Periodic Movie Review

Talk about anything under the sun or stars - but keep it civil. This is where we really get to know each other. Everyone is welcome, and invited!
User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Mon May 25, 2009 11:54 pm

Things that I liked about it:



John's choice of music in the scene when he hijacks a motorcycle.

Yeah, that was a seriously cool moment. That's not my style of music at all but it fit so perfectly and reminded me of T2 for some reason.
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Tue May 26, 2009 12:30 am

I've not had much internet time since friday and I realize I posted no thoughts on NatM2.

Overall, I think it's better than the first one. This could, however, be an artifact of being more willing to accept that everything is magically resolved and no one will ever ask any questions ever. That said the damned thing is bloody inconsistent, what with finding everyone frozen in front of the cargo container at the smithsonian. You can have it one way or another, guys, everything gets fixed, replaced, restored at morning the way it was the night before (and no one is the wiser) or things are frozen as they are when the sun comes up. The movie breaks its own rules in this regard, I had a big problem with that internal inconsistency in the first film, but less so here.

That said, the movie is better than the first one because it features, prominently, Amy Adams' very tight pants. This feature makes the film worth your money on a big screen (at least it did for me), mmm.

anyways, I felt at times the film would pull off genuinely funny and sometimes subtle moments, only to 'ruin' them so to speak by having Ben Stiller explain the joke for most of the audience. Do we really have to have a line that says, "aww! come on guys, really? The Love Theme from Titanic?!" just so the audience is absolutely clear there is a joke involved when the cupids cue up on "Near. Far. Wherever you are..." Since this methodology of make-a-joke-then-laboriously-explain-it is repeated ad nauseum by Stiller, by Hank Azaria and at times by Amy Adams I was continually taken out of the movie.

On the other hand, it's sadly effective, my family was the only ones laughing at lines like, "You'll never get lost with Amelia Earhart as your guide." presumably these explanations are needed. We got all the jokes before they were explained and then the rest of the audience would chuckle after they had explained to them that a joke had just happened.

But the movie is fun, Amy Adams provides excellent chemistry, and the set pieces are just delightful and entertaining. It's more charming and often interesting than the first film, but also more breathless and vapid as well. I'd give it a 6.5/10 which is pretty generous, I think.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
neo-dragon
Commander
Commander
Posts: 2513
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:26 pm
Title: Huey Revolutionary
Location: Canada

Postby neo-dragon » Tue May 26, 2009 4:59 pm

Things that I liked about it:



John's choice of music in the scene when he hijacks a motorcycle.

Yeah, that was a seriously cool moment. That's not my style of music at all but it fit so perfectly and reminded me of T2 for some reason.
The lack of a smiley is making me really unsure if you're serious about not knowing why it reminds you of T2 or not.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Tue May 26, 2009 7:06 pm

Oh, wait...

;)


Okay, better.

(I'm, uh, operating on low cells lately...)
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
Eaquae Legit
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 5185
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:30 pm
Title: Age quod agis
First Joined: 04 Feb 2002
Location: ^ Geez, read the sign.
Contact:

Postby Eaquae Legit » Tue May 26, 2009 7:36 pm

I saw 40 Year Old Virgin the other day. The only reason, pretty much, why I bothered was the presence of Steve Carrell, who consistently makes me laugh. And as it turned out, the movie was funny - but only because of him. I can't think of another actor who could have made that movie palatable. He really plays it straight and manages to give the character warmth and humanity when it would be so easy to go for caricature and cheap laughs (not that the movie is lacking in those). I found the relationship between Andy and his girlfriend's teenage daughter to be particularly touching. It was worth the 4 quid.
"Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul." -- Pope John XXIII

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Fri May 29, 2009 2:01 am

I shot Jesse James is a very good movie, and a spectacular debut movie (it was Sam Fuller's first film) it anticipates the darker psychological westerns of Mann, as well as Shane and High Noon. I think it's a bit better than Shane, not quite as good as High Noon, but stronger than Broken Arrow or Winchester 73 for example. I was really surprised at how excellent it was, and how outstanding the cast was. The filmmaking was very low budget, sometimes shooting day exteriors in black and white and intercutting them with closeups shot at night. You can fake day-for-night in color film quite easily and it was often done in this era of filmmaking but it can't be done the way Fuller did it here.

Additionally I felt the relationship with Bob Ford's girl was both forced and far too simplistic, for all the complexity in his character, the relationship that's supposed to be the driving force of the film had none. But it's still an entertaining gem of a film.

---
Easy Virtue is an outstanding film, here I was just writing last night in my Thin Man review over in film club that films which rely on wit as the primary force of their comedy are essentially an extinct species today, and here this film has to go and prove me wrong. Of course it's based on a Noel Coward play, so the origin is from the same era as Thin Man, but damn if the dialog isn't spicy, sizzling, fantastically funny and accessibly intelligent. The highlight of the film for me is a very Chaplin esque bit involving a little yipping dog, each new progression of the scene brought a new huge burst of laughter from me.

