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Old September 4 2011, 05:46 PM   #691
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I saw cloumbiana with my girlfriend and her friends and let me tell you that movie sucked.

Story is shotty and the "action" scenes made me laugh more than anything just by the shear improbability of the situations and the outcome.

All in all it's an ok movie if you like loud noises but other than that I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old September 4 2011, 06:14 PM   #692
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


120. Patton (A)
121. Pan's Labyrinth (A+)
122. The Debt (B+)
123. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (A-)

Another Kubrick film, and one of the better ones. A lot of people say they found this funnier than I did, but I attribute a lot of that to the fact that so many of the most famous lines are so familiar before you even watch it. Kubrick's detached directorial style is a lot more suited to this sort of black comedy where it doesn't feel like you should empathise with anyone anyway. The visual effects, I have to say, are terrible.

124. The Pawnbroker (A-)

Another of Sidney Lumet's early films, and one of the early Holocaust movies (Holocaust aftermath, in this case); also sees Lumet pioneering the gritty inner-city setting that he would use in so many of his later films. And it torpedoed the Hays Code. This is basically a performance movie, all about watching Rod Steiger's amazing work as the title character. It's a terrific piece of work. The surroundings/plot are a bit less impressive, but it's still a very well-done, grim little piece of storytelling. Also, I imagine the budget on this was fairly tight, but the little glimpses we get of Auschwitz are rather unconvincing compared to later Holocaust movies. An atypically cast Brock Peters was fun as one of the villains.
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Old September 4 2011, 07:23 PM   #693
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


77. Dinner for Schmucks: D
78. Nothing But the Truth: B
79. Snow Angels: B+
80. Everybody's Fine: C-
81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A+

It's rare I give the A+ but in reflection I can't think of anything about the film that didn't work. I finally got around to seeing this yesterday over the Labor Day weekend. I originally had low expectations. Then when "real" people around me began raving about it in addition to the critics which I always take with a grain of salt my expectations went up. It still met them.

The movie spends a good part of Acts I & II building the drama and development of Caesar and the other Apes/Chimps he comes into contact with. The emotional impact of the film is what was as surprising as anything. Kudos to Andy Serkis and the Weta team for pulling this off.

Stay for the credits, a sequence starts about 30 sec into the credits and I almost missed them not thinking this film would have a mid/post credit sequence.

Great film!!! One more summer film on my list (Fright Night) then I'm done till Paranormal Activity 3 in October.
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Old September 6 2011, 01:28 AM   #694
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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
15. Easy A (2010) - B
16. Bridesmaids (2011) - A+
17. Super 8 (2011) - B+
18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010) - B-
19. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) - B+
20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011) - B
21. Robin Hood (2010) - B-
22. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) - B

A decent movie, and much better than the Mark Wahlberg film from the early oughts. Heck, I'd say it was a worthy prequel, even though it took a little time to actually get to the Apes rising. Really felt though the Apes were the best parts of the movie, so what that says about the human characters I don't know, other than Pinto looking really nice, again, here.
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Old September 6 2011, 05:15 PM   #695
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

134. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (B)
135. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (B+)


Escape from the Planet of the Apes: This sequel goes through a lot of hoops just to exist (the whole world having been destroyed by a massive nuclear explosion in the last film), but once you get over that it's actually a pretty good little sequel. It's nice having Roddy McDowall back as Cornelius, and the rest of the cast does nicely. And the ending! How the Apes films managed to continue getting away with such downbeat endings (here, the two ape protagonists are murdered, although their child manages to get away) I'll never understand.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: I used to rate the third Apes movie as the best sequel in the series -- but having seen this one again, in its director's cut form, I'm obliged to choose the fourth film instead. Brutal, dark, and wrapping up with an ending that more or less endorses violence as a means of social change this is nearly a great movie. Like all the ape sequels, it's just a little too cheap to be that, but it's still pretty good, and quite obvious why the producers of the latest Apes movie modeled their film after this one.

145 movies this year.
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Old September 7 2011, 01:24 AM   #696
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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
Repo Men- Unrated - DVD
Earth Girls Are Easy - DVD
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey - DVD
Tangled - DVD

Stayed with a friend in Temple the last few days, got to see a few movies I hadn't seen before, only one of which I really wanted to...

