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Old 03-04-2012, 12:12 AM   #26921
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
LOL. As soon as I saw Foggys review I thought "Al would probably love that, oh wait, Al may already OWN it."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
It's definitely an Al movie...
It seems that I'm becoming a connoisseur of bad cinema.



It just so happens that I'm expecting my next greatest blind-buy "Zaat" in the mail any day now. I have half a mind to check out "Plan 9 from Outer Space," but maybe I'll rent that one instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
This Means War
[Show spoiler]
When the cheesy micro-budget 80's film you watch for free on Youtube is more investing than the Hollywood blockbuster you watch at the cinema, you know you're in trouble

Ah, that time of the year when a certain relative wants to watch a film you've got a gut feeling won't be worth the money you spend on it This time it was the Father who wanted to watch this chick-flick (He was either majorly confused about the film or felt like he needed to put me through the gay test). The real reason is actually that when I dragged him to watch Chronicle we saw the 9-Minute long preview (which were the best parts wrapped into 9 mins shockingly enough) and since then all I've heard was "that film with those two spies looks good!".

Anyway he came into my room asking to go watch, which is a rarity since he couldn't give a crap about anything that's coming out at the cinema unless it involves Cowboys in since he's a big western fanboy, and I decided that I might as well go since he'll enjoy it.

Which sets up nicely the fact that this film isn't for me, this film didn't look too bad to me though, I like Tom Hardy, I like Chris Pine and I like a more manly rom-com. Reviews where understandable harsh but I could push them aside since I don't get too snobby around cookie-cutter entertainment.

What I do get snobby about is when your cookie cutter entertainment is BBBBOOOOOORIIINGGGG!!!!!

It comes down to two things. Firstly, the film is about predictable as you can get, as safe as you can get. The villain is foreign, the characters are constantly being told to you, the plot is laid out, with labels to make sure the dumb can keep up. One of the most blatant plot descriptions is when the head of the department of whatever part of the C.I.A this is says "You where supposed to kill both the brothers, don't you know that he's going to come back and get revenge now" what the hell makes her presume that, this is clearly set in movie land and it doesn't even hide it.

Secondly, it's just plain patronising, the film knows no subtlety, the two main protagonists fall out so easily that it's hard to believe that they were actually friends at the beginning of the film, no matter how hard the film tells us. But the worst offender is Recce Witherspoon's annoying BFF.

She's everything you don't want from a female character in a film, she's just plain ugly, she's an alcoholic who drinks all the time when she's with her children. She says the most vulgar things and, as much as we're told Witherspoon's character is strong and independent, she comes to this dumbass bint for help and the film even tells her us knows nothing about relationships.

Throw in some stereotypes and you have a healthy dose of fatty artificial fast food filmmaking

Well, that's not the whole story, I didn't hate the film, like I said there were one or two funny parts that caught me off guard (that wasn't a part of 9 minute preview). The chemistry between Pine and Hardy is good enough to keep you invested and your generic action sub-plot is a bit shitty, but the action isn't too hard to watch though it lasts less than 10 mins, and will be nothing you can get anywhere else.

But as whole, if you rented this, you'd still be rather bored by it and possible give up before the end.

But, if you want a fair, non-cynical review of the film, the film got some big laughs from the audience (although not that many, and as I said, nothing that wasn't in the 9-minute trailer) they seemed a bit bored with it like me, although none of them seemed to dislike it, they just seemed like they had an adequate Saturday night out

And finally the views of the man behind the reivew. The father!

He said that the film was good, it was a good laugh in parts and was disappointed with the lack of action, although his tone of voice sadly seemed like he was a bit more disappointed with the film than he wanted to let on.

Didn't hate it, just didn't really like it

3.5/10 < --- I think that's a first score for me
Bummer, the premise sounded promising. My interest in this film has gone way down.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:33 AM   #26922
KilloWertz KilloWertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iam1bearcat View Post
so i have this thing in my house. it's called a shelf. and it has these blue cases with artwork on them. and apparently when i put them in my PS3 they show up on my TV and they make noise and the picture moves! i think i used to know what they are... yes, i think we call them "movies" or more specifically, "movies on blu-ray"...



okay, bad attempt at humor is done.

finally watched some movies again!

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

still love it. some great dialogue and just an overall very fun, while oddly "gritty" movie. and by "gritty" i mean there are no brand new Ferrari's being driven by early college kids. everyone (mostly) looks the age group and whatnot.