The cast is spectacular, this is Jessica Biel's best role, Kristen Scott Thomas is marvelously vicious, and Colin Firth is superbly warm, distant and wounded. Ben Barnes is a bit of a chipper wet blanket, not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, but he's adequate.

Lovely little gem of a film.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sat May 30, 2009 12:58 am

Up

Best Pixar movie yet.

The funniest Pixar yet.

I cried twice.

Best movie of the year.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
Jebus
Toon Leader
Toon Leader
Posts: 1299
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:53 pm
Title: Lord and Saviour
First Joined: 07 Nov 2001

Postby Jebus » Sat May 30, 2009 9:55 am

To put that in perspective, I give the new Star Trek 9/10, and Wolverine 6.8/10.
neo, I'm sorry, but how can you possibly give Wolverine nearly 7/10? That is madness. That movie was the biggest, steaming, stinking pile of s*** I've watched in a long time. From beginning to end it was terrible. And they somehow managed to make a Gambit who was incredibly boring, and who barely had a Cajun accent at all! He didn't even get a chance to say "mon cheri" once!

<--Die-hard Gambit fan.

User avatar
^Peter
Soldier
Soldier
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:06 am
Location: CA

Postby ^Peter » Sat May 30, 2009 11:57 am

Yay Up! I still haven't seen it, but it's good to know that it was good.

Gasp! A Gambit without an accent and doesn't say "mon cheri"? Ridiculous!
I just lost the game; you just lost the game.

http://www.losethegame.net/

I know! I'll use my sig as advertisement space for my classmates. http://www.youtube.com/user/Theorem42

User avatar
neo-dragon
Commander
Commander
Posts: 2513
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:26 pm
Title: Huey Revolutionary
Location: Canada

Postby neo-dragon » Sat May 30, 2009 2:22 pm

To put that in perspective, I give the new Star Trek 9/10, and Wolverine 6.8/10.
neo, I'm sorry, but how can you possibly give Wolverine nearly 7/10? That is madness. That movie was the biggest, steaming, stinking pile of s*** I've watched in a long time. From beginning to end it was terrible. And they somehow managed to make a Gambit who was incredibly boring, and who barely had a Cajun accent at all! He didn't even get a chance to say "mon cheri" once!

<--Die-hard Gambit fan.
Yeah, maybe a 6.5 would be more appropriate. It certainly didn't wow me, and there were a couple of things that I thought were kind of stupid, but I was entertained for the most part.

I'm rather easy to please.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:12 pm

Angels and Demons was goofy dumb but kind of fun. better than Da Vinci code at least. and it made me want to go to Rome and see the Sistine Chapel in person.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:38 pm

it made me want to go to Rome and see the Sistine Chapel in person.
That honor, for me, goes to whatever movie or show I first heard the joke "Sixteen Chapel? What happened to the other fifteen?" in. Then art history classes in college reinforced that desire. [/off topic]
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:04 am

food Inc is an absolute must see, a terrific doc. Not that I'm inclined to like or agree with the subject matter or anything. :-p 10 of 10

I also rewatched Wuthering Heights, and my assessment didn't change. I very much dislike the story. Not quite loath, but what a horrible bunch of people. the only decent human being in the whole story is the doctor, every one else is just wretched and vile. Beautifully acted and very well made, but can't overcome the negatives.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:43 pm

Gunga Din is vastly better than I remembered and a true standout comic adventure in the manner of Indiana Jones. Cary Grant, McLaglen and Fairbanks are all brilliant and the film is just tremendously entertaining for all that it is often silly.

That said, it can navigate pathos just as well as the comedy and adventure and it certainly earns its somewhat bittersweet ending.

--

A Room with a View is easily the best of any of the Merchant Ivory films I've seen. It is as spectacularly charming, fulfilling and appealling as Sense and Sensibility. I was so thoroughly delighted, I was expecting something more torpid like Howard's End or all tense unrequitedness like Remains of the Day. I didn't expect this to be one of the all time time great romance films, comparable to Gone with the Wind or Princess Bride, with one of the greatest kisses of all time contained within as well.

