Movies Seen in 2010

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Starbreaker, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Multi-film review: Woody Allen's "Johansson Trilogy"

    Match Point [A+] - the first (and, as yet only) Woody Allen film I saw in theatres. I loved it in 2005, and put it on my top 10 for the 2000s, but his later films weren't as strongly reviewed (and generally weren't dramas, a genre I generally prefer), so I never got around to seeing any of them. Deciding to settle down and watch the latter two films with Johansson, I decided to give Match Point a rewatch as well to write a retrospective review. I'm generally not much of a rewatching type (though I still collect DVDs of films I saw in theaters for some reason), but anyway. This film really holds up, and remains one of my favourites of the last decade. Having a better sense of Rhys Meyers' character, rewatching the film you can really observe how calculated he is about upward mobility; everything he does serves some other end (including the seemingly unsubtle closeup of Crime and Punishment), until he meets Nola, which knocks him off his manipulative if ultimately harmless path. Great performances all around. I think some aspects of the Hewett family seem a bit outdated; at times they seem more like they stepped out of the Edwardian era in terms of how the aristocracy behaves (such as the seemingly jobless Chloe), but whatever.

    Scoop [C] - One can imagine how this would have been a disappointment after Match Point. This seems like Allen attempting a return to pure comedy, a genre he mostly abandoned after Stardust Memories (which meta-fictionally explained why he wanted to do that). But it's just not especially funny; there are long stretches with no real jokes, but it also doesn't work a thriller (he occasionally ends up with these genre-hybrids that don't effectively work in either). Johansson is doing what is basically a Mia Farrow role here (female Woody Allen), but it's hard to buy her as mousy (though the film at least doesn't pretend she's unattractive). Allen makes a rare-these-days onscreen appearance in a supporting role; he uses a lot of the same schtick he did in Broadway Danny Rose, but it's a bit tired. He does, though, deliver my favourite part of the film, where his character puts the puzzle together and drives off to rescue Johansson, only to die in a car crash on the way there because he's not used to driving on British roads. When last we see him, he's on the boat to the afterlife, grousing about how if the movie had been set in America he'd have gotten there, saved the day, and totally been a hero. If the rest of the movie had been that effective as a mystery/thriller parody, it might have been great.

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona [B+] - Allen's (for now) final film with Johansson, moving the setting to Spain after three films in London (a venue he's now returning to with 2010's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, after a nostalgic 2009 stopover in New York). After a superb drama and a subpar comedy, we get one of his relationship dramedies, the point of which seems to be that relationships are inconsistent. The character who doesn't know what she wants at the start of the film still doesn't at the end, and the one who knew what she wanted now doesn't (in another film, they'd just have switched places). There's a lengthy tradition in North American literature of North Americans going to Europe (especially the continent) and falling in with libertine arty types; this fits into that, but Allen mildly deconstructs this with Cristina, who is shown to be purposefully constructing such an identity for herself, and more notably by having Juan and Maria Elena be so much less idealized than a lot of such characters are (particularly Maria Elena). A collection of very strong performances, and I generally connected to the characters, though the weird decision to include a lot of totally superfluous narration (by a third-person narrator) takes it down at least a point).
     
  2. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I took my girlfriend to see it and she though it was a great movie:techman:
     
  3. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Location:
    Nacogdoches, Texas
    I went to go see Shutter Island tonight, only the third time I've been to the theater since the new year.

    And I kind of wish that I hadn't read the book first, 'cause the movie was, aside from a few twists & bits of dialogue, a very faithful adaption of the novel. Not a bad thing at all, but I knew everything that happened as it happened, beat for beat.

    Ah, well...
     
  4. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Updates:
    Armored Trooper Votoms: Big Battle (7)
    Armored Trooper Votoms: Roots of Ambition (8)
    Armored Trooper Votoms: The Last Red Shoulder (8)
    Armored Trooper Votoms: Pailsen Files (7)
    Boondock Saints (10)
    The Book of Eli (8)
    Cencoroll (8)
    Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
    District 9 (8)
    The Edge of Darkness (9)
    G-9 (6)
    Inglorious Bastards (7)
    Law Abiding Citizen (9)
    Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
    Oldboy (9)
    Pandorum (7)
    Summer Wars (10)
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
    The Uninvited (7)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  5. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Barmuda Triangle
    District 9 - A
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - B+
    The Wrestler - B
    V for Vendetta - C+
    Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone - C
    Corpse Bride - C
    Battlefield Earth - F
    There Will Be Blood - A
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - B
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - B
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - B-
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - B
    Faust (1994) - A
    Night on Earth - B
    Schizopolis - B-
    The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes - B
    Primer - B
    Ryan (2005) - B
    Lost Highway - C+
    The Seventh Seal (1957) - A
    Metropolis (1927) - A
    Kagemusha - A
    Following - B+
    Masters of Russian Animation 1, 2 - A
    The Old Man and the Sea (animated) - A
    The Man Who Planted Trees - A
    Miller's Crossing - B+
    Ocean's Eleven - B-
    Bottle Rocket - C+
    The Fountain - C

