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Old May 31 2011, 07:30 AM   #481
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates (in Bold):

The Adjustment Bureau (8)
Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Alone Again (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Finder (8)
Black Swan (9)
Broken Blade 3: The Mark of the Assassin's Dagger (9)
Broken Blade 4: The Land of Disaster (9)
Cutthroat Island (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
Hanna (8)
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)
Outlander (8)
Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides (9)
Priest (5)
Source Code (9)
Thor (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Unknown (7)
Versus (6)
Your Highness (3)
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Old June 1 2011, 04:29 AM   #482
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


60. Hamlet (A)
61. All the King's Men (A-)
62. Roman Holiday (A+)
63. Rebecca (A-)
64. Notorious (A)
65. American Madness (B+)
66. It Happened One Night (A-)
67. Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (C-)
68. You Can't Take It With You (B+)

Extremely silly (it's mostly a comedy, but I mean silly in ways that aren't necessarily condusive to comedy) but enjoyable nonetheless. Made in the Depression, I suspect this film resonates less with audiences today, removed from that context (indeed, it was the most popular film of 1938). Jimmy Stewart arrives on the scene, and, despite later working with Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford, among others, Frank Capra would define Stewart for most people. Having seen all three of their collaborations, this is the least of them, both as films and in terms of Stewart's performance. He's fine, though. Watching all these films back-to-back you start to pick out all the recurring bit players Capra kept around (there's one guy who has shown up three times, always playing a smug fat cat). In this case, three notable players in It's A Wonderful Life show up (Stewart, Lionel Barrymore [playing Mr. Potter's Mirror Universe version], and Samuel Hinds), in a story that has a lot of the same overtones, albeit much less effectively. There are some surprisingly dark moments laced in here that don't jibe all that well with the overall comic tone of the resolution.

69. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (A-)

The second of three Capra/Stewart collaborations, and the last of three collaborations between Capra and Jean Arthur (apparently he wanted her to be Mary in It's A Wonderful Life, but the scheduling couldn't be worked out). This is a bit of an oddity from today's perspective; Capra's politics were a mix of cynicism and naive idealism that is hard to make sense of today. In its time, the film was seen as a scathing expose of government corruption, which shows how different things were in the USA pre-Watergate. Capra manages to keep the tone right, for the most part, with Stewart doing his likeable goober routine and Arthur as the cynic-turned-believer (the same part she played with Gary Cooper in Mr. Deeds; though in You Can't..., she and Stewart had the opposite dynamic). Stewart's performance is a bit goofy starting out, but becomes increasingly intense as the story goes on, and by the end he's riveting to watch. Claude Rains is also excellent as the corrupted idealist (albeit with an accent that seems a little out of place).
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Old June 1 2011, 09:38 AM   #483
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
The Roaring Twenties: I don't have much to say about this Warner Bros. gangster film. It features solid performances, especially from Bogie and Cagney (and no George Raft!), but I can't say I have much to say about it. If you're interested in a good if unexceptional gangster movie from the late 1930s, it is worth seeing. Otherwise, there are better ways to spend your time.
Wow. I just saw this recently too and I think you're really selling it short. I expected a rather run-of-the-mill gangster movie as you describe it, but thought it was a lot more than that. It is a good gangster movie with the usual stuff you'd expect in those like shootouts, backstabbing, threatening, and bickering between gangsters (done well), but that's not all it is.

I think there's some interesting stuff going on psychologically with Cagney, because in addition to being a movie about gangsters, it's also a classic example of a story that gains emotional resonance from focusing on a character who is tortured by his desire for an unattainable woman for all of his life (like "The Great Gatsby"). Cagney's character desires this woman who doesn't want him when he's a young, successful big shot gangster, and no matter how prosperous he becomes, she still isn't attracted to him, and they both feel bad about it.

Then at the end, when he's old, broken down, and ruined by how the post-Great Depression changing conditions in America put him out of business, it haunts him even worse. This isn't just a story of gangsters and their fighting/drama. It also has value for its historical insights about America and its psychological depth.

I was really surprised by how moving the ending was with the Cagney character still unable to get over the girl he could never get and unable to keep up with the times. In the end, the movie felt surprisingly poignant and tragic. The only thing that was mildly disappointing was how one-dimensional and easily subdued Humphrey Bogart's character was, but that was unavoidable since at this point he wasn't so famous and only on the verge of his big breakout roles.
It wasn't that I wasn't moved. I thought it was fine as a film -- just nothing that was outstanding. It might be better than I give it credit for, however. After a quarter spent watching gangster film after gangster film (and most from the 30s), they start to blend together. It's no wonder the genre quickly flared out (though it has occasionally been revived, of course).

