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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
Ken wrote:
peng wrote:
I couldn't even finish season 1. It wasn't actively bad or anything, but it's the second TV series I watch, and after 24, Heroes just seemed sluggish and uninteresting in comparison.

The big trouble with Heroes for me was that it took a bunch of tropes that had already been pounded into the ground and regurgitated them with no imagination whatsoever, with an added layer of portentousness that never really paid off.

The only bright spot of the whole thing that kept me involved was the Japanese guy with time travel powers. He was the only character who stood out against the general sense of misery that infused the show.


I liked "Heroes" quite a lbit, but I have only seen the first season. Anybody who has more than a passing interest in superhero fiction will recognise that it isn't exactly original, to put it politely, but I haven't seen a better TV series about superheroes yet.

Shouldn't this be in the Television area? Who mentioned Heroes in the first place?


Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
I agree with Ken, to a point

I only watched Series 1; there were some moments to be had, but it hovered between mediocre and insulting for the most part.

Watching Series 2 was out the question. I'd compare it with Lost, quality wise. Same issues - 2nd or 3rd rate acting, and just basically speaking, like it was written by a 13 year old


Oh, I could not disagree more about your comparison to Lost. Lost had amazing acting. A first-rate ensemble cast. Lost is far superior to Heroes. There's a reason why Lost was an Emmy winning/nominated show while Heroes wasn't. Lost is one of my absolute favorite shows of all time.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:02 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
I haven't seen a better TV series about superheroes yet.


This is getting off the thread's track, but I'm going to have to leave one last word in: Arrow. So, so much better.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:07 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Unke wrote:
I haven't seen a better TV series about superheroes yet.


This is getting off the thread's track, but I'm going to have to leave one last word in: Arrow. So, so much better.


Agreed. I'm surprised by how great that show has turned out to be. Love it.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:16 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
ilovemovies wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
I agree with Ken, to a point

I only watched Series 1; there were some moments to be had, but it hovered between mediocre and insulting for the most part.

Watching Series 2 was out the question. I'd compare it with Lost, quality wise. Same issues - 2nd or 3rd rate acting, and just basically speaking, like it was written by a 13 year old


Oh, I could not disagree more about your comparison to Lost. Lost had amazing acting. A first-rate ensemble cast. Lost is far superior to Heroes. There's a reason why Lost was an Emmy winning/nominated show while Heroes wasn't. Lost is one of my absolute favorite shows of all time.

I was unimpressed by the acting in LOST for the most part(though I blame that on poor writing more then the cast themselves), and the narrative just got way too damn convoluted for it's own good, it felt like the writers were pulling every single random twist they could think of out of their ass and eventually I gave up trying to make any sense of the show, it's impossible for me to enjoy a show when 95% of the time I can barely understand WTF is going on. Also it has quite possible the single WORST ending to a TV series of all time, even diehard fans were royally pissed off by it and for good reason, it just feels like a giant middle finger to anyone who actually bothered sticking with the show(my sister gave up on it around the 3rd season).

I don't care how many Emmy's it won, that dosen't automatically make it better then others shows, if you ask me it didn't deserve to win any of them.

For me Heroes was way better.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:53 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
We are officially stopping Television discussion here. Form a thread elsewhere if you want to talk about Heroes or the like

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:57 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
No (2012) : 3 Stars
A Chilean drama with some humour, directed by Pablo Larrain, about 1988's Chile referendum asking for military dictator Pinochet to stay in power for 8 more years and the advertisement executive ( Rene Saavedra) who designs and execute a clever campaign for the "No". Filmed in 4:3 SD definition to mix it with real footage of the time was a sword of double edge in one hand it blends very well the old and new footage in the other there is not incentive to see this movie in the big screen. Popular Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene Saavedra very convincingly . I had fun watching "No" so for me I give "No" a "Si (yes)" ;-)
IMDB : 7.5 form 11,640 voters
Tomatometer: 93% (from 116 reviews)


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Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Dazed and Confused (1993)

Linklater is a master at this type of "slice of life" subgenre. The portrait of the last day of a school year in the 70s is convincing and intimate. After a while, it feels like you have gone back in time to be one of them, roaming through different cliques and listening attentively as if each is a well-known friend. The atmosphere is intoxicating in an "anything goes" kind of night out with your group. One of the better high school films I've seen, and funny to see so many familiar, young faces too. 8.5/10


Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:54 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
National Lampoon's Vacation - Are we more forgiving towards certain comedies for their lack of polish and artistry if they succeed in making us laugh? It’s a question that came to mind when watching for the first time the inaugural misadventures of the Griswold family. Like most of the comedies around the time period featuring the same bunch of names, Vacation has a patched-together feel. Despite a screenplay credited to ’80s legend John Hughes (based on his original short story published in National Lampoon magazine), the film is more of a rough assembly of individual skits than a cohesive package. Because of this, material with strong comic potential set up in early scenes sometimes falls by the wayside. A good example of this is when one of the Griswold children is given a bag of joints by her countrified cousin. There’s an expectation that this plot development will pay off in a big way sometime later, but other than a handful of very low-key references, that big payoff never really comes. But in a strange way, it almost doesn’t matter. Vacation, like Animal House and Caddyshack and The Blues Brothers before it, earns an enormous wealth of goodwill simply through pure, goofy energy.