EGAE is really only good for the folks they got in the movie - Geena Davis, Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, Jeff Goldblum & Michael McKean. The story is beyond retarded, the actin' from the main cast, before they were really stars, shows how inexperienced they were, but ya can see Jim Carrey make faces before he was famous for it, so there's that.

[i]B&TBJ[/b] is also a dumb movie, but its the sequel for a dumb movie, so there wasn't much for them to work with...a couple of the jokes made me laugh, but sometimes I'm twelve.

Tangled was one I actually liked. Took three tries to see it, though...saw the beginnin', got interrupted, saw the end, and then, finally, the middle. I may rent the DVD just to watch it again without interruption. Yeah, it was that good.
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Old September 7 2011, 03:20 AM   #697
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

136. The Gunfight at the OK Corral (B+)

The problem with this movie is that Kirk Douglas is immensely watchable as Doc Holiday, but Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp (technically, the lead) is about as interesting as a piece of paper. It sparks with energy when Douglas is on screen, and goes limp when he's off it. Okay, it also is pretty energetic when the theme song, sung by Frankie Laine, comes in and out. I'm being a little hard on the movie here, though. It's a mostly enjoyable (and historically inaccurate as hell) Western with a good cast, including DeForest Kelley in a small role as one of the Earp brothers.
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Old September 8 2011, 01:41 AM   #698
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

James M. Cain triple-feature over the last few days, since I read his novels recently.


120. Patton (A)
121. Pan's Labyrinth (A+)
122. The Debt (B+)
123. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (A-)
124. The Pawnbroker (A-)
125. Double Indemnity (A)

Billy Wilder's third and breakout film in Hollywood. The first of Cain's novels to make it to the screen, based on the second of the three. It's fairly faithful, though the ending was changed a bit. Unlike most Hays Code-mandated endings, it doesn't deal out justice that would otherwise have been escaped. Instead, it just makes it more immediate. I guess the two criminals despairing and committing suicide wasn't conclusive enough; instead we get a murder and an arrest (with implied execution). Wildera also bulks up the role of Barton Keyes, to good effect (and featuring a strong performance from Edward G. Robinson, though Chief Wiggum is such a dead-on parody of his mannerisms that I have a bit of difficulty taking him seriously at times), and jettisons some of the more complicated bits of Cain's resolution (particularly, everything to do with Zachetti's backstory). Fred MacMurray is an interesting choice for the lead role. He talks about money and the woman as a lure, but as played by MacMurray he's a bit of a cold fish and doesn't seem to have that much of a sex drive - it seems like the third thing that he mentions, the intellectual attraction of seeing whether he can fool the insurance system, is the main attraction. Barbara Stanwyck is also very good. The changes to the ending also lead to an interestingly brutal dispatching of her character, though I wasn't sure whether her final hesitation was built up that well. Nonetheless, a very strong noir and definitely the best of the three.

126. Mildred Pierce (B+)

The ever-versatile Michael Curtiz at bat here, trying his hand at noir (he did just about everything in the course of his career, leaving little in the way of an auteur's signature other than being very good at making movies). The Hays Code-mandated changes to the story become more prominent in the later Cain adaptations; they're most evident here, because, alone of the three novels, here Cain has the bad guys get away with it, which obviously couldn't stand. But that's really just the beginning of it. Cain's original novel wasn't actually a noir, it was a family melodrama (which I guess isn't that far from many noirs), but it's been converted here into revolving around a climactic murder that didn't happen in the novel. It's a different story, albeit one that plays with many of the same themes (the recent Kate Winslet miniseries was, I understand, much more faithful). The bitterness of the ending is blunted considerably (not just in justice being served, but Mildred and Bert's reunion is weary but at least financially stable, compared to in the novel, where they're poor alcoholics living together in misery). For what it is, though, it's a well-done movie, with a strong lead performance by Joan Crawford and a very good Ann Blyth as the rotten Veda.

I understand that some people have interpreted this movie as a big "stay in the kitchen" lesson, but I don't see that at all, personally (it certainly isn't in the novel, and while the movie's been changed in many ways, I don't think it supports that conclusion).

