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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old February 27 2012, 03:38 AM   #301
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


20. X-Men: First Class (A)

Rewatch just before the Oscars. I see I rated this an A- when I saw it in theatres back in the summer; having seen it again, I wavered and decided to bump it up to A. As a blockbuster entertainment, I'd set this alongside Mission: Impossible 4 and The Adventures of Tintin as the best of last year. My main reservation in not ranking it higher initially was how the defections of a couple of key characters (and one minor character) seem rushed, and while that's still the case, I don't think it's significant enough to keep it from deserving an A (though it keeps it from A+). It's the best X-Men movie, and, having rewatched both it and Captain America, the best superhero movie of 2011, and it belongs in the upper tier of the genre generally. Thematically, this probably aims the highest of any of the Marvel films, and it mostly succeeds; and it's a great team movie, which I don't think had ever really been done before this with superheroes.

Cinema: 5
Home Video: 13
Computer: 2
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Old February 27 2012, 05:09 AM   #302
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012



The Tree of Life ✭✭✭

It's beautifully shot and the creation of the earth sequence was outstanding, but I was never emotionally invested in any of the characters or the story.

Paranormal Activity 3 ✭✭✭

Much better than the second, but the novelty has very much worn out its welcome now. The only time I got a good scare was when Julie walked out of the closet with that creepy mask on. Nothing like the first movie with the loud thump and then seeing Katie get dragged down the stairs. I don't scare easily, but that terrified me for some reason. There's obviously going to be a fourth movie, and I liked this one enough to keep watching. Also... props for the Teddy Ruxpin cameo.
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Old February 28 2012, 01:21 AM   #303
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

12. Take Shelter (2011) ✭✭✭½

It's a slow burner, but it's worth it. A man has apocalyptic visions and begins fixing his storm shelter. He can't decide if he's schizophrenic or if there really is a storm-a-comin'. It's really too bad I saw the ending coming a mile away.
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Old February 28 2012, 06:20 PM   #304
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


20. X-Men: First Class (A)
21. Do The Right Thing (N/A)

Spike Lee's 1989 breakout film is a still-controversial look at race relations in the 1980s. I found it a very odd film, both stylistically (it opens with what is basically a music video, for instance, and this is about the opposite approach to how you'd expect this sort of story to be filmed), and in terms of many aspects of the story. Thought-provoking, certainly (though I think Lee's comments about white audiences overlooking the death of Radio Raheem and being more concerned about the store ignores the way depicting somebody as a jerk onscreen affects how much we care about what happens to them; it's part of the language of cinema).

Also, watching this made me realize that I really don't like John Turturro. I don't think he's a good actor.

Cinema: 5
Home Video: 14
Computer: 2
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Old February 28 2012, 06:32 PM   #305
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

13. The Rum Diary ✭✭½

Kind of all over the place, as the reviews I read stated. Still interesting to watch. All the funniest parts were in the trailer.

14. Real Steel (2011) ✭✭✭✭

Definitely the most fun I've had watching a movie this year. I mean... it's robot boxing! Miles better than any Transformers flick.

15. The Thing (2011) ✭✭

Pointless. The creature looked sillier than it did in the 80's and I didn't care about any of the characters.
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Old February 28 2012, 09:27 PM   #306
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

31. Moneyball

Very entertaining with great dialogue (well, it's written by Sorkin, so what else could it be?), but - having no real familiarity with baseball - I sometimes got lost when they talked about technicalities of the game (player's positions and so on...).
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Old February 28 2012, 10:01 PM   #307
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16. Hugo (2011) ✭✭✭

I've never read the book, but it felt like the automaton was a pointless part of this film. I was also annoyed anytime Sacha Baron Cohen was on screen. I did enjoy the cinematography and inclusion of silent film, though.

17. Retreat (2011) ✭✭

Thandie Newton is annoying. That's all I have to say. I've never seen her in a movie when she wasn't getting on my nerves. Maybe she's just been typecast. This is a Cabin Fever/28 Days Later type film that never really managed to engage my interest.

I wish I could stay home and watch more movies but I have to go back to work tonight. Booooo
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Old February 28 2012, 11:38 PM   #308
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32. Three Colors: Blue (A)
33. Bright Leaves (A)


Three Colors: Blue: I watched part of Three Colors: Red for a class last year, but never finished the movie. I picked up the trilogy from Criterion during their Valentine's Day sale this year, and will be watching each film in its entirety for the first time. Here is a rather simple story: a family is in a car accident. The husband, a famous French composer, and the daughter die, while the wife (Juliette Binoche) survives. Most of the film deals with her grieving process, and it tells this simple story with astonishing beauty, both visually and on the soundtrack. The scene where Binoche finishes her husband's composition (her composition, perhaps, all along) is stunning.

Bright Leaves: I'm going to see Ross McElwee present his latest film in person tomorrow, which has me very excited, but my girlfriend had never seen a film by his before, so I opted for this (via Netflix). It's the first McElwee film I saw, and still my favorite. It's funny, sad, playful, serious, and insightful all at once. His style may not be for everyone, but this is probably his most accessible film to date (since it deals with the broader subject of tobacco in the south, in addition to McElwee's personal life).

Theatres: 14
Home Video: 17 +1

Computer: 2 +1
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Old February 29 2012, 04:17 AM   #309
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
16. Hugo (2011) ✭✭✭

I've never read the book, but it felt like the automaton was a pointless part of this film. I was also annoyed anytime Sacha Baron Cohen was on screen. I did enjoy the cinematography and inclusion of silent film, though.
Hugo was actually the first movie where I liked Sacha Baron Cohen's character!!!

The shot of him in the bathtub with his dog cracked me up!
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Old February 29 2012, 01:06 PM   #310
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I liked him in Sweeney Todd. There was just something silly about his character in this movie. It just felt out of place.
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Old March 1 2012, 05:04 AM   #311
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


20. X-Men: First Class (A)
21. Do The Right Thing (N/A)
22. Martha Marcy May Marlene (B+)

One of the indie success stories of last year's Sundance, which never quite caught fire afterward like Winter's Bone and some other Sundance success stories have in recent years. It did draw enormous critical praise nonetheless, particularly for Elizabeth Olsen (the talented Olsen sibling), who does indeed deserve it; hers is a very convincing performance. John Hawkes (who was also in Winter's Bone) is very good as the leader of the cult Olsen's character falls in with. This also generated some discussion relating to its ending (and the more general trend of ambiguous endings in indie cinema). I think this one works reasonably well, though the director rather openly stated there's no correct answer, which I find a little bit annoying. It's nice to think that there is a definitive answer somewhere even if you'll never know for sure.

Cinema: 5
Home Video: 14
Computer: 3
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Old March 1 2012, 07:11 PM   #312
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34. Photographic Memory (A)

Photographic Memory: Ross McElwee's latest documentary film is typically excellent, which was a welcome relief considering (a) he was in the audience for this screening and (b) the trailer was pretty messy. On the surface, the film is rather straightforward: a father has trouble relating to his adolescent son, so he decides to revisit the place he lived in when he was his son's age (a town in France), and to try and reconnect with the people he knew then (mainly, his love interest and his mentor of the time, both of whom he hasn't contacted since leaving France). On a deeper level, the film offers a meditation on the ephemeral nature of photography and memory itself, as well as McElwee's more personal crisis as a filmmaker (moving from analog to digital). It's a beautiful documentary, and the filmmaker's most personal film since Time Indefinite. McElwee is 66, but hopefully he has many more films left in him (and, also, they get released on DVD).

Theatres: 15 +1
Home Video: 17
Computer: 2
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Old March 2 2012, 05:13 PM   #313
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44. Breach (✩✩✩½) - On Demand - The true story of a young FBI agent who is hired to bring down a fellow agent who's been spying for the Soviet Union for two decades. This one stars Ryan Phillipe and Chris Cooper, and I figured out early on that it was shot in Toronto. It's a serviceable thriller. The movie also has Caroline Dhavernas, who I don't see enough of..

45. Broken Flowers: (✩✩✩✩½) - DVD - Bill Murray stars as Don Johnston, an aging womanizer who gets a letter from an unidentified ex-lover stating that he has an 18 year old son who's looking for him. Not knowing who the letter is from, he sets off on a road trip to visit a number of exes in an attempt to find out who sent it. This is a well made independednt film with an all-star cast that includes Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange. It's quiet and serious, but Bill Murray still brings with him a bit of his usual dry humor. One of the themes includes the usual stuff about how empty life can be without family, but the movie doesn't moralize and it's not over done. This is one of the best films I've seen this year.

46. Bronson: (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - In anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises, I wanted to see Tom Hardy in a Bane-like role and Bronson fit the bill. The movie is based on the life of Michael Peterson, a fighter who spent most of his life in prison. Peterson took the name "Charles Bronson", hence the title. Tom Hardy turns in an absolutely excellent performance and the movie itself is pretty oddball, but as a lover of weirdness, I gave it 4 stars. I would have graded it higher, but it started to drag in the last half-hour.

Here's the trailer...



And here are pictures of Tom Hardy...



47. Edge of Darkness: (✩✩✩½) - TV - Mel Gibson stars as a Boston cop who's 24 year old daughter comes home for a visit, but gets shot and killed at the fron door just before she says she has to tell him something. What ensues is one man's search into what happened and why. Good thriller with a nice ending scene.

48. In & Out: (✩✩✩) - TV - Kevin Kline stars as a small town teacher named Howard Brackett who's about to get married and who is mysteriously "outed" when one of his former students thanks his gay teacher Mr. Brackett in his Academy Awards acceptance speech. Hilarity ensues. Good little comedy that's formulaic but has some interesting twists.

49. Secrets of Eden: (✩✩½) - TV - John Stamos stars in this TV movie about a minister who is suspected of killing the husband of a woman he was having an affair with. I couldn't totally buy Stamos as a minister. He's not the type.

50. Shooter: (✩✩✩½) - TV - Mark Wahlberg stars as a gun expert who's brought in to give his advice on how a suspected assassination attempt on the President might go down, but nothing is what it appears to be. Pretty good action thriller, but it gets bogged down with a convoluted plot.

51. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing: (✩✩✩½) - TV - This is a 1955 movie about a eurasian doctor in Hong Kong who falls for a married journalist. The issue of cultural differences and racial identity are explored here. It's a good little love piece and Jennifer Jones is a stunning woman with class.

Theatre: 1
DVD/Blu-Ray: 17
TV: 29
On Demand: 3
Internet: 1

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Old March 2 2012, 05:52 PM   #314
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I also rewatched two movies... The Ugly Truth and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. I won't include them on my official list because it's for movies I've seen for the first time and I've already seen these. The Ugly Truth stars Katherine Heigl. She had a lot of beauty and class in the role she played. And what kept me watching The Princess Diaries 2, aside from Hathaway and actually liking the movie, was Chris Pine. I got to watch this thing knowing who he is. He wasn't Capt. Kirk in 2004 when I first saw the movie, so I didn't remember him well.
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Old March 2 2012, 05:52 PM   #315
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Pricess Diaries 2 is actually a really good movie. I didn't remember Chris Pine being in it.
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