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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
A.J. Hakari wrote:
Stuff about movies.


I've been meaning to recommend a movie to you for ~6 months. Fade To Black with Dennis Christopher and, briefly, Mickey Rourke in one of his earliest roles. It's right in line with a lot of the stuff you see and I believe, with 75% certainty, that you'll like it. It's a horror/thriller with lots of cool classic film references. I can see other people a-bitchin' about some of its content but believe you, a fan of MST3K, would enjoy it just about as unironically as one can.



Hey man, welcome back - we missed you

Rob


Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:54 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Robert Holloway wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
A.J. Hakari wrote:
Stuff about movies.


I've been meaning to recommend a movie to you for ~6 months. Fade To Black with Dennis Christopher and, briefly, Mickey Rourke in one of his earliest roles. It's right in line with a lot of the stuff you see and I believe, with 75% certainty, that you'll like it. It's a horror/thriller with lots of cool classic film references. I can see other people a-bitchin' about some of its content but believe you, a fan of MST3K, would enjoy it just about as unironically as one can.



Hey man, welcome back - we missed you

Rob


Thank you, Rob. I missed that feeling of remorse that comes right after I post something revolving around deviant sexuality and had to return at the first available minute to type up something about a man attempting to inseminate a light socket. Ah. There's that feeling.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:04 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
can you PLEEEEEZE

resurrect your splatter horror thread I loved it and was so inspired by the witch

Rob


Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:13 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Robert Holloway wrote:
can you PLEEEEEZE

resurrect your splatter horror thread I loved it and was so inspired by the witch

Rob


Yes... I was expecting Men Behind the Sun and Don't Go Near The Park when I got back into town but found Red Riding 1980 and Fantastic Planet had been sent ahead of the others. This means I Spit on Your Grave, already in my possession (is that spelled right? does that word always look like that?) will likely be the next.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:23 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
True Grit

Badass. More comments forthcoming, I'm sure.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:46 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It's been a solid three weeks since I was active last, so instead of taking the usual Zeppelin strategy of just posting on everything in those weeks, let's just go with the new releases, of which there were a remarkably high amount:

Let's start with three remarkably solid films, all of which could find themselves near the tail end of a top 10 of 210 list, in A Prophet, The Fighter, and 127 Hours. A Prophet's the only top 10 lock there, a remarkable narrative feat that takes a familiar arc and presents it in a resolutely unfamiliar way, all while mixing up the expected beats in a nice little, crescendoing-mini-arc structure and throwing in a dash of nervy, emotionally intense directing. Easily one of the most impressive films of the year, even if it makes you feel every single one of its 150 minutes (in a good way, though; it never drags). On a similar note, The Fighter was also great in execution even if lacking in a solid base; the 90s fight atmosphere (my dad's a big fight fan) is replicated perfectly, the acting is spot on by everyone, and Russell gives the whole thing a solid modern neo-realistic vibe while still including some nervy, decidedly non-neo-realistic stuff in there. One shot even reminded me of an impressionistic silent film, and any modern film that can do that gets some serious points in my book.

The third of those films, 127 Hours, is harder to write about. It's a winning entertainment all around, with a theme as obvious as the fact that gravity goes down and the usual excess of style Boyle shows. Still, picking a plot SO simple allows Boyle to narrow that style down some, and almost all of the style here works in favor of that theme and (surprisingly) never interferes with the tension of Ralston's situation. It's a very solid thriller and a great pick-me-up, makes you happy to not be crushed by a boulder type of film. 8/10s for all three.

Moving down a rating, we have Easy A, the movie equivalent of a beautiful, but not too beautiful, girl with enough floating around in her head to make you forget she's sort of generic. So it's kind of like a stupider Emma Stone, a 9/10 movie star in a 7/10 movie. Stone, with a fitting mix of smarts and sass, is the sort of winning personality that can make even bad movies bearably, but even without her this would be a good film. The script is clever without being too post-Tarantino, and Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson win my vote for character(s) of the year. A great, great time, close to an 8 on pure personality but of too little consequence to really earn that rating.

Having just seen it last night, I'm still not sure if True Grit is a great film or a disappointment. Either way it's fun, and that's worth something, though when I say it's the most sentimental of all the Coen's films I don't say that with reservation; if anything makes me doubt True Grit, it's how assured it is in it's own audience-winning pleasures. Say what you will about it's thematic knots (I'm convinced there's more there than I noticed on first watch, so I'm not going to plunge much here), the film is just so darn, purely likable, and when was the last time you could say that about a Coen Brothers movie? Even my father, a stalwart defender of both the original True Grit and The Expendables and similar such films, came out satisfied. For now a tentative 7/10, but that may go up.

