Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:49 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16139 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 637, 638, 639, 640, 641, 642, 643 ... 807  Next
Last Movie You Watched 
Author Message
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1710
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
The Bank Job

Begin fairly generic, before each step of the planning reveals more and more hooks and motives. The heist itself is really fun; the actors have great rapport with each other. The movie's latter half, which involves the heist's consequences, is thrilling, with the protagonists scrambling to escape many groups of people coming after them. It is also unfortunately interlaced with extreme violence sometimes, disrupting the playful tone that it kept all the way to the end. 8/10


An easy movie to forget, but it's a good one. A good Statham movie and a good heist flick. I always think of it alongside Spike Lee's Inside Man.


Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:56 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Christmas in July (1940) ***

Since I've discovered that Preston Sturges is teh best thing evahz, I recorded this one in TCM and just got around to watching it yesterday. It's definitely a cut below his best work, but even if it's a bit slight (67 minutes) it's warm and charming and with that magical Sturges touch. I'll watch another of his today. How did I wait so long before realizing how great this guy is?

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:53 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1713
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Le Corbeau

In Vichy France, a writer of poison pen letters scandalizes a town and turns a community against itself. Director Henri-Georges Cluzot intended the film to be an underhanded slam against the Vichy regime, and it worked; Cluzot was banned from making movies, a ban that was lifted following World War II. All in all, this is minor Cluzot, who was still developing his style and would go on to produce greater films.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:15 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:51 pm
Posts: 426
Location: Durham, NC
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Never got around to typing up my thoughts about a few films from July, so here we go!

Only God Forgives (2013) 2.5/4

I contributed my thoughts to a thread more focused on the film itself, but I still wanted to write a little something to post here. Long story short, I mulled over this film for a few days. Leaving the theater I was pretty much convinced that this film teetered too closely to the edge of absurdity to be anything other than a pure failure. However, Only God Forgives (surprisingly) grew on me. Refn leaves behind the emotional subtly of Drive, and even the characterization of Bronson to create a world shrouded in eerie darkness filled with red hues and constant close ups of clenching hands; where characters feel less like people and more like entities. The themes in Only God Forgives never feel profound and I’m not entirely sure if they even pan out, but I can’t deny that they had “some sort” of effect on me. So I place the shruggish crown of mediocrity upon Only God Forgives, not because it’s a middle tier, forgettable film but because its feels like a largely unrealized work. There are scenes here that are utterly baffling, yet there are others that work quite successfully. Characters such as an untouchable police lieutenant are certainly intriguing, but there is simply not much under their ultra- violent façade. Ultimately, I feel that Only God Forgives is a film that has to be looked at using hindsight; as the audience we receive a key piece of information late into the narrative that quite frankly changes the framework of our main character Julian. It’s this little piece of convenient dialogue that makes Gosling’s character slightly more complex. Of course this doesn’t save the film, but it adds a necessary layer to our main character, and makes his own hunt for “justice” all the more interesting.

Fruitvale Station (2013) 3/4

Over at the thread Fruitvale Station and Manipulation I voiced some of my concerns with this film. The praise for Fruitvale Station has been sung to the heavens, and the atmosphere for such a film has been arguably airtight. I’ll be the first one to say the acting in this film is solid, and it drives the film home. These characters retain a sense of humanity that is impossible not to fall for—as viewers we can feel their hardships and the emotion played out on screen. And perhaps it’s this raw emotion and connection to “likeable” characters that has slightly blinded viewers to the weighted approach that this film takes. I can’t honestly say that the good and bad attached to our main character feel balanced. Director Ryan Coogler uses myth to up the seemingly bright horizons for our protagonist in order to make the unjust action at the end of the film even more painful. Overall I enjoyed Fruitvale Station, but a good proportion of the film felt like wool on a hot summers day—a little too warm and consistently rubbing me the wrong way.

The Way Way Back (2013) 3/4

A fun coming of age film that strays away from drenching its narrative in formula, giving viewers a completely satisfying experience that everyone can probably appreciate in someway or another.

_________________
"I have now come to claim that satisfaction."


Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:57 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:38 pm
Posts: 258
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Jurassic Park

I haven't seen this I think since I was a teenager. All I have to say was this was about as good as I remember, Spielberg certainly knows how to direct an action sequence.