5/5 still
on humor

on Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist still
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:38 PM   #26923
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I started my 100 movies series with the intention of keeping the pieces short. That didn't quite work today:

65. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Animation, Adventure, Family, 86 minutes
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning and Tim Daly (US dub)



Tons of spoilers, so go and see the film before you read this.
[Show spoiler]

My Neighbor Totoro hasnít yet been released on Blu-ray. Disney is working its way through the Studio Ghibli titles and has released most of them on DVD, but a Blu-ray release for this particular film is likely one or two years away. While I intend to own them all on the best possible format, I just had to buy Totoro on DVD until it sees a high definition release.

This is going to be a difficult review because my love for Studio Ghibli and its worlds is hard to put into words. Iíll do my best.

Hayao Miyazakiís films arenít for everyone. They should be, but it just isnít the case. The reason is that we in North America have come to expect a certain style when it comes to animation.

Animated movies are typically fast-paced and filled with action. They have heroes, villains, chase scenes and conflict. Whatís more, they are noisy. It seems that without constant action, thereís a fear that the audience might become bored. This is not a criticism, merely an observation. Iím quite happy watching such things as Kung Fu Panda, Megamind, Tangled or How to Train Your Dragon.

Miyazakiís films donít follow the typical Hollywood style. Until very recently, everything was hand-drawn. Each frame is like a watercolor painting and has a certain beauty. Those who only watch modern CGI animation may not appreciate the classic two-dimensional style.

Another huge difference is the pacing. Instead of constant action, youíll see occasional shots of the countryside, a stream, an animal or clouds. Itís a cultural difference and reflects a society in which people are more in tune with nature and the simple joy of being alive. Miyazakiís stories unfold gradually in their own time.

Like most Studio Ghibli releases, My Neighbor Totoro doesnít contain any villains. We are shown situations that its characters encounter and we watch them figure things out. It works because the characters are well-defined and we care about them. We want to see how they will proceed and whether they will succeed.

The story is set in the 1950s in a Japanese village and begins with Professor Kusakabe (Daly) arriving at his new house, along with daughters Satsuki and Mei (Dakota and Elle Fanning). Satsuki is about 10 years old and Mei around 4. The sisters are delighted with their new home. Mei mimics her sisterís actions and sometimes repeats what she says. I have never seen a more realistic depiction of how children think and behave.

The children are full of life and explore their new house with excitement. Itís rumored to be haunted, but they only encounter soot sprites which leave at the sound of laughter. The sprites are only visible to children. Another cultural difference is highlighted when the professor shares a bath with his daughters. His girls happily help with the chores before they run off to play. This is a world in which TV doesnít exist. The children spend their free time playing outside.

Professor Kusakabe puts the girls on his bicycle and takes them to a hospital where their mother is being treated. Miyazakiís own mother suffered from tuberculosis and, although itís never stated, this is probably what Mrs. Kusakabe was recovering from. Itís not typical for animated films to deal with such themes as illness, but this is a realistic world and the situation fits. They learn that sheís almost ready to return home and see their new house.

Satsuki cooks for the family and her father works at home when heís not lecturing at the university. Itís a benign world where children walk to school without any fear of abduction or similar dangers.

Mei isnít yet old enough for school and plays outside while her father works at his desk. She views the world with the charming fascination of a child, exploring her surroundings and watching tadpoles swim in the stream. Then she sees a pair of white ears in the long grass, belonging to a creature resembling a rabbit. The creature scurries away from her alternating between visible and invisible. She tracks it into a tunnel formed by overhanging trees. After entering a hole in the trunk of a vast tree she emerges in a clearing occupied by a giant sleeping creature.

We are more than 30 minutes into the film before she encounters the sleeping totoro. The film takes its time and doesnít feel the need to introduce the creature from the start. It looks like a cross between a cat, a teddy bear and an owl. She prods it inquisitively and it seems unconcerned by her presence. Thereís no sense of danger and she simply curls up on top of it and falls asleep. Her father and sister notice she is missing and set out to find her. When they arrive, sheís sleeping on the ground in the forest with no sign of the totoro.

When she tells her unlikely story, her father and sister believe her. They accept that she wouldnít lie. Itís very refreshing to see that kind of trust between adult and child. Professor Kusakabe speculates that the totoro can only be seen when he wants to be seen and that Mei was very lucky to have the chance. These simple words make her happy.

