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

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Old March 17 2010, 06:34 PM   #346
Kegg
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
In the "The Third Man", right at the end I loved Orson Welles's performance, the production design of the tunnel for the big chase scene, and the way that chase was shot, but nothing leading up to these things impressed me. I'm not digging Kurosawa either. I have only seen "The Seven Samurai" and "Ikiru" and thought they were both way too long and way too melodramatic, with only a precious few genuinely moving moments.
I am fairly certain I have found the antimatter version of myself.
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Old March 17 2010, 06:59 PM   #347
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

^^
Or myself. Though I haven't seen enough of Kurosawa to know for sure.

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]
Powaqqatsi [C+]
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard [D-]
The Box [ B]
Beverly Hills Cop [B-]
Notorious [B+]
Apocalypse Now Redux [A]
Death to Smoochy [C+]
Double Jeopardy [D-]
The Maltese Falcon [A-]
Starship Troopers [A]
Green Zone [ B]
Roving Mars [ B]
Star Trek [B+]
Beverly Hills Cop 2 [B-]

On par with the original, I think. Very 80s. Axel Foley's antics are less believable in this version (he gets a contractor to just leave a multi-million dollar home by pretending to be a building inspector, gets to meet Dean Stockwell's character by claiming a paper bag holds nuclear materials, and so on) but at least as funny. And (Tony) Scott directs action better than Martin Brest (though the action remains totally silly).
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Old March 18 2010, 03:55 AM   #348
Too Much Fun
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Holy smokes, "Trading Places" is a brilliant, brilliant movie. There are not many comedies I would praise that way, but it really deserves such a compliment. I knew it would be good, but not this good. It was fresh and funny with strong writing and performances from start to finish and gave me some of the biggest laughs a comedy ever has.

My favourite part was the train sequence. There aren't many things in life or in movies I've ever laughed at as hard as I laughed at the events of that sequence. The costumes and fake accents were a riot, and Paul Gleason, Jim Belushi (!) and the gorilla was a truly inspired bit. As was the case in other movies (i.e. "About Last Night...") Jim seemed to be sort of copying his brother's schtick, but still, funny is funny, and he deserves credit for bringing some fine humour to the scene.

I've been checking out some of the comedies Eddie Murphy made in the 80s to understand why he was once considered one of the greatest comedic actors (also saw "Beverly Hills Cop" and "48 Hrs."), and the more I see, the more I'm convinced that he was the real deal, and the more I'm disappointed at how his career has gone since. What a shameful waste of talent. I'm anxious to see "Coming to America" now. A friend of mine tells me it references "Trading Places", so that should be fun. It's nice to see Jamie Lee Curtis in an excellent comedy again too...brings back fond memories of "A Fish Called Wanda" .
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Old March 18 2010, 05:06 AM   #349
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

There's definitely a reference to Trading Places in Coming to America, though I say this without having seen Trading Places (yet). The later film is at times, brilliant, and at other times less than so. In some scenes the way it upends clichés about Africa is quite funny. At other times it seems to just reproduce those clichés. But, for now, I'll shut my trap, lest I trample upon the film before you see it. And, hell, Frankie Faison, John Amos, and James Earl Jones? Hard to go wrong there.
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Old March 18 2010, 05:47 AM   #350
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Loved Trading Places. Some of Murphy and Ackroyd's best work; both of them are well past their best-before date these days (there was that brief shining moment when Dreamgirls came out and it seemed like Murphy might turn over a new leaf, but then came Norbit, and the Academy wisely didn't give him the Oscar).

Interiors (B) - a film made with a lot of obvious craft, this was Woody Allen's first attempt at Serious Drama, and, at least of the ones that I've seen, it's his most aggressively Serious still. There's no score, for starters, which is Serious, and the colour palette is like a hospital room (when the "vulgarian" stepmother shows up wearing read you almost want to hug her just for standing out). I've never actually seen an Ingmar Bergman film, but this is apparently made in his style. This is one of those movies that is more appreciable intellectually than anything else; it's all about the existential angst of a group of wealthy Manhattanites, which is a subject Allen's done elsewhere, but with humour and a sense of his subjects' pretensions; these guys are just such suffocating navel-gazers the only people to feel any interest in are the outsiders. And that seems mostly intentional, from the way the movie is designed, but it just isn't that involving.
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Old March 18 2010, 05:51 AM   #351
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

You've never seen a Bergman film? Definitely should tackle a film or two of his when you have the chance. It's probably not a common choice, but I think Smiles of a Summer Night is an awfully amusing little movie.
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Old March 18 2010, 06:03 AM   #352
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I plan to at some point (I really want to see The Seventh Seal), but DVDs of his films skew on side of "expensive", and the local Blockbuster doesn't have any of them. There are a lot of other films to see that are more cost-effective at the moment.

Next I'll probably round out the late-stage Woody Allen period with Stardust Memories, then I've got a couple of dramas to watch (Touch of Evil and The Sweet Hereafter).
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Old March 18 2010, 06:14 AM   #353
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

^^
Can't argue with Stardust Memories or Touch of Evil. I haven't seen The Sweet Hereafter, though.
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Old March 18 2010, 06:22 AM   #354
Too Much Fun
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Thanks for the warning about "Interiors", C.C. It is on my list of movies I want to see. I appreciate the info on "Coming to America" as well. I expect to enjoy it when I get around to it, but I doubt any Eddie Murphy movie I see can top "Trading Places" now. I was thinking about the "Dreamgirls" thing too. It would have been cool if that had heralded a return to quality work for Murphy, instead of just a brief break from the tripe he does these days.