I did have some nitpicks:
-I think if I was picking out the vehicles for Jurassic Park, I would be less interested in open jeeps and sunroofs, and more interested in reinforced humvees. Speaking of reinforcing, see also: bathrooms.
-I'd also want to have ways of getting between nearby buildings that aren't readily dino accessible, like underground. My college had underground walkways simply so people wouldn't have to worry about getting wet in the rain.
-I realize that you wouldn't plan on a complete system failure, but it seems you might have some back up plans, safety protocols, etc. in case a dino or two escapes it's pens. As happens with zoos regularly. I mean, I realize you might not anticipate the raptors being able to open doors, but I would think you would have better ways of securing the buildings that rely less on the off chance that someone nearby will know how to unix and more like "push this large, well marked button here to close and lock doors".

_________________
My Blog: Queering the Closet


Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:19 pm
Profile WWW
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1418
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Monsters University

Near the end, a character said to one of our leads "Don't stop surprising me", and that is what this movie did to me. It's almost meta in retrospect, in that a movie/character that no one expects anything better based on its limitation (prequel status/unscariness) can reach deep within itself and found something deeper and enriching. I already enjoyed the movie's first two-thirds; it was not a groundbreaking framework, but still lovingly and energetically executed. There was nothing surprising there, but the amount of details they paid to the setting, humor, characters, and character dynamics were evident. Then the last act of the movie came and subverted expectation, beginning from flipping the fake-out and almost disappointing climax on its end, and went further and further from there until the credits. Especially gratifying is the moral of the movie, along the line of "Don't stop believing in yourself, but know your possible limit and adjust the expectation/path accordingly." There is more than one way to the happy ending, even if it requires a little more hard work and faith to do so. 8.8/10


Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:02 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1713
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Midnight Cowboy

A young Texan, looking to make his way as a male hustler, heads to New York. He finds hustling is hard, but strikes up a friendship with a low-level con man. Midnight Cowboy is director John Schlesinger's finest hour, and a landmark of American cinema. It has a realism and immediacy few films have, and it is anchored by the work of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (a role for which he should have won Best Actor). Voight and Hoffman are simply spellbinding; their dialogue and mannerisms project a surface toughness, but underneath both men bear heavy emotional scars. We get to know these men like few movie characters.

Midnight Cowboy is notable for being the only X-rated film to ever win Best Picture, and considering its content, was one of the few times the Academy made a bold Best Picture choice. Its script is terrific, and so is its featured song, "Everybody's Talkin'" by Harry Nilsson. Unbelievably, Nilsson's song was not nominated for an Oscar. Regardless, I recommend this film very, very highly.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:11 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thoughts on a couple films from the Criterion Eclipse collection I've been working my way through:

The X From Outer Space - This is the first film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection When Horror Came To Shochiku, a set of four films from a brief period in the 1960s when major Japanese film studio Shochiku, typically associated with more conventional fare, tried their hand at horror cinema. However, to call this film anywhere close to a work of horror would be incredibly generous. It’s more of a giant monster flick, clearly modeled in the same vein as Godzilla, only here the monster in question is a giant space chicken. But Godzilla this is definitely not; apart from some very brief talk about atomic bomb testing, there is very little in the film that approaches the melancholy social commentary of that 1954 classic. The X From Outer Space is much less serious, and clearly a work firmly grounded in the 1960s, with its kitschy soundtrack and garish, psychedelic colors.

Patience is necessary for the first 45 minutes, which is devoted mostly to a monotonous space mission to Mars and the establishment of a love triangle that’s mainly remarkable for how little consequence it carries for most of the film and how important a role it plays in the closing moments. While unable to reach the planet, the astronauts do recover an small alien lifeform to bring back to Earth, and it’s with the introduction of this creature, who quickly balloons in size to towering heights, where the film starts to pick up some goofy momentum. Regardless of the quality of the rest of the film, and it really isn’t much good, it’s a real pleasure to watch the giant chicken creature rampage around, demolishing incredibly cheesy models and casually deflecting whatever the filmmakers throw at it. Perhaps sensing that the film is best watched for campy fun, Criterion wisely included an English audio track on the DVD. Rare is the day when I’ll endorse watching a dubbed version of a film, but because the film is already close to impossible to take seriously, you might as well try to maximize your enjoyment of it as much as possible. 4/10.