The film defies our expectations at every turn. When her father has to go to the university, Mei starts to miss Satsuki, so the old woman looking after her takes her to the school. Satsuki explains to the teacher that their father will be home in a couple of hours and Mei is allowed to stay with the older children. She feels important and quietly sits at her desk drawing a picture of the totoro.

I donít want to give away the whole story, but the totoro has an important part to play in the lives of the girls. The most worrying part of the film lasts about ten minutes, but itís a realistic situation and doesnít contain any villains. Their friend the totoro is a reassuring presence and knows how to solve the problem.

The girls are very sweet, but it isnít overdone. Little Mei is probably my favorite character in any animated film. Sheís thoroughly adorable. Miyazakiís drawings are quite simple, but he can convey emotion with just a few expressions. He varies the size of the childrenís mouths and eyes according to the mood of the scene.

My Neighbor Totoro is set in a world that no longer exists. The parents care deeply for their children and the two sisters love and depend on each other. Villagers pull together in times of crisis and care about their neighbors. Children respect older people and thereís no sense of danger. Itís a warm and happy place to visit and I wish the real world were more like Miyazakiís imaginary ones. This is what human beings are supposed to be like.

Miyazaki has a wonderful imagination and itís even more prominent in fantasy worlds such as those encountered in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. All of his stories have warmth and heart. If you see him interviewed, itís apparent that he loves what he does. His enthusiasm is infectious and he smiles when he talks about his worlds. He sees things that most of us take for granted and miss altogether.

I consider My Neighbor Totoro to be the perfect family film. It may also be the happiest film Iíve ever seen and the relationship between the sisters is wonderful to watch. They arenít constantly bickering. If Mei gets tired, Satsuki carries her. Adults treat children seriously and genuinely want to know whatís important to them. In todayís world, with the pressures adults place on themselves, that isnít always the case.

Miyazaki has crafted a film filled with wonder and a sense of discovery. Itís like returning to your childhood and seeing the world from that perspective. The expressions of concentration, determination and pure wonder on Meiís face are depicted perfectly. The film is full of beauty. I donít just mean the animation Ė although it is beautiful Ė Iím also referring to the actions performed by the people and creatures in the film.

The feelings created by the story are considerably enhanced by Joe Hisaishiís haunting score. Heís responsible for the music in all of Miyazakiís films and the two have established a good understanding. The melodies seem so simple, but itís hard to imagine the film without their presence.

While Iím delighted that Disney is releasing the Studio Ghibli titles on Blu-ray, it canít happen fast enough. Some will argue that the English dub of the film ruins the experience. The good thing about the recent releases is that the original Japanese versions are included as an option. If you want to experience the film in its native language, you can now do so, with or without subtitles.

Thereís also a short film set in the same world; Mei and the Kittenbus. It hasnít been released commercially, but is sometimes shown at the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka, Japan. Youíll have to reserve a ticket in advance if you want to pay a visit. Itís a long trip to see a 14-minute short film, but itís currently the only way to see it. My forlorn hope is to see the short included among the special features when the film is released on Blu-ray.

I would recommend Miyazakiís films to everyone, although I realize that some people wonít connect with them. The potential reward is worth the time investment. If you have children, thereís even more reason to give one a try. Try to go in with an open mind. My Neighbor Totoro isnít about constant action or conflict, but itís an experience that shouldnít be missed. Itís closer to a film like Bambi than Megamind or Despicable Me.

Just because a film is about young children, it doesnít mean that the viewer has to be a young child in order to appreciate the story. Pixar has elevated North American films to new levels over the past two decades, but I can honestly say that Studio Ghibli, and Miyazaki in particular, has produced films with more heart. They are beautiful, magical and full of imagination. These stories matter to me and I canít wait to see the next one.

If you like My Neighbor Totoro:

Studio Ghibli has created some incredible films over the years and every single one is worth seeing. My Neighbor Totoro is often said to be aimed at young children, but I think it works for anyone who is open to the experience. The most similar in feel is Ponyo, but stories involving slightly older children and young adults should not be missed. The best of those are Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Disney finally put some funding into promoting its Studio Ghibli titles with the recent release of The Secret World of Arrietty. Although Miyazaki was involved with the adaptation of the screenplay, it was directed by Hirosama Yonebayashi. It doesn't match the incredible standards set by My Neighbor Totoro, but it is a charming film in its own right.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:59 PM   #26924
KilloWertz KilloWertz is offline
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For anyone that has seen the whole Swedish trilogy...

