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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Yesterday's testicular double shot:

A Shock to the System (1990) ***

A nice little black comedy featuring Michael Caine as a New York businessman who goes homicidal after missing a promotion. Short and sweet at 85 minutes, with some sly humor and good performances, it's been seemingly forgotten by time but it's on Instant and is well worth a watch.

Raw Deal
(1948) **1/2

An Anthony Mann noir from the late 40s (LOOK CERTAIN REELVIEWS MEMBER -- ANTHONY MANN!) featuring an escaped convict on the lam with two women in tow, Raw Deal was decent enough and certainly features some great photography, but never managed to rise above the morass of similar films with which I will confuse it in about 3 days time.

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Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Gwaihir wrote:
A Serious Man - 3.5 Stars

The Coens are so maddening, first and foremost because trying to pick favorites from their catalog is an exercise in frustration.

I'm fairly certain that Barton Fink is their greatest effort... but the second place position is such a damn contest. A Serious Man is definitely a contender.


You hit the proverbial nail on the head, Ken. I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking any of their films is their best work; they're all well-made and topnotch. That they've spanned so many genres in their work just makes it harder.

Which reminds me, Barton Fink is streaming on Netflix...


Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I feel like I've seen a bunch of movies recently that I found a whole lot of individual elements not to like, but ended up liking the production on the whole. Such as the following two.

Anonymous
Historical innaccuracies aside, (Shakespeare was famous for them) the film uses an interesting premise (what if Shakespeare was not the author of the plays that bore his name) and runs with it. Not that I trust Roland Emerich on anything, after all we are in the year 2013 which comes after 2012. So anyways, this at times functions as a sudsy romance/melodrama and managed to hold my attention throughout.

Interview With a Vampire
I don't think it's possible for one to become a more irritating vampire than Brad Pitt's moping Louie. Cruise's bad boy Lestat was much more interesting. Although I didn't understand the motivations of the vampire theater troupe, even if they were amusing.
-Jeremy

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Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Two more today, and some darn fine films.

A Doll's House (1973) ***1/2

I have regrettably little knowledge of/experience with Ibsen so this seemed like a good place to start (the play is apparently the most produced play in the world). A drama about a woman waking up to the frivolity of her life, this was way feminist for something written in the 19th century--apparently it caused all sorts of hullabaloo--and felt relevant in the more modern film version. Plus young Anthony Hopkins and a terrific Denholm Elliot.

Unfaithfully Yours (1948) ****

Fucking finally. I've been waiting all year for a unqualified **** film to hop into my lap and this Preston Sturges one was just magnificent. Clever as a comedy, interesting in its use of music, bold in its staging and impeccably acted, it left me with a big old smile on my face and convinced me that I need to watch more Sturges. All three films of his I've seen (The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, and this one) cracked my End of the Year list with ease. It's a rare older movie that can make me laugh, but Sturges is 3 for 3. Time for more!

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Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:33 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mississippi Masala: in 1972, Idi Amin orders all Asians out Uganda, including those whose families had been in Uganda for generations. Four year-old Mira's family is one of those expatriated, and after twenty years, her parents have settled into running a motel in Mississippi, where an Indian community has been established. Mina falls in love with a black man, which causes a lot of problems because the Indian community is expecting to mary among themselves. However, the conflict is balanced because the black man is Denzel Washington. Meanwhile, Mina's father, who longs to return to his homeland (Uganda, that is, where he was born), is trying to recover his property by petitioning Ugandan courts.

Very good film with stellar performances by Sarita Choudhury as Mina, Roshan Seth and Sharmila Tagore as her parents, Joe Seneca as Washington's father, and Washington himself. It comes off as a sweet (and perceptive) romance until the racial conflict comes in and hits hard. Mira Nair directs the script by Sooni Taraporevala. (8.5 of 10)

EDIT: Which raises the interesting question: Has Denzel Washington ever given a bad performance? Some of my favorites (The Mighty Quinn, for example) tend to get overshadowed by other films that came out the same year (Malcolm X in this case). He won the Oscar for Training Day, where he was good, but there are lots of his roles where I thought he was better. In this film, he's not as vivid as Sarita Choudhury or Roshan Seth, but is still quite good, to the point that you want young love to conquer all.

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
Before Midnight-- ***1/2

Very much in the same vain of the previous two movies, that is, until the final 30 or so minutes. Whoa. That was intense. I have no doubt that the fight that Jesse and Celine get into is realistic, but it may have gone on just a bit too long. I wonder how audiences, even art house audiences, would feel about watching a couple fight for 20 uninterrupted minutes. Still though, it's a memorable movie and has a shot at my Top 10 by the end of the year.


I'm going to disagree here slightly because to say the movie is "very much in the same vain of the previous movies" is not only grammatically incorrect (it's vein...feel free to call me a pedantic asshole for pointing that out), but kind of ignores what the film is trying to do to separate it from its predecessors. Sure, there's a certain familiarity with the characters that's necessary to appreciate the movie, but this one deals more with the real world problems couples have after being in a long term relationship than it does with portraying a romanticized fantasy as realistically as possible. This one has more heft because of it.

