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Old September 20 2010, 04:45 PM   #706
Too Much Fun
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey,

To quote Roger Ebert (to his colleague Richard Roeper): "How can your heart be so cold?" I've suspected this about you for awhile based on your reviews and this just confirms it - you're like Spock. You have to attack everything with such relentless logic and rationality, I can't imagine anything winning you over based on heart. I felt this way after your objection to the end of "Kramer vs. Kramer" too.

"Say Anything..." is my second favourite movie, and one of the reasons is because it's one of the few movies where the amount of heart on display is strong enough to cancel out any possible objections I might have to its structure, storytelling, writing, etc. based on a coldly rational approach.

Now that I've seen it about a million times, I've got to the point where I'm starting to feel like the big reveal in the father subplot feels a little shoehorned in. You can't watch a movie that many times without being a bit analytical, but with the rest of the movie being the backdrop for one of the greatest love stories ever put to film, who cares? And trust me, I'm not being hyperbolic out of ignorance. I've seen 'em all.

Calling it marginally better than the awful and overrated "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" bums me out, man. I think it's worlds better. I'm starting to think teen movies just aren't your bag. Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen a movie about teenagers that has really impressed you? If so, what would you consider your high water mark for that kind of movie? Personally, I don't think there are many better than "Say Anything...".
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Old September 21 2010, 03:55 AM   #707
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Teen movies definitely aren't my bag, which I've slowly come to realize this year. It's not that I'm hostile to the genre, but even the best examples I can think of have never struck me as being particularly profound or affecting. They're mostly light fare that have little to do with anything that resembles reality. There's certainly personal bias in play, of course. When I speak of the "reality" of high school I'm mainly referring to my personal experiences there, and I've simply never found on-screen depictions of high school that captured the excruciating boredom I experienced. I'm more than five years out from my last day of high school and the absolute mind-numbing nature of it is still cemented in my mind, but hardly ever shown on screen. Movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High depict a world where the characters never crack open a textbook or actually do homework (though characters often invoke homework to excuse themselves from awkward social situations).

I suppose if there's a teen movie that I enjoy, it would probably be Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but that's a film that drops any trappings of reality in favor of outright fantasy. I'm also pretty partial to Not Another Teen Movie, but it's not a teen movie so much as it is a movie that lampoons the genre.

...

211. The Hoax [B+]

This little seen Richard Gere movie isn't bad at all. In fact, it might feature one of the actor's better performances of his career, portraying Clifford Irving, real life author, charlatan, and con-man. The tone is light and whimsical, until, of course, the bottom falls out of Irving's scheme (which happened in real life, though it is embellished here--the links drawn to Watergate seem tenuous at best, and are overemphasized for lazy viewers who would otherwise miss the reference). Still, as a vehicle for comedic performances that occasionally turn dramatic (Alfred Molina is good as a foolish side-kick, Marcia Gay Harden is suprisingly passable with a Swedish accent, and both Stanley Tucci and Eli Wallach do well with small roles) you won't do much better. In many ways, it reminds me of the tone and pace of Spielberg's version of Catch Me If You Can, which isn't a bad thing, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.
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Old September 21 2010, 07:51 AM   #708
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Hello Friends
I like to watch Movies and last time I have Seen Avatar movie in theater. really nice movie. and new experience for me. All the character played a vital role in this movie. That is my favorite movie.
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Old September 21 2010, 01:51 PM   #709
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I watched Bad Boys last night for the first time. Of all the Will Smith movies I'd never seen this somehow, just never got around to it.
It's very clearly Lethal Weapon, just with two black men vs the typical 24hrs/LW style buddy cop film.
Nothing too original but it was well done and is one of the more tame Michael Bay action movies. He must still have been finding his style that early on.
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Old September 22 2010, 11:01 PM   #710
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Just saw Jack-Ass recently after repeated requests to watch it from my brother!
And he was right!
F'n brilliant!
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Old September 23 2010, 01:25 AM   #711
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Jack-Ass or Kick-Ass?
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Old September 23 2010, 07:19 PM   #712
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

^ That is Kick-Ass man LOL, thanks

(Jack-Ass was 2 or so hours of my life that I will never get back)
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Old September 25 2010, 06:22 AM   #713
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Saw Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, for which I would give about *** stars. It isn't as original or as affective as the first movie, and similarly follows the same structure as the first film, but it does have a lot of contemporaneously and socially relevant ideas that make it a very interesting and thought-provocative film.

