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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
I thought 2 Fast was a decent film, but I can see why others don't like it. Tokyo Drift was my least favorite in the series because the new characters and the story just weren't all that interesting, sure the racing scenes were well done, but at the time I was dissapointed by the new direction the franchise had taken(I saw TD before the fourth film came out), thankfully the fourth film put the series back on track.


I watched Tokyo Drift earlier, and I have to say I thought it was much more digestible than 2Fast. I don't really think any of these films (1-3) are interesting per se, but thats just my opinion. Plot wise, I think the new characters and storyline at least add something new to the mix.After watching the past two films I was tired of seeing Paul Walker and his amazing range of acting abilities. The story in Tokyo Drift felt slightly more grounded--it wasn't so far over the top, and didn't put the characters into extremely ludicrous situations. I'm not arguing the quality of the two films, I just didn't hate Tokyo Drift as much...which isn't really saying anything.

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:20 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I thought 2 Fast was a decent film, but I can see why others don't like it. Tokyo Drift was my least favorite in the series because the new characters and the story just weren't all that interesting, sure the racing scenes were well done, but at the time I was dissapointed by the new direction the franchise had taken(I saw TD before the fourth film came out), thankfully the fourth film put the series back on track.


I watched Tokyo Drift earlier, and I have to say I thought it was much more digestible than 2Fast. I don't really think any of these films (1-3) are interesting per se, but thats just my opinion. Plot wise, I think the new characters and storyline at least add something new to the mix.After watching the past two films I was tired of seeing Paul Walker and his amazing range of acting abilities. The story in Tokyo Drift felt slightly more grounded--it wasn't so far over the top, and didn't put the characters into extremely ludicrous situations. I'm not arguing the quality of the two films, I just didn't hate Tokyo Drift as much...which isn't really saying anything.
Walker's acting improves considerably in the fourth film, he said the hardest thing about the first two films was the slang his character used, with the fourth film he could finally relax and play Brian as more "mature" and not have to force the "slang" anymore. The high school rivalry storyline in TD was just too cheesy and ridiculous for me, and Lucas Black dosen't exactly have a lot of range as an actor IMO.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Walker's acting improves considerably in the fourth film, he said the hardest thing about the first two films was the slang his character used, with the fourth film he could finally relax and play Brian as more "mature" and not have to force the "slang" anymore. The high school rivalry storyline in TD was just too cheesy and ridiculous for me, and Lucas Black dosen't exactly have a lot of range as an actor IMO.


The high school scenes at the beginning of the film are extremely cheesy--all the films have scenes that will make a lactose intolerant individual sick to their stomachs. With that said, at least the scenes in Tokyo Drift are somewhat short lived. Acting wise, the actors in these films don't really show much range as a whole to begin with. Lucas Black was no better than Paul Walker, but I'll take a fresh piece of cardboard over a worn out one.

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
As long as I'm looking at this thread, here are some quick mini-cap reviews.

The Grey

It's hard to find little bits of joy in a hard-fought and probably futile struggle for survival. The Grey is wisely structured as a series of narrow escapes, each of which is not without its casualties, reducing an already small number of men who seem to have more issues to resolve within themselves as their numbers grow fewer. Without that underpinning, it might just be unremittingly bleak.

Superman vs. The Elite

A strong story idea that takes Superman's mission of truth and justice very seriously, though there are times when the social content isn't fitted in as carefully as it should be--particularly toward the end when the hammer really starts coming down. The mongoloid artwork is also off-putting, though the title design is pretty neat.

Room 237

Lots of interesting observations (and some bunk ones) that are unfortunately put into the service of a handful of pet theories that don't illuminate The Shining so much as illuminate the extra-curricular preoccupations of a few people who fixate upon it. The movie already has a narrative that is rich which its own layers. It doesn't need extra layers grafted on by clumsy hands.