127. The Postman Always Rings Twice (C-)

The last (1946) and least of the 40s Cain adaptations, based on the first of the three novels. The director's chair has gone from being occupied by one of Hollywood's all-time greats to one of its most adept studio directors to, on this film, Tay Garnett, whose resume stretched from the 1920s to the 1970s, but is remarkably unremarkable. This is his most famous film. As previously stated, I think the Hays Code hit Cain's works much harder than the novels of his contemporaries, Hammett and Chandler - Cain's protagonists were generally criminals rather than private eyes, and his depictions of sex were a lot more explicit and central to his characters. The previous two films managed, on the whole, to work the bowdlerization in acceptably. Here the ending is just all wrong, but it's all wrong in an especially fascinating way.

One of the most famous provisions of the Hays Code was that people had to be punished for their crimes: that wasn't a problem with this story, because both Frank and Cora die by the time it's over; in Frank's case, after getting away with murdering Cora's husband, he's found guilty of murdering Cora, which he actually didn't do. It's a wonderful bit of irony. But here there's an incredibly convoluted add-on that seems intended to assure the audience that Frank is actually being executed for the crime he committed, not the one he didn't commit, I guess to preserve faith in justice system. And it's made into this bizarrely redemptive moment for Frank, with swelling music and the prospect of being together with Cora wherever they go. Misses the mark by a mile (and, despite the Code, ends up being considerably more sympathetic to our criminal protagonists than was Cain). Before the ending, it was competent but unexceptional (Garnett's not nearly the stylist that Wilder and Curtiz were, so the shooting of the movie is pretty generic). Lana Turner is very good as Cora, I will say.

Oh, and the movie also attempts to explain what the title means - it's aiming for profundity, but doesn't really work.
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Old September 8 2011, 02:44 AM   #699
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

137. Oranges and Sunshine (B-)

I'm not quite sure why the release date of this film has been pushed back by over two years (I caught it at a preview screening; it still hasn't been released in the United States). It's not a perfect movie, but it's a serviceable drama with some good performances. Of course, it's not without its problems. Emily Watson's character doesn't encounter any significant obstacles until more than half way through the movie, and then the obstacles she does ultimately face don't really amount to much. This might be true to life (the film is based on a true story), but it doesn't make for the most exciting of drama. The biggest problem with the movie, though, is the characters. There are just too many of them for any one to be fully fleshed out. Watson, along with co-stars Hugo Weaving and David Wenham are all good, but the film never develops any of them into fully-fledged characters. It doesn't help that a significant portion of the film's screen time is devoted to vignettes of other characters who we get to learn even less about. Finally, the film's final voice over (a real life speech delivered by Gordon Brown) feels tacked on (and according to the press notes, it was).

Ultimately, it's a decent movie (and with a woman as the central character!), but it's not quite fully realized.
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Old September 9 2011, 01:51 AM   #700
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Updates in Bold:

Adieu Galaxy Express 999 (8)
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)
Bleach Movie 4: Hell Chapter (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)
Galaxy Express 999 (9)
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)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (9)
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 September 9 2011, 03:59 AM   #701
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


120. Patton (A)
121. Pan's Labyrinth (A+)
122. The Debt (B+)
123. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (A-)
124. The Pawnbroker (A-)
125. Double Indemnity (A)
126. Mildred Pierce (B+)
127. The Postman Always Rings Twice (C-)
128. The Great Dictator (A+)

Chaplin speaks!

And, to hear some people talk, that's the problem. The speech is certainly not comedy, as Ebert (and many others) have observed. But by the time he gives, the film isn't a comedy anymore; certainly not after we see a guy get gunned down. It's Chaplin's prayer for peace as the world was entering the greatest cataclysm in its history, which would consume 60 million souls. I couldn't help but be moved by it, given the time and the place, and what was really ahead for Hannah and her people.

Sir Charles himself later said that he known, he would never have made the film, which speaks to the true uniqueness of it. This is a film that could only have been made at the specific moment in time it was; no one, not even its own director, would ever conceive of approaching the subject in this manner (even divorcing the ending from the rest) within just a few years. It's an immediate film, and you could argue one of the most audacious ever made.

