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Old March 10 2014, 06:23 AM   #151
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


19. 300: Rise of an Empire (B)

Dumb fun, which was pretty much what I expected/needed from this, after a busy weekend moving back into my apartment and watching a lot of very serious movies. It's not quite as much dumb fun as it could be, especially because Themistocles is a pretty dull replacement for Leonidas. Gerard Butler's post-300 career has been pretty disappointing, but he was great fun in the movie, and Leonidas was a man of huge appetites who clearly enjoyed the bloodsport. Themistocles is a clean-cut Hero type, all righteous speeches about his love of democracy and the Greek navy, but he never seems to be having any fun.

The counterweight, of course, is Eva Green, whose performance seems already to have become legendary on the net. Whenever she's onscreen, none of the other characters matter. Green's an interesting actress, a bit too brooding/tragic in her looks to ever work as a leading lady in most contexts, but this sort of role is perfect for her.

One of the main reasons I enjoyed this was the representation of a full-scale naval battle, something it's never really been possible to do on film in the pre-CGI age, given how expensive filming on water is and how many ships you would need. Also, this is the rare movie where the female leads are much more sensibly dressed for battle than the male characters. It's weirdly structured, though, in that the villains have way more backstory and motivation than the heroes. Even the title makes them seem like the protagonists, since the empire that is rising can only refer to Persia (though this really isn't their "rise" at all) (if you were taking an extra-textual view you could argue that the empire is the Delian League, but that's never actually referred to in the film itself).

Cinema: 8 (+1)
DVD: 3
Computer: 8
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Old March 12 2014, 03:33 AM   #152
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Updates in Bold:

300: Rise of an Empire (10)
Black Rain (7)
Fairy Tail The Movie: The Phoenix Priestess (8)
Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin (Garden of Sinners: Blessings for the Future) (9)
Heat (1995) (8)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (9)
Kick Ass 2 (8)
Lone Survivor (8)
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (7)
Mission Impossible II (8)
Mission Impossible III (8)
Monuments Men (8)
Non-Stop (10)
Robocop (2014) (8)
Tales From Earthsea (5)
Wolf Children (8)

Running Total: 16
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Old March 12 2014, 08:13 PM   #153
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







13. She's Out of My League: C
14. The Lego Movie: A
15. Whip It: B
16. Up in the Air: B
17. 300: Rise of an Empire: B+

I found this to be much more enjoyable than I originally thought it could be. I was expecting a full letter grade lower and was pleasantly surprised. I like how the movie's narrative functions as One Part Prequel, One Part Parallel to 300, One Part Sequel essentially in that order.

As noted by Captain Canada I agree that our Athenian hero of the Battle of Marathon, Themistocles isn't as charismatic and fun to watch as Leonidas. That is a big part of keeping it of 'A' grade range for me. Lena Heady's Queen Gorgo doesn't have as much screen time as I had hoped but Eva Green steals every scene she is in hands down.

I hadn't watched every trailer and closely followed production so nothing was ruined for me. A friend who did follow production and trailers closely said that marketing spoiled some things for him in case you are one who followed it closely.

A fun film that could have a sequel the way it's Box Office is going again. I'm not up on my Greek History of this era, would there be a story to follow up that uses some of these same characters?
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Old March 15 2014, 09:53 AM   #154
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


Looney Tunes: Back in Action - DVD
The Crow: Wicked Prayer - Showtime Extreme
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home - Starz Kids & Family
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit - HBO on Demand
Bullet to the Head - Cinemax on Demand
Howard the Duck - HBO Family
Battlefield Earth - HBO on Demand
Me, Myself & Irene - HBO on Demand
Bad Milo! - Netflix Instant
The Final Cut - Netflix Instant

Had my sister's house to myself yesterday, so I decided to watch a couple of movies on Netflix.

First up, BM!, a B-grade horror comedy about a guy who has a poop demon livin' in his colon. When someone makes him made, the demon comes out exactly the way ya would expect a poop demon to vacate a human body and gets revenge for the guy. I normally wouldn't give a damn about a movie with such a crappy premise, but my friend & former roommate Rita worked on it as an assistant editor, and since I was here in east Texas when it played in Austin a few months ago, I took time to watch it today.

Followed that with my 50th "new to me" movie of the year, TFC starrin' Robin Williams. This is another of his semi-dramatic roles, where he works as a "cutter" for rememberances. In an alternate reality/semi-future, people pay to implant their unborn children with a recorder and when that person dies, the footage is edited into a memorial video. When the CEO of the company behind the technology dies, Robin Williams gets caught up in a conspiracy to expose the company.

While not a very good movie, it did at least resolve one particular issue I have. In almost every movie or tv show, when someone has a memory of what happened, the footage is from a previous episode or scene. In this movie, when someone has a memory, its first person POV, even for scenes that happened earlier in the movie. That was a nice touch.