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham does something similar to what George Lucas did with THX 1138--forges a beautiful yet strangely austere aesthetic by shooting interesting places in interesting ways. It's a fitting backdrop for the all-too-identifiable story of a college graduate who feels cut from her moorings in a time and place where everyone else seems neat, ordered, and purposeful.

The Natural

Redford is a charming but somewhat inscrutable baseball player who comes off as nothing less than a gladiator whose feats of strength shake the coliseum. The benefit of this approach is that it frees us of the mundane cynicism of stats and doping scandals and gives non-baseball fans a chance to participate in the mythical grandeur associated with the game.

Two Lovers

This portrayal of an exciting, inevitably toxic love triangle is pretty close to the knuckle for anyone who's been that guy and known these girls. You have to appreciate this kind of authenticity whenever you can get it.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

An entire movie of housekeeping chores and the broken promise of Christopher Lloyd chewing scenery as a Klingon. Bleh.

Road House

Deliriously entertaining as long as you remind yourself which head the movie's thinking with.

Sisters

Young De Palma tries his hand at a Hitchcock-style thriller. It works well in that lurid Hitchcock way, although there are some cartoonish characters and Kidder's accent takes a hot minute to get used to.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

In the book, Thompson's ever-present prose yokes the scenes of drug use and destruction with a firm hand. Tellingly, the only scenes in the film that don't feel aimless and vaguely unpleasant are the ones that play out as straight narration set to montages of surreal imagery and psychedelic music.

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Walker's acting improves considerably in the fourth film, he said the hardest thing about the first two films was the slang his character used, with the fourth film he could finally relax and play Brian as more "mature" and not have to force the "slang" anymore. The high school rivalry storyline in TD was just too cheesy and ridiculous for me, and Lucas Black dosen't exactly have a lot of range as an actor IMO.


The high school scenes at the beginning of the film are extremely cheesy--all the films have scenes that will make a lactose intolerant individual sick to their stomachs. With that said, at least the scenes in Tokyo Drift are somewhat short lived. Acting wise, the actors in these films don't really show much range as a whole to begin with. Lucas Black was no better than Paul Walker, but I'll take a fresh piece of cardboard over a worn out one.

Well like I said, he gets considerably better in the fourth film, I wouldn't call him cardbaord though, that's a term I reserve for truly awful actors like Robert Pattinson. Also you should definitely see Running Scared, It's easily Walker's best performance and it's completely different then anything he's ever done.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:51 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
As long as I'm looking at this thread, here are some quick mini-cap reviews.

The Grey

It's hard to find little bits of joy in a hard-fought and probably futile struggle for survival. The Grey is wisely structured as a series of narrow escapes, each of which is not without its casualties, reducing an already small number of men who seem to have more issues to resolve within themselves as their numbers grow fewer. Without that underpinning, it might just be unremittingly bleak.

Superman vs. The Elite

A strong story idea that takes Superman's mission of truth and justice very seriously, though there are times when the social content isn't fitted in as carefully as it should be--particularly toward the end when the hammer really starts coming down. The mongoloid artwork is also off-putting, though the title design is pretty neat.

Room 237

Lots of interesting observations (and some bunk ones) that are unfortunately put into the service of a handful of pet theories that don't illuminate The Shining so much as illuminate the extra-curricular preoccupations of a few people who fixate upon it. The movie already has a narrative that is rich which its own layers. It doesn't need extra layers grafted on by clumsy hands.

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham does something similar to what George Lucas did with THX 1138--forges a beautiful yet strangely austere aesthetic by shooting interesting places in interesting ways. It's a fitting backdrop for the all-too-identifiable story of a college graduate who feels cut from her moorings in a time and place where everyone else seems neat, ordered, and purposeful.

The Natural

Redford is a charming but somewhat inscrutable baseball player who comes off as nothing less than a gladiator whose feats of strength shake the coliseum. The benefit of this approach is that it frees us of the mundane cynicism of stats and doping scandals and gives non-baseball fans a chance to participate in the mythical grandeur associated with the game.