Not to spoil the books as I actually plan on going back and reading them at some point, but is the ending of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest movie the same as the book? While I enjoyed the movie of course, I was surprised and disappointed by how it
[Show spoiler]basically just suddenly ended. Not really what I expected after all the buildup between Lisbeth and Mikael in the previous two movies and that one.
Last Watched: Wonder Woman 3D
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:53 PM   #26925
Steve46 Steve46 is offline
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I felt like writing a bonus review that has nothing to do with my 100 movies series:

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Drama, 102 minutes
Directed by Sean Durkin
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes



I don't like to read reviews before I see a film for the first time, but my curiosity was piqued when so many critics named Martha Marcy May Marlene among their favorite films from 2011.

For some reason, I expected the story to be about a woman with multiple personality disorder. That wasn't the case, but identity is one of the main themes.

This is a film that will alienate a lot of potential viewers. The plot is non-linear and often transitions quickly from Martha's memories to her present reality. There's also a lot of nudity and a small amount of sex. Both are essential to the plot.

Martha (Olsen) is in her early 20s and we see her join a cult in the first five minutes of the film. She's uncertain of her role at first, but soon begins to feel like part of the community. The cult is led by Patrick (Hawkes) and he is quietly persuasive. He gradually asserts his will over the other cult members and sleeps with the women. He thinks that Martha looks more like a Marcy May, so that becomes her name while she is a member of the cult.

The story deals with Martha's attempt to rejoin society after she decides to escape from the cult. She makes a phone call to her older sister, Lucy (Paulson), who picks her up and invites her to stay with her and her husband, Ted (Hugh Dancy). The scene involving the phone call is accompanied by some disquieting music reminiscent of a David Lynch film. In fact, with Martha seemingly capable of almost anything, you won't feel comfortable at any point in the film. You're not supposed to.

Martha has no idea of how to behave in normal society. She's used to sleeping in a room filled with other cult members and feels isolated when she's alone. She thinks nothing of swimming naked or walking in when her sister is having sex. This is perfectly acceptable after her recent experiences.

The film regularly shows a scene in the present and then cuts to a scene in the recent past to illustrate the difference between Martha's two worlds. I know plenty of friends who would be irritated by the choice to tell the story in such a manner, but I think it works. It reminds me of Memento in some ways because Martha's experiences feel more immediate if we see things from her viewpoint.

I also found myself thinking about the lifestyles we choose. Lucy and Ted are typical of most people. They judge success in terms of money and possessions and take great pride in their house. When Martha says it's too big for two people, they explain that they like to entertain. They clearly want to be viewed as successful by their friends. That point is highlighted when they plan a party. Lucy dresses Martha in some of her clothes and fixes her hair. She tells Martha she looks beautiful. But the reason she does it is not to make Martha feel special, but to show her friends how wonderful her younger sister is.

There's a sense of unease throughout the film because it's possible that the cult could look for Martha. She even asks at one point how far away their house is from the place Lucy picked her up. Does she fear being recaptured, or does she have some other purpose in mind and is wondering how far she will have to travel to rejoin them?

I think that's more than enough information about the plot, except to say that the conclusion is completely open-ended. You'll have to make up your own mind about Martha's future. I haven't mentioned who Marlene is, but it's fairly obvious when you watch the film.

The acting is particularly convincing. Hawkes does a great job of quietly asserting his authority over the group and even sings a song for Marcy May. Olsen delivers an outstanding breakthrough performance and will surely pick up some other good roles because of this film. Along with Ellen Page, she'll be a popular choice when a movie requires a character in her early 20s.

I found myself thinking about the film the day after I saw it and that's usually a good sign. I think it's one of those stories which will assume greater significance on repeat viewings and I'm interested to see where Sean Durkin takes us with his next project.

For now, I'll give it 4/5.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #26926
BladeRunner2007 BladeRunner2007 is offline
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Phenomena 5/5
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #26927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KilloWertz View Post
For anyone that has seen the whole Swedish trilogy...