I think it's the best in the series, and that's mostly for how the movie was able to transition from the "will they or won't they" tension of Before Sunset to a film that's totally grounded in reality (even more so than the previous two entries) that raises and answers its own particular question. That question is a play on words for the whole series - what happens when the sun sets? Or, what happens when reality sinks in and the fantasy wears off? The result is a movie that mirrors Jesse's idea for a new book, one where people are trapped by their own perceptions, and one that ambitiously attempts to navigate that ground. It isn't a coincidence that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
once we finally get the "walking and talking" scene between Celine and Jesse that the first two movies revel in, the movie leaves that situation and moves into a more real world one where the two argue and bicker. The transition is signified by the two watching the sun literally set together. The "walking and talking" scene is no less intoxicating here, and that's kind of the point. That kind of intoxicating, infatuating love is wonderful and great, but also fleeting. The real world is eventually going to come crashing in, and how you navigate it is much more important to the survival of a couple than anything else. As the final shot of the film shows us, there's value to holding on to that initial fantasy to keep you going, but it can't be all you have.


Obviously, this is a brilliant movie that virtually everyone who's interested in seeing it will love. There's a natural progression to the structure of this one, both in terms of how it fits in with the rest of the series, and as a stand alone film. It's cinematic, thoughtful, emotional, and wholly wonderful. It's the crown jewel of what very well may be the best series in film history.

Blonde Almond wrote:
His last-ditch efforts to save himself are heartbreaking, and Mitchum is perfect at conveying a man who knows the end is approaching and who quietly resigns to whatever fate might befall him. When the sudden and bleakly appropriate conclusion comes rolling along, you realize that in the criminal world, the idea of friendship really doesn't mean all that much, not in a world where everyone is looking out for themselves above anything else. It's the focus on that quiet recognition that elevates The Friends Of Eddie Coyle above the more typical films of its kind. 9/10.


It's about fucking time! I thought you'd really like this (I mean, who wouldn't?), and the quoted part really does the movie justice. It's one of those so 70s movies movies that, in addition to having a bleak existential undercurrent, is all kinds of inventive and ambitious that it almost makes you want to live in its grainy world. In addition to Mitchum's performance, Richard Jordan is almost as good as the ATF agent, Foley. I like to think of the film as the 70s version of Affleck's The Town. This one is of course infinitely better, and comparing the two tells you all you really need to know about the movies being made then and the ones being made now.

KWRoss wrote:
A Separation-- ****

I'm so glad I finally "nutted up" and decided to watch this one. I had it on the back burner for so long because the subject matter felt so dry to me in spite of the critical raves and Oscar it received. I'll be careful not to make that mistake again. This is the best foreign movie I've seen since City of God. It delivers so many multi-dimensional characters and keeps us guessing as to what actually happened to the housekeeper. This movie is so many things all in two hours; a courtroom thriller, a commentary on religious influence in Iran's government, a multi-layered family drama, and a tale of lies and mis-communication. It's one I'd happily watch again just to pick up on details I missed. And unlike a lot of acclaimed foreign films, which Hollywood is all-too-eager to remake into English, there's no way they could do it here. It's a distinctly Iranian story; take away the strictness of divorce law and the importance of swearing on the Quran, and there is no movie.


That last shot is just fucking perfect. There really aren't enough good things you can say about the movie, but multi-layered is about as apt a description is you can get. And that last shot works on every single one of those layers.

JackBurns wrote:
Stories We Tell (2012) 3.5/4

This is by far one of the best films I’ve seen all year. Director Sarah Polley crafts a stunning documentary that looks at the vey essence of memories, while embracing the contradictions that come with the act of remembering. Without trying to come across a hokey, I have to say, this is story telling at its finest. The structure of this film is nothing short of brilliant. Stories We Tell weaves a narrative out of the perspectives of multiple people. Everyone’s story is different to a degree, yet even as the central story is told from different viewpoints it all flows together perfectly. All of the elements in this film fit together to make a truly unique experience—from the super eight family videos that serve as “reenactments” to the superb editing—this is a film that will hook you from start to finish.


Glad someone else saw this and liked it so much. It's compelling and interesting on its own, and when placed in the larger context it strives for, becomes even more fascinating. Polley treating "truth" as flimsy and illusory isn't necessarily the most original concept, especially in a documentary, but treating the idea as a given and using it to explore why we need to tell stories in the first place makes for some excellent insight. It's just as fascinating that we never hear Polley's side of the story and she doesn't even shy away from the point that the project may just be her way of coping with the entire story. It really brings the whole thing full circle.

+1 for JackBurns in the good taste department!


Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:29 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Now that I'm done quoting, a bout with bronchitis has allowed me to go on a bit of a movie watching binge the past few days. Here's what I've seen:

John Dies at the End

Netflix categorizes this as a cult movie, which immediately raised my suspicions because, seriously, how can a movie not even a year old already have a cult following? Anyway, it's kind of what I expected in that it tries very hard to appeal to cult audiences, which oddly makes it feel a bit prepackaged. It's a story that's equal parts fun, incomprehensible, insightful, and forced. Naturally, this makes for an uneven movie, but it's worth it if you like intentionally weird movies that may or may not have something to say about the world we live in. The tacked on religious allegory of the ending is a bit ridiculous, however. It feels like an attempt to justify a movie's existence that didn't particularly need justifying.

