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

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Old April 13 2011, 06:47 AM   #346
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

32. 127 Hours (✭✭ 1/2)

I don't know... I'm sure it was a harrowing experience for the guy, but I wasn't impressed with the movie. I thought it was a little too artistic for its own good, and they could have given James Franco a little more to do before he was suddenly thrown into this situation. Buried was much more effective as a claustrophobic experience.
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Old April 14 2011, 08:49 PM   #347
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


40. Hanna (A-)
41. The Godfather (A+)
42. The Godfather: Part II (A+)
43. The Godfather: Part III (A-)
44. Dog Day Afternoon (A)

John Cazale filmography: 60% complete.

In tribute to the lately late Sidney Lumet, one of his more famous films from the 1970s, starring Al Pacino (progressively ratcheting up the volume to become the Pacino we're familiar with today) and Cazale; though Cazale and everybody else are really pretty minor. This is Pacino's show, from the first frame to the last. I was always under the impression that this was an intense drama, but it's really a borderline comedy, albeit with a decidedly unfunny ending (what really happened, of course). Pacino's predicament is frequently pure sitcom frustration at the universe, as are many of his interactions. Much like Lumet's Network, this relates a lot to American frustrations during the economic stagnation of the 1970s.
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Old April 14 2011, 10:50 PM   #348
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


35. Chloe: B
36. Kung Fu Panda: B-
37. Centurion: B
38. The People I've Slept With: C
39. Grown Ups: B-


Adam Sandler etc... I typed up a little review then my system locked up. So I'll just say this: Predictable, Repetitive Sandler. His normal check list of schtick is here. Fart joke, Scrotum hits, Boob jokes, Men acting like Boys.

I'll see Just Go With It but his lack of originality only confirms his movies are renters.
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Old April 16 2011, 04:47 AM   #349
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


40. Hanna (A-)
41. The Godfather (A+)
42. The Godfather: Part II (A+)
43. The Godfather: Part III (A-)
44. Dog Day Afternoon (A)
45. Taxi Driver (A-)

I idly realized that I've got like 10 movies saved up to watch on DVD/Blu-ray, and they're almost all pretty much all depressing. Like this one, as part of my continuing voyage through visions of 1970s urban decay. To my mind, it's interesting how the 70s is typically remembered in pop culture mostly for disco; it was a tumultuous, grinding decade on American economy and morale, which is reflected in many of the films of the time, but this rarely turns up in period pieces.

I've heard a lot of people call this Scorsese's masterpiece; I'll be watching the two other big titles of his in the next little while, so I've yet to make a determination on that, but provisionally I don't know that I'd call it that. It has a lot of strong points, particularly Robert De Niro's performance; Jodie Foster is also very good (it's a little weird to see her so young).

However, it has a few odd points that keep me from ranking it higher. For one, I didn't for a second believe that the Cybil Shepherd character would agree to date him (or do it more than once, having done so). And the ending is just weird. There's a certain irony to him being a hero, but it just feels tremendously strange to spend a whole movie documenting his mental disintegration only to show him back quasi-adjusted, albeit with the possibility of his flipping again. It makes his mental state seem abritrary (and there's never much explanation for him to begin with).
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Old April 16 2011, 08:57 PM   #350
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I've always read the conclusion of Taxi Driver as the fantasy Travis Bickle has while he dies. I don't think the movie works nearly as well if it's taken as reality -- one of the reasons I hope that sequel to the movie never gets made.

55. Source Code (A-)

A fantastic sf thriller/detective story, it's not quite as good as Moon, but still quite good (Clint Mansell couldn't do the score for one, due to being tied up with other projects -- including the completely shallow Black Swan -- but I'll get to that mess of a movie later). It's a shame the box office showing hasn't been that strong, because the movie deserves business. My only real quibble with the film is the ending. I like the freeze frame moment, but I also like the message sent to the Colonel at the end, as well. The stuff in between those I'm less convinced about (I'll be nebulous so as to avoid spoiling too much). I'll have to see the film again to decide there.