Two Lovers

This portrayal of an exciting, inevitably toxic love triangle is pretty close to the knuckle for anyone who's been that guy and known these girls. You have to appreciate this kind of authenticity whenever you can get it.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

An entire movie of housekeeping chores and the broken promise of Christopher Lloyd chewing scenery as a Klingon. Bleh.

Road House

Deliriously entertaining as long as you remind yourself which head the movie's thinking with.

Sisters

Young De Palma tries his hand at a Hitchcock-style thriller. It works well in that lurid Hitchcock way, although there are some cartoonish characters and Kidder's accent takes a hot minute to get used to.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

In the book, Thompson's ever-present prose yokes the scenes of drug use and destruction with a firm hand. Tellingly, the only scenes in the film that don't feel aimless and vaguely unpleasant are the ones that play out as straight narration set to montages of surreal imagery and psychedelic music.


Oh okay here are the write-ups I was looking for. Two Lovers added to queue

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Aviator (Martin Scorsese) (2004) - ImageImageImageImage

One of Scorsese's more underrated works, given greater weight because of fine performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett. Sure, it's a tad overlong, and some of the proceedings are much more interesting than others. At the same time, I thought that it did an excellent job navigating the Lincoln path of biopics by choosing to chronicle only Howard Hughes' younger days. I would have liked to see a much shorter portion of his life depicted, but the film is still captivating nonetheless. It could have done with some tighter editing and greater emotional weight, but it's still a memorable historical drama.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:52 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Well like I said, he gets considerably better in the fourth film, I wouldn't call him cardbaord though, that's a term I reserve for truly awful actors like Robert Pattinson. Also you should definitely see Running Scared, It's easily Walker's best performance and it's completely different then anything he's ever done.


I have never seen the fabled R-Pat in a film, so I can't comment. However, Paul Walker is a great example for the material that makes up boxes in my opinion, but thats just me. I'll add Running Scared to my queue!

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:42 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Well like I said, he gets considerably better in the fourth film, I wouldn't call him cardbaord though, that's a term I reserve for truly awful actors like Robert Pattinson. Also you should definitely see Running Scared, It's easily Walker's best performance and it's completely different then anything he's ever done.


I have never seen the fabled R-Pat in a film, so I can't comment. However, Paul Walker is a great example for the material that makes up boxes in my opinion, but thats just me. I'll add Running Scared to my queue!

You're better off not seeing an R-Pat film, at first I just thought the was bad because of how terrible the Twilight films themselves were, so I decided to check out his other stuff, and while Dunst and Lautner have both proven to be capable actors outside the series, i've found Pattinson is just a terrible actor in general.

Walker was pretty good in Joy Ride and Into The Blue.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sean wrote:
The Aviator (Martin Scorsese) (2004) - ImageImageImageImage

One of Scorsese's more underrated works, given greater weight because of fine performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett. Sure, it's a tad overlong, and some of the proceedings are much more interesting than others. At the same time, I thought that it did an excellent job navigating the Lincoln path of biopics by choosing to chronicle only Howard Hughes' younger days. I would have liked to see a much shorter portion of his life depicted, but the film is still captivating nonetheless. It could have done with some tighter editing and greater emotional weight, but it's still a memorable historical drama.

I dig The Aviator and suspect that it might be Scorsese's best post-Bringing Out The Dead movie. I don't think it's a personal project--I think it's a mixture of biography and... almost an adventure movie, really, in the pre-Star Wars mold.

It's not a very tight movie and it doesn't dig as deep into the character study as some of Scorsese's other work, but on balance, it has more than enough firepower for me to consider it a great movie.

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Place Beyond The Pines

A good, solid film that depicts one act of violence...and then follows the repercussions of it fifteen years into the future. It's an ambitious story, and the performances are all up to par. This film makes a tonal shift about halfway through, and it's rare for a film to do this and pull it off. This film is about two and a half hours, but it never feels like it. Worth watching.

