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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Awf Hand wrote:
World War Z is a first person shooter where we follow the main character Gerry through a series of levels and exposition on his mission to save the world from a zombie infection.

We start out with a driving level -save all the members of your family. Extra points for hitting zombies; penalty points for hitting regular people. Look for vehicle upgrades and be sure to sure for tools or weapons that might be useful in fighting zombies. Next we have a city street run followed by a grocery store grab-a-thon, avoid those zombies and protect your family. A brief pop-up in the corner of your screen informs you that you have to make your way to the top of that building over there. Again, protect the family and even gain a member as we make our way to the chopper and more exposition/mission assignment on a ship at sea. (Now your family is safe and you will head to the solo missions.) Then it's off to destinations far and wide with a variety of shoot-em-up levels before our big mission showdown at a giant laboratory, crawling with (you guessed it!) zombies. They're clever and fast so watch out and good luck on your mission!!

Oh, you mean it's a movie and I don't get to play it?! In that case it sucks.
1/4 for cool action sequences.

When I first read this, all I saw were the words "World War Z" and "Gerry." I then tried to imagine a world where Gus Van Sant directed World War Z. It'd basically be like Gerry, except with a slow-ass zombie chasing a slow-ass Brad Pitt through a radiated desert. Maybe at one point Brad Pitt mutters, "No don't," to himself.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Victim (1961) - The third film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Basil Dearden’s London Underground. Out of all the films in the collection, this is the one that might hold the most significance, at least from a historical standpoint. Released in 1961, the film directly tackles the personal anxieties of closeted homosexuals during a time when the very admission of homosexuality in England could bring about not just serious personal repercussions, but legal ones as well. At the center of the drama is barrister Melville Farr, who becomes wrapped up in a blackmail scheme that threatens both his future and the futures of many other gay men across the city. Farr is played by Dirk Bogarde, in what was a very personal role. As a gay man in real life, he faced the same kind of social and professional alienation as his character in the film, and like Farr, he was willing to take an open stance at the cost of his reputation and livelihood. Victim was one of the most high-profile releases at the time to openly status the status quo in this regard. It garnered a good deal of controversy at the time, but only six years later the status quo changed for the better with the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967, which decriminalized homosexuality in England.

If Victim had a narrative that matched its sociopolitical ambitions, then the results could have been extraordinary. As it stands, the film shares both the strengths and the weaknesses of Dearden’s earlier film Sapphire, which also used the outlines of the mystery/procedural genre for the purpose of social commentary, in that case race relations in late 1950s London. In both films, the central mystery is never as involving as the questions that are raised around the margins. When the reveal of who is behind everything finally comes around, it really doesn’t register as all that important; the culprit could have been anybody and the impact would have been the same. Victim is at its most compelling when examining the relationship between Farr and his wife, played by Sylvia Syms, and how his admissions change the nature of their marriage. This aspect is only given a handful of scenes though, and you get the feeling that Dearden might have been better served to dispense with the genre elements entirely and place his focus squarely on the human drama. It’s something of a disappointment that the film itself is never as consistent or involving as the details behind its making, but as a document of an important period in human rights history, the film remains valuable. 7/10.

All Night Long (1962) - The fourth and last film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Basil Dearden’s London Underground is a modern reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Othello, played out over one night in an early 1960s New York jazz club. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of musician Aurelius Rex (Paul Harris) and singer Delia Lane (Marti Stevens), wealthy music promoter Rod Hamilton (Richard Attenborough) sets up an elaborate party at his club. The evening promises to be a happy one, but the scheming band drummer Johnny Cousins (a delightful, weasely Patrick McGoohan) has plans to break the couple apart for his own personal gain. In the previous three films in the collection, Basil Dearden used more traditional genre elements to tackle some of the more weighty social issues of the time. With this film, however, the approach is somewhat different; the closest it comes to any kind of sociopolitical statement is in its completely casual and loving depiction of two interracial relationships. Especially after the strong focus in Dearden’s Sapphire on racial tensions in London, it’s remarkable how little is made of that topic in All Night Long.