It helps that I find this style of comedy immensely appealing. Vacation isn’t afraid to mine some dark territory for laughs; in fact, one of the comedic highlights centers around the gruesome and tragic fate of a dog. But that moment works because the film knows when to hold back from showing anything too explicit, choosing instead to play it light and filter everything through Clark’s embarrassed realization of what has happened. That lightness is common throughout the film, and especially in the portrayal of Clark Griswold and his family. Like Homer Simpson in the early years before he became a cheap caricature, Clark isn’t the perfect father, but his heart is in the right place. He genuinely wants to spend time with his family, and it’s hard not to root for the guy, even when the screws start popping loose. The film may get more than a little crazy, but like Clark, there’s still an underlying good-heartedness to their adventures that I appreciated. It’s a sweetness you rarely see in modern comedies, and it was nice to finally watch Vacation and find a film that not only provided consistent laughs, but also didn’t feel the need to season everything with too much bitterness. 8/10.

Adventures Of Zatoichi - The ninth film in the Zatoichi series. I’m starting to sense an odd pattern to my journey through these films. After every truly stellar entry, a more ho-hum one seems destined to follow. Such was the case with Zatoichi The Fugitive after New Tale Of Zatoichi. And such is the case with this next chapter after series highlight Fight, Zatoichi, Fight. The film opens in a traditional fashion: while journeying in between destinations, the blind swordsman runs into a panicky fugitive, who entrusts him to deliver a message to his sister in a nearby town. Zatoichi agrees to help, and in doing so finds himself caught once again in the middle of a violent scenario full of shifting loyalties and bitter betrayals. Interest is added to the proceedings with the appearance of an old town drunk, who sparks in Zatoichi memories of his long-lost father.

Now that I’ve made it a little over a third of my way through this series, I feel like I should clarify that, while some films have been more captivating than others, the consistency on display has been fairly remarkable. Even the one I found to be the least inspired in the first eight films, Zatoichi On The Road, is a professionally made and perfectly acceptable slice of adventure entertainment. I mention this because Adventures Of Zatoichi is the first film in the series to leave almost no impression of any kind with me. It has a very nondescript quality to it, lacking in standout sequences and really anything noteworthy to distinguish itself from everything that has come before it. The only element I can single out with any interest is the appearance of Mikijiro Hira (who had terrific turns around the same time period in Sword Of The Beast, Three Outlaw Samurai, and The Face Of Another) as the enemy’s hired sword. Adventures Of Zatoichi was the last of four Zatoichi films released in 1964 alone, and even though these films were all produced cheaply and efficiently, that kind of breakneck pace was just asking for eventual diminished returns in quality. The tossed-off nature of this film then, in retrospect, was inevitable. 5/10.

Farewell, My Concubine - Sometimes trying to decipher why one film leaves you grounded emotionally can be almost as interesting as trying to decipher why another film sends you over the moon. Chen Kaige’s 1993 melodrama practically screams out to be looked back on with a high level of reverence. It’s one of the benchmarks of what was to date the most fruitful period in Chinese cinema. It’s one of those sweeping epics that spans decades and pits its characters against the tumultuous political climate of the country surrounding them (much like Zhang Yimou’s To Live a year later). And it’s headlined by two of the most prominent stars of 1990s Chinese cinema (Gong Li and Leslie Cheung). Farewell, My Concubine certainly looks to have a lot going for it, but the experience of actually watching the film is more off-putting than engrossing. The film on the surface is about the constantly-evolving and contentious friendship between Cheng Dieyi and Duan Xiaolou, two acclaimed opera singers. Cheng has romantic feelings for his opera partner, but Duan has feelings for courtesan Juxian. Cheng perceives her arrival as a threat, one that threatens to break up the close bond he holds with Duan.

