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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
The Dead Zone

I really dug this movie. There was something about it that persistently held me back from digging it, but I dug it anyway, and I think a lot of it had to do with Christopher Walken. He's one of those actors who doesn't have an inauthentic bone in his body. Everything that springs from him feels 100% organic. Every choice he makes here is the right choice, no matter what the scene is, no matter what he has to be--warm and kind, hapless, terrified, full of accepted despair, quietly mad with isolation, scary like a man possessed. He has such a reputation for playing freaks and weirdos that people never talk about how good he is. But he's great, and he owns this movie.

Cronenberg, too--most of his films have such a peculiar personal stamp that it's easy to forget that he can do great work when asked to delve into a world of somebody else's creation. The scenes he crafts are simple and understated, but he's so selective in his choice of details that it all comes together with a singular, dreadful tone. His images wed well to the music of Michael Kamen, who is not ordinarily noted as one of our great composers yet can do well when he shows the kind of restraint he shows here.

If there is a nagging issue of the movie, I think it's the romantic pairing of the Walken and Brooke Adams characters. They're both appealing, but their continued entanglement feels contrived. No matter how hard the actors try to make it work, there's something unpleasant and a little torturous about how the movie keeps ramming these people together. She's a ghost from his past. Their every subsequent meeting had me a little more convinced that she should have stayed that way.

On a scale of leatherbound books to triode tubes, I give Dead Zone Q.5 bananas.


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Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Do The Right Thing

I finally watched this the other night....and I just didn't like it. If Lee's motives were to get people talking after the movie, then he succeeded because all I can do is talk about how wrong each person was in the movie (save for one). The only character I felt sorry for was Sal. What exactly did he do wrong?

[Reveal] Spoiler:
So what if he didn't want any pictures besides Italain-American's in HIS joint? He was actually closing, let 4 people come in after hours just for a slice, and had to deal with two hooligans coming in after. What sorry person won't turn down his radio when entering a public place of service? If somebody threatened me like Sal was being threatened, you better believe I pull out something too. Oh, and at least the drunk DA Mayor realized the death had nothing to do with Sal...just people making wrong decisions.


So Spike is intentionally trying to get a certain audience to feel pissed off, much like the characters in the movie...fine, but I also hate being preached to in such a heavy fisted way.


Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Do The Right Thing

I finally watched this the other night....and I just didn't like it. If Lee's motives were to get people talking after the movie, then he succeeded because all I can do is talk about how wrong each person was in the movie (save for one). The only character I felt sorry for was Sal. What exactly did he do wrong?

[Reveal] Spoiler:
So what if he didn't want any pictures besides Italain-American's in HIS joint? He was actually closing, let 4 people come in after hours just for a slice, and had to deal with two hooligans coming in after. What sorry person won't turn down his radio when entering a public place of service? If somebody threatened me like Sal was being threatened, you better believe I pull out something too. Oh, and at least the drunk DA Mayor realized the death had nothing to do with Sal...just people making wrong decisions.


So Spike is intentionally trying to get a certain audience to feel pissed off, much like the characters in the movie...fine, but I also hate being preached to in such a heavy fisted way.


I enjoyed this movie but do feel there's a little too much anger behind it. It demonstrates problems without strong solutions.


Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Do The Right Thing

I finally watched this the other night....and I just didn't like it. If Lee's motives were to get people talking after the movie, then he succeeded because all I can do is talk about how wrong each person was in the movie (save for one). The only character I felt sorry for was Sal. What exactly did he do wrong?

[Reveal] Spoiler:
So what if he didn't want any pictures besides Italain-American's in HIS joint? He was actually closing, let 4 people come in after hours just for a slice, and had to deal with two hooligans coming in after. What sorry person won't turn down his radio when entering a public place of service? If somebody threatened me like Sal was being threatened, you better believe I pull out something too. Oh, and at least the drunk DA Mayor realized the death had nothing to do with Sal...just people making wrong decisions.


