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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vampire Academy (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1686821/
If you ever wondered what you would get if you cross Twilight, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cheese, well here's your answer. Dhampir Buffy, errr, Rose Hathaway is bound to protect Moroi (good vampires) princess Lissa Dragomir from the Strigoi (evil vampires) at Hogworts, err, Vampire Academy a special school for said Moroi (who BTW also have magic powers(!)) and their Dhampirs (aka guardians who specialise in hand-to-hand combat).
Zoey Deutch channels Juno (i.e. Ellen Page) as Rose (it's almost uncanny); if Juno annoyed you this film will not be for you. Draped from top to bottom in cheesy (but admittedly sometimes amusing) dialogue, teen romance, and a ridiculous twist (TWO of those, "you'll never guess who the bad guy is" moments), this film really is kinda so bad it's almost good. Based on a bestselling young adult book series (there are 6 of them so far) by Richelle Mead who apparently decided ripping off the IPs I mentioned in the first sentence and blending them would be a winning formula. I guess it was for her. For the movie, not so much (if box office receipts are anything to go by).
5.5/10.


Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Vampire Academy (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1686821/
If you ever wondered what you would get if you cross Twilight, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cheese, well here's your answer. Dhampir Buffy, errr, Rose Hathaway is bound to protect Moroi (good vampires) princess Lissa Dragomir from the Strigoi (evil vampires) at Hogworts, err, Vampire Academy a special school for said Moroi (who BTW also have magic powers(!)) and their Dhampirs (aka guardians who specialise in hand-to-hand combat).
Zoey Deutch channels Juno (i.e. Ellen Page) as Rose (it's almost uncanny); if Juno annoyed you this film will not be for you. Draped from top to bottom in cheesy (but admittedly sometimes amusing) dialogue, teen romance, and a ridiculous twist (TWO of those, "you'll never guess who the bad guy is" moments), this film really is kinda so bad it's almost good. Based on a bestselling young adult book series (there are 6 of them so far) by Richelle Mead who apparently decided ripping off the IPs I mentioned in the first sentence and blending them would be a winning formula. I guess it was for her. For the movie, not so much (if box office receipts are anything to go by).
5.5/10.

I thought that movie was genuinely good, I didn't really see the Juno resemblance with Rose, I thought she was pretty interesting, to me this movie didn't feel like a rip-off of any of those IPs, to me this was a much better version of Twilight, it's what that movie should've been all along as it has a likeable, competent female protagnoist who actually accomplishes something unlike Bella, who spends the entire franchise chasing after a 200 year-old vampire and basically exists for no other reason besides bearing his child.


Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
I thought that movie was genuinely good, I didn't really see the Juno resemblance with Rose, I thought she was pretty interesting, to me this movie didn't feel like a rip-off of any of those IPs, to me this was a much better version of Twilight, it's what that movie should've been all along as it has a likeable, competent female protagnoist who actually accomplishes something unlike Bella, who spends the entire franchise chasing after a 200 year-old vampire and basically exists for no other reason besides bearing his child.

You didn't think Rose's witty matter of fact retorts to everything anyone says wasn't exactly like Juno? And you seriously don't think Rose's "job" isn't basically that of Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show I'm talking about here)? And isn't the idea of a special school for vampires (that actually do magic too) the same as having a special school for magicians (Harry Potter)? I still haven't seen any of the Twilight films, but I know they have vampires in them and teen romance. So does Vampire Academy. I have no doubt whatsoever this is better than Twilight. While I wasn't bored, this film is very cheesy (perhaps deliberately so).


Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:04 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I thought that movie was genuinely good, I didn't really see the Juno resemblance with Rose, I thought she was pretty interesting, to me this movie didn't feel like a rip-off of any of those IPs, to me this was a much better version of Twilight, it's what that movie should've been all along as it has a likeable, competent female protagnoist who actually accomplishes something unlike Bella, who spends the entire franchise chasing after a 200 year-old vampire and basically exists for no other reason besides bearing his child.

You didn't think Rose's witty matter of fact retorts to everything anyone says wasn't exactly like Juno? And you seriously don't think Rose's "job" isn't basically that of Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show I'm talking about here)? And isn't the idea of a special school for vampires (that actually do magic too) the same as having a special school for magicians (Harry Potter)? I still haven't seen any of the Twilight films, but I know they have vampires in them and teen romance. So does Vampire Academy. I have no doubt whatsoever this is better than Twilight. While I wasn't bored, this film is very cheesy (perhaps deliberately so).
Nope, I honestly did not see much of a resemblance there at all, it seems like almost every young female character in a film who makes witty remarks is compared to Juno.

Any film featuring a female vampire slayer is inevitably going to be compared to Buffy, but beyond that I didn't see much in the way of simliarities(though in all fairness i'm not that familiar with the TV series), the whole "special school for special people" thing has been a fairly common trope since it was featured in X-Men, so I think it's a bit of a stretch to compare it to any of those films you mentioned.

