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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Its effect is really startling this time. I feel like I must not have been mature enough when first watched it. The central conflict is about people foolishly trying to engineer by science the complexity that is memory and love. The film works on a similar level by jumbling the narrative up in Kaufman's brilliant concept and Gondry's breathless visual, and all those mechanic and structure only allow its message about human's profundity of experience to feel more effective and aching. For once, Kaufman's clever and inventive writing is fully backed up by the characters and emotional story, and it's really, really great. 9.5/10


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Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
12 Years a Slave (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024544/
Like many of the more high-brow films, this film only just opened this weekend here in NZ. 12 Years a Slave seems to strive to be the Schindler's List of Slavery and largely succeeds - inhuman and monstrous atrocities committed toward fellow man, intermingled with sparks of hope from sympathisers from unexpected quarters, culminating in a semi-uplifting/bitter-sweet ending. The opening stirring orchestral music immediately screams "Oscar Bait", and nothing that happens afterwards really mitigates that sentiment.

I read on numerous forums that the production of this film and its positive buzz is largely a result of the US's ongoing "white guilt" with regard to its past. Seriously, I'd never heard that term before and find it hard to believe a sizable portion of a demographic would maintain guilt over something their ANCESTORS did that long ago. As a non-American I have no idea if it holds any truth whatsoever, but it is however perhaps semi-noteworthy that 80% of the production team is indeed white (Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad, Tessa Ross, Bianca Stigter), with John Ridley and Steve McQueen the only exceptions. Contrast this with Schindler's List, which was evidently made without any "German guilt" money (indeed, how many Holocaust movies have been financed by Germany/Germans?). The assumption here is that producers only have an interest in creating something like this (and viewers only champion it) if they feel guilty about the subject some reason - something that is probably not true generally (it could be made to inform, for example). On the other hand, maybe they made it purely for profit and/or accolades... too cynical?

Anyway, back to the actual film. Visual are top notch, and it's beautifully shot. Performances were likewise mostly superb, with the exception of Brad Pitt whose appearance I found incredibly jarring and distracting - his anti-slavery preaching also rang strangely artificial for some reason. In contrast, Chiwetel Ejiofor was imo genuinely excellent (and fully deserves the Best Actor nod), despite having to often deliver (along with others) somewhat hammy dialogue that sounded like (and might have worked better on) a stage production - e.g. "I survive! I will not fall into despair! I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!" or "My back is thick with scars for protesting my freedom!" etc. All-in-all, 12 Years a Slave is powerful stuff (and will be a deserving Best Picture Oscar winner), but I can't help but think that Roots (that I coincidentally rewatched just two years ago) pretty much covered all of this territory back in 1977 and delivered the same message just as powerfully and more comprehensively.
7.5/10.


Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
I read on numerous forums that the production of this film and its positive buzz is largely a result of the US's ongoing "white guilt" with regard to its past. Seriously, I'd never heard that term before and find it hard to believe a sizable portion of a demographic would maintain guilt over something their ANCESTORS did that long ago.

"White guilt", if the phenomenon you're talking about can be called that, stays with us because the problems caused by slavery did not simply vanish the moment that slavery was outlawed.

For the United States, the end of slavery and the events that grew from it--Jim Crow laws, for example--are relatively recent events on the historical timeline. Example: my parents were in grade school at the time of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This was the man who is largely credited, among other things, for ending the commonplace terrorism of southern whites against southern blacks. Consider the implications of that: southern whites could lynch southern blacks for the most innocuous of offenses and suffer little consequence for it in my parents' lifetime.

In a much more general sense, the ways of our ancestors stay with us in ways that aren't readily apparent. Cultural values have a way of trickling down, purely for the fact that you were raised by your parents, who were raised by their parents, who were raised by their parents, and so forth. Especially if you live in or near a community where your family has a history of living.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fanny and Alexander in the three hour theatrical version. The title is odd in that Fanny's name isn't even mentioned for the first hour of the movie, and she's a minor character compared with Alexander. It took me a while to figure out which girl she was.

I had a problem watching it because I hated the Lutheran bishop who became their stepfather from almost his first appearance and I was skeptical that Alexander's mother would marry him in the first place, especially when he set the condition that she cut off all her former contacts, and her kids do the same. The actor's effective in creating one of the slimier villains in movies, but it's hard to watch him, and it was always a relief when the movie left his austere home to Alexander's grandmother's house or the Jewish shop where the kids take refuge. These places are full of life and color and I loved the people who inhabited them.

One thing that alarmed me: The grandmother's house is lit with a mixture of incandescent lights, lamps and candles. (The movie is set in 1907-8 when electric lighting was coming in.) The first hour is set on Christmas, and all the lights on Christmas trees are candles, and at one point one of the trees is moved with the candles lit. This is after someone walks down a set of stairs carrying a flaming bowl. Times have changed.

It's also a little alarming when the maid Maj gets pregnant, because the actress also played Darth Vader's mother.

