Movies Seen in 2012

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Starbreaker, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    1. My Week With Marilyn (B-)

    Starting out the new year with a trip to the cinema to see one of 2010's minor films, which has attracted attention mainly for Michelle Williams' highly acclaimed performance as Marilyn Monroe (and, to a lesser extent, Kenneth Branagh's Lord Olivier). It is indeed a great performance; I never doubted Williams had the acting skills to play Marilyn, but she demonstrates movie star charisma, something she doesn't usually do (her roles usually being deliberately drab as a sign of seriousness). Marilyn still fascinates, fifty years on. Branagh is a hoot as Olivier, even if he's playing more a caricature than a really deep character (2010 was a quietly great year for Branagh, between Thor's success and a likely Oscar nomination, and I'm very happy for him). Dame Judi Dench is fun as Dame Sybil Thorndike, though she pretty much disappears from the movie after the first act; Emma Watson is very cute in her small role as well. Eddie Redmayne as the main character is okay - he's the everyman viewpoint character that frequently crops up in movies like this, and, as is often the case, it feels like this story would have been more interesting if he had been dispensed with (or, at least, relegated to supporting) and the focus been on Monroe and Olivier (though, admittedly, this movie was based on the guy's memoir, so that might have been difficult). But I think there was a more interesting movie focused on the big stars and the clash between American and English acting in here somewhere. As it is, this is fun but unexceptional.

    Cinema: 1
    DVD: 0
    Computer: 0

    Stealing Harvey's format innovations like a boss.;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Continuing my Superman series re-watch, tonight was Superman III. The only real turd in the bunch.
     
  3. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    The 42nd State
    2. Horrible Bosses **1/4

    R-rated comedies aren't for me. Unfortunately, this movie was not an exception. Though well-acted, and at times cleverly written (the resolution of the murder plot is in concept one of the funniest things I've seen in the moves in some time), the material is too crude; the language especially drags the movie down unnecessarily. I really enjoyed seeing Ioan Gruffudd again, even in a small and unpleasant part.

    Though I didn't like it, this is far and away the best black comedy I've ever seen. Someone who likes black comedies might enjoy it much more.

    Rating Key:
    ***** Must See
    **** Will Enjoy
    *** It's Okay
    ** Fairly Bad
    * Awful
     
  4. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Location:
    Nacogdoches, Texas
    Cowboys & Aliens - DVD
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes - DVD

    Watched it the other night, and it was awesome!

    Really wish I had seen it sooner, but money issues while it was in theaters kept me from goin'.

    Tried to watch my friend's copy of 1941 the other night, but it wouldn't play in my laptop.

    May be goin' to see the latest Mission: Impossible tomorrow...
     
  5. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    1. Watched The Kids Are Alright on Monday night. It was okay. Not fantastic (the ending was kinda 'meh') but okay. I give it a B-. Mark Ruffalo was good - so was Julianne Moore.
     
  6. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    1. My Week With Marilyn (B-)
    2. Fantasia 2000 (B+)

    The Nostalgia Critic's review inspired me to finally get around to watching this second film, which I got in a set with the first one when it came out. It's basically the same as the first one, apart from trying to incorporate a bit more humour into the introductory segments, which is scattershot (James Earl Jones' is good). The opening "abstract" segment is, like it was in the original, meandering, but the rest generally have more of a story. Most of the rest vary between good and very good, with one (the concluding "Firebird Suite" segment) being truly extraordinary.

    Cinema: 1
    DVD: 1
    Computer: 0
     
  7. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    The Barmuda Triangle
    1. Chasing Amy - C+. OK movie but the cartoonish dialogue is a bad fit with the more serious themes here. People just don't talk that way. The Clerks references felt forced, it's like we were constantly being reminded of a better movie.
     
  8. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Contagion. This was an excellent movie. It is of course SF, but likely was not perceived as such because it wasn't stupid. As a presentation of a possible scenario for a novel pandemic of highly lethal proportions it is remarkably clever.
    This goes to the scriptwriter, who of course did not have his name repeated enough for me to remember. As near as I can remember this has no resemblance to any of Soderbergh's previous works, illustrating the relative unimportance of the director.

    I suppose the most important decision was the soundtrack. They opt for the rapid, urgent beat in most cases. This builds the tension, so the actual scenes can be underplayed. The result is a powerful blend of feeling and thought. (I seem to remember people talking about coldness and am completely baffled as to how someone can find this unfeeling. Unless they can only feel for characters they identify with? It seems to me that ordinary viewers can identify with pretty much anyone realistically drawn because fundamentally there's not that much difference between us. None of these people are perfect, and even the heroic acts have easily intelligible motivations. Even the experimenter who tests a vaccine on herself is aware of the doctor who did the same....and won a Nobel!.)

    There is I think a little too easy an assumption that chaos inevitably results in a catastrophe, leadng to mass lawlessness. This may be true in the US where the powerful relentlessly hammer home that only money matters. (It's a necessary self-justification, after all.) But as the earthquake in Haiti showed, this is not necessarily true in saner societies. The Jude Law character is a sharp expression of the damage done this way. But the same type of behavior as Law's would still occur in the corporate sector, and that gets a free ride, while government, military and the people at large do not.
     
  9. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Everything about how this story was approached is distinctly Soderbergh's style.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The writer was Scott Z. Burns, who also wrote the criminally underrated The Informant! for Soderbergh.

