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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Gatekeepers (2012) 3.5/4

I had wanted to check out this film for quite sometime, and I have to say I was completely taken away by it. Not only does this film paint a powerful portrait of the politics in the Middle East, it also gives viewers a look inside the minds of the men who have the job of “keeping the peace” and giving out orders. The large majority of this documentary is simply talking heads. There is little reenactment to help visualize large segments of information and discussion, which can at times lead to a sense of boredom--purely from a visual standpoint. Although this film may be strictly informational, I can’t recommend it enough. The questions posed to these security officials are simply amazing. Seeing these “untouchable individuals” speaking about things such as morality and justification is simply enthralling. In some instances its hard to be completely engaged in a documentary, but I cant deny that The Gatekeepers had me completely absorbed.

Pacific Rim (2013) 3/4

Finally, a summer action film that meets expectations while delivering a good dose of fun. I really respect what del Toro was trying to accomplish here; it’s refreshing to see a film that’s not afraid to take chances. When you go to see a robot versus monster spectacle it’s rewarding to be given just that (and even a little more). Pacific Rim is by no means a great film; hell it has quite a handful of clichés. The second act was at times a little to bent on trivial characterization, and I found my myself craving more rock'em sock'em action sequences. However, I was fully ready to have a genuine “good time” at the movies, and with that said Pacific Rim rarely fails.

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Last edited by JackBurns on Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Broken (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441940/
Touching British drama/coming of age/tragedy story revolving around the interactions between three dysfunctional families: a solo dad (Tim Roth) with with his teenaged son and daughter and live-in housekeeper, an (aggressive) solo dad and his three teenage daughters, and a couple with a mentally impaired son. The story is focussed primarily on the the former family - specifically the daughter Skunk (a fantastic performance by Eloise Laurence). Indeed this is where the key problem of Broken arises - scenes without Skunk in them seem tangential because the other characters are relatively poorly developed. A stronger focus on a single character (which is what initially appears to be the case) would imo have made a more poignant film. As expected from a British production, the acting and dialogue are of a high standard. However, there are some dubious editing choices where scenes are edited out of order for no apparent reason other than to annoy viewers (which is actually a disturbing trend I have seen in numerous films lately). Recommended.
7/10.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The King Of Marvin Gardens - The last narrative film produced by the BBS production company also functions as a sort of final gathering of many of the major collaborators of the time period, from director Bob Rafelson and star Jack Nicholson, who worked with each other on both Head and Five Easy Pieces, to co-stars Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn, who had memorable supporting roles in Drive, He Said and The Last Picture Show, respectively. With so many familiar faces, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect something in a similar vein to what came before, but The King Of Marvin Gardens has its own way of going about things, best exemplified by the opening shot, an extended close-up of Nicholson as he goes through a monologue on his radio show. Nicholson, so often associated with larger-than-life performances, is remarkably subdued here, easily stepping into the shoes of a quiet, lonely man who reluctantly agrees to reconnect with his much more extroverted brother, played by Dern.

In order for that to happen though, Nicholson’s character has to travel to Atlantic City, a setting that fits nicely with the energetic, but quietly depressed company he finds there. Along with Dern (who can play desperation as good as anyone), he meets Burstyn, one of Dern’s girlfriends, paranoid that she will eventually be cast aside by him in favor of her stepdaughter. and the local mob boss, played by Scatman Crothers. The theme of reconnecting with lost family is not new to Rafelson and Nicholson, but here it’s only one element out of several, all vying for equal attention. At times, the film almost gets too bogged down in trying to give enough time to everything. Rafelson effectively employs a small degree of misdirection, setting up the element of danger with Atlantic City gangsters, while diverting attention away from the tension constantly building within the central unit, which is where the real action is. Despite the film’s exemplary material, and there really is quite a bit to admire, it’s not quite as successful as the best of the BBS productions, jumping about wildly in tone, relying a little too much on forced metaphors (the Monopoly connections get old fast), and lacking characters as strongly defined and memorable as Robert Eroica Dupea and Rayette Dipesto from Five Easy Pieces. Which is not to say that the film isn’t worthwhile; it’s just that it’s the kind of film that I really want to embrace, but it’s detached, sometimes overly-stagey storytelling kept me at arm’s length. 7/10.

