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Hobbes
The trailer makes it look dreadful doesn't it? I heard Pegg & Frost interviewed by Kermode and they were saying how shit it was. Makes it look like the lowest-common-denominator breed of movie.
Julie
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Mar 20 2011, 01:59 PM) *
The trailer makes it look dreadful doesn't it? I heard Pegg & Frost interviewed by Kermode and they were saying how shit it was. Makes it look like the lowest-common-denominator breed of movie.


I'm very glad to hear this. I was thoroughly put off by the trailer and wasn't even going to bother seeing it.
maian
It is a lot better than the trailer makes it out to be. As Adam says, it's not great, but it is pretty good and I enjoyed it a lot.
Zoe
I don't think a film with bad CGI cats can be considered a masterpiece.
sweetbutinsane
Only You

I'm not usually one for romantic films at the best of times, but this was just appalling. There was a point at which the characters were driving along a winding road on a cliff and I was just hoping the car would veer off the edge and crash into the sea below.
logger
QUOTE (Zoe @ Mar 20 2011, 06:59 PM) *
I don't think a film with bad CGI cats can be considered a masterpiece.

What about Jaws?
Sostie
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 20 2011, 11:46 PM) *
What about Jaws?


Were there CGI cats in Jaws?


If there were the film would be called Claws.


Or Paws.


I thank you.
Serafina_Pekkala
I want to start a hipster band called Bad CGI Cats
Ade
Watched a film and a half last night:

Death Race (2008)
Stath By Numbers, which is no bad thing when it's done right. Hadn't intended to watch it since it had received lousy reviews, and yes, it was corny, with not especially brilliant dialogue, but I really rather enjoyed it.

That was followed promptly (gawd bless Channel 5) by half of:

Knock Off (1998)
Jean Claude Van Damme and Rob Schneider make for an odd yet undeniably wacky double act. I wasn't sure at first whether it was deliberately awful for laughs, deliberately 'sort of' funny, or just hilari-awful, since it went all of a sudden from this riotous hotch-potch of hilariously lousy acting (even by Van Damme standards), even worse dialogue, and poorly-dubbed daftness (with goofy facial expressions galore from both Schneider and Van Damme), to Van Damme By Numbers kicky-kicky action hokum. I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen - at least, not until I fell asleep in the armchair. I really want to watch it in full now, just to see whether it remains in 'action seriousness' mode, or whether it returns to the terrible, comic lunacy of its opening 20-30 minutes. I hope the latter.

My favourite bit was the rapid disintegration of Van Damme's counterfeit running shoes during an inexplicably daft rickshaw race scene. That, and Schneider disarming a female police officer with a can of beans. I'm sure it wasn't at all intended as a comedy, but it was just so utterly ridiculous I couldn't help but laugh like a drain.

eta: and I've just discovered that it was directed by noted director Tsui Hark. I think it just went up even higher in my estimation.


Nevertheless, the trailer really doesn't do it enough injustice...
dandan
swing girls - it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that suwingu...

after inadvertently poisoning the school band, tomoko (juri ueno), yoshie (shihori kanjiya), kaori (yuika motokariya), naomi (yukari toyoshima) and the rest of the girls who have been forced into maths summer school, join up with takuo (yuta hiraoka) - the only non-poisoned band member - and they start a big band to cover the duties of the school band. just as they start to make inroads disaster strikes and the school band return, taking the instruments and rehearsal space from the 'swing girls', but not quashing their new found appreciation of jazz. it's up to tomoko and takuo to see if they can make something of this rag-tag bunch...

from shinobu yaguchi, who brought us the wonderfully enjoyable film 'waterboys', comes almost the same film, but with girls and a swing band, instead of boys and a synchronised swimming team. it isn't quite as good as 'waterboys', but it is so much fun that you don't really care. the cast are excellent, there are lots of laughs and it is a film to fill you with joy.

great stuff...