All the performers are quite good and the pace is taught throughout. Duncan Jones has probably made the best sf movie of the year that nobody will see...again.
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Old April 16 2011, 09:16 PM   #351
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The Running Man (1987)

Another fun 80's Arnold Schwarzenegger film but a very poor adaptation of the novel by Stephen King. The movie only transplants a couple of the characters names and the basic premise of a game show where people are hunted and killed. That aside, the film delivers some good action, some great one-liners and even a Star Trek joke.
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Old April 16 2011, 11:02 PM   #352
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Harvey wrote: View Post
I've always read the conclusion of Taxi Driver as the fantasy Travis Bickle has while he dies.
Scorsese and Paul Schrader have both explicitly denied that interpretation.
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Old April 17 2011, 12:18 AM   #353
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
I've always read the conclusion of Taxi Driver as the fantasy Travis Bickle has while he dies.
Scorsese and Paul Schrader have both explicitly denied that interpretation.
Oh, I know. Since they've both been talking about a sequel in the past few years, it's clear which interpretation they prefer. I just think their interpretation doesn't work as well, for the reasons you've already stated.

The Running Man is a terrible movie, but with lines like, "Get me the justice department -- entertainment division," it's hard not to enjoy it.
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Old April 17 2011, 03:54 AM   #354
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


40. Hanna (A-)
41. The Godfather (A+)
42. The Godfather: Part II (A+)
43. The Godfather: Part III (A-)
44. Dog Day Afternoon (A)
45. Taxi Driver (A-)
46. Great Expectations (B+)

Three films today; an old friend was briefly in town, so we got together for a viewing marathon in the afternoon.

I've heard this called the greatest Dickens adaptation of all time by some, but, while I obviously haven't seen all the big ones to make that comparison, I don't think I'd call this my choice. This was the other David Lean adaptation of Dickens from the mid-1940s, and it features several of the same actors in supporting roles. It's a quite competent story, but much like Lean's other adaptation, it stumbles in a few places trying to include Dickens' complicated plot twists. Also, the ending is really melodramatic. And it casts the nearly 40-year-old John Mills as the teenaged-to-20ish Pip, which just doesn't look right. Actually, both of the teenaged versions of Pip and Estella (in the latter case, a young Jean Simmons) are much better than their adult versions.

47. The Last Airbender (D-)

As a general rule, I'm very good at picking films I'll like, so my list of films seen tends to be graded on a scale of B- to A+. Not so today, in which I watched a movie I was quite sure would suck. And oh, did it. It's been a long time since I sat down to watch a bad movie, but the viewing experience was quite enjoyable with friends and my brother to trade jokes with. We're all big fans of the show it was based on.

There have been a lot of negative reviews of this already, so it's hard to come up with new things to say, but here are some of the major problems: the casting of the main characters and their world is racist, and, besides which, the actors are all terrible anyway, so the idea that they couldn't find appropriate Asian/Inuit kids is even more untenable; Shyamalan's screenplay is awful, ineptly attempting to condense a season's episodic plots into a single story; virtually every conversation is exposition; and he changes a bunch of pronunciations for no reason. And he doesn't have the slightest idea how to direct action. It's especially disappointing because he's removed any sense of association between the bending moves and the effects they have.

It's saved from an F by some strong production design, which is the only thing the film has to recommend.

48. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (A+)

Ah, an actual good studio fantasy film based on popular children's products. In fact, everything that The Last Airbender did wrong, Harry Potter did right. J. K. Rowling insisted on authentic casting and setting that has lent the series the appropriate atmosphere its counterpart so sorely lacks. While it has also had plotting issues as far as adaptation goes, it got the world and its stakes right, so while the film series as a whole will always be adjunct to the books, it has plenty to offer. I saw this twice in theatres months ago, and now the Blu-ray is out.

There was debate about the merits of adapting this into two films. Some saw it as a cash grab (and I'm sure the WB wasn't mourning all that extra moolah flowing into their coffers). But I think it really pays off on film; the seventh novel had by far the most plot of any of the books, possibly excepting the fourth (for which splitting was also floated as a possibility). I have a very, very difficult time imagining a single-film version that could satisfactorily include everything that needs to be in it; indeed, it also has to work to fit in some stuff that the earlier films had trouble including.

Anyway, the result is the first film since perhaps Prisoner of Azkaban (even including Order of the Phoenix, which is one of my favourites) that has room to breathe. I know some people thought parts of it were dull, but I loved it; the focus is squarely on the main three's characters and their relationships, which strain to the breaking point under severe isolation (isolation that the film actually amps up considerably from the book). And all three of our leads have become strong actors. I remain surprised by how funny the film manages to be, and not in inappropriate ways; it's funny while still being relentlessly grim. And that's really my preferred style of comedy.
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Old April 17 2011, 05:21 AM   #355
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

How did you get to see Harry Potter ATDH II already. Doesn't it come out in June?
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Old April 17 2011, 06:16 AM   #356
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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)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
I Am Number Four (8)
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)
Source Code (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Unknown (7)
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Old April 17 2011, 04:00 PM   #357
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
How did you get to see Harry Potter ATDH II already. Doesn't it come out in June?
Heh. Minor oversight. I guess I had Part 2 on the mind while typing that.
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Old April 18 2011, 01:08 PM   #358
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Source Code - theater
Rio - free screenin'
The Fighter - DVD rental

Took my brother's kids over to Blockbuster the other day, let 'em get a couple of cartoon DVDs while I got a copy of The Fighter for myself. Of course, I couldn't watch it all weekend...

Finally watched it late last night.

It was an okay movie, with some bleak humor and wicked family dynamics goin' on. It wasn't something I would own to watch over & over, but, hey, at least Batman got an Oscar out of it.

And I think Melissa Leo may have still been in ghetto fabulous character when she dropped the "f" bomb at the award ceremony.
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Old April 18 2011, 01:42 PM   #359
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I haven't posted in this in a long while, so there's a lot of movies that I've seen:

In The Soup: 5/5
-Steve Buscemi was great in this as the Woody Allen-type, but I think the real highlight is Seymour Cassel. The guy is always great, but this might be my all-time favorite performance of his.
The Stranger (2010): 3/5
-Just as stupid as "Hunt to Kill", but it a fun kind of stupid.
Don't Be Afraid of The Dark: 4/5
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: 1/5
Get Him to The Greek: 4/5
The Sunset Limited: 5/5
The Bothersome Man: 4/5
Lost in La Mancha: 4/5
Lenny: 3/5
Blood and Donuts: 2/5
Hudson Hawk: 3/5
The Producers: 5/5
That Evening Sun: 5/5
Arthur (original): 4/5
Barry Munday: 3/5
Veritgo: 5/5
Fantastic Mr. Fox: 5/5
How To Train Your Dragon: 3/5
Black Christmas (original): 4/5
How Do You Know: 2/5
-What I've always loved about the films of James L. Brooks is how they're so much more than just romantic comedies with neurotic characters. The best of his films ("Broadcast News", "Terms of Endearment", "As Good As It Gets" and even "Spanglish") offer great writing and even better performances. "How Do You Know" had a couple of bright spots (Any scene with Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd), but I really wasn't expecting this to be such a dull, empty couple of hours. It was a very, very ordinary, mediocre romantic comedy. There's a thousand others just like it.
Hobo With A Shotgun: 4/5
-The movie in general was just a lot of decadent grindhouse fun. Old age hasn't mellowed Rutger Hauer's intensity one bit. If anything it's only made him even more insane. If Robert Englund has played the bad guy, this would have been a masterpiece.
Shine: 5/5
-I don't really care how factual the story is. The movie on its own terms was wonderful.
Salo: 4/5
-I can certainly understand the film's reputation of being brutal, hopeless and deeply, deeply troubling. It was a good, very powerful movie, but I'm not going to be watching it again.
Lifeforce: 3/5
Defending Your Life: 4/5
Orphans of The Storm: 3/5
-I've been meaning to watch a couple D.W. Griffith films for a while, but this may not have been the best place to start. It was good, but it wasn't the best example of this era I've ever seen.
Wild Stawberries: 5/5
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Old April 18 2011, 06:08 PM   #360
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


36. Kung Fu Panda: B-
37. Centurion: B
38. The People I've Slept With: C
39. Grown Ups: B-
40. The Conspirator: A-


It's been about 6 weeks since I saw a film at the theater and I was not dissapointed in my choice. The Conspirator is a court room drama around the men and one woman on trail following the death of Abraham Lincoln. Specifically it centers on the woman, Mary Surrat, who was the first woman executed by the Federal Government of the United States.

Starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Colm Meany and Kevin Kline I highly recommend this movie for fans of period and or historical film. Robert Redford directs this cast and it opened in limited release on about 700 screens, placing 9th with nearly $4m. I'm glad Nashville got a screen. I may start a thread on it.
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