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> Cinemexperience: part deux., Some more filums you saw.
Rebus
post May 14 2011, 10:08 AM
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Burke and Hare

It was mostly fun nonsense, but not much more than that. The cameo spotting was a good laugh, but alas there seemed to be a lot of talent spread a little too thin. I don't know if murdering innocent people really lends itself to a comedy, especially not an Ealing one. There were too many typical gags for it to be a true black comedy, which in turn seemed to undermine the times it tried to be serious. I don't know, I guess the film just didn't really sit very comfortably with itself.

Isla Fisher's accent, and indeed overall performance, was great. Bill Bailey was, as ever, a joy to watch, and it was wonderful seeing Tom Curry get his beautiful teeth stuck into his role. Most of the accents were pretty spot on, but I have to say Andy's, Jessica's, and Simon's dreadful attempts were pretty distracting.

Seeing Michael Winner get chucked off a cliff was a particular highlight.
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maian
post May 14 2011, 12:01 PM
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Win Win

Paul Giamatti is a lawyer whose practice is going through a rough patch; he's so loathe to spend any of his dwindling funds that he refuses to pay for a new boiler to replace the increasingly noisy one in his basement and always unblocks the toilets rather than pay for a plumber. In a moment of desperation, he agrees to become the legal guardian of Leo, one of his clients, so that he can get the $1500 a month maintenance cheque. Things get complicated when Leo's grandson shows up, and Giamatti and his wife (Amy Ryan) take him in. When the kid displays some considerable skill at wrestling, he joins the high school team that Giamatti coaches and the two start to become friends.

Like his first two films, The Station Agent and The Visitor, Tom McCarthy's third is a quiet, unassuming film that hides considerably depth and emotion beneath its placid exterior. Through the sheer strength of the performances and writing, the characters emerge as complex, real people trying to do their best in a difficult situation, and McCarthy's refusal to play up the drama of the situation makes the story more affecting than it could be, especially considering how tried and tired the "kid teaches coach something about life and himself" trope is.

Funny, warm and deeply moving. In my Top 5 of the year so far.
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Sostie
post May 16 2011, 09:29 AM
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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Not quite as mental as I hope/expected but still good stuff. Nic Cage has to be the most interesting/exciting/strange actors in Hollywood.
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Serafina_Pekkala
post May 16 2011, 10:07 AM
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Black Death

Strange little horror film set in medieval times from the director of Severance with a great deal of atmosphere and authenticity. Rather enjoyable if clearly done on a low budget. Young monk (with Cillian pout) is fed-up at a monastery and the surrounding titular plague death of Holy Grail proportions. Then Boromir turns up in his full Game of Thrones gear and says there is a village were nobody is effected by death. So they hunt it out and meet sexy lady from Black Book who lives with Lord Percy in a magic clean place. I thought they missed a trick with the twist assuming that they'd all be dead people but that didn't happen. Interesting locations and a great supporting cast make this better than it should be. Everyone is grubby and paranoid about God - which was the authentic part. The end was pretty interesting in that the main dude didn't turn out happy at all. Shades of The Name of the Rose, The Village and that film with Colin Firth and the pig (which I like). And a lot of Witchfinder General. Made me wish we made more films over here.

Quantum of Solace

Below-par Bond. No amount of lovely Olga Whats-her-face can make up for the fact the baddie is a French tosser in a floral shirt. Something about water tables and environment and Bolivia something. All I could think was the Joe Cornish song and 'how did that hotel get in the desert?'. Next ...

This post has been edited by Serafina_Pekkala: May 16 2011, 10:08 AM
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Sostie
post May 17 2011, 08:39 AM
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Battle Los Angeles
As an alien invasion movie it's very cliched. As a "War" film, one of the most cliched I've ever seen. It's passable entertainment.
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maian
post May 17 2011, 02:11 PM
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The Big Sleep

Haven't seen it in a few years and it's still one of the greatest films ever made.
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logger
post May 17 2011, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 17 2011, 03:11 PM) *
The Big Sleep

Haven't seen it in a few years and it's still one of the greatest films ever made.

That was the very first thing I watched when I gave up smoking, boy was that hard. Even the opening credits take the piss. They might as well have called it Lovely Fags.
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maian
post May 17 2011, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE (logger @ May 17 2011, 03:39 PM) *
That was the very first thing I watched when I gave up smoking, boy was that hard. Even the opening credits take the piss. They might as well have called it Lovely Fags.


If I'd seen it when I was younger it would have totally convinced me to take up smoking. And wearing a fedora. *sigh* What might have been...

Sugarland Express (1974)

Steven Spielberg's first theatrically released film (discounting Duel, which was shot for TV but got a theatrical release in Europe) in which Goldie Hawn (who I spent the whole film thinking "Didn't she used to look exactly like Anna Faris?" about) plays a mother who breaks her husband out of jail so that they can go and get their son from a foster home. Along the way, they inadvertently kidnap a police officer who they have to hold hostage to keep the hordes of police chasing them at bay.

Funny, fast and exciting. An overlooked gem. (Though, when you consider the films that Spielberg would go on to make, it's hardly surprising that it's been overlooked.)