good hair - i would say that hair is a woman's glory...

after his five year old daughter asked "daddy, how come I don't have good hair?", chris rock set out to look at exactly what is meant by the term "good hair". rock looks at the $9billion dollar industry, chatting with the manufacturers of hair products, hairdressers and a host of prominent figures about the word of relaxer, weaves and the struggle to achieve "good hair".

this is a fascinating and fun look at an industry that i guess a lot of people outside the black community are, largely, unaware of. the talking heads, in particular maya angelou, ice-t, salt-n-pepa, the reverend al sharpton, tracie thoms and andre harrell, do a grand job and provide a mixture of information and amusement. oh and the hairdressing competition which ends the film is a thing of much hilarity.

still, beyond the giggles, there's some seriously mental views which result in crazy amounts of pressure put on people (mainly women) to attain good hair. i don't think there's anything wrong with people spending thousands of dollars on weaves (providing they have the cash), but suggesting that someone shouldn't be taken seriously for allowing their hair to grow naturally is straight up insanity.

any hoo, good stuff...


faster - our guy's a shooter not a stabber...

driver (dwayne "the rock" johnson) gets out of prison, gets in a car and sets out killing those who wronged him. in the meantime, the heroin addled cop (billy bob thornton) and his partner, cicero (carla gugino), are in pursuit. oh, and so is killer (oliver jackson-cohen), but he seems to be preoccupied with having an emo-like meltdown on the telephone to lily (maggie grace)...

george tillman jr's homage to seventies action films; kinda like a 'grindhouse', but without the unnecessary song and dance to tell you how clever and ironic it's being. this is a straight up, fun watch. the narrative is far from stunning, but it's a pretty neat production, the pacing is slick, there's some entertaining ass-kickery and the cast do a good job with what they have to work with.

the cast is, however, probably the icing on the cake; the rock does a good job as the big, silent, killer, thornton and gugino make a good pair, maggie grace is always likeable, plus tom berenger pops up for a minute, as jennifer carpenter.

a bit of fluff, but fun with it...
Shack
Sin Nombre

Immigration and gangs in Mexico, mostly set on across a train journey.

Gloomy and fantastic.
Ade
QUOTE (Zoe @ Mar 20 2011, 06:59 PM) *
I don't think a film with bad CGI cats can be considered a masterpiece.
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 20 2011, 11:46 PM) *
What about Jaws?
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 21 2011, 11:46 AM) *
Were there CGI cats in Jaws?


If there were the film would be called Claws.


Or Paws.


I thank you.

*thumbs*

And it would probably be set in Maui.


"That's some bad cat, Harry."


Sostie
QUOTE (Ade @ Mar 22 2011, 11:18 AM) *
*thumbs*

And it would probably be set in Maui.


"That's some bad cat, Harry."


And star Richard Dreypuss

Were gonna need a bigger litter box
logger
Harold and Maude

It's the first time I've seen it (almost, it was on too late for me so I didn't make it to the end) and I have to say I was a little disappointed. I think part of it is because a lot of the humour relies on certain presuppositions, which is a type of humour I don't really like because I presuppose nothing. The execution of some of the gags are a bit clunky too. But another problem is that it now seems so unoriginal because of the films it has quite clearly gone on to influence which is no fault of its own.

I didn't dislike it, I think I was just expecting more. It has its moments and it's clear to see why it has a following and probably deserves its cult status.
Kick in the Head
Watching a lot recently, so here's a smattering of comments on a brace of movies:

The Signal - interesting little people gone mad movie, which despite, or as is more often the case because, of it's low budget and no name cast has an unconventional raft of ideas and ventures into some fairly offbeat and unpredictable directions. It has an uncertain tone (inherent with three directors taking an act each) and is hardly what one could constitute a success, but it's not bad.

