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

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Old June 26 2010, 10:20 PM   #571
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Road - Both Viggo and the kid turned in very powerful performances, but the ending left me . I thought the whole dilemma was that, in a world of collapsing resources, nobody would stick their neck out for anyone else, yet


Burma VJ - Documentary of repression in Burma, provided by sequences filmed on the sly by brave journalists. The need to hide the cameras gives the results a claustrophobic feel that might be a necessary evil but produces a style that perfectly matches the topic.

Invictus - Uplifting, if predictable movie that can be enjoyed even if you don't care about rugby. I never really felt like I was watching Nelson Mandela instead of Morgan Freeman, but Matt Damon manages to completely disappear into the role (for which he is probably at least ten years too old, but oh well).

Funny Face - Lightweight 50s fluff, not as good as similar musicals like An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain, but pretty watchable anyway. Audrey Hepburn's attempts at singing should have been dubbed over with a real singer (like they did later with in My Fair Lady) but she can hold her own in dancing with Fred Astaire.
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Old June 26 2010, 10:46 PM   #572
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]
140. The A-Team [C+]
141. Rushmore [A-]
142. In the Loop [B+]

The A-Team: This movie surprises, in a good way, but not the point of blowing me away.

The cast left a mixed impression. Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson mumbles his way through the first half of the movie. He looks the part, but his acting leaves much to be desired. Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper fit the bill in their respective roles. Sharlto Copley, however, steals the show as Murdoch. He has a great future, regardless of how the film does financially.

The less said about Jessica Biel, the better. She weighs down the movie. Henry Czerny is a non-entity, sadly, and John Hamm's short cameo leaves one wishing he could have been in the movie proper. The cameos are fun, though, including Benedict, Schultz, and director Joe Carnahan.

When the movie is really absurd, it's a lot of fun. The epitome of this being the tank drop sequence, though the cargo ship container magic trick bit is a close second. Too often, it is bogged down by an overly complicated plot, and the first forty minutes spend too much time on not one, but two origin stories. It's prime for a (superior) sequel, though. I hope it gets one.

Rushmore: I have mixed feelings about Wes Anderson. I like his style of comedy, which mixes a sensibility that is visually childish with more mature narrative elements, as well as a comedic sensibility that hinges on awkwardness. But I've also grown tired with his style over the years. Luckily, this is early Anderson, and possibly his best film (though my favorite remains The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).

In The Loop: This is a spin-off of sorts of a British television series about the lower levels of British politics, and although I haven't seen its progenitor, it doesn't seem to matter. All the pieces are here, and once the film establishes its pace (it takes about 20 minutes) it is really, really funny. Which might be surprising, given the subject matter (the build up to war in the middle east--probably Iraq, though the specifics are kept coyly vague), but its pulled off brilliantly.

James Gandolfini is especially good in a comedic role (the highlights: calculating troop deaths with a talking pink calculator in a child's room). Tom Hollander is also good, which only makes me sadder that he was caught up in the silliness of the Pirates trilogy for so long.
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Old June 27 2010, 03:29 AM   #573
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Just recently saw "I'm a Cyborg, but I'm ok". Clever, quirky and very pleasant to watch. The ending did leave me a bit... *bzuh?* but over all, all of the actors turned in good performances. I'd recommend giving it a whirl.
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Old June 27 2010, 03:51 AM   #574
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
Other than Inception, I'm not really sure what else I'm looking forward to this year.
My shortlist of anticipated films:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - of course; not a BP contender, though I could see it scoring one of the bottom-five slots.
2. Hereafter - Clint Eastwood's latest.
3. Never Let Me Go - Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan, plus Mark Romanek finally making another film, based on a book by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day).
4. The Town - Ben Affleck's second film as director, costarring Mad Men 's Jon Hamm.
5. True Grit - the Coens, Jeff Bridges, and Matt Damon.
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Old June 27 2010, 12:34 PM   #575
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
The Road - Both Viggo and the kid turned in very powerful performances, but the ending left me . I thought the whole dilemma was that, in a world of collapsing resources, nobody would stick their neck out for anyone else, yet
Still depressing as hell though. The novel was much better.
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Old June 30 2010, 04:51 AM   #576
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]
140. The A-Team [C+]
141. Rushmore [A-]
142. In the Loop [B+]
143. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [A-]
144. Not Quite Hollywood [B+]
145. Mallrats [C-]

Star Trek II: The Blu-Ray looks lovely, though I hope for the slightly longer director's cut, which helps to flesh out things and make the editing of certain scenes smoother. There are times when it looks very low-budget, but it almost never looks cheap. Bennett and Meyer knew how to stretch a dollar and they do it well. The most glaring thing visually is the third matte painting in the Genesis cave--it's not up to the standards of the rest of the movie, and hurts the sequence a little bit. I long for the day when someone ponies up the money to have it replaced. I'd say more, but I'd like to write longer reviews of the Trek films at some point in the future.

