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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re: Jarhead

I went to see it during its theatrical run. As I waited in the ticket line, I was discussing the film with a fellow filmgoer and we both expected it to be like Black Hawk Down. We were right in regards to the gritty realism on display. Yet as I wrote afterwards:

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Yet unlike the Ridley Scott film, Jarhead is not loaded with wall to wall action. There are several war scenes (as well as one imported from Apocalypse Now). But the film is less of a war film and more of a military one.

What do I mean by this apparently contradictory statement? Well, my point is that Jarhead is less about how actual combat beats down the men participating in it and how actually serving in the military can do that to someone, even if they never actually kill anybody. In essence, Jarhead is largely about men at war. At war with boredom that is.

Jarhead is not the first film to deal with the boredom of war. Those who are familiar with their cinematic history will know of the superb Henry Fonda/Jack Lemmon/James Cagney comedy "Mr. Roberts". That film took a humorous approach to the subject. Jarhead takes it deadly seriously and shows how the boredom beats the men down.


Jarhead is a film about the dehumanizing efects of combat. Yet it is unlike Paths Of Glory, Full Metal Jacket or Platoon.

On the whole it falls into the category of films i liked yet only watch one time.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blue Jasmine (2013) ***1/2

About a year ago, in the wake of the disastrous To Rome with Love, we got into an interesting conversation here about whether it was better to suffer through the dross of a director like Allen to get to the occasional gem or whether it would be preferable if he just retired. I supported the former, saying that Match Point and Midnight in Paris were worth the shit of a To Rome with Love or You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. And if I may be so bold, Blue Jasmine further confirms the logic behind this viewpoint -- this is a terrific movie, and unlike anything he's ever done. If Cate Blanchette doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this role, it's an absolute crime. Go out and see it! It's going to crack my 2013 Top 10 barring a massively great Oscar season. Wipe the memories of Roberto Benigni from your mind! See it!

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:17 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Blue Jasmine (2013) ***1/2

About a year ago, in the wake of the disastrous To Rome with Love, we got into an interesting conversation here about whether it was better to suffer through the dross of a director like Allen to get to the occasional gem or whether it would be preferable if he just retired. I supported the former, saying that Match Point and Midnight in Paris were worth the shit of a To Rome with Love or You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. And if I may be so bold, Blue Jasmine further confirms the logic behind this viewpoint -- this is a terrific movie, and unlike anything he's ever done. If Cate Blanchette doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this role, it's an absolute crime. Go out and see it! It's going to crack my 2013 Top 10 barring a massively great Oscar season. Wipe the memories of Roberto Benigni from your mind! See it!


Saw this about a week ago. I'm writing my own thoughts about it (which I should have up sometime today), but I agree with you that it's one of his good ones. Here's hoping he continues making films for a good long while; even when his slumps are more prolonged, there's always that possibility that he's only a year away from making a real winner again.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I haven't seen enough of Allen's films. But I find it amazing that even at his advanced age, he puts out a movie every year.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
I haven't seen enough of Allen's films. But I find it amazing that even at his advanced age, he puts out a movie every year.


I'm up to 29. With 2 more he'll pass Hitchcock as my most-seen director.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Demolition Man

Really enjoyed this one. Might even be my favorite Stallone flick. The satire is consistently funny and the fight scenes are exceptional. Snipes' death is one of the best I've seen in a long time.

The Rock

Michael Bay's most popular 90s movie is not my cup of tea. I think all three Transformers films are better. Even compared to Transformers, The Rock is poorly focused, veering off into the Sean Connery subplot for way too long to the point of becoming a different movie entirely.


Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Demolition Man is hysterical. I watched it on cable the other day, but didn't really bring it up because I didn't catch the whole thing. (One reason why I hate viewing movies on cable...) It's a little too over-the-top with some of its extrapolation of the near future to really get as incisive as, say, RoboCop or Minority Report, but the sarcastic humor and social messages are still there. It's definitely a movie that got treated unfairly at the time of its release. Stallone's generation was over the hill in the hearts and minds of cinema.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Demolition Man is hysterical. I watched it on cable the other day, but didn't really bring it up because I didn't catch the whole thing. (One reason why I hate viewing movies on cable...) It's a little too over-the-top with some of its extrapolation of the near future to really get as incisive as, say, RoboCop or Minority Report, but the sarcastic humor and social messages are still there. It's definitely a movie that got treated unfairly at the time of its release. Stallone's generation was over the hill in the hearts and minds of cinema.


