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monkeyman
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jul 12 2010, 09:23 AM) *
As did I. A little Dick-ensian, and I therefore tought you might like it. I know you're fond of Dick.

Of the two "live your life through another entity" movies of 2009, I thought Surrogates was way better than Avatar.

Agreed.

Clash of the Titans
It was watchable enough, but not enough monsters or action for me. Kraken looked cool though, different from what I was expecting.

The A-Team
Brilliant silly action packed fun. Great humour, pacing and set pieces. Could have done without the whole "BA becomes a peace loving puss for a while" story thread. But otherwise it was great fun. Sharlto Copley was brilliant as Howling Mad Murdoch too. I reckon he should play Bruce Banner in the Avengers/next Hulk movie, seeing as they're not going to use Norton.
sweetbutinsane
Jarhead

Very good - acting, cinematography, soundtrack etc were all great. Of all the funny moments, I still think "Hey look - it's a cock, but smaller!" is my favourite. laugh.gif
sleeping_pirate
Local Hero

Not seen this in years and had forgotten just how good it is. I'd also forgotten how young Peter Capaldi is in it too!
maian
Nine Queens (2000)

I've had a Lovefilm copy of this Argentinian con-man film for about two months now and I've just got around to watching it. All in all, I enjoyed it. It's the anthithesis of a lot of con-man films in that, rather than being about an intricate scheme that a due or team have to carry off perfectly, it's about a pair of hapless small-timers who stumble and improvise their way through a series of obstacles in an attempt to trick a wealthy philatelist into buying copies of the 'Nine Queens', a rare sheet of German stamps.

The film really conveys the sense of danger and excitement that the two men feel every time they engage in an act of deceit, ranging from a bet to see if one of them can get a woman to hand her purse to him to the final scam, which could land them 200,000 pesos profit. That energy and sense of adventure - as well as a real chemistry between the leads - does a lot to elevate the film above the trappings of the con-man movie.

It's not perfect, I have problems with the ending which I can't really discuss without ruining it, but it's a well made, entertaining film that is well worth checking out.
Kick in the Head
Suicide Club - whole heaps of weird, bundles of sick and with an underlying twisted sense of humour, Jisatsu Circle has a lot going for it and a wonderfully charged premise (a horror film in which you are your own killer is certainly novel) that mixes Japan's alarming suicide culture with all those irrational kinds of fears grown-ups have about peer pressure and teenage obsessions (mobile phones, the internet, and pop bands are just a few of the targets played upon here). However, it doesn't follow its multiple strands through, and seemingly gives up on even trying to tie them together or offer any kind of resolution, leaving for an ultimately disjointed and unsatisfying experience. If you've got the stomach for all the gore on show, there are some truly unnerving, memorable and downright nutty moments, but it could have been better.

2 Days in Paris - very funny, witty and perceptive relationship comedy that's just as pointed in its culture clash observations as it is showing what really makes people tick and get ticked off by others. A very enjoyable watch.

Whatever Works - after some very middling reviews, I approached with some trepidation, but actually was surprised how much I laughed. Larry David plays another miserable misanthrope but there is a definite difference between his Curb persona and the grumpiness and world weariness exhibited here. The story is frankly ludicrous, and the character arcs fairytale-like in their course, but it's got some good zingers and has a shambolic old-fashioned charm that sees it through.
dandan
beauty on duty! - we grew up drinking the same milk, we're like sisters...

fang (charlene choi) becomes a policewoman so she can work with her dad (hui siu-hung), who'd rather she kept a low profile and married a rich man so he could retire. after teaming up with donnie (fan siu-wong); fang manages to save fatty (lam suet), with help from iron mary (sandra ng) and lu (lu yi). fatty is going to testify against big tin (wong jing), but only if the police promise to secretly protect his estranged daughter, june (maggie li), whilst she competes in a beauty pageant. naturally, the police agree, placing fang undercover as a contestant, supported by her dad, donnie, mary, lu and stephen (jim chim) the host of the pageant and the only one who knows about the police operation...

well, i started watching this as i was falling asleep last night; it rubbed me up the wrong way, i lasted five minutes and then fell asleep, thinking it would be a struggle to make it through the whole film. i decided to give it another go when i finished work today and ate my dinner: i made it all the way...

