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December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting 
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Did an excellent double feature yesterday. I saw 12 Years a Slave before watching a theatrical screening of It's A Wonderful Life. It's A Wonderful Life was a nice pick-me-up after the incredible downer that 12 Years was.

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Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:06 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My second entry for this challenge

American Hustle: 3 Stars 1/2
This movie is pretty cool after Silver Lining Playbook, the director David O Russell comes back with another hit. The film starts very slow and then goes with mini turn and mini twist and almost half way through when Jennifer Lawrence appears is in a groove and at 3/4 when Robert De Niro shows up by then the film is in a very entertaining pace with still surprises to come. Every body was well cast and packed with good actors and an interesting 2013 newcomer (second film for Louis C.K this year). I also enjoyed the sound track of old but cool songs. If you liked Silver Lining Playbook and David O Russell direction style then you will love it!


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Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:31 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Halfway there..

Frozen (2013) - 8/10
Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy (2013) - 6.5/10
Snowpiercer (2013) - 9/10


Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:40 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Today I'll be watching the second Hunger Games film and Michel Gondrey's Is the Man Who is Tall Happy. I didn't even know that was his new film until I saw that it was coming to my local theater.

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Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:04 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 2: Out of the Furnace - 7/10

Thoughts in JB's respective topic.


Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:03 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
This Friday, I'll be seeing both AMERICAN HUSTLE and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. The day after that, I'm travelling to New York to hang with a friend for a few days and also see HER. I'll see THE WOLF OF WALL STREET on Xmas night. That should fulfill the quota of six.

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Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:18 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie #4- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Definitely a little bit disappointing. One of the greatest things about the Lord of the Rings is its emphasis on character. Everybody matters in LOTR. I don't feel the same way about The Hobbit. I wasn't emotionally invested in the fate of just about any of the characters. With that said, Smaug was incredible. 2.5/4

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Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:10 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Director: Lawrence
Grade: B

The first Hunger Games film was perfectly decent and watchable and if this one was anything similar in quality it would have been perfectly acceptable. But nooo, the people behind the camera had to go improve upon the last one. While no one would ever accuse this film of being subtle, it's very effective in its depictions of PTSD and burgeoning political revolt. You start seeing the cracks in a system that seemed flawless in its control of a population. I'm not a huge fan of cliffhanger endings, but this one didn't make me want to take a dump in the theater out of anger. It's arguable that the execution of the actual Games is recycle from the first, but the dynamics of how they survive are different and I like the idea of it basically being an All Star Game. It made me think about baseball, which I miss.

Movie: Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Director: Gondry
Grade: C

Do you ever watch a film and think, "Gee, I'm too dumb for this." That was my experience watching Gondry's latest. For those who are unaware of what this is, it's little more than a conversation between Gondry and Noam Chomsky. They talk about science and linguistics, mostly science. To make sense of the complex themes, Gondry animates their dialogue to varying effect. At times, it's visually creative and interesting. At other times, the documentary apologizes for its existence, with Gondry explaining that his poor understanding of the English language forced Chomsky to explain things that weren't necessarily relevant or an answer to the question he wanted to ask. It's an interesting experiment, but it ultimately isn't very good.

Movie: Frozen
Directors: Buck and Lee
Grade: C

I ended up watching this on Saturday, actually, due to an impromptu screening with my girlfriend, her parents, and my mom. The parents met for the first time! Hooray! Anyway, Frozen's middle tier Disney with average songs, good visuals, and average storytelling. It takes some interesting twists and puts its characters in real danger at times, but the production never escapes mediocrity. Olaf's cute, but whatever.

Movie: The Book Thief
Director: Percival
Grade: D

This film's getting a lot of attention for John Williams' score, which is hardly noteworthy even in context of the film, let alone outside of it. So that's annoying. Then there's the story, which isn't inherently bad, but since the perspective (not the narration, mind you, which is another problem) is that of a child's, we have to deal with a lot of bad child acting and trite depictions of the Holocaust. So that's annoying. I'm starting to dislike films that take place in other countries and should be in that language but are in English. Mostly. There are random instances in German, usually in the form of "nein", and it's just... why. Why, damn it. I don't know, my old manager at the movie theater I worked at said Lee Daniels' The Butler "knocked [her] off [her] feet." This film didn't come close to doing that for me, ever. I was bored, and with its level of production values, it's hard for me to be bored by something like this. Annoying.

Soooo... that's eight?

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Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:13 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie #5- Frozen

I'm a sucker for a good musical. And this one absolutely enthralled me. Some stunning musical sequences, a gripping emotional core, and a good number of laughs. It was also a visual treat. 3.5/4

My theater won't have Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, or Lone Survivor by the end of the month. And it likely won't get most of them at all. :evil: So I'll probably have to watch Anchorman to get to six theatrical viewings this month.

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Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:29 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Steven wrote:
Movie #5- Frozen

I'm a sucker for a good musical. And this one absolutely enthralled me. Some stunning musical sequences, a gripping emotional core, and a good number of laughs. It was also a visual treat. 3.5/4


Sadly I had the opposite reaction to this. The visuals, as you noted, are pretty amazing, but everything else is in Frozen is quite a major let down in my opinion. I wasn't really moved by the story. Its so difficult to become immersed in the film because each scene and musical number feels so compartmentalized, and in turn the film never harnesses the nice, organic quality of Disney's past work. In other words, the film seems to be driven solely by song, while the narrative simply lags behind. And the music? Christ. I'm not even afraid to say it--- the songs are pretty god awful. When you have lyrics like: "let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore, let it go let it go, turn my back and slam the door" it becomes hard to argue that there is strong song writing, and it kinda goes against the standard of work we come to expect from Disney, again, in my opinion.

