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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Descendants

Catching up on acclaimed movies from 2010 and 2011 that I missed.

Alexander Payne's best movie to date. Very human story that hit all the right notes and without a shred of artifice. Blending comedy and drama into the same movie is often extremely difficult, but Payne always makes it look easy. And holy crap, what a goldmine of acting, especially from Shailene Woodley. How the hell she didn't get an Oscar nom is beyond me. Looking forward to a hopefully long and prosperous career.

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Tue May 07, 2013 12:20 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Small Time Crooks

The film starts out as Woody Allen's take on the Pygmalion tale, and then morphs into a look at how wealth and happiness aren't necessarily intertwined, and how people betray themselves in order to attain said wealth. It's minor Allen, but it is frequently very funny. If you like the director, you'll probably enjoy this movie. It's concise and enjoyable, but the age gap between Allen and Tracey Ullman as the married leads pretty unbelievable.

A Simple Plan

Finally got around to this Kunzy favorite. It made me angry. Really, really angry. Not because it's a bad film, but because it's a very good film (by far Raimi's best) about really despicable people. It's fascinating how the narrative progresses by placing characters in situations where they have to essentially choose between money and decency. The main thing I took away was the idea of how people are willing and able to rationalize literally anything into, or out of, existence.

The film's tagline "sometimes good people do evil things" feels almost like a sarcastic joke, as the movie puts forth the idea that we're all disgusting underneath the facade. The word good in the tagline should be in quotation marks. Instead of launching into some longwinded analysis, I'll just touch on 2 things I loved:

- Having Thornton's Jacob be the character who's conscious gets the best of him. The film spends a decent amount of time setting Hal up as the intellgent, successful family man, who's apprehensive about going in on the deal, only to have him ultimately abandon his morality in order to keep the money. A smart twist that lead to an amazing final few minutes.

- Bridget Fonda's speech made me want to punch her in the face. It really unearths the themes of the film, and turns her into a Lady Macbeth-level cunt. Willing to sacrifice everything they have, she goes on about "only" going out to restaurants on special occassions, as if that even remotely begins to justify what's taken place. It's an evil and unbelievably self-absorbed and manipulative speech. I loved it because she pulls it off perfectly and it's fantastic writing, but it really got me worked up and angry.


Tue May 07, 2013 9:47 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:

A Simple Plan

Finally got around to this Kunzy favorite. It made me angry. Really, really angry. Not because it's a bad film, but because it's a very good film (by far Raimi's best) about really despicable people. It's fascinating how the narrative progresses by placing characters in situations where they have to essentially choose between money and decency. The main thing I took away was the idea of how people are willing and able to rationalize literally anything into, or out of, existence.

The film's tagline "sometimes good people do evil things" feels almost like a sarcastic joke, as the movie puts forth the idea that we're all disgusting underneath the facade. The word good in the tagline should be in quotation marks. Instead of launching into some longwinded analysis, I'll just touch on 2 things I loved:

- Having Thornton's Jacob be the character who's conscious gets the best of him. The film spends a decent amount of time setting Hal up as the intellgent, successful family man, who's apprehensive about going in on the deal, only to have him ultimately abandon his morality in order to keep the money. A smart twist that lead to an amazing final few minutes.

- Bridget Fonda's speech made me want to punch her in the face. It really unearths the themes of the film, and turns her into a Lady Macbeth-level cunt. Willing to sacrifice everything they have, she goes on about "only" going out to restaurants on special occassions, as if that even remotely begins to justify what's taken place. It's an evil and unbelievably self-absorbed and manipulative speech. I loved it because she pulls it off perfectly and it's fantastic writing, but it really got me worked up and angry.


Yay!!!!! Such a good film. I also love the Bridget Fonda speech. She starts out as so moral when Bill Paxton obviously wants her to say "I would take the money," but she ends up being the catalyst for many of the worst things that happen in the film. Her speech is incredible in what it reveals about her version of the American dream, and how at odds it is with what Bill Paxton said constituted success in the opening of the film.

Also, I must mention that the movie has what I think is one of the best twists of all time. In the scene where

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton are attempting to get Brent Briscoe to "confess" to murder on tape recorder. Thornton appears to be disgusted with himself for having agreed to it and he and Briscoe start being very hostile to Paxton. "You know we don't have a thing in common, except maybe our last name." Just when Paxton is about to leave, we realize that Thornton has been setting Briscoe up perfectly for the fake confession, and is clearly a bit more clever than we've given him credit for.