I finished the final episodes of Breaking Bad a few days ago, and I've been playin' Batman Arkham Asylum / City / Origins a lot lately, so not sure what the next movie I see will be.

And I still haven't gotten to the theater for anything this year. There's been stuff I want to see, but just can't afford trips to the theater right now...
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Old March 15 2014, 04:22 PM   #155
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

^ I quite liked The Final Cut and own it on DVD. I liked the artistry behind the alternate reality world they created. Felt like Gattaca.


33. Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (✩✩✩½) - Download - I saw the full run of Fullmetal Alchemist and then watched this movie which serves to cap off the show. The 51-episode anime has a good premise and it's pretty engaging at first but it drags a lot for a while before getting good again in the end due to a few interesting revelations that carry into the movie. I like that anime is willing to go places that western shows and movies won't.

34. Sleeping Dogs Lie (✩✩✩✩) - Netflix - A no-budget independent film about a woman who gives her dog a blow job and then has her life fall apart when she tells her fiancé and the secret eventually gets out to her parents. I've never seen anything like this. It starts off as an attention-grabber and then becomes a film about what constitutes honesty and what things you should tell people. It's not a great movie per se but it's one you won't forget. That's why I'm grading it so high.

Theatre: 1
Netflix: 15
Live TV: 2
Download: 16

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Old March 16 2014, 06:28 PM   #156
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

28. Lifeforce (1985) -- C+
29. Extraterrestrial (2011) -- C-


In a Theater:
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) -- A

I expected Lifeforce to be a disaster, but I actually rather enjoyed the movie, flawed as it was. That said, it suffers from a couple of major problems. One, the movie frequently suffers from telling rather than showing. Rather than seeing things happen, there's a disjointed feeling where we go from one incomplete scene to the next, only to have the characters spout exposition explaining what we missed. The other major problem is the pace. Even in the longer, international cut, there's a real sense that the movie was cut to bits in editing. I for one would have liked to have seen all the space-based stuff left on the editing room floor. The effects don't always hold up, but these scenes had some genuine wonder mixed with horror in them.

Timecrimes is, in my estimation, a masterpiece. The writer/director's follow-up, Extraterrestrial, is at best a minor work with a few moments of brilliance. Advertised as a comedy, it's actually a much more serious movie with occasionally amusing moments. The SF elements are often quite minor. Michelle Jenner is very easy on the eyes, though.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was a lot of fun. I like the way it mixes Anderson's child-like sense of wonder with moments of brutality and vulgarity (without overdoing either). Like the shifting aspect ratios of the movie (it goes from widescreen to full frame, depending on the time period; at least, that's what it did in the print I saw), the juxtaposition of the two is fascinating.
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Old March 17 2014, 03:12 AM   #157
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1) Wargames - B+
2) Play The Game - B
3) Battle Los Angeles - B+
4) Despicable Me 2 - B
5) Minority Report - C-
6) District 9 - B+
7) How Do You Know? - F

First F of the new year. This movie proves that Paul Rudd can't carry a dramatic movie and that Owen Wilson is dangerously close to the same title. Why Jack Nicholson is involved in a stinker like this is beyond me.

8) Walk The Line - A-

I was really surprised by how much I liked this move. Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash can play those moments where he had the childish moments, the drug induced moments, the angry moments and do it all convincingly.

And once again, Robert Patrick shows up as that bit player that is like a chameleon from role to role. I know that I when I see his names in the credit, I'm in for a good movie.

9) The Butler - A+

I couldn't find a flaw in this movie. With the subject matter, this movie could've become preachy about civil rights and while it does, it isn't intrusive.

Forest Whitaker and Oprah take their roles seriously and resist the over acting that can come from either of them. All the presidents were well played, but I was particularly impressed by Robin Williams as Eisenhower. For an actor that makes his living on being flagarant and over the top, it was amazing to see him a subdued role.
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Old March 17 2014, 06:21 AM   #158
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


20. The Great Beauty (B+)

Last year's winner for Foreign Language Film, the first Italian winner in 15 years (quite a dry spell for one of the category's all-time champs) is a pretty obvious homage to the work of Frederico Fellini (who won this category for Italy four times). I'm kind of split on it (much like I was when I watched La Dolce Vita several years ago -- The Great Beauty at least is more than a half an hour shorter than its inspiration, which I found interminable). The camera work is excellent, and there's a lot of individual moments that are very well done; at the same time, it could fairly be called very pretentious (even while engaging in some amusing parodies of pretentious performance art), and the eclectic approach and lack of plot gets a bit wearying after a while.

