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Old January 8 2011, 07:42 AM   #31
FelizNavidad
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Alice is Wonderland (2010) - C-
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) - A

You ever just get that random feeling of watching a movie you have no knowledge of the subject matter but you hear good things about it and want to check it out? That's pretty much me in connection to this film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. I have no knowledge of Street Art, or the people involved in this film, but I heard good things about it, watched it, and was captivated by it. Fake or not Fake, it brought the world of Street Art to life and it was quite a journey.

As for the end and the message of the film, It was quite a message, which was pretty much Art succumbing to the hype machine like everything else and how the street artists we saw resented Mr. Brainwash (Teirry) because of it. It does bring the film full circle, and it does leave you think. I don't typically watch Documentaries, but I wanted to watch this one and was glad I did.
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Old January 8 2011, 09:41 AM   #32
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. From Russia with Love (C)
2. Delicatessen (A)

From Russia with Love

Maybe I'm not a fan of old James Bond. I'm not sure. I haven't really seen any of the old James Bond films since Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were released (the exceptions being GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies) so I can't help but wonder if the new James Bond has affected my interest in old James Bond. I'll have to wait and see when I rewatch Goldfinger (my favorite James Bond before seeing Casino Royale).

In the case of From Russia with Love, I had tried to see it once before years ago, but fell asleep while watching it (I don't hold against the film because I had a long day) and I wanted to give it a second chance, especially since so many people consider it one of the best Bond films period. However, I have to say it didn't really do anything for me.

The overall story of SCEPTRE playing both the Soviet Union and the Western world against each other is interesting, but the actual plot that follows Bond really didn't click for me. Maybe I expected a smarter Bond, but I was surprised how gullible he came off as.

Perhaps a further viewing later down the road will make me like the film more, like how I didn't initially like The Hunt for Red October but is now one of my favorite films. Or perhaps I just don't like old Bond as much as I once did. Only time will tell.

Delicatessen

A typically bizarre film from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie, A Very Long Engagement, The City of Lost Children), Delicatessen is a story about a group of tenants forced into cannibalism because of a food shortage for reasons not entirely clear. I love all of Jeunet's films (with the exception of Alien: Resurrection but even he doesn't like the final product due to studio meddling) and this one is no exception. More of a collection of character pieces then an outright story (there's isn't much beyond new character arrives, falls in love with daughter of killer, and the two of them try to survive) but Jeunet's unique form of directing makes the experience more than worthwhile. I highly recommend this to anyone who want's something different from the typical Hollywood flick and something quite bizarre.
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Old January 8 2011, 12:45 PM   #33
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - C-
2. Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story (2007) - A-
3. Metropolis (1927) - A+

Loved it. I found the film made me want to pay attention to it. Giorgio Moroder's music makes the film, as I ain't a huge fan of silent films. I could tell with the body language what they were trying to say. The door scene was easily scene of the film. The story is perfect and everything is told in perfect timing. You see things in this film which influenced other things in other science fiction over the years.
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Old January 8 2011, 02:37 PM   #34
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Pandora's Box: 4/5
-Speaking of silent films. I watched this last night and enjoyed the hell out of it. Certainly not for everyone. I wouldn't even say it's for all fans of silent film (all twelve of us), but it still had a visual punch that maintained my interest through what I believe was about two hours.
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Old January 9 2011, 01:58 AM   #35
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. From Russia with Love (C)
2. Delicatessen (A)
3. Goldfinger (B)

I enjoyed about as much as I enjoyed it the first time around. I loved the Matterson girls, but didn't really care for Pussy Galore (nor the way Bond forces his way on her in the barn and suddenly she's all "Oh, James!). I think it's a terrible waste that Tilly Matterson died so quickly. I was much more interested her character potential (woman seeking revenge for the death of her sister, although I'm surprised she didn't blame Bond in some small way) than I did with Pussy Galore. Alas.

I also loved the villains, particularly Odd Job. How can I not love a guy who kills people with his hat?!

That all being said, there's a certain staleness of the early Bond movies that still bugs me. I can somewhat look pass Bond's male chauvinistic ways (except forcing himself onto Pussy), but there are other things that bug me like the use of out of place sound effects that are better suited for cartoons (such as when Bond slaps a woman on the ass or any and all sound effects during fight scenes).

I'll keep giving old Bond a second chance, but it's not looking good...
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Old January 10 2011, 02:19 AM   #36
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - C-
2. Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story (2007) - A-
3. Metropolis (1927) - A+
4. The Day the earth stood still (1951) - A-
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Old January 10 2011, 05:08 AM   #37
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. In the Heat of the Night (A+)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (B)
3. The Passion of the Christ (A)
4. Mamma Mia! (B)

And now for something completely different from those last few movies.

The chick flick of the last few years (taking the baton from, oddly enough, another Meryl Streep movie, The Devil Wears Prada), and one of the more successful musicals in recent memory. Also one of, I think, two prominent "jukebox musicals" put to film (the other being Julie Taymor's more artistically ambitious Across the Universe). And it is, honestly, quite a good time; it embraces a lot of things that modern movie musicals have tended to shy away from (such as actually having the characters just burst into song, without justifying it as a performance in-universe or a fantasy sequence) for being too cheesy.

