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Old March 1 2010, 10:54 PM   #271
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I really liked No Country most of the way through, but the ending annoyed me. I understand what they were going for, but of the "non-ending"s that I've seen, I didn't think that one was pulled off well (I also had a hard time understanding why Javier Bardem's performance got so much acclaim; mostly he just acted impassive; he was a terrifying villain, don't get me wrong, but how different were 99% of his scenes from Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator? Actors voted him a ton of awards, so they obviously saw something there, but it didn't look to me especially complicated).
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Old March 1 2010, 10:58 PM   #272
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Bardem had to learn English for the role, and considering how charismatic he was in other films (such as The Sea Inside, which he should have won for) his unemotional, terrifying villain was a major stretch for the actor. As opposed to Schwarzenegger in The Terminator--cold and emotionless is basically a safe role for the actor.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:01 PM   #273
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I really don't see how acting unemotional is a "stretch" in an award-worthy sense; whether it's something that comes naturally to him or not (and just because he showed more life in other roles doesn't mean it was something difficult), Schwarzenegger could have given the same performance, and generally you try to gauge acting by the result, not relative to the talents of the performer. It doesn't, to me, seem like an award-winning part, in anyone's hands. Chigurh was scary because he went around shooting people the head with a cattle-gun.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:07 PM   #274
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

To each his own. I think he's an effective and scary villain, who was memorable enough for an award nomination. I was surprised he won, though.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:20 PM   #275
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
Do you even like Intolerable Cruelty, which I thought was so bad, it's just easier to forget the Coen brothers were the ones who made it?
I actually really enjoyed that movie. What I liked was well, on the one hand, the screwball nature, and on the other, the titular cruelty - it was a very, very vicious movie about divorce and death and screwing people over and messy power plays. When it comes to black comedy I'm a pretty easy mark, so I lapped it up.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:38 PM   #276
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

If it had gone in that vein all the way to the ending I would have lapped it up, but I remember an awfully soft conclusion. But reading Metacritic the reviews at the time were fairly positive? Perhaps I should give the film another look.

Though, speaking of blasphemy, I enjoyed their remake of The Ladykillers (though I have yet to see the original).
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Old March 1 2010, 11:53 PM   #277
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I liked The Ladykillers (haven't seen the original); one of Hanks' more out-there roles.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:54 PM   #278
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I never really got around to seeing the Coen brothers Ladykillers (I will eventually, but I'm lazy)... but I'm not a huge fan of the first one. It's good, just not absolutely fantastic. Basically, I was expecting Kind Hearts and Coronets. Which if you haven't seen, well, as a rather shameless fan of black comedy that film is one of the best out there.
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Old March 2 2010, 06:27 AM   #279
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Theatre:

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

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+]
Broadway Danny Rose [B+]
The Departed [A]
The Purple Rose of Cairo [B+]
Zelig [B ]
Radio Days [B ]
Hannah and Her Sisters [B+]
Gone Baby Gone [A+]
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [B+]
Doctor Zhivago [B ]
A Beautiful Mind [A-]

2001's Best Picture winner, directed by Ron Howard (who comes into a lot of criticism in some quarters; and certainly, while he's not the most original or daring director out there, he's a very accomplished craftsman; not to say The Grinch Who Stole Christmas wasn't an abomination). I ran across the midpoint twist in this film, which I thought would diminish my enjoyment, but while I of course twigged to Ed Harris I didn't think to apply it to Paul Bettany, so it still had some punch. The movie rides on the performances of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, who are of course very capable of pulling it off (also featuring Christopher Plummer and the little girl from Everwood, one of my favourite 00s shows). For such a hyper-masculine guy, Crowe is remarkably good at playing a wimp/nerd (he did so as well in The Insider). I quite liked it.
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Old March 2 2010, 09:31 PM   #280
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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-]
Zombieland [ B]
Infernal Affairs [A]
The Walker [F]
Starship Troopers [A]
Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith [F]
Altered States [A]
Devil in a Blue Dress [ B]
Renaissance [ B]
District 9 [ B]
The Shawshank Redemption [B+]
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story [ B]
Memento [A]

I was very curious to see if this unique puzzle film by Christopher Nolan would hold up after I had seen it a few times, and spent more than a little time online and elsewhere trying to unravel that puzzle, and I'm glad to find that it does. We're never quite sure if Lenny is Sammy or not. There are clues that would indicate this, but they come in the form of memories (many of which the film presents two different versions of), and as is pointed out in the film, memories are unreliable. But, ignoring that puzzle, the film provides another joy which is to introduce characters who seem sympathetic at first, but we come to discover they're all using Leanord Shelby--including Lenny himself, as we find out in the very end. Even Burt, the friendly guy behind the hotel desk, uses him to make an extra buck by checking him into an extra room.
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Old March 3 2010, 05:20 AM   #281
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Multi-film review: Woody Allen's "Johansson Trilogy"

