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Bloomeeney
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

So, feckin', boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Raven
QUOTE (Crutch @ May 31 2011, 11:03 AM) *
Didn't in fact Greedo not shoot at all?

Han shot solo. Didn't he?


That is indeed the case.
widowspider
Bridesmaids

Very funny and very sweet. Have a little crush on Chris O'Dowd now.
maian
QUOTE (widowspider @ May 31 2011, 03:10 PM) *
Bridesmaids

Very funny and very sweet. Have a little crush on Chris O'Dowd now.


Is it just me, or was he trying to hide his accent at the start of the film? When he first meets Kristen Wiig, it sounded to me like he was trying to do a vaguely Midwestern accent, but then he dropped it as the film went along, settling into his normal brogue.
widowspider
QUOTE (maian @ May 31 2011, 03:15 PM) *
Is it just me, or was he trying to hide his accent at the start of the film? When he first meets Kristen Wiig, it sounded to me like he was trying to do a vaguely Midwestern accent, but then he dropped it as the film went along, settling into his normal brogue.

I read online that they told him to keep his real accent for the film, as he originally auditioned with an American one, but it did sound kind of weird at the beginning.
maian
I thought it did. He was very good, and I thought the best parts of the film were the sequences in which he was angry at Kristen Wiig because he did seem generally hurt, but the way his voice changed from the beginning of the film really distracted me. I'm glad I haven't gone completely mentile.
Atara
QUOTE (Raven @ May 31 2011, 01:40 AM) *
Star Wars

The original Star Wars, with no bells or whistles - or even any Episode IV text at the beginning - and it was fupping good.

It's the first time I've seen the original version since before the Special Editions came out and I can honestly say I don't think I'll bother watching the Special Edition version again. For some reason I remembered the special effects being a lot more ropey than they were (especially during the Death Star attack) but now I'm struggling to see why they bothered updating them. Okay so the new shots are a little more fluid and dynamic, but they weren't that bad to start with (and I didn't even notice the much commented upon matte lines).

Oh, and Han shot first - that got a big cheer!


I agree, I had an argument with my parents recently as they were criticising the 'original originals' for looking terrible now. They have not seen them without the sprucing up since, well, the last time they watched them before they were spruced up so can't really talk and are of course, very wrong. I wish they did the remastering and sprucing up without adding or changing anything and no bloody CGI.
Raven
I think one of the biggest reliefs for me was not having to sit through the toe curling (and nonsensical) Jabba scene, and oddly it is the CGI scenes on Tatooine that seem to be dating the Special Editions more now than some of the original effects.
Atara
I agree completely. I have always said the CGI additions are what make those films looks so terribly old now rather than the original effects. Of course the original effects are dated however, possibly as a result of nostalgia, the films still have the magic they always had in their untainted form.

I remember being so terribly disappointed and confused when I first watched those editions.
logger
Be Kind, Rewind

Put Melonie Diaz in more things, stupid Hollywood.
maian
A Wedding (1978)

Robert Altman's film about, well, a wedding between two families; one old money, one new money. After opening with the ceremony itself, the film follows multiple characters from both parties, as well as the staff at the mansion where most of the action is set, as drink flows, secrets spill out and even a few guests get bumped off.

One of Altman's more rambling and shambolic films, but as that's in keeping with the setting and the way in which the film was conceived - Altman mentions in an interview on the DVD that he came up with the film as a joke answer to a journalist who asked him what his next film was, then realised that he was kind of fascinated by the potential of the idea - so that the film is even remotely coherent is nothing short of astonishing. Altman corrals a cast of 48 characters, surprisingly few of which could be considered minor, and throws them together to see what sparks fly. It's not as successful as Nashville, which tried much the same trick, because it doesn't really have the whole "one city as a metaphor for America" angle, and it doesn't have the same dramatic pull to it as Gosford Park, which also handled the notion of classes coming into contact and conflict more effectively.

However, it is a pretty broad and bawdy comedy, which makes up for its clunkiness, and there is a sudden switch in genre towards the end of the film that I found really surprising because it made me realise just how much I was involved in the story and cared about the characters. They're all pretty flawed and difficult people, but they felt very real. The humanity of the last twenty minutes really won me over in a way that the rest of the film only sort of did.