Not Quite Hollywood: This is a fast-paced documentary about Australian exploitation films from the 70s and 80s. The style is aggressive, but if ever there was a subject that deserved such a treatment, it would be the films covered herein. And despite the subject matter, there are a few films introduced that look rather promising (including Long Weekend and Dead-End Drive In). Nevertheless, there's a lot of reverence (especially from Quentin Tarantino, who is prominently featured) for films that appear to be pretty awful, even when reduced to short clips.

Mallrats: I've only seen this film once before, and until now I hadn't seen it in this extended version (it's about 30 minutes longer than the theatrical cut). It still isn't any good, but there are enough moments of brilliant verbal exchanges that the entire experience is both passable as entertainment, and frustrating for the film's unrealized potential. The characters of the Jay & Silent Bob films have always been better on smaller budgets (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Clerks II), so the bigger budget of this studio film doesn't help.
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Old June 30 2010, 04:58 AM   #577
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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)
Crazy Heart (6)
Dante's Inferno (2010) (7)
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)
The Lovely Bones (6)
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 July 3 2010, 02:15 AM   #578
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]
140. The A-Team [C+]
141. Rushmore [A-]
142. In the Loop [B+]
143. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [A-]
144. Not Quite Hollywood [B+]
145. Mallrats [C-]
146. North by Northwest [A]
147. Chasing Amy [A-]

North by Northwest: This remains my favorite Hitchcock film. It's certainly the high point when it comes to films about innocent men wrongfully accused. It's also, in many ways, a prototype for the James Bond film series that would come later. The plane chase, for example, being rather obviously borrowed in From Russia with Love (except with a helicopter). I'm amazed at how good the dialogue is, because it's taken four or five viewings for me to notice just how much rear projection photography Hitchcock employs. I'd wager a good 40% of the film uses it.

Chasing Amy: The rule is that if you slash Kevin Smith's budget, you improve his work a great deal. I'm glad Harvey Weinstein (a rare statement on my part) chose to give Smith so little to make this film--it's only better for not having as many toys as Mallrats. And the use of Jay and Silent Bob feels appropriate. They get one scene, and it's an important one (and it makes fun of the previous film in the series), but they don't overstay their welcome. A few beats reach for the melodramatic (Affleck isn't the strongest actor in the world, though he mostly holds his own), but the film feels honest, for the most part. A bigger budgeted film certainly wouldn't have the same ending.
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Old July 3 2010, 02:28 AM   #579
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

It's not art by any means, but Mallrats was still funnier than 90% of comedies made in the past 10 years. (I didn't notice it having a budget, either.) Some of it's forced, the teen girl documenting her sexual activities is like some adolescent's idea of a character (Jay and Silent Bob are, too, but at least are more likely to exist).

On an unrelated note, the dollar theater near me closed abrubtly, meaning I'll be seeing a handful of movies at the theater now. Crap on a stick!
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Old July 3 2010, 05:02 AM   #580
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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
Fargo - A
The Blind Side - B-
The Informant! - C
The Big Lebowski - A
How to Train Your Dragon 3D - A
Iron Man 2 - C-
The Men Who Stare at Goats - D-
Toy Story 3 - A+
Knight and Day - B+

Sometimes you just want a fun summer movie where you can just be entertained, and not having anything deep. That's what I would say Knight and Day was. I like both Diaz and Cruise, and they make for a great couple on the screen. It was a great action movie and just plain fun. The plot was decent but the strength of the movie was Cruise and Diaz and the great chemistry they both shared.
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Old July 3 2010, 05:06 PM   #581
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Only movies I've seen for the first time, in the order I've seen them.

Avatar (2009)... B
Amreeka (2009)... A
Just Married (2003)... B-
2012 (2009)... B+
CSA: The Confederate States of America (2004)... A-
Mississippi Masala (1991)... A-
Terminator Salvation (2009)... C
Hardwired (2009)... B
Matrix Revolutions (2003)... D+
Anti-Trust (2001)... B-
Black Dynamite (2009)... A
Iron Man 2 (2010)... B
Bucktown (1975)... C-
Splice (2010)... A
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Old July 5 2010, 09:15 PM   #582
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I need to see Splice, but I'll have to catch it on Blu-Ray when it's released. I love Natali's other films.

