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Old 03-28-2014, 05:24 AM   #34821
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is offline
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Noah
(rough draft review, might have to modify it later)

We all know the tale; it's been told, parodied, and stereotyped to the point where the original context can get lost in the flood of pop culture. In this modern telling of the myth, film definitely emphasizes the mythic aspects to deliver a larger-than-life spectacle. As expected, you will see fantastic visions of creation and death, hoards of animals entering the Ark, the the deluge sweeping over the Earth. What you may not expect is that the film also includes a massive army of barbaric hoards clashing with fallen angels, flashes of magic and mysticism, twists in morality that challenges Noah's heroics, and an overall tone that's grim and somber. And yet, despite so many liberties, it is still true to the source.

The film is somewhat split in half. The first half contains all the big-scale setpieces, containing plenty of special effects and scenes of war. Once the flood commences and the big battle ends, the film settles down and becomes a brooding drama. If it's action you want, the first half may satisfy, but the rest might bore you. If arthouse films are more you thing, then maybe you'll love the second half, but lament at having to wade through the action first. Pacing becomes a bit herky-jerky because of this.

In the end though, it's the storytelling that matters. The film does its job well to lay down the basic lore, before setting the characters off on their quest. Conflicts remain tense throughout, keeping the film engrossing; even when men aren't fighting and the flood waters aren't gushing all over, the film sets up a few intense dramatic strings that drive the plot ahead and give the characters a stronger pathos. The characters are fairly understated, but their actions and reactions help make them more compelling. Quite a few liberties are taken with the source material, partly to build a stronger sense of myth, but also to introduce something as a plot convenience, and to build even more drama into the plot.

Even though the movie isn't totally true to the Bible (because, seriously, the Ark was never invaded by an army, Noah's sons should have all had wives, the book makes it sound like they had to go and find the animals, rather than having them all just show up, and of course all the dialogue is wrong). Some of the finer details, however, are surprisingly correct (such as Noah getting wasted at the end, and the significance of rainbows at the end). What matters the most, however, is the subtext: the film is loaded with ideas and themes concerning mankind's sin, judgment, mercy, and morality. Most of these ideas are conveyed sublimely through the use of powerful images and punctual dialogue. In the end, we're made to understand on a deeper level exactly why the flood happened, why Noah acts the way he does, why these last few people were spared, and what's expected afterward. The ultimate theme is an uplifting one that I always found most elegant: the idea that the end is also the beginning. This is a rather bleak apocalyptic tale, but the film radiates hope by its end (and the key emotion that Aronofsky seems to convey overall is love).

The film is well-crafted with some very incredible photography and editing. There are a number of scenes in the film that are appropriately powerful and moving. Russel Crowe delivers his standard tough-old-testament-dude performance, while Jennifer Connelly is perfectly compelling in her role. Everybody else does alright. Writing gets the job done well, but most of the dialogue seemed pretty blunt. This production spares no expense on the real-looking sets, props, costumes, and special effects. Clint Mansell's music score is as elegant as ever.

Noah is a film experience I personally enjoyed a lot; I was a little concerned at first that it might be too Hollywood-ized to do the story justice, but as it went on, it became clear that its heart was in the right place, and the standard Aronofsky charm sunk in. It has action and visual splendor, but it also reaches deeper and dishes out a moving account of death and rebirth.

All that being said, it may still not be an easy film to digest and recommend right away. Much like The Fountain, it may take diligent attention, retrospect, and repeat viewings to fully appreciate. I'd still recommend giving the film at least a try.

4.5/5 (Experience: Very Good | Content: Very Good | Film: Very Good)

Recommendation: Rental.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:33 AM   #34822
Foggy Foggy is offline
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What do you reckon the Foggy score will be on Noah?
"Film lovers are sick people." - François Truffaut
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:53 PM   #34823
KilloWertz KilloWertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggy View Post
what do you reckon the foggy score will be on noah?
0/5
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:02 PM   #34824
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
What do you reckon the Foggy score will be on Noah?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KilloWertz View Post
0/5
I don't know, this is such a weird thing to judge. It'll depend on a big mish-mash of factors, which may include your disposition on Aronofsky himself (which I'll assume is good), the Bible (if you're a diehard, you might get upset over the liberties), and Hollywoodism (writing, iconography, mythisizing the tale, environmental/vegan themes, etc).