Hit & Run

The Dax Shepard movie. There are really only 2 things of note from this movie: 1. The introduction of Bradley Cooper's character is inspired stuff. I don't know if it was the writing or him, but it's funny and clever. 2. The movie has 3-4 lame, boring car chases that seem to exist for no reason other than padding the running time out.

Happy-Go-Lucky

Mike Leigh is an amazing filmmaker. Two days after seeing this movie I still can't decide if he loves Poppy and her world view or thinks she's completely full of shit. The final shot leads me to believe, on some level, he realizes how she's insulated herself in a bubble to not have to deal with the real world, but it's tough to know if he thinks that's advantageous or not. Either way, it's a really good movie, as is just about everything from him.

Friends with Kids

What starts out as a fairly interesting look at people in their 30s growing apart as some move on to the next stage in life and others get left behind eventually devolves into a formulaic romcom with curse words. The ending is laughably corny and cliche.

This is the End

Finally ventured out of the house last night to see an early showing of this one. It has a fantastic premise that works wonderfully as a way to show how full of shit actors are and to take shots at the Hollywood star system, but it's mostly wasted and used for broad comedy. That isn't necessarily a terrible thing, it's a mostly funny movie, but it could have been mostly funny AND very good. So, the end result is a bit disappointing even if it's still a worthwhile effort.


Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:07 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:

Happy-Go-Lucky

Mike Leigh is an amazing filmmaker. Two days after seeing this movie I still can't decide if he loves Poppy and her world view or thinks she's completely full of shit. The final shot leads me to believe, on some level, he realizes how she's insulated herself in a bubble to not have to deal with the real world, but it's tough to know if he thinks that's advantageous or not. Either way, it's a really good movie, as is just about everything from him.


Nice take on the film. I still think Mike Leigh is somehow underrated as a director, and that's a damn shame. People forget that directing isn't only what cool shots you have, but also how you manipulate actors. In this regard, he's one of the best there is

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I didn't like "Happy-Go-Lucky" because I found Poppy to be incredibly annoying. I'm not a big fan of "All or Nothing," but otherwise I like his films.

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
I didn't like "Happy-Go-Lucky" because I found Poppy to be incredibly annoying. I'm not a big fan of "All or Nothing," but otherwise I like his films.


I disagree (inasmuch as I possibly can with your opinion). I think we're supposed to find her annoying to start, but with the way she handles the situation with her student and her driving instructor I think we realize she's more substantial than we initially thought.

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
Raw Deal (1948) **1/2

An Anthony Mann noir from the late 40s (LOOK CERTAIN REELVIEWS MEMBER -- ANTHONY MANN!) featuring an escaped convict on the lam with two women in tow, Raw Deal was decent enough and certainly features some great photography, but never managed to rise above the morass of similar films with which I will confuse it in about 3 days time.


Watch more of his westerns, epics, war dramas.


Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:00 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Before Midnight-- ***1/2

Very much in the same vain of the previous two movies, that is, until the final 30 or so minutes. Whoa. That was intense. I have no doubt that the fight that Jesse and Celine get into is realistic, but it may have gone on just a bit too long. I wonder how audiences, even art house audiences, would feel about watching a couple fight for 20 uninterrupted minutes. Still though, it's a memorable movie and has a shot at my Top 10 by the end of the year.


I'm going to disagree here slightly because to say the movie is "very much in the same vain of the previous movies" is not only grammatically incorrect (it's vein...feel free to call me a pedantic asshole for pointing that out), but kind of ignores what the film is trying to do to separate it from its predecessors. Sure, there's a certain familiarity with the characters that's necessary to appreciate the movie, but this one deals more with the real world problems couples have after being in a long term relationship than it does with portraying a romanticized fantasy as realistically as possible. This one has more heft because of it.

I think it's the best in the series, and that's mostly for how the movie was able to transition from the "will they or won't they" tension of Before Sunset to a film that's totally grounded in reality (even more so than the previous two entries) that raises and answers its own particular question. That question is a play on words for the whole series - what happens when the sun sets? Or, what happens when reality sinks in and the fantasy wears off? The result is a movie that mirrors Jesse's idea for a new book, one where people are trapped by their own perceptions, and one that ambitiously attempts to navigate that ground. It isn't a coincidence that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
once we finally get the "walking and talking" scene between Celine and Jesse that the first two movies revel in, the movie leaves that situation and moves into a more real world one where the two argue and bicker. The transition is signified by the two watching the sun literally set together. The "walking and talking" scene is no less intoxicating here, and that's kind of the point. That kind of intoxicating, infatuating love is wonderful and great, but also fleeting. The real world is eventually going to come crashing in, and how you navigate it is much more important to the survival of a couple than anything else. As the final shot of the film shows us, there's value to holding on to that initial fantasy to keep you going, but it can't be all you have.


