Movies Seen in 2010

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

  1. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    PoA is one of my favorite movies. Hogwarts comes alive in this film.
     
  2. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Yeah, I know a lot of die-hard HP fans that greatly dislike Prisoner of Azkaban, but it's definitely my favorite of the films so far. It really took the series in such a forward direction for the better.
     
  3. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    80. The Corpse Bride (B)
    81. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (B+)
    82. Beauty and the Beast (A+)
    83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (B)
    84. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (B)
    85. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (A+)
    86. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (B+/A-)

    Prelude to Potterdammerung, Part 1: Film Series Rewatch: Newell Directions

    Cuaron unfortunately couldn't do this one, due to, among other things, production overlap, and after Newell things were entrusted permanently (as it turned out) to David Yates. Though I always hoped a little that he'd return, the succeeding hands were capable. The resulting film is, for a variety of reasons, not up to the standard of its immediate predecessor or its successors, but it remains a step up from the first two.

    Most notably, we're firmly into the period where significant cuts have to be made to the material to make a suitable film. Newell and Kloves do a decent job, but there are concessions made here that eat up screentime better used for other things. Most notably: why is Rita Skeeter here? Miranda Richardson does a good job, and her scenes are quite funny, but they don't finish her plot (which was, frankly, a sideplot anyway) and the subsequent movies don't use her (and don't need to). That character should have been axed and the minutes redeployed elsewhere (reducing the choppiness of the opening would probably have been my main use, and perhaps a bit more wand-related exposition for those who haven't read the books).

    All the same, it's on the whole very good. The writers, now by necessity, contine to innovate, introducing new stuff that fits the spirit of the books; as with Half-Blood Prince, the new character comedy bits are the most successful, and a lot of these I'd forgotten about in the years since I last saw this movie. McGonagall dragooning Ron as her dance partner, for instance - classic. They also conjure up a striking new dramatic tableau by having Harry conscious upon his return from the graveyard. The Death Eaters costumes are quite cool; I kind of miss them in the subsequent ones, though the redesign was cool too.

    Ralph Fiennes joins the cast and does a good job as Lord Voldemort. Among the leads, Radcliffe continues to grow as an actor. Some of Michael Gambon's acting choices in this one have been criticized, and I do think he seems a little overly emotional, but the character is written that way in this one, so I'm not sure if he could have played it that differently. Showing Dumbledore so clearly at a loss is an interesting writing choice (in the book he was at arms length the whole way through).

    Oh, and remember the days when it was "Cedric will be playing Edward" instead of "isn't that Edward as Cedric"?
     
  4. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Watched the original The Hills Have Eyes.
    I see why some of these 70 horror movies have been redone.
    The concept has merit and I'm now curious about the remake.
    This wasn't a bad movie for it's era.
     
  5. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    80. The Corpse Bride (B)
    81. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (B+)
    82. Beauty and the Beast (A+)
    83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (B)
    84. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (B)
    85. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (A+)
    86. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (A-)
    87. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (A+)
    88. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (A-)

    Prelude to Potterdammerung, Part 1: Film Series Rewatch: The Yates Years (Part 1)

    The franchise gets its final director, who would outlast Columbus and do four films, as many as all the others combined. Yates' style owes a lot to Cuaron, but he flourishes the camera a lot less.

    Of the two films, Phoenix is the better; indeed, it vies with Azkaban for my favourite of the series. It's probably the best job of streamlining one of the big books into something that distills the essential conflict down (though unlike Goblet, this one was a lot more about mood and character than plot, so it was undoubtedly easier). Half-Blood is in a bit of an interesting spot, since Yates has opted out of most of the exposition, which was arguably the biggest point of the book; we get the rudiments of the horcruxes, but that's it. Depending on how things go in the next film, that could work fine.

    Both films play the character interactions among the students for all its worth, and these are often the strongest parts of the films - and not just the Trio, and even primary support like Neville, Ginny, and Luna (Evanna Lynch is, of course, perfect), but the other kid actors, many of whom have been hanging around the set since the first film. The whole crowd comes to seem so familiar. Both films have some very good comedy, particularly the latter one; though on rewatch there was a bit in Order that I had forgotten: after Harry talks about how Cho was crying while kissing him:

    Ron: You kiss that bad?
    Hermione: I'm sure Harry's kissing was more than satisfactory.
    Harry makes a "so there" face to Ron.

