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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Berbarian Sound Studio (2012) 3.5/4

Let me go ahead and say it: I kinda loved this film. Functioning as an almost subtle Lynchian experience, Berbarian Sound Studio creates a moody atmosphere that is rich in admiring the technicalities of cinema. Like Coppola’s The Conversation, our protagonist is among the best in his trade; an extremely intelligent sound engineer who has a visibly golden heart (played by the wonderful Toby Jones). The trade, very much like The Conversation, sends our main character, Gilderoy, into a downfall of delusions that begin to meld reality and film together as one. Gilderoy’s descent into madness isn’t as fleshed out when comparing it to the events in Aronofsky’s Black Swan, yet the basis for madness here is slightly different. While both films are grounded in madness through repetition, Berbarian revels in madness via its relation to sound. Sound is the foundation of this film, using it to portray grueling horrors that are never seen, yet cringingly imaginable. I can’t say that Berbarian completely pulls off its main character’s mental decay, but I can admire the ambition used to get there.

The Conjuring (2013) 3/4

I was on the fence about last year’s Sinister. On one hand I liked the film just fine, but the mythology created around its central spooky figure always felt a little lacking to me. Overall, the rules in Sinister weren’t as clear-cut as I would have liked, and the lack of information around our evil doo-er simply left me grunting a big “Hmph.” So when The Conjuring established a well-developed (while not completely satisfying) methodology to the inner workings of the horror world it was exploring, I found myself becoming quite a happy camper. From a pure “horror” standpoint, The Conjuring achieves quite a bit, and cements itself as a worthy entry in to the genre. With that said, I never found myself attached to the characters here. Couple Ed and Lorraine Warren come across as an interesting set of personalities, but they’re overall presence felt very hollow at times. Even so, The Conjuring doesn’t buckle under the arguably weak human components of the narrative, finding strong footing in a third act that ends on a somewhat disappointingly soft note.

Graceland (2012) 3.5/4

Here’s a great little thriller that got lost in the 2012 rush. Graceland may come across as a remake of Kurosawa’s High and Low—and while some of the elements are undoubtedly familiar, Graceland sets up a dark, dreary story all its own. Going into too much detail about the film itself will simply diminish its overall impact; all I can say is seek this little gem out.

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Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1570728/
From the outset, it was apparent this film desperately wanted to be something charming, feel-good and breezy akin to a Cameron Crowe production, but writer Dan Fogelman and directors(!) Glenn Ficarra and John Requa fail to deliver at every level. How A-listers like Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore got roped into this rubbish must have taken some doing and at a minimum large wads of cash. This film verges on a genre parody, parading out near every possible rom-com cliché in the book, resulting in an unfocussed shotgun approach almost none which hits the intended target. Everything feels artificial and forced - the story arcs, the relationships, the conflicts, and especially the dialogue - with the cherry on top of the absurd plot contrivances sold as mere coincidence. Watching this film was near excruciating for most of its 2 hr running time - how this rates 7.4/10 on imdb is a complete and utter mystery to me. I'm almost certain this will be a contender for the "worst film I saw in 2013", and I've seen Uwe Boll's Far Cry and all three Feast movies this year.
3/10.


Also don't forget that the movie whiplashes between tones...one minute screwball, the next serious drama. I didn't like it either

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Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:51 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The World's End (2013)

Finally got to see it last night.

It's hard to analyse these guys' films on the basis of one-watch, because they are a lot more complex than it appears at face-value. I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz more on subsequent viewings than I did first time around, and The World's End doesn't seem any different.

The plot revolves around Gary King. King (Pegg) was the town's stud-muffin answer to a local celeb ... 23 years ago. He drank the beer, pulled the birds, and had the laughs. And it's his mission to assemble his childhood friends and recreate a pub run they failed way back when. Gary has a serious problem, his life hasn't moved on one day since 1990. He is now a sad, appalingly dressed, middle-aged loser, who still drives a Ford Granada and listens to his 80 anthems on the very same tape cassettes that were copied for him 2 decades earlier. Gary is recognisable in a number of people you will know. Trying to relive the past - it's painful to watch, but it's meant to be. For all his stupid flaws, he gives the film a (desperately) human edge. His friends have all moved on and grown up successfully, and see look upon him in bemusement.

