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Old June 23 2014, 02:13 AM   #271
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


39. The Perks of Being A Wallflower (A-)

Rewatched this for the first time since seeing it in theatres. It holds up pretty well, on the whole, and while "teen movies" as a whole have declined as a genre, teen dramas are rarer still, which is a shame, I think. This film deserved a wider audience, though perhaps it will find it in years to come. I do wonder, though, about the incessant social class system that American films seem to insist high schools have. I don't know whether it's an American feature, or a fictional construct, but high school in Canada was not structured like this -- there were social circles, but they were lateral circles, not vertical; and the upper grades were more concerned about college than harassing Grade Tens.

40. Tess (B+)

Thomas Hardy's typically depressing novel about the ruination of an innocent girl who gets raped, directed by a rapist, and starring an actress whose father was subsequently revealed to have abused her and molested her half-sister. Somehow this all seems like a fitting combination, though Nastassja Kinski's work in the lead role leaves me a bit ambivalent. There are some scenes where she seems perfect, others where it feels like she's the main thing holding the film back (also, her accent is befuddling). Gorgeous cinematography.

41. Belle (B+)

Anglo-Ghanaian director Amma Asante directs this (very loosely adapted) historical drama about Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a British admiral and an unknown Caribbean slave, who was subsequently raised as a young gentlewoman by her great-uncle Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. As Asante and her screenwriter note, we really know very little about Dido, and this film ignores much of that as it is. Which isn't really a problem, of course -- I quite enjoy Braveheart, which is nonsense, historically speaking -- if you want to make a romantic drama with a very loose connection to really history, if it's enjoyable on its own terms, you're welcome to it.

Belle feels a bit like a reorientation of middlebrow prestige filmmaking. In most respects its view of history isn't much more complicated than any number of preceding Hollywood films set in the same era -- the main difference is that it's got a black female lead, rather than her being a supporting character to Mansfield or whoever. Indeed, the female ensemble is the main selling point of the film, headlined by Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido, and the varied female household, such as her "sister-cousin" Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon), her foster mother Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson), and her great-aunt Lady Mary Murray (Downton Abbey's Penelope Wilton; you could tell that most of the audience I saw it with watches that show by the reaction she she popped up). The film's treatment of black and white women's social situation (in the upper class, admittedly; I briefly had an image of Patsey from 12 Years A Slave watching this movie and going "oh, Dido, I feel so bad for you!") is nuanced. The male characters in the movie mostly aren't. Dido's love interest John Davinier (reimagined from a footman into an aspirant lawyer and passionate abolitionist), as played by Sam Reid, is a thoroughly one-dimensional love object (though I noted that he was clearly having the desired effect on many of the ladies in the audience). Asante cast Tom Felton as the main representative of racism, James Ashford, which pretty much says all you need to know about that character. The exception is Tom Wilkinson's Lord Mansfield, who is nicely sketched out and has a decent character conflict, even if his nobility and affection for Dido is never really in question.

Cinema: 18 (+1)
DVD: 12 (+2)
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Old June 24 2014, 05:13 PM   #272
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







32. Atonement: B
33. Charlie Wilson's War: A
34. Frozen: A-
35. Rio: B
36. Godzilla: B

The last 20+ min are awesome. It's a bit slow with some token small monster sequences up till then. The human element that is revealing the narrative and motive of what's going on is adequate at least. Everything till the last 20min really is "small screen" fare but that last 20min needs the big screen. Godzilla fighting two Mothra-esque creatures was really good.
Where does a sequel go from here though??
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Old June 24 2014, 10:10 PM   #273
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

The Wolverine - HBO go on Apple TV - I haven't seen the other stand alone Wolverine movies yet, nor have I seen the First Class X-Men movies. This was available on HBO go, so I decided to give it a watch, people saying this is the better of the stand alone films. If this is the better of them, I'm not watching the others. I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, I really like his portrayal of the character. However this movie is just slow, boring and forgetful. An avid X-Men reader as a kid, I read the comics they used as a frame for the story. Unfortunately, it feels like they chose a few comic pages because they looked cool and then didn't coherently tie the story together.
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Old June 24 2014, 10:25 PM   #274
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

First Class is a lot better than Wolverine, and it's not really stand-alone.
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Old June 26 2014, 05:19 PM   #275
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







33. Charlie Wilson's War: A
34. Frozen: A-
35. Rio: B
36. Godzilla: B
37. Bowfinger: B-

This felt like Eddie Murphy's version of Arnie's Last Action Hero in way. It has RDJ in a small role where he's basically just being RDJ. An early Heather Graham and Steve Martin. Murphy plays a dual role here sans the fat suits. It's for sure a spoof of it's time by having Murphy's character make reference to Sly, Arnold, Van Damme and the broader ideas of getting a movie made. A passive renter.

