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monkeyman
I really want to see that.

iTunes fave me Lesbian vampire slayers fir free so I watched it at lunchtime. It was as bad as I expected.
maian
It is definitely worth checking out, particularly if you've a background knowledge of the more violent horror of someone like Takashi Miike, which the end of the film recalls. Though I found the violence in Antichrist much harder to stomach than Miike's because it is much grittier.

The Informant!

I don't think I've ever seen a film trying so hard to be funny and yet failing so frequently. Everything about the film, from the garish set design and the score, which aims for 'zany' and hits 'grating', to the exclamation mark in the title and the casting of the likes of Tony Hale and Patton Oswalt in supporting roles, suggests that Steven Soderbergh is trying his hardest to make the film seem hilarious through sheer force of will. The focus on the aesthetics of the film cannot hide the fact that The Informant! is based on a script that, like its protagonist, is deeply, deeply confused.

The story of Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), an employee of a major food company who agreed to act as a spy for the federal government to uncover price fixing on an international scale, only to use his position to create a web of lies and deceit that ultimately turned against him, could have made for a dark and intriguing character study of delusion and corporate culture (sort of a cross between The Insider and Billy Liar) or a farcical story of the absurdities of one man's mind. Soderbergh tries to make the film both but fails to make it either, resulting in dramatic scenes that have no weight and comic scenes that have no levity.

What stops the film from being a complete waste is the performances. Damon is terrific in the central role and manages to construct an interesting central character who is completely believable as a man who gradually begins to confuse reality with his own stories, and Scott Bakula and Joel McHale are great as the two FBI agents assigned to Whitacre who spend the film veering between being his trusting allies and his dubious inquisitors.

The film it most reminded me of was Catch Me If You Can, but only because I spent much of my time watching it thinking "This isn't as good as Catch Me If You Can". Both films focus on real stories of men who build up lives of deceit and subterfuge but Spielberg's film managed to get the balance between a light screwball tone and the personal tragedy of his central character whilst Soderbergh never finds the right balance.

Not without merit, but not what you would hope for given its possibilities and pedigree.
grumpygit
Star Trek - sponsored by Maglite®
sweetbutinsane
A Home at the End of the World

Sweet and strange and sometimes a bit sad.
logger
The Wizard of Oz

After watching a documentary about it earlier I decided to watch the dvd I bought a couple of years ago but had never watched, it was still in the cellophane. Do kids still enjoy this film? I think they would if they haven't been spoiled by modern special effects. It was my favourite film for a little while until I saw Star Wars, but even then I still loved it. Now I enjoy it because Judy Garland's Dorothy is my favourite piece of jail-bait ass, if only she wore a pair of ruby thigh-high lace up boots. God, I need a girlfriend. Garland is perfect in this film though, as is pretty much the entire cast and the film is a joy and if you're kids don't like it I think it would be ok to slap them until they did.
Ade
QUOTE (monkeyman @ Dec 31 2009, 01:46 PM) *
iTunes fave me Lesbian vampire slayers fir free so I watched it at lunchtime.

Gone are the days when iTunes would include an evergreen with every film download.
Sostie
Hmmm. Let's see if I can remember what I watched over Crimbo...

Ghost Town
Good

The Invention Of Lying
Starts strongly and goes downhill a litle bit. Still good fun

The Incredibles
Forget thesuper-hero aspect. Has to be the best James Bond homage ever

Horton Hears A Who!
Odd and engrossing

Sukiyaki Western Django
Fun Japanese western, but Quentin Tarantino should really give up acting

Madagascar 2
I loved the first film. This wasn't too bad. Made me chuckle quite a bit (mainly the penguins)

The Darjeeling Limited
It seems to get better on repeated viewings. I love you too, but I'm gonna mace you in the face!. One of the funniest lines ever.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
It's Lord Of The Rings lite, but entertaining nontheless

High Anxiety
Mel Brroks does for Hitchcock films what Young Frankenstein did for Universal horror. The humour may be a little dated but a lot of the nods to Hitchcock are for the most part spot-on. You also have to of AMerica's greatest comic actors - Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman - on top form.

Romancing The Stone
Always loved this film. Michael Douglas was a sexy action hero! Who would have thought. Damn Kathleen Turner was hot.

Michael Clayton
Excellent. George Clooney is now officially my fave Hollywood actor.