The film is clever. The early scenes have a grim, awkward realism about them (especially in the early pubs on the run), where you will recognise the desperation of the characters. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg seem to not only get their beloved sci-fi genre; but also show a profound understanding of how people interact with each other. The best scenes in the film aren't the crazy-ass fight sequences (of which there are many), but the quite bitter arguments and observations about the past the characters have with one-another. In particular between Pegg and Frost, whose wounded friendship is more poignant and realistic than I could ever have expected from this film. There really is some excellent and cutting observations about how some people just simply fail to grow up.

And the visuals - well it's Edgar Wright. He has talent for this shit. Without giving too much away, there is a scene in the film that near blew me away. One of the pubs en-route (the Mermaid) is actually a club holding some kind of 80s school reunion to the tune of a famous Kylie Minogue record. It looked like a piece of silver-wrapped retro, but with the feel of a computer game.

There's also a quite hilarious use of cameos with the various background characters from the previous cornetto films that you should look out for.

This is a good film. My only wish was that some of the arguments between Pegg and Frost in particular, were dragged out further, because they illuminate the nature of old places and friendships better than 99% of such dramas.

Very good, I'm looking forward to watching it again.

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Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Unke wrote:
Say what you like about Superman, but realistic he is not. A dramatic, character-driven superhero story has to grow organically from the character and Superman just isn’t the soul-searching, conflicted type and not suitable for the story Bryan Singer tries to tell.

One: Superman may be a fantasy character, but this has nothing to do with whether or not such a character can be used in the service of character-driven drama. Realism depends on sticking to the terms of our own universe. Drama depends on sticking to the terms of the fictional universe, which may or may not be closely related to this one.

Two: Of course Superman as introspective and unsure of himself can be done. It has been done. A lot of times. I'm not sure why Superman gets treated like Happy Gilmore, as if it's just plain unacceptable that he might be used in more than one kind of story, but there is a long-running history of this character being interpreted in a wide variety of ways. That includes quiet and contemplative ones.


You have omitted the context in the quote, in which I was referring specifically to the plot of 'Superman Returns'. I didn't mean to make a general statement on the suitability of fantasy characters for drama, but merely meant to say that the plot of 'Superman Returns' (man returns after long absence and finds that his lover has moved on) requires that the audience can identify with the tragedy and also the reality of the character's situation. We might feel for a soldier, who has been absent from home because he had to fight on a battlefield, perhaps believing to protect his home, and, upon his return, finds out that home as he knew it isn't there anymopre. We might sympathise with an ex-convict, who has made a mistake, been punished for it by his time in prison and, upon his release to freedom, finds out that he is punished some more, because his family isn't there anymore. It is a lot more difficult to emathise with Superman after he has returned from some years of space exploration.

Concerning your second statement: I am aware of Superman stories, in which he is more introspective and contemplative, but wouldn't you agree that this is not the essence of the character? Also, it doesn't change the fact that the above-mentioned plot doesn't fit the character, even when he is contemplative. Superman's "tragedy", if you can call it like this, is that he can never be part of mankind, as hard as may try. He will always be an alien. This is a material for drama, from which a Superman story can grow organically. The plot of 'Superman Returns' isn't, in my opinion.


Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm not sure what you mean by the "essence" of the character.

The thing with Superman is that he's a regular guy. Maybe not in the sense that he gets paper cuts or stubs his toe, but his emotional wants and needs are less those you'd imagine of a superpowered being and more those of a guy who grew up on a farm in the midwest and moved on to a busy job in the big city. His sense of responsibility about his unusual capabilities is the same as his sense of responsibility about being able to write: if he can do it, it's worth doing for the sake of others. He's kind of like a character out of Greek mythology--imbued with human desires and anxieties, despite existing on a much grander scale.

Any story that bears that in mind can work. That's not to say that it will work, because the act of telling any story is filled with choices, some of which are better-suited than others to the material. But for a character this flexible, there are very few things intrinsic about him that simply preclude a story from working at all.

I do think Superman Returns made some key errors, one of which was reducing his absence to a few bits of tossaway exposition and another of which was the mismatched combination of the villainous scheme with the more personal material. It's not an issue of being wrong for the character. Maybe wrong for a summer movie audience hungry for some superpowered fisticuffs, but that's a different issue.

