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

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Old February 9 2010, 09:53 PM   #196
LitmusDragon
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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
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - B
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - B
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - B-

I remembered the third Harry Potter movie as being the best of the series, and this assertion holds up on my second viewing of the film. The cinematography and direction in this movie are first-rate. Visual flourishes abound, like the Whomping Willow which somehow comes across as a real creature, to the pinhole fade they used to transition between scenes (love that effect, wonder why it was ditched after this film?). The Sirius Black reversal and the time-travel solution at the end are probably the two best plot devices in the entire (movie) series in my opinion. A

Goblet of Fire is a good film but seems like fluff compared to the more serious themes explored in the previous movie. It's basically about sporting events and a dance. The Voldemort stuff at the end was suitably creepy. B-
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Old February 10 2010, 02:52 AM   #197
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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-]
Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1946) [B+]
Glengarry Glen Ross [B-]
Gattaca [A]
The Big Chill [B]
The Producers [A]

Mel Brook's original. I've seen it many times. It's one of his finest comedies, and I still enjoy it a great deal. I saw it earlier in January--for some reason I forgot to add it to the list. So, there it is.
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Old February 11 2010, 04:48 AM   #198
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-]
Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1946) [B+]
Glengarry Glen Ross [B-]
Gattaca [A]
The Big Chill [B]
The Producers [A]
Rent [C+]
Blade Runner [A]

Rent was an okay, at times annoying take on the apparently popular musical. Some of the numbers are brilliant, and some of them are downright grating. Surprisingly tame given the subject matter, no doubt director Chris Columbus' doing.

Blade Runner is my favorite film. Still holds up. Looks great in HD. I'll probably see it again this year, so I'll keep it at that for now.
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Old February 11 2010, 05:36 AM   #199
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Road [B-]

The book is about a trillion times better.
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Old February 11 2010, 04:00 PM   #200
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Broadway Danny Rose [B+]

My latest DVD acquisition is a box set of 80s Woody Allen films; great deal, given that I donít own any of them (the first Woody Allen film I saw was Match Point, one of my top 10 of the 2000s). This is one of Allenís early 1980s comedies, a period in his filmography dominated by his then-muse Mia Farrow, though pretty much all these movies are coloured a bit by the rather acrimonious end of that relationship. Allenís films have a lot of autobiography, in this case the subject being the New York club entertainment scene, with Allen himself playing a theatre agent who represents the bottom of the barrel. Itís an effective little story, with a strong lead performance (Woody Allenís manner has become such a comic caricature that itís easy to forget that he can be a really good actor in the midst of his standard schtick), as well as from Farrow and the various real-life figures from the entertainment scene. Itís filmed in black-and-white, which is kind of random.
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Old February 12 2010, 07:56 PM   #201
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-]
Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1946) [B+]
Glengarry Glen Ross [B-]
Gattaca [A]
The Big Chill [B]
The Producers [A]
Rent [C+]
Blade Runner [A]
My Cousin Vinny [B-]

I have no idea why this comedy is ranked so highly, nor why Marisa Tomei's performance was even the subject of an Academy Award nomination, let alone a win, but I'll admit that I was amused by this film for two hours, even in the face of a few unbelievable twists and some jokes that work better than others.
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Old February 12 2010, 08:56 PM   #202
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Films seen for the first time in 2010 -

Where The Wild Things Are - B+
Up in the Air - A
Avatar - C+
Precious - B
Invictus - C+
Inglourious Basterds - A
Twilight - C
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Old February 13 2010, 02:31 AM   #203
LitmusDragon
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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
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - B
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - B
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - B-
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - B
Faust (1994) - A

The fifth Harry Potter film is fairly solid, though disjointed at times. Events often proceed one right after the other without any thread of explanation. Nice cinematography and sets, and the "Dumbledore's Army" plot line is fun. B

Faust - Jan Svankmajer is not for everyone, but I love what he does. This retelling of the classic Faust tale about a man of science who sells his soul to the devil for magical powers opts for both a modern re-envisioning of the myth and a traditional retelling of the tale involving folk puppets from Svankmajer's native Czechoslovakia, often blurring the line between the two. There are puppets interacting with actors, actors who are also puppets, and actors inside of giant puppets. At one point, a giant puppet head spawns other, smaller puppets, which fight with other puppets. I believe "surreal" is the best word here. Faust's mephisto in the modern tale looks like the man Faust himself, reminding us that we all create our own temptations. Several seemingly random events throughout the movie come together in a surprising and satisfying conclusion at the end. Definitely an art film, but one I truly enjoyed. A
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Old February 13 2010, 07:09 AM   #204
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Movies Seen in 2010
Duplicity - C-
The Hurt Locker - A
Moon - A
The Princess and the Frog - B
Crazy Heart - B+
Julie & Julia - A-
A Serious Man - A

This movie was very interesting, but very weird. How low can someone go in terms of problems and more problems. It was actually quite fun watching all this unfold, and while my parents seemed to Hate it, I actually had a blast watching it. Michael Stuhlbarg did a great job, and I still need to think about the beginning and ending, but overall I really enjoyed it.