the film is a wong jing affair, which is very wong jingy. unless you're a huge wong jing, charlene choi or sandra ng fan, then you're probably never going to see this. i find wong jing decidedly hit and miss, but i did find myself getting sucked into this very silly effort and, in the end, i certainly enjoyed it a lot more than 'i corrupt all cops', which was a bad movie. he should stick with what he knows and this is what he knows: being silly.

and, silly this is. sandra ng is pretty much hong kong's queen of silly and has perfected her own corner of the market, when it comes to dishing out a mixture of the deadpan and over the top. stick her along side charlene choi who is, quite frankly, cute as a button and that's already a good start. then mix in a silly plot (which has probably drawn heavily from something else, maybe 'miss congeniality'?) and lots of silly humour, which probably just manages to hit a little more than it misses and you're on course for a typical wong jing movie.

if this sounds like good news, then you'll probably enjoy having a watch, if it sounds like junk, then you probably don't need me to tell you to steer well clear...

me, i had fun watching it, despite the fact it's tripe...
Sostie
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Jul 13 2010, 07:44 PM) *
Suicide Club ...there are some truly unnerving, memorable and downright nutty moments, but it could have been better.


Yup, there are things in that film that totally stick in your mind. But I still have no idea what the end was all about (it was a badly subbed version I saw)
dandan
little big soldier - how marvellous to be alive...

it is a time of war in china; the various kingdoms are clashing in battles and have been for a very long time. after one such battle, between the troops of liang and wei, a liang soldier (jackie chan) starts snooping round the battlefield, having played dead whilst both sides slaughtered each other. to his surprise he finds the wei general (wang lee-hom) alive and, after binding him and throwing him on a cart, sets out to take him back to liang, where he can gain the reward of land, money and exclusion from the armed forces. this isn't going to be an easy journey, though...

now, after a couple of recent jackie offerings, i'd been left feeling a touch nonplussed. however, after enjoying a solid performance in the 'the karate kid' (the only good thing about the film), i was feeling very positive about jackie and, instead of hoping for something that wasn't rubbish, i was looking forward to 'little big soldier'. strangely, i was not let down...

imagine 'midnight run', but with jackie chan instead of robert de niro and wang lee-hom instead of charles grodin, replace john 'marvin' ashton with stephen yoo and ken lo (prince wen and his bodyguard, yong), then transplant the story back to china, 250bc. there you go; 'little big soldier'! well, not quite but pretty much; it's the same kind of road movie featuring two characters from the opposite sides of a coin who just may have been friends if they met under different circumstances...

if it sounds like i'm being critical, i'm not. and, i reckon i enjoyed this, more than i would've enjoyed 'midnight run', if i sat down and watched it again: i remember being decidedly underwhelmed when i last sat through it...

any way, i really enjoyed this. jackie and lee-hom have a good rapport and work very well together: i was very happy watching them bicker as they travelled together. the pacing of the movie is pretty good, there is drama and plenty of humour, china is made to look very pretty and there's even some nice moments of action thrown in for good measure; mainly hand to hand stuff, all very much embracing jackie's tumbling and gymnastic stylings. i reckon that it won't be too long before this ends up in my dvd player again.

very enjoyable...
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jul 14 2010, 01:37 PM) *
Yup, there are things in that film that totally stick in your mind. But I still have no idea what the end was all about (it was a badly subbed version I saw)


I don't think any clearer subs would have helped. There is a sort of spin-off prequel/sequel (Noriko's Dinner Table), but I doubt that'd be particularly illumanatory though. The school kids jumping off the roof, the musical interlude with rape and animal slaughter, and the mother chopping off her fingers were perhaps some of the most upsetting 'jokes' I've seen this side of Jam. At least it was more hit than miss, unlike the baffling and boring Exte: Hair Extensions, which was mostly soapy family melodrama.
Raven
Much Ado About Nothing

A bunch of lovies have a summer time romp. Very good, but Robert Sean Leonard can't act for toffee.
Zoe
But, but, but, acting is everything to him! If you take that away from him he'll probably just walk out into the snow wearing a crown of thorns and kill himself!
Rua
QUOTE (Zoe @ Jul 15 2010, 11:01 AM) *
But, but, but, acting is everything to him! If you take that away from him he'll probably just walk out into the snow wearing a crown of thorns and kill himself!


