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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re: Terminator, my favorite is the first one. T2 is great as well, but I have to admit I'm also a huge fan of the third one. To be honest, in some ways, I like it more than the second one. I don't dislike Salvation as much as most people, but it was forgettable and misguided.

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Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I really didn't like Salvation at all. It tried to do that thing where you reboot and stay canon at the same time, and I don't think it works at all. For instance, why is John Connor so important in this universe? He's a mid-tier officer who doesn't really distinguish himself in any real way. Why must we destroy him from existence?

But that's a fanboy issue, not a substantial criticism. More problematic to me is the slick sheen that McG puts on the whole production. The original terminator had a grungy feel to it that I love, and Cameron is a master at action filmmaking, but McG's work left me cold. The movie's pacing has issues, Bryce Dallas Howard has nothing to do, and there's an overriding feeling that the most interesting story isn't being told. I felt more interested in the movie that Salvation set up than the movie Salvation actually was

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Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Salvation didn't feel the least bit "slick" to me, if anything for me it felt more "grungy" then the previous two films did.


Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I don’t like in Salvation
[Reveal] Spoiler:
how towards the end of the movie the evil AI lady explains in detail everything Skynet has been doing and is planning to do to our robotic lead. It’s such a clunky way of directly saying to the audience “HEY THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING” and makes her come across like a Bond villain, since there’s no reason within the story why Skynet would reveal it’s plans like that. I feel like Salvation could have been a much better movie with a better script, because I still liked it, it’s just super clunky in places
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:13 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I feel like the story of T1 alone is enough to put it over Salvation, even though I liked all of the movies. Disliked the color palette of Salvation, loved the action scenes. Sam Worthington strangely gives the best performance in the film. He showed some promise back then.

My ranking would be:

Judgement Day - 9
Terminator - 8.5
Rise of the Machines - 7.5
Salvation - 7


Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:22 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
My ranking

The Original/Terminator 2 ****
Terminator 3 ***
Salvation **

The original and T2 earn their classic status. T3 is more of a generic action film than the first two. But it's one of the better garden variety action films. Jonathan Mostow stages the action sequences quite well and the story works even as it negates the ending of T2. It seems more logical than Alien 3 in that regard.

Salvation just didn't work for me. It seemed like it was trying to break off from the previous 3 films, yet couldn't do so.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Human Nature (2001)

The first collaboration of Charlie Kaufman and Michael Gondry is uneven. It's more like a speak piece for many iterations of Kaufman's identity theme than a smooth narrative. Good thing though that he does it in a witty, biting, and often very funny style. I could watch Tim Robbins teaching white mice proper dining etiquette for a whole film. 7/10

Adaptation (2002)

I should rewatch little-remembered movies I rented from Blockbuster on VCD about 10 years ago more often (see also: Eternal Sunshine and RoboCop). Amazing how so many things completely flew over my head the first time; my memory extended to just the child birth, Meryl Streep sex scene, and thinking how I'd rather watch that made-up movie with the low-ceiling corridor more. Brilliant screenplay and performances, and only the slightly muddy third act keeps it from surpassing Jonze's previous film (I get what the movie is trying to do, but I think it is less interesting than what comes before, and a recursion too far). 8.5/10


Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
District 13 (2004)

A French free-running/karate/gangster/dystopian nuclear holocaust flick.

Entertaining stuff. The plot is light enough to pick up at almost any point, and the action and more importantly chase (free-running) scenes are amazing.

A worthy Wednesday evening's entertainment for anyone.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:13 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Human Nature (2001)

The first collaboration of Charlie Kaufman and Michael Gondry is uneven. It's more like a speak piece for many iterations of Kaufman's identity theme than a smooth narrative. Good thing though that he does it in a witty, biting, and often very funny style. I could watch Tim Robbins teaching white mice proper dining etiquette for a whole film. 7/10


I'm glad that someone else saw and liked the movie. It always gets overlooked when people discuss movies based on Charlie Kaufman's scripts and it is the funniest one of them (and it also has a bit of substance).

Regarding the Terminator movies:

The first is great. It is a gritty, has no fat and the ending is quite audacious. All of this sets it apart from the 'Terminator 2', which has the added problem of turning Schwarzenegger's killer robot into the protector of children who will not kill or maim anybody. That doesn't really work for me, although I think the movie is a good, entertaining action film. 'Terminator 3' is the comedic entry into the franchise and it was a hoot to watch in the cinema with a group of friends, who were laughing so hard we must have missed half of the dialogue. The action scenes are also good and the ending is brave as well. 'Terminator Salvation' is just plain rubbish.

The movies I've seen most recently are:

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
Teenage girl (Lily Collins) finds out that she has the special gift to see demons, vampires and the likes and is inducted into the secret world of so-called “Shadowhunters” by a teen heartthrob.
When my wife apologetically announced that the DVD she rented “might be too teenage-y for you”, I knew that I wasn’t exactly part of the target audience for this adaptation of a young adult novel. Still, I’m trying to give each film a fair chance, like to be pleasantly surprised and hoped for a movie of moderate interest. ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ doesn’t even satisfy modest expectations, though. It clearly aims for the ‘Twilight’ audience and, like the ‘Twilight’ movies and many other failed adaptations of literary works, makes the mistake of providing a cliff-notes version of the source novel’s plot while trying to cram in as many plot points and characters from the book as possible. This only serves to confuse the audience. The biggest problem with ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ is that it is shoddily made. While Lily Collins is okay, if only using one facial expression, the other actors are awful, particularly the male love interest. There are numerous plot holes and logical errors: The lack of response from the New York Fire Department to a big gas explosion in a flat is one thing, not having the neighbours notice this explosion is quite another and the icing on the cake is that the gas explosion only causes the flat to be quite dusty with decorative flames licking in some places but otherwise no noticeable damage to the furniture etc. Then, there is a scene which is so incompetently edited that it becomes funny: The protagonist races down a street, crosses the street while toppling cyclists, evading cars and pushing away pedestrians, races back up the street and crosses it again, i.e. she is running in a circle with the apparently sole purpose of impairing the safety of road traffic. The movie can be enjoyed in a so-bad-it’s-good way, but actually this is just really, really bad. 2/10

Riddick (2013)
Wanted criminal and former leader of a galactic empire Riddick (Vin Diesel) is stranded on a hostile planet, which is inhabited exclusively by predatory lifeforms. Fortunately, after struggling for survival, Riddick finds a distress beacon and activates it, knowing that this will lure bounty hunters to the planet, who involuntarily might provide him with a means of escape.
‘Riddick’ is the third movie centering on the eponymous character after the nice little action/monster movie ‘PitchBlack’ and the terrible and bloated space opera ‘Chronicles of Riddick’. It’s good that the filmmakers are returning to the formula of the first movie and deliver an unashamed action B-movie. The movie is clearly structured in three acts: First, it’s Riddick vs. the hostile environment, which is the best part of the movie and great fun. Second, Riddick picks off the mercenaries out to hunt him, which is still good, but could have been executed with a bit more flair. Third, everyone joins forces against loads of monsters, which is the weakest part of the film and should have been left out. The special effects, i.e. the CGI, is adequate but looks a bit cheap. Oddly enough, this cheap look worked for me because it emphasised how unpretentious this movie is. The direction is fine, but unremarkable. Vin Diesel isn’t much of an actor but exactly right to play the gruff Riddick. A surprisingly good movie. 7/10

White House Down (2013)
Domestic terrorists, led by the retiring head of the presidential security detail (James Woods), take over the White House and try to kill President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) or to take him hostage. They don’t seem to be quite sure about their targets themselves. Any nefarious plots are doomed to failure anyway, because Channing Tatum’s character and his daughter are in the house and he’s the most dangerous kind for any would-be terrorists: Unreliable, having problems with authority, forgetting his daughter’s school play, wanting to become a secret service man but being patently unqualified for it and having combat experience as a soldier.
This action movie has been directed by Roland Emmerich, so it goes without saying that it’s dumb as a bag of hammers. The script doesn’t leave out any action movie clichés known to man and the brief summary above will be sufficient to enable you to predict exactly how the plot progresses, including the “twist” at the end, which you can see coming after about 15 minutes. In action movies such as this, the story of the film is of secondary importance, though, and ‘White House Down’ should be judged on the merit of its action scenes. Unfortunately, the action has been filmed perfunctorily and there is only little excitement. With the similarly themed ‘Olympus has Fallen’ being released in the same year (not to mention the direct to DVD knock-off ‘Operation Olympus White House Taken’ starring Ray Liotta), comparisons of the two movies are inevitable. I’d say that ‘Olympus has Fallen’ has the slight edge over ‘White House Down’, because Gerard Butler is a better action movie star than Channing Tatum and the bone-crunching violence of ‘Olympus has Fallen’ raises a little more interest than the run-of-the-mill action in ‘White House Down’. On the other hand, the latter movie has the President leaning out of a limousine firing a bazooka, which must count for something. Ultimately, both movies are only just about watchable and not even of mediocre quality. 4/10


Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:16 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
I really didn't like Salvation at all. It tried to do that thing where you reboot and stay canon at the same time, and I don't think it works at all. For instance, why is John Connor so important in this universe? He's a mid-tier officer who doesn't really distinguish himself in any real way. Why must we destroy him from existence?