Because the film’s subject matter is a little looser, the opportunity is there for Dearden to have some fun with his direction. The jazz club setting, from which the action never leaves, is loud and full of energy, and Dearden nicely balances the darker aspects of Johnny Cousins’ manipulations with several spirited musical performances from the likes of Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Tubby Hayes, among many other jazz greats of the time. And occasionally, these two elements will converge together to great effect, most memorably in a tension-filled drum solo from McGoohan’s Johnny Cousins and when Stevens’ Delia Lane is finally coaxed into singing to the party guests. It’s all quite good fun, and while All Night Long might not be the most emblematic of Basil Dearden’s social conscience, it might be the film that best showcases his skills as a director. Even though this is the lightest of the four films in the Eclipse collection, it’s the one I ended up enjoying the most. 8/10.

Pleasures Of The Flesh - This is the first film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties, a set of five films from Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, referred to on the back of the Criterion package as the “Godard of the East.” The two filmmakers are similar in that they both led the charge of 1960s New Wave filmmaking in their respective countries and their approaches combined experiments in genre fiction with strong political overtones. However, they each bring enough of their own sensibilities to their output that a simple comparison between them doesn’t hold much water. For one, the omnipresent archness you pervades so much of Godard is nowhere to be seen with Oshima (at least in the films of his I’ve seen), and that includes this seedy tale of a heartsick tutor resorting to desperate actions in his search for meaningful female companionship. Katsuo Nakamura plays Atsushi, desperately in love with one of his pupils, so much so that he commits murder for her. Yet his feelings are left unreciprocated, and the woman goes on to marry another. Shortly after this happens, a mysterious businessman shows up to confront Atsushi on his actions. Instead of turning Atsushi in, however, he offers him a deal: safeguard 30,000 yen that the businessman embezzled from his company until he gets out of prison, and in turn he will ignore Atsushi’s crimes. Atsushi is forced to agree, but once the businessman is caught and sent away, he decides to spend all of the money in one year, and at the end of that year he will end his life.

Over the course of that year, still devastated by the dismissal from his supposed true love, Atsushi offers money to a series of women, who accept his offerings but who are unwilling to grant the love that he so desperately seeks. In this way, Oshima subverts the usual romanticism of the gangster cruising down the path to oblivion with his woman in tow. Atsushi makes for a surprisingly pathetic protagonist, one who operates throughout the film on the assumption he can buy love through money and reckless acts of supposed affection. The nature of this main character allows Oshima to turn the film into something of a strange feminist statement, an examination of man’s misguided mentality to view women as objects of pleasure and steadfast devotion. That’s not the kind of subtext you’d usually find in a noir-influenced crime story, but it demonstrates Oshima’s willingness to challenge conventions and offer new takes on established genres. Not bad for a filmmaker making his first independent production after breaking away from the studio system. 8/10.


Thanks for the Victim thoughts. You have convinced me (I was on the fence) to add it to my Q

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thanks for the Victim thoughts. You have convinced me (I was on the fence) to add it to my Q


Cool. It's certainly worth watching, especially because of its historical importance. It just falls a little short of being a classic.

The last two films I saw in September:

Iron Man 3 - It’s been tough for me to shake the feeling of diminishing returns in the last few years regarding superhero films. Because of that feeling, I decided early on in 2013 to skip seeing new films of that sort in theaters. Iron Man 3 was the first casualty, but it wasn’t the toughest decision to make; after the disappointment that was Iron Man 2, which just felt like everyone going through the motions, I had very little interest in another entry in the franchise. A couple factors intrigued me enough to catch up with this new one at home though. The first was the choice of Shane Black, an action movie veteran best known for his work on the Lethal Weapon series and the excellent comic noir Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, to work behind the camera. The second was Robert Downey Jr. who, despite looking extremely disinterested in the second film, still has a unique star charisma, something that can’t be said about many of the other actors currently working in the Marvel universe. The idiosyncrasies these two men bring to the table do elevate Iron Man 3 above its uninvolving predecessor, but still not enough to match the highs of the first film in the series.

