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widowspider
Milk

Extraordinary.
maian
Source Code (2011)

Science fiction thriller in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays a soldier who, as part of a highly experimental government project, is forced to relive the last eight minutes of the life of a man who died when a bomb was detonated on a Chicago-bound commuter train. Whilst the scientists in charge of the program (Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright) encourage him to try to figure out important clues about the bombing - where it was hidden, who put it there etc. - in the hope of preventing future attacks, Gyllenhaal finds himself trying to come to terms with his situation and wondering whether or not he can actually save the lives of people who are already dead.

Since he's only directed two films, it feels a little premature to start saying exactly what Duncan Jones' personal obsessions are, but it is interesting to see how much Source Code, a fairly large scale film which he did not write, shares with Moon, the low-budget passion project that got him started. Both are about men trapped in mechanised situations, their lives controlled by large organisations that withhold information from them because they feel it will distract them from their mission, and both touch on the theme of malleable, shifting identity in an interesting way. Source Code, by the very nature of its story, is more action orientated. It's essentially a detective story, but one which is given an added twist by the "time travel but not really" conceit of having Gyllenhaal relive the same span of time. There's a great deal of tension in seeing how much closer he gets to discovering who was behind the attack and in the variations that Jones works into the repeated conversations and interactions. The repetition makes seemingly major events quickly irrelevant and allows small moments to gain a cumulative power over the course of the film.

The cast are all pretty good, with Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan being fun, lively leads. Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright are more interesting, though, as a case study of how to act in a science fiction film and how not to act in a science fiction film. Farmiga gives a very quiet, calm performance that nicely grounds the ridiculousness of the situation, whilst Wright - who is a fine actor in general - chews the scenario and calls into question the reality of the film. Since he is the one who has to spew the exposition that explains the "science" behind the Source Code, that is a bit of bump in the road for the film.

Jones displays admirable restraint, never allowing the film to become quite the empty spectacle that it could have been whilst also understanding that a film like this needs to have a couple of explosions in it (or at least the same explosion over and over). With the exception of the last five minutes or so, in which the film strains slighly too hard to give the characters a happy ending when they could have a poignant one - and in the process ignoring the established rules of the concept and introducing an idea that is way, way too big to be included in the final line of a movie - he rarely sets a foot wrong, and the end product is an exceptionally well-executed, clever slice of nonsense.
Shack
You Don't Mess With The Zohan

Sandler back on form? Well, I'm not sure, but it provided 4 or 5 big laughs.

Perfect film for an end of term evening in.

And who knew Mariah Carey could be self-depricating?
Ade
QUOTE (maian @ Apr 1 2011, 04:17 PM) *
Source Code (2011)

Having just seen the latest poster for that, I kinda want to rename the film Mosaic Jake.
maian
I've seen that poster all over the shop and I wondered what it actually meant in terms of the plot of the film. Having seen the film, I have absolutely no clue what that poster is meant to represent. I think they chose it because it looks kind of Inception-y.
Zoe
The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

Don't get it
maian
Very minor spoiler for Source Code.

I didn't realise until just now that Scott Bakula has a cameo in Source Code as Colter's dad, which is a very nice touch.
maian
Get Carter (1971)

Shockingly, I'd never seen it before. Less shockingly, it's great.
sweetbutinsane
St Trinian's (2007)

Bit of a guilty pleasure.
GundamGuy_UK
Superman the Movie: Extended Edition and Superman II: Richard Donner Cut

Great couple of evening's entertainment. I'd actually never seen Superman II before - is the theatrical version worth watching, or shall I just ignore it? I figured watching the original Donner idea for the movie would be better, and they certainly seemed to flow together into one continuous narrative.
maian
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Apr 3 2011, 09:23 PM) *
Superman the Movie: Extended Edition and Superman II: Richard Donner Cut

Great couple of evening's entertainment. I'd actually never seen Superman II before - is the theatrical version worth watching, or shall I just ignore it? I figured watching the original Donner idea for the movie would be better, and they certainly seemed to flow together into one continuous narrative.


