Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:56 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16166 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 733, 734, 735, 736, 737, 738, 739 ... 809  Next
Last Movie You Watched 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2092
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark III wrote:
I guess it comes down to how much wading in any one sea a person, in this case me, is willing to go through. Contemporary movies are so much more superficially accessible to me. It unfortunately comes down to the most mundane elements like color, lighting, clothes, hair, acting, and sweet precious sound. It's the difference between me and a real film scholar: I can't always see it. Sometimes because I don't look close enough, sometimes because I'm just not as capable as the next man.

That is, I watch a silent movie and I tell myself "you need to watch and appreciate this", so disingenuous of me. I mean, that's the problem: it's almost disingenuous of me to opine on these movies -- it feels like I lack the rosetta stone. Of course there are great silent films that I could watch and enjoy, not always aware that i'm watching a silent film that i have to handle with kid gloves. The conditions just don't seem right: I may never be able to watch and see The General because I'll be watching and seeing nearly 100 years of love and adoration for The General. I'm learning that I haven't been entirely honest with myself on some of the classic great films.

Did I really like Smiles of a Summer Night or did I convince myself that I needed to like it? Am I just really, really tired?

Ken's signature is fucking with my mind. In short time it'll be revealed that I've been in a coma for the past 15 years, this is all a last dash of light from my dying mind.


You might be able to figure this out if there are "classics" that you simply hate. For example, I watched "Phantom," the famous lost Murnau film, and absolutely hated it. (My comment was that there are some films better left lost.) On the other hand, the "The Grand Duke's Finances" was a pleasant surprise, perhaps because I felt no compulsion at all to like it.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:41 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1717
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Morocco

Really enjoyed the simplicity of this 1930 flick from Josef von Sternberg. I think the slow simplicity of early sound movies is Sternberg's best friend. It allows him to indulge in the fuzzy-but-splendiferous imagery and tell simple stories about lust/love/pining. In addition to Marlene Dietrich, actors Gary Cooper and Adolph Menjou are a big plus. This film left me wondering what the point of it all was going to be up until the final 30 seconds, where the punchline is finally delivered. It's all in the ending for this one.

Shanghai Express

I'm a little puzzled as to why I didn't like this one very much. It's a direct antecedent to Stagecoach, with an ensemble of rogues on a train in China during the civil war. But I found this group of characters to be a bit tiresome, and neither the innuendos nor the cinematography did much for me. It lacks the simple character-drives of some of Sternberg's other movies, and the plot falls really flat for me, even for a 1932 movie.


Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:15 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 773
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
I may never be able to watch and see The General because I'll be watching and seeing nearly 100 years of love and adoration for The General.


Ah, but this is a different issue, one I empathize with completely. Personally, I have trouble with Chaplin perhaps because he is like Mickey Mouse. Everyone knows him, even people who don't know movies. I have more fun with Keaton because watching him feels more like a discovery. Some films simply aren't textured or layered enough to discover anything new about them. Movies like King Kong, Frankenstein, Wizard of Oz may be all used up at this point. Does Citizen Kane have any surprises left anymore? Barely, which is why I find Lady from Shanghai and Touch of Evil to be more interesting.

But as to the other point, I think all the movies I like are guilty pleasures to some extent, including even The Godfather, for instance. Film has always been about being a guilty pleasure simply in the sense that it's supposed to be a genuine pleasure. So it's true, no movie should feel just like an obligation or appreciation. I watch movies because I enjoy what they look and feel like, and there are certain kinds of stories I enjoy going along with more than others. So that applies to old movies as much as new. In The General, I enjoy the scenery and the spectacle of the gags. And Footlight Parade, I genuinely enjoy some of the musical sequences and find the whole thing to be really funny and fun. And things like Duck Soup and Scarlet Empress are still great, because they're just funny.

