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Recent movies reviews/recommendations/warnings

#21 User is offline   Apollo81 

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Posted 2007-August-25, 17:38

Ratatouille was good.
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#22 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2007-October-14, 14:49

Across the Universe

Brilliant reinterpretation of the mythical sixties.

One of the Best movies of the year!
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#23 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2007-October-14, 16:08

Fluffy, on Aug 22 2007, 11:28 AM, said:

I watched Transformers The last, and I didn't like it much. Special effects are good, there is enough action, but it is teenage-oriented..

I find it very funny that you went to Transformers and that you were disappointed that it is teen-oriented.

I think the only movie I have seen in the theatre this year was the 5th Harry Potter movie. I enjoyed it.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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#24 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2007-October-15, 02:13

At the theater: Once was good. My wife thought so too.

On Netflix, liked Head-On and The Chorus. Warning: Head-On is violent and intense.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again. Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#25 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2007-October-15, 05:08

I usually valuate movies on the basis of the pictures and the soundtrack. I don't care about the plot, in fact it's true for many of the films that I liked the most that I have no clue what (if anything) the plot was. In the unlikely event that I wanted to follow a story I would read a book.

The last movie I saw was Happy Feet. It was really cute with impressive animations, probably the best I've ever seen (not surprising, the technology gets better and better). The soundtrack was annoying, though. I'm probably just too old for that kind of soundtracks.

Slightly better was The Cave of the Yellow Dog. Not much to think about but really great pictures. Also I like the fact that it was not played by actors, but by an ordinary family who were simply asked to play themselves. (This may sound like the Big Brother House, which I haven't seen, but would expect to be a lot less interesting. Just my snobbish prejudice against popular culture).

One film with a plot that I actually appreciated was "Together".
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#26 User is offline   nickf 

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Posted 2007-October-15, 05:36

I saw Hairspray last week. A real feel-good movie.

Casting John Travolta in a fat suit as the mother had little point but Nikki Blonsky in lead role was fantastic.

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#27 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 08:36

On Netflix: Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind. What a voice! And what a courageous, incredibly talented, beautiful human being. Lots of songs and fascinating commentary about Ms. M. and the music scene she grew up in by Joni, David Geffen, David Crosby, Eric Andersen, Graham Nash, Stephen Holden, James Taylor and others. She turns me on! :)
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again. Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#28 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 09:16

I saw Superbad a couple monthes back. Hysterical (especially the closing credits).

"Grindhouse" is not out on DVD. I'd heartily recommend adding this to the NetFlix queue. (In particular, the "Deathproof" segment is a hoot)
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#29 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 09:41

mike777, on Oct 14 2007, 12:49 PM, said:

Across the Universe

Brilliant reinterpretation of the mythical sixties.

One of the Best movies of the year!

Our daughters saw this twice and raved about it.

We saw Michael Clayton (no relation :))) on Friday. It drags about a 1/3 of the way through, and the climax isn't as gripping as it could have been. Furthermore, any moral the movie tries to convey is cloudy.

Yet, we really liked it. The characters are interesting, especially Tom Wilkinson and the dialogue is well thought out.
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#30 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 10:54

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2007, 10:16 AM, said:

I saw Superbad a couple monthes back. Hysterical (especially the closing credits).

One of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Reminds me of highschool except that where I went all the hot girls didn't have a big crush on the uncool kids. Sadly.

Don't see it if you are bothered by a lot of profanity.
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#31 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 16:23

pclayton, on Oct 17 2007, 07:41 AM, said:

We saw Michael Clayton (no relation :P)) on Friday. It drags about a 1/3 of the way through, and the climax isn't as gripping as it could have been. Furthermore, any moral the movie tries to convey is cloudy.

What's it about?

Many of my students saw Across the Universe and said that they really liked the music, but that was all.
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#32 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 17:00

Elianna, on Oct 17 2007, 05:23 PM, said:

pclayton, on Oct 17 2007, 07:41 AM, said:

We saw Michael Clayton (no relation :P)) on Friday. It drags about a 1/3 of the way through, and the climax isn't as gripping as it could have been. Furthermore, any moral the movie tries to convey is cloudy.