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Antiviral - As a Phoenix resident, it's been tough the last couple of months to avoid hearing about the Jody Arias trial. Personally, I find the whole thing completely baffling, but I'm sure there are plenty out there who can't get enough of it, who feast on every sordid detail like it's some kind of rejuvenating elixir. Antiviral, the debut film from Brandon Cronenberg, son of David, is about the kinds of people who crave intimate connections with celebrity culture. It takes the idea of society's unhealthy celebrity obsession and follows it down a disturbing road, creating a grotesque yet grotesquely plausible future reality where clinics sell the diseases of celebrities to obsessive clients interested in sharing the experiences of their idols. The antihero of the film works at one of these clinics, and he takes advantage of his unique position by smuggling out celebrity diseases in his own body and selling them on the black market. This side business comes back to haunt him when he unknowingly injects a life-threatening disease into his system, leading him into a murky world of corporate conspiracy.

One of the more common labels that David Cronenberg has received over the years is that he is a cold, strangely detached filmmaker, whose films maintain a frosty tone despite their oftentimes quite warm-blooded and confrontational subject matter. I'm 100% positive I'm not the first person to say this, but the apple truly hasn't fallen too far from the tree, and this is apparent right from the opening shot of Brandon Cronenberg's film, which features the antihero standing against a solid-white background. As befits a film that deals mainly with disease and infection, the color palette has an appropriately antiseptic quality, all whites and grays, broken up only occasionally by red splashes of blood. Watching Antiviral almost feels a return to the kind of thought-provoking body horror that David Cronenberg ruled over in the early portions of his career. It's bizarre and surreal and slyly comic and frequently uncomfortable, and it isn't afraid to raise interesting ideas and questions. Time will tell if Brandon Cronenberg can do more than just follow in his father's footsteps, but for now I'll take this nice nostalgic reminder that horror can be more than just gruesome torture and apparitions with an obsession for sudden loud noises. 8/10.

Kill! - This 1968 samurai film from director Kihachi Okamoto is based off the Shugoro Yamamoto short story Peaceful Days, the same source material as Akira Kurosawa's Sanjuro. Consequently, the two films share a number of similarities, chief among them the presence of a solitary drifter who stumbles upon a conflict that provides him with a renewed sense of purpose. In this film, Tatsuya Nakadai handles the role of the drifter, disillusioned with samurai life, who finds himself assisting a small group of clan members who rebelled against their chancellor. An extra element is added into the mix with a character played by Etsushi Takahashi, who dreams of becoming a samurai and ends up on the opposing side as Nakadai's character, despite a friendship that gradually grows between them. Despite a storyline filled with betrayals and death, the film is oftentimes darkly comic. A running joke involves Takahashi's halfhearted attempts to kill Nakadai, and the different objects/people he ends up stabbing instead. The film's editing is a little odd though, hopping around between different tones with little to no rhyme or reason. One moment will be lighthearted, while the scene immediately after will be deadly serious, with little to no buffer period in between.

Even with its strange rhythm, the film holds together, in large part due to the always-brilliant Tatsuya Nakadai. As I watch more and more of his films and performances, I continue to be impressed by his range. Not many actors who could jump between the psychotic and imposing killers of Yojimbo and The Sword Of Doom to the humanist military officer of The Human Condition to the tormented burn victim of The Face Of Another, but Nakadai does it with ease. His role in this film is his chance to have a go at the same type of character that Toshiro Mifune made iconic in Yojimbo and Sanjuro. Nakadai adds his own spin to the role though, slightly aloof and slyer than Mifune's more stoic presence. He's the standout element in what is otherwise a consistent but never quite spectacular production. Still, even if Kill! doesn't rise to the level of the great samurai films, it still has enough material of interest to be worth a look, especially for budding fans of the genre. 7/10.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:53 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Aviator is one of those films that got mixed up in the "Let's Give Martin Scorsese an Oscar Already" controversy, which involved "Gangs of New York" a few years earlier, and was finally resolved with "The Departed" a couple of years later (which I do think was the best film of the year).