Millennium Mambo - The first sequence of Hou Hsaio-hsien’s 2001 film is one of the more evocative openings I’ve seen to a film in a long time. The camera follows lead actress Shu Qi as she moves down a bridge walkway at night to an evocative piece of electronic music by Lim Going, while an unseen female narrator from ten years into the future thinks back into the past. The narrator focuses her attention on a the winding down of a relationship between the directionless Vicky and her DJ boyfriend Hao-Hao, whose lives seem to mostly revolve around spending time in clubs and just trying to get through each day intact. The rest of the film observes Vicky as she gradually shifts her life away from Hao-Hao, with Hou also quietly commenting on the kind of post-millennial malaise among 20-somethings. (also a defining feature of the final segment of his 2006 film Three Times). That subtext might explain the film’s approach to the relationship at its center. Hou chooses not to show much affection between Vicky and Hao-Hao; most of the focus is given to the relationship’s end, and his callous and confrontational attitudes towards her. It’s an uncompromising but honest examination, but it does raise the question of why Vicky bothered with Hao-Hao in the first place.

Hou’s style here is very deliberate, the camera always kept stationary and distanced from the action, with shots holding much longer than what is usually considered the norm. Locations will shift from noisy clubs to quiet apartments, but everything remains loosely defined, with Hou more focused on following character gestures and interactions than on establishing settings. It gives a subtly disorienting, hazy quality to the film, one that mirrors the aimless lifestyle and general dissatisfaction of the main character Vicky. Admittedly, spending an extended amount of time in the company of these characters is not the most easy task. At times, you want to shout into the screen at Vicky to break it off permanently and just move on. But even if her situation and her attitudes can sometimes be frustrating, she also feels very real, and there is an honesty to the film as a whole that makes the time spent with it worthwhile. 7/10.

The ABCs Of Death
- I think I’m about ready to give up on the horror anthology, that particular subset of horror cinema that so frequently offers potential but almost always ends up disappointing. This new collection has a unique and attention-grabbing selling point: 26 different directors, each assigned a letter of the alphabet for a short film based around death-related subject matter. It’s not a bad selling point, and unlike the recent and safer V/H/S, it at least promises, and delivers, a good deal of variety. Apart from the more conventional offerings, you get a little bit of stop-motion animation, a giallo homage, one film shot entirely from the first-person perspective of a zombie, some attempts at science fiction, one or two productions that would evoke memories of Lynch or Cronenberg if they weren’t so inept, and some moments that outright defy categorization. The one common link between them all, unfortunately, is that none of them are much good.

The least interesting segments are, predictably, the ones that try to be scary or disturbing. It’s always tough for a horror anthology to generate any real terror, and it’s especially tough here with the large number of segments, each ranging from 2-5 minutes. Most of the filmmakers go for a more irreverent approach, but only a small handful are particularly interesting or memorable, and some of them are memorable for all the wrong reasons. The best of the bunch is the ‘Q‘ segment, where the filmmakers lament being given the ‘Q‘ segment and brainstorm different hooks and ideas to make their work stand out. The worst offender is the ‘L‘ segment, an incredibly sadistic and nasty piece focusing on a contest where two participants are forced to masturbate to increasingly disturbing images. It’s sick stuff, the kind of material where you can’t help but wonder “Who thought this was a good idea, and how do they sleep at night knowing they’re responsible for it?” Elsewhere, Ti West continues to quickly burn through whatever small amount of goodwill he had built up with The House Of The Devil. His contribution looks like something he took all of one hour to shoot, its only purpose to set up a cheap joke with the reveal of his letter’s association. Most of the segments though pass by with little to no consequence, and it’s too bad because that original idea is still somewhat interesting. Maybe everyone would have been better served if it had just stayed an idea. 2/10.

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Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
The King Of Marvin Gardens - The last narrative film produced by the BBS production company also functions as a sort of final gathering of many of the major collaborators of the time period, from director Bob Rafelson and star Jack Nicholson, who worked with each other on both Head and Five Easy Pieces, to co-stars Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn, who had memorable supporting roles in Drive, He Said and The Last Picture Show, respectively. With so many familiar faces, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect something in a similar vein to what came before, but The King Of Marvin Gardens has its own way of going about things, best exemplified by the opening shot, an extended close-up of Nicholson as he goes through a monologue on his radio show. Nicholson, so often associated with larger-than-life performances, is remarkably subdued here, easily stepping into the shoes of a quiet, lonely man who reluctantly agrees to reconnect with his much more extroverted brother, played by Dern.

