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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Planes (2013)

A regurgitation of Cars to the point that my 10 year old spent much of the movie comparing the characters between the two. Still mostly entertaining and a nice lesson about friendship and cooperation among a very diverse gathering. Impressive list of name actors doing the voices (I had no idea until the final credits) for a fairly unremarkable film. 5/10


Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:32 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Heres my thing with David O. Russell--the guy is giving audiences (and critics alike) lots of things that they love, but not necessarily anything new or even slightly original. I don't want to come across as the guy who expects everything to gleam with originality, because hey "Theres nothing new under the sun" right? ... Did Silver Linings really delineate itself enough from standard formula and arc to become something really worthy of praise? I don't really think so.


I really do. As the saying goes, "the devil is in the details." What sets Silver Linings Playbook apart other than the acting--though the acting plays into this--is its authentic, warts-and-all treatment of mental disorders. All of the main characters have at least one mental disorder, diagnosed or otherwise, and the portrayals of all of them are wonderfully realistic. Your standard-issue romantic comedy doesn't feature such frank looks at human flaws.


Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gwaihir wrote:
I really do. As the saying goes, "the devil is in the details." What sets Silver Linings Playbook apart other than the acting--though the acting plays into this--is its authentic, warts-and-all treatment of mental disorders. All of the main characters have at least one mental disorder, diagnosed or otherwise, and the portrayals of all of them are wonderfully realistic. Your standard-issue romantic comedy doesn't feature such frank looks at human flaws.


Its inclusion of mental illness does "set it apart" I will definitely concede to that, although I think the authenticity of its portrayal can be argued. Our main protagonist certainly learns to control his illness quite quickly, and the message of "love conquers all" kinda leaves a semi-rotten taste in my mouth, especially dealing with such subject matter. However arguing about the overall portrayal and accuracy of mental illness in the film has been done quite a bit throughout the forum so I don't want to re-hash anything--I take it as a much lighter approach, and I'm ok with that, but, again, I question its complete accuracy.

Again let me point out that while the film does include a "look" into mental illness, it does use stock formula and follows a very typical arc. Take the mental illness aspect out, and your left with a standard romance.

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Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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Our main protagonist certainly learns to control his illness quite quickly, and the message of "love conquers all" kinda leaves a semi-rotten taste in my mouth


They mention how he starts taking his medication like he's supposed to. Never underestimate the power of the right pharmaceutical to be a 90% cure for some people.


Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
They mention how he starts taking his medication like he's supposed to. Never underestimate the power of the right pharmaceutical to be a 90% cure for some people.


Thats fair, but the film doesn't really convey "the medicine" as being a big influence on Pat's changed behavior. Instead by the end of the third act the film practically says, "Hey, Pat and Tiffany's dance contest win, coupled with their passionate love for one another, is enough to subdue their psychological illnesses." Of course Pat's road to recovery is more complex (I use that word very loosely), but the ending just ties things up a little too neatly and sweetly in my opinion.

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Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Well, Pat's "Farewell to Arms" rant works fairly well as the film's mission statement, and imo Russell doesn't tone down the severity of what the characters are going through as much as he looks as it optimistically. In the end, what they have will never go away, but in the moment that they finally find another that understands and shares it with, it just feels that way, especially considering that the movie is told from Pat's p.o.v. (bookended by his voice-over).

The movie is also personal to Russell, with Pat and De Niro's character almost stand-ins for his son and him. I think that explains a bit with the director's choice on Pat's rant and the last act's tone.


Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Well, Pat's "Farewell to Arms" rant works fairly well as the film's mission statement, and imo Russell doesn't tone down the severity of what the characters are going through as much as he looks as it optimistically. In the end, what they have will never go away, but in the moment that they finally find another that understands and shares it with, it just feels that way, especially considering that the movie is told from Pat's p.o.v. (bookended by his voice-over).

The movie is also personal to Russell, with Pat and De Niro's character almost stand-ins for his son and him. I think that explains a bit with the director's choice on Pat's rant and the last act's tone.