Obviously, this is a brilliant movie that virtually everyone who's interested in seeing it will love. There's a natural progression to the structure of this one, both in terms of how it fits in with the rest of the series, and as a stand alone film. It's cinematic, thoughtful, emotional, and wholly wonderful. It's the crown jewel of what very well may be the best series in film history.


Right, spelling error. My bad. Meant to say vein. But I only say that because the movie is founded on conversation pieces much like the first two were. Tone is different for sure.

I'm conflicted. I loved these two characters so much in the first two movies and really rooted hard for them to end up together. Now that they are, the idea that it might not be "meant to be" after all really hurts. It almost makes me not want to watch the first two knowing that it will end up like this. Yeah, I know, that's life. I haven't been in a relationship in a long time, but I know plenty of couples who have fought like Jesse and Celine in this movie. It's realistic. But I'm not sure whether I want to see it twice.

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Before Sunset (2004) 3/4

I’m bracing myself for mass amounts of hate, debate, and overall judgery, but I’m ok with that, after all this is where the gods of film watching trot. First off, let me say that this three star review comes from someone who really liked Before Sunrise and thought it was an extremely effective romance. Let me also say that I don’t think this is a bad film, hence the three stars, but I just do not, repeat do not see the greatness that everyone else sees in this film. People knock The Hangover Part II for being the exact same film as the first. It gave viewers basically the same plot--hell, some scenes feel completely recycled. But viewers wanted to see certain escapades play out once more, so they got what they wished for in a sense. In many ways Before Sunset is no different. All of you who love this film are going to rave and say, “It’s not true, it’s completely different”, and that’s fine, but to me it’s not. We have characters that we have seen before, and the set up is essentially the same. There isn’t anything original about this film in this regard. While the characters may be in a different place in life, it all feels extremely familiar. It seems that people don’t really want to pay attention to this aspect. It’s a problem in other films across the board—“we’ve seen it before! Where’s the originality?” But with Before Sunset, I’ve never heard the slightest complaint.

Ethan Hawke is clearly trying to flex his acting muscles here. I didn’t really have a problem with this in the first film. I thought, hey this a young actor, and young people can be awkward at times, its fine. But to me, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset goes a little beyond what I can tolerate. We’re given shots of him grinning, and saying silly things to Celine, and all of it just seems syrupy sweet and overly artificial. Yes, its set in a realistic setting, and all of it seems like it could be occurring in real life, but I simply don’t buy it. In this regard Celine is no different. Her French accent spouts out line after line of dialogue, and eventually it just feels old after a while. With that said I love the dialogue in this film—I guess I just really don’t care for the actors spewing it out.

I get that this film is trying to show two past lovers who have fell into the grooves of normal life. They never expected to find one another again, and they have sort of accepted they place that they now hold. However, I don’t think the film shows regret or unhappiness very well at all. Yes, were given an argument between Jesse and Celine. They tell each other how unhappy they are, etc. but that’s near the end of the film. A sense of longing between these two characters is portrayed extremely well, but everything else seems to be below the surface. The looks, the long takes, the conversation about life and love—all of the things that made Before Sunrise such a pleasure to watch, but in a way these elements felt warn out to me in this particular film. I guess I just wanted that same experience all over again, and I honestly didn’t receive it. Good film. Interesting follow up. Worthy of all the praise? Maybe to you guys, but not me.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:52 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph is the villain of Donkey Kong-like arcade game “Fix-It Felix”. Unhappy with his role as a bad guy, he enters other arcade games to try to win a medal.
I’m not that fond of the look of CGI animation, but it fits the subject well. ‘Wreck-It Ralph’s plot is a mixture of the much better ‘Shrek’ and ‘Toy Story’ and the movie is clearly aimed at a younger audience, whom a lot of references to 25 year old arcade games will pass by. It’s a funny and entertaining movie, but the egregious product placement is really annoying. Above average: 6/10

Killing them Softly (2012)
Three daft low-level hoods rob a mob protected card game, destroying the local underground economy. Enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is hired to set an example and restore the order of things.
This movie is classified as a thriller, but it is anything but. 80 % of its running time consists of talking and it is simply boring to watch. It’s a shame, really, because the acting is very good. (even Ray Liotta, who hasn’t done a notable thing since ‘GoodFellas’, impresses.) The movie uses the collapse of the criminal economy as an analogy for the 2008 financial crisis, but is too heavy-handed and obvious about it. Overall, the film is too well-made to be bad, but still unsatisfying: 4/10

Bound (1996)
Corky (Gina Gershon) is an ex-convict who works as a handyman in an apartment building. When she meets Violet (Jennifer Tilly), a gangster’s moll, in the lift, sparks fly and they are soon a couple planning to steal money from Violet’s money-laundering boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano).
‘Bound’ begins as a lesbian-themed erotic thriller but develops into something a lot more substantial. The characters are believable and intelligent and the plot unspools in an unpredictable manner. The movie is very well-directed by the Wachowski siblings, who I would have primarily associated with special effects-laden sci-fi movies rather than a stylish neo noir like ‘Bound’. Very good: 8/10