There’s a sense of detachment to much of Farewell, My Concubine, even when events turn dangerous as the country continues to fracture through social and political upheaval. It starts with the Dieyi character. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Leslie Cheung’s performance (in fact, I found him to be a better fit for his role here than the ones in Wong Kar Wai’s early films). It’s just that the character, who should be fascinating, instead comes across more as a petulant child than anything else. But his character isn’t the only element to be handled strangely; the direction itself stops the film from hitting as hard as possible in what should be the most dramatic moments. The most glaring example comes near the end when a character commits suicide. Kaige stages the sequence in just two shots. First, a wide shot showing from a distance two characters hysterical with grief (at this point there hasn’t been any indication of what they’re so upset about). Then, another extremely wide shot of the dead body hanging from the ceiling. And then that’s it; the film promptly moves on to other things, which would be a surprise if the film hadn’t been operating in the same way for the two-and-a-half hours preceding it. It all feels a little like listening to a singles collection instead of a proper album; the big moments are there all right, but stripped of any proper context, the impact of the entire collection is severely limited. 5/10.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Counselor (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2193215/
Michael Fassbender plays the "counselor" (literally, that's his name) who wants to make an extra buck so tries to get in on the drug trafficking gravy train. Through a blatant plot contrivance (as opposed to a "coincidence" the movie tries to sell it as) he and his friends (and girlfriend) end up on the cartel hit list. As a fan of Cormac McCarthy (having read most of his books) I had high expectations for his screenplay here. However, the dialogue just doesn't fire - there are multiple scenes in which characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues but there is no pay off - it's just meaningless and incredibly unnaturalistic babble that goes nowhere. It's somewhat reminiscent of Tarantino, but minus the humour. The story is your bog standard biting off more than you can chew scenario and takes far too long to get going - other than a lot of inconsequential talking nothing happens for the first HALF of the film's 138 min runtime (I saw the "extended cut", which I regret now). Very disappointing, especially considering the A-listers who signed up for this: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt.
5/10.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
The Counselor (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2193215/
Michael Fassbender plays the "counselor" (literally, that's his name) who wants to make an extra buck so tries to get in on the drug trafficking gravy train. Through a blatant plot contrivance (as opposed to a "coincidence" the movie tries to sell it as) he and his friends (and girlfriend) end up on the cartel hit list. As a fan of Cormac McCarthy (having read most of his books) I had high expectations for his screenplay here. However, the dialogue just doesn't fire - there are multiple scenes in which characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues but there is no pay off - it's just meaningless and incredibly unnaturalistic babble that goes nowhere. It's somewhat reminiscent of Tarantino, but minus the humour. The story is your bog standard biting off more than you can chew scenario and takes far too long to get going - other than a lot of inconsequential talking nothing happens for the first HALF of the film's 138 min runtime (I saw the "extended cut", which I regret now). Very disappointing, especially considering the A-listers who signed up for this: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt.
5/10.

The bummer is that McCarthy can do "characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues" like nobody's business. (I'm thinking of a lot of his characters, but specifically Judge Holden.) But his heart just wasn't in it here.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:


Farewell, My Concubine - Sometimes trying to decipher why one film leaves you grounded emotionally can be almost as interesting as trying to decipher why another film sends you over the moon. Chen Kaige’s 1993 melodrama practically screams out to be looked back on with a high level of reverence. It’s one of the benchmarks of what was to date the most fruitful period in Chinese cinema. It’s one of those sweeping epics that spans decades and pits its characters against the tumultuous political climate of the country surrounding them (much like Zhang Yimou’s To Live a year later). And it’s headlined by two of the most prominent stars of 1990s Chinese cinema (Gong Li and Leslie Cheung). Farewell, My Concubine certainly looks to have a lot going for it, but the experience of actually watching the film is more off-putting than engrossing. The film on the surface is about the constantly-evolving and contentious friendship between Cheng Dieyi and Duan Xiaolou, two acclaimed opera singers. Cheng has romantic feelings for his opera partner, but Duan has feelings for courtesan Juxian. Cheng perceives her arrival as a threat, one that threatens to break up the close bond he holds with Duan.

There’s a sense of detachment to much of Farewell, My Concubine, even when events turn dangerous as the country continues to fracture through social and political upheaval. It starts with the Dieyi character. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Leslie Cheung’s performance (in fact, I found him to be a better fit for his role here than the ones in Wong Kar Wai’s early films). It’s just that the character, who should be fascinating, instead comes across more as a petulant child than anything else. But his character isn’t the only element to be handled strangely; the direction itself stops the film from hitting as hard as possible in what should be the most dramatic moments. The most glaring example comes near the end when a character commits suicide. Kaige stages the sequence in just two shots. First, a wide shot showing from a distance two characters hysterical with grief (at this point there hasn’t been any indication of what they’re so upset about). Then, another extremely wide shot of the dead body hanging from the ceiling. And then that’s it; the film promptly moves on to other things, which would be a surprise if the film hadn’t been operating in the same way for the two-and-a-half hours preceding it. It all feels a little like listening to a singles collection instead of a proper album; the big moments are there all right, but stripped of any proper context, the impact of the entire collection is severely limited. 5/10.


