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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Unke wrote:

A Simple Plan (1998)
Hank (Bill Paxton), a regular family man, his dim-witted brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and unemployed “town drunk” Lou (Brent Briscoe) stumble upon a crashed plane containing a bag with millions of dollars in cash. They plan to keep their find a strict secret and to split up the money once it is safe to do so, but only after agreeing that Hank, who considers himself the most reliable of the three, keeps the money safe for them. This simple plan unravels immediately when the trustworthy Hank informs his cunning wife (Bridget Fonda) about it.
Sam Raimi’s edgy thriller has been filmed in snowy landscapes in the American Midwest, which invites comparison to ‘Fargo’, although the similarities don’t go much further. ‘A Simple Plan’ follows a fairly straightforward plot, in which Hank, Jacob and Lou make stupid mistakes, take rash actions and ultimately find themselves in a downward spiral of greed and murder. The general outline of the story will be familiar for anybody who has seen a number of heist movies, which often have third acts similar to the whole of ‘A Simple Plan’. Indeed, I found it a bit predictable how things go from bad to worse for the characters and how every apparent solution to a problem just creates another, bigger problem for them. That being said, the fine details of the plot are not predictable at all and the movie is more interested in characters than plot anyway. This is a good thing, because in order to enjoy this type of movie, you have to identify with the characters, who are always engaging. (Alternatively, these types of films can work when you actively hate the characters and enjoy it when they get their inevitable comeuppence, as in ‘Very Bad Things’.) The excellent acting by everyone involved helped me to do so, although I think that it was a rubbish decision to give Billy Bob Thornton’s character an exagerrated “simpleton look” (glasses fixed with sellotape, buckteeth, funny non-haircut). Due to the few reservations I have about this movie, I don’t consider it a complete success, but it is still a good film. 7/10


Oh I think this one is much better than this. The characters make mistakes, but they're not stupid mistakes. Each action they take (with the possible exception of Brent Briscoe's impulsive character) is fully plausible, if not defensible, from the mindset of the characters. Further, predictable? Come on. I mean, other than the general "This probably won't end well" feeling, the movie charts its own path. The moment in which

[Reveal] Spoiler:
We find out exactly which side Billy Bob Thornton is on and they record Brent Briscoe [spoiler]

is an absolutely terrific, perfectly pitched, utterly unpredictable twist that I love every single time.


The scene you have mentioned is excellent and the high point of the movie. As I wrote, the details of the plot aren't predictable, for instance how exactly this particular scene would play out. That being said, I was always certain of how it would eventually end and it did end as expected. That was true of pretty much all plot developments.

[spoiler=]Another example: When the Bridget Fonda character convinces her husband to return part of the money to the aeroplane, I just knew that there would be some witness who would need to be taken care of and would possibly get murdered. When the Billy Bob Thornton character showed up on the scene I immediately thought that he would (probably unnecessarily and stupidly) kill the witness.


Now, I'm not a genius at guessing how stories will play out (OMG, they were on Earth all along!), so when I do, I'll call a movie predictable. That doesn't mean it's bad though and 'A Simple Plan' is definetely a good one.

Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:43 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Good Gravity review from Blonde Almond (I certainly read your posts and we have agreed many times before) now only one observation on a paragraph

Blonde Almond wrote:
........

I feel like the idea that 3d is an essential part of this film’s success is complete nonsense. Gravity will still work without the extra dimension and when it leaves cinema screens to play in smaller settings, because gimmicky promotions and a larger screen size are not as important here as the remarkable craftsmanship and passionate, human storytelling on display. 8/10.


Cuarón conceived this movie to be in 3D from the start despised it did not shoot it that way but converted due to the complexity of the CGI effects according this article:

Quote:
Cuarón, who started working on Gravity after 2006's Children of Men, had never shot in the format. But from the very beginning, he knew the space adventure would be the perfect setting for his initial trek.

"The first script he sent me was called Gravity: A Space Adventure in 3-D," says producer David Heyman. "Alfonso conceived it as a 3-D film."

The four-year Gravity shoot required the invention of technologies to make stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney appear to float in zero gravity. Due to the huge amount of computer graphics needed in every scene, it wasn't possible to shoot them in 3-D, so the effects were built up in postproduction.

But each shot was analyzed for maximum impact by Cuarón, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, 3-D supervisor Chris Park and visual-effects supervisor Tim Webber. Further, Webber says the laborious shooting process added to the eventual 3-D effectiveness.


So if you want to see the movie as the Director intended better watch it in 3D (no a "nonsense" at all in my view :-))

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:58 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Features the most unrealistic parking garage I've ever seen in a movie. Where are all the drunk people trying to shove quarters into the credit card slot?

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:17 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I actually really liked Ghost Protocol.

Good, light-hearted fun.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:39 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
unwindfilms wrote:
Good Gravity review from Blonde Almond (I certainly read your posts and we have agreed many times before) now only one observation on a paragraph

Blonde Almond wrote:
........