Midnigh Run
Along with Jaws and North By Northwest ranks as a "perfect film"

Quantum Of Slace
Still good

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Smoking weed! Ha ha ha ha ha haha! There is something in here about America's reaction to 9/11 etc. But really, it doesn't matter. Cos getting high is hilarious. No really. It is. Never thought there'd be a more annoying character on filom than Vince Vaughn's in Made. I think Kumar has now taken that crown
maian
When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts

Spike Lee's four-hour documentary about the devastation wrought on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina as well as the actions of the U.S. government both before and after the disaster is an undoubtedly powerful film. Reconstructing the events using interviews with hundreds of residents of New Orleans who were in the city at the time, as well as home movie and news footage, Lee uses each of the hour-long Acts of the film to depict a different aspect of Katrina; Act 1 shows the lead-up; Act 2 depicts the actual hurricane itself, at one point using harrowing footage from inside the New Orleans Convention Centre, and the immediate aftermath; Act 3 deals with the way in which families were split up and sent all over America as the city was evacuated; and Act 4 focuses on the efforts of FEMA, or the ineffectiveness of their efforts, to rebuild the city and the defiance of the people of New Orleans as they try to return to some sort of normality.

It's an intense watch, I had to watch it in two sittings several weeks apart after Act 2 left me completely devastated, and even after so much time has elapsed and so much has been said about Katrina and the (in)actions of the Bush administration it is still profoundly shocking to see the destruction of the hurricane and the human cost. The often deadened delivery of the interviewees speaks volumes about the traumatic effect that it has had on their psyches, which makes the moments when they break down - such as when one man describes how he found his mother's body in their house because the authorities had incorrectly said that there were no bodies in there, or when Wendell Pierce describes visiting the remains of his childhood home with his father - all the more affecting.

The film is a sombre affair (How could it not be?) but Lee doesn't just focus on the grim and horrible aspects of the disaster. He allows for the strength and basic decency of the people of New Orleans to shine through. Whether it is the Mardi Gras parade going ahead in the aftermath of Katrina, complete with a billboard saying "Nothing stops Mardi Gras. NOTHING" or just tales of neighbours trying to save each other, a sense of the resilience and strength of people in the worst of situations is uplifting.

A stunning, angry and vital piece of work but not one that is to be undertaken lightly.

Also: Sean Penn seems like a slightly mad but incredibly brave guy.
maian
Society

Billy Warlock (What a great name!) plays Bill Whitney, the son of a pair of rich socialites living in Beverley Hills. Bill has always felt distant from his parents and their friends and has recently been suffering from nightmares that have the air of premonition about them. When one of his friends from school makes a recording of his parents and his sister talking about incest and apparently killing someone, Bill tries to work out what is going on and uncover the conspiracy at the heart of his community.

I'm not sure if I enjoyed Brian Yuzna's vaguely Marxist interpretation of the standard Invasion of the Bodysnatchers formula - the opening hour, whilst intriguing wasn't that exciting and the final 20 minutes or so featured (admittedly stunning) body horror special effects that were terribly unpleasant - I did find it interesting and it had a lot of fun with its ideas without skimping on the gore or ick factor.
Kick in the Head
The Box
Yes, it all goes a bit batshit crazy in a way not unlike Richard Kelly's previous work, but it's still an accomplished film, revelling in its period detail with some fine performances. For the most part, it feels just like the weirdy sci-fi tinged conspiracy 'what if?' tales it tries to emulate and there's very little in it that would seem out of place in an episode of The X-Files. Probably better than the two Mulder and Scully movies anyway.

The Hangover
You can probably trace the great trend of American comedies of the last decade as being one in which absurd situations and zany characters trump actual jokes and humour through narrative rather than vignettes strung together by flimsy plot. Each discipline has it's great and awful examples, and The Hangover is neither. Consistently entertaining while rarely laugh-out-loud funny, it largely works thanks to the performances of its central trio.

OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies
An affectionate reboot and parody of the French spy series that is both daftly funny and satirical in a near-the-knuckle fashion that other 'wasn't the past silly but we love it so!' fare like Starsky and Hutch wouldn't dream of approaching. Shot, plotted and performed as if it were a lost 60s Bond film, Jean Dujardin could almost pass as a genuine Sean Connery-a-like. But rather than rely on the typical gentle digs of the swinging spy genre as seen in the likes of Austin Powers or saddled with Clouseau-esque ineptitude (though there is room for a little of both), OSS 117 is portrayed as a narrow-minded, culturally-insensitive, arrogant, bigoted, misogynistic thug, with very little handle on either his mission or the Middle East. Equal parts a daring take on post-colonial anxieties and a stupid slapstick comedy.

