
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Old August 6 2011, 06:52 PM   #613
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I got a new job about a month ago, thankfully, so that's behind me (it hasn't greatly slowed my movie-watching either).

100. Bonnie and Clyde (A-)
101. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (B+)

If you had asked me a month ago whether I was going to see this movie, I would have said no. However, the movie generated great advance word, so I did, and it is indeed one of the summer's better films (I find I rarely go to see non-superhero action films anymore). In particular, it's a triumph for WETA and Andy Serkis, on par with their realization of Gollum (in some ways, more impressive, since Caesar is based on a real animal that audiences have expectations regarding). Caesar's character arc is amazingly well-done (and some of the other apes are given fairly effective bits of characterization). The main flaw of the movie is that the human characters aren't nearly as interesting (if they had been, this might have been the summer's absolute best). James Franco is serviceable as the lead, but nobody's going to walk away talking about him; Freida Pinto's role is so slim she almost shouldn't have bothered showing up; John Lithgow is easily the most successful actor, bringing some real pathos to the part.

Discussed more in the SF/F review thread.

102. Elmer Gantry (B+)

1960 Sinclair Lewis adaptation starring Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, and Shirley Jones. Lewis was the first American author to win the Nobel Prize, but his importance in the canon has declined since 1930, largely because his satires of American society, edgy at the time, have seen become terminally rote (Babbitt, for instance, is 400 pages of "hey, the American upper middle class is narrowminded and hypocrital!"; incidentally, the protagonist of that novel, George F. Babbitt, has a supporting role in this story). The film of Elmer Gantry, based on a 1926 novel, doubles this effect by including an actual disclaimer about why they feel it's okay to satirize revival preaching at the start of the film - something no film today would ever bother with.

Lancaster's performance (which won him the Oscar) initially I thought was a bit offputting, but once you get used to the rhythms of it it's actually very good. That's true of a lot of the aspects of this rural American Protestant revival culture, which from the vantage of an urban Canadian Catholic feels vaguely unbelievable (but it still exists today). I like the film's balanced handle on Gantry, who, despite his obvious failings, is never dismissed as a simple charlatan, which I think would be substantially more likely to happen in a modern take on this story. Shirley Jones also won the Oscar as a prostitute who had previously been seduced into becoming a fallen woman by Gantry; I didn't realize who she was at first, but she starred in a bunch of Rodgers and Hammerstein films films earlier in the 1950s; I imagine this would have been a big change of pace for audiences. Jones delivers one of the hottest performances I've seen in a film from the era.

At two-and-a-half hours, the film is a bit sprawling, and there are a couple of points where I was sure the film was about to end, but it kept going (there's one point, in particular, where I think they might have been better to leave things), ending somewhat weirdly. Still a strong and interesting film.
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Old August 7 2011, 01:12 AM   #614
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"American Pie" (1999) A. This film still holds up more than ten years later. I think one of the things that makes it so much fun for me aside from the sexual sub-plot is the friendship between the main characters. I love movies like this. I'm very much looking forward to "American Reunion" next spring.
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Old August 7 2011, 06:54 AM   #615
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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+
18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010) - B-
19. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) - B+
20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011) - B
21. Robin Hood (2010) - B-

Gladiator this is not, but I enjoyed it to a certain extent. Crowe was good in the role and Blanchett played her part well (It was kind of like her character in Lord of the Rings though) but the movie felt a little bit too long and a little disjointed at times. The Visuals were stunning though.
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