It was the first film in a while where I could actually tolerate Shia LaBeouf, which is pretty impressive in my opinion. The rest of the cast is top notch, and Michael Douglas imbues Gordon Gekko with a more worn, tattered, softer side that gives the character a different but compelling edge that makes everything watchable even if you can telegraph the entire plot, especially Gekko's motivations (if you've seen the first film, you'll be able to understand what happens pretty clearly from the onset). Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan and Frank Langella all give strong performances in their supporting roles.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps doesn't really add anything new to the conceit of the original film, if anything slightly regurgitating many of the concepts, but the stock market crash does give the film a modern twist that offers some interesting ideas. It's one of those solid films that doesn't even reach the heights of its predecessor but is an entertaining and occasionally insightful diversion for two hours.
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Old September 25 2010, 08:51 AM   #714
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I've been in a Woody Allen mode:

*bananas
*Sleeper

Looking to watch:
*Broadway Danny Rose
*Annie Hall

And others...

I'm still debating on whether or not to watch:

Machete
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Old September 25 2010, 01:29 PM   #715
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Doomsday: Neil Marshall didn't know how to end this middling mess. It started off great, and I liked how the main character finished up in her story, but the rest of it was long and boring and unecessary. There seemed to be so many stories that just petered off somewhere before the end. And poor token Black guy. At least he didn't die right off, though his death was very Boromir flavored.

Camille: I like James Franco, which prompted me to see this film. Man... I didn't make it to the end. He and Sienna Miller had ZERO chemistry. And while "Camille" was supposed to be that bubbly quirky blonde girl, that every one cared for and loved, I found her horribly, horribly annoying and that led to the early termination of this film.
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Old September 25 2010, 04:13 PM   #716
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Odd how things strike you, it was Candy's joviality that made Delirious work as a farce for me. And Ferrell's not so joviality that charged Stranger Than Fiction with more heft.

I didn't mean "knockoff" as a slam at the Coen's. I'm just a big Hammett fan, even though it's much, much cooler (and literary) to extol Chandler.
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Old September 25 2010, 07:39 PM   #717
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I haven't read any Chandler that I can recall, unfortunately. I suspect he's more popular because he wrote a continuing character, while Hammett didn't (outside of three short stories featuring Sam Spade). But that's just a mildly informed guess.

212. They Live [B ]
213. Big Trouble in Little China [B+]

This was a double feature at the Egyptian Theater last weekend, and it was a fun one. Neither movie is perfect, but they're both pretty watchable.

They Live: At times, Roddy Piper is the perfect lead for this movie. He brings a rough physicality that most Hollywood actors couldn't, on account of being too pretty. At other times, his performance is pure camp, especially when Carpenter (writing under a pseudonym) saddles him with one-liners. "I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum," might be the most famous exchange in the movie, but his one-liners are at most times nonsensical ("mama don't like tattletales") and more silly than the rest of the film, which is dark and at times outrightly subversive. I'm not shocked that Carpenter could only get this made by producing it independently--I just wish that he had a little more money when he made it. Outside of Keith David, the supporting cast is pretty forgettable. Those complaints aside, the sequence when Piper puts on the sunglasses for the first time is one of the most effective ten minutes I've ever seen.

Big Trouble in Little China: The pace of this movie is manic, and by making Kurt Russel's moron of character the lead, we're often in the dark about what is happening. But this is almost certainly intentional (Russell exerts all the attitude of a macho action lead, but can never deliver, a gag which never gets old), and our lack of certainty about the plot is really unimportant. It's just a fun, fun movie, and it's a shame it's poor box office returns relegated Carpenter to making films with lower budgets.
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Old September 25 2010, 08:58 PM   #718
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
But this is almost certainly intentional (Russell exerts all the attitude of a macho action lead, but can never deliver, a gag which never gets old)
Carpenter has referred to Russell's character as a guy who thinks he's an action hero but is actually the comic relief sidekick.
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Old September 29 2010, 02:49 AM   #719
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I've seen a whole slew of films, and been unable to use the computer much, due to class and the heat wave...