How can you claim this is a Twilight rip-off when you haven't even seen those films? Merely saying it is just cause it has vampires and a teen romance(which I found much more compelling then the central romance in the entire Twilight saga BTW), is pretty shallow reasoning. I have seen the Twilight films, and I can tell you that beyond those two things, the movies really have nothing in common whatsoever, the Twilight films take themselves take themselves much more seriously then Vampire Academy does and fail miserably as a result.


Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:01 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I know it's been a long while since I posted here but I had to cram some Adam Sandler movies for a podcast I'm going to be in tonight throughout the week, so my thoughts in the lighting round!

Jack and Jill - It stinks but it's not the worst thing imaginable...hell, it's not the worst Adam Sandler thing imaginable. Granted, a lot of it is painful and unfunny and annoying and I wished I was dead BUT there a couple great lines, I got a kick out of the cameos and the Dunkachinno commercial is a work of genius. 4/10

Mr. Deeds - Harmless and forgettable but I do get to say "Oh my God Winona Ryder, I so love you." a lot. It's has a nice gentle nature and a few laughs. Another iteration of the screenplay and it would be good. 6/10

50 First Dates - Enjoyably sweet. It's probably the best example of what a typical "Adam Sandler Movie" can be. 7/10

Funny People - Too long and Leslie Mann should never been in this and Judd Apatow's ego is out of control here. Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen are good and they work well together but that's about it. And they got outacted by Eminem. 5/10


Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:30 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm rocking my way towards 20 this month, as per my June challenge!

Broken (2012) **1/2

This loose adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird (which I didn't know going in and felt very proud of myself for figuring out) has such a wonderful first half that it's a real shame that it collapses so completely. The movie does a great job of setting up interesting characters ... I wish it would have had the strength to just let the characters interact rather than piling on the dramatic twists until the delicate little world it had built was all but destroyed. Still, I will eagerly anticipate first time director Rufus Norris's next film.

Fresh (1994) ***1/2

More than the hood drama I was expecting, this far-better-than-his-usual output from writer/director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, Uptown Girls) depicts the life of a child in the drug business from a different perspective than usual. Using chess as a metaphor for his wily manipulation (and sacrifice) of the people in his life, the movie was consistently interesting, well-acted, and well-shot. It seems to have been largely forgotten by history but I liked it a good deal.

Diggstown (1992) **1/2

Sometimes there are movies that you like but you have to admit are flawed. This movie about a con man (James Woods at his most wonderfully James Woodsy) who bets a sinuously sinister town elder (Bruce Dern) that he knows a fighter who can beat any ten men in one day is a ton of fun, and a strangely successful combination of inspirational sports movie and con man flick. But it makes some decisions in its plotting that are almost unforgivable, and for that reason I can't full endorse it. I had a blast watching it, though.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) **1/2

Talk about an anachronism -- made in 1966, this feels in every way like a movie from the 1950s. Destination Moon inside the human body! Anyhoo, this tale of human beings getting shrunk to fit inside a man's body and use lasers to zap his brain has a fun premise and the balls to play it absolutely straight, but special effects movies don't date well and the character interplay is largely stiff. So a solid enough movie, but not a great one. Inasmuch as any film deserves a remake, this one does.

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Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:10 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gattaca I remember loving this film, but hadn't seen it in a looooooong time. Revisited last night, and it was as great as I remembered it to be, maybe even more. Great film, great direction, great performances. Maybe a few issues with the way the sibling "rivalry" was executed towards the end, but not that big of a deal. Grade: A

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Forbidden Planet (1956)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223/
Classic sci-fi film starring none other than a young Leslie Nielsen as the captain of a spaceship sent to a planet in the Altair system to see what has become of a science expedition sent there 20 years earlier. There he meets Dr. Morbius who has unlocked some of the planets secrets. The movie plays out very much like an extended episode of Star Trek The Original Series. Set designs are impressive and the special effects I guess were pretty good for the time - they certainly get the job done. Use of colour is well thought through - everything is bright and gaudy. Not too bad considering how old it is. The soundtrack is atrocious though - very shrill. If you're a fan of sci-fi, don't mind somewhat cheesy acting and effects and find the old Star Trek watchable, you could worse than Forbidden Planet .
6.5/10.


Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Forbidden Planet (1956)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223/
Classic sci-fi film starring none other than a young Leslie Nielsen as the captain of a spaceship sent to a planet in the Altair system to see what has become of a science expedition sent there 20 years earlier. There he meets Dr. Morbius who has unlocked some of the planets secrets. The movie plays out very much like an extended episode of Star Trek The Original Series. Set designs are impressive and the special effects I guess were pretty good for the time - they certainly get the job done. Use of colour is well thought through - everything is bright and gaudy. Not too bad considering how old it is. The soundtrack is atrocious though - very shrill. If you're a fan of sci-fi, don't mind somewhat cheesy acting and effects and find the old Star Trek watchable, you could worse than Forbidden Planet .
6.5/10.


