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

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Old March 18 2012, 03:14 PM   #406
Agent Richard07
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


74. Melancholia: (✩✩✩✩) - On Demand - When I heard about this movie last year, a wedding story set against the backdrop of a planet that's about to collide with Earth, I was intrigued. Well, I finally saw it. The movie is pretty artsy in the same vein as The Fountain. It starts with an 8 or 9 minute overture accompanied by slow motion images. These images are relevant to what will happen in the movie, so pay attention. When the movie was over, I went back to watch the overture to make sense of what was shown. Anyway, the movie starts and it's divided into two parts. Part 1 is called "Justine". It follows a young woman named Justine (Kirsten Dunst) during her wedding reception. Justine isn't handling the night very well. She's constantly retreating to be by herself, behaving erratically and embarassing herself and her family. Justine was suffering from a depressive mood known as melancholia. Part 2 is called "Claire". It picks up some days or weeks later and it's about Justine's sister Claire who's suffering from anxiety over the possibility of a recently discovered planet that may or may not collide with Earth. The planet is named "Melancholia". While Claire isn't handling the possible end of the world very well, her sister Justine seems to be handling things quite well. Want to know how the movie ends? Get it and watch it. I found this to be a nice movie. I was left to think about what I just saw and how the wedding fits into the later story about the collision. What I took away from this was that a depressed person is usually more empowered in situations where everyone else is falling apart. Sure enough, this is what the director intended to convey. This message is based on his own experience with depression. Penelope Cruz was supposed to play Justine but had to back out due to a scheduling conflict. Dunst replaced her and I found her to be not only ravishing, but an appropriate choice, given that she's been through a lot of the same problems with depression that her character suffers from. By the way, Keifer Sutherland is there too as Claire's husband. I enjoyed seeing him in the movie. My only nit with the film is Claire's British accent. Why does she have one while her sister doesn't?

Theatre: 1
DVD/Blu-Ray: 26
TV: 39
On Demand: 7
Internet: 1
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Old March 18 2012, 11:07 PM   #407
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

41. Das weiße Band

Seemingly unrelated acts of violence happen in a little village in Germany shortly before the outbreak of World War One.
I found the film mostly boring (maybe because it's simply not my kind of film), but the black-and-white cinematography resulted in some nice shots.
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Old March 19 2012, 02:15 AM   #408
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Ahhh... The White Ribbon. That was a weird little Children of the Corn type film.
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Old March 19 2012, 03:52 AM   #409
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


32. Coriolanus (C+)

Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut with a Shakespeare adaptation that feels like less than the sum of its parts. Some of the problems are with the original play (which is not one of the immortal Bard's best, though I think it has a number of very interesting elements; I saw a Stratford production with Colm Feore a few years ago which I quite enjoyed), some are related to the adaptation (some brought about by the ways in which it has been translated from Ancient Rome to the present day, mostly relating to how warfare is fought). Stylistically Fiennes is mimicking the Black Hawk Down/The Hurt Locker (he was in the latter) school of modern war filmmaking, which I'm not sure is especially suited to the material. As an actor, Fiennes has always been better fitted to villains, the awkward, and the psychologically disturbed than to more traditional leads, and Coriolanus is fairly suited to him, since he's pretty much a prick. While some of his filmmaking choices are questionable, Fiennes knows how to handle actors (as you might expect). The acting is the best thing about the movie, from old pros Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Cox to the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain (here proving herself adept at Shakespeare). Gerard Butler is okay as Aufidius, Coriolanus' archenemy/ally, though there scenes are ridiculously homoerotic which makes it a little hard to take a lot of it seriously.

Cinema: 8 (+1)
Home Video: 19
Computer: 5
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Old March 19 2012, 07:10 AM   #410
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
My Week With Marilyn (2011) - ★★★ - a good film. It was lacking some emotion, but I enjoyed it.
I was wondering about going to that one. But it seems I'm already to late to catch it anyway.
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Old March 19 2012, 10:06 AM   #411
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42. Machete (C+)
43. Unmasking The Idol (D-)


Machete: There are a few good gags to be had here (Machete uses a man's intestines as a rope; a naked women stores a cell phone in...well, where she can), but overall the movie doesn't have much more to offer than the trailer from a few years ago. Like a lot of the Grind-house fare its emulating, there are long patches that are far too serious or just plain dull. Still, I can't come down too hard on a movie that's tongue-in-cheek enough to cast Steven Segal as a Mexican (unlike Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the movie isn't playing this nonsense straight). It's just not as consistently fun as one would hope. Hopefully the sequel is better.