214. Monster on the Campus [C-]
215. It! Terror From Beyond Space [C-]
216. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [A]
217. The Town [B-]

Monster on Campus: Typical of Jack Arnold directed sf from the 1950s, this B-movie has "science" that was probably questionable at the time, and is certainly ridiculous now. And yet it can't help but be quite fun, despite the laughable production values and the usual science has encroached upon God story. In many ways, its a progenitor of Altered States (1980) as well as the TNG episode, "Genesis."

It! Terror From Beyond Space: Often cited as a chief influence on Alien and Aliens, this Jerome Bixby scripted B-grade sf movie is not without its charms, but neither of those later films are the rip-offs some texts seek to suggest. The similarities mostly relate to general plot points (an alien slowly picks off the crew of a spacecraft one by one) rather than anything specific, and stylistically this movie couldn't be any further apart from any movies in the Alien series. There's not any kind of attempt at serious sf here, so when the crew smokes liberally, detonates grenades, uses gas bombs, fires bullets, and even employs a bazooka, it's no surprise that they're oblivious to the effect this might have on their air supply.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: This might be my favorite studio film of the summer, and it is a damned shame it didn't reach a wider audience. I suspect there's simply fatigue due to Michael Cera playing similar roles over and over and over again, which is a shame, because he's perfect for the part here (if only he had taken some time off rather than waste his image on medicore films like Year One and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist). The pace is brisk, fun, and full of cultural gags and references that are sure to elicit more delight upon repeated viewings (the Nintendo-style Universal logo at the beginning says everything about the tone of the movie to follow).

The Town: Ben Affleck delivers a film that is more believable than the third act machinations of Gone Baby Gone (until the end), but also much more conventional. Familiar stock characters of the genre are trotted out one by one: the bank robber with a good heart who wants to make a change (who nevertheless continues to rob banks), the girlfriend who doesn't know this secret, the obsessive detective who will stop at nothing to catch his prey, and the impulsive bank robber with a personal history to the lead and a inclination for violence. You've seen it all before (and better, especially in Heat), but Affleck executes the story well, and managers to deliver performances that are either good or decent. Alas, we don't get to know these characters very deeply (Hamm especially, though he manages to be charming, is also a cypher, with absolutely no personal backstory). Of the four-man crew Affleck leads, only Jeremy Remmer is developed. The other two guys might as well not even be in the movie, beyond the need of four guys during the robberies.

And then there's the ending.
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Old October 2 2010, 12:18 AM   #720
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Graduate school has really begun, so I'm mostly limited to films that I catch as part of the curriculum these days. It seems like my goal of 300 films might have to be revised to 250 or so (I know, "only" 250 films in one year...).

I was hoping more people would be up to some back-and-forth concerning The Town, but it seems like CaptainCanada and I are the only ones who've seen it.

218. A Foreign Affair [A]
219. Bride of Frankenstein [A]

A Foreign Affair: Not available on home video due to legal wrangling with the estate of Marlena Dietrich, many critics consider this to be an unheralded classic from director Billy Wilder, and I have to agree. The location footage of post-war Germany alone makes the film worth seeing, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, for there are also delightful performances (including Jean Arthur's second to last feature film role), wonderful comedic timing and direction (witness the encounter between Jean Arthur and John Lund in a room full of filing cabinets), and a screenplay that is as witty as it is (at times) cynical about the state of occupied Germany and its occupying force after WWII. Worth seeing if the opportunity presents itself. I was lucky enough to see a 35mm film print, which was pristine, so hopefully a Blu-Ray release will be in order once any outstanding legal issues are resolved.

Bride of Frankenstein: I had limited expectations for this film going in, but I'm happy to admit that my preconceptions we're completely wrong--most of all, I'm surprised by how (intentionally!) funny the whole affair is. I remember Young Frankenstein being brilliant, but I had no idea how close it was in tone to the films it was parodying (though I recognize that not all of the films in the series are as campy as this installment). It's probably best that the film doesn't take itself so seriously, as the set-up is rather preposterous. In the finale of Frankenstein (1931, which I haven't seen since childhood) The Monster is burned alive and Victor Frankenstein falls to his death. Here we discover that below the flames lies a pool of water that The Monster safely fell into, and that, despite being pronounced dead, Victor Frankenstein actually survived (and without any physical injury!). It's all in great fun, and Universal's latest restoration (which I saw in 35mm) looks gorgeous. It will be nice to have on Blu-Ray at some point as well.
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