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curtinparloe
QUOTE (Jessopjessopjessop @ Mar 7 2009, 12:19 PM) *
Watchmen.
You could argue that all the film's successes are Alan Moore's, but that is nothing but a recommendation for Snyder's process and decision-making when it could have been very different.


Its failings, too, mind you - if this film suffers from anything it's being too referential to the book.
logger
Gran Torino

Despite the dumb movie logic at times, it's pretty good.

QUOTE (curtinparloe @ Mar 7 2009, 12:55 PM) *
Its failings, too, mind you - if this film suffers from anything it's being too referential to the book.

One of the very minor faults I felt with the film was with the nature of the source material being episodic and detracted slightly from the central narrative of the film.
maian
Anvil! The Story of Anvil

So, the story goes that at one point in the 1980s, Anvil were poised to be one of the biggest bands in the world, with their second album 'Metal On Metal' (one of many ''too metal to be true'' albums in their back catalogue) being acknowledged as a classic and hugely influential by their peers including Lars Ulrich, Slash, Lemmy and a couple of other talking heads that appear at the start of the film. For whatever reason, success eluded them and, twenty years later, Lips delivers food for schools around Scarsborough, Ontario, and Robb can often be found drilling things. A new tour and the chance to record a new album take the band back out on the road, which results in missed trains, clubs failing to pay them and shows being played to clubs which have, at most, five patrons.

There is something of Spinal Tap to all of this, not least of all the ridiculous lyrics, preposterous album covers and the frequency with which hilarious phrases are uttered by the band (Robb Reiner: (On why the band weren't successful) It's one word. No, two words. Three words. We had bad management) that they seem like they could only have been written. It is all real, though, which only serves to make them more ridiculous and funny, but also makes them into incredibly tragic figures.

There's a strange moment in the film when the two primary members of the group, singer-guitarist Steve ''Lips'' Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, have an argument during the recording of the group's thirteenth album, This Is Thirteen. After their argument, Lips goes to see Robb and breaks down crying whilst trying to apologise to him, telling him that he loves him and that he is all he's got. It's a touching moment in which you see the strength of a friendship and creative partnership that has lasted over three decades. It's odd, though, since it's in the middle of a film which seems to be, for all intents and purposes, a comedy, and up to that point I hadn't realised that I cared so much about them.

It's hilarious and heartbreaking in almost equal measure. By initially having you laugh at them, you gradually laugh with Lips and Robb and sympathise with these men who have held onto their dream, probably for too long, and still want to play in front of thousands of dreaming fans. Director Sacha Gervasi is an avowed fan of the group, as evidenced by a picture at the end showing a young Gervasi posing with Lips back in the mid-80s, and he manages get across what made them special to him and makes you care for them as well.
Starscream`s Ghost
Watchmen

I'd agree with pretty much everything Adam said. I really liked it, surprisingly.

However, I wasn't too keen on Akerman; gorgeous she may be, but she didn't appear to do much more than react and pout, I just wasn't feeling her performance at all. The sex scene on the Owl Ship went on for far, far too long for my liking, and I'm getting sick of 'Hallelujah' being used for 'emotional' scenes in things.

The ending worked, as well. It made sense.

I'd also add that while Wilson and Haley were absolutely brilliant, Jeffrey Dean Morgan stole the show as the Comedian.
sweetbutinsane
The X-Files: Fight the Future

Meh. I remember loving it when I first watched it, but I was only about nine.
logger
QUOTE (Starscream`s Ghost @ Mar 7 2009, 07:03 PM) *
However, I wasn't too keen on Akerman; gorgeous she may be, but she didn't appear to do much more than react and pout, I just wasn't feeling her performance at all. The sex scene on the Owl Ship went on for far, far too long for my liking, and I'm getting sick of 'Hallelujah' being used for 'emotional' scenes in things.

I thought she was a bit ropey when she had to be very emotional.

