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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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It's designed to put forth my view without misrepresenting or casting aspersions on anybody else's.


Mine too. Which is why I didn't attempt to devise a specific reason why people love Scorsese, it's just my own view that I find problems in his work. It's not intended to be a conversation killer, but I'm also not sure that conversation would lead anywhere. Opinions on the director are pretty cemented on both sides.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Getting over a cough/bacterial infection, so I took a nap, and holy crap did this thread ever extend after I woke up. A few thoughts....

For the record, I'm not a fan of Scorsese's The Aviator, which is one of those rare three-hour movies that couldn't be over fast enough. Ditto for Christopher Nolan and The Prestige, which isn't a terribly long movie, just one with a moronic "big twist" (
[Reveal] Spoiler:
He had a twin brother the whole time!
).

Three movies in for Ben Affleck and four movies in for Spike Jonze, and I've enjoyed them all. In both cases, I liked their debuts best (Gone Baby Gone and Being John Malkovich), but in no way did they set my expectations too high for the films to follow. Could they slip up as they inch toward the double-digit mark? Sure, it could happen (yeah I know, some claim Affleck already did this with Argo), everyone has an off-day or a lesser work.

Also, I never took Ebert's quote about long movies that seriously. I've seen plenty of long films that might have needed a 10-minute-or-so trim but loved them in spite of that. One key thing to remember though is that the experience is far, FAR different in a theater, where you're confined to a single chair, than it is at home (where you can pause to use the bathroom or grab a snack).

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Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I remember being forced to watch The Aviator in high school, it's easily one of the most boring movies i've ever had the displeasure of seeing, it was a miracle I didn't fall asleep.

I also did not like Shutter Island one bit, for me it felt like an M Night Shyamalan film, complete with a lame and nonsensical twist ending.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:30 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
To each his own. I was surprised by how good The Aviator was after how people were talking about it, and, by contrast, I thought The Departed was a mess. And not a good mess. Sometimes movies should be a mess, because certain kinds of messiness have a certain kind of energy to them. But The Departed just feels like a jumble of elements that don't flow.

Shutter Island is a huge mess, but it's a very pulpy, old matinee serial kind of messiness. The movie is better for it.

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Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
To each his own. I was surprised by how good The Aviator was after how people were talking about it, and, by contrast, I thought The Departed was a mess. And not a good mess. Sometimes movies should be a mess, because certain kinds of messiness have a certain kind of energy to them. But The Departed just feels like a jumble of elements that don't flow.

Shutter Island is a huge mess, but it's a very pulpy, old matinee serial kind of messiness. The movie is better for it.

I found all 3 films dissapointing, though for me the Departed was the most tolerable since it actually had a few things I liked, but I can't think of anything I liked about the other two films.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Ken wrote:
To each his own. I was surprised by how good The Aviator was after how people were talking about it, and, by contrast, I thought The Departed was a mess. And not a good mess. Sometimes movies should be a mess, because certain kinds of messiness have a certain kind of energy to them. But The Departed just feels like a jumble of elements that don't flow.

Shutter Island is a huge mess, but it's a very pulpy, old matinee serial kind of messiness. The movie is better for it.

I found all 3 films dissapointing, though for me the Departed was the most tolerable since it actually had a few things I liked, but I can't think of anything I liked about the other two films.


I love The Departed, admired The Aviator mostly because Howard Hughes was a pretty good subject despite there being clear problems as to how to resolve the film (and Cate Blanchett being awful enough that they had to give her an Oscar). I can't watch Shutter Island at all. I've come around to see that Scorsese is often a great director, but sometimes, mother-of-god.

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Last edited by Syd Henderson on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I don't recall much about The Aviator. I think it passed by painlessly enough but nothing too memorable. I remember enjoying the lush period details though.

Shutter Island is not something I could have a fresh perspective on since I've read the book. Like most mysteries (especially Agatha Christie), the ending is just one of the things that is impossible to translate effectively on screen without feeling hackneyed. So I went into the movie curious how he will manage it (and why he chose this story of all things in the first place), and the answer seems to be sleight-of-hand: "Don't mind the ending yet.. just look at the craft! The psychology, the performances, and again, that craft!" He still doesn't quite get past that ending, but the supreme directorial work at hand makes it very enjoyable. Like Ken said, a very fun pulpy mess.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
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2. I don't think you should have to be an expert on Roger Ebert to understand figurative language.


I won't presume to guess which English classes you took, but there's no piece of figurative language in Ebert's quote. What you're talking about is mere inference.


It's a statement not meant to be taken literally. Hence, figurative.

Regardless, the issue isn't how the phrase fits into the English language, it's that it was used in a perfectly acceptable manner. There's no reason to get all defensive and dismissive just because you didn't initially realize the phrase wasn't meant literally.

