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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Cop Out

This was Kevin Smith's attempt at making a film that he didn't write himself and it shows. While I'm not one of the school that says that Smith can't direct, I agree that he's a better writer than director. With a mediocre script and with Smith not the greatest director, there's nothing to elevate this above the mediocre.

I understand why Smith chose to do this film as it gave him a chance to make a tribute to 80s buddy cop movies, a sub genre he clearly loves as well as a chance to work with Bruce Willis. I also wonder if maybe he meant it as a testing of the waters, as a way to see if he could move on to other territories after taking the Jersey stories as far as they could go and his other attempts at branching out with self-written material didn't totally work. Either way, it falied. In fact, it highlights a point a friend made a while back:

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A lot of directors only have so many stories in them. Eventually, they either run out of personal stories to tell or their success causes them to loose touch with what made their movies identifiable in the first place.


So no, this wasn't a total disaster. But it definitely ranks with Jersey Girl at the bottom of his filmography.It definitely proves that Smith would not work that well as a journeyman or director for hire.

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I saw Cop Out in theaters and I thought it was pretty fun overall, i'd like to see Smith do more "for-hire" films.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Watched Pumping Iron, a box office champ from 1977 and the film world's first unadulterated exposure to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger: no dubbing, no line deliveries, pure as the driven bodybuilder. The film documents the 1975 Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia event and follows the training and psychological warfare between school teacher Mike Katz, a guy named Ken Waller, Lou Ferrigno and the already-legendary Schwarzenegger. Along the way we get a nice look at the relationship between Ferrigno and his father, Arnold's skyscraping egotism and various gymnasiums around California.

The movie, as a movie, isn't especially good: it looks cheap, orbits a variety of subjects without really closing in on any, and doesn't have much drama when it comes down to the competitions. All the same, I liked it: Arnold is charismatic and calculating, just the kind of son of a bitch that would become one of the biggest stars in the world. The relationship between Ferrigno and his dad is wonderful to watch as is Mike Katz's attempts to beat Waller in the Mr. Universe portion of the story. The movie feels loosely, sometimes barely, assembled but it has spirit. That's enough to get a recommendation this time.


All this, and no mention of Ahhhnuld's "I'm coming" monologue? Shame.


Especially from Mark III, that's surprising.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Watched Pumping Iron, a box office champ from 1977 and the film world's first unadulterated exposure to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger: no dubbing, no line deliveries, pure as the driven bodybuilder. The film documents the 1975 Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia event and follows the training and psychological warfare between school teacher Mike Katz, a guy named Ken Waller, Lou Ferrigno and the already-legendary Schwarzenegger. Along the way we get a nice look at the relationship between Ferrigno and his father, Arnold's skyscraping egotism and various gymnasiums around California.

The movie, as a movie, isn't especially good: it looks cheap, orbits a variety of subjects without really closing in on any, and doesn't have much drama when it comes down to the competitions. All the same, I liked it: Arnold is charismatic and calculating, just the kind of son of a bitch that would become one of the biggest stars in the world. The relationship between Ferrigno and his dad is wonderful to watch as is Mike Katz's attempts to beat Waller in the Mr. Universe portion of the story. The movie feels loosely, sometimes barely, assembled but it has spirit. That's enough to get a recommendation this time.


All this, and no mention of Ahhhnuld's "I'm coming" monologue? Shame.


Especially from Mark III, that's surprising.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Agreed.

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Good, The Bad, The Weird

You like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Of course you do. If you don't, your taste in movies probably sucks. So of course you'd be interested in seeing a Korean western in the same vein, with a bounty hunter, a contract killer, a petty thief, Manchurian rebels and the Japanese Army all pursuing treasure in 1930s Manchuria. This is fun, a buttload of fun. It's funny, action-packed, suspenseful, and great entertainment. Watch it.

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
If you haven't seen I Saw The Devil, from the same director, I advise you to drop what you're carrying (unless it's a baby or a puppy) and watch it immediately. No fan of wild exploitation cinema should be without at least one viewing under his or her belt. What Arnold didn't say is that he was able to come 100% of the time because of bodybuilding, sex with women while away from the gym and I Saw The Devil.

