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

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Old June 7 2010, 05:52 AM   #556
zakkrusz
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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)
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)
Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (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 8 2010, 03:11 AM   #557
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

A Serious Man - not one of Coen Bros' best.
Crazy Heart - unendurably boring; made it about 1/4 way thru
Afghan Star - a lightweight but affecting documentary
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Old June 8 2010, 05:27 AM   #558
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

No love for A Serious Man, Temis? I thought it was one of the best films of last year--what turned you off about it?

Sorry to hear that Crazy Heart bored you. I've had the Blu-Ray sitting out from Blockbuster for at least a couple of weeks. Alas, the cause to actually watch the damned thing has yet to be mustered.
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Old June 8 2010, 05:19 PM   #559
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

It's a good movie; very much a "standard music bio" format (except with a fictional person), but a well-executed version, and I admired its restraint.

Since I posted my thread about Clint Eastwood the other day, I decided to finally watch Unforgiven, which generally gets talked up as his magnum opus.

63. Unforgiven (A+)

Clint Eastwood's famous anti-western, starring what appears to be a reformed villain who, gradually, you realize is basically still a villain, and Eastwood has set us up to think of the closest thing to a hero in the film as a villain due to perspective. Hackman's character is brutal, but in a world with people like William Munny, I'll take him. You can see why Gene Hackman won an Oscar for his work here, because it's brilliant work (he should call up Eastwood again and see what he's got on tap; please don't let you last film be Welcome to Mooseport, Gene). There are some great supporting performances, such as the late Richard Harris as a character expertly built up and then torn down to make a point to the audience. This was also, I believe, the first collaboration between Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, who's customarily good here (though I think Eastwood missed a trick by not having him narrate those text bookends; sure, his character was dead at the end, but he's Morgan Freeman, narration's his thing).
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Old June 9 2010, 03:49 AM   #560
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
No love for A Serious Man, Temis? I thought it was one of the best films of last year--what turned you off about it?
I thought it was dull. I didn't care about the characters and the arch tone seemed overly glib and annoying. I guess the ending is supposed to be confusing and open-ended, but the movie didn't win me over enough that I could forgive it for doing that.

I guess this just goes to show that the Coen Brothers' quirks work much better with strong characters and a solid script (ie, Fargo). If the movie is good, their quirks are charming; otherwise, they're annoying.
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Old June 11 2010, 10:56 PM   #561
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 ]
131. Brazil [A]
132. Fido [B+]
133. Robin Hood [C-]
134. Groundhog Day [B+]
135. Falling Down [B ]

Robin Hood: Not the Russel Crowe version, but the Disney animated film. As a child, this was one of my favorites, but my parents hated it. With the perspective of time, it's not hard to see why. Take away the fact that it's about Robin Hood (rather appealing to me at six years old) and it doesn't have much going for it. There are other Disney animated productions with a better sense of scope, funnier gags, better songs, and more memorable animation. This is passable, but never exceptional.

Groundhog Day: I've probably seen this film six or seven times since it was released, and it still holds up. Yes, the ending is entirely Hollywood, and the relationships Phil suddenly has with everyone in the town aren't believable, but it's a minor complaint. The premise alone is far more interesting than most other romantic comedies being produced today, and Bill Murray and Andie McDowell a much more interesting couple. Visually, it's a little drab at times, but it gets the job done.

Falling Down: For the first half, the film lives and dies on Michael Douglas' terrific central performance as a man who has had it with the world and finally snapped. Until the midpoint, the subplot with Robert Duvall takes away from the insane energy of Douglas' "D-Fens," who inspires tragedy and comedy in equal measure, and a few supporting performances fall flat. But the look of Los Angeles here (with a brown tint of smog, this is not Michael Mann's romanticized version of the city) is spot on, and by the second half Duvall's character has more relevance (both thematically and plot-wise). It's not a great film, but it's a good one, and it looks fantastic on Blu-Ray.
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Old June 12 2010, 11:58 PM   #562
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

My first visit to the theatre in a while:

64. Harry Brown (B+)

A 2009-debuting film now getting a somewhat wider release in North America, I've seen this called the British Gran Torino - while there are superficial similarities, I do wonder if the people making those comparisons haven't fundamentally missed the point of Gran Torino. Eastwood was deconstructing the urban vigilante, and the whole climax is about the hero realizing that the escalation schtick doesn't actually work. This is pretty much a straight example of the genre, albeit extremely gritty. It's a well-done film, though, featuring a convincing lead performance by Michael Caine (and, unlike in a lot of the "old person kicks ass" films, the film never asks Caine to do anything that seems especially implausible for his age). And, if it's not a genre deconstruction, it's not out to make the act of vigilantism look thrilling; every gunshot in the movie makes you jump a bit. I'm not sure about Emily Mortimer as the main cop, who seems a bit too fragile to be believable in her job (though that may be the point). The villains are all effectively painted as the scum of the earth (and about the least hygienic people you'll ever meet).
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Old June 13 2010, 11:24 PM   #563
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Is Paris Burning? - Old 60s style WWII epic about the liberation of Paris. Worth watching, but it's odd that the partisans, who spend inordinate amounts of time bickering and jockeying for position vs other paritsan factions, and who could have safeguarded Paris simply by sitting on their hands and waiting for the Allies to encircle Paris, end up looking a bit unsympathetic, while the German commander of Paris, who risks his neck by defying Hitler's order to destroy the city, comes off as the most heroic character in the story. Kirk Douglas as Patton was the oddest casting I've seen since the Duke played Ghengis Khan.