And honestly, look at that cast:

Helena Bonham Carter (looking like she's fifteen)
Daniel Day Lewis
Judy Dench
Maggie Smith
Rupert Graves
Denholm Elliot
Simon Callow
Julian Sands
Patrick Godfrey

My only caveat is that considering all the playfully naked male flesh on display, it's a shame there was not naked females cavorting as well. ;)
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
Luet
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 4443
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:49 pm
Title: Bird Nerd
First Joined: 01 Jul 2000
Location: Albany, NY

Postby Luet » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:23 pm

That movie has a scene that had me laughing so hysterically that my husband came into the room to see what was going on (and after glancing at the screen, quickly left): When the men are chasing each other around the pond naked...oh my goodness. One of the least attractive things ever.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus in Return to Tipasa

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:55 pm

I needed a movie last night, so I went out to see The Proposal or the Hangover (I wanted something light and funny, but not Year One), I'd no idea when they started, but I went to the Landmark theatre, Proposal had started ten minutes before I got there, and Hangover wouldn't start for forty minutes, frustrated I left to go to the theatre about two miles away, the big AMC on the westside. I got there about five minutes before the proposal and about fifteen minutes before the hangover but both were sold out. Moon was showing there but I was about twenty minutes after the last showing had started. I left, drove back to the Landmark got a ticket to the hangover and a mocha and went to the movie as it was now about time for it to start.

The Hangover is a film that from the previews I did not think I would like (on the other hand Proposal previews remind me of Dan in Real Life and thus a movie I would like) but the excellent word of mouth of on Hangover, and its stupendous box office haul so far convinced me I needed to see it.

The Hangover is one of the flat out funniest new films I've seen since Borat. while it doesn't reach quite those heights of hilarity the film is quite brilliant throughout. I didn't quite expect the film to deliver a multi-genre satisfaction, it's an excellent mystery/detective story as well as being a slapstick/grossout comedy. Nor did I expect the film to take such care with the characters, drawing each personality quite effectively for us. Whether it's straight man Doug, good-looking asshat Phil, Alan from another planet, or Colbert-esque Stu the film does a superb job of drawing these characters, their dynamic as a group and getting us to care about what happens to them.

In any event spoilers:

When they first walk onto the roof the camera holds on Stu and then cuts in for a closeup of him pausing at the door to put a cinderblock to hold it open. It's just long enough for us to read the slightly blurry sign behing him which says, "Warning, door locks behind you." as soon as I saw that shot I said, "Doug's on the roof!" and from that moment on I was really into the movie because I believed 100% I'd figured out the mystery. Then, in the roof scene, Alan jiggless some shot glasses and a bottle of jagarmeister and I thought, "He put drugs in the jagar!" because I attached that shot of him jiggling the glasses to the earlier comment about getting 'supplies' These two central mysteries figured out I was along for the ride.

And what a ride. From the smoking hot heather Graham, to Mike Tyson's hilarious and awesome role to the naked asian man in the trunk to the brilliant blackjack sequence the film was pretty much nonstop laughter.

I was wrong on one count though, I thought that the guy with the bag over his head was Eddie, the guy who married Stu, instead it was an entirely new character so oh well.


In all, a great, and funny comedy well worth it to go see, I laughed my ass off, so to speak, which was a great antidote to a hard day's work.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:36 am

Transformers2, oh you silly movie you.

The first Transformers is quite tight, actually, it makes cogent sense and maps a clean, if excessively complicated and multi-faceted, path through to the climax. Transformers 2 attempts to duplicate that scenario with much less success.

At issue, really, is the reality of this scifi/fantasy mileau world that the Transformers exist in. Perhaps it is the failing of the writers or the director, or annoying execs with notes, it is hard to say. The fundamental difficulty is that someone involved in this film thinks because it is a contemporary world setting that they don't have to give any explanation. The other side of this coin is when we get almost too much explanation, such as DaVinci Code or Angesl and Demons. The perfect balance to strike is actually Raiders of the Lost Ark. Transformers is much closer to Raiders than the sequel, in this respect. The writers ran into the problem that no one character knows anything useful except the omnipotent Fallen and so that allows them to have everyone running around in confusion most of the time, demanding explanations constantly and often only getting more confused. This strategy, in and of itself is not a problem. It is a problem when the audience is even more confused than the characters, and so they ratchet back their attention and interest in the story itself.

And despite losing interest (or flailing about trying to grasp the sparse threads of plot in my case) the battles and action set pieces never become tedious or anything less than edge of your seat excitement. That's because Michael Bay is really damn good at what he does.

But back to the plot. There is, in cinema, the concept of a macguffin. The maguffin is an object or explanation the character seeks or accepts that is also just plausible enough to mollify the audience. If you don't supply a macguffin, the audience will key in on the lack of explanation and dismiss the entire thing as folly and insulting. But give them the proper wave of the magician's cape in the form of a solid macguffin and they will never question the illusion that they've gotten a satisfying explanation.

In Transformers, our Macguffin was that Megatron had crashed here in search of the All Spark, the, generative source of knowledge and power for his race. That's why the Transformers came here and what they were fighting over. It's utterly ridiculous and even the flimsiest examination of the supporting facts don't even begin to add up, but it's decent enough that it works and you can enjoy the story.