Bluray helps with some of them. I get a huge kick out of seeing a 1927 movie in such high definition. Makes it seem fresh and immediate. To be honest, I don't even see some of these movies as old really, because their bluray releases are still brand new. I'm one of those who believe that bluray is the genuine answer to making older movies seem fresh. If I ever feel jaded by these older flicks, it's usually because the quality of the version I'm watching needs to be better. That includes newer movies as well like Munich, which still is not on bluray for some reason. But just as some movies become outdated, I think the opposite can happen, where a film looks better now than it did at the time of release.


A lot of this post is golden. And you used the correct word when you used 'discovery' because, really, that's what it comes down to. The greatest setback of my movie-watching career (one best described as 'casual' even if I prattle on) is the stream of dubious expertise that I've been exposed to via seemingly bulletproof lists of Great movies made by enthusiasts. The repetition of Label: Excellent that has been passed down from enthusiast to the next has nearly removed the reasons why things are considered Great in the first place. In the end, it's just a stream of titles. For the casual viewer, there is no Citizen Kane experience except as an item on a list to be checked off. There are those who may seek out resources that enrich the experience but, for the casual and even enthusiastic viewer, there is only Citizen Kane: The Legend.

Not that it's a poor movie. Far from it. But my eyes have been borrowed from anonymous posters, Roger Ebert, the New York Times, on and on and on... it's as if I'm no longer able to see a movie, only what the movie represents. Maybe I'm overstating it a little. Syd and you have the right idea: seek. That's the problem, finally: I no longer seek movies out, I watch what others suggest I watch. I don't watch what I may find interesting, I watch what I feel would be interesting to a third party or some false idea of myself. I take the Criterion label on Hulu as some kind of gospel and turn off my emotions and mind, construct reasons why it must be great. That borrowed eyes thing. I don't really believe it's always been this way -- and it's not the worst thing in the world to watch something because it's supposed to be great and finding out that it is, in fact, great -- but at some point it stopped being about what I was interested in. And then it seemed I had no interests at all.

I'll forgive myself: I'm tired, my rhythm has been off for a bit most likely due to late nights staring at a bright computer screen. But not everything I've written is going to read as ridiculous when I come back to this post in a day or two. If only there was a reset button on my viewing movies. Getting away from lists, at least getting away from them as something sacred, is a first step. I'll figure something out.

_________________
Which are you drinking? The water or the wave?


Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:18 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2473
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark, this post reads like the plot to a movie.

Run with it

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:06 am
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 949
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark III wrote:
That's the problem, finally: I no longer seek movies out, I watch what others suggest I watch. I don't watch what I may find interesting, I watch what I feel would be interesting to a third party or some false idea of myself.

I occasionally use the imdb "Recommended movies for you" when I'm stuck for something to watch. These are based on the ratings YOU have entered for films. I've entered about 1,400 ratings on imdb now over the last decade or so, and it almost knows me better than I know myself. You find all sorts of obscure and not so obscure gems, that you're almost guaranteed to enjoy.


Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:08 am
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm
Posts: 422
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Prisoners (2013)
During a Thanksgiving party at their neighbours, Keller Dover’s (Hugh Jackman) young daughter and her best friend go missing. The police and, in particular, detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) quickly identify a mentally diabled young man (Paul Dano) as a suspect, but have to let him go due to a lack of evidence. The devastated and increasingly desperate father decides to take matters into his own hands and force the suspect to reveal the girls’ whereabouts while Loki’s investigation reveals a complex mystery.
As a father, I found it really hard to watch the opening act of ‘Prisoners’. The situation of the missing girls and their worried parents is presented in such a realistic way and so convincingly acted that it made me feel very uncomfortable. This is quite unusual for a movie, which could easily be classified as a psychological thriller or a mystery movie, but feels closer to being a proper drama rather than a genre movie. The reason for the film’s effectiveness is the focus on the characters, which aren’t just very well-written, but also supremely well-acted. For instance, when Keller Dover takes matters into his own hands, he resorts to, shall we say, extreme measures, which could have seemed completely out of character for a next-door family man. However, there are subtle hints throughout the movie that there is more to Keller Dover than listening to Christian Rock on his car radio, such as his causal remark that he hadn’t had a drink in nine years (suggesting that he used to have a drinking problem) or his over-organised basement with survival gear. And there’s Hugh Jackman’s fantastic performance, which creates a nuanced and believable character. Jackman has proven that he can do the badass action hero well, is quite the song-and-dance-man, competently does a romantic lead and now he is showing his considerable skills in a difficult dramatic role. What an actor! Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance also deserves plaudits. His detective is said to have solved all of his cases, but, contrary to movie cop stereotypes, makes mistakes during the investigation, is insecure and becomes increasigly frustrated. I also liked how he would intimidate a witness, but always stay within the boundaries of the law, which is unusual for typical movie cops, too. There’s a lot more to like about ‘Prisoners’ (cinematography, supporting actors, resolution of the plot), but I’ll leave it for you to discover. The movie’s only flaw is that it doesn’t quite manage to escape the confines of its genre. This being a mystery story, there has to be a hidden conspiracy, which must be exposed, and everything related to this conspiracy (in particular everything having to do with the alcoholic priest) isn’t completely convincing. I would have preferred a bit more ambiguousness, perhaps even an ending without a resolution. Still, a very, very good movie: 8/10

Deconstructing Harry (1997)
Harry Block (Woody Allen) is a successful novelist who draws a lot on his thinly disguised personal experiences, particularly his relationships with women and his compulsive adultery, often to comic effect. When his old college plans to give him an award, Block finds it hard to find someone to accompany him, because he has alienated most people he knows by writing about them. So he ends up with an acquaintance with a heart conditiion, his abducted school-age son and a prostitute as his companions.
The theme of ‘Deconstructing Harry’ is spelled out by the Harry Block character when he is talking to his psychiatrist: “I can’t function well in life, only in art.” It is easy to take this as a personal statement by Woody Allen himself and to interpret it as an answer to the media controversy surrounding his divorce from Mia Farrow. Consequently, I would understand it if someone felt uncomfortable watching ‘Deconstructing Harry’ in the light of the recent (or rather: recently reconfirmed) allegations of child abuse. I didn’t, primarily because I think that it is possible to differentiate between Woody Allen the artist and Woody Allen the private person, even when the movie is about the intersection between art and reality and freely mixes both: There are scenes depicting Block’s stories, which are based on “real” people who also appear in the movie, and some of Block’s fictional characters make appearances in real life. While, structurally, ‘Deconstructing Harry’ has been compared to Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Wild Strawberries‘, I thought that this intertwining of fantasy, memories and reality more resembles Federico Fellini’s ‘8 ½’. Be that as it may, ‘Deconstructing Harry’ is first and foremost a typical Woody Allen movie. It is intelligent, witty, tackling big questions and, above all, it is very, very funny and probably his most openly comedic movie sine Annie Hall. While Woody Allen is often lauded for his screenplays and his direction of actors and actresses, his inventiveness and mastery of other aspects of filmmaking are often underrated. In this movie, he uses all kinds of directorial tricks to good effect, my favourite one being an actor (played by Robin Williams), who isn’t focussed and, consequently, indeed out of focus (i.e. blurred) for the whole time. To sum up, I wouldn’t call this one of Woody Allen’s masterpieces, but it comes close and is very, very good. 8/10