Tokyo Story
A regular fixture near the top of 'Best Film Ever' lists, Tokyo Story is an understated, low-key gem, following an elderly couple who have made the long trip to the capital to visit their grown-up children, only to be met with large indifference. It's moving and deeply human in ways that other dramas feel can only be accomplished through orchestral swells and teary close-ups. It's not especially stimulating viewing (I did very nearly doze off a little - though I think that was New Year's catching up with me too) but it's rare that I see a film just about people nowadays, so felt good for the soul. Not that I have one.
maian
The Howling

Joe Dante and John Sayles, having worked together on Piranha, reteamed for this fun and schlocky werewolf movie in which a television news anchor (Dee Wallace) is sent to a retreat to recuperate after a brush with a serial killer (Robert Picardo). Once there, though, her boyfriend is attacked by a large wolf and everyone around her seems relatively unconcerned about the strange goings on.

In the category of "Werewolf Movie Directed By Someone Who Would Later Direct A Segment Of The Twilight Zone Movie" it doesn't really compare to An American Werewolf In London but it's a really solid and entertaining film in its own right. Dante brings his mix of energy and visual flair to proceedings and Sayles' script is smart and funny enough to distinguish the film. Good fun.
Zoe
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Jan 4 2010, 10:59 PM) *
The Hangover
You can probably trace the great trend of American comedies of the last decade as being one in which absurd situations and zany characters trump actual jokes and humour through narrative rather than vignettes strung together by flimsy plot. Each discipline has it's great and awful examples, and The Hangover is neither. Consistently entertaining while rarely laugh-out-loud funny, it largely works thanks to the performances of its central trio.


I enjoyed it, and was entertained for the duration, but didn't laugh once. That might have been because I was on my own, rather than because it wasn't funny. Judged on Kermode's 6 (?) laugh rule, it failed as a comedy.

I really want to see 'The Box', it looks brilliant. I'd want to see it for Frank Langella's wicked-cool, scary, face alone.
empathy-with-beast
QUOTE (maian @ Jan 4 2010, 11:14 PM) *
The Howling

Joe Dante and John Sayles, having worked together on Piranha, reteamed for this fun and schlocky werewolf movie in which a television news anchor (Dee Wallace) is sent to a retreat to recuperate after a brush with a serial killer (Robert Picardo). Once there, though, her boyfriend is attacked by a large wolf and everyone around her seems relatively unconcerned about the strange goings on.

In the category of "Werewolf Movie Directed By Someone Who Would Later Direct A Segment Of The Twilight Zone Movie" it doesn't really compare to An American Werewolf In London but it's a really solid and entertaining film in its own right. Dante brings his mix of energy and visual flair to proceedings and Sayles' script is smart and funny enough to distinguish the film. Good fun.


This was the first time a werewolf was portrayed in the fashion that has become ubiquitous in film and telly today, as a sort of giant bipedal creature witha fully formed lupine snout and head. Prior to that they had been actual wolves like in Werewolf in London or men with beards and bad perms as in I Was a Teenage Werewolf.
Sostie
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Jan 4 2010, 10:59 PM) *
The Box
Yes, it all goes a bit batshit crazy in a way not unlike Richard Kelly's previous work, but it's still an accomplished film, revelling in its period detail with some fine performances. For the most part, it feels just like the weirdy sci-fi tinged conspiracy 'what if?' tales it tries to emulate and there's very little in it that would seem out of place in an episode of The X-Files. Probably better than the two Mulder and Scully movies anyway.


I'd agree with the standard of performances and how it looks, but it just seems to go a bit too batshit. A simple, short story padded out with batshit-ness.


QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Jan 4 2010, 10:59 PM) *
OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies
An affectionate reboot and parody of the French spy series that is both daftly funny and satirical in a near-the-knuckle fashion that other 'wasn't the past silly but we love it so!' fare like Starsky and Hutch wouldn't dream of approaching. Shot, plotted and performed as if it were a lost 60s Bond film, Jean Dujardin could almost pass as a genuine Sean Connery-a-like. But rather than rely on the typical gentle digs of the swinging spy genre as seen in the likes of Austin Powers or saddled with Clouseau-esque ineptitude (though there is room for a little of both), OSS 117 is portrayed as a narrow-minded, culturally-insensitive, arrogant, bigoted, misogynistic thug, with very little handle on either his mission or the Middle East. Equal parts a daring take on post-colonial anxieties and a stupid slapstick comedy.