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell - The second film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection When Horror Came To Shochiku. Especially when compared to the first film in the collection, the goofy The X From Outer Space, this is a much more successful attempt at horror from Shochiku, a slightly-insane mash-up of various elements from other classics of horror cinema, most noticeably The Thing From Another World, The Blob, and, of course, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. The film opens with an ominous plane trip that somehow manages to combine blood-red skies, suicidal birds, political intrigue, a slightly-effeminate hijacker, a bomb threat, and an eventual fiery crash, all in the span of about 10 minutes. After the plane crashes in the middle of nowhere, the survivors attempt to gather their wits together while waiting for a rescue crew. Meanwhile, the hijacker runs off with a hostage and stumbles upon an alien spaceship. The occupant of the ship, a gelatinous blob, takes possession of his body by opening a rift in his forehead and oozing into it, turning him into a sinister zombie vampire. The survivors are forced to fight back as the alien steadily picks them off one by one, while all the time there is a feeling of a more widespread danger lurking in the background.

As you can probably guess from that plot description, Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (or, as the Criterion liner notes reliably inform me the film’s most ardent fans call it, Vagina-Face Apocalypse) treads dangerously close to flying completely off the rails. It stays on track for a couple reasons. One is that director Hajima Sato has a deft touch in generating suspense and atmosphere; even with dated special effects and creaky performances threatening to break the mood, Sato manages to maintain a steady tone. Another is that, like most of the best horror, there is a message underneath all the gruesomeness, that humanity, instead of focusing together against an outside threat, chose to fight with each other instead, and now everyone has to bear the consequences. It’s not the most original or subtle message, but I appreciate that it’s there, and the film is not afraid to follow through on its apocalyptic scenario all the way to the end. Perhaps most importantly, despite the looming shadow of its influences, the film manages to distinguish itself from the pack, to become something more than just a collection of the best bits from other, more well-known films. Shochiku may have stumbled out of the gate with The X From Outer Space, but the studio quickly righted itself with this effort. 8/10.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:06 pm
Profile WWW
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:40 pm
Posts: 949
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pathology: a grim, super gory thriller that's super creepy especially when you remember that there are doctors out there that have god complexes. Not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Special mention has to go to Michael Weston who approaches Hannibal lecter levels of creepiness. 3/4

_________________
My movie review site:

Mighty Mike's Raging Reviews

http://mightymikesragingreviews.blogspot.com/


Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:38 pm
Profile WWW
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
moviemkr7 wrote:
Pathology: a grim, super gory thriller that's super creepy especially when you remember that there are doctors out there that have god complexes. Not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Special mention has to go to Michael Weston who approaches Hannibal lecter levels of creepiness. 3/4


Oh man I thought this was overkill to the max

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:49 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:38 pm
Posts: 258
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Star Trek - The Motion Picture

Combines elements of 2001 (long shots of stuff in space, the ending) with some episode whose name I've forgotten (the other one where a human probe melds with alien technology and goes psycho or something and causes... ZZZzzzz

_________________
My Blog: Queering the Closet


Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:01 pm
Profile WWW
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1710
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Passion

Brian De Palma's new movie is in many ways a valentine to his fans. He employs the same style that he always has, and it's well-suited to digital photography. A few things make this one stand out among De Palma's thrillers. One, it has a nice modernist vibe in its observation of how you can't get away with anything anymore, because anyone can capture you on film any time with an HD Iphone. It also shrewdly observes the current age of corporate backstabbing and the petty, immature value systems that go along with it. Two, De Palma gets some of the better performances of his career. Acting has often been a problem with De Palma, coming across as sometimes obnoxious, sometimes flat. But Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are great here. Always sharp and emotive, but they never overdo it. By contrast, I feel that Antonio Banderas and Rebecca Romjin overdid it a bit in Femme Fatale.

All the De Palma touches are here. Sweeping camera movements, pristine, geometric set pieces, seductive music, split screen, women in distress. It's like seeing an old friend again. The ending may frustrate some, but is really interesting on closer inspection. He's still in top form, and I hope he'll get to make a few more.


Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:01 am
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Passion

Brian De Palma's new movie is in many ways a valentine to his fans. He employs the same style that he always has, and it's well-suited to digital photography. A few things make this one stand out among De Palma's thrillers. One, it has a nice modernist vibe in its observation of how you can't get away with anything anymore, because anyone can capture you on film any time with an HD Iphone. It also shrewdly observes the current age of corporate backstabbing and the petty, immature value systems that go along with it. Two, De Palma gets some of the better performances of his career. Acting has often been a problem with De Palma, coming across as sometimes obnoxious, sometimes flat. But Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are great here. Always sharp and emotive, but they never overdo it. By contrast, I feel that Antonio Banderas and Rebecca Romjin overdid it a bit in Femme Fatale.

All the De Palma touches are here. Sweeping camera movements, pristine, geometric set pieces, seductive music, split screen, women in distress. It's like seeing an old friend again. The ending may frustrate some, but is really interesting on closer inspection. He's still in top form, and I hope he'll get to make a few more.


Good call on this one. I felt it took a little bit to get going, but the second half has De Palma pulling out all the stops to great effect. It felt a little like a warmup film to me, a testing of the waters to see if he still had the right touch; hopefully this isn't the last time we see him working in this mode again.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:37 am
Profile WWW
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1710
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
Good call on this one. I felt it took a little bit to get going, but the second half has De Palma pulling out all the stops to great effect. It felt a little like a warmup film to me, a testing of the waters to see if he still had the right touch; hopefully this isn't the last time we see him working in this mode again


Agreed. Perhaps he felt the abundance of style for 100% of Femme Fatale overwhelmed some people, so this time he saved it for the second half. Just let the characters chill out for a bit. The split screen sequence in Passion is awesome. Great use of Pino Donaggio there.


Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:25 am
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 622
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Turbo

My little girl wanted to see this one - so off we went.

Overall, I got better than expected. There is nothing new about the story: kid dreams of the impossible while peers deride him, a miracle happens and enables the possibility, an antagonist rises up to create tension and gum up the works.

There is a lot of effective humor in this movie that works for adults as well as children. It is a good comedy and the kids were suckers for the tension and feel good stuff too. Strangely enough, the antagonist actually provides most of the life lesson advice that might prove valuable for the children.

We saw this despite my attempts to persuade the daughter to go to Despicable Me II instead. Now I'm glad she got her way and I didn't miss out. 7/10


Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:50 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1713
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Piranha

The original, not the remake. This is a lot more serious than it should be, but there are some genuine thrills here. While I think the remake had a better idea by making the story more humorous, I give the original the edge because it isn't hampered by the use of 3D. This film is of interest to horror fans, while others likely won't care.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:54 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 935
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Lilya 4-ever (2002)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300140/
Relentlessly depressing movie about the downward spiral of a 16 year old girl who is abandoned by her parents in post-Soviet Russia. Director Lukas Moodysson seemingly perfectly captures the bleakness of the hopeless life of someone forced into poverty by circumstances beyond her control. Oksana Akinshina, who features in almost every scene, is stunning as the title character as she slowly loses her self-worth, dropping out of school and resorting to prostitution to makes ends meet... and it only goes downhill for her from there. I had previously seen two other Moodysson films (Together and Fucking Amal), and this makes me want to see more.
8.5/10.


Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:39 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Wrapping up July:

Byzantium - When it comes to the representation of vampires on the screen in the last several years, audiences have been given only a couple choices. The Twilight saga has obviously dominated theater screens, a series that offers glimpses of the vampire’s Gothic roots, but too often loses itself in tired mythology and treacly teen angst. Conversely, there are films like 30 Days Of Night and Daybreakers, which take almost the complete opposite approach, offering hard-’R’ bloodshed and vampiric forces that are closer to savage, feral animals. Byzantium, the new film from director Neil Jordon, manages to find a nice middle ground between the two sides, and in doing so injects some life into the vampire film, returning the creatures to their more romantically-charged origins while also providing an edge and some emotional weight in surprising new places.

