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> Cinemexperience: part deux., Some more filums you saw.
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post Dec 3 2010, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (widowspider @ Dec 3 2010, 03:20 PM) *
Stallone is such an oddity because you can so easily write him off as a meathead, but he's clearly a talented writer when he wants to be.

He has a higher IQ than Einstein had, apparently. Then again, what's cleverer, being some dusty old professor or being a millionaire film star?
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Serafina_Pekkala
post Dec 3 2010, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (widowspider @ Dec 3 2010, 03:20 PM) *
Spall is masterful in it.


I haven't seen it but I will put it on my list. Spall is an immense actor so a film that uses his skills to full effect is something I should see.

QUOTE
Rocky
Vince was horrified to learn that I had never seen it, so it went on the Blockbuster queue. Great film, great performance. Stallone is such an oddity because you can so easily write him off as a meathead, but he's clearly a talented writer when he wants to be.


Yes. Hollywood has never really known how to deal with him for this reason. Again one for a rewatch.

This post has been edited by Serafina_Pekkala: Dec 3 2010, 08:19 PM
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widowspider
post Dec 3 2010, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Dec 3 2010, 08:19 PM) *
I haven't seen it but I will put it on my list. Spall is an immense actor so a film that uses his skills to full effect is something I should see.

It's just such a subtle performance. I adore Spally in everything he does, a bit like Alfred Molina.

QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Dec 3 2010, 08:19 PM) *
Yes. Hollywood has never really known how to deal with him for this reason. Again one for a rewatch.

Indeed, hence why he wrote the film in the first place. I read all sorts of interesting things about how he refused to sell the script for a much higher price because the studio didn't want to let him play the lead. That, plus his support of Burmese democracy, have given me a newfound respect for ol' Sly.
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Zoe
post Dec 4 2010, 01:58 AM
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Toy Story 3

Completely brilliant. Made me forget Toy Story 2 is a bit rubbish.

Whatever Works


Witty and beautifully performed as ever; but 31 years after Manhattan I'm getting a bit sick of the naive younger woman/misanthropic much older man dynamic (forgive me Woody).

Still better than most writer/directors can dream of.
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maian
post Dec 4 2010, 01:21 PM
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QUOTE (Zoe @ Dec 4 2010, 01:58 AM) *
Toy Story 3

Completely brilliant. Made me forget Toy Story 2 is a bit rubbish.


You should give Toy Story 2 another watch some day. It's really very similar to Toy Story 3.

All The Real Girls (2003)

David Gordon Green's film follows Paul (Paul Schneider), a man living in a small town who has developed a reputation as a serial womanizer. When his best friend's sister, Noel (Zooey Deschenal) comes back from college, Paul falls in love with her. Noel's a virgin, though, and won't succumb to Paul's charms so easily. Paul sets about trying to prove to himself and everyone else that he isn't just a bastard but someone who is worthy of Noel.

This is the first of David Gordon Green's films that I've seen and its easy to see why, until he started hanging out with the Apatow crowd and had a huge hit with Pineapple Express, he was the king of American independent cinema. The combination of his serene, elegaic visuals recall the work of Terence Malick whilst the slightly awkward, seemingly improvised performances seem to hearken back to the work of John Cassavetes. I personally found the first half of the film a bit dull, if wonderfully made, but the second half, when things start to go wrong for Paul, was great and perhaps suggests that Green is better at showing people in crisis than he is at showing them happy. Still, there's a sweet romanticism to the film that keeps it engaging, there are moments of great deadpan humour, and it marks the acting debut of Green's Eastbound and Down collaborator Danny McBride, who looks like a weird copy of himself.


Monsters (2010)

With its story of a photographer and his boss' daughter forced to travel across a Mexico which has been sealed behind giant walls because it is 'infected' by aliens, Gareth Edwards' film Monsters falls into that sub-category of science fiction and horror cinema that sees film-makers using the genre to explore more socially relevant issues. In this instance, the film is, on an allegorical level, about the experiences of immigrants trying to enter America from Mexico. It's the latest entry in a rich tradition that includes recent films like District 9 and Cloverfield - both of which it has been compared to - and stretches back through the films of George A. Romero, the various incarnations of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, all the way to Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

This idea is established fairly early when Sam (Whitney Able) is forced to trade her engagement ring in exchange for an escort through The Infected Zone, a huge section of Mexico hundreds of miles across which is roamed by the creatures; a species of squids the size of cathedrals which are shown wreaking terrible destruction on everything they meet. It's not hard to see someone giving up something that has both sentimental and monetary value in order to pay for transport having real world parallels, and nor is it hard to see the similarities between Sam and Andrew's (Scoot McNairy) journey across rivers and through jungles with armed escorts and human traffickers trying to get people across borders in search of a better life.