Cinema: 9 (+1)
DVD: 3
Computer: 8
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Old March 17 2014, 12:38 PM   #159
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014



35. Bad Girls (C-) - An OK film with the 'twist' being that the leads are female. It adds nor detracts from the final product. That said, it was better than what I had expected it to be,
36. Back In Action (E) - Has a few moments of interest but this Billy Blanks and Roddy Piper vehicle crashes and burns.
37. The Snapper (B-) - A family tale set in Ireland about an unplanned pregnancy and its fallout. Colm Meaney is simply superb in this.
38. The Real McCoy (D-) - Early nineties Kim Basinger vehicle that is mediocre in every way, excepting Val Kilmer who was awful.
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Old March 17 2014, 01:33 PM   #160
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Roddenberry wrote: View Post

37. The Snapper (B-) - A family tale set in Ireland about an unplanned pregnancy and its fallout. Colm Meaney is simply superb in this.
The Snapper is one of my favorite films, I actually got to see this in a little independent theater in New Jersey. My favorite line is, "I was drunk when I met your mother and I still remembered her name."
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Old March 18 2014, 02:38 AM   #161
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Tom Hendricks wrote: View Post
Roddenberry wrote: View Post

37. The Snapper (B-) - A family tale set in Ireland about an unplanned pregnancy and its fallout. Colm Meaney is simply superb in this.
The Snapper is one of my favorite films, I actually got to see this in a little independent theater in New Jersey. My favorite line is, "I was drunk when I met your mother and I still remembered her name."
I laugh/snorted when I heard Pedro the Sailor man, Jim Beam & Ginger Beer took a very undignified exit via my nostrils.
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Old March 18 2014, 08:06 PM   #162
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







14. The Lego Movie: A
15. Whip It: B
16. Up in the Air: B
17. 300: Rise of an Empire: B+
18. Splice: C-

Billed a horror movie I found it more of an oddity film than anything. I didn't find it remotely horrific and found it to contain hardly any suspense really. Adrian Brody is the real name of the film and he and his girlfriend work at a genetics firm that does pharmaceutical testing and they end up splicing DNA together to create a humanoid hybrid that ends with disastrous results. The extreme predictability of it all plus a sex scene that is more WTF than even remotely sensual or erotic makes for one very odd film.
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Old March 20 2014, 06:41 AM   #163
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1) Her (2013) - A
2) Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - B+
3) The Dallas Buyers Club (2013) - B
4) Frozen (2013) - A
5) Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - B
6) Rush (2013) - B+
7) Blackfish (2013) - B
8) The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - A

Went to see TGBH yesterday and absolutely loved it. It was quirky, fun, and Wes Anderson at his best. During the trailer, I got a Moonrise Kingdom (My surprise movie of 2012) vibe from it, and I felt that during some of the scenes in this movie, especially with Edward Norton. I loved the chemistry between Finnes and the guy who played the Lobby Boy (Who was very good by the way) and it was just a fun and entertaining movie.

I also saw it at an independent theater, and it was a blast from the past. I'm so used to going to these big theaters like Cinemark and AMC but it was only playing at a smaller theater and the atmosphere was so much more intimate and less "corporate". I also saw some trailers to films I probably would never see, like the Dune Docu-Drama, Belle, and Particle Fever, which looks really interesting. Also saw a trailer to Nymphomiac, and man does that movie look disturbing, not to mention I've never seen a trailer with nudity and a whole lot of sex. It was a nice and different experience.

Netflix
Theater: 6 (+1)
Itunes 1
Blu Ray/DVD/TV 1
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Old March 23 2014, 07:37 AM   #164
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


21. Network (A+)

The first of two movies I rewatched tonight. Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayefsky's uncannily accurate prediction of the rise of FOX News retains all of its power, though I do wonder how seriously the movie expects us to take William Holden's blather, which is pretty much just "get off my lawn" nonsense (rather like how Chayefsky-worshipper Aaron Sorkin approached the internet in The Social Network).

22. The Palm Beach Story (A+)

Quite possibly my favourite of the 30s/40s screwball comedies, this tends to be ranked behind Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve among Preston Sturges' filmography, but in my opinion it's a lot more consistent. Part of that is the presence of Claudette Colbert as the female lead -- she pioneered this genre with Frank Capra, and she's in top form here, ably assisted by Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor. Sturges' de facto male lead, Joel McCrea, again takes that role here, and while he's fine, he's nowhere near the calibre of his co-stars. Also, watching these older movies makes clear how much the switch from trains and boats to airplanes has caused problems for screenwriters, since there's way less story possibility there.

Cinema: 9
DVD: 5 (+2)
Computer: 8
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Old March 23 2014, 04:18 PM   #165
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

32. Nebraska ★★★1/2

Pretty enjoyable film. I know some crotchety old folks like this, so I laughed a lot.

33. Inside Llewyn Davis ★★★1/2

I'm a huge fan of folk music, so I was entertained by this. Too many loose threads at the end for my liking, but there were some great cameos.
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