How to Train Your Dragon - the jokes weren't funny, the voice-acting was pretty bad, and the plot was predictable, but it gradually won me over thanks to some lovely animation and really touching moments. I found Hiccup losing his leg at the end of the film a peculiarly brave and affecting ending when so often, even in proper grown-up films, our heroes end up with just a few bumps and scrapes. It didn't seem corny, it didn't seem forced, it just seemed oddly real - and quite something to have a disabled principal character in the sequel.

Troll 2 - just plain nutty. Almost put me off vegetables and cinema in general. More just really really weird than awful or bad in a conventional sense, but lacks the baffling beautiful charm and ineptitude of The Room.

Possession - I don't see quite the same Antichrist connection as Mark Kermode does with this film (Hellraiser seems the closer film for comparison). When everyone starts off pretty mad from the get-go, it becomes truly unnerving when they start going properly insane. If you can hack the screaming matches and self-destructive lunacy of it all, there's some startling imagery and really bizarre performances to be had.

Rango - even weirder than I was expecting and beautifully animated, the dialogue, plot, aesthetics and references make it not exactly for kids, but I'm happy a world exists where millions of dollars are pumped into something so outre just because the very talented Johnny Depp has become a bizarre box office mega-draw. Good cast too, even if Ned Beatty pretty much reprises his Toy Story 3 role though, with a little of the boss from Monsters Inc. thrown in.
Zoe
Another Year (2010)

Wonderful and heartbreaking, a window into all that is splendid and rotten about family and friends. Lesley Manville's performance is more than deserving of all the praise heaped upon it. If you're not left pondering the terrifying thought of being left alone in the world, well, you're a more secure person than I am.

Perhaps not up there with 'Secrets and Lies' or 'Life is Sweet', but certainly a welcome addition to the Mike Leigh canon.
maian
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

I respect and admire Woody Allen's decision to keep making a film a year well into his 70s, but if they're as lazy, unfunny and half-baked as this, maybe he should take an extra year to get them right. I guess it was meant to be a comedy, going by the light and airy jazz pieces sprinkled throughout, but it wasn't funny in the slightest, yet it was too broad and diffuse to be a drama. The performances varied. Anthony Hopkins was a decent Alllen surrogate as the elderly patriarch who divorces his wife of 40 years (Gemma Jones) after he realises his own mortality before shacking up with a much younger woman (Lucy Punch) who shares none of his interests. (Not to suggest that he's running out of ideas, but this is exactly the same plot as Whatever Works but not half as philosophically or comedically interesting.) Naomi Watts was shrill and one-note, Josh Brolin's romance with Freida Pinto was meant to be charming but was just awkward and creepy, Antonio Banderas didn't really seem to realise he was being filmed. It was nice seeing Philip Glenister show up, but I guess the fact I was going "Oh, Philip Glenister!" is indicative of how little of a fuck I gave about the rest of the film.

It's not going to topple Celebrity as my least favourite Allen film, but it came damn close.

Benda Bilili!

A joyous celebration of life, music and friendship. I had no prior knowledge of the band Staff Benda Bilili, a group of disabled homeless people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or their music, but by the end of it I was completely swept up in their story. The documentary was made over five years, starting when the film-makers more or less stumbled across the band playing on the streets, and charts the efforts of the directors to help Staff Benda Bilili record an album. By the time they started playing to huge crowds in Europe I was nearly in tears. It's such a fantastic story and the film is a real, emotive experience. Highly recommended.
Serafina_Pekkala
I prefer Woody in New York. Although I did like Vicky Christina Barcelona.
maian
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Mar 24 2011, 12:06 PM) *
I prefer Woody in New York. Although I did like Vicky Christina Barcelona.