So I'll gues...0/5

[Show spoiler]Nah, maybe 3/5....or more?
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:26 PM   #34825
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_The_Strange View Post
I don't know, this is such a weird thing to judge. It'll depend on a big mish-mash of factors, which may include your disposition on Aronofsky himself (which I'll assume is good), the Bible (if you're a diehard, you might get upset over the liberties), and Hollywoodism (writing, iconography, mythisizing the tale, environmental/vegan themes, etc).

So I'll gues...0/5

[Show spoiler]Nah, maybe 3/5....or more?
We'll see.
"Film lovers are sick people." - François Truffaut
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:29 PM   #34826
DjMethod DjMethod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_The_Strange View Post
I finished that one just last month, and it was great! I geeked out at all the Studio Ghibli references, but it was a very good story on its own merits too.

The only bad thing is, that game will make me work for those last three trophies.
I'm still working on those last three too. It's a comfortable place to put the game down.

Quote:
Just got inFamous: Second Son earlier today, collector's edition. After spending money on the PS4 and spending time on waiting, it is totally worth it! The last couple of hours playing it were awesome.
Great! I played Second Son some too. Pretty cool game. Also, I played through MGSV... so good, but such a tease... I do highly recommend it if you don't have it already.

Quote:
Same here, although I think it was jhiggy's post buried somewhere in this thread that really helped me understand it fundamentally. It's become a favorite since; the visuals have always been captivating, but the emotional power is pretty significant.
You can find my response to his post in my "Reviews" link. I find its themes resonant and profound, and mixed with its passion, visual elements, and replay strength, no other film really comes close.

Edit: That post was five years ago now!

Quote:
Yep, I can't wait to check it out either.

My Aronofsky rankings currently look like:

Pi: 4/5 (rewatch pending; was probably more like a 3.5/5 at first glance)
Requiem for a Dream: 5/5 (top 20 material)
The Fountain: 4.5/5, maybe 5/5 (top 100 material)
The Wrestler: 4.5/5 (rewatch pending)
Black Swan: 4.5/5
Noah: anticipating a 4/5 minimum, 5/5 maximum
I will read your review after viewing the film and gathering my own thoughts on it later this weekend, but it looks like we're pretty much on the same page with his films!
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Last edited by DjMethod; 03-28-2014 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:52 PM   #34827
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Breathe In


I've always seen music as the language of emotion. As hard as we try to define it, a piece is meant to be expressed, not computed. The nature of this--the intangibility of music and emotion--is used in Breathe In to weave a tense but undeniable connection between two beings.

Sophie (Felicity Jones) is a French foreign exchange student who is quite mature for her age. She joins the Reynolds family for a semester: a middle-aged couple seemingly unfazed by the cascade of divorces around them and a sweet and simple high school senior whose life is free of drama.

The film opens with the Reynolds cheerfully posing together for a family photo. After the opening sequence, one begins to wonder if there is anything that can break this family. If there really is such a thing as fulfillment, or if the smiles are covering something deeper... A longing, a naïveté, or a discovery of the soul's complexities. Sophie is the curveball that unravels this family at the seams, as we begin to learn what is lurking beneath their smiles and how much of their lives is personal choice.

Compared to his last effort, Like Crazy, Doremus' Breathe In is a colder, drier, and more subtle film. It is a multi-character study focused on innermost desire and how we choose to interact with those around us. Well worth the price of admission and perhaps a revisit down the line.

3.5/5
2017:
mother! | The Work | The Shape of Water | Lady Bird | The Killing of a Sacred Deer | Call Me By Your Name | Logan | Loveless | Blade Runner 2049 | Coco
All-Time
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Amour | The Fountain | Modern Times | Princess Mononoke | Hiroshima Mon Amour | The Lion King | City Lights | Ghost in the Shell | The Artist | Alien | Babel | Persona | The Wrestler | Blood Diamond | Mulholland Drive | Amelie | Bicycle Thieves | Blue Valentine | Paprika | The Raid
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:52 PM   #34828
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Atlas Shrugged I
Film: 3/5
-good and entertaining, a bit hard to follow at times, acting was mediocre at times
-its hard to tell a story like this in 90 mins (even in a 3 part film series), it almost needs a 10 hour miniseries.