I'd say that the theatrical one is worth a watch. It's pretty different in a couple of key ways - some scenes are completely different, but overall the tone is a lot sillier. It's a really entertaining film, and if for no other reason you should see it just to know how much of the film was changed after Donner was fired.


Right At Your Door (2006)

I haven't seen it since I watched it in the cinema and I liked it much more the second time around. The main reason was that I didn't have the same nagging gripe of "Well, you'd just let her in, wouldn't you?" which prevented me from getting involved the first time. This made my viewing more of an intellectual exercise than an emotional one (though the scene in which Mary MacCormack listens to the messages from her family members is pretty affecting) but as an attempt to capture the fear, confusion and paranoia of the aftermath of a terrorist attack, especially one viewed from an intensely personal perspective, it makes for compelling viewing.

Watchmen (2009)

Finally saw it. Didn't really care for it. Visually, great as really faithful attempt to recreate the look and world of the comic. Couple of great performances, but I just found the whole thing a bit of a slog. Too long, not much momentum. With the exception of a brilliant opening montage establishing the alternate history of the world, Snyder brought little to the film to stop the voice in my head that kept saying "You might as well just re-read the comic." Not a bad film, not a travesty but I'll never watch it again.

I did like the new ending. Made much more sense for the story as told by the film, especially without the supplemental materials or the Curse of the Black Freighter to make sense of the original ending.
dandan
the nomi song - it is very delicious...

born as klaus sperber in germany, in 1944, he moved from essen to berlin in the '60s and to new york in 1972. after some dalliances in the arts and new wave scenes, klaus performed at the 'new wave vaudeville' in 1978: heavily made up, dressed in suit with a plastic cape, he sang an aria from the opera 'samson et dalila'. from this moment on he was klaus nomi.

andrew horn's excellent documentary collects together live footage, talking heads, home movies and tv appearances, piecing together the rise of klaus from the curious looking, pasty cooking german who would be spotted around the east village, to a darling of the new wave, a backing singer for bowie on 'saturday night live' and his time with rca in europe and, ultimately, his death in 1983.

a delightfully and wonderfully freakish character, it is hard not to watch the documentary and feel great affection for klaus. his strange combination of new wave pop sensibilities, baroque operatics, heavy make-up, signature haircut and exaggerated fashionings, not forgetting his pastry related talents, all added up to make him a rather fascinating character, which andrew horn duly celebrates in 'the nomi song'.

aces...
Sostie
Awaydays
Yet another film about football hooligans, but a little different than it's predacessors. For a start there are no Cockernees, the film is set in and around the Wirral. Also the film is set in the late 70's/early 80's and the music and the scene at the time is referenced a lot (both Eric's and Probe feature). It's not anything that special but it does feature both Stephen Graham and an interesting soundtrack of not so obvious tunes of the time by the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Ultravox etc.
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (maian @ Apr 3 2011, 11:33 PM) *
I'd say that the theatrical one is worth a watch. It's pretty different in a couple of key ways - some scenes are completely different, but overall the tone is a lot sillier. It's a really entertaining film, and if for no other reason you should see it just to know how much of the film was changed after Donner was fired.


I'll give it a watch at some point.

I watched Superman III this afternoon. The awful credits scene with all the slapstick had me thinking it was going to be terrible, but in the end I actually really enjoyed it. Not as good as Superman II's Donner Cut, but really entertaining (apart from the weird robot thing at the end which I didn't like). I also had a chuckle to myself when I remembered that the Office Space references Pryer's money-making idea.
logger
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Apr 4 2011, 05:08 PM) *
(apart from the weird robot thing at the end which I didn't like).

That terrified children the world over, me included.
GundamGuy_UK
The only thing in a movie that really terrified me as a kid was the wolf in NeverEnding Story. Scared the living shit out of me.
I loved that movie, and I knew when he was going to show up so I (literally) hid behind the sofa when he was on screen.
widowspider
Last Tango In Paris

What the hell?
maian
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Apr 4 2011, 07:32 PM) *
The only thing in a movie that really terrified me as a kid was the wolf in NeverEnding Story. Scared the living shit out of me.
I loved that movie, and I knew when he was going to show up so I (literally) hid behind the sofa when he was on screen.


