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Old August 19 2011, 10:02 PM   #661
zakkrusz
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates in Bold:

The Adjustment Bureau (8)
Afro Samurai: Resurrection (7)
Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Alone Again (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Finder (8)
Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (8)
Babylon 5: River of Souls (7)
Babylon 5: Thirdspace (7)
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)
Broken Blade 6: Bastions of Sorrow (9)Cowboys and Aliens (8)
Captain America: The First Avenger (8)
Cutthroat Island (9)
Drive Angry (7)
Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance (9)
Godkiller (6)
Green Lantern (8)
Hanna (8)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (8)
Honey and Clover (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)
Outlander (8)
Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides (9)
Priest (5)
Source Code (9)
Super 8 (8)
Thor (9)
Time of Eve (10)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (9)
Unknown (7)
Versus (6)
X-Men: First Class (8)
Your Highness (3)
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Old August 20 2011, 02:39 AM   #662
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


110. The Tree of Life (?)

Hmm.

I've now seen three of Terrence Malick's five films, and I would say this is my favourite of the them, but at the same time I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. It's certainly the most ambitious film I've seen so far this year, and there's a decent chance it will still hold that title at year's end. At the same time, I think Malick's reach exceeds his grasp here.

People have been comparing this to 2001: A Space Odyssey - on the one hand, I think that movie had a more sensical progression between the different segments; conversely, Malick's humanism makes for a much better viewing experience than Kubrick's relentless detachment. The core story about the family in the 1950s is excellent. The other parts, including the origins of the universe (!), the future segments with Sean Penn, and a lot of the ending, are a bit more dubious. I can see what Malick is trying to do, but I don't think he quite pulls it off. I found myself thinking he'd have done better to scale back his vision a bit and really focus on the childhood segment.

In terms of acting, Brad Pitt gives another strong performance (he really is a character actor in a leading man's body). Sean Penn is out of place. I imagine that, given Malick's way with editing, there's a lot more too his part on the cutting room floor, but the result is his being in the movie for maybe five minutes, and there's not nearly enough time for him to become accepted as the adult Jack. The kid playing the young Jack is superb; one of the best child actors I've seen in a long time. This is the second Jessica Chastain movie I've seen in as many weeks, and she does very well in the idealized, somewhat ethereal role of the mother. If nothing else, the film is a tribute to Chastain's beauty; Malick's camera worships her (in a non-sexual way).

And speaking of Malick's camera, this should probably be the frontrunner for Best Cinematography this year.
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Old August 20 2011, 03:19 PM   #663
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I saw I Love You, Man and Peaceful Warrior. I Love You, Man came off like a Judd Apatow movie. I was surprised to see that he wasn't involved. And Peaceful Warrior was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I really liked a lot of what it had to say and recomend it, but I suspect that some might find it too "new-agey". It's based on the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.

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Old August 20 2011, 11:32 PM   #664
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


73. Cowboys & Aliens: B
74. Wonder Woman (DC Animated): B+
75. Rocky V: B-
76. Conan The Barbarian('11): B-
77. Dinner for Schmucks: D


Saw a matinee of the new Conan with Jason Mamoa and overall I liked it. I did a brief write up in the review thread. Bottom line it was entertaining if about 10-15 min too long imo. Jason was a great Conan.

Dinner for Schmucks, oh god the humanity. I've watched this so you don't have to, so don't. Really, don't. I don't often follow this advice but sometimes I should(Wicker Man w/Nic Cage for example). About 30min into the movie I kept going, "When is the dinner?" All of the lead up to the dinner was very dull, very boring and not often funny. Long stretches of blah! The two friends I watched it with agree it was a stinker and our female friend really, really likes Steve Carrell and she had to say it made Date Night look good and she only kinda liked that movie. She cut Steve no slack for this one though.
I see it didn't even do a $100m worldwide on a $69m budget, good. I'd hate Hollywood to think people wanted more like this.