Atlas Shrugged II
Film: 3.25/5
-the story/plot was a bit better than part I, but the acting was better in part I
-same gripe as above (too much story to cram into 3 short films)
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:01 AM   #34829
KilloWertz KilloWertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post


Breathe In


I've always seen music as the language of emotion. As hard as we try to define it, a piece is meant to be expressed, not computed. The nature of this--the intangibility of music and emotion--is used in Breathe In to weave a tense but undeniable connection between two beings.

Sophie (Felicity Jones) is a French foreign exchange student who is quite mature for her age. She joins the Reynolds family for a semester: a middle-aged couple seemingly unfazed by the cascade of divorces around them and a sweet and simple high school senior whose life is free of drama.

The film opens with the Reynolds cheerfully posing together for a family photo. After the opening sequence, one begins to wonder if there is anything that can break this family. If there really is such a thing as fulfillment, or if the smiles are covering something deeper... A longing, a naïveté, or a discovery of the soul's complexities. Sophie is the curveball that unravels this family at the seams, as we begin to learn what is lurking beneath their smiles and how much of their lives is personal choice.

Compared to his last effort, Like Crazy, Doremus' Breathe In is a colder, drier, and more subtle film. It is a multi-character study focused on innermost desire and how we choose to interact with those around us. Well worth the price of admission and perhaps a revisit down the line.

3.5/5
Blind bought Like Crazy and wanted to chuck it out the window after I was done since it wasn't what it was advertised as in the trailer or the cover of the Blu-ray.
[Show spoiler]They pretty much make it seem like a happy movie where the couple ends up together AND happy in the end. Showing her getting ready for the wedding at the end of the trailer and having them walking together and smiling on the cover couldn't have been further from what the movie ended up being.


Now that I got that out of the way, without spoiling things, would I have a better chance of liking Breathe In?
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:42 AM   #34830
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My Ramblings on The Grand Budapest Hotel.
"She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to. Doc hadn't seen her for over a year. Nobody had. Back then it was always sandals, bottom half of a flower-print bikini, faded Country Joe & the Fish t-shirt. Tonight she was all in flatland gear, hair a lot shorter than he remembered, looking just like she swore she'd never look."

- Sortilège
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:18 AM   #34831
Abdrewes Abdrewes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DjMethod View Post


Is this your second viewing? It didn't fully hit me until my second time around, unlike his other films.

We'll see how Noah stacks up this weekend...

Pi 3.5/5
Requiem for a Dream 5/5
The Fountain 5/5
The Wrestler 5/5
Black Swan 5/5
Noah ?/5
Yup. It was my second viewing. I suppose I wasn't as cold and over analytical this time around. I just went with it and was swept away from the opening frame to the last.

I can't wait to see Noah with the family tomorrow
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:50 AM   #34832
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdrewes View Post
Yup. It was my second viewing. I suppose I wasn't as cold and over analytical this time around. I just went with it and was swept away from the opening frame to the last.

I can't wait to see Noah with the family tomorrow
I got around to editing/tweaking my review, and can be read in full on the blog.

Hope you enjoy it drewes; it'll definitely be different.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:57 AM   #34833
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Got to check out the new Richard Ayoade film the other day, The Double got my thoughts down.
"Film lovers are sick people." - François Truffaut
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:13 AM   #34834
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I've been looking forward to The Double since I saw the trailer. The premise doesn't really interest me but the cast does. Plus Submarine was a pleasant surprise. I really need to revisit it though.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:33 PM   #34835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_The_Strange View Post
I got around to editing/tweaking my review, and can be read in full on the blog.

Hope you enjoy it drewes; it'll definitely be different.
Different is my cup o' tea I just hope I don't get into any lengthy theological debates with the folks afterwards
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:08 PM   #34836
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Pirates (FRA/TN 1986)

Back before Johnny Depp revolutionised the pirate movie with his camp ways there were the odd rum fuelled flicks such as this. Roman Polanski doing what he does best which is creating lavish productions that tend to not be overly successful at first but gain cult status.

The story is naturally a typically salty one involving Walter Matthau's 'Captain Red' and his young French sidekick trying to pinch a golden throne from some fancy pant Spaniards. At the same time there is of course a love interest for the young dashing French sailor, mutinies, plenty of galleon boarding from both sides and lots of skullduggery on land and at sea.