...& a fine performance it will be.
Raven
QUOTE (Zoe @ Jul 15 2010, 11:01 AM) *
But, but, but, acting is everything to him! If you take that away from him he'll probably just walk out into the snow wearing a crown of thorns and kill himself!


Dreadful film.

To be fair his performance [in MAAN] does improve as the film goes on, but there are several scenes at the beginning that made me cringe.
gulfcoast_highwayman
I fancied Emma Thompson so much in that film. Even more so than in 'The Tall Guy', bits out and all!
Raven
^ I was expecting a Kate Beckinsale comment there . . .
gulfcoast_highwayman
QUOTE (Raven @ Jul 15 2010, 05:12 PM) *
^ I was expecting a Kate Beckinsale comment there . . .



No, she was still a work in progress at that time for me. Emma was just lovely.
Jon 79
Predators
Excellent. This is what a Predator sequel should be... not Danny Glover in a city.
Just enough twists and turns (some obvious, some not) to keep this sort of film entertaining.
Lots of nods to the first film; most notably for me, the score.

Wasn't sure about Adrien Brody playing a muscle-head marine. Bad casting there.
Overall I say 8/10.
Rua
Where The Wild Things Are

I cried.




Blow me.
Sostie
QUOTE (Rua @ Jul 16 2010, 02:11 PM) *
Where The Wild Things Are

I cried.


Soppy hipster.


QUOTE (Rua @ Jul 16 2010, 02:11 PM) *
Blow me.


Slurpy hipster
Rua
Blow. Me.
Sostie
Blowing you isn't always the best way to be happy
Rua
Who said anything about Happiness?
mousespider
QUOTE (Rua @ Jul 16 2010, 10:30 AM) *
Blow. Me.


Two questions. Should I smile? And will you burn the house down after?

Anyway...

Inception

While it's not the mind-bending, almost-impossible-to-follow film its somewhat been made out to be, it is still fascinating and amazingly executed.
dandan
women on the verge of a nervous breakdown - follow that cab!

ivan (fernando guillen) has walked out on pepa (carmen maura), a tv actress, who is coping with the split by making constant phone calls to try and track down ivan, whilst consuming a sleeping pill or two. candela (maria barranco) fell in love with an arab, who left her, only to return with two friends and use her apartment as a base to plan a terrorist attack; she has fled them, arriving at pepa's, not knowing what to do. carlos (antonio banderas) and marisa (rossy de palma), ivan's son and his girlfriend, also arrive at pepa's apartment; pepa is looking to rent it out and, by coincidence, they turn up for a viewing. then, it isn't too long before ivan's ex, lucia (julieta serrano), and the police arrive...

the first almodovar film i was aware of, mainly because it was oscar nominated and got a reasonable cinematic release in the uk, although that was twenty years ago and i've only just gotten round to watching it.

the more almodovar i watch, the more i seem to enjoy them and the more i seem to love carmen maura; almodovar's muse, who in this, 'pepi, luci & bom' and 'what have i done to deserve this?' is just amazing. she is practically in every shot of every scene and is just an amazing presence. with maria barranco and antonio banderas adding strong support, almodovar's brilliant script, direction and a style that shines through, this is a classic.

brilliant.



tiger cage 2 - dirty money laundering...

when i first started ordering dvds, direct from hong kong, 'tiger cage' was one of my first purchases; essentially it was a film which contained nearly every single cliche possible, but was made watchable by an unending string of brutal looking fights, choreographed, amongst others, by the film's director yuen wo-ping. still, 'tiger cage 2' was the film in the series that people would talk about as being the gem, the equivalent of 'in the line of duty 4'. unfortunately the dvd was always out of print, until now...