Shutter Island - A spooky, stylish thriller - very entertaining, if you overlook the plot twist that I'm sure everyone can see coming a mile away, and the large amount of illogic needed to make that twist work, namely:

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Old June 14 2010, 12:34 AM   #564
MeanJoePhaser
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

"The Loser", the "B-TEAM"....that's what it is. The characters and/or actors aren't engaging. 4/10


"Clash of the Titans", like a SyFy channel film with an enormous budget. Sam Worthington has no screen presence. He's just hard bodied mook trying to disguise an Aussie accent. Liam Neeson has hit Ben Kingsley level slumming..."I'm Zeus...now where's my paycheck?". The confrontation with Medusa should be exciting, but barely registers a raised eyebrow. Possibly the most soulless action-fantasy movie since VAN HELSING, and I'm not referring to the constant use of CGI effects. Made THE LOSERS look better. And oh, yes, I maintain my theory that Joseph Fiennes is a sure sign a movie will stink, even though it was his brother Ralph in this...Joe must've put him up to it. 3/10
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Old June 14 2010, 01:39 AM   #565
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Kick-Ass (2010)
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Old June 14 2010, 06:52 AM   #566
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 ]
131. Brazil [A]
132. Fido [B+]
133. Robin Hood [C-]
134. Groundhog Day [B+]
135. Falling Down [B ]
136. Wedding Crashers [B-]

Wedding Crashers: I don't know why this movie works as well as it does. I imagine that, if the screenplay was read in outline form, it would be mind-numbing in its reliance on formula. But Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn (as well as a terrific supporting cast) make it work. It's not a classic, and the happy ending, inevitable to the genre, is as out of place as ever, but it's funny and I wasn't unhappy to spend an evening with friends watching it.

I would like to see Harry Brown at some point. Michael Caine is usually brilliant (yes, I've seen Jaws IV: The Revenge...shh!) and it looks at least as good as The Brave One and other recent vigilante films.

As for Shutter Island, I found that it worked (more or less) as visceral entertainment, but it doesn't hold up to close analysis. It does have quite a soundtrack, though.
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Old June 16 2010, 11:47 PM   #567
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]

Broadcast News: When the film focuses on the insanely chaotic, fake, and superficial world of network news, it's hilarious and cutting. Bill Conti's score (typical to the composer) exemplifies the tone of these scenes. So does Jack Nicholson's small role as the lead anchor of the news ("we could cut a million from your salary..."). When the film is preoccupied with the love triangle of sorts between Holly Hunter, William Hurt, and Albert Brooks it is less successful. The turning point where Hunter discovers that Hurt faked a reverse shot where he was crying was, frankly, unbelievable for a character of her position--if the thought occurred to me, it would have occurred to an experienced news producer. Thankfully, James L. Brooks was unable to use the happier ending which united Hurt and Hunter, resulting in a conclusion that feels genuine.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Steve Martin and Michael Caine are excellent together as a pair of mischievous bastards. The way the continuously counter each other until the end is funny as hell (Caine, suave as ever, is particularly good). That they're being played the entire time by the woman is pretty clear after a while, but I can buy into the two men being so consumed by their competition that they don't realize.

Robocop 2: I'm not sure if it's as bad as everyone makes it out to be, or if the first one simply isn't as good. Actually, it's probably the latter. Like the first installment, this one has the potential of a good movie in it, but the end result fails to meet those expectations. The stop-motion effects are as bad here as they are in the previous film, and perhaps worse. They deflate any sense of excitement in the action. Nancy Allen has almost nothing at all to to, and it's no surprise that she quickly fled the franchise. There's a kid as a villain, which is as ludicrous as it is annoying. The satire is on the same level as the first movie--funny, but far too heavy handed. The news broadcasts come with the same subtlety as the ones on Family Guy. There's an interesting story about Murphy remembering his past, but it's quickly forgotten. Is he Murphy? Is he Robocop? The film quickly forgets the question and opts for explosions.

Then there's Robocop himself, who still isn't a very good policeman. He's good at shooting, but it's hard to imagine the streets filled with a force of cops as trigger happy as he is. No wonder Detroit has gone to shit.
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Old June 26 2010, 02:14 AM   #568
zakkrusz
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Updates (in bold):
Aliens in the Attic (6)
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)
Jonah Hex (6)
The Killers (6)
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)
Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (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 26 2010, 02:18 AM   #569
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

65. Toy Story 3 (A+)

Already reviewed this over in the SFF thread, but in short: up there with Pixar's best, easily the best film of the year so far, and the other studios will have to go to the max to beat it.
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Old June 26 2010, 04:38 AM   #570
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
65. Toy Story 3 (A+)

Already reviewed this over in the SFF thread, but in short: up there with Pixar's best, easily the best film of the year so far, and the other studios will have to go to the max to beat it.
I pretty much feel the same way. So far the best movies this year have been animated films, with How to Train Your Dragon really great too. Other than Inception, I'm not really sure what else I'm looking forward to this year. Maybe Cyrus with John C Reily but who knows when that will show up to theaters as it's a smaller release and probably will be up for Oscars.
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