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Old January 14 2014, 04:30 PM   #46
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

6. Death Race 2000 (1975) -- C

There are some moments of dark comedy and satire in this New World Pictures quickie that are absolutely brilliant. David Carradine is good in the lead ("Frankenstein," who has a reveal early on that is genuinely surprising) and Sylvester Stallone, before he was famous, cranks it up to eleven as one of the heavies. But, wow, is the movie padded. There's basically 30 or 40 minutes of narrative and action stretched out to 79 minutes, accomplished by letting every scene of dialogue (read: scenes that were cheap to film) crawl into infinity. And, no, the ending doesn't make any sense, but I knew what this was when I went into it!
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Old January 14 2014, 04:33 PM   #47
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

The Devil's Double - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Future War - Netflix Instant
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay - Netflix Instant
Stephen King's Graveyard Shift - Netflix Instant
Charge - Netflix Instant
The Eiger Sanction - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Laserblast - Netflix Instant
The Joneses - Netflix Instant
The Reich Underground - Netflix Instant
In the Loop - Netflix Instant
The Other Man - Netflix Instant
Our Nixon - Netflix Instant
Broadcast News - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Final Justice - Netflix Instant
The Blob (1958) - HuluPlus
American Breakdown - HuluPlus

Been watchin' episodes of The Shield the last few days. Took a break yesterday, to watch a couple of movies.

The original blob movie was decent, considerin' the era. Kinda hard to believe Steve McQueen's weathered face as a teen, though. And the last line of the film made me think "Damn you, Al Gore!"

Followed that with AB, an anthology movie with a name actor in each story, each done in a different style & tone and none of 'em connected, far as I could tell, and none of 'em were a damn bit of good.

Back to The Shield this mornin', since the HuluPlus movie options kinda suck compared to Netflix.
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Old January 14 2014, 06:56 PM   #48
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) ★★★
2. The Kings of Summer (2013) ★★★1/2
3. About Time (2013) ★★★★
4. Carrie (2013) ★★1/2
5. We Are What We Are (2013) ★★1/2
6. Saving Mr Banks (2013) ★★★1/2
7. American Hustle (2013) ★★★
8. Prince Avalanche (2013) ★★
9. Blue Jasmine (2013) ★★★
10. Die Wand (The Wall) (2012) ★★★1/2
11. Drinking Buddies (2013) ★★★
12. C.O.G. (2013) ★★★1/2
13. Double Indemnity (1944) ★★★
14. Her (2013) ★★★★
15. les Diaboliques (1955) ★★★★

16. What Maisie Knew (2013) ★★1/2
This is a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed it at the beginning, but it quickly became tiresome. It's a film about a child whose parents are divorced and she is shuffled around. The entire film is from her point of view, which was interesting, though.
17. Wolf of Wall Street (2013) ★★★★
Easily one of the best films of 2013. Leo is a shoe-in for the Academy Award if there is any justice in the world. This film was so over the top I couldn't help but love it. Kind of makes me want to buy some stock...
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Old January 15 2014, 09:40 PM   #49
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

18. Harold ★1/2

I don't even want to talk about this crapfest of a film my friend made me watch
19. 12 Years a Slave ★★★★
Probably the best film of the year. Excellent acting, music, screenplay... just everything about this movie shines
20. The Hunt ★★★★
Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic. I'm beginning to really appreciate Danish cinema. Great, great film about a witch hunt.
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Old January 16 2014, 05:40 AM   #50
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1. Frozen
2. Turbo
3. The Last Stand - Amazon Prime on Apple TV - I'm home alone tonight, instead of catching up on some missed TV shows, I decided to watch a movie. So I check out whats new on Amazon Prime, it was between The Last Stand and Jack Reacher. The Last Stand won out because it was only an hour and half.