Me too. It is his natural habitat. His inconsistency of late is frustrating, but I think it's the risk inherent in making a film a year.
dandan
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Mar 23 2011, 10:38 PM) *
Possession - I don't see quite the same Antichrist connection as Mark Kermode does with this film (Hellraiser seems the closer film for comparison). When everyone starts off pretty mad from the get-go, it becomes truly unnerving when they start going properly insane. If you can hack the screaming matches and self-destructive lunacy of it all, there's some startling imagery and really bizarre performances to be had.


it is an amazing bit of cinema: the scene where ms adjani ruins her shopping in the subway is amongst my favourite ever.
maian
Cure (1997)

Japanese serial killer/crime procedural from Kyoshi Kurosawa (who would later go on to direct Pulse and Tokyo Sonata) in which a series of gruesome murders start occurring throughout Tokyo and the surrounding areas, with the only connection between them being the peculiar X pattern used to cut the throats of each victim. A detective (Kôji Yakusho) and a psychologist (Tsuyoshi Ujiki) try to understand what is causing the murders at the same time as a mysterious young man suffering from amnesia (Masato Hagiwara) starts wandering around.

I'm not sure what I expected from this, but whatever it was Cure wasn't it. A seedy, creepy and oppressive tale of obsession that gets uncomfortably close to the troubled psyche of not only the person perpetrating the crimes, but also those trying to make sense of them. Highly recommended, but it's a pretty shudder-indusing experience.
dandan
yeah, i've had a little list of kyoshi kurosawa films on my 'to watch' list for about ten years and never gotten round to seeing any of them. i really, really should...
maian
Cure's definitely worth checking out. It's the sort of film that I come out of not really knowing what to think of it. I had to mull it over for a while.
Kick in the Head
The only one of his I've seen is Sweet Home, a mid-80's haunted house movie notable for some great special effects from Exorcist and Poltergeist make-up man Dick Smith (including a gloriously drawn out melting man sequence) and that the spin-off Famicom game from Capcom would inspire Shinji Mikami to make Resident Evil 10 years later.
Jessopjessopjessop
The Objective

By the guy what done Blair Witch this is a film about army men in Affganistan (or irac, i don't know) trying to find ghosts in the mountain. it was pretty good and i liked there guns it was like call of duty but slower and with chocky from the telley.
Julie
I'm really glad the trailer for Paul was so unimpressive. I went in expecting absolutely nothing from it and I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few times that I actually did a little clap and squeal for the geeky references. My non-geek friend thought I had lost my mind.
Shack
The Golden Child

Heavily cut to the point of confusion as it was shown during the day.

Eddie Murphy being Eddie Murphy but with smashing pop up performances from Victor Wong and James Hong.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Classic Martin. Well, mid-table Martin. But still pretty good.
Julie
QUOTE (Shack @ Mar 27 2011, 02:57 PM) *
The Golden Child



I... I... I... I... I... I want the knife.
Sostie
The Mechanic
Not nearly as bad as some reviews made out. Pretty entertaining. Plus The Stath takes his top off in the first 5 minutes.

Mr Bean's Holiday
Not a fan of Bean at all, but caught the last hour of this and really enjoyed it. Every film should end with the cast singing along to "La Mer"
Jimmay
QUOTE (Sostie @ Mar 28 2011, 09:45 AM) *
The Mechanic
Not nearly as bad as some reviews made out. Pretty entertaining. Plus The Stath takes his top off in the first 5 minutes.


I was looking through this thread earlier to see if you'd watch it yet. Thanks for not letting me down Sosters.
Sostie
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Mar 28 2011, 10:59 AM) *
I was looking through this thread earlier to see if you'd watch it yet. Thanks for not letting me down Sosters.


It's all for you baby
maian
Rocky

Despite having seen most of the sequels (I haven't seen Rocky V but have seen the others around it) I have never actually watched the original. I was pleasantly surprised by how fantastic it is. Even though I've seen it dozens of times on clip shows and adverts, I found myself welling up during the training montage and the fight.
logger
I think everybody who hasn't seen it for a while/ever and has judged it by its sequels is always surprised by how good it is. Still, it is a travesty that it won best picture against Taxi Driver, Network and All the President's Men.
Serafina_Pekkala
Troll 2

The stupidest piece of shit ever. I can't even bother to explain. But if you see it with your friends and drink lot of alcohol, it's very funny.
dandan
forest of bliss


i'll just borrow a quote from the film-maker, rather than attempt to provide an intro / synopsis.

