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Old January 13 2013, 07:45 PM   #46
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

To Start off 2013:

Bleach Movie 4: Hell Verse (8)
Mardock Scramble: The Second Combustion-Theatrical version (9)
Gangster Squad (8)
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Old January 14 2013, 08:30 AM   #47
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

Playback - Netflix Instant
Parenthood (1989) - DVD
Young Adult - Netflix Instant
Django (1966) - free admission
Django Unchained (2012) - free admission
Housesitter - DVD
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - YouTube
The Sting - free admission
This is 40 - free admission
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D - free admission
Parental Guidance - free admission
The Sting II - Netflix Instant
Abduction - Netflix Instant
Dial M for Murder 3D - free admission
Gangster Squad - free admission
Zero Dark Thirty - free admission

Since I saw The Sting at the theater the other day, I watched the psuedo-sequel via Netflix Instant. Two out of three main characters have similiar, but not exact, names from the first film, and while events from the first film are referenced, it just isn't the same. No way Paul Newman's grifter morphs into Jackie Gleason...

I wasn't too impressed with the second movie.

Watched the Taylor Lautner chase movie...I remember seein' the trailer awhile back, and bein' curious about Sigourney Weaver & Alfred Molina's roles in it. It was a very stupid movie. Glad I didn't bother with it in theaters last year.

Had a three-movie marathon at my theater today, since I had the day off.

First up, the Alfred Hitchcock classic in a restored digital 3D showin'...I really liked it, especially the police inspector in the second half, followin' the intermission.

Followed that up with the new period gangster movie...and while it had a good cast, the movie wasn't anything that ya haven't seen a million times before in other gangster movies. I did kinda like Robert Patrick's character especially, as a psuedo-cowboy gunslinger.

And then the Oscar-nominated ZDT, which was pretty awesome. I liked it quite a bit more than The Hurt Locker, and that night vision compound invasion was intense.

Got a plan to see an old spaghetti western tomorrow night, maybe a couple of DVDs or Netflix movies, too.
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Old January 14 2013, 08:24 PM   #48
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013






6. Waiting for Superman: B

This documentary from a couple years back that champions Charter Schools as a viable option to combat our failing schools. Now my friends that are teachers just saw this documentary as an insult. A few others though did not but they are also the ones who agree that bad teachers need to be booted. Seems the idea of tenure has a grip on some.

Tenure really does need to be revisited. Where else is there virtually no threat of losing your job unless apparently you sleep with a student. The doc drills on this as various states have a way of passing off bad teachers from school to school. Some states it's the Lemon Dance, the Turkey Trot but it's about hoping the bad teacher you get is less bad than the one you had.

I just see Charter Schools as another option. The doc states that Magnet Schools are one option but even those are limited. At one point Magnets didn't exist either but are accepted today. Charter is just a new additional alternative that some would seek out.

The doc does acknowledge that not all Charter Schools reach their ideals, but most do. I just don't see the threat here as an outsider. Choices are great, or should be.

I don't think Charter or Magnet schools should be a crutch though to let Traditional Public Schools off the hook. No one can do anything about lack of initiative within a students home. That culture is it's own problem and one cited by those wanting out. Surrounded by kids not encouraged to learn who bring that into the schools who make the teachers then indifferent. Some impetus should still be on those teachers to not willingly turn into "Lemons" or "Turkey's".
If their numbers are anywhere near right than we are using more tax dollars per student in traditional public schools vs many private schools to educate our youth. Why not let those who want to invest the time choose how and where the tax dollars for their child are invested towards their education?
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Old January 15 2013, 02:08 AM   #49
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
The doc does acknowledge that not all Charter Schools reach their ideals, but most do. I just don't see the threat here as an outsider. Choices are great, or should be.
The most authoritative evaluation of American charter schools was done by Stanford University in 2009. 37% of charter schools perform significantly worse than traditional public schools; another 46% show no quantifiable difference. Only 17% show any improvement.
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Old January 15 2013, 04:27 AM   #50
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

So they really glossed over the acknowledgement then! LOL!!

It still begs the question: What's going to be done to make them better? It's a multi-faceted answer no doubt. I do not believe it's strictly about dollars spent per student. Not a conversation for here, and I don't have the answer, but things aren't great in US public schools in general.
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Old January 16 2013, 12:05 AM   #51
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8. Miss Bala (A-)

Cinephiles often question how the Oscars' foreign language film process affects the nominees by requiring a government committee to pick which film will represent their country. As good a demonstration as any that matters of national ego aren't a big deal would be this movie, Mexico's 2011 submission, which depicts modern-day Mexico as quasi-anarchic, its citzens caught between rival drug cartels and a corrupt police.

The film is anchored by the strong lead actress, Stephanie Sigman, who plays Laura, a young woman whose dream of entering the Miss Baja California pageant ends up getting her caught in the middle of the drug war. It's an essentially reactive performance (Laura behaves like a normal person would in all this), since I think she's supposed to be largely symbolic, but extremely well-done. The film also never precisely explains what's happening, hewing largely to Laura's POV, and she has no clue -- you can piece together the big picture fairly well, but they're not concerned with everybody following the big picture. Indeed, I think that's the point. Ordinary citizens like Laura have no real control or understanding of the wider struggle that's going on around them.