I really liked this. Watched the trailer to the next in the series, OSS 117: Rio Doesn't Answer, on Youtube the other day. Looks like more of the same, though this time with hippies, Nazis and Mexican wrestlers
Sostie
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj
I've not seen the first Van Wilder, so I have no idea who Taj (Kal Penn) is. The only reason I really watched this was because it was it was a an American film set in England, which is sometimes interesting to watch for the bad accents and poor backlot sets trying to be the UK. They actually pull of the accents by employing mainly Brits and there is some scenes filmed in London (though the rest of the movie was filmed in Romania).

As for the film itself, it's your standard geeks vs rich/priveledged college students film. In a couple of days I've seen 2 Kal Penn films - Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - which features a scene where he jizzes over his own face. In this a great Dane jizzes over some peoples' faces. Is this some dirty signature scene for Kal Penn films? Is there a missing scene from Superman Returns where the Man Of Steel glops on Kal Penn's face?
Hobbes
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jan 5 2010, 12:15 PM) *
I've not seen the first Van Wilder


You should, I fucking love that movie. And it's got Otter from Animal House/Vice President Hoynes from The West Wing (aka Tim Matheson) in it which only improves its stock. Ryan Reynolds is also on top form in his pre-hunkish days.
maian
QUOTE (empathy-with-beast @ Jan 5 2010, 07:05 AM) *
This was the first time a werewolf was portrayed in the fashion that has become ubiquitous in film and telly today, as a sort of giant bipedal creature witha fully formed lupine snout and head. Prior to that they had been actual wolves like in Werewolf in London or men with beards and bad perms as in I Was a Teenage Werewolf.


I'd just finished watching Being Human Series 1 (Which I fucking loved. I am actually quite annoyed that I'll have to wait a week to see the start of the new series because I'll be in the States. Damn you, tropical climes!) and I found it interesting seeing how much the transformation animation for George was influenced by The Howling, specifically the image of his fingernails elongating to signal a change. Obviously there's plenty of An American Werewolf In London in there, too, but it was just another example of the classic horror heritage that Being Human so fruitfully draws upon.
sweetbutinsane
Changeling

The story was fascinating and Jolie's acting actually impressed me for once!
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jan 5 2010, 12:00 PM) *
I really liked this. Watched the trailer to the next in the series, OSS 117: Rio Doesn't Answer, on Youtube the other day. Looks like more of the same, though this time with hippies, Nazis and Mexican wrestlers


Which is good, because it's showing at the ICA from the 15th. I knew there was a reason why I bought Cairo Nest of Spies (apart from I've been meaning to see it for ages and it was a fiver in Fopp): details nyah
maian
Strange Days (1995)

Lenny (Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop who has turned his hands to selling memories and experiences to the rich and sleazy of L.A. Yes, for a small amount you can experience the most lurid and perverse fantasies you could possibly desire, though Lenny seems more intent on reliving his past relationship with Faith (Juliette Lewis) than anything else. When he starts to receive "black jacks" - cards with memories of violent rapes and murders - which may be connected to the death of a Tupac-like rapper (Glenn Plummer) who had goaded the police prior to his death.

Kathyrn Bigelow's audacious sci-fi (co-written by Bigelow's ex-husband, James Cameron, and film critic/two-time Oscar nominee Jay Cocks) is a film full of ideas and ambition. Admittedly the ideas are often half-realised and the ambition is over-reaching, but it's always interesting to see a film that tries to do something strange and interesting, even if it doesn't necessarily succeed. It's plot, which resembles a cross between a Philip K. Dick and a James Ellroy novel, is sprawling and Bigelow's relentless pacing prevents the film from getting too lost in its own pre-millennial futurescape, but it never quite coalesces into either a compelling mystery or a thoughtful, ideas-driven examination of contemporary concerns about race relations and technology. The resulting mixture is by no means bad, I really enjoyed the film, but it is a little unsatisfying, though not for a want of ambition.
monkeyman
Heh, Cocks; Dick
sleeping_pirate
Amelie

Finally got round to seeing this film and really liked it. The cinematography is beautiful and the use of reds and greens makes it visually stunning. Great little story too.
Sostie
Timeline
Such a wasted oppurtunity. Michael Crichton's novel about archeologists sent back through a wormhole to 14th century France to retrieve their professor could make a such a good film. The problem is, Crichton's books are so jam packed with interesting facts, science and history, it's difficult to adapt them for film. I suppose it's interesting for having a pre-fame Gerard Butler and Michael Sheen in sizeable roles.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (maian @ Jan 5 2010, 08:35 PM) *
Strange Days (1995)


Is it dated? I imagine it would be.
maian
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Jan 6 2010, 05:26 PM) *
Is it dated? I imagine it would be.


