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Old April 7 2011, 05:25 PM   #316
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


30. You Don't Mess With the Zohan: C+
31. Finding Bliss: C
32. Dracula III: Legacy: B-
33. Tangled: B+
34. Paul Blart Mall Cop: C-

It had some funny moments but I never felt like any of the characters had any chemistry with each other. The performances felt very wooden and things did not seem to flow well from one situation into the next.

I'm also very over this portrayal of where the kids/teens are seen as wise beyond their years to the point of being wiser/smarter than the adult. His 10yr old daughter playing the matchmaker is a scenario I've seen done before but done in a more innocent manner. Nearly every line of dialoge from her felt like it should've been coming out of a 30yr olds mouth.

The love interest angle, again, didn't work at all. The post credits "Awww they got married" was as inorganic as most things in the movie.

Observe and Report was much better.
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Old April 7 2011, 08:56 PM   #317
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

^
I never want to see parts of that movie again, not exactly what I thought it would be.
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Old April 8 2011, 04:13 AM   #318
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


30. Gigi (B-)
31. I Love You Phillip Morris (B+)
32. How To Train Your Dragon (A)
33. Tarzan (B+)
34. Oliver! (B+)
35. Gosford Park (A-)
36. The Princess Bride (B+)
37. All the President's Men (A-)
38. Oliver Twist (B+)

Another of the Best Picture nominees of the stellar class of '76, which is often said to rival '94 in quality. Based on Woodward and Bernstein's account of the Watergate investigation (the first few months of it, anyway), it's a rather remarkable movie in terms of generating so much interest out of a very straightforward plot that doesn't really arrive at any dramatic conclusion. The film takes a very docudrama approach to the investigation (comparable to Good Night, and Good Luck, but that film had a bit more character hook), and manages to make the specifics fairly interesting.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are very good in the lead parts, which are basically procedural leads. The film won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Jason Robards (the first of two back-to-back wins) as their editor; it's a good performance enough, though I'm not sure I'd have given him my vote. Also of note, when I saw the film got a Best Supporting Actress nomination I was a little incredulous, because it's a pretty big sausage-fest; but apparently the Academy was really impressed with Jane Alexander's two scenes as a nameless bookkeeper. Of course, this was the year that the award was won by Beatrice Straight for, basically, a single monologue in Network.

--

Having already reviewed 1968's Oliver!, I jumped back twenty years to 1948's Oliver Twist, one of David Lean's early films. I swear, the workhouse is the exact same set (or else, the latter is heavily inspired by the former). I've seen a number of Lean's early British films, all of which clock in under two hours; obviously a habit he grew out of in later years. This is a tighter and more faithful adaptation than is Oliver!; between the black-and-white, the lack of songs, and the grimier look, it's a lot more serious. The film's takes on the Artful Dodger and Fagin, for instance, aren't nearly so cutesy. Lean and co. have actually gone to considerable effort to replicate the character visuals from the novel's original illustrations, including outfitting Alec Guinness (Fagin) with a huge prosthetic nose that I understand caused not a little controversy. I guess they hadn't thought too much on the problematic aspects of the character. This is just about the only adaptation of this story that tries to include Monks/Edward Leeford and that aspect of Oliver's backstory, though at the same time the treatment of it is so cursory that I can't imagine it would make any sense to someone who hadn't read the book.

Performancewise, John Howard Davies is a better Oliver than Mark Lester, but the film isn't really any more interested in his perspective than Oliver! was. And I really think that's what's missing that is necessary for a truly great adaptation of Oliver Twist: the film needs to get inside the title character's head and be about him. It's a bit difficult, partly because of the plot, and partly because of the young age of the title character, but all the same. The main area this film is deficient compared to Oliver! is Nancy. Here she's played by Kay Walsh (aka Mrs. David Lean), who, in her late 30s, is clearly too old for the part, and she's not nearly as effective as Shani Wallis. Her defence of Oliver comes about far too suddenly (though the writing is to blame for that), and her situation in general isn't given the same weight. Though the filming of the murder scene is quite striking.
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Old April 8 2011, 07:29 PM   #319
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I am so far behind on posting movies that I've seen that I don't know if I'll ever catch up...

52. 2001: A Space Odyssey (A)

I had the pleasure of seeing Kubrick's SF masterpiece (well, one of them) in 70mm last week, and it was a terrific experience. Seeing the film in HD is one thing (and the Blu-Ray is gorgeous), but seeing it projected in this format is something else entirely. I've seen it in 35mm twice before, but this...I'd be hard-pressed to name something that approaches 2001 in terms of sheer spectacle. It's also quite fun being able to see all the detail that Kubrick made sure the film included. Every shot of the film (once The Dawn of Man concludes) has a bit of text or an image that can only be read or glimpsed by the careful eye. I love the film for plenty of other reasons, of course, but I don't think it's a new film to anyone here.