Cinema: 3
Home Video: 4
Computer: 1 (+1)
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Old January 16 2013, 01:06 AM   #52
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
...What's going to be done to make them better?...
Essentially, nothing. The reform movement is not about actually making schools better. On a narrow level it is about justifying budgets and consultants' fees and a multitude of supervisory jobs for people who don't want to be in a classroom. On a higher level, it is about breaking teachers' unions. And on the highest level, it is about privatizing education to make it profitable, while also limiting education for the population at large. An informed citizenry is certainly not desired, but there really is no great need for scientists and engineers who expect a US "upper middle class" salary. Not while you can import an equally good but cheaper foreigner.

If you look closely at what the so-called reformers want to teach, they strongly promote what I call the Japanese work-team model: A group of people used to being jerked around by a higher management that is constantly caught by surprise, who has been trained to do half the administrative work of supervising each other (what the bosses like to call the teamwork,) while constantly adding new tasks and skills in an endless speedup.
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Old January 16 2013, 06:44 AM   #53
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013


9. Monsieur Lazhar (A)

Continuing my theme of both revisiting 2011 and that year's foreign language films, this was Canada's submission, which got nominated, and inevitably lost to the juggernaut that was A Separation. This is a nicely understated drama about an elementary school class whose teacher hangs herself, and the somewhat secretive Algerian immigrant who shows up to take her place. Mohamed Fellag, as the title character, is charming (in a role that never becomes melodramatic or maudlin). I was most impressed by the child actors, who are really good calibre, particularly Sophie Nelisse, playing one of the two children who saw the old teacher's body.

Cinema: 3
Home Video: 5 (+1)
Computer: 1
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Old January 16 2013, 06:05 PM   #54
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8. American Splendor (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - An autobiographical movie about the life and career of Harvey Pekar, who wrote and published a comic book called American Splendor. Stars Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis and the real Harvey Pekar who narrated the movie and appeared in breaks from the movie's storyline to talk to the viewer. I didn't know who this guy was, but the movie was a good one and had me doing a bit of internet searching to find out more about the man and his comic. I give it 4 out of 5 stars for a good story about a down and out "everyman" just trying to get by from one day to the next and Giamatti's performance. He's what you'd expect and he's good.

9. Soul Surfer (✩✩✩) - DVD - Based on a true story, Bethany, a surfer girl loses her arm in a shark attack. Stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood, Craig T. Nelson, Kevin Sorbo and AnnaSophia Robb as the Bethany. It's your basic story of perseverance, learning not to feel sorry for oneself and believeing that there's a bigger picture but I was more fascinated by the story of how the main character dealt with the trauma of losing a limb. Some of these issues were presented with a religious bent since the characters are Christian, but it was deliberately kept to a minimum. This is the second thing I've seen Robb in this week, the first being her new show The Carrie Diaries. She's on my radar now. Oh, and the fx they used to make her look like an amputee was pretty good. I kept my eye on that.

10. 30 Minutes or Less (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - Two idiots kidnap a pizza deliver guy, strap a bomb vest onto him and give him 9 hours to rob a bank or it goes off. Hilarity ensues. Stars Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride. I really enjoyed this one. It wasn't well received but I thought it was a cut above your average comedy. It had a lot of unexpected developments and non-stop action but it's real strength was in all the witty fast talk from the cast. There's a post-credits scene, so stay for that. And if you watch the movie on DVD, watch the deleted scenes. You'll find stuff that was cut from the ending.

Theatre: 2
DVD: 5
Blu-ray: 1
Live TV: 2
Recorded TV: 0
On Demand: 0
Internet Download: 0
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Old January 18 2013, 07:57 AM   #55
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

1) This Is 40 - C+

2) Easy A - A-

The jokes are quick and good in this one, giving Emma Stone the perfect role. Don't overlook Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her parents, who I think have the best scenes in the movie. You can't help but laugh at Amanda Bynes as the uptight religious girl either.

I did stop and go: why in the hell is Malcolm McDowell in this movie? And when Fred Armisen showed up as a priest, I did the same thing.

The only real low point is Lisa Kudrow. She is consistently cast as the witchy wife in an attempt to distance her from Pheobe, but she's becoming type cast all over again. Her character's decision to cheat on her husband isn't really fleshed out either past "Oh, Micah is cute and of age!"
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Old January 19 2013, 07:43 AM   #56
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

1. Reservoir Dogs (1992) - A
2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) - D
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) - C+
4. Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - A
5. The Amazing Spiderman (2012) - B

The only thing I remember about when this movie came out was that it came out on my Birthday, and I decided instead to see Moonrise Kingdom. After watching TAS tonight, I can say I made the right choice.

