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Old May 23 2010, 03:21 AM   #541
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

105. Cutter's Way [B-]
106. Nine Lives [A-]
107. Wings of Desire [A]
108. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [B-]
109. Exorcist II: The Heretic [F]
110. Edmond [D]
111. Office Space [B+]
112. Being There [B-]
113. The Trouble with Harry [B+]
114. The Final Sacrifice [F]
115. Freeway [B ]
116. Iron Man 2 [B+]
117. Starship Troopers [A]
118. The Wedding Weekend [C-]
119. Fight Club [A]
120. The Informant! [A-]
121. It's Alive [F]
122. Grace [D+]
123. Tamara [F]
124. Avatar [C+]

Tamara: One day I will see a good movie using Netflix's Instant Watch feature. But not the day I watched this piece of garbage. At least it was amusing to ravage with friends.

Avatar: After seeing this in the theatre about five months ago, this is the first time I've revisited the film (my parents picked up the Blu-Ray, which does look incredible). As much as I rather dislike much of the film, it must be said that the action is terrific. Cameron understands both how to frame a striking image and how to arrange them in sequence (note that he's one of three credited editors) to the best possible effect. This isn't the incomprehensible visual cacophony of a Michael Bay.

That said, the movie is pretty top-heavy with exposition and later on Jake Sully's voice over often is what Ridley Scott calls 'Dora the Explainer.' There are between 5-10 instances of Sully's voice over that are perfectly conveyed by nonverbal performance, and his explanations end up feeling patronizing.

Cameron's version of the White Messiah tale puts a few twist on the convention, to be sure. Sully is a klutz, especially at first, and never manages to master the Na'Vi language. The Na'Vi, surrogate American Indians in just about every way possible, defeat the Americans. In the end, he's saved by his love interest instead of the other way around. Yet he also manages to tame the Toruk (a feat only accomplished by five other Na'Vi...ever), unites all of the clans for the first time in many generations, be chosen by Eywa (he's saved from Neyrti killing him twice when he meets her), successfully pray to Eywa for intervention, and lead the Na'Vi in a successful military engagement against the superior technology of RDA.

One other point. People complained a lot about Steven Lang's villain being two-dimensional, but he works for me. It's Giovani Ribisi who falls flat. He's Burke from Aliens, but even more of a caricature.

Lastly, James Horner's score is just annoying. It's derivative of his work in Aliens, The Mask of Zorro, and Glory, and that's just what I can hear when watching the movie. I can't believe he had a year to work on the thing.

I could say more, but it's all been said, and the above rant is hardly coherent anyway.
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Old May 23 2010, 11:00 PM   #542
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

One other point. People complained a lot about Steven Lang's villain being two-dimensional, but he works for me. It's Giovani Ribisi who falls flat. He's Burke from Aliens, but even more of a caricature.
They're both straw men who exist to make Our Heroes look good and pander to the audience, but it's not like anyone went to that movie for the sophisticated plotline and charcterization anyway. At least it didn't win the Best Picture Oscar, what a joke that would have been.
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Old May 24 2010, 04:25 PM   #543
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

62. The Lion in Winter (A-)

Between my MA work and my discovery of the TV series Glee, it's been a few weeks since I watched a movie.

Set in the twilight of the reign of King Henry II, the movie is set mostly in a single day (it's based on a stage play, but it doesn't feel like), in which Henry aims to arrive at an accommodation with the French King (Timothy Dalton, in his screen debut) regarding his sister's marriage (the sister being Henry's mistress), and settle the matter of succession. It's a big family drama, for the most part, and an exceptionally well-acted and well-written one (the dialogue is exceptionally sharp). Katharine Hepburn won her third Oscar for playing Eleanor of Aquitane, and it's certainly a worthy recognition; she works well opposite Peter O'Toole (interestingly cast as the 50-ish Henry opposite Hepburn, who's twice O'Toole's age). Richard is played by a young Anthony Hopkins; Hopkins is likewise pretty good. The only weak spot is John (played by Nigel Terry, later King Arthur in John Boorman's Excalibur), who's so cartoonishly oafish that he just takes me out of any scene he's in. The ending scene also seemed a bit overly buoyant, but that's minor.
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Old May 27 2010, 06:28 AM   #544
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Daybreakers [C+] Some cool sequences, but I already can't remember any character's names besides Willem Dafoe's Elvis, which was the best part of this.

