Movies Seen in 2010

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

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    224. The Plainsman [C-]
    225. The Jazz Singer [F]

    The Plainsman: This is a wildly revisionist western, which mixes and matches characters and history to unintentionally hilarious results. Jean Arthur is entertaining as Calamity Jane, until she's forced to become the emotional woman when the script demands it. Cary Cooper is passable as Wild Bill Hickok, though this version of the character would be quite out of place on Deadwood. And that doesn't even begin to cover the heroic vision of Custer (charging into battle with the American flag waving high), the American Indians who are a collection of every western cliche in the book (Anthony Quinn passes for one in a scene, speaking absolute gibberish), and a completely tone-deaf prologue with Lincoln just before he goes off to Ford's Theatre ("I've never seen him in better health!" exclaims one of his advisors"). The film is well-shot, at least, and the performances (most of them) are passable, but it never reaches any heights worth noting.

    The Jazz Singer: This film has such an overinflated reputation in film history books. Mostly, it's a silent film, complete with mimed dialogue and intertitles. With one exception, all the sound portions are musical numbers (one scene involves a musical number and a little dialogue). Warner Bros. had been showing such musical performances for a year with short films--this just seeks to package them together with a silent movie. The transition between sound and silent segments are awkward, and the complete lack of camera movement leaves the proceedings feeling extra-stilted. And don't get me started on Al Jolson in blackface. It's not just offensive, but it prevents any emotions in the film's climax from registering (Racial tension aside, Jolson just looks silly in the make-up, which isn't what you want when the film is supposed to be reaching its emotional climax).
     
  2. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    United States
    Aliens in the Attic (6)
    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: The Movie (7)
    Batman: Under The Red Hood (9)
    Boondock Saints (10)
    Boondock Saints: All Saint's Day (9)
    The Book of Eli (8)
    Broken Blade (7)
    Cargo (7)
    Cencoroll (8)
    Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
    Clash of the Titans (2010) (8)
    Crazy Heart (6)
    Dante's Inferno (2010) (7)
    Date Night (7)
    District 9 (8)
    Eden of the East: The King of Eden (8)
    Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (8)
    The Edge of Darkness (9)
    Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance (9)
    The Expendables (9)
    The Fantastic Mr. Fox (8)
    Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (9)
    Fist of the North Star (1995) (4)
    G-9 (6)
    Gamer (6)
    Green Zone (7)
    Higurashi no Naka Koroni Chikai (7)
    Inception (10)
    Inglorious Bastards (7)
    Iron Man 2 (9)
    Jonah Hex (6)
    The Killers (6)
    Kino's Journey: Life Goes On (7)
    Kino's Journey: The Country of Disease (7)
    The Last Airbender (8)
    Law Abiding Citizen (9)
    The Lovely Bones (6)
    Lupin the 3rd: First Contact (7)
    Lupin the 3rd: Green VS Red (6)
    Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
    Lupin the 3rd: The Secret of Mamo (9)
    Lupin the 3rd: The Last Job
    My Name is Bruce (5)
    Naruto Shippuden Movie 3 (8)
    Oblivion Island (6)
    Oceans (Documentary/ Rating is NA)
    Oldboy (9)
    Pandorum (7)
    Plan Zet (5)
    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (8)
    Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (8)
    Summer Wars (9)
    Sunshine (4)
    Sword For Truth (6)
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
    They Were 11 (9)
    The Triplets of Belleville (5)
    The Uninvited (7)
    Walking Tall (7)
    Waltz With Bashir (9)
    Wicked City (8)
     
  3. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    You're lucky to be in a position where you can watch those for the first time. I had so much fun watching "Evil Dead 2" for the first time, it's one of those movies that almost makes me wish I could erase it from my memory just so I could have the thrill of experiencing it for the first time again. :)

    I wasn't sure about it at first, but it didn't take long before I totally got why it has a cult following, why Bruce Campbell has a worshiping fan base, and why people like to dress up as his character for Halloween or conventions.

    "Army of Darkness", the second sequel, was also a blast the first time I saw it, but I don't think it holds up as well to repeat viewings. I think it's more silly and less original that the first two evil dead movies, but it's entertaining and has some wicked one-liners.

    I saw "Easy A". It kinda suffers in comparison to the infinitely smarter and more mature "The Social Network" (which I'd seen in theatres the week before), but it was fun, light entertainment. I rarely go to two movies in the same month, but I'm glad I did this time.

    "Easy A" had some plot contrivances that I found lame and sometimes the overuse of 'clever' one-liners was a bit much, but it was a pleasure to watch Emma Stone carry a whole movie, and she definitely deserves to become a star after appearing in every scene and being funny and adorable the whole time.

