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December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting 
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 5: American Hustle - 7/10

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Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:46 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 3: Philomena
Director: Stephen Frears
Rating: ***


A nice solid movie. I enjoyed watching it and I liked the way they used Steve Coogan's character and his cynical wit to dispel any notions of schmaltz.

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Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:36 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Saw American Hustle and Inside Llewyn Davis over the weekend. Found both of them enjoyable and worthwhile, the latter slightly more than the former.

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Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:10 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 4: American Hustle
Director: David O Russell
Rating: ***


David O Russell is a peculiar kind of overrated for me: I like his movies, but never to the tune of more than three stars. He makes solid, character based movies, but they never come close to greatness for me. Here might be a reason why:

According to Christian Bale much of the movie was improvised. So, during the shooting of the film he noted to David O. Russell, "You realize that this is going to change the plot greatly down track." To which the director replied, "Christian, I hate plots. I am all about characters, that's it."

As a con man movie, American Hustle is under-plotted and often poorly paced. There is no reason it needed to be 138 minutes. But as a character movie, it often thrives. Terrific performances abound. So come for the men, not the con.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:22 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
JamesKunz wrote:
Movie 4: American Hustle
Director: David O Russell
Rating: ***


David O Russell is a peculiar kind of overrated for me: I like his movies, but never to the tune of more than three stars. He makes solid, character based movies, but they never come close to greatness for me. Here might be a reason why:

According to Christian Bale much of the movie was improvised. So, during the shooting of the film he noted to David O. Russell, "You realize that this is going to change the plot greatly down track." To which the director replied, "Christian, I hate plots. I am all about characters, that's it."

As a con man movie, American Hustle is under-plotted and often poorly paced. There is no reason it needed to be 138 minutes. But as a character movie, it often thrives. Terrific performances abound. So come for the men, not the con.


I think that Russell is bringing another style and one that I personally like where he trusts his actors (well cast by him) , let them improvise and in that way they bring the best out of them in benefit of the movie. A new niche that definitely set him apart from the rest as well as helps to redeems himself from his antics from the past :-)

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Last edited by unwindfilms on Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:40 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My fourth film for this challenge:

Closed Circuit : 2 1/2 Stars
Eric Bana and Rebbeca Hall star as ex-lovers barrister and advocate in the same defence team for a very high profile terrorist. The plot was not very intriguing and with a predictable ending but the acting was fine and nice cinematography too. The film is supposed to bring awareness of the post 9/11 "big brother" attitude (a lot of CCTV cameras and special consideration in the Justice system) in England


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Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:58 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
unwindfilms wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Movie 4: American Hustle
Director: David O Russell
Rating: ***


David O Russell is a peculiar kind of overrated for me: I like his movies, but never to the tune of more than three stars. He makes solid, character based movies, but they never come close to greatness for me. Here might be a reason why:

According to Christian Bale much of the movie was improvised. So, during the shooting of the film he noted to David O. Russell, "You realize that this is going to change the plot greatly down track." To which the director replied, "Christian, I hate plots. I am all about characters, that's it."

As a con man movie, American Hustle is under-plotted and often poorly paced. There is no reason it needed to be 138 minutes. But as a character movie, it often thrives. Terrific performances abound. So come for the men, not the con.


I think that Russell is bringing another style and one that I personally like where he trusts his actors (well cast by him) , let them improvise and in that way they bring the best out of them in benefit of the movie. A new niche that definitely set him apart from the rest as well as helps to redeems himself from his antics from the past :-)


Well that's hardly a new niche. Christoper Guest and Mike Leigh have been doing this very successfully for years. The difference is that Mike Leigh's movies are all about character. A con artist movie about the Abscam Scandal has a plot.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:53 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
JamesKunz wrote:

Well that's hardly a new niche. Christoper Guest and Mike Leigh have been doing this very successfully for years. The difference is that Mike Leigh's movies are all about character. A con artist movie about the Abscam Scandal has a plot.


I have not seen any films directed by any of the mentioned above (happy to receive recommendations from you of films directed by them using this style successfully) but if is not a new niche at least Russell is really good at it plus very successful to lead the pack :-). I think that the intention with the Abscam scandal was to make entertainment rather than going in the direction of documentary as Russell explained characters over story. I agree that the film can not be categorised as the complete package but definitely I liked a little more than you did :-)

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:11 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
I found this very interesting review from Mark Hughes American Hustle Lives Up To The Hype

Just a small quote to see If I can catch your attention :-)

Quote:
Those sentiments about loving the characters for who they are, presenting them absolutely in uncompromising, bare-like-a-nerve fashion to let their emotions and motivations and drives propel the narrative in ways that will pull the viewer in and make you want to spend more time with them, are all the same approach Russell uses in American Hustle to great effect. I could’ve spent many more hours watching these people interact, living their lives, struggling and trying to find ways to connect and a path through whatever stands in their way. The story itself is engrossing, the plots and plots within plots are engaging, but it’s the characters who really demand your attention and make you pay attention.