I haven't shown anyone the movie who didn't go "Oh wow!" when that was revealed.

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Tue May 07, 2013 7:58 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Kunz's note about that shocking moment is so, so true. It's brilliant. The whole film is great, and probably the best of its narrow genre ever made.

I read the novel as a young man, and it blew me away. I think it's probably the greater work of the two, but it's very different. I won't spoil the novel right now, but there are some significant differences to how things play out that are way different than the film. Some think it ruins the movie (I don't), but it bothered me when I first saw it. I can and do watch and love it now, as a separate entity. The book takes the concept to the bitter end. The last several paragraphs of the novel wrecked me the first time I read them.


Tue May 07, 2013 8:43 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shade2 wrote:
Kunz's note about that shocking moment is so, so true. It's brilliant. The whole film is great, and probably the best of its narrow genre ever made.

I read the novel as a young man, and it blew me away. I think it's probably the greater work of the two, but it's very different. I won't spoil the novel right now, but there are some significant differences to how things play out that are way different than the film. Some think it ruins the movie (I don't), but it bothered me when I first saw it. I can and do watch and love it now, as a separate entity. The book takes the concept to the bitter end. The last several paragraphs of the novel wrecked me the first time I read them.


Whereas I think the book goes so far over the top that it loses sight of its characters' (particularly the lead, Bill Paxton in the film) fundamental normality, and the relationship between the brothers is far less poignant in the book. Or so thinks me. I'm just glad for the love of the film.

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Tue May 07, 2013 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Whereas I think the book goes so far over the top that it loses sight of its characters' (particularly the lead, Bill Paxton in the film) fundamental normality, and the relationship between the brothers is far less poignant in the book. Or so thinks me. I'm just glad for the love of the film.


Sorry dude... I haven't slept since like Friday. I meant to say that I think the book is the lesser work of the two, not the greater. When I saw it in theaters it bugged me, but all in all I agree with you: the book goes a bit over the top at the end

(spoiler for the novel)
[Reveal] Spoiler:
especially with the murders in the liquor store staged to a fire-and-brimstone sermon over the radio)


I do still think that the very very end of the book is well written and conveys the heart of the message well (I wish the film kept the final lines verbatim). But overall, the book does indeed lose sight of it's heart in the end.

Naturally, Scott Smith took a decade off then came back to write... The Ruins? I still don't get it.


Tue May 07, 2013 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
12 Angry Men (1957)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/
Decided to watch this film that, as a movie lover, I should have seen a long time ago (imdb rank #6 in Top 250). 12 Angry Men is an extremely compelling courtroom jury drama directed by the great Sidney Lumet, and starring Henry Fonda. It surely takes a masterful film maker combined with quality acting and script to make a film that essentially ENTIRELY takes place in a small jury room, and has no action, no violence, and no women (let alone sex scenes), yet not for one second becomes tedious. Remarkably, the film hasn't really aged at all, and if it wasn't black and white it could just as easily have been made this year as 56 years ago. Well worth checking out.
8/10.


Tue May 07, 2013 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
12 Angry Men (1957)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/
Decided to watch this film that, as a movie lover, I should have seen a long time ago (imdb rank #6 in Top 250). 12 Angry Men is an extremely compelling courtroom jury drama directed by the great Sidney Lumet, and starring Henry Fonda. It surely takes a masterful film maker combined with quality acting and script to make a film that essentially ENTIRELY takes place in a small jury room, and has no action, no violence, and no women (let alone sex scenes), yet not for one second becomes tedious. Remarkably, the film hasn't really aged at all, and if it wasn't black and white it could just as easily have been made this year as 56 years ago. Well worth checking out.
8/10.


I hope JB will one day review 12 ANGRY MEN since its place in movies/TV is firmly entrenched and influential.

Last movie i saw:

Shame

For many men, the thought of having countless trysts of meaningless sex sounds awesome. But for this movie's main character, it's a nightmare. It's a movie about sex addiction, but what struck me is how nothing is simplified for the unattentive viewer. At no point does anyone tell Brandon (Michael Fassbender), "you need help." It's certainly no after-school special when it comes to addressing addiction. I'm sure the NC-17 rating alone (rightfully earned) will cause quite a few people to check out this movie, but despite all the nudity and simulated sex, very little of it is erotic. I hope more filmmakers understand that the NC-17 rating can be used in a positive way to illustrate the movie's impact. It's not just all about exploitation (like SHOWGIRLS).