This post has been edited by maian: May 17 2011, 04:36 PM
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Rebus
post May 17 2011, 08:35 PM
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Source Code

Is it just me but is Geoffrey Wright the best hammer-upper in the world? It seems like it should be out of place and detract from everything he's in , but he's so bloody good at it that it works. I liked this, a little bit like if Hitchcock directed Groundhog Day written by Christopher Nolan. I loved the music especially, really added to the 'thriller' feel of it all, and had that kind of Pelham 123, French Connection feel to the score.

The ending almost undid all the good work that had gone before though, in my opinion. I just felt the way they wrapped it up was totally unnecessary and seemed a compromise to people who like happy-ever-after endings. But a solid flick nonetheless. Two for two for Duncan Jones, though I get the feeling Moon will always be his best work.
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maian
post May 17 2011, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Rebus @ May 17 2011, 09:35 PM) *
Source Code

The ending almost undid all the good work that had gone before though, in my opinion. I just felt the way they wrapped it up was totally unnecessary and seemed a compromise to people who like happy-ever-after endings. But a solid flick nonetheless. Two for two for Duncan Jones, though I get the feeling Moon will always be his best work.


I've grown to like the ending more over time since the idea that the Source Code can create alternate realities and that Wright's character doesn't actually understand what his invention does is an interesting concept. Maybe not the sort of concept that should be introduced five minutes before the film ends, but an interesting one all the same.
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maian
post May 18 2011, 02:29 AM
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Bridesmaids

Kristen Wiig co-writes and stars as Annie, whose best friend (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks her to be her maid of honour. Unfortunately for Annie, Lillian's new rich friend Helen (Rose Byrne) seems intent on upstaging her at every opportunity, trying to push Lillian towards activities that Annie can't possibly afford.

There's a weird battle of wills at the heart of the film between a fairly nuanced examination of what happens when one half of a friendship realises that the other half is moving on and getting married when their life seems to have stalled, and a very broad gross-out comedy. Both halves of the film work, but they don't really sit that well with each other, which is a shame because apart from the tonal shifts Bridesmaids is a really terrific comedy. Wiig, Rudolph and Byrne are all good, with Wiig and Byrne being particularly great in the scenes in which they try to out-bitch each other. There are also some very nicely handled moments of comic escalation, such as an argument that Wiig has with a customer in the jewelry shop that she works at, or the beyond gaudy batchelorette shower, which no amount of description can really do justice to. There's also a sweetness to Annie and Lillian's friendship, and her burgeoning relationship with a cop (Chris O'Dowd, in fine shouty form) that nicely balances out the scene in which several cast members vomit on each other and shit themselves.

Like a lot of Apatow productions, it goes on about twenty minutes too long, though director Paul Feig (of Freaks and Geeks fame) does manage to keep things moving along and never lets it get too aimless. It runs out of steam the closer it gets to the wedding, but the natural charm of the cast just about carries it over the finish line.

Also, nice small roles for Jon Hamm as Annie's complete dick of a fuck-buddy, who gets to do non-chalant douchebaggering like only he can, and Matt Lucas as Wiig's roommate.
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Sostie
post May 18 2011, 08:49 AM
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Drive Angry
Milton (Nic Cage) escapes from Hell to avenge his daughter's murder and stop the sacrifice of his baby granddaughter at the hands of an evil cult leader. Meanwhile The Accountant (William Fichtner) is sent from Hell to to bring back Milton.
Cage, Fichtner, guns, tits and muscle cars = ridiculous, fun, hokum of the highest order.
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Zoe
post May 18 2011, 09:24 AM
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Archipelago (2010)

An extraordinary piece of film making, shot unlike anything I've ever seen before.

The camera is completely stationary for the majority of the film's scenes, creating an oddly voyeuristic quality. I felt like I was staring into a dolls house. The fact you don't get to see any of the actors faces in close-up until way into the film adds to the sense of peering into a private reality, a feeling only increased by the performances of the actors. They create humour, poignancy and awkwardness with light brush strokes, building in intensity.

It's the story of two adult children, taking a 'family holiday' to the Isles of Scilly, with their mother, a cook, and a painting instructor, before the son's imminent departure to Africa to teach sexual health.

It is both a comedy of manners and a completely unsensational depiction of a family in crisis.

Writer/Director Joanna Hogg is certainly one to watch.

The Back-up Plan (2010)

Not even plan B.
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Serafina_Pekkala
post May 18 2011, 11:20 AM
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QUOTE (Zoe @ May 18 2011, 10:24 AM) *
Archipelago (2010)

I felt like I was staring into a dolls house.

Writer/Director Joanna Hogg is certainly one to watch.


A great description. I've seen it advertised and wanted to go but never go round to it. If it comes up again - I shall.

Hogg has great promise.
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maian
post May 18 2011, 12:28 PM
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QUOTE (Zoe @ May 18 2011, 09:24 AM) *
Archipelago (2010)

The camera is completely stationary for the majority of the film's scenes, creating an oddly voyeuristic quality. I felt like I was staring into a dolls house. The fact you don't get to see any of the actors faces in close-up until way into the film adds to the sense of peering into a private reality, a feeling only increased by the performances of the actors. They create humour, poignancy and awkwardness with light brush strokes, building in intensity.


Interesting. That description makes it sound like an Ozu film, and I really like his work. Must make the effort to check this out.
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