There. Now the world is back in balance.

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Two watches today...

Dallas Buyers Club I was surprised by how good this was. Not that I was expecting it to be bad, but I thought it would just be a well acted, below average film. It is, indeed, perfectly acted by Matthew McCounaghey and Jared Leto, and I like its story of how tough circumstances, like HIV, can change a man for good. However, the film manages to shy away from fake melodrama, and relies on strong performances and good characterization. If anything, I would say that the jabs at Big Pharma weren't necessarily accurate, but I still thought this was a worthy film. Not spectacular, but pretty good. Grade: B+

Serenity Now, after finishing the TV series today (which I thought was fun, but merely ok), I decided to check out the film. Wow, was I in for a surprise or what? I thought this was a pretty damn fine sci-fi film which improved most of the flaws I found on the show. Sure, it might not have worked that well without the foundation of the show, but I still enjoyed the fact that it had better special effects, a sleeker direction, a tighter script, better dialogue, and a darker tone to it all. Not much else I can say. I really, really enjoyed this. Whereas I would give the show a B, I think the film deserves an A.

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blade

I sometimes can't help but think that the problem with Hollywood (filmmaking in general) isn't a lack of creativity, creative talent, original thinking, etc. but rather that not nearly enough respect is paid to the script writing process itself. Blade has lots of elements that can be considered "creative" both on the macro and micro level (the goriness of the deaths weren't to my taste, but they were certainly creatively executed). However, there are times when the final product was created from what should have been considered the rough draft of a script. There's about a dozen or so minor plot holes that developed that could have been easily fixed if the screenwriter had simply sat down and properly proofread the final draft. (Maybe proofreading isn't quite the right word, but basically I meant was "looking over script for easily fixed errors").

Maybe screenwriters are lazy or something but I kind of doubt it. I think there's a sort of, I dunno, lack of respect for the writing (as opposed to creative) process itself. I've sat through more than my share of movies where the script that was used simply didn't feel like it could have been a polished or finished draft, but simply what a novelist or any other writer would label "a rough draft".

As for Blade, there is quite a bit to like here and some material that I thought was underdeveloped. I liked some of the visual style, and the quickcutting didn't bother me that much, but would have liked to have had the backstory fleshed out more and plot holes plugged. 2.5 stars out of 4
-Jeremy

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I tried to watch The Raid 2 a few nights ago, and was surprised to find that it had left every cinema I could find in my little corner of the world. It got here in late march, during a period of time where I was incredibly busy. And now it’s gone. Well, C'est la vie I guess.

INSTEAD I watched something on the opposite end of the spectrum: The Lego Movie.

And I have absolutely nothing to add that hasn’t been said by a billion other people. It’s clearly a movie length advertisement for plastic building blocks made by some really creative people with really creative ideas. There’s a lot I really appreciate about it, but just like with “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” I just know they’re going to turn it into a franchise with diminishing returns. And that twist didn’t really work for me.


Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:54 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
thered47 wrote:
Blade

I sometimes can't help but think that the problem with Hollywood (filmmaking in general) isn't a lack of creativity, creative talent, original thinking, etc. but rather that not nearly enough respect is paid to the script writing process itself. Blade has lots of elements that can be considered "creative" both on the macro and micro level (the goriness of the deaths weren't to my taste, but they were certainly creatively executed). However, there are times when the final product was created from what should have been considered the rough draft of a script. There's about a dozen or so minor plot holes that developed that could have been easily fixed if the screenwriter had simply sat down and properly proofread the final draft. (Maybe proofreading isn't quite the right word, but basically I meant was "looking over script for easily fixed errors").

Maybe screenwriters are lazy or something but I kind of doubt it. I think there's a sort of, I dunno, lack of respect for the writing (as opposed to creative) process itself. I've sat through more than my share of movies where the script that was used simply didn't feel like it could have been a polished or finished draft, but simply what a novelist or any other writer would label "a rough draft".

