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

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Old February 2 2010, 08:16 PM   #166
Kegg
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
In its own way, Sunshine was the precusor to Defying Gravity. Don't tell the people who think it's one of the best real sci-fi movies in years I said that, though. A waste of Cillian Murphy, really.
Forget Cillian Murphy--what a waste of Michelle Yeoh.
Honestly I'd forgotten she was even in that movie.

As far as the science goes, I submit Defying Gravity again: Go with as much scientific plausibility except if it gets in the way of a really stupid story, because a movie just about a plausible space mission is not something anyone wants to see.

I was arguing with a friend over the end of the movie last night. She was trying to convince me that it was all about spirituality. I thought that was bunk, really.
I think it was. Spirituality is something that drives people crazy, was the message, yes? If memory serves the third act villain was a Chrtistian of some sort. A fair enough stand (as old as War of the Worlds and its snivelling curate as far as sci-fi goes) but not revolutionary.
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Old February 2 2010, 09:01 PM   #167
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I went and saw "The Road" yesterday.

It is only showing at our small independent cinema and even then only in its third cinema which has on one of its smaller screens. There is only seating for about 40 people and it was about half full. I have got feeling not many Tasmanians will see this film which is unfortunate as I think it is a very goof movie.
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Old February 2 2010, 09:24 PM   #168
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Kegg wrote: View Post
I was arguing with a friend over the end of the movie last night. She was trying to convince me that it was all about spirituality. I thought that was bunk, really.
I think it was. Spirituality is something that drives people crazy, was the message, yes? If memory serves the third act villain was a Chrtistian of some sort. A fair enough stand (as old as War of the Worlds and its snivelling curate as far as sci-fi goes) but not revolutionary.
He's definitely a Christian fundamentalist (you'd think NASA or whoever sent up the mission would have vetted him a little better), but that's about as far as it goes in my eyes. There's no attempt at depth to his slasher-movie antics, and they're also nothing the movie has been building toward.

But, I'd rather not derail this thread anymore.
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Old February 3 2010, 06:04 AM   #169
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Double DVD review:

The Philadelphia Story (1940) & High Society (1956)

Contrary to what some think, remakes are nothing new in Hollywood, as these two films show; the original has Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart, though the remake stars Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra (and Louis Armstrong), so it's got some classic cred too. The latter is a musical (Cole Porter), providing its distinctive gimmick, while the former is a screwball comedy.

The former's much more successful, generally, because it's got great dialogue; Porter's music, which substitutes a lot fo the way through, is okay, but none of the songs really stuck with me. There's some really odd gender politics at work in both of them, though, particularly in the former, where the dad who cheated on his wife tells his daughter it was mainly her (the daughter's) fault and we're supposed to agree with him. The Philadelphia Story is the film that won Jimmy Stewart his only Oscar (an odd choice, really; surveying his filmography you could pick out probably four more likely candidates), and it's a fun performance.

Also, was Louis Armstrong always like he is in this movie? Because he acts like he just took a hit of cocaine.
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Old February 3 2010, 09:41 AM   #170
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Prophet

I think anyone who liked Mesrine may want to give this French crime drama a go, it's fairly similar in tone, albeit fictional, and much more of a naturalistic depiction of a prison existence - the odd absurd dream image aside - than anything else.

It's really a coming of age story; beginning with the rather odd situation of a dutiful and rather naive Muslim falling in with the Corsicans rather than his own kind; looking up to his boss as a kind of surrogate father figure. There's some violence, but very little of it (though what there is is memorable, even if not always for the reasons you might think), and the film moves at a decidedly languid pace, so not really for everybody and so on.
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Old February 3 2010, 02:53 PM   #171
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I have seen
2012
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Old February 5 2010, 05:41 AM   #172
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Sherlock Holmes [B-]
Men in Black [A]
Up in the Air [A]
Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
I'm Not There [A]
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
American Violet [B ]
Inglourious Basterds [A]
Death at a Funeral [B ]
A Serious Man [A]
The Hurt Locker [A-]
Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior) [C]
The Book of Eli [C-]
Elegy [B+]
Close Encounters of the Third Kind [A]
The Invention of Lying [B-]
Gamer [C]
Timecrimes [A]
Metropolis [A]
Pandorum [B ]
Raiders of the Lost Ark [A]
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [A]
Moon [A]
Fun with Dick and Jane [C]
Sunshine [C]
Stanley Kubrick's The Killing [B+]