    My favourite thing about it was the references to 80s teen movies. In one scene, she reenacts a hilarious moment and copies dialog from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" in a very subtle homage that warmed my eighties movie geek heart immensely. :adore:
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    226. The Earrings of Madam de… [B+]
    227. Night of the Hunter [A]
    228. The Room [F]
    229. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 [F]

    The Earrings of Madam de...: This is widely considered to be one of Max Ophul's masterpieces. It's certainly a well-made film, with several instances of long, mobile takes that would be impressive today, and excellent performances (including a turn by Vittorio Di Sica, of Italian neo-realist fame). Still, I find it hard to be invested in the emotional machinations of characters who live such incredibly wealthy and opulent lifestyles, though the film manages to do it by the final act (when Andre gives the earrings to his wife only to immediately take them away, it's heartbreaking). Definitely worth seeing if European cinema of the period appeals to you.

    Night of the Hunter: In a word, magnificent. Robert Mitchum thought this was his best role on screen, and it would be difficult to argue with him. He embodies pure evil, yet does it with such charisma that it's hard to take your eyes off of him. The rest of the cast is equally good. The music, like the rest of the movie, is over the top and very effective. The cinematography is some of the best you'll see in black and white. I was lucky enough to catch this in 35mm, and it does not disappoint on the big screen (shots of the two children rowing down the river are just stunning).

    The Room: Apparently, this is a big hit as a midnight movie here in Los Angeles, but I experienced it with a few friends on home video, so the atmosphere wasn't quite the same. It might be the worst movie ever made, though that's a big label to brandish, so I'll just say that it's one of the worst. It's a shame I was the designated driver, because everyone else was wisely hammered by the end. There is ridiculous dubbing, plot lines introduced than dropped, set dressing that seems to have been purchased from Target (including picture frames with the sample pictures still in!), the performances range from awful to unbelievably awful (the star/writer/director/executive producer/everything else) turns in a performance that you have to see to believe, and i could go on and on. But it's not worth it, really.

    Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2: In a way, it's more shocking that this sequel was ever made than The Room. With the exception of a few new scenes, the entirety of the film is a character reciting the events of the first movie even though he is an infant or not present at all in may of these "flashbacks." So much of it is recycled (and, no doubt, to pad out the running time) that the entire cast of Silent Night, Deadly Night is listed (a cast which is larger than the actors brought in for the new scenes by a wide margin!).
     
  5. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    "Night of the Hunter" is so, so awesome. I usually don't pay much attention to cinematography, direction, and all that stuff as I'm more of a dialog guy, but good gawd was that movie beautifully shot. The angles and the black and white cinematography were gorgeously haunting. Robert Mitchum was unforgettable too. Transcendently scary and cool at the same time. I love the way he would say, "chillllllldren!!!" and what happens at the end made me want to cheer for guns. I've never been so glad someone had a gun. Very few movies have blown me away as much as that one did.
     
  6. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    ^^I love that movie, too. Very intense. :eek:

    Here's an eclectic bunch...

    My One and Only - eh, okay
    The White Ribbon - strange
    All the President's Men - surprisingly, doesn't hold up well
    Kick-Ass - hilarious, mainly for Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz; looking forward to the sequel
    All Quiet on the Western Front - holds up very well
    Ajami - complex and disturbing; maybe a bit too contrived in its structure
    John Rabe - it's a bad sign that I had to look this movie up to remember what it was about; sort of a Schindler's List but played a lot flatter; Steve Buscemi was annoying
    Date Night - it's hard to screw up a romantic comedy with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, but the inane script almost succeeds
    Me and Orson Welles - the most interesting part is the re-creation of Welles' daring fascist-esque production of Julius Caesar
    Temple Grandin - uplifting and visually imaginative; highly recommended :bolian:
    Black Narcissus - weeeeeird-ass movie, made by the same folks as made The Red Shoes, and having a lot of the same hothouse hysteria elements
     
  7. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    I saw Let Me In and The Town in a double feature. I was very impressed by Let Me In, even though I enjoyed the original more. However, this remake is still very well done, with a terrifically written script and some really solid direction. The performances are fantastic all across the board, especially from the younger cast and the two leads in particular. I wasn't quite impressed with Cloverfield but Let Me In is an entirely different breed of animal; whereas Cloverfield was choppily edited and shakily filmed, Let Me In was gorgeously filmed with beautiful shot composition. It makes me actually anticipate Matt Reeves' next project.

    I was less impressed with The Town, although I'll admit it was a solid film if a little generic and derivative. Still, I think Ben Affleck is a talented director and created some very thrilling bank robberies and car chases. The performances are good, and there's a certain authenticity that makes you believe in these characters and this setting, even if you can telegraph certain characters' motivations in advance. Affleck brings nothing new to the crime thriller genre, and I was often reminded of greater heist movies like Heat, but The Town is a simple yet effective film.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    230. When a Man Loves [C-]
    231. Baby Face [B+]
    232. The Reckless Moment [B+]

    When a Man Loves: One of the first silent films with a synchronized soundtrack using vitaphone technology, that doesn't help this film from being an excruciating bore at most times.