I got the sense that he was definitely more important than the higher ups, and he does distinguish himself by being the voice of the resistance that inspires everyone else. That's why no one attacks skynet at the end until he gives the order to do so. And it's definitely pretty clear the he knows what he's doing more so than the higher ups, who walk into the most obvious trap imaginable. Skynet didn't need to explain what it's plans were to anyone but the audience - the "shutdown signal" might as well have had "this is a tracking device to find resistance headquarters" written all over it. Remember how it was John who at least suggested they should check to make sure it works in the field before going big with it?

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
thered47 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I really didn't like Salvation at all. It tried to do that thing where you reboot and stay canon at the same time, and I don't think it works at all. For instance, why is John Connor so important in this universe? He's a mid-tier officer who doesn't really distinguish himself in any real way. Why must we destroy him from existence?


I got the sense that he was definitely more important than the higher ups, and he does distinguish himself by being the voice of the resistance that inspires everyone else. That's why no one attacks skynet at the end until he gives the order to do so. And it's definitely pretty clear the he knows what he's doing more so than the higher ups, who walk into the most obvious trap imaginable. Skynet didn't need to explain what it's plans were to anyone but the audience - the "shutdown signal" might as well have had "this is a tracking device to find resistance headquarters" written all over it. Remember how it was John who at least suggested they should check to make sure it works in the field before going big with it?


Yeah, okay, he's a capable officer. But how is he the savior of humanity who's worth going back in time for to kill? The story we're told in movie one is that everyone is living in concentration camps (or dead) and that John Connor leads a rebellion and teaches humanity how to fight back. He's a singular person, a messiah (note the initials!) not a better-than-typical officer

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:35 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Yeah, okay, he's a capable officer. But how is he the savior of humanity who's worth going back in time for to kill? The story we're told in movie one is that everyone is living in concentration camps (or dead) and that John Connor leads a rebellion and teaches humanity how to fight back. He's a singular person, a messiah (note the initials!) not a better-than-typical officer


I realize what the initials mean, but always assumed that it was meant figuratively, even in universe, not literally. I do recall feeling that John Connor was the one in charge and he does include "teaching" moments in his "inspire the masses" broadcasts", like how the best way to defeat that one kind of Terminator. "The armor at the back of the head is particularly weak, if you can get a knife in there, you can disorientate it temporarily."

Also, each time a Terminator gets sent back, doesn't that alter the time line?

Such as:
In T1, the terminator and Kyle Reese go back in time and Linda Hamilton now has knowledge of Judgement Day, and thus is able to take action to delay it T2
In T2, Schwarzenegger goes back in time and bonds with John Connor, thus in T3, the reprogrammed version gets to explain how in the future he killed John Connor. Presumably now he's going to be able to avoid that...

Somewhere along the line, the concentration camp timeline is erased, presumably due to the actions in T2, where Judgement Day was delayed. Obviously, there are time travel paradoxes galore here, which the movies never really try to address.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:49 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Man, prison was so weird.

To have that kind of order imposed upon life feels a lot like a tease of freedom, the very walls of reality kept slightly at bay -- fingertips touching life as one thinks of life as they know it -- while the hope for the familiar, even as it's replaced by a new familiar, takes on a shadow life only captured by this very paragraph I'm typing. And not even then. Oh no, not even then. The only sentence that could possibly hope to summarize the brutality of the banal that is life behind bars is: Prison was so weird.