The whole review is quite interesting in my view !

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Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:08 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 5: The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: ***1/2


Finally! After a string of 2.5 to 3 star movies, including a let down from the Coens, I celebrated Jews Go to the Movies day with The Wolf of Wall Street and it was spectacular. So full of energy and verve! Three riveting hours in the cinema. Everybody go see it. It's not perfect (occasionally too reminiscent of Scorsese's earlier works) but it's just terrific moviemaking. Kinda like Inglorious Basterds -- you're not seeing a master in precise command of his craft, you're seeing a master going balls to the wall. Favorite Scorsese movie for me since, hell, probably Casino

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Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:53 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My Fifth film for this challenge

The Railway Man 3 Stars
Based on true events, Oscar winner Colin Firth plays former WWII prisoner (Eric Lomax) who is still tormented by his POW memories and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman plays his supporting wife. Australian Director Jonathan Teplitzky (Getting Square) builds momentum for this drama for the last act to end well. Firth who in the movie is also a train enthusiast and Kidman well cast and giving on par performances with the support of Stellan Skarsgård in a story about finding mental peace.


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Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:51 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My Six movie for this challenge

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2 1/2 Stars
I have not read the book (thus not a die-hard fan) so basically I agree with James Berardinelli's review in this part:

Quote:
Special effects have always played an important role in Peter Jackson's adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's books but, with The Desolation of Smaug, the middle chapter of The Hobbit movie trilogy, they take center stage. This isn't necessarily a positive development because it comes at the expense of things many film-goers value, like character development and narrative thrust. Filmed and exhibited primarily in 3-D with lengthy computer-created action sequences, The Desolation of Smaug often looks and feels more like a video game than a motion picture. There are things to like about the second Hobbit film - the director's vision of Middle Earth is as beguiling as ever - but the bloating that was a problem with An Unexpected Journey is an even bigger issue here.

The Desolation of Smaug is too long and too visually busy to be loved by any but a die-hard fan] Special effects have always played an important role in Peter Jackson's adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's books but, with The Desolation of Smaug, the middle chapter of The Hobbit movie trilogy, they take center stage. This isn't necessarily a positive development because it comes at the expense of things many film-goers value, like character development and narrative thrust. Filmed and exhibited primarily in 3-D with lengthy computer-created action sequences, The Desolation of Smaug often looks and feels more like a video game than a motion picture. There are things to like about the second Hobbit film - the director's vision of Middle Earth is as beguiling as ever - but the bloating that was a problem with An Unexpected Journey is an even bigger issue here.

The Desolation of Smaug is too long and too visually busy to be loved by any but a die-hard fan


I would have probably wait for the BR to come out but thanks to Kunzie, I went to the cinema although I did not pay anything as I had a free ticket HaHa


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Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:18 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Unwind---you are a man of massive nuttage

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Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:29 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Movie 6: Wolf of Wall Street - 10/10

BOOOM! Done baby!

Also, thoughts on respective JB thread.


Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:30 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
JamesKunz wrote:
Unwind---you are a man of massive nuttage

Thanks for the challenge Kunzie !

Unfortunately in Australia we do not get to see

    Her
    Nebraska
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    12 Years slave
    Saving Mr Banks

Until next year :(

Cheers

PS: I might go to see Frozen this weekend with my younger daughter but she is already 18 so slim hope

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Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:29 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Yeah, I'm not gonna make it. I have only "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "American Hustle" now under my belt, and am hoping to fit "The Wolf of Wall Street" in on Monday. But no wider releases for "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Her" or (presumably) "Nebraska" here in the Twin Cities until next month. :x


Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:01 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Yeah, I'm basically putting off this whole nutting-up thing until January, when all the movies I want to see theatrically will actually be here. Otherwise there's no point.

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:30 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Ken wrote:
Yeah, I'm basically putting off this whole nutting-up thing until January, when all the movies I want to see theatrically will actually be here. Otherwise there's no point.


Where do you live again? I forget

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:00 am
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
Lansing. Specifically, one of the few houses in my neighborhood that retained power after the city got bukkaked with freezing rain.

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:11 pm
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Post Re: December 2013: The Theatrical Up-Nutting
My sixth film in theaters this month was Saving Mr. Banks, which I saw on Christmas Eve night with my family. I'll more than likely end up seeing eight in December; the plan right now is for the second Hobbit movie on Saturday and The Wolf Of Wall Street on Sunday.

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:44 pm
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