'tiger cage 2' sees dragon (donnie yen), a down on his luck cop whose wife is leaving him, and his wife's divorce lawyer, mandy (rosamund kwan), get caught up in some money laundering and double-crossing. david (david ng), after arriving in hong kong with $5.7million, finds the money missing, fingers being pointed and himself isolated: an unlikely alliance between david, mandy and dragon emerges. but, will they be able to stop bickering long enough to find the money and clear their names, before they get killed?

well, if you're expecting a narrative which isn't goofy as hell, riddled with ridiculous holes and full of stupid flaws, then you may be disappointed. if you're happy to accept that rosamund kwan is lovely, donnie yen is almost at the peak of his pouting and posing, whose dragon isn't afraid to be an ass who pretty much bully-flirts with miss kwan all the way through the film, at times in a more than mildly unsavoury fashion.

still, this is of little concern...

the main reason to watch 'tiger cage 2' is to see yen, ng, robin shou, michael woods, john salvitti and even a glimpse of cynthia khan, as they indulge in a selection of hard hitting action sequences. if one can forgive a couple of moments where metal bars seem to bend when swung and the tin foil covered sticks that are meant to be swords during a face off between donnie and john salvitti, then the fighting is very watchable indeed. it doesn't quite live up to the hype which it gets, but it still of a good standard and a prime example of that new wave, late eighties, early nineties, hong kong action cinema.

good stuff, but not quite a classic...
logger
In the Electric Mist

Tommy Lee Jones is a small town sheriff investigating a series of grizzly murders that may be connected to a seemingly unrelated murder 40 years ago. This is a bit of a strange film in that it veers from cliched, generic thriller to surreal commentary on post-Katrina Louisiana still coming to terms with a history going back to the civil war. Based on the novel In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, it feels like something either didn't translate to the screen or that some tings were left out. Either way, it's the plot that really feels like the weak link, with Jones' character being fed just enough information by the suspects to keep things ticking over. It's here though, that director Bertrand Tavernier seems to have used the thin plot to create an almost dreamlike quality to the film where the viewer isn't really sure what is going on, or even if things have actually happened at all. It's this that makes the film interesting, and along with some nice editing and a great cast, are the main reasons to watch. The film is only really diverting at best, a lot of the time it could just be any other thriller, but still, it's diverting enough.
sweetbutinsane
Zodiac

So enthralling that I wanted more at the end, before I looked at my watch and realised just how long it had lasted in the first place. wacko.gif
Serafina_Pekkala
I love that film. ^ And especially Downey Jnr and the way he says "he (the Zodiac) is full of shit".

Be Kind, Rewind
Inspired after this thread and all the good comments. A wonderful feel-good film and I heart Gondry teh mostest. Mos Def, Danny Glover and even Jack Black (who can annoy the hell out of me) are all brilliant. Nice to see Mia Farrow on screen too even though she has been messing with her face a bit. A wonderful original story about something very silly and a nice throwback to the 80s when scifi didn't have to be scientifically plausible and flashy. Also, anything that celebrates Fats Waller gets my vote.


La Pianiste

More austere madness from Michael Haneke. Piano teacher and all round control freak spinster Erika (Isabelle Huppert) lives at home with her possessive crazy mum (the wonderful Annie Giradot). On her own time - she wanders around in a mac (no lie) being a complete perv. Interesting to see this being portrayed in screen by a woman BTW and also, how the world has changed since the internet. Sexually 'exotic' people now have an outlet - for good or for worse, who knows? Nowt wrong with being a bit peculiar I suppose (she isn't harming anyone at the beginning - just sniffing tissues in the porn cinema to the strains of Schubert) and it does convey her complete isolation from humanity very well.

She also teaches at a posh conservatoire in Vienna (setting for film in Haneke's native Austria) and when giving a spirited recital - she catches the eye of handsome much younger student, Walter. As well as being some kind of Aryan dream hunk, Walter shows an irreverent cheekiness towards Erika's harsh rebuttal and also happens to play very good piano too. Naturally they become fascinated with each other and it culminates in letter's requesting hardcore BDSM and the some wanking in the toilet at the opera house. And a whole bucket full of tragedy and some rather uncompromising scenes along the way. Huppert plays Erika without pulling any punches - she is cruel, selfish, jealous, irrational and mostly unlikeable. Yet you pity her too because she is desperate for love yet cannot exchange it conventionally. Even when she molests her mother and sabotages a young student's future with shards of glass. Huppert (like Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves ) is a complete anecdote to the manic-pixie-dream-girl with their raw and illogical destructive behaviour. Apparently Isabelle is a real idol for BDSM submissive types since this movie - no wonder - she is very good at barking orders. I've always rather liked her but not for this reason (ha!). Her relationship with Benoit Magimel (Walter) has some chemistry - he is also exceptional too.