Eh, I think Russell blatantly tones things down a bit by using screwball humor, which is fine, but it does effect the tone somewhat.

I can't fully remember Pat's rant concerning his completion of a "Farewell to Arms" but I remember the gist, and I don't think that such a statement or scene excuses typicality. Looking back at the ending and how it neatly ties everything together--I don't have a problem with their "love" per se, I just kinda take issue with how its used to convey the sense that everything is fine now. For me it Hollywoodizes things a bit too much, but thats just my opinion.

Note: I don't want to come across as bashing the film. I certainly enjoyed it, but I don't think its problem free by a long shot.

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Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Enemy Mine

This Dennis Quaid sci-fi flick is definitely compulsively watchable. Not knowing what kind of movie it was going to be, I found the story to be unpredictable and it became something that I didn't expect at all when I turned it on. It's basically just a western set in space. It's as much a White man/Indian man story as Dances with Wolves or anything else. It feels designed to appeal to families and is very wholesome, though it does barely have an edge. Wolfgang Petersen ensures that the splendiferous widescreen and landscapes hold up pretty well. Despite being a little vanilla (though no moreso than any Star Trek), I enjoyed it quite a bit.


Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I liked Silver Linings Playbook well enough, but the idea that it is a serious look at mental illness is laughable.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
I liked Silver Linings Playbook well enough, but the idea that it is a serious look at mental illness is laughable.


His movies are really just serious looks at acting and actors. He's maybe the purest American actor's director as of now. He deliberately chooses material which would be dry as sandpaper if the actors weren't channeling their wilder sides. In that sense, his movies live up to the hype. Hustle's performances are genuinely thought-provoking.


Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:26 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Remember the Night (1940)

Weird at first to see Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in a straight-up romance after their twisted affair in Double Indemnity. Well, relatively straight-up, since she meets him, a prosecuting attorney, after getting caught shoplifting. This Preston Sturges-written film is warm, nostalgic, very Christmas-y, and best of all, follows through on the drama it has set up honestly. 8/10

Blackfish (2013)

This documentary manages to chill me more than most horror films this year. It's not graphic, but since the film's premise all but guarantees that things will go wrong, the build-up (and knowing that all this happened for real) makes every footage like watching a car crash in slow motion. I had to pause during the one with the perfectly calm trainer to collect myself. The abuse done to the orcas is also disturbing and heartbreaking, especially one mother's wail as she is seeking for her calf that's been taken away. 7.5/10


Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:55 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
Our main protagonist certainly learns to control his illness quite quickly, and the message of "love conquers all" kinda leaves a semi-rotten taste in my mouth


They mention how he starts taking his medication like he's supposed to. Never underestimate the power of the right pharmaceutical to be a 90% cure for some people.


That's not really true for bipolar disorder though. It's an ongoing struggle for people that suffer it (I mean, the severity varies significantly from person to person, but it's shown to be a pretty big issue in the movie). I've seen quite a few people with bipolar disorder express dismay over how the movie basically forgets about Cooper's bipolar disorder after he starts taking his medication.

And hey, I'll add my 2c and say that I really liked the movie up until the last half hour or so. But that ending was gross. I don't think it needed a dark ending, it could still be really positive, but I feel like it needed to acknowledge that the problems everyone was dealing with couldn't be so easily dealt with.


Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
AJR wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
Our main protagonist certainly learns to control his illness quite quickly, and the message of "love conquers all" kinda leaves a semi-rotten taste in my mouth


They mention how he starts taking his medication like he's supposed to. Never underestimate the power of the right pharmaceutical to be a 90% cure for some people.


That's not really true for bipolar disorder though. It's an ongoing struggle for people that suffer it (I mean, the severity varies significantly from person to person, but it's shown to be a pretty big issue in the movie). I've seen quite a few people with bipolar disorder express dismay over how the movie basically forgets about Cooper's bipolar disorder after he starts taking his medication.

And hey, I'll add my 2c and say that I really liked the movie up until the last half hour or so. But that ending was gross. I don't think it needed a dark ending, it could still be really positive, but I feel like it needed to acknowledge that the problems everyone was dealing with couldn't be so easily dealt with.