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Renegade Star Fleet officer and terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) hides on the Klingon homeworld. The starship Enterprise under the command of Captain Kirk is sent to apprehend or kill him.
This plot description is very inaccurate, but why should I bother when all of three screenwriters didn’t bother to come up with a coherent script, which doesn’t bear the slightest scrutiny. Logical it is not. Star Trek XII is very action-heavy and focuses on good special effects sequences. (Although the effectiveness of the 3D is hampered by quick editing.) It is entertaining in the moment, but this isn’t what Star Trek used to be about. Fans of classic Trek will certainly be (at least) slightly disappointed, despite of numerous references to the TV show or older movies. (In fact, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ could be considered as the remake of an earlier film.) The most important thing to get right in Star Trek is the relationship between Kirk, Spock and Bones, though, and Star Trek XII delivers. The Kirk, Spock and McCoy of the re-booted franchise aren’t the same characters as the ones in the Shatner/Nimoy/Kelley movies, but they have the required chemistry. Thinking back on the movie a few days after having seen it, I remember more of its failures than its positives, but I found it entertaining while I watched it. 6/10

Army of Shadows (1969)
Set in Nazi-occupied France in 1942/1943, Jean-Pierre Melville’s movie follows a cell of the French résistance, led by Phillipe Gerbier (Lino Ventura). It has a bleak view of the existence as an underground freedom fighter, as the group is mostly shown evading capture by the Gestapo, fleeing imprisonment or attempting to break fellow members from prison and killing traitors. There are no acts of heroism as in other French Résistance movies like ‘The Train’. The film isn’t perfect – it relies a bit too much on voiceover and a scene, in which De Gaulle is shown as emitting a golden glow is ludicrous -, but it is very impressive and captivating despite of a relatively slow pace. Very good: 8/10


Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:25 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
'Star Trek: Into Darkness' (Abrams, 2013) ** 1/2 out of ****
If there is one thing we can thank Abrams for its returning vibrant colors to the big screen; they've felt so absent the past few years. Abrams has no problem visually inhabiting the Star Trek universe but when it comes to truly forming it into a whole he drops his creative edge in favor of crowd pleasing and fan service. Benedict Cumberbatch (and if you can say that with a straight face I think you're lying) has been praised for his turn as the iconic Khan but it quickly becomes distressing how little the actor is given to work with, an underwritten role unfitting the character's significance as well as Cumberbatch's (hehe) considerable talents (I'll love him forever for his part in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, still one of the two or three best films of the past three years). Khan is supposed to be brilliant as well as savage and unrelenting but his course through the film is sadly generic and unsurprising. Perhaps
[Reveal] Spoiler:
some or any interaction with his crew might have helped add to his mythology and purpose but in their absence and the screenwriters more focused interest on developing the Kirk/Spock dynamic, he exits the film feeling rather inconsequential and over hyped as "the Enterprise's most dangerous foe".
Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof do give us some bones to chew on with some of the Enterprise crew, particularly in regards to Kirk, Spock and Uhura, but true tension in dropped in favor of aesthetic sensationalism when it early becomes apparent that the filmmakers won't take any heavy chances they aren't willing to retract.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
This in particular damages the film's climax, an interesting retelling of The Wrath of Khan's final moments that should have been more hard hitting but rendered soft by safe plotting.
I guess I find it hard to not criticize Abrams' new addition to the Star Trek canon because it does play off some of the director's strengths, which include a sure sense of the visual grandiosity this world offers and a willingness to remain playful with the history, but while Abrams may be able to imagine a world he has a hard time truly inhabiting it.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:43 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunset (2004) 3/4

I’m bracing myself for mass amounts of hate, debate, and overall judgery, but I’m ok with that, after all this is where the gods of film watching trot. First off, let me say that this three star review comes from someone who really liked Before Sunrise and thought it was an extremely effective romance. Let me also say that I don’t think this is a bad film, hence the three stars, but I just do not, repeat do not see the greatness that everyone else sees in this film. People knock The Hangover Part II for being the exact same film as the first. It gave viewers basically the same plot--hell, some scenes feel completely recycled. But viewers wanted to see certain escapades play out once more, so they got what they wished for in a sense. In many ways Before Sunset is no different. All of you who love this film are going to rave and say, “It’s not true, it’s completely different”, and that’s fine, but to me it’s not. We have characters that we have seen before, and the set up is essentially the same. There isn’t anything original about this film in this regard. While the characters may be in a different place in life, it all feels extremely familiar. It seems that people don’t really want to pay attention to this aspect. It’s a problem in other films across the board—“we’ve seen it before! Where’s the originality?” But with Before Sunset, I’ve never heard the slightest complaint.

Ethan Hawke is clearly trying to flex his acting muscles here. I didn’t really have a problem with this in the first film. I thought, hey this a young actor, and young people can be awkward at times, its fine. But to me, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset goes a little beyond what I can tolerate. We’re given shots of him grinning, and saying silly things to Celine, and all of it just seems syrupy sweet and overly artificial. Yes, its set in a realistic setting, and all of it seems like it could be occurring in real life, but I simply don’t buy it. In this regard Celine is no different. Her French accent spouts out line after line of dialogue, and eventually it just feels old after a while. With that said I love the dialogue in this film—I guess I just really don’t care for the actors spewing it out.