Agreed. I love Demolition Man and I always saw it as a spoof of those dystopian future sci-fi pictures. To me both it and The Last Boy Scout suffered because of being released in the wrong era: They came out at a point when the action movie tropes of the 80s were starting to seem passe to much of the moviegoing public and Stallone and Willis were being seen by much of the public as 80s relics that were hanging around for a few extra years.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
My second week of August:

Blue Jasmine - After devoting his last two films to love letters for famous European cities, one successful and the other not, Woody Allen returns back to the States and to more dramatic ground. The focus this time is on the fascinating character of Jasmine, played by Cate Blanchett as a shallow New York socialite forced down several pegs after her businessman husband’s various illegal activities bubble to the surface. Penniless and alienated from her privileged life, Jasmine retreats to the home of her less-well-off sister in San Francisco and attempts to come to terms with her new prospects. Blue Jasmine is arguably one of the more overtly political films of Allen’s career, with its cynical portrayal of wealthy lifestyles and the separation between the upper class and the working class in America (Jasmine’s former husband, played with duplicitous relish by Alec Baldwin, lectures his son on the importance of charity while secretly engaging in illegal business operations and multiple affairs on the side). The comparisons that have been made just about everywhere to Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire are appropriate, but perhaps slightly overblown. Sure, the trajectory of the film and some small details will resonate with those familiar with Williams’ famous play, but I think Allen adds enough of his own touch that it shouldn't be labeled as simply a modern-day reinterpretation.

The film has a wonderful structure, alternating between Jasmine’s current situation in San Francisco and flashbacks to her life in New York, revealing crucial information on her character at several key moments. Jasmine is a dynamic creation, the kind of person you constantly find yourself reevaluating, and Blanchett invests in the character and gives a forceful performance. She’s backed up by a string of great supporting roles too; Allen has always had a knack for getting the most out of his ensembles, but I can’t think of too many other films of his where the supporting cast is as strong as it is here (only Louis C.K. feels a little underused, his role amounting to little more than a cameo). Admittedly, I’ve always been something of a Woody Allen apologist, usually eager to focus more on the good than on the bad even with the director’s least inspired efforts. With Blue Jasmine though, I have no need to make any kind of apology. A strong endorsement is more appropriate in this case. 8/10.

The Act Of Killing - This one is going to stick with me for awhile. Executive produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, this documentary from Joshua Oppenheimer provides a disturbingly-close look into the minds of those responsible for genocide. The filmmakers place their focus mainly on Anwars Congo and Herman Koto, two Indonesian former death squad leaders responsible for the killing of thousands of communists in the 1960s. Oppenheimer and his crew follow these two and a handful of others around as they talk freely about their pasts and the current political climate in Indonesia. As if interacting directly with these people wasn’t enough, Oppenheimer encourages them to stage reenactments of their murderous actions, a prospect to which they agree all too willingly (the title has a double meaning, referring to the literal act of killing and the frequent “acts” of killing the participators restage). Through these reenactments, the men are unwittingly forced to come to terms with everything they have done.

My memories of watching Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah are still fresh in mind, and there are parallels to be drawn between that film and Oppenheimer’s work here, particularly in how both films directly confront the harbingers of evil and death. In Lanzmann’s film, when he interviews former Nazi officials, the most frequent response he receives is that they were completely unaware of the horrors that were being carried out around them. That kind of implausible denial surfaces again in Oppenheimer’s film, during a backstage discussion while everyone is preparing to shoot a scene. One of the participants tries to explain away his past, but the others around him quickly jump to dismiss his claims. From their perspective, their past slaughters are not only defensible but worthy of celebration. It’s a sobering revelation, a warped mindset promoted by an Indonesian regime that looks back on its history of genocide with pride. Oppenheimer’s film is remarkable not only for that unflinching look into the darkness of modern Indonesian society, but for its forceful examination into the nature of genocide and its quest for catharsis from those responsible, no matter how small it may end up being. 9/10.