The Last Stand has a premise that is totally unbelievable, yet you buy into it. Pretty much from the get go, everything is laid out for you. The goal and objectives, the stakes and the end game. This is Arnold Schwarzenegger first movie coming back from being out for politics, it was a smart choice. Playing an aged Sheriff, with some baggage, who is also a bad ass. He really makes this film work, everyone else is pretty much just standing around. The one liners however are not very good in this movie, they needed some work. If you like shoot 'em ups, this is the movie for you. Also the score for this movie is just fantastic, think I will download it. Also there is a song from Cowboy Junkies, which immediately makes this a better movie. Overall I really liked the movie.
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Old January 16 2014, 12:58 PM   #51
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Television Broadcasts
Cinema
DVDs

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Seen this many times. It's still a great movie adaptation. 9/10.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Same as above. 9/10.

3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Rewatch. It's as great as LotR. 9/10.


---

4. Man of Steel
I found it excellent. Better than Superman Returns. On par with the first two Donner/Reeve films.
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Old January 16 2014, 04:44 PM   #52
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

7. Gorgo (1961) -- C+
8. It Came From Outer Space (1953) -- B


Gorgo is a silly Godzilla knock-off, albeit one with gorgeous technicolor cinematography and effects which are (most of the time) surprisingly effective. I think MST3K is a little unfair to it (for one thing, the print they use makes it look far cheaper than it actually is)...but only a little unfair.

It Came From Outer Space is a fun Jack Arnold directed sf picture from the early '50s. Although the alien effects are only reasonably effective and the sequences of people being seemingly attacked become a bit repetitive, for the most part this is a well directed picture that manages to keep you second guessing whether the aliens are benevolent or not until the end, thanks to a good treatment from Ray Bradbury. Richard Carlson, as always, is good in the lead, and there's a nice array of character actors in support. There's a nice sense of depth in a number of shots, too, probably because this was Universal's first foray into the short-lived 3-D craze in the '50s.
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Old January 19 2014, 05:28 PM   #53
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


3. Her (A+)

My filmgoing year has gotten off to a slow start, between the problems with my apartment and devoting 13 hours to watching the first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix (great show, incidentally).

Her became the critical cause celebre of the 2013 awards season, and having now seen it, I would say deservedly so. It's one of the most imaginative and effective pieces of science fiction I've seen in a long time, as well as an extremely compelling romance. And it's lovely to see Joaquin Phoenix in a lighter role.

Cinema: 3 (+1)
DVD: 0
Computer: 0
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Old January 19 2014, 08:00 PM   #54
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Having watched nearly 300 films last year (whilst only finding this thread half way through it) I thought I'd join in this time. I must say though, I grade on the UK curve rather than the US one, where the passing grade is around a 5.5 rather than a 7...

Been a slow start so far thanks to work but lets kick off with:


Frank & Robot (2013) - Always loved Frank Langella and it's lovely to see him played against his normal type in a more sympathetic role. It's quite clear he's very adept at comedy and the soft subtle humour in the film helps string along a rather thin plot. Still, lovely bit of whimsy and just a warm film all round. 6/10 (DVD)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) - my love/loath relationship with Ben Stiller continues, and the annoying man continues to confound my expectations. After Greenburg a few years ago it became apparent that there is a soulful side to the man and this film (though admittedly shamelessly self involved) reaffirms that. I know that the critics have been harsh on it, and whilst it certainly doesn't reach any of the lofty goals and ideals it's (I think) is aiming for, it too has a lovely air of warmth and charm about it. Cinema seemingly has become a ruthless game of "shock" "awe", "Dazzle" and "grimness", and whilst I enjoy all of them in correct doses, it's actually rather nice to find a film that just feels genuinely "nice", without it being a pejorative spin on the word. I enjoyed the sedate pace, the general silliness, the rather downtrodden but caring Walter and the fact that at times it's happy to throw out a little weird, or nonsensical moments in Walters drive for "adventure in reality". It's a little long, some of the dream sequences don't work (the Benjamin Button sequence felt drawn from a wholly different film all together), but it was all held together by a very assured directorial hand and a quiet, still, central performance. It's certainly no Forrest Gump (thank gods) that many critics appear to be contrasting it to, but I walked out with a little smile and a swing in my step. Next time Stiller shouldn't Travelogue as much, but I'll forgive him given how lushly it was all shot - 6.5/10 (Cinema)