On a technical note, the surround sound to this is awesome. I was constantly bombarded by sounds from all sides, all very realistically.

Legion [C] The first 30 minutes of this are good, but the rest is pretty much terrible.
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Old May 29 2010, 06:05 AM   #545
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Updates (in bold):
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: The Movie (7)
Boondock Saints (10)
Boondock Saints: All Saint's Day (9)
The Book of Eli (8)
Cargo (7)
Cencoroll (8)
Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
Clash of the Titans (2010) (8)
Date Night (7)
District 9 (8)
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (9)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance (9)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (8)
G-9 (6)
Gamer (6)
Green Zone (7)
Inglorious Bastards (7)
Iron Man 2 (9)
Law Abiding Citizen (9)
Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
Naruto Shippuden Movie 3 (8)
Oblivion Island (6)
Oldboy (9)
Pandorum (7)
Summer Wars (9)
Sword For Truth (6)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
They Were 11 (9)
The Uninvited (7)
Wicked City (8)
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Old May 29 2010, 06:10 AM   #546
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Wolfman (2010) [F] - terrible script, terrible acting... terrible.
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Old May 29 2010, 03:19 PM   #547
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

"Eraserhead"

I've been wanting to see this one for a long time, and it did not disappoint. It was so trippy and hilariously gross, yet it was also emotionally involving. I went from being horrified, to enjoying the twisted, dark humour of its epic weirdness, to being genuinely moved by the tragedy of it. I have never reacted to a movie like this.

At first I was just laughing and thought I would just find the whole thing funny because the way it looks is so inexplicably strange and the behaviour of the characters is so joyfully incomprehensibly reveling in their weirdness, but I was surprised when it started to actually move me. The title character is unexpectedly a very sympathetic figure of pity just from the timidity in his voice and his always vulnerable facial expressions. He provokes a lot of compassion with very few words and a lot of physical acting. I admired him in ways I would admire actors of silent films.

I also loved all the bizarre production design and special effects. It was almost like a Tim Burton movie on steroids. At one point, I thought to myself: "this totally schools Tim Burton on how to bring movie weirdness to a transcendent level". I bet Burton was influenced by this movie a lot. In a way, it reminds me of "Buckaroo Banzai" (without the pleasant campy tone, of course). The fact that it makes so little sense and just seems to throw everything and the kitchen sink at you is endearing to me. It's like a wonderful dream, fucked up in the best way.

Last edited by Too Much Fun; May 29 2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old May 29 2010, 09:01 PM   #548
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

105. Cutter's Way [B-]
106. Nine Lives [A-]
107. Wings of Desire [A]
108. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [B-]
109. Exorcist II: The Heretic [F]
110. Edmond [D]
111. Office Space [B+]
112. Being There [B-]
113. The Trouble with Harry [B+]
114. The Final Sacrifice [F]
115. Freeway [B ]
116. Iron Man 2 [B+]
117. Starship Troopers [A]
118. The Wedding Weekend [C-]
119. Fight Club [A]
120. The Informant! [A-]
121. It's Alive [F]
122. Grace [D+]
123. Tamara [F]
124. Avatar [C+]
125. Good Will Hunting [B-]
126. Grosse Pointe Blank [B+]
127. Living in Oblivion [A-]
128. Blow-Up [C+]
129. Innerspace [C-]

Good Will Hunting: I expected to hate this movie, which I've put off seeing for over a decade, but instead I was only mildly annoyed. Yes, the sage advice from several older characters (including Robin Williams, who does well with the material given) rings false, but given the age Affleck and Damon were when they wrote this, it's not surprising. Mostly, the ending is just far too sweet and pat, a piece of candy coated in sugar. It's possible things won't work out for Will in the end, but the film doesn't even want to imply such possibilities.