Jordon has a history both with vampires and with the darkly fantastical, having helmed the Little Red Riding Hood reworking The Company Of Wolves in the ’80s and Interview With A Vampire in the ’90s. Those films brought a strong sexual undercurrent to their fantastical subject matter, and while there is some of that here, the focus is more on an unconventional relationship between a mother and daughter, and how the daughter, despite being 200 years old, is finally experiencing the adolescent yearning for independence. The twist is that the mother and daughter are both vampires, on the run from an ancient undead society. Jordon orchestrates everything in a calm, non-showy manner, oftentimes simply letting the spectacular quality of the images speak for themselves without a need for extensive explanation (a mountain of blood waterfalls is one of the most striking cinematic sights of the year). Still, it’s the impressive performances from Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton, as the daughter and mother, respectively, that really gives the film more emotional pull than films of this sort have typically shown. Only the finale feels a little off, with all the loose threads coming together almost too quickly, the motivations of sinister pursuers never really explained in any satisfactory way. Bizarrely, the film hasn’t been given much of a chance for success, with a release on VOD along with a very limited theatrical run. That’s unfortunate, because Byzantium is one of the better vampire films to come around in a good while, and it deserves a wider audience. 8/10.

Pieta - The normally quite-prolific South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk took a longer break than usual around the turn of the last decade. His latest film can be seen then as something of an overdue return, but the results suggest that he needs a little more time to get back in the swing of things. Lee Jeong-jin plays Gang-Do, a violent loan shark who collect to collect overdue payments from debtors. When they don’t have the money to pay, Gang-Do offers to cripple them and then collect on the insurance money later on, a prospect from which he almost seems to take delight. A complication is thrown into his lonely life with the sudden arrival of a mysterious woman, who claims to be his mother. Initially suspicious of her intentions, Gang-Do tests her intentions in a series of increasingly disturbing ways (this is the second film I’ve seen recently where the main character has a perverse maternal obsession, the other being Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives). Eventually though, he comes to accept her into his life, and her presence pushes Gang-Do down a road of forgiveness and personal redemption. For other characters though, the only thing on their mind is vengeance.

This is familiar territory in the world of South Korean cinema, perhaps best exemplified by Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, a series of films I don’t even find all that amazing, but ones that look like masterpieces in comparison to Kim’s work here. Gone is the gentle, sure hand evidenced in films like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring and 3-Iron, replaced by something more aggressive, and anonymous. The world of Pieta is an ugly one, filled with sadistic violence, eye-rolling character actions, and forced religious allegory (the central relationship between mother and son is supposed to evoke the famous Michelangelo sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus, an idea evidenced by the film’s poster). Maybe I’ve seen a little too many of these kinds of films from South Korea, and am therefore possibly a little weary of new entries, but Kim’s film doesn’t do much to dismiss the feeling that it’s late to the game. I won’t claim to be an expert on Kim’s body of work, but when I’ve finished watching his films in the past, I’ve been astounded by the originality and complete directorial command evident onscreen. After finishing Pieta, there was only a strange feeling of emptiness. 4/10.

The Conjuring - It’s not too often that a mainstream horror film will come along and claim both widespread critical and commercial approval, but such is the case with the latest effort from director James Wan, of Saw and Insidious fame. Supposedly inspired by true events, this film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the real-life paranormal investigating duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are tasked with investigating an isolated country home plagued by a possibly demonic presence. The film’s first half focuses both on detailing the back-story of the Warrens and observing the gradual escalation of terror in the country home, before bringing everything together for a second half that blends together just about every genre cliché in the book. Shadows behind doors, creepy ghost children, prolonged silences, sudden loud bangs, people being flung around rooms, demented dolls, dark basements, hidden passageways, demonic possessions. All of those are here and more, with the film borrowing liberally from a good number of horror classics (The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, and The Changeling are just a few of the films from which The Conjuring lifts riffs wholesale). Certainly Wan has assembled enough pieces together here to make an effective horror film, but does it all add up to something special in the end? My feeling is that no, it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