Like most superhero films these days, Iron Man 3 overstays its welcome. 130 minutes can be an endurance test no matter what kind of film you’re watching, and if there isn’t enough compelling material, the long runtime can feel like an eternity. Black tries his best to lend some spark to the production, and the moments when his voice breaks through the homogenous superhero wall are the best the film has to offer. You can see examples of this in the conversations between Tony Stark and a smart-alecky kid, the two of them gleefully exchanging barbed remarks back and forth. Or in the buddy cop banter between Downey and Don Cheadle. Or in the reveal of a sinister character’s true nature at the film’s midway point. I wish there were more moments like these, especially that last example, which felt to me like it was thrown in to intentionally ruffle the feathers of the comic book community. But because this is a new film in a big blockbuster franchise, there are certain boxes that need to be checked off. So we get perennial overactor Guy Pearce hamming it up in an otherwise fairly bland villain role. We get a bizarre group of supersoldiers that seem like they’ve walked in from the X-Men universe (yes, I know the film takes elements from the Extremis story arc in the comics, but this feels like a case where what worked on the page didn’t translate effectively to the screen). We get the usual finale where everything gets to blow up real good. I understand why all of this is necessary, but at a certain point the behemoth of obligatory elements overwhelms all the odd little quirks I find myself drawn to the most. 5/10.

World War Z - Probably best to get this out of the way right at the beginning: anyone expecting this 2013 film from director Marc Forster to remain faithful to its source material is bound to be disappointed. Apart from the name and the globetrotting nature of the narrative, there is not much here that ties directly back to Max Brooks' 2006 novel. That's certainly a disappointment, as World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a landmark in zombie fiction that could have inspired one of the more ambitious film productions in the genre's history. While the film certainly has ambition, the results are more of a mixed bag. Still, considering all the talk leading up to the film's release of serious production problems and extensive reshoots, it's something of a miracle it has anything going for it whatsoever.

Nobody is going to mistake this for the smoothest narrative ever constructed, but it's far from being a situation akin to The Invasion, where all the excessive studio tinkering was painfully obvious in the final release. With that said, the film does have an odd structure, beginning with large-scale spectacle and the most high-energy moments, and then gradually becoming more and more intimate as it moves along, with the final stretch taking place entirely in the zombie-infested hallways of a Wales medical center. This isn't the worst thing in the world to happen, as Marc Forster still isn't the surest hand when it comes to staging large-scale action. The "epic" moments here are more successful than Forster's last attempt at big-budget spectacle, the middling, oftentimes incoherent James Bond entry Quantum Of Solace, but it is something of a relief when the film moves away from mountains/waves of CGI zombies to a series of more low-key setpieces.

Studio meddling is most noticeable in relation to the film's 'PG-13' rating, a decision that completely strips the film of any kind of blood or viscera. Just on intensity alone, World War Z feels like an 'R' rated film, but through the use of some extremely awkward editing, all the gruesome details magically exist outside of the frame. A 'PG-13' zombie film in this day and age is an odd creation, especially with the popularity of AMC's The Walking Dead series demonstrating that audiences can handle the blood and gore that is typically requisite for the genre. I'm starting to realize I've spent a good deal of time focusing on how the film's production troubles inform what shows up onscreen. The truth is that, despite all the off-camera issues, World War Z somehow still manages to be a perfectly acceptable, workmanlike zombie thriller, which is something to be admired given the circumstances. It's not something I can see having much long-term appeal though, and it's unfortunate a genre-defining work of literary zombie fiction couldn't inspire a film of similar impact and value. 6/10.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re: World War Z

Since the PG-13 rating was already brought up, is the Unrated Version any better?