However, like the films mentioned above, Monsters may invite this kind of interpretation but it does not demand it. It is perfectly possible to watch the film as an exciting, beautifully shot and touching film about two people setting out on a dangerous journey together and the experiences they have along the way which draw them closer together. To quote Freud, sometimes a many-tentacled Lovecraftian horror is just a many-tentacled Lovecraftian horror.

It's to Edwards' credit that the film looks as wonderful as it does. The film was made for no more than $200,000 and looks like it cost one hundred times that. The shots of South American cities and landscapes are beautiful and poetic, and a sequence in which Sam and Andrew travel by boat captures the same woozy hallucinatory vibe as Werner Herzog's Aguirre, Wrath of God. (I have no idea if that was an intentional reference, but when combined with one shot of a steam boat caught in some trees which seems to reference Fitzcarraldo it suggests that Edwards is up on his Herzog.) He has a slightly tougher time making the action sequences feel fresh, and some of them seem to be retreads of scenes in Jurassic Park, but for the most part the film relies on silence punctuated by the moans and crashes of the creatures' movements to create an atmosphere of dread and terror that is hugely effective.

The creatures themselves, on the few occasions when Edward shows them to us, are fantastic creations which seem wholly alien whilst also organic and real. There's an intoxicating mixture of beauty and horror to the way in which they walk across the countryside, tentacles wafting in the breeze. They also make it unacceptable for any film with a budget in excess of $100 million dollars to have sub-standard CGI. If Gareth Edwards can make effects this good on his own in his living room, then Hollywood pictures have no excuse for shoddy work.

Monsters is a film which work both metaphorically and viscerally, and it is an intelligent, original piece of independent film-making which will hopefully make similarly ambitious and talented directors realise that we have reached a point where anyone can make a visually impressive, smart film without having to wait for Hollywood to put up the cash.
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maian
post Dec 5 2010, 06:15 PM
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Double Post. WOO!

Radio Days (1987)

Woody Allen tells the story of his childhood and the ways in which radio, and the lives of the people on the radio, had an effect on his life at a time when he was going through his awkward adolescence and the country was going through World War Two. Like a lot of his films best films it draws very heavily on other artists for its style and content (in this instant Federico Fellini's film Amarcord, which is a similarly sentimental and episodic story about the director's childhood) but filters it through his own voice. The dialogue has the usual Allen crackle to it and there are some terrific sight gags - one, involving a baseball player who keeps trying to play despite losing a hand, then a leg, then his eyes, is the sort of gleefully absurd gag that wouldn't have been out of place in Take The Money And Run - but it's also one of his warmest and most unashamedly personal films.

Even though a lot of his films deal with his personal experiences, Allen usually keeps a certain distance between himself and the audience which is largely absent here; he takes us into his childhood home and introduces us to his mother and father, his aunts and uncles, his communist neighbours (one of whom is played by Larry David, whose voice is pretty unmistakable) and tells us in no uncertain terms what the radio meant to him growing up. The final ten minutes, in which the characters he has introduced over the course of the film are all united through the radio on New Year's Eve, and which ends on a note of happy nostalgia tinged with a sense of aging and the passage of time is one of the most beautiful and poignant things he's ever done.

Also, assuming that she wasn't dubbed, Diane Keaton has a very good singing voice. And I wonder if Miss Springfield (the girl that Mayor Quimby is always sleeping with in The Simpsons and has such a screechy voice) was based on Mia Farrow in this film. I can't find anything confirming the connection, but the voices are eerily similar.

This post has been edited by maian: Dec 5 2010, 06:17 PM
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maian
post Dec 5 2010, 08:53 PM
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Triple post. Get in!

Stardust Memories (1980)

Another Woody Allen film in which he channels Fellini, this time taking inspiration from 8 1/2 in order to tell the story of a film-maker (Allen) who goes to film festival screening a retrospective of his work. Whilst there, he contends with the studio executives who want him to reshoot his new 'artistic' film so that it has a happy ending, his divided affections for his married lover (Marie-Christine Barrault) and a young, naive girl who he meets at the festival (Jessica Harper) and the way in which his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling) casts a shadow over his whole life.

Woody Allen has said that the film isn't autobiographical, and that he is just playing a film-maker who looks like him, gets annoyed when people tell him that they preferred his "early, funnier" films (I wonder if he ever regretted including that phrase in the film? Sure seems like a horribly reductive summary of his career to popularise) and struggles with questions of what his work is worth in the grand scheme of things, and I can see his point. Obviously the film takes its structure and look from another film in order to comment on it, but at the same time he makes the story so close to his own experiences at the time (considering the icy reception that Interiors received two years before, it isn't difficult to imagine that criticisms other characters throw at "Sandy's" films were ones that he heard in relation to his own work) that it is hard to see it as anything other than a comment on Allen's work and the way in which it is perceived.