And I thought that was more of a comedic moment, with the 'Hallelujah' was more about Nite Owl being able to get it up rather than being any kind of emotional trigger. It made me chuckle, anyway.
GundamGuy_UK
Does Rorschach still die at the end?
Rua
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 7 2009, 08:06 PM) *
And I thought that was more of a comedic moment, with the 'Hallelujah' was more about Nite Owl being able to get it up rather than being any kind of emotional trigger. It made me chuckle, anyway.


I thought that.
Starscream`s Ghost
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Mar 7 2009, 08:20 PM) *
Does Rorschach still die at the end?


You sure you want to know?

Yes, he does.

Then he comes back and goes off with Dan and Laurie to the Undying Lands. (Not really)
GundamGuy_UK
Good. It's pretty important to the story, really. It wouldn't work without it.
Atara
I really enjoyed Watchmen.
maian
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 7 2009, 08:06 PM) *
And I thought that was more of a comedic moment, with the 'Hallelujah' was more about Nite Owl being able to get it up rather than being any kind of emotional trigger. It made me chuckle, anyway.


I've not seen it, but that's actually a really clever use of it since Buckley always said that his version was about the 'Hallelujah of the orgasm', so either Snyder knows his music or it's just an interesting coincidence.
maian
Awake (2007)

To quote Bernard Black, it's dreadful but it's short.
logger
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 8 2009, 04:09 PM) *
I've not seen it, but that's actually a really clever use of it since Buckley always said that his version was about the 'Hallelujah of the orgasm', so either Snyder knows his music or it's just an interesting coincidence.

Shame on you reading spoilers. wink.gif
ipse dixit
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 8 2009, 04:09 PM) *
Buckley always said that his version was about the 'Hallelujah of the orgasm', so either Snyder knows his music or it's just an interesting coincidence.
It's Leonard Cohen's version. But the tongue-in-cheek tone stands.
maian
QUOTE (ipse dixit @ Mar 8 2009, 06:23 PM) *
It's Leonard Cohen's version. But the tongue-in-cheek tone stands.


That is pretty funny, but my opinion of Snyder has dipped slightly.
sweetbutinsane
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Strange, but quite funny and very good.
maian
He Got Game (1998)

Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is a man residing at Attica prison, partway through a jail sentence. He is offered the chance of a reduced sentence when he is told that if he can get his promising basketball player son, Jesus (Ray Allen), to go to the same University as the warden's son. Jake is let out onto the streets of his native Coney Island and tries to convince Jesus, even though everyone else is trying to get the exact same thing out of him.

Though I couldn't help but watch it and think that it was a less fascinating, fictionalised version of 'Hoop Dreams', Spike Lee's film is still an interesting and emotive look at how sport can effect the life of young men and their families, offering hope to those who have no other means of escape. Denzel and Allen have a great relationship with the latter really convincing as a young man at a crossroads in his life, giving a performance that I wouldn't have expected from a real basketball player.

It suffers from the same problems that a lot of Spike Lee's films do; stilted dialogue, unnecessary sub-plots, in this case that of Milla Jovovich's character, and a somewhat languid pace, but the main problem with it is the score, which is horribly intrusive and seems to have been brought in from another film. It occasionally hits the right emotional note, but it's so constant that it becomes diluted and less impactful.
logger
Dirty Harry

Take that, hippies!
Sostie
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 6 2009, 10:24 PM) *
I was wondering about that; it seemed really strange that the characters were talking about moving to England yet half the characters were American.


From what I remember it has two American cast members, one English accent. Ridiculous. I hope Special Edition comes out one day without the dubbing, with the original Coil soundtrack and with the original amount of buttock thrusts


QUOTE (maian @ Mar 8 2009, 11:22 PM) *
He Got Game (1998)


Fantastic Public Enemy soundtrack.


DARK KNIGHT
Thought I'd give it a nother watch. It's like Michael Mann doing a comic book film. Love how some of the action sequesnces are done without music - far more effective than John Williams style aural wanking.

Why hasn't anyone in Gotham noticed that Batman and Bruce Wayne have the same slight lisp?

