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

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Old December 6 2011, 04:52 AM   #901
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) ✭

Even worse than the third film. It's a shame that this movie made a freaking billion dollars. That's just encouraging Disney to churn out more these subpar pirate movies. All disjointed action sequences and boring and/or convoluted plots. The first movie was fun, the sequels have literally all put me to sleep since.
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Old December 6 2011, 05:02 PM   #902
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

August: A movie starring Josh Hartnett as the founder of a dot com startup that's in trouble. The subject matter is interesting, but the movie isn't very good. One of the best parts was seeing David Bowie in a small role. Also, apparently the title comes from the movie taking place the month before the 9/11 attack. From this little fact, the audience is supposed to understand that whatever happens in the movie will have been in vain.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus: I couldn't even finish it. I thought it was going to be dumb and campy in a fun way, but it wasn't. I won't bother with the sequels either.
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Old December 8 2011, 05:31 AM   #903
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Green Lantern (2011) ✭1/2

Pretty pathetic movie. The first teaser or trailer had me pretty excited for the movie. Then, I was at the theaters one night and saw the full trailer. I could tell it was going to be pretty bad then. The scathing reviews confirmed my suspicion, but I still wanted to see how bad it was for myself.

Pretty bad. The villain is lame, Ryan Reynolds looks bored, and it's all just a little silly. DC superheroes really haven't done as well as Marvel in the movie department other than Batman... ever.
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Old December 9 2011, 08:19 PM   #904
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


170. Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (A+)
171. About Schmidt (A-)
172. Drive (B)
173. Hugo (A)
174. Ed Wood (A+)
175. Out of Sight (A)
176. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (B-)

Continuing with my informal George Clooney week, his 2002 directorial debut, which was previously the only one of his four films that I hadn't seen. Clooney, unlike a lot of actor-directors, usually doesn't take the lead in his own movies (only in the overlooked Leatherheads, and even there he was co-lead), though he's always there in some capacity.

I spent most of the movie thinking what an unorthodox choice this seemed for Clooney when compared with his later work, but when looking at the end credits I realized it had a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, which explains a lot. And, honestly, this feels like a mismatch of writer and director. Kaufman screenplays need directors who really gel with his unique sensibility, like Jonze and Gondry; Clooney tries (indeed, this is by far the most visually interesting of his films), but his instincts are just different from Kaufman's, both in terms of comedy and drama. Either of those other directors, or maybe the Coen Brothers (with whom Clooney frequently collaborates), would be better choices for this material.

That said, it's not a bad movie by any means. Well-acted, there aren't really any bad scenes, and there's memorable stuff; but it just doesn't click to the poin of becoming anything beyond decent. And to be honest, while I think Clooney's a mismatch as director, this doesn't feel like Kaufman's most incisive work either.
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Old December 10 2011, 12:04 AM   #905
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Ninja Cheerleaders: I've been wanting to see this for a few years now and I finally got the chance this week. The movie should have been called Ninja Strippers, because the three ladies were strippers preparing for a stripping contest while having to deal with rescuing their sensei (George Takei) who was kidnapped. How was the movie? It was pretty bad. It had the writing and production values of the dialog portions of a porn movie, you know, the parts where there's no sex and they're trying to set up a plot with a bit of banter. Takei was decent enough though and Ginny Weirick is very easy on the eyes. From the DVD "making of" documentary, it seems as if all involved had a good time making this, but in the end, it just didn't have the lustre of a well made motion picture.

Primer: Two guys are working on an invention in their garage and accidentally realize that what they made can do something quite extraordinary. Great concept, but it's often hard to follow. It's an independent film that was made on a budget of $7000. but looks quite professional for what it is. Check it out if you're into indie scifi.

Doubt: A priest is suspected of sexual impropriety with a minor. Not an exciting story, but the movie is made excellent by the performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Those three alone are the movie. It's rare to see something like that. You could have put all three of them on a blank stage with no sets or props and it would have been gripping.
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Old December 10 2011, 12:24 AM   #906
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

#64 Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) ✭✭✭1/2

I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It does have a few flaws, but the CGI apes are phenomenal. I know it wasn't necessarily part of the plot, but I thought that the girlfriend could have had a bigger role in the story. She kind of bugged me... just being there.

When Caesar first sees the dog on the leash in the park... that will probably forever be one of my favorite scenes in a movie. Andy Serkis sold that moment.
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Old December 11 2011, 12:27 AM   #907
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


170. Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (A+)
171. About Schmidt (A-)
172. Drive (B)
173. Hugo (A)
174. Ed Wood (A+)
175. Out of Sight (A)
176. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (B-)
177. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (A)

Concluding Clooney Week with his 2000 first collaboration with the Coen Brothers. There's surprisingly little of the Coens' usual dark humour in this one, but otherwise their comic sensibility remains much the same (verbose dialogue and all). It's a very fun movie.
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Old December 11 2011, 02:37 AM   #908
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189. Manhattan Murder Mystery (B-)

An enjoyable Woody Allen movie, but certainly not top shelf. Part of the problem is that the movie isn't always successful blending suspense and comedy. Most of the time, the suspense just isn't all that effective. Still, it's nice to see Keaton and Allen back one last time, even if this isn't Annie Hall. Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston are both good in support, too.

Visually, it's a bit dull, to the point that the allusion to The Lady from Shanghai in the finale ends up feeling out of place, since the rest of the movie has been so ordinary. This surprised me, since Carlo Di Palma photographed a number of much better looking Allen movies.