In order for that to happen though, Nicholson’s character has to travel to Atlantic City, a setting that fits nicely with the energetic, but quietly depressed company he finds there. Along with Dern (who can play desperation as good as anyone), he meets Burstyn, one of Dern’s girlfriends, paranoid that she will eventually be cast aside by him in favor of her stepdaughter. and the local mob boss, played by Scatman Crothers. The theme of reconnecting with lost family is not new to Rafelson and Nicholson, but here it’s only one element out of several, all vying for equal attention. At times, the film almost gets too bogged down in trying to give enough time to everything. Rafelson effectively employs a small degree of misdirection, setting up the element of danger with Atlantic City gangsters, while diverting attention away from the tension constantly building within the central unit, which is where the real action is. Despite the film’s exemplary material, and there really is quite a bit to admire, it’s not quite as successful as the best of the BBS productions, jumping about wildly in tone, relying a little too much on forced metaphors (the Monopoly connections get old fast), and lacking characters as strongly defined and memorable as Robert Eroica Dupea and Rayette Dipesto from Five Easy Pieces. Which is not to say that the film isn’t worthwhile; it’s just that it’s the kind of film that I really want to embrace, but it’s detached, sometimes overly-stagey storytelling kept me at arm’s length. 7/10.


I'm with you. It never pulled me in at all and I'll take Five Easy Pieces any day

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Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:58 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Clockers (1995) ***

It's very hard judging the film adaptation of a book you really liked. Particularly when the book in question is a huge book that provides tons of character depth and tells the story of a whole city. Movies made from such books are usually going to fail. Look at Bonfire of the Vanities, a terrible film made from an exceptional book. But Clockers is by no means such a failure. Still, I'm having trouble judging how many of the movies flaws are simply of the "The book did it so much deeper!" variety and how many are actual flaws. So I'll give it a tentative 3 for now and do some ruminating.

Pacific Rim
(2013) ***

(warning: I'm about to say what everyone else has)

Do I wish Del Toro would make the next Pan's Labyrinth? Yes, yes I do. But in the meantime he could certainly do worse than providing a summer movie that gives us a good time and doesn't make us all angry to be film fans. There's little new in the storyline of Pacific Rim, but there are lots of little touches that are neat and whimsical and I had a good time throughout without feeling that my intelligence was being insulted.

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Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:18 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I've been sick lately, so I've been parked in front of the TV a bit. Some of what I watched:

Black Sunday (1960)

Mario Bava may have never gone beyond cheapo horror films, but man, could he create atmosphere. The plot of this film is a little hokey, but the photography is amazing, and worth seeing.

The Naked Gun 33 1/3

Funnier than part 2, not quite as good as the original. You'll generally get what you expect.

The Truman Show

A man's entire life has been broadcast as a TV show. Gradually, he begins to realize this. This is the best kind of film, one that functions on entertainment and intellectual levels. It features some of the best work of both Jim Carrey and Peter Weir.

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Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Saw these on a double-bill at the drive-in. Fun experience with the kids, but NOT the most optimal audio/visual/conscientous-fellow-movie-goer experience

Dispicable Me 2 (2013)
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The plot isn't overly complicated and at it's core is a love story for Gru, the main character. The gags were pretty good and the minions, while coming close to oversaturation, are still funny to watch. Doesn't have the staying power of a classic Pixar flick, but I laughed out loud many times. 3.0/4.0

Pacific Rim (2013)
Like Kunz, can't add to too much that has already been said. Unlike many reviews I've seen, I thought the human characters where given enough to do, but there was more that could have been done. About 2/3 or more of the movie takes place outside of action-battle sequences, so the humans get plenty of screen time, they just don't do much with it that isn't perfunctory. Still, an enjoyable spectacle all the same with quite a bit more heart and seriousness than, say, your average Transformers movie. I'd agree with the 3.0/4.0 that JB and others have assigned.


Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401383/
Gripping true story of a stroke victim who, after awakening from a coma, finds himself with "Locked in Syndrome". Literally the only thing he can use to communicate is a single eyelid. Via this method he manages to write an entire book, upon which this French (subtitled) film is based. The 1st person perspective (prevalent at the beginning, but used regularly throughout) is done extremely well and effectively conveys the helplessness of someone "trapped" in this hopeless situation. Indeed, this is the best use of the 1st-person perspective since Doom. A truly fantastic film and obviously highly recommended.
8.5/10.


Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Grown Ups 2: a pleasant surprise, this is the best comedy of the year so far and one of the best movies of Sandler's career. It finds new energy after the pleasant but undeniably mediocre run which included Chuck and Larry, Jack and Jill, and the first Grown Ups. In Grown Ups 2, the laughs keep on coming all the way through. I can't remember the last time that was the case for a Sandler movie. Unlike the isolated hangout vibe of the first movie, this sequel has a terrific sense of mass ensemble which is fully realized during the climax. Many of the jokes are stupid and crass in the typical Sandler way, but eventually it starts to feel pretty good.

To be clear: That's My Boy was one of the worst, most vile movies I've ever seen. It came across under the surface as an angry tirade against Sandler's haters, but consequently emanated nothing but disgusting hatred. Worst of all because it fully justified his own haters. Grown Ups 2 goes a long way toward redeeming that, and makes what is thus far the ultimate statement of Sandler's self-reflexive defense of the movies he makes and about his attitude toward life. He's trying to say: lighten up and don't take life so seriously all the time.

Byzantium

Another pleasant surprise, after I didn't think very highly of Mona Lisa. Neil Jordan, based solely on what I've seen so far, is more story presenter than storyteller. He's an aestheticist, like most good directors are, but is more interested in characters and situations than in plot. In Byzantium, that works brilliantly to his advantage. It's the best modern vampire movie I've seen, easily outdoing Let the Right One In. It's a morally inconclusive film, presenting evil as a complex thing, and without necessarily condemning it. That it's release is mostly restricted to VOD is very telling about where the artform is headed. Byzantium features the best cinematography of 2013 by far, which leaves me thinking that aesthetic beauty in film will quickly become a home-bound commodity. The sooner the better, IMO. I'd be very surprised if this doesn't get 3.5 stars from JB. I can say with certainty that it's deserving.


Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:29 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Seven Samurai. You know, this is a pretty good film. A bit longish, which is only a problem because I always have to watch it in one sitting. By the way, Kambei miscounted. The bandit's second in command went into the women's building with his boss and was never shown killed. I guess the women clawed him to death. In any case, he would be outnumbered 100-1. I also notice samurai can only be killed by muskets. (9 of 10. Not my favorite Kurosawa, though; that honor goes to High and Low.)

In The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, John Phillip Law acquits himself well as Sinbad, Catherine Munro is sexy as hell (and has remarkable little to do than look sexy as hell) and Tom Baker steals the show as a surprisingly sympathetic villain. Ray Harryhausen provides memorable stop-motion characters such as an animated masthead and a six-armed animated statue of Kali (which looks a lot more like Shiva), not to mention winged homunculi. The battle between a one-eyed centaur and a griffin is below the established standard. Nice movie (6.5 of 10, because really, but it's a lot of fun to watch. I'm tempted to give it half a point because Munro is such eye candy.)

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is weaker and sloppy, but still entertaining. Patrick Wayne (son of John) is Sinbad, and he's not much of an actor. Taryn Power (daughter of Tyrone) is decorative, but also exhibits why she had a pretty short film career. Jane Seymour (the third wife of Henry VIII) acquits herself better, but Patrick Troughton steals the show. Obviously, to make a decent Sinbad movie, you need to cast a once or future Doctor Who. In this film a prince is turned into a baboon by an evil sorceress (Margaret Whiting channelling Norma Desmond, but with a horrible accent) and must be cured by going to Hyperborea, which contains troglodyte (only one apparently) and is not to be confused with Hyborea, which is too bad because Sinbad meets Conan would be interesting. Good special effects include the chess-playing baboon (Harryhausen at his best), a bronze minotaur (criminally underused) and a battle between the (oddly horned) troglodyte and a saber-tooth tiger. Less effective are skeletal demons, and a giant walrus, although it isn't every day you see Arabian sailors battling a walrus. Incidentally, the Arctic scenes were filmed in Malta during a heat wave. (5.5 of 10)

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Last edited by Syd Henderson on Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I thought I'd reviewed Gold Diggers of 1933, but apparently not, so here's an opportunity I can't pass up.