I get that this film is trying to show two past lovers who have fell into the grooves of normal life. They never expected to find one another again, and they have sort of accepted they place that they now hold. However, I don’t think the film shows regret or unhappiness very well at all. Yes, were given an argument between Jesse and Celine. They tell each other how unhappy they are, etc. but that’s near the end of the film. A sense of longing between these two characters is portrayed extremely well, but everything else seems to be below the surface. The looks, the long takes, the conversation about life and love—all of the things that made Before Sunrise such a pleasure to watch, but in a way these elements felt warn out to me in this particular film. I guess I just wanted that same experience all over again, and I honestly didn’t receive it. Good film. Interesting follow up. Worthy of all the praise? Maybe to you guys, but not me.


You just compared Before Sunset to The Hangover Part II YOU SORRY SON OF A BITCH.

Here's why you're wrong. The reason we all hated The Hangover II is because it's constructed as a mystery and a comedy. So when the plot is exactly the same, the mystery aspect is completely boring and the jokes are stale and likely to fall flat. Before Sunrise and Sunset have a similar scenario, but we're not there for a mystery plot, so that's not a problem, and we're not there for comedy, so it's not like we see all the punchlines coming as with Hangover II. A better parallel might be the Die Hard movies. Similar clothesline for the sequels, yes, but I've never heard any complaints because the action scenes are different so who cares if the scenario is similar?

As to the film itself, I don't know what to tell you...I think you just missed the boat. The way Jesse is outgoing but Celine is guarded, even cold, as she's not prepared to let herself go emotionally. And the way that changes once he admits that his life is miserable so now she doesn't have to feel like the weak needy one in the pair. It's a pretty deep characterization and they play it well, notice how she gets uncomfortable when he makes any sexual comments in the first half of the film, but then in the second half of the film when he's explaining how miserable he is she has to resist putting her arm around him in the cab. Ahhh so perfect. And the last shot...THE LAST SHOT!

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:24 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunset (2004) 3/4

I’m bracing myself for mass amounts of hate, debate, and overall judgery, but I’m ok with that, after all this is where the gods of film watching trot. First off, let me say that this three star review comes from someone who really liked Before Sunrise and thought it was an extremely effective romance. Let me also say that I don’t think this is a bad film, hence the three stars, but I just do not, repeat do not see the greatness that everyone else sees in this film. People knock The Hangover Part II for being the exact same film as the first. It gave viewers basically the same plot--hell, some scenes feel completely recycled. But viewers wanted to see certain escapades play out once more, so they got what they wished for in a sense. In many ways Before Sunset is no different. All of you who love this film are going to rave and say, “It’s not true, it’s completely different”, and that’s fine, but to me it’s not. We have characters that we have seen before, and the set up is essentially the same. There isn’t anything original about this film in this regard. While the characters may be in a different place in life, it all feels extremely familiar. It seems that people don’t really want to pay attention to this aspect. It’s a problem in other films across the board—“we’ve seen it before! Where’s the originality?” But with Before Sunset, I’ve never heard the slightest complaint.

Ethan Hawke is clearly trying to flex his acting muscles here. I didn’t really have a problem with this in the first film. I thought, hey this a young actor, and young people can be awkward at times, its fine. But to me, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset goes a little beyond what I can tolerate. We’re given shots of him grinning, and saying silly things to Celine, and all of it just seems syrupy sweet and overly artificial. Yes, its set in a realistic setting, and all of it seems like it could be occurring in real life, but I simply don’t buy it. In this regard Celine is no different. Her French accent spouts out line after line of dialogue, and eventually it just feels old after a while. With that said I love the dialogue in this film—I guess I just really don’t care for the actors spewing it out.

I get that this film is trying to show two past lovers who have fell into the grooves of normal life. They never expected to find one another again, and they have sort of accepted they place that they now hold. However, I don’t think the film shows regret or unhappiness very well at all. Yes, were given an argument between Jesse and Celine. They tell each other how unhappy they are, etc. but that’s near the end of the film. A sense of longing between these two characters is portrayed extremely well, but everything else seems to be below the surface. The looks, the long takes, the conversation about life and love—all of the things that made Before Sunrise such a pleasure to watch, but in a way these elements felt warn out to me in this particular film. I guess I just wanted that same experience all over again, and I honestly didn’t receive it. Good film. Interesting follow up. Worthy of all the praise? Maybe to you guys, but not me.


You just compared Before Sunset to The Hangover Part II YOU SORRY SON OF A BITCH.

Here's why you're wrong. The reason we all hated The Hangover II is because it's constructed as a mystery and a comedy. So when the plot is exactly the same, the mystery aspect is completely boring and the jokes are stale and likely to fall flat. Before Sunrise and Sunset have a similar scenario, but we're not there for a mystery plot, so that's not a problem, and we're not there for comedy, so it's not like we see all the punchlines coming as with Hangover II. A better parallel might be the Die Hard movies. Similar clothesline for the sequels, yes, but I've never heard any complaints because the action scenes are different so who cares if the scenario is similar?