In some ways, it is. The film's perception of hip-hop as represented by the character of Jeriko One is really, really dated, but then again they dress most of the hip-hop affiliated characters like MC Hammer dancers so the film would have been out of step when it was made, let alone now. The death of Jeriko and his use as a symbol is surprisingly prescient, though, as it eerily predicts the death of Tupac and what he has come to represent since his death.

The look of the film feels very much like a film made in the 90s, it has a certain lurid visual style that it shares with Total Recall and its version of the future feels quite retrograde. However, I think it holds up reasonably well.
maian
The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The English are bastards. With the possible exception of Ken Loach, who can make really very good films.
empathy-with-beast
You weren't, you were trying to keep your shoes clean, you'll have clean shoes on your corpse.

It's on my 20 best list.
maian
Nowhere Boy

I read Ray Coleman's exhaustive biography of John Lennon when I was 16 and thought at the time that the relationship between Lennon, his mother Julia and aunt Mimi could have made for a really interesting, ultimately quite sad film. Nowhere Boy is pretty much the film that I hoped could be made from the story.

Aaron Johnson is very good as John Lennon and his performance is key to the overall aim of the film, to whit, that it sets out to be biography and not hagiography, because Johnson does not portray Lennon as a nice person. He's often cruel, wracked by jealousy and insecurity, and painfully human. A young man on the verge of adulthood who begins to spiral out of control when he is reintroduced to his mother (Anne-Marie Duff) at the age of 17, only to lose her just as quickly.

Like the best music biopics, the film sets out to explore the personal development of its subject, rather than the musical development. Whilst there are scenes in which Julia teaches John how to play the banjo and Paul (Thomas Sangster) talks about the need for them to write their own songs, the focus of the film is on John's relationship with Julia and Mimi and the tug-of-war between them that would leave an indelible mark on both the music and the man.

The undoubted highlight of the film for me was Kristin Scott Thomas as Mimi. She manages a delicate balance of sarcasm, stoicism (upon telling John that her husband, his uncle George, has died she tells him to stop crying and that "It's just the two of us now, so let's get on with it") and deep felt love for John. It's the aspect to her that is most important since wirhout that core compassion the struggle between Julia and Mimi would not have the weight that it has.

The dialogue is over the top and a little on the nose in places and some of the performances seem a bit suspect but those are minor problems when placed against the energy and sparkle of the film. Sam Taylor-Wood injects a familiar story with life and makes even the moments that we know are coming, such as John meeting Paul for the first time or Julia's death, feel surprising and, in the latter case, shocking. It's a really terrific piece of work.
curtinparloe
The Holiday
Saw Ipse this time.

Uncle Buck
What a film.

Crossroads
Karate Kid meets Guitar Hero. Essential viewing for any guitarist.

The Queen
First time I've seen this. I enjoyed it, although there were too many Princess Di cutaways for my liking.

Nowhere Boy
Very enjoyable. What Maian said, basically.

Law Abiding Citizen
Riddled with plot holes, and saturated with a questionable moral stance, both of which spoilt it really. Butler's performance was better than Foxx's.
etter than Gamer.
maian
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

The second music biopic I've seen in as many days and, even though I liked Nowhere Boy a lot, I enjoyed Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll much more. This is partly because I knew John Lennon's story inside out and had a much vaguer knowledge of Ian Dury's life, but equally important is the inventiveness of Mat Whitecross' film. Using a music hall framing device showing Dury (Andy Serkis) performing on a stage and relating some of the major events from his life (something that reminded me of a similar idea used in Bronson), the film takes us through the story of one of British pop's most fascinating icons.

I couldn't help but think that a more traditional (and lesser) film would have chosen to use Dury's childhood battle with polio, which left him crippled for the rest of his life, as a life-affirming example of someone overcoming their personal demons a la Ray. What Serkis, Whitecross and Paul Viragh, the film's writer, do is much more interesting. They take the view that Dury's polio was not something that he fought but something he channeled; his anger at the treatment he received as a child, being told by a dictatorial orderly (Toby Jones) to accept his crippled nature and essentially give up trying to be "normal", and the relationship he had with his father (Ray Winstone) form the backbone of Dury's story and, despite veering dangerously close to reductive pop psychology, do offer a glimpse into the mind of a man who was so driven and uncompromising.

Andy Serkis delivers a career best performance as Dury, excelling both at showing what a charming and magnetic personality he was, both on and off-stage, but also how the qualities that allowed him to become such a force alienated him from those around him, and that his desire to live life to the fullest often wound up hurting those he loved the most, like his girlfriend Denise (Naomie Harris), wife Betty (Olivia Williams) or son Baxter (Bil Milner).