As for Blade, there is quite a bit to like here and some material that I thought was underdeveloped. I liked some of the visual style, and the quickcutting didn't bother me that much, but would have liked to have had the backstory fleshed out more and plot holes plugged. 2.5 stars out of 4
-Jeremy
I quite enjyoed Blade and didn't really notice any plot holes to speak, though I will say the second film is superior.


Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:20 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
Serenity Now, after finishing the TV series today (which I thought was fun, but merely ok), I decided to check out the film. Wow, was I in for a surprise or what? I thought this was a pretty damn fine sci-fi film which improved most of the flaws I found on the show. Sure, it might not have worked that well without the foundation of the show, but I still enjoyed the fact that it had better special effects, a sleeker direction, a tighter script, better dialogue, and a darker tone to it all. Not much else I can say. I really, really enjoyed this. Whereas I would give the show a B, I think the film deserves an A.


I'll never understand what people like so much about 'Serenity'. I rewatched it at the insistence of a good friends with a taste in movies similar to mine, because he simply couldn't understand how I couldn't like it. After the rewatch, I was still thinkig "meh". Not having seen 'Firefly', perhaps, the movie improves if you're familiar with the TV series, does it?

Captain Phillips (2013)
Could somebody please inform director Paul Greengrass that, first, the human eye constantly refocusses and our brain processes our visual input so we don’t perceive shaky images even when we’re in motion and that, second, as a consequence I’m permanently reminded that I’m watching a movie if it is completely filmed with a shaky handheld camera? It’s a pretty futile effort to convey a greater sense of realism anyway, in the light of the fact that I’m watching Tom Hanks on screen. Not that his acting would be bad - Hanks is actually rather good as the eponymous captain of a cargo vessel under attack from Somali pirates - but he is a recognisable movie star and if my suspension of disbelief is strong enough to accept him as a captain, I’ll get over a lack of shaky camera as well. I’m not even opposed to the occasional use of handheld cameras in general, but using swish-pans in dialogue scenes just looks amateurish to me. Okay, rant over. Apart from my problems with the style of the movie, ‘Captain Phillips’ is a very good and well-made suspense movie, which loses a bit of steam in the last act, unfortunately. 7/10

The Girl from Rio (1968)
The beautiful Sumuru (Shirley Eaton, whose greatest claim to fame is playing a gold-panted corpse in ‘Goldfinger’) is the megalomaniac leader of a secret jungle city called “Femina” and plans to take over the world with an army of women. She is opposed by a British mobster (George Sanders) as well as a private investigator looking for the abducted daughter of a millionaire. The movie is supposed to be trashy fun, I guess, but it is mostly characterised by general ineptude permeating all aspects of filmmaking. It’s just about watchable in a so-bad-it’s-good way. 4/10

Behind the Candelabra (2013)
Steven Soderbergh’s movie about Las Vegas showman and pianist Liberace’s (Michael Douglas) relationship with his younger lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) didn’t have a cinematic release in the U.S. because of the distributors’ reluctance to release a gay-themed movie. Shame on them. I had very little knowledge of Liberace beforehand, other than his gaudy stage outfits being an example of excess and bad taste, and the well-made movie did a good job of making me interested in the characters. There is a slightly problematic element of voyeurism in the appeal of the movie - Look at this old queer in his ermine furs! Look at Michael Douglas in a bad hairpiece kissing Matt Damon! - but the film manages to overcome that after a while. Michael Douglas, who has become typecast as a high-powered executive type, puts his reptilian charm to good use and delivers perhaps the best performance of his career. A good movie: 7/10

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
I really can’t explain why I liked the Coen brothers’ latest effort, because it is about an irresponsible, obnoxious character being irresponsible and obnoxious - and little else. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a folk musician in early 60ies Greenwich Village, New York, whose problems such as an impoverished lifestyle, a dysfunctional relationships with other people and a stalling career, are of his own making and who consistently turns his back on any chance to improve his situation. He can’t even abandon his faltering career as a musician for a job in the merchant marine, because he threw out his trade union card. I guess I just admired the consequence of this movie: In real life, some people simply are stupid arseholes and remain stupid arseholes, because life doesn’t follow a typical movie narative of redemption and self-betterment. 7/10