As to the film itself, I don't know what to tell you...I think you just missed the boat. The way Jesse is outgoing but Celine is guarded, even cold, as she's not prepared to let herself go emotionally. And the way that changes once he admits that his life is miserable so now she doesn't have to feel like the weak needy one in the pair. It's a pretty deep characterization and they play it well, notice how she gets uncomfortable when he makes any sexual comments in the first half of the film, but then in the second half of the film when he's explaining how miserable he is she has to resist putting her arm around him in the cab. Ahhh so perfect. And the last shot...THE LAST SHOT!


Not all of us hated The Hangover Part II. I for one enjoyed it and laughed almost as much as the first movie. And JB felt the same way. If you hated it, that's fine, but be careful with generalizations.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:07 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunset (2004) 3/4

I’m bracing myself for mass amounts of hate, debate, and overall judgery, but I’m ok with that, after all this is where the gods of film watching trot. First off, let me say that this three star review comes from someone who really liked Before Sunrise and thought it was an extremely effective romance. Let me also say that I don’t think this is a bad film, hence the three stars, but I just do not, repeat do not see the greatness that everyone else sees in this film. People knock The Hangover Part II for being the exact same film as the first. It gave viewers basically the same plot--hell, some scenes feel completely recycled. But viewers wanted to see certain escapades play out once more, so they got what they wished for in a sense. In many ways Before Sunset is no different. All of you who love this film are going to rave and say, “It’s not true, it’s completely different”, and that’s fine, but to me it’s not. We have characters that we have seen before, and the set up is essentially the same. There isn’t anything original about this film in this regard. While the characters may be in a different place in life, it all feels extremely familiar. It seems that people don’t really want to pay attention to this aspect. It’s a problem in other films across the board—“we’ve seen it before! Where’s the originality?” But with Before Sunset, I’ve never heard the slightest complaint.

Ethan Hawke is clearly trying to flex his acting muscles here. I didn’t really have a problem with this in the first film. I thought, hey this a young actor, and young people can be awkward at times, its fine. But to me, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset goes a little beyond what I can tolerate. We’re given shots of him grinning, and saying silly things to Celine, and all of it just seems syrupy sweet and overly artificial. Yes, its set in a realistic setting, and all of it seems like it could be occurring in real life, but I simply don’t buy it. In this regard Celine is no different. Her French accent spouts out line after line of dialogue, and eventually it just feels old after a while. With that said I love the dialogue in this film—I guess I just really don’t care for the actors spewing it out.

I get that this film is trying to show two past lovers who have fell into the grooves of normal life. They never expected to find one another again, and they have sort of accepted they place that they now hold. However, I don’t think the film shows regret or unhappiness very well at all. Yes, were given an argument between Jesse and Celine. They tell each other how unhappy they are, etc. but that’s near the end of the film. A sense of longing between these two characters is portrayed extremely well, but everything else seems to be below the surface. The looks, the long takes, the conversation about life and love—all of the things that made Before Sunrise such a pleasure to watch, but in a way these elements felt warn out to me in this particular film. I guess I just wanted that same experience all over again, and I honestly didn’t receive it. Good film. Interesting follow up. Worthy of all the praise? Maybe to you guys, but not me.


You just compared Before Sunset to The Hangover Part II YOU SORRY SON OF A BITCH.

Here's why you're wrong. The reason we all hated The Hangover II is because it's constructed as a mystery and a comedy. So when the plot is exactly the same, the mystery aspect is completely boring and the jokes are stale and likely to fall flat. Before Sunrise and Sunset have a similar scenario, but we're not there for a mystery plot, so that's not a problem, and we're not there for comedy, so it's not like we see all the punchlines coming as with Hangover II. A better parallel might be the Die Hard movies. Similar clothesline for the sequels, yes, but I've never heard any complaints because the action scenes are different so who cares if the scenario is similar?

As to the film itself, I don't know what to tell you...I think you just missed the boat. The way Jesse is outgoing but Celine is guarded, even cold, as she's not prepared to let herself go emotionally. And the way that changes once he admits that his life is miserable so now she doesn't have to feel like the weak needy one in the pair. It's a pretty deep characterization and they play it well, notice how she gets uncomfortable when he makes any sexual comments in the first half of the film, but then in the second half of the film when he's explaining how miserable he is she has to resist putting her arm around him in the cab. Ahhh so perfect. And the last shot...THE LAST SHOT!


Not all of us hated The Hangover Part II. I for one enjoyed it and laughed almost as much as the first movie. And JB felt the same way. If you hated it, that's fine, but be careful with generalizations.


Ross -- this isn't the time, man, THIS ISN'T THE TIME! The barbarians are at the gate! Before Sunset is being threatened! Forget about The Hangover Part II....we need to rally around Jesse and Celine. Grab your guns, people!