I think "Million Dollar Baby" was the better film, but I like "The Aviator" a lot, too. Oddly, one of the weaknesses, Cate Blanchett's imitation of Katherine Hepburn, won an Oscar, even though she's pretty bad.

At least it's a really good film. "Gangs of New York" isn't in the same league.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:49 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Urged by JamesKunz's call to manliness :lol: , I have watched one theatrical film last week and three home viewings this weekend.

Star Trek Into Darkness

My favorite blockbuster film of 2013 so far. Before this, my only exposures to the Star Trek world are The Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan, and J.J. Abrams’ 2009 prequel/reboot. I have no problem with it being heavily influenced by the superior WOK at all; it was different enough with a few twists for me not to feel like a retread (although I can see why some fans are having major problems with it). It improves upon the very good 2009 introduction, which I feel petered out a bit in the second half. Every cast member clicked, and there’s a stronger sense of team work and chemistry between the crew. I feel a lot of action scenes are more involving this time around, especially the scene where two people travel by shooting themselves through the space filled with debris. And Benedict Cumberbatch is great as the villain, which, unlike the previous film, makes the threat remain very strong and constant throughout to the end, barring a few rushed expositions that should have been more well executed. 8.5/10

Sleepless Night

Recalling Taken in a confined space, the film opens with a fast paced action scene set to propulsive score before slowing down a while for exposition: a story of two corrupted cops in over their heads when one’s son gets kidnapped to a night club which stands as a front for a criminal organization, which is a result of the cops’ actions at the beginning of the film. From the point of when we enter the night club, the film never lets up the tension until the end, and is filled with inventive action scenes and suspenseful set pieces. There are times when it gets repetitive, but the film will always jump back to the next scene and jolt my interest up again, and the lead’s quietly intense performance holds the film together to the end. The brutal fight in the club’s kitchen scene, in particular, is one of the best action scenes I have seen in quite a while, incorporating subtle martial arts with the more realistic aspects of the fight. 8/10

Side Effects

I thought in the first ten minutes that I’m going to be in trouble when the film doesn’t quite grab me, feeling cold and distant in the same way that I feel about Magic Mike or Contagion. However, the things this film has above those films are fewer characters with clearer plot and two central, superb performances: the quietly great Rooney Mara and Jude Law in a straight man role with a few unfavorable character traits. The shifts in genre can easily spiral out of control, but it’s perfect for the cold but sure hands of Steven Soderbergh, who keeps the movie in check from going too lurid or too sensationalistic. Excluding the light Ocean's films, this is the most fun I have with the versatile director. 8.5/10

The Imposter

This documentary tells the true crime story of a missing Texas boy who is found again Spain, but something is not quite right… First, I seem to be a minority in this, but I have major problems with the reenacted scenes in the film, which are distracting by going from real footages and places that are involving to having me yanked out of the film by the parts that are obviously acted out. Of course in the end this ties in with the director’s complex and layered themes about illusion and the lengths that people can go to fool themselves or others, whether it be for fake reliefs or other selfish gains. It doesn’t help me from the distracted viewing in the first half, but at least the overall story is strong enough on its own. And it’s quite a weird and disturbing story, with plenty of twists and turns, or “illusion” it may be, that have us fooled the same way as the people in the film. The latter parts especially go into some fascinating Rashomon territory. Remaining engaging throughout is the central talking head character, an enigmatic individual who can by turn be charming and warm and in the next scene be repulsive and sinister. Truth is defintely stranger than fiction. 8.7/10


Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:17 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
The Aviator is one of those films that got mixed up in the "Let's Give Martin Scorsese an Oscar Already" controversy, which involved "Gangs of New York" a few years earlier, and was finally resolved with "The Departed" a couple of years later (which I do think was the best film of the year).