Unmasking The Idol: I'm flabbergasted that Eon Productions didn't sue the makers of this film (and its predecessor, which I haven't seen...yet). Don't let the labels fool you -- this isn't a James Bond "spoof." It's a full on rip-off. Piranha pool from Thunderball? Check. Gold bars from Goldfinger? Check. Some of the stealing is less blatant than that, but you get the idea (there's also a healthy does of the first two Indiana Jones movies here). Still, as bad as everything is (this is James Bond...but Bond where everyone in the middle of the "action" is at least middle-aged) some of the production design is of mild interest. I guess.

Theatres: 15
Home Video: 26 +1
Computer: 2
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Old March 19 2012, 10:38 AM   #412
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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/3D - free admission/free admission
Silent House - free admission
21 Jump Street - free screenin'
Casa de Mi Padre - free admission
Support Your Local Gunfighter - Netflix Instant
The Grudge: Unrated Extended Director's Cut - DVD
Jeff, Who Lives at Home - free admission

Went to see John Carter 3D before my work shift today. I liked the look of it, especially the native village & the arena fight, in 3D.

Added bonus - the Avengers trailer was in 3D!

Watchin' unrated extended director's cut of The Grudge on DVD right now. Picked it up in a double feature set with the unrated director's cut of the sequel for cheap...not too impressed, to be honest.

- edit, to add -

Used my employee discount to see Jeff, Who Lives at Home this afternoon. Not a great movie, but an interestin' one, with some odd bits of humor sprinkled throughough. I didn't care much for the mother's office romance, but overall, the movie was better than I expected it to be from the trailer.
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Old March 20 2012, 04:10 AM   #413
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33. To Catch A Thief (B+)

I wonder if this movie is better viewed before one sees North by Northwest. There are a lot of similarities between the two Hitchcock films, from star Cary Grant, a blonde love interest, the presence of Jessica Royce Landis, Grant's character being on the run for something he didn't do and encountering a woman who susses out his true identity, etc. But Catch just isn't of the same calibre as its successor. It has plenty of strengths, of course. Grant is in good form, and has strong chemistry with Kelly; their dialogue is a lot of fun. The costuming, art direction, and cinematography are superb (and I imagine this would have been even more exciting to audiences in the 1950s, where location shoots were still relatively new instead of Hollywood backlots). However, its setpieces and plot aren't nearly as fun or interesting, the supporting characters likewise.

Cinema: 8
Home Video: 20 (+1)
Computer: 5
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Old March 20 2012, 10:06 PM   #414
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

42. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

It's a fun adventure film, although not as good as the first Journey. And I really missed Fraser in this, he seems to be perfect for these kind of films.
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Old March 21 2012, 11:00 AM   #415
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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) ★★ 1/2

Oh man... I was expecting some kind of masterpiece. A friend of mine saw in the theaters three times. I haven't read the book, but I feel like I probably would have to in order to fully understand this film. Mara Rooney delivers a standout performance and the film has some great sets and scenery, but other than that I don't really have a lot of good things to say about it.
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Old March 21 2012, 05:12 PM   #416
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75. Walking the Halls: (✩✩✩) - TV - TV movie about a teenage girl who becomes a call girl. Her "manager" is the school's on-duty police officer. I watched it because Jamie Luner plays the unsuspecting mother. Typical TV movie fare, but it did a pretty good job of making prostitution seem unglamorous.

76. Hoodwinked!: (✩✩✩½) - TV - Fun and interesting take on Littel Red Riding Hood.



77. 21 Jump Street: (✩✩✩½) - Theatre - Funny and entertaining, but it wasn't the gut-busting experience for me that it was for so many others.

78. Clerks II: (✩✩✩½) - TV - Finally saw this, but can't fully appriciate that it's a sequel because it's been too long since I've seen the original. Lots of Kevin Smith-style banter about life, sex and Star Wars, and the ending has a lot of heart.

79. Henry's Crime: (✩✩✩½) - DVD - Henry (Keanu Reeves) is convicted of robbing a bank and is sent to prison, except that he didn't rob the bank. Upon realease, he enlists a friend he met in prison (James Caan) to help him rob the bank for real. Vera Farmiga plays Henry's love interest. It didn't get a wide release, but it's an enjoyable heist story. Don't know what to make of Henry or his motives though.

