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Old September 10 2011, 07:03 PM   #706
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

139. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (A-)
140. These Amazing Shadows (B+)
141. The People vs. Larry Flint (B)


Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Finally, a summer blockbuster that doesn't insult my intelligence, this is easily the best Apes movie since the original. A few of the references to that movie are a little strained, though ("It's a mad house!" just comes off as a little silly), and I can't think of a way that the apes aren't massacred five seconds after the camera leaves them (there's no way the disease worked that fast). I look forward to whatever a sequel has in store.

These Amazing Shadows: A wonderful documentary about film preservation (specifically, the library of congress' national film registry) that gets into detail about the process without ever getting too academic (and I've met some of the talking heads, so it could have been pretty academic). It never quite transcends the format to be anything amazing stylistically, but it's a solid and interesting documentary that lets a lot of interesting people talk about the subject.

The People Vs. Larry Flint: Larry Flint as a tragic hero? I don't know how they manage to pull it off in this movie, but they do. The film wanders at points, and I felt a little dirty once I realized Courtney Love was playing one of the principal roles, but it has a good cast and makes its case pretty well. It's filled with sex, of course, but most of the time it doesn't feel gratuitous. Woody Harrelson is great in the lead, and Ed Norton is good as his lawyer, troubled with everything he sees.

146 movies this year. Almost caught up.
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Old September 10 2011, 11:12 PM   #707
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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
Dolphin Tale - free screenin'

Got some friends together this mornin' to see Dolphin Tale for free at the Galaxy Highland.

Based on a true story of a boy who rescues a dolphin that loses its tail to infection, it was a pretty cute movie. Definately geared towards the kids in the audience.

The posters & passes said it'd be 3D, but we got it in 2D. I don't think the upgrade would be worth the price.

Also, two of my friends teared up durin' it, but denied it later...
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Old September 11 2011, 06:48 AM   #708
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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
23. The Adjustment Bureau (2011) - B-

Based on the trailers, I was expecting a great political type thriller with maybe an ounce of Scifi in it. What I got was something different, a thriller yes, but more on the love story angle. To that end, I was disappointed with this movie, but it was still kind of decent. Really liked Damon and Blunt in the lead roles but the movie could have been better had it gone maybe deeper than it did.
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Old September 11 2011, 04:15 PM   #709
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I've finally got two more to add.

The Adjustment Bureau (A-)

Really enjoyed the movie, although it got to be a little too silly at times. Most of it was excellent though.

Deliverance (B-)

Hmmm.... I don't quite understand all the praise, and it's probably something I wouldn't watch again, but I'm glad I finally saw it.
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Old September 11 2011, 11:55 PM   #710
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


79. Snow Angels: B+
80. Everybody's Fine: C-
81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A+
82. Fragments: C+
83. Fright Night: A-

A friend and I have been wanting to see this and since the Titans were sucking it hard this afternoon we figured we should see something that was trying to be scary on purpose. Going to be a long season...but I digress.

Fright Night was a really fun film!! I admit I may have Buffy bias but with long term Buffy writer Marti Noxon as the credited screenwriter I could clearly see her influence at several points in the film to which I enjoyed each time.

Jerry (Colin Ferrell) makes for a really good lead bad/evil vampire. Anton Yelchin's character, Charlie, was written like a wise to the world character in Buffy. His mom was also able to trust her son over the adult, Jerry, when he was trying to goad them to let him inside. Girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots), I did a double take during the credits on her last name but anyway was just hot enough but not so hot that you'd not think she'd fall for Charlie.

Not being a Dr.Who fan I kept thinking who is this actor playing Peter Vincent? I knew the name David Tennet enough to connect to Dr.Who when I read it but visually he isn't that instantly known to me. His character was fun and the clear comedic relief. Glad he wasn't over the top though.

It's a shame this got buried as a late summer release and essentially overlooked by audiences. It was lots of fun imo and if you get a chance during the next few weeks that are sure to have questionable releases anyway, I recommend Fright Night.
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Old September 12 2011, 05:03 AM   #711
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


130. Contagion (B+)
131. The Age of Innocence (B+)

Martin Scorsese's filmography is extremely varied, but whenever he does anything that's not a gritty urban crime drama people tend to act shocked anyway (most recently, see the reaction to the trailer for Hugo). This 1993 film is headed by Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder, based on Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

It's a well-told story, albeit by now a very familiar one. Movies like this and the next one I'm reviewing continually remind me how much storytellers love ye olden days of much more obvious class barriers and restrained social mores. In the modern era you're supposed to express whatever you're feeling and people will ascribe, in theory if not in practice, to the idea that class shouldn't matter in matters of love or whatever (and there's no stigma around divorce). The performances of the three main actors, and the considerable supporting cast, are all top-notch, and the production design is truly incredible. Gilded Age New York is rendered in impressive detail. Doesn't quite go beyond the level of good for me, perhaps because it never really does more than tell a fairly familiar message well.

132. The Remains of the Day (A+)

The third of Merchant-Ivory's big three films, and the only one of those not adapted from the works of E. M. Forster; but Kazuo Ishiguro's best novel is a great companion to Forster (and, for that matter, to Wharton). "Only connect", Forster's credo, is as relevant here as it was in Howards End (which I'll be reviewing in the near-future, incidentally). The English country house has to be one of the great settings for fiction, and one that people perennially return to; it's such a great microcosm for telling issues about class. Merchant and Ivory did it quite a bit in their stories, and more recently Lord Fellowes' Gosford Park and hit TV series Downton Abbey have wheeled it out (the latter includes a couple of plots and characters that clearly owe a lot to The Remains of the Day). The early to mid 1990s were a golden age for both Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, who both give some of their best work here (Hopkins' work in the 2000s, in particular, has been rather disappointing, though he is getting on in years).

As an historian I quibble a bit with the depiction of the appeasement question in the film (and novel) - my MA paper pertained to interpretations of Munich, so I have some knowledge of the subject. In particular, it seems to me that the "trust the professionals" speech that Congressman Lewis gives early on contradicts the later scene where Stevens' lack of knowledge on world affairs is used by some upper class snobs as an example of why democracy is a bad idea. Voters are basically "amateurs" on most issues, as the latter scene points out. And in any event, the idea that British policy in the late 1930s was made by "amateurs" doesn't really make sense; Chamberlain and Halifax were both highly experienced politicians, not really any different from Lewis.

133. His Girl Friday (A)

Howard Hawks and Cary Grant, together again in a screwball comedy (though sans Katharine Hepburn). I watched this one with Mom, whose taste in film is fairly restricted (nothing bloody, depressing, or profane), so older movies, particularly comedies, are a great resource. She liked this a lot, as did I. This has a reputation as one of the best screwball comedies, if not the best. Cary Grant is fun as the sociopathic male lead (having been on the receiving end of the same treatment in Hawks' Bringing Up Baby), while Rosalind Russell is tremendous fun as the beleaguered Hildy. A lot of these older comedies really don't hold up very well from a gender politics perspective (particularly Grant and Hepburn's The Philadelphia Story, which was released the same year), but this one features an ace female reporter attempting to quit her job for domesticity over the skepticism and objections of virtually all her male colleagues. Quite funny, though I wondered about the script in a few places: Grant's character goes away for a pretty considerable stretch at one point, and the story briefly takes a jarringly dark turn when a woman nearly kills herself jumping out a window.
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Old September 13 2011, 08:38 AM   #712
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

142. The Birdcage (B)
143. Take Shelter (B+)


The Birdcage: This is a funny movie with solid performances from both Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as the gay couple in the center of the movie. Still, it's not a perfect movie. Gene Hackman is little more than a caricature of a conservative politician, rather than a flesh and blood human being (which is too bad, because the climax would only be more powerful if his character was more three-dimensional). Calista Flockhart, as always, is so skinny it's distracting -- you can't help but wonder how she keeps from imploding every second she's on screen. And there's more than a few shoddy blue screen shots simulating exteriors. It makes scenes that should be dramatic or comedic just seem fake.

Take Shelter: Until the last scene, this is a terrific movie about a family man struggling with mental illness. Omit the last scene, and the film would warrant an A. With the final scene, though, you get a moment that just feels dramatically and intellectually dishonest in the context of the rest of the movie. It enters official release on September 30th, so I hope more people here will see it. Despite this final scene (which I can't be vague enough about -- see it yourself) it's still a strong movie, well acted by actors you'll recognize from HBO shows (Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood) and the recent The Tree of Life.

148 movies this year.
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Old September 13 2011, 08:50 AM   #713
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

These are my favourites.
Transformers 3
The Final Destination 5
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
X-Men first class
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Old September 13 2011, 02:17 PM   #714
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


80. Everybody's Fine: C-
81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A+
82. Fragments: C+
83. Fright Night: A-
84. Cold Comfort Farm: D

My last Kate Beckinsale movie for awhile, #5 of my mini-marathon. This is one I missed from way back. The trailer for the film says, "And introducing Kate Beckinsale".

This is billed as a comedy but I don't recall laughing during the movie. A few chuckles at best. It does have Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan in it as well. It's a period piece that has Kate's parents dying and herself looking to do new things. One of these is to go meet some relatives she has never seen after they send a letter to her on her parent passing. Kate, I've already forgotten her character's name, stirs up the hornets nest and is determined to make life better for these folks trapped on the farm by a matriarchal overseer. I don't even feel like writing more on it that is how dull the movie was imo.
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Old September 13 2011, 05:49 PM   #715
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



64. Paul (2011) - B. Pretty funny. Lots of enjoyable sci-fi in-references.

65. Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch) - B. The offbeat cast is a joy to watch in this surreal prison break film.

66. The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa, 1962) - B+. Beautifully filmed thriller about corporate greed and malfeasance.
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Old September 16 2011, 04:41 AM   #716
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


130. Contagion (B+)
131. The Age of Innocence (B+)
132. The Remains of the Day (A+)
133. His Girl Friday (A)
134. Howards End (B+)

One of Merchant Ivory's big three, and surprisingly the last of Forster's novels to be filmed, given its classic status. It has the same leads as the following year's The Remains of the Day, and covers some similar thematic ground, though here with a much greater emphasis on class conflict. Wonderful lead performances, and the customary strong technical work. The guy playing Leonard Bast isn't really up to the other people in the movie, I will say; I found it hard to care too much for him, which mutes the impact of the ending. There's also the flaw, inherited from the source material (so a bit harder to hold against it), that the crucial relationship between Margaret and Henry never quite manages to make sense.

135. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (A)

Featuring a man who is not a colonel, nor surnamed Blimp, and is still alive when the credits roll.

Despite this triple deception, it's a truly wonderful film. I've said in the past that great war movies are usually only made after the war is over; this was filmed in 1942 and released in 1943, and is a definite exception to the rule, though it's also substantively about the Boer War and World War One. It's a wonderfully human story, and also has to rank fairly high on the list of films that completely perverted their source material. It did that by taking the figure of "Colonel Blimp", a caricatured useless old British army officer, and turning him into a deeply sympathetic and honourable fellow whose outmodedness is to be mourned. Before watching this film I'd read people talking about a 21-year-old Deborah Kerr's debt in three different roles as Clive Candy's dream woman, but as it turns out, after the first role she's almost beside the point (but Kerr remains impressive; each role is completely different from the other, accent and demeanour). The real core of the film is the relationship between Candy and his German friend Theodore, played by Anton Walbrook, who was also in The Red Shoes by the same team. The materials accompanying the film made clear how controversial Theodore was in wartime, even though he's explicitly an anti-Nazi German, which seems baffling in retrospect. Walbrook is phenomenal, as is Roger Livesy as Candy (both men age forty years in the course of the film, and in technicolour, and it's remarkably well-done). A film human enough to transcend wartime national hatreds even while the war was on, in the midst of a blitzkrieg of propaganda and censorship, and that has to be respected.
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Old September 16 2011, 03:33 PM   #717
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A+
82. Fragments: C+
83. Fright Night: A-
84. Cold Comfort Farm: D
85. Machete: C-

I was trying to decide if this was a poorly made current B-flick or a great grindhouse throwback B-flick. I settled for a notch slightly towards the latter.

The editing is just so obvious, again part of my dilemma, and the zannieness right out of the gate of where the whore is stashing her cell phone is just a big WOW, really?!

My favorite one liner was "Machete don't text".

If you like bare breasts in a movie than this one is for you. Lindsay Lohan has hers on display and you couldn't help but feel her character was a type of parody of who she's become as a person the last few years.

Steven Segal in the role of one of the bad guys was actually fun to see. He looked better than he does/did on that reality cop show of his. Maybe he can be in shape for an Expendables 3...maybe.

Now, will we ever see Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again??
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Old September 17 2011, 06:07 AM   #718
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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
Dolphin Tale - free screenin'
Mad Money - DVD

Well, that was just all around bad. Glad I didn't pick it. My hosts seemed to enjoy it, though, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

May be watchin' the Twilight movies this weekend, only seen the first one, not lookin' forward to this at all.
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Old September 18 2011, 04:24 AM   #719
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011


130. Contagion (B+)
131. The Age of Innocence (B+)
132. The Remains of the Day (A+)
133. His Girl Friday (A)
134. Howards End (B+)
135. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (A)
136. The Lion King 3D (A+)

Still the champ after all these years. And one of the best 3D presentations I've ever attended, showing yet again how much more suited 3D is for animation.
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Old September 19 2011, 06:46 PM   #720
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011



67. X-Men: First Class: B. For reasons beyond my control ended up watching this through a lousy video feed which no doubt affected my impression of it. I enjoyed it but was often left thinking that certain shots looked "fake" which I think was a result of the poor video feed (unless the film actually had bad F/X, which I doubt). Need to see it again.

68. The Fighter - B. Solid boxing flick. Was funny seeing Christian Bale playing a lower-class, east-coast tough guy type of character. It's a performance that I eventually bought but still wondered what the heck I was looking at because it was so incongruous.

69. Tangled - B. A pretty good CG effort from Disney. The horse character Maximus was ingenious, though I couldn't help but wonder if someone had pilfered the idea from the canadian short "Sleeping Betty" which has more or less the same character in it. As usual for Disney there were some catchy songs and some humorous tertiary characters.
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