The Great Gatsby (1974)
You know the story: In 1920ies New Jersey, a young man from the Midwest moves next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, whose excessive parties are legendary.
What is it that makes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel so hard to adapt into a movie? It would seem that the magic is pretty much all in the language and tone of the novel, which doesn’t translate well to the screen. This high profile adaptation starring Robert Redfort as Gatsby and Mia Farrow and Bruce Dern as Daisy and Tom Buchanan is very faithful to the book in depicting the events of the plot and uses extensive voiceover to include passages from the book - a technique, which is used a lot by movie adaptations of literary works and which usually doesn’t work. The set design and costumes are remarkably good and the movie successfully convey a sense of taking place in the “Jazz Age” . Yet, this only adds up to providing neat illustrations for the book’s external plot and the film doesn’t capture the spirit of the novel. Even worse, it seems that visualising the plot makes the story seem overly melodramatic. It’s like watching a Douglas Sirk movie. The cheesiness of some scenes is emphasized by director Jack Clayton shooting romantic scenes in soft focus and by holding some shots too. Even Robert Redford looks silly in a funny way when he puts on his romantic face for too long. Perhaps, these problems with the 1974 version explain Baz Luhrmann’s baffling choice to crank up the visuals with 3D and lots of special effects in his 2013 adaptation and to turn the parties chez Gatsby’s into something more at home in a gangsta rap video. He might have thought that, if a movie adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” would inevitably be in danger of being cheesy, you might just as well go into overdrive. That didn’t work at all, but neither does the 1974 movie, which is just thoroughly mediocre. 5/10


Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:23 am
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
A Field In England - Apologies for the slightly unorthodox nature of these thoughts, but I suppose it was inevitable that my procrastination with putting words down on the page would come back to haunt me at some point. It's been a few weeks now since I watched the latest film from promising British director Ben Wheatley, and I'm finding that the finer details of it have already faded from my memory. Here's what I do remember: it has a spare narrative that follows a small handful of men into a malevolent field during the time of the English Civil War of the 17th century, and watches as they fall victim to the influence of psychedelic mushrooms and gradually sink into madness. It involves the clash between the rational and irrational, between measured scientific reason and the animalistic nature of man, and all sorts of metaphorical actions abound. It descends occasionally into imaginatively-edited hallucinogenic freakouts (an introductory title card provides a warning to viewers sensitive to strobing lights). It positions its characters from time to time in a series of deliberately-composed tableaus. And it features a tremendously unnerving shot of a hypnotized/possessed man emerging from a tent with a demonic grin plastered on his face not dissimilar to what you'd see in an Aphex Twin music video.

It probably isn't entirely fair for me to criticize a film I have so little recollection of sitting through, but in a way, that lack of a lasting impression speaks to the shortcomings of A Field In England. It's a film seemingly destined to be remembered only in fragments, in flashes of arresting and unsettling imagery. At the very least, Wheatley and regular co-writer Amy Jump deserve credit for not settling on something more conventional after their previous collaborations Kill List and Sightseers. The film is almost experimental in its approach, with stark black-and-white cinematography and eerie sound work turning something as ordinary as a windy field into a nightmare world. That in itself is something of an achievement, and it's why Wheatley will continue to be an interesting director to watch going forward. He can conjure up a surprising amount of power in even the simplest of images. But A Field In England is all about those images; the rest of the production feels too ethereal to have the same kind of impact. 5/10.

Zatoichi And The Doomed Man - The eleventh film in the Zatoichi series. There comes a point in most every long-running series, whether it be in film or television or literature, where a little self-awareness starts to seep into the material. Turns out this series is no different, with Zatoichi And The Doomed Man coyly acknowledging established conventions and having a good deal of fun in the process. At the start of the film, Zatoichi finds himself waiting out a brief incarceration period in a local jail. On the night before he leaves, Zatoichi meets another inmate, the titular doomed man, who relays to the blind swordsman his sad story . After hearing the man's plea for help, Zatoichi departs from the jail initially unsure of whether or not to get involved. Soon enough he'll find himself thrown into the thick of things, but not before showing off his skills with a bow in a local archery contest. Bearing witness to this impressive display is a conniving man named Hyakutaro, who goes on to steal Zatoichi's identity for a time, at least until the blind swordsman catches on and puts a stop to that nonsense in short order.