Not to spoil the books as I actually plan on going back and reading them at some point, but is the ending of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest movie the same as the book? While I enjoyed the movie of course, I was surprised and disappointed by how it
[Show spoiler]basically just suddenly ended. Not really what I expected after all the buildup between Lisbeth and Mikael in the previous two movies and that one.
I haven't read the books, but Stieg Larsson died before he could finish the series, which would make sense to your feelings
"Film lovers are sick people." - FranÁois Truffaut
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #26928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve46 View Post
I felt like writing a bonus review that has nothing to do with my 100 movies series:

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
[Show spoiler]Drama, 102 minutes
Directed by Sean Durkin
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes



I don't like to read reviews before I see a film for the first time, but my curiosity was piqued when so many critics named Martha Marcy May Marlene among their favorite films from 2011.

For some reason, I expected the story to be about a woman with multiple personality disorder. That wasn't the case, but identity is one of the main themes.

This is a film that will alienate a lot of potential viewers. The plot is non-linear and often transitions quickly from Martha's memories to her present reality. There's also a lot of nudity and a small amount of sex. Both are essential to the plot.

Martha (Olsen) is in her early 20s and we see her join a cult in the first five minutes of the film. She's uncertain of her role at first, but soon begins to feel like part of the community. The cult is led by Patrick (Hawkes) and he is quietly persuasive. He gradually asserts his will over the other cult members and sleeps with the women. He thinks that Martha looks more like a Marcy May, so that becomes her name while she is a member of the cult.

The story deals with Martha's attempt to rejoin society after she decides to escape from the cult. She makes a phone call to her older sister, Lucy (Paulson), who picks her up and invites her to stay with her and her husband, Ted (Hugh Dancy). The scene involving the phone call is accompanied by some disquieting music reminiscent of a David Lynch film. In fact, with Martha seemingly capable of almost anything, you won't feel comfortable at any point in the film. You're not supposed to.

Martha has no idea of how to behave in normal society. She's used to sleeping in a room filled with other cult members and feels isolated when she's alone. She thinks nothing of swimming naked or walking in when her sister is having sex. This is perfectly acceptable after her recent experiences.

The film regularly shows a scene in the present and then cuts to a scene in the recent past to illustrate the difference between Martha's two worlds. I know plenty of friends who would be irritated by the choice to tell the story in such a manner, but I think it works. It reminds me of Memento in some ways because Martha's experiences feel more immediate if we see things from her viewpoint.

I also found myself thinking about the lifestyles we choose. Lucy and Ted are typical of most people. They judge success in terms of money and possessions and take great pride in their house. When Martha says it's too big for two people, they explain that they like to entertain. They clearly want to be viewed as successful by their friends. That point is highlighted when they plan a party. Lucy dresses Martha in some of her clothes and fixes her hair. She tells Martha she looks beautiful. But the reason she does it is not to make Martha feel special, but to show her friends how wonderful her younger sister is.

There's a sense of unease throughout the film because it's possible that the cult could look for Martha. She even asks at one point how far away their house is from the place Lucy picked her up. Does she fear being recaptured, or does she have some other purpose in mind and is wondering how far she will have to travel to rejoin them?

I think that's more than enough information about the plot, except to say that the conclusion is completely open-ended. You'll have to make up your own mind about Martha's future. I haven't mentioned who Marlene is, but it's fairly obvious when you watch the film.

The acting is particularly convincing. Hawkes does a great job of quietly asserting his authority over the group and even sings a song for Marcy May. Olsen delivers an outstanding breakthrough performance and will surely pick up some other good roles because of this film. Along with Ellen Page, she'll be a popular choice when a movie requires a character in her early 20s.

I found myself thinking about the film the day after I saw it and that's usually a good sign. I think it's one of those stories which will assume greater significance on repeat viewings and I'm interested to see where Sean Durkin takes us with his next project.

For now, I'll give it 4/5.


Sounds very

Netflix has a recommendation system based on how I rate movies that I have seen. For the most part, it has been really good, and useful.

I put MMMM in my queue after reading about it a few months ago. I just noticed that Netflix "recommended" to me. They word it like this...

Quote:
Recommended based on your interest in Black Swan, Winters Bone and Blue Valentine.
So yeah, Im guessing I'll dig it.

Not available until the 20th though.
Because Calamari Marionette Ph.D sounded pompous, that's why.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #26929
Steve46 Steve46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
[/SPOILER]

Sounds very

Netflix has a recommendation system based on how I rate movies that I have seen. For the most part, it has been really good, and useful.

I put MMMM in my queue after reading about it a few months ago. I just noticed that Netflix "recommended" to me. They word it like this...



So yeah, Im guessing I'll dig it.