Genocide - The fourth and last film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection When Horror Came To Shochiku, a collection that is remarkable for its wide variety of topics covered over a relatively-short period of time. The title of this 1968 effort signals a more serious endeavor, and to a certain extent that’s true here, but perhaps not in the ways you’d expect. The previous three films in the collection focused on extraterrestrial and supernatural forces. Genocide, however, is a killer bug movie. When they realize the human race is guiding the world down a road to complete annihilation, the insects decide to take decisive action. Yes, the bugs are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Before long, they’re repeatedly chanting “genocide,” attacking anyone that dares to stand up against them, and taking down planes carrying hydrogen bombs. All that may sound like the recipe for an exercise in high camp, but director Kazui Nihonmatsu, who was also behind the camera for The X From Outer Space a year earlier, plays the material straighter and more downbeat than expected.

Despite the silliness of the premise, there is nothing silly about the film’s socio-political subtext, and that serious is reflected in the apocalyptic trajectory of the narrative. Also, for someone like myself who already has something of a phobia towards insects, there are moments in this film that made me uncomfortable, particularly the uncompromising death of one character and the many shots of insects biting down on human flesh. When it comes to tone and overall impact, Genocide is a more assured piece of work than The X From Outer Space, but remnants of that film’s clumsy approach still remain. Some of the filmmaking decisions are remarkable in their wrongheadedness, especially the casting of a beach blonde American actress to play a Holocaust survivor, who also is revealed to be the film’s primary human villain. A creepy subplot involving a lecherous landlord also seems to come and go with surprisingly little consequence. There are certainly moments where the film stumbles, but the impression it leaves at the end is mostly positive, and it serves as a worthwhile conclusion to Shochiku’s experiments with the horror genre. 6/10.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Jarhead

I thought this movie was fascinating. To be blunt, it's a study about young men full of semen and no place to blow it, figuratively speaking. It's such a strange thought for warfare and battle to be framed as the release rather than the source of tension, but Jarhead makes the subject matter feel natural and authentic.

As for the sense that nothing happens and that many situations replay themselves--sure, I agree if we're talking about the surface level. Purely in terms of plot points, Jarhead spends a lot of time repeating itself. But these scenes are against a backdrop of constantly shifting psychological situations. The same scene can happen over and over again, but it never says the same thing twice. Rather than cause the movie to stall, I found this to be a very effective way to dramatize the sense of crushing frustration and social deterioration of the soldiers. Each time a scenario repeats itself, it is an implicit comment on the previous time that it happened.

And wow, this movie is beautiful. Visually bleak, as it should be, but beautiful in its bleakness. They sent Roger Deakins into the desert and gave the footage he came back with to Walter Murch, and I thank them for that.

Good movie.


See, I never felt the situations were constantly shifting. Yes, there is quite a bit of inner turmoil but I never felt like it was extremely progressive or even reached a climax for that matter; I guess one could argue that the sniper scene towards the end is a bit of a climax, but I don't completely buy that. For me, the film does hark on a lot of the same things twice--through various scenes Mendes all but says that war no longer needs soldiers who are being traumatized and psychologically disturbed for no reason.

And theres no arguing--Jarhead is a gorgeous film.

Hopefully you guys will still accept me as a Reelviews brother, even if don't share the Jarhead love.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Star Trek Generations

This felt like they started filming with the rough draft of what could have been a great movie. There is some worthy material here, the idea of the nexus is a fascinating one but poorly developed. Also, Soran never feels like a credible villian and it doesn't help that he's working by himself, which makes it seem like Picard should be able to take him out with a well placed phaser blast.

I think it would have worked better if Soran had set up base and tried to direct the Nexus towards the populated planet and therefore we would have seen the aliens Kirk gave his life up for, which might have helped it go over better. Maybe even having Soran having enslaved some of the natives or better yet, brainwashed them into being his minions. Oh well, Generations stands as a cataloge of missed opportunities.

Star Trek: First Contact
Now this is more like it. Not up to the high standard set by Wrath of Kahn, but comes close at times.