This is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that won four Oscars, for Foreign Language Film, Cinematography, Art/Set Direction and Costume Design and richly deserved all four. It seems slightly long at three hours, and the TV version is five hours. I'm docking it a bit for that my difficulty getting through the scenes with the bishop, so 8 of 10 seems about right.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Fanny and Alexander in the three hour theatrical version. The title is odd in that Fanny's name isn't even mentioned for the first hour of the movie, and she's a minor character compared with Alexander. It took me a while to figure out which girl she was.

I had a problem watching it because I hated the Lutheran bishop who became their stepfather from almost his first appearance and I was skeptical that Alexander's mother would marry him in the first place, especially when he set the condition that she cut off all her former contacts, and her kids do the same. The actor's effective in creating one of the slimier villains in movies, but it's hard to watch him, and it was always a relief when the movie left his austere home to Alexander's grandmother's house or the Jewish shop where the kids take refuge. These places are full of life and color and I loved the people who inhabited them.

One thing that alarmed me: The grandmother's house is lit with a mixture of incandescent lights, lamps and candles. (The movie is set in 1907-8 when electric lighting was coming in.) The first hour is set on Christmas, and all the lights on Christmas trees are candles, and at one point one of the trees is moved with the candles lit. This is after someone walks down a set of stairs carrying a flaming bowl. Times have changed.


It's also a little alarming when the maid Maj gets pregnant, because the actress also played Darth Vader's mother.

This is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that won four Oscars, for Foreign Language Film, Cinematography, Art/Set Direction and Costume Design and richly deserved all four. It seems slightly long at three hours, and the TV version is five hours. I'm docking it a bit for that my difficulty getting through the scenes with the bishop, so 8 of 10 seems about right.


The magic was also a bit odd

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I just watched "The Body Snatcher"(1945). An excellent thriller/horror movie with an impressive performance by Boris Karloff.
Today's directors should learn a lesson or two from those Val Lewton gems, full of atmosphere and tension and with almost non-existent blood and gore.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Wolf of Wall Street Pretty good film with some wonderful performances and an interesting story. I don't think it was the masterpiece that most people hold it to be, but I enjoyed it. Leonardo DiCaprio just killed it. The way he delivered Belfort's speeches was excellent. Magnetic. Kudos to him. Grade: B+

John Grisham's The Rainmaker I had seen this once back in the day, but didn't remember much. Despite a slight, cheap-ish aura over it, the film is pretty solid with some good performances. The roles are too cookie-cutter (good guys vs. bad guys), but it's an enjoyable film. Grade: B or B-

Source Code Caught this on TV and had to watch it again. This is the kind of film that with every viewing, you get more drawn into it. An intriguing premise delivered perfectly. Some spotty acting and dialogue here and there, but overall, a great film. Love it. Grade: A

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:29 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
[
Source Code Caught this on TV and had to watch it again. This is the kind of film that with every viewing, you get more drawn into it. An intriguing premise delivered perfectly. Some spotty acting and dialogue here and there, but overall, a great film. Love it. Grade: A


I would have liked this so much more if it had ended about 10 minutes earlier

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
[
Source Code Caught this on TV and had to watch it again. This is the kind of film that with every viewing, you get more drawn into it. An intriguing premise delivered perfectly. Some spotty acting and dialogue here and there, but overall, a great film. Love it. Grade: A


I would have liked this so much more if it had ended about 10 minutes earlier


Fair enough, but the last 10 minutes are really what blows it all open. It's what takes the story out of the source code and into a whole different level of quantum physics.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Her - “A Spike Jonze Love Story” is such a seemingly simple but strangely disarming pronouncement. Spike Jonze directing a love story? There has to be some kind of catch, right? This is after all a guy who is probably still most known for his iconic, endlessly inventive 1990s music videos and as a co-creator of Jackass. His career as a feature filmmaker has yielded two trips down the rabbit hole that is the mind of Charlie Kaufmann, and an achingly melancholic adaptation of a classic children’s story. You hear the film’s premise, a man falls in love with his operating system, and you’re still left unsure as to how this is going to play. So what does Her ultimately end up being? First off, a genuine love story. But also a fascinating “what if?” scenario that actually carries with it an air of strange plausibility. An examination on the nature of relationships and the universal desire for feeling and connection. A satirical look on the contradictory nature of the modern/future technological world, more interconnected than ever before but also more alienated than ever before. A prospective glimpse at that seemingly inevitable and uneasy moment sometime in the near future when artificial intelligence takes on a life of its own and moves into a new realm of understanding humanity is unable to comprehend. And wonderful in just about every way imaginable.

The worry would be for the film to collapse under the weight of its many layers, but Her never feels like an unwieldy mish-mash of ideas all vying for equal attention. Even considering the handful of moments of brash comedy, there’s a lightness to Jonze’s filmmaking here that keeps everything in focus, never letting the larger statements overwhelm the more personal elements. Take for example the vision of the near-future. Jonze could have easily played up various exaggerations for comic effect. Instead he holds back and creates a realistic portrait of what the years to come could conceivably look like. In part because of that light touch, the performances really shine; Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson never strike a false note, and Amy Adams nails her low-key but important supporting role. All put together, you end up with something really special. I’ve seen the film twice now in the theaters. The first time, I knew it was one of the year’s best films, but a mostly unreceptive audience (who would break into awkward laughter at the most inappropriate of moments) left me with the need to return to it again. The second time, everything clicked. Her feels like the film from 2013, the one to which I’ll gladly return over and over again in the years to come. 10/10.