Not one of Altman's best films, but a lot better than I expected it to be.
Serafina_Pekkala
I cannot stand a lot of early Altman for all the shambolics and ramblings. Some of it hasn't aged well.
Sostie
QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Jun 1 2011, 10:18 AM) *
I cannot stand a lot of early Altman for all the shambolics and ramblings. Some of it hasn't aged well.



The best film I've seen of his? Popeye.

It's certainly his most entertaining
maian
The set for Popeye is still up and running as a tourist attraction in Malta. It was one of my favourite places as a child.
Raven
Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

This is a live action sequel to the anime film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time that is, misleadingly, billed as a Japanese version of Back to the Future. The original animated film is an entertaining romp that is fairly well paced and has quite a bit of humour, where this, well, isn't either.

Riisa Naka, who plays Akari - the girl who does the titular time leaping - also voiced the lead character in the anime version. She may be a good voice artist, but she's not so hot at actual acting and because of that there are several points where you wonder whether you are watching an amateur production.

Having said that though, the story isn't too bad, it looks pretty good and the supporting characters have their moments. It's not something I'd recommend as a must see film, even if you have watched the original, but there are worse ways to pass a couple of hours.

A solid Okay.
maian
Collateral (2004)

Haven't seen this Michael Mann film before, despite it being on my shelf for several years by this point, so I decided to check it out. I enjoyed it immensely. It's pretty spartan in comparison to most of Mann's films in terms of plot - Hitman (Tom Cruise) enlists a taxi driver (Jamie Foxx) to help him carry out a serious of hits - but he finds a lot of complexity within the story, offering up plenty of opportunities for Foxx to very nearly get away, only for his hopes to be dashed at the last second. There are a couple of standout sequences, but the two that had the biggest impression on me consisted of a shootout in a nightclub set to Ready, Steady, Go (Korean Style) by Paul Oakenfold, and pretty much the entire final twenty minutes, which were tense and really showed off how beautifully Mann depicts L.A. There's also some great supporting performances by Mark Ruffalo and Javier Bardem, neither of whom I knew were in the film.

Attack The Block (2011)

I definitely fall on the "Yeah, I like it" side of the equation. I think it could have been a better film if it had decided to be more of a straightforward horror/action film and less of a comedy, or more of a comedy and less of an action/horror film. The current mix of the two genres is good, and I was entertained throughout, but I just felt like it could have been better if Joe Cornish had gone more one way or the other. Regardless, it's a well-written, dynamic piece of genre film-making that makes great use of its young, energetic cast.
maian
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

I didn't realise that Jeff from Coupling played the older brother until my editor pointed it out to me. Apart from that and Alfred Molina, everything else about this film bored me.
Raven
Clash of the Titans (2010)

Oh dear . . .

Where to start?

The story is a bland mix of elements from the old film (the Kraken, giant scorpions, Medusa etc) with some additional Greek mythology (Hades, Apollo etc) thrown in for good measure.

I really didn't like the design or look of the film. The Olympian costumes were frankly ridiculous and seemed to have been lifted wholesale from Excalibur (with a passing nod to Flash Gordon's Vultan) and there was just far too much CGI.

I did quite like some of the characters, but I never felt we really got to know any of them.

I wasn't very impressed with the Bubo joke either, which seemed to be a slap in the face for the old film, rather than a wry comment on it.

All this combined didn't really make for a very engaging film.

My biggest gripe, though, is the same one I have with Tron: Legacy: it wasn't allowed to be a self-contained film its own right - it was obviously an introduction to a new franchise (which with Wrath of the Titans coming out next year seems to have been successful in this case).

To be honest this was on its back foot from the off, because the original was one of my favourite films growing up, and although I did try to give it a chance I found it a very flat and unrewarding viewing experience.

Poor.
Sostie
QUOTE (Raven @ Jun 2 2011, 10:48 AM) *
Clash of the Titans (2010)

Oh dear . . .



The presence of charisma vacuum Sam Worthington doesn't help. It's almost compensated for by Mads Mikkelson
Silky
QUOTE (Raven @ Jun 2 2011, 10:48 AM) *
Clash of the Titans (2010)

Oh dear . . .

I have not seen it, but when I saw the trailer I did for a second think it was a Fallout movie.
Giant Scorpion + Liam Neeson = Fallout.
logger
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jun 2 2011, 11:14 AM) *
The presence of charisma vacuum Sam Worthington doesn't help.