77. CSA: Confederate States of America (B)

At times this alternate history mockumentary was brilliant, but at other times it was a little more ambitious than its budget allowed. Most interesting (also, the hardest part to watch) are the fake commercials. The best part of the whole exercise is the reveal at the end of the film that the incredibly racist products being advertised in these commercials are in fact real ones (some being still sold, no less!).

I wish the film had been better budgeted, because its greatest flaw isn't heavy-handedness, but the constant cheapness (this is especially apparent in the "actors" who appear in it).
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Old June 2 2011, 04:32 AM   #484
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I've been watching mostly Blu-rays of stuff I own lately and/or lots of TV, but I finally got around to seeing something new today.

Walkabout (1971) C+

It's a Criterion release. It's certainly artistic, but it's not very engaging or interesting. The ending is a little sad, though. I can't really recommend it unless you're trying to watch every Criterion release ever.
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Old June 2 2011, 03:45 PM   #485
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


70. The Heiress (A+)

Superb 1949 William Wyler film which I would say is superior to All the King's Men. Based a on a play that was "suggested by" (per the credits) a Henry James novel Washington Square (I never liked James' writing, myself), I heard about this largely in relation to Olivia de Havilland's performance as the title character, which won her the second of two Oscars. It lives up to the hype; de Havilland's work is truly amazing, better even than her work in Gone With The Wind, which was a highlight of that film. The primary supporting performances are from Sir Ralph Richardson, Montgomery Clift (I believe this is the first film of his that I've seen), and Miriam Hopkins, all of whom are also great. Hopkins, especially. You can kind of tell this was based on a play, but it never feels stagebound.
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Old June 3 2011, 03:59 AM   #486
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

terminator 3,fast 5,kungfu panda 2
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Old June 6 2011, 10:05 PM   #487
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

78. Sgt. Bilko (C+)
79. The Man Who Copied (A)
80. The Thing (A)


Sgt. Bilko: I put this on via Netflix streaming to pass the time while I was cleaning my apartment, and I'm glad I was doing something else, because it's a pretty middle-of-the-road Steve Martin comedy. It features a good cast (including Martin in the title role, Dan Aykroyd as his superior, Chris Rock in a small role, and the late Phil Hartman as Bilko's nemesis) but is never more than mildly amusing. Bilko's hijinks mostly fall flat or are too broad for my tastes (though a couple of Don't Ask, Don't Tell jokes had me in stitches). Apparently it's based on an old television series, but I've never seen the original.

The Man Who Copied: I first saw this Portuguese film about a copy machine operator who becomes a counterfeiter while I was an undergraduate, where I loved it, and it's only grown on me since. Part comedy, part romance, part animation, and part heist film, it's quirky and touching throughout.

The Thing: I know Too Much Fun doesn't care one bit for Carpenter's version of "Who Goes There?" but I for one thing it's a brilliant piece of sf-horror. The script and Carpenter's superb direction foster a strong sense of paranoia throughout, which is only driven home by the ambiguous ending with a great closing line ("Let's just sit here for a while, see what happens."). It is almost as good as the original's finale ("Keep watching the skies!") and perfectly expresses the differences between the two films.

I've now seen 92 films this year, so I'm way behind, but I still have a week of school left to do before I can get caught up.
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Old June 7 2011, 03:59 AM   #488
zakkrusz
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates (in Bold):

The Adjustment Bureau (8)
Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Alone Again (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Finder (8)
Black Swan (9)
Broken Blade 3: The Mark of the Assassin's Dagger (9)
Broken Blade 4: The Land of Disaster (9)
Broken Blade 5: Death's Horizon (9)
Cutthroat Island (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
Hanna (8)
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)
Outlander (8)
Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides (9)
Priest (5)
Source Code (9)
Thor (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Unknown (7)
Versus (6)
X-Men: First Class (8)
Your Highness (3)
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Old June 7 2011, 06:53 AM   #489
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"X-Men: First Class" A+.
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Old June 7 2011, 04:59 PM   #490
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011




41. Pulp Fiction (Rewatch) - A+. Quentin Tarantino hits a home run in his sophomore effort with what amounts to many of the most memorable scenes in the past twenty years of cinema. Pulp Fiction reminded us that thiefs, crooks, and drug users make for interesting subjects- and since they are also human, you can still tell a story about them. The dialog pops, crackles, and sizzles in a way that's been imitated a hundred times but never surpassed.

42. Fight Club (Rewatch) - B+. At times brilliant satire that seems to pay homage to male angst at the same time that it makes fun of it.

43. Akira Kurosawa's Dreams - B. Interesting series of largely apocalyptic-themed vignettes. These "dreams" are a collection of different storytelling techniques for Kurosawa, some more effective than others. The blizzard, tunnel, and demon sequences were probably the best examples.

44. Falling Down (Rewatch) - B. Still a very good "going postal" movie, though some of the dialog comes across as dated by this point. Incredibly underwhelming Blu-ray transfer which looks near-identical to DVD as far as I could tell. Michael Douglas gives a good performance.