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Wed May 08, 2013 11:10 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
12 Angry Men (1957)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/
Decided to watch this film that, as a movie lover, I should have seen a long time ago (imdb rank #6 in Top 250). 12 Angry Men is an extremely compelling courtroom jury drama directed by the great Sidney Lumet, and starring Henry Fonda. It surely takes a masterful film maker combined with quality acting and script to make a film that essentially ENTIRELY takes place in a small jury room, and has no action, no violence, and no women (let alone sex scenes), yet not for one second becomes tedious. Remarkably, the film hasn't really aged at all, and if it wasn't black and white it could just as easily have been made this year as 56 years ago. Well worth checking out.
8/10.


I also saw this for the first time a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it. I had even seen the TV remake years ago, but although I remember that one to be quite good, this one was great. I have a blog entry about it on my profile, so feel free to check it out.

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Wed May 08, 2013 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
The Descendants

Catching up on acclaimed movies from 2010 and 2011 that I missed.

Alexander Payne's best movie to date. Very human story that hit all the right notes and without a shred of artifice. Blending comedy and drama into the same movie is often extremely difficult, but Payne always makes it look easy. And holy crap, what a goldmine of acting, especially from Shailene Woodley. How the hell she didn't get an Oscar nom is beyond me. Looking forward to a hopefully long and prosperous career.


Surprised to see such high praise. I thought it was good, although a bit uneven. I still prefer About Schmidt and maybe even Election over it (Haven't seen Sideways).

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Wed May 08, 2013 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
The Descendants

Catching up on acclaimed movies from 2010 and 2011 that I missed.

Alexander Payne's best movie to date. Very human story that hit all the right notes and without a shred of artifice. Blending comedy and drama into the same movie is often extremely difficult, but Payne always makes it look easy. And holy crap, what a goldmine of acting, especially from Shailene Woodley. How the hell she didn't get an Oscar nom is beyond me. Looking forward to a hopefully long and prosperous career.


Surprised to see such high praise. I thought it was good, although a bit uneven. I still prefer About Schmidt and maybe even Election over it (Haven't seen Sideways).


You must see Sideways. Personally, I think it's Payne's best film.

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Wed May 08, 2013 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Thief12 wrote:

Surprised to see such high praise. I thought it was good, although a bit uneven. I still prefer About Schmidt and maybe even Election over it (Haven't seen Sideways).


You must see Sideways. Personally, I think it's Payne's best film.


Ah, but I have seen Sideways. Love it as well, put it in my Top 10 for that year, but when you're comparing several movies from the same director and all of them have the same strengths, it just comes down to which movie "speaks" to you more and which one you remember just a little more fondly.

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Thu May 09, 2013 11:49 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Right Stuff

Didn't like this at all. Despite Kaufman's visually tight direction, this film never really comes together. There's barely enough conflict here for a 90 minute film, yet it stretches out to 3 hours. The astronaut scenes have a certain dry humor to them, but that wears thin after a while. I became annoyed with the jingoism surrounding the Chuck Yeager plot, even though Yeager as a character is less developed here than most of the extras in Top Gun. I suppose the Cold War was still on in 1983, which explains the overbearing tone and pacing. This movie made me want to watch Apollo 13, which I don't even like.

Straw Dogs 1971

Different from what I was expecting, given its infamous reputation. I'm pretty sure I liked it overall, though Dustin Hoffman's performance annoys me a bit. I find Hoffman hard to like in many of his early roles, he always comes off as prissy and snooty. Even in Marathon Man. There sure was a lot of rape going on in the movies of the early 70s. Peckinpah's story and direction are just bothersome enough to be effective. Though I'm still not sure what the point is in the end.


Thu May 09, 2013 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm not a big fan of Apollo 13 either, but... fuck it, man, space is cool, spaceships are cool, astronauts are cool, the mission was cool, therefore the movie is eminently watchable despite itself.

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Thu May 09, 2013 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
fuck it, man, space is cool, spaceships are cool, astronauts are cool, the mission was cool,


This is how I feel about films like Wrath of Khan, Space Truckers, Event Horizon, Supernova, Mission to Mars. Face it, space is cool. Eminent watchability is a huge factor for me.