I've always felt that, especially in television, when that self-awareness starts to appear, it's a sign that either a drastic reinvention is in order or it's time to wrap everything up before things get too embarrassing. It will be interesting to see how the Zatoichi series fares going forward, but I feel the ribbing going on in this film is light enough so that it shouldn't cause too much of an issue in future entries. It's also key that the winking nods never get in the way of the business at hand. Even with the scenes now and again of Hyakutaro playacting as Zatoichi (which are fun mainly because of the actor's mimicking of Shintaro Katsu's mannerisms), the main thrust of the plot is treated seriously. And the final swordfight, a fog-ridden seaport showdown, is a real showstopper. So for now my impression of Zatoichi And The Doomed Man is a positive one. Time will tell though if I'll look back on the film and see the initial festering of what will grow to become a fatal disease. 7/10.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:02 pm
Profile WWW
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1718
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fright Night

I hadn't seen this in a long time. A teenager becomes convinced that his next-door neighbor is a vampire, and enlists the help of a late-night TV host to do battle with the undead. This is a fun, goofy romp with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and a few icky effects. It pays homage to the great vampire films while staying modern. Fright Night still holds up great today. It's a few minutes too long, but that's a minor nitpick; this is one of the better underrated horror films of the 1980s.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:13 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2092
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Morocco

Really enjoyed the simplicity of this 1930 flick from Josef von Sternberg. I think the slow simplicity of early sound movies is Sternberg's best friend. It allows him to indulge in the fuzzy-but-splendiferous imagery and tell simple stories about lust/love/pining. In addition to Marlene Dietrich, actors Gary Cooper and Adolph Menjou are a big plus. This film left me wondering what the point of it all was going to be up until the final 30 seconds, where the punchline is finally delivered. It's all in the ending for this one.

Shanghai Express

I'm a little puzzled as to why I didn't like this one very much. It's a direct antecedent to Stagecoach, with an ensemble of rogues on a train in China during the civil war. But I found this group of characters to be a bit tiresome, and neither the innuendos nor the cinematography did much for me. It lacks the simple character-drives of some of Sternberg's other movies, and the plot falls really flat for me, even for a 1932 movie.


Somehow my Marlene Dietrich "glamour collection" lacks Shanghai Express, but fortunately it's got Morocco and Blonde Venus. Morocco's better, pretty much for the reasons you say. It's also one of my favorite Dietrich performances, the other being Destry Rides Again. She's actually warm for once. I usually find her rather icy. I don't think she was a great actress, but she has such presence in those films I don't care.

Similarly, I have a five-movie Mae West "glamour collection" that lacks "She Done Him Wrong." But it does have "I'm No Angel," which is an absolute delight. I like it better than her Oscar nominee. It's too bad the Code came into effect after that. West was funny and sassy and a smart woman to boot. She should never have been toned down.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:53 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 773
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Bruce Dern's performance is the only great thing about Nebraska, a scripty disappointment from the generally good Alexander Payne. There are some good things: Dern, some of the comic moments with his extended family, the very nice if obligatory end to the story. The acoustic strumming was always there, right on cue. There wasn't a single line of dialogue that didn't sound as if it had been carefully written and repeated by an actor. June Squibb, who plays a coarse old woman with a heart of gold and a *giggle* open view of sex, was nominated for an Oscar. Mysterious. She really didn't deserve special recognition.

Not a bad movie, not a good one.

_________________
Which are you drinking? The water or the wave?


Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:14 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1717
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Smiling Lieutenant

This Lubitsch has a surprisingly interesting and somewhat off-putting storyline. It's a little strange, and feels like it has a message though I'm still working out what it is and how it fits in with today's social norms (if at all). I think it's one of his more intriguing films, though. The music isn't the best, but Chevalier brings the energy once again, and Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins are both good. This is a Lubitsch where the more serious aspect of the plot transcends the humor. For me, that's a good thing.