Amanda Seyfried has been one of my favourite young actresses for a while (since Mean Girls and Veronica Mars mid-decade), and she's good here; her singing voice is pretty good as well. Meryl Streep also surprisingly sings quite well. Pierce Brosnan is awful, but by God he's trying. There are a lot of movies that tout how much fun the cast had making it - whether that actually comes through onscreen varies greatly (for when it doesn't, see, say, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle). Here, it does. The chemistry between Streep and her two friends (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) is especially fun. That said, it's longer than it needs to be.

It's everything that was awesome about the 1970s and everything that was ridiculous about the 1970s (there's not inconsiderable overlap there).
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Old January 10 2011, 10:34 AM   #38
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Might as well copy the format & tweak it a bit...

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief - HBO
Tron Legacy 3D - theater
Clash of the Titans (2010) - HBO on Demand

Dear god, what a terrible movie. I like Louis Letterier's The Incredible Hulk, but it was like he forgot how to direct action sequences with this one. The CGI was pretty bad, and it just made me glad I missed it in theaters.

Epics should not make ya relieved ya are watchin' 'em at home instead of the big screen!

Can't imagine tryin' to watch this in 3D, either...that three witches scene would have been impossible to see! No pun intended...
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Old January 10 2011, 11:30 AM   #39
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - C-
2. Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story (2007) - A-
3. Metropolis (1927) - A+
4. The Day the earth stood still (1951) - A-
5. An Education (2009) - A-

Carey Mulligan what a star. Found it enjoyable, but not my fav Nick Hornby based movie.
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Old January 10 2011, 02:12 PM   #40
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. The Fighter: B-
2. Batman(90's saga): A-,B-,C-,D

I got the 'Action Pack' of all 4 films which is just the films with no extras for a Black Friday deal of $5, couldn't pass that up just for the first film. Waited till I finished them all to post. I hadn't seen this films in 15yrs+ so it was time to revisit.

Batman is a great first big screen outing. His reveal in the opening scene is classic. "What are you?" and the reply, "I'm Batman". Outside of the initial entry this series does not hold up well at all. Nicholson's Joker is still lots of fun and I enjoy the more accurate origin I confess. Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale is gorgeous and good with Michael Keaton. Speaking of his Bruce Wayne comes off as a slightly detached aloof Bruce that I read in the comics.

Returns wasn't great but considering what followed this holds up a bit better. Wish we could've had a better Catwoman origin that was more true. Same for Penguin. This is essentially a "Christmas Movie" but I noticed the script carries many notes as the first film. Not sure I felt it was a "reused and tweaked" script at the time as I did now.

Forever, I wonder if Burton had stayed on the series if he would've regressed more from Returns or done better? Was the series destined to decline or did Schumacher really start that, Returns was a drop off all on its own as well. This movie is essentially a "Halloween movie". Two Face and Riddler break into Wayne mansion on Halloween night. We see the trick-or-treaters. Two Face has the comic look and his acid bath origin is mentioned in passing. Jim Carrey must've been told to channel Frank Gorshin's TV Riddler. I'm probably spoiled by the last 20yrs of Riddler stories NOT being goofy that the portrayl rings wrong.

Batman & Robin...where to start. I had forgotten(probably for the best) all the horrible sexually laced innuendo and statements. Poison Ivy telling Robin that if he's good he can "tend her garden" was just horrid in delivery. Arnold's Mr.Freeze does get props from the costume department, his outfit wasn't bad. I could at least see something like that from the comics. For all the sexiness Schumacher was trying to ooze in this film I'm not sure why Ivy had green leotards on and not actually showing more skin like the comic counterpart. That could've made it a tad more watchable. The Batman credit card scene...oh boy!! Soooo much to mention but this is just a bad film.

So I take it this series portrays Batman over a 2-4 year period if you assume some chronolgy using the Holidays as a marking point.

I told a friend that I hope in 10-15yrs I'm not looking back on Nolan's Batman films and saying something similar. It was probably a statement made out of what I'd just seen. He reminded me that Nolan's films really play more like crime dramas and keep the more zany elements at bay or not incorporated at all. Good reminder, Nolan's Batman should hold up over time well.
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Old January 10 2011, 02:26 PM   #41
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Ikiru: 5/5
-I think everybody should see this at least once. I can't believe I waited so long to finally watch it. Flawless in every sense of the word.
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Old January 11 2011, 09:56 PM   #42
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Casino Jack: 3/5
-Kinda disappointing considering the cast involved, but the cast involved still did the best they could.
Without a Clue: 3/5
-Another small disappointment that was still not altogether terrible. I think I expected something brilliant from this kind of story and this kind of cast.
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Old January 11 2011, 10:10 PM   #43
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. The Fighter: B-
2. Batman(90's saga): A-,B-,C-,D
3. Star Wars OT-Special Edition: B+, A, B

Yes this is the Greedo shoots first, CGI enhanced Tatooine scenes and city scapes with cheering citizens at the end of Jedi. I had sold my VHS copies some 10 years ago and Amazon had this set for $23 over the Holidays.