"in late 1984 and early 1985 i was back in benares making forest of bliss, a film about which i had pondered at length since my first unsettling visit ten years earlier. i have shaped the film so that it occupies the time between two sunrises. it stands as an exclusively visual statement resorting neither to voiced commentary nor subtitles. it is about people being and also dying.

of the multitude at work, at play and at prayer, three individuals are seen in somewhat greater detail than others. they are: a healer of extraordinary geniality who attends pained and troubled people both in his modest home above manikarnika, the main cremation ground, and the durga temple late at night; the baleful and untouchable king of the cremation grounds, who vigorously exercises his hereditary rights to sell sacred fire and grass to mourners; and an unusually conscientious priest who performs sacred rites at a small shrine he maintains near the ganges.

seeing forest of bliss completed, i am quite certain that the animals, especially the dogs, have an importance i merely glimpsed as i was shooting. the dogs and, of course, the river." - robert gardner

it's kinda strange, i had just finished watching the section on varanasi (as benares is now known) in an episode of 'dan cruickshank's adventures in architecture' (a series i would recommend), when i was informed about this screening. hence, i had already received a good introduction to this strange city and, to be honest, i'm quite glad i had, as one must question the documentary value of 'forest of bliss'.

a couple of months of filming, presented as if it is a couple of days, no commentary, no translation of dialogue, just an observance of people, customs, animals, buildings, the river and the city. and, in truth, an unreliable observance at that. this, however, does not matter.

as an exercise in cinematography and editing, both of which robert gardner has the credit for, this film is simply stunning. gardner has such a beautiful cinematic turn of phrase that one doesn't care if he's not striving to create a geo-ethnic document of the city and its traditions. all one should care for is the skill that he employs in capturing what he chooses and how he does so with such poise.

very good.
dandan
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Mar 29 2011, 12:30 PM) *
Troll 2

The stupidest piece of shit ever. I can't even bother to explain. But if you see it with your friends and drink lot of alcohol, it's very funny.


this was screened in leeds last weekend, as part of a double-bill with 'best worst movie' a documentary about the film, directed by michael stephenson, 'troll 2's child star...
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (dandan @ Mar 29 2011, 03:53 PM) *
this was screened in leeds last weekend, as part of a double-bill with 'best worst movie' a documentary about the film, directed by michael stephenson, 'troll 2's child star...


Josh made a movie. Bizarre.
monkeyman
Monsters
Meh. Avoid.
maian
QUOTE (logger @ Mar 29 2011, 01:44 AM) *
I think everybody who hasn't seen it for a while/ever and has judged it by its sequels is always surprised by how good it is. Still, it is a travesty that it won best picture against Taxi Driver, Network and All the President's Men.


In hindsight, yeah, it doesn't have quite the same obvious artistic merit that those films do, but I think that it's a decision that makes sense in terms of what was going on in America at that time. Coming on the back of Watergate, Nixon's resignation and the end of Vietnam, a film that is so crowdpleasing probably meant more than the darker, better films it was up against.
widowspider
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 28 2011, 11:52 PM) *
Rocky

Despite having seen most of the sequels (I haven't seen Rocky V but have seen the others around it) I have never actually watched the original. I was pleasantly surprised by how fantastic it is. Even though I've seen it dozens of times on clip shows and adverts, I found myself welling up during the training montage and the fight.

I'd never seen it until recently. I was surprised at how good it was.
monkeyman
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 29 2011, 12:52 AM) *
Rocky

Despite having seen most of the sequels (I haven't seen Rocky V but have seen the others around it) I have never actually watched the original. I was pleasantly surprised by how fantastic it is. Even though I've seen it dozens of times on clip shows and adverts, I found myself welling up during the training montage and the fight.