The Devil is a Woman

This Sternberg starts out good but ends up being too insubstantial and a bit silly. I like it more than Shanghai Express, but less than his others that I've seen. Marlene Dietrich is good, the other actors are forgettable.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:23 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7423
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark III wrote:
Bruce Dern's performance is the only great thing about Nebraska, a scripty disappointment from the generally good Alexander Payne. There are some good things: Dern, some of the comic moments with his extended family, the very nice if obligatory end to the story. The acoustic strumming was always there, right on cue. There wasn't a single line of dialogue that didn't sound as if it had been carefully written and repeated by an actor. June Squibb, who plays a coarse old woman with a heart of gold and a *giggle* open view of sex, was nominated for an Oscar. Mysterious. She really didn't deserve special recognition.

Not a bad movie, not a good one.


Hmmmmm I liked this one more than you. I will grant you that parts of it feel scripted, but you could also say that it has some wonderful dialogue.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:58 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7423
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pompeii (2014) *1/2

Ahhhh what a glorious throwback to the days when we had B movies. This is such a movie in every way. Cast of lesser-knowns and a few "Oh hey!" actors (Carrie-Anne Moss!) chomping their way through an absurd script and dodging to avoid CGI pixels. The film's lack of knowledge -- or concern -- for history was so utterly massive as to be fairly charming, and my wife (a Latin teacher) and I (a history teacher) had a blast making fun of everything they did wrong. Also amusing was the way they cast black actors as many of the slaves, despite the fact that Rome had no such racial bias...they must have been thinking about, you know, the United States.

All in all a great time at the movies!

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:01 am
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:22 am
Posts: 424
Location: Chennai, India
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Bruce Dern's performance is the only great thing about Nebraska, a scripty disappointment from the generally good Alexander Payne. There are some good things: Dern, some of the comic moments with his extended family, the very nice if obligatory end to the story. The acoustic strumming was always there, right on cue. There wasn't a single line of dialogue that didn't sound as if it had been carefully written and repeated by an actor. June Squibb, who plays a coarse old woman with a heart of gold and a *giggle* open view of sex, was nominated for an Oscar. Mysterious. She really didn't deserve special recognition.

Not a bad movie, not a good one.


Hmmmmm I liked this one more than you. I will grant you that parts of it feel scripted, but you could also say that it has some wonderful dialogue.

I agree. There were moments of real beauty. I especially liked the scene where Kate and her sons leap to the aid of Woody. It is so natural, in that it is how most of us behave. We can say whatever we want about our family members, but the moment someone else has an opinion, we are compelled to defend them. And that specific scene never felt forced or staged, it just felt like a natural course of action for these characters. That's why I am very partial to Alexander Payne myself, for scenes like those.

However, in general, I can see where Mark is coming from. I liked it a lot, but it didn't feel as wholly satisfying as either Sideways (Payne's masterpiece) or The Descendants.

_________________
Balajithots - Last Updated 21-Jan - Frozen (2013)
This list... is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:44 pm
Profile WWW
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:35 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Puerto Rico
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fast Five I've never been a fan of this series, or cars for that matter. But for various reasons, I had seen two of the films of the franchise; the first one back in 2001 when everybody was talking about it, and the fourth one (Fast & Furious) a year or two ago while changing channels on TV. I thought the first one was boring and stupid, while the latter was still brainless, but a bit more fun. It took me a while to get to this one, but considering the praise it has gotten, I decided to give it a shot. Plus, the fact that most of it was filmed here in Puerto Rico brought another interesting layer to it.

Overall, I have to agree with most people, and say I was surprised at how much fun the film was. Even though the film still has to do with fast cars, it's clear how it's embracing most its heist nature. There's a moment when the director chooses not to show a street race scene when the characters win a car on a bet which pretty much symbolizes this is not about street racing anymore. But what impressed me the most was the direction. Justin Lin turned this into a really sleek, cool-looking film with great views, swooping cameras, and great wide shots. The rooftop chase in the favelas was astonishing, and the final chase was awesome. IMO, this is what made the film work. Plus, the cast worked well together, had great chemistry, and all. Dwayne Johnson was a pretty good addition too.