That makes it all sound pretty heavy, but it is still a funny film and easily the most successful of Allen's films about film-making and the creative process in that it reflects on those subjects in a way which is witty and pokes fun at Allen himself whilst also being genuinely insightful. It's pretty shallow in terms of the characters, but then again it's not meant to have the emotional impact of something like Annie Hall or Manhattan (although the scene of Rampling talking directly to camera is pretty heartbreaking in its intimacy, and Sandy's memory of her reading whilst listening to Louis Armstrong is surprisingly sweet given the rest of the film) but to be a clever, reflexive bit of fun for Allen. It reminded me a lot of A Cock And Bull Story, certainly the endings are very similar, which is a pretty good association in my book. Though that is another film which is inspired heavily by 8 1/2, so it all just kind of circles back around.

It also boasts the weirdest looking cast this side of Freaks. There is not a single extra in the film that looks like a normal person, which perhaps heightens the Fellini-ness of it all.

This post has been edited by maian: Dec 5 2010, 09:03 PM
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PrincessKate
post Dec 6 2010, 09:01 AM
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Christmasfest Part II involved
Home Alone - They'd be dead by now, wouldn't they? Yep.
Elf - Still brilliant, still makes me cry.
Muppet Christmas Carol - The best version.

Also, in case anyone's keeping score, Muppet Christmas Carol is Michael Caine's best film; Transformers the Movie is Orson Welles' best film and Hook is Dustin Hoffman's best filom. So there.
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Dec 6 2010, 09:14 AM
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QUOTE (PrincessKate @ Dec 6 2010, 09:01 AM) *
Elf - Still brilliant, still makes me cry.
Muppet Christmas Carol - The best version.

Just out of interest, which bit of Elf makes you cry? I only ask because I will shed tears at anything, but I don't remember Elf making me weepy.

Muppet Xmas Carol, on the other hand.......
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PrincessKate
post Dec 6 2010, 09:21 AM
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The joyful singing of Santa Claus is Coming to Town at the end. Don't know why really, just does.
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Sostie
post Dec 6 2010, 09:33 AM
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Catfish
Documentary (or mockumentary) about a filmmaker documenting his brotherís online relationship with the older sister of an 8 year old artist he meets via Facebook, revealing that all may not be what it seems. Itís well made, interesting and watchable, but in no way warrants the 5 star reviews itís been getting. As for the big ďrevealĒ, Iíd be surprised if no one has guessed it by the end of the first half hour.

Monsters
I find the process used to make the film far more interesting than the film itself. Itís remarkable what the director, Gareth Edwards, has managed to achieve within the meagre budget. I didnít find the film scary, tense, and I have no idea why itís being called a great romance, but sometimes what you see on screen is very very impressive. Not so much the aliens (which are OK) but the more simple things like destroyed and abandoned buildings, insertion of vehicles, signs and grafitti etc.
A brilliantly executed, good film.

Skyline

Not a single original idea here. Watch the trailer and youíve seen the best of the film.
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Everlong
post Dec 6 2010, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE (PrincessKate @ Dec 6 2010, 09:01 AM) *
Christmasfest Part II involved
Home Alone - They'd be dead by now, wouldn't they? Yep.
Elf - Still brilliant, still makes me cry.
Muppet Christmas Carol - The best version.

Also, in case anyone's keeping score, Muppet Christmas Carol is Michael Caine's best film; Transformers the Movie is Orson Welles' best film and Hook is Dustin Hoffman's best filom. So there.


I still love Muppets Christmas Carol. I saw that this weekend, and Home Alone 2, which I sort of prefer over the first one.

Also saw Fred Claus yesterday. I thought it was.. Alright. Harmless bit of family comedy, though Vince Vaughn is once again just playing Vince Vaughn. Thought it was amusing that Spacey's character wanted a superman cape.


District 9

Still awesome second time round.
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NiteFall
post Dec 6 2010, 12:58 PM
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Die Hard

The touching tale of a man who wins back the heart of his estranged wife on Christmas Eve by blowing up a skyscraper full of terrorists. Truly one of the greatest Christmas films of all time.
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sweetbutinsane
post Dec 6 2010, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (NiteFall @ Dec 6 2010, 12:58 PM) *
Die Hard

The touching tale of a man who wins back the heart of his estranged wife on Christmas Eve by blowing up a skyscraper full of terrorists. Truly one of the greatest Christmas films of all time.


I agree. happy.gif
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Llama
post Dec 6 2010, 07:39 PM
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Plus it has Alan Rickman. You can't lose.
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