I feel like the idea that 3d is an essential part of this film’s success is complete nonsense. Gravity will still work without the extra dimension and when it leaves cinema screens to play in smaller settings, because gimmicky promotions and a larger screen size are not as important here as the remarkable craftsmanship and passionate, human storytelling on display. 8/10.


Cuarón conceived this movie to be in 3D from the start despised it did not shoot it that way but converted due to the complexity of the CGI effects according this article:

So if you want to see the movie as the Director intended better watch it in 3D (no a "nonsense" at all in my view :-))

Cheers


Saw this last night on the a 2-D screen and it was plenty harrowing, involving and immersive. As I have mentioned on other threads, I have an eye condition that does not allow me to have true stereoscopic vision so 3-D does little for me. On the downside, I don't get to see movies "as Director's intended"; on the plus side I save a few bucks at the movies and get a brighter picture.


Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:08 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
I actually really liked Ghost Protocol.

Good, light-hearted fun.

I enjoyed it. It reminded me of something a younger James Cameron would direct. Brad Bird has a very promising future in action movies... should he choose to accept it.

Flash fact #1: the Mission: Impossible theme was one of Bruce Lee's favorite TV themes. He would listen to it while he trained.

Flash fact #2: the Mission: Impossible theme was composed by Lalo Schifrin, who would later compose the music for Enter The Dragon.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I thought Ghost Protocol was fun. It didn't blow me away, but I enjoyed it. That said, Part 2 aside, I think the Mission: Impossible franchise has been incredibly solid. And as much as I like DePalma's version, I'm a huge fan of the third one. I think it's one of the best action films of recent years.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
I thought Ghost Protocol was fun. It didn't blow me away, but I enjoyed it. That said, Part 2 aside, I think the Mission: Impossible franchise has been incredibly solid. And as much as I like DePalma's version, I'm a huge fan of the third one. I think it's one of the best action films of recent years.

I quite enjoyed part 2, the first film was my least favorite of the series as it had far too many plot-holes for me to overlook and it wasn't as consistently exciting as the other 3 films.


Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm nor afraid of height, but watching MI4 in imax almost gives me one. As for the movie I love it.


Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Johnny Larue wrote:
Saw this last night on the a 2-D screen and it was plenty harrowing, involving and immersive. As I have mentioned on other threads, I have an eye condition that does not allow me to have true stereoscopic vision so 3-D does little for me. On the downside, I don't get to see movies "as Director's intended"; on the plus side I save a few bucks at the movies and get a brighter picture.


I think Gravity will work fine in 2-D, but the 3-D does add a little something to the scenes outside of the shuttle. It's one of the few 3-D films I've seen where the effect actually does add to the film.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The second Iron Man sequel takes place after the events of ‘The Avengers’ and finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) suffering from anxiety attacks and sleep disorders, which he acts against by inventing new Iron Man suits. Meanwhile, Stark Industries are contacted by the head of the mysterious think tank AIM (Guy Pierce) who might be involved with an international terrorist known as “The Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley).
Director Shane Black is best known as a screenwriter of high-profile but conventional action comedies such as the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series or ‘Last Action Hero’. His only previous directorial effort ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ is a delightfully quirky gem, though. Unfortunately, ‘Iron Man 3’ is not. Shane’s strenghts as a screenwriter are evident in ‘Iron Man 3’ - here are a number of great one-liners and scenes and twists, which undercut superhero movie tropes in a very clever way - and the cast is great with Robert Downey Jr. once more standing out. The superhero action and overall plot feel very generic, though. Strange, that dozens of Iron Man suits flying about are less interesting than just one Iron Man suit. ‘Iron Man 3’ moves along nicely and satisfies modest expectations, but doesn't achieve more than that. 5/10

City of Industry (1997)
A quartet of robbers plan and successfully execute a jewel heist. Unreliable and unsymapthetic driver Skip (Stephen Dorff) kills two of his accomplices afterwards, but veteran criminal Roy (Harvey Keitel) escapes and swears revenge.
This bland and generic summary of the plot corresponds to the bland and generic nature of this gangster movie, the likes of which you'll have seen many times before. Even instances of brutal violence and modest nudity don’t help to make it an edgy film. Harvey Keitel is okay in a role he could (and probably has) played in his sleep, the acting of all other participants (with relatively well-known names) is decidedly mediocre to outright awful (Dorff!). There are three or four nice ideas spread thin throughout the movie, but these are outbalanced by a number of scenes, which are simply incompetent filmmaking or don’t make any sense. ‘City of Industry’ isn’t exactly bad, but it’s a below average genre effort. The most interesting question is how it ended up on the priority list of my rental queue (or on the list in the first place). 4/10


Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:34 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
dozens of Iron Man suits flying about are less interesting than just one Iron Man suit. ‘Iron Man 3’ moves along nicely and satisfies modest expectations, but doesn't achieve more than that. 5/10

This might not only prove to sum up the Iron Man series as a whole, but also the superhero genre in general.