Thu May 09, 2013 4:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Finally got around to The Place Beyond the Pines, and it's magnificent: ambitious and unwieldy but at the same time beautifully constructed and composed. Petey made a point about Pain & Gain and the nature of Bay's arrogance to send up his own work is a sort of necessary and admirable arrogance. On another side of that coin, Derek Cianfrance has the arrogance to attempt a film of atypical structure and massive themes -- and thankfully, he has the skill to pull it off.

Much has been said about it and I'm behind the curve, so I'll focus just on the opening and ending (major, major spoilers):

[Reveal] Spoiler:
As I believe Petey said, the last shot (Jason riding out of the frame of [I believe??] the only static shot in the film) offers the most hopeful moment of the film. I don't think the point of the shot -- or the film -- is that Jason will repeat the sins of his father, or that he won't. I think there's more depth to it than that and I don't think the film is trying to totally provide the answer.

On the one hand, you could make a case that in a very underlying way, the film is saying that individuals will make individual choices -- and you can't blame your past or upbringing. When Jason doesn't kill Avery, that's him making an independent choice to do right.

But you can cut it the other way, too: does Jason not kill him because "shooting first" is not in his blood, as his father never intended to hurt anyone (he was visibly shaken when he hit Kofi and willingly awaited hit punishment and obviously was planning on going to prison, not dying, when he's on the phone right before he's killed).

With AJ, it's tougher: in his last moments in the film, he's shown upset at his Dad (how much does he know?), but when the crowd starts cheering, a smile breaks. Is that an act, or like his father, does the praise of others and their perception that he's good overwhelm his desire to face consequences or own up to anything?


All in all, again, a magnificent film. Personally I wouldn't cut a second of it. Best film I've seen in a long, long time.


Thu May 09, 2013 4:51 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
The Right Stuff

Didn't like this at all. Despite Kaufman's visually tight direction, this film never really comes together. There's barely enough conflict here for a 90 minute film, yet it stretches out to 3 hours. The astronaut scenes have a certain dry humor to them, but that wears thin after a while. I became annoyed with the jingoism surrounding the Chuck Yeager plot, even though Yeager as a character is less developed here than most of the extras in Top Gun. I suppose the Cold War was still on in 1983, which explains the overbearing tone and pacing. This movie made me want to watch Apollo 13, which I don't even like.

Straw Dogs 1971

Different from what I was expecting, given its infamous reputation. I'm pretty sure I liked it overall, though Dustin Hoffman's performance annoys me a bit. I find Hoffman hard to like in many of his early roles, he always comes off as prissy and snooty. Even in Marathon Man. There sure was a lot of rape going on in the movies of the early 70s. Peckinpah's story and direction are just bothersome enough to be effective. Though I'm still not sure what the point is in the end.


Completely with you on The Right Stuff. The Chuck Yeager stuff is terrible, terrible AMERICA WRIT LARGE bullshit and the movie is so, so overlong. Thank God someone's with me on this one.

As for Straw Dogs, you don't know what the point is? Sam Peckinpah is going to have to reach through the screen and grab your nuts. Dustin Hoffman has found his balls! He's a man now! TAKE THAT, ENEMIES!

In all seriousness, I do think the final sequence at his house is a virtuoso piece of direction. Music too -- dig those incongruous bagpipes

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Thu May 09, 2013 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
As for Straw Dogs, you don't know what the point is? Sam Peckinpah is going to have to reach through the screen and grab your nuts. Dustin Hoffman has found his balls! He's a man now! TAKE THAT, ENEMIES!

In all seriousness, I do think the final sequence at his house is a virtuoso piece of direction. Music too -- dig those incongruous bagpipes


Yeah, but what's the point of the pedophile subplot?


Thu May 09, 2013 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
As for Straw Dogs, you don't know what the point is? Sam Peckinpah is going to have to reach through the screen and grab your nuts. Dustin Hoffman has found his balls! He's a man now! TAKE THAT, ENEMIES!

In all seriousness, I do think the final sequence at his house is a virtuoso piece of direction. Music too -- dig those incongruous bagpipes


Yeah, but what's the point of the pedophile subplot?


Who's a pedophile?

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Thu May 09, 2013 7:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Star Trek into Darkness 3 Stars
Probably the darkest of the franchise (I have seen all but do not recall very well some of them lol) but still with some humour in it. It is a bit an homage to one of the Star Trek previous films with Shatner and Minoy. The initial scene will remind you another adventure franchise. The 3D conversion was decent but if you are not a fan of the technology then better go to see in 2D ;-).

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