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Old August 7 2011, 07:38 AM   #616
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

^ I felt totally the opposite about "Robin Hood". Crowe mumbled his way through the part, Cate Blanchett was not her usual exceptional self, and the script was incredibly flawed and weak (probably due to like near eight writers it had). This film pretty much ruined Crowe and Scott's relationship with all the squabbling that went on during filming. Just a mess of a film.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) C+. One of my favorite books, and among one of my favorite of the films despite the low grade. It also has extra nerd cred for featuring a pre-Doctor David Tennant! I think this is really the first of the films to get really dark and dangerous.
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Old August 7 2011, 11:56 AM   #617
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Killers - Netflix Instant
Push - DVD rental
Ron White: Behavioral Problems - DVD rental
All*Star Superman - DVD rental
Captain America: The First Avenger - midnight screenin'
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - DVD rental
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One - DVD
The King's Speech - DVD rental
Get Low - DVD rental

First off, let me say, I am not a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, and Deathly Hallows, Part One did not when me over, but after seein' that the second part made a billion dollars worldwide in two weeks, I was curious. And I have seen the previous movies. I really don't get the appeal of the character, but I have friends who love everything there is about Harry Potter, and I was able to borrow a copy on DVD.

But, hey, at least I've seen it...

The King's Speech cleaned up at the Oscars & I wanted to see why...meh. It was alright, I suppose...I liked Geoffrey Rush's speech therapist, but didn't really care for anyone else in the movie.

Get Low was one of the films featured at SxSW a couple of years ago, and Bill Murray runnin' 'round Austin became a kind of game for folks to try to track him down and not get autographs from him...I remember a girl at Blockbuster talkin' about how a friend of her's was plannin' a screenplay about it all, titled "What About Bill?"

Anyway, watchd the movie last night, and it was pretty good, not great, though. Robert Duvall was awesome, as expected, and Sissy Spacek was alright. I don't think Bill Murray was in it enough, and his character didn't seem too consistent to me...

It was nice to see Gerald McRaney in a supportin' role, too.

Not sure what I'll be seein' next...
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Old August 7 2011, 11:02 PM   #618
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

112. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (A-)
113. Star Crash (F)


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Capra's Washington, DC movie is a crowd-pleaser, and it still works (for the most part) today. I'm not thrilled by the hoops the movie goes through to make Smith's state so ambiguous, and Claude Rains breaks a little too easily in the end, but I still enjoyed it in the end. And the audience of undergraduates I saw it with clapped at the end, something they didn't do for any other movie this quarter.

Star Crash: A colorful, vivacious, and ultimately incomprehensible Italian science fiction movie that does it's best to rip off Star Wars (as well as every other s.f. movie ever made) in the course of two hours. It's astounding how hard it is to follow the plot -- clearly, the director loves the way old space operas looked, but had no understanding of them (or the English language) beyond that. Christopher Plummer appears, paying off some gambling debts or something, and manages to deliver a moving speech or two, but what they're about is anybody's guess. And, of course, the Hoff himself shows up in the second half of the movie, taking things much too seriously and still out-acting most of his co-stars. My favorite part is probably the robot sidekick, who speaks in a Southern accent and gets killed off more times than I could count (yet keeps coming back). What a mess. A nice John Barry score, though (apparently, the director wouldn't show him the movie, fearing Barry would quit -- a wise move, I think).

131 movies so far this year.
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Old August 8 2011, 01:49 AM   #619
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Scream 4 (C+) - Had some ok moments but its really time to end this franchise no need for 2nd trilogy, too predictable now and even when it pulls a twist it feels like too much of a jump.

Casino Jack (B-) - Entertaining film with laughs and great acting from Kevin Spacey. Makes a great point about how two faced Washington is and full of massive hypocrites yes I am looking at you John McCain.
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Old August 8 2011, 03:08 PM   #620
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


61. Passion Play: D+
62. Captain America: The First Avenger: A-
63. Marley & Me: A
64. Date Night: C+
65. Frantic: B+
66. Presumed Innocent: A
67. Invictus: A
68. Rocky: A


Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. The story of how Mandela was released from prison after nearly 30yrs as apartheid comes to a close in South Africa and his rise to the Presidency. How he makes a "human calculation" to inspire and rally both races in his country to be more than they thought they could be. He works with the National Springbok Rugby team and together great things happen in an unsuspecting way. Mandela, despite some actions that led to his imprisonment as a political terrorist(actions he regrets based on what I read on wiki) is truly an inspiring man of forgiveness and compassion upon his release and Presidency. At just over 2hrs 10min long it does feel that long but it's a very good film.

Rocky, the original and staying with a sport theme for the weekend. I hadn't seen this film in a good 15 years and it really does hold up. With the last installment fresher on my memory it only enhances what a great saga the whole Rocky affair is as a whole. About 2 months ago I got the Blu-Ray set so I'll be watching those and adding them to my list here as well. Can't wait to revist Rocky 2-5 in the coming days time permitting.


Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
tomalak301 wrote: View Post
21. Robin Hood (2010) - B-

Gladiator this is not, but I enjoyed it to a certain extent. Crowe was good in the role and Blanchett played her part well (It was kind of like her character in Lord of the Rings though) but the movie felt a little bit too long and a little disjointed at times. The Visuals were stunning though.
^ I felt totally the opposite about "Robin Hood". Crowe mumbled his way through the part, Cate Blanchett was not her usual exceptional self, and the script was incredibly flawed and weak (probably due to like near eight writers it had). This film pretty much ruined Crowe and Scott's relationship with all the squabbling that went on during filming. Just a mess of a film.
I admit going into the theater I had certain expectations for the Crowe Robin Hood and left underwhelmed and a bit WTF'ed? I can't recall but I think I graded it a C then. Upon digesting it and rewatching it a second time on DVD, this time knowning what the movies approach was vs expectations I found it more enjoyable and moved my grade up to a B/B-
It's for sure a Robin Hood film that breaks a bit from the mold only to come back around to the mold of traditional RH by it's end.
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Old August 8 2011, 03:45 PM   #621
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Killers - Netflix Instant
Push - DVD rental
Ron White: Behavioral Problems - DVD rental
All*Star Superman - DVD rental
Captain America: The First Avenger - midnight screenin'
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - DVD rental
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One - DVD
The King's Speech - DVD rental
Get Low - DVD rental
Dan in Real Life - DVD

I did not pick this movie. Never in a million years would I have picked this movie to watch. The folks I'm stayin' with here in North Carolina picked this movie & I was a captive audience.

Just don't watch it, ever...seriously. Dane Cook is in it!!!
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Old August 8 2011, 07:06 PM   #622
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

114. The Man Who Fell to Earth (C+)
115. Citizen Kane (A)
116. Casablanca (A)


The Man Who Fell to Earth: I caught a print of this film at a midnight show, and upon leaving a friend uttered a description that seems pretty appropriate. "Well," he said, "that was a good movie on paper." David Bowie is perfectly cast as an alien, and the supporting cast, which includes Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Bernie Casey, and Buck Henry is good as well in the human roles. Nic Roeg (Don't Look Back, Walkabout, Performance) is a good, if indulgent, director. Paul Mayersberg, who adapts the Walter Tevis novel, is a talented screenwriter.

Somehow, though, it just doesn't come together. For one thing, the plot is just too thin to sustain the 139 minute running time (it feels more like a movie that should end after 90 minutes). The film opens with an excerpt from Holst's Mars, but the movie is never as epic as those ambitions. Candy Clark plays a character that is exactly as annoying as she's supposed to be -- but, damn, is her performance a hard one to watch. And Roeg embarks upon some tangents (Bowie's alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, seems to be able to see the pioneer days in the rear-view mirror of his car) that don't go anywhere. In the end, the film gets some mileage out of the casting of Bowie (he's perfect for the role), but is ultimately an ambitious failure. But I'll take its ambition over most play-it-safe science fiction movies most days.

Citizen Kane: What can be said about Orson Welles' classic that hasn't been said already? It's a triumph of filmmaking, and probably the best film to come out of classical Hollywood (though it was, of course, completely atypical of that period).

Casablanca: A triumph of character over plot, I enjoy this film as much as when I first saw it. The dialogue is terrific (though I do find Bogart's final speech, seemingly a collection of every great zinger laying around at Warner Bros. rather than an actual speech, to be a bit silly) and the actors are excellent (though we can exclude Paul Henreid, who has about as much charisma as a piece of paper). It's best not to get into the plot, which made no sense when the film was released in 1942 and makes even less sense today, but it's worth every nonsensical narrative path for just one scene between Claude Rains and Humphrey Bogart.