    Bottle Rocket - Fairly good movie that finds Wes Anderson not quite arriving at his particular style yet. Owen Wilson is one of those actors that I just don't like much as a rule, and he's fairly obnoxious here (although I did like him in The Royal Tenenbaums). This film has some of Wes Anderson's trademark inscrutability and misanthropic characters but not quite ratcheted up to the level of Rushmore or his later films. C+

    The Fountain is a beautifully shot movie that never quite adds up to the sum of it's parts. As near as I can figure (and there's certainly some room for interpretation) it's about a man living in three different time periods and each of these separate sub-plots converge together to become the causes of each other. It's a bit too neat of an explanation, and didn't quite work for me. There's an angsty love story in there as well, but it really wasn't my cup of tea. C
     
  6. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    The 1500 sequences are purely fictional; they're allegorical, written by the wife in the present-day sequence. The guy then lives into the future. That's loosely it, though a lot of the specifics are confusing.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    And I thought the future segments were clearly the guy's fantasy, but it's been a while since I've seen it.
     
  8. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ireland.
    I thought both future and past were fantasies, yeah. The past was the fantasy of his wife's; the future was his own fantasy.
    And in the middle of course is her death; so in the past they are together, in the future he is alone.

    Visually it's striking and in terms of story construction it's a very interesting and involving film, plus some nice symbolism, though I'd also agree its weakness is the slightly overdramatic depiction of the married couple. Nevertheless I liked it.
     
  9. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Ah ha! That actually makes a lot more sense. I had already read a synopsis going into the movie and kind of carried that assumption with me.

    IMDB Summary: Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

    So I'd kind of just taken it for granted that each of the time lines was an actual occurrence.

    Now that you guys mention it though- the inquisitor could symbolize her cancer, the tree of life is her cure, etc. I was wondering how the tree of life was supposed to stop the inquisitor, but in light of the symbolic angle, well of course it makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  10. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    The interesting thing is, based on the moral of the story, the evil inquisitor is basically right; he claims that death frees all souls, which the explorer in the past rejects, and the doctor in the present rejects, but the moral all around is that attempts to escape mortality are pointless and distract from appreciating life as it is.

    I liked the movie overall, but I think it's less than the sum of its parts.
     
  11. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    The Fountain is a deeply moving and visually provocative film. It's really rich and the film doesn't explain everything, which I really liked. It's a potent mixture of visuals and music that sort of congeal and help tell the story more so than the plot actually does. Little is really substantiated since you can make all sorts of guesses and have all sorts of interpretations, but I like that life and death is pretty basic and simple yet the film deals with it in such vividly imaginative and indecisive strokes.

    I mean, people have tons of theories about life and death, but indeed the story is really about the fragility of life and the acceptance of death. It's this fantastically melancholy yet realistic idea told in the guise of this wonderfully surrealistic science-fiction fantasy. I love films that don't overtly explain things and Darren Aronosfky's film is so subtle and nuanced that I just got swept up in the majesty of the storytelling. It's a really stunningly beautiful film.
     
  12. SmoothieX

    SmoothieX Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I may have to see Shutter Island. A portion of it was filmed in the abandoned state hospital in Medway, MA. I worked on a project there last year as one of the engineers for its demolition. The project ultimately got scrapped due to budget cuts, but I did inspect the place a couple times.

    It is a creeeeepy place. Especially the lobotomy room. They also had rubber padded rooms, bars along the walls to shackle the inmates to, etc. The cops/fire/national guard also used the place for training exercises. So there are spent shells all over the place, kicked in doors, and blasted open doors.

    I've worked in places that were hot, cold, cramped, smelly, etc. But I've never worked in such a spooky place.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Sherlock Holmes [B-]
    Men in Black [A]
    Up in the Air [A]
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
    I'm Not There [A]
    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
    American Violet [B ]
    Inglourious Basterds [A]
    Death at a Funeral [B ]
    A Serious Man [A]
    The Hurt Locker [A-]
    Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior) [C]
    The Book of Eli [C-]
    Elegy [B+]
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind [A]
    The Invention of Lying [B-]
    Gamer [C]
    Timecrimes [A]
    Metropolis [A]
    Pandorum [B ]
    Raiders of the Lost Ark [A]
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [A]
    Moon [A]
    Fun with Dick and Jane [C]
    Sunshine [C]
    Stanley Kubrick's The Killing [B+]
    Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1964) [A-]
    Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1946) [B+]
    Glengarry Glen Ross [B-]
    Gattaca [A]
    The Big Chill [ B]
    The Producers [A]
    Rent [C+]
    Blade Runner [A]
    My Cousin Vinny [B-]
    Zombieland [ B]
    Infernal Affairs [A]
    The Walker [F]
    Starship Troopers [A]
    Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith [F]
    Altered States [A]
    Devil in a Blue Dress [ B]
    Renaissance [ B]
    District 9 [ B]
    The Shawshank Redemption [B+]
    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story [ B]
    Memento [A]
    Powaqqatsi [C+]
    The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard [D-]