I used to do that whenever the little boy was about to get gored by the bull towards the end of Song of the South, which I loved as a child because I was a terrible racist.
Zoe
The Hole (2010)

I'm very scared of clowns and puppets, I should have known better. *shivers*

Other than that, Dante style kids horror fun. The plot makes no sense, and it takes a while to get going, but decent nonetheless.

World's Greatest Dad (2009)

Speaking of kids' film, the annoying one from Spy Kids is fantastic in this as the world's least likeable teenager. I wouldn't like to give too much away, but Robin Williams is also excellent in a film that's closest in tone to something like Heathers. Good stuff.

Cyrus (2010)

Nice to see Jonah Hill underplaying something for once. Personally, I thought it was clever and surprisingly moving, and there was very little mumbling. John C Reilly and Marissa Tomei are both fabulous.



Downsy
QUOTE (widowspider @ Apr 4 2011, 07:47 PM) *
Last Tango In Paris


QUOTE (Zoe @ Apr 5 2011, 12:07 AM) *
The Hole (2010)


Right, tea just came out of my nose! mad.gif wub.gif

Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (widowspider @ Apr 4 2011, 07:47 PM) *
Last Tango In Paris

What the hell?


Oh lollingtongs. This is the best reaction to the movie. I had the same. It's really not aged well and just ... hugely fucking creepy.
logger
Extract

It was kind of like if Mike Judge made a Coen Bros film. Enjoyable, if not hilarious.
maian
Moby Dick (1956)

John Huston's adaptation of Melville's opus transforms it from a lyrical, brutal account of whaling and man's relationship with nature into a rip-roaring high seas adventure (which, admittedly, is an importnat aspect of the novel as well). As such, it lacks much of the depth of its source but is a really entertaining film that gives due focus to the relationships between the men on the ship, with Huston and Ray Bradbury's script ably bringing Stubb, Queequeg and Flask to vibrant life. Ishmael, as played by Richard Baseheart, is kind of a nonentity, but that's only to be expected since his role in the novel is as participant and observer, rather than the focus of the story, so unless the film were to consist of wall-to-wall narration it would be impossible to have him be as central a figure as he is in the novel.

Most interesting to me was Gregory Peck's performance as Ahab. Famously, Peck refused Steven Spielberg the rights to use pieces of the film for a scene in Jaws in which Quint would have been watching it in a cinema and laughing uproariously because he felt that it was not his best work. Whilst I can see why he would not look kindly on it - his Ahab, whilst forceful, is broad and does not get across the fearsome magnetism that should make Ahab such a strong leader - it is still a commanding performance that nicely anchors the film.

The effects during the whaling sequences also hold up surprisingly well, thanks to clever use of models and back projection which give them a sense of energy and urgency. Or they do up until the final hunt for Moby Dick, who looks pretty ridiculous since he is the only whale seen to leap out of the water.

Anyway, very good.


Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

Ellen Burstyn's a great actress. One of Scorsese's best.
monkeyman
I was thinking there should be another Moby Dick movie made soon. By a good director though...
Jon 79
Paul
I finally saw the film. I really enjoyed it, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
It's great to see Pegg and Frost on screen together again, but perhaps it was the lack of Wright behind the camera (and let's face it, he's the 3rd writer behind Shaun & Fuzz) that mad it seem like a slightly above average comedy and not the best thing since sliced fried gold. I give it an 8/10.
I'm not saying it was the writing (it had some proper LOL moments from me), or even Mottola's fault... but it wasn't as good a film as Superbad. Can't quite put my finger on why though... Anyone?
melzilla
Submarine

Very charming and funny take on adolescence. Good soundtrack too. Very enjoyable.
maian
QUOTE (monkeyman @ Apr 5 2011, 08:55 PM) *
I was thinking there should be another Moby Dick movie made soon. By a good director though...


Timur Bekmambetov was lined up to direct a new version a few years ago which would have been...odd. I'd have liked to have seen his take on the whaling sequences, which would have probably consisted slowly of insnae leaps, slow motion and one of the boats being shattered into splinters that spelled out "FUCK AHAB". Not that I'm prejudging it based on his previous work or anything.