To get back on topic, I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tonight. It's a severely flawed film, but it's so damned uplifting and inspiring that I almost don't care. Interestingly, it makes some of the same points about our society as Her, just in a much different, upbeat way. Parts are really well done, parts are not, but the end product is a deeply felt movie that's touching. A good, if imperfect, film.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
'Gravity' (Cuaron, 2013)
When was the last time you saw an example of pure cinema grace mainstream multiplexes? Cuaron's first film since Children of Men goes farther in expanding the cinematic language than most any modern mainstream movie I've ever seen, creating a maximalist film experience via minimalist means that expounds upon themes of survival and isolation in both physical and spiritual/existential terms. To complain it's plot is too simple or it's characters too underwritten is to entirely misplace emphasis on Cuaron's storytelling, which is almost entirely visual as opposed narrative based. That the film so successfully connects these elements in almost entirely visual means is a testament to his skill as a director, one of the few auteurs willing to push perceived boundaries in their work. This is the film a lot of us claimed Avatar to be in '09. When directors get the chance to make that "I want to make whatever the hell I want" film we get Avatar from Cameron, Del Toro gives us Pacific Rim, Michael Bay gives us every Michael Bay movie ever made, and from Cuaron we get Gravity. Will this up end my favorite film of 2013? Maybe, maybe not; but it sure will stand in my mind as one of the most impressive. Cool shit.

'The Wolf of Wall Street' (Scorsese, 2013)
It's not all that often a Scorsese film sparks moral debates on Reelviews (and I've been on and off here for a fuckin while now) but the debate is entirely justified. Arguments the film glorifies the amoral lifestyle of an unarguably indefensible sociopath have enough base to warrant legitimacy, but I feel they miss how subtly Scorsese tweaks his format similarly employed in Goodfellas and Casino to deliver a severely biting and complex satire on greed and excess in modern America. The argument that the film should have paid more attention to the victims of these men and women's crimes speaks more of the viewer than of Scorsese and his decision to focus on Belfort and the hedonistic Stratton Oakmont. To many of these people there were little to no consequences, Belfort continues to make money and it remains unclear whether he'll ever even come close to paying the "restitution" ordered from the courts. That the film is more of a comedy than a moralist parable speaks to Scorsese's continued bravery in his filmmaking, a bravery that has been sorely missing from his work for quite some time now. Sure, it may be too long by about twenty minutes or so, but this often sympathetic and portrait of an increasingly pathetic swindler living his own sprawling rise and fall epic that feels sadly, authentically American offers far more legitimate insight and multifaceted satirical heft then its detractors give it credit for. It also stands as one of the most acidic, painfully funny movies I've seen in a quite while; so credit where its due.

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Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:26 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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One key thing to remember though is that the experience is far, FAR different in a theater, where you're confined to a single chair, than it is at home (where you can pause to use the bathroom or grab a snack).


True. Either way bugs me, but there's a big difference.

Some of the stuff I've seen lately:

The Blob 1988. Pretty solid flick for what it is. A little cleverer than I would have expected with a nice ending. It's not a squeamish movie, but doesn't feel gratuitous either. It finds a nice balance. Perhaps Darabont's involvement is what elevates it into a good movie.

John Carter. I feel this pretty much deserved to flop the way it did. Stanton really overshot himself, it's unbelievable (really inconceivable) that this could be any director's live action debut. A textbook example for why a director needs to work up to bigger budgets, not jump into them without any practice. Someone should have spoken up and said that Taylor Kitsch wasn't worth betting on; not as a lead actor. He can't carry a minute of this movie let alone 2 hours. I didn't like the kid-vibe I got from this movie, which is the same problem I have with all of Stanton's stuff...kinda with Pixar in general. Hated the green guys, hated the dog. No edge, no darkness, no dramatic conflict really. Deserves its infamy.

Communion: Obscure Christopher Walken movie from 1989. I guess it's part of a trend of the time of "paranormal paranoia" films, which would also include Jacob's Ladder. I find both disappointing and dry. Communion simply has nowhere to go with its premise, though for a while the direction seems pretty decent enough. It relies too much on creepiness, and I didn't find it creepy.

The We and the I: Michel Gondry's latest really has its virtues. It has an organic power in the sense that its characters are poor kids who probably won't get anywhere in life. And the careers of the actors who play them probably won't go anywhere either. It feels realistic but maybe gets a little sappy toward the end. I feel I've seen movies like this before: Freedom Writers and Entre les Murs and even Attack the Block. This one was decent enough.

Quote:
When was the last time you saw an example of pure cinema grace mainstream multiplexes?


The last time was probably several scenes in Man of Steel: cutting from oil rig to ocean to classroom to drifter to school bus; Zod's announcement on TV; the part where Zod sheds his suit and rises into the air. Among others.


Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
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When was the last time you saw an example of pure cinema grace mainstream multiplexes?


The last time was probably several scenes in Man of Steel: cutting from oil rig to ocean to classroom to drifter to school bus; Zod's announcement on TV; the part where Zod sheds his suit and rises into the air. Among others.


I have yet to give Man of Steel a chance, every experience I've had with Snyder has delivered diminishing returns (a nicer way of saying I fucking hate his movies and think he's a hack), but you never know.

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Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:51 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JJoshay wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
When was the last time you saw an example of pure cinema grace mainstream multiplexes?


The last time was probably several scenes in Man of Steel: cutting from oil rig to ocean to classroom to drifter to school bus; Zod's announcement on TV; the part where Zod sheds his suit and rises into the air. Among others.


I have yet to give Man of Steel a chance, every experience I've had with Snyder has delivered diminishing returns (a nicer way of saying I fucking hate his movies and think he's a hack), but you never know.

Well I for one think you should give the film an honest shot.


Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
The Blob 1988. Pretty solid flick for what it is. A little cleverer than I would have expected with a nice ending. It's not a squeamish movie, but doesn't feel gratuitous either. It finds a nice balance. Perhaps Darabont's involvement is what elevates it into a good movie.



I revisited this last year after more than 10-15 years and was surprised at how well it was done. I have some issues with the last act, but still a pretty solid flick. I did a write-up and comparison with the original. If you are interested, you can find it in my signature link.

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Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:40 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JJoshay wrote:
'The Wolf of Wall Street' (Scorsese, 2013)


I could have watched this movie for 10 hours and not been bored...I've already seen it 3 times. 10/10


Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:18 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Frozen - When did mainstream animation become so disposable? It’s a question I couldn’t help asking myself when I was sitting through the previews in front of Disney’s latest animated effort. One by one the previews went by, each advertising a similar-looking product, filled with wisecracking anthropomorphic creatures, cheap lowbrow gags, and voiceover work from “celebrities” chosen for their name recognition rather than their talent. After awhile it started to get incredibly distressing: is all this really what passes for acceptable family entertainment these days? Things started to look up with a new Mickey Mouse short film (awkwardly titled Get A Horse!), which cleverly blends retro and modern cartoon techniques together in genuinely inventive ways. And then the main feature began, and all my fears were brushed to the side, if only for a short while. From beginning to end, Frozen is the kind of family film you see so rarely nowadays, one filled with beautiful animation, lively and engaging characters, a strong crop of musical numbers (only one of which I felt was redundant and tedious to get through), and an incredibly winning spirit. You can bemoan Disney for perhaps relying too much on their usual formula, but I think there’s something to be said for a formula that has proven itself to be timeless.

Still, it’s not like Frozen strictly binds itself to that time-worn formula anyway. In fact, the film strikes down one of the oldest tropes in the book, true love at first sight, and it finds ways to subvert tradition in other areas too. This is the film Brave could have been had it bothered with providing a compelling narrative to go along with its compelling heroine. It’s true, Frozen doesn’t completely eliminate the romance element like that flawed Pixar film, but it’s nowhere near the dominating element that drives the central characters. That would be the complicated relationship between two sisters. When was the last time that was the primary focus in an animated film? With Pixar still mired in what is now a fairly prolonged slump, it’s great to see Disney pick up the slack and show how popular animation can still be more than just assembly-line amalgamations of whatever is “hip” with the kids nowadays. Nobody is going to remember those kinds of films in future decades. Frozen, just like the other recent Disney efforts The Princess And The Frog and Tangled before it, is made to last. 9/10.

I went back in this thread to find this post, because I know you loved it. I didn't read it before since I hadn't watched it. Now that I have, I agree with everything you said. I loved, loved, loved this film. I was going to point out how the film debunks the notion of Prince Charming coming to save the Princess. As you pointed out, Brave has done this sort of thing before, and that is another film I really enjoyed, though that approached the same material in a much more darker setting.

I also loved some of the following bits:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I love Tangled, but the heartwarming feeling in that film was somewhat subdued, because I didn't buy the central romance as much as it was intended. (Though this has grown better on subsequent viewings.)

Frozen, for the most part, led us towards what was supposed to be the same sort of cliched and predictable climax, with the hero's true love saving the heroine's life. But then it completely turned that notion on its head and gave us a wonderfully heartfelt scene of true love of the sisterly kind. I absolutely loved that, and the quote: "Only true love can thaw a frozen heart." Also the fact that it is Anna's own act of true love that eventually saves her was also poignant. And the notion that true love is not only one which exists between lovers (which is the cliche), but also between sisters and in most other relationships in our life, is one I can fully get behind.