I think this film is very similar to 'The Fearless Vampire Killers' in the fact that its actually kinda dull but looks beautiful. All the pirates, especially Matthau, look as they should do, covered in dirty rag-like attire, greasy facial hair, deep tans, golden teeth...every bit the stereotypical swashbuckling sea dog. I was quite intrigued with the wooden leg Matthau's Captain has, it really looks like he has a real wooden peg leg! and this is before CGI folks, impressed. On the flip side the Spanish look perfectly rich, aristocratic, pompous, snooty and dignified in their very impressive duds. The wigs sell the whole look if you ask me, really authentic looking.

I was also very impressed with Matthau's cockney English accent. He genuinely does a sterling job with it and comes across not American that's for sure. At the same time Damien Thomas as the preening perfume smelling 'Don Alfonso' is by far the stand out performance. You can truly see the disgust and contempt in his face for the wretched pirate scum, I really enjoyed his peacock-like display of regal superiority.

All the characters and extras look great and are accompanied by some luscious tropical locations and some nice olde worlde period ports (real locations). Did I mention the ship yet? no? well lemme tell you, it looks awesome. Fully realised to scale with a working motor so it can sail, completely detailed from top to bottom with everything you'd expect to see on a 17th Century Spanish vessel.

Yep its all visually stunning with good performances but unfortunately that's about it. There is very little of interest going on plot wise, the film is way too long and there isn't that much swashbuckling going on surprisingly. This isn't a silly fantasy flick nor is it a historically accurate flick, but it does bring a more down to earth approach to the genre. There isn't much flamboyant heroics here ladies and gentlemen, more like backstabbing with every man for himself, more genuine. No way is it as bad as suggested and I'm not sure why it didn't do better at the cinema, its a solid romp. Think along the lines of Richard Lester's Three Musketeer movies but with less comedy.

6/10
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:33 PM   #34837
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I just watched this for the first time.

There is NO questioning the technical achievements, the cinematography, or sound design. Breathtaking really. For me, this movie achieved what Avater attempted.

That said, I found the script weak, the dialogue awkward and quite poor, too many technical inaccuracies and huge lapses in logic for me to get past. I kept trying to forgive each blunder, but then they'd just throw another one at me.

The director said this was not a Sci-fi movie. He said "they wanted it to be as realistic as possible, like a space documentary gone wrong."

The film contained way too much "wrong science" for me to suspend disbelief.

The only time I felt any emotion/fear was when
[Show spoiler]she tried to swim to the surface and immediately sunk because of the suit. That was pretty gutwrenching.


2/5
Because Calamari Marionette Ph.D sounded pompous, that's why.

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Old 03-30-2014, 05:54 PM   #34838
Spirit Zero Spirit Zero is offline
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47 Ronin (2013)

So what's going on with Keanu Reeves these days huh? he seems to have taken a shine to the Far East recently what with this and 'Man of Tai Chi'. Problem is Mr Reeves keeps sticking himself in these films which just doesn't work, sorry Mr Reeves but you're not a good enough actor face it.

Ah the legendary tale of the 47 Ronin, this film is very very very loosely based around this Japanese story of honour. The real origins are much simpler in truth, in the early 17th Century a Daimyo (Territorial Lord) called Asano attacked a high ranking Edo official called Kira. The reason was simply down to the fact that Kira had been rude to Asano and Kira was possibly corrupt which also offended Asano. So basically there was a scuffle which one could say was childish, but because of this Asano was ordered to commit seppuku. You can't go around attacking important Shogun officials willy-nilly.

So now we have the classic tale of the 47 Ronin...the Hollywood version, hurrah!. The film follows the basic premise of the old story but uses artistic license heavily and thick highly stylised visuals. Yep, this is '300' for feudal Japan (Edo period). The visuals are clearly influenced by that Greek Spartan battle porn flick, I thought the film was a more historically accurate take...got that wrong!. Admittedly most of the creatures we see are the result of sorcery by this naughty female witch but there is a huge armour clad uber Samurai, a big ogre/troll guy, some weird spiritual bird-faced monks and some massive half dragon half horse with antlers type thing at the start.

I can't lie to you, I flippin' loved the visual style of the film. Maybe we could of done without the monsters and freaks as they didn't really add anything to the plot other than fancy flair. Would of been fine without the magical hocus pocus too but unfortunately that is all tied in with the new plot. All the fantasy aside the actual realistic Japanese period costumes, weapons and sets are all expertly created and beautiful to look at. The ceremonial sequences at the start are truly stunning, bold and colourful, while the sets look pretty accurate to me. Its all topped off with some well created CGI landscapes and skylines.