Its very much a film about relationships between fathers and sons. The relationship between Ian and his father, Bill, and that between Ian and Baxter. Bill Milner continues to mark himself out as one of the best young British actors out there at the moment. He absolutely nails the mix of love, awe and anger that Baxter feels for his father. If he can stay this good as he grows up then he could be the next Christian Bale (though hopefully a less shouty one).

The use of Ian Dury and the Blockheads songs in the film is very nicely done, with the songs (performed by Serkis and The Blockheads) often driving the narrative and lyrics from the songs being used in the dialogue. The best examples of this being the use of 'Blockheads' during an animated montage of Dury bringing together the members of the band and a heartbreaking scene in which Dury sings snatches of 'My Old Man' whilst dreaming of his father.

A joyous, sad and dynamic film that I absolutely loved. It's a reason to be cheerful.


Stroszek

Well, it didn't make me want to kill myself.
Ade
QUOTE (curtinparloe @ Jan 8 2010, 04:27 PM) *
Crossroads
Karate Kid meets Guitar Hero. Essential viewing for any guitarist.

Man, I love that film. I used to watch it about as much as I did Karate Kid in the mid/late '80s. Still watch it from time to time. The finale of the guitar duel at the end still gives me the goosebumps. You can find the full Headcuttin' Duel elsewhere on YouTube no doubt.

Steve Vai is, at the very least, a demi-god.
curtinparloe
QUOTE (Ade @ Jan 9 2010, 11:09 PM) *
The finale of the guitar duel at the end still gives me the goosebumps. You can find the full Headcuttin' Duel elsewhere on YouTube no doubt.

Steve Vai is, at the very least, a demi-god.

Hell yes.
The duel is the main reason I got it, although I always forget that Jamie Gertz is doing her "sexy bad girl" role to a T.
I want to get my PS2 chipped so I can play the Guitar Hero version (surely the only reason for getting Guitar Hero in the first place).
monkeyman
The Simpsons Movie
Predictably poor.
logger
Coogan's Bluff

Don Siegel knew how to treat women, liberals and hippies.
Sostie
The Road
As grim as expected, good performances, effective Cave/Ellis score, and it looks just as I had imagined whilst reading the novel. It expands a little on the original novel (which I admit, didn't impress me as much as it seems to have impressed others). Job very well done.

Hudsucker Proxy
The most underrated Coen Brothers film still ranks as one of my favourites. Still very funny, Jennifer Jason Leigh is wonderful, and the use of music is superb. The whole hula-hoop production/failure/success montage is a great mini-movie.
Rua
Terminator Salvation

Disjointed, badly thought out & leaves you with a sense of an unfinished film.
McG shoots it like it's a Video Game.
Sir_Robin_the_brave
No wonder Christian Bale was so tense and angry. I felt that way watching the film.

Me and McG are done professionally.
curtinparloe
QUOTE (Sir_Robin_the_brave @ Jan 11 2010, 12:12 PM) *
No wonder Christian Bale was so tense and angry. I felt that way watching the film.

Me and McG are done professionally.

laugh.gif
Ade
QUOTE (Rua @ Jan 11 2010, 12:07 PM) *
Terminator Salvation

Disjointed, badly thought out & leaves you with a sense of an unfinished film.

I kinda felt a similar way watching the McG-directed We Are Marshall last night. It was okay - the performances were great, but it as a whole it could have been so much better. It felt like it was lacking something, and while it had its moments its various elements just didn't gel together like they should have.
Sostie
QUOTE (Ade @ Jan 11 2010, 01:29 PM) *
I kinda felt a similar way watching the McG-directed We Are Marshall last night. It was okay - the performances were great, but it as a whole it could have been so much better. It felt like it was lacking something, and while it had its moments its various elements just didn't gel together like they should have.


I saw that some time ago and really enjoyed it.

Further proof that America has some pretty dull sports that make great movies.
maian
I'm Gonna Break Your Heart

During the recording of Wilco's hugely successful album Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, photographer Sam Jones followed them around with a camera crew to get the sense of how a band like Wilco work as a creative unit. Jones wound up documenting the most fractious period in the band's history as they were dropped by their record label because they didn't like the record (only to then be signed up by a different label that belonged to the same company) and parted company with long-time collaborator Jay Bennett over creative differences between Bennett and the group's leader, Jeff Tweedy.