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Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:24 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Spring Breakers

Wow, don't know how to grade this. It felt more like an experience. As someone who dips into this kind of social circle from time to time, it certainly gets under my skin. Hypnotizing. The moment that made me realized I kind of love it (from at first tentatively enjoying but having uncertainty about it) is definitely the "Everytime" montage, one of the best scenes of the year. It snapped everything into focus and felt like the director's mission statement. Combined with strong acting from all involved (with Vanessa Hudgens especially committed), it's fluid narrative that sometimes has a color palette like it's a setting from hell (reminding me a bit of Only God Forgives). Now a few days later, and I'm still thinking about it; two oft-repeated phrases especially stood out: "Look at all my shit" (theme of the movie, if it even has one) and "Spring Break forever y'all", indeed.
James Franco singing Britney Spears/10


Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Colombiana (2011)

Typical Luc Besson revenge drama. No worse than Taken, but appears to have gone straight to video. Zoe Saldana is smart and sexy as the lead character.


Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:53 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Alex wrote:
Colombiana (2011)

Typical Luc Besson revenge drama. No worse than Taken, but appears to have gone straight to video. Zoe Saldana is smart and sexy as the lead character.


It didn't go straight to video, 'smatter of fact. Made 36 million in the US

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Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Alex wrote:
Colombiana (2011)

Typical Luc Besson revenge drama. No worse than Taken, but appears to have gone straight to video. Zoe Saldana is smart and sexy as the lead character.


It didn't go straight to video, 'smatter of fact. Made 36 million in the US

Yup, it was a pretty good film, though the theatrical was really trimmed down to get a PG-13 rating.


Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:32 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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Yup, it was a pretty good film, though the theatrical was really trimmed down to get a PG-13 rating.


Can't remember which version I saw. Wasn't a huge fan the first time, but I gotta give it another watch at some point. Saldana didn't seem like she could carry the movie on her own.

Quote:
the quite bitter arguments and observations about the past the characters have with one-another. In particular between Pegg and Frost, whose wounded friendship is more poignant and realistic than I could ever have expected from this film.


Really looking forward to these scenes. One thing I'm curious about. How closely is this movie tied to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers concept? Is it essentially that, or something different?


Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
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Yup, it was a pretty good film, though the theatrical was really trimmed down to get a PG-13 rating.


Can't remember which version I saw. Wasn't a huge fan the first time, but I gotta give it another watch at some point. Saldana didn't seem like she could carry the movie on her own.

Quote:
the quite bitter arguments and observations about the past the characters have with one-another. In particular between Pegg and Frost, whose wounded friendship is more poignant and realistic than I could ever have expected from this film.


Really looking forward to these scenes. One thing I'm curious about. How closely is this movie tied to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers concept? Is it essentially that, or something different?

I thought she carried the film extremely well, can't say the same for the guy who played her love interest though, he was pretty weak.


Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:04 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet is a fine heroic biography of Dr. Paul Ehrlich, showcasing his role in the conquest of diphtheria (along with Emil Behring, who actually discovered the antitoxin, though Ehrlich played a crucial role in its development as a practical cure), his development of the first practical cure of syphilis, his role in staining cells, including microbes (crucial to diagnosing diseased), and his side-chain theory. Edward G. Robinson is at his best as the good doctor, Otto Kruger just fine as Emil Behring, Ruth Gordon is Ehrlich's wife Hedi, Albert Bassermann is Dr. Robert Koch (the greatest of all bacteriologists who became a close friend of Ehrlich). I found the movie thoroughly absorbing.

Although the words "Jew" and "Jewish" are never mentioned, Ehrlich is attacked for his faith, and it's clear what that faith was. Ehrlich has a speech at the end where he is talking about the need to cure diseases of the soul as well as the body. This was 1940, the audience knew Ehrlich was Jewish, and it was pretty gutsy to make the movie anyway. It was, of course, banned in Nazi Germany. (Ehrlich is also criticized for having a Japanese assistant; this assistant happened to be the co-discoverer of Salvarsan.