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]
140. The A-Team [C+]
141. Rushmore [A-]
142. In the Loop [B+]
143. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [A-]
144. Not Quite Hollywood [B+]
145. Mallrats [C-]
146. North by Northwest [A]
147. Chasing Amy [A-]
148. Free Enterprise [A]
149. The History Boys [B ]
150. The Sandlot [A-]

Free Enterprise: I've seen this film about ten times now, and it never gets old. In fact, the more science fiction/fantasy stuff I see, the funnier it gets. Like Chasing Amy, there are a few scenes that verge on the melodramatic, but this film is smart enough to get out of those moments with a joke (or two). Examples include the Kirk Monologue ("Risk...is our business"), the Vasquez Rocks scene during the Claire/Rob montage, and Rob's dismissal of the 24th century as the final line during a tense break-up.

The History Boys: The film is filled with great performances, and it has vibrant energy throughout, but the ending is a little stagy for my tastes. Having Mrs. Lintott directly address the audience and foretell each of the boy's fates in life wasn't the most cinematic way to conclude the filmed version of this story. I was also a little disappointed that a few of the boys were so underdeveloped. Given the title, and the small cast, I was surprised at this. One of the boys, Akhtar, tells his teacher that he's a Muslim and...that's all we ever know about him.

The Sandlot: A film of my childhood, I'm surprised it holds up so well. Seeing it now, the only question I have is how James Earl Jones could have played with Babe Ruth. I'm no expert on baseball, so correct me if I'm wrong, but Jackie Robinson didn't break the color barrier until 1947, the year before Ruth died. There's no way Jones' character could have been a contemporary of Ruth. But I suppose such racial considerations are outside the purview of the nostalgic glasses of The Sandlot.
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Old July 6 2010, 01:52 AM   #583
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Sandlot: A film of my childhood, I'm surprised it holds up so well. Seeing it now, the only question I have is how James Earl Jones could have played with Babe Ruth. I'm no expert on baseball, so correct me if I'm wrong, but Jackie Robinson didn't break the color barrier until 1947, the year before Ruth died. There's no way Jones' character could have been a contemporary of Ruth. But I suppose such racial considerations are outside the purview of the nostalgic glasses of The Sandlot.
I don't recall if the movie specified whether it was in the Major Leage or not. Maybe by playing with him he meant as kids like the kids in the movie? It's been so long since I've seen the film I don't recall.
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Old July 6 2010, 07:55 PM   #584
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

zakkrusz wrote:
I don't recall if the movie specified whether it was in the Major Leage or not. Maybe by playing with him he meant as kids like the kids in the movie? It's been so long since I've seen the film I don't recall.
It's possible, but there's a picture of his character with Ruth, both in uniform, as adults.

137. Broadcast News [B ]
138. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [B ]
139. Robocop 2 [C-]
140. The A-Team [C+]
141. Rushmore [A-]
142. In the Loop [B+]
143. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [A-]
144. Not Quite Hollywood [B+]
145. Mallrats [C-]
146. North by Northwest [A]
147. Chasing Amy [A-]
148. Free Enterprise [A]
149. The History Boys [B ]
150. The Sandlot [A-]
151. Three Days of the Condor [C+]

Three Days of the Condor: My favorite decade of American cinema is the 1970s. Of that era, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway are easily two of my favorite leading actors. Sydney Pollack is a more than capable director. And, hell, it's a spy movie with plenty of post-Watergate paranoia. I should love this movie--why is it only above average?

There are plenty of great scenes. Redford and Max Von Sydow have a terrific scene in an elevator, and a scene that is even more chilling in the finale. Really, Sydow is terrific in every scene he's in. There's an excellent sequence early in the film demonstrating the clinical, detached way the CIA approaches death--it's chilling and probably not too far off from the truth.

But the weak point of the movie is the character played by Faye Dunaway, who throws herself at Robert Redford for no discernible reason and continues to risk her life for him with equally thin justification. The sex scene between her and Redford is preposterous to the point of being comedic, and it's only made worse with some arty cross-cutting and the use of soft focus.

It's not a bad film, really, but it's certainly not a great one, and that's a shame.
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Old July 6 2010, 09:36 PM   #585
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

White Ribbon [C] - most overrated movie of 2009 in my opinion. There are some scenes I really enjoyed, but it just left me cold and confused.

Almost Famous [A] - One of my new favorite movies. I really enjoyed it.
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