American Hustle - The first big disappointment of the year. All of the actors were wonderful (and I love them all generally). The period detail, the cinematography, the general direction were all lush and rich, and O. Russell has been a firm favourite of mine since Three Kings and now feels like a natural successor to Steven Soderbergh - given they both love switching and playing with different genres. So, why in the hell was I so bored watching this? There was a sense of self satisfaction and smugness about it all, but without any bravado in the script. In fact it's one of the weakest "Con" scripts of recent time (well, excluding the utterly wretched Now You See Me, and hence all is left is the rather trite and uninvolving quadrangle relationship between its main cast. The structure of the film was clearly attempting to balance out the fantastical "Sting" operation with the reality of how it bore down on the characters lives, yet the only person I seemed to care about was Jeremy Renners Mayor, who genuinely appeared to be acting in a selfless manner for his people. The balance between the plot and the characterisation was wholly off and I spent far too much time willing the film to end. Still, Bale's rather "out of his depth" performance was cute and I can look at Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in 70's garb for years on end, but it all couldn't make up for the fact it was all to loosely thrown together, and the two parts of the film (Plot Vs Characterisation) never gelled correctly. There is probably a more efficient little "con" flick in there somewhere, but O. Russell appeared to be trying to out-Anderson Paul Thomas Anderson with this films sprawling style and running time. Lovely to look at, rather dull to watch. 5.5/10 (Cinema)

Right, off to watch 12 Years a Slave - update pending. If I haven't self harmed following it.

Current rundown:

Frank & Robot - 6/10
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - 6.5/10
American Hustle - 5.5/10


Cinema - 2
DVD - 1


Hugo - To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
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Last edited by Hugo Rune; January 20 2014 at 12:53 AM.
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Old January 20 2014, 12:06 AM   #55
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

The Devil's Double - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Future War - Netflix Instant
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay - Netflix Instant
Stephen King's Graveyard Shift - Netflix Instant
Charge - Netflix Instant
The Eiger Sanction - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Laserblast - Netflix Instant
The Joneses - Netflix Instant
The Reich Underground - Netflix Instant
In the Loop - Netflix Instant
The Other Man - Netflix Instant
Our Nixon - Netflix Instant
Broadcast News - Netflix Instant
MST3K: Final Justice - Netflix Instant
The Blob (1958) - HuluPlus
American Breakdown - HuluPlus
Spy Kids 3: Game Over - Netflix Instant
The Beast with a Million Eyes - Netflix Instant

My sister got Netflix turned back on yesterday. Good thing, too, 'cause the movie options for HuluPlus kinda suck.

Watched SK3, so I've now seen all four films in that franchise. Kinda threw me off in the end, with them showin' the bad guys on Congress Avenue near the Capital at 11th Street and the good guys fightin' them from Fifth & Neches. The CGI was overly comical, too, which is par for the course to the franchise.

Followed that with a mid-1950s black & white scifi movie where the invadin' alien UFO is a teapot & flashy light.

Spent today finishin' up the final season of Chuck.
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Old January 20 2014, 02:30 AM   #56
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Updates in Bold:
Black Rain (7)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (9)
Heat (1995) (8)
Tales From Earthsea (5)
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Old January 20 2014, 06:54 AM   #57
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

9. The Invisible Man Returns (1940) -- B-
10. Europa Report (2013) -- A
11. Mitchell (1975) -- F
12. Devil Doll (1964) -- C-


The Invisible Man Returns isn't a bad film. It has effects as good as the original, offers an interesting twist on the premise (the invisibility formula is used on an innocent man on death row; can his name be cleared before the formula drives him insane?), and has as good a leading man in Vincent Price as Universal could ever hope for to replace the original's Claude Rains. That said, once the film gets into it, there isn't very much that isn't a retread of the original, despite the initially effective twist on the premise. Well-made and well-acted, but not a classic.