Ingmar Bergman is one of the few revered foreign directors I'm interested in whose work I've mostly enjoyed so far (unfortunately haven't got into Fellini or Kurosawa yet, but I haven't given up). I liked "The Seventh Seal" a lot. It is a very powerful and thought-provoking movie that got me thinking a lot about religion and spirituality and left me with a nice sort of melancholy feeling in the end.

Bergman's movies have been a little hard to watch for me so far because they tend to be long and meditative, but I think they are worth the effort. I found "Fanny and Alexander" a bit more frustrating because it starts off SO slow and plodding, but the intensity really picks up after the intermission and I was enthralled by the end.
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Old March 18 2010, 04:08 PM   #355
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I've seen one apiece of Fellini and Kurosawa (La Dolce Vita and Throne of Blood); the former seemed to me like a cultural artifact (whatever was edgy about it at the time has long since passed), the latter was a pretty good adaptation of Macbeth (I have Ran on Blu-Ray too, but it won't play on my laptop, so I have to wait until I next visit home to watch it).
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Old March 18 2010, 06:34 PM   #356
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Wolfman (2010)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)
The Time Machine (1960)
Time Rider: The Adventure of Lyle Swan (1982)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
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Old March 18 2010, 06:37 PM   #357
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
I've seen one apiece of Fellini and Kurosawa (La Dolce Vita and Throne of Blood); the former seemed to me like a cultural artifact (whatever was edgy about it at the time has long since passed), the latter was a pretty good adaptation of Macbeth (I have Ran on Blu-Ray too, but it won't play on my laptop, so I have to wait until I next visit home to watch it).
Seven Samurai and Rashomon are probably good introductory Kurosawa films (Yojimbo for spaghetti western fans, Hidden Fortress for Star Wars fans), but Ikiru is basically my favourite film.

Ran is also excellent.
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Old March 19 2010, 05:44 AM   #358
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

1. Avatar (B)
2. Precious (A)
3. Invictus (B)
4. A Single Man (B-)
5. Crazy Heart (A-)
6. A Serious Man (A-)
7. The Last Station (A-)
8. Adventureland (B+)
9. Samaritan Girl (C-)
10. 3-Iron (A)
11. The Hurt Locker (A-)
12. Citizen Kane (A)
13. Planet Hulk (B+)
14. High Society (B-)
15. The Philadelphia Story (A-)
16. The Pianist (A-)
17. Murder By Decree (A-)
18. A Man For All Seasons (B+)
19. A Patch of Blue (B+)
20. Broadway Danny Rose (B+)
21. The Departed (A)
22. The Purple Rose of Cairo (B+)
23. Zelig (B)
24. Radio Days (B)
25. Hannah and Her Sisters (B+)
26. Gone Baby Gone (A+)
27. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (B+)
28. Doctor Zhivago (B)
29. A Beautiful Mind (A-)
30. Match Point (A+)
31. Scoop (C)
32. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (B+)
33. The Maltese Falcon (B+)
34. Love and Death (B-)
35. Shakespeare in Love (A+)
36. Dial M For Murder (A)
37. The Last King of Scotland (A-)
38. Annie Hall (A+)
39. Tropic Thunder (B)
40. Manhattan (B+)
41. Mighty Aphrodite (B+)
42. High Noon (B+)
43. Interiors (B)
44. Stardust Memories (B)

This is Woody Allen's major Fellini-inspired piece (the first, anyway), and, unlike with the previous Bergman-inspired one, I've seen one of his movies, so I can appreciate the stylistic similarities more. While there's autobiographical elements to a lot of his movies, this one throws out any pretence of subtlety, with Allen as Sandy Bates (Wood/Sand, five-letter last name starting with A/B), a filmmaker best known for his comedies now in the middle of a crisis of purpose. In a lot of ways, it makes sense to watch this after Interiors, because a lot of this is a commentary on that film's reception (a lot of his fans were kind of stunned at the change in style and wanted him to do more comedies - as here, he's constantly being accosted by fans who admire his movies, "especially the early, funny ones"). There are a lot of random fantasy sequences thrown in a la 8 1/2 (which I haven't seen, but I know of it), and a lot of focus on his relationships with various women (there's some really nice work by a young Charlotte Rampling). I like the emphasis on how hectic and invasive being famous can feel, but for the most part this is a minor work. If Interiors was easier to appreciate intellectually, this one is most interesting to consider as a metatextual hinge in Allen's filmography, as this began the 1980s, moving away from pure comedy fairly definitively (occasional revisitings aside).
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Old March 19 2010, 05:54 AM   #359
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I could be wrong, but doesn't Brent Spiner have a small part in Stardust Memories?

I like the numbered list, too. Totally illustrates the insane number of movies being watched. I'm totally stealing that.
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Old March 19 2010, 05:59 AM   #360
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Hey, don't you dare, I stole it from Starbreaker back on Page 23 fair and square.

Spiner is indeed in it. I knew that going in, but I forgot to look. May have to doublecheck tomorrow to see what scene he was in.
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