132 films so far this year.
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Old August 9 2011, 05:47 PM   #623
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


65. Frantic: B+
66. Presumed Innocent: A
67. Invictus: A
68. Rocky: A
69. Hurt Locker: A+

Went over to a friends house last night after work and she had this from Netflix. So that was what we watched, I can take it out of my queue now at least. So glad I finally saw this. My enthusiasim for Jeremy Renner is going up for The Avengers and if he's as badass in MI:4 as he looks then his star will likely be that much higher by May '12.

This movie is intense, dramatic, suspensful and very documentary-esque. It's hard to say if I had a favorite scene cause I was engrossed the whole time. For some movies you can have idle chatter but she and I were both locked into this movie. There was one small scene that did make an impact. The moment you realize that after "Beckham is dead and another "Beckham" shows up in the "safe zone" you can realize the depths the enemy goes to in order to lull your defenses down. That scene was revealing and since the screenplay was written by an embedded journalist I'm inclined to think there is all truth to that moment just as other moments in the film.

I'm glad this won best picture that year over the flashy light spetacle of Avatar that was a very hollow character, plot movie.
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Old August 9 2011, 06:07 PM   #624
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
The moment you realize that after "Beckham is dead and another "Beckham" shows up in the "safe zone" you can realize the depths the enemy goes to in order to lull your defenses down.
Huh? There was nothing nefarious about that; the point of that scene was that the dead boy was not, in fact, the DVD seller. James was mistaken.
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Old August 9 2011, 06:47 PM   #625
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


Killers - Netflix Instant
Push - DVD rental
Ron White: Behavioral Problems - DVD rental
All*Star Superman - DVD rental
Captain America: The First Avenger - midnight screenin'
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - DVD rental
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One - DVD
The King's Speech - DVD rental
Get Low - DVD rental
Dan in Real Life - DVD
Thor: Tales of Asgard - DVD rental
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights - DVD rental

Used up the last of my free rental coupons to pick up the two animated movie tie-ins of the summer.

Thor is set before the hero gets his hammer & he and Loki are still the best of friends/brothers & such. The go out on a quest with the Warriors Three to find a sword, which apparently every young Asgardian does...and Thor actually finds the damn thing, which no one has done before. And hijinks ensue from there...

Didn't care much for the movie at all. But, it did help me understand the characters better from the live action movie, since I know next to nothin' about Thor's comic mythology, anyway.

The Green Lantern movie was a lot better. Its an anthology with Hal tellin' a new Lantern stories about the Corps while waitin' for an enemy of the Guardians to attack. My favorite of the stores was the one for Mogo, the livin' planet. Nathan Fillion did a good job as the voice of Hal, but I didn't care much for the voice actor that did Killowag. That dude just didn't sound right at all...
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Old August 9 2011, 07:21 PM   #626
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Captain Craig wrote: View Post
The moment you realize that after "Beckham is dead and another "Beckham" shows up in the "safe zone" you can realize the depths the enemy goes to in order to lull your defenses down.
Huh? There was nothing nefarious about that; the point of that scene was that the dead boy was not, in fact, the DVD seller. James was mistaken.
Are you sure? Maybe I was just so attached to following James I was feeling very "in tune" with his perceptions when we see dead "Beckham".
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Old August 9 2011, 07:38 PM   #627
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I like The Hurt Locker, but it takes some liberties with realism that I don't care for. It's definitely a Best Picture winner that has only been fading in esteem since it won, at least in my eyes.

117. The Best Years of Our Lives (B+)
118. eXistenZ (C)
119. Sullivan’s Travels (B-)


The Best Years of Our Lives: William Wyler's Academy-Award winning post-war melodrama isn't quite as good a film the second time around, but it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination. The performances are mostly strong, and Gregg Toland's deep focus photography (though much less expressionistic than his photography for Citizen Kane) is terrific.