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
Re: World War Z

Since the PG-13 rating was already brought up, is the Unrated Version any better?

It certainly looks that way, quite a lot was cut to get the rating down, here's a comparison between the theatrical and unrated versions:
http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=594947


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Re: World War Z

Since the PG-13 rating was already brought up, is the Unrated Version any better?

It certainly looks that way, quite a lot was cut to get the rating down, here's a comparison between the theatrical and unrated versions:
http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=594947


Wow, those are some substantial differences. Great link!

The version I rented from Redbox was definitely the PG-13 one. Not sure if the Unrated version can be rented anywhere, but if you have any interest in watching it, I'd try to track one down. Can't say it would be worth a purchase, but it looks like it definitely gives more bite to scenes that were otherwise quite muted in the cut version (shame about the CGI blood though).

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I watched the unrated version and didn't feel it strayed too far from PG-13 mindframe much, except the hand scene.


Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Re: World War Z

Since the PG-13 rating was already brought up, is the Unrated Version any better?

It certainly looks that way, quite a lot was cut to get the rating down, here's a comparison between the theatrical and unrated versions:
http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=594947


Wow, those are some substantial differences. Great link!

The version I rented from Redbox was definitely the PG-13 one. Not sure if the Unrated version can be rented anywhere, but if you have any interest in watching it, I'd try to track one down. Can't say it would be worth a purchase, but it looks like it definitely gives more bite to scenes that were otherwise quite muted in the cut version (shame about the CGI blood though).

I think Family Video has the unrated version, you also might want to check your local library, mine has the unrated version so i'll definitely be seeing it ASAP.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
So the unrated version would make it a more intense video game to watch someone else play?

Yay. :roll:

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rush (2013)

I'm really liking the Warrior route to sport movies: developing both sides of the competitors equally to gain more tension and unpredictability. The car action in the races is excellent and exciting. While the drama outsides the races is often be blunt and unsubtle, the performances carry it a long way, as well as being a method to build the larger-than-life legends of the two men. Chris Hemsworth is very good, if slightly burdened with a rushed characterization, but Daniel Bruhl is the nomination-worthy standout. His encompassing performance turned what could be a villain personality into a hugely sympathetic figure without softening his rough edges. 8.5/10

Pacific Rim (2013)

I regretted not seeing this in theater (I was burnt out by explosion films, but this would have been the perfect antidote). The beautiful, refreshing visual is pitched halfway between photo-realism and colorful animation, appropriate for a film that teeters between controlled enthusiasm and just plain ridiculousness. It oversteps that a few times, in the form of slightly painful characters (the scientists and Chuck Hansen) and a long running time that could have been trimmed by about 10 minutes. Overall though, it is very infectious and executed with style, with a care for details and involving protagonists. Its lovingly gleeful Japanese anime root is also a huge bonus for me. 7.5/10


Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Awf Hand wrote:
So the unrated version would make it a more intense video game to watch someone else play?

Yay. :roll:

Eh, I don't really see the video game resemblance with World War Z.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Awf Hand wrote:
So the unrated version would make it a more intense video game to watch someone else play?

Yay. :roll:

Eh, I don't really see the video game resemblance with World War Z.


I like World War Z a lot but I definitely see the video game resemblance. You know how Brad Pitt goes from one country to another, it's kind of like a video game, one level after another.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
*Spoiler warning: some brief comments on the film's ending*