I read an article that conjectured that his lack of personality was what made him so in demand as Hollywood wanted a leading man that could play something along the lines of a computer game avatar, where the audience could see themselves in movie-world adventure without too much of a stretch of imagination.
Raven
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jun 2 2011, 11:14 AM) *
The presence of charisma vacuum Sam Worthington doesn't help. It's almost compensated for by Mads Mikkelson


Is he ever (btw, I would have opted for Gemma Arterton myself!).
Hobbes
I spent ages wondering why the main voice in Call of Duty: Black Ops had a really bad American accent. Then I looked it up and realised it was Sam Worthington. Surprise melted away.

Silky's Fallout comment is amazing.
Silky
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Jun 2 2011, 12:39 PM) *
I spent ages wondering why the main voice in Call of Duty: Black Ops had a really bad American accent. Then I looked it up and realised it was Sam Worthington. Surprise melted away.

Silky's Fallout comment is amazing.

I never realised that. Well at least it had Gary Oldman too. Universal balance is restored.

And thank you. smile.gif
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Sostie @ Jun 2 2011, 11:14 AM) *
The presence of charisma vacuum Sam Worthington doesn't help. It's almost compensated for by Mads Mikkelson


I adore Mads and watch most anything he is in but have trepidation over Sam. My friend said he has the charisma of a peanut. She calls him 'the peanut'.
widowspider
QUOTE (Raven @ Jun 2 2011, 10:48 AM) *
Clash of the Titans (2010)

Oh dear . . .

The only thing I ever think of when I hear/see anything about this film is Liam Neeson going 'RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!'. Lulz.

I haven't seen it because it looks amazingly rubs.
Hobbes
QUOTE (widowspider @ Jun 2 2011, 02:51 PM) *
I haven't seen it because it looks amazingly rubs.


My exact feelings on the matter. Glad to see we still agree on some things.
Raven
I don't think Liam Neeson makes a good Zeus.

I also think he is getting far too many mystic guru/God type roles - there must be other actors who can pull off God.

Fnar.
widowspider
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Jun 2 2011, 02:31 PM) *
My exact feelings on the matter. Glad to see we still agree on some things.

What? We agree on many things!

QUOTE (Raven @ Jun 2 2011, 04:09 PM) *
I don't think Liam Neeson makes a good Zeus.

I also think he is getting far too many mystic guru/God type roles - there must be other actors who can pull off God.

Fnar.

I played god once (in a play). It was fun.
Raven
QUOTE (widowspider @ Jun 2 2011, 05:52 PM) *
I played god once ...


With the lives of many, many people!
Raven
Splice

A cautionary tale about the perils of genetic engineering and unbalanced girlfriends.

This could have been quite good, and I was kind of hoping for a bit of a thinkie film, or at worst a Species kind of romp, but it was neither.

Largely dull and uninteresting for the most part, with a large slice of absurdity and nonsense thrown in.

One to avoid.
Zoe
I would say it was unexpected; but not in a bad way. Though, if you had been expecting that, you'd be weird.

I'd disagree and say, watch 'Splice'. It's unexpected SF. I don't necessarily recommend it, but I admire its commitment to oddity. I enjoyed watching bermused cinemagoers walk out of it.

I actually thought the post-Feminist stuff was handled pretty decently.
Raven
I thought the concept was okay, it was just the execution that was poor.

It was also disappointing that it fell back on cliché sci-fi horror stereotypes sex and schlock violence.

I think it would have been more interesting to have the woman fall apart and become the monster (which she did to a point) rather than have the hybrid do so.
Zoe
*strokes chin*

Interesting... It certainly is a conversation starter, which is why I'd recommend it. I think it took me two or three days to decide whether I liked it or not.
logger
I liked it. It was funny.
Hobbes
QUOTE (widowspider @ Jun 2 2011, 05:52 PM) *
What? We agree on many things!


It was a jokey.
Raven
QUOTE (logger @ Jun 3 2011, 11:06 AM) *
I liked it. It was funny.


Yes, it was that a couple of times (the press conference, for example), but not often enough to turn it into a "It's so bad it's good" kind of film.
logger
QUOTE (Raven @ Jun 3 2011, 11:38 AM) *
Yes, it was that a couple of times (the press conference, for example), but not often enough to turn it into a "It's so bad it's good" kind of film.

I didn't think it was so bad it was funny, I thought it was intentionally funny.
Raven
I suspect it was, but part of me isn't 100% sure about that!
widowspider
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Jun 3 2011, 10:11 AM) *
It was a jokey.