It isn't as hugely annoying as Cache but in a similar vein. Haneke loves his cold character studies - although in fairness, they aren't flatly drawn (just distant and mental). I do find him hugely pretentious but his direction technique is flawless (the long tracking shots and perfectly timed plot reveals within a very tight structure are evident here again). If Lars Von Trier wins full marks for artistic interpretation (Erika is the opposite of Bess McNeil really, devoid of love but clever as a snake) - then Haneke gets gold on technical merit.
Starscream`s Ghost
The Damned United

First time I'd seen this, and now I'm wishing I'd seen it sooner. Of course it's dramatised to high heaven, but you know, I don't care. I loved Cloughie, and a lot of that was because he was so dramatic, so this works perfectly. Sheen is one of the best actors out there, not because his Clough looks and sounds spot on, but because he makes you care about him. Timothy Spall is nothing less than excellent as Peter Taylor, in fact, the whole cast is terrific. If you've not seen this, you must.
Sostie
Clash Of The Titans

Well the one thing it has missing is the Harryhausen magic. Even with the slick CGI on show you do pine for the on screen craftmanship of stop-motion. Despite this, I did like the scorpions and Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemyng and Liam Cunningham all turn in enjoyable performances. On the downside, I'm still wondering how/why Sam Worthington found himself the lead in all these blockbuster films despite having zero charisma. I'm also willing to accept Brit & Danish accents in Ancient Greece, but strangely not and Aussie one.

Damned United

Great on every level

Things to Do Before You're 30

A group of old friends face up to such dliemmas as parenthood, responsibility, death and Dougray Scott's poor London accent. Also features Billie Piper lezzing it up a bit

Arthur

It's easy to forget how big both Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli were. Both are pretty good in this. Half the film's jokes come from Moore's drunkenss, which is a little less than convincing. Fortunately the rest of the gags involve John Gielgud as Arthur's butler. He more than deserved his Oscar for this. Nostalgic fun, and has me looking forward to the Russell Brand/Helen Mirren remake.

Catwoman

Never seen it before. Could it realy be as bad as they say? Well I switched off less than halfway through. Berry's "mee-ow" wasn't a fraction as good as Pfeiffer's
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jul 19 2010, 11:01 AM) *
Despite this, I did like the scorpions and Mads Mikkelsen


The only reasons for me to see this film. I hear Fiennes is beardy and terrible.

My friend concurs with you, Sost. She thinks Sam Worthington has all the charisma and looks of 'a peanut'.
Sostie
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Jul 19 2010, 11:03 AM) *
The only reasons for me to see this film. I hear Fiennes is beardy and terrible.

My friend concurs with you, Sost. She thinks Sam Worthington has all the charisma and looks of 'a peanut'.


Fiennes nearly ventures into his Rigsby impression from Harry Potter.

Worthington is the poor man's Statham.
Everlong
2012

Absolutely ridiculous, but had some funny moments. Can't say I loved it but preferred it to "The day after tomorrow". It even had a few funny moments in it.

Stupid but decent. I was expecting it to be terrible. It kind of was, but in a good way.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jul 19 2010, 11:15 AM) *
Fiennes nearly ventures into his Rigsby impression from Harry Potter.


He is just like him at all times. Serafinowicz did a whole sketch about it. It's funny. Next thing you know - he'll be spilling Campari on Liz Hurley's tits. Or some other 'beverage' (huhuh).

Worthington got nowt on Stath. I bet he couldn't pull a 22 year old Victoria's Secret model - even a stupid one.
NiteFall
The A-Team

Best action movie of the year? Maybe not (don't care what anyone says, I still loved Iron Man 2, plus there's The Expendables on it's way) but still about a thousand times better than it should have been. Yes it's dumb as a bag of rocks and the plot doesn't make a whole pile of sense, but it is fun and silly and has some wonderful performances and has an actual script rather than just a string of references to the TV show held together with explosions.
monkeyman
Agreed wholeheartedly. And Iron Man 2 was great.
Serafina_Pekkala
Inception sounds sort of like The Cell but without the camp. Instead - more pretentious and with Leonardo Di Caprio. I thought Memento was over-rated and complex too. I don't think I will like this film.