Prisoners wasn't, though. Such a good movie! Two men learn of their desperacy when thrust into circumstances that threaten to capsize a perfectly expensive movie long before the story kicks into gear. Good movie that it is, Prisoners takes and brutally assaults the cliche (..."Go, take a shower, Mark." "I'm pretty clean. I tongue-bathed myself on the way in." "Nah, you look dirty and tired. Here's a bar of soap for your face and some Lubriderm for those dry, tired delicates." "Okay. But I'm wearing my clothes. "I'm afraid that'll make it hard to initiate you into the Aryan Legion." "But I'm a Jew." "It doesn't matter. We're really just about the initiation, not the membership." "Still, I'd prefer to wear clothing into the shower because this shirt is stained and I'd prefer to kill two birds with the one stone." "Just get into the shower so we can assault you like that movie Prisoners assaulted cliche." "I haven't seen it." "Oh, you should! It's really good!" ) by overlaying a meaningful story about two regular people who find an unexpected reserve of hatred and fear. The kind of hatred and fear that a normal Jew can find in prison when he's held down and forced to say "I'm a little fruit cup!" while the other prisoners place bets on how long it'll be before he urinates out of the kind of fear that drives Hugh Jackman to torture that kid from Gigantic.

I really liked it, no matter what impression you're getting. The movie was really good, too. It made me feel the sort of connection to storytelling that I had forgotten contemporary plot-driven junk could even do. The movie also made me feel that kind of connection.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shouldn't have taken that pen, man. The post office always knows.

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The Master

This was good. I'm not even sure I could describe the logical throughline that runs through the whole thing except that it's about a man who is emotionally weak and who, sadly, finds direction only when there are people around him to take advantage of that weakness. It's a feast where the combination of the courses don't entirely make sense, or a jewel that isn't cut quite right, but still a feast and a jewel. I watched it because PSH is gone. His performance was compelling enough that I'd forgotten until the movie had ended, which, incidentally, happened well before I was ready for it.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Billy Liar

Daydreaming young man
Drifts through his workday, aloof
Does not keep interest

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Jagten (The Hunt) (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2106476/
Excellent and superbly acted Swedish film vividly portraying why you'd have to be out of your mind if you pursue an occupation that involves children if you happen to possess a Y chromosome.
9/10.


First: I'm not picking on you, guy who calls himself 'nitrium'. Yours is the first post I found on this movie outside of the 'Monsters Makes Art' thread and I didn't want to opine therein.

Second: while The Hunt was extremely well-acted and otherwise good, I found the whole thing a bit shallow where it needed to really grasp for realism. One would think, especially given the country in which the movie takes place, that our protagonist would seek official help in these matters; it was almost as if his incredulity was evidence enough. Surely he would have sought legal help, no? This was an educated man but he becomes less human as the story progresses, ending up as a metaphor. While we're on the topic of credulity: the town was fairly speedy in revising their opinions and moving toward barbarism. The film was clearly trying to make a point about how people desire blame (possibly even tragedy in order to exonerate themselves for whatever domestic sickness they're responsible for) but, as things moved along, it felt that everything had been constructed for the sake of this point. Too engineered to be great (Lucas nearly had angel wings sprouting from his shoulders), The Hunt was only decent. I had hoped it would be something more.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fucking hell, Lord Lucan is alive!!

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
Fucking hell, Lord Lucan is alive!!


I didn't even mention that I met him in prison so how did you know?! Incredible. He now goes by Bingsley The Turgid and tells the funniest stories about starting a garage band with Richey James. That he can tell those stories while holding a shiv to my throat and tattooing the word "Idiott" to my forehead is an impressive testament to his multitasking abilities. Terrible speller, though.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark III wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
Fucking hell, Lord Lucan is alive!!


I didn't even mention that I met him in prison so how did you know?! Incredible. He now goes by Bingsley The Turgid and tells the funniest stories about starting a garage band with Richey James. That he can tell those stories while holding a shiv to my throat and tattooing the word "Idiott" to my forehead is an impressive testament to his multitasking abilities. Terrible speller, though.


Good stuff.

I won't ask where you were in 2013 because we all have one or more of the kind of responsibilities that can send us to the nuthouse (wife, kids, job, mortgage), but welcome back!

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
All is Lost (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017038/
Remarkable literal one man performance from Robert Redford as a solo yacht adventurer who gets into trouble in the Indian Ocean and his subsequent attempts to survive the ordeal. Thematically similar to Cast Away (but on a boat instead of an island), except here we have no back story whatsoever regarding the protagonist and no concluding scenes of what happens next either. While I have never seen a non-silent film with so little dialogue (Redford does not like to talk to himself, that's for sure - I'm pretty sure I would do in the same situation), the film remains compelling throughout its 1h 45m run-time.
7/10 (but it's sort of better than that would suggest).


Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:05 pm
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