So Spike is intentionally trying to get a certain audience to feel pissed off, much like the characters in the movie...fine, but I also hate being preached to in such a heavy fisted way.


I enjoyed this movie but do feel there's a little too much anger behind it. It demonstrates problems without strong solutions.

Hate to say it but I do kind of agree, I didn't understand why the black guys were so upset about the one white guy moving into their neighborhood when he wasn't even doing anything wrong.


Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:03 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Winner of the Best Director award at Cannes, the director seemingly got the award not for his flourishes, but for how totally in control he was over the mood and the setting, making this gay noir exude an appropriate amount of tension and menace. The landscape, the woods, and the lake are utilized to great effect. Towards the ending, that control is particularly masterful as it rachets up the events and ends things on a chilling, haunting note. I must say, though, that the many graphic and often unsimulated sex acts are detrimental to the mood. I understand its depiction (casualness is a minor theme), but I think the director goes overboard with it. 8/10

On a sidenote, the gay femme fatale (homme fatale?) looks so much like a mustacheporn version of Liev Schreiber it's a little distracting :) .

The Tree of Life (2011)

Malick falls asleep in the middle of 2001 and then dreams of his childhood? I get a feeling it's not the most well-received around this part, but of the four Malicks I've watched so far (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, and To the Wonder), this is the first time I feel that his film has a deeply emotional and accessible core, to go together with maybe his best visual feat yet. It's also the first time that his characters are of equal importance with his vision. Do all the narrative links cohere as well as the thematic thrust? Maybe not. But like 2001, its overall effect is overwhelming and soulful. 9.5/10


Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:27 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re. Do The Right Thing: the pictures in the pizza joint were relatively a non-issue. They served as a breaking point for tensions that were long in building, but to say that the conflict is over the pictures is like saying Citizen Kane is about a sled.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:

The Tree of Life (2011)

Malick falls asleep in the middle of 2001 and then dreams of his childhood? I get a feeling it's not the most well-received around this part, but of the four Malicks I've watched so far (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, and To the Wonder), this is the first time I feel that his film has a deeply emotional and accessible core, to go together with maybe his best visual feat yet. It's also the first time that his characters are of equal importance with his vision. Do all the narrative links cohere as well as the thematic thrust? Maybe not. But like 2001, its overall effect is overwhelming and soulful. 9.5/10


My problem with the Tree of Life may seem odd given the subject matter; but it seems to lack self-awareness. It would be a hard film to parody, because much of the parody would be contained in the actual narration of the original.

The beginning is quite spectacular (although not to the level some make out); but the best (or most poignant part) for me is O'Brien's relationship with his kids, and how they are tainted with his perception that his life has largely been a failure. He's not a bastard per se, it's just the world has given a fairly firm kicking to his backside.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:13 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Now this is a bummer. I've been through Arthur Conan Doyle's novels and a couple of his books of short stories, and I recently watched the first two seasons of the BBC's Sherlock. I was interested in seeing how the character might fare in a modern big budget movie. Sadly, this version comes across like poor fan fiction. There's not much warmth here, not much understanding of what made these characters special in the first place, and, most criminal of all, only the most superficial attention shown to the working of Holmes's magnificent mind. He and Watson, drawn from the same archetypes as Spock and Kirk, have precious little chemistry in this iteration. Items sown into the books as bits of background color--Holmes's fighting skills, his admiration for Irene Adler, the close calls he and Watson get themselves into, etc.--are reinterpreted as key features of the story, quite possibly because the writers of this piece have no idea how to write a genuine Holmes detective procedural to live up to Conan Doyle's cleverness. Those elements were never meant to sustain a Sherlock Holmes narrative, were never fascinating or distinctive enough in their own right except in the small doses in which they were originally present. Here, we're given too much of what made the Holmes stories generic and not enough of what made them special.