I vote A-Team. I am the mood for funny men doing funny stuff and guns and falling over and shit.
Raven
Superman II

It's been quite a while since I last saw this, and it's nowhere near as good as I remembered it being. Far too clunky in places and not a patch on the original (also slightly odd to watch given the current Zod plot line in Smallville).

I think it would be good to see an updated film version of this story though.

The American President

Interesting to watch as it is essentially a dry-run for The West Wing. Left me wondering what The West Wing would have been like if Sorkin had cast Michael J. Fox as Josh.
dandan
14 blades - the brocaded robe guards...

the jinyiwei are a special division of the imperial guard who operate outside of the law, serving from childhood to death. qinlong (donnie yen) is the name given to the strongest and best, the leaser of the jinyiwei. as well as the name, qinlong is given a wooden box containing an array of fourteen special blades. after heading out on a mission, qinlong finds himself betrayed by a junior member of the jinyiwei, xuan wu (qi yu-wu), and the eunuch jia jingzhong (law kar-ying).

seizing the imperial seal from their clutches, qinlong manages to reach the justice society; a gang led by qiao yung (wu ma) and his daughter, hua (vicky zhao), who specialise in smuggling. qinlong is successfully smuggled out of the city, but must now evade capture from the jinyiwei and tuo tuo (kate tsui); the daughter of the rebellious prince qing (sammo hung), whilst attempting to discover what their aims are and take his revenge...

as hong kong action cinema cinema seems to be going through a rather fruitful period, daniel lee chips in with this donnie yen fronted wu xia effort. the film, as some might think of as being traditional in the genre, starts off with a mind boggling amount of information being dumped on the audience, before settling down to a reasonably snappy pace and allowing you to catch up with what the first five minutes of the film meant. after this it, indeed, smooth sailing; a pretty nicely done tale of game-keeper turned poacher in order to get revenge on those who wronged him and clear his name. add in a bit of a romance, a couple of friendly strangers, some not so friendly ones, an evil eunuch, lots of wine, an array of weapons, locations, fighting and, barring a touch of goofball humour, you've got a lot of classic wu xia ingredients in your cinematic pot. i kinda miss the goofball humour...

the narrative, despite treading well worn ground and never throwing anything new into the mix is pretty solid; there's enough to keep you engaged, but not too much to baffle or confuse. the action sequences are good fun, mixing hand to hand combat, swordplay, wire-work and some grander cgi infused moments quite successfully, whilst never really blowing you away. all good, though...

as for the cast, donnie yen does well enough, he seems to be much less intense on screen these days, which is a good thing. vicky zhao is always watchable if not particularly inspiring and, whilst wu ma is always fun to have on screen, sammo barely appears. a special mention and double thumbs up for kate tsui, who brings a nice sense of menace to proceedings.

all in all, this was a diverting and enjoyable film, if nothing particularly new or breathtaking. however, one thing that really bugged me about it was the cinematography. or, maybe it was the lighting, some kind of digital post-production treatment or just the dvd transfer? who knows? whatever it was, the whole affair had a really nasty look to it, a cold, clean, digital quality, with no warmth. it didn't ruin the film, but it made it look nasty.

good, but not great...
logger
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Head cheese.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Jul 19 2010, 10:21 AM) *
Be Kind, Rewind
Inspired after this thread and all the good comments. A wonderful feel-good film and I heart Gondry teh mostest. Mos Def, Danny Glover and even Jack Black (who can annoy the hell out of me) are all brilliant. Nice to see Mia Farrow on screen too even though she has been messing with her face a bit. A wonderful original story about something very silly and a nice throwback to the 80s when scifi didn't have to be scientifically plausible and flashy. Also, anything that celebrates Fats Waller gets my vote.


One of a very select number of movies which is genuinely innovative, original, funny and really uplifting all at the same time. One of my favourite films of the last few years: worth it just to see the very brief shot of the Sweded Boyz N The Hood. "What happened to our hood?"
Black and Def need to do more films together.