In Transformers 2 we're given a different and somewhat more interesting explanation about why they are here (and when they arrived), but this explanation comes pretty late in the game, is mangled somewhat by the accent and sound manipulation of the bot's speaking voice and really only establishes the stakes (they want to harvest our sun) rather than encapsulating and explaining things enough to stop asking questions and enjoy the rest of the story. Part of the problem comes from a total lack of consistency in terms of what can be accomplished by the Autobots and Decepticons (they keep introducing new things to 'up the ante!' with no sense of reality. The effect of this is to make the more detailed and more realistic Transformers seem much more fake. They seemed a real part of the environment and world in the first film, in the second they seem like effects much of the time because there are no longer rules governing them. That's the problem, break one rule, you might as well break them all.

Also, this film is so much more serious than the first film, which was often much more successful on the comic level than any other aspect. Losing that playful sense of fun from the first film makes this one feel more of a chore. Oh they attempt to bring the funny, but mostly it's just... annoyances. John Turturro is the exception and makes the whole movie better when he finally arrives on the scene.

Still, much of the film is breathtaking, Michael Bay really knows how to shoot, I just wish he had a better script and was able to elicit a better performance from Megan Fox, she's certainly the film's most spectacular visual effect but her eyes are sometimes just... vacant. :-p to be fair she shines in the scenes in which she actually has something to work with, rather than just more meaningless shots of her running in that adorably tight and low cut top. If Transformers 1 was the movie with the bare midriff, this one is the one with Megan nearly bursting out of her top, what with all the mesmerizing running around she does. I like both looks for her. And now that Bay's done with her running around exposing her midriff in 1 and her top in 2 he needs her to go with the Ripley look from the end of Alien for Transformers 3. If Megan runs around like that in the next film I will be a very happy person. :D But yeah, she's good in the scenes that require her to act, the scenes where she's just a background accoutrement to Shia's posse and nothing much more than eye candy, those scenes she goes all dead-in-the-eyes. :-p I think she was probably bored.

Here's what could have fixed it. Use the prologue to set up Energon (or Enertron, I couldn't actually determine which it was supposed to be called) and the Primes' mission in the finding and harvesting of it. Establish Fallen and pick up the story of 17,000BC and tell us that bit of what happened in the past. Perhaps even do something wacky, like tie it into why the all-spark fell to earth in the first place. Get a chance to explain how Fallen got to his new base, and explain how he is still alive (is he a cannibal?) maybe play with the 18 dimensions thing. Anyway instead give the info to the audience clean and complete instead of spreading out the groundwork in painful and out of order scenes (which makes containing the plot sort of like a mental jigsaw pule). How spectacular a failure LotR would have been if the prologue to FotR had been spread out piece meal over all three films, it would have been maddening and impossible for most audiences to understand the stakes. Having the audience know more than the characters is actually a very useful tool to manipulate, but they abandoned that here with their haphazard storytelling.

Shia was excellent though, as was Josh duhamel. Peter Cullen's voice work was marvelous and I loved the blue pharoh's headpiece around Fallen's head. Nice touch, that. And really the effects and transformations were just staggering to watch. a bit of a wash and a waste, but it is entertaining enough. :D
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:39 pm

Adam, friend o' mine, person who knows all sorts of personal and disturbing things about me (including my issues with guys in general), take this with a grain of salt.

I wonder sometimes if you respect women. I say this because it seems to me every review you do has to include a comment on tight pants, nudity, cleavage, etc. I understand movies are filled with beautiful women and sexy women, and the rare class of beautiful and sexy women. I get that you are male and so it is as natural as breathing for you to take note of them, because you all are visual beings. I would also like to note that yes, women also notice attractive men in movies and even comment on it. But I am getting the feeling, the more I read these, that you really do reduce these women down to nothing more than Hot Eye Candy and maybe that's because they're actresses who 1) you'll likely not meet for some time if ever and 2) that's considered to be part of their job in our culture. I also think that men that truly respect women don't feel the need to point out every attractive one they see at every opportunity that presents itself.

I am probably way out of line for saying that and likely wrong about the whole of it. But I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.



As for me, I saw The Proposal yesterday and holy hell, Ryan Reynolds is HOT. ;) Okay, seriously, I love Sandra Bullock; she makes me laugh like crazy. There were some awesome moments of snark in there and there was a scene in the woods and one during the credits that both had me splitting at my seams.

I'd say more but I have to go get paid now.
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
Syphon the Sun
Toon Leader
Toon Leader
Posts: 2215
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:59 pm
Title: Ozymandias

Postby Syphon the Sun » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:10 pm

You didn't even mention what a riot Betty White was!
Step softly; a dream lies buried here.

User avatar
Mich
Commander
Commander
Posts: 2937
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:58 am
Title: T.U.R.T.L.E. Power
First Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Location: Land o' Ports
Contact:

Postby Mich » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:34 pm

As for me, I saw The Proposal yesterday and holy hell, Ryan Reynolds is HOT. ;) Okay, seriously, I love Sandra Bullock; she makes me laugh like crazy. There were some awesome moments of snark in there and there was a scene in the woods and one during the credits that both had me splitting at my seams.
I can totally say, completely secure in my heterosexuality, that Ryan Reynolds, indeed, is hot. And hilarious and a good actor. You know who isn't, but Reynolds is compared to often? Dane Cook.