That's not to say that the movie is 100% unsalvageable, but it's not worth bothering with for the same reason you wouldn't bother with The Godfather III. It gets the setting and the names right, but that's about it. It's a curiosity and it's destined to be a footnote in the history of an otherwise illustrious franchise.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:04 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
As far as bastardisations go, it's not absolutely terrible. I actually (against my better judgment) think the first instalment is OK. The comedy elements work quite well, and the performances from all are not without charm.

The second really loses it though. Avoid it

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:22 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Killing Season - ** out of ****

Disappointing. This could have been great, instead it's dull and repetitive. De Niro is good, but Travolta gives at times a cartoonishly over the top performance. The final scene between De Niro and Travolta is good but by then it's too little too late.


Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:27 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Re. Do The Right Thing: the pictures in the pizza joint were relatively a non-issue. They served as a breaking point for tensions that were long in building, but to say that the conflict is over the pictures is like saying Citizen Kane is about a sled.


Well said, Ken. In my humble opinion Do The Right Thing is one of the greatest American films of the past 30 years.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Re. Do The Right Thing: the pictures in the pizza joint were relatively a non-issue. They served as a breaking point for tensions that were long in building, but to say that the conflict is over the pictures is like saying Citizen Kane is about a sled.


The "Breaking Point" was when Radio Ahem was accidentally killed. The black neighborhood residents saw that as the white man "getting them again," so mooky loses it in the heat of everyone's anguish and tosses the trash can which triggers the riot. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't care that Radio Ahem died. He didn't deserve to die, but he walked around like a horse's ass, seemingly being mean to anyone of a different race. His character was terrible. He walked into Sal's with Buggin Out to kick Sal's ass. What did Sal ever do wrong? Maybe this was an attempt by Lee to project and flip the notion of "what did the black guy ever do wrong in real life" on to Sal, showing what it feels like for something bad to happen to another race that didn't deserve it.

All this movie did was make me feel bad for Sal and his Famous Pizza Joint. I couldn't have cared less for any other character in the film (not due to race but due to the way the characters were developed).

In my opinion, American History X, Amistad, Glory, Blazing Saddles, and even fucking Crash are better movies. dealing with this issue. Even damn Glory Road and Remember the Titans are better movies.


Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Wake in Fright (1971)

Went ahead and watched this one since there was a level of anticipation from Unwind's lead in and other forum members. It is a bit unlike any movie I've seen and mostly because I deliberately skip certain kinds. In general, I like disturbing movies, but only the not realistic disturbing movies. This one hits in all sorts or realistic ways in part because my personal past can associate with the type of binge drinking and blackouts taking place. 45 minutes in I was getting bored and normally would have bailed out. I stuck it out and, although I didn't like much of what transpired, I did like the ending very much. It feels sort of like something that must of influenced Rob Zombie when he was very young. 6/10

The Invisible Man (1933)

I really enjoyed the plot and depiction of this old movie. Didn't have much appreciation for the acting, but the story and direction made it a great watch. 8/10


Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:35 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
CasualDad wrote:
Wake in Fright (1971)

Went ahead and watched this one since there was a level of anticipation from Unwind's lead in and other forum members. It is a bit unlike any movie I've seen and mostly because I deliberately skip certain kinds. In general, I like disturbing movies, but only the not realistic disturbing movies. This one hits in all sorts or realistic ways in part because my personal past can associate with the type of binge drinking and blackouts taking place. 45 minutes in I was getting bored and normally would have bailed out. I stuck it out and, although I didn't like much of what transpired, I did like the ending very much. It feels sort of like something that must of influenced Rob Zombie when he was very young. 6/10


I also found this a bit slow in the midsection, but it's really stayed with me since.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
roastbeef_ajus wrote:

The "Breaking Point" was when Radio Ahem was accidentally killed. The black neighborhood residents saw that as the white man "getting them again," so mooky loses it in the heat of everyone's anguish and tosses the trash can which triggers the riot. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't care that Radio Ahem died. He didn't deserve to die, but he walked around like a horse's ass, seemingly being mean to anyone of a different race. His character was terrible. He walked into Sal's with Buggin Out to kick Sal's ass. What did Sal ever do wrong? Maybe this was an attempt by Lee to project and flip the notion of "what did the black guy ever do wrong in real life" on to Sal, showing what it feels like for something bad to happen to another race that didn't deserve it.