I take back what I have previously said about Ledger's Joker. He is not doing an amalgam of previous Jokers. He is doing Paul Giamatti doing an amalgam of previous Jokers.
Outatime
Gran Torino

How this didn't get nominated for any Oscars I do not know. Clint Eastwood plays a Korean War veteran, Walt, who has stayed in his house despite the neighbourhood becoming predominantly Korean over the years. The film starts at the funeral of Walt's wife and lays out the foundations of the character, he has two sons neither of which he particularly gets on with, having worked at the Ford plant his entire career he resents his son selling Japanese import cars (along with the underlying racism of the character). Next door to Walt there is a Korean family consisting of grandmother, mother, daughter and son. The son is quiet but his cousin is hell bent on forcing him into his gang and his initiation task is to steal Walt's Gran Torino. He fails and on the insistance of his mother the son starts to work for Walt, although Walt doesn't want his help as he maintains his house and garden to a high standard (not like others in the neighbourhood). Eventually a friendship blossoms between Walt and the family next door, although his racist comments still come thick and fast, and Walt demonstrates more than once his lack of fear for the gangs that exist in the city when the kids have run ins with them.

Without wanting to give anything away I think it's one of the best films I've seen in a long time, beautifully shot and fantastic characters.
monkeyman
I'm actually quite interested in seeing that. Probably the first Eastwood film I can say that about.
Sostie
QUOTE (monkeyman @ Mar 9 2009, 10:23 AM) *
I'm actually quite interested in seeing that. Probably the first Eastwood film I can say that about.


I'd say it's his best film in decades.
Outatime
I don't think I've ever seen another Clint Eastwood film.

I lie, I'd forgotten about Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can
monkeyman
I meant ones he'd directed or written. I've seen some other Clint films, but none of the ones he's been anything but an actor in.
maian
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 9 2009, 10:37 AM) *
I'd say it's his best film in decades.


I'd say he's had a pretty fantastic run over the last decade. I've loved or liked every film he's done since Mystic River.

Might go and see Gran Torino this afternoon.
Outatime
I've seen some that he's directed, I really liked Mystic River.
logger
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 9 2009, 10:37 AM) *
I'd say it's his best film in decades.

It's no Unforgiven.
widowspider
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 7 2009, 09:06 PM) *
I thought she was a bit ropey when she had to be very emotional.

And I thought that was more of a comedic moment, with the 'Hallelujah' was more about Nite Owl being able to get it up rather than being any kind of emotional trigger. It made me chuckle, anyway.

I both laughed and found it pretty hot, to be honest. But that might have more to do with my obsession with Patrick Wilson. This film did not help that problem.
melzilla
I saw Watchmen on the Imax in Manchester yesterday. Yow! Visually I was completely stunned most of the way through. However, I might need to go and see it again on a regular cinema screen as I think the vast expanse of the Imax meant I was constantly struggling to take in every fanatastic detail. Apart from that I tend to pretty much agree what everyone's already said here.

QUOTE (Jessopjessopjessop @ Mar 7 2009, 12:19 PM) *
You could argue that all the film's successes are Alan Moore's, but that is nothing but a recommendation for Snyder's process and decision-making when it could have been very different. The differences with the books are actually just omissions for the story's sake. And we will probably see much more of the complex sub-plots in future DVD editions. The action/violence quotient has been upped - necessarily in my opinion - but the source material is there, unlike the bizarre additions of action sequences to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. These have just been turned up to 11, and the result is exciting and impactful. And regarding the much talked-about ending, replacing the squid monster with the more culturally relevant scenario, nothing else would have worked.


Absolutely. I thought the ending was done skillfully and thoughtfully, and Snyder's decisions on the balances of violence, humour, tone, etc, I thought were very well observed. There were bits I was a little disappointed were not in there, but can totally understand why; for general plot and run-time's sake, so I can't wait to see the extended editions in future.

QUOTE (Starscream`s Ghost @ Mar 7 2009, 07:03 PM) *
However, I wasn't too keen on Akerman; gorgeous she may be


Yes, she is, but I just couldn't stop looking at that big 'zit' on her face.