Not available until the 20th though.
I'm sure you'll get something out of it.

Black Swan - Dealing with a past that has damaged your present identity.
Winters Bone - Hawkes was in it and the world was kinda gritty in both.
Blue Valentine - Another messy relationship at the heart of the movie.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:33 AM   #26930
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Hugo:

Film: 3 1/2 (out of 4); gf rating: 3 (out of 4)

An entertaining film that is exceedingly well-made. In essence, it's a 3 star film masquerading as a 3 1/2 star film due to how well it's put together. As someone who cares about film history and preservation, I enjoyed the story. The fact that it won the Oscar for cinematography over The Tree of Life is still embarrassing though.


__________________________________________________ _________

Tangled:

Film: 3 (out of 4); gf rating: 3 (out of 4)

An enjoyable film. The songs aren't particularly memorable and it's certainly not on the same level as Disney's best, but we still enjoyed it.

__________________________________________________ __________

The Thin Blue Line:

Film: 3 (out of 4); gf rating: 2 1/2 (out of 4)

Considered by most critics to be one of the best and most important documentaries ever made, by Errol Morris, one of the most esteemed documentary directors (and former investigator, in his own right). The difficulty with rating this film stems from the fact that it's a very important film, but it's basically a mediocre episode of 48 Hours Mystery. At the time the film was made, there were very few stories or movies put out about such instances. In the present, there are innumerable crime shows that deal with these types of stories, many of which are significantly more interesting.

__________________________________________________ _________


We also watched Changeling and Amelie this weekend. Since I've previously reviewed both films, I won't do so again here. However, my previous comments about both stand: Changeling is criminally underrated and Jolie deserved the Oscar over Winslet, and Amelie is one my all-time favorite films.
Top unannounced domestic blu wants:

1) Satantango; 2) El Cuerpo; 3) Room in Rome; 4) Le Samourai; 5) Los Ojos de Julia; 6) The Burmese Harp; 7) Werckmeister Harmonies; 8) Match Point; 9) Searching for Bobby Fischer; 10) Before Sunset/Sunrise; 11) Solaris (2002); 12) A Matter of Life and Death; 13) The Return; 14) In the Bedroom; 15) Floating Weeds; 16) Sin Nombre; 17) The Circus; 18) Bob le Flambeur; 19) Tokyo Twilight ; 20) Grizzly Man; 21) MR 73; 22) Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:34 AM   #26931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiggy23 View Post
Hugo:

Film: 3 1/2 (out of 4); gf rating: 3 (out of 4)

An entertaining film that is exceedingly well-made. In essence, it's a 3 star film masquerading as a 3 1/2 star film due to how well it's put together. As someone who cares about film history and preservation, I enjoyed the story. The fact that it won the Oscar for cinematography over The Tree of Life is still embarrassing though.
It also snubbed out "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" for sound and special effects....

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #26932
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The big clear-out is still ongoing; I've been giving most of these movies just an hour or so to impress me before I make a decision.

Two of the latest exceptions (in which I had to sit through the whole thing) were...

"Hologram Man"

This movie definitely looks like a cheap direct-to-video piece of crud, and generally comes off as a substandard "Lawnmower Man" rip-off. At the very least though, the movie does start off on the right foot...by immediately indulging the audience with frivilous violence and sex. The action remains pretty high throughout. But the film is very cheesy overall; don't expect it to take it seriously.

The story for this tripe is passable at best. Nothing terribly deep or even sensical; it's just a fine excuse for good guys and bad guys to go at it.

It doesn't help that this DVD looks (and ultimately was) cheap as hell, but the film looks pretty gaudy. Photography is okay at best, but most shots look drowned out with some kind of orange haze. Acting is quite over-the-top and bad. Writing isn't really great either. Special effects look better on the movie's cover than they do in the movie itself (meaning they suck). Music is awful.

2.5/5 (entertainment: 3.5/5, story: 2.5/5, film: 1/5)

Recommendation: ...nah.

I will be keeping it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:17 AM   #26933
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The other movie I saw all the way through was...

"Gene Generation."

I want to like this movie. I want to pay attention all the way through. Yet, for the both times I've seen this, my attention has always managed to ellude the film and wander off to other things. So I really never got a good grasp as to what this story is really all about. It can come off as a little convoluted and uninteresting.

Regardless, the film does try its best to at least look cool. It does have gracious amounts of (fake-looking) special effects, action, and sex appeal. Pacing is not all that terrible.