QUOTE (Raven @ Jul 19 2010, 01:53 PM) *
Superman II

It's been quite a while since I last saw this, and it's nowhere near as good as I remembered it being. Far too clunky in places and not a patch on the original (also slightly odd to watch given the current Zod plot line in Smallville).


Saw this on telly the other day aswell, I thought it was absolutely shocking on pretty much every level. Reeve is convincing as Kent/Superman, but that aside the whole thing's a mess. The internal logic of the film made zero sense (especially the wildly varying levels of strength/power displayed: how can Superman absorb hits from super-powered Kryptonians but nearly get killed by a bus?), the acting is terrible (the woman playing Lois Lane was particularly bad), the effects are woeful, the fight scenes are huge cop-outs (big punch-up happens underground to save money, final fight scene involves powerless opposition, and is the most anticlimactic, bad-joked filled finale I've ever seen) and the one decent emotional scene near the end is completely torpedoed by Clark wiping Lois' memory, completely eradicating all emotion and (already negligible) chemistry between the leads and turning it into a ludicrous, hackneyed farce (also underlined by the question: Since when can Superman wipe memories?)

All it did was make me even more frustrated by people who say that Singer's movie wasn't as good as the originals. Granted, it had flaws although I'm still one of a very small few who think it was absolutely phenomenal in a host of ways but the pacing, acting, direction and script of Superman II make Superman Returns look like fucking Goodfellas! Left me baffled as to the venom with which people attacked the most recent incarnation when one of the previous films was so utterly shit. It's like complaining that Batman Begins is tarnishing the legacy of Batman & Robin.
Raven
^ I think, though I may be wrong, that the version I saw on Five yesterday was the Donner cut, which was edited quite a bit by the studio for its original release.

If it was I can see why; it was far too bloated with redundant material and Margot Kidder is terrible! (and people complained about Kate Bosworth!).

Whilst I would agree that Superman Returns is a better film in a lot of ways, having watched the first two films again over the last two weeks I can't help but feel that Singer should have either re-booted the franchise or gone off and done his own film, completely divorced from the originals. As it stands the origins of Lois's child are dubious at best, boarder-line date rape at worst . . . Hey ho.
monkeyman
I liked superman returns too....
maian
I'm assuming that the version shown was the original version? Superman II was shot at the same time as the original Superman by Richard Donner, but he had a falling out with the producers and was fired after completing about 80% of filming. The producers then brought in Richard Lester to not only complete the film, but also to reshoot the majority of the footage so that they could take Donner's name off the film. As a result, the film was made with two different sensibilities and there are a lot of inconsistencies. It's a crippled bird of a film.
Raven
QUOTE (maian @ Jul 20 2010, 08:55 AM) *
I'm assuming that the version shown was the original version?


No, as I said above I think it was the Donner cut they released on DVD a couple of years ago. I might be wrong, but there was a lot of footage in it that I don't think I have seen before.
maian
QUOTE (Raven @ Jul 20 2010, 11:06 AM) *
No, as I said above I think it was the Donner cut they released on DVD a couple of years ago. I might be wrong, but there was a lot of footage in it that I don't think I have seen before.

Ah, I see. I've not seen it in a while, but I think there's not much they could do to rebuild the film as Donner would have had he been allowed to finish it. A lot of his footage was lost, so they had to use a lot of Lester's footage, and even some rehearsal footage if I remember correctly, to try to piece together an approximation of his version. It's more of a curio intended to show what could have been than a standalone film.
dandan
election - tea is ready...

wo shing, one of hong kong's oldest and largest triad societies is on the cusp of holding its biannual election to vote in a new chairman. the two candidates are lok (simon yam) and big d (tony leung ka-fai). lok is a mild mannered, level headed, single father, popular with members of the society, respected and keen to ensure the business of wo shing continues to expand for all the member's benefit. big d is almost like a cartoon character; loud, brash, impulsive and uncouth, he is attempting to buy the election, with the wealth he has generated.

it should come as no surprise that big d, upon losing the vote, doesn't take kindly to the news that lok has been chosen. infighting begins to rear its head and there is talk of all out war. as senior members of the society try to negotiate and seek a resolution, loyalties are tested when it comes to the collection of a ceremonial baton that is traditionally held by the chairman. will lok be able to exert his newly delegated authority before war is declared...