Even with that said, its nice to see them take a different approach with the ending. Lets not even discuss the silly red herring.

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Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:38 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 3 - Anchorman 2: 7/10

Thought's in JB's thread


Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:17 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 2: Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Coen Brothers
Rating: **1/2


Took me long enough to get to movie two, and it was a fairly large disappointment. Despite being by the Coens, well shot and acted, Inside Llewyn never managed to come together as a film at all. There's a road trip with John Goodman that's at right angles to the rest of the film and never seems to make much sense, an elliptical plot for no reason I can think of, a character played by Carey Mulligan who's incredibly shrill and bitchy just because, and a lot of headscratching moments. All the pieces were in place to make a better movie, but they never came through

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Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:44 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My third entry for this challenge

Philomena 3 Stars
Inspired by the true event of a mother (played by the still on form Judy Dench) who son was taken away from her decades ago and the journalist who helped her to find him. Steve Coogan is well cast as the journalist to provide the right mix between sarcasm and seriousness of the matter (he helped with the screenplay)


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Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:35 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
JamesKunz wrote:
Movie 2: Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Coen Brothers
Rating: **1/2


Took me long enough to get to movie two, and it was a fairly large disappointment. Despite being by the Coens, well shot and acted, Inside Llewyn never managed to come together as a film at all. There's a road trip with John Goodman that's at right angles to the rest of the film and never seems to make much sense, an elliptical plot for no reason I can think of, a character played by Carey Mulligan who's incredibly shrill and bitchy just because, and a lot of headscratching moments. All the pieces were in place to make a better movie, but they never came through

Noooooooooo. I am disappoint. :(

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:47 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
JamesKunz wrote:
Movie 2: Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Coen Brothers
Rating: **1/2


Took me long enough to get to movie two, and it was a fairly large disappointment. Despite being by the Coens, well shot and acted, Inside Llewyn never managed to come together as a film at all. There's a road trip with John Goodman that's at right angles to the rest of the film and never seems to make much sense, an elliptical plot for no reason I can think of, a character played by Carey Mulligan who's incredibly shrill and bitchy just because, and a lot of headscratching moments. All the pieces were in place to make a better movie, but they never came through


Oh no. Sounds like all of my problems with O Brother, Where Art Thou

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:50 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Steven wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Movie 2: Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Coen Brothers
Rating: **1/2


Took me long enough to get to movie two, and it was a fairly large disappointment. Despite being by the Coens, well shot and acted, Inside Llewyn never managed to come together as a film at all. There's a road trip with John Goodman that's at right angles to the rest of the film and never seems to make much sense, an elliptical plot for no reason I can think of, a character played by Carey Mulligan who's incredibly shrill and bitchy just because, and a lot of headscratching moments. All the pieces were in place to make a better movie, but they never came through


Oh no. Sounds like all of my problems with O Brother, Where Art Thou

Not surprising, I haven't liked a Coen film since "No Country For Old Men".


Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:53 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 4 - Saving Mr. Banks: 9/10

Thoughts in respective JB thread


Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:13 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
I saw INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS as well and actually enjoyed it. Yeah, it's a bit rambling and unfocused (sort of like the title character), but I found the main character fairly interesting and thought the road trip stuff was pretty funny. The songs were fun too, especially the "Please Mr. Kennedy" bit they recorded in a studio. It's nowhere close to one of the year's best, but a solid 3-star movie for me.

I also feel the same way about AMERICAN HUSTLE. It's frenetically paced, tells an entertaining story and is chock-full of 70s nostalgia (fashion, music, etc.), but I don't see this as really deserving of awards. Maybe in another year, Christian Bale might get something for once again going crazy with his weight to get in character, but not in this super-crowded field.

Hoping for a great one tonight when I see HER.

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:22 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
KWRoss wrote:
I also feel the same way about AMERICAN HUSTLE. It's frenetically paced, tells an entertaining story and is chock-full of 70s nostalgia (fashion, music, etc.), but I don't see this as really deserving of awards. Maybe in another year, Christian Bale might get something for once again going crazy with his weight to get in character, but not in this super-crowded field.


Agree completely--not to mention that it never really goes off into original, uncharted waters to become something other than a sub-genre exercise.

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:51 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
HER- ***1/2

This is a fantastic movie and one of the most original stories of the year. If you thought the trailer made it seem ridiculous, never fear. There's a lot this movie has to say about how technology can isolate us from a more "real" lifestyle, but at the same time, Phoenix's character goes through all the trials and tribulations of a real relationship with his Operating System. Its the ultimate "Its complicated" relationship status. It drags a bit in the middle but rebounds with an emotionally powerful final act. And this movie's vision of a near future is really fascinating and not that far off from where we might be in ten or so years. (Side note: I wish that video game with the swearing blue alien was real. I would play it all day)

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Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:44 pm
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