Well, he's funny. Some times.
Shell the unshellable, crawl the uncrawlible.

Row--row.

User avatar
Luet
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 4443
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:49 pm
Title: Bird Nerd
First Joined: 01 Jul 2000
Location: Albany, NY

Postby Luet » Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:00 pm

Hmm, I don't find Ryan Reynolds hot at ALL. Funny and goofy but not hot. Ryan Gosling is much more attractive to me, especially after seeing him in Lars and the Real Girl (so I like socially awkward guys). He's the first one that came to mind, what with the same first name and all.

And I have to second what Alea noted about your movie reviews, Adam. They tend to make me feel a bit offended on behalf of womankind. Or something. :)
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus in Return to Tipasa

User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:15 pm

Funny and goofy
That is what does it for me with guys, actually, where goofy can mean silly, playful, weird, and/or nerdy/dorky.

But mostly I was teasing Adam, which I suspect you all knew.
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
human.
Toon Leader
Toon Leader
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:02 pm
Title: pequenino

Postby human. » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:58 pm

Hey, locke, thanks for posting that review! I realize you do it anyway, but I actually ended up seeing Transformers 2 in Italian yesterday, so I was wondering whether or not it was really as confusing as it seemed. Apparently it was! I agree with the whole Megan Fox/vacant eye thing, though. Seeing as I could understand about one out of every twenty words said, I paid a lot more attention to the visual aspects of the movie, and that really stood out to me. Anyway, I appreciate your review. =]

User avatar
Mich
Commander
Commander
Posts: 2937
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:58 am
Title: T.U.R.T.L.E. Power
First Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Location: Land o' Ports
Contact:

Postby Mich » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:17 pm

I finally saw Up. Beautiful animation, great voice acting, excellent story, and, as usual for Pixar, some good, mature messages. The opening short, also as usual, had some stunning effects, and I hope to study how they did those clouds.

That is all.
Shell the unshellable, crawl the uncrawlible.

Row--row.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:53 am

thanks human,

Baby Mama is smart

Perfect Score is stupid

The former is very funny and quite brilliant with wonderful personalities. The latter has none of these qualities.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
BonitoDeMadrid
Toon Leader
Toon Leader
Posts: 780
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 am
Title: Bonzo was Framed
Location: The exact center of the earth

Postby BonitoDeMadrid » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:17 am

Transformers 2:

Pros:
Megan Fox (sorry ladies)
Giant robots always make me say "awesome!".

Cons:
pretty much anything else.
Who controls the British crown? Who keeps the metric system down?
We do! We do!
Who leaves Atlantis off the maps? Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!
Who holds back the electric car? Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?
We do! We do!
Who robs cavefish of their sight? Who rigs every Oscar night?
We do, we do!

User avatar
Jebus
Toon Leader
Toon Leader
Posts: 1299
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:53 pm
Title: Lord and Saviour
First Joined: 07 Nov 2001

Postby Jebus » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:26 am

Public Enemies:

I don't know how they could mess up a film that was advertised as an intelligent "bank robber vs ruthless cop" movie starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Everything about this movie screamed it was going to be great. The trailers were aaaawwsome.

The movie was so, so, so unbelievably unappealing. Christian Bale plays the most boring, uninteresting and impotant agent ever. Like EVER. He does nothing right. This isn't a battle of wits between John Dilinger and his character, it's just Bale's character messing up over and over again until he doesn't. John Dilinger is barely aware that there's a man so obsessed with finding him. SO much of the movie did not make any sense, and the rest was terribly boring. And you could tell that everyone involved was masturbating to their own intelligence while making it. f*** that s***, do not go see this movie. Or do, but only to see how a movie with such potential could be messed up so badly.

3/10 (all three points going to Johnny Depp and the woman who plays his lady friend)

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:54 pm

Bruno is very much like Borat and it is very funny in that vein of humor. What doesn't work quite as well is that the vast majority of the movie feels more scripted and most of the participants don't have that achingly real, blissfully unaware state of Borat. In other words it feels as though most people are cooperating, in a way, with Bruno, in a way no one other than Pamela ever really was in Borat.

There are a few highlights of reality. the gay-converter-pastors, Paula Abdul but for the most part, it just doesn't click as successfully as did Borat.

Still very very funny, and outrageous.

8 of 10
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:35 am

an unexpected effect of no internet is that I started a word document called, "thoughts on films" a few weeks ago and a little while later realized I'm using it almost like a diary/journal, adding something almost daily and in other words writing every day in a more formal manner than a forum post. oh the writing style still feels forumy because that's what I'm writing for, but I can already kind of see subtle changes. This is interesting to observe, and the decision to be internet-less at home seems like a better one all the time.