Plot queries...apparently Reeves character was raised in some spooky woods by the bird-faced monks, who are apparently demons. Not overly sure why they would do that, they also trained him to be a bloody good katana fighter, although again not too sure why they would do that, how does it benefit them? oh and why do they look the way they do?. Other things stood out to me also, for example, when 'Oishi' is getting his samurai back together for his revenge mission he finds Reeves character first. But why? he clearly doesn't like the guy as we saw for the whole film right up to that point, also Reeves character isn't a samurai so why would he even think of him, this whole issue has nothing to do with Reeves character. Its about the 47 Ronin, not 47 Ronin and one outcast along for the ride.

Another thing I don't get was the abundant advertising of Rick Genest's face all over the posters (guy covered in tattoos). I kinda got the impression this bloke was a main character in the film yet he does nothing and shows up for less than a minute. I'm guessing whatever he did was cut out.

I'm not gonna beat around the bush here, I really liked this film. It has its problems but as far as I'm concerned they are easily overlooked by the tremendously sumptuous visuals, solid acting from the Japanese cast and the kick ass battle sequences. Yep if you wanna see some samurai action that other films like 'The Last Samurai' didn't quite deliver on then this is for you. There isn't any blood and gore on display but the sword battles are awesome and most of the time not spoilt by CGI silliness. For the most part everything seems to have been kept as relatively historically accurate as possible, its just bits here and there...which does beg the question why but anyway.

In all honesty there are many little niggly bits that could be pointed out, I get the feeling they really struggled to incorporate the fantasy element they wanted into this historic event. But lets not allow that to dampen our oriental spirits here. Yes the film blatantly pinches ideas from various films like '300' 'The Matrix' and even 'The Empire Strikes Back' with the sequence where the good guys must enter a sacred spooky wood to face an unknown force...of sorts. It does feel like they're totally jumpin' on the 300 franchise bandwagon mainly and as I've said it does feel a bit unnecessary.

Never the less I did enjoy the film thoroughly. My love of Japanese culture will make me somewhat biased of course but anyone who likes this new blend of history and slick glossy stylised action should enjoy this.

8.5/10
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:36 PM   #34839
DjMethod DjMethod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KilloWertz View Post
Blind bought Like Crazy and wanted to chuck it out the window after I was done since it wasn't what it was advertised as in the trailer or the cover of the Blu-ray.
[Show spoiler]They pretty much make it seem like a happy movie where the couple ends up together AND happy in the end. Showing her getting ready for the wedding at the end of the trailer and having them walking together and smiling on the cover couldn't have been further from what the movie ended up being.


Now that I got that out of the way, without spoiling things, would I have a better chance of liking Breathe In?
Haha well it's hard for me to say how the film will align with your expectations, but I don't think the trailer for this one is off-base. So given the nature of your disappointment with his previous effort, I'm sure this one is more likely to please. It's not a terribly intimate film, so expect its passion through non-verbal communication and loaded stares.

Personally, I think Like Crazy is the better film. Its portrayal of love and its struggles is so effortless--it's really become a hard set favorite of mine.

I'm sorry to hear it let you down in that way... It was definitely more difficult to watch than how it was marketed. For what it's worth, I too viewed the trailer beforehand (during all that Sundance hype), and the conflict at the center of the premise was actually what appealed to me most, so I didn't find the heaviness too left field. I think of it as Blue Valentine-lite, but with their feel-good foundation provided to us and a more bittersweet ending.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:41 PM   #34840
DjMethod DjMethod is offline
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Fury Road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdrewes View Post
Yup. It was my second viewing. I suppose I wasn't as cold and over analytical this time around. I just went with it and was swept away from the opening frame to the last.

I can't wait to see Noah with the family tomorrow
Yea, I think it is safe to say that is quite normal for a first viewing of The Fountain. The viewer tends to want to deconstruct the film instead of simply experience its themes and message.
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mother! | The Work | The Shape of Water | Lady Bird | The Killing of a Sacred Deer | Call Me By Your Name | Logan | Loveless | Blade Runner 2049 | Coco
All-Time
:
Amour | The Fountain | Modern Times | Princess Mononoke | Hiroshima Mon Amour | The Lion King | City Lights | Ghost in the Shell | The Artist | Alien | Babel | Persona | The Wrestler | Blood Diamond | Mulholland Drive | Amelie | Bicycle Thieves | Blue Valentine | Paprika | The Raid
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