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

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Old February 14 2014, 08:07 AM   #106
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


9. The Hunt (A-)

Denmark's submission for Best Foreign Language Film, and one of the actual nominees, a moody drama starring Mads Mikkelsen. No, not last year's A Royal Affair -- this one is set in the present day and is about a guy wrongly accused of sexually abusing a little girl due to a chain of circumstances and bad judgement on the part of authority figures (if this wins, I'm sure there'll be numerous think pieces about what this tells us about the Academy's attitude toward Woody Allen; but most of the betting seems to be on The Great Beauty). Mikkelsen is superb in the lead role, and very well cast (he's wholly sympathetic, but the lingering impression of his various villain roles makes it plausible that so many people buy the accusations against him). The movie's other notable performance is Annika Wedderkopp as the girl caught in the center of the controversy, giving one of the best child actor performances I've seen in the last few years.

Cinema: 5
DVD: 1
Computer: 3 (+1)
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Old February 14 2014, 08:33 PM   #107
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







7. Just Go With It: A-
8. The Road: B
9. Blue Valentine: B
10. Fifth Element: C
11. Boy in the Stripped Pajamas: A

I had no idea how sad this movie was going to be at the conclusion of the film. It takes place during WWII and is about a German commander who is in charge of one of the Jewish Concentration(extermination) facilities. He is moved out of Berlin and into an adjacent country farmhouse to the facility. His family comes with him and his 8yr old boy(Bruno) is young enough to be blissfully unaware of the true horrors surrounding the war.

Bruno is quite lonely away from his friends in the city and manages to sneak out of the guarded house into the countryside to play where he comes upon the edge of the fence. Bruno encounters another boy and they befriend one another. He asks the boy why he's always wearing his pajamas to which he finds out those are not pajamas they are his work clothes...and only clothes.

Back at the house Bruno also makes inquiries to the house servant, whose "pajamas" can be seen sticking out of his cover up work pants. He does odd jobs but mostly does prep in the kitchen. When Bruno skins his knee the houseworker patches him up with a bandage and Bruno wonders if he'll need to see a doctor. The house servant informs him no and Bruno says "all you do is peel potatoes, what do you know?" To which he's informed he used to be a doctor.

The movies tragic end is when Bruno sneaks under the fence to visit his friend and in doing so is taken to the showers with his friends group.

Very well acted, paced, directed etc. If it didn't win some awards it should've been nominated at the least.
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Old February 15 2014, 11:33 PM   #108
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Just saw RoboCop yesterday. I'm looking for the thread to comment on it.
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Old February 16 2014, 07:22 AM   #109
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


10. Amadeus (A+)

A rewatch, this time with a friend who hadn't seen it before. A complete classic. I'm still surprised, given Oscar trends, that Elizabeth Berridge wasn't nominated -- admittedly, the cinematic cut suffered from the omission of a key scene (one of the biggest instances where a director's cut improves a film). It's a movie that makes me wish I understood opera more than I do.

11. The LEGO Movie (A-)

The most amazing toy commercial in the history of cinema, capturing the fun of LEGO worldbuilding whilst also functioning as a parody of the Campbellian hero's journey and much of standard adventure storytelling. Phil Lord and Chris Miller seem to be making a tidy career of taking unimpressive premises and spinning them into gold.

Cinema: 6 (+1)
DVD: 2 (+1)
Computer: 3
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Old February 16 2014, 07:41 AM   #110
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

1) Her (2013) - A
2) Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - B+
3) The Dallas Buyers Club (2013) - B
4) Frozen (2013) - A
5) Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - B
6) Rush (2013) - B+
7) Blackfish (2013) - B

Blackfish was on CNN tonight and I wasn't sure if I was going to watch all of it or not. I ended up watching it, and while I don't share the sentiment of everyone else that I will never go to Seaworld again, I will say it was a good documentary getting this topic out to more people and getting the discussion going. The thing is people (At least online) have been outspoken against Seaworld since the dawn of time, (or so it seems) so a lot of what is presented here isn't new. It is, however, one sided and does feel like a smear campaign against Seaworld.

I probably won't go to Seaworld, mainly because I don't really enjoy it, but this issue really does go beyond Seaworld, doesn't it? I mean what about Zoos, or if anyone who is so hell bent on shutting seaworld down if they have any pets. Isn't owning a pet putting an animal in captivity? Isn't training a dog or cat kind of the same as what we see at Seaworld, but maybe not to the most extreme? The thing is if you shut down Seaworld, you might as well shut down circuses, zoos, and anything else that deals with Animals. The thing I got out of this documentary are that Humans are evil people, but I thought that was common knowledge.

Netflix
Theater: 5
Itunes 1
Blu Ray/DVD/TV 1 (+1)
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Old February 16 2014, 03:56 PM   #111
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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

It was alright, but it's major flaw is relying too much on the minions and their incoherent jabbering. They have their moments, but the rest of the story seemed like vignettes with minion commercials.

I also don't understand everyone's fascination with Kristen Wiig. She's a one note actor, playing variations on the ditzy character and it's getting tiresome.
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Old February 16 2014, 05:57 PM   #112
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Enders Game - On Demand - Time Warner Cable sent me a coupon for two free on demand rentals, so I decided to use one for Enders Game. I'm glad I did because this is an instantly forgettable, lackluster movie that borders on boring. It's not a bad movie just mostly meh. I've never read the book, I do own it on my iPad and I've tried to read it a few time but I could never make it past the first chapter. However even without reading it, there feels like something is missing from this adaptation. I'm not talking plot points but more overall feel, what made this story resonate with so many people?