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Butler (2013)

Eh, it feels so by-the-number, presented like a series of historical statements that happen rather than a story being built up (where as with the much-compared Forrest Gump, the historical context feels like events that intimately inform the characters' lives). The only strong components for me are Whitaker's nicely low-key performance and his relationship with his family, especially his son. 6/10

Slither (2006)


The first act dragged despite some good comedy bits, and later on it got repetitive. But overall, this was fun and wonderfully gross. Nathan Fillion is a brilliant choice for the role, almost like Campbell for The Evil Dead. 7.5/10


Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:01 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Last Summer (2013)

A Thai horror about a beach trip of four teenagers gone wrong that leaves one dead, and the aftermath that occurs. The story may have been told many times before (I never see I Know What You Did Last Summer, but even I know that it's similar to this), but the presentation of it isn't, and is quite ambitious for a film of this nature. Basically one story divided into three segments, with each one having its own director and character's point of view. The first segment follows the boy that initiates the trip, then the dead girl's best friend, and finally the dead girl's brother. Each segment has its own mix of supernatural and psychological bents, with the lines separating them being blurred as the films goes on.

There are some holes and illogical behaviors (although some of them could be chalked up to the two bents mentioned), with most unfortunately increasing as each segment passes. But I'm really taken with the film's structure, which helps in examining the characters and their psyche quite a bit. Almost all of the characters are human, as in: having serious flaws that affect the story and those around them. It can sometimes be difficult to connect to them at their more unlikeable, but it also gives the film a psychological edge for an otherwise standard story and makes the film more compelling. Also, the beautiful cinematography and many excellent performances help smooth over story flaws for me.

Score
1st segment: 8.5/10 (the more haunting and gorgeously filmed one)
2nd segment: 8.5/10 (illogical begins to appear, but it's the scariest one and has the best performance)
3rd segment: 7/10 (ties the story together, but the cinematography and scares became standard and at times silly)

Overall: 8/10

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Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Drinking Buddies (2013)

A mumblecore film with barely a plot, leaning more heavily on modern-relationship mood. I love the relaxed, hang-out atmosphere of the film. It's very comforting and makes me wish I had a beer in hand while watching it. The two leads' chemistry and relationship are unique and feel really real-to-life, rendering it some unpredictability. The actors, Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson, do a great job, putting all the intimacy, doubts, and hesitation just barely controlled under their naturalistic performances. Reminded me of the central question from When Harry Met Sally. 8/10


Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Finally saw this and it's even better than I was expecting. It's amazing how all the weird sets, skewed perspectives, acting, makeup, etc. all work together to make an effective, mad film. Directors have been borrowing from this for almost a hundred years, and will be borrowing for a hundred more.


You reminded me that I have never see this one either. It certainly was an inventive movie for the times. I can't say I was all that excited by the story, but the set pieces, weird angles, and contrasting geometries definitely provide a feel for the setting in which we ultimately find out the story plays out. I understand why it is still a common subject for discussions about important films.


Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter: A prime example of how direction, acting, script, editing and cinematography work together to turn an original concept into a memorable film experience. Docked 6 points because of the dishonesty of the title: Jesse James actually meets Frankenstein's granddaughter. A shocking misrepresentation. 3.5 of 10.

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Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:42 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Alien As we approach Halloween, I decided to rewatch a particular kind of horror film: sci-fi horror. And that's because Alien behaves pretty much how a great haunted house/horror film should behave, only that it's set in space. The film has a great, calm pace taking its time to set everything, and when "it" happens, "it" delivers. Also, great performances from the whole cast. I love how casual each one of them behaves because it makes the film feel more real. If anything, my only complaint would be with how dated some of the computer screens look, particularly the interactions with "Mother". But being a tech guy myself that can be more of a pet peeve of mine than a real complaint. Great all-around film. Grade: A

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Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pacific Rim
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/
Giant dinosaurs ravaging cities. Been there: Godzilla.
Giant robots ravaging cities. Been there, done that: Transformers.
Hackneyed script, with cardboard characters obsessed with a "we must save the world or die trying" mandate. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt: Armageddon.
Pacific Rim is all of that but preciously little else. Originality is certainly not this film's strong point, if indeed there is one (I don't count "blowing shit up real good" in numerous literally indistinguishable battle scenes as a strong point). The premise of the story of building giant robots to fight giant dinosaurs in hand to hand combat makes no sense whatsoever, given that these creatures could be trivially taken out with laser guided bunker busters at 40,000 feet with no risk of retaliation.
The hero, Charlie Hunnam, shows zero range, basically reprising his Son's of Anarchy persona, right down to the "I'm so cool it hurts" slurry dialogue and ridiculous swaggering gait. Incidentally, another Son's regular, Ron Perlman, plays a supporting role.
I was frankly in a state of disbelief for most of this movie's overlong 2:11 running length, given my high levels of respect and enjoyment of director Guillermo del Toro previous efforts. This is absolutely not an example of his best work.
5.5/10.


Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm watching Patlabor: The Movie, the 1989 anime with... giant robots ravaging cities. Not very good, though. Actually pretty dull for a giant-robot-ravaging-cities movie.

I suppose it goes back to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla at least, or even Robot Monster. Didn't King Kong battle a robo-Kong in some movie?

Patlabor was one of the inspirations for Pacific Rim.

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Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:31 am
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