    Baby Face: Brilliant, as long as you're watching the original, uncensored version (the censored edit contains a new ending that is totally nonsensical and edits several other moments due to sexual innuendo). Stanywck is at her best, sleeping her way to the top of a bank (including, for a very brief time, with a young and heavily made up John Wayne). Every time she should be fired, she manages to weasel her way higher in the ranks, instead. The final tragedy of her husband's suicide doesn't quite work, because their love affair isn't quite believable as anything beyond her usual use of seduction for career advancement, but it makes for a far better ending than having the husband survive and go to work in a steel mill! Yeah, right.

    The Reckless Moment: Incredibly well-shot, and well-acted by all around (including excellent performances from James Mason and Joan Bennett, among others), this family melodrama is more in the style of film noir and is definitely superior to the 2001 adaptation of the same short story starring Tilda Swinton, The Deep End. Both films suffer the same problem, however. Darby's death isn't well staged in either version, leading to some moments of confusion and ambiguity that the films don't seem interested in exploring. But the rest of the film more than makes up for that here.
     
  9. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Went to a screener showing of RED. Since I wasn't sure whether to expect it to be heavily satirical of the spy/comic genre or just be Grumpy Old Leathal Weapons I came away enjoying it. It's a movie worth your time and I would see it again.
     
  10. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    70. The American (B+)
    71. The Kids Are All Right (B+)
    72. The English Patient (A-)
    73. The Town (B+)
    74. The Social Network (A)
    75. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (B+)
    76. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (A-)
    77. RED (B+)

    Enjoyable, though it won't go down as one of the classics of the genre. The tone veers a bit between being serious and being buoyant in a way that I'm not sure completely works.

    The death of Morgan Freeman's character seems a bit at odds with the rest of the film, though it does supply the climax with a bit of actual jeopardy, something you rarely get in this sort of movie (in particular, you can almost believe that Helen Mirren is done for as a result).

    Speaking of Freeman, the movie's an interesting case of how advertising can shape your perception of the movie; he's all over the trailers, but Bryan Cox is nowhere to be seen in them. My favourite parts where the scenes between Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker, which managed a nice balance between being funny and being sincere. They also do a neat trick with the bad guy reveal. The film is also an interesting case of how things feel different in the post-Bush era; while tropes like the evil VP and corrupt corporations predate the Bush years by quite a bit, during them it became so intensely associated with them in the media (there was a faux-Cheney in every other action/spy movie) that it feels a bit weird to see them in use when the current VP is, well, Joe Biden, who's like your goofy uncle.
     
  11. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Barmuda Triangle
    A Serious Man - C+. An interesting peek at jewish culture via send-up but a lot of the jokes were probably lost on me. I think I've seen one too many of these type of movies about a passive and unsympathetic leading character. Bizarre opening and ending scenes.

    Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - B. Fairly solid documentary about the cult writer. Who knew there was an actual Cthulu religion? :cardie:
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    233. A Fistful of Dollars [B+]
    234. For a Few Dollars More [B+]
    235. Deathwatch [B-]
    236. Se7en [B+]
    237. Wonder Bar [F]

    A Fistful of Dollars: The first Italian Western directed by Sergio Leone (which is also the beginning of the genre as it has come to be known stylistically) is leaner than any other film he made, and as much as I love the "spaghetti" westerns he would direct afterwards, there's a certain appeal in a move that can get in and out in 100 minutes. The Eastwood character (named Joe here) is also harsher, with a more nihilistic attitude towards human life (he watches a pair of massacres without the thought of intervention) and no American co-star to temper his character's attitudes. He plays the two feuding families in the town against one another, watches them kill each other, and then finishes off Ramon and the last few who remain in the final reel. Only a bartender and the coffin maker are left as Eastwood rides out of town. This was certainly not your typical western.

    For A Few Dollars More: This one is more colorful than its predecessor, and the relationship between Eastwood (called Manco here) and Lee Van Cleef (playing Colonel Mortimer) adds a note of levity, despite both characters being bounty killers. There's some silliness, though. Leone demonstrates that he has absolutely no idea what the effects of marijuana are, adding some unintentional comedy to scenes that want to be played serious. There's also a peculiar lack of blood in the repeated flashback where the young man in pristine white pajamas is murdered--the pajamas go without a scratch. Still, overall, it's a much more slick film and providing Eastwood with a few one-liners doesn't hurt at all.