QUOTE (Jon 79 @ Apr 5 2011, 11:28 PM) *
Paul

It's great to see Pegg and Frost on screen together again, but perhaps it was the lack of Wright behind the camera (and let's face it, he's the 3rd writer behind Shaun & Fuzz) that mad it seem like a slightly above average comedy and not the best thing since sliced fried gold. I give it an 8/10.


Well, he's actually the second writer on Fuzz and Shaun, since he wrote them with Simon whilst Nick only acted in them. He was the de factor third writer on Spaced, though.

QUOTE (Jon 79 @ Apr 5 2011, 11:28 PM) *
I'm not saying it was the writing (it had some proper LOL moments from me), or even Mottola's fault... but it wasn't as good a film as Superbad. Can't quite put my finger on why though... Anyone?


I do think that Edgar's better at using direction to sell a punchline than Greg Mottola. I like Greg Mottola - I'm not a massive fan of Superbad but I love Adventureland - but he seems content to just let the dialogue do all the work whereas I think Edgar likes to complement the script with little sound and editing tricks, and even the way that the camera moves.
widowspider
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Apr 5 2011, 10:48 AM) *
Oh lollingtongs. This is the best reaction to the movie. I had the same. It's really not aged well and just ... hugely fucking creepy.

I thought it was just me. I know it's supposed to be oh so arthouse and all that, but...yeah. Creepy. Have to say that Brando is stupendous in it though.
Sostie
QUOTE (widowspider @ Apr 6 2011, 03:54 PM) *
I thought it was just me. I know it's supposed to be oh so arthouse and all that, but...yeah. Creepy. Have to say that Brando is stupendous in it though.



I found it utterly dull.

Gives new meaning to "knob of butter" though.
melzilla
QUOTE (Sostie @ Apr 6 2011, 04:19 PM) *
Gives new meaning to "knob of butter" though.


I've never seen this film but now I kinda want to...
widowspider
QUOTE (melzilla @ Apr 6 2011, 05:24 PM) *
I've never seen this film but now I kinda want to...

There's a lot of 70s ungroomed ladyhair in it.
Ade
QUOTE (Sostie @ Apr 6 2011, 04:19 PM) *
I found it utterly dull.

Gives new meaning to "knob of butter" though.

*attempts best Brando impersonation*

"I can't believe it's knob butter..."





I'm so sorry.
widowspider
QUOTE (Ade @ Apr 6 2011, 08:03 PM) *
*attempts best Brando impersonation*

"I can't believe it's knob butter..."





I'm so sorry.

Nearly spat out my noodle soup out. Bravo, sir.
Jon 79
QUOTE (maian @ Apr 6 2011, 10:20 PM) *
Well, he's actually the second writer on Fuzz and Shaun, since he wrote them with Simon whilst Nick only acted in them. He was the de factor third writer on Spaced, though.


Oh yeah... dunno what my brain was thinkin'.

Totally agree with you about Edgar's camera and editing to compliment the comedy.
I've not seen Adventureland. I really liked Superbad though.... perhaps more so than Paul. ohmy.gif
Rebus
Yeah, if you liked Superbad then you should love Advetureland as it much better in my opinion. I watched Paul at the weekend and pretty much agree with everything that's been said. Edgar's absence was noticeable, but there were still some good lols and I enjoyed the references (particularly the music in the bar scene and Aliens), and Blythe Danner is as great and beautiful as ever.
zeden
An Inside Job
A breakdown of how the fanancial services industry has effectively trashed the global economy starting with the Icelandic banking crisis right through to where we are today.
Thoroughly depressing stuff that left me with a profound feeling of hopelessness for the future of all but the wealthiest elite but a must see if only for the fact that it breaks the whole affair down into concepts those without an education in finance can digest and understand.
maian
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

High energy, fun crime caper starring Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood as a couple of small time crooks who wind up being thrown together and decide to work on one big job. It's a shame that Michael Cimino had to waste his energies making boring "art" when he was clearly a dab hand at making films that were actually fun. Great characters, good writing and exciting action. The ending is a massive downer, though.
maian
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (in 2D)