I think "Million Dollar Baby" was the better film, but I like "The Aviator" a lot, too. Oddly, one of the weaknesses, Cate Blanchett's imitation of Katherine Hepburn, won an Oscar, even though she's pretty bad.

At least it's a really good film. "Gangs of New York" isn't in the same league.


Gangs of New York has moments of utter, absolute cinematic brilliance. But as a film, yeah, I don't think it's a **** film. It's better for the world and characters it creates than for the story it tells.

In 2006 I thought The Departed transcended genre, but after watching it subsequently I don't think it does. It's a solid genre exercise but not a great picture. Would by no means be my top movie of the year. However, since there is no way that Pan's Labyrinth would ever win Best Picture (though it won 3 awards which was pretty sweet) I was and am okay with The Departed winning because Letters from Iwo Jima didn't really have a shot either and Scorsese's victory meant that we wouldn't have to ever say "Best Picture winner Little Miss Sunshine."

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:55 am
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peng wrote:
Urged by JamesKunz's call to manliness :lol: , I have watched one theatrical film last week and three home viewings this weekend.


That's right Peng, THAT'S RIGHT! Reach down, give yourself a couple of tugs and smile BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT, MANLY-MAN!

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
In 2006 I thought The Departed transcended genre, but after watching it subsequently I don't think it does. It's a solid genre exercise but not a great picture. Would by no means be my top movie of the year. However, since there is no way that Pan's Labyrinth would ever win Best Picture (though it won 3 awards which was pretty sweet) I was and am okay with The Departed winning because Letters from Iwo Jima didn't really have a shot either and Scorsese's victory meant that we wouldn't have to ever say "Best Picture winner Little Miss Sunshine."


It's still my top pic of 2006. I may no longer rank it on the level of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. But it's only a small notch below. My top 3 of 2006 were:

1: The Departed
2: Children Of Men
3: Pan's Labyrinth

Of the other nominees I liked Babel although it made honorable mention for the year. Letters From Iwo Jima was overall the stronger of the two Clint Eastwood helmed Iwo Jima films. Little Mis Sunshine is a good comedy. Yet in some ways I find it to be more than a tad overpraised. I admit to being guilty of that at the time, mainly because I saw it not long after the abysmal RV. Little Miss Sunshine di dmake it on to my year-end best of list. But not near the top. As far as comedies go, both Thank You For Smoking and Borat were ahead of it. I'm grateful that we didn't end up with The QUeen as the best picture winner. If we had, the result would have been very similar to Shakespeare In Love vs Saving Private Ryan.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Jeff Wilder wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
In 2006 I thought The Departed transcended genre, but after watching it subsequently I don't think it does. It's a solid genre exercise but not a great picture. Would by no means be my top movie of the year. However, since there is no way that Pan's Labyrinth would ever win Best Picture (though it won 3 awards which was pretty sweet) I was and am okay with The Departed winning because Letters from Iwo Jima didn't really have a shot either and Scorsese's victory meant that we wouldn't have to ever say "Best Picture winner Little Miss Sunshine."


It's still my top pic of 2006. I may no longer rank it on the level of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. But it's only a small notch below. My top 3 of 2006 were:

1: The Departed
2: Children Of Men
3: Pan's Labyrinth

Of the other nominees I liked Babel although it made honorable mention for the year. Letters From Iwo Jima was overall the stronger of the two Clint Eastwood helmed Iwo Jima films. Little Mis Sunshine is a good comedy. Yet in some ways I find it to be more than a tad overpraised. I admit to being guilty of that at the time, mainly because I saw it not long after the abysmal RV. Little Miss Sunshine di dmake it on to my year-end best of list. But not near the top. As far as comedies go, both Thank You For Smoking and Borat were ahead of it. I'm grateful that we didn't end up with The QUeen as the best picture winner. If we had, the result would have been very similar to Shakespeare In Love vs Saving Private Ryan.