Bravo.
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Old September 10 2011, 02:48 AM   #702
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

138. Youth in Revolt (B+)

A blind buy that cost me four bucks, this turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. It has quite a good cast, and creatively uses claymation in certain scenes which prevents it from ever becoming dull. Nothing Earth-shattering in terms of cinema, but a good movie to sit down with one night.
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Old September 10 2011, 04:43 AM   #703
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


120. Patton (A)
121. Pan's Labyrinth (A+)
122. The Debt (B+)
123. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (A-)
124. The Pawnbroker (A-)
125. Double Indemnity (A)
126. Mildred Pierce (B+)
127. The Postman Always Rings Twice (C-)
128. The Great Dictator (A+)
129. La Belle et la Bete (B+)

Just because your country is in ruins, doesn't mean it's time to stop making movies.

This comes highly rated, and I think it has a lot of genuine positives, but I wouldn't rank it as highly as so many do. Many of its strengths are technical: considering the time period, the makeup is astonishingly good; if there'd been an Academy Award for it at that time, it should have been a shoo-in. Jean Cocteau accomplishes a quite effective fantasy atmosphere, particularly impressive given that he wasn't exactly working on a Hollywood budget. The leads are strong, particularly Josette Day as Belle (I have to say, having her name actually be 'Belle' while the dialogue is in French can be a bit much). I also liked the twist ending (though if they weren't going to use the key I'm not sure what the point of stealing it was). The main problem is the choppiness of the characters' interactions; considering how much of the movie is just Belle and the Beast interacting, their relationship feels rushed. The Disney version developed their relationship more convincingly.

130. Contagion (B+)

Steven Soderbergh doesn Outbreak, sans the melodrama. Operating in Ocean's Eleven mode, he's assembled a cast of stars, but they're much more muted than is usually the case; everybody's effective in their parts. In fact, I don't think there's a single performance in the movie that feels improperly modulated (well, maybe Jude Law). There are a bunch of different little plots going here, some of which are a bit unconventionally paced - obviously when some characters die midway through, but Marion Cotillard goes MIA for a considerable stretch. The strongest plots belong to Laurence Fishburne, who has what is arguably the spine of the film, and Matt Damon, who represents the common man. The teenage actress playing Damon's daughter is extremely good, as well. Soderbergh approaches the story like a docudrama, so there really isn't a climax in the normal sense, but it feels appropriate for the tone of the movie. The main negatives would be the occasional pacing issues and Jude Law's plot, which is confusingly handled.
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Old September 10 2011, 05:51 AM   #704
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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
Repo Men- Unrated - DVD
Earth Girls Are Easy - DVD
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey - DVD
Tangled - DVD
Kung Fu Panda 2 3D - dollar theater

Went up to Round Rock today with some friends to see Kung Fu Panda 2.

It cracked me up. I really liked everything about the movie, and it was exactly what a sequel should be - not more of the same from the original, but a continuation from the original. New story, same characters, ya know?

Can't wait 'til the third one!
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Old September 10 2011, 04:22 PM   #705
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


78. Nothing But the Truth: B
79. Snow Angels: B+
80. Everybody's Fine: C-
81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A+
82. Fragments: C+

My 4th Kate Beckinsale movie in as many days as I play catch up on her films not called Underworld the past decade.
Fragments is about a group of people in a diner that all share a tragic experience. The story follows each of their reactions post tragedy. Due to it's melancholy nature that is what keeps it in the "C" range for me. There really isn't anything bad per se about any of the characters, the lack of overly redeeming reflections and actions by them also keeps it in the "C" range.

Kate's character is a single mom infatuated with the doctor(Guy Pearce) who comes into the diner for coffee. She would love to have an affair with him despite him being married. The guy she does sleep with though gets called by her fantasy doctor's name and that doesn't go over well.
The doctor meanwhile is inducing migraine headaches on his wife.
A little girl in the diner goes all "born again Christian"
The other kid essentially clams up.
Forrest Whittaker gets "lucky" and is only grazed by the bullet and goes on a very selfish streak but we find out he's likely dying of cancer anyway.

It's not listed in BoxOfficeMojo so I take that to mean it didn't get any type of release.
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