Your lack of emoticons confused me. I cannot understand intention without clear spelling out of what it means using smileys! smile.gif wink.gif mellow.gif ohmy.gif
maian
X-Men: First Class

Really, really fun. By no means a great film - McAvoy is kind of bland and doesn't bring as much to Xavier as Patrick Stewart did, by trying to fit in so many characters into such a short space of time it feels too crowded and some of them get shortchanged, January Jones is wooden and annoying ('twas ever thus) - but a well-executed piece of popcorn fluff that is not too taxing. Fassbender is the highlight as Magneto since he essentially slots into the role that Wolverine used to play of the outsider trying to achieve his own goal by using other people and because he gets the most dynamic story arc. The 60s setting is also well-implemented, with The Cold War and the Cuban Missle Crisis providing a good backdrop for the origin story to play out.

My main problem with it is that it feels very flimsy and doesn't try to engage with the subtext of the source material, something that Singer's films managed quite well. It's very superficial and there isn't much heft to it, so it winds up being a bit forgettable, but it is a lot of fun in the moment and that's enough for a decent blockbuster.

There's also the requisite nods to the fans by featuring glimpses of other mutants. There's a couple of subtle ones in there, along with one completely unsubtle one that I enjoyed quite a bit.
maian
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Picture winner about three soldiers who return from the war and the struggles they face as they try to adjust to normal life. Fred (Dana Andrews) reunites with the woman he had been married to for twenty days before he shipped out and suffers from nightmares as a result of a mission gone bad; Al (the wonderful Fredric March) hopes that he will be able to return to his family and a state of normalcy, only to discover that normality for them has come to mean not having Al around; and Homer (Harold Russell) comes home to his parents and his fiancee, but with hooks for hands.

I've wanted to see this film for a few years now because I'm always interested by stories of people returning after a long absence and the tensions that emerge as a result, and because I'd heard that it handled its stories of veterans trying to reacclimatise to civilian life better than almost any other film on the subject. It did not disappoint. Director William Wyler and his cast bring life and warmth to the three central stories, examining the different problems the men face whilst also rooting them in real emotions. The film employs melodrama well, allowing it to make its points directly and forcefully, but never letting it swamp the relationships between the characters.

The two I found most affecting were Al's, because it was interesting seeing how beautifully March conveyed his sense of awkwardness as he tries to get used to the idea of being a husband and father again and the way that his experiences have clearly changed how he relates to people at the bank he works at, and Homer's, since Russell, who lost both his hands during the war, brought a real authenticity to his performance. Not merely because he was physically adept at using the hooks that Homer uses, but because he displays a willingness to be vulnerable and expose the difficulties of his real life for the purpose of his performance. The scene in which he tries to illustrate to his fiancee what their life together would be like by showing how difficult it is for him to dress himself, talking about how helpless he is, is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever seen. Being a non-actor, Russell doesn't quite have the force of Andrews or March, but his humble, quiet turn is powerful and real. It's no surprise that he won two Oscars (one competitive, one commemorative) for the role.

Sweet, earnest and achingly human, it's a genuine masterpiece.
sweetbutinsane
The Secret Garden

I think I liked this when I was young but it's a bit disappointing now. Nowhere near as good as the book (which has been a favourite of mine ever since I can remember). It felt like Mary just suddenly changed from a little brat to nice without any reason whatsoever. Also, Mrs. Medlock is an unbelievable bitch and Ben Weatherstaff is too nice.
empathy-with-beast
X-Men First Class

Man, I wish they made that Magneto Origins movie.



That's it really. The Magneto plot was very good in a kind of Boys From Brazil vein, but whilst the movie didn't exactly disappoint there was a lot of nothingness at its core. At least part of this was down to design? When was this movie set? The 1960's or today just after Topshop released a line of sixites inspired clothing. Boots and miniskirts, boots and miniskirts, that's the sixites right? Men wear suits? what was exciting about the Magneto back story is that it was set in a definable period but I felt like they hit upon the idea of it being the sixites but then were worried that that would alienate the comicbook fans and set it in the shimmery world of all X-Men films. Wouldn't X-Men meets Mad Men have been cooler.

In line with this I don't know if the cold war is as compelling a 1960's trope as some others. It might have been nicer to mix what is essentially a character driven story with something a bit more driven by people, like the civil rights movement.