    On the relationship front, I think these two do a decent job of bringing Ginny's character into frame, given how little she had to do in the previous ones in preparation for her rather significant role in the series' denouement.

    If Yates' work has fewer obvious stylistic tics than Cuaron's, he still brings a very clean, cool style to things. The depiction of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, for instance, is way, way cooler than how it is described in the books (the Death Eaters and the Order apparating in black/white smoke, for instance, and fighting in smoke form, is really neat).
     
  6. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I saw When in Rome with Kristen Bell and Josh Duhmel with Danny DeVito.
    Cute little movie, not a bad way to kill 1.5hrs while I surfed the net also.
    A renter for sure though.
     
  7. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    One thing I have noticed with these films is how sometimes they downplay the action. For example, I remember the whole part where the Order invade the Department of Mysteries to be far bigger in scale and much lengthier, but in Order of the Phoenix that whole part of the book was scaled back considerably. It was a little bit of a letdown, because I had imagined this grandiose battle in my mind, but I felt like it was very diminished in the film version. I understand they had to truncate things for length and time purposes, but I was expecting a bit more grandeur for the big finale.

    I have the same complaint for Half-Blood Prince. That book has hundreds and hundreds of pages where we get nothing but meddlesome romance between the younger characters and then things finally get interesting toward the last remaining hundred pages of the book. For some reason, the death of Dumbledore and then the invasion of Hogwarts just didn't have that sweeping quality that I expected. I did hear that a lot of the battle was cut to save for "The Battle of Hogwarts" at the end of Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but I remember reading the book and just being swept up in the drama of Dumbledore dying so suddenly after such a suspenseful build-up (and in the film version, I feel like it loses a lot of its impact: there is some build-up, but it's much more dramatic than suspenseful, and Snape actually killing Dumbledore for some reason didn't capture that sense of begrudging awfulness that it did in the book).

    Half-Blood Prince is actually the most gorgeously shot of all the Harry Potter films, but there were some cases where I was expecting some grit and roughness and instead there was a bit too much gloss, if that makes sense. I understand that because these are films and not books that we can't get the gradual build-up that we can while reading a book for a prolonged period of time, but for some reason I was really let down at some of the punchier moments of these films. For example, Sirius Black's death felt meaningless to me. I'm sorry, but I wanted to get emotionally involved, but it just didn't pack the emotional punch I was expecting.

    These might be quibbles about the adaptation process more so than the execution of these books, but I remember when Cedric died at the end of Goblet of Fire and how emotionally affected I was. Perhaps because that was the first legitimate death in the series, and Newell played it much more broadly (whereas Yates' style is more restrained), but I felt more moved by it than the death of Sirius. Also, the action in Goblet of Fire is much punchier and more exciting. We still haven't gotten any more rousing action sequences in the series since the Golden Egg scene in Goblet of Fire. I understand that book was plotted much more in the vein of a traditional action thriller than the rest of the books, but for some reason I feel like the remaining movies have lacked in suitably exciting action quotient since Goblet of Fire.

    Anyway, these are minor quibbles. The acting, cinematography, and pacing have all really for better or worse improved since the first few films, and I mostly attribute that to Alfonso Cuaron's economical pacing. Since Prisoner of Azkaban, the subsequent directors in the series i.e. Newell and Yates haven't been so chained down to keeping a laborious pacing for these films because of the hefty material. As a matter of fact, they flow a lot better than Columbus's first two films. I just wish some of the more punchier moments felt more exciting and dramatic similarly to how I read them in the books, but I guess that's more attributable to Yates' more restrained style, which is admirable but just a little disappointing.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    262. Summer with Monika [B+]
    263. The Terminator [B-]

    SUMMER WITH MONIKA: This film is technically terrific, but the Monika character can be, at times, so grating that it's hard to watch. In the end, the film is downright cynical, so don't be distracted by the summer mentioned in the title--by the end of the picture, summer has come to an end, literally and figuratively. I think I still prefer PERSONA and SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, but this is a solid entry into Bergman's extensive filmography.