It was also gutsy to make a movie about syphilis, although the movie never comes out and says it's sexually transmitted; you supposedly can get it from a drinking cup. There's an amusing moment when Frau Speyer (Maria Ouspenskaya) is hosting Ehrlich at a dinner party, she asks him what he's working on, he straightforwardly says "syphilis," and the camera scans shocked looks down the whole table (except for the Ehrlichs and Frau Speyer).

Oddly, Salvarsan and its derivatives were phased out a few years after this movie in favor of penicillin.

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Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:01 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Catching up on my first-time viewings from the third week in July (mild spoiler warning for the first film):

Only God Forgives - 2011 was the year that finally saw Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, after many years of operating on the fringes, achieve something approaching mainstream recognition with his violent, distinctive thriller Drive. Now, two years later, comes his follow-up, but the buildup around it has been much less spirited, with a simultaneous release on VOD along with a much smaller theatrical spread. It doesn’t take long into the film to understand why it has come and gone with considerably less publicity and interest. At under 90 minutes, the film is incredibly stripped down, becoming almost an elemental experience, not so much about narrative or significant character development and more about the creation of a nightmarish world of symbolic violence and sexual dream imagery. Refn dedicates the film at the end to famed cinema surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky, but the precise compositions owe more of a debt to Stanley Kubrick, while the neon-lit nighttime Bangkok underworld setting recalls Gaspar Noé’s dark vision of Tokyo in Enter The Void. That Only God Forgives works as a visual and visceral experience is never a question; it’s tougher to pin down exactly what purpose all the style and shock is serving.

After treading close to accessibility with Drive, it almost seems like Refn felt the need to retreat back into the darker, more abstract regions of his earlier work. The film shares many of the same characteristics at that 2011 film: a revenge-driven narrative, a foreboding electronic score from Cliff Martinez, a performance from Ryan Gosling that is built on silent stoicism and brief outbursts of violent emotion. But the devil is in the details, with the frequent acts of revenge distilled down to an endless back-and-forth of pure nastiness without any sense of catharsis, and the main character a low-level thug dominated by Oedipal issues, a loser who operates almost exclusively by the whims of his dominating mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, really letting loose). Refn’s script and direction delight in challenging expectations, the best example coming when Gosling’s “Wanna fight?” challenge to the dangerous, enigmatic killer Chang, a line emphasized in the film’s trailers, is immediately followed by his character receiving a severe, completely one-sided beatdown. The thematic material in the film isn’t exactly new territory for Refn, but the results have never been as extreme, not a small feat considering the director’s resume also includes the likes of Valhalla Rising and Bronson. That makes it a tough film to rate with any degree of confidence; I found it strangely fascinating, both in spite of and because of its consistently off-putting nature, but I can’t say for certain that it’s a success. 6/10.

The Look Of Love - “My name’s Paul Raymond. Welcome to my world of erotica.” That introduction, dryly spoken directly to the camera by Steve Coogan, sets the stage for a comedic, risqué look at one of the most successful adult entertainment entrepreneurs of all time, a man who was once dubbed the “King of Soho.” And to a certain extent that is the kind of film that follows, although it becomes something of a strange fit when you eventually realize that the trajectory of Raymond’s life is more tragic in nature. The film has a tough time deciding what it wants to be, and so it tries to have it both ways, switching between jaunty business escapades and dramatic episodes showcasing his loving but unconventional relationship with his daughter and her battles with drug addiction. That relationship is where the true heart of the film lies, yet it gets oddly shortchanged in favor of the more eye-popping business side of his life (in this way, the film follows the same path as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, with ’70s prosperity and respectability morphing into ’80s degradation and excess). You get the feeling that there is a more challenging and truthful film lurking somewhere offscreen, but it’s a possibility that goes unrealized in favor of less substantial material.

That’s not a normal criticism for a director like Michael Winterbottom, who has made a career of never really settling for ordinary. Oftentimes this has resulted in less than satisfying work, but even with a film like 9 Songs, you could at least give him credit for experimenting with something different. Even a more “conventional” offering like The Trip still has its own quality that you don’t find much of anywhere else. The most surprising takeaway then after watching The Look Of Love is how incredibly banal it is. Once you get past the abundance of nudity, it’s about as standard-order of a biopic as you can get. This is the point where I could fall back on more standard review elements (Coogan is always worth watching, the mainly-female supporting cast all handle their tricky roles well, the period production values are top-notch), but I think all that really needs to be said is that it’s a film that manages to keep up enough interest while it’s playing but one that leaves the memory almost as soon as it’s over. 5/10.