I hadn't honestly seen the OT in some time. I'm a Star Trek fan first, sci fi film second so I've never been one to have the SW saga on my list of frequently rewatched films.

I thought the transfers looked great. The colors were bold, the sound was terrific and it really is a sci fi classic. I'd dare say I found a new appreciation for the saga. I know that later this year they come out on Blu Ray and I honestly don't know at this point if I care to upgrade. Personally I was quite pleased with these in standard DVD.

I've just got one more saga to go through from my Black Friday purchases but my next film should be from Netflix. I've enjoyed revisiting films I haven't seen in 10-20years though.
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Old January 12 2011, 04:19 AM   #44
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. In the Heat of the Night (A+)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (B)
3. The Passion of the Christ (A)
4. Mamma Mia! (B)
5. All About Eve (A-)

I vacillated on the grade for this one, between A- and A+, and eventually I settled on A-; I may revise that later.

I recall seeing part of this on TV once before, but I hadn't watched the whole thing before now. There was one of those random DVD collections on sale for $23, and I figured that was a good price for five Best Picture winners (this, Gentleman's Agreement, How Green Was My Valley, The Sound of Music, The French Connection; no, those really don't have much in common, really; two of them have Celeste Holm, but that's about it).

James Berardinelli, among others, has said that this film has one of the best screenplays ever written, and in terms of dialogue, I'd say there's a good chance that's true. Everybody's consistently witty. Addison DeWitt, in particular, is quite a marvelous creation, and it's fitting that both the writer and the actor won Oscars for him (George Sanders' voice is, of course, familiar to fans of The Jungle Book). This is Bette Davis' iconic role as well, and she's likewise extremely watchable. The aforementioned Celeste Holm (still alive today, in fact) provides probably the most emotionally unpretentious of the major characters. The guys are good, but, apart from DeWitt, much less memorable.

My main reservation at rating the film higher is that, frankly, I don't buy Eve herself at all. Anne Baxter plays her extremely well, and every individual scene works just fine, but I didn't think what her character does in the course of the film was at all plausible. Too many coincidences and too many things that couldn't possibly have been controlled or anticipated (and if she's that talented, why does she even need to?). There's also the Birdie character (Thelma Ritter, playing basically the same character she did in Rear Window), who abruptly vanishes without explanation (did Eve fit her for a pair of cement shoes between acts?).

A very good movie, nonetheless.
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Old January 12 2011, 07:49 AM   #45
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. From Russia with Love (C)
2. Delicatessen (A)
3. Goldfinger (B)
4. Coraline (A)
5. Toy Story 3 (A+)
6. Over the Hedge (B)


Coraline

I've been on a huge Neil Gaiman kick for months having read Neverwhere and American Gods last year and currently reading Fragile Things. I've been meaning to watch Coraline since it came out but I never got the chance until now.

The film is a beautiful and imaginative story which in part reminded me of Gaiman's MirrorMask (female protagonist has mommy issues and flees into an amazing alternate world that eventually turns ugly when she's forced to deal with said issues), which is fine because I loved that film, too. Coraline is certainly different enough and has it's own take on the scenario with castful of typically Gaiman bizarre characters. Oddly, I think Coraline's father is my favorite because of how quiet and subtle his love for Coraline and just weird he is. On top of all Gaiman's character idiosyncrasies, Henry Selick excels once again with his stop-motion animation. In fact, I didn't know he was the director going into the film, but a few minutes into the film, I thought "This has to be Henry Selick."


Toy Story 3

After watching Coraline, which I consider one of the best non-Pixar animated films, I began to think about Pixar's best and decided that I needed to watch Toy Story 3 again for the first time since it was in theaters.

It's rare for a sequel to be better than the original and it's even more rare for a second sequel to be better than both, but Toy Story 3 manages to do just that. The film doesn't pull any punches in the swan song where Andy's toys finally face the moment they've feared: Andy has grown up, so what does that mean for them? Several options lay before them: the attic, the dumpster, daycare, and for Woody, going to college with Andy. The toys all fret about their future and I'll admit the first time I watched this film, I actually believed all of the toys were going to be incinerated at the town dump. How about that for pulling on the old heartstrings? I thought that would be the emotional high, but of course I was wrong. Seeing Andy playing with his old toys one last time with their new caretaker, Bonnie, was the pitch perfect ending for an incredible trilogy and gave the toys an option that had not foreseen: a whole new owner who will love and cherish them just as much as Andy did.


Over the Hedge

I don't have much to say about this one. I only bothered checking it out because I've found myself enjoying the comic strip, although mostly for Hammy's crazy antics and weird babbling. Which, of course, was my main motivation for watching the movie. Steve Carell played a wonderful spastic character with just a bit of emotional depth although his voice wasn't quite the one I had in my head and I've already reverted back to "my voice" for Hammy when reading the strip.
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