What's it about?

Many of my students saw Across the Universe and said that they really liked the music, but that was all.

I agree Clayton was pretty draggy.

It is about shady George Clooney as a fixer lawyer who must choose between taking ten million bucks or save some people from an evil corporation who is more than willing to pay them one billion bucks but not the 3 billion bucks they demand.
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#33 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 17:26

Elianna, on Oct 17 2007, 02:23 PM, said:

pclayton, on Oct 17 2007, 07:41 AM, said:

We saw Michael Clayton (no relation :))) on Friday. It drags about a 1/3 of the way through, and the climax isn't as gripping as it could have been. Furthermore, any moral the movie tries to convey is cloudy.

What's it about?

Many of my students saw Across the Universe and said that they really liked the music, but that was all.

Its about a lawyer (George Clooney) who works for a very large law firm who is defending an agricultural supply company involved in a large class-action suit whose products have the unfortunate side effect of killing people.

Tom Wilkinson is the lead litigator who has a nervous breakdown during a deposition and creates all kinds of problems for the case.

Sydney Pollack is the head of the firm that is in the process of negotiating a merger with another firm.

Tilda Swinton (who Im not familiar with) plays a very easy-to-hate, self-absorbed, the-ends-justify-the-means, general counsel for the ag company. She is fun to watch.
"Phil" on BBO
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#34 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-October-17, 20:30

I'm living on netflix until the Hobbit comes out, or Ender's Game is actually made, after seeing what's up and coming.
"Gibberish in, gibberish out. A trial judge, three sets of lawyers, and now three appellate judges cannot agree on what this law means. And we ask police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and citizens to enforce or abide by it? The legislature continues to write unreadable statutes. Gibberish should not be enforced as law."

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#35 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2007-November-14, 18:43

jdonn, on Oct 17 2007, 06:54 PM, said:

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2007, 10:16 AM, said:

I saw Superbad a couple monthes back.  Hysterical (especially the closing credits).

One of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Reminds me of highschool except that where I went all the hot girls didn't have a big crush on the uncool kids. Sadly.

Don't see it if you are bothered by a lot of profanity.

yea :blink:

very good movie (its premiere was this week in romania :) )
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#36 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2007-November-14, 19:03

I just saw Transamerica. I really enjoyed it. I thougt that it would be a really sad/tragic film like "Boys Don't Cry", but it was much more upbeat.
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#37 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2007-November-14, 22:18

Saw "Im Juli" recently, another good Fatih Akin film. Not your everyday love story. In German.

Can you imagine meeting someone like Idil Üner on the street like that?
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again. Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#38 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2008-January-25, 12:09

Spoiled my date night by seeing "There Will Be Blood".

Because of unfulfilled expectations I thought it was a waste of 2:38 and $21. :P

The film looked interesting. Washed up silver miner Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) is transformed into Horatio Alger / Machiavellian oilpatch tycoon. Blood is set in early 1900's near Bakersfield, CA (there is no Isabella County - but a Lake Isabella is near Bakersfield) around the time oil was discovered in California.

Since I used to work for an oil company, it was interesting how the initial leases and tracts were bought up, although the film seems to mock the fact that the landowner would 'only' receive a royalty of 1/6th of the profits. I had to laugh because 1/6 is considered high. 1/8 is more the standard. Since the book was based on Upton Sinclair's "Oil", I'm guessing he was sympathetic to the poor rancher who got duped out of selling his land for an above-market price and receiving a lifetime income on top of that. The early history oil production was also fascinating to me, since much of the technology was developed as it was needed. Free-market pure capitalism in its crudest (pardon the pun) form. Sinclair is especially mindful of the workers that are paid peanuts and lose their hearing, limbs and lives on the derricks.