bloody hell, is it really five years since this came out? has it really taken me five years to watch this? yes and yes...

well, i have a policy of trying my best to avoid reading about films that i intend to watch regardless, so i'd pretty much steered clear of any reviews of this. now, having watched it and read some reviews, i'm pretty shocked to find that it is not being universally lauded as something quite amazing.

cat III rated, apparently due to its accurate depiction of triad traditions and practice, the film does little to glorify the lifestyle: a picture is painted which shows the respect and adherence to traditions, only when it suits those who are willing to go the extra steps to get what they want. when people get in the way of making money and introduce a threat to the (extremely profitable ) status quo which exists, rules go out of the window until things get back on track. honour and righteousness are secondary to business.

still, the film isn't simply an examination of the procedural; building a narrative round the personalities of two main characters and how they react to the results of the election. the differences between the stereotypical, larger than life big d and the reserved lok, who one may never suspect has the temperament to be the head of a triad organisation, make for a fascinating watch, as do the machinations of the lower ranked and seniors of wo shing and the soap opera which unfolds. it's hard to fully discuss and explore the intricacies of, director, johnnie to's approach, without spoiling the narrative of the film.

as i have come to expect, milkyway churn out a technically proficient piece of cinema and, stocked with members of to's regular acting troupe; lam suet, maggie sui, nick cheung etc... with simon yam taking the lead, performing admirably as you'd imagine. added to the equation is big tony leung who is perfect for the task of making the unrealistic big d appear as more than just a caricature.

cracking stuff...
Sostie
REPO MEN

It's the future (a convincing loooking one) and Jude Law and Forrest Whitaker play two ex-soldiers and school pals who work for a organ transplant company. If you don't keep up with the payments for your new (synthetic) organ, then they'll pop round your house and rip out their property. Problems start when Law get's injured at work and while unconcious is given a company heart.

The gore is a lot higher than you might expect, but then the main protagonists' job is ripping out organs on the spot. There's a scene that does for impromptu surgery what Crash did for road accident victims. I shall call it gorotica. There is also a pretty decent corridor scene obviously inspired by Oldboy where we have Law taking on a neverending stream of bad guys armed only with a hammer. And a hack saw. And an axe. And a plastic bag. And lots of knives.

Jude Law, now impressively buff, joins the likes of Robert Downey Jr and Nic Cage as a surprisingly convincing action lead, but what starts off as a very dark, satirical comedy soon turns into a standard sci-fi actioner. It's not a bad film at all, it just could have been so much more. Robocop more.
Serafina_Pekkala
Crimson Rivers II: Angel of the Apocalypse.

Maybe I was annoyed because it was the wrong time of month for me. No amount of Jean Reno and Benoit Magimel's French sexy-allure can save this sub-Dan-Brown-Stieg-Larsson-meets-Seven-meets-Umberto-Eco tosh. Christopher Lee speaking beautiful German and French is the best bit. I am sick of serial killer movies that are just fucking made-up plots and bare no relation to reality. Mass conspiracy blah blah bleeding crucifix, blah some killer monks blah blah cop with PhD in something important blah receptionist who looks like Angelina blah blah death like apostles or bible or something blah blah. I kept expecting a monk to turn up saying 'Kali Mah Shaktiday' or in goat leggings. At least Thomas Harris admits Lector is the completely made up bit - he researches the rest.

Luc Besson and Olivier Dahan should know better than this guff. Dan Brown clearly saw it and took notes.



Sostie
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Jul 22 2010, 10:50 AM) *
Crimson Rivers II: Angel of the Apocalypse.

Luc Besson and Olivier Dahan should know better than this guff. Dan Brown clearly saw it and took notes.


Guff I'd agree, but I enjoyed it. Besson is a huge guff merchant, it's just a lot doesn't get a release (at least on the big screen) over here. But I generally enjoy all his guff. Guff.

The absence of Vincent Cassell is nearly made up for by the presence of Johnny Hallyday.
NiteFall
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jul 22 2010, 11:49 AM) *
REPO MEN



I watched this last week and I have to admit I did not see the twist ending coming.
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