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

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Old February 27 2011, 07:29 PM   #211
LitmusDragon
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



16. House (1977) - B. Extremely bizarre Japanese horror / teen romp film with psychedelic underpinnings. Has a strange mix of dramatic, comedic, horrific and ironic elements that I think you could only get from a Japanese film. Takes a while to get rolling but is fairly entertaining once it does. Some of the effects sequences are extremely creative- a good example of doing a lot with limited resources.

17. Institute Benjamenta - B-. I'm pretty sure this film is about the inevitable fall of authoritarianism in western society. Maybe. Beautifully shot film without a real meaning, sort of like Eraserhead. I think I enjoyed Piano Tuner a bit more of the two Quay brothers films.

18. The Triplets of Belleville (rewatch) - A. I really like this movie. It's so strange! And the characters are so French. I think a well-written satire from another country can really give you a sense what that country is about. One of the better animated films of the past 20 years. I think it deserves what recognition it has gotten.
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Old February 27 2011, 11:12 PM   #212
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I've been mostly watching television lately, but have had a chance to re-watch a couple of films I've seen several times before.

31. Back to the Future (A)
32. Grosse Point Blank (B-)


Not much new to say on either title. I might be re-watching Forrest Gump later in the week, since I've been busy trashing it in another thread, but haven't actually seen the entire film in about a decade. We'll see if I revise my view that it's a conservative tract of history and a sentimental watering-down of the possibilities of a film version of the novel.
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Old February 28 2011, 04:24 PM   #213
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


20. The Crow: Wicked Prayer: C-
21. The Soloist: C
22. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love: C+
23. I Now Pronounce you Chuck & Larry: B-

Yes, I'm just getting this. When I say I save comedies for the queue vs $10 bucks in a theater I'm not joking. They just aren't worth the upcharge 98% of the time and this one maintains my stance on that.

Was it entertaining, yes did it have me on the floor with a stomach cramp every 10minutes, no. The movie had more than it's fair share of chuckles it was the BIG laughs it was missing for me to say it was an 'A' comedy. Sandler seems to do a good job of cranking out above average comedies. I'll put Just Go With It in my queue, like GrownUps, and I'm sure I'll get the required number of penis jokes, fart jokes, gay jokes and oogling of breasts as every Sandler movie delivers.
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Old March 5 2011, 11:22 PM   #214
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

33. My Sister, My Love (D)
34. The Arrival (B)
35. Shutter Island (B-)
36. Knocked Up (B)
37. Madonna: Truth or Dare (B+)


My Sister, My Love: This is a rarely screen Swedish film made in 1966 by Vilgot Sjöman, who I can't claim familiarity with, but apparently went on to some controversy with his I Am Curious films two years later. Unfortunately, it was a dubbed 16mm print, which reduced my enjoyment a great deal. Dealing with an incestuous affair between brother and sister in the late 1700s, the film features a number of Bergman regulars, but none of the vitality of a Bergman film.

The Arrival: Re-watching this Charlie Sheen conspiracy film (now on Blu-Ray, where the transfer is much better than the awful DVD), a little bit in honor of his recent breakdown, I see more of the cracks than I did when I saw it last year. It's obviously the work of a first time film director, but I still like it. I'm especially pleased by the film's attempt at scientific accuracy when it comes to radio astronomy.

Shutter Island: Scorsese's asylum film is technically polished (with the exception of some awful digital background effects), but I'm still not crazy about it. The first twist in the ending isn't so much of a surprise as the inevitable turn you can't help but expect after so many clues to it appear (and, watching it for a second time, I notice even more than I did before). The performances are good, but most of the cast is underused (Ted Levine, Patricia Clarkson, Elias Koteas, and Jackie Earle Haley each get one seen to shine and then more or less vanish). And I still absolutely hate that tracking shot in the holocaust flashback where the Nazis fall over in line with the movement of the camera and not the bullets being unleashed towards them.