    Deathwatch: This peculiar prison drama from 1966 might be of some interest to sf fans, since it stars both Leonard Nimoy and Michael Forest (who played Apollo in a second season episode of STAR TREK), and was directed by Vic Morrow (who appeared, among many other things, in TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, where he tragically was killed in an on-stage accident). It's based on a French stage play (if I'm not mistaken), and the staginess starts to show about half way through, but the performances are strong (Nimoy gets to stretch, but it is Forest who is the real standout) and the gritty, handheld black and white photography is very effective. Morrow allows some character flashbacks to interrupt (or co-exist, via long dissolves) with the action, however, so it's not completely locked into the location.

    Se7en: Fincher's second film, in which he had more say an control, is a vast improvement over ALIEN 3. The constant rain, darkness, and grime that pervades everything (until the final sequence in the desert) is perfect. Morgan Freeman hits all the right notes as a homicide detective who is ready to retire, totally done with the awful city he lives in until a particularly nasty murder case appears. Brad Pitt is less effective, unfortunately. This was pretty early in his career, when he was still transitioning from character work to being a leading man. He's still a little broad, a little too naive, and a little too pretty for this character. It's not an awful performance, but it's not quite there. Still, it's a very effective modern noir and a touchstone for the genre since in terms of visual style. Also, Leland Orser is introduced partway through and doesn't become the murderer later on, so that automatically earns it points.

    Wonder Bar: This Al Jolson-headed film works as a light comedy about a Paris nightclub with musical numbers (directed by the great Busby Berkeley) and humorous interludes between two older couples...for the first two-thirds, anyway. Then it ends with the most racist musical number I've ever seen, and it's one that goes way over the top, too. Hundreds of actors (old and young) appear in blackface along with Jolson (of course, in blackface, too) in a number about black[face] heaven. In case you didn't know, this mostly includes wild animals, watermelon, and fried chicken, each prominently on display in case you missed it. It's utterly appalling, and manages to trash any goodwill I felt towards the picture up to this point.
     
  13. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    For a Few Dollars More is my favorite out of the trilogy; it has the best music, the coolest 'feel'...and some cool leading characters.

    I recently saw:

    *Dead Man
    *The Vanishing American
    *My Darling Clementine
    *Love and Death (The funniest Woody Allen film I've seen)

    Currently watching:

    *Brokeback Mountain
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  14. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Toy Story 3 [A] :(
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    That's my list from July 12. Here's an update/addition:

    Inception
    You Again!
    Toy Story 3
    The Town
     
  16. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    I liked this one too. Napoleon and his obsession with "Beef Wellington" cracked me up. I saw "Days of Heaven". Looks-wise, it's the most beautiful movie I've ever seen. A lot of it was shot outdoors at times where the sky was the most amazing shades of blue or orange and pink from the sun setting at dawn or dusk. The shots of nature like fields and rivers were also captivating. It's too bad the characters and the story were so lifeless, but if you have any appreciation for the technical aspects of cinema, it's worth watching for the amazing cinematography.
     
  17. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Black Christmas (1974) [B-]

    Interesting film. Odd that the killer's motivations are never even slightly revealed.
     
  18. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Last night me and some friends got together and watched 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, the direct to dvd sequel.

    It really was a notch above many direct to dvd movies. Worth seeing.
     
  19. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Ginger Snaps [C+] I think this one is overrated. I just really couldn't get into it, and the last 20 minutes or so are really boring.

    A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) [D] Awful. I knew it wasn't going to be good beforehand, so at least I wasn't too disappointed. They somehow neutered Freddy and made me cheer for all these kids to die.
     
  20. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    70. The American (B+)
    71. The Kids Are All Right (B+)
    72. The English Patient (A-)
    73. The Town (B+)
    74. The Social Network (A)
    75. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (B+)
    76. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (A-)
    77. RED (B+)
    78. Winter's Bone (A-)

    This was the big find of last year's Sundance, and has generated a ton of buzz for 19-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, who may be among the year's Best Actress nominees (it's an unusually competitive field this year, so maybe not). One might call it the white trash Precious, with its teenage protagonist growing up in a deeply and historically impoverished part of the country (rural Missouri, in this case). Ree's straits aren't as dire as Precious' in a lot of ways - instead of a tyrannical mother and a rapist father, she's got a mentally ill mother who's basically another child to look after in addition to her two younger siblings, and an absentee criminal father who put their house up as bond and then went missing before trial. The movie is, I guess, a crime thriller, but there's not a whole lot of plot, per se; basically, Ree goes around asking questions and trying to find her father, dead or alive. The movie generates a surprising amount of suspense and foreboding with very little visible effort; the whole thinking is soaking in atmosphere. The resolution is an interesting combination of the depressing and the exceedingly mild light. Lawrence (who looks a lot like a young Renee Zellwegger) is getting most of the acting plaudits, but John Hawkes as her uncle is also a standout.