Gravity - Out of all the many lasting images that have come from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, none is perhaps quite as mysterious or provocative as the star child that closes out the film, the not-fully-formed being floating in embryonic space above the blue Earth. That idea of space as an almost-amniotic world is evoked again in the new film from Alfonso Cuarón, his first since the 2006 dystopian parable Children Of Men. Of course, now that I’ve raised the specter of that 1968 behemoth of science fiction, I find myself feeling the need to backpedal a little bit. At least at first glance, Gravity is more akin to something like Apollo 13, only stripped down to the bare essentials, a story of human survival set against the backdrop of an endless black expanse, with one woman fighting nearly insurmountable odds to stay alive. But there is a metaphorical quality to the journey Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan Stone takes through the film. A past tragedy in her life has broken her spirit, and her ordeal results in a kind of a spiritual rebirth. It’s a subtext suggested in the fetal position Bullock takes in a brief respite from danger. And in the umbilical cord that connects Bullock and George Clooney through the early sections (cords seem to be a constant motif). And in the cries of a baby over a communications link. And finally in the closing moments, when Bullock emerges from darkness into light, crawls to solid ground, and eventually rises to stand up on two legs and walk forward. The lasting impression most will have from Gravity will likely be more visceral than cerebral, but in my mind this subtext dispels the notion that the film only functions on the level of technical spectacle.

Having said all that though, as far as technical spectacles go, this is certainly one of the best to come around in awhile. As someone who usually has a large aversion toward anything too reliant on CGI effects work, I was surprised how easy it was for me to relax into the digital setting that Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have created. A reason for that might be the 13-minute opening shot, one of the very few sequences in film this year to give me chills down my spine, not really because of anything related to plot or character, but simply because of the graceful elegance of its orchestration. It’s a terrific way to acclimate the viewer into the film’s world. The rest of the drama might never quite reach the same heights as that opening sequence, but the disconnect that can often come with films of this sort was never a problem. I’ve seen the film in theaters twice now, the second time mainly because I couldn’t shake the feeling I hadn’t actually seen the 3d experience everyone was going crazy over the first time (the theater sold me a ticket to a 3d screening, but didn’t tack on the extra surcharge , and so I was paranoid the theater had pulled a fast one on me). Turns out they did, because when I went to a different theater on the second viewing, the 3d had a much more noticeable effect. Nevertheless, I feel like the idea that 3d is an essential part of this film’s success is complete nonsense. Gravity will still work without the extra dimension and when it leaves cinema screens to play in smaller settings, because gimmicky promotions and a larger screen size are not as important here as the remarkable craftsmanship and passionate, human storytelling on display. 8/10.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
*Spoiler warning: some brief comments on the film's ending*

Gravity - Out of all the many lasting images that have come from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, none is perhaps quite as mysterious or provocative as the star child that closes out the film, the not-fully-formed being floating in embryonic space above the blue Earth. That idea of space as an almost-amniotic world is evoked again in the new film from Alfonso Cuarón, his first since the 2006 dystopian parable Children Of Men. Of course, now that I’ve raised the specter of that 1968 behemoth of science fiction, I find myself feeling the need to backpedal a little bit. At least at first glance, Gravity is more akin to something like Apollo 13, only stripped down to the bare essentials, a story of human survival set against the backdrop of an endless black expanse, with one woman fighting nearly insurmountable odds to stay alive. But there is a metaphorical quality to the journey Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan Stone takes through the film. A past tragedy in her life has broken her spirit, and her ordeal results in a kind of a spiritual rebirth. It’s a subtext suggested in the fetal position Bullock takes in a brief respite from danger. And in the umbilical cord that connects Bullock and George Clooney through the early sections (cords seem to be a constant motif). And in the cries of a baby over a communications link. And finally in the closing moments, when Bullock emerges from darkness into light, crawls to solid ground, and eventually rises to stand up on two legs and walk forward. The lasting impression most will have from Gravity will likely be more visceral than cerebral, but in my mind this subtext dispels the notion that the film only functions on the level of technical spectacle.