For Odo and anyone else curious I had success at Best Buy with my swap of the Rocky set. Turns out I did give my phone number for the purchase so I was on file in the Rewards progam. Even if I hadn't the Rocky V disc had been double pressed, two discs stuck together. I didn't catch it but the customer service mgr did and would've swapped it out due to manufacture defect + MGM had issued a notice to retailers back in March of issues with the set. So, it all worked out and it was the first positive customer service experience I've had with Best Buy in some time.
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Old August 21 2011, 01:39 AM   #665
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


110. The Tree of Life (?)
111. The Lady Eve (A-)

That's more like it. Sturges finally makes it to something a modern audience would recognize as feature length, and also lands some actors that modern audiences would recognize (Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda). Parts of the movie still happen at a breakneck pace - Jean's softening, which under most circumstances would be the plot of the movie on its own, happens by the twenty-minute mark. This is a laudably orginal story, but it's a little jarring all the same. Great performances from everybody, especially Stanwyck, on whose work the movie turns. Though William Demarest's schtick isn't really as funny as I imagine Sturges thought it was (he's been in all three of the movies I've seen, and a glance at the IMDB tells me he's in all the others too).
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Old August 21 2011, 04:51 AM   #666
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
... For Odo and anyone else curious I had success at Best Buy with my swap of the Rocky set. Turns out I did give my phone number for the purchase so I was on file in the Rewards progam. Even if I hadn't the Rocky V disc had been double pressed, two discs stuck together. I didn't catch it but the customer service mgr did and would've swapped it out due to manufacture defect + MGM had issued a notice to retailers back in March of issues with the set. So, it all worked out and it was the first positive customer service experience I've had with Best Buy in some time.
Cool.



Also, that Dinner movie is a bad one - none of the jokes worked, at all. Saw it with friends at a free screenin' a few days before it opened last year, and felt bad for gettin' everyone their passes.
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Old August 21 2011, 06:03 PM   #667
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



58. Rear Window - A. Another masterful work by Alfred Hitchcock, whose films I am only now familiarizing myself with. I thought the sets and the cinematography were the highlights here, though the story and the performances were also quite strong. Quite a creepy film due to it's voyeuristic point of view which is used for much of the screen time.

59. Stranger Than Paradise (1984) - B. The independent film that seemed to define a style that would come into prominence ten years later, Jim Jarmusch's breakthrough film is a minimalist comedy about hipsters living in a time before hipsters really existed. Pretty good. Not my favorite film of his (I like when he is able to layer things on a bit more thickly), but is notable for succeeding on such a low budget, and for employing first-time actors for the three lead roles.

60. Get Low - B. Pretty solid film with a great cast.
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Old August 21 2011, 09:42 PM   #668
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Playing catchup for the entire year so far...

5 star
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
127 Hours
True Grit
(2010)
Witness for the Prosecution
Winter's Bone
Toy Story 3


4 star
Black Swan
Rango
Source Code
Tomorrow
Megamind
Tangled
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Conviction
Unstoppable
Despicable Me
The Social Network
Lebanon
How to Train Your Dragon
The Kids Are All Right
Exit Through the Gift Shop

Kick-Ass

3 star
Limitless
Unknown
9
Ride with the Devil
TRON: Legacy
Hereafter
The Next Three Days
Waste Land
A Film Unfinished
The Last Train Home
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Predators
A Prophet


2 star
Get Him to the Greek
Centurion

I've gotten pretty good at pre-screening movies so that I rarely see anything below the 3-star level.
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Old August 22 2011, 03:13 AM   #669
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Sean Penn is out of place. I imagine that, given Malick's way with editing, there's a lot more too his part on the cutting room floor, but the result is his being in the movie for maybe five minutes, and there's not nearly enough time for him to become accepted as the adult Jack.
I agree, although I still think the film warranted an "A." In any event, Malick is working on a 6-hour (!) version of the film for home video, so I wouldn't be surprised if there was more meat to Sean Penn's part included in that version.
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Old August 22 2011, 03:45 AM   #670
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


110. The Tree of Life (B+)
111. The Lady Eve (A-)
112. Sullivan's Travels (B+)

This is Preston Sturges' most acclaimed film, and in many people's minds one of the best of all time; Erik Beck, for instance, named it the best film of 1942 in his history of film/the Academy Awards. I don't rate it that highly; I'd put both The Lady Eve and the film I'm reviewing after this above it. It's a pretty good movie, all things considered, but it still has the problems I've had with Sturges' first two films: sudden major shifts in tone. It goes from farce (though the pratfalls are much, much better-executed in this one and don't feel out of place, for the most part) to social melodrama and back with hardly any transition. This is particularly noticeable at the end, where you get what feels like an outtake from I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang then we cut to Hollywood and we get a lengthy wordless physical comedy sequence set to a jaunty score.