I don't to sound down on it, though. It's a funny movie. Worth watching on Netflix Instant, where I caught it.
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Old December 11 2011, 05:06 AM   #909
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

You planning to see Hugo, Harvey?
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Old December 11 2011, 09:45 AM   #910
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I would like to see it, although I don't particularly care for 3D, so I may wait until home video. That decision may be taken out of my hands however, since I'm spending the next three weeks with my parents rather than staying in LA, so it may not even be playing nearby.
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Old December 12 2011, 08:16 PM   #911
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



100. The Lion King - B. Haven't seen this movie since the 90s. Stunning Blu-ray transfer. These old Disney films really look great in high def, there's no denying that. This movie falls about in the middle of the pack of Disney films with me, in that it tells the same story that the majority of their films tell, and the musical numbers are memorable but not particularly special.

101. Alice (Svankmajer, rewatch) - B-. Svankmajer's twistedly literal re-interpretation of the Alice in Wonderland story, now on Blu-ray. Plays like a bad acid trip. It's a little boring, honestly, but has some of his best animation segments in it. I think the premise is a little too thin for the film's running time.

102. X-Men (rewatch) - B-. Pretty good, but I can't help but think of the much better X-2 when I watch this movie. Toad and Sabretooth are kind of pointless villains.

103. Lost in Translation (rewatch) - B. This film is most notable for it's gorgeous cinematography. It's just a beautiful film.

104. Malibu Express - D. Cheesy 80s boob-and-gun movie. I'm just padding my review count here. >_>
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Old December 12 2011, 08:28 PM   #912
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I watched Sucker Punch last night for some reason. Its obvious to me why it gets all the negative flack it does, and I have to say I agree with most of said flack. About the only redeeming quality I was able to discern was that Emily Browning bears an eerily creepy resemblance to a friend of mine. So much so that I literally called her asking if she had been in this movie and just never told us.
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Old December 13 2011, 01:20 AM   #913
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Caught up with library copies of The Reader and The King's Speech.

The first was rather more interesting, but it got rather more fascinated by the erotica than in fleshing out the story, which seemed to have something to do with German war guilt as well as the abused loving the abuser. We don't see enough of Ralph Fiennes adult version to get the latter.

Plus the discord between the submissive illiterate off screen in the SS and the sexually aggressive woman in postwar Germany may not inspire complete disbelief but it is a little straining. One aspect, that people who in other circumstances never would have done such things, is muddied by making Kate Winslet's character such a marginal figure. And, generally, the role of social forces in such atrocities (Philip Zimbardo of Stanford Prison experiment fame labeled it the bad barrel theory vs. the bad apple theory,) is not dramatized by a bedroom drama.

The erotica is very well done. Naked people are like pretty scenery and pretty scenery rarely detracts from a movie.

The King's Speech suffered enormously by a continual surprise that 1.) people in their right minds gave a shit about what some German princeling thought 2.) people never heard anyone stutter without feeling the utmost contempt and 3.) victory in WWII depended upon a smooth speech by the King instead of the Soviets. This was puffed up enough to be a balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. On a personal level, Edward VIII was far and away the man you'd most like to party with. (Especially if he brings Wallis.) And on a political level, when George VI actually utters the phrase "divine right" you're not really any better than Edward.

Hollywood may despise stutterers because perfectly smooth speech is just the only thing, but the general notion that stutterers are just cowardly losers (Reginald Barclay Syndrome,) is a little example of the real hidebound conservatism in Hollywood. It is of course the teasing that makes stutterers shy, not the opposite.
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Old December 13 2011, 03:23 AM   #914
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

stj wrote: View Post
The King's Speech suffered enormously by a continual surprise that 1.) people in their right minds gave a shit about what some German princeling thought
George was born and raised in Britain, to parents born and raised in Britain, to a grandmother born and raised in Britain by a father born and raised in Britain by a father born raised in Britain by a father born and raised in Britain. "German" is a bit of a stretch, no?

In any event, people very much did care what he thought, so how is that a flaw in the film?
2.) people never heard anyone stutter without feeling the utmost contempt
Huh?
and 3.) victory in WWII depended upon a smooth speech by the King instead of the Soviets. This was puffed up enough to be a balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. On a personal level, Edward VIII was far and away the man you'd most like to party with. (Especially if he brings Wallis.) And on a political level, when George VI actually utters the phrase "divine right" you're not really any better than Edward.
At no point was there the implication that his speech was crucial. It was his personal struggle to perform his duty, and that duty did indeed matter, even if it wasn't make-or-break.

George believed in divine right, like every royal of his generation (as does his daughter, by most accounts, though not her children and grandchildren). So what? And I would think that being much more responsible makes him better than Edward.
Hollywood may despise stutterers because perfectly smooth speech is just the only thing, but the general notion that stutterers are just cowardly losers (Reginald Barclay Syndrome,) is a little example of the real hidebound conservatism in Hollywood.


Did you actually watch the movie?
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Old December 13 2011, 03:24 AM   #915
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


94. Paranormal Activity 3: A
95. Rachel Getting Married: C
96. Love Guru: F
97. Funny People: C-
98. Win Win: B+
99. Everything Must Go: B
100. Scott Pilgrim vs The World: D+
101. American Ninja: D
102. Revenge of the Ninja: D
103. Lonesome Dove: A


Hung out with some friends and our deal was to watch some movies we hadn't seen. The two Ninja movies are C-list, it'd be an insult to B-movies to call them Bmovies. They are the type of movie you talk through and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Lonesome Dove, a mini-series movie event. First time I'd ever seen it and it was damn good. Ranks right up there in terms of 10 best Westerns I've seen.
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