As a sidebar I seem to be tracking behind last year about the same time in movies seen.
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Old June 26 2014, 06:41 PM   #276
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Zero Charisma - Amazon Prime on Apple TV - I was on the verg of renting this when I decided to check Amazon Prime and they had it. I've wanted to see this since I first saw the trailer last year. Having played D&D and other role-playing games my whole life, highlighted by playing Traveller 2600 while stationed in Alaska with the US Air Force. This movie is more of a snapshot into an intense Game Masters life with anger issues and the usual touch of over obsession on minuet details. While difficult to root for, because he shows no real growth. The character never feels patronizing or like a caricature. I really enjoyed the movie and glad I was finally able to see it.
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Old June 27 2014, 01:07 PM   #277
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Godzilla and X-Men: DOFP so far, both good movies, but I like Godzilla better.
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Old June 28 2014, 12:07 AM   #278
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014



Recently Seen:
Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (8)

Running Total:
39
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Old June 29 2014, 02:13 PM   #279
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1) Wargames - B+
2) Play The Game - B
3) Battle Los Angeles - B+
4) Despicable Me 2 - B
5) Minority Report - C-
6) District 9 - B+
7) How Do You Know? - F

8) Walk The Line - A-
9) The Butler - A+
10) Captain Phillips - B
11) Sky High - C+
12) Draft Day - B-
13) Nuremberg - B
14) Love & Other Drugs - D
15) We Were Soldiers - B+
16) A Walk To Remember - D+
17) Gridiron Gang - C
18) 42 - B

19) The Monuments Men - A-
20) The Rebound - D-
21) Saving Mister Banks - A-
22) Last Vegas - D+

I may be being too critical about this movie, but it was brutal. Sure, it had its funny moments, but the characters were all so cardboard, especially if they were under the age of 50. They are simply there to serve the plot, no matter how ridiculous it makes them seem.

As for the silly plot in a movie like this, you know the Kline won't cheat on his wife, you know Morgan Freeman's relationship with his son is going to change, you know Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro are going to get their friendship back on track and the former will end up with Mary Steenburgen (who was shoehorned into that casino with the stupidest back story). When you choose a story that everyone knows the ending, you need to make the journey interesting and here the journey falls flat on it's face.

23) Jack Ryan - Shadow Recruit - B-

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Hunt For Red October and I was also a fan of the other Jack Ryan movies, even the aborted reboot with Ben Affleck. I also enjoyed this movie on the strengths of its action, but the plot has enough holes to put the Red October through.

Like why is the baddie doing what he's doing? Does he simply hate America or was there something in his past that drove him to this? Why bring up he has three months to live and then drop it? Was that to give Keira Knightley something to say at the table? His son kills an FBI agent and no one seems to notice that the guy is gone? Where did the other two members of his cell go? Did they just vanish into thin air? Why was it so easy for Jack to retrieve Cathy from the hands of Cherevin? And why was the rescue so easy?

If this is a reboot of the character for more adventures, I look forward to it, as long as we don't have to play save Cathy every movie and better constructed villains that are more substance than just someone to shoot at.
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Old June 29 2014, 02:39 PM   #280
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Captain Craig wrote: View Post





2014 First time viewed films:
1. Saving Mr.Banks: A

This pseudo documentary about the decades long effort that Walt Disney had while trying to get author P.L. Travers to agree to let him do Mary Poppins was truly an enjoyable film. Hanks and Thompson both knock it out of the park. Both understanding what a property/character means to it's creator and the themes of family that are woven underneath the whole narrative. From Walt's side, to Travers right through to Ralph(played by Paul Giamatti(sp) and his discussions about his daughter Jane.
Colin Ferrell should also be given props for his role as Pamela's father in the flashback sequences.

The Freudian nature of what not only Mary Poppins means to Ms.Travers but that of Mr.Banks. Which I admit going in I was not immediately connecting the dots as Mr.Banks from the film, he isn't the character I instantly think of, not even in my top 3. I kept thinking, Hanks is Disney....who is Banks? Felt silly, I should've known. When placed into the perspective the film does so, I need to go and re-watch Mary Poppins. I've seen it sometime in the last 5yrs so I won't add it to my list but with the new background it may cause me to look at that character with some new light.


