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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Spring Breakers

Walked out of this last Saturday afternoon feeling somewhat dazed. Wasn't sure what to think about it. Gave it ***. I still think that's appropriate. But after thinking about it some more, I realize that while it may not be a film that you watch for enjoyment, it is a well-made and ambitious one. On one level, it's obvious that Korine is commenting on the emptiness in the lives of people who's lives revolve around the party scene. Yet on another level, it's easy to say that Korine is using spring break as a metaphor for a society rotting from the inside.

Straight Out Of Brooklyn

Re-watched this for the first time since 1992. Of the early 90s urban dramas, it ranks toward the lower tier.

The story it tells is involving enough and there are some good individual scenes. But it isn't as cohesive as Boyz N The Hood or Juice, as gripping as Fresh or as brutal in its impact as Menace II Society.

**1/2 rounded up tp ***.

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Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
House of 1,000 Corpses

If you're going to pay homage to something, at least make sure that it's worthy of a love letter. This is pure crap.

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Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:11 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Batman Forever

This movie was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge mistake.

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Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fucking hell, Kenneth. You watched that?

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Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hey I liked that one. As a kid at least.

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:43 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
moviemkr7 wrote:
Hey I liked that one. As a kid at least.

I liked it as well.


Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:55 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It was on TV.

What's really funny is that I still remember reviews that gamely tried to estimate how well it fared in comparison to the previous Batmovies. It's sort of like fine cuisine experts debating which Halloween candy is better.

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Batman Forever is tolerable camp if you're in the right frame of mind. Particularly caught on TV when there's nothing else to watch :D

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:57 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Stoker (2012) 3/4

This is not a perfect film by any means; in fact I wrestled with a rating for quite sometime after my initial viewing. There are some narrative issues, and the way that a couple of characters are written slightly irritated me, yet overall I found Stoker to be an enjoyable film that gets by on its style more so than its narrative. However, this isn’t to say that Stoker has a “bad” narrative—for the most part it kept me engaged, even though predictability runs rampant.

On a technical level Stoker is great, offering beautiful transitions and camera angles that are indicative of Woo’s prior work. Ultimately, this is a film that will more than likely split audiences, but after much thought I can’t not give it a passing grade.

Blood Done Sign My Name (2010) 2.5/4

A pretty typical Civil Rights film, with an all good white preacher trying to change the racist ways of a small town in North Carolina. This film has it cliché moments, and it suffers from offering the viewer two storylines that never intertwine or complement each other in a well formulated fashion.

Blood Done Sign My Name can come across as syrupy sweet in some instances, reminding me of the nature of a Hallmark movie, while trying to be a provoking film dealing with somewhat dark subject matter—of course this never really works and the tone the film is reaching for is never fully grasped. The message, like other films concerning this era is clear cut and blatantly put forward: equality is something deserved by all—yet the film seems to have issues in elevating this message to another level, and honestly by the end of the film you feel like that it’s all been done
before.

The Naked City (1948) 3/4

I know this is an early film, shot on location, yet I don’t understand why it feels the need to tell the audience this information at the beginning, along with talking about the actors playing the central characters. This small “information session” is presented by the narrator of the film and comes across as problematic—it feels as if it takes you out of the film experience, reminding the viewer that it’s not real and all fiction. Film is meant to be immersive, and this “narration” at the beginning totally destroys that concept. Other than the beginning issue I had, The Naked City is a pretty solid film noir that is grounded in reality; one that is also a great look at police procedure (except for the handling of evidence).


One-Hour Photo (2002) 2.5/4

One-Hour Photo partly succeeds at creating an eerie, creepy tone--however it never gives us a full in depth look at our main character played by Robin Williams. The audience doesn’t know the full extent of William’s obsession; his reasoning is left at bay. Director Mark Romanek has gone on record saying he drew inspiration from the “lonely men” films of the 70’s (such as Taxi Driver) to create One Hour Photo. One can see the similarities to these films to an extent, but the greatness that appears in the likes of The Conversation and Taxi Driver are nowhere to be seen in Romanek’s work. The directions of events at times are slightly unbelievable. Character types (besides Williams) are bland and offer no emotional hook. And is it me or is Gary Cole the “mean manager” in a way too many films? Regardless, One Hour Photo falls short of being entirely effective in looking at the elements of psychosis and obsession, however Williams’ performance redeems some of the films weaker qualities.