    The film closely resembles Soderbergh's Traffic, something pointed out by countless film critics when the film was released. Of course, whether or not the film resembles any previous ones he's made has little to do with Soderbergh's importance as the director (it's worth noting that, like most films he's made, Soderbergh is also the credited cinematographer on the movie). In this particular case, the director was quite important, since the film was re-structured several times during editing (resulting in the reduction of Marion Cotillard's role, among many other changes).
     
  11. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    東京
    First Movie at the cinema this year. Went to see the premiere of "The Great Magician".
     
  12. nvek86

    nvek86 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    1. Eastern Promises

    The film is already a few years old, but since the genre doesn't really interest me, I've never watched it until now. But it was on TV yesterday, there was nothing else that interested me, so I stuck with it.
    I'm glad I did, because I liked the film quite a lot. Mortensen was great (especially liked his interactions with Cassel's character) and there was one twist I did not expect.
     
  13. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

    Joined:
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    1. The Kids Are Alright (B-)
    2. Priest (B-)
    Watched this totally predictable movie last night.Sort of like The Searchers meets The Matrix meets the current vampire craze, only without being anywhere near as good as either of the films mentioned. I'd give it a C- for story and a B+ for CGI/special effects...so it ends with a B-. Carl Urban also gives it a bit of a bump, just for being present.
     
  14. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Updates in Bold:

    Bad Boys (8)
    Legend of the Millennium Dragon (7)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    1. Holy Rollers (B-)
    2. The Kids Are All Right (B)

    People have complained about the ending, but it all seemed a perfectly logical development to me. A wonderful cast was assembled for this movie -- Annette Bening and Julianne Moore have been singled out, but everyone else has a great scene or two -- and the script is sharply funny. Stylistically, it's more or less just there, but it gets the job done (the exception is the wonderful sound design that plays out during the sequence when Bening finds out a painful secret). I'm not sure how it will work as a TV series (they've ordered a pilot adapted from the movie), but the movie is surely satisfying.

    Theatres: 0
    Home Video: 1 (+1)
    Computer: 1
     
  16. ElimParra

    ElimParra Invader Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    1. Marie Antoinette (2006) - 2.5/5.

    Found it rather slow and boring early on. But adored Kirsten Dunst. She was a delight.
     
  17. TrekNut87

    TrekNut87 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (B-)

    Enjoyable, but I liked the first one better. I really liked that Downey/Law got to play with a little more humor this time around, though I thought the ramp-up in action was a little unnecessary. As for the new supports of Jared Harris and Noomi Rapace, both were very good. I enjoyed Jared Harris a lot more than I thought I would.
     
  18. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Previous movies directed by Soderbergh that I remembered were Sex, Lies and Videotape; The Underneath; Che, and Ocean's Eleven. I never bothered with the Ocean's Sequels. How anything in that sample strongly resembles Contagion really needs explanation. If it's cinematography, then Soderbergh's role as cinematographer is obviously just as important as I thought it was.

    I have seen Traffic, but, having seen Traffik on its original US broadcast, was never impressed with the movie. I found the Academy attention inexplicable. Since I think that movie was not very good at all, when I am told that it strongly resembles Soderbergh's Contagion, I don't think that it's because of the importance of Soderbergh's directorial contribution. If Soderbergh's directorial work were so creatively important, then Traffic would have been a genuinely good movie. I think the difference is because the script for Contagion was much better, which is not the director's work.

    The directors who like Soderbergh act in other, more creative capacities such as cinematographer, editor and writer do have much more creative input than the director as director. And I have to add that even the director has a major influence on execution, if not in a directly creative capacity. (And to be complete, the director really is the primary creator of the unscripted portions, if any parts of a movie are left improvisation anymore.)

    As to the specific issue of the editing in Contagion, how do you separate Soderbergh's contributions as director and editor? The director as director has the least creative importance. The more he or she assumes other, more creative roles, the more important she or he is creatively, most of all when the director is also the writer. But then, it's a matter of the writer getting a chance to execute the script properly instead of having a director bungle it. I criticized the movie specifically for a tendency to melodramatize the dark impulses of the unwashed masses, and the Cotillard subplot was the single worst instance of that. Soderbergh may have reduced the time but he didn't reduce the problem. In fact, I suspect the cut scenes showed the unwashed masses not to be so darkly impulsed, which would mean that Soderbergh made the movie a little worse than it had to be! In other words, the director as auteur was just the guy who fucked up something. This is creativity?

    If the question is the issue of who is in fact more "important," i.e., powerful, in the completion of the final product, the tendency nowadays is obviously to award the director the power. Giving the most power to the person who has the least creative contribution I think explains one of the fundamental problems with Hollywood's creative process. And yes, I do think there's a creatively flawed process at work.

    The funny thing is, the real issue may be the belief that Contagion is a bad movie, and Traffic is a good one. :)
     
  19. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    東京
    'Alien Vs Predator' Unrated. Why did I put myself through that...
     
  20. nvek86

    nvek86 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    2. Strings

    That was a great film. The plot is well known (intrigue and murder after a king dies - although there are a few nice twists), but what makes the film special is that it's all done with puppets. And it's actually an important part of the story, e.g. they can't be in any place with a roof, because their strings go straight up in the sky and passing under a bridge is impossible for them for the same reason. It also has a wonderful soundtrack.
    I'd heard about this film for quite some time (always praise and recommendations) and it did not disappoint.
     

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