Finally in the 7s we have The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, a film that is completely convinced of the revolution it doesn't contain. The beginning scene is pure, obnoxious "look how avant-garde I am!" first director hubris, but once the film settles into its actual structure (that is: early-Gregg Araki-esque, punk-nihilistic study of bored rebels leads the charge, whacked out drug trip settles into the middle, and a preciously strange indie buddy comedy makes up the final stretch) it sort of works. Admittedly, I found the end a solid 15 minutes too long, but the middle section, where the characters eat drugged cookies and trip out on them, works really well, and is set up nicely by the beginning. It gives the director (a man by the name of David Russo) a nice chance to play with whacked out visual effects he's clearly in love with, and there's a scene in a shower which is a contender for best scene of the year in my book. If only it ended and began better.

Last but definitely least we have Tron: Legacy, an utterly forgettable pile that forgets to include some pulp with its tight neon costumes and state-of-art action sequences. To call this film over-serious is an understatement; it copies the structure of the horrid first film and acts like this whole grid is very serious business while treating the most generic plot imaginable with the gravity of the mos ground-breaking experimental work. Avoid. 5/10

I'll get to some of the non-new stuff later.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:19 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Things to come (1936)
This is a rare sci-fi movie which doesn't so much depict a possible future world but the steps in the future historical development leading up to a future society. 'Things to come' is based on a story and screenplay by H.G. Wells, who is said to have had an unprecedented amount of control over the movie for a screenwriter. The director is William Cameron Menzies, mostly known as a production designer and (uncredited) co-director of 'Thief of Bagdad' and 'Gone with the Wind'. There are several versions of this movie, some of them colorised - I watched a 96 minutes black and white version.
'Things to come' starts with Christmas celebrations 1940 in the English city of "Everytown" (i.e. London). The festive mood is marred by fears about the outbreak of World War II (the movie precedes WWII by a three years). Soon, an unnamed enemy attacks and a war lasting for decades ensues, which is depicted in an impressive montage showing the aerial bombardement of Everytown and the use of poison gas bombs. Also, there is a truly exciting dogfight and a poignant encounter between enemy soldiers. By the time the war ends in the 1960ies, chemical and biological warfare has devestated Everytown and society has regressed into a quasi-medieval state. This sequence of 'Things to Come' is a precursor to post-apocalyptic movies such as 'Mad Max' as well as the George Romero-style zombie movies - the victims of the 'wandering sickness' - a plague spread by the enemy - are shot by the henchman of the governing warlord in order to keep the infected out of Everytown. One day, a futuristic aeroplane arrives, whose pilot claims to be a member of an organisation of engineers and scientists called "Wings over the World", who want to establish a better society. He is soon imprisoned, but a sympathising former aeroplane engineer escapes from the warlord and contacts "Wings over the World", who attack Everytown with gigantic "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" type planes and sleeping gas, dethrone the warlord and start building a new underground city (another well-done montage sequence). In the final sequence, a bright future society has been build by 2046 and the governing council of scientists attempts the boldest technological project yet: Space travel to the moon with a space gun. However, there is a group of neo-Luddites who oppose progress for the sake of it and attempt to prevent the space gun from being fired.
For a movie made in 1936, 'Things to come' has exceptional production values and special effects, which hold up surprisingly well. Of course, it is very dated, but it compensates for its shortcomings with a retro-futuristic charm. However, there are two aspects, which don't work very well at all. Firstly, even if the viewer is making concessions for the acting style of the time, the acting is pretty bad at times. Secondly, due to the episodic nature and the timespan covered, there is no dramatic arc and even the individual episodes are dramatically unsatisfying. 'Things to Come' is solely concerned with larger concepts and disinterested in characterising its protagonists or following a plot.
Be that as it may, as a unique movie showing future history, 'Things to come' is a must-see for lovers of classic sci-fi. The only comparable movie is Fritz Lang's silent epic 'Metropolis', to which 'Things to Come' is a sort of counterpoint. 'Things to Come' isn't quite in the same league as Lang's silent masterpiece, but even with its limitations, it is still a very good film. 8/10


Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:30 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
A.J. Hakari wrote:
Stuff about movies.


I've been meaning to recommend a movie to you for ~6 months. Fade To Black with Dennis Christopher and, briefly, Mickey Rourke in one of his earliest roles. It's right in line with a lot of the stuff you see and I believe, with 75% certainty, that you'll like it. It's a horror/thriller with lots of cool classic film references. I can see other people a-bitchin' about some of its content but believe you, a fan of MST3K, would enjoy it just about as unironically as one can.


At first glance, I thought you were referring to the Fade to Black that hit DVD earlier this year and had Danny Huston as Orson Welles. But the one you're talking about does sound familiar, and I want to say it was even in my Netflix queue at one point. I'll see if I can track it down. :)


Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:32 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
Let's see.