There's plenty to like about it, though. Sturges has a lot of fun with his depiction of Hollywood and the people in it. There's a welcome degree of intelligence to things; for instance, he even challenges whether Sullivan's experiment is a good idea and raises the question of whether this is just voyeurism on the part of the wealthy. Joel McCrea (Sturges' primary leading man) is a good lead. Veronica Lake, though I thought a bit flat in a few places, is also quite good, and has a few very affecting moments. Sturges' regular crew of supporting players is present and on the ball per usual (between the Capra box-set and the Sturges box-set, I can now readily identify a bunch of bit-players who hung around the Paramount lot and were in basically everything, like Arthur Hoyt).

Harvey wrote: View Post
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.
I would say it's less a case of the powerful getting off scot-free than the powerful having connections to keep them from being railroaded, because the trial that Sullivan received was a travesty of justice on a number of counts (he was delirious from being assaulted when he hit the man, he was tried while still obviously unfit to stand trial, his public defender plead him guilty without consultation, etc.).

113. The Palm Beach Story (A+)

Now that's more like it. This is easily the funniest movie I've seen from the Golden Age of Hollywood. I've complained in the past of Sturges' issues with tone, but that's decidedly not present here: this is full-on screwball comedy, and incredibly funny at that. McCrea is the male lead again here, opposite Claudette Colbert (personally, I prefer this performance to her work in It Happened One Night, and she was great there too; actually, now that I think about it, there's a similar runaway woman theme). McCrea's competent, but Colbert is exceptional, alongside a panoply of wacky supporting characters (including Hoyt and William Demarest, once again) who for one don't feel out of place in the least. But the MVP is Rudy Vallee (apparently a famous band leader of the period) as an ersatz John D. Rockefeller Jr.; virtually all of his lines are funny on their own, and Vallee's delivery makes them even funnier. I admittedly haven't seen Van Heflin in Johnny Eager, but it'd have to be a really great performance to deserve Best Supporting Actor over Vallee's work here. The Maltese Falcon's Mary Astor is also quite good as his sister. And if the ending of Christmas in July could be seen from a mile away, this film's ending could probably never be predicted, but, in retrospect, fits amazingly well.
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Old August 22 2011, 03:54 PM   #671
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


74. Wonder Woman (DC Animated): B+
75. Rocky V: B-
76. Conan The Barbarian('11): B-
77. Dinner for Schmucks: D
78. Nothing But the Truth: B


This 2008 legal thriller about the 1st Amendment vs National Security has some roots in the Valarie Plame ordeal but not exclusively as mentioned in the documentaries.
Starring Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Angela Bassett, Alan Alda and David Schwimmer it's a well done movie and I didn't see the twist coming.

Kate plays a reporter, Rachel, from the Sun Times who reveals an undercover CIA operative as it relates to intel used by the White House for a retalliation strike for the attempted assasination attempt on the President.

Matt Dillion places the Special Prosecutor who will go to any lengths to get Rachel to reveal her source. Alan Alda plays the attorney for the Sun Times who is working to free Rachel after she is imprisoned for not giving up her source.

Angela Bassett plays her editor at the Sun Times
David Schwimmer plays her husband who essentially gives up on her after a year in prison. Cheats on her then divorces her.