Star Trek: Insurrection
I admit that I may be biased here, this was released on my birthday so I kind of have a soft spot for it for that reason. I think I may even like it a little bit better than First Contact making this my favorite Next Gen movie. Some nice humor and a bracing space battle make this the high point of the next generation on the big screen.

Star Trek Nemesis
Similar complaints as generations. This feels like the rough draft to what could have been a great movie. The idea of of Nature vs. nurture is a fascinating foundation to what could have been a better motion picture. A key death is also poorly handled. Tom Hardy is a mixed bag, it's not a great performance but he does show promise. Also, I couldn't help but notice the parallels to his character in The Dark Knight Rises. All in all, this was the weakest of the Next Gen films.

Top Tier:
The Wrath of Kahn
Undiscovered Country
Insurrection

The good:
The Voyage Home
First Contact

The mediocre of both worlds:
Generations
Nemesis
The Final Frontier

Will Wear out your Fast Forward button:
The Motion Picture

Still trying to think where I would place the reboot ones on this list or if they are even comparable.

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
thered47 wrote:
Star Trek Generations

This felt like they started filming with the rough draft of what could have been a great movie. There is some worthy material here, the idea of the nexus is a fascinating one but poorly developed. Also, Soran never feels like a credible villian and it doesn't help that he's working by himself, which makes it seem like Picard should be able to take him out with a well placed phaser blast.
.


Did you notice how much of this film consisted of Picard and Soran standing on rock outcropping, staring at the sky, kinda yelling at each other? This movie is rather ineptly directed, to say the least

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
thered47 wrote:
Star Trek Generations

This felt like they started filming with the rough draft of what could have been a great movie. There is some worthy material here, the idea of the nexus is a fascinating one but poorly developed. Also, Soran never feels like a credible villian and it doesn't help that he's working by himself, which makes it seem like Picard should be able to take him out with a well placed phaser blast.
.


Did you notice how much of this film consisted of Picard and Soran standing on rock outcropping, staring at the sky, kinda yelling at each other? This movie is rather ineptly directed, to say the least

I thought the film was OK, but I really didn't like how Kirk's death was handled, it was done in the most half-assed and contrived way possible(though apparently the original version of his death scene is even worse) it was a really poor way for such an iconic character to go out.


Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Wolverine

The feeling of fan-fiction is strong at times, and sometimes the Japan culture was used a bit too exotic for my liking. However the very strong unwavering focus on Wolverine helped the character and the film immensely, as well as not short-shrifting the two female characters. The action was also a lot of fun, especially the exhilarating (but too-short) bullet train sequence and a breathless scene with the two characters fighting around one in a coma. The climactic fight scene was disappointingly generic, though. 7.5/10

Pain & Gain

This was a good way to wash the Transformers 2 taste, the last Michael Bay film I watched, away. Light satire and heavy on dark comedy, the film also has all its performances finely in tune with its tone. The Rock is especially impressive. But, even if I haven't read its real-life article beforehand, I'd still have problems with the plausibility of some excessive scenes and a few characters' behaviors. They are in keeping with the tone, which is fine, but the problem come when the film also likes to remind us too often that it is based on a true story. It really clashed with the tone annoyingly, especially when most of the characters are a far cry from their real-life counterparts (except from Ed Harris' detective character, which was played like how I perceived him while reading the article). 7/10

Beautiful Creatures

The feeling of this being a Twilight imitator from the poster and trailer was quickly washed away when the film established an effective atmosphere and a very clear grip on it characters, especially the leads. They really just have astounding, believable chemistry together. Great performances, especially Alden Ehrenreich, who was on screen most of the time and never once miss a beat in his character. The main problem of the film came from the backstory, which alternated between inspired (the awkward dinner scene, the church scene, Lena's temperament affecting the environment) and silly (most of everything else), before just being plain messy in the final act. Still, worth a watch for the two leads. 7/10


Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:58 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
In the Loop

As the US and Britain gear up to invade Iraq, a group of government insiders try to massage the information as it is released to the public. This is a very talky film, but the dialogue is excellent. Worth a watch to see the great acting all around.