And, if it is, go out and see it immediately. You may not like it (audiences have forever been split on the movie), but it's a cornerstone of SF movie-making.
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Old April 8 2011, 07:54 PM   #320
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

TrekWars by William Shatner. Should I even watch it.
I watched that spider movie he was in, terrible.
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Old April 9 2011, 06:00 AM   #321
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Goin' to a free screenin' of Rio in the mornin' with my sister & her two boys. Hope it doesn't suck, since I gotta get up in six hours to get ready...
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Old April 9 2011, 06:10 PM   #322
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


31. Finding Bliss: C
32. Dracula III: Legacy: B-
33. Tangled: B+
34. Paul Blart Mall Cop: C-
35. Chloe: B

Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried star in this tale of love, betrayal and lust. This movie hit my radar after discussions of Amanda Seyfried's latest movie Red Riding Hood.

I was prepared for the idea of Amanda showing lots of skin but didn't know Julianne would also be getting in on the act. Discussion of the movie didn't really delve into just who the "lovers" were for Chloe.

The movie didn't really offer much different on this type movie other than who really was doing the cheating. I give it a 'B' score though because the performances were still very well done. Didn't feel like anyone 'phoned' it in.
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Old April 9 2011, 07:41 PM   #323
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The Complete Metropolis (2010)

This is the latest restoration of Fritz Lang's 1927 film and the third version of it I've seen. The last was the 2001 restoration that was still missing about 30 minutes of the original film. This version restored an additional 25 minutes found in a museum in Argentina.

I enjoy the film though I think the message it presents is simplistic at best. The new footage adds a lot of material and fleshes out the narrative. My brother and his girlfriend did spend much of the film laughing at the amount of overacting taking place.

Rob Roy (1995)

While the film was far from historically accurate, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The plot was simple but well written, the acting was excellent and the film made Scotland look fantastic. It is too bad they didn't expand upon the Jacobite uprisings but that side plot wouldn't have contributed much to the plot the film had in mind.

Commando (1985)

This is probably my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger film and one of the best action films of all time. The film has no ambitions beyond its simple premise, does not take itself seriously and it delivers on everything it promises.

My favorite scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMkXY...eature=related
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Old April 9 2011, 10:50 PM   #324
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


30. Gigi (B-)
31. I Love You Phillip Morris (B+)
32. How To Train Your Dragon (A)
33. Tarzan (B+)
34. Oliver! (B+)
35. Gosford Park (A-)
36. The Princess Bride (B+)
37. All the President's Men (A-)
38. Oliver Twist (B+)
39. My Fair Lady (A+)

Another of the famous musicals, again by Lerner and Loewe (who are much less famous as people than Rodgers and Hammerstein, even though their movies were much bigger awards successes at the time), and directed by George Cukor.

A lot of older musicals are excessively cheery or otherwise lacking in dramatic conflict; this is a definite exception, and that's not surprising, given that it's based on one of the more famous works of George Bernard Shaw. The dialogue is exceptional, and though the movie ends on a much more ambiguous note than its source, I give it credit for not going for a full-on happy ending. Rex Harrison is superb as the snobby male lead; Audrey Hepburn's Cockney act is a little grating in places (though I imagine it's supposed to be), but she's also very good. The supporting players are all well-done. The film meanders a bit (Eliza's dad is funny, but has a couple of fairly long sequences that don't have anything to do with the rest of the movie), but it's still easily my favourite of the 50s/60s musicals that I've seen.

40. Hanna (A-)

The first 2011 film I've seen in 2011. Joe Wright's fourth feature (I haven't seen his 2009 The Soloist, as with most people, but Pride & Prejudice and Atonement were both terrific, and his Anna Karenina sits atop my most anticipated films of 2012) stars Saorise Ronan, who was so wonderful in Atonement (and may also be in Anna). I would say this is the thinking person's teen girl assassin movie; it leaves the backstory somewhat vague in places, but it's all quite well-handled, and the plot is both tense and tight. The characterization is nicely handled; again, it's not a character piece by any means, but you care about the people involved.

Directorially, the look is a lot more "modern" than Wright's other films; lots more flashes and stuff to give people seizures. There's also a couple of one-take sequences, which Wright clearly loves, though nothing nearly on the scale of the Dunkirk beach tracking shot. There's a one-take fight between Eric Bana and four guys in a parking garage that is excellent and flows very well. Actually, that's one thing I really liked about it: in a really good action film, there's weight and a sense of risk to every confrontation. Here, every one of the mooks feels dangerous; there's no scene where the good guys mow through twenty guys effortlessly.