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Old February 13 2010, 03:48 PM   #205
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

DVD:

Adventureland [B+]
Samaritan Girl [C+]
3-Iron [A]
The Hurt Locker [A-]
Citizen Kane [A]
Planet Hulk [B+]
High Society [B-]
The Philadelphia Story [A-]
The Pianist [A-]
Murder By Decree [A-]
A Man For All Seasons [B+]
A Patch of Blue [B+]

Theatre:

Avatar [ B]
Precious [A-]
Invictus [ B]
A Single Man [B-]
Crazy Heart [A-]
A Serious Man [A-]

Bringing the number of Best Picture nominees I've seen to eight of ten, this is the Coen's latest movie, one of the minor-league nominees. It's a dense film, and probably too purposefully inscrutable for me to really love it in the way I love, say, Miller's Crossing, but it's well-worth seeing. Strong performances all around from the cast (which includes a few recognizable character actors in supporting roles). There are a bunch of different recurring thematic motifs here, such as Schrodinger's Cat-type scenarios, the Book of Job (commonly mentioned in reviews), and also Abraham and Isaac (though that's not a perfect reference, as Isaac was never actually in danger).
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Old February 14 2010, 01:17 PM   #206
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:
It's probably a film best watched very late at night, when one is tired and isn't absolutely sure what the hell was in that drink you just took. This happened to be my mindset, so I wound up sitting through a whole film which I'd only intended to sneek a peek at a few minutes of on TV. So very, very Sixties, so of course it was made in the seventies. Rockers go to LA, get stoned, screw up their lives, a film with a tacky moral at the end as a deliberately half-witted excuse for all the debauchery somewhere in the whole rest of the thing.

Ultimately, I think it's a trifle overlong, and I found it amusing that as, er, exploratory as the film was - touching on homosexuality, drugs, multiple partners - miscegenation remained the last strictly adhered to taboo, as the black characters only acted erotically with each other.

There are some very funny moments, though, and the writing isn't half-bad for a futurely famous film critic Roger Ebert. A zonked out Shakespeare-quoting lunatic record producer steals just about every other scene he's in, and I can't fathom why. Even still he only seems more mildly peculiar than the whole rest of the cast, who seem to be wildly careening over a cliff of melodramatic excess and cornball come-ons. Or something.

Really, though, watch it for the hair. There is so very much of it.

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
and also Abraham and Isaac (though that's not a perfect reference, as Isaac was never actually in danger).
Spoiler alert!

It's not like Abraham knew that, after all. And knowing - or rather the lack of knowing - is sort of important here.
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Old February 14 2010, 11:29 PM   #207
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Departed (2006) [A] - the film that won Scorsese his Oscar, which consequently has led to some allegations that the award was really just a consolation prize for past great works not winning, but, while there's certainly some consolation involved, The Departed is a great film on its own. Really impressive cast, with actors like Alec Baldwin turning up in what are more or less bit parts. This is the third collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio (with the fourth due out shortly, and more in the works), and its a great performance (as well as from Matt Damon). The ending bit I found confusing; why didn't Madolyn say anything? Did she tell Mark Wahlberg ('cause I don't see how else he could have known)?
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Old February 15 2010, 04:36 AM   #208
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I saw Percy Jackson (I'm not even going to type out the full title). Directed by Chris Columbus (the Home Alone and Harry Potter films), non-surprisingly Jackson is another pedestrian foray into the tween/teen fantasy epic subgenre. The supporting cast is decently strong (Kevin McKidd and Sean Bean are woefully underused) and the main trio of young stars have mediocre chemistry (Logan Lerman exhibits some charisma).

Overall, it feels like a retread of Harry Potter and a purely fiscal attempt to regain the successful formula (in which it unabashedly follows).
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Old February 15 2010, 08:41 PM   #209
LitmusDragon
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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
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - B
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - B
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - B-
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - B
Faust (1994) - A
Night on Earth - B
Schizopolis - B-

Night on Earth - Has a reputation for being Jim Jarmusch's best film, but I'd have to give that nod to Dead Man (though, there's still two or three I haven't seen yet). Intelligent comedy about cab drivers and their fares in five different cities across the world. Somes bits stronger than others; the New York and Paris bits were the best in my opinion. Very funny in spots. Does a good job of capturing the feel of each city. Jarmusch's feel for dialogue and bent for finding the humorous in synchronicity is apparent throughout. Soundtrack by Tom Waits. B

Schizopolis - I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this movie. It's kind of an absurdist free-form comedy with a 90s soundtrack, all things I like. It wins points for being original and wacky and thought-provoking. It loses points for not following it's own internal logic- how can T. Azimuth Schwitters both give his speech and not give his speech, is the biggest example I can think of offhand. Still, it's not a boring movie, some parts tie together nicely, and the Elmo character is hilarious. B-
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Old February 16 2010, 03:46 AM   #210
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Updates:
Armored Trooper Votoms: Big Battle (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Roots of Ambition (8)
Armored Trooper Votoms: The Last Red Shoulder (8)
Boondock Saints (10)
The Book of Eli (8)
Cencoroll (8)
District 9 (8)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
G-9 (6)
Inglorious Bastards (7)
Oldboy (9)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
The Uninvited (7)
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