QUOTE (Outatime @ Mar 9 2009, 10:02 AM) *
Gran Torino

How this didn't get nominated for any Oscars I do not know.

Without wanting to give anything away I think it's one of the best films I've seen in a long time, beautifully shot and fantastic characters.


I really wasn't blown away. I'd agree that the direction and cinematography is great but I found the plot very predictable and drawn-out and the characters quite contrived and stereotypical. I felt it was trying a little too hard to be 'hard-hitting', 'gritty' and 'real', but with Clint Eastwood's character being more 'comedically curmudgeonly' than 'deeply psychologically disordered', it didn't really work for me.
logger
Gran Torino reminded me a bit of a Takeshi Kitano film. With a lot less surrealism, of course.
monkeyman
Which one?
logger
No particular one, just him in general.
maian
Rome, Open City (1945)

I've wanted to see this for ages and someone at work kindly lent me the DVD. Really quite astonishing. It tells the stories of several characters involved, either directly or tangentially, in either the resistance movement or with the Germans in Rome during WWII. The cast, a large number of whom were non-actors who had just lived through the actual war and had been POWs, give compelling and realistic performances throughout and its really astonishing seeing scenes being played out in the actual ruins of post-war Rome. Roberto Rossellini's direction is really sophisticated and belies the restraints that were clearly put upon the film by the time in which it was made.

The moment when Pina gets shot may be the most shocking moment I've ever seen in a film. I completely wasn't expecting it.


Gran Torino (2008)

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a Korean War vet living in a neighbourhood that used to be Polish-Catholic but is now populated largely by Hmong (a people, not a place) immigrants. A curmudgeonly racist, Walt wants nothing to do with the Hmongs, though with his wife dead, the rest of his family self-involved cunts, and a priest constantly pestering him to confess, they are one of only a few groups that he dislikes. He is content to sit on his porch with his dog, Daisy, and to work on his house. When Tao (Bee Vang), a young Hmong, is told to steal Walt's 1972 Gran Torino as part of a gang initiation, Walt is forced to take action, and finds himself thrust unwilling into the lives of people he hates.

As soon as I saw the trailers for this, I knew that they were lying to me. I suspected that this wasn't going to be like a long-delayed sixth Dirty Harry film, with a 78-year old Eastwood kicking ass and taking names because that, frankly, would be ridiculous. Indeed, the moments when it does resemble that, such as when Walt beats the living hell out of a Hmong gang member, would seem fairly ridiculous if it weren't the case that the gang stuff and the violence are only minor concerns for Eastwood, who is interested in the character dynamics between Kowalski and his neighbours and uses the violence first to kick start the story and later to conclude it.

Much of the film is taken up developing Walt's acceptance of, and by, the Hmong community, and particularly the personal friendship he develops with Tao. In order to make amends with Walt, Tao does off jobs for him and Walt in turn teaches Tao something about being a man, hoping to offer him a way out of the neighbourhood that won't end in jail or the grave. It could seem hackneyed and trite since it's a character arc that has been seen so many times before, but the languid pacing and the understated direction, not to mention the lack of music throughout, keep things restrained and make the relationship feel much more naturalistic than it might otherwise have been.

All of this wouldn't really amount to much if there wasn't a glue holding it all together, and that is most definitely Eastwood as Walt Kowalski. Looking older than the sun and the sky and with a face that looks to have been worn away by the winds of time, Eastwood embodies the archetypal crotchety racist. Every look, every step, every sigh of disapproval at the world in general suggests someone who has lived a full life and doesn't really give a damn anymore. It's an unfussy, straightforward performance that perfectly suits the movie and its themes.

Much like Unforgiven, which is probably the film that is closest to Gran Torino in Eastwood's filmography, Gran Torino is a deconstruction of one of his screen personas; Unforgiven took apart the gunslinger, Gran Torino takes apart Harry Callahan. It's a film about death and violence but, rather than casually tossing them aside and getting straight to the bang bang, it recognises that violence takes a toll on a man and is not something to be entered into lightly. Walt is a man who has seen death first-hand and, even though he does resort to violence at times, does so only when he sees no other option. The script for the film is quite cliched and you can see the ending coming a mile away, but it has to be in order to comment on those same cliches.