Having said all that though, as far as technical spectacles go, this is certainly one of the best to come around in awhile. As someone who usually has a large aversion toward anything too reliant on CGI effects work, I was surprised how easy it was for me to relax into the digital setting that Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have created. A reason for that might be the 13-minute opening shot, one of the very few sequences in film this year to give me chills down my spine, not really because of anything related to plot or character, but simply because of the graceful elegance of its orchestration. It’s a terrific way to acclimate the viewer into the film’s world. The rest of the drama might never quite reach the same heights as that opening sequence, but the disconnect that can often come with films of this sort was never a problem. I’ve seen the film in theaters twice now, the second time mainly because I couldn’t shake the feeling I hadn’t actually seen the 3d experience everyone was going crazy over the first time (the theater sold me a ticket to a 3d screening, but didn’t tack on the extra surcharge , and so I was paranoid the theater had pulled a fast one on me). Turns out they did, because when I went to a different theater on the second viewing, the 3d had a much more noticeable effect. Nevertheless, I feel like the idea that 3d is an essential part of this film’s success is complete nonsense. Gravity will still work without the extra dimension and when it leaves cinema screens to play in smaller settings, because gimmicky promotions and a larger screen size are not as important here as the remarkable craftsmanship and passionate, human storytelling on display. 8/10.


Blonde, great write up. Always look forward to hearing your thoughts on films.

I kinda got the feeling that it was also heavily commenting on the process of grief. Regarding how Bullock's character is so far away from the "world" and is in this empty void (space) trying to "get back."

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Last edited by JackBurns on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Love Exposure

I may be one of the few who would even think of sitting down to watch a four-hour Japanese movie, so here goes...

Summing up the plot of Love Exposure is difficult to say the least. It contains Catholic guilt, sexual perversion, dark humor, compelling drama, bloody horror, two love triangles, mental illness, cross-dressing, a religious cult, martial arts...and I'm sure I missed something. In short, a teenager, in rebellion against his Catholic upbringing, falls in with a couple of hooligans and puts his talents to use taking upskirt pictures of girls in his high school. But that only scratches the surface. There's also the teen's man-hating stepsister, another teen who is a devious cult leader, and a priest who experiences a Scorseseian conflict of faith.

And that still doesn't sum it up. Love Exposure is sometimes dramatically intense, sometimes horrific, sometimes very funny, and sometimes completely incoherent. But it's never boring.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Blonde, great write up. Always look forward to hearing your thoughts on films.

I kinda got the feeling that it was also heavily commenting on the process of grief. Regarding how Bullock's character is so far away from the "world" and is in this empty void (space) trying to "get back."


Thanks! The feeling is mutual. Good call on the grieving angle too; I definitely agree that's a strong part of the film.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Dead Again (1991)
Private detective Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh) takes on the case of an amnesiac woman (Emma Thompson). After he puts an ad in a newspaper, a hypnotist (Derek Jacobi) shows up on his doorstep and a session reveals that the woman and Church are linked to the infamous 1949 murder of Margaret Strauss (Thompson again) by her husband, expatriate German composer Roman Strauss (Branagh again).
This is a mystery movie as well as a pychological thriller in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, whose movies are referenced in a very smart way without ever copying any scenes or paying obvious homage. Like many mystery movies, ‘Dead Again’ hinges on a rather preposterous premise - hypnosis and reincarnation - but that’s fine with me, because the film is very well written and I didnj’t see the one or two twists coming. Branagh has a lot of fun with the material and injects a healthy dose of humour throughout. His direction is confident and not afraid of complicated shots, which are never showy and always effective. As can probably be expected of an actor-director, who is primarily known for his Shakespeare-related work, the acting is excellent by everyone involved (forgot to mention Andy Garcia in a supporting role). Overall, I found this movie delightful.8/10