At times, I was annoyed by the voice over narration in this film, and some rather obvious rear projection, but the performances are all solid, the dialogue (by novelist Jim Thompson) excellent, and the cinematography very well-done. Not Kubrick's finest film, perhaps not even one of his top five, but hey, it's Stanley Kubrick.
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Old February 5 2010, 06:06 AM   #173
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Theatre:

Avatar [B]
Precious [A-]
Invictus [B+]
A Single Man [B]

DVD:

Adventureland [B+]
Samaritan Girl [N/A]
3-Iron [A]
The Hurt Locker [A-]
Citizen Kane [A]
Planet Hulk [B+]
High Society [B-]
The Philadelphia Story [A-]
The Pianist [A-]

Polanski's recent controversial arrest was, apart from justice being served, useful to me, since I made a policy of not watching any of his films while he was on the lamm. Now that, one way or another, he'll face the music, I have no objections to paying for his work.

In this case, we have the most acclaimed Holocaust drama since Schindler's List, and directed by an actual survivor. It's about as gritty and unflinchingly violent as you'd expect (it's also in colour, which I think I prefer; not that black and white can't be used well, but I dislike it as an affectation to show how Serious the film is). The film is about the perspective of a guy who simply survives, rather than being a hero or whatever; history happens around him, and it's supremely random that he survives at all (much like Polanksi himself). It's a bit detached, but still compelling.

It's a great performance from Adrien Brody (who deservedly won the Oscar, but sadly hasn't had much particularly remarkable since then), as well as a notable appearance by Thomas Kretschmann in his 5000th Nazi role.
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Old February 5 2010, 05:13 PM   #174
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Starship Troopers - C+
District 9 - A
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - B+
The Wrestler - B
V for Vendetta - C+
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone - C
Corpse Bride - C
Battlefield Earth - F
There Will Be Blood - A

Battlefield Earth - Why inflict this on myself for a second time? I'm not sure. Several moments prove unintentionally hilarious. The psychlo makeup is as bad as a I remembered: they basically looked like humans with dreadlocks, platform shoes, and hairy hands. wtf? I got a kind of giddy chuckle out of hearing John Travolta call everyone "man animal" and "rat brain". The gratuitous use of slow motion and the perpetual earnestness of Barry Pepper's character make for some funny moments. The plot holes in this movie make the apple macintosh computer virus in Independence Day seem like a work of Shakespearean genius. Terrible movie, but I maintain that it has enjoyable camp value. F

There Will Be Blood - This movie has been reviewed to death, and the reviews are right, Daniel Day Lewis gives a riveting performance as a truly evil man. The last ten minutes of this movie are among the craziest I have seen in recent cinema. A
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Old February 5 2010, 05:22 PM   #175
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Saw Edge of Darkness, Extreme Measures and Crazy Heart in recent days. All of them were quite excellent, especially Crazy Heart (Come on, Jeff, win that fucking Oscar!).

Edge of Darkness was a good return to form for Gibson, certainly (although I wish De Niro had played that Winstone part).
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Old February 5 2010, 05:33 PM   #176
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I can't imagine DeNiro playing Jedburgh with as much class and nuisance as Winstone. He really nailed it.

Saw Daybreakers. It certainly won't revolutionize the genre but it was a very entertaining and decent entry into the whole vampire mythology. It had some great, fresh ideas and while it could have explored them better, it was still an entertaining ninety minutes with good lead performances from Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill and especially Willem Dafoe. Plus, visually, it was gorgeous.
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Old February 6 2010, 02:10 AM   #177
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Sherlock Holmes [B-]
Men in Black [A]
Up in the Air [A]
Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
I'm Not There [A]
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
American Violet [B ]
Inglourious Basterds [A]
Death at a Funeral [B ]
A Serious Man [A]
The Hurt Locker [A-]
Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior) [C]
The Book of Eli [C-]
Elegy [B+]
Close Encounters of the Third Kind [A]
The Invention of Lying [B-]
Gamer [C]
Timecrimes [A]
Metropolis [A]
Pandorum [B ]
Raiders of the Lost Ark [A]
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [A]
Moon [A]
Fun with Dick and Jane [C]
Sunshine [C]
Stanley Kubrick's The Killing [B+]
Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1964) [A-]

I don't know what's so appealing about this movie, which looks like it was made on a paper-thin budget (it was intended to be the first TV movie, but was considered too violent) and is filled with so much cheesy-looking rear projection that it should be laughable.

But the performances are excellent. This is one of Lee Marvin's iconic roles, with a death scene that's hard to beat. Ronald Reagan proves that he was better at playing bad guys than he was at being President, but, alas, it's the only movie in his filmography where he played a bad guy (and, also, his last feature film). Gene Coon's script (yes, Gene Coon of Star Trek) sparkles. And the music really moves the production along (is there anything cooler than the opening titles of this movie?).

The Criterion release also has the 1946 version of the film, which I mean to get to soon. Anyone seen that?
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Old February 6 2010, 02:14 AM   #178
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

DVD Review: Murder by Decree (1979) [A-]

I recall reading about this film a few years ago, but it wasn't out on DVD at the time, and I subsequently forgot about it. But the recent Downey/Law Sherlock Holmes called it to mind again, and it turned out to have been released in the interim period, so I ordered it. An Anglo-Canadian coproduction (explaining the sizeable Canadian contingent in the cast), this is the cinematic iteration of one of the most frequent Holmes post-Doyle stories: Sherlock vs. Jack the Ripper.

The leads are Christopher Plummer and James Mason, with notable appearances by Sir John Gielgud (as Lord Salisbury, though not named as such), Donald Sutherland, and Genevieve Bujold. Plummer's very good as Holmes, who's a bit more emotive here than typical (he loses his cool a few time whenever injustice is particularly palpable). Mason's an excellent Watson, with a dry sense of humour and, despite his age, is shown to be very competent.

As far as Ripper-ology goes, this is a filmed version of the Prince Albert Victor/Masonic conspiracy theory (Sutherland is Robert Lees, the psychic, in a cameo; Bujold is Annie Crook), the one more famously seen in Alan Moore's From Hell and its cheap film adaptation. This version instantly wins points from me by casting the murdered women as dowdy/unattractive women over 40 (well, apart from Bujold, but she's a long way from a supermodel too), like they were in real life, rather than in From Hell the film, where they're all sexy twentysomethings.

And their take on the conspiracy itself even makes a modicum of sense, since it actually brings up how absurd the idea that any sane person in Westminster or Buckingham Palace would regard a handful of prostitutes as a major threat to the monarchy. In this version, the higher-ups merely think it's "inconvenient", and two fairly deluded Masons take this as a sanction to get rid of the supposed problem, which the others then have to cover up to save the Order's face. Actually, it's very Watergate, which makes sense given the time of production.
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Old February 6 2010, 02:14 AM   #179
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

^
Yup. The 1946 film is stylish, moody, atmospheric, absolutely gorgeously lit; classic film noir stuff. I believe the Criterion release also has the short film by Andrei Tarkovsky also based on the story; I am partial to that as well.
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Old February 6 2010, 02:16 AM   #180
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Tarkovsky version is indeed on the set. I'll give it a look before I return the DVD to the library.

What's your view on the Siegel version, Kegg?
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