As mentioned above, the story is a bit of a mess. Something about genetic mutations and assasinations and stuff.

The film looks a little cheap with its gaudy special effects, but photography and editing aren't too bad. I didn't mind the acting or writing, even when it was a little cheesy and even when it did shove a lot of exposition in your face. Production value looks alright; I enjoyed the costume work, and found the sets and props alright. Music is okay.

3/5 (entertainment: 3.5/5, story: 2.5/5, film: 3/5)

Recommendation: Sci-fi fans can rent it.

I'll be keeping it. Considering upgrading to the German Blu-Ray edition...
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #26934
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The Mask of Satan aka Black Sunday 4.5/5

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:08 PM   #26935
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66. Once (2006)
Drama, Music, Romance, 85 minutes
Directed by John Carney
Starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova



The opening scene in Once shows a guy (Hansard) busking. The song is unremarkable, but a few people like it and give him their change. Then, two minutes later, something incredible happens. We see the guy singing at night when the streets are virtually deserted. Although he's alone, he's pouring his heart out using his beaten up guitar and raspy voice.

I was hooked from that moment on.

When the guy looks up, there's a girl (Irglova) standing there listening. We never learn their names. It's as if the story is more important than the people in it. She gives him 10 cents and they begin talking. He works with his father in a vacuum cleaner repair shop and she has a vacuum cleaner in need of repair. When she brings it the following day, she treats it like a dog on a leash.

The two have lunch together and she takes him to a music shop where the owner allows her to play piano. When she plays a piece by Mendelssohn, the guy's jaw drops open in astonishment. She invites him to join her on his guitar and he teaches her how to play one of his songs. That's how they begin their friendship.

The setting is Dublin and life isn't easy. The guy and the girl don't have much money. But what does shine through is the Irish sense of community. They love life and the people seem genuine and real. That description also applies to Once.

The film was shot on a budget of around £100,000 using two Handycam camcorders, but you'll quickly forget that and focus on the story.

The guy has broken up with his girlfriend and she has moved to London. The girl married at a young age, but her husband is back in the Czech Republic and has left her. So there's the possibility of romance and I won't ruin what happens for anyone who hasn't seen the film. What's even more important is their shared love of music. The two have a real connection and she wants to help him reach a wider audience by negotiating the use of a local music studio for the weekend.

There are two wonderful reactions later in the film. One comes from Eamon, who is an audio technician at the studio; the other comes from the guy's dad when the guy plays him a CD.

The special features mention that over half the film is told through the use of song, but this is not a musical. The songs never make you step outside the story and they come across as totally natural. As well as music, there's plenty of dry humor, but the story is mainly about relationships and pursuing your dreams.

Once is one of the most heartwarming stories that I have ever seen. The song Falling Slowly won the Oscar for best song and Hansard and Irglova have toured under the name The Swell Season. It just goes to show that you don't need to spend millions in order to make a film that touches people, and this touched me more than most.

In a world which rewards artists with the right look and a manufactured sound, it's refreshing to see people with real passion succeed.

The UK Blu-ray is region free, although the special features are audio only unless you use a region B or region free player.

If you like Once:

There is nothing quite like the experience offered by Once, but Crazy Heart is worth checking out. Jeff Bridges finally won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bad Blake; a musician with a history of alcoholism and broken relationships.

For another movie about music in Dublin, I would suggest The Commitments. It's about an Irish band wanting to play soul music. Glen Hansard plays the part of Outspan Foster.

If you want to know more about Hansard and Irglova, The Swell Season is a 91-minute documentary documenting their world tour.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:45 PM   #26936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve46 View Post
64. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Over time, it has surpassed everything I have ever seen.
Surpassed only by 2001

Quote:
The final act turns everything on its head. Betty and Rita become Diane and Camilla. It’s initially confusing, but everything becomes clear when you think about what you have seen and felt.
Hats off to you - I don't think everything ever became clear to me (in terms of a solution to the "puzzle"). But that's one reason I love the film - it defies explanation and IMO rejects any attempt at any objective solution. Even the common
[Show spoiler]"Betty is Diane's dream" theory
, which does make a lot of sense, is easily challenged by one scene. One night I watched the film with a critical eye towards that theory, and noted the scene where
[Show spoiler]Rita falls asleep under Betty's aunts kitchen counter. The sequence goes like this : (1) Rita hides under kitchen counter, (2) Betty's aunt leaves, (3) Rita lays down under kitchen counter, (4) Rita falls asleep, (5) The camera focuses on Rita being asleep, (6) The movie cuts right to the "espresso scene" and other mob/Adam scenes, followed by the Rita/Betty meeting scenes.

Based on the above, it was Rita, not Diane, who dreamed the Espresso scene and mob/Adam scenes. If it was Rita who dreamed these scenes, then obviously Rita is real. Otherwise, if Diane is real and dreaming, the espressor/mob/Adam scenes would be Diane dreaming Rita's dream - not possible. If Rita is real, then Betty is real, and Diane is likely the nightmare of Betty.


LIke you said, I just watch the film for the pure enjoyment of each scene, and may take on the
[Show spoiler]"Betty is Diane's dream"
interpretation on one viewing or
[Show spoiler]a "Diane is Betty's nightmare"
on a subsequent viewing or neither and just enjoy each scene

Last edited by surfdude12; 03-05-2012 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #26937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdude12 View Post
Surpassed only by 2001



Hats off to you - I don't think everything ever became clear to me (in terms of a solution to the "puzzle"). But that's one reason I love the film - it defies explanation and IMO rejects any attempt at any objective solution. Even the common
[Show spoiler]"Betty is Diane's dream" theory
, which does make a lot of sense, is easily challenged by one scene. One night I watched the film with a critical eye towards that theory, and noted the scene where
[Show spoiler]Rita falls asleep under Betty's aunts kitchen counter. The sequence goes like this : (1) Rita hides under kitchen counter, (2) Betty's aunt leaves, (3) Rita lays down under kitchen counter, (4) Rita falls asleep, (5) The camera focuses on Rita being asleep, (6) The movie cuts right to the "espresso scene" and other mob/Adam scenes, followed by the Rita/Betty meeting scenes.

Based on the above, it was Rita, not Diane, who dreamed the Espresso scene and mob/Adam scenes. If it was Rita who dreamed these scenes, then obviously Rita is real. Otherwise, if Diane is real and dreaming, the espressor/mob/Adam scenes would be Diane dreaming Rita's dream - not possible. If Rita is real, then Betty is real, and Diane is likely the nightmare of Betty.


LIke you said, I just watch the film for the pure enjoyment of each scene, and may take on the
[Show spoiler]"Betty is Diane's dream"
interpretation on one viewing or
[Show spoiler]a "Diane is Betty's nightmare"
on a subsequent viewing or neither and just enjoy each scene
We are probably all wrong

I struggle to make any sense of it and certainly can't explain every scene.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #26938
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Departures

Film: 5/5
-awesome film, thanks Squid
-you guys were right - infinite themes here
1. Approval - when people equate their self-worth with how much others approve of them, they're in trouble. In this case, his wife, friends, etc, didn't approve of his profession, so he had to either (a) change jobs or (b) realize that his self-worth comes from within, not without (outer opinions)

2. Prejudice - we often prejudge people are fitting in boxes/categories, and after learning about them, become more accepting/open minded about them.
[Show spoiler]the wife fits here - rejected him until she learned how important his job was and watched him to it


3. Forgiveness - anger hurts us, not the people we direct it at. by forgiving others, we're not saying "you're off the hook", we're telling ourselves "you're off the hook - I won't let this be a ball and chain on you anymore".
[Show spoiler]he did this with his dad - by meeting him after his death and letting out his emotion, he released anger he had, and realized a lot of his anger was MISGUIDED/UNFOUNDED = easier to let that anger go


awesome film overall!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #26939
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve46 View Post
We are probably all wrong

I struggle to make any sense of it and certainly can't explain every scene.
Oh yes, I can only not make sense of each theory - hence why I can't decide on one

I've never seen the same film twice - its a different experience each time. I love that opening shot with Rita running down the street, and hiding from that couple. The Nancy Drew style mystery solving. The condo scene where they're ducking under bushes So eerie. All this talk and I'll have to watch it tonight.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #26940
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdude12 View Post
Oh yes, I can only not make sense of each theory - hence why I can't decide on one

I've never seen the same film twice - its a different experience each time. I love that opening shot with Rita running down the street, and hiding from that couple. The Nancy Drew style mystery solving. The condo scene where they're ducking under bushes So eerie. All this talk and I'll have to watch it tonight.
Hehe. I have to watch the film I am reviewing for Wednesday.
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