The King's Speech was good. Just good, though. I kept looking for some commentary on the meaninglessness of royalty in WWII-era UK but found, over and over, a nice story about a relationship. Firth was great (what are the odds...) and Rush was equally great. Helena Bonham Carter's Elizabeth wasn't enough of a character to get the kind of praise she's getting. I liked how the film only focused on Bertie's triumph over adversity while keeping the horrifying world events, the stuff that actually matters, as low-level background noise... could this be some of the commentary I was looking for, a way of criticising the public's adoration for The Royals? Probably not. No matter. Enjoyable movie.


I don't know Mark, I'm not sure the royalty was meaningless in WWII Britain, and I think that was part of the point. Whether or not he could make this speech (and, by extension, help lead his country) did matter.
Zeppelin wrote:
Moving down a rating, we have Easy A, the movie equivalent of a beautiful, but not too beautiful, girl with enough floating around in her head to make you forget she's sort of generic. So it's kind of like a stupider Emma Stone, a 9/10 movie star in a 7/10 movie. Stone, with a fitting mix of smarts and sass, is the sort of winning personality that can make even bad movies bearably, but even without her this would be a good film. The script is clever without being too post-Tarantino, and Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson win my vote for character(s) of the year. A great, great time, close to an 8 on pure personality but of too little consequence to really earn that rating.


You know the "overrated" buzzers on the back of my neck are starting to sharpen over Easy A, much as I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it. But I won't say anything much in case Pedro's watching

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:51 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
You know the "overrated" buzzers on the back of my neck are starting to sharpen over Easy A, much as I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it. But I won't say anything much in case Pedro's watching

I haven't seen Easy A, so fire away. :lol:


Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
My wife and I did our third movie marathon yesterday. The results:


Tom Jones (1963) ***1/2

Quite a delight. Bawdy fun, but also wonderfully acted and directed. One of the few Best Picture comedies, and a worthy pick.

Peter Pan (1953) **

Underwhelming visuals, crappy songs, strong racism and misogyny even for the 1950s...not exactly a Disney "classic"

Wild Things (1998) REWATCH

Good in a sleazy way. I really liked this as a kid, then disliked it as a budding film snob, and now appreciate it as good trash.

Fools Rush In (1997) **1/2

An instantly-forgettable romantic comedy, with Matthew Perry at his douchiest and Salma Hayak at her most vivacious.

Running on Empty (1988) ***

River Phoenix is the child of aging leftists perpetually on the run from the feds. Largely forgotten, but a good story and movie.

Die Hard with a Vengeance REWATCH

My favorite Die Hard, part 3 suffers from a plot hole or too but is a very satisfying action movie for a lot of reasons.

The Littlest Rebel (1935) **1/2

In our quest to find movies my wife has seen and I haven't, we watched...Shirley Temple. Not a great film, though she is cute.

Lymelife (2008) **

It's the independiest independent movie ever. And also a fairly lousy, been-there done-that film with little new or good to offer.

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
My wife and I did our third movie marathon yesterday. The results:


Tom Jones (1963) ***1/2

Quite a delight. Bawdy fun, but also wonderfully acted and directed. One of the few Best Picture comedies, and a worthy pick.

Peter Pan (1953) **

Underwhelming visuals, crappy songs, strong racism and misogyny even for the 1950s...not exactly a Disney "classic"

Wild Things (1998) REWATCH

Good in a sleazy way. I really liked this as a kid, then disliked it as a budding film snob, and now appreciate it as good trash.

Fools Rush In (1997) **1/2

An instantly-forgettable romantic comedy, with Matthew Perry at his douchiest and Salma Hayak at her most vivacious.

Running on Empty (1988) ***

River Phoenix is the child of aging leftists perpetually on the run from the feds. Largely forgotten, but a good story and movie.

Die Hard with a Vengeance REWATCH

My favorite Die Hard, part 3 suffers from a plot hole or too but is a very satisfying action movie for a lot of reasons.

The Littlest Rebel (1935) **1/2

In our quest to find movies my wife has seen and I haven't, we watched...Shirley Temple. Not a great film, though she is cute.

Lymelife (2008) **

It's the independiest independent movie ever. And also a fairly lousy, been-there done-that film with little new or good to offer.


I agree about Running on Empty--I saw it ten or so years ago (think I rented the VHS). Good movie.

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Running on Empty is quite good. Christine Lahti is excellent, as is River Phoenix. Judd Hirsch is surprisingly good and Martha Plimton fits her role very well. I really enjoy this film. Definitely worth a watch.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:14 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pedro wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
You know the "overrated" buzzers on the back of my neck are starting to sharpen over Easy A, much as I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it. But I won't say anything much in case Pedro's watching

I haven't seen Easy A, so fire away. :lol:


It was good. The 'overrated' buzzers got tripped for what I fear are personal reasons that have nothing to do with the movie. Nobody said it was brilliant, nobody said it slaughtered the movie competition in 2010.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
firefly wrote:
I agree about Running on Empty--I saw it ten or so years ago (think I rented the VHS). Good movie.
MunichMan wrote:

Running on Empty is quite good. Christine Lahti is excellent, as is River Phoenix. Judd Hirsch is surprisingly good and Martha Plimton fits her role very well. I really enjoy this film. Definitely worth a watch.