Yeah I would give it a 5 or 6. The 50s just wasn't ready for sci-fi yet. 50s popcorn is all about westerns and costume epics.


Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
Gattaca I remember loving this film, but hadn't seen it in a looooooong time. Revisited last night, and it was as great as I remembered it to be, maybe even more. Great film, great direction, great performances. Maybe a few issues with the way the sibling "rivalry" was executed towards the end, but not that big of a deal. Grade: A


I just showed this to my students. Love this film.

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Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Monuments Men (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2177771/
Written, produced, directed and starring George Clooney this is clearly a labour of love (well either that or an ultimate vanity project). Too bad the film is a bit of a snoozer as opposed to what's suggested by the potentially interesting and/or exhilarating scenario. We're at the tail end of WW2 and Clooney who laments at the possible fate of Europe's fine art, amasses a team of his best buds to track the art down before the Nazis destroy or steal it. However, instead of doing that they spend most of the film yapping and developing boring characters (some of which die it has to be said). The 2nd half is certainly better than the first. It is pretty to look at - indeed I strongly suspect Clooney actually constructed some of his shots to mirror famous art works. Still, it's a take it or leave it for me personally.
5/10.


Last edited by nitrium on Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rabindranath Tagore is a documentary by Satyajit Ray that came out in the centennial of Tagore's birth. It gives an outline of the writer/artist's life, but, since Ray elected not to include excerpts of Tagore's poetry (since translations are inadequate), I didn't really get a feeling as to why he's considered to be a great writer. The most interesting thing to me is that he was the fourteenth and youngest member of an extremely talented bunch of siblings. I got the impression that the average sibling was a near genius. Sibling rivalry must have been really impressive.

Tagore was also a painter, and some of his works are shown, but, since it's a black-and-white film, I didn't really get any real appreciation of it.

Given the reputations of the director and the subject, I was disappointed.

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Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:06 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
patrick wrote:
50 First Dates - Enjoyably sweet. It's probably the best example of what a typical "Adam Sandler Movie" can be. 7/10


I'm really fond of that movie. He and Drew Barrymore are very good together and it's surprisingly thoughtful. I was just reading "The Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons," by Sam Kean, which has a chapter on this kind of memory loss, although generally it's much worse than presented here. I just figured she was on the high end of a spectrum.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Gattaca I remember loving this film, but hadn't seen it in a looooooong time. Revisited last night, and it was as great as I remembered it to be, maybe even more. Great film, great direction, great performances. Maybe a few issues with the way the sibling "rivalry" was executed towards the end, but not that big of a deal. Grade: A


I just showed this to my students. Love this film.


What do you teach?

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Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:43 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Gattaca I remember loving this film, but hadn't seen it in a looooooong time. Revisited last night, and it was as great as I remembered it to be, maybe even more. Great film, great direction, great performances. Maybe a few issues with the way the sibling "rivalry" was executed towards the end, but not that big of a deal. Grade: A


I just showed this to my students. Love this film.


What do you teach?


I teach AP Government, but after the AP ends we watch movies for a month and I show them one from every genre I can fit in before the end of the year. They voted for Gattaca over Twelve Monkeys and I'm glad -- Gattaca is much more accessible

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'd say 12 Monkeys is the better movie though. Gattaca is solid but doesn't have the raw energy and momentum of 12 Monkeys or Truman Show.


Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Gattaca I remember loving this film, but hadn't seen it in a looooooong time. Revisited last night, and it was as great as I remembered it to be, maybe even more. Great film, great direction, great performances. Maybe a few issues with the way the sibling "rivalry" was executed towards the end, but not that big of a deal. Grade: A


I just showed this to my students. Love this film.


I love this film too. The tagline of "There is not gene for the human spirit" is something worthy to remember for life and good to know at early age 8-)

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Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
I'd say 12 Monkeys is the better movie though. Gattaca is solid but doesn't have the raw energy and momentum of 12 Monkeys or Truman Show.


Funny you mention The Truman Show. They also passed that up (in favor of Groundhog Day) in my "Comedies with deeper meaning" category

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Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm a fan of The Truman Show also, and rewatching Gattaca now allowed me to see many thematic parallelisms between both films.

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Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Two watches today...

Blue Jasmine A pretty darn good film, with a spectacular performance from Cate Blanchett. A very well deserved Oscar for her, because she owns the role perfectly. But the rest of the cast is no less, including the surprisingly good Andrew Dice Clay. To be honest, I really didn't expect to like this film so much. Grade: A

Kill Your Darlings A biographical drama about the lives of some of the early members of the Beat Generation, a group of writers and poets post-World War II. The film focuses on two, Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and how they are drawn to each other. Overall, a neatly acted film that didn't engross me so much. Still, it's a pretty solid film that I suppose literary fans might enjoy more than I did. Grade: B-



EDIT: I should add another notable fact about Blue Jasmine. I think it was my very first Woody Allen film.

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