All this movie did was make me feel bad for Sal and his Famous Pizza Joint. I couldn't have cared less for any other character in the film (not due to race but due to the way the characters were developed).

In my opinion, American History X, Amistad, Glory, Blazing Saddles, and even fucking Crash are better movies. dealing with this issue. Even damn Glory Road and Remember the Titans are better movies.


I don't think you get the movie at all. The pizza place serves as a microcosm for all race relations in America. There are no good guys and bad guys in this film, and this is the brilliance of it; Spike forces you to consider the good and bad elements of both the black and white characters. They all have their proverbial warts. I think the message of this film is that we all, black and white, ultimately have more in common than we do not, and we have let petty differences divide us when we should be working on closing the gaps on the major things that keep us at odds with one another.

Also worth noting: Spike ended the film the way he did because he was certain viewers would be more upset by a white man's restaurant being burned down than by a black man being murdered by police. Judging by the reactions to the film when it came out, Spike was absolutely right.

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Also worth noting: Spike ended the film the way he did because he was certain viewers would be more upset by a white man's restaurant being burned down than by a black man being murdered by police. Judging by the reactions to the film when it came out, Spike was absolutely right.


This is 100% true, but it's Spike's fault for writing the characters that way. As I already mentioned, that guy getting killed didn't bother me in the least. He didn't deserve to get killed, but his character was just a douche bag who treated no one (of a different race) with respect. He gave the only redeeming qualities regarding treating people (of different race) with respect to Sal, who consequently is the only character I felt sorry for.

Anyway, in the 20+ years since this movie, with all that has happened regarding its subject matter, it doesn't look like the movie has made a dent in the way people think.


Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:32 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It's by no means a perfect movie, but it is a thought-provoking one. And for that I give it a lot of credit

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
It's by no means a perfect movie, but it is a thought-provoking one. And for that I give it a lot of credit


This.


Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:51 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
So Spike is intentionally trying to get a certain audience to feel pissed off, much like the characters in the movie...


Well, he succeeded. After the last scene, I wanted to punch Mookie in the face.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
100 Bloody Acres (2013)

Very good Aussie horror comedy. The first comparison that comes to mind is of Tucker & Dale vs Evil, but if the first impression of the duo by the kids is correct. It lacks the punch of that film's clever satirical edge (although it is slightly meta as well), but it is equally as fun to watch. Pretty gory too, filled with blood and body parts, which are mostly played for cartoonish effects and macabre jokes. 7.5/10

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

This is the year that I warm up to Steven Soderbergh (well, right before he takes a break from movies). I was apprehensive that this was going to be a cold, detached affair, like Magic Mike. The two vibrant, brilliant performances already assure it wouldn't feel that way, but this is the most feeling Soderbergh has invested in the characters and their story for quite a while. One of the year's best-looking movies as well. 8.5/10

Stories We Tell (2013)

Ah, this explains Take this Waltz maybe? Sarah Polley's documentary plays like an intimate family drama, with a tinge of mystery as her family's skeleton starts to reveal itself. I think she strains a little too much for a Rashomon angle, with how people tell one story with slight alterations for their own purpose. Still, this is powerful, engrossing stuff, with at least three complex individuals that you could almost call tragic figures. In a strange way, it can be viewed as one of the most touching love stories of the year as well. 9/10

Birth of the Living Dead (2013)

Feels more like a detailed making-of featurette that belongs on Night of the Living Dead dvd, but for a non-American I enjoyed seeing Night put in context of history. People who have already read up on the making of Night and its surrounding history will probably get a lot less out of it. Romero was very charming though, and I liked the comic panel style a bit. 6.5/10

(I also just know that before Night, Romero really wanted to make a film aping Bergman's The Virgin Spring, called Whine of the Fawn. Wonder what that would look like.)


Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:21 am
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