80. Hannah Montana: The Movie: (✩✩✩½) - DVD - I used to watch the show while I was at the computer and came to enjoy it. Basically, the show is about a teenage girl named Miley Stewart who leads a double life as a rock star named Hannah Montana. In the movie, the rock star life seems to be going to her head, so her dad takes her away to their home in Tennessee to "detoxify" her of the celebrity life and bring her back down a bit. There, she meets a boy, has to deal with a tabloid reporter who's following her, and finds herself having to become Hannah Montana again in order to put on a concert to raise money to save a swath of land from a developer, all as her double identity starts to unravel. It was nice to see a motion picture quality take on the show.

81. Chasing Amy: (✩✩✩✩) - DVD - Ben Affleck plays a comic book writer who meets the girl of his dreams, named Alyssa, only to find out that she's not who he thought she was. It had the usual Kevin Smith-style banter about life, sex and Star Wars, but it was fundamentally about sex, relationships , idealizing one's parter and dealing with the past. I don't think I've seen this movie's subject matter dealt with in a movie before. And given that there was no "Amy" in the movie, I was puzzled by the title, but it eventually made sense. In the end, it was a great slice-of-life movie. And like a lot of Kevin Smith's early work, it made me miss the 90s.

Theatre: 2
DVD/Blu-Ray: 29
TV: 42
On Demand: 7
Internet: 1
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Old March 21 2012, 05:27 PM   #417
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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/3D - free admission/free admission
Silent House - free admission
21 Jump Street - free screenin'
Casa de Mi Padre - free admission
Support Your Local Gunfighter - Netflix Instant
The Grudge: Unrated Extended Director's Cut - DVD
Jeff, Who Lives at Home - free admission
My Bloody Valentine (2009) - DVD
Battle Royale (2000) - Alamo Drafthouse

Couldn't sleep night before last, thanks to the storm that moved through Austin, so I wound up watchin' My Bloody Valentine on DVD. Apparently, there is a 3D option to watch it, but since I don't have the glasses, I didn't bother with that. It kind of reminded me of Journey 2 & Comin' at Ya!, the way most of the 3D was "in your face" sort of silliness.

Pretty simple blood & guts horror movie about a guy in a miner's mask killin' folks with a pick axe, seems the 3D was the hook for it. May watch it again, though, when I have a bigger screen than just my laptop.

Went to see Battle Royale last night after work, and actually had to pay to get in, since the showin' was due to sell out. I was told if it didn't, I could get my seven bucks back, but every seat in the theater filled up with folks wantin' to see the Japanese film.

Set in a dystopian future where Japanese society has gone to hell, a class of high school students are taken to an isolate island & forced to compete & kill each other for survivial. It was actually pretty awesome, with severely dark humor to it.

And it may be one of my favorite new movies of the year...

Got a plan to see the fourth Mission: Impossible tonight at the discount theater, and may watch some other stuff on DVD later.
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Old March 21 2012, 08:35 PM   #418
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Do you know what version of Battle Royale you saw? Apparently there's a director's cut that changes some things, which has upset some people online.

(I haven't seen the movie)
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Old March 21 2012, 10:48 PM   #419
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Albert Nobbs ★★★★
I saw this one tonight. A touching movie about a woman who lived most of her life as a man. I'm literally in love with Janet McTeer.

Beautiful art direction, a bunch of entertaining minor characters, and great acting all around. Maybe a bit too long.
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Old March 22 2012, 02:11 AM   #420
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34. A Separation (A+)

The uber-praised Iranian drama finally arrives in Charlottetown. I was a bit worried going in, because with all the acclaim you half-wonder if the movie could only meet expectations if it cured cancer. And while I don't know if it's a revelatory experience, it's a damn good film, very possibly the best of last year's crop. I realized going in that, despite seeing months of praise for it, I really didn't know much about the story, other than it was about a couple getting a divorce - which it's not, really; that's the jumping-off point (the poster also emphasizes the mother, who is almost a supporting character and disappears for long stretches). It's a remarkable portrait of Iranian society, and it's amazingly balanced in its depictions of everyone involved in the tragedy.

Cinema: 9 (+1)
Home Video: 20
Computer: 5
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