    THE TERMINATOR: Cameron's debut feature (at least, his debut feature where he had any semblance of creative control) is an outstanding work of exploitation, whether the conditions of shooting (which were very tough) are considered or not. And yet, its grunginess at times gives way to cheapness (besides the stop-motion effects in the finale which don't quite hold up, the Future War sequences often feature over-sized Terminators that look like toys, as well as plenty of unconvincing rear-projection) and there are a pile of side characters who don't amount to anything (basically, any of the cops, including Paul Winfield and Lance Henriksen).

    On the other hand, the dark, gritty camera work is excellent and the principal cast are all terrific in their roles. Michael Biehn manages to sell us on a character who fell in love with a photograph, for goodness' sake.
     
  9. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    THANK YOU. Finally some fair and objective judgment of this movie. I was getting really sick of all the overpraising of it in the "Terminator and T2" thread. You're exactly right, it has some fine acting and a surprisingly touching love story, but the effects (among other things) are so shoddy that it flabbergasts me how people would hold this movie up as superior to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", which has transcendently more slick effects and a monumentally more epic scope and feel.

    I recently saw "Ordinary People" for the first time. It seems my whole adult life, all I've ever heard about this movie is that it's the one that 'robbed Raging Bull of the Oscar' just like "Shakespeare in Love" robbed "Saving Private Ryan" (although in the latter case, I agree). The general consensus seems to be that the Academy are a bunch of pussies who would rather nominate something nice and maudlin over something shocking and gritty (again, in the case of "Shakespeare In Love", I agree). I went into "Ordinary People" expecting to hate it and leave just as outraged as everyone else about its defeat of "Raging Bull", but I ended up thinking the right movie won.

    I still love "Raging Bull" and I do think part of the reason this movie won instead of it is because "Raging Bull" is such an ugly, disturbing film (not ugly in the way it looks, but in terms of subject matter and the main character's personality), but "Ordinary People" is, in a very different way, also a very powerful movie (at least in my viewing experience). The performances and dialog were superbly heartfelt and convincing, and I really felt for the characters and their suffering, dysfunction, and inability to understand and comfort one another psychologically and emotionally. I was moved to tears several times.

    I don't think it stole best picture from "Raging Bull", but even thought it was almost as beautifully shot as it was acted and written, the Academy should have at least given Scorsese the award for best director. There's no way any movie nominated that year (including "Ordinary People") was shot with as much enthralling flair as "Raging Bull".
     
  10. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    80. The Corpse Bride (B)
    81. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (B+)
    82. Beauty and the Beast (A+)
    83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (B)
    84. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (B)
    85. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (A+)
    86. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (A-)
    87. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (A+)
    88. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (A-)
    89. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (A)

    Discussing this over in its own review thread, but here I'll just say that it's provisionally an A, waiting on the second part, but I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be as good.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    264. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [A]
    265. Star Wars [A]
    266. Contempt [B+]
    267. The Night of the Hunter [A]

    I'll skip THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, since I recently saw both.

    STAR WARS: As much fun to see now as it was when I first saw it as a child (sometime in the early 90s, which is approaching two decades past). This time, however, I caught the (in?)famous fan-edit by Adywan. I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, the subtle changes he makes are brilliant: color-correcting all kinds of mistakes on the DVDs, fixing mixing issues from the DVDs, using digital effects to iron out production mistakes and gaffes, etc. Some of these changes work better than others (some color correcting of the escape pod in the beginning looks fake, and the 1977 audio for Aunt Beru makes her performance inferior to that in the dubbed version), but mostly, they work really well. They remind me of the slight alterations that are all over BLADE RUNNER - THE FINAL CUT.

    On the other hand, Adywan makes some big chances that don't work nearly as well. Adding the imperial march to a few scenes seems excessive, and the new Obi-Wan/Darth Vader duel, with much quicker edits and "The Battle of the Heroes" from REVENGE OF THE SITH added, is an awful change. It tries to turn a slow duel into something it's not, and when we cut away to Han, Luke, and the others and the music is still playing it totally ruins the scene. Add to that the final battle (which has so many digital changes and additions that the original is barely left over) and this version still goes a little far.