Much like Grizzly Man and Encounters At The End of the World, Werner Herzog's latest documentary takes a very specific story or situation in order to investigate more universal themes. Here, he takes the paintings in the Chauvet caves, perfectly preserved drawings of animals that date back 30,000-40,000 years, to discuss humanity's capability for storytelling, showing how the shimmering light on the walls creates the illusion of movement. Seeing the camera move through the caves, capturing images that have survived through millennia and offer a connection to a time and place we can only image makes for some really startling moments in the film, particularly when combined with subtle music cues and Herzog's hypnotic Bavarian accent, but I found the whole film weirdly unsatisfying. Unlike Grizzly Man, which is both my favourite Herzog documentary and my favourite Herzog film full stop, the themes never quite mesh with the subject matter. Herzog is reaching for something profound to say but seems understandably awed by the images and the time involved. The film is by no means bad but, at least partically owing to the subject matter, it lacks a consistency or clear focus that could have made it a really great film.
mcraigclark
Jaws III

I remember it being shit, just not quite so shit.
maian
Rango (2011)

Weirder than I thought it was going to be, and I thought it was going to be pretty weird. It surprised me in much the same way that Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs did, though in this case I was not impressed by how funny it is (now, Rango is funny but Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is fucking hilarious) but by how gorgeous it looked. It's a seriously good-looking film that really captures the feel of the Westerns that it apes. The action sequences are also pretty nutty, which helps to move it along whenever it gets stuck in the handful of aimless stretches where not much happens besides Johnny Depp riffing.

Also, I really liked the reveal of The Spirit of the West, particularly when I realised who was voicing him. (I won't spoil it because it was a very pleasant surprise for me, as was the film as a whole.)
Sostie
Paper Moon
Peter Bogdanovich's 70's classic set in depression era Kansas, where con man Ryan O'Neal is lumbered with transporting a recently orphaned girl, Tatum O'Neal (who for her performance, became the youngest person to win an Oscar at the age of 10) cross country to her aunt.
I've loved this film since I was a child, initially because, when I first saw it I was the same age as Tatum was in the film and had a bit of a crush on her. It's beautifully shot in black and white and has a sparse soundtrack made up of vintage records played over the car radio. There's great chemistry between the father/daughter paring - it's a shame neither were bigger stars beyond the 70's.
Along with What's Up Doc? and Nickelodeon (also starring the O'Neals) my favourite Bogdanovich film (was never really grabbed by the much lauded Last Picture Show).
Raven
Norwegian Wood

Good lord, that was grim!
maian
Yeah, it's pretty bleak, isn't it? I haven't read the book in a while, but I don't remember it being anywhere near as sad as the film.
Raven
I'm still pulling my thoughts together, but having recently read the book I would have to agree. Despite it's subject matter there was quite a bit of humour in the book, but virtually none of that made it to the screen.

I was most disapointed with Reiko as she was a mere shadow of the character as written.
maian
Harvey (1950)

I've been meaning to watch this James Stewart and a giant invisible rabbit classic for years now and it did not disappoint. It is both a brilliantly constructed farce that nicely builds on the flummoxed reactions that Ellwood P. Dowd (Stewart) and his frequent conversations with his friend Harvey elicit in those around him and a beautifully sweet celebration of being a bit weird.

The Major and The Minor (1941)


Billy Wilder's American directorial debut (he had already directed one film in Europe and had some considerable success as a screenwriter in Hollywood) is in some ways a harbinger of Some Like It Hot. Both are about people who pretend to be something they aren't in order to go on a train journey (in this instance Ginger Rogers plays a woman in her twenties who pretends to be 12 so she can afford to take the train from New York to Ohio) but wind up getting involved in even more elaborate problems when they get sidetracked by love (in this instance she falls for Ray Milland, an Army major who looks after her on the train). Apart from the very end of the film, which comes off as unintentionally creepy, the film is a brisk, fun comedy with great performances and terrific pacing. A pretty great start to a pretty great career.
sweetbutinsane
Source Code

I really, really enjoyed it. However...