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hot Fuzz (2007) - 3.5 out of 4

Thanks to Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for reminding me what entertainment is supposed to be like. Shaun of the Dead is a personal favorite of mine, but Hot Fuzz is just as good in playing around with the action genre like the former did with horror. I sort of agree with JamesB that the middle third runs the risk of overstaying its welcome, but Wright and Pegg strike the balance just right. Any longer and it would've felt saggy and detracted from the overall experience; any shorter and it wouldn't have felt organic with the whole film. The final half an hour is about as much fun as I've had watching any film in an eternity. Wright knows how to pay homage and every one of his is a home run. It is pure adrenaline-fueled entertainment of the highest order.

None of it - not Wright's brilliant writing or the pulsating final half an hour - would've worked if not for Pegg and Frost. These two guys just click together and have an understanding that is almost telepathic. You can sense the energy their pairing brings to the screen even when the play animated characters like Thomson and Thompson. (Brilliant casting by Spielberg.) You know that intangible cinematic screen element known as chemistry, these two guys just have it. Other actors could probably be just as funny, though I doubt it, but these two bring a depth to the more poignant and emotional scenes in these films, and both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz have those aplenty towards the end. (To make a comparison in terms of just how good they are as a pair, I bring up another British pairing - Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. The common thread linking the pairs is that the actors are good friends in real life.)

If I had to pick one, I'd pick Shaun of the Dead but only because I've seen it countless times and it has retained its charm and lost none of its luster. It remains to be seen whether Hot Fuzz can hold up similarly on multiple viewings.

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:24 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I saw Zero Dark Thirty for the umpteenth time on DVD this weekend. My local theater has officially cleansed its multiplexes of any Academy-Award-nominated titles, although it is showing a handful of foreign films and documentaries that were given Oscar nods. The only wide release it is showing right now is Side Effects. As you can guess by now, they share my mindset when it comes to movies released during the first few months of 2013.

Back on topic. I still consider Zero Dark Thirty a brilliant film, and watching it again truly allowed me to appreciate its artistic and journalistic value. The performances are exceptional, although Jessica Chastain is without a doubt the film's best thing. The more I watch ZDT, the more I begin to see just how flawed Argo is, even though I still enjoy that movie. I may still find the film's politics abhorrent, but as a movie, ZDT is immaculate.

I saw 42 at an advance screening on Thursday, and I'm still wrapping my head around it. A few years back, I enjoyed The Help, even though I found it somewhat archetypal and predictable. At the same time, I was not a fan of The Great Debaters back in 2008, as I simply found its story arc far too familiar. Perhaps I enjoyed The Help more because it seemed much more comfortable in accepting its plot conventions, while The Great Debaters just tried too hard to make a point. I am not sure which camp 42 falls into when it comes to movies concerning the history and heritage of African-Americans, but I did find the film's performances enjoyable enough.


Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Currently 80 min into Magic Mike.

It's like a cluttered documentary of some kind. I'm yet to "get it"

Update to follow

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
... fucking hell, that was bad.

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
In the Mood for Love

In 1960s China, a man and a woman discover that their respective spouses are having and affair with each other. This film chronicles that discovery, and the friendship the two form despite their spouses' unfaithfulness. Wong Kar-Wai's work is quiet and deliberative, and this film is no exception. It is also one of the most beautifully photographed films I've ever seen; it ranks right up with Suspiria it terms of how awesome and colorful the images on the screen are. I never thought I'd compare Argento and Wong in the same paragraph. Guess I just did.

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:41 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
In the Mood for Love

In 1960s China, a man and a woman discover that their respective spouses are having and affair with each other. This film chronicles that discovery, and the friendship the two form despite their spouses' unfaithfulness. Wong Kar-Wai's work is quiet and deliberative, and this film is no exception. It is also one of the most beautifully photographed films I've ever seen; it ranks right up with Suspiria it terms of how awesome and colorful the images on the screen are. I never thought I'd compare Argento and Wong in the same paragraph. Guess I just did.