Gold Diggers of 1933 stars Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon and Ruby Keeler as the "Gold Diggers," with Ginger Rogers featuring in the opening number, "We're in the Money." The Gold Diggers are showgirls who are unemployed because the Great Depression is shutting down shows left and right, but they suddenly have an opportunity when a producer gets the bright idea of doing a musical about the Great Depression. Unfortunately, he's broke too; fortunately Ruby Keeler's songwriter boyfriend, Dick Powell is a secret millionaire. His brother disapproves, but promptly falls victim of a mistaken identity scam and Joan Blondell.

This is a classic musical, second of a thematic trilogy that started with 42nd Street and concluded with Footlight Parade, all of which are in the National Film Registry for very good reasons. Gold Diggers of 1933 is especially interesting because it deals straightforwardly with the Depression. Not only is the musical within the musical dealing with the subject, but so is the movie itself. "We're in the Money" (which is wonderfully ironic since the actresses are broke) is the most famous song, but "Pettin' in the Park" and "Remember My Forgotten Man" (dealing with unemployment and the country's failure to deal with unemployment among war veterans--this was only a year after the Bonus army) are better. Blondell is great as usual, MacMahon gets funnier and funnier as the film goes on, and Keeler's nice, though she and Ginger Rogers disappear as the film goes on. Great film, though amazingly "Footlight Parade" is even better. (8.5 of 10)

This is actually a partial remake of Gold Diggers of Broadway, a 1929 film that is turn a remake of a 1923 silent version of a stage play. The 1923 film is lost, and the 1929 film, despite being popular is mostly lost, but premiered the song "Tiptoe through the Tulips." This sequence has actually survived and is historically interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqZ_4Xy7xXI. The girl on the left is especially sexy even in green overalls.

Gold Diggers of 1935 is less provocative, since it's not a pre-Code film, but is still a lot of fun, with broadway producers scamming miserly Alice Brady to produce a cheap charity show for about five times as much as she's anticipating. Meanwhile, she's hired Dick Powell to be a safe escort for her daughter (Gloria Stuart) with predictable results. This film has the great "The Words are In My Heart" production number, succeeded by the amazing "Lullaby of Broadway," which may well be the greatest production number in Hollywood history. It's certainly one of the spookiest. (8 of 10)

Gold Diggers of 1937 suffers in comparison. Dick Powell (who apparently was mandatory for Busby Berkeley musicals) is an incompetent insurance salesman who falls in love with showgirl Joan Blondell, and finds himself selling a million-dollar policy to a show producer (Victor Moore) because the producers' partners have blown the company's money and are banking on the producer's death. Glenda Farrell is Blondell's best friend, and actually suggests the scheme, but has second thoughts when she realizes she really likes Moore. The only production number that stands out is the finale "All's Fair in Love and War," which is also a good song. "With Plenty of Money and You" and "The Insurance Song" ('There's pie in the sky when you die, Die DIE') are also cute but the movie has an unfinished feel. (6 of 10)

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Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Footlight Parade is one of the best musicals for sure. Dick Powell is one of my favorite actors of all time. He doesn't have dramatic heft, but his aww-shucks energy is unrivaled.


Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:27 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
He was in a lot of movies with Ruby Keeler and/or Joan Blondell. People like to complain about Keeler's heavy-footed dancing, but she had a puppy-dog appeal that works well in musicals. Blondell's one of my favorite actresses of the time, in musicals, comedies and dramas. She and Una Merkel sort of exchanged wise-cracking blonde supporting roles for about a decade, but Blondell did an occasional lead.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) **1/2

Steamy southern drama with Marlon Brando and Liz Taylor via John Huston? Sounded great, but alas the drama was mainly inert.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Running Scared

Cartoony vision of the American nightmare. I can't say Wayne Kramer's movie disturbed me, but perhaps that's the point. Basically a farce of films with similar subject matter which are trying too hard to be bothersome. Kramer keeps the energy up, making for a rewarding watch.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Lili. Finally got to see this and it's wonderful with the best performance I've ever seen by Leslie Caron. There's lots of things going on here both light and dark, with the troubled and bitter puppeteer (Mel Ferrar) being both, and the naive Lili leaving childhood and discovering the existence of cruelty. ("She is realizing that there is cruelty in the world, and she is learning to protect herself from it.") This is the movie that "Hi-Lili Hi-Lo" comes from, but it isn't a musical. This is also probably the best movie to feature Zsa Zsa Gabor or Carrot Top.*(9 of 10)

*Carrot Top is the name of one of the puppets.