As for the plot twist with Prince Charming (or whatever his name) turning out to be the villain, I guessed it at first. When Anna hands over the Kingdom to him, I had an uneasy feeling. But then I got completely absorbed by the film, and the way they built his character, all my doubts were pushed aside. So the actual twist when it came was mildly surprising.

I also agree with you on the troll song. It was just too damn long for me. Had they stopped it in a couple of minutes, it would've been OK. But when we've just learned that Anna has been struck in her heart by some ice magic and is in grave danger, they didn't need that song to be that long. Especially when the seeds of their romance had already been sown.

And in the true vein of Disney classics of cute and cuddly characters, I completely fell in love with both Sven and Olaf.

Tangled has become sort of a TV staple for me. I rarely miss it when it is on TV. I would put Frozen in the same bracket. Frozen is my favorite animated film of the year, probably along with Monsters University. The fact that I had this urge to watch this film again immediately after it ended should tell you how much I loved this. I would give it a solid 3.5 out of 4, which is the same rating I gave for Tangled as well.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention that one of the biggest reasons why both Tangled and Frozen worked for me was the voice-acting. As Blondie pointed out, instead of just casting big-name actors, they've picked out lesser known stars (mostly from Television), and in both films, the voice-actors have done spectacular jobs. When I was watching Frozen, the thought that Anna's voice was so familiar was gnawing at me. And it hit me as soon as I saw the name on the credits. (FYI, it's Kristen Bell.)

BTW, did any of you guys stay past the credits for this one? Staying until the credits stop rolling is sort of a ritual for me (useless, I know), and this one did have a scene after the credits. It didn't add anything of value, and most people won't end up missing it, but it was the first time I felt vindicated for staying past the credits after the theater had emptied. :)

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Last edited by Balaji Sivaraman on Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:25 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
I have yet to give Man of Steel a chance, every experience I've had with Snyder has delivered diminishing returns (a nicer way of saying I fucking hate his movies and think he's a hack), but you never know.

Well I for one think you should give the film an honest shot.

I haven't watched a Superhero movie since The Dark Knight Rises, which I didn't really care for. It really doesn't feel like I've missed anything.


Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/
Highly entertaining semi-true story focusing almost solely on the excesses that weasly Wall Street stock-broker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) enjoys from his criminal bankster-style activities. DiCaprio is superb in the title role, and really captures the decadence and depravity wealth brings to some. Scorcese (as usual) expertly directs, and together they effortlessly dial the debauchery up to 11.
That said, I find it disappointing that Scorcese/DiCaprio (they share producer credit) didn't try and examine, even at a cursory level, the inner demons people like Jordan and his ilk must confront daily. Surely he can't be THAT superficial? If he really was this is not what one would call a complex character, and certainly not one worth devoting THREE hours to study. So for me the film was fun to watch, to be sure, but also VERY superficial without any meat to ponder over after the credits rolled; imo it requires about as much brain activity and works at a similar emotional level as Transformers.
8/10 (BTW The Wolf of Wall Street would not make my top 10 of 2013). Incidentally you can save yourself a lot of time watching the abridged version on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKMGhtBmJro (only partially kidding).


Last edited by nitrium on Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
The Blob 1988. Pretty solid flick for what it is. A little cleverer than I would have expected with a nice ending. It's not a squeamish movie, but doesn't feel gratuitous either. It finds a nice balance. Perhaps Darabont's involvement is what elevates it into a good movie.



I revisited this last year after more than 10-15 years and was surprised at how well it was done. I have some issues with the last act, but still a pretty solid flick. I did a write-up and comparison with the original. If you are interested, you can find it in my signature link.


In some senses, it's a perfect film. Not that it's a great film, mind you. Heavens no. But it does everything it sets out to do. So it is, in some senses, perfect

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ernest & Celestine (2013)

Doesn't do enough with the setting and its eccentricities (teeth as currency, for one), which makes it a little too simple. That said, the relationship stuff is wonderful, the world lively, and the hand-drawn animation lovely to behold. A charmer. 8/10

About Time (2013)

This is the least of the movies where Richard Curtis declares how much he loves love and life, but his usual charm and unabashed sentimentality are still in abundant. It tends to get a little too much towards the end, but the unironic way in which he uses it makes up for a lot. The chemistry of the leads is very good. The side plots with the father and sister are touching and used with the time travel effectively. Rachel McAdams' fringe (or just her presence in general) also blinds me to any other flaw the movie might have. 7.5/10


Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:29 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
All is Lost - ** out of ****

Didn't work for me. It failed to immerse me the way Gravity was able to. It's well made, great looking and Redford's charisma is undeniable. That said if Redford wins the Oscar, it'll be a career Oscar. I just didn't think there was anything special about his performance here. This movie would have worked better as a short. Too thin for a feature.


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