Too bad it's so slow and cold that I didn't care for the main relationship much. Solid film though.

JackBurns wrote:
The Naked City (1948) 3/4

I know this is an early film, shot on location, yet I don’t understand why it feels the need to tell the audience this information at the beginning, along with talking about the actors playing the central characters. This small “information session” is presented by the narrator of the film and comes across as problematic—it feels as if it takes you out of the film experience, reminding the viewer that it’s not real and all fiction. Film is meant to be immersive, and this “narration” at the beginning totally destroys that concept. Other than the beginning issue I had, The Naked City is a pretty solid film noir that is grounded in reality; one that is also a great look at police procedure (except for the handling of evidence).


Jules. Dassin. Can. Do. No. Wrong. Oh, wait, 10:30 PM Summer. Never mind, now I can approach your point objectively. I take your point, upon reflection -- it does remove some of the immediacy from the proceedings. Have you seen Night and the City? Of the two "N-word/City" movies Dassin directed, it's by far the superior one.

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Haywire (2011) ***

Seemed like this would be a good movie to watch on a plane so I checked it out of the library. I enjoyed it. The plot's an old hat but Soderbergh and Miss Carano make things feel fresh. Glad I watched it.

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unpopular opinion: Of the earlier Batman era, I liked Batman Forever than Batman. imo, the latter just feels so dreary, apart from Jack Nicholson's very good performance, while the former is lively and has a sense of fun I found infectious. Batman Returns is still the best of that era.

Most of Steven Soderbergh's movies have a cold and detached sensibility to me. Sometimes they work, like in Contagion or Erin Brockovich, but for movies like Magic Mike I feel they should have more vibrant direction. Like NotHughGrant, I don't get the movie or its characters at all.


Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:30 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Even more unpopular opinion: none of those movies are good. The first one gets a pass from a lot of people most likely due to rose-tinted glasses. Prior to the Nolan movies, the notion that Batman is more than just a B-list adventure character seemed to be anathema to Hollywood. Even if this negligent attitude doesn't show in the budgets or the marketing campaigns, it shows in the one-dimensional characterization and the childish story logic.

That said, of the three*, the first has a few merciful moments of stylistic unity that raise it a smidgen above the gloomy second film and the overstimulated third. By stylistic unity, I mean that the way it's made turns it into more than what it generally is, at least in those moments. It gains the ability to make people feel things.


*I am dismissing the fourth from consideration altogether. Anybody want to fight about it? No? Good.

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Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:29 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Croods (3D) 3 Stars 1/4
I just saw this one with my younger daughter and it is a solid entertainment film for the whole family. My daughter and I loved it! Finally Nicolas Cage is funny when it is supposed to be lol
I knew the movie was good (67% in RT) but it turned out even better :-). I am surprised that JB did not review it

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Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Most of Steven Soderbergh's movies have a cold and detached sensibility to me. Sometimes they work, like in Contagion or Erin Brockovich, but for movies like Magic Mike I feel they should have more vibrant direction. Like NotHughGrant, I don't get the movie or its characters at all.


Agreed. I was discussing that with a friend a while back and they observed that Soderbergh has pretty much become the Indie answer to Sydney Pollack.

Ken wrote:
Even more unpopular opinion: none of those movies are good. The first one gets a pass from a lot of people most likely due to rose-tinted glasses. Prior to the Nolan movies, the notion that Batman is more than just a B-list adventure character seemed to be anathema to Hollywood. Even if this negligent attitude doesn't show in the budgets or the marketing campaigns, it shows in the one-dimensional characterization and the childish story logic.


It could be argued that the first one still can be enjoyed to an extent because it manages to balance the camp aspects and the darker aspects. The subsequent three didn't have that balance. The second one went head on into bleakness and gloom while the third started hamming it up to a level that became unbearable in the fourth.

Nolan suceeded mainly because of his attention to character.

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