Ninotchka is a perfect film, there is not a single poor element or flaw in the film. The cast, writing, photography, story, directing, everything is perfect. The lighting, by William Dieterlie is in the MGM house style and Garbo is softly lit in the manner he usually used for her. This type of design is actually quite complex and very particular in the sorts of lights used, although it doesn’t provide the dramatic chiaroscuro effect often associated with great black and white photography. Lubitsch’s staging, camera movement, composition and shot to shot progression are simply some of the most elegant ever found in comedy. It is the script and performances that the most magic of Ninotchka resides though. The film finds a perfect balance in mocking the USSR (and capitalism, though more subtly and often on the sly) that eludes most every film that attempts it (One, Two, Three almost gets it right, but doesn’t quite). Garbo is brilliant as her brick wall as a comrade slowly erodes in the first half of the film, followed by the progression of events as she falls in love (and what happens after). The rest of the cast is brilliant, highlighted by the Count and the Duchess, and the film is atrociously modern in a tantalizing and delightful manner. Lubitsch gets away with an enormous amount in content of the film because it is so light and brilliantly funny.

Serenity I did not intend to rewatch tonight. But it was there on my doorstep and I’d set up my surround sound speakers in my new apartment but had not yet tried them out. I figured, what the heck, plug in Serenity, give it a listen then finish the half watched film from netflix I had waiting. And I was completely and utterly and hopelessly sucked into the movie within five minutes. I greatly liked the film the first three or four times I saw it, though like Return of the King I generally considered it a 9, and again like RotK it’s on one of the most latter rewatches, after I hadn’t seen it for a few years, that I finally upgrade it to a 10, that its greatness becomes really undeniable to me and I can no longer really remember (or care about) supposed flaws I once held against the film. Everything about the film is pretty much outstanding, though I must say that I love the characters more than the performances (because I’m so attached to them from the TV). The bluray is marvelous, btw, and I loved the way it sounded on my system (though I was nervous throughout that my neighbor the floor above me would come pounding on my door. :D

The Razor’s Edge has a handful of things to really recommend it: 1. Clifton Webb, 2. Arthur Miller’s photography, 3. Herbert Marshall, 4. some of the subtextual elements, such as Uncle Elliot’s and Sumerset Maughn’s homosexuality, and Gene Tierney’s predatorial sexuality.

Unfortunately the film is just a bit too staid, and somewhat self-satisfied about telling an important story that Goulding is kind of unable to overcome due to having Tyrone Power, (who is something of a black hole of charisma, sort of a thirties and forties Keanu Reeves) in the lead role. Zanuck throws a great deal of excellence at the film, and there are all sorts of elements here for a tremendous picture, unfortunately it’s too long and dull with Power in the lead. And many scenes seem a bit bloated, going on turgidly while we wait for the actors to perform a tiresomely long dramatic scene. When the film is being witty the film is at its best (whenever Clifton Webb is on screen, in other words). Unfortunatley Power is completely unable to comprehend wit, much less pull it off. Cary Grant would have been better, or Robert Donat, or Henry Fonda. Jimmy Stewart could have worked, but hews almost too true-to-life to the main character for me to really like the idea of him playing it. In any event, Goulding keeps the film sweeping along with enormous crane moves and the film is immensely beautiful to look at, thanks to Miller’s superb photography and the sumptuousness of the production. And Goulding has long, elaborate takes where the camera is often constantly moving, that’s part of the reason why it feels so long and scenes don’t have a snap, it’s doubtful that Goulding shot enough closeup coverage to make shortening scenes effective. Additionally, Herbert Marshall has an underhanded way of stealing every scene he’s in, the man’s just a delight to watch, often rescuing scene after scene. Since the film begins just after the Great War, in the birth pains of the Roaring Twenties there’s a scintillating undercurrent of sexuality to many of the characters. There’s Webb’s and Marshall’s relationship as lovers (everything but explicitly stated, but hinted at in almost every way possible, and everyone is aware of Webb’s inclination at least and hasn’t the least problem with it) and the way that Gene Tierney tries to use sex as a strategy in her pursuit of Tyrone Power. Oddly, Power is almost completely asexual. Anne Baxter is decent if over-the-top in her oscar winning performance, but overall I wasn’t stunned by the women in the film.