Pacific Rim - Guillermo del Toro has never struck me as the kind of filmmaker best suited to blockbusters. Despite occasionally dabbling in larger spectacles, his best films have always been the smaller ones, where he can really let his imagination run wild. While I doubt Pacific Rim will ever be viewed as fondly as films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, it’s a more assured piece of work than his past forays into the mainstream. His goal here isn’t to offer social commentary a la the original Godzilla, although there are brief discussions about environmental pollution and the dismantling of the Jaeger defense program by politicians. Instead, he’s more interested in creating the most compelling world he can on which to stage epic action, and on this level the film is absolutely successful, the post-apocalyptic landscape providing a fresh spin on what would otherwise be a more ordinary narrative. Nothing in the film can be described as all that complex or deep, but that’s part of its charm. The material is taken seriously enough by everyone, but not so much that it gets too weighed down by portentousness. The action scenes are exciting, partly because there is plenty of time to breathe between them and partly because del Toro never drags them out to the point of exhaustion. While the characterization isn’t the film’s strong suit, it gets the job done, and only the comic relief stands out in the wrong way. Charlie Day is fine as one half of a bumbling scientist duo, but Burn Gorman as the other half plays his role too broad and calculated, a caricature among a cast that is playing everything mostly straight.

Going into the film, I was slightly worried that the budget and the subject matter wouldn’t mesh well with del Toro’s unique way with visuals and cheeky sense of humor, but I needn’t have been concerned. There isn’t much that can prevent del Toro from making a film completely his own. A good example of this comes in the middle of the Hong Kong battle that serves as the film’s centerpiece, when the Jaeger and Kaiju go crashing into a building, their momentum slowing down just enough to set off a Newton’s cradle on an office desk, before getting back to business. It’s a nice little moment, a reminder that del Toro isn’t too overwhelmed by his gargantuan creations to forget that this kind of thing is supposed to be fun. And “fun” might be the most apt way to characterize Pacific Rim. Blockbuster entertainment has started to get a little too heavy for its own good, and it’s nice to see one come along that, while not without shortcomings, manages to bring some lightness back to the summer spectacle. 7/10.

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Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:41 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The To-Do List (2013) ***

A lot more praise has been given to this movie's existence (look! for girls) than to its success artistically, but I fully enjoyed watching it and would recommend it to all y'all. Aside from being completely watchable and interestingly female, it also is the first 90s nostalgia movie. Our childhoods, boys!

Fruitvale Station
(2013) ***

Interesting film that I'm still mulling over. Hope some of you guys see it and we can talk.

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Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Fruitvale Station (2013) ***

Interesting film that I'm still mulling over. Hope some of you guys see it and we can talk.


Would love to hear your thoughts about this one. I opened up a thread a few days ago discussing my thoughts, but I need to get around to writing something a little more formal.

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Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:41 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Fruitvale Station (2013) ***

Interesting film that I'm still mulling over. Hope some of you guys see it and we can talk.


Would love to hear your thoughts about this one. I opened up a thread a few days ago discussing my thoughts, but I need to get around to writing something a little more formal.


Will do, sir, will do

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Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:00 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rocky

Pleasantly different from what I expected. For a movie that I've heard to inspire or popularize a lot of sport movie cliche, this is unexpected low-key; half character study and half sports. There are a few rough patches (the opening boxing wasn't convincing in the least), but it has a great sense of place and people. Adrian is also, to me, a most unconventional female lead. Their romance is strikingly realistic and tender, which makes the ending, though a bit rushed, really satisfying in the end. 9/10

(Also, I've always known the general plot of Rocky to recognize that Real Steel borrowed from it a lot, but after watching Rocky, it was basically the same ending. Also, it nagged me while watching that I have seen Apollo Creed somewhere. Not until his elaborately funny entrance into the ring that I recognize him from Arrested Development)