A Simple Plan (1998)
Hank (Bill Paxton), a regular family man, his dim-witted brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and unemployed “town drunk” Lou (Brent Briscoe) stumble upon a crashed plane containing a bag with millions of dollars in cash. They plan to keep their find a strict secret and to split up the money once it is safe to do so, but only after agreeing that Hank, who considers himself the most reliable of the three, keeps the money safe for them. This simple plan unravels immediately when the trustworthy Hank informs his cunning wife (Bridget Fonda) about it.
Sam Raimi’s edgy thriller has been filmed in snowy landscapes in the American Midwest, which invites comparison to ‘Fargo’, although the similarities don’t go much further. ‘A Simple Plan’ follows a fairly straightforward plot, in which Hank, Jacob and Lou make stupid mistakes, take rash actions and ultimately find themselves in a downward spiral of greed and murder. The general outline of the story will be familiar for anybody who has seen a number of heist movies, which often have third acts similar to the whole of ‘A Simple Plan’. Indeed, I found it a bit predictable how things go from bad to worse for the characters and how every apparent solution to a problem just creates another, bigger problem for them. That being said, the fine details of the plot are not predictable at all and the movie is more interested in characters than plot anyway. This is a good thing, because in order to enjoy this type of movie, you have to identify with the characters, who are always engaging. (Alternatively, these types of films can work when you actively hate the characters and enjoy it when they get their inevitable comeuppence, as in ‘Very Bad Things’.) The excellent acting by everyone involved helped me to do so, although I think that it was a rubbish decision to give Billy Bob Thornton’s character an exagerrated “simpleton look” (glasses fixed with sellotape, buckteeth, funny non-haircut). Due to the few reservations I have about this movie, I don’t consider it a complete success, but it is still a good film. 7/10

Side Effects (2013)
After her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison, Emily (Rooney Mara) becomes clinically depressed and attempts to commit suicide. In hospital, she refuses stationary treatment but agrees to regularly see psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) who hasn’t met a condition yet which couldn’t be treated with prescription drugs. After consultation with Emily’s former psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones), he prescribes the new drug Ablixa, which has unfortunate side effects.
Director Steven Soderbergh has claimed that this would be his last theatrically released movie and, if this should indeed be the case, ‘Side Effects’ is an odd choice to end your career with: It is a fine and well-made psychological thriller, but not a particularly noteworthy one and “just” a genre movie. Until about halfway through the movie, it promises to be something more and to examine depression as well as to make statements regarding the ubiquitous use of drugs in psychiatric treatments. Then, an event occurs which calls a lot of certainties of the first half of the film into question and the movie becomes a more conventional thriller. It still kept me interested because of some ambiguities (which are impossible to discuss without massive spoilers), although I was also annoyed by certain implausibilities, which are addressed by the movie (and, consequently, pointed out to the audience) without ever being explained or resolved. Ultimately, I liked ‘Side Effects’ as a genre piece but it could have been better. 7/10


Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:48 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Well, I did check out World War Z and it was better than I expected, considering what I've read here and around the web. I didn't have very high expectations, but I thought that it had a very intense and relentless pace, overall. Some bizarre visuals, even though most were shown in trailers. Anyway, I still enjoyed most of it, was at the edge of my seat most of the time, and even jumped a few times. Unfortunately, for all the intensity I thought the film delivered through most of its run, I thought the supposedly climatic scene at the WHO wasn't that thrilling, and it felt that the film ended with a whimper. Grade: Probably a B

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Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:

A Simple Plan (1998)
Hank (Bill Paxton), a regular family man, his dim-witted brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and unemployed “town drunk” Lou (Brent Briscoe) stumble upon a crashed plane containing a bag with millions of dollars in cash. They plan to keep their find a strict secret and to split up the money once it is safe to do so, but only after agreeing that Hank, who considers himself the most reliable of the three, keeps the money safe for them. This simple plan unravels immediately when the trustworthy Hank informs his cunning wife (Bridget Fonda) about it.
Sam Raimi’s edgy thriller has been filmed in snowy landscapes in the American Midwest, which invites comparison to ‘Fargo’, although the similarities don’t go much further. ‘A Simple Plan’ follows a fairly straightforward plot, in which Hank, Jacob and Lou make stupid mistakes, take rash actions and ultimately find themselves in a downward spiral of greed and murder. The general outline of the story will be familiar for anybody who has seen a number of heist movies, which often have third acts similar to the whole of ‘A Simple Plan’. Indeed, I found it a bit predictable how things go from bad to worse for the characters and how every apparent solution to a problem just creates another, bigger problem for them. That being said, the fine details of the plot are not predictable at all and the movie is more interested in characters than plot anyway. This is a good thing, because in order to enjoy this type of movie, you have to identify with the characters, who are always engaging. (Alternatively, these types of films can work when you actively hate the characters and enjoy it when they get their inevitable comeuppence, as in ‘Very Bad Things’.) The excellent acting by everyone involved helped me to do so, although I think that it was a rubbish decision to give Billy Bob Thornton’s character an exagerrated “simpleton look” (glasses fixed with sellotape, buckteeth, funny non-haircut). Due to the few reservations I have about this movie, I don’t consider it a complete success, but it is still a good film. 7/10


Oh I think this one is much better than this. The characters make mistakes, but they're not stupid mistakes. Each action they take (with the possible exception of Brent Briscoe's impulsive character) is fully plausible, if not defensible, from the mindset of the characters. Further, predictable? Come on. I mean, other than the general "This probably won't end well" feeling, the movie charts its own path. The moment in which

[spoiler=]We find out exactly which side Billy Bob Thornton is on and they record Brent Briscoe [spoiler]

is an absolutely terrific, perfectly pitched, utterly unpredictable twist that I love every single time.

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Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Unke wrote:

A Simple Plan (1998)
Hank (Bill Paxton), a regular family man, his dim-witted brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and unemployed “town drunk” Lou (Brent Briscoe) stumble upon a crashed plane containing a bag with millions of dollars in cash. They plan to keep their find a strict secret and to split up the money once it is safe to do so, but only after agreeing that Hank, who considers himself the most reliable of the three, keeps the money safe for them. This simple plan unravels immediately when the trustworthy Hank informs his cunning wife (Bridget Fonda) about it.
Sam Raimi’s edgy thriller has been filmed in snowy landscapes in the American Midwest, which invites comparison to ‘Fargo’, although the similarities don’t go much further. ‘A Simple Plan’ follows a fairly straightforward plot, in which Hank, Jacob and Lou make stupid mistakes, take rash actions and ultimately find themselves in a downward spiral of greed and murder. The general outline of the story will be familiar for anybody who has seen a number of heist movies, which often have third acts similar to the whole of ‘A Simple Plan’. Indeed, I found it a bit predictable how things go from bad to worse for the characters and how every apparent solution to a problem just creates another, bigger problem for them. That being said, the fine details of the plot are not predictable at all and the movie is more interested in characters than plot anyway. This is a good thing, because in order to enjoy this type of movie, you have to identify with the characters, who are always engaging. (Alternatively, these types of films can work when you actively hate the characters and enjoy it when they get their inevitable comeuppence, as in ‘Very Bad Things’.) The excellent acting by everyone involved helped me to do so, although I think that it was a rubbish decision to give Billy Bob Thornton’s character an exagerrated “simpleton look” (glasses fixed with sellotape, buckteeth, funny non-haircut). Due to the few reservations I have about this movie, I don’t consider it a complete success, but it is still a good film. 7/10


Oh I think this one is much better than this. The characters make mistakes, but they're not stupid mistakes. Each action they take (with the possible exception of Brent Briscoe's impulsive character) is fully plausible, if not defensible, from the mindset of the characters. Further, predictable? Come on. I mean, other than the general "This probably won't end well" feeling, the movie charts its own path. The moment in which

[spoiler=]We find out exactly which side Billy Bob Thornton is on and they record Brent Briscoe [spoiler]

is an absolutely terrific, perfectly pitched, utterly unpredictable twist that I love every single time.


I agree. This movie was a masterpiece. It was as suspenseful as it was tragic.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:16 am
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