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

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Old March 11 2012, 02:09 AM   #376
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


27. Gaslight (B+)

This feels like a Hitchcock film that Hitchcock didn't actually direct, a connection heightened by the presences of Ingrid Bergman and Dame May Whitty, who appeared in a number of Hitchcock's films in this period (Bergman's first being in this same year). The film is a proto psychological thriller, though it's less about ambiguity (because there is none; what the husband is up to is pretty obvious from the start) than about observing a woman's gradual psychological dissolution because of her husband's manipulations. The main reason to watch the movie is Ingrid Bergman's amazing performance, which captures Paula's breakdown terrifically. There's also the novelty of seeing Angela Lansbury as an impudent, somewhat trampy maid. It never quite breaks through to the realm of greatness because, again, as good as Bergman is there's minimal suspense, and Joseph Cotten feels seriously out of place.

Cinema: 7
Home Video: 16
Computer: 4 (+1)
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Old March 11 2012, 02:57 AM   #377
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

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Limitless: The ending is a total cop-out (the guy gets off the drugs, keeps the super intellect, gets the girl, AND will probably be President of the United States someday), but I enjoyed the build up.
That's one of the things I liked the most about the movie. It's about time someone acquired some form of power or prestige and got a happy ending as a result. I'm tired of cautionary tales that tell us that empowerment is bad and leads to no good, or the formulaic stories where the guy loses everything in the end and learns a "valuable lesson".
That's all well and good, but his happy ending doesn't make any sense in light of everything the movie has established. He gets to keep his magical powers of intelligence? Huh? Every time anyone in the movie is shown to stop taking the drug, they come back down to normal. I'm fine with a happy ending, but a movie has to live by the rules it sets down for itself.
I think at the end, it was revealed that he made improvements to the drug and found some way to wean himself off it. That works for me. I would have expected him to use his intelligence to find some way to make his newfound abilities permanent. Even if something about it didn't fit storywise, I was too happy that they didn't go the typical route to really notice or care.
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Old March 11 2012, 05:32 AM   #378
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


28. North By Northwest (A+)

Speaking of Hitchcock, another foray into his filmography. This may be my favourite of the six that I've seen so far (and the latest of the bunch). The Blu-ray edition of this wonderfully crisp. This is a tremendously fun adventure film, with Cary Grant in top form. It took me a while to realize that James Mason's weird-looking henchman was a young Martin Landau. The plot is preposterous in places, but that hardly matters.

Watching older cinema like this also makes me conscious of how unfortunate for filmmakers it is that trains are no longer the main means of long-distance transportation. The dramatic possibilities of a train (or boat) trip far eclipse what you can do with a plane.

Cinema: 7
Home Video: 17 (+1)
Computer: 4
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Old March 11 2012, 11:07 PM   #379
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

36. Haywire

I guess this film was mostly made to show off Carano's fighting skills, because those were the best moments (well choreographed and shot). As for the rest: I expected a lot more from Soderbergh and his cast (at least get enough story for 90 min).
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Old March 11 2012, 11:25 PM   #380
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

1. Beginners ★★★★
2. The Artist ★★★★★
3. L’Ultimo Terreste ★★★
4. Ace Attorney ★★★★★
5. The Loneliest Planet ★★
6. Damsels in Distress ★★★
7. Gaamer ★★★★
8. King Curling ★★★★
9. The Hunter ★★★★
10. A Dangerous Method ★★★★
11. Hugo 3D ★★★

A Dangerous Method ★★★★
"A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis." (IMDb)

Beautiful art direction and great performances from Keira Kneightly, Michael Fassbender and Virgo Mortensen. I just wished there would have been a little bit more on the Jung and Freud giving birth to psychoanalysis part, and a little less kinky Keira Knightley sex. But that's probably just me.
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Old March 11 2012, 11:52 PM   #381
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene ★★★ 1/2

The title will make sense if you watch the film, I swear. Elizabeth Olsen delivers a great performance that will stay with you for a while. It's an odd little film about a woman running away from a cult, but one I enjoyed. If you rent the movie, make sure to watch the short film included.
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Old March 12 2012, 12:18 AM   #382
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


9. Kick-Ass: B+
10. Hereafter: A-
11. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance: B
12. Act of Valor: C+
13. John Carter: B

Based on the Edgar Rice Burrough's novel Princess of Mars I found this movie to be fun and entertaining. I was a bit impressed with how the Friday Night Light's actor Taylor (whatever) handled the lead role. Well worth seeing this on the big screen. I felt it did drag a bit in the middle but was pleased with the CGI and action sequences. You can clearly see how Lucas is among the biggest plagiarists that has worked in the business. I enjoy Star Wars it's just plain that ERB's John Carter was one of a few sources Lucas used when whipping up his Saga.

Worth seeing in 2-D for sure on the big screen.
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Old March 12 2012, 04:41 AM   #383
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


29. American Beauty (A-)

With that I've got an unbroken line of Best Picture winners running back more than twenty years, and I've seen close to 75% of the total. I was a little skeptical going into this, because the whole "deconstruction of the surburban family" has become so tired these days (though I'm also planning to finally see Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road soon, which carries the extra cliche bonus of being set in the 1950s) - it's almost revolutionary in literary circles to suggest that maybe the average family is not, on the whole, deeply dysfunctional. But the movie won me over, between the strong performances, quotable lines, and, in the end, an outlook that's more than just misanthropic.

Cinema: 7
Home Video: 18 (+8)
Computer: 4
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Old March 12 2012, 04:50 AM   #384
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


Dune (1984) - free admission
Doctor Strange - DVD
Project X (2012) - free admission
Martha Marcy May Marlene - free admission
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind - free admission
Friends with Kids - free admission

This past Friday, I decided to see a movie before my shift started, and settled for FwK because it would end in time for me to get on the clock & work and it has Jon Hamm in it, who I like from Mad Men.

Pretty good story, which focusses on three couples - the tolerant, lovin' couple with kids, the passionately lovin' couple that gets a kid, and the two best friends who decide to have a kid together, without committin' to one another.

Some good laughs, and a bit of a zig when ya expect a zag, but eventually there's a happy endin'.

And Edward Burns shows up...pretty sure he's under contract to appear in every movie that films in NYC, isn't he?

After the movie, it was nothin' but work & sleep - logged thirty-two hours in three days.

There was a plan to see Silent House tonight, but that fell through. May see John Carter before my shift on Tuesday...
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Old March 12 2012, 10:58 PM   #385
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37. The Blind Side

It's probably best described as a "feel good" film, but for me it was a bit too much that (and when they tried to show a little conflict near the end, it wasn't very believable).
But Bullock was good and there were a nice number of funny moments to make it more enjoyable.
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Old March 13 2012, 12:39 AM   #386
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


39. Star Wars (A)
40. The Empire Strikes Back (A)


What more can be said about these films? It's been a little while since I've seen them, and they were still simple, well-made fun, pulpy sf movies. Here I was watching the fan-made "de-specialized" versions; a friend downloaded them off the internet and burned them to a disc. Not bad, given the source elements. A shame Lucas just won't release the damned things on Blu-Ray. I'd get them.

Theatres: 15
Home Video: 23 +1
Computer: 2
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Old March 13 2012, 04:57 AM   #387
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


Dune (1984) - free admission
Doctor Strange - DVD
Project X (2012) - free admission
Martha Marcy May Marlene - free admission
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind - free admission
Friends with Kids - free admission
The Lincoln Lawyer - Netflix Instant
Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy - Netflix Instant

Last summer, I started to watch The Lincoln Lawyer while my sister had an appointment, but missed the beginnin' & the second half of it. Finally got around to watchin' it today, via my friends' Netflix account.

I especially like William H Macy's investigator.

Followed that up with the Gabriel Iglesias stand-up special. Austin has a comedy radio station that plays bits of a variety of comics, and I've been laughin' at some of his stuff. His special was pretty good, too.

Other than those two, I've just been usin' Netflix for episodes of Life and Wolverine and the X-Men...
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Old March 13 2012, 10:38 PM   #388
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

38. MirrorMask

This film is really fantastic. It may lack a big budget, but it more than makes up for it in imagination.
It was written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Dave McKean (who made the Sandman comic covers) and it actually feels like it could be an untold story from Sandman.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:37 PM   #389
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63. The Human Contract: (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - After 10 Items or Less, I wanted to see something else with Paz Vega and found this. It's about Julian, an advertising executive who's under pressure to get a multi-billion dollar contract, who meets a well off free-spirited woman played by Vega. I don't want to spoil any twists, so I'll just say that this was written and directed by Jada Pinkett Smith and deals with a subject matter that she and Will Smith have dealt with in their own lives. In fact, Jada actually wrote Paz's role for herself. This movie didn't score high, but I enjoyed it and found it to be a pretty good first effort for Pinkett Smith. And if you like Paz Vega, check this one out.

64. The Craigslist Killer: (✩✩✩) - TV - A Lifetime TV movie about Philip Markoff, the engaged medical school student who seemed to have it all, but had a secret life where he'd find women on Craigslist, meet with them and rob them. Then one day, things go too far and he accidentally kills one of them. It's what you've expect from Lifetime, but it was engaging and fun to watch.

65. Life As We Know It: (✩✩✩½) - DVD - A young couple dies in a car accident and leaves their baby to be looked after by their best friends played by Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. One problem though... They aren't a couple and don't even like eachother, but have to put aside their differences to raise the baby together in the big house that was also left behind. I don't know if such an arrangement is possible in real life, but the movie did an alright job of bringing everything together to make it somewhat believable. In the end, I quite liked this one. It deals with heavy subject matter, but still manages to make you forget the bad stuff and enjoy the lighter more comedic side of things. It also makes raising a kid with Katherine Heigl quite appealing.

66. She's the Man: (✩✩✩) - TV - Amanda Bynes stars as a girl who's good at soccer and wants to play, so she poses as her brother at his new boarding school after he skips and takes off to Europe. Wacky hijinks ensue as she excels at soccer and tries to keep her secret. Typical teen comedy fare, but it was fun to watch Bynes play a guy.

67. Witchslayer Gretl: (✩½) - TV - A really bad TV movie I only watched to see Shannen Doherty. It's about a man/woman duo that hunts witches in the middle ages. Shannen plays Gretl, but she's not the lead or even one of the main duo, making this an oddly titled movie.

68. The Adjustment Bureau: (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - Matt Damon plays a polititian who meets and falls for an attractive woman played by Emily Blunt. Unfortunately, an organization of supernatural beings, who believe that they're responsible for keeping others' lives on the correct path, are trying to keep them apart. It's a basic Hollywood love story, but the Adjustment Bureau and what they can do is quite fascinating, making this a compelling movie. Obama didn't seem to like it, so I went in with a bit of caution. Loved it though. I posted a few thoughts in this thread.
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Old March 14 2012, 07:11 PM   #390
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


Dune (1984) - free admission
Doctor Strange - DVD
Project X (2012) - free admission
Martha Marcy May Marlene - free admission
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind - free admission
Friends with Kids - free admission
The Lincoln Lawyer - Netflix Instant
Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy - Netflix Instant
John Carter 2D - free admission
Silent House - free admission

Used my employee perks for two movies yesterday...

First up, John Carter, which I liked quite a bit. It was a fun adventure story with some good effects. Made me wish I had my sister's boys with me while watchin' it, 'cause I think they would have liked it, too.

The "don't talk in the theater" PSA was from Taylor Kitsch himself, where he says he'll just rip someone's throat out & drag the body out of the theater if they talk durin' one of his movies.

I am plannin' to see John Carter again, but in 3D, when I get some time off.

Second movie of the day was Silent House starrin' Elizabeth Olsen. As with Martha Marcy May Marlene, she carries this movie...and it was actually pretty good, 'til the last ten minutes of it.

And then the whole damn thing fell apart, and I hate it when movies do that.
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