What is surprise is there are a lot of really good performances in the movie. Asa Butterfield as Ender strikes the right balance of geeky charm and an inner strength to persevere. If I was making a Dune movie I would immediately cast him as Paul, he could be the first one to play the character convincingly at almost the right age. Harrison Ford does good work here, Colonel Graff could easily be played as one note but he adds enough layers to make you understand where he is coming from. I also think Viola Davis performance was outstanding and overall the other children were very good too.

Seeing the movie has intrigued me enough to try and read the book again. I think I'll push through this time, not allowing myself to give up.
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Old February 17 2014, 01:33 AM   #113
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Saving Mr. Banks
Labor Day - Starring Kate Winslett
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Old February 17 2014, 04:11 AM   #114
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

pdates in Bold:

Black Rain (7)
Fairy Tail The Movie: The Phoenix Priestess (8)
Heat (1995) (8)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (9)
Kick Ass 2 (8)
Lone Survivor (8)
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (7)
Monuments Men (8)
Robocop (2014) (8)
Tales From Earthsea (5)
Wolf Children (8)

Running Total: 11
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Old February 18 2014, 06:02 AM   #115
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

22. It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) -- C+
23. Cinema Verite (2011) -- B-
24. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) -- F
25. Track of the Moon Beast (1976) -- F


It Came From Beneath The Sea is a fun sf movie with some good animation by Ray Harryhausen. At times, the movie seems to be aiming for a documentary aesthetic, shooting on a real submarine, using many real navy men, letting conversations run their natural course (with all the awkward pauses between thoughts). It's an interesting choice, although as soon as the giant octopus shows up, I'm not sure how well it really works.

Cinema Verite is a solid HBO movie about the first reality show in the US (An American Family, produced for PBS of all places!). It has a great cast, is well made (editorially, it does a nice juggling its cast with clips of the original documentary series) and wonderfully captures the feeling of the '70s. What it doesn't have, unfortunately, is a very satisfying ending. Much of the third act plays out in the form of a rushed montage which makes the family's ultimate victory feel unearned and the producer's change of heart come out of nowhere (he goes from willfully exploiting the family's destruction to deep regret over his role in it, which leads him to withdraw from entertainment altogether). Good and interesting -- but not great.

Manos has a reputation for being the worst movie ever made. I think that's a little hyperbolic -- not because the movie does anything right, but because there are plenty of other less well-known movies that do just as much wrong. Nonetheless, if you put a gun to my head, I wouldn't quibble with the designation. It's a fucking terrible movie.

Track of the Moon Beast isn't as well-known as Manos, but it's just as bad (both were targets for MST3K). Barely watchable, even with the help of Mike Nelson and his robot pals.
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Old February 18 2014, 05:54 PM   #116
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

Harvey wrote: View Post
Nonetheless, if you put a gun to my head, I wouldn't quibble with the designation.
Are you saying that with a gun to your head you would quibble with assigning the same designation to, say, Citizen Kane?
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Old February 19 2014, 02:50 PM   #117
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

27. All is Lost ★★★★ - Robert Redford, at age 77, gives one of the finest performances in all of cinematic history. There's very little dialogue, but I was engaged from start to finish watching his descent into despair.

28. Riddick ★ - easily one of the worst films of the year. Completely devoid of anything that makes movie watching fun.
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Old February 19 2014, 08:23 PM   #118
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014







8. The Road: B
9. Blue Valentine: B
10. Fifth Element: C
11. Boy in the Stripped Pajamas: A
12. Hachi: A Dog's Tale: A

The true story of an Akita who lived in late 1920's and died in '34 in Japan who would wait for his owner at the train station....even though his owner had died. He waited for 10yrs.

Here the story is moved to the US and Richard Gere(Parker Wilson) is the dogs owner. They have Hachi fall into his life at the train station, seemingly having been a package that got lost. The dog would follow Paker in the morning, go home, and return at 5pm. When Parker dies of a heart attack Parker's daughter and her husband attempt to keep Hachi. However, at every opportunity he flees the house and makes the, now longer, trek back to the train station.

Everyone at the station house knew Hachi, the food vendors and local business. They basically kept him fed.

If you're a dog owner is a touching story of loyalty and love and if not the message is still there. It just might mean more if you're a "dog person".
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Old February 20 2014, 07:13 AM   #119
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Nonetheless, if you put a gun to my head, I wouldn't quibble with the designation.
Are you saying that with a gun to your head you would quibble with assigning the same designation to, say, Citizen Kane?
Fair.
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Old February 22 2014, 04:56 AM   #120
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014


12. Nebraska (B+)

Another road movie from Alexander Payne (though not written by him, for the first time) -- the last one centered around a millionaire, this one is about a guy who thinks he is one. Payne's touch is as deft as ever, and the world and extended family feel "lived-in" (the big gathering brought back a lot of memories of meetings of my dad's clan). It's also cast with "real" people, rather than people with movie star looks, which adds to the authenticity (Bob Odenkirk is probably the best-looking person in it). It's shot in black-and-white for no particular reason, though it's distinctive, at least.

Cinema: 7 (+1)
DVD: 2
Computer: 3
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