One of the best action films I've seen in recent years.
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Old April 9 2011, 11:39 PM   #325
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The film meanders a bit (Eliza's dad is funny, but has a couple of fairly long sequences that don't have anything to do with the rest of the movie)
I'm surprised you give it an a "A+" despite saying that. I thought "A+" means a movie is pretty much perfect. I liked this movie, but there were parts where it really dragged and to use the same word you did, Hepburn was VERY grating at times, to the point where it made me cringe.

It's very uneven, but Rex Harrison never falters and I love that ending. It's my favourite kind of ending with one of those perfect lines that lets you know everything's going to be roses, only implying rather than showing a 'happily ever after' (like the endings of a few Billy Wilder pictures).

CC, what did you think of the ending of "Chloe"? I thought it was pretty hilarious how it was going for tragic and disturbing...it was so over-the-top I couldn't take it seriously. In fact, I think the whole thing is a case of a movie taking itself too seriously when it lacks the subtlety to really deserve that, but yeah, fine performances.

Commando (1985)

This is probably my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger film and one of the best action films of all time. The film has no ambitions beyond its simple premise, does not take itself seriously and it delivers on everything it promises.
Amen to that. They don't make action movies like this anymore. I love the gleefully obnoxious, vicious, menacing, and vile villains, the excessive violence, and the plethora of very, very funny one-liners. I'll never forget that scene where Arnold and one of the baddies are fighting and this woman watching them exclaims, "These guys eat too much red meat!". I laughed SO hard.
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Old April 10 2011, 03:08 AM   #326
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
I'm surprised you give it an a "A+" despite saying that. I thought "A+" means a movie is pretty much perfect. I liked this movie, but there were parts where it really dragged and to use the same word you did, Hepburn was VERY grating at times, to the point where it made me cringe.
For me, A+ movies can still have flaws (I don't think there's a single movie out there without a few), so long as the strengths are strong enough.

One thing I have noticed in my old movie viewings lately is how long all these old BP winners are; three hours is routine, and a lot of these (like MFL and The Sound of Music) are "family" films.
CC, what did you think of the ending of "Chloe"? I thought it was pretty hilarious how it was going for tragic and disturbing...it was so over-the-top I couldn't take it seriously. In fact, I think the whole thing is a case of a movie taking itself too seriously when it lacks the subtlety to really deserve that, but yeah, fine performances.
This was directed at the other CC, I imagine, but I saw this movie last year, so I'll say it was a pretty odd conclusion. It's not Egoyan's best film by any means.

On the subject, if you haven't seen The Sweet Hereafter, see it right now. Amazing movie.
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Old April 10 2011, 04:24 AM   #327
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
CC, what did you think of the ending of "Chloe"? I thought it was pretty hilarious how it was going for tragic and disturbing...it was so over-the-top I couldn't take it seriously. In fact, I think the whole thing is a case of a movie taking itself too seriously when it lacks the subtlety to really deserve that, but yeah, fine performances.
I found the ending to be telegraphed, at least as far as Chloe was concerned.

I think at times during the final act I could agree it staggered into "over-the-top" and then found it's way back.
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Old April 10 2011, 03:57 PM   #328
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Source Code - theater
Rio - free screenin'

Took my sister & her two sons up to D/FW yesterday mornin' for a free screenin' of Rio.

Since its from the creators of Ice Age, there's a Scrat-centric short before the movie, which was a pretty funny way to explain continental drift.

And the movie itself was pretty cute...a few too many musical numbers (the movie opens with one, the bad guy gets one, there are two to get the blue birds interested in each other, and then another at the end that mirrors the first one), but quite a bit of humor, too.

The boys liked it, my sister agreed it was cute. And, ya know, ya just can't beat gettin' into a 3D movie for free.
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Old April 10 2011, 04:46 PM   #329
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29. Burn After Reading - B. Nicely absurd dark comedy in the typical Cohen Brother's style. A ridiculous amount of star power here, and it's fun to watch them in what are mostly atypical roles for the actors. Was not the film I was expecting- in a good way.

30. Spirited Away (2001) - A. This movie is one of the best reviewed Anime films to date, and I can't argue with that. Where this movie excels is in the bizarre universe it creates and in the wildly inventive design of the characters. A fable along the lines of The Wizard of Oz, and maybe the best movie of that type I've seen in many years.
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Old April 10 2011, 05:16 PM   #330
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40. Hanna (A-)
41. The Godfather (A+)

We meet at last. I debated assigning this a grade other than "A+" just to be controversial, but while this film has probably lost a lot of its impact through endless imitation and parody, one can see why it's as praised as it is.

The main victim of the film's success is Marlon Brando; I found it very, very hard to take him seriously. Conversely, Al Pacino's performance is much, much more low key than you would expect, given how his acting style has evolved over the years. Everybody else is in good form too. If there's one niggle from a story perspective, everything to do with Michael's relationship with Kay feels very underdeveloped.
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