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Last edited by Blonde Almond on Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:20 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Creature From the Black Lagoon

This wasn't too bad, but it's a little too cheesy and cliche to be taken entirely seriously in this day and age. The creature effects (or should that be costume effects) are actually pretty good for the time period. Also, I don't know the director's sexuality but... the woman only has one cheesecake scene, and it was necessary for the plot, while the two guys who kept going scuba diving spend a lot of time running around above on the surface with their shirts off, or unbuttoned, even when it wasn't necessary. Also, they end up fighting/wrestling each other with their shirts off just because. Odd, but not something I would complain about.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
[
Source Code Caught this on TV and had to watch it again. This is the kind of film that with every viewing, you get more drawn into it. An intriguing premise delivered perfectly. Some spotty acting and dialogue here and there, but overall, a great film. Love it. Grade: A


I would have liked this so much more if it had ended about 10 minutes earlier


Fair enough, but the last 10 minutes are really what blows it all open. It's what takes the story out of the source code and into a whole different level of quantum physics.

Agreed, I don't really get the issues peopel have with the last 10 minutes, it made sense to me.


Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:32 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Thief12 wrote:


Fair enough, but the last 10 minutes are really what blows it all open. It's what takes the story out of the source code and into a whole different level of quantum physics.

Agreed, I don't really get the issues peopel have with the last 10 minutes, it made sense to me.


Because the last ten minutes take away the carefully constructed rules the film had set up, and they take away what would have been a fittingly sad ending and make it a less fitting happy ending.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I didn't have a problem with the ending. It was clear throughout that the scientists didn't really understand the implications of their project.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Thief12 wrote:


Fair enough, but the last 10 minutes are really what blows it all open. It's what takes the story out of the source code and into a whole different level of quantum physics.

Agreed, I don't really get the issues peopel have with the last 10 minutes, it made sense to me.


Because the last ten minutes take away the carefully constructed rules the film had set up, and they take away what would have been a fittingly sad ending and make it a less fitting happy ending.


But the rules were never clear to begin with. Even the doctor and Goodwin acknowledge that they are treading unknown territory with their experiment. IMO, the ending makes it all the more interesting because its taking the premise out of the enclosed box that the scientists had thought about and into deeper, more intriguing grounds. Its what Colter keeps insisting on throughout the whole film "Why do I have to follow this path, when I want to follow this other path?". The ending raises a lot more questions about fate and free-will than if it had ended before.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
[
Source Code Caught this on TV and had to watch it again. This is the kind of film that with every viewing, you get more drawn into it. An intriguing premise delivered perfectly. Some spotty acting and dialogue here and there, but overall, a great film. Love it. Grade: A


I would have liked this so much more if it had ended about 10 minutes earlier


Agreed. The scene where time stopped was so beautiful.. it actually almost had me in tears. That should have been the end I think.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I would've been pissed if the film ended there, that would've struck me as an incredibly lazy and half-assed cop-out. The film wasn't throwing out it's own rules, at least that's not the impression I got, like Thief said, the ending raised some interesting questions that would not have come up otherwise.


Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hellraiser

An adaptation of Clive Barker's novel The Hellbound Heart, this is a decent horror film that manages to balance tension and icky effects for most of the film. The plot is handled well, considering Barker's material doesn't translate well to the screen usually. Only at the end does it drop the ball a bit, when it ventures into standard monster movie territory. But of the most part, this is one of the better cult films of the 80s.

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Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:


But the rules were never clear to begin with. Even the doctor and Goodwin acknowledge that they are treading unknown territory with their experiment. IMO, the ending makes it all the more interesting because its taking the premise out of the enclosed box that the scientists had thought about and into deeper, more intriguing grounds. Its what Colter keeps insisting on throughout the whole film "Why do I have to follow this path, when I want to follow this other path?". The ending raises a lot more questions about fate and free-will than if it had ended before.


Okay I can see that argument. I'm not sure I agree, but I think it's entirely valid as an opinion and I can't debate it because it's well said.

But from a storytelling perspective, I like the ending so much more cut off 10 minutes earlier. As Gedmund says, it's beautiful that way

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:03 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Hellraiser

An adaptation of Clive Barker's novel The Hellbound Heart, this is a decent horror film that manages to balance tension and icky effects for most of the film. The plot is handled well, considering Barker's material doesn't translate well to the screen usually. Only at the end does it drop the ball a bit, when it ventures into standard monster movie territory. But of the most part, this is one of the better cult films of the 80s.

I dig Hellraiser for the most part. The one thing that really irks me about it is how quickly the girl becomes an expert user of the box. I guess it's a pet peeve, but it always annoys me in movies when the characters master some completely novel, esoteric piece of technology as quickly as the plot requires.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:08 am
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