I give it a B, if only cause Rachel's source seems to be a very hyperbolic example of a source. It's to say, see, see this is why you can't reveal the source. Despite she collaborated it her "intel" other places Rachels intial source is:


The issue is a fine line one for sure. The statments made in the movie about holding govenment accountable is important. If they can intimidate people into not being media sources then our system falls into something really bad. Which type of bad is debatable but bad all the same.
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Old August 23 2011, 03:53 AM   #672
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


110. The Tree of Life (B+)
111. The Lady Eve (A-)
112. Sullivan's Travels (B+)
113. The Palm Beach Story (A+)
114. A Passage to India (A-)

Sir David Lean bids the silver screen adieu, and, unlike far too many directors, does so with a very strong film (even if it isn't remembered to the extent that Kwai, Lawrence, and Zhivago are). As a choice of adaptation for Lean, E. M. Forster is simultaneously a bit of an odd choice and a fitting one. Odd because Forster's novels were essentially small, while Lean's approach to film from the late 1950s onward was large-scale (three Forster adaptations following this one were done by the more confined Sir James Ivory). Fitting because Lean's films actually share quite a few of Forster's themes, mainly class difference, questions of Englishness, and, in the case of A Passage to India, critiques of the late British Empire.

While the story might at first seem to offer comparatively little chance for Lean's love of scope, it quickly becomes apparent that India itself is the scope; Lean lavishly brings to life the teeming cityscapes and the countryside. That plays well into the theme of the enormity of India and the challenge it poses to the British. Very strong performances from the various actors, especially Judy Davis and Dame Peggy Ashcroft. I was initially a bit unsure what I thought of Victor Banerjee's performance as the main Indian character, but I gradually came to like it. Lean staple Sir Alec Guinness feels out of place playing a Brahmin ascetic (I also question what the morals his aloof character is preaching have to do with the events of the film). I think Lean could have been a bit quicker to end the film, though - it feels like it arrives at the story's natural conclusion just after the trial (but that's not where the book ended, so that's hardly a great offense).
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Old August 23 2011, 02:01 PM   #673
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The Girlfriend Experience: It was directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Sasha Grey. I enjoyed the movie. It's shot like a student film/docudrama and it grew on me a bit more after I've had time to reflect on it. As for Sasha, I've always found her attractive with her Megan Fox looks, but she's also a fascinating person, and she's one of the few porn stars who managed to rise above the fray. I hope she continues to get more mainstream work.
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Old August 24 2011, 07:54 PM   #674
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


110. The Tree of Life (B+)
111. The Lady Eve (A-)
112. Sullivan's Travels (B+)
113. The Palm Beach Story (A+)
114. A Passage to India (A-)
115. Glengarry Glen Ross (A-)

One of those films that exists outside the director auteur theory, being as it is the sole notable contribution to cinema from James Foley, whose resume includes ten other exceptionally unexceptional films. In this case, the main influence is obviously writer David Mamet.

Great ensemble cast, including Alec Baldwin's legendary cameo that ranks up there with Ned Beatty in Network in the "one great monologue" category. Jack Lemmon gives perhaps his greatest dramatic performance as the fading star Shelley (though it's amusing to watch this performance knowing that it was the inspiration for Gil on The Simpsons). Mamet's dialogue is of course the star attraction here, and it's quite good - thought the constant talk about "the leads" gets tiring after a while, and there are times when conversations go nowhere for a little too long. Nonetheless, he does a great job generating tension out of these conversations.
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Old August 24 2011, 10:39 PM   #675
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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
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths - DVD
Planet Hulk - DVD rental
Alien vs Predator: Requium - Unrated - DVD rental
Fright Night (1985) - DVD
John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) - DVD
50/50 - free screenin'
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - DVD

Stayin' with my sister, her husband & their two kids (my oldest nephews), and this seems to be one of their favorite movies, since we watched it last night & they put it in to watch again today after school.

...ugh...

I've seen most of the first one, so I get what's goin' on, though it isn't really necessary. And this is definately a movie for preteen kids.

There is one joke, a reference the mother makes to a family band & it cuts to the characters as the Partridge Family. I asked my sister, "How many kids are gonna get that?" She said, "its for the grown ups."

Yeah, whatever...guess its the only joke "for the grown ups."

And I gotta say, its pretty tough to watch new movies on DVD here since I suggested most of the stuff my sister has bought!!!
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