Despite that though, I actually enjoyed this movie. Garfield was pretty good as Spiderman, and he could have been as good if not better than McGuire. The only thing holding him back, and the movie for that matter, is that the tone wasn't emotional enough. I mean when Uncle Ben was killed, I didn't really feel anything, and they touched on it for a little bit but then it felt like it was mostly ignored until the end. Like Tom Hendricks said in his review, the best part of the movie was when Spiderman saved the boy in the car off the bridge. You really got a sense of Spiderman being "Amazing", even though the entire movie didn't portray himself as such.

However, there was a lot to like. The high flying scenes were incredible (especially the spiderman vision so we did get to feel what Spiderman feels) and the action was pretty good. I'm not sure if I agree with Emma Stone as Gwen, but she was ok. I know there will be a sequel and I'll be interested. I will say this movie did get the bad taste of Spiderman 3 out of my mouth, so that was good.

Theater: 1
Blu-Ray/DVD/TV: 3 (+1)
Itunes: 1
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Old January 19 2013, 01:24 PM   #57
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

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Old January 19 2013, 02:09 PM   #58
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

Playback - Netflix Instant
Parenthood (1989) - DVD
Young Adult - Netflix Instant
Django (1966) - free admission
Django Unchained (2012) - free admission
Housesitter - DVD
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - YouTube
The Sting - free admission
This is 40 - free admission
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D/HFR - free admission/free admission
Parental Guidance - free admission
The Sting II - Netflix Instant
Abduction - Netflix Instant
Dial M for Murder 3D - free admission
Gangster Squad - free admission
Zero Dark Thirty - free admission
Treasure Planet - Netflix Instant
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption - Netflix Instant
Commando - Netflix Instant
Battle Royale II - Netflix Instant
The Invisible War - Netflix Instant
Texas Chainsaw 3D - free admission
Lawrence of Arabia - free admission
Ron White: A Little Unprofessional - DVD
Valkyrie - DVD

With one roommate out of town and the other at work, I went a little nuts with the Netflix Instant.

First off, TP, which sucked...a version of the Treasure Island story, but set in space with aliens & robots.

Watched the third SK movie, set after the Rock's movie, but before the events of the second Mummy. If nothin' else, at least it has King Hellboy vs King Jango Fett vs Prince Phantom.

Was in the mood for some Arnold, so I watched Commando. I had passes for The Last Stand, but it was too damn cold to wait in line at the theater. Cheesy '80s action movie all the way through.

I watched Battle Royale last year, and found the sequel on Netflix. It was a huge disappointment, really. The first one was much better, with way more dark humor.

The Invisible War is my first documentary this year. It played at the Drafthouse for only a few days last year. It is all about the sexual assaults & rapes suffered by women and men in the US military, and how those cases are handled by the chain of command.

Did a three-movie marathon at my theater on Thursday.

First up, TC 3D, which was an awful fuckin' movie that turns the serial killin' Leatherface into a simple-minded protector locked up in the basement.

Followed that up with The Hobbit in high frame rate, which I didn't like. It was my third viewin' of the movie, 2D, Real 3D, and finally the HFR. The movie just seemed flat to me at 48 FPS, the action too fast, and even though I know it was filmed on location, some how it just look like a bunch of studio sets.

And then LoA, which was a fuckin' great epic and I'm glad I saw it for the first time on the big screen.

Watched the latest Ron White special on DVD yesterday. And it was pretty damn funny, though he talks about his dick a lot more than usual. The special does have the added bonus of havin' been filmed at the Paramount Theater here in Austin last year.

Started to watch Valkyrie on DVD last night, but dozed off a bit durin' it. Got it playin' now, since I'm awake way too early.

And that makes 25 "new to me" movies so far this year.
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Old January 20 2013, 07:43 PM   #59
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

1. Reservoir Dogs (1992) - A
2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) - D
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) - C+
4. Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - A
5. The Amazing Spiderman (2012) - B
6. Life of Pi (2012) - A

What an absolutely beautiful film, one of the more original pieces of film making I have seen in a long long time (probably since Inception). While the movie started out slow, once we got to the shipwreak it just moved and never let up and it was a wondourous experience. While other films have great visual effects, what they lack (Such as movies like Beasts of a Southern Wild or Avatar) is good storytelling. Life of Pi includes that great storytelling and it was brilliant. I hope Ang Lee wins best director because that was best director material. Also loved what they did with Richard Parker, who I thought was the star of the movie. There were two scenes that make me kind of want to see this movie actually in 3D

1) The scene where Pi and Richard Parker are surrounded by jumping fish and the picture actually goes from the whole screen to widescreen and the fish feel like they are jumping out of the screen. It was almost like Ang Lee made 3D possible for 2D viewing

2) The scene with Richard Parker jumping almost out of the screen scared the crap out of me but I think would even be more creepy in 3D.

What an achievement and great movie.

Theater: 2 (+1)
Blu-Ray/DVD/TV: 3
Itunes: 1
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Old January 21 2013, 12:25 AM   #60
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Re: Movies Seen In 2013

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
2) The scene with Richard Parker jumping almost out of the screen scared the crap out of me but I think would even be more creepy in 3D.
A lady at the screening I attended yelped at that.
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