I'm Gonna Break Your Heart does three things incredibly well: it perfectly captures the dynamics of a band struggling their way through the creative process, it shows just how crazy and incompetent record companies can be, and it works as a heartbreaking account of a friendship falling apart. The scenes between Bennett and Tweedy are uncomfortable, the performances are great and it is never less than fascinating.

On the plane I watched Up again, which I still love.
Ade
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jan 11 2010, 01:44 PM) *
I saw that some time ago and really enjoyed it.

Further proof that America has some pretty dull sports that make great movies.

Oh, I enjoyed it too, don't get me wrong. Let's face it, Ade not enjoying a film is pretty rare occurrence - square eyes, me. I just felt it was missing... something. I just couldn't put my finger on what exactly.
monkeyman
Funny people
I enjoyed it but it was far to long.
maian
The Princess and the Frog

The worst thing that could be said about Disney's return to hand-drawn animation, and I do mean the very worst thing, is that it doesn't do much to challenge the existing conventions and tropes of the animated musical. Watching it is like watching a condensed history of Disney animation; you've got your evil wizard/witch character, transformation, bickering male/female leads who start out hating each other then realise that there is something there that wasn't there before, a large supporting cast of funny characters and the guarantee that every few minutes a song and dance number is going to kick in. However, to decry the film for failing to move the form on any is to miss the point of the film - it's a big, glorious celebration and revival of an artform and a story-type that Disney have excelled at in the past and, on the basis of The Princess and the Frog, can still excel at.

Tiana is a poor waitress in New Orleans during the Jazz Age. All her life she has worked to fulfill her late father's dream of opening a restaurant. Her dreams seem on the brink of falling apart when she learns that another buyer has outbid her and she needs a miracle. Whilst wishing on a star, Tiana spies a frog. Asking the frog if he wants her to kiss him, he replies "Kissing would be nice". No, this is no mere frog, this is Prince Naveen, a philandering young fellow who has been turned into a frog by a local voodoo man (voiced with gusto by Keith David) and, thinking that a kiss will change him back, the two pucker up. Things don't go according to plan, though, since Tiana turns into frog as well, and the two find themselves lost in the bayou as they try to find out how to break the curse that afflicts them.

Having said that The Princess and The Frog fails to reinvent the musical animated feature, it does manage a few nice little surprises within the confines of the genre. The music, whilst a touch forgettable, is inspired largely by gospel and jazz, giving it a different tone and feel to previous Disney outings, yet they still maintain the soaring orchestral splendour of the best the studio has to offer. This works particularly well during the song "Almost There" (the closest the film comes to having its own "A Whole New World") when the style of the animation changes to resemble the art of black painters in the 20s and 30s.

There has been a lot of discussion about the relative underperformance of the film in the U.S. (as things stand at the moment it looks like it will just make back its budget) and where this leaves John Lasseter's attempt to revive hand-drawn animation at the studio. This misses the point somewhat since the real money the film will make will be from merchandising and the addition of a new princess to the Disney canon, but also because the real success of the film is demonstrating that when you have people as talented and passionate about animation as Lasseter, Ron Clements and John Musker working on a film they can still produce a film as gorgeous, fun and delightful as this. Time will tell whether or not we can prepare for Disney's third golden age, but at the moment it's just so wonderful seeing a film like this being made. Fans of classic Disney will love it.
monkeyman
What was the last hand animated Disney film?
maian
Home On The Range.
widowspider
QUOTE (Rua @ Jan 11 2010, 12:07 PM) *
Terminator Salvation

Disjointed, badly thought out & leaves you with a sense of an unfinished film.
McG shoots it like it's a Video Game.

Exactly what I thought. It's hard for me to not like a film, and I thought it was awful

Inglourious Basterds

I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting to - I loved the intertwining narratives and the violence was an important but not overdone part of the whole film. To me, Christoph Waltz is the lead in this film and he should not be getting nominated for Best Supporting, but Best Actor. He was marvellous. I really enjoyed that, like Pulp Fiction, this film had an ensemble cast and to me this is when Tarantino brings out the best performances from his actors. Great fun.
Julie
Avatar in 3D was mind-boggling to watch.

As most of you have said, the plot is predictable and I've seen it before a hundred times but I don't think that was the point. It was gorgeous.