Oh I'm glad other people like it too. I had never even heard of it; I was just trolling through Lumet's filmography and it looked interesting.

majoraphasia wrote:
It was good. The 'overrated' buzzers got tripped for what I fear are personal reasons that have nothing to do with the movie. Nobody said it was brilliant, nobody said it slaughtered the movie competition in 2010.


Oh no I have no personal reasons at all here at all--I just saw it on somebody's Top 10 of 2010 list and was like "Really?" Also, I do think someone should address how it criticizes society's treatment of female sexuality while simultaneously making our hero a virgin who doesn't really have sex with anyone. It kinda wants things both ways. But a largely unimportant point--I like the movie

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:

majoraphasia wrote:
It was good. The 'overrated' buzzers got tripped for what I fear are personal reasons that have nothing to do with the movie. Nobody said it was brilliant, nobody said it slaughtered the movie competition in 2010.


Oh no I have no personal reasons at all here at all--I just saw it on somebody's Top 10 of 2010 list and was like "Really?" Also, I do think someone should address how it criticizes society's treatment of female sexuality while simultaneously making our hero a virgin who doesn't really have sex with anyone. It kinda wants things both ways. But a largely unimportant point--I like the movie


No no no... it's a good point. I didn't fault Easy A for opting out of the female sexuality dare because it's a member of a genre that rarely does anything unchaste.

And then there's a movie like the hideous Jennifer's Body which equates young female sexuality with evil. There was also the wimpy third-act disaster of The Contender which made the would-be sexual adventurer as pure as the driven snow. Easy A doesn't go the distance but it was more about Emma Stone's performance than it was a message.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:02 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gigantic (2008)
Paul Dano plays Brian Weathersby, a 28 year old New York City mattress salesman who's life is stuck in neutral and who's close to achieving his lifelong dream of adopting a baby from China. He also is inexplicably assaulted at random episodes by a homeless man (Zach Galiafinakis). Into his life walks Harriett "Happy" Lolly (Zooey Deschanel), who is finalizing the purchase of a $14,000 bed for her father (John Goodman). A relationship ensues which has Brian re-evaluating the course he has chosen for his life. He is also impacted by his older brothers and father (Ed Asner) who have fairly complete lives of their own that Brian is forced to compare himself with.

Ed Asner and John Goodman are both good as expected in their supporting roles. Deschenal does her schtick as the quirky free spirit. There are a couple of chuckles here and there, but overall I didn't care much for the movie. It's only 90 minutes and does boast a topless scene from Zooey (though it is from a long distance). Otherwise, quirky people doing quirky things in a flick with a thin plot doesn't really do too much for me. 1.0 / 4.0


Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:08 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:

majoraphasia wrote:
It was good. The 'overrated' buzzers got tripped for what I fear are personal reasons that have nothing to do with the movie. Nobody said it was brilliant, nobody said it slaughtered the movie competition in 2010.


Oh no I have no personal reasons at all here at all--I just saw it on somebody's Top 10 of 2010 list and was like "Really?" Also, I do think someone should address how it criticizes society's treatment of female sexuality while simultaneously making our hero a virgin who doesn't really have sex with anyone. It kinda wants things both ways. But a largely unimportant point--I like the movie


No no no... it's a good point. I didn't fault Easy A for opting out of the female sexuality dare because it's a member of a genre that rarely does anything unchaste.

And then there's a movie like the hideous Jennifer's Body which equates young female sexuality with evil. There was also the wimpy third-act disaster of The Contender which made the would-be sexual adventurer as pure as the driven snow. Easy A doesn't go the distance but it was more about Emma Stone's performance than it was a message.


Major...drop your pants because I am ready to fellate you.

I HATE the ending of The Contender and can't believe how much Ebert/Berardinelli praise the movie. Not only do we have the ham-fisted resolution of the Oldman/Peterson VP storyline, not only do we have to listen to Bridges' grandstanding speech, but on top of all that the movie chickens out. As you put it. Because a movie is only content to tackle society's double-standards about sexuality when the woman is "innocent" of the crime.

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Major...drop your pants because I am ready to fellate you.
Whenever Major shows up, the level of homoeroticism jumps by several orders of magnitude.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Major...drop your pants because I am ready to fellate you.
Whenever Major shows up, the level of homoeroticism jumps by several orders of magnitude.


I keep it repressed while he's gone. Only when he's around do I feel safe to express my true self

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:03 pm
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