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Last edited by Syd Henderson on Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pawn Shop Chronicles

It's being dismissed as both grindhouse trash and a Pulp Fiction ripoff. Guilty as charged to the former, but the latter is ridiculous. For these critics to praise Pulp Fiction as one of the best films of its time, then trash a movie just because it happens to have similar formalistic ideas reveals the basest form of hypocrisy; that they're passion for Pulp Fiction was phony to begin with. I have a passion for Pulp Fiction, or at least for its basic conceit, which is why I found Pawn Shop to be both exciting and fulfilling. It also dares to be seriously upsetting, which is something Tarantino shies away from. QT has never liked to focus too specifically on sex, but Wayne Kramer does. There's heavy-duty, disturbing stuff in this movie, presented in a nightmarish fashion that really got to me. It probably should have been NC-17. Kramer goes very far, perhaps too far, but shows a sensitivity that was absent from the equally horrific Django Unchained. One thing that Pawn Shop illustrates is that popcorn movies are becoming too loosy-goosy with what they're willing to depict onscreen for the purpose of entertainment.

But this movie is inspiring just for how sheerly ambitious it is. Kramer doesn't stop at Pulp Fiction. He tackles no less than Robert Altman's Nashville, recreating one specific scene from it and reaching for the same thematic resonance.


Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:59 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Loneliest Planet (2011) ???/4

I remember when I first saw the trailer for The Loneliest Planet; I was struck with excitement. The trailer featured raving reviews and a promise of one of the best twists in recent filmdom. However after recently watching The Loneliest Planet I can’t quite confirm how I actually feel about the film itself. I had a similar problem earlier in the year with a film called Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t care much for the film, utterly on the basis of a huge cultural divide (and some pretention for that matter) that coincidently rips away a good bit of understanding. While I can surely say that Uncle Boonmee never connected with me, I can’t say the same for The Loneliest Planet.

Overall I found quite a bit to admire about The Loneliest Planet. There is an overwhelming silence to this film, which communicates an abundant amount of emotion and tension throughout. The “turning point/twist” in this film is quite interesting, and the entirety of the film itself is practically built around this quick moment. In short, The Loneliest Planet provides a stimulating look at the social expectations, relationships, and gender roles in our own society. Yet even with strong, positive aspects this film also has underlying faults. The film itself runs right at the two-hour mark, and it’s hard to say that the editing process could not have been a little more rigorous. Characters are never really fleshed out, although I found myself connecting to the situation rather than the characters themselves. I can’t deny that this film has it’s own set of issues, but I still have respect quite a bit about this film. More than likely this film will get a 3 from me, but I cant commit to it just yet.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Now You See Me (2013) - A weak story elevated considerably by lively performances and expert, fast-paced direction. It's leave-your-brain-at-the-door entertainment, but not a bad one at that. 6.5/10

Oz, the Great and Powerful (2013) - There are a lot that don't work about this prequel to Oz (some performances, a few scenes of CGI overload, unfocused story) but overall the bright and upbeat atmosphere (a departure from the dour summer blockbusters nowadays) combined with a grand climax that fits the theme very nicely makes this a good family entertainment. 7/10

Footnote (2011) - This Oscar-nominated Israeli drama film (that loses to A Seperation) is about the rivalry between father and son who compete in the same academics career, and ultimately for the same top-level award. The film alternately explores and pokes fun at professional egos, family resentment, and an ethical and moral dilemma. Along with the issues raised, there are some light, comedic touches and playful camera works, which keep the film to be both compelling and entertaining, with two great central performances. However, I feel the very ambiguous, abrupt ending doesn't serve the film well at all, because unlike A Seperation's perfect ending, it doesn't tie into the story or work with the established themes too much. That makes one leaves the film with a vaguely unsatisfied feeling. Still, a very good foriegn film. 8/10

The Tower (2012) - The South Korean disaster movie is inspired by The Towering Inferno, with strong shades of uncomfortable almost-9/11 images. It's pure formula, with the worst sin of most characters being just types.. very over-acting types that often turn into grating, saved for a few decent performances (which may be the result of them getting quieter types). However, the disaster sequences are expertly done, very varied and filled with energy and danger. The CGI work is strong throughout (saved from the big one at the end). So it's edge-of-your-seat thrills alternating with cringey drama. But if you don't mind the latter, the former are good and numerous enough to mark it as passably worth a look. 5.8/10


Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:29 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

James Cameron, what the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass used to be beautiful.

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The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:07 pm
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