Missed this and i'd have to completely agree. The first Rambo is surprisingly good and actually has a meaningful message to it as well. I like Sly.
logger
Accion Mutante

Well, that was different.
mcraigclark
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Mar 29 2011, 07:30 AM) *
Troll 2

The stupidest piece of shit ever. I can't even bother to explain. But if you see it with your friends and drink lot of alcohol, it's very funny.


I saw that for the first time way back in high school, and it was so "so-bad-it's-good" that I taped it off HBO and it became a monthly thing for my friends and I to watch. I'm deeply ashamed that I am so familiar with Nilbog.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Mar 31 2011, 12:33 AM) *
I'm deeply ashamed that I am so familiar with Nilbog.


*likes this*

Don't be ashamed.
maian
Haven't seen all of Troll 2 (I have seen bits, and they are gloriously shit) but Best Worst Movie is a lot of fun.

Obsession (1976)

De Palma once again riffs on Hitchcock with a tale of a rich New Orleans businessman (Cliff "Uncle Ben" Robertson) whose daughter and wife are kidnapped and held for ransom. When the police's efforts to rescue them end with both of them being killed, Robertson spends years in mourning, wracked with a guilt that only intensifies when he meets a woman who is the spitting image of his dead wife (Genevičve Bujold). A luridly entertaining take on Vertigo, with shades of Rebecca thrown in for good measure, Obsession gets a little too feverish in its final half an hour, unveiling all of its secrets in a series of expositionary flashbacks that walk a fine line between inspired and silly, but even with that knock against it it is still a fine slice of psychological thriller fluff delivered with effortless aplomb. Also, it boasts a fine supporting turn by John Lithgow as Robertson's best friend and a suitably moody score from the legendary Bernard Hermann, who was nominated for one of two posthumous Oscars for his work on the film (he was also nominated the same year for his last work, the score to Taxi Driver).
Llama
Sucker Punch

Just... just, no.
maian
Big Fish (2003)

I've heard a lot of negative things about this film over the years which kept me from checking it out, and I can definitely understand why people who don't like it really don't like it, but I was thoroughly charmed and even moved by it. Tim Burton's film is a picaresque tale about a father (Albert Finney) who has always fashioned his life as an elaborate mythology (in which he is played by Ewan MacGregor) full of giants, werewolves, witches and mermaids, and the son (Billy Crudup) who tries to find out who his father really is before he dies. The themes of reconciliation and coming to terms with the death of a parent, particularly one that is quite distant, clearly meant a lot to Tim Burton, whose parents both died in the years before he made the film, and that connection adds an aching sincerity to the film that has been sorely missing from his subsequent work (even though I like Sweeney Todd because of its lack of heart) and the restrain he showed in his use of special effects, reserving them for moments that would allow him to heighten the fairytale nature of Edward Bloom's stories, was very effective.

It is a pretty sappy and silly film, but as a story about simple human connections and as a celebration of the power of storytelling I found it really touching.
mcraigclark
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Mar 31 2011, 07:12 AM) *
*likes this*

Don't be ashamed.


OK, maybe slightly ashamed and secretly kind of proud that I saw it 20 years ago.
Zoe
Tamara Drewe (2010)

What a weird film
Sostie
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 1
I thought it was pretty bloody impressive in every way except perhaps the story. It suffers a little from being split into two parts - there's too much to put into one film, but is there enough to make two halves? A lot less action and a lot more sombre than previous films, it looked great, was performed well (everyone bar the 3 leads is reduced to cameo appearances - Helena Bonham Carter alone deserved more screen time) and overall I can't think of single film francise that has matured so much from film to film. The dance sequence to Nick Cave, though awkward at the start, was less cringeworthy than expected. As "blockbusters" go, interesting and strange.
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