The preacher - Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) is a bright spot. He's mildly funny in places and is very authentic. He plays a fraudulent faith healer, who gets snubbed, beat up, defrauded and then ultimately killed by Plainview. Sunday wants to be what Plainview is, but is held back by his faith, and lack of facial stubble.

A note of confusion. Early on in the film, Plainview is visited by "Paul Sunday" which apparently was Dano's only role in the movie. On Wiki, it explains how the person who played the original preacher walked off the set because of a conflict with Lewis, so they give Dano Eli Sunday's character as well. Paul becomes Eli's twin. Soap operas have nothing on Blood.

The musical score is annoying. Written by a member of Radiohead, parts of it sound like someone banging away on a video game button or a typewriter.

The son. H.W. (Dillon Freasier) becomes deaf and stops speaking after an oil well accident which is probably a good thing, since he had no depth or character in the first place. I'm reminded of the final scene in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels when Michael Caine introduces Steve Martin to a group of 'marks' as someone who is deaf (read as STFU - indefinitely)). H.W. is sent away to school after the accident. The reasons for the departure are cloudy, and another reason to scratch your head. It's sad how Plainview cons him into going by putting him on a train, and then getting off. No I didn't cry.

Lewis' adaptation of an early 20th century accent is very forced. Apparently Lewis developed this voice by watching the Treasure of the Sierra Madre and other old westerns. Why pick an Englishman (turned Irish) for the role? Wasn't Hugh Grant available? I think it would have worked a lot better if Lewis could have used his brogue as an immigrant who made it big, instead of an Englishman, now an Irishman, pretending to be an early Californian.

Because the character of Daniel Plainview really has no soul (literally, he's atheist), it is awkward when he has to act like a real person. He is being 'saved' in the church by Sunday and recants his transgressions in order to curry favor with a ranch owner that he needs an easement for a pipeline. Unfortunately Lewis' range is so narrowed by the director. Is it possible to be overdramatic and underdramatic at the same time? Lewis tries to but he can't. This could have been one of the great scenes in the movie but it isn't. You can watch it on the trailer here: I have abandoned my son

In one scene Plainview seems to open up to his half-brother Henry, but the brother turns out to be a fraud, so of course gets shot in the head. That seems like a steep penalty for sharing one's feelings.

Plainview has several encounters with Standard Oil who just don't take him seriously. Lewis wants to tell off the president of Standard so badly and fling into one of his great scenes, but the script or the director force Lewis to stay within the lines of his persona. Lots of pent-up rage, but it stays pent-up. Plenty of violent shadow-boxing, but no blows hit the target.

After Plainview's recantation, HW comes back to live with him. Again, it just 'happens' without any happy or emotional homecoming.

The last 20 minutes looks like an afterthought. Since the first two hours did really nothing to develop any of the characters, the ending is slapped together and is forced. It's as if the director felt like he had overstayed his welcome in our psyche, and needed a strong closing. Plainview, alone, living a Citizen Kane type exile as a drunk is visited by his son who is now married and tells him off through a sign language interpretor. Ok, we got closure there, lets move to...

He is visited by Eli Sunday. The only ironic part of the entire movie was Plainview getting Sunday to confess that he is a false prophet and that God is a superstition, since Sunday is trying earn a commission for the church by selling the last remaining tract to Plainview. Good cinema here. Eventually Sunday gets pummeled to death by a bowling pin.

After 158 minutes, I felt his pain.

I'd wait for this to come out on DVD.
"Phil" on BBO
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#39 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2008-January-25, 12:28

Juno

See this really cute, funny and at times serious movie.


Also "Once" should be out now on DVD. I think this is my favorite movie from 2007. Irish love story and musical.
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#40 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2008-January-25, 13:43

Constance and I went to see No Country for Old Men last weekend and we both thought it was a good film. She usually avoids films with violence, but this film was different: not a contrived plot, but a slice of life that rang true.

(Yes, Juno was a fun movie also.)
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