Grosse Pointe Blank: A film I've seen before, but was happy to revisit. It never takes itself too seriously, which is for the best, because it's the only way the comedy would play.

Living in Oblivion: This independent film about the making of an independent film is just about perfect. True, I probably like it based on my own experiences working on a few low-budget movies as much as anything, but the comedy is well-timed, the music suitably light-hearted, and the cast (including Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Peter Dinklage, and others) excellent.

Blow-Up: There are quite a few things I like about this film, but in watching it the end result is a bore, more or less. For all the controversy it caused due to a few shots of full frontal nudity, the movie would be tame compared to a lot of fare you'll find on Showtime and HBO today. And, considering this reputation, the great efforts Vanessa Redgrave goes to cover herself up during a nude scene ends up eliciting unintentional laughter (I'm reminded of the nude fight scene in the recent animated version of Beowulf, as well as the satire of this in The Simpsons Movie). It does have quite a soundtrack though (mostly Herbie Hancock), and more than a few actors who I recognized from Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner. But other than the scene where the main character discovers a murder in the photographs he has taken, and the final moment with the mimes, I don't think it is as good as its reputation suggests.

Innerspace: It's not a bad film, but it lacks the timelessness of Back to the Future, which it is so obviously trying to channel. At times (such as when Kevin McCarthy must endure the indignity of being miniaturized) it reaches to broadly for comedy, but Martin Short manages to be pretty funny, and Robert Picardo is pretty amusing in a supporting role (with hair!).
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Old May 29 2010, 09:51 PM   #549
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Clash of the Titans (2010)
Iron Man 2 (2010)

Quo Vadis (1951)
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Old May 30 2010, 04:37 AM   #550
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Box (2009) [F] - Horrible fake accents, totally incomprehensible story 99% of the time, lame characters
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Old May 31 2010, 04:41 AM   #551
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

105. Cutter's Way [B-]
106. Nine Lives [A-]
107. Wings of Desire [A]
108. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [B-]
109. Exorcist II: The Heretic [F]
110. Edmond [D]
111. Office Space [B+]
112. Being There [B-]
113. The Trouble with Harry [B+]
114. The Final Sacrifice [F]
115. Freeway [B ]
116. Iron Man 2 [B+]
117. Starship Troopers [A]
118. The Wedding Weekend [C-]
119. Fight Club [A]
120. The Informant! [A-]
121. It's Alive [F]
122. Grace [D+]
123. Tamara [F]
124. Avatar [C+]
125. Good Will Hunting [B-]
126. Grosse Pointe Blank [B+]
127. Living in Oblivion [A-]
128. Blow-Up [C+]
129. Innerspace [C-]
130. Bottle Shock [B ]

Better than the critics seemed to think. Yes, it's light and predictable in the end, but it's never to the film's detriment. And Alan Rickman is terrific.
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Old June 1 2010, 12:16 AM   #552
zakkrusz
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Location: The Wired
Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Updates (in bold):
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: The Movie (7)
Boondock Saints (10)
Boondock Saints: All Saint's Day (9)
The Book of Eli (8)
Cargo (7)
Cencoroll (8)
Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
Clash of the Titans (2010) (8)
Date Night (7)
District 9 (8)
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (9)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance (9)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (8)
G-9 (6)
Gamer (6)
Green Zone (7)
Higurashi no Naka Koroni Chikai (7)
Inglorious Bastards (7)
Iron Man 2 (9)
Law Abiding Citizen (9)
Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
Naruto Shippuden Movie 3 (8)
Oblivion Island (6)
Oldboy (9)
Pandorum (7)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (8)
Summer Wars (9)
Sword For Truth (6)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
They Were 11 (9)
The Uninvited (7)
Wicked City (8)
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Old June 1 2010, 01:39 AM   #553
Too Much Fun
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
Good Will Hunting: I expected to hate this movie, which I've put off seeing for over a decade, but instead I was only mildly annoyed. Yes, the sage advice from several older characters (including Robin Williams, who does well with the material given) rings false, but given the age Affleck and Damon were when they wrote this, it's not surprising. Mostly, the ending is just far too sweet and pat, a piece of candy coated in sugar. It's possible things won't work out for Will in the end, but the film doesn't even want to imply such possibilities.
My goodness, you are cynical. Yes, the writing is a little overly sentimental/simplistic, obvious, and immature in places, but this movie has its heart in the right place, and really does have some thoughtful insights. For example, I really like what it has to say about marriage. The speech about it may sound maudlin, but I believe every word of it. What exactly 'rang false' to you?