The film should be much better than it is, but is really only a six or so, as it never really comes together to become even the sum of its many excellent parts.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:50 am

There are very few films that can make me break out in a cold flop sweat from the sheer drama of a story—and there are even fewer that can do it no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Not from tension, or dread or the impending sense of terror, but pure drama, totally caught up in the events on screen. Apollo 13 is one such film, when no matter what, I’m holding my breath through most of the movie, it is such a pure expression of dramatic intensity.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is another such film. I alternate between full body laughter through much of the film to dead serious tension as Jimmy Stewart navigates the murky and treacherous waters of Washington. The laughter in this film is not so much relieving the tension as it adding to it, actually, because much of the humor comes from the innocent foibles Smith makes. Each time I laugh I know I am building Stewart up to have a harder fall, because my laughter makes me somewhat complicit in the deceit Smith is nearly destroyed by. Emotionally the laughter makes me more invested, more guilty, more impacted by Smith than it otherwise would. Oh yes, laughter does not relieve tension in this film. Rather, what relieves the tension in Capra’s film is the growing, subtle romance between Arthur and Stewart. How rare an achievement is that, using romance to ease the dramatic tension of a film? Usually it is romance that ham fistedly adds to a film’s dramatic tension, as some dubious falling out or facile misunderstanding causes a tedious diversion that prevents us from coming to the unavoidable conclusion of true love and happily ever after. Here it is when Jean Arthur is slowly won over by Smith’s earnestness, that Capra tips us that she’s falling for the sap and doesn’t even know it yet herself. Quite astonishingly, Capra parallels Saunders’ and the Vice President in how both are won over by Smith, as they tellingly give away their support of him early on with smiles they can’t themselves contain. Arthur is luminous in this role, perhaps her greatest role, as it is through her gaze that we can feel the story gain a bit of traction once more, that no longer are we quite on the deck of the Titanic, unable to stop the deadly machine from crushing Smith’s—and our—hopes. Her screen magnetism gives us a reassurance that Smith might just survive his impending crucifixion.

And make no mistake, we are talking about a political crucifixion here—the script deliberately invokes it, “I will not be part of having that boy crucified,” Senator Paine declaims to his master Taylor. Jefferson Smith symbolically dies at the end of the picture, he gives his entire self over to the lost cause, and it’s only after Judas sees the sacrifice of the one he shot in the back that he takes his hand and ends his own political life. We don’t need to see a resurrection here, Capra smartly cut the ending that has Smith riding down a triumphant reelection parade, because Senator Paine stepping in to have his political life ended is enough to spare Smith’s.

And it is worth noting the political moment the film was made in, in 38, FDR had disastrously bowed to republican pressure to balance the budget, and his cutbacks helped to plunge the United States into what looked to be a second depression. Republicans were ascending, Roosevelt and his party were vulnerable, the presidency might be in reach. The compromise culture in Washington made it seemed that all was corrupt, how could anything be accomplished by such beholden bodies of men, disaster was on the horizon as the well connected worked heartily to siphon as much capital as they could from a gamed system before the whole monkey work collapsed. And War was brewing in Europe, the Nazi party in America was the fastest growing political movement, international trade was slowing as Germany began to rumble. As the machines akin to those seen in this movie decided they wanted a more solid and reliable base of power, and they needed to crush out all opposition. They started by controlling the language of the debate, they started with words, through the press and the radio. And as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was released, men like Joe Kennedy tried to prevent it being released overseas because they thought it would reflect badly on America. Kennedy had by this time destroyed many lives, livelihoods and studios in Hollywood as he helped some select moguls consolidate power and build their studio monopolies, and the vileness of his character is evident in that he saw a film such as this as a threat to his power.

Kennedy was wrong. Audiences around the globe embraced it. For the thirty days before Hitler overran France, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was played on a nonstop loop for 24 hours, such was the demand to see this shockingly relevant film, a film that recognizes the despondency of the current moment, but a film that offers a small kernel hope as well that perhaps good men can triumph, so long as they do something, “that they are backed by a little common decency. And maybe a little looking out for the other guy.”

I could talk for an hour on Jimmy Stewart’s performance in this film, his best, and one of the best of all time, but suffice to say there’s no need to enumerate the near endless perfect moments of his work here, rather I’ll simply say that for the first time in three or four years, my top ten is being disrupted, after this, my most recent viewing, and a second time on the big screen, I’m moving Mr. Smith Goes to Washington all the way up to just below the Godfather, because the film is just that perfect.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:45 pm

I am more upset by the John Huges news than Michael Jackson dying, probably because Hughes, through Home Alone, Beethoven, Dennis the Menace, and the ultimate: The Great Outdoors, had a vastly larger impact on my growing up than the music of MJ.

In any event I needed to post a few links here for John Hughes.

First a link to Ebert writing about sixteen candles and the Breakfast club, before Breakfast Club was even finished filming!
John Hughes also is prepared to give teenage audiences credit for more intelligence and taste than Hollywood thinks they have.

"People forget that when you’re 16, you’re probably more serious than you’ll ever be again. You think seriously about the big questions."

Molly Ringwald, the dark-eyed redhead whose miserable 16th birthday is the centerpiece of "Sixteen Candles," thought maybe Hughes was right: "You think a lot more about things you may never think about again. You have to block out a lot of the big questions when you grow up, I think, so you can deal with the everyday stuff. And also, when you’re a kid, everything’s real tragic. When something happens to you, it happens deeply."

I asked Ringwald how she was cast in the lead for "Sixteen Candles," and she grinned and said that her agent had sent Hughes her photo, and he’d tacked it above his desk and used it for inspiration when he was writing the screenplay. Then he’d cast her to play the part.

"What I like," she said, "is that the lives of the kids in this movie are not based on sex, but on romance. I think that’s accurate for most teenagers – girls, especially. My character has a crush on this senior named Jake, but I don’t think the first idea in her mind is hopping in bed with him. Most of my friends don’t want to get laid, but to have crushes and stuff. You know."
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbc ... /908069998

And here's a really brlliant and mesmerizing montage of Hughes' films set to Teenage Wasteland:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOkNIUw0c2s

and I pretty much want to spend all weekend watching those films now.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
Mich
Commander
Commander
Posts: 2937
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:58 am
Title: T.U.R.T.L.E. Power
First Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Location: Land o' Ports
Contact:

Postby Mich » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:55 pm

Adam, you made me sad for the second time tonight about John Hughes dying.

On that same note, Kira strikes again.
Shell the unshellable, crawl the uncrawlible.

Row--row.

User avatar
Gravity Defier
Commander
Commander
Posts: 7840
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm
Title: Ewok in Tauntaun-land

Postby Gravity Defier » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:05 am

I'm not more or less sad than I was with MJ; I'm just sad, period. The same way MJ was a huge part of my musical upbringing, I grew up watching John Hughe's stuff: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, NL's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Curly Sue, Beethoven, HA 2: Lost in NY, Flubber, Maid in Manhattan...

Sad day.
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

User avatar
locke
Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
Posts: 3040
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm
Contact:

Postby locke » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:36 am

Julie and Julia is a brilliant movie. It is funny and meaningful in all the right ways. I'm going to assert with confidence that Kelly will probably love this film, perhaps become one of her all time favorites? In any event, I kept thinking everytime Amy Adams was on screen, "that's Kelly!" even though I was supposed to be thinking, "that's Julie," or "that's Amy Adams," and despite the fact that I've never met her.

:D

I love Julie and Julia because its a movie about passion, reflected through food. So in a way its a movie about cooking, which is good for me. But it's also about taking control of your life and asserting yourself through something that you love to do. And it's more than that. It's marriage, relationships and the everyday loving give and take that goes on in a partnership for life. The stories are fascinating, but more importantly the characters are fabulous, the audience is simultaneously in love with all four of the leads. To a degree the film lacks dramatic conflict, the drama actually comes out of the editing from weaving together these two interlocking stories of women finding and living a significant new stage of their lives in two different eras. And as we see each woman face down the challenges of simple life their stories build off one another into a compelling, fascinating, funny, poigant and complete story. But take it apart, take away that skillful blending, suturing and editing and there really is almost no story in the traditional sense.

The food looks gorgeous btw, which is an achievement because photographing food is notoriously difficult. The performances are superb, Amy Adams shines in an extremely difficult role (the toughest role in the film) but she persuades us to love her all the same, and she adds many fine little touches throughout her performance that I found just delightful and felt very true to life, so to speak. Meryl Streep manages to resist hamming it up most of hte time, and keep Julia from becoming a caricature. her best scenes are in the ones between her and Stanley Tucci, when she's being Julia Child and not the more public, "I'm Julia Child!" that she is with most other people. on the other hand, you sometimes catch her being Streep and doing her usual thing of thinking about her acting too much while on camera, such as her 'gaze into the distance' moment when she's making hats and unhappy. Very off in that moment, imo. The performances of the men folk are also excellent, and they say all the right things to the point of having the women folk in the audience practically cooing at them in desire. :-p

Unfortunately it's a movie that also made me wish I had someone to go home and cook with again. to pour through marcella Hazan's cookbook with and decide we want to cook the boned chicken stuffed with hamburger (which she did at least. :-p) or simply to waltz out of the theatre with again when the end music is in 3/4 time, as the credits music is for this film. Oh well, someday again.

I probably will have to break down and buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or get it for my birthday. I've been meaning to buy it since I bought Hazen's book, but never got around to it, and now it's like seven years later and I really should have had the book for years now. Plus I want to make an aspic because it sounds delicious. (btw Julie's aspic fell apart because our beef is feedlot beef and normal beef feet won't have the gelatin content that it should have because the beef haven't eaten a healthy diet in their lives, you can tell the quality of beef or chicken you're eating just by checking whether or not a bone broth will 'gel up' when refrigerated. )
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

User avatar
^Peter
Soldier
Soldier
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:06 am
Location: CA

Postby ^Peter » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:03 pm

On that same note, Kira strikes again.
Ha. Ha.
I just lost the game; you just lost the game.

http://www.losethegame.net/

I know! I'll use my sig as advertisement space for my classmates. http://www.youtube.com/user/Theorem42


Return to “Milagre Town Square”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ahrefs [Bot] and 9 guests