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:38 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I love both of the first two Before films, with Before Sunset edging the first one out a little tiny bit with its slightly more cynical world view and increasingly desperate urgency. But I can see why people like the first, purer one more; even JB thought the same. And I also like The Hangover II (how could I not when it's shot in my country in both its beauty and its seedier sides, and the story, though derivative, was enjoyable enough), but I really, really wince when I read to the part where it was being compared with Sunset in regards to "the plot is the same" aspect. Does. Not. Comprehend. And ouch.

JamesKunz already said a few things about the differences, so I'm gonna add just one more of my opinion: Whereas with The Hangover II, the framework of the original story dictates what the characters will do and what story beats are going to be next, Before Sunset lets Jesse's and Celine's past in the first film and the years that followed accumulate within their characters, and then they themselves become the story, become their own indication of how the story will go next.


Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunset (2004) 3/4

I’m bracing myself for mass amounts of hate, debate, and overall judgery, but I’m ok with that, after all this is where the gods of film watching trot. First off, let me say that this three star review comes from someone who really liked Before Sunrise and thought it was an extremely effective romance. Let me also say that I don’t think this is a bad film, hence the three stars, but I just do not, repeat do not see the greatness that everyone else sees in this film. People knock The Hangover Part II for being the exact same film as the first. It gave viewers basically the same plot--hell, some scenes feel completely recycled. But viewers wanted to see certain escapades play out once more, so they got what they wished for in a sense. In many ways Before Sunset is no different. All of you who love this film are going to rave and say, “It’s not true, it’s completely different”, and that’s fine, but to me it’s not. We have characters that we have seen before, and the set up is essentially the same. There isn’t anything original about this film in this regard. While the characters may be in a different place in life, it all feels extremely familiar. It seems that people don’t really want to pay attention to this aspect. It’s a problem in other films across the board—“we’ve seen it before! Where’s the originality?” But with Before Sunset, I’ve never heard the slightest complaint.

Ethan Hawke is clearly trying to flex his acting muscles here. I didn’t really have a problem with this in the first film. I thought, hey this a young actor, and young people can be awkward at times, its fine. But to me, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset goes a little beyond what I can tolerate. We’re given shots of him grinning, and saying silly things to Celine, and all of it just seems syrupy sweet and overly artificial. Yes, its set in a realistic setting, and all of it seems like it could be occurring in real life, but I simply don’t buy it. In this regard Celine is no different. Her French accent spouts out line after line of dialogue, and eventually it just feels old after a while. With that said I love the dialogue in this film—I guess I just really don’t care for the actors spewing it out.

I get that this film is trying to show two past lovers who have fell into the grooves of normal life. They never expected to find one another again, and they have sort of accepted they place that they now hold. However, I don’t think the film shows regret or unhappiness very well at all. Yes, were given an argument between Jesse and Celine. They tell each other how unhappy they are, etc. but that’s near the end of the film. A sense of longing between these two characters is portrayed extremely well, but everything else seems to be below the surface. The looks, the long takes, the conversation about life and love—all of the things that made Before Sunrise such a pleasure to watch, but in a way these elements felt warn out to me in this particular film. I guess I just wanted that same experience all over again, and I honestly didn’t receive it. Good film. Interesting follow up. Worthy of all the praise? Maybe to you guys, but not me.


You just compared Before Sunset to The Hangover Part II YOU SORRY SON OF A BITCH.

Here's why you're wrong. The reason we all hated The Hangover II is because it's constructed as a mystery and a comedy. So when the plot is exactly the same, the mystery aspect is completely boring and the jokes are stale and likely to fall flat. Before Sunrise and Sunset have a similar scenario, but we're not there for a mystery plot, so that's not a problem, and we're not there for comedy, so it's not like we see all the punchlines coming as with Hangover II. A better parallel might be the Die Hard movies. Similar clothesline for the sequels, yes, but I've never heard any complaints because the action scenes are different so who cares if the scenario is similar?

As to the film itself, I don't know what to tell you...I think you just missed the boat. The way Jesse is outgoing but Celine is guarded, even cold, as she's not prepared to let herself go emotionally. And the way that changes once he admits that his life is miserable so now she doesn't have to feel like the weak needy one in the pair. It's a pretty deep characterization and they play it well, notice how she gets uncomfortable when he makes any sexual comments in the first half of the film, but then in the second half of the film when he's explaining how miserable he is she has to resist putting her arm around him in the cab. Ahhh so perfect. And the last shot...THE LAST SHOT!


James, come on! People didn't go see The Hangover Part II for the mystery plot. People wanted to see that movie because they wanted a continuation of the situations, gags, etc. People wanted to laugh at Zach Galifianakis some more. It's the same here without the gags and humor--and I don't have a problem with that per se. I enjoyed watching Jesse and Celine in the first film, I loved the walking and talking, but this time it just didn't work for me completely. I don't buy these actors in these roles---atleast the way I did in the first film. The realistic-ness of it all is great, but at times it just felt overly artificial. I think its the dialogue. Its almost constant. It's really hard to decipher emotion at times. I guess I just wanted to see more emotion, emotion visible without having to constantly read between the lines, instead of Ethan Hawke's squirrely grins. Again, good film but just not great for this guy.

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