QUOTE (maian @ Apr 1 2011, 05:17 PM) *
...the film strains slighly too hard to give the characters a happy ending when they could have a poignant one...


I agree with this. I must admit I was even tearing up a little when it seemed like they were going with the more bittersweet sort of ending and, while I wasn't overly disappointed with the way things turned out, it would have been much more moving and memorable to just have finished with that beautiful scene freeze.

Franklyn

I mostly understood it, but couldn't make sense of some things. That and not really liking any of the characters left me a little disappointed with the whole thing when it had looked and sounded pretty cool to begin with.
Shack
QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Apr 10 2011, 11:45 AM) *
Jaws III

I remember it being shit, just not quite so shit.


I think IV is even worse. Michael Caine survives and you can clearly see the scaffolding on the inside of the shark.

Tiptoes

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale are couple in love but Matthew Mahogany has a secret, his family are all dwarves. Including, incredibly, Gary Oldman, complete with CGI legs and lots of shots of him clearly walking on his knees.

The story makes no sense, there are various characters who have no point and of those characters, many have undeveloped storylines. It's like a film made up from the footage they'd made before the production was closed down.

May I recommend anyone who finds a copy watches it. It's so bad, it's completely awful in every regard.
maian
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Apr 13 2011, 08:38 PM) *
Source Code

I agree with this. I must admit I was even tearing up a little when it seemed like they were going with the more bittersweet sort of ending and, while I wasn't overly disappointed with the way things turned out, it would have been much more moving and memorable to just have finished with that beautiful scene freeze.


That was pretty much how I felt. The more I think about it, the more I like the ending they went for since it introduces an interesting concept - namely The Source Code being able to create parallel universes - which make the rest of the movie make more sense. If can create alternate timelines, that explains why Colter can move around in memories better than the explanation that Jeffrey Wright offers.

Paris Je T'aime


Decided to rewatch it on a whim and I found the whole package to be much more consistent than I remembered from the first viewing. Whilst not all of the short films are amazing, hardly any of them are bad - with the exception of the Gus Van Sant one which, yeesh - and the few that stand out are really, really wonderful.

The ones that I found the most entertaining or powerful this time:

Bastille by Isabel Coixet

Place de Victories by Nobuhiro Suwa

14e Arrondisment by Alexander Payne, starring the great Margo Martindale
Ade
QUOTE (maian @ Apr 13 2011, 09:46 PM) *
Paris Je T'aime

Decided to rewatch it on a whim and I found the whole package to be much more consistent than I remembered from the first viewing. Whilst not all of the short films are amazing, hardly any of them are bad - with the exception of the Gus Van Sant one which, yeesh - and the few that stand out are really, really wonderful.

The ones that I found the most entertaining or powerful this time:

Bastille by Isabel Coixet

Place de Victories by Nobuhiro Suwa

14e Arrondisment by Alexander Payne, starring the great Margo Martindale

I've been meaning to watch that again too, funnily enough, as I didn't really remember enjoying it as much as I'd wanted to. Going through my DVDs over the past several days trying to sort out which ones to keep and which ones to car boot, I so very nearly put Paris, Je T'aime in the latter category the other day. But I think I'll just hang onto it a little longer and give it another spin before I decide whether or not to part with it.

And yes, the Bastille segment was definitiely one of the better ones.
maian
QUOTE (Ade @ Apr 13 2011, 10:00 PM) *
I've been meaning to watch that again too, funnily enough, as I didn't really remember enjoying it as much as I'd wanted to. Going through my DVDs over the past several days trying to sort out which ones to keep and which ones to car boot, I so very nearly put Paris, Je T'aime in the latter category the other day. But I think I'll just hang onto it a little longer and give it another spin before I decide whether or not to part with it.


This was actually my motivation for watching it, too. I'm clearing some space so I went through my DVDs to see which ones I hadn't seen in a while or which did not make that much of an impression so I can rewatch them, then get rid of them.

I think that not thinking much of the film the first time around made the second viewing better. I had a better sense of where each short was going so could adjust my expectations accordingly. With some, I expected them to be disappointing based on my fuzzy memory of them so when they were half-decent it was a pleasant surprise.
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