I was going to see Walter Mitty but my freebie pass was good for that. I feel I still saw a great film for free though.
Saving Mr. Banks is a great movie, my family really enjoyed it.
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Old June 29 2014, 05:16 PM   #281
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

54. Groundhog Day ★★★★
55. Jug Face ★1/2
56. The Man From Earth ★★★
57. Paul ★★★1/2
58. Neighbors ★★★
59. Pompeii ★★
60. FAQ About Time Travel ★★★
61. The Running Man ★★★
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Old June 29 2014, 10:21 PM   #282
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


The Family - Netflix Instant
Romancing the Stone - Netflix Instant
The Jewel of the Nile- Netflix Instant
The Sklar Brothers: What Are We Talking About? - Netflix Instant
Robocop (2014) - DVD
Lone Survivor - DVD
Knights of Badassdom - DVD
Frozen - DVD
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - DVD
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - Netflix Instant
A Million Ways to Die in the West - free admission
Wolverine: Weapon X - Tomorrow Dies Today - DVD
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated Edition - DVD
Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special! - Netflix Instant
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - DVD
Escape from Tomorrow - Netflix Instant
22 Jump Street - theater

I took my two oldest nephews out to the Carmike 6 in Nacogdoches to see 22 Jump Street yesterday for their cheap matinee of the day.

Now, I grew up watchin' the television show, and just a couple of years ago, I rewatched the whole thing on DVD 'cause I found it for cheap at Best Buy. And I liked the first movie, it was fun.

This sequel is a mess, though. Its too much like the first, with jokes about how exactly like the first movie it will turn out to be throughout the film. The jokes aren't as funny. Split screen is used too much. And there is a gay thing goin' on, but they never follow through with it.

The funniest part of the whole thing is the end credits, which has a series of sequels, product tie-ins and the celebrity cameos.
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Old July 1 2014, 12:38 AM   #283
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014




Recently Seen:
The Rover (5)

Running Total:
40
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Old July 1 2014, 05:37 AM   #284
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


The Family - Netflix Instant
Romancing the Stone - Netflix Instant
The Jewel of the Nile- Netflix Instant
The Sklar Brothers: What Are We Talking About? - Netflix Instant
Robocop (2014) - DVD
Lone Survivor - DVD
Knights of Badassdom - DVD
Frozen - DVD
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - DVD
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - Netflix Instant
A Million Ways to Die in the West - free admission
Wolverine: Weapon X - Tomorrow Dies Today - DVD
Dumb and Dumber: Unrated Edition - DVD
Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special! - Netflix Instant
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - DVD
Escape from Tomorrow - Netflix Instant
22 Jump Street - theater
Edge of Tomorrow 2D - theater
Harlem Nights - Netflix Instant

Went out to the Cinemark in Lufkin last night to see Edge of Tomorrow. I went with the 2D show, and considerin' how dark the big climax is at the end, I'm glad I didn't bother with 3D.

But let me tell y'all, if ya haven't seen it, and ya can, go. It was a damn good scifi movie. Tom Cruise knows how to make a good one, and Emily Blunt was suitably bad ass, too. And its Bill Paxton had a nice supportin' role.

I'd like to go see it again, to be honest...but I'll have to wait for the DVD.

Had my first day of trainin' at a new job today.

Back at the house now, watchin' Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor & Redd Foxx in Harlem Nights via Netflix Instant.
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Old July 1 2014, 07:46 PM   #285
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


42. Barton Fink (B+)

With this, I've seen all but two of the Coens' movies (Raising Arizona and The Man Who Wasn't There). I'm not a big fan of John Turturro as an actor, so I wasn't especially anxious to see this one, though it's pretty good. The Coens wrote it to be intentionally ambiguous, and at times I think it would be more interesting if they committed more to any one of the various elements the movie hints at. They've got John Mahoney in the movie doing a pretty good parody of William Faulkner, for instance, but the movie doesn't really have anything to say about Faulkner as a writer. John Goodman steals the show, though weirdly it was Michael Lerner who got an Oscar nomination for the film.

43. Miller's Crossing (A+)

This was one of the first Coens films I watched, and it remains my favourite work of theirs, and one of my favourite films, period. Terrific gangster film, with a great plot that I'd forgotten a lot of the details of in the years since I last watched it. This was the first time I watched it on Blu-ray, and the visuals look truly amazing.

Cinema: 18
DVD: 14 (+2)
Computer: 11
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