Ex-fucking-actly

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

About on par with with the theatrical version. The best parts of the film for me tend to be the downtime or character moments, so I like the addition to The Shire in the charming, magical first act a lot. On the other hand, it doesn't really solve the bloated feeling, and it has maybe the cringiest scene in the entire series: the dwarves breaking into a merry song at the Rivendell dinner. Other than that, it still has pretty much the same strength and weakness: the "adventure" stuff often meandering but the quieter scenes almost approaching the original series in grandeur. Bilbo in the Shire, the council meeting with four great actors, and the Riddles in the Dark are all great stuff. The most disappointing thing about this edition, though, is that Bilbo's arc still feels rushed and sidelined, and his "conflict" with Thorin still seems sudden and underdeveloped. 7/10


Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:30 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
American Hustle (2013) 3/4

I want to start off by saying that I enjoyed American Hustle quite a bit. Good acting and nice hair--what more could anyone ask for? Ok, thats done. Heres my thing with David O. Russell--the guy is giving audiences (and critics alike) lots of things that they love, but not necessarily anything new or even slightly original. I don't want to come across as the guy who expects everything to gleam with originality, because hey "Theres nothing new under the sun" right? Well I guess thats arguable, but with O'Russel the quote seems to embody the breadth of his most recent work. Did The Fighter give us anything that Rocky or Raging Bull didn't? Did Silver Linings really delineate itself enough from standard formula and arc to become something really worthy of praise? I don't really think so. Of course this isn't to say that the aforementioned films aren't competently made or even fairly good for that matter, because I believe they are to some extent. But I just can't jump on a bandwagon that praises a film that isn't really anything other than a sort of genre/sub-genre exercise.


The main thing about Russell and many of his contemporaries (Paul T Anderson, Richard Linklater and even Tarantino) is that they're less innovators and more great at taking well-worn material and making it new. They don't just slavishly copy, they try to make it their own. While they draw on different influences, they all have similar sensibilities in their approach.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024519/
Well-acted Belgian drama about the unraveling of a marriage after their daughter (and only child) succumbs to leukemia. This latter point is not a spoiler and is established in the opening shot. Indeed the story is very much focused on the relationship of the parents and the daughter is almost used as a MacGuffin. Thematically it is nearly identical to Blue Valentine, and imo almost as good. Extensive use is made of flashbacks, and the story is told in a non-linear fashion (relatively easy to follow). The film is in Flemish and as a native speaker of Dutch it took a while to get into the dialect (fortunately it had English subtitles). A minor niggle I had was the numerous Bluegrass songs (the parents are in a Bluegrass band) which I found a bit grating. For lovers of hard-hitting drama this is nonetheless highly recommended.
8/10.


Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:27 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Change Up (2011)

A kind of well-meaning but too snarky and ultimately wasteful coming-of-age comedy.

Although i may yet consent to being Olivier Wilde's dog, or slave, or bathroom mirror in the next life

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 3 1/2 Stars
In our work Christmas lunch , one of my colleagues was telling us that his son was being told by one of his friends in School that Santa Claus does not exist so he was asking what was the best age to tell the truth lol I told him to tell his son that his friend is in Santa's naughty list ;-). Anyway, this anecdote gave me a good excuse to watch for first time the 1947 version of this film and I loved it!
We have the Myer Christmas pageant herewhich is similar (in smaller way) than the Macy's parade in New York where Santa Claus goes around the City to finish in the big department store to get pictures with kids and receive their gift list, well as you probably know in this movie the real Santa shows up lol. Liked Edmund Gween acting as Santa and I always have a biased eye for Maureen O'Hara :mrgreen: . Good film to see in this time of the year

Merry Christmas!

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Die Hard = A+

Merry Christmas!

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Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
Die Hard = A+

Merry Christmas!


I would give that movie an A+ if

...they realized that continually taking the action out of the tower was a bad idea
...they realized that taking the action out of the tower is a REALLY bad idea if you're going to focus on stupid, stupid characters
...every black character was heavily rewritten

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Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:24 am
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