It's not as good as Unforgiven as a deconstruction, and it's certainly not as good as Changeling, but it's another great addition to Eastwood's current fine run of form. Hopefully this won't be his final film, but if it turns out to be a farewell performance then it's a great swansong.
monkeyman
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 9 2009, 04:21 PM) *
No particular one, just him in general.

Well thats made me extremely interested in seeing it.
Omniscia
I liked it.
Jessopjessopjessop
QUOTE (melzilla @ Mar 9 2009, 02:50 PM) *
However, I might need to go and see it again on a regular cinema screen as I think the vast expanse of the Imax meant I was constantly struggling to take in every fanatastic detail.

That's why I don't like IMAX for regular films. It's too big!
Sostie
QUOTE (Jessopjessopjessop @ Mar 10 2009, 10:01 AM) *
That's why I don't like IMAX for regular films. It's too big!


It's not quite IMAX but I am arranging a special screening of Garden State. It will be projected on my arse. (insert gag about it still being too big)
Outatime
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 9 2009, 04:10 PM) *
Gran Torino reminded me a bit of a Takeshi Kitano film. With a lot less surrealism, of course.


I would agree with that. I was having a conversation with a friend a while ago about Japenese films as a whole, which often aren't really about anything and are pitched very differently from traditional Hollywood films in the way that something happens at the beginning then the film just sort of carries on, Gran Torino was similar, except of course it had the traditional Hollywood dénouement.
Drifter
Film on C4 last night - I Am A Cyborg, But Thats Okay - a mad Japanese movie about a girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls - great stuff!
Sostie
QUOTE (Drifter @ Mar 10 2009, 11:13 AM) *
Film on C4 last night - I Am A Cyborg, But Thats Okay - a mad Japanese movie about a girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls - great stuff!


It's good, but a bit of a let down after the excellent Vengeance Trilogy. (shouldn't this be in the film thread)
Drifter
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 10 2009, 11:15 AM) *
It's good, but a bit of a let down after the excellent Vengeance Trilogy. (shouldn't this be in the film thread)


but it was on TV?

I was being very lazy in not finding the film thread, bad me.
dandan
and, it's korean. not japanese...
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 10 2009, 10:09 AM) *
It's not quite IMAX but I am arranging a special screening of Garden State. It will be projected on my arse. (insert gag about it still being too big)


You threw away a "gluteus IMAXimus" opportunity, there.
melzilla
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Mar 10 2009, 01:40 PM) *
You threw away a "gluteus IMAXimus" opportunity, there.


Nice work.
GundamGuy_UK
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder - Final and by far the best of the 4 Futurama DVD movies.

It still suffers from the length and plot issues that the others had, but unlike the others it's actually funny. And the plot is better, too. This is the only one I've seen that really felt like the old Futurama, and seeing as it's the last one it's nice that it was that way.

I really enjoyed it.
NiteFall
Except it might not be the last of futurama. Billy West said in an interview that Fox were in negotiations to do another, proper, series.
Zoe
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

Definitely the best documentary I've ever seen, probably one of the best films. It's surprising in every way with a utterly compelling story and amazing characters.

I was blown away and I would have definitely put it in a top ten of that year, had I not waiting so long to see it.

Was Steve played by Nathan Fillion?
Sostie
QUOTE (Zoe @ Mar 13 2009, 09:57 AM) *
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

Was Steve played by Nathan Fillion?


And Billy Mitchell was played by Kenny Loggins.

Certainly one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.

Can you get a perfectly cast documentary? If the story was fictional the characters would probably been exactly the same.
Zoe
A world weary folk singing referee into Transcendental Meditation? Yup.

His letter to Steve apologising actually made me cry

Billy's henchman was also incredible. "He's built up quite a crowd. I'd say there's about twenty people in the crowd, they're looking at him... they're still looking at him..."

Billy's wife's tits should have got a credit of their own. She'd be played by Jennifer Coolidge in a brown wig.
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