Anyway the film also suffers from "too many mutants" syndrome. Especially (as is the case with the first X-Men movie) in the case of the villains. X-Men is all about choices as a film. Remember when Pyro gets all seduced over by Magneto in X-2? That was cool. everytime the camera cut to Azrael and Riptide I could just hear the Turkey in the Straw music that plays in Homer Simpsons head rattling around. I know its good to see a range of abilites but Azrael seemed to do most of the work with out their being any explanation of what the hell their problem is. Also Azrael and Beast look dreadful with the prostetics, like human beings that have been crossbred with skittles.

I also think there was a problem with Sebastian Shaw giving him exactly the same motivation as Magneto would later develop was kind of dumb and produced a line: "I agree with everything you said but you killed my mother" almost as awful as Storm's "do you know what happens to a Toad that is struck by lightening? The same thing that happens to everything else." from the first film

I enjoyed watching it, its quite good fun, but it lacks the heart it could of had.
logger
The Damned United

Alright.
Bloomeeney
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Been a couple of years since I last watched this, and forgot how bloody good it is.

And Winslett is very hot in it too!!!
Serafina_Pekkala
Skeletons

Strange, bizarre - I loved it. It is truly impossible to describe but here goes - Davies and Bennett are 'emotional processors' who provide to customers (for a fee) some kind of psychic closure from traumatic personal events. The skeletons - literally - in the closet. But accessing the emotional lives of others leads to further complications such as 'eavesdropping' for kicks and uncovering things that should remain hidden. So when they investigate a strange case of a missing husband - they meet a family of oddballs who are, weirdly, actually on the same wavelength. The 2 leads are perfect and clearly have a rapport - Ed Gaughan as wee angry mole man Davis and Andrew Buckley as the massive but kind hearted Bennett. It also features 2 of my favourite actors ever - Jason Isaacs with a massive 'tache as the sinister boss, 'The Colonel' and Danish Dogme mainstay, Paprika Steen as the frazzled mother who only cooks carbs. Small details hint a wider supernatural world (the drawn locations, the daughter and her totems) - but without spilling over into full-on magic. Which is why the film is so powerful - it is otherworldly without to many gimmicks. Critics have tried to liken this film to many things but mostly - it is very hard to compare to anything. I saw shades of The League of Gentlemen maybe (the beautifully shot landscape is very Vasey) and elements of Funny Bones deadpan. It is just one of those British movies that isn't like anything else really - such as Sir Henry at Rawlinson's End and The Wicker Man. It will endure for a long time and look forward to seeing more from the writer/director.

Changeling

I wasn't expecting much from this movie but it surprised me - even though I tend to like Clint Eastwood as a director. Angelina plays a mother of a missing child who is reunited with 'her son' - only to come to blows with the scary LAPD who are out to get her. The film has a great supporting cast including Malkovich (in alarming wig) as the sympathetic Pastor, Amy Ryan from The Wire and TV cop show regular, Jeffrey Donovan. Also - kudos due to Jason Butler Harner as a simpering killer in some very harrowing scenes. I much prefer La Jolie doing this kind of actual acting role than posing in sunglasses with guns. She is very convincing as the fierce yet fragile Mrs Collins - a woman who refuses to be a victim. She also looks very fetching in dark Twenties lipstick and bob. The script and production design are all impressive too. Apparently the film is based on a real life story although they have probably taken liberty with the narrative. A well crafted story.
maian
I love Skeletons. One of the most pleasant surprises from last year for me.

I'd forgotten that Malkovich is in Changeling. I remember an interview around the release of the film where someone, possibly Angie, said that they didn't take too many liberties with the story. It really is that odd.
Raven
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Original version, once again.

Very good, as you'd probably expect me to say, and more enjoyable to watch than the Special Edition - despite there being less changes in this film and most of them being more subtle - because you don't have the change in dialogue between Vader and the Emperor that pulls your head out of the film and into the prequels.

Again, I suspect in the future I will be watching this version again in preference to the Special Edition.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (maian @ Jun 6 2011, 11:41 AM) *
I'd forgotten that Malkovich is in Changeling. I remember an interview around the release of the film where someone, possibly Angie, said that they didn't take too many liberties with the story. It really is that odd.


Since looking - yes, I think so. Really disturbing.

The dude playing the cop is fabulous - apparently he stars in a TV series called 'Burn Notice'. I don't think I want to see it because one of the characters is described as a 'glamorous ex-IRA spy'. I think it will make me very very angry.
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