Rush (2013)
My perspective about this film on the 1970ies rivalry between Formula 1 racing car drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, who is quite impressive in this) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl, also very good) may be skewed, because, at least in Germany, Lauda’s story is very well-known. On the other hand, possibly due to a lack of interest in car racing, I had never heard of James Hunt before. Consequently, I found it odd that the movie would focus on Hunt rather than Lauda, not least because Lauda’s story is more interesting than Hunt’s, whom the movie basically presents as a partying playboy and little else. The film even suggests that Hunt temporarily lost his mojo as a result of attempting a steadier lifestyle after getting married. Silly. Nevertheless, I thought that the movie is entertaining and engaging, although it suffers from the same problem as all racing related movies, which I have seen: Because racing championships are regularly decided over many races, movies resort to extensive montage sequences in order to present the narrative. In my opinion, this is a little bit clumsy, although i concede that it might be unavoidable. To sum up: ‘Rush’ is a well-made sports movie, which doesn’t manage to exceed the limitation of its genre. 6/10

The Stranger (1946)
This thriller about a Nazi hunter (Edward G. Robinson) trying to expose respected teacher Charles Ranking aka Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) is a noirish thriller in the vein of Hitchcock movies such as ‘Shadow of a Doubt’, ‘Suspicion’ or ‘Notorious’, but it lacks the Master of Suspense’s deftness of handling this material. The suspense scenes just about work and there are a couple of memorable scenes, but overall, it is an unremarkable movie and a lesser work by Orson Welles, who, according to some sources, considered this the least of his efforts. I won’t argue with that. Mediocre: 5/10

Nanook of the North (1922)
Silent movie documentary about the lives of Inuit. As the first feature length documentary and despite of scenes having been staged for the camera, this is rightly considered to be a landmark film. I just wish I was more interested in how Eskimos lived in the early 20th century. I also didn’t like the patronising attitude towards the movie’s subjects, who are presented as plucky, brave, happy-go-lucky simpletons, basically. Average: 5/10


Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Serenity Now, after finishing the TV series today (which I thought was fun, but merely ok), I decided to check out the film. Wow, was I in for a surprise or what? I thought this was a pretty damn fine sci-fi film which improved most of the flaws I found on the show. Sure, it might not have worked that well without the foundation of the show, but I still enjoyed the fact that it had better special effects, a sleeker direction, a tighter script, better dialogue, and a darker tone to it all. Not much else I can say. I really, really enjoyed this. Whereas I would give the show a B, I think the film deserves an A.


I'll never understand what people like so much about 'Serenity'. I rewatched it at the insistence of a good friends with a taste in movies similar to mine, because he simply couldn't understand how I couldn't like it. After the rewatch, I was still thinkig "meh". Not having seen 'Firefly', perhaps, the movie improves if you're familiar with the TV series, does it?


Well, I suppose that having seen the series will factor into how much you enjoy the film since it builds up on many of the stories and character traits that were brought up on the show; but then again, someone at another forum I frequent just replied to me saying that he didn't even know there was a series and he liked the film a lot. To each his/her own.

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Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:53 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Seven Chances (1925)

I loved the conciseness and the escalation in this one; how it moves from small comedic mistiming, to increasingly desperate proposal hijinks, to all-out insanely big scale chase. It doesn't reach the manic height of Sherlock, Jr. or Our Hospitality, and some jokes are a little uncomfortably of its time, but still a lot of fun. Keaton here ranks alongside Toy Story's Woody as some of cinema's most hilarious runners, and the physical stunts he perform during the chase are very impressive. 8/10

Noah (2014)

Not entirely successful, but interesting and entertaining enough. The film starts off shaky with some clumsy exposition and world-setting. Once the kids grows up, the narrative flows a little better, although it walks a tight balance between literal interpretation of the text (as far as a non-Christian who had one Bible class in middle school can tell, I mean) and adapting for both personal deviation and realistic human conflicts, so it sometimes comes off a little ridiculous. The film really gets going once all the characters are insides that ark, with Darren Aronofsky finally in his elements. He amps up the intimate family drama and the psychological probing of Noah's character, aided by stellar performances (although Emma Watson over-emotes painfully a couple of times), especially Russell Crowe. Despite a Ray Winstone-sized plot hole, it remains very compelling to the end, with lots of striking visuals. I also appreciate some hard edges around the storytelling, such as the violence not being too glossed over and that when the flood comes, it's suitably destructive (those continuous, piercing screams still stay with me). 7/10


Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Headhunters: This movie would be a lot better if the protagonist was more interesting. Unfortunately, he's both badly written and acted. It's impossible to care about what happens to him (despite the fact that he does some smart things), and magnifies the seams in the plot. The other characters in this film were much more compelling. Maybe the inevitable remake will be better (if it's still on the table). 2/4

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Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - *** 1/2 out of ****

All in all, I liked it a lot. But I do think the first one was better. It had a certain magic and grandeur and majesty and fun that is kind of lacking in this movie, even though it's visually breathtaking and contains many thrilling action scenes. But An Unexpected Journey felt like a more complete film. When that movie ended it was at a point that made sense and actually told a complete story, even though the story was obvious not over yet. Where as this movie just ends with a big cliffhanger. Still, it's terrific entertainment.

Oh and god, I LOVE Evangeline Lilly! :D


Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:52 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Secrets & Lies

A really good film from Mike Leigh, though I'd probably put it just below Vera Drake and Naked. I also wonder if Leigh was receiving criticism for including too much crying in his movies, and made Happy Go Lucky as a retort. What struck me most about Secrets, and I imagine this is largely the point, is characters who behave differently depending on whose presence their in. A reflection of real life, but the exception seems to be Cynthia, the mother of two accidental children. She just can't help being what she is no matter who's around or what the consequences of her bluntness may be. None of the other characters are developed quite as much as her, but all the acting is superb. But this feels less improvised than some of Leigh's other films. Some of the lines sound written and some of the moments are perhaps overdone. I find Vera Drake more intense and powerful, and Naked more anarchically, grandly entertaining (like The Long Goodbye). But this is about on par with Another Year.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:39 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Under the Skin (2014)-- ***1/2

The more I think about this movie, the more I really like it as opposed to merely admiring it. It is some kind of kaleidoscope of images, from the opening shots (a little 2001-esque here), to the blackened room the alien lures her prey into, to the uber-long, deliberate pacing of scenes, this one really will hook into into a trance. It's almost like an experimental movie, an attempt to tell a story of an alien on Earth in an off-kilter way we've never before seen. Also, the score alone has been stuck in my head for days. I hope everyone checks this out.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
WesAndersonFan2112 wrote:
Headhunters: This movie would be a lot better if the protagonist was more interesting. Unfortunately, he's both badly written and acted. It's impossible to care about what happens to him (despite the fact that he does some smart things), and magnifies the seams in the plot. The other characters in this film were much more compelling. Maybe the inevitable remake will be better (if it's still on the table). 2/4


I liked this movie and especially liked the zaniness in so much of the action. And some of the images that zaniness gives: the lead completely shaven of his body hair, the lead driving around with a dog impaled on his vehicle. It was hilarious! I never once complained that Bugs Bunny lacked inherent interest because he was too busy running about in woman's garb, singing operas and slapping around Elmer Fudd. Headhunters is all Chuck Jones action and it's pulled off so well caring about what happens to the protagonist is all a matter of perspective: it got to be amusing to watch the forces of the universe crush this little man, time and again. His plight isn't really meant to generate sympathy.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
David Gordon Green's Joe, rented from my cable company for the sum of $8. The movie's tough to rate, especially in terms of how it's written. The narrative is forumla-filled and cliche-ridden. A young boy with an alcoholic, abusive father latches on to an unlikely father figure, and that unlikely father figure, in turn, learns to care about the young boy. Still, there are a handful of really great small touches in the writing here and there that made me not totally hate the screenplay. There's also a ton of tonal shifting around, and the film has some surprisingly funny moments for such dark material. Cage is very good in a subdued role, and the direction also features really nice uses of settings and symbolic images that don't call attention to themselves to accentuate its obvious theme.

An above average movie with a below average screenplay and very good everything else.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:06 pm
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