Also, the ending isn't THAT syrupy. Jeez, you make it sound like they hold hands and hug and cry at the end. He's going off in his car to talk with someone he rejected and hurt significantly...based on their last conversation, I felt it was implied that they'd have to do a lot of work to even repair the damage from their previous encounter. It's not like he said, "I'm sorry, baby" and kissed her, then they both smiled, cue end credits. Now THAT ending would have fit your pat candy description.

Innerspace: It's not a bad film, but it lacks the timelessness of Back to the Future, which it is so obviously trying to channel. At times (such as when Kevin McCarthy must endure the indignity of being miniaturized) it reaches to broadly for comedy, but Martin Short manages to be pretty funny, and Robert Picardo is pretty amusing in a supporting role (with hair!).
Aw, I liked this movie a lot more than that. I saw it in 2009 and considered it one of my favourite movies of that year, but I guess your sense of humour and mine aren't totally in sync. I really loved the comedy in this all the way through (especially Robert Picardo's parts) and I thought the story was surprisingly heartwarming and uplifting. I'm shocked that I was actually seriously moved by a romance involving that ham Martin Short!

It's not quite as poignant as "Back to the Future", but I didn't think it was a wannabe of that movie at all. Yes, they are both sci-fi stories with romance elements, but I think they each stand on their own as gems of the 80s, this one being more underrated and forgotten than it should be, in my opinion.
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Old June 7 2010, 01:50 AM   #554
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
My goodness, you are cynical.
I call it being realistic.

Yes, the writing is a little overly sentimental/simplistic, obvious, and immature in places, but this movie has its heart in the right place, and really does have some thoughtful insights.
Which is why I gave it a B- and not, say, a D (or lower). Much of the film works, and Minnie Driver is (as always) charming as hell. But it sure falters in those therapy scenes...this article at the AV Club sums up my feelings pretty well.


105. Cutter's Way [B-]
106. Nine Lives [A-]
107. Wings of Desire [A]
108. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [B-]
109. Exorcist II: The Heretic [F]
110. Edmond [D]
111. Office Space [B+]
112. Being There [B-]
113. The Trouble with Harry [B+]
114. The Final Sacrifice [F]
115. Freeway [B ]
116. Iron Man 2 [B+]
117. Starship Troopers [A]
118. The Wedding Weekend [C-]
119. Fight Club [A]
120. The Informant! [A-]
121. It's Alive [F]
122. Grace [D+]
123. Tamara [F]
124. Avatar [C+]
125. Good Will Hunting [B-]
126. Grosse Pointe Blank [B+]
127. Living in Oblivion [A-]
128. Blow-Up [C+]
129. Innerspace [C-]
130. Bottle Shock [B ]
131. Brazil [A]
132. Fido [B+]

Brazil and Fido are two films I've seen before, and there's not much left to say.
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Old June 7 2010, 04:59 AM   #555
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Tim Burton can usually entertain, even if he's long since become a striped-sock gothic cliche at this point. Even with the "not a sequel or reimagining" storyline, I'm not sure why Alice needed a climatic battle (Jabberwocky? ) or a feminist ending. Didn't seem creative in that regard. It's almost like Burton frames movies around his favorite actors (Depp and Bonham-Carter currently). (6)

Also, I guess I broke my "no talking animals" rule by seeing it. Well, at least it was better than The Golden Compass.
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