45. Crazy Heart - C+. Good if formulaic faux-bio-pic that seems to hit many of the same notes that "Walk The Line" did a few years earlier. Jeff Bridges turns in an amazing performance.

46. Confessions of a Superhero - B. Documentary about some of the people who dress up as superheroes to pose for pictures with tourist along Hollywood Boulevard, and the issues they face as struggling actors. Entertaining and pretty surreal. It's hard to believe that people actually do this for a living.

47. The King's Speech - B+. Very good. Funny.
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Old June 8 2011, 04:22 AM   #491
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Source Code - theater
Rio - free screenin'
The Fighter - DVD rental
Invictus - Cinemax
Scream 4 - theater
Fast Five - midnight screenin'
THOR - free screenin'
Priest - theater
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - midnight screenin'
X-Men: First Class - theater
Ramona and Beezus - HBO

I went to a Sunday matinee this past weekend, paid three bucks to see X-Men. I also managed to see the four previous films again before the matinee, too, thanks to cable and DVDs.

I liked the movie, overall, despite a few issues. Thinkin' about it a couple of days later, and I have a few more issues with it, but I'll pick it up on disc when it comes out.

Tonight, I watched Ramona and Beezus with my four year old niece. It was a cute little movie with some big adult themes about the economy and job markets. But, the girl enjoyed it, so, more power to her for that.

Thinkin' I'll go see Super 8 this weekend. All the free screenin' passes I find to get are for ten o'clock tomorrow night, but I'd rather see it on my own time, rather than make that kind of effort.
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Old June 8 2011, 04:39 AM   #492
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Alice in Wonderland (2010) - C-
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) - A
3. Black Swan (2010) - A+
4. The Social Network (2010) - A
5. Cannibal! The Musical (1996) - B
6. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (2009) - B
7. Winter's Bone (2010) - C+
8. The Kids are All Right (2010) - A
9. The Lovely Bones (2009) - D
10. 127 Hours (2010) - A
11. Source Code (2011) - B
12. Kick-Ass (2010) - B
13. Thor (2011) - B+
14. X-Men: First Class (2011) - B

Pretty much enjoyed this movie (Seen all of them except for Wolverine now) even though I found some of the dialogue clunky and scenes predictable. I couldn't help but think of the Batman Franchise and how in Batman Begins you had an idea of the story but it was done in a very interesting way and was a very worthy remake. Here, it was a worthy remake, but how we get to what we all know seemed almost par for the course for a prequel. I kind of wish things were done to a way were we get to the same area, but it's done a lot more interesting than what we got. Also, I was rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue, especially at the end.

The reason it get's a B, however (And to not sound like I'm dogging the film), was because what we got makes me excited if there is another sequel. I liked seeing the X-Men come together, and I really liked seeing Beast's transformation. I also really liked McAvoy and Fassbender in the lead roles and if there is a sequel, I would go see it with no hesitation.
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Old June 8 2011, 05:39 PM   #493
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The best movie "X-Men,First Class"...
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Old June 9 2011, 05:05 AM   #494
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


70. The Heiress (A+)
71. X-Men: First Class (A-)

Discussed this more thoroughly in the thread over in SF/F, but in brief I'd call it fairly successful as a superhero film, and it's easily the best of the X-Men movies in terms of spreading the wealth, even if a lot of the supporting cast is still just kind of there. Fun production values.
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Old June 9 2011, 05:09 PM   #495
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


46. POTC: On Stranger Tides: B-
47. Turtles Forever: A-
48. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story: B+
49. Easy A: A
50. Inception: B

Yes, I finally got around to seeing this film after hearing all they hype. Sometimes that can work against a film imo. It's a well made, well acted, quality production. I enjoy movies that make you work or think a bit. This movie has the viewer doing overtime. I give it a 'B' score only cause after doing so much 'work' trying to keep things straight I was still unclear on a few things. Was the old man at the beginning crucial? Was that Saito or Cobb? The way he looked at the top I thought it was maybe an older Cobb. If Saito what had held him in the dream state so long?
The whole 3 dream deep device was a bit much at times. Where are we, whose dreaming, whose in control and so forth.

As I was watching it I couldn't help but feel as if the movie in some part, if not large part, was a riff on themes explored in The Matrix. What is reality? What is possible? Are you, You?

With so many layered dreams taking place in the film I'm left with the question that no doubt has been covered ad naseum, is Cobb back in the real world or still dreaming? I actually question if the whole movie was one BIG dream, were we ever in the real world? When I can't come to that answer concretely on one viewing that's why I'm going 'B' grade.

Before I send it back to Netflix I'm going to try and make time to watch it one more time, see if it clears anything up for me.
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