Knocked Up: It's hard to believe that this Judd Apatow film only came out in 2007; in less than four years, he and his Freaks and Geeks alumni have more or less consumed all comedies of any worth being produced by mainstream Hollywood. Surprisingly, it's the first time I'm seeing the film. It's funny, but I'm not blown away by it. Perhaps that's due to so many films being made by this group after (and, made with less restriction than the more conservative Knocked Up).

Madonna: Truth or Dare: I've never cared for Madonna as a recording artist, so I was very surprised by how fascinating this film turned out to be (alas, it's unavailable on DVD due to some legal battle). Far from being a hatchet job, nor a promotional piece, the finished film comes off with surprising balance (unless you're Warren Beatty, who manages the film's best comment about Madonna--that she doesn't find anything worth doing unless it's on-camera--but still comes off as rather aloof and self-centered). It's only flaw is that it's about 20 to 30 minutes too long. The first hour is incredibly engaging, but the second hour (the film is 2 hours long) didn't grab my attention as strongly.

It's finals week, so outside of re-watching Videodrome for a class project, I doubt I'll have time for much else. I suppose I won't make my 365 movie goal this year, either. Alas...
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Old March 5 2011, 11:37 PM   #215
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief - HBO
Tron Legacy 3D - theater
Clash of the Titans (2010) - HBO on Demand
Take Me Home Tonight - free screenin'
Sanctum - free screenin'
The Green Hornet - free screenin'
Green Zone - HBO
Fantastic Mr. Fox - HBO
True Grit (1969) - AMC
Ringu - DVD
Black Swan - Alamo Drafthouse (its not just a movie theater)
Unknown - free screenin'
The Losers - HBO
The Sunset Limited - HBO on Demand
Starsky & Hutch (2004) - Cinemax
Kick-Ass - DVD
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - DVD
The Adjustment Bureau - free screenin'

I was in Dallas for a couple of days earlier this week, and took in a free screenin' of Matt Damon's latest.

I liked it, good performances all around from Damon, John Slattery & Terrance Stamp.

Got a little heavy handed there towards the end, but still a good movie.
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Old March 6 2011, 04:30 AM   #216
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Why are peoples' letter grades for movies they've seen considered a spoiler? I saw "The Naked Gun" for the first time the other day. It is a masterpiece of its genre.

It reminded me of classic episodes of "The Simpsons". Crammed with tons of jokes per minute and every single one of them was funny. My throat hurt from laughing so much.

I was surprised by how short it was being under 90 minutes, but that's understandable. They couldn't make a movie so wall-to-wall with jokes last as long and that makes it even better because it never drags with the laughs coming so fast and furious.

It was nice to see Ricardo Montalban in something outside of Star Trek as well, but he looks younger than he did in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", despite the movie coming out in 1988.

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Old March 6 2011, 04:32 AM   #217
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
Why are peoples' letter grades for movies they've seen considered a spoiler?
It's not. We just use the drop-down box to keep the posts to a manageable length on default.
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Old March 6 2011, 08:30 PM   #218
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
Why are peoples' letter grades for movies they've seen considered a spoiler?
It's not. We just use the drop-down box to keep the posts to a manageable length on default.
Exactly, it's a space saver.
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Old March 6 2011, 10:22 PM   #219
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


20. The Illusionist (B)
21. The French Connection (B+)

1971 Best Picture winner, which is a pretty impressive feat for what we would today call a pretty straightforward piece of crime cinema without much in the way of deeper characterization. Goes to show what a jolt this was stylistically; by now, its innovations have been thoroughly absorbed into the cinematic language, so it doesn't have the same impact, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The oft-discussed car chase (or, rather, car-train chase) is indeed impressive (though I was distracted by wondering how nobody else on the train seemed to have noticed the dead transit cop and incorporated that into their actions). Gene Hackman is good in the lead part, though I'm a bit surprised he won an Oscar for this.
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Old March 6 2011, 10:38 PM   #220
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Have you seen the John Frankenheimer directed sequel, CaptainCanada? It takes Hackman's character down a much darker path than the first film, but I think it remains exceptional.
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Old March 6 2011, 10:54 PM   #221
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

No, I just have the first one. I might check the other out later.