I just don't see greatness in The Departed. Or depth really. I didn't think Children of Men was all that spectacular either but I understand why others do. For The Departed, I don't know what others see. Jack Nicholson is ludicrously over the top, Matt Damon's characterization is lacking, and again, I can't see much beneath the service.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:51 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
In 2006 I thought The Departed transcended genre, but after watching it subsequently I don't think it does. It's a solid genre exercise but not a great picture. Would by no means be my top movie of the year. However, since there is no way that Pan's Labyrinth would ever win Best Picture (though it won 3 awards which was pretty sweet) I was and am okay with The Departed winning because Letters from Iwo Jima didn't really have a shot either and Scorsese's victory meant that we wouldn't have to ever say "Best Picture winner Little Miss Sunshine."


It's still my top pic of 2006. I may no longer rank it on the level of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. But it's only a small notch below. My top 3 of 2006 were:

1: The Departed
2: Children Of Men
3: Pan's Labyrinth

Of the other nominees I liked Babel although it made honorable mention for the year. Letters From Iwo Jima was overall the stronger of the two Clint Eastwood helmed Iwo Jima films. Little Mis Sunshine is a good comedy. Yet in some ways I find it to be more than a tad overpraised. I admit to being guilty of that at the time, mainly because I saw it not long after the abysmal RV. Little Miss Sunshine di dmake it on to my year-end best of list. But not near the top. As far as comedies go, both Thank You For Smoking and Borat were ahead of it. I'm grateful that we didn't end up with The QUeen as the best picture winner. If we had, the result would have been very similar to Shakespeare In Love vs Saving Private Ryan.


I just don't see greatness in The Departed. Or depth really. I didn't think Children of Men was all that spectacular either but I understand why others do. For The Departed, I don't know what others see. Jack Nicholson is ludicrously over the top, Matt Damon's characterization is lacking, and again, I can't see much beneath the service.
Agreed, I also don't see why so many people claim The Departed is better then Infernal Affairs, I think the story was overly simplified in the remake, also Wahlberg's performance was just plain awful.


Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Star Trek Into Darkness

Some random musings:
-Given this film's propensity for blowing things up real good, I'm surprised the consoles remained unscathed. Maybe when alt. timeline trek developed seat belts, someone decided that strapping the crew to literal dynamite was a bad idea, and installed some circuit breakers?
-The ability of the teleporters to operate in some rather specific ways (being able to beam down but not up, unless the subject kept still etc.) was... odd. It was like there was a scriptwriter somewhere controlling these things for such a purpose or something... (Actually I couldn't help but think of how technology changed on TOS so much, so that this might have been a deliberate nod by the filmmakers to how hookey TOS could be in this regard).
-So, alt. timeline Trek has long range teleporters, but is unable to detonate their cold fusion bombs remotely? Given the obvious parallels to drone warfare, this was really, really weird.
-Given that it seems likely that someone, at some point would have to go in and repair the warp drive by jumping up and down on it, why oh why would no one develop radiation proof suits and have them ready to go by the door to the warp room thingie?
-Nothing against Karl Urban as an actor, but I felt he was way too big to be playing McCoy. I recall McCoy being smaller then both Kirk and Spock, yet not only does Karl Urban tower over both of them, he looks like he's going to be replacing Tim Tebow for the Jets.

This all is nitpicking but the next ones bothered me a lot more.
-Whenever someone is having a big emotional moment or the script starts exploring some interesting philosophical theme, it's pretty much always going to be interrupted by a big explosion. I mean, the themes inherent to this particular Star Trek episode are probably more culturally and socially relevant than anything explored in previous incarnations of Star Trek, but the film undermines itself consistently by always needing to blow something every few minutes. As with the hokey plot devices, I couldn't help but think this was some kind of meta commentary on the way the mainstream media in the U.S. talks about drones or the war on terror. Drones Bad! Osama Bin Laden is dead! OH LOOK! SQUIRREL!

Since there are some interesting themes present, the characters are actually well developed so to speak, and some of the action scenes are well done, I would still give this 3 out of 4.
-Jeremy

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