Match Point [A+] - the first (and, as yet only) Woody Allen film I saw in theatres. I loved it in 2005, and put it on my top 10 for the 2000s, but his later films weren't as strongly reviewed (and generally weren't dramas, a genre I generally prefer), so I never got around to seeing any of them. Deciding to settle down and watch the latter two films with Johansson, I decided to give Match Point a rewatch as well to write a retrospective review. I'm generally not much of a rewatching type (though I still collect DVDs of films I saw in theaters for some reason), but anyway. This film really holds up, and remains one of my favourites of the last decade. Having a better sense of Rhys Meyers' character, rewatching the film you can really observe how calculated he is about upward mobility; everything he does serves some other end (including the seemingly unsubtle closeup of Crime and Punishment), until he meets Nola, which knocks him off his manipulative if ultimately harmless path. Great performances all around. I think some aspects of the Hewett family seem a bit outdated; at times they seem more like they stepped out of the Edwardian era in terms of how the aristocracy behaves (such as the seemingly jobless Chloe), but whatever.

Scoop [C] - One can imagine how this would have been a disappointment after Match Point. This seems like Allen attempting a return to pure comedy, a genre he mostly abandoned after Stardust Memories (which meta-fictionally explained why he wanted to do that). But it's just not especially funny; there are long stretches with no real jokes, but it also doesn't work a thriller (he occasionally ends up with these genre-hybrids that don't effectively work in either). Johansson is doing what is basically a Mia Farrow role here (female Woody Allen), but it's hard to buy her as mousy (though the film at least doesn't pretend she's unattractive). Allen makes a rare-these-days onscreen appearance in a supporting role; he uses a lot of the same schtick he did in Broadway Danny Rose, but it's a bit tired. He does, though, deliver my favourite part of the film, where his character puts the puzzle together and drives off to rescue Johansson, only to die in a car crash on the way there because he's not used to driving on British roads. When last we see him, he's on the boat to the afterlife, grousing about how if the movie had been set in America he'd have gotten there, saved the day, and totally been a hero. If the rest of the movie had been that effective as a mystery/thriller parody, it might have been great.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona [B+] - Allen's (for now) final film with Johansson, moving the setting to Spain after three films in London (a venue he's now returning to with 2010's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, after a nostalgic 2009 stopover in New York). After a superb drama and a subpar comedy, we get one of his relationship dramedies, the point of which seems to be that relationships are inconsistent. The character who doesn't know what she wants at the start of the film still doesn't at the end, and the one who knew what she wanted now doesn't (in another film, they'd just have switched places). There's a lengthy tradition in North American literature of North Americans going to Europe (especially the continent) and falling in with libertine arty types; this fits into that, but Allen mildly deconstructs this with Cristina, who is shown to be purposefully constructing such an identity for herself, and more notably by having Juan and Maria Elena be so much less idealized than a lot of such characters are (particularly Maria Elena). A collection of very strong performances, and I generally connected to the characters, though the weird decision to include a lot of totally superfluous narration (by a third-person narrator) takes it down at least a point).
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Old March 3 2010, 06:40 AM   #282
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Lord Garth wrote: View Post
I'll be seeing Avatar either tonight or tomorrow.
I took my girlfriend to see it and she though it was a great movie
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Old March 3 2010, 06:48 AM   #283
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I went to go see Shutter Island tonight, only the third time I've been to the theater since the new year.

And I kind of wish that I hadn't read the book first, 'cause the movie was, aside from a few twists & bits of dialogue, a very faithful adaption of the novel. Not a bad thing at all, but I knew everything that happened as it happened, beat for beat.

Ah, well...
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Old March 3 2010, 07:13 AM   #284
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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)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Pailsen Files (7)
Boondock Saints (10)
The Book of Eli (8)
Cencoroll (8)
Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
District 9 (8)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
G-9 (6)
Inglorious Bastards (7)
Law Abiding Citizen (9)
Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
Oldboy (9)
Pandorum (7)
Summer Wars (10)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
The Uninvited (7)
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Old March 4 2010, 07:38 PM   #285
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

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-
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes - B
Primer - B
Ryan (2005) - B
Lost Highway - C+
The Seventh Seal (1957) - A
Metropolis (1927) - A
Kagemusha - A
Following - B+
Masters of Russian Animation 1, 2 - A
The Old Man and the Sea (animated) - A
The Man Who Planted Trees - A
Miller's Crossing - B+
Ocean's Eleven - B-
Bottle Rocket - C+
The Fountain - C

Bottle Rocket - Fairly good movie that finds Wes Anderson not quite arriving at his particular style yet. Owen Wilson is one of those actors that I just don't like much as a rule, and he's fairly obnoxious here (although I did like him in The Royal Tenenbaums). This film has some of Wes Anderson's trademark inscrutability and misanthropic characters but not quite ratcheted up to the level of Rushmore or his later films. C+

The Fountain is a beautifully shot movie that never quite adds up to the sum of it's parts. As near as I can figure (and there's certainly some room for interpretation) it's about a man living in three different time periods and each of these separate sub-plots converge together to become the causes of each other. It's a bit too neat of an explanation, and didn't quite work for me. There's an angsty love story in there as well, but it really wasn't my cup of tea. C
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