Incidentally, my initial introduction to the movie was my father insisting, years ago, that it was one of the worst movies he had ever seen.
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Old March 7 2011, 05:19 AM   #222
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief - HBO
Tron Legacy 3D - theater
Clash of the Titans (2010) - HBO on Demand
Take Me Home Tonight - free screenin'
Sanctum - free screenin'
The Green Hornet - free screenin'
Green Zone - HBO
Fantastic Mr. Fox - HBO
True Grit (1969) - AMC
Ringu - DVD
Black Swan - Alamo Drafthouse (its not just a movie theater)
Unknown - free screenin'
The Losers - HBO
The Sunset Limited - HBO on Demand
Starsky & Hutch (2004) - Cinemax
Kick-Ass - DVD
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - DVD
The Adjustment Bureau - free screenin'
Rango - theater

Had to babysit all four kids - three nephews & a niece - this afternoon, so, of course my solution is to take 'em to a movie.

Since it's a small college town & Rango was the only new show playin' on six screens, I had to buy the tickets three hours early. And all three of today's screenings sold out.

Good for them, I suppose.

As for the movie, I liked it. Its an honest Western more than anything else. Stranger rolls into town, becomes sheriff & solves the town's problems through sheer luck & some skill.

I thought the main villian, Rattlesnake Jake, was a little too scary for the kids, but they all seemed to like him, talkin' about how awesome he was...

I was disappointed with the voice for the Spirit of the West, too.

Really good animation, a few curse words, and a reference to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...go figure.
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Old March 7 2011, 07:55 AM   #223
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates (in Bold):

The Adjustment Bureau (8)

Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Black Swan (9)
Broken Blade 3: The Mark of the Assassin's Dagger (9)
Broken Blade 4: The Land of Disaster (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Godkiller (6)
Infernal Affairs (7)
Kamui (4)
The Garden of Sinners Movie 8: Epilogue (9)
Loups=Garous (8)
The Mechanic (2011) (9)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakeening of the Trailblazer (8)
Munto: The Movie (6)
Musashi Miyamoto (6)
Unknown (7)
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Old March 7 2011, 06:48 PM   #224
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Fort Apache (1948)

The first of John Ford's Cavalry trilogy. I enjoyed the film but was surprised by the ending due to the era in which the film was made.

Back to Bataan (1945)

The only film I've seen about the Filipino resistance movement against the Japanese during World War II. Interesting to note that the film was rewritten to reflect details of the U.S. invasion as it was happening.

Gran Torino (2008)
An excellent film and the closest to the sixth Dirty Harry film that we'll probably ever get. I love the fact that the film completely ignores political correctness and Eastwood's character calls it as he see's it.
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Old March 7 2011, 07:15 PM   #225
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



19. Lunacy (Jan Svankmajer, 2005) - B. Dark, ironic, blasphemous, disgusting, entertaining, thought-provoking. Not Svankmajer's best film but certainly among his most twisted.

20. Paradise Lost (1999) - C-. I knew going in this was a b-movie starring Marina Sirtis (really, the only reason I was watching it) and on those terms, it's really not that bad. Some parts are pretty funny on a so-bad-it's-good level. I particularly liked the scene where the power cuts out and Marina inexplicably pitches forward into the arms of William Forsythe. That's some quality writing!

21. Daybreakers - C. Painfully average in my opinion. Plays like a twist on The Matrix except it's "World controlled by Vampires" instead of "World controlled by Machines". Never really capitalizes on the sense of horror or suspense that ought to be inherent in it's premise.
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