Dead of Night aka Deathdream

One of the most underrated horror film of the 1970s, this is about a young soldier, believed to hae been killed in Vietnam, who returns home. Only he's very different. Very, very different. Though this film has a few pacing issues, it is an excellent example of the horror film as a vehicle for social commentary. Deathdream needs to be seen by more people.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:35 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
In the Loop

As the US and Britain gear up to invade Iraq, a group of government insiders try to massage the information as it is released to the public. This is a very talky film, but the dialogue is excellent. Worth a watch to see the great acting all around.

Dead of Night aka Deathdream

One of the most underrated horror film of the 1970s, this is about a young soldier, believed to hae been killed in Vietnam, who returns home. Only he's very different. Very, very different. Though this film has a few pacing issues, it is an excellent example of the horror film as a vehicle for social commentary. Deathdream needs to be seen by more people.


I think Deathdream is more interesting as social commentary than it is successful as a film.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shotgun Stories (2007) 3/4

Jeff Nichol’s Shotgun Stories, a modern take on a Hatfield and McCoy like feud, left me a bit under-impressed and wanting a lot more than the film cared to offer. There’s no complex narrative here, and the film trots along a quiet path that is stoked in realism. The feud being waged here doesn’t give viewers a whole lot to work with, and at times (well mostly IMO) the film only feels surface deep. In other words, Shotgun Stories never serves up anything quite meaty enough to suit my tastes—and its kind of a shame. There is a well of emotions and themes to be explored here, but Nichols never quite sorts out what to do with them. Even though there are issues here and there, I still appreciated this film, and what is trying to accomplish. Ultimately, Shotgun Stories feels like a sharp piece of “American” neorealism with a good heaping of untapped potential.

The Hunter (2011) 2.5/4

Ever go into a film expecting one thing and getting something completely different? Well that was my experience with The Hunter, but I tried to set the aspect of expectation aside when evaluating the film as a whole.The Hunter gives us a (potentially) interesting character in the form of William Dafoe; a man who seems to be a hunter/errand boy for a large bio-corporation. The corporation sends Dafoe on a mission to take out and acquire a greatly sought after resource. Instead of allowing our character to develop naturally, the film places Dafoe with the baggage of a family, whose dynamic with Dafoe feels awkward and strained. The real strength of this film lies within the silent moments, when Dafoe is out in the wilderness setting traps and navigating the lush terrain. All of these moments had me wishing that the film took a subtler route, perhaps meditating more on the hunter and less on the family. Although parts of The Hunter do feel bogged down the last ten minutes of this film are quite superb, which makes the previous amount of the film even more irritating; gnawing at your thoughts saying, “It could have all been this good.”

The House I Live In (2012) 3.5/4

I had a hard time with my final “grading” of this documentary. I try to stick to a pretty rigid scale when looking at docs, and one thing that always annoys me is the bountiful amount of bias threaded throughout this genre. It bothers me when filmmakers are trying to blatantly push their agenda onto viewers without any sort of involvement from the opposing side (or view). As long as you get a little commentary from the other party, I’m fine and dandy. However, The House I Live In made me re-examine my thoughts on the genre as a whole—asking myself, can a documentary still be great even if its very, very slighted? As you can tell, I came out from my deep thinking session with the realization that, yes, a documentary can still be solid even if it is slanted in its approach—at least for this documentary in particular. Director Eugene Jarecki peels back the inner workings of the “War on Drugs” to reveal its history and possible true nature. There are only a handful of frames in this film that are not completely engaging and wholly fascinating. Jarecki gathers an assortment of interviews with experts and professionals in the field, probing their thoughts and stances on the “war.” With each new insight, viewers are able to piece together a new perspective on the fight against drugs. As I said previously, there’s no denying that this doc is slanted. I really wish there would have been more input from a differing view, but when the argument is this sound it seems to make little difference.

2 Guns (2013) 2.5/4

There is not an original bone in this film’s body—it’s typical, predictable, and at times a little contrived. Even with that said I still had a great deal of fun.

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Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
.