    Powaqqatsi: Neither the images nor the music are anywhere near as iconic as the first Qatsi film. Mostly, Glass alternates between two musical ideas, an eastern-sounding piece that I don't find particularly innovative and another piece which I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't grown up listening to James Horner's rip-off from a year later over the end credits of Glory. I also wasn't moved by the odd video effects which used images from television--they seemed very out of place juxtaposed with the rest of the film's imagery. Really, the only complete sequence that captivated me was the one near the end which ends with the poster image of the young boy being consumed by dust as a truck drives by.

    The Goods: Terrible comedy more likely written by a committee of producers than the credited screenwriters. I laughed a few times, sure, but the movie takes every joke it has and keeps going with it until I stopped laughing. Such a waste of a good cast, too.
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ireland.
    The Qatsi trilogy is one of diminishing returns (Koyaanis is better than Powaq which is better than Naqoy), though I found things to like about all three. I liked the parts of Glass's score that got stolen for The Truman Show; and the image of the exhausted man carried on the backs of South Americans was interesting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Los Angeles, California
    I could probably list 10 or 12 striking images, but only one striking sequences, alas.

    I need to get Koyaanisqatsi, though. Is it out on Blu-Ray yet?
     
  16. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    The Maltese Falcon - the prototypical film noir, and one of the most influential films in history in terms of the impact it had across a whole swathe of genres. Saw it on a reasonably big screen due to a student-run fundraiser at the university. It's a good movie (which, to an extent, is all you can ask of a film that has been imitated as much as this one has). I was familiar beforehand with the big final reveals, due to popcultural osmosis, but it's still fun to watch (a lot of these old noirs are heavy on humour, something that newer iterations largely don't have; like, say, basically any scene with the camp gay played by Peter Lorre). Maybe this is just a result of more visceral depictions of passion on film since, but I didn't find Spade's final choice over what to do with Brigid especially convincing.

    Love and Death - one of Woody Allen's mid-70s comedies, prior to the beginning of his semi-serious period with Annie Hall. This is rather different from most Allen films in that it's a period piece, albeit with Allen playing his usual persona as a complete anachronism in the middle of Napoleonic Russia. Much of the humour comes from parodying Russian literature of the 19th century (primarily Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky), and it's fairly amusing, if usually not laugh-out-loud (Allen's neurose-heavy style of comedy tends to shy away from belly-laughs).
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I recently read an essay which goes to great lengths explaining and justifying Spade's decision at the end of The Maltese Falcon (the book, but the endings are close except for a couple of small points). I'll see if I can find it again this weekend.
     
  18. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know why it would need to be explained or justified. She murdered his partner in cold blood; he quite succinctly gives all the reasons it would be a bad idea in the movie itself. My problem was it's hard to see why he'd have any second thoughts about that at all.
     
  19. Plomeek Broth

    Plomeek Broth Commander Red Shirt

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    The Box - snore. I loved Donnie Darko, but this was the biggest "nothing happens" film I have seen in a long time.

    Halloween II - Wow, what was Zombie on? Goosebumps cringeworthy. Not to mention the heroine's acting skills were horrendous and just cried and said the F word ad nauseum (I'm no prude). Brad Dourif should have never lent his skills to this tripe.
     
  20. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Movies Seen in 2010
    Duplicity - C-
    The Hurt Locker - A
    Moon - A
    The Princess and the Frog - B
    Crazy Heart - B+
    Julie & Julia - A-
    A Serious Man - A
    Fargo - A

    Believe it or not, I've never seen Fargo, until tonight. It was on Encore so I decided given this is Oscar weekend to finally see it kind of an on the fly thing. I'm glad I did. This was a great movie. It's that odd sense you expect from the Coen Brothers, but what really makes this movie work is the dialog, the atmosphere (fog and dreary nature of Minnesota/North Dakota), and that haunting musical score. Frances McDormond was awesome as the Sheriff and you know who she reminded me of? Furlow from Farscape. There was that same kind of dialog, wonder, and just everything about her was fun to watch. Loved the scene with the two girls and her and all the "ya's". Too funny. :guffaw:
     

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