However, as good as non-actor Harold Russell is as the returning veteran Homer (he won not one, but two Academy Awards for the role), you start to notice upon second viewing how much Wyler keeps him off-screen. And it's not difficult to see why. The character has a rather straight-forward arc, and the actor doesn't have a lot of range. Secondly, Fredrich March as Al also seems to get the short end. He shows signs of alcoholism due to war traumas, and by the end of the film...he's still showing signs of alcoholism (in the end, the film plays this for an easy laugh, rather than deal with the issue). With a running time of 172 minutes, the film still has trouble telling three complete stories. For the most part, the troubles of the third returning veteran, Fred, overwhelm the narrative, even becoming the center of attention during Homer's wedding at the end of the film.

eXistenZ: Twelve years after release, David Cronenberg's film about virtual reality probably doesn't hold up as well as when it was first shown. You can see the writer/director trying to work out the world of online gaming...but not quite getting there. And then there's the ending, which indicates that the entire movie up until the last scene was simply a simulation (and then the last shot suggests that perhaps the entire movie was a simulation). This makes it hard to be invested in the characters, and since the movie is so half-baked intellectually, it's hard to care about anything. Still, it's stylish, with a good cast and a healthy dose of Cronenberg's signature body horror. It just doesn't have much beyond that surface.

Sullivan's Travels: This film has been ranked very highly among American cinema by some (Errol Morris recently said it was one of his five favorite films ever made), but I don't think it's quite as good as that. As a screwball comedy, it works best when it's just two people in a room (usually, the romantic leads -- a Hollywood director and an out of work actress he meets in a crummy diner) bantering with each other. Too often, though, the film goes for a big laugh and falls short. I was reminded of Spielberg's 1941, a movie which has a lot of loud things being destroyed...that just aren't funny.

Secondly, there's the ending of the film, which is supposed to be triumphant, but just leaves me with a lot of questions about class disparity. The director ends up in a work camp in some backwater state, since he's assaulted a police officer after being told to leave the freight station he's at. For convoluted reasons, he's presumed dead, and can only remember his name after he's been sentenced. He finally comes up with a scheme to get his picture in the paper and let his friends know he's still alive. After this, he promptly gets released. Apparently, rich Hollywood types don't get sent to prison, even when they've pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.

A lot of words there -- too many, probably. 133 films so far this year.
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Old August 9 2011, 07:46 PM   #628
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

By movies, if we're just categorizing them as "films seen at the theater" then here's my list thus far:


Tron Legacy
Thor
Captain America: The First Avenger
Super 8
Cowboys & Aliens
Midnight in Paris
The Social Network
Green Lantern
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Raiders of the Lost Ark
-- at the L.A. 30th Anniversary screening, no less!

I also attended a double screening at the Hollywood Egyptian theater back in April(?) and saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (and was asked to leave my seat because, apparently, it was George Takei's), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (where Walter Koenig faceplanted into a theater seat while walking down the aisle to the stage for his Q&A panel afterward), and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
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Old August 9 2011, 09:06 PM   #629
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Captain Craig wrote: View Post
The moment you realize that after "Beckham is dead and another "Beckham" shows up in the "safe zone" you can realize the depths the enemy goes to in order to lull your defenses down.
Huh? There was nothing nefarious about that; the point of that scene was that the dead boy was not, in fact, the DVD seller. James was mistaken.
Are you sure? Maybe I was just so attached to following James I was feeling very "in tune" with his perceptions when we see dead "Beckham".
There was some confusion around this, but both Bigelow and Boal confirm that it's the real Beckham on the DVD Commentary.
Harvey wrote: View Post
I like The Hurt Locker, but it takes some liberties with realism that I don't care for. It's definitely a Best Picture winner that has only been fading in esteem since it won, at least in my eyes.
My choice for that year would have been Inglourious Basterds, but I thought The Hurt Locker was a worthy enough winner, and a rare successful attempt to do an Iraq War movie (in general, I find that great movies about any given conflict are generally only made when the war is over).

Secondly, Fredrich March as Al also seems to get the short end. He shows signs of alcoholism due to war traumas, and by the end of the film...he's still showing signs of alcoholism (in the end, the film plays this for an easy laugh, rather than deal with the issue).
Al's story is about his issues with his bank (and, by extension, class differences between him and other soldiers), not about alcohol. I do agree that on watching it I wondered whether March could really be considered the film's lead actor, though (even if he was, I don't think he should won Best Actor over Jimmy Stewart's tour de force in It's A Wonderful Life).

Regarding Sullivan's Travels, I ordered the box set of Sturges' films (well, seven of the eight) a couple of days ago, so I'll be offering my own opinion on them in the near future.
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Old August 10 2011, 03:34 AM   #630
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Surrogates - B

A very enjoyable flick and well worth 2 hours of your time plus has a slight Minorty Report feel to it IMO. Good action and a very interesting take on what technology can do to us as a species.
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