The Hunter (2011) 2.5/4

Ever go into a film expecting one thing and getting something completely different? Well that was my experience with The Hunter, but I tried to set the aspect of expectation aside when evaluating the film as a whole.The Hunter gives us a (potentially) interesting character in the form of William Dafoe; a man who seems to be a hunter/errand boy for a large bio-corporation. The corporation sends Dafoe on a mission to take out and acquire a greatly sought after resource. Instead of allowing our character to develop naturally, the film places Dafoe with the baggage of a family, whose dynamic with Dafoe feels awkward and strained. The real strength of this film lies within the silent moments, when Dafoe is out in the wilderness setting traps and navigating the lush terrain. All of these moments had me wishing that the film took a subtler route, perhaps meditating more on the hunter and less on the family. Although parts of The Hunter do feel bogged down the last ten minutes of this film are quite superb, which makes the previous amount of the film even more irritating; gnawing at your thoughts saying, “It could have all been this good.”



2 Guns (2013) 2.5/4

There is not an original bone in this film’s body—it’s typical, predictable, and at times a little contrived. Even with that said I still had a great deal of fun.


Sucks about The Hunter! I just saw a preview yesterday and it looked intriguing. *Sigh*

Agree about 2 Guns meanwhile

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Blue Jasmine - After devoting his last two films to love letters for famous European cities, one successful and the other not, Woody Allen returns back to the States and to more dramatic ground. The focus this time is on the fascinating character of Jasmine, played by Cate Blanchett as a shallow New York socialite forced down several pegs after her businessman husband’s various illegal activities bubble to the surface. Penniless and alienated from her privileged life, Jasmine retreats to the home of her less-well-off sister in San Francisco and attempts to come to terms with her new prospects. Blue Jasmine is arguably one of the more overtly political films of Allen’s career, with its cynical portrayal of wealthy lifestyles and the separation between the upper class and the working class in America (Jasmine’s former husband, played with duplicitous relish by Alec Baldwin, lectures his son on the importance of charity while secretly engaging in illegal business operations and multiple affairs on the side). The comparisons that have been made just about everywhere to Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire are appropriate, but perhaps slightly overblown. Sure, the trajectory of the film and some small details will resonate with those familiar with Williams’ famous play, but I think Allen adds enough of his own touch that it shouldn't be labeled as simply a modern-day reinterpretation.

The film has a wonderful structure, alternating between Jasmine’s current situation in San Francisco and flashbacks to her life in New York, revealing crucial information on her character at several key moments. Jasmine is a dynamic creation, the kind of person you constantly find yourself reevaluating, and Blanchett invests in the character and gives a forceful performance. She’s backed up by a string of great supporting roles too; Allen has always had a knack for getting the most out of his ensembles, but I can’t think of too many other films of his where the supporting cast is as strong as it is here (only Louis C.K. feels a little underused, his role amounting to little more than a cameo). Admittedly, I’ve always been something of a Woody Allen apologist, usually eager to focus more on the good than on the bad even with the director’s least inspired efforts. With Blue Jasmine though, I have no need to make any kind of apology. A strong endorsement is more appropriate in this case. 8/10


I agree wholeheartedly. Thus far it's my No. 3 movie of the year behind Fruitvale Station and Disconnect, and much like Kunz, it should make my Top 10 barring a cavalcade of Oscar-worthy motion pictures reminiscent of last year. I did find myself constantly re-evaluating Jasmine as well. Especially when it's revealed that

[Reveal] Spoiler:
She's the one who called the FBI on her husband

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Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Synecdoche New York

Hoo, boy.

I went into this one rooting for Charlie Kaufman. He has been the excellent screenwriter of several good films, including two damned great ones. Needless to say, I approached his directorial debut with a lot of good will.

I'm tempted to borrow a quote from Ebert, which is ironic, considering that his championing of this movie is the other reason why I watched it: "To the extent that I understand, I don't care." I'm by no means an opponent of having to invest some thought while watching a movie. I mean that. I don't mind an intellectual challenge. But I don't think it's wrong to require that a movie include something else, some sort of incentive to get me to take up the challenge. What I got was a bunch of wank, a collage of id and messily externalize anxieties spilled into a loose structure of nested realities that probably seemed really cool on the page. Cakes that look great in the cookbook are no good if they're half baked.

At best, this movie is cerebral to a fault. At worst, its horrifically self-indulgent. All together, it's untethered to any sort of emotional life or identifiable experience beyond the surface level. Sorry Charlie.

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Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:08 am
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