    Still, it says a lot about the (lack of) quality control at Lucasfilm that this is still probably the best release of STAR WARS, technically, and it's not even official!

    CONTEMPT: About a third of this film is a brilliant movie about the deterioration of a couple (illustrated by the long, but essential 30-minute apartment sequence). About a third of this film is a brilliant deconstruction of the world of filmmaking, particularly international co-production (with Fritz Lang as himself, and Jack Palance as an absurdly over-the-top producer). About a third really mixes the two, and is less successful. Still, it's in gorgeous cinemascope, and is far from boring, despite what some of my classmates seemed to think.
     
  12. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    I saw Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It's awful. They pretty much gave up on the plot to have the actors angstily stare at each other for an hour and a half.

    [F]
     
  13. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Dr.Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog

    Cheeky fun!!!
     
  14. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Before and After (1996) Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Alfred Molina [C]

    Some kid kills a girl and his parents try to help him cope with the upcoming trial. It was excruciatingly sappy. My mom picks horrible movies.
     
  15. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Before heading out for some Black Friday bargains I watched:
    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed with Ben Stein.
    Very interesting.
     
  16. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    80. The Corpse Bride (B)
    81. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (B+)
    82. Beauty and the Beast (A+)
    83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (B)
    84. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (B)
    85. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (A+)
    86. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (A-)
    87. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (A+)
    88. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (A-)
    89. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (A)
    90. Tangled (A-)

    Posted over in the review thread, but in brief, a great animated film that effectively incorporates a bit of modern-era zippiness while still retaining a traditional feel. Only the merely-serviceable music holds it back from the highest rung of Disney's ladder.

    In some respects, it's too bad that they didn't hold this until next year, because I suspect it would have easily beat Cars 2 for Best Animated Feature.
     
  17. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    I doubt it. These days, Pixar is an unstoppable juggernaut that cannot possibly be beaten for best animated feature. The only two that were beaten in recent years were "Cars" (generally considered the weakest Pixar flick) and "Monsters Inc." (my heart weeps :wah:) just because "Shrek" was such a huge hit and considered so original at the time of its release. I don't see those circumstances happening very often.
     
  18. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    Er, yes, but Pixar's film next year is Cars 2, a sequel to one of the two films not to win.
     
  19. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I watched Zombie Strippers.
    Kinda watched, I surfed online Black Friday ads as well.
    It's the kind of movie that doesn't need your full attention.
     
  20. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    I watched "True Grit". Finally, finally, FINALLY a western I can get behind, after being disappointed by so-called classics "The Searchers", "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly",, "Unforgiven", and "The Wild Bunch". I loved John Wayne in this movie, but I understand this is more of a culmination of his performances rather than one of his 'vintage' performances, so I'm keen to see some of his earlier work now. I'm not sure which to go for, though. I didn't like "The Searchers" and Jimmy Stewart irritates me, so I'm not sure about "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".

    I have mixed feelings about the "True Grit" remake now. If nothing else, I'm glad it exists because it compelled me to watch this movie (I admire the Coens, so I had to see what inspired them to adapt it), but I don't know if I want to see another version of the same story. I think it was almost perfect the way it was done in '69 and the role of Cogburn was so beautifully played by John Wayne, I'm not sure I want to see someone else play it (even someone as rad as Jeff Bridges). The scenery and action in "True Grit" was amazing. I'm not sure if I'm up for a darker, more bleak interpretation. I loved the brightness and beauty of nature in the movie, which fit surprisingly well in a flick about a quest for revenge. It was also fun to see Dennis Hopper in a small, but early role as a wild-eyed, panic-y, easily intimidated thug.

    On the other hand, some of the actors and characters in the movie were inconsistent and a bit underdeveloped. The girl was annoying at times, but mostly good. I'm sure Matt Damon and Josh Brolin will be huge improvements in their respective roles, and based on the trailer, it looks like the girl playing Mattie will probably bring some welcome additional toughness to her character.

    If there's anyone else here who loves the original, how do you feel about the remake? I can see where some characters might be better fleshed out and played more solidly in a modern re-telling, but Wayne was so brilliant and iconic in his role and the direction, cinematography, and smoothness in the writing of the original make me ambivalent about "True Grit" 2010.