All in all, a great, fun, action-filled ride. Grade: a high B+, maybe even veering into A- territory.

_________________
"Get busy living, or get busy dying"

Visit my site: Thief12 profile


Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:35 pm
Profile WWW
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1717
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Pompeii (2014) *1/2

Ahhhh what a glorious throwback to the days when we had B movies. This is such a movie in every way. Cast of lesser-knowns and a few "Oh hey!" actors (Carrie-Anne Moss!) chomping their way through an absurd script and dodging to avoid CGI pixels. The film's lack of knowledge -- or concern -- for history was so utterly massive as to be fairly charming, and my wife (a Latin teacher) and I (a history teacher) had a blast making fun of everything they did wrong. Also amusing was the way they cast black actors as many of the slaves, despite the fact that Rome had no such racial bias...they must have been thinking about, you know, the United States.

All in all a great time at the movies!


We still do have B movies James, even if people like Berardinelli pretend that we don't. Pompeii isn't a throwback so much as...a straight up B movie.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:09 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
We don't have B-movies anymore. A B-movie is a weak movie that gets paired with a strong movie in a double feature. And like double features, B-movies are a thing of the past.

I know that's a nitpick, but you nitpicked first.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:09 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1718
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Night of the Living Dead (1990)

The original Night is one of the greatest horror films ever. That is not in dispute. However, I'd never seen the remake, so I decided to have a go of it. Director Tom Savini tries to stay true to the feel of the original, but this is undone by a few things. First, Night is very much a product of its time. The racial and social commentary elements of the film weren't as relevant in 1990, and are largely excised. However, this has the effect of making the film mostly about people arguing. This is the film's second misstep; in Romero's original, Cooper's character was driven out of concern for his family. In this film, he's just an asshole. Finally, if there is ever a film that needs to be in black and white, it's Night of the Living Dead. The B/W, to me, has always seemed to heighten the tension. This film is in color, and I think it loses a little something because of it.

So what you have is the story, but not the things that make it a great story.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:38 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:35 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Puerto Rico
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ransom I remember when I saw this film in theaters back in 1996, and thinking it was the most awesome film ever. I hadn't seen it in a while, at least whole, but I caught it today on TNT and was surprised how well it held up. For most of its duration, Ransom is an intense, tightly-paced, and well acted thriller. It is only during its last act that the film loses its edge and veers into brainless stupidity, but overall, it is a pretty good film. Not the "most awesome film ever", but certainly a fun, intense one. Grade: B or B+

_________________
"Get busy living, or get busy dying"

Visit my site: Thief12 profile


Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:45 pm
Profile WWW
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3612
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Night of the Living Dead (1990)

The original Night is one of the greatest horror films ever. That is not in dispute. However, I'd never seen the remake, so I decided to have a go of it. Director Tom Savini tries to stay true to the feel of the original, but this is undone by a few things. First, Night is very much a product of its time. The racial and social commentary elements of the film weren't as relevant in 1990, and are largely excised. However, this has the effect of making the film mostly about people arguing. This is the film's second misstep; in Romero's original, Cooper's character was driven out of concern for his family. In this film, he's just an asshole. Finally, if there is ever a film that needs to be in black and white, it's Night of the Living Dead. The B/W, to me, has always seemed to heighten the tension. This film is in color, and I think it loses a little something because of it.

So what you have is the story, but not the things that make it a great story.

I disagree, I felt the remake still had plenty of tension and thought Cooper was still an interesting character(even if he is a bit of a jerk). I think commentary was still quite relevant, as while things had certainly changed since the the 60s, racial inequality still persisted in many places afterwards, so I think it was a wise decision to keep that in.


Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:44 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16166 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 733, 734, 735, 736, 737, 738, 739 ... 809  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr