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Old April 19 2011, 04:34 AM   #361
CaptainCanada
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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+)
47. The Last Airbender (D-)
48. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (A+)
49. Raging Bull (B+)

Aww yeah, let's gore those sacred cows.

To be honest, I agonized a little over this one, because everyone seems to love it, but ultimately there's no point bumping it up to meet other people's expectations. This was a weird one, because I could appreciate the craft; De Niro's performance is great, and you can see why his physical transformation was so influential. But...I just felt nothing while watching it. I wasn't invested in any of the characters, I didn't care what became of any of them.

I held off on posting this review until I'd watched GoodFellas, in the hopes of being able to praise that more. Speaking of which:

50. GoodFellas (A)

The third of Scorsese's most-hyped trinity. I've quite enjoyed Scorsese's various more contemporary films that I've seen, so I'm surprised I didn't enjoy these older ones more, given their reputations. I would say this is the best of the three. I didn't have any issues with the narrative resolution, as with Taxi Driver, and I thought the story was a lot more involving than Raging Bull. I might have ranked it higher if it had a different lead actor - I don't entirely know why, but Ray Liotta kind of bugs me. Particularly when he laughs, it just looks so fake. I do like the pointedly unredemptive ending; our "hero" doesn't really learn anything (particularly if you keep his subsequent history in mind), he just saves his own skin and complains about it. Enjoyably unsentimental.
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Old April 19 2011, 04:44 AM   #362
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

^

I thought Ray Liotta was awesome in GoodFellas - its my favorite of his movies.
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Old April 19 2011, 04:07 PM   #363
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Mine, too.

Alice, Sweet Alice: 4/5
Motel Hell: 4/5.
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Old April 19 2011, 05:01 PM   #364
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



31. The Incredibles (rewatch) - A. Just got this on Blu-ray. Still an awesome movie. I had never owned the previous DVD release so all the extras were new to me, and very entertaining. This is apparently a movie that was very difficult to make and Disney did not even want to do it as animation at first (insisting it was a live-action script and couldn't be animated!). Anyway, there's that and a lot more in the extras.

32. Fire and Ice (1983) - D. I thought this movie was boring. You'd think that the combination of Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta could at least produce a movie that was visually appealing, but in my opinion you'd be wrong. The art style is very generic and flat, kind of a compromise between their two extremes (and therefore, not very interesting). The basic overall conflict was pretty ridiculous as well- Fire and Ice, literally, duking it out in the form of two representative armies- one from the North, one from the South, pretty generic stuff. Not one of the best Bakshi movies.

33. Bad Santa - B. Funny movie.

Re: Captain Canada

I would also put Raging Bull at about a B/B+. A good movie but I don't understand why it's considered such a classic. Maybe it's a product of it's time.
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Old April 19 2011, 05:17 PM   #365
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
33. Bad Santa - B. Funny movie.
Oh come on! That's ALL you have to say about that? I saw this recently and it ROCKED MY WORLD! Seriously, this is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I laughed so hard my throat hurt. The relationship Billy Bob Thornton's character has in the movie with a kid is so fucked up and wrong, but somehow it's also perfect.

I love how he just blatantly swears and is hostile to the kid and the kid just takes his abuse with good humour. And by the end, there's something between them that could almost be called affection, but the movie never compromises its nasty edge. "I'll see you when I come over to fuck Mrs. Santa" is one of the best last lines in a movie I've ever heard. Of course it sounds raunchy and crude, and yet in a twisted way, it works as a feel good, sentimental ending too! This movie is brilliant, and Billy Bob Thornton seems to be playing the role he was born to play in it.

I'm always surprised when people here are watching some of the same movies I am, because my choices are often so randomly made. I picked "Defending Your Life" because I stumbled upon an interview online where Albert Brooks was talking about it. Then I saw that barnaclelapse just watched it too. What compelled you to check it out, and what did you think of it, barn?

I was a little disappointed by how it depicted the afterlife (I would have liked something a little more surreal), but I enjoyed the gag about being able to eat as much as you want and never gaining weight. That's definitely a plausible perk for the afterlife. While it was very, very simple, I dug the love story too.

This was probably the easiest role Meryl Streep ever had in her career as she didn't have to do much besides smile and giggle at Brooks's one-liners or deliver her own the whole time, but she was still lovely to watch. Albert Brooks gave a nice performance seeming more vulnerable than he usually is (I think he tends to be more of a smartass), and while the whole movie wasn't as consistent as "Lost in America", I believe it had a better ending. I loved that extra fluffy, syrupy, super romantic ending. I'm a sucker for stuff like that.
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Old April 19 2011, 06:04 PM   #366
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
33. Bad Santa - B. Funny movie.
Oh come on! That's ALL you have to say about that? I saw this recently and it ROCKED MY WORLD! Seriously, this is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I laughed so hard my throat hurt. The relationship Billy Bob Thornton's character has in the movie with a kid is so fucked up and wrong, but somehow it's also perfect.

I love how he just blatantly swears and is hostile to the kid and the kid just takes his abuse with good humour. And by the end, there's something between them that could almost be called affection, but the movie never compromises its nasty edge. "I'll see you when I come over to fuck Mrs. Santa" is one of the best last lines in a movie I've ever heard. Of course it sounds raunchy and crude, and yet in a twisted way, it works as a feel good, sentimental ending too! This movie is brilliant, and Billy Bob Thornton seems to be playing the role he was born to play in it.
See, how can I follow that? You've already written a good review! I did like it though and your first review is what reminded me to rent it.

One thing I guess I can add is that I thought Tony Cox's disapproving reactions to Billy Bob Thornton's behavior was one of the funniest things in the movie. Every time he'd scowl, I would laugh.
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Old April 19 2011, 07:16 PM   #367
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Whoa, I totally forgot that I already wrote about this movie a few pages back. I just can't stop raving about it since I saw it. That's a little embarassing, though...I even repeated some of the same things I said before. I'm really glad my recommendation inspired you to rent it.

I agree about Tony Cox. There were so many things I wanted to say about the movie, I forgot to mention how much I loved the chemistry between he and Thornton too. Bernie Mac and John Ritter as the mall employees were excellent too. Bernie Mac being kind of a cold conniving badass was surprising since I'm used to seeing him play sweeter characters, but he fit the role so well and John Ritter's 'square' was a delight too. Not a bad role to go out on. I heard there might be a sequel. As much I loved this movie, I'm not too excited about that. I just don't think the magic (and novelty) of the first one could be re-captured.
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Old April 20 2011, 03:12 AM   #368
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


50. GoodFellas (A)
51. Spartacus (A+)

An early Stanley Kubrick movie where he was a director-for-hire rather than an auteur. You can tell that's the case because empathy exists as something other than a joke on the audience.

I recall seeing pieces of this on History Television, but this is the first full viewing (plus, with the restored scene, albeit dubbed by Sir Anthony Hopkins). I thought it was truly excellent, and, for a movie that's more than three hours long, actually pretty breezy as a watch. Very well-paced. Kirk Douglas as the title character is quite good; believably tough and noble without being dull, which can be difficult (see: Bloom, Orlando; Heaven, Kingdom of). All the same, the various supporting performances (particularly the supporting villains) have most of the fun, which is pretty normal for these sorts of stories. Ustinov, Olivier, and Laughton are all great. I also like the minor background plot of the rise of Julius Caesar.

The production design is impressive, and one of the things I liked most about it (and a lot of these old movies) is that you know the armies they're showing are actually all there, as opposed to a bunch of CGI people. Now, CGI has brought enormous advantages, particularly in rendering cities and locales, but for combat scenes with large masses of people I kind of like knowing they actually marshalled all those extras. Also, the final battle scenes have some nifty maneouvres, and there's a good sense of strategy.

But, of course, much as Gosford Park led to Downton Abbey and The American President to The West Wing, the true legacy of this movie is as the inspiration for the classic Spartacus: Blood and Sand TV series.
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Old April 20 2011, 08:16 AM   #369
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"Scream 4" (2011) B+

"Big" (1988) A+

"The Quick and the Dead" (1995) B+

"Mr. Woodcock" (2007) C
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Old April 22 2011, 09:41 AM   #370
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

56. 2010: The Year We Make Contact (B-)

Costco had the Blu-Ray of this on sale for ten bucks, and since I just saw Kubrick's predecessor a week before (I really am behind on posting the films I've seen), I snatched it up. The transfer isn't great, but it's anamorphic, which puts it leaps and bounds ahead of the shoddy DVD that was released a number of years ago. I wish the movie had a proper release with more than a vintage documentary (at least give us a Peter Hyams commentary track!) but it will probably never happen. Oh well.

As for the film, I've seen it a number of times before. It's not perfect -- it gets a few details from 2001: A Space Odyssey wrong -- but I still enjoy it for what it is. For the first time watching it, I finally noticed that everyone on the Leonov wears grip-shoes, which explains how Floyd could walk around and still float a pen onboard the craft. Of course, everyone walks around like they're in normal gravity (except for the rare shot showing somebody floating), but it's a small detail that makes everything a little bit more plausible.

Michele Chion has a good list of things that the sequel gets right, as well as gets wrong, in his book about 2001. Worth reading if you're interested in the films. Anyway, I don't have much new to contribute. It's nice to see two actors return (Dullea, looking as if he hasn't aged a day, and Rain, as the voice of HAL) and the rest of the cast is nice (although I'd prefer it if Chandra hadn't been turned into a white guy -- if you're going to use Bob Balaban, call him Mr. Langley and have it jive with the first movie).

Actually, continuity is pretty weird between the films and the books. Floyd is more in lines with the character from the first book rather than the first movie (especially in terms of the programming of HAL -- in the first movie he announces that HAL has been told about the mission in a video that Bowman watches!). On the other hand, the Discovery went to Saturn in the book, but here (like the first movie) it's Jupiter. Best not to think too hard about it all, I suppose.
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Old April 22 2011, 05:36 PM   #371
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"The Verdict" (1982) - I saw this sort of inspired by Sidney Lumet's death. It's now my least favourite of his movies I've seen so far ("12 Angry Men", "Network", "Dog Day Afternoon", and "Serpico"), but not terrible. I loved Paul Newman's performance (of course he had no chance at an Oscar going up against Ben Kingsley as Gandhi) and it had a lot of cliches of courtroom dramas, but I appreciate them when they're done well, as they were here.

There was the slimy, immoral opposing prosecutor with his underhanded tactics (this introduced me to the actor James Mason, and now I want to see more of his work) and the courtroom scene at the end with a beautifully eloquent speech about justice. So all of that stuff was excellent, but outside of it was some personal problems between Newman's character and others that dragged the movie down a bit.

"Arthur" (1981) - A perfect comedy that never stepped wrong from start to finish. The re-make may be pointless, but if nothing else, it at least compelled me to check this out. Well, that, and wanting to know just what "The Critic" was parodying.

Dudley Moore and John Gielgud's performances lived up to their reputations of being exceptionally sweet AND funny, but the big surprise to me was Liza Minelli. I didn't know much about her going into this, but she was so spunky and adorable, it left me wanting to see her more, which lead me to...

"Cabaret" (1972) - I didn't care too much for the love triangle and all the other social drama between the characters, but the music numbers were some of the best I've ever seen. I can't get the lyrics, vocals, and choreography of that brilliant "Money" song out of my head.

I had my 'Jimmy Stewart problem' here with not being able to take an actor seriously because another role (or roles) I've seen them in always make me think of them as goofy. This time the issue was with Michael York, who I can't help but think of as his "Austin Powers" character (although I've also seen "Logan's Run". I just think he looks too goofy to be a serious leading man too.

Joel Grey was a force of nature in this movie. He reminded me of Heath Ledger's The Joker in a way as he was almost inhuman, but relentlessly fascinating to watch. I don't mean he was inhuman in a cruel way, just he was a character who we could never empathize with or relate to in a human way. He was never shown without make-up and not performing, so he was like the embodiment of musical theatre.

He was so intriguing sometimes I wanted to know about what he would really be like in real life, but I think keeping that out of the movie was better. It just made him more mysterious and alluring. He and Minelli's timing on stage both alone and together (but especially together) was something to marvel at.

"Battleship Potemkin" (1925) - I checked this out because of its historical importance. It's always jarring to watch a silent movie these days, but especially with this one, because aside from "Metropolis", "Nosferatu" and "M", I've mostly watched comedic ones (Mel Brooks, Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin).

There were times when I found its melodrama repetitive and tedious and I was disappointed that it wasn't really about naval battle at all (which I'd assumed based on the title), but the music kept it involving and the iconic massacre on the steps scene (again, something parodied on "The Critic" that I wanted to see in its original form) was powerful and singlehandedly made the movie worth watching.
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Old April 22 2011, 08:19 PM   #372
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

You're just now being introduced to James Mason? He's in a couple of good sf movies from the 1960s -- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth -- as well as plenty of other good films. Worth seeking out.
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Old April 22 2011, 08:39 PM   #373
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A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

A film that owes a good amount of Akria Kurosawa's Yojimbo, it's an excellent western filled with some good acting, some bad acting and a terrible sound mix. That said, I can see why it is so highly regarded and I now count myself a fan but I've also been told by others that this film is the least of the Man with no Name trilogy. Most of them praise The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as the best of the three.
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Old April 22 2011, 08:58 PM   #374
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Harvey wrote: View Post
You're just now being introduced to James Mason? He's in a couple of good sf movies from the 1960s -- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth -- as well as plenty of other good films. Worth seeking out.
Actually, I checked his IMDB page and it turns out I have seen him before in "North by Northwest" but I didn't remember (it's been awhile since I saw that one). Thanks for the recommendations...those are a few seminal genre flicks I've heard of before but never seen. I'll keep them in mind once the "to-watch" list shrinks a bit .

I've also been told by others that this film is the least of the Man with no Name trilogy. Most of them praise The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as the best of the three.
I've just watched all three recently. This was the one I liked the least, because I thought all the characters sucked and were idiots except for Eastwood's.

I think the third one is too long and the character who has the most screen time is an annoying clown too much of the time, but it's an okay movie.

My favourite is the second one. It features three main characters, two more heroic, one a villain, and they're all a pleasure to watch. I also think it has the best story, the most memorable action sequences, and the most entertaining dialog of the three.
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Old April 22 2011, 09:25 PM   #375
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I liked it the most of the three; it has the most focus on Eastwood, and the least pretensions. I liked that it was stripped-down story; the subsequent films expanded in size and added a bunch more characters, but didn't really add the complexity they seemed to be going for.

Yeah, the sound bugged the hell out of me in all three.
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