That's disheartening to hear -- it's on my Q

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
The bummer is that McCarthy can do "characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues" like nobody's business. (I'm thinking of a lot of his characters, but specifically Judge Holden.) But his heart just wasn't in it here.

I think that sort of thing generally works better on the written page. That said, the Chigurh monologue at the gas station was a highlight of the No Country for Old Men film.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
nitrium wrote:
The Counselor (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2193215/
Michael Fassbender plays the "counselor" (literally, that's his name) who wants to make an extra buck so tries to get in on the drug trafficking gravy train. Through a blatant plot contrivance (as opposed to a "coincidence" the movie tries to sell it as) he and his friends (and girlfriend) end up on the cartel hit list. As a fan of Cormac McCarthy (having read most of his books) I had high expectations for his screenplay here. However, the dialogue just doesn't fire - there are multiple scenes in which characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues but there is no pay off - it's just meaningless and incredibly unnaturalistic babble that goes nowhere. It's somewhat reminiscent of Tarantino, but minus the humour. The story is your bog standard biting off more than you can chew scenario and takes far too long to get going - other than a lot of inconsequential talking nothing happens for the first HALF of the film's 138 min runtime (I saw the "extended cut", which I regret now). Very disappointing, especially considering the A-listers who signed up for this: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt.
5/10.

The bummer is that McCarthy can do "characters endlessly philosophise in extended monologues" like nobody's business. (I'm thinking of a lot of his characters, but specifically Judge Holden.) But his heart just wasn't in it here.

I found the Counselor to be middle of the road, I liked it better then Scott's last few films and I thought Diaz and Pitt's performances were excellent, but a great deal of the dialogue just sounded highly unnatural and forced, there are many scenes which drag on for too long and come across as self-indulgent. Also I did not like the ending one bit, I haven't read the book so i'm not sure whether the book had a different ending or what, but the conclusion just did not work for me at all, it felt contrived and not at all believable.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:46 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Also I did not like the ending one bit, I haven't read the book so i'm not sure whether the book had a different ending or what, but the conclusion just did not work for me at all, it felt contrived and not at all believable.


There was no book. It's all movie


Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
patrick wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Also I did not like the ending one bit, I haven't read the book so i'm not sure whether the book had a different ending or what, but the conclusion just did not work for me at all, it felt contrived and not at all believable.


There was no book. It's all movie

Oh my bad, I assumed the film was based off a book since it was written by a novelist.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Day the Earth Stood Still

The original, of course. A spectacular sci-fi, one that places intelligence on the same level as it's thrills. An alien comes to Earth with a message, but is misunderstood from the very start. The film is very talky through its first hour, but it is never boring; this film puts its ideas first, and of the numerous films made during the Cold War that focused on the possibility of nuclear annihilation, this is one of the best and smartest. It is also one of the most optimistic. Some elements of this film have aged a bit, but it doesn't detract from the overall message. Pointlessly remade a few years back, but even that doesn't diminish what is an overall fantastic film.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:43 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Day the Earth Stood Still

The original, of course. A spectacular sci-fi, one that places intelligence on the same level as it's thrills. An alien comes to Earth with a message, but is misunderstood from the very start. The film is very talky through its first hour, but it is never boring; this film puts its ideas first, and of the numerous films made during the Cold War that focused on the possibility of nuclear annihilation, this is one of the best and smartest. It is also one of the most optimistic. Some elements of this film have aged a bit, but it doesn't detract from the overall message. Pointlessly remade a few years back, but even that doesn't diminish what is an overall fantastic film.


Classic, utter classic. It definitely holds up still, too.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Farewell, My Concubine 5/10.


I liked this a good deal (my no. 5 of that year, methinks). I view the detachment more as a way for the film not to get too melodramatic (as the nature of the story will be easy to succumb to). I remember that the casualness of the suicide scene is what makes it hit hard.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Blonde Almond wrote:
Farewell, My Concubine 5/10.


I liked this a good deal (my no. 5 of that year, methinks). I view the detachment more as a way for the film not to get too melodramatic (as the nature of the story will be easy to succumb to). I remember that the casualness of the suicide scene is what makes it hit hard.


I loved Farewell My Concubine. It's nearly 3 hours long (if memory serves me) and I was engrossed throughout the entirety of it. I do think the last scene might have been a little abrupt and underplayed, but it's not surprising if you consider the outcome of the play that the entire story is based on. I've been meaning to put together a top 25 queer films list for my blog and it's definitely going to be on there. It's just one of those really well done epics that never loses sight of the characters.
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