Rocky Balbao

Going from Rocky to everyone in old age, regret, or dead is fairly sobering. Each brief flashback to the past, all the way to the climatic fight, is really heartbreaking. It is nostalgia through and through (sometimes a bit too somber that it dragged down the narrative), with some excellent speeches that you can tell come straight from Stallone's own life. 8.2/10

The Bank Job

Begin fairly generic, before each step of the planning reveals more and more hooks and motives. The heist itself is really fun; the actors have great rapport with each other. The movie's latter half, which involves the heist's consequences, is thrilling, with the protagonists scrambling to escape many groups of people coming after them. It is also unfortunately interlaced with extreme violence sometimes, disrupting the playful tone that it kept all the way to the end. 8/10


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Graceland (2012) 3.5/4

Here’s a great little thriller that got lost in the 2012 rush. Graceland may come across as a remake of Kurosawa’s High and Low—and while some of the elements are undoubtedly familiar, Graceland sets up a dark, dreary story all its own. Going into too much detail about the film itself will simply diminish its overall impact; all I can say is seek this little gem out.


I saw this a while back, and there are stretches that are really good, but... the depiction of underage nudity really took me out of it. Yes, I know the actresses are actually over 18. That's not my point. If you're going to take on a serious subject and try to make a grand statement, I think you need to avoid exploitation. Everything could have been equally and better conveyed without showing all that was shown. I don't think I'm a prude, but it subverted the whole film for me. Not at all coming down on you for digging it, Jackie B, just my thoughts.

I saw two films recommended by Reelviewers.

First, Kill List. No idea what the hell it is, but I liked it. The sound mixing was unfortunate at times and wildly effective at other times. The level of dread and tension is remarkable considering how we're never sure why we feel that way. This isn't a great film, but it's worthwhile as a legitimate combiner of multiple genres. Ben Wheatley will make a great film, though, and probably soon.

I also saw Black Death. Another director who will one day make a great film or two. This one is real good, though. Sumptuously shot and constructed, it also fills you with dread and apprehension. The second half of the film moved me in unexpected ways. The relative intimate focus in a genre that generally doesn't go that route makes for engaging storytelling.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The sequence once they're in the water awaiting execution/offered a chance to renounce their faith is brilliantly constructed and uncomfortable.


A hearty thanks to Kunzie and whomever else championed the film. Also, has any actor looked more perfect on a horse than Sean Bean? No, right?


Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:44 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shade2 wrote:
I saw this a while back, and there are stretches that are really good, but... the depiction of underage nudity really took me out of it. Yes, I know the actresses are actually over 18. That's not my point. If you're going to take on a serious subject and try to make a grand statement, I think you need to avoid exploitation. Everything could have been equally and better conveyed without showing all that was shown. I don't think I'm a prude, but it subverted the whole film for me. Not at all coming down on you for digging it, Jackie B, just my thoughts.


I can respect that Shade, and I don't think your being prude at all. The depiction of Filipino prostitution is quite un-neverving, but I don't think it veers into exploitation--I don't think it was intended for that purpose at least. I simply think that the director was trying to maintain a sense of realism to the narrative.The "world" portrayed in Graceland is harrowing, and while the scene may be unsettling I think it reminds viewers that our protagonist is charting perverse territory in a place where the elite are sleazy and morally unclean.

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Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
The depiction of Filipino prostitution is quite un-neverving, but I don't think it veers into exploitation--I don't think it was intended for that purpose at least. I simply think that the director was trying to maintain a sense of realism to the narrative.The "world" portrayed in Graceland is harrowing, and while the scene may be unsettling I think it reminds viewers that our protagonist is charting perverse territory in a place where the elite are sleazy and morally unclean.


I agree with you in that I don't think it was intended to be exploitive, but of course intent is not the measuring stick. And again, I'm not coming down on you or anyone else, it's genuinely an artistic choice that I disagree with, not a moral one. Maybe it's unfair to reference this against one of my favorite films, but Lilya 4-Ever deals with very similar subject matter but doesn't "show" nearly as much. And again, my point is that it makes it more effective and gut-wrenching from an artistic standpoint to suggest rather than show. To use another example, I think the forced undressing scene in Funny Games is made more uncomfortable because we don't see what the characters see.


Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:08 am
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