Europa Report exceeded my wildest expectations. Made for less than $10 million, it looks many times more expensive. Honestly, I felt the film was just as thrilling as Gravity, and the character work and acting was far better than anything the much more expensive and widely seen film provided. As good a sf film as I've seen in the past year.

Mitchell is a truly awful cop movie. Joe Don Baker is about as convincing as an action hero as present-day Steven Segal -- and that doesn't even take into account the script, which seems to imagine that painting him as a boorish alcoholic will endear him to the audience. The MST3K version of the movie is, I think, the best way to get through it. If ever there was a chessy cop movie that needed riffing, this is it.

In contrast, Devil Doll (another target of MST3K) isn't nearly as bad -- but it's certainly not great. While there are scenes of effective horror (as well as some twisted eroticism that definitely pushed the envelope in '64) there obviously wasn't enough money to put it all together. The ending, in particular, is an absolute editorial mess of Jaws: The Revenge level incoherence.
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Old January 20 2014, 07:41 AM   #58
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


4. Bicycle Thieves (B)

Has a very strong ending, and it is interesting as a snapshot of Italian society in the immediate postwar, but I was rather bored by this for most of the running time, honestly. Ah, well.

Cinema: 3
DVD: 0
Computer: 1 (+1)
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Old January 20 2014, 12:57 PM   #59
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

So, survived last night...

12 Years a Slave - let's get this straight out there: Chiwetel Ejiofor is amazing. He is in fact "themanwhoisamazingineverything". No bones about it. Here he is admirably backed up by McQueen go-to-guy Michael Fassbender, who is also "prettydamnedimpressiveineverything". Chuck in a surprising debut performance by Lupita Nyong'o and a fairly terrifying act of "scorned wife" by Sarah Paulson and you have one of the best casts trying to tear at your soul. They've been wrangled by McQueen who, himself, is turning out to be a "cantdomuchwrong" kind of fellow, and this is a strong film for him to lay waste to the Hollywood elite it.

I've no doubt that it will clean up at the Oscars, and yet like many films that do so, it feels like a [I]deserving[I] film, one that has been picked by a group of people who really don't watch that many films any more, apart from the Oscar lead up stretch. Not to say it's not a good film, but rather it lacks significant depth or imagination to be an all time classic. Still, it is raw, it is powerful and golly, it is sad. Part Malik, part Curaron, McQueens film has an elegance and beauty about its look, coupled with an impressive use of space and sound to get across its finer points. The casual nature in which some of the harder elements of Ejiofor's characters suffering is filmed stunned me (Swinging from a noose, for five minutes as the rest of the plantation goes about its business), which were then contrast against a whipping that appears to last for 10 minutes, all done in one shot, floating from character to character as the abuse continues offscreen, with the sounds draining you with every second. Still, for all of the technical praise, there is a lack of structure to the story, and oddly a lack of any real arc to Ejiofors character. I'm still debating as to whether that was the point (why would a slave have a "journey" when his/her only purpose was to work and survive to reach the next day?), and no doubt I'll be flip-flopping for a while, but overall it was an interesting night at the cinema.

The only significant negative was Hans Zimmers score. It would have been apt if it weren't for two irksome things - (1) the central theme that rolls throughout the entire film is basically his much superior Time from Inception, cut and slowed down - and (2) the strange use of discordant cheap horror music during a few sequences in the beginning. Still, a fascinating film, but far from Best Picture worthy. But, then, most of the winners aren't even close to the best film of their respective year. 7.5/10 (Cinema)

Current rundown:

Frank & Robot - 6/10
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - 6.5/10
American Hustle - 5.5/10
12 Years a Slave - 7.5/10


Cinema - 3
DVD - 1


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Old January 20 2014, 11:54 PM   #60
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

21. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer ★★★

It's disturbing in some respects, but I think I'm so desensitized to violence that it plays like a black comedy.
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