I would have been even happier just seeing them explore the forest for the 2h42m instead of watching the plot.
zeden
I watched Paranormal Activity last night whilst alone at work in big empty hotel, the perfect atmosphere for a watching a horror movie one could argue, and despite that the film just ain't scary. At all. Nope, not even a moment of tension.
The following will contain spoilers but to be honest I wouldn't worry, trying to keep the surprises in the movie fresh for you would be tentamount to seeing an unflushed poop in your toilet, not flushing it and waiting with anticipation to see the expression on your face when you found it. Pointless for me and irritating for you because no one wants that kind of surprise. Or film in this case.
It fits the Cloverfield mould perfectly, right down to the lack of likable smart characters as well as a near complete lack of logic and reasoning from them. Not only did it take an age to get going but by the time it did the actions of the characters were moronic. Lights left off, poor advice followed, complete lack of common sense. All tried and true horror cliches but I'll be damned if I'm not sick to the back teeth of sitting down to watch a horror and knowing exactly what's going to happen in each and every scene.
The plot is as follows. Couple live in house. Girl gets psychic investigator to pay a visit because of her spooky past with spectres watching her sleep, a past given only the weakest of illumination thanks to a single tale of seeing a dark shadow at the end of her bed. Psychic freaks out with no justification beyond his own say so and tells her she's in the shit, a demon is stalking her.
Queue idiot lady bating man-hating chunk of the film in which the silly man applies logic (albeit relatively weak) to the situation and wants to investigate so things can get sorted. A situation which in reality would put to rest any foolish notions of ghosts existing. Of course his wonderful girlfriend flits between saying no to all his ideas whilst at the same time telling him off for not doing anything. Men ay, we're all useless aren't we? Of course she does nothing to remedy the situation, but that's beside the point when there's already a man trying to help but getting it wrong
We witness the terror of doors creaking, blankets blowing in the wind and spooky footsteps coming from out of sight! The girl even goes into a trance like state and goes outside to irrationally sit on a cold bench. As if that wasn't enough the bloke finds convienent footage of a woman from the 60's performing the worst Exorcist rip off I've ever seen and connects the dots, his girlfriend is really buggered now. (Note - the film would have been exponentially scarier had she actually been buggered by the ghost) The horror! Rather than contacting anyone besides the psychic the couple stick around and call him up. This time he walks in, says the demon is angry, that he can't help and then walks back out again. Way to go Mr Plot Point, now we the audience have been told by the only person with stated authority on the subject in the movie that they're done for. That certainly put to rest any thoughts I was having about the credibility of the threat and the validity of his advice...
The man finally realises that they need to leave and goes to tell his girlfriend. In an act of subservience so utterly moronic it makes my bile duct flare he backs down when she, clearly in another trance state, says that she wants to stay. And that night she stabs him and then sits for a whole day rocking back and forth until the police turn up and shoot her when they see her holding a knife and moving towards them. Fade to black, but before the credits we're treated to a note telling us the film is dedicated to the characters, as if it were real. Two words ran through my mind as I read it - Fuck Off.
The whole film hinges on the advice of the paranormal investigator who is trotted in and out to conveniently dish out plot points in a painfully perfunctory way. The characters have discovered proof of life beyond the mortal world and not only does he advise them to do nothing but also that it wouldn't help to go somewhere else. Now call me crazy but if I were being pestered by a spectre or spirit or spirim that could follow me anywhere it liked then I'd head straight to the most public place I could find and see what happens. Instead they literally wait to get killed.
It's a film that preys upon the most irrational and unfounded fears that plague those inclined towards the idea of spirits and because that audience is clearly lacking the capacity to question what they see on screen it will only work for them as true horror. Anyone with a modicum of reason, logic or a working knowledge of horror films in general is likely to not only find the slew of plot holes and cliches tiring but also disregard the entire thing as insultingly rubbish.
I genuinely feel sorry for any man who took a girl to see this and found her not only compelled but scared by it because there's no way in hell he's going to calm her down afterward thanks to the way the script subverts every sensible action the male character takes. He acts in the only way a person could to disprove the ghost idea and is proven wrong because every one of those actions makes things worse, thus inviting the people scared by the film to subconciously fear rational behaviour in similar circumstances.
You'll have to excuse my brief sojourn in the land of psychological hypothesis there, chances are there is at least one person who watched it was scared is no insulted by what I've written but I found the overall tone of the film to be one designed to make the lives of those most likely to be affected by it all the more difficult to change and escape from. And that's just bad for everyone in my book.

Then I watched The Blues Brothers and everything in the world was right again. wink.gif
monkeyman
"I've always loved you"
I love the Blues Brothers. Not as interested to watch Paranormal activity now. People acting retarded annoys me, like in Blair witch when the kids tents get shaken by something they all run screaming into the dark woods instead of trying to see what it is.
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