I suppose I should make something clear: if all you’re looking for is a workmanlike ghostly chiller, this is as acceptable a choice as you’re likely to find nowadays. My disappointment with the film stems from me going into it expecting something more substantial and original, and finding something completely dependent on recycling the best riffs from past films. The Conjuring is all surface and no depth, its only real virtue the clever orchestration of a handful of “scare” moments. Despite the constant references to classic ’70s horror cinema, the filmmakers never seem to realize that those films had some substance to go along with the scares. As a director, Wan gets the look and tone of the film right, but he doesn’t bring along anything new or interesting to make you forget that all you’re watching is a cheap imitation of what has come before. And in order for a horror film to be truly exemplary, something that can stand the test of time, it needs to have its own identity. Wan clearly has enough talent to orchestrate an effective horror film, but at this point he’s missing the imagination necessary to elevate anything above just being a barely-passable diversion. 5/10.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:34 pm
Profile WWW
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:51 pm
Posts: 426
Location: Durham, NC
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
The Conjuring - It’s not too often that a mainstream horror film will come along and claim both widespread critical and commercial approval, but such is the case with the latest effort from director James Wan, of Saw and Insidious fame. Supposedly inspired by true events, this film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the real-life paranormal investigating duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are tasked with investigating an isolated country home plagued by a possibly demonic presence. The film’s first half focuses both on detailing the back-story of the Warrens and observing the gradual escalation of terror in the country home, before bringing everything together for a second half that blends together just about every genre cliché in the book. Shadows behind doors, creepy ghost children, prolonged silences, sudden loud bangs, people being flung around rooms, demented dolls, dark basements, hidden passageways, demonic possessions. All of those are here and more, with the film borrowing liberally from a good number of horror classics (The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, and The Changeling are just a few of the films from which The Conjuring lifts riffs wholesale). Certainly Wan has assembled enough pieces together here to make an effective horror film, but does it all add up to something special in the end? My feeling is that no, it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

I suppose I should make something clear: if all you’re looking for is a workmanlike ghostly chiller, this is as acceptable a choice as you’re likely to find nowadays. My disappointment with the film stems from me going into it expecting something more substantial and original, and finding something completely dependent on recycling the best riffs from past films. The Conjuring is all surface and no depth, its only real virtue the clever orchestration of a handful of “scare” moments. Despite the constant references to classic ’70s horror cinema, the filmmakers never seem to realize that those films had some substance to go along with the scares. As a director, Wan gets the look and tone of the film right, but he doesn’t bring along anything new or interesting to make you forget that all you’re watching is a cheap imitation of what has come before. And in order for a horror film to be truly exemplary, something that can stand the test of time, it needs to have its own identity. Wan clearly has enough talent to orchestrate an effective horror film, but at this point he’s missing the imagination necessary to elevate anything above just being a barely-passable diversion. 5/10.


I can agree somewhat. I thought The Conjuring felt extremely hollow at times, however as a horror film I think its pretty successful. The film does "recycle" quite a bit from the many works in the genre, yet I thought Wan did a solid job in effectively using these old tropes to create an atmosphere that was truly chilling. Perhaps, my biggest complaint with the film was that it lacked a real human element, the stakes were high but I never really cared all that much for the Warrens or the family they were trying to protect--like you said little substance and I can agree. Ultimately, I see The Conjuring as a sort of homage or giant nod to the some of the greats in this genre, but I won't deny that it is lacking in some respects.

_________________
"I have now come to claim that satisfaction."


Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:25 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1710
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
Only the finale feels a little off, with all the loose threads coming together almost too quickly, the motivations of sinister pursuers never really explained in any satisfactory way.


From the Jordan movies I've seen so far, he's had this problem before. I love the moodiness of Byzantium. The waterfall thing is incredible, genuinely chilling for me.

Seconds

Thought it was okay, not great. Too dreary, more from the static pacing than the actual material. But the material itself has its moments. I thought Rock Hudson's visit to his wife was chillingly effective. Hudson's performance is audacious at times. It has a strong Kafkaesque layer of depression. The leading lady reminds me a bit of Catherine in Jules and Jim. A woman using a hippie mentality to cloak depression; always an effective device (Forrest Gump). But this movie rubbed me the wrong way to an extent that I couldn't fully appreciate. Much like Orson Welles' The Trial. The sub-noir dreariness seems to suck up energy a bit.

The Innocents

Haven't watched this one yet. Anyone recommend it? I hated The Haunting (1963), curious to know how this film compares to it.


Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:20 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16139 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 637, 638, 639, 640, 641, 642, 643 ... 807  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr