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Movies => Good Movies => Topic started by: Rev. Powell on January 26, 2009, 09:48:33 PM



Title: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 26, 2009, 09:48:33 PM
It seems like there used to be a thread like this... I don't know what happened to it.  Maybe I imagined it.

Anyway, the idea is the same as the "Recent Viewings" thread, except for movies that are currently in theaters.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to try to see more movies in theaters this year.   :smile:

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON: A man is born as an arthritic infant and lives life backwards, ending up as a baby with Alzheimer's.  A fine story, good drama, emotion impact, superlative makeup and effects, but I've never seen a movie with so much narrative deadweight.  An entire hour of pointless vignettes (for example, the subplot involving the pygmy) could be cut out and it would be a far stronger film.  How could David Fincher adapt the novel-length FIGHT CLUB in a relatively trim 139 minutes, but it takes him 166 minutes to adapt an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: AnubisVonMojo on January 26, 2009, 09:57:46 PM
My Bloody Valentine 3-D: pretty standard slasher stuff that has little to do with the original beyond character names, a mine, the killer's duds, hearts in candy boxes, and a couple of nods to scenes from the original. The real selling point? 3-D. It cost an extra $4 per ticket at the theater we went to, but sweet sassy molassey does it make all the difference! Every movie needs to be in 3-D from now on. It'd really help convince people not to wait for the DVD or download the movies online instead.  :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Mr. DS on January 26, 2009, 10:00:11 PM
My last viewing was The Dark Knight.  I was excited going in, excited going out and horribly let down when I watched it on DVD a few months back.   :bluesad:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: The Burgomaster on January 27, 2009, 07:16:43 AM
My most recent theatrical viewings were:

* BOLT (3-D)

* THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

* GRAN TORINO

I enjoyed all of them (unusual to see 3 good ones in a row!)



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 27, 2009, 06:14:25 PM
My last viewing was The Dark Knight.  I was excited going in, excited going out and horribly let down when I watched it on DVD a few months back.   :bluesad:

That's interesting... my last viewing prior to my New Year's Resolution was THE DARK KNIGHT. 

I've had the experience several times of watching something in the theater and being entranced, then later watching it at home and realizing it wasn't that good.  I guess we're more willing to suspend disbelief in a darkened theater, and quickly forget the stuff that doesn't make sense instead of rewinding it and watching it again. 

That's one of the reasons I want to see more films at theaters.  It's easier to enjoy them, and I'm not as critical when I appraoch them.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: jimmybob on January 27, 2009, 06:18:35 PM
Why not have one "What was the last movie you watched?" thread, instead of tons of smaller ones like this?

-Jimmybob


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 27, 2009, 07:40:41 PM
Why not have one "What was the last movie you watched?" thread, instead of tons of smaller ones like this?

-Jimmybob

I'm not sure 2 threads is "tons".  :smile:

My thought was that people might be interested in a discussion of what's currently playing in theaters. We can all rent stuff that's on DVD anytime we want, but if we want to go out to the movies we all have pretty much the same limited choices.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on January 27, 2009, 08:10:59 PM
Yes Man- Jim Carrey stars as a guy who's wife breaks up with him because he doesn't 'live enough' by saying no to everything.  He's a lonely guy who doesn't date or take promotions, or even hang out with friends.  But attending a seminar changes that, as he begins to saying "Yes" to everything.  Pretty funny flick, with some funny scenes like a homeless man asking for a ride to his home in the bushes at the park, then wearing out a cell phone battery 'because for a homeless guy he's pretty popular.'


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on January 29, 2009, 11:33:46 AM
My last viewing was The Dark Knight.  I was excited going in, excited going out and horribly let down when I watched it on DVD a few months back.   :bluesad:

That's interesting... my last viewing prior to my New Year's Resolution was THE DARK KNIGHT. 

I've had the experience several times of watching something in the theater and being entranced, then later watching it at home and realizing it wasn't that good.  I guess we're more willing to suspend disbelief in a darkened theater, and quickly forget the stuff that doesn't make sense instead of rewinding it and watching it again. 

That's one of the reasons I want to see more films at theaters.  It's easier to enjoy them, and I'm not as critical when I appraoch them.

Same here. On both counts.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: The Burgomaster on February 01, 2009, 09:26:29 AM
Actually, I forgot to mention THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.  I guess it's so forgettable that I forgot it!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on February 01, 2009, 09:31:19 AM
I'm hoping to see The Wrestler finally at some point this week. So my last visit to the theatre was to see The Dark Knight, which I thought was awesome. I also thought it was awesome when I watched it again on DVD.

Before TDK, I had to sit through Sweeney Todd and Sex & The City, both of which nearly killed me... :bluesad:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on February 01, 2009, 12:57:32 PM

 Sex & The City

You deseve a medal, mate.

I really want to see the new Trek film. :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 03, 2009, 04:48:52 PM
AUSTRALIA:  Nicole Kidman plays an aristocratic English woman who travels to Australia to run her husband's cattle ranch on the eve of WWII, and encounters an abandoned half-aboriginal boy and a rough but honorable cattle drover (Hugh Jackman).  The plot's a little predictable, but the fact that this is an unapologetic throwback to classic Hollywood epic filmmaking in the style of THE AFRICAN QUEEN, with solid morals, adventure, romance, humor, and breathtaking cinematography, makes this a welcome change of pace in a cynical era.  I think it will play much better on the big screen than the small screen.  Not sure why it was snubbed by the Oscars; maybe it was just too shameless in positioning itself as an Oscar-style movie, or maybe someone forgot to blow someone.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on February 03, 2009, 07:41:27 PM
I ended up seeing Taken last Friday, and then again on Saturday, with two different groups of people.  I must say I quite enjoyed it both times.  I will note that it's pretty obvious at times that it was cut to get PG-13 though. 

While I enjoyed Pierre Morrel's first film, Banlieue 13 (AKA District 13), Taken is a much more mature film, with significantly better character development, a much better plot, and better acting.  Liam Neeson is excellent in the film, and carries it.  The film would have worked with a lesser actor, but it would not have worked nearly as well. 

I also must say, after the opening 20 minutes, this is one of the most consistently fast paced and very entertaining films I've ever seen.  It's a cliche to say, but this is one of the rare cases of a film that truly doesn't stop once it really gets going. 

Overall, an 8/10.  One comment I wanted to make as well: while it doesn't bother me, I have to agree with what someone pointed out to me about Liam Neeson.  His American accent is never really believable.  But he's so good, it doesn't actually matter much.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on February 05, 2009, 12:45:48 PM
I agree about Taken. I thought it was a lot of fun and there were some unexpected moments that the audience reacted to strongly. When you get a good action movie with good actors, Wow, it really makes a difference.

Doing a 180, I also saw Hotel for Dogs. It's a pretty good kid's movie. The kids I took liked it and laughed, especially at the dogs' antics. I'm not usually a fan of animals that act unless they're terrorizing the human population of a small isolated town or island, but the animals in this movie didn't wear out their welcome. The cuteness wasn't overdone. The writers also wrote Sky High and created Kim Possible, which I think are above average kid fare.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Raffine on February 05, 2009, 09:38:54 PM
THE UNBORN - Fairly standard posession horror flick full of cheap shock scares and plot holes aimed at the easily-screaming teen set. I hope Gary Oldman (playing a suspiciously Gentile Rabbi) and Jane Alexander got nice big paychecks.

However: It does get some major kudos from me for having an original Jewish-based take on the whole exorcist plot, and some of the 'haunted by a dybbuk' visuals are effective and unique.

Has there been another Jewish horror film since DER GOLEM (1920)?



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 05, 2009, 10:24:47 PM

Has there been another Jewish horror film since DER GOLEM (1920)?


YENTL (1983)?

Too obvious? 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Raffine on February 06, 2009, 12:09:54 AM

Has there been another Jewish horror film since DER GOLEM (1920)?


YENTL (1983)?

Too obvious? 

Oy vey - so we got a meshuggener comedian already?  :bouncegiggle:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on February 06, 2009, 10:22:25 PM
Just saw Slumdog Millionaire.  Great film.  I highly recommend it.  Only downside is the print I saw had some annoying damage.  I can handle pretty heavy damage, but this had an annoying repeated pattern of rising horizontal lines for about a half hour of the film.

Still, real good film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 19, 2009, 08:20:56 PM
TIMECRIMES [LOS CRONOCRíMENES]:  Fleeing a chance encounter with a bandaged madman in the woods, a middle aged man finds himself inadvertently thrust backwards in time. One of the better plotted time-travel movies, but there's little that's truly cinematic about this four character, one setting movie (which would have made a great short story or play).  One selling point is that Bárbara Goenaga's boobies are a major plot point.  :wink: 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on February 21, 2009, 12:23:21 PM
Very depressing on my count, but the last film I saw in the theaters was The Dark Knight.  I really need to get around to seeing another film in the theaters... maybe Watchmen or Night in the Museum 2?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 26, 2009, 10:31:23 PM
Last weekend I took my nephews to see CORALINE:  A petulant little girl finds a parallel universe behind a hidden door in an old house, one where her parents are more attentive, her neighbors more fascinating, and the entire universe seems set up to pamper and delight her. She can stay there forever, but of course there's a catch--one that flips the movie from a fantasy to a genuine horror film in the third act. The art direction and animation is the star here, and 3-D the gimmick, but the story and scares are more than enough to make it more than eye candy for kiddies. 4/5

Edited to add rating


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Wag on March 05, 2009, 03:52:59 PM
The last film I saw at the cinema was the Friday 13th remake - I wished I hadn't. I paid for a friend too, making my pain even worse.

Before that, it was Dark Knight, which I really liked. I liked it just as much on DVD too, but was sleep deprived on my first attempt at DVD viewing so I didn't make it all the way through.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Torgo on March 06, 2009, 04:04:16 AM
WATCHMEN  *** out of **** .  I posted this rating on the recent viewing thread but thought that I would post some actual thoughts here. While I know that this isn't director Zack Snyder's preferred version of the film (the theatrical cut runs 156 minutes while his director's cut to be released on dvd will be 190 minutes) as it stands this is probably the best  film version of the comic book that  we could have hoped for. It though has a bit of a tough time for a little while with finding its own rhythm but the second half finds the film finding its groove.  But that is more due to the strict adherence to the source material than the script itself. There are things and story structure elements that work much better in a novel or comic book in this case that won't work as well in a film.  Maybe once I see the full director's cut on dvd my rating might go up but as it stands Watchmen is a flawed but enjoyable adaptation of a seemingly unfilmable comic.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Joe the Destroyer on March 06, 2009, 06:57:00 AM
Just got back from the midnight showing of Watchmen, and all I can say is... wow.  They stayed pretty true to the comic, for the most part.  They made some changes, only one was really drastic, but it all works just the same in the end.  The rest were made to save time, which is fine.  I almost want to watch the movie again, actually.  Either that or read the comic, and since I have the full graphic novel here I may just do that. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 25, 2009, 06:45:17 PM
KNOWING: Astrophysics professor and skeptic John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) comes into possession of a series of numbers scrawled by a little girl 50 years ago that accurately predict major disasters, and only three prediction are left. Basically mindless (though pretentious) popcorn thriller that has a couple of "wow" visual moments, and a preposterous (though predictable) ending.  Roger Ebert gave it four stars, but I think he's either senile or has a serious man crush on director Alex Proyas.  Other critics gave it hell.  Neither camp is right  :tongueout:: the correct rating is 2.5/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: metalmonster on April 02, 2009, 06:42:17 PM
I Don't Go To Movie Theaters Too Often Because There's Usually Nothing Worth Seeing

But I Went To The Theater On Saturday To See MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

It Was Actually Pretty Good


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on April 06, 2009, 11:39:23 AM
I saw Adventureland over the weekend. It was better than I expected. It had some goofiness  but also tried to be kinda thoughtful. It wasn't over the top or excessivley wacky. In terms of balancing the humor found in real moments with teeage zaniness I'd rate it somewhere between oh I dunno maybe A Sure Thing and Breakfast Club.  I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 07, 2009, 07:55:49 PM
MONSTERS V. ALIENS: Commented on it in its own thread. 3.5/5.

WATCHMEN: In an alternate reality where the cold war rages, Nixon has served five terms and superheroes are integrated into the national security framework, the murder of the retired "Comedian" leads other ex-crimefighters to believe someone is targeting "masks" for extinction. Massively creative, smart, dark and twisted comic book spectacle features adulterous, sociopathic superheroes marauding through an intricate plot, and is definitely not for the kiddies.  4.5/5.  (I hadn't read the graphic novel and had no problem following it.  I was pleasantly surprised; I didn't expect to like it this much).


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on April 10, 2009, 04:37:42 PM
The Wrestler and Fast & Furious

Both awesome for different reasons.  :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Wag on April 11, 2009, 04:13:14 AM
...Fast & Furious

...awesome...  :wink:

I'm suspicious myself - probably wait until the DVD release, and even then only when it's in a 3 for £10 offer or something like that.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on April 13, 2009, 10:58:51 AM
Saw it for free so can't really go wrong there.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on April 14, 2009, 10:54:54 AM
In the words of The Comic Book Guy:

(http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee71/HammockRider/752f5276.gif)

  "Fast and the Furious describes both the speed with which I attempted to leave the theater after the film's conclusion and the emotion I felt for paying full matinees price. Worst F & F film ever!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on April 14, 2009, 10:57:20 AM
Eh, the 2nd F&F film is the worst.

I wasn't aware that a Nissan Skyline could fly...;-)


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 15, 2009, 05:23:02 PM
Caught it at the second run theater.  I think it goes on DVD next week.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: The life of a "slumdog" contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" is revealed in flashbacks revealing how he knew the answers to the show's increasingly difficult questions. Exceptional storytelling in what is ostensibly an old fashioned love story in an exotic setting, but it's also a savage indictment of contemporary Indian society: when a policeman kicks a young boy in the eye, he turns to an American couple and says, "You want to see the REAL India? This it it!" 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: flackbait on April 16, 2009, 01:54:56 PM
Eh, the 2nd F&F film is the worst.

I wasn't aware that a Nissan Skyline could fly...;-)
If you think that ones bad did you ever see the third one?

Anyways I saw WATCHMEN recently I thought it was pretty good, although I wasn't a huge fan of the big naked blue guy.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on April 16, 2009, 05:13:04 PM
The 3rd is my favorite of the 4 films. :smile:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: flackbait on April 17, 2009, 12:54:42 AM
The 3rd is my favorite of the 4 films. :smile:
Sorry I didn't mean to insult you. Its your opinion. I haven't seen the 2nd one for ages so Its probably a lot worse than I thought. All I truly remember from that film is the American muscle cars.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on April 17, 2009, 10:02:24 AM
No worries... I get a lot of flack for liking the 3rd one. I'm use to it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on April 18, 2009, 04:33:36 PM
...Fast & Furious

...awesome...  :wink:

I'm suspicious myself - probably wait until the DVD release, and even then only when it's in a 3 for £10 offer or something like that.

 :thumbup: :teddyr: :thumbup:

Wag is great !!!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on April 18, 2009, 05:23:12 PM
I saw Crank 2.  Entertaining.  Whacky.  If you thought Crank was entertaining, it's basically the same movie only more extreme.  There's a huge King Kong VS Godzilla reference, which was cool.

Also saw Fast and Furious.  I thought it was entertaining.  Glad they managed to prominently stick in a Grand National, probably the last great American muscle car of its kind.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 23, 2009, 08:43:44 PM
PHOEBE IN WONERLAND: A little girl cursed with an obsessive behavior disorder (which causes her to spit on her classmates, among other things) finds she can soothe her demons by acting in the school production of "Alice in Wonderland." This feelgood/ tearjerker drama has a very predictable narrative arc, but it's an actor's movie with great performances by Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman, Patricia Clarkson, and especially young Elle Fanning, whose every bit as good as her sister.  Not my usual fare and I'm sure its not yours either, but a decent change of pace since nothing else interesting was playing, and I'd rather give me money to these guys than to another Hollywood dud.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on April 23, 2009, 09:05:45 PM

The Boat That Rocked:

British movie set in the 60s where rock n roll was only played for 45 mins on the radio and that's it.  The story is about a pirate radio station floating in a boat in the North Sea.  Is practically a who's who of British actors and to be honest I thought they'd all be competing for the limelight but I found this to be great light entertainment: some nice laughs, nice music and the occasional bare breast!  :thumbup:

3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 30, 2009, 06:29:08 PM
GARN TORINO: A crusty, misanthropic and xenophobic Korean War vet becomes involved with his Hmong neighbors, which in turn leads him to clash with ethinic gangs in his Detroit neighborhood. A rare story of last-moment personal transformation that doesn't ring false, and a refutation by Eastwood of Dirty Harry's faith in the redemptive power of violence.  Thank goodness for the second run theater, I wouldn't have gone to see this for full price, but I'm glad I did, and I only paid $3!  4.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MilkManPictures on May 05, 2009, 10:09:48 AM
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Eh, not very good. Didn't like the way they crammed a boat load of X-men into the film. Also a lot of the special effects were pretty bad. This film deserved a better telling of Wolverines origin.... I blame that on the writing. However the directing was pretty bad as well... some pretty poorly staged sequences.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on May 08, 2009, 03:39:07 PM
Star Trek

Great fun but it took them way too long to bring the whole crew together.

The engineering room sucked, they should've kept it like the old films.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on May 08, 2009, 06:07:51 PM
Star Trek

Great fun but it took them way too long to bring the whole crew together.

The engineering room sucked, they should've kept it like the old films.

I basically agree.  Too iPody.  I'm getting pretty tired of "everything is pearly white!" shtick. 

My basic complaints: Quinto is a good Spock, but no one has as good of a voice for it as Leonard Nimoy.  Nobody.

Took way too long to get Kirk as the Captain, and then he doesn't actually do much.  It was also pretty far fetched how they got everybody into the lead roles.  Not terrible, just a bit of a stretch.

On to the good now...

Good, basic storyline.  Film has some quite funny moments.  Karl Urban is a GREAT McCoy.  Visually really good, though there is a ridiculous amount of lense flare and dust on the camera effects.  What was that all about?

Leonard Nimoy's role is really good. 

Just a very entertaining film, and on the whole considerably more accessible than the old Trek films. 

8/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on May 08, 2009, 06:18:52 PM
Star Trek

Great fun but it took them way too long to bring the whole crew together.

The engineering room sucked, they should've kept it like the old films.

Ithere is a ridiculous amount of lense flare and dust on the camera effects. 
8/10.

There was flare on EVERYTHING !!! :buggedout

If you ever get invited abord the bridge of the Enterprise, bring your sun glasses!
You'll need 'em !

Not enough Scotty !
If you're dealiong with gizmos and time travel, you need Scotty.

Chekov was great.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 14, 2009, 11:58:59 AM
THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD (2009): John Malkovich as a once popular mentalist (based on the Amazing Creskin) playing half-filled venues on the downside of his career. Pleasant enough comedy/drama full of familiar faces (Tom Hanks and a large number of cameo appearances by George Takei, Jay Leno, and so on).  Featuring Tom and Colin Hanks in their first shared appearance (I'm pretty sure); I'm surprised Tom's clout it didn't get it a wider release.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 30, 2009, 02:28:30 PM
SUNSHINE CLEANING: A beleaguered single mom and her slacker sister start a business cleaning up gory crime scenes. Palatable mixture of teardrops and a few chuckles. You could get dragged to worse chick-flicks.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Torgo on May 31, 2009, 01:21:23 AM
UP   ***1/2 out of ****.  Pixar really knocks this one out of the park. It only suffers ever so slightly from a 3rd act that moves just a bit too quickly at times.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 07, 2009, 06:51:41 PM
THE BROTHERS BLOOM: Adrien Brody does well as the passive brother floating in the wake of his older sibling, a Dostoevsky of con-men, who devises one last elaborate grift to rip-off a pretty, rich and very eccentric widow. Plenty of quirky characters and comedy, and the con game is involving at first, but the film pushes its luck and wears out its welcome in a not quite satisfying epilogue/fourth act.  3.5/5.

UP: Flying a house buoyed by balloons, a grumpy old widower and a stoway cub scout go on an adventure to a fantastic land. Lots to love in this old-fashioned Disney adventure with memorable, emotionally resonant characters, thrilling animated action sequences, and plentiful comic relief in the form of dogs with collars that allow them to talk.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: GilbyFromMagoombo on June 13, 2009, 07:28:18 PM
I Love You Man.
Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, actually made me laugh pretty hard at times.
Plus, it has that hot girl from the Office. Not Pam, the Italian one.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 16, 2009, 04:59:34 PM
"Up" It's the little things that count.

1. It's having a villain that's both scary and sympathetic.
2. It's knowing how to use music and sound effects to enhance an action sequence.
3. It's having a villain that's the mirror image of the hero.
4. It's the throwaway jokes. Both vistual and verbal.
a. Vistual. At the beginning of the film, having all the clouds morph into babies.
b. Verbal. At the end of the film, Dug saying: "I see a gray one." Dogs don't see blue cars and red cars. They see only gray cars.

And note the parallels with Charles Lindbergh.
1. The last name Muntz is only one letter away from Lindbergh.
2. Both had the first name Charles.
3. Lindbergh had the "Spirit of St. Louis." Muntz had the "Spirit of Adventure."

Another good one from Pixar. Looking forward to "Toy Story 3," which will be out next year.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 17, 2009, 01:54:25 AM
I also just saw Up, for the second time.  I saw it in 3D this time.  To be honest, while I enjoyed seeing it in 3D, it's used very little in the film, mostly minor touches.  If you really love 3D, it's probably worth the extra cost, but for me it wasn't quite enough. 

Very good film though.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 17, 2009, 11:15:31 AM
DRAG ME TO HELL:  A cute and good-hearted bank loan officer is cursed by an old gypsy woman after she denies an extension on her mortgage, causing her to be haunted by an evil spirit that will drag her to hell after three days have expired. Fun spook-house thrill ride with an occult plot that's like a less atmospheric, more action/effects oriented NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957).  I'm really confused by the claims in some quarters that this is a great horror movie and "Raimi is back!"  It was pretty much what I thought it would be, an above-average horror movie aimed at summer teenage audience who delight in jump-scares and special effects, with a few touches of black humor thrown in and an EVIL DEAD callback.  I'll be generous and call it 4/5.

Edit: It took my forever to figure out where I'd seen the guy who plays the boyfriend before.  He's the dude who played "Mac" on that recently jumped-the-shark Macintosh/Windows ad campaign.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 17, 2009, 01:01:11 PM
DRAG ME TO HELL:  A cute and good-hearted bank loan officer is cursed by an old gypsy woman after she denies an extension on her mortgage, causing her to be haunted by an evil spirit that will drag her to hell after three days have expired. Fun spook-house thrill ride with an occult plot that's like a less atmospheric, more action/effects oriented NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957).  I'm really confused by the claims in some quarters that this is a great horror movie and "Raimi is back!"  It was pretty much what I thought it would be, an above-average horror movie aimed at summer teenage audience who delight in jump-scares and special effects, with a few touches of black humor thrown in and an EVIL DEAD callback.  I'll be generous and call it 4/5.

Edit: It took my forever to figure out where I'd seen the guy who plays the boyfriend before.  He's the dude who played "Mac" on that recently jumped-the-shark Macintosh/Windows ad campaign.

He's in a lot of stuff.  You might remember him as the nerdy kid in Galaxy Quest, or the male lead in Jeepers Creepers.  He's also the side kick to Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard.  I think he's pretty funny in the right role, and also a competent actor.  I believe his name is Justin Long.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on June 24, 2009, 08:12:44 AM
Year One. Meh.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Ridge on June 24, 2009, 03:07:22 PM
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It had some serious Bayhem in it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: 3mnkids on June 24, 2009, 04:41:28 PM
Transformers: revenge of the fallen~~ eh, it looks good but I could feel brain cells slowly dying as I watched.  I honestly didn't think that the juvenile dialogue could get worse than the first one, I was wrong.  :thumbdown:   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BUREINPARESU on June 24, 2009, 06:21:37 PM
Transformers 2, said in another thread I hated it.

I honestly want to re-appraise this, but seriously, I wish I had brought my phone to the theatre, just so I could text my friend while I was there, I was hardly enjoying myself. I found myself staring at the exit sign at the side of the screen, that's just bad! I thought the original was a passable summer action flick, this just felt unforgivable though! The focus on the human characters is so uninspired and unfunny it's painful to watch, I was relieved whenever a transformer got some screen time (with the exception of those two damn Autobot twins, I was really hoping one of them was going to die), as everyone else is just either an annoying stereotype or someone who just makes you hate them. Being a fan of mecha, I've really come to hate these re-designs, they didn't bother me so much in the original movie, but here, they're just a horrific mess of random polygonal shapes and some tiresome lens flares; the technical aspect is impressive, but these things look f*cking hideous, I really wish they went with some other way of re-designing the originals, I'm certain they definitely could have done something. The dialogue felt like it was filtered badly through someone who only had 90s lingo on their mind while still trying to keep it modern, it's embarrassing to hear, that and the score and the soundtrack are both obnoxious and add absolutely no feeling to the film. Silence during an important scene is usually much more effective than a generic score that has just been thrown together by an orchestra so they can get a paycheck.

I can't believe this mess had three writers working on it, its plot is terrible and it has one of the most uncalled for moments of deus ex machina ever, all the while it runs at two and a half hours. This is not a movie that deserves that length, it's nothing great, it's just Bay and a bunch of corporate associations having one big, long circle jerk. The action scenes are this thing's only saving grace, and that's only if you can make sense of what you're seeing amid the spastic designs and Bay's poorly erratic mode of directing.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 25, 2009, 12:43:09 AM
Quote
I honestly want to re-appraise this, but seriously, I wish I had brought my phone to the theatre, just so I could text my friend while I was there,

Do you actually do this?  If you do, you're being incredibly rude and obnoxious.  It's the equivalent of turning on a flashlight and pointing it at everyone behind you.  Just so you know.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BUREINPARESU on June 25, 2009, 01:27:35 AM
No I don't do it, I just hated that film enough to wish I was doing it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 25, 2009, 01:42:43 AM
No I don't do it, I just hated that film enough to wish I was doing it.

Ah, OK.  That bad though, huh?  I feel pretty bad that I'm probably going to see this, in IMAX no less.  $12.  Damn.

One thing I'm wondering...  Does this focus far too much on the human characters, like the first one did?  I really didn't get that - why are are there all these scenes in the original movie where we're seeing humans run about and the Transformers are in the background?  Optimus even uses the "One shall stand, one shall fall" line, and when it happens, the camera is focused ONLY on Shia?!  WTF?!

They should have kept it like the series did it - one or two human characters for the right angle to view the transformers with, but otherwise revolve the film around the transformers.  

Also, I have to agree about the redesigns.  I believe a few minor redesigns of SOME characters were all that was needed (Megatron probably needed an update, maybe change the faces of a few others).  Optimus Prime's original look is ageless, for example.  I read a Marvel VS Transformers comic (as ridiculous as it sounds) where you see Optimus up against completely modern superheroes and he still looks great.  Why do we need seventy billion illogical flashy bits that do nothing but add CG processing costs to the films budget?  Hell, this is Michael Bay, you'd think he could use that extra money to stick 50 billion more fiery explosions in there.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BUREINPARESU on June 25, 2009, 02:05:47 AM
Heh, I thought I was gonna seem really ignorant for wanting to do that, but yeah, when I see a movie, I usually like to talk it over with a friend of mine who is quite movie-savvy.

There's a lot of focus on the human characters, but you'll wish it was focusing on something else, because everyone was just so painfully annoying to watch, it's American Pie with some sci-fi elements sprinkled.

I don't want to seem like a self-righteous cock for moaning about a summer movie, but I've seen many before and I've had a lot more fun with them. The action scenes aren't too bad though, there's a few real "F*CK YEAH!" moments, when you can make them out of course, but Bay's explosion fetish is ridiculous.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 25, 2009, 12:18:55 PM
LAND OF THE LOST:  I didn't have any expectation that this would be a good movie, but I was hoping it would be a great big enjoyable flop.  Instead it was tolerable but extremely forgettable.  Jokes were lame, mostly about dinosaur pee and grabbing boobies, and seemed squarely aimed at middle school boys.  The script was lazy: it frequently didn't make any sense, and it was content to wander from set piece to set piece without creating any momentum or tension out of the the main characters desire to escape the Land of the Lost.  The worst problem was that Will Ferrell's character was consistently unlikeable and uninteresting: he's dim, arrogant, weak-willed, and vindictive and he never undergoes any real character development, he's just a jerk from start to finish.  Still, it wasn't terrible, in that insidious way Hollywood has of taking mediocre ingredients and making them palatable with fast pacing, nice looking sets, and including a pretty face and body.  Dinosaurs and action sequences were acceptable.  2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 30, 2009, 06:25:48 PM
THE HANGOVER: Three men awaken the night after a Las Vegas bachelor party up a tiger and a baby, and down a tooth and a bridegroom, and must reconstruct the previous night to find their missing friend. An outrageous comedy that unnecessarily goes WAY over the line of good taste at times--technically this should be an NC-17 film, it even has an explicit blow job shown in a still--but is still consistently funny with an involving mystery plot that keeps the viewer hanging on each new revelation.  This is the first movie I can think of that's actually an adaptation of an advertising slogan: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 08, 2009, 11:43:46 AM
SUMMER HOURS: Don't trust the good reviews.  This French film about three siblings amicably dividing up an artist's estate is every bit as dull as the plot summary makes it sound.  Well acted and thoughtful, but why not throw some dramatic conflict in just to keep us awake? 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: El Misfit on July 08, 2009, 03:24:14 PM
taking of Phelam 123 (remake) really intense.  :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on July 13, 2009, 01:51:30 PM
Bruno was about as gross and disgusting a movie as I've ever seen, worse than Borat, and I'm not sure if I would see it again, but on the other hand I laughed like hell.  I don't understand that.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on July 13, 2009, 01:54:43 PM
THE HANGOVER: Three men awaken the night after a Las Vegas bachelor party up a tiger and a baby, and down a tooth and a bridegroom, and must reconstruct the previous night to find their missing friend. An outrageous comedy that unnecessarily goes WAY over the line of good taste at times--technically this should be an NC-17 film, it even has an explicit blow job shown in a still--but is still consistently funny with an involving mystery plot that keeps the viewer hanging on each new revelation.  This is the first movie I can think of that's actually an adaptation of an advertising slogan: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."  4/5.


What about that Ron Jeremy film...."Where's the Beef?"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 18, 2009, 05:00:41 PM
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: As Harry the apprentice wizard enters his sixth year at the Hogwarts school, he searches for clues to the past of the Dark Lord while there is a plot afoot to assassinate the powerful Professor Dumbledore. Good adventure with the expected knockout visuals and magical gewgaws; the script is quite jerky, stuffing in many minor incidents to please fans of the book, while the main storyline is often missing connective tissue from one plot point to the next.  I have not read any of the books or seen any of the previous movies, but even though I didn't know who all the characters were I never got too lost since it's a basic good-versus-evil plot with archetype characters.  I know it's cool to hate on Harry Potter in some quarters, but I was mildly impressed: it was a pretty good adventure fantasy with eye-pleasing special effects and more characterization and plot than you usually see.  There's lots of entertainment that's much less imaginative and much more sloppily made clogging up the big screens nowadays.  3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: The Burgomaster on July 20, 2009, 12:33:31 PM
Bruno was about as gross and disgusting a movie as I've ever seen, worse than Borat, and I'm not sure if I would see it again, but on the other hand I laughed like hell.  I don't understand that.

Same here.  I thought it was funny, but I really didn't need to see the fairly explicit gay sex and bondage, nor did I need to see full frontal male nudity.  I'm sort of surprised this didn't get an NC-17 rating.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 25, 2009, 02:18:52 PM
MOON: Sam, two weeks away from finishing a lonely three year contract on a one man lunar mining base, finds a secret on the moon that will change everything he thinks he knows about the mission.  In an era when science’s role in science fiction is increasingly relegated to the production of rayguns and killer robots, MOON’s serious speculation about the world of the rapidly approaching future is a breath of fresh oxygen.  If you like real science fiction, please support this movie so Hollywood will catch on and produce more serious speculative fiction. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 25, 2009, 09:17:31 PM
GROWING OUT - a guy gets a job as a caretaker in an old house where a strange old lady lives upstairs, unseen.  He discovers a human hand growing out of the basement floor, and it matures into a guy who loves the protagonist's music, which no one else can stand.  And there's a love triangle between the caretaker, the guy who lives in the trailer out back, and a cute female musician.  Then the caretaker gets mad at the guy who is growing out of the basement floor and cuts him up with an axe.  To be honest, this sounds bizarre and interesting, but the movie was slow moving and boring and after the initial novelty wore off, I found myself falling asleep. Don't waste your time.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: p1zl3 on July 27, 2009, 02:25:57 PM
GROWING OUT - a guy gets a job as a caretaker in an old house where a strange old lady lives upstairs, unseen.... Don't waste your time.

I agree, this movie was emo, wannabe intellectual, crap! It's not even good enough to be considered an "art film" or "experimental".  :thumbdown:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 27, 2009, 04:16:22 PM
I mistakenly posted this in the "Theatrical Viewings" thread . . . I actually caught it on DVD.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 06, 2009, 10:33:25 AM
LITTLE ASHES:  Set in Madrid and Paris at the height of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, this movie describes a (likely fictional) student love affair between poet Federico Garcia Lorca and painter Salvador Dali. Director Luis Bunuel is a third wheel.  Surprisingly tame given the subject of forbidden love, and surprisingly conventional given the subject of revolutionary artists who advise us to eradicate all limits in art.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 11, 2009, 05:15:21 PM
"G-Force" It is the little and not so little things.

Good
It's having characters I cared about, even if the characters were . . .
4 guinea pigs
3 mice
1 star-nosted mole
1 hamster/ferret
1 housefly
1 cockroach

It's having the mole actually being a mole, which was a nice twist.

It's mentioning the San Diego Petting Zoo. I've been there.

It's knowing how to use music to enhance mood, including the song "Jump."

It's the action sequences, which I enjoyed.

It's "My god! What have I done?" Which always gets an emotional response from me, though usually the character saying it, has to die, to absolve him- or herself.

Bad
The characters are stereotypes, but the film somewhat gets around this by having the characters played by non-humans.

As in most films like this, the human actors take second place to the special effects.

Odd
How did they precisely know where the spacejunk was going to land? When a piece of spacejunk is set to land on earth, and not burn up in earth's atmosphere, the range given is in miles, not in acres.

Why was one rescued from being eat in the Pyrenees? Yes, guinea pigs are/were eaten, and yes there is a range of mountains called the Pyrenees, as it separates Spain from France. But, guinea pigs are not eaten there, but are/were eaten in the Andes, where the animals originated.

The hatred for this film. This is not the best film of the year, but by no means is it the worst film of the year. I guess this is a reminder to hold down my vitrolic on films I dislike, which are usually films that everyone else likes.

And I presume, from the ending, we'll get a sequel.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on August 12, 2009, 01:05:01 AM
I dunno about G-Force having any merit...  The trailer didn't have a single moment of soul, humor or any decent qualities at all.  It's hard to imagine such an abysmally awful collection of 2 minutes of footage being taken out of a movie that is anything but a train wreck.  Maybe I'll watch a bit of it when it's on cable.

Just saw GI Joe.  Another film with a bad trailer, but it's quite a bit better of a film than the trailer indicates.  Entertaining action scenes that have the likeness of a bunch of kids playing with toys.  Which is as it should be.  Some good performances, probably better than you'd expect considering the people cast.  Good villains.  What more can you ask?  Well, it's about 20 minutes too long.  Other than that though...

7/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: schmendrik on August 18, 2009, 10:45:58 AM
Recently saw the new HARRY POTTER movie & THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE.

Harry Potter was good, I enjoyed it. I kind of bogged down reading the series (stopped early in #6) but I want to see the story through, so I'll finish the series one of these days and catch the movies when they come out (I hear that the finale will be 2 movies?). I'm especially enjoying the standard double-agent kind of question with Snape: whose side is he on? What's going on in his head? I have my theories, so I really am not interested in spoilers.

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is an excellent book that my wife really enjoyed. I've read bits of it but not all. Definitely a chick flick but enjoyable all the same. A different twist on time travel, a guy who is kind of helplessly bounced around to different significant events in his own past and future. Explores all the usual paradoxes. It will really mess your mind up trying to figure out the time line, like all good time travel stories. "Wait a minute, so when he appeared in that year, he was actually younger so he didn't know THAT would happen but his older self told him about THE OTHER THING so..."

Movie is very faithful to the book. I recommend both.

4.5/5 to both these movies, just because I think a 5 should be a life-changing event and I haven't seen one of those yet.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Torgo on August 22, 2009, 12:35:42 AM
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS  (2009)   **** out of ****.  A truly amazing film and Taratino's best since Pulp Fiction. I have no complaints here. Pretty much flawless filmmaking of the most entertaining order.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on August 22, 2009, 08:56:33 AM
Our local reviewer gave that one very high marks . . . I kinda want to see it myself.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on August 22, 2009, 02:36:25 PM
Inglorious Bastards...  I have a somewhat different take.

To begin, I will say overall that I liked the film.  However, I felt it was overlong, I found the storyline with the French woman not particularly interesting, and the film simply dragged for me in several spots.  Like the scene in the bar.  I think that would have been a better scene with 5 minutes or so trimmed/written out of it.

It's funny, because I know watching any scene from this film by itself I would think it was really good (well, almost any).  But, somehow, the film simply wasn't the sum of its parts.  Great performances by everyone though - Christoph Latz probably deserves a Supporting Oscar nom, for example.  The music score, I believe partly by Morricone, is also excellent.  The film has some very funny sequences.  The scene where Brad Pitt's accent comes into play brought the house down.  But, not quite enough.

Overall, a 7/10 from me.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 22, 2009, 08:53:22 PM
Saw the live Rifftrax version of PLAN 9 in the theater on Thursday.  Not bad at all, it included a short, a musical comedy act, and some very funny fake commercials along with the main feature.  The riffing on PLAN 9 was mostly stuff that was obvious to longtime fans (making fun of the cop who uses his loaded pistol to emphasize points he's making, pointing out the "modern women" line for those too slow to catch it), but it wasn't as obnoxious as I feared it might be, and the audience was REALLY into it.  I'd go to one of these if they had it again.  4/5, a fun time.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: RCMerchant on August 23, 2009, 01:40:28 PM
The remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT.
Ugh.
Theyv've taken a repulsive film and made it even more repulsive. NOT recommended!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on August 27, 2009, 02:22:41 PM
I've watched Drag me to hell with a few friends, and we had a great time! It was scary, and funny. I made the theather laugh once or twice. :lookingup:
So did another guy with a conveniently placed fart sound. :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Torgo on August 29, 2009, 12:25:40 AM
HALLOWEEN 2 (2009)  **1/2 out of ****.  I was one of the few apparently that liked Rob Zombie's 2007 take on John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic. But you could tell where Rob Zombie was torn between doing his own thing (the first half) and remaking the original (the second half). Well the sequel is pretty much all Rob which turns out to be a good thing and a bad thing.  The kills and overall brutality is pretty rough here as instead of Michael Myers stabbing someone once he stabs them like 10 times.   If you hated Zombies first one though you'll hate this new one.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: The Burgomaster on September 01, 2009, 03:39:42 PM
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS  (2009)   **** out of ****.  A truly amazing film and Taratino's best since Pulp Fiction. I have no complaints here. Pretty much flawless filmmaking of the most entertaining order.

I loved this movie, too, but I'd only give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.  The dialogue was great and the suspense was riveting.  I thought the Basterds weren't in it quite enough though, so I shaved off 1/2 star.

 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Nukie 2 on September 01, 2009, 10:17:21 PM
I just came back from seeing Inglourious Basterds, I felt that over all it was a great movie, but it was too damned violent-- like there's nothing that separates the heros from the enemy in the way of achieving ends.

Did anyone else spot the Antonio Margheretti refference (the name of the director of "Yor: Hunter from the Future")?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: The Burgomaster on September 02, 2009, 09:38:02 AM
I just came back from seeing Inglourious Basterds, I felt that over all it was a great movie, but it was too damned violent-- like there's nothing that separates the heros from the enemy in the way of achieving ends.

Did anyone else spot the Antonio Margheretti refference (the name of the director of "Yor: Hunter from the Future")?

Also, the character named Hugo Stiglitz.  Hugo Stiglitz is the name of an actor who has been in many (mostly foreign) TV shows and films.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 06, 2009, 06:20:48 PM
PONYO: In this Japanese variation on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," a goldfish with a human face escapes from the undersea lair built by her wizard father and decides she wants to become human when washes ashore and is adopted as a pet by a little boy. Some amazing hand-drawn sequences, such as when newly-human Ponyo trips across waves that turn into fish and then melt back into surf; it's squarely aimed at little girls, who will be completely entranced, but it has much less crossover appeal to adults, who will spend their time just looking at the pretty pastel-colored pictures. 4/5.

DISTRICT 9: When aliens are stranded on earth, the South African government houses them in shantytowns, in an obvious allegory about apartheid and xenophobia. DISTRICT 9 falls apart logically, particularly when it changes from cold-hearted satire to action movie halfway through, but it's still one of the most original movie concepts of the year. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on September 27, 2009, 10:26:16 PM
Pandorum - Lots of plot holes and other problems crossed with some good scenes of suspense and horror.  Mixed bag, marginal recommendation.  6/10.

Surrogates - A few good ideas, but lackluster action and just OK execution of everything else.  Still, marginally good.  6/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on October 03, 2009, 02:39:13 PM
I went to see Surrogates with a few friends. It was utterly forgettable. So mediocre, that it shouldn't even exist.
4/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: monta on October 03, 2009, 02:44:30 PM
I was suprised to enjoy Benjamin Button tbh, I went to see it in  :lookingup: mode and got caught up in the story pretty fast .It is easy to forget that Brad Pitt can actually act. CB is an alt.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Iseuelt on October 04, 2009, 03:09:00 AM
The last movies I viewed were Hell Asylum, Gore Gore Girls, and Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.  I found everything but Hell Asylum to be somewhat enjoyable.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 07, 2009, 11:56:55 AM
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS: A Jew-hunting Nazi and a elite squad of Nazi-hunting American Jews cross paths in occupied France.  This is a very mature Tarantino effort that's somewhat reminiscent of a bloodier Sergio Leone; there some extremely tense, subtle and well-managed suspense episodes, and a morally complex tone to the whole movie.  4.5/5.

9: 9 robotic dolls fight killer machines in a post-human, post-apocalyptic world.  Great visuals and exciting action sequences; the setting is unique and could have made for a classic if the script had been handled better.  Kids won't care about the plot holes, but observant adults will be left with lots of unanswered questions.  3/5.       


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 15, 2009, 08:33:02 PM
BRIGHT STAR: A 19th-century seamstress falls in love with sickly John Keats, a dreamboat who writes poetry on the side. About what you would expect from a Campion historical weeper: well-made and very pretty, with no surprises. Warning to guys: sensitive poets take a LONG time to die from consumption. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: retrorussell on October 15, 2009, 09:23:33 PM
Saw Zombieland on Sunday.  Pretty damn funny; almost as good as Shaun Of The Dead.  Woody Harrelson is the perfect choice for the lead.  Bill Murray has a funny part in the film.  A couple times, the heroes do some pretty stupid things inexplicably, but otherwise the movie's worth seeing.  I liked how words explaining how to survive zombie attacks pop up onscreen, kind of like Student Bodies' body count and safety error messages.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on October 20, 2009, 03:13:23 PM
Saw Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story."  It was either very good or I'm very suggesstible but afterwards I wanted to quit my job, buy a flock of sheep and move to Iceland and become a shephard. If you're willing to give Moore half a chance you might like it. Most of my friends who can't stand Moore wouldn't go see this, but the few that did begrudgingly liked it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 24, 2009, 05:05:02 PM
ZOMBIELAND: A neurotic, clown-fearing college student and a violent Twinkie-loving redneck team up to fight the living dead after the zombie-apocalypse. A crowd-pleasing, conventional mix of action and comedy, with a little romance on the side. The most shocking thing about it is how effortlessly Hollywood has mainstreamed zombies; they used to be underground, disreputable, and grindhousey, now they're multiplex-friendly.  A solid 4/5 nonetheless.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 27, 2009, 09:26:49 PM
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: A cinéma vérité style examination of the demonic haunting of a young couple. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT meets POLTERGEIST, and not quite as good or original as either; slow to get started and lacking a satisfying climax, although there are truly nervewracking haunting scenes in the middle portion. Save your money and rent it on DVD; considering all the action takes place in a house, it will probably be scarier if you watch it at home just before sleeping than it was in the theater.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 03, 2009, 06:27:19 PM
Hard to know where to put this, so I'll put it here.

In honor of Halloween, our local library showed "Carnival of Souls." While I knew of the film, this was my first time to see it. And to whit . . .

(1) A period piece
This was made in 1962 and it shows. As it was a time when people still communicated by letters. People still smoked. And people still rode the bus and train.

(2) A mood piece. Even if you know the story, from the first moment of the film, there is a mood that something will be seriously wrong, and--surprisingly--the film manages to keep up this mood throughout the film, till the end.

(3) Funny
While not a comedy by any means, it is seriously funny in several places.

(4) A simple story
The problem with alot of filmmakers is that they try to make the story too complex, while some of the best films have the simplest stories, as in this case.

(5) Amateur hour.
You can tell that alot of the people in the film had never been in a film before, and for many of them this would be their only film, including the producer and director, Herk Harvey. One would have liked to have seen his encore film, but this would be his one and only feature film. Perhaps because . . .

(6) Unprofitable
While the film cost only about $15,000 (in '60's dollars) to make, Harvey would still lose money on the film.

(7) Too long
This may be an odd thing to say about a film that lasted only 75 minutes and was able to work throughout the length of the film, but as a couple of episodes of "The Twilight
Zone" showed, the story works even better at 30 minutes.

That's the good news. The bad news is that in honor of Halloween, our local library also showed "Twilight," which I did not see.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 06, 2009, 10:56:48 PM
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY: Muckraker Michael Moore examines the mortgage crisis, the financial bailout, and the growing gap between the rich and the pure [sic], and concludes that capitalism is pure evil.  Manipulative socialist propaganda that is intermittently entertaining and exposes some concrete injustices, but it seems irresponsible to deal with such complex and consequential issues in a 2 hour documentary without any fact checking, meaningful context, or dissenting opinions. Whenever you see character actor Wallace Shawn brought in as the economics expert in a documentary, you should sense something is wrong. 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on November 06, 2009, 11:25:36 PM
Saw VI- Can't really 'defend' the series at this point...six films in.  There's two types of people: those who like the series and those who don't.  It is what it is...if you like the series, Saw 6 is a big step up in quality from 5, but still not as good as 1 or 2.

Zombieland- great film, saw it twice.  Definitely picking up the dvd.  Funnest time I've had at the movies all year.

Halloween 2- People weren't too fond of Zombie's first remake/reboot in 2007.  I liked the reboot, and was looking forward to the sequel.  Seemed a bit more on the 'psychological' side, showing how Laurie was deeply affected by Michael coming back for her, and then finding out it was her brother.  Could've been better, could've been a lot worse.  Plus, it gets a  :thumbup: from me, solely for the talk show scene that had, for some inexplicable reason, MTV's Chris Hardwicke as the host, and Malcolm MacDowell's Sam Loomis and Weird Al Yankovic as the two guests.  ANY movie with Weird Al being addressed as "Mr. Weird" by MacDowell is great.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on November 07, 2009, 02:16:08 AM
Saw This is It last night.  Quite good, honestly.  Whoever did the editing (probably multiple people) did an excellent job.  It's also nice just seeing MJ dance again - he certainly still had it.  He kept pace with people half his age no problem.  And his singing voice was still great.  Looks like it would have been an awesome concert too.  Shame.

We also get some amount of insight into MJ as a performer and head man of the concert.  It's pretty amazing how hands-on he was with everything, and is a real testament to his talent, whatever else you can say about him.

It's not extremely deep, and the footage is a little rough (in particular, I found the on-screen cameramen distracting at times), but as a final tribute to Michael Jackson, it was well worth seeing in the theatre. 

9/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on November 07, 2009, 09:48:07 AM
Saw This is It last night.  Quite good, honestly.  Whoever did the editing (probably multiple people) did an excellent job.  It's also nice just seeing MJ dance again - he certainly still had it.  He kept pace with people half his age no problem.  And his singing voice was still great.  Looks like it would have been an awesome concert too.  Shame.

We also get some amount of insight into MJ as a performer and head man of the concert.  It's pretty amazing how hands-on he was with everything, and is a real testament to his talent, whatever else you can say about him.

It's not extremely deep, and the footage is a little rough (in particular, I found the on-screen cameramen distracting at times), but as a final tribute to Michael Jackson, it was well worth seeing in the theatre. 

9/10.
I think everyone kinda overlooks how talented he was as a songwriter/singer/performer.  Obviously here in America, his career was overshadowed in the past 10-15 years cause of whatever perceived allegations against him.  I'm not saying he's not a freak at times, cause just seeing interviews he comes across as odd.  But I've never stopped being a fan and unlike some people, never denied what talent he had.  I wish things would've ended differently for him, what with the allegations of child abuse, his family, etc.

I wanna see this movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on November 07, 2009, 04:50:15 PM
I watched Gamer. Hell yes!
7/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 08, 2009, 05:15:35 PM
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: A troubled, rambunctious boy travels to an imaginary land where wild beasts anoint him their king, but discovers that socialization is a struggle even in his imagination. It's incredible how Maurice Sendak's drawings are brought to life and there are several wondrous scenes, but it's really more for adults than children: the lack of focus in the plot will bore them, and the symbolic exploration of a child's psyche will go right over their heads.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on November 09, 2009, 01:17:05 PM
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: A troubled, rambunctious boy travels to an imaginary land where wild beasts anoint him their king, but discovers that socialization is a struggle even in his imagination. It's incredible how Maurice Sendak's drawings are brought to life and there are several wondrous scenes, but it's really more for adults than children: the lack of focus in the plot will bore them, and the symbolic exploration of a child's psyche will go right over their heads.  4/5.

I wouldn't actually mind watching that, (shock horror!) it looks good.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 09, 2009, 07:00:30 PM
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: A troubled, rambunctious boy travels to an imaginary land where wild beasts anoint him their king, but discovers that socialization is a struggle even in his imagination. It's incredible how Maurice Sendak's drawings are brought to life and there are several wondrous scenes, but it's really more for adults than children: the lack of focus in the plot will bore them, and the symbolic exploration of a child's psyche will go right over their heads.  4/5.

I wouldn't actually mind watching that, (shock horror!) it looks good.

Go for it, my clown!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on November 09, 2009, 10:42:55 PM


I wouldn't actually mind watching that, (shock horror!) it looks good.
[/quote]
Definitely make the trek to see it.  It's definitely worth the watch, especially on the big screen. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on November 10, 2009, 03:19:23 AM
Saw This is It last night.  Quite good, honestly.  Whoever did the editing (probably multiple people) did an excellent job.  It's also nice just seeing MJ dance again - he certainly still had it.  He kept pace with people half his age no problem.  And his singing voice was still great.  Looks like it would have been an awesome concert too.  Shame.

We also get some amount of insight into MJ as a performer and head man of the concert.  It's pretty amazing how hands-on he was with everything, and is a real testament to his talent, whatever else you can say about him.

It's not extremely deep, and the footage is a little rough (in particular, I found the on-screen cameramen distracting at times), but as a final tribute to Michael Jackson, it was well worth seeing in the theatre. 

9/10.
I think everyone kinda overlooks how talented he was as a songwriter/singer/performer.  Obviously here in America, his career was overshadowed in the past 10-15 years cause of whatever perceived allegations against him.  I'm not saying he's not a freak at times, cause just seeing interviews he comes across as odd.  But I've never stopped being a fan and unlike some people, never denied what talent he had.  I wish things would've ended differently for him, what with the allegations of child abuse, his family, etc.

I wanna see this movie.

In particular, his talent as a songwriter is REALLY overlooked. 

As far as I'm concerned, if ALL he had written was the main beat to Smooth Criminal, he'd be a great writer.  But, he also wrote Billie Jean, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin' Something, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Bad, and The Way You Make Me Feel.  Granted, he didn't have quite the string of awesome stuff by the time the 90s rolled around, but persistent rumors say he composed a good deal of the music for the first two Sonic games (which have great music).  Heal the World, Black or White, Will You Be There, Dangerous, Scream, They Don't Care About Us, D.S, and a few others are solid songs.

Very few people even seem to realize how much of his music he wrote himself. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HarlotBug3 on November 12, 2009, 02:22:15 PM
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: A cinéma vérité style examination of the demonic haunting of a young couple. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT meets POLTERGEIST, and not quite as good or original as either; slow to get started and lacking a satisfying climax, although there are truly nervewracking haunting scenes in the middle portion. Save your money and rent it on DVD; considering all the action takes place in a house, it will probably be scarier if you watch it at home just before sleeping than it was in the theater.  2.5/5.

You're too kind. Cloverfield's live footage baddie was scarier. PA goes way too quickly from subtle to cheap, corny, and frankly made for simple people who have a deep need to believe in and be scared of demons/ possession etc.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 14, 2009, 07:16:48 PM
COLD SOULS: Paul Giamatti (playing the role of actor Paul Giamatti) feels burdened by his soul, so he decides to store it temporarily for a time; later, when he discovers he can no longer act, he tries to get it back but finds it had disappeared. Thoughtful and original premise, laugh out loud funny at times, and Giamatti deserves an Oscar nom; just wish it had an ending. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: retrorussell on November 14, 2009, 11:01:21 PM
I just saw Law-Abiding Citizen.  Stupid, stupid, stupid movie.  Your capacity for suspension of disbelief gets tested, big-time.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 21, 2009, 04:54:05 PM
"A Christmas Carol"

And here are eight reasons I liked it.

1.) The Christmas carols themselves never sounded better.

2.) One of the great moments in film occurs in this film. It is the moment, when Fred is talking about love, and it hits you, why Scrooge behaves the way he does. He has seldom loved, and he seldom has been loved.

3.) Marley's Ghost has never been scarier.

4.) This is one of the most realistic portrayals of life in 19th century England, I've ever seen in a film.

5.) This is one of the best adpatations from book to film, that I've ever seen. The fact that it is almost a word-for-word adaptation does not hurt

6.) I've seen hundreds of film. And how many of them have featured a great chase scene? Less than thirty by my count. And Scrooge being chased by the black hearse being pulled by the horses from Hell is one of them.

7.) It is almost perfect blend of animation and live action. As animation the film can do things a live action film can't, and as live action, it does look like live action and not an animated cartoon.

8.) And if this is not Jim Carrey's best performance, it is one of his best. And this from a man who abhors Jim Carrey.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Mr. DS on November 21, 2009, 06:35:45 PM
New Moon...ok get ready for this.  It wasn't all that bad.  Or not nearly as bad as it's predecessor.  However the story and plot angles are immensely bumpy.  Still debating a review though I'm a bit worn out on the idea at the moment.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: 3mnkids on November 22, 2009, 09:14:26 AM
New Moon...ok get ready for this.  It wasn't all that bad.  Or not nearly as bad as it's predecessor.  However the story and plot angles are immensely bumpy.  Still debating a review though I'm a bit worn out on the idea at the moment.

My daughter saw it last night and she could barely review it for me through the giggles.  :teddyr:  She said it has tons of rapid eye blinking by everyone(shes not sure why) a couple of slow motion scenes,one that had the entire theater laughing their asses off, and the acting was so stiff she was embarrassed for them.. she said I must see it.  :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Mr. DS on November 22, 2009, 09:51:56 AM
New Moon...ok get ready for this.  It wasn't all that bad.  Or not nearly as bad as it's predecessor.  However the story and plot angles are immensely bumpy.  Still debating a review though I'm a bit worn out on the idea at the moment.

My daughter saw it last night and she could barely review it for me through the giggles.  :teddyr:  She said it has tons of rapid eye blinking by everyone(shes not sure why) a couple of slow motion scenes,one that had the entire theater laughing their asses off, and the acting was so stiff she was embarrassed for them.. she said I must see it.  :wink:
Well I'll say this much, the minute the vampires left the screen the acting and the film overall just got so much  better.   I'm attributing this to everyone in the Cullen camp not being able to act very well.   I can't buy into the romance between Edward and Bella because Pattinson just conveys no emotion on screen.

Taylor Lautner, although he couldn't keep his shirt on, wasn't bad at all.  Matter of fact him and Kristen Stewart had pretty good chemsitry.  However, the plot is loaded with WTF stuff.  I'm telling you, this film may come to rest in what all of us dig.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 22, 2009, 09:00:17 PM
A SERIOUS MAN: A putzy Jewish physics professor suffers from a series of problems including a failing marriage, bratty kids, students willing to do anything for a passing grade, financial troubles, and a ne'er-do-well brother.  It's a retelling of the Book of Job as an absurdist comedy; frequently funny but also confounding, with a notorious non-ending.  So intensely Jewish that you'll feel your ready to be mitzvahed after one viewing. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 27, 2009, 12:08:21 PM
THE BOX: A couple receives a mysterious box with a button and instructions that, if they push it, two things will happen: they will receive a million dollars, and someone they don't know will die.  Very poorly written, with plot holes, a drawn out middle section full of scenes that are creepy but have nothing at all to do with the main story, and no real dramatic interest in the main characters' plight.  Might have been better off seeing NEW MOON instead, but the line was too long.  :wink: 1.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 02, 2009, 12:37:42 PM
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS: A journalist accompanies an agent working for a secret, experimental psychic warfare Army unit (the Jedi Knights of the New Earth Army) on a mission deep into the Iraqi desert.  Gets points for originality, but needed a lot more belly-laughs. The star-studded cast (George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges) seem a bit wasted.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Newt on December 02, 2009, 01:45:22 PM
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS: A journalist accompanies an agent working for a secret, experimental psychic warfare Army unit (the Jedi Knights of the New Earth Army) on a mission deep into the Iraqi desert.  Gets points for originality, but needed a lot more belly-laughs. The star-studded cast (George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges) seem a bit wasted.  2.5/5.
Well that's disappointing.  I was looking forward to seeing that one.  :bluesad:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 02, 2009, 05:44:13 PM
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS: A journalist accompanies an agent working for a secret, experimental psychic warfare Army unit (the Jedi Knights of the New Earth Army) on a mission deep into the Iraqi desert.  Gets points for originality, but needed a lot more belly-laughs. The star-studded cast (George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges) seem a bit wasted.  2.5/5.
Well that's disappointing.  I was looking forward to seeing that one.  :bluesad:

Some people seem to like it, but none of the three I was with really loved it.  I'd give it a shot on DVD, though.  You won't lose much on the small screen.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 08, 2009, 06:01:27 PM
"Old Dogs" w/ Robin Williams, John Travolta, and Seth Green. Green was the biggest surprise of the three. Who'd have thought that little Oz from "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" had a flair for comedy.

And with cameos by Ann-Margaret, Matt Dillon, and Bernie Mac. This film has something of a historical significance for future film historians, as it is Mac's last film appearance before his death.

And if one stayed around to the closing credits, one saw that "Happy Birthday to You" is a copyrighted song. Yes, if you use the song for commercials purposes, you have to pay a copyright fee to the copyright holders.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on December 08, 2009, 06:18:27 PM
Saw A Christmas Carol in IMAX 3D.  My main interest in this was to test out IMAX 3D, actually.  RealD (most common system) is a mixed bag for me.  Good feeling of depth, but it HORRIBLY breaks up for me whenever there is horizontal motion, with tons of illusion ruining ghosting and glitching looking artifacts.  I'm evidently in the minority on that, but not the only person.  Anyway, I still am willing to see 3D films once in a while, but I find the glitching so distracting from involvement in the storyline, that I generally only see the 3D version if it is a film I expect has a weak storyline or that I've already seen in 2D (happened with Up). 

Anyway, as far as IMAX 3D goes...  It looked a bit better in motion, but worse when still.  It also looked a bit brighter to me.  Overall, I would say it roughly evened out.  Unfortunately, this means I'm not going to be seeing too many films in 3D.  There is a third system I have only used once, which used motorized shutter glasses and worked much better for me, but it's hard to find theatres using it (closest is 100 miles away).  It's too bad, as I enjoy 3D when it's working right.

The movie itself is a competent version of the classic story.  Jim Carey is a pretty solid Scrooge.  There's only a slight bit of Careyisms in the film, mostly at the end, for those wondering.  I thought his transition from miser to caring man was far too quick, it's virtually instantaneous.  There are also several extended action sequences and chases, which seem irrelevant to me.  In particular, his running from the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is redundant and overlong.

Overall, just an OK film.  6/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: SkullBat308 on December 08, 2009, 10:52:24 PM
Ninja Assassin- :thumbup: Good bloody fun!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 11, 2009, 12:27:25 PM
I SELL THE DEAD: A Victorian grave-robber facing execution by guillotine tells a priest (Ron Perlman) how he and his ex-partner reaped greater profits by trafficking in "special" corpses.  Original and atmospheric indie horror with a few very good scenes that never finds quite the right balance between terror, comedy and action; this story might have actually worked better in the hands of a major Hollywood studio.  It would make a nice rental when it arrives on DVD.  3/5.      

P.S. I really like the concept of these low-budget, experimental indie horrors being put out under the label "Scareflix."  I liked this and I CAN SEE YOU, and THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL got excellent reviews.  This is a series to keep an eye on.     


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 16, 2009, 11:51:24 AM
AN EDUCATION: Okay, this is something most badmovies.org viewers are going to want to stay far, far away from, but I like to get out of my comfort zone occasionally and, honestly, it was pretty good.  A 16-year old Oxford-bound schoolgirl falls in love with a worldly older man. Well-done, believable coming-of-age tale with excellent performances, realistic characterizations, and few surprises. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on December 16, 2009, 12:58:45 PM
A 16-year old Oxford-bound schoolgirl falls in love with a worldly older man.

That's way, way, way beyond my comfort zone...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on December 16, 2009, 01:07:04 PM
Saw The Princess and the Frog.  Quite good, the best Disney animated film since The Lion King.  That's what everyone is saying, and I agree.  Good music, gorgeous animation, it's all there.  Very likeable characters too.  It's not their best film, but well worth watching. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 21, 2009, 06:20:12 PM
Here's another one who saw "The Princess and the Frog." Disney's first 2-D animated film since 2004's "Home on the Range."

These are my thoughts on it.

It's surprising, at least to me, how much depth you can get out of something that's two dimensional.

And the story, in some aspects, is not that far off from what life was like in the segregated South ninety years ago, except, of course, for the talking animals.

See how many film references you can find in the film. I especially liked the one for "A Streetcar Named Desire."

And the music was not that bad neither. Probably Randy Newman's best work (IMHO.)

If one stayed for the credits, there's alot of people involved in making an animated film, and they do things besides animate.

And one can see Pixar had a hand in it. At the end of the credits, there's a list of babies born during the making of the film. Just like you'd find at the end of a Pixar film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 28, 2009, 01:33:50 PM
FANTASTIC MR. FOX: A chicken thief turned newspaper columnist fox causes problems for all the forest creatures when he unretires to stage one last caper against the three largest farmers in the region.  Good storybook-style stop animation and excellent voice performances by George Clooney and the rest; Wes Anderson's quirky style translates well to children's films.  4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 30, 2009, 12:20:50 PM
RED CLIFF (2008): Absolutely thrilled (and shocked) that this came to town.  The independent kingdoms of Xu and Wu form an alliance against the invading forces of the Han dynasty, led by the power mad Prime Minster Cao Cao, and their badly outnumbered forces make a stand at the fortress of Red Cliff.  With a cast of thousands, the spectacular battles were expected, but what was not expected was the minute attention to battle tactics which makes it believable that the side with the better military strategists could defeat the side with the overwhelming advantage in troops.  John Woo is back!  This is my favorite movie of 2008, too bad I didn't see it until 2009.  5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on December 30, 2009, 01:52:15 PM
RED CLIFF (2008): Absolutely thrilled (and shocked) that this came to town.  The independent kingdoms of Xu and Wu form an alliance against the invading forces of the Han dynasty, led by the power mad Prime Minster Cao Cao, and their badly outnumbered forces make a stand at the fortress of Red Cliff.  With a cast of thousands, the spectacular battles were expected, but what was not expected was the minute attention to battle tactics which makes it believable that the side with the better military strategists could defeat the side with the overwhelming advantage in troops.  John Woo is back!  This is my favorite movie of 2008, too bad I didn't see it until 2009.  5/5. 

Watched it with my dad a few months back and we both thought it was awful. I thought it wasn't well paced at the beginning and the character development was poor. It seemed Woo payed too much attention to showing off insignificant things such as bird feathers and ripples in water, which all looked CGI. The battle sequences are where this film shines, but again things got a bit too "Kung-Fu Hustle" with people flying in the air... :lookingup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: the ghoul on January 02, 2010, 01:15:07 AM
I saw Sherlock Holmes today.  I had to practically be dragged to the theater for this one, but to my surprise it turned out to be a pretty decent movie.  It actually reminded me a lot of the old Wild Wild West TV series.  It has very similar situations and characters, a similar tone, and it takes place in the same time period.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: El Misfit on January 02, 2010, 07:35:12 PM
I saw Sherlock Holmes today.  I had to practically be dragged to the theater for this one, but to my surprise it turned out to be a pretty decent movie.  It actually reminded me a lot of the old Wild Wild West TV series.  It has very similar situations and characters, a similar tone, and it takes place in the same time period.
saw it today as well  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: SkullBat308 on January 05, 2010, 12:04:20 AM
Avatar- Was kind of leery at first but the movie was good and it did not seem like 3hrs, so I wasn't bored at all :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 06, 2010, 05:32:49 PM
NINE: Celebrity director Guido Contini finds he can't get started on his latest movie script because the women he's romantically entangled with keep bursting into song whenever he's around.  A musical loosely based on the hypothetical love-life of Federico Fellini while he was writing 8 1/2.  Although Daniel Day-Lewis is surprisingly credible as an Italian and the story really is engaging, the problem is that the music just isn't very good, so the songs felt like interruptions to the story.  There was only one song with a memorable melody, everything else was forgettable. The sets, and especially the costumes were amazing; you won't see this many corsets and fishnet stockings outside a fetish porn video!  Unexpectedly (to me) the best number features Fergie.  Penelope Cruz does give the sexiest dance you're likely to see in a long time.  Overall it wasn't as terrible as I'd feared; I just wish the music was better!  2.5/5.         


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on January 08, 2010, 03:02:04 PM
I saw Daybreakers.  It was pretty good, and entertaining.  VERY reminiscent of John Carpenter's earlier works.  Some aspects of the world building, for example, remind me of Escape From New York.  Nothing is shoved in your face, and almost everything is shown to you in an intelligent and subtle way.  Great and very logical world, in fact I'd have liked to have seen more of it.  It's retro, as well, and dark, reminding me a bit of Dark City.  I also liked how a very high percentage of vampires smoke - after all, why not, when you're immortal?

Great cast, everyone is good in it.  There's actually not much WRONG with the movie (other than the normal human refugees are bland), but other than the world building and performances, nothing was quite great.  Just good and solid.  That's not really a complaint, but my praise is somewhat muted.  It is a HUGE improvement on the very flawed Undead, the previous film by the Spierig bros. 

Not as good as Let The Right One In, but it's certainly better than all the other more recent vampire films.

7/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on January 08, 2010, 04:20:27 PM
A few weeks ago I saw Me and Orson Welles.  It wasn't a great film but a very good one, and Christian McKay really did give a great portrayal of Welles.  Recommended to those with any interest in theater or Orson Welles.

Last Sunday I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox which was really great, really entertaining.  I usually enjoy stop-motion animation and this had some excellent work in it.

I just got back from The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.  I feel kind of conflicted on it at the moment.  It probably won't end up as one of my favorite Terry Gilliam films, but it's certainly one of the more interesting and bizarre that he's done.  I need to see it again sometime soon.  Try to see it if it's playing near you 'cause it probably won't be out long or in many cities despite some star power.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 08, 2010, 08:35:54 PM

I just got back from The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus... Try to see it if it's playing near you 'cause it probably won't be out long or in many cities despite some star power.

Yeah, that worries me.  I usually can only catch one movie in theaters per week, and I'm sure ANTICHRIST will only be in town for one week (surprised it's here at all).  If I knew for sure IMAGINARIUM would be in town next week, I'd hold off on it until next week.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on January 20, 2010, 04:04:53 PM
Last night I saw Up in the Air.  It's very amusing and enjoyable, and although I get the feeling that it's already overrated by the critics I do recommend seeing it.

Earlier this afternoon I saw Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.  I was shocked and pleased to see this playing in town (and it's going to be gone after tomorrow) 'cause I love me some Herzog.  While it won't go down as one of my favorites of his (for now), it's worthwhile just to watch Nicolas Cage as a drugged-out, hunch-backed cop doing what he can to score more dope.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 28, 2010, 11:49:48 AM
THE LOVELY BONES: A murdered 14-year old girl watches her family search for her killer from the afterlife. With it’s mix of fantasy, drama, teen girls and murder, Peter Jackson’s latest superficially hearkens back to his wonderful HEAVENLY CREATURES (1994); unfortunately, the originality and intensity is gone, replaced by Hollywood sentimentality.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 28, 2010, 08:29:42 PM
Finally got around to seeing "Sherlock Holmes"

Singularly unimpressed.

It didn't help that of all the characters in the Holmes canon, Irene Adler is my least favorite.

And the plot line, that was old when it was used in 1985's "Young Sherlock Holmes," which actually showed a little bit more originality than this film.

Oh, I might have been more impressed, if this was the first Sherlock Holmes film, I had seen, but after all the Basil Rathbones, Christopher Plummers, Christopher Lees, Matt Frewers, Peter Cushings, Michael Caines, and Jeremy Bretts, all of whom were more capable in the role, I was just . . .

They just ought to retire the character and promise not to make any more films about him, but, unfortunately, it looks like we'll get a sequel to this.

But looking back, after leaving the theater, what surprised me, was how unimpressed I was in any of the action sequences in the film. I thought last year's "A Christmas Carol" had more impressive action sequences than this one.

Still there were a couple of nice moments in it.

Liked Lestrade's doublecrossing his boss. The unexpected is always nice.

And note Watson's (Law's) limp in the film. A nice homage to Doyle.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 03, 2010, 01:09:14 PM
CRAZY HEART: Has-been country star Bad Blake is stuck in a holding pattern of singing his ancient hits in dives and bowling alleys and drinking himself to death until he decides to clean up hie life and career.  Jeff Bridges superlative performance is always fun to watch and makes it easy to root for him; add in some comedy, a June-November romance, and an uplifting ending and you have a real crowd-pleasing drama.  Going in, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 09, 2010, 08:31:21 PM
"When in Rome" w/ Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, and Danny DeVito.

A pleasant diversion, if nothing more, with a couple of nice surprises.

I was surprised at how well I thought it was written.

And darn, but Danny DeVito is surprisingly vertically challenged. He was even shorter than most of the women in the film. I guess it just goes to prove that you don't need to be tall to be an actor.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on February 12, 2010, 04:05:15 AM
Just watched the new Wolf Man a little while ago.  The scenes of the werewolf tearing folks to bloody shreds are the best parts I'm sad to say.  The script is the weak point; there's a good cast with nothing to really say or do.  There's a good deal of lame CGI, too.  I do think that the werewolf makeup is pretty classy, though, since it kind of resembles the 1941 monster.  If you're gonna watch a new release this weekend it's probably a better choice than the dreadful looking Valentine's Day, just don't go with high hopes.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on February 12, 2010, 04:18:56 AM
I see your little green running man has run away again....  :bluesad:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 12, 2010, 12:38:09 PM
DAYBREAKERS: A plague of vampirism turns 99% of the world's population into vampires; as the bloodsuckers use up their supply of human cattle and the world blood supply dwindles, one human-sympathizing vamp searches for a cure to the disease.  An excellent setup (that would have made a good idea for a novel) gradually turns into a contrived, by-the-numbers action flick; still worth seeing for hemoglobin fans for the unique concept of a society dominated by vampires.  Even as a kid, I never quite understood why vampirism didn't spread so quickly that the entire world didn't quickly turn into vampires with no victims left; I give the writers big points for finally addressing that problem.  Tons of blood and exploding vampires, too, if that's your thing.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on February 12, 2010, 01:17:04 PM
I saw The Wolfman.  It was alright.  Good gore and such, good makeup design.  The main storyline stuff is just kind of meh. 

The original is far superior.  Hardly surprising though.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 19, 2010, 01:07:18 PM
UP IN THE AIR: George Clooney plays a professional ax-man for hire, spending his life traveling around the country hoarding frequent flyer miles, living out of  airports and hotels.  Beautifully acted drama that addresses the contemporary fears of how technology may undermine human connectedness, as well as universal themes of freedom versus commitment.  Definitely one of the better movies of 2009.  4.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: El Misfit on February 20, 2010, 07:18:14 PM
Psycho (1960)- the local theatre was showing Psycho as a classic movie. this is awesome!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: flackbait on February 21, 2010, 01:18:17 AM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitaly worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on February 28, 2010, 09:30:02 AM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitaly worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.
I think pretty much the same.
The action was good, but I found it to be a little too preachy...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on February 28, 2010, 01:48:26 PM
Last night, I saw Legion.

It was what I expected: some good parts but mostly just... typical.

Also some of the supposedly scary parts just seemed like something out of youtube.
That is really the best way to describe it.

I really liked the idea though.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: flackbait on March 01, 2010, 10:21:45 AM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitely worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.
I think pretty much the same.
The action was good, but I found it to be a little too preachy...
I'll admit it definitely is preachy, but I don't think it was really religious zealotry. I endure more preachiness from my Baptist Aunt!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on March 01, 2010, 02:47:24 PM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitely worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.
I think pretty much the same.
The action was good, but I found it to be a little too preachy...
I'll admit it definitely is preachy, but I don't think it was really religious zealotry. I endure more preachiness from my Baptist Aunt!
I didn't say that it was religious zealotry...just a little too preachy.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: flackbait on March 01, 2010, 07:04:25 PM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitely worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.
I think pretty much the same.
The action was good, but I found it to be a little too preachy...
I'll admit it definitely is preachy, but I don't think it was really religious zealotry. I endure more preachiness from my Baptist Aunt!
I didn't say that it was religious zealotry...just a little too preachy.
Sorry, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I kinda wrote that when I was a little tipsy.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 03, 2010, 01:04:28 PM
AVATAR: A paraplegic Marine enters a alien body via telepathic link and goes native on a fantastic forest world, where the innocent forest people teach him the lesson nature=good, military/industrial complex = bad.  Excellent when it focuses on fantastic CGI vistas and action sequences, but kept at a distance from greatness by a derivative plot, hamfisted cliches, and a terminal case of the preachies.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on March 03, 2010, 01:49:02 PM
AVATAR: A paraplegic Marine enters a alien body via telepathic link and goes native on a fantastic forest world, where the innocent forest people teach him the lesson nature=good, military/industrial complex = bad.  Excellent when it focuses on fantastic CGI vistas and action sequences, but kept at a distance from greatness by a derivative plot, hamfisted cliches, and a terminal case of the preachies.  4/5.

And yet you gave it a 4/5? the CGI and action sequences must really have rocked.  :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 04, 2010, 12:15:43 PM
AVATAR: A paraplegic Marine enters a alien body via telepathic link and goes native on a fantastic forest world, where the innocent forest people teach him the lesson nature=good, military/industrial complex = bad.  Excellent when it focuses on fantastic CGI vistas and action sequences, but kept at a distance from greatness by a derivative plot, hamfisted cliches, and a terminal case of the preachies.  4/5.

And yet you gave it a 4/5? the CGI and action sequences must really have rocked.  :teddyr:

Yeah, I thought they did.  It really could have been a classic popcorn movie if not for the distracting preaching by Cameron.  Heck, even my super-liberal friend hated the movie because he thought it was too much.  But the effects and art design really are something to see.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 10, 2010, 12:24:25 PM
THE WHITE RIBBON [DAS WEISSE BAND] (2009): A doctor's horse is tripped by a wire strung between two trees, and other "accidents" start happening around a German village on the eve of WWI.  We get to know the villagers and their sordid secrets quite well in 2.5 hours, but not the solution to the mystery.  Well acted and crafted but a bit obscure, both in plot and purpose. The Cannes Palme D'or Winner (shouldn't have been, in my view). 4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Cthulhu on March 10, 2010, 03:12:30 PM
I just saw The Book of Eli. It's pretty good allthough, I think it could have been better. Its definitely worth a shot if your looking for a decent post-apocaylpse film.
I think pretty much the same.
The action was good, but I found it to be a little too preachy...
I'll admit it definitely is preachy, but I don't think it was really religious zealotry. I endure more preachiness from my Baptist Aunt!
I didn't say that it was religious zealotry...just a little too preachy.
Sorry, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I kinda wrote that when I was a little tipsy.
Hey, no problem at all.
We're cool. :teddyr: :cheers:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: oxode on March 13, 2010, 06:11:48 AM
THE WHITE RIBBON [DAS WEISSE BAND] (2009): A doctor's horse is tripped by a wire strung between two trees, and other "accidents" start happening around a German village on the eve of WWI.  We get to know the villagers and their sordid secrets quite well in 2.5 hours, but not the solution to the mystery.  Well acted and crafted but a bit obscure, both in plot and purpose. The Cannes Palme D'or Winner (shouldn't have been, in my view). 4/5. 

The problem is, "Das Weisse Band" is a very German movie. It is an excellent film, but I was not surprised, that it didn't take the uncivilized world, like the U.S.A., running. I'd say, that even the most germans don't get the point, they only feel by instinct, that it touches an essential part of the German soul. (Do Germans have a soul? I doubt it, but if they have it is dark grey, with some bloodstains on it.)
O.K., back to the movie. In fact, it doesn't tell a story at all. It pictures a state of mind, the state of mind heading to Auschwitz. Ideals turn to principles and principles turn to absurdity and murder.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: oxode on March 13, 2010, 07:52:39 AM
Hard to know where to put this, so I'll put it here.

In honor of Halloween, our local library showed "Carnival of Souls." While I knew of the film, this was my first time to see it. And to whit . . .

(1) A period piece
This was made in 1962 and it shows. As it was a time when people still communicated by letters. People still smoked. And people still rode the bus and train.

(2) A mood piece. Even if you know the story, from the first moment of the film, there is a mood that something will be seriously wrong, and--surprisingly--the film manages to keep up this mood throughout the film, till the end.

(3) Funny
While not a comedy by any means, it is seriously funny in several places.

(4) A simple story
The problem with alot of filmmakers is that they try to make the story too complex, while some of the best films have the simplest stories, as in this case.

(5) Amateur hour.
You can tell that alot of the people in the film had never been in a film before, and for many of them this would be their only film, including the producer and director, Herk Harvey. One would have liked to have seen his encore film, but this would be his one and only feature film. Perhaps because . . .

(6) Unprofitable
While the film cost only about $15,000 (in '60's dollars) to make, Harvey would still lose money on the film.

(7) Too long
This may be an odd thing to say about a film that lasted only 75 minutes and was able to work throughout the length of the film, but as a couple of episodes of "The Twilight
Zone" showed, the story works even better at 30 minutes.

That's the good news. The bad news is that in honor of Halloween, our local library also showed "Twilight," which I did not see.

You're wrong, it was not the directors only film . . . they just had titles like "Foil packaging for fresh productes". He did industrie films before and after.

And by the way, yes all actors have been amateurs . . . but I've seen "professionals" (Ben Affleck, Keanu Reeves, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.) doing much worse.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: oxode on March 13, 2010, 08:11:55 AM
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS  (2009)   **** out of ****.  A truly amazing film and Taratino's best since Pulp Fiction. I have no complaints here. Pretty much flawless filmmaking of the most entertaining order.

Weeeeeel, I have to say, I'm one of the few people who didn't like it at all. I was in fact totally disappointed. Every Tarantino flick had something to remember, but this one was nearly gone before I left the cinema. After a bit trying I just found Mr. Walz as quite nice Nazi and because it had enraged me, a ridiculous so called "Nazi propaganda movie", that even didn't look in any way like a german movie and not a f***ing bit like a Nazi movie. I expected at least Mr. Tarantino to have seen one Riefenstahl movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 13, 2010, 12:45:36 PM
THE WHITE RIBBON [DAS WEISSE BAND] (2009): A doctor's horse is tripped by a wire strung between two trees, and other "accidents" start happening around a German village on the eve of WWI.  We get to know the villagers and their sordid secrets quite well in 2.5 hours, but not the solution to the mystery.  Well acted and crafted but a bit obscure, both in plot and purpose. The Cannes Palme D'or Winner (shouldn't have been, in my view). 4/5. 

The problem is, "Das Weisse Band" is a very German movie. It is an excellent film, but I was not surprised, that it didn't take the uncivilized world, like the U.S.A., running. I'd say, that even the most germans don't get the point, they only feel by instinct, that it touches an essential part of the German soul. (Do Germans have a soul? I doubt it, but if they have it is dark grey, with some bloodstains on it.)
O.K., back to the movie. In fact, it doesn't tell a story at all. It pictures a state of mind, the state of mind heading to Auschwitz. Ideals turn to principles and principles turn to absurdity and murder.


Oxode:  I get that the movie's a meditation on the rise of fascism, but I guess one of my complaints is that I didn't find it to be German enough.  Change a few details and you could set the same story in the USA in the 1910s.  If Haneke's trying to say (as he appears to be doing) that a morally rigid, patriarchal society set the ground for the rise of Nazism... well, that's a small part of the puzzle.  But the same types of societies existed all over the Western world.  If, on the other hand, he's trying to say something more universal about human societies and their capacity for institutional evil, I think his point gets a little bit lost by placing the story in such an incredibly specific time and place.  It's an extremely well-made movie but it left me a little dissatisfied thematically.     


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on March 15, 2010, 11:03:37 AM
  I saw Cop-Out because I've been liking Tracy Morgan lately on 30 Rock. It was better than I thought. I actually laughed out loud several times. It was a bit of a light tribute (or Homage as Morgan's character would have called it) to 80's buddy cop movies. It even featured a soundtrack by Synth King Harold Faltermeyer. It's not great but I did have fun watching it. That Stiffler fella was funny too. If you see it, stay through the credits.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on March 15, 2010, 12:26:25 PM
Last night I saw Shutter Island.

It was decent.  I give it 7.4 out of 13 stars.

It  had some creepy and suspenseful scenes. However, there was so much going on that I'm not even going to try to describe the plot.  I'm not good at describing plots anyway.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 15, 2010, 04:54:34 PM
As for "Carnival of Souls," I know the director made industrial films, before and after he made "Carnival of Souls," and I should have been clearer on that point, The only thing I found disappointing about "Carnival of Souls," which is one of the best films I've ever seen, is that the director did not make more films like that instead of just making more industrial films.

As for more recent theatrical viewings . . .

"Alice in Wonderland"

First, this is not Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," but Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," but having said that, and having read both "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," Burton (IMHO) comes closer to the wierdness inherent in the books than any other film version I've ever seen.

There are a number of other reasons to see it (IMHO)

It is a beautiful film. Even before Alice falls down the rabbit hole, it is a beautiful film. One of the most beautiful films I've ever seen.

It allows Burton to show his feminine side.

Great action. For 29 years, the best battle between man and dragon has been in "Dragonslayer," that I've seen. This one tops that one.

The musical score does more to support the storyline than most film musical scores that I've heard.

The lack of true villains. While the film is populated with fools, both before and after the rabbit hole, few of them are truly villainous.

A good cast. Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Crispin Glover. And the voice talent is not bad neither. Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Michael Gough, and the great Christopher Lee.

But, 116 million reasons, which was the box office take on opening weekend. I'm still trying to digest that nugget of news.

Then, while there was a decline of 45% in the box office for the second weekend, which was less than expected, the film still managed to make almost as much as the next nine films combined, or $64 million. Can you say steamroller?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 17, 2010, 11:34:53 AM
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010): About to be proposed to by a doltish fop, Alice excuses herself to tumble down a rabbit hole where she learns she has been chosen to slay the Jabberwock[y]. Seriously: in this sequel, the poem “Jabberwocky” is a prophecy that predicts Alice will find the vorpal blade and snicker-snack it into the neck of the dreaded Jabberwock[y] on Frabjous Day. Burton’s non-nonsense epic fantasy plays like an original concept by Lewis Carroll that’s been script doctored by J.R.R. Tolkien, then sent back by the corporate suits to add more fight scenes to appeal to boys and a feminist moral about self-actualization for the girls.  The visuals are impressive and Helena Bonham Carter is good as the Red Queen (which is a meaty role that many actresses have been able to go to town on), but overall I found it a bit of a disappointment.  I don't mind changing up Carroll's story if you replace it with something interesting and original rather than a generic "find the magic sword, kill the dragon" plot.

Plus, in my nerdy way it really got under my kin that the characters kept referring to the Jabberwock as the "Jabberwocky," even though Johnny Depp actually read the poem out loud so everyone can hear that the monster is called the Jabberwock.  "Jabberwocky" is the name of the poem and Jabberwock is the character, just like "The Odyssey" is the name of the poem but the character's name is Odysseus.

I guess I disagree with BoyScoutKevin.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: nilbog on March 17, 2010, 04:11:26 PM
I went and saw Mao's Laster Dancer the other day. Quite entertaining. It's based on a true story about a Chinese Ballet dancer who is allowed to go to America for a little bit, and then decides he doesn't want to go back to China - of course the Chinese government try to get him back to China.

Also in the past few weeks I saw ALice in WOnderland (in 3D) - it was fairly average, and also SHutter Island - which was quite good.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: oxode on March 18, 2010, 09:19:45 PM
THE WHITE RIBBON [DAS WEISSE BAND] (2009): A doctor's horse is tripped by a wire strung between two trees, and other "accidents" start happening around a German village on the eve of WWI.  We get to know the villagers and their sordid secrets quite well in 2.5 hours, but not the solution to the mystery.  Well acted and crafted but a bit obscure, both in plot and purpose. The Cannes Palme D'or Winner (shouldn't have been, in my view). 4/5. 

The problem is, "Das Weisse Band" is a very German movie. It is an excellent film, but I was not surprised, that it didn't take the uncivilized world, like the U.S.A., running. I'd say, that even the most germans don't get the point, they only feel by instinct, that it touches an essential part of the German soul. (Do Germans have a soul? I doubt it, but if they have it is dark grey, with some bloodstains on it.)
O.K., back to the movie. In fact, it doesn't tell a story at all. It pictures a state of mind, the state of mind heading to Auschwitz. Ideals turn to principles and principles turn to absurdity and murder.


Oxode:  I get that the movie's a meditation on the rise of fascism, but I guess one of my complaints is that I didn't find it to be German enough.  Change a few details and you could set the same story in the USA in the 1910s.  If Haneke's trying to say (as he appears to be doing) that a morally rigid, patriarchal society set the ground for the rise of Nazism... well, that's a small part of the puzzle.  But the same types of societies existed all over the Western world.  If, on the other hand, he's trying to say something more universal about human societies and their capacity for institutional evil, I think his point gets a little bit lost by placing the story in such an incredibly specific time and place.  It's an extremely well-made movie but it left me a little dissatisfied thematically.     

Hmpf, . . .  I must admit, . . . You put the finger on the dead spot. It seems to be a downpoint, that the picture is too specific. But, maybe only because I like the movie, I'd option, that it was in a manner wise, to stay in Your own pool. The story hits the mark in german history for sure. In american, french or italien it might . . . but it could have also missed.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 24, 2010, 01:03:49 PM
THE GHOST WRITER: A ghost writer (Ewan MacGregor) is assigned to write the memoirs of a retired British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) who is immediately engulfed in a scandal; the previous ghost writer died under suspicious circumstances.  Very twisty script requires you to pay attention, but there are lots of dry spots where your mind will be tempted to wander.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on March 25, 2010, 08:04:25 AM
but I was not surprised, that it didn't take the uncivilized world, like the U.S.A., running. I'd say, that even the most germans don't get the point, they only feel by instinct, that it touches an essential part of the German soul. (Do Germans have a soul? I doubt it, but if they have it is dark grey, with some bloodstains on it.

Wow, that's probably one of the most disgustingly arrogant comments I have ever had the displeasure of reading on this forum. Who crawled up your butt?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: nilbog on March 26, 2010, 05:35:01 PM
I went and saw How to train your Dragon the other day. It's a great movie - definitely better than your typical Dreamworks Animation film. The 3D experience was amazing - right up there with Avatar.

It has a great engagfing story. Really a great animated film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 05, 2010, 11:20:12 AM
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: A misfit boy tends to a wounded dragon, the ancestral enemy of his Viking race.  A bit light on character and comedy, but spectacular dragon flights and battle scenes more than make up for any deficiencies.  Another DreamWorks winner, likely to end up as the best children's movie of 2010.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 07, 2010, 10:57:53 AM
GREENBERG: Released from the hospital after a nervous breakdown, 40 year old Greenberg (Ben Stiller) takes care of his brother family's dog and romances their shy and awkward personal assistant while they are on vacation.  Semi-comic character study of an unpleasant but believably damaged adult adolescent; the script sometimes is as unfocused as the character itself.  Greta Gerwig upstages Stiller in both the acting and likability departments as the love interest with pathologically low self esteem.   3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 12, 2010, 04:38:15 PM
Nicholas Spark's "The Last Song" w/ Miley Cyrus.

Obviously, not the greatest film ever made, but I found it interesting. Maybe because it is one of the few films I've seen, where I actually read the book, before seeing the film.
Thus, I found the changes between book and film interesting.

Location
book: Norch Carolina
film: Georgia

Jonah wears glasses
book: Yes
film: No

Family has car
book: No
film: Yes

Items shoplifted
book: Music cds
film: jewelry

Mikey's death
book: six years previously
film: one year previously

And what I found most interesting. In the book there is no indication to the race of the Baptist preacher. He could be black, blue, or green for all I know. But, in the film he's played by a black actor. Thus, did casting say: "We need a black actor. Find the best black actor to play the part." or Did casting say: "Find the best actor to play the part." And the best actor just happened to be black.

That was the minor changes in the film. I also found the major changes made interesting.
Such as . . .

Simply the plot.
Simply the characters
Play down the religion in the book.
Play up the humor in the book.

All I guess to make the film more palpable for audiences.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 13, 2010, 03:43:35 PM
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2009): Complicated Swedish mystery/thriller involving a forty year old unsolved murder with more than thirty suspects, an investigative reporter who's been framed for libel, and a technogeek punkette who investigates the reporter for reasons of her own.  Satisfying puzzler where the detective is more interesting than the investigation; contains a rape/revenge subplot that some may find graphic and disturbing.  From a series of novels, intended as the start of a franchise. Worth seeing if you like dark detective stories.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Killer Bees on April 19, 2010, 09:30:55 PM
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Clash of the Titans - 3D
The Book of Eli
Kick Ass

I'm just loving the cinema these days.

Will be seeing Legion when it comes out.  Seriously, who can resist angels with guns?  :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on April 19, 2010, 09:41:43 PM
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Clash of the Titans - 3D
The Book of Eli
Kick Ass

I'm just loving the cinema these days.

Will be seeing Legion when it comes out.  Seriously, who can resist angels with guns?  :teddyr:

I saw  Legion  and it was entertaining, but loads of different things could have been done better.   I'm not going to name specifics, but some parts weren't even cheesy fun, but rather just...  painful.

It's definitely worth a watch though! But only if you want a totally cheesy movie.

 On a side note (months later I still can't get over this) I met the guy (Doug Jones) that plays the Ice Cream Man. Totally great guy.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Killer Bees on April 20, 2010, 12:33:46 AM
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Clash of the Titans - 3D
The Book of Eli
Kick Ass

I'm just loving the cinema these days.

Will be seeing Legion when it comes out.  Seriously, who can resist angels with guns?  :teddyr:

I love that guy!  How did you manage to meet him? 

I forgot to add I've seen Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro too
I saw  Legion  and it was entertaining, but loads of different things could have been done better.   I'm not going to name specifics, but some parts weren't even cheesy fun, but rather just...  painful.

It's definitely worth a watch though! But only if you want a totally cheesy movie.

 On a side note (months later I still can't get over this) I met the guy (Doug Jones) that plays the Ice Cream Man. Totally great guy.




Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on April 20, 2010, 03:59:20 PM
Killer Bees - I met Doug at a horror convention here in Maryland last September.  He was so friendly!  As soon as we said hello, he gave me a huge hug!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 21, 2010, 01:07:40 PM
KICK ASS: Nerdy kid decides to become a superhero, becomes a youtube and media sensation, then is drawn into more trouble than he can handle when he meets a father/daughter team of real masked vigilantes.  Teen wish-fulfillment fantasy with too much cheap "black comedy" violence; it loses whatever charm it had upon the introduction of a ten-year old foul-mouthed sadist.  It's also very Hollywood and very predictable.  I realize most here disagree with me on this one, but this was a disappointment.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on April 21, 2010, 01:42:39 PM
KICK ASS: Nerdy kid decides to become a superhero, becomes a youtube and media sensation, then is drawn into more trouble than he can handle when he meets a father/daughter team of real masked vigilantes.  Teen wish-fulfillment fantasy with too much cheap "black comedy" violence; it loses whatever charm it had upon the introduction of a ten-year old foul-mouthed sadist.  It's also very Hollywood and very predictable.  I realize most here disagree with me on this one, but this was a disappointment.  2.5/5.

Yeah, it's interesting to note this.  I'm not going to get into details as it'd be spoilerific, but almost every major narrative change from the Kick-Ass comic for the film adaptation served to make the film more "Hollywoodish" and predictable.  I liked a lot of the non-structural changes in the film (like what Big Daddy is like, and the slight expansion of Kick-Ass's two friends), but felt the structural changes weren't as good.

Ok, I'll get into a couple spoilers...

***SPOILERS FOR COMIC AND THE FILM***


The most obvious difference is the love interest - Kick-Ass doesn't get her in the comic.  Which is a little more believable.  I felt the comic was overly cruel in the way this situation turns out for Kick-Ass, though.  Another major difference is Red Mist just appears - you know he's the son of a crime boss, but you don't know until the end that he's betraying Kick-Ass.  And, as you may guess, the ending is a lot less over-the-top, and Kick-Ass doesn't do much of anything in it (no jetpack).


***END***


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on April 21, 2010, 03:07:20 PM
KICK ASS: Nerdy kid decides to become a superhero, becomes a youtube and media sensation, then is drawn into more trouble than he can handle when he meets a father/daughter team of real masked vigilantes.  Teen wish-fulfillment fantasy with too much cheap "black comedy" violence; it loses whatever charm it had upon the introduction of a ten-year old foul-mouthed sadist.  It's also very Hollywood and very predictable.  I realize most here disagree with me on this one, but this was a disappointment.  2.5/5.

You don't even know how warm and fuzzy inside you have made me by disliking this movie.  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 21, 2010, 06:33:07 PM
I'm happy to make you warm and fuzzy, Circus.  I was afraid everyone was falling over themselves so fast to praise this thing that I would be ostracized for not really liking it.

Jim H, although I never read the novel I noticed exactly the point you did about the romantic interest and thought it was badly handled and unbelievable.  Also, at another point the heroes look to be in a jam they can't possibly get out of, but anyone who's seen more than two or three movies knows exactly how they are going to be rescued, taking all of the supposed tension out of the scene.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on April 21, 2010, 06:37:38 PM
I have not seen Kick Ass but I have now decided not to.  I was on the fence about seeing it.  It looked like it had the potential to be good but it seems like it's average, predictable, and annoying.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Killer Bees on April 22, 2010, 11:30:07 PM
Killer Bees - I met Doug at a horror convention here in Maryland last September.  He was so friendly!  As soon as we said hello, he gave me a huge hug!
Okay, now I'm jealous!

He was great in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and the Hellboy movies.  It was the Hellboy movies that I became aware of him.

I can completely believe that he would be a wonderful man.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 04, 2010, 06:52:00 PM
Ye-es.

"Oceans"

Disneynature's "Oceans"

One of those symbiotic films that benefit both parties. Disney gets a film it can show in theaters without spending the money to make it, and the filmmakers get a wider audience for their film and an additional revenue stream.

Several surprises.

I actually liked this film better than several of the films I've seen more recently in theaters. I found the excitement more exciting. The emotions more emoting.

And while I'm use to seeing the seabed as a colorful collection of coral formations, most seabeds are actually more mundane. Either totally sandy, totally rocky, totally weedy, or more than one and hardly that colorful.

And, apparently, part of the film was shot off the coastal waters of the state in which I currently live Texas.

And yes, there will be a film for Earth Day, April 22, 2011. "African Cats" (i.e. cheetahs and lions.)


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 15, 2010, 12:09:11 PM
I liked OCEANS even better than BoyScoutKevin.

OCEANS: Amazing documentary footage chronicling the vast variety marine life.  It's all about the images, and thanks to technological advances it's no exaggeration to say these are some of the most awe-inspiring, never-before-seen pictures captured in the history of cinema.  A scene where dive-bombing seagulls attack a school of sardines will likely go down as the best action sequence of 2010.  Needs to be seen on the big screen.  5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 18, 2010, 02:41:25 PM
I had the choice of going to see a documentary for $3, or IRON MAN 2 for $6.  Screw you, Hollywood!

THE ART OF THE STEAL (2009): Documentary on the political infighting in the struggle to control the Barnes Foundation, a charitable trust that owns over $4 billion dollars in post-Impressionist masterpieces.  Surprisingly interesting (if one sided) tale of love of money triumphing over the love of art; how many movies will you ever see where the Pew Charitable Trust and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are the bad guys? 3.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 25, 2010, 03:26:42 PM
MACGRUBER: A cowardly, incompetent ex-80s action hero must save the world from a nuclear warhead.  Action film parody with a few chuckles, a "hero" you can't possibly root for, and lots of grossout scenes.  From a Saturday Night Live skit.  2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 25, 2010, 06:51:26 PM
Ye-es.

"Robin Hood" w/ Russel Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, and Max Von Sydow.

Russel Crowe was an acceptable Robin Hood, but his performance--for me--did not surpass the performances of many of the actors who previously performed in the role.

Cate Blanchett was a good Marian, but did she surpass Olivia De Haviland's and/or Audrey Hepburns performance in the role? No.

Eileen Atkins was a good Queen Eleanor, but did she surpass Katherine Hepburn, who played the character twice, performance? Again no.

And thus it goes. Most of the performances were acceptable, but none of the performances surpassed the previous performances of that particular character.

And the weaknesses?

The villains.
Both the factual and the fictional.

You had to love Oscar Isaac's pefromance as Prince John, but he came nowhere near Claude Rains' performance in the role.

As for Mark Strong as the fictional Godfrey, you really needed someone more like Basil Rathbone's Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone. Now there were two great villains. The brain and the brawn.

And the ending . . . ?

That had to be one of the worst endings I've ever seen for a film. It should have ended with John signing the Magna Carta, which it didn't. Instead, they had to leave an opening for a sequel instead of an ending that was satisfactory.

It was intersting that seemingly from the very beginning they seemed to be trying to make a film that appeared to Scotsmen, Welshmen, women and children. Even though the language, nudity, sex, and especially the violence made it one of the most unacceptable films for children I've seen.

The first are apparently new, but the appeal to women and children was neither new nor original, as there has been . . . "Robin and Marian," "Son of Robin Hood," "Robin Hood, Jr." etc.

Thus call the film an interpretation for 2010, but they have been interpreting and reinterpreting the role since Douglas Fairbanks, sr. took on the role of Robin Hood almost ninety years ago.

And if you are going to reinterpret something, it better surpass the most of the interpretations. And this one doesn't.

Thus, it was not a bad film, but neither was it that good, just mediocre. Like so many of the films I saw this year and last.

While I can't totally recommend the film, I can recommend the paperback tie-in by Davud B. Coe. As like many book tie-ins to a film, it fills in plot holes and adds added depth to the characters.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Newt on May 25, 2010, 07:25:47 PM
Thus call the film an interpretation for 2010...it was not a bad film, but neither was it that good, just mediocre. Like so many of the films I saw this year and last.

Sounds about right then: as an interpretation for 2010.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on May 25, 2010, 10:28:53 PM
MACGRUBER: A cowardly, incompetent ex-80s action hero must save the world from a nuclear warhead.  Action film parody with a few chuckles, a "hero" you can't possibly root for, and lots of grossout scenes.  From a Saturday Night Live skit.  2/5.
Personally, I'd rank it a little higher.  Maybe 3.5/5.  Val Kilmer gave a few laughs in it.  MacGruber using his partner as a human bulletproof vest, always removing his car stereo so it doesn't get stolen, the celery as a distraction bit, and finally getting his revenge on the owner of the car who made fun of his car. :bouncegiggle:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on May 26, 2010, 01:16:13 AM
I just saw Clash of the Titans (2010).  I ended up enjoying it a bit more than I expect to.  Probably helped that I saw it with a free ticket thing.

Liam Neeson is well-cast as Zeus, but he has literally like 10 lines.  Hades has like 15.  It's kind of strange having big name actors in these parts with very expensive costuming and heavily featured in the ads, but then they have such small amounts of screen time. 

Otherwise..  Perseus in this one is a very bland character.  He has no real motivation other than revenge.  Sam Worthington is OK in the part, but he isn't given anything to work with - for some perspective, his character in Avatar is similarly played but more fleshed out (despite still being a pretty flat character).  He has several guys that go with him, and even a monstrous character that teams up with him, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is a more compelling character.  So are all the villains.  This is a very common problem in newer films, and even books (like the Harry Potter books, where Harry himself is the blandest character in the entire series, right down to minor supporting characters). 

I understand the need to have a grounded character, but that doesn't mean make him boring. 

Plotwise, it's kind of eh.  Follows a similar structure to the original.  The new twists involving the god's source of power seems strange to me.  Just, kind of blah.

Still, there are some entertaining action sequences, a few good CG beasties, and even though the lead is boring, many of the side characters are worth watching (I liked the djinn best).

6/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 26, 2010, 11:26:00 AM
MACGRUBER: A cowardly, incompetent ex-80s action hero must save the world from a nuclear warhead.  Action film parody with a few chuckles, a "hero" you can't possibly root for, and lots of grossout scenes.  From a Saturday Night Live skit.  2/5.
Personally, I'd rank it a little higher.  Maybe 3.5/5.  Val Kilmer gave a few laughs in it.  MacGruber using his partner as a human bulletproof vest, always removing his car stereo so it doesn't get stolen, the celery as a distraction bit, and finally getting his revenge on the owner of the car who made fun of his car. :bouncegiggle:

I could be talked into going as high as 2.5, but no higher!  You mentioned most of the funny parts.  I laughed out loud a few times, but that was it.  Would have been OK as a DVD rental, not worth the price of a matinee ticket IMO.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on May 26, 2010, 10:21:28 PM
MACGRUBER: A cowardly, incompetent ex-80s action hero must save the world from a nuclear warhead.  Action film parody with a few chuckles, a "hero" you can't possibly root for, and lots of grossout scenes.  From a Saturday Night Live skit.  2/5.
Personally, I'd rank it a little higher.  Maybe 3.5/5.  Val Kilmer gave a few laughs in it.  MacGruber using his partner as a human bulletproof vest, always removing his car stereo so it doesn't get stolen, the celery as a distraction bit, and finally getting his revenge on the owner of the car who made fun of his car. :bouncegiggle:

I could be talked into going as high as 2.5, but no higher!  You mentioned most of the funny parts.  I laughed out loud a few times, but that was it.  Would have been OK as a DVD rental, not worth the price of a matinee ticket IMO.   
Prices at the movies are insane.  Paid $9.50 just for the ticket.  Went to get a SMALL soda and it was $3.95 and I just laughed at the girl, walking away not buying it.  Me personally, I thought it was worth it, but I'm a fan of the skits on SNL (which, if you've never seen, all last about 45 seconds and end with him blowing up.)  The fact that they were somehow able to stretch it into a 90 minute film that's more than him just blowing up gets some credit in my opinon.

Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I will be buying the dvd. :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 27, 2010, 11:05:55 AM
MACGRUBER: A cowardly, incompetent ex-80s action hero must save the world from a nuclear warhead.  Action film parody with a few chuckles, a "hero" you can't possibly root for, and lots of grossout scenes.  From a Saturday Night Live skit.  2/5.
Personally, I'd rank it a little higher.  Maybe 3.5/5.  Val Kilmer gave a few laughs in it.  MacGruber using his partner as a human bulletproof vest, always removing his car stereo so it doesn't get stolen, the celery as a distraction bit, and finally getting his revenge on the owner of the car who made fun of his car. :bouncegiggle:

I could be talked into going as high as 2.5, but no higher!  You mentioned most of the funny parts.  I laughed out loud a few times, but that was it.  Would have been OK as a DVD rental, not worth the price of a matinee ticket IMO.   
Prices at the movies are insane.  Paid $9.50 just for the ticket.  Went to get a SMALL soda and it was $3.95 and I just laughed at the girl, walking away not buying it.  Me personally, I thought it was worth it, but I'm a fan of the skits on SNL (which, if you've never seen, all last about 45 seconds and end with him blowing up.)  The fact that they were somehow able to stretch it into a 90 minute film that's more than him just blowing up gets some credit in my opinon.

Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I will be buying the dvd. :wink:

I think I paid $5 for a bargain matinee.  The prices really are outrageous.  I'll often see things at the "dollar" theater, where I can pay $3-5 per ticket.  Concessions are ridiculous, but I really want that popcorn... and I can't eat it without a drink to wash it down... 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: aaachuemm on May 27, 2010, 09:39:44 PM
My last viewing was The Dark Knight. I am exicited with it . :bouncegiggle:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on May 27, 2010, 10:56:13 PM

I think I paid $5 for a bargain matinee.  The prices really are outrageous.  I'll often see things at the "dollar" theater, where I can pay $3-5 per ticket.  Concessions are ridiculous, but I really want that popcorn... and I can't eat it without a drink to wash it down... 

I WISH we had a dollar theater here: the cheapest we get is about $10 on 'Cheap ass tuesdays.'



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 03, 2010, 04:20:37 PM
A PROPHET [UNE PROHETE]: An uneducated Arab is sent to prison on a minor assault charge, and finds himself coerced into joining the Corsican mob; it turns out that he's an organized crime prodigy.  Excellent prison/crime drama with plenty of factional intrigue, backstabbing and a few action sequences; pretty close to THE GODFATHER with subtitles.  5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 04, 2010, 01:14:39 PM
I just saw Splice.

Maybe it'd be better to let it sit for a while..  But as is, I thought it was a pretty good film with a bad ending. 

In brief: good acting (special mention to Delphine Marceau, who makes a very believable performance out of purely physical acting), some good writing, the film looks good.  Great effects work on Dren.  The basic, ah, "human" drama is generally good and believable.  The horror elements are actually fairly minor up until the last like 15 minutes, then they're amped up and the film kind of lost me.  To say more would get into heavy spoiler territory.  It wasn't HORRIBLY bad as an ending, just disappointing, and didn't feel like a natural transition (despite the earlier horror scenes suitably leading up to it) - pun intended.

7/10.  A good ending could have easily brought this to an 8. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 04, 2010, 04:16:58 PM
I just saw Splice.

Maybe it'd be better to let it sit for a while..  But as is, I thought it was a pretty good film with a bad ending. 

In brief: good acting (special mention to Delphine Marceau, who makes a very believable performance out of purely physical acting), some good writing, the film looks good.  Great effects work on Dren.  The basic, ah, "human" drama is generally good and believable.  The horror elements are actually fairly minor up until the last like 15 minutes, then they're amped up and the film kind of lost me.  To say more would get into heavy spoiler territory.  It wasn't HORRIBLY bad as an ending, just disappointing, and didn't feel like a natural transition (despite the earlier horror scenes suitably leading up to it) - pun intended.

7/10.  A good ending could have easily brought this to an 8. 

I think you're not alone in that opinion, Jim.  A number of reviewers seem to be complaining about the ending.  I still may see it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 04, 2010, 11:05:00 PM
I think Vincenzo Natalie may have problems with endings.  Cube suffered from a somewhat similar problem, though it was much, much worse in Cube (Cube's ending ruins the logic of the entire film). 

Still, I do think the film is worth seeing for its other merits - and I think the film is relatively brave content-wise for such a wide theatrical release (some 2500 screens, if memory serves), so I'm glad to support it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 05, 2010, 12:06:49 PM
I think Vincenzo Natalie may have problems with endings.  Cube suffered from a somewhat similar problem, though it was much, much worse in Cube (Cube's ending ruins the logic of the entire film). 


I don't recall having a problem with CUBE's ending.  I'll have to pay attention next time I watch it. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: WingedSerpent on June 06, 2010, 06:07:35 PM
I just saw Splice.

Maybe it'd be better to let it sit for a while..  But as is, I thought it was a pretty good film with a bad ending. 

In brief: good acting (special mention to Delphine Marceau, who makes a very believable performance out of purely physical acting), some good writing, the film looks good.  Great effects work on Dren.  The basic, ah, "human" drama is generally good and believable.  The horror elements are actually fairly minor up until the last like 15 minutes, then they're amped up and the film kind of lost me.  To say more would get into heavy spoiler territory.  It wasn't HORRIBLY bad as an ending, just disappointing, and didn't feel like a natural transition (despite the earlier horror scenes suitably leading up to it) - pun intended.

7/10.  A good ending could have easily brought this to an 8. 

I think you're not alone in that opinion, Jim.  A number of reviewers seem to be complaining about the ending.  I still may see it.

I agree. I just got back from seeing Splice and was about to make a post on it.  But you covered a lot of what I was going to say.  It's really more of a Sci-Fi drama then the horror movie a lot of the advertisement is making it out to be.  Overall, I liked the film though.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: WingedSerpent on June 06, 2010, 06:09:53 PM
In the same day I saw Splice I also saw Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.   It wasn't bad.  It was proclaimed by some to be the movie that lifts video game based movies into a higher standing.  While better then most, it was still a standard adventure film. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 08, 2010, 01:44:19 AM
I think Vincenzo Natalie may have problems with endings.  Cube suffered from a somewhat similar problem, though it was much, much worse in Cube (Cube's ending ruins the logic of the entire film). 


I don't recall having a problem with CUBE's ending.  I'll have to pay attention next time I watch it. 

Well, in brief

***SPOILERS***


They establish that the savant they have with them, helped by the math girl, is the only way to find which rooms are safe and the proper way to proceed through the proper numbers to the exit point.  They also establish that the cube periodically shifts rooms around, and (if I recall right) if they don't hurry to keep up it will be impossible to reach the exit in time (as it would take weeks to do it again).  They abandon the violent cop due to his murderous/rapist tendencies, and proceed through numerous rooms without him, and at one point the cube rooms shift when he's not with them - meaning it should now be IMPOSSIBLE for him to follow them at all, regardless of the math bits, since the exits wouldn't be lined up in trap free rooms anymore.

Only, when they reach the exit, he somehow catches up to them.  Meaning, he broke the logic of the cube somehow, and even if THAT wasn't true, he still got incredibly lucky and somehow simply guessed the correct exit each time (six in each room) many times in a row to successfully follow them.  Either way, it's completely ridiculous.

**END**

I think they should have just ended it with the three characters looking at the white outside the cube, and then cut to black.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 08, 2010, 10:49:10 AM
I think Vincenzo Natalie may have problems with endings.  Cube suffered from a somewhat similar problem, though it was much, much worse in Cube (Cube's ending ruins the logic of the entire film).  


I don't recall having a problem with CUBE's ending.  I'll have to pay attention next time I watch it.  

Well, in brief

***SPOILERS***


They establish that the savant they have with them, helped by the math girl, is the only way to find which rooms are safe and the proper way to proceed through the proper numbers to the exit point.  They also establish that the cube periodically shifts rooms around, and (if I recall right) if they don't hurry to keep up it will be impossible to reach the exit in time (as it would take weeks to do it again).  They abandon the violent cop due to his murderous/rapist tendencies, and proceed through numerous rooms without him, and at one point the cube rooms shift when he's not with them - meaning it should now be IMPOSSIBLE for him to follow them at all, regardless of the math bits, since the exits wouldn't be lined up in trap free rooms anymore.

Only, when they reach the exit, he somehow catches up to them.  Meaning, he broke the logic of the cube somehow, and even if THAT wasn't true, he still got incredibly lucky and somehow simply guessed the correct exit each time (six in each room) many times in a row to successfully follow them.  Either way, it's completely ridiculous.

**END**

I think they should have just ended it with the three characters looking at the white outside the cube, and then cut to black.

I take it back; now that you refresh my memory I do recall being disappointed at the cop's reappearance.  I forgave that misstep because the rest of the movie was so good and original, however.

I was assuming you were referring to the very last shot... the shot of the "outside."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 08, 2010, 12:20:06 PM
Quote
I take it back; now that you refresh my memory I do recall being disappointed at the cop's reappearance.  I forgave that misstep because the rest of the movie was so good and original, however.

Yeah, I don't think it destroyed the entire film, but unsatisfying endings really hurt the experience in a film like that.  Particularly when the characters and ideas are actually compelling, as in Cube.

While I do think some open/ambiguous endings are a bit irritating (sometimes I think they use them when they just can't think of an appropriate ending) otherwise I was OK with Cube's ending.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 08, 2010, 03:30:01 PM
THE SECRET OF KELLS (2009): A young boy living in the monastery of Kells is caught in the clash between paganism and early Christianity in a story that involves pillaging Vikings, wood spirits, sleeping gods, and magical talismans.  An dreamlike fairytale with an amazing visual look, a cross between a children's storybook and the actual historical Book of Kells, with each frame of the film full of baroque detail, sometimes decorated with spinning geometric aemobae floating around the image.   Catch this one if you can; it's now my favorite movie of 2009.  5/5.       

(http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/politics/files/2009/02/secret-of-kells.jpg)
(http://taniamann.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/secret_of_kells_aislingseye1.jpg)
(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6518/secretofkells1s.jpg)
(http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3633/secretofkells2s.jpg)


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on June 08, 2010, 04:45:34 PM
THE SECRET OF KELLS (2009): A young boy living in the monastery of Kells is caught in the clash between paganism and early Christianity in a story that involves pillaging Vikings, wood spirits, sleeping gods, and magical talismans.  An dreamlike fairytale with an amazing visual look, a cross between a children's storybook and the actual historical Book of Kells, with each frame of the film full of baroque detail, sometimes decorated with spinning geometric aemobae floating around the image.   Catch this one if you can; it's now my favorite movie of 2009.  5/5.       

([url]http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/politics/files/2009/02/secret-of-kells.jpg[/url])
([url]http://taniamann.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/secret_of_kells_aislingseye1.jpg[/url])
([url]http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6518/secretofkells1s.jpg[/url])
([url]http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3633/secretofkells2s.jpg[/url])


I’m surprised I haven’t heard of it. My wife was born in Ireland and her father is quite the expert on Irish mythology and history. He is coming for a visit in a couple of days and it wouldn’t surprise me if he already knows about this film. My wife grew up in Irish dance and it’s pretty customary for their traditional dance costumes to have designs from the Book of Kells. I’ll have to check this one out. I love Brendon Gleeson.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 08, 2010, 05:10:53 PM
THE SECRET OF KELLS (2009): A young boy living in the monastery of Kells is caught in the clash between paganism and early Christianity in a story that involves pillaging Vikings, wood spirits, sleeping gods, and magical talismans.  An dreamlike fairytale with an amazing visual look, a cross between a children's storybook and the actual historical Book of Kells, with each frame of the film full of baroque detail, sometimes decorated with spinning geometric aemobae floating around the image.   Catch this one if you can; it's now my favorite movie of 2009.  5/5.       

([url]http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/politics/files/2009/02/secret-of-kells.jpg[/url])
([url]http://taniamann.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/secret_of_kells_aislingseye1.jpg[/url])
([url]http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6518/secretofkells1s.jpg[/url])
([url]http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3633/secretofkells2s.jpg[/url])


I’m surprised I haven’t heard of it. My wife was born in Ireland and her father is quite the expert on Irish mythology and history. He is coming for a visit in a couple of days and it wouldn’t surprise me if he already knows about this film. My wife grew up in Irish dance and it’s pretty customary for their traditional dance costumes to have designs from the Book of Kells. I’ll have to check this one out. I love Brendon Gleeson.


It was nominated for the "Best Animated Feature" Academy Award last year, but had no shot to win considering it was a foreign film up against Disney and Pixar.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on June 09, 2010, 05:25:10 AM
Hey I had heard about Secret of Kells and really wanted to watch it at the time, but simply forgot about it!

Glad you reminded me: this is now at the top of my 'animated movies to watch' list!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 09, 2010, 05:34:30 PM
"Prince of Persia"

Not the most intelligent action film I've ever seen, but with characters . . .

You think you can trust, but can't.
You think you can't trust, but can.
You think you can trust, but can't, but can

One of the most interesting action films I've seen.

It also helps that the almost non-stop action starts almost right from the beginning and seldom lets up from there.

And great axe work
great knife work
great spear work
great sword work
great whip work
and some great shooting.

This has more great weapons work than any two films.

And the individual combat between the knife throwing IkBaka vs. the bolt throwing Hassansin, has to be one of the best combat scenes between individuals I've ever seen in a film.

And that running up the walls and across the roofs. It's called Parkour. And some people not only consider it a stunt, but also a sport.

The only thing I found wrong it, with less reason, was like in "Robin Hood," I found the ending disappointing.

But still, a little bit more original than some of the films I've seen more recently. Some credible acting. And some great lines. I especially like the line refering to Sheik Amir, who talks too much. "My friend, has anyone ever told you that you talk too much." LOL!

Thus, as normal, I found it a better film that alot of critics make it out to be.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 11, 2010, 02:10:36 PM
Saw the A-Team.  It's enjoyable, goofy and sometimes crazy and ridiculous, but really, isn't that EXACTLY what an A-Team movie should be?

Best thing about the movie is definitely the lead characters.  They're all well-acted, work well together, and pretty well-written.  Biggest surprise is definitely Quinton Jackson as BA.  He's actually quite good, and there's more depth to the character than you'd expect.  His character is a little less outrageous than Mr. T's version, but really, ONLY Mr. T could play a character that over the top in his special way.  Sharlto Copley is hilarious, and it looks to me like he improvised a number of his funnier lines.  Audience loved him.  Liam Neeson was Liam Neeson, but that worked great for the character.  Bradley Cooper as Face is also just right.  

I also thought the origin story was good, and several of the set pieces are quite entertaining.  I really enjoyed the tank scene, which is just as ludicrous as it looked in the trailers.  But it was fun to watch.

But, this is not a perfect film.  Far from it.  It's biggest weakness is definitely the central plot and villains.  The one villain gets one great scene in a car as inexperienced CIA agents plot to kill him, but is otherwise completely unremarkable.  Another villain is just kind of dull, though his acting is OK.  The finale sequences is just not as good as the earlier stuff, and goes a little overboard in the amount of stuff going on (think Stephen Sommers and his love of CG).  And Murdock is not really given anything to do in the finale.

Still, it doesn't sink the whole movie or anything.  And I think it's impressive that an action-comedy movie with a "weak central plot and villains" is still as enjoyable as this one.

7/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on June 11, 2010, 02:55:32 PM
Saw the A-Team.  It's enjoyable, goofy and sometimes crazy and ridiculous, but really, isn't that EXACTLY what an A-Team movie should be?

Best thing about the movie is definitely the lead characters.  They're all well-acted, work well together, and pretty well-written.  Biggest surprise is definitely Quinton Jackson as BA.  He's actually quite good, and there's more depth to the character than you'd expect.  His character is a little less outrageous than Mr. T's version, but really, ONLY Mr. T could play a character that over the top in his special way.  Sharlto Copley is hilarious, and it looks to me like he improvised a number of his funnier lines.  Audience loved him.  Liam Neeson was Liam Neeson, but that worked great for the character.  Bradley Cooper as Face is also just right. 

I also thought the origin story was good, and several of the set pieces are quite entertaining.  I really enjoyed the tank scene, which is just as ludicrous as it looked in the trailers.  But it was fun to watch.

But, this is not a perfect film.  Far from it.  It's biggest weakness is definitely the central plot and villains.  The one villain gets one great scene in a car as inexperienced CIA agents plot to kill him, but is otherwise completely unremarkable.  Another villain is just kind of dull, though his acting is OK.  The finale sequences is just not as good as the earlier stuff, and goes a little overboard in the amount of stuff going on (think Stephen Sommers and his love of CG).  And Murdock is not really given anything to do in the finale.

Still, it doesn't sink the whole movie or anything.  And I think it's impressive that an action-comedy movie with a "weak central plot and villains" is still as enjoyable as this one.

7/10.

My only question would be this: does Liam Neeson have a believeable American accent this time?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on June 11, 2010, 08:31:18 PM
Not really.  From what I recall of it, it's better than the one in Taken, but still doesn't sound right.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on June 14, 2010, 01:48:43 PM
Not really.  From what I recall of it, it's better than the one in Taken, but still doesn't sound right.

That always cracks me up. Liam hiding his accent is not quite as bad as Arnie, but it's in the ballpark. Actually quite entertaining to watch him try.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on June 21, 2010, 11:42:41 AM
It's been a very long time since I actually posted anything in this topic, so I'm glad I finally have something to say now:

Shrek 4: Not as good as the first two films, but still better than 3.  I think if this was the final film of the series, I think it provided a decent finale.  I like the What If? story line in this movie and I really found it interesting about how we saw the insight into Fiona's past and how she was so sad and lonely.  I always figured she was sad, but I never knew it got that bad for her.

Toy Story 3: I already said everything I could in another topic about it, but my feelings remain the same.  This was a damn good movie and perfect way to end the series.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 23, 2010, 01:09:31 PM
JONAH HEX: A vengeful bounty hunter who can talk to the dead tries to stop an ex-Confederate terrorist bent on disrupting America's centennial celebration using proto-nuclear weapons.  Loud, dumb, and ludicrous, but at least its not boring.  Not really the big Hollywood flop I was hoping to see, but there's plenty to poke fun at; the lead character can shoot a single bullet into a wooden building and cause an explosion Michael Bay would have thought was too gratuitous.  2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 24, 2010, 11:51:28 AM
TOY STORY 3: A group of toys tries to break out of a daycare center when they are accidentally donated by their owner.  High quality, with a fine mix of comedy, action and sentimentality, just as you would expect from this series. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 03, 2010, 04:15:20 PM
WINTER'S BONE: Against dire warnings, 17-year old girl taking care of her younger siblings and sick mother hunts for her fugitive meth-cook father after he puts the family home up for a bond he intends on skipping.  Well written, better acted tale set among clannish gangsters in rural Missouri; there's early Oscar buzz for star Jennifer Lawrence, and don't be shocked if it gets multiple noms.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ulthar on July 03, 2010, 08:46:35 PM
MARMADUKE (2010)

Mentioned seeing it in the other "Recent Viewings" thread but with no comment.

Imagine PRETTY IN PINK with all the characters being dogs.  That's pretty much this movie.  My children liked the dog-acting stuff, but not as much as ASTRO ZOMBIES I think.

2 of 5; unoriginal, but not quite into self inflicted gunshot wound territory.  Close, but not quite.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 07, 2010, 11:16:52 AM
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (2009): A retired Argentinian barrister can't forget a brutal rape/murder case from earlier in his career, and as he's writing a novel about the case he decides to follow up on loose ends.  Absorbing drama/mystery about inability to let go of the past, for both better and worse.  Winner, 2010 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 13, 2010, 02:56:08 PM
CYRUS: Sweet but troll-like John wonders what too-perfect Molly sees in him; the catch is her overprotective relationship with her oddball adult son.  Reasonably entertaining oedipal romantic comedy/drama with some chuckles, well-defined characters and a pat resolution.  They call it "mumblecore" but that's just meaningless marketing; it looks exactly like pre-mumblecore indie movies.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on July 13, 2010, 03:33:14 PM
WINTER'S BONE: Against dire warnings, 17-year old girl taking care of her younger siblings and sick mother hunts for her fugitive meth-cook father after he puts the family home up for a bond he intends on skipping.  Well written, better acted tale set among clannish gangsters in rural Missouri; there's early Oscar buzz for star Jennifer Lawrence, and don't be shocked if it gets multiple noms.  4.5/5.

  I agree with the Rev. you should check this out. The characters are played by an interesting mix of locals and established actors. Just when you start to think, "These people are too pretty to be murderous backwoods inbred hillbies" along comes a real life Uncle Zeke. Dale Dickey, the Daytime Hooker from My Name is Earl plays a supporting role and she's very good.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 13, 2010, 07:13:51 PM
Dale Dickey, the Daytime Hooker from My Name is Earl plays a supporting role and she's very good.

She was good and I didn't know where I recognized her from until just now!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on July 14, 2010, 12:48:27 AM
Date Night - Good chemistry between the leads is what really makes this film.  The plot is forgettable, some of the action scenes are dull (and the chase scene with the cars is way overdone), and so forth.  But there's some good lines, good chemistry, and some good fun.  Saw this at a local $1 theatre, and it was easily worth that.

7/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on July 14, 2010, 10:32:48 AM
DESPICABLE ME.  Doesn't break any new ground story-wise but it's a lot of fun, with the little minion guys providing most of the humor.  Steve Carell, Russell Brand and Jason Segal are the main voice actors and they all do a good job with their characters, and the kid characters aren't too obnoxious.  It's probably the best utilization of 3D I've seen too (I have not seen How to Train Your Dragon and I've heard that's really well done as well) although I'm getting really tired of 3D.  It was kind of odd that Gru and Vector never have to deal with any heroes, just each other, but on the other hand it made kind of a nice twist on the whole supervillian mythos.  (Worst part of the movie was all the for-kids trailers that ran at the beginning. I wasn't expecting an EXPENDABLES clip or anything but wow....Beware, parents, there is some godawful crap coming your way.)
We went to a 4:00 showing on a Tuesday, which is really the best way to see a movie IMO, because we had the theater mostly to ourselves  :teddyr:  I give the whole experience 8/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 19, 2010, 05:02:45 PM
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" w/ Nic Cage and Al Molina.

A fun film.

Haven't seen most of the actors in a film before, I was surprised at how good the acting was, but I shouldn't be surprised. Most actors are professionals and can turn in a decent peformance in a major film.

And I especially like to point out the acting of character actor Al Molina, if only because his role in this film was diametrically opposed to his role in "Prince of Persia," and he nailed both roles.

A nice car chase scene through the streets of NYC.

And that car, it's one of Nic's cars. I see that it was originally meant to be driven in the U.K., as the steering wheel was on the right. Sometimes you see cars like that driven on the streets of America. The last one I saw right that was over fifty years ago.

What is in the trailer may not be in the film. Missed the scene with the apprentice practicing his plasma bolts, and one misfires, and shatters the tea cup the sorcerer is holding.

And if one sees it, then be sure to stay to the end of the credits. A nice kicker at the end.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on July 19, 2010, 06:39:24 PM
Despicable Me: My thoughts about the movie are about the same as ChaosTheory's are.  The movie's plot isn't one hundred precent original, but the charm, cuteness, and constant supply of humor keeps this film going and going.  The best parts of the film are always supplied by the minions and the youngest of the girls (The one with black hair.  I forget her name at the moment.).

There are a lot of couple clever jokes in there and some interesting stuble shoutouts.  The orphange owner looks and acts like Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter 5 and the bank manager looks like the Pointy Hair Boss from Dilbert!  Concidence, I think not!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 19, 2010, 06:59:01 PM
I loved THE SORCEROR'S APPRENTICE!  It was just a pure fun popcorn movie, not taking itself too seriously, and the homage to FANTASIA was just perfect. Nick Cage was very good in his role, and the finale in Battery Park was most excellent! 

 I cracked up the whole row I was on when I anticipated the line "These aren't the droids you're looking for!" by about two seconds and said it out loud!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 27, 2010, 07:28:20 PM
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (2010): An obsessive Frenchman (Thierry) begins filming graffiti artists for a documentary he never intends to complete; one of his subjects, the reclusive Banksy, decides to use the footage to make a documentary about Thierry instead.  Begins as a mildly diverting documentary about guerrilla street artists, then picks up when Thierry decides to become an artist himself and the film becomes a satire on the easily manipulated patrons of the art world.  There's a school of thought that says this movie is a hoax, and it's easy to see why; you may leave the theater wondering if Banksy's been pulling your leg, or whether life really is stranger than art.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 03, 2010, 04:21:06 PM
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: The lives of a stable lesbian couple become complicated when their daughter decides to contact her biological father, a sperm donor.  It works so hard at trying to make a lesbian family appear "normal" that they actually become ordinary and dull; the movie only works because of pro performances by Benning, Moore and Ruffallo.  This surely won't be to many folks' taste on this board. 3/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 11, 2010, 10:46:10 AM
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK: Like THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD with less plot, this documentary follows the geriatric workaholic through a year of working small nightclubs, celebrity roasts, and reality TV shows as she tries to get back into the public spotlight.  It only works because, even if you don't like Joan's jokes or even Joan herself, you find yourself pulling for her to succeed just because she's working so damn hard. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 15, 2010, 02:49:30 PM
"Step Up 3-D"

From the title, the third one in the series, but the first in 3-D, and the first one I've seen. And after seeing this one, I don't know whether I'll go back and see the other two.

One of those films you only see for the dance routines.

As for the dance routines, WTF?! I didn't think it was humanly possible for a human to do some of the dance moves they did in the film.

As for it being in 3-D, the theater could charge me a premium of $2.50, use to be $2,00, over and above what they normally charge me for a movie ticket.

And as a sidenote, Justin Bieber will soon have his first concert film coming out sometime next year, and when the director originally scheudled to direct the film quit, the director of "Step Up 3-D" has stepped in to take over the directorial duties.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 17, 2010, 06:07:04 PM
MICMACS: A homeless man with a bullet in his brain teams up with a group of misfits (a contortionist, a man who builds gadgets form scarp iron, a human cannonball) to set two arms dealers at war, YOJIMBO style.  There's a lot going on in this film---tributes to silent slapstick comedy, intricate scams and capers, quirky characters, fantasy interludes inside the main character's head---but it's missing a center; you end up admiring the scene stagings rather than rooting for the characters. Had high hopes because it's from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who did AMELIE and before that made two great films with his former partner Marc Caro (DELICATESSAN and CITY OF LOST CHILDREN); this was a bit of a disappointment.  More laughs would have helped; it's not good to be in a nearly silent theater when you're watching a comedy.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 23, 2010, 10:41:33 AM
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD: A bass player must defeat a girl's seven evil exes to win her heart.  Funny, anarchic, very entertaining; at times this seems like something the Monty Python gang might have come up with if they'd been raised on video games and graphic novels.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 14, 2010, 04:35:04 PM
RESTREPO: A mosaic of combat and camaraderie as the camera follows the members of an army company as they complete a 15 month tour in Korangal Valley, considered the most deadly post in the Afghanistan theater.  "Restrepo" refers to a fallen comrade and the outpost they build in his honor.  Objective and apolitical, frightening, heartbreaking: this is an impressive work of photojournalism, and the odds on favorite to win the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary.  A must see for fans of war films.  4.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: SkullBat308 on September 14, 2010, 08:25:11 PM
Just saw Machete and it was cheap night, but I totally would have paid full or even 3D price for this. Hilarious and action packed with gore galore! Could have done without Lohans character and Biels as well, but highly recommended!  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 22, 2010, 05:28:09 PM
THE OTHER GUYS: Mark Wahlberg is a tough cop partnered up with police accountant Will Ferrel after an embarrassing accidental shooting; the mismatched pair get involved in a far reaching corporate crime conspiracy.  Decent, if ultimately forgettable cop-action parody with laughs and plenty of car chases; the best parts involve Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as a pair of super-cops the entire city idolizes.  3/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on September 28, 2010, 06:31:41 PM
"You Again' w/ Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White.

A film about three generations of super competitive women and the men in their lives.

In the old days, this would be known as a women's film, but sometimes you have to watch a film you'd ordinarily not watch, only to see how the other half lives.

I don't know how true to life it was, not being a woman, but even if it is only a little bit true, women can be just as competitive as any man, especially when they get on the dance floor.

An enjoyable film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 28, 2010, 07:00:27 PM
LIFE DURING WARTIME:  I always wanted to see a Todd Solendz film but I never got around to it.  Here, I'm jumping in at the end, as there have been several characters running through his previous films, and I'm not familiar with how they were portrayed before or their backstories.  This one is described as a part sequel of his previous film HAPPINESS (new actors play the characters).

The interlaced story involves a boy about to be bar mitzvahed, his on-the-lam pedophile dad and pill-popping mom, her sister, who sees the ghost of a former lover who committed suicide and is married to a compulsive obscene phone caller, and many other sad nutcases.  It's often described as a black comedy, but although there's plenty of dry and absurd humor, I think it's more a searing philosophical drama about forgiveness.  3.5/5.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 08, 2010, 12:29:43 PM
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:  Antisocial prodigy Mark Zuckerberg invents a billion dollar website, but his arrogant, self-absorbed attitude and control-freak ambition makes him lots of enemies and costs him his few friends. Sharp, witty dialogue, crisp acting and echoes of CITIZEN KANE; Fincher made the best and most human movie possible about by complex intellectual property litigation and corporate stock shenanigans.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on October 11, 2010, 03:48:54 PM
IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY:  A 16 year old kid is uder pressure and depressed and fearing that he will kill himself he checks himself into a psychiatric ward instead. There he meets some very wise mentally ill people as well as a very cute fellow troubled teen and realizes that life doesn't have to be so bad after all. It's a bit of a Hollywood-ized version of a pretty good book about the pressures of being a teen and the realization that life isn't really all cakes and ale.  Like most movies it trivialized the mentally ill a lil' bit, making them seem more quirky than afflicted, but it was meant a a comedy primarily so I gave it a pass.

   The acting was pretty solid and Zach Galifinakis did a surprising job giving his zany character  a seldom seen but deep sadness. There is also asurprise musical number about half way through that should really clue you into the fact that this movie is more a comedy with heart than a drama with some funny.  I give it a solid B.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Sleepyskull on October 11, 2010, 04:01:49 PM
IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY:  A 16 year old kid is uder pressure and depressed and fearing that he will kill himself he checks himself into a psychiatric ward instead. There he meets some very wise mentally ill people as well as a very cute fellow troubled teen and realizes that life doesn't have to be so bad after all. It's a bit of a Hollywood-ized version of a pretty good book about the pressures of being a teen and the realization that life isn't really all cakes and ale.  Like most movies it trivialized the mentally ill a lil' bit, making them seem more quirky than afflicted, but it was meant a a comedy primarily so I gave it a pass.

   The acting was pretty solid and Zach Galifinakis did a surprising job giving his zany character  a seldom seen but deep sadness. There is also asurprise musical number about half way through that should really clue you into the fact that this movie is more a comedy with heart than a drama with some funny.  I give it a solid B.

I've been debating about whether or not to watch that at some point. My main worry is that it will end up unsatisfying and too typical, if that makes any sense. However, it looks like it will be surprisingly good, so someday I will watch it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 13, 2010, 12:14:39 PM
ANIMAL KINGDOM: When his mother overdoses on heroin, a quiet 17-year old boy moves in with his grandmother and four armed robber uncles and is drawn into a life of crime against his will.  Very solid, conventional gangster drama with excellent characters and performances and a good bit of suspense. Australian.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 14, 2010, 07:07:27 PM
"Secretariat" w/ Diane Lane, John Malkobich, James Cromwell, Fred Thompson (yes, that Fred Thompson), Scott Glenn, and the Dylans: Baker and Walsh.

It is debatable whether Secretariat was the greatest racehorse of all time, but he certainly was the greatest racehorse ever to race at Belmont. His winning time and the number of lengths by which he won still stand as records almost forty years later.

Horseracing's Triple Crown. They are not that common, but they do come around each decade, except between 1948, and 1973, when Secretariat won the Triple Crown by winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont. Then surprisingly, we had two more Triple Crown winners in five years. Seattle Slew winning in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978. But then it's been 32 years since Affirmed won.

One does wonder why they decided to  make a film about Secretariat, instead of Seattle Slew, because I was living near Seattle at the time, and Seattle Slew winning was bigger news than Secretariat's win. But, it might be, because Secretariat's owner was a woman, and thus might appeal more to women.

I will say, she was portrayed as a "fighter," and that really impressed me.

And there was more thing about the film that impressed me, and that was how they used music in the film. If there is a difference between filmmakers of yesterday and filmmakers of today, it's that yesterday's filmmakers knew how to use music to enahnce a film, and today's filmmakers for the most part don't know how to use music to enhance a film. This was an exception to the rule. Of course, the filmmakers had it somewhat easy. Just use the music from the early '70's in the film. Whjich (IMHO) was the last good decade for music. There hasn't been a good decade since, and the next decade is shaping up to be no better.

And, oh yes. The film reminded me why I don't have children.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Newt on October 14, 2010, 10:26:56 PM
It is debatable whether Secretariat was the greatest racehorse of all time, but he certainly was the greatest racehorse ever to race at Belmont. His winning time and the number of lengths by which he won still stand as records almost forty years later.
Not too much debate going on on that one, though Man O War is a popular contender for that honour.   :wink:

Quote from: BoyScoutKevin
One does wonder why they decided to  make a film about Secretariat, instead of Seattle Slew, because I was living near Seattle at the time, and Seattle Slew winning was bigger news than Secretariat's win. But, it might be, because Secretariat's owner was a woman, and thus might appeal more to women.
Seriously? That the owner was a woman was a big deal at the time (it would be ten years after the Triple Crown win before she would be one of the first women admitted to the Jockey Club); but the story also had a a good bit of interest and appeal aside from her gender.

I've heard from a good number of people (women!  :teddyr: ) in racing that the movie was well done.  That the presentation and story overshadow any technical shortcomings.  That is saying a lot.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on October 15, 2010, 01:32:23 PM
The Town - Pretty good heist film.  Entertaining, well-written.  The romance and a lot of the resolution seemed very conventional and kind of...  Meh to me.  Still, an 8/10.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - Fairly entertaining, but quite flawed.  The villain is never really SEEN doing anything bad, and thus it's hard to really hate him much.  Apparently audience anger at Wall Street alone is supposed to make him hiss-able, but I didn't really get that.  The ending also is a little far fetched.  Still, well-made...  It's a 7/10, but barely

Resident Evil: Afterlife.  Terrible writing, large plot holes, pointless characters...  Yeah.  Not so good.  I saw it in 3D, which did absolutely nothing for me.  At least I got in for free because of a free pass.  OK action scenes, and a couple satisfying moments.  A 4/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 26, 2010, 08:36:43 PM
NEVER LET ME GO:  Kathy, Tommy and Ruth grow up at the pleasant but isolated Hallisham Academy in a fictional Britain that never was; they fall in and out of love with each other and grow up to discover that the purpose of their lives has already been set for them by the government. Emotionally affecting allegory of mortality that relies on a dreadful ironic inevitability instead of suspense and surprises to keep you watching; the major drawback is that it suffers from a lack of political and social details about its Brave New World.  From an acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.  The plot is supposed to be kept secret, though any B-movie fan or smart, observant person could figure it out from the trailer.   SPOILER IN GREEN: It's PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR done in the style of Merchant-Ivory. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 09, 2010, 04:18:44 PM
EASY A: Enjoying the sudden attention, a nondescript high school girl refuses to quash false rumors about her promiscuity, until things get complicated.  Moderately successful attempt to update a John Hughes-style 80s teen comedy for the 21st century, playing off Hawthorne's THE SCARLET LETTER.  Annoyingly, the good and noble characters all speak like arch sitcom characters coached by professional comedy writers, while retarded Pentacostal preachers write the lines for the villains.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on November 10, 2010, 12:15:49 AM
Jackass 3D- Well, great movie if you're not expecting much in the way of plot, acting or whatnot.  Great if you like stupid stunts, pranks, and the like, but in 3D!.  4 Star Flick for what it is. 

Saw 3D- Really shouldn't have been in 3D.  Works best in 2D cause there's not many scenes where things "Pop" at you.  Overall, I hope it IS the end as they promise.  There's a considerable LESS amount of Tobin Bell as John Kramer in this, which takes away.  Although, I did like the nice throwback/surprise they had in store for fans of the first flick.  Rounded out the end nicely.  Overall, if you're a fan of the Saw series, it's worth seeing as it's the supposed final one.  The way it ended, I don't see them making a sequel unless they offered a LOT of money to who would be the next Jigsaw. :buggedout: :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trekkie313 on November 11, 2010, 10:38:01 AM
Jackass 3D


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ulthar on November 16, 2010, 03:19:11 PM
MEGAMIND 3D

Saw this one yesterday, and while I went into it with somewhat low expectations - since the original SHREK, I've been mostly underwhelmed by the Dreamworks offerings - I left pleasantly surprised.

It was slow to start and I was pretty bored during at least the first act, but got interested and more into the jokes later in the movie.  It was entertaining enough, and might just be my favorite Dreamworks movie outside the SHREK series.  This is just a personal thing, but I found Megamind's mispronunciations very endearing - the first time for "Metro City" amusing, but by the end, really funny to me.  That quirk just summed up the character beautifully in a very subtle way.

Without being familiar with the cast list before the movie, I watched the whole thing thinking Patton Oswalt was the voice of Minion (David Cross does Minion's voice, to his credit).

The big twist with Mega Man did not have a big payoff, but that's okay...it still set up a major plot point, so the writers did not force the issue(s) TOO much.

One big improvement to me is that they (Dreamworks) dropped the constant Pop Culture references and catch phrases (SHARK TALE was just agonizing in this respect)...the Megamind Universe stands on its own, which makes for much tighter story telling.

The 3D was okay, without being annoyingly overdone; Ebert (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101103/REVIEWS/101109990) recommends seeing it in 2D, and I don't disagree.  The 3D does not add anything that will be missed.

Finally, the soundtrack is a lot of fun, too.

I have to give this one a solid 3.5+ out of 5...it's not earth shattering cinema, but it's a fun flick with good characterization (for the main character, anyway).  The story JUST stays off the "completely predictable" line - again, enough to keep one engaged.  I could see giving it a rewatch (on DVD, not at theater) at some point, which is more than I can say for most of the recent Dreamworks efforts.

ON EDIT:

Boy, I completely forgot that HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON was a Dreamworks production.  So...above 'anti-Dreamworks' comments don't apply to that one. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 17, 2010, 09:18:22 PM
INSIDE JOB: Documentary arguing that deregulation of the financial service industry led to worldwide recession starting in 2008; it's ultimate conclusion is "Wall Street owns the White House."  It' basically a less radical, less entertaining Michael Moore-style rabble rouser.  Though Craig Ferguson's views on the financial crisis are fairly mainstream, it's difficult for the layperson to separate hard fact from polemic, and some of the techniques he uses for hostile interviews (which are obviously heavily edited, sometimes cutting just before the interviewee can answer a leading question ) are troubling. 3/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 23, 2010, 07:41:46 PM
UNSTOPPABLE: A rookie railroader (Chris Pine) teams up with a vet (Denzel Washington) to stop a runaway train.  Good action/suspense movie, not a lot of surprises but the stars were heroic and likable, and it seems like there hasn't been a good crowd-pleasing disaster movie in forever.  You could go as high as 4/5 for this one. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Silverlady on November 24, 2010, 08:38:10 AM
UNSTOPPABLE: A rookie railroader (Chris Pine) teams up with a vet (Denzel Washington) to stop a runaway train.  Good action/suspense movie, not a lot of surprises but the stars were heroic and likable, and it seems like there hasn't been a good crowd-pleasing disaster movie in forever.  You could go as high as 4/5 for this one. 

I saw this one too and really liked it as well. Being I'm from PA, and a lot of the filming was done in PA, that was an added bonus for me.  Additionally, the movie was based loosely on true events which really took place in Ohio, not PA.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 30, 2010, 10:47:51 PM
127 HOURS: The true story of Aron Ralston, who was trapped in a ravine at the bottom of a Utah canyon for (you guessed it) 127 hours when a boulder pinned his arm against the rock wall.  Director Danny Boyle shows almost as much ingenuity in telling this daunting one-man, one canyon story as Ralston did in staying alive.  Gruesome, yet inspiring.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on December 02, 2010, 10:13:56 PM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Great film and a good adaption of 3/5ths of the book.  Can't wait to see Part 2 coming next year.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 07, 2010, 04:37:12 PM
VISION: FROM THE LIFE OF HILDEGAARD VON BINGEN (2009): Biopic on the life of the fascinating 11th century Bendectine nun who saw visions of God and was also a composer, philosopher, polymath, and a strong-willed woman who often butted heads with the Church's male hierarchy.  Amazing in it's ability to draw you into its now alien world and get you involved with clerical politics and the slow, quiet rhythms of cloistered life.  4.5/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 13, 2010, 04:50:16 PM
I just got back from watching "Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader," which I quite enjoyed. Not as much as the first two in the series, but I did enjoy it.

There was some good action sequences in it. There again not as good as the first two, but good nevertheless. Better than most of the action sequences I've seen in films this year.

Seeing the weapons they supposedly used did remind me they may look easy to wield, but actually their use requires more training than many of today's modern weapons.

If Edmund was my favorite character from the first film, then Eustace was my favorite character from this one. But the carving knife (I wonder if that in-joke was deliberate or accidental) he wielded was a clumsy weapon. Too heavy for one thing. He'd have been better off with a light sword and dagger. Lead with the sword and stab with the dagger. And aim for the eyes.

Forget the song that played over the end credits. My favorite piece of music in the film was Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," which was used at a garden party in the film. Though, the best rendition I've ever heard of the song was by the Henhouse 5 + 2.

I was going to ask whether there was going to be another film in the series, and I answered my own question. There's suppose to be a release of "The Silver Chair" sometime next year.

Anymore after that? Who knows? But there are three more books in the series. I know when the BBC did a TV production of the series between 1988 and 1990. They stopped with "The Silver Chair." So I hope there are films made of the last three books in the series.

Is he dead or not? At the end of the credits, there was one last credit: "In memoriam Michael Apted (1941-2010.)" That is normally done only when someone involved with the film has died, but I can't find anything else that says he has died. But if he has, this would be his last film he directed, which might be another reason to see it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 15, 2010, 02:37:45 PM
ENTER THE VOID (2009): A small-time expat drug dealer in Tokyo is whacked, and spends the rest of the movie as a hallucinating ghost.  This is an exploitation  film masquerading as an art film; it's two hours of nonstop sex and drugs, and thirty minutes of hippie spirituality from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Great eye candy (from both the drugs and the sex, and often from the combination---dig those glowing genitals!) make it worth a watch.  Add one star to the rating for each tab of acid you drop before screening it.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 20, 2010, 04:55:45 PM
I'd rather put this here, because (IMHO) this is where it belongs and not "Bad Movies."

"Tron Legacy" w/ Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner.

Which gave me cold chills and tingling sensations, and I can't remember the last time that happened, while watching a film.

Nice
Jeff Bridges IS Flynn. And I can't say that about many actors or many roles. And watching him here, gave me a better feeling about the upcoming "True Grit."

Nicer
Always watch for the in-jokes. There were in-jokes for the original "Tron" and "The Black Hole" early in the film. And was that an Apple, inc. in-joke later on.

Nicest
The soundtrack by Daft Punk. It is one of the best and one of the most appropriate I've heard in sometime. It'd be nice if the Academy gave them at least an Oscar nomination for their work in the film.

Nicer than nice
Q: "What do I need to do?"--A: "Survive." You heard it hear first. That one word is going to become a classic answer for alot of future questions.

The only not nice thing
Is not seeing David Warner, who was so good in the original, in the sequel.

Thus, as "Tron" was a film ahead of its time. Its sequel is also a film ahead of its time.

Trailers
I saw alot of new trailers, I hadn't seen previously. "Cowboys and Aliens," "The Green Hornet, "The Green Lantern," "POTC: on Stranger Tides," and "Thor"

The only one I plan on seeing is "On Stranger Tides." Maybe because I saw the first three, and this one looks more like a re-boot to the series, than a sequel. And it has mermaids (think bare boobies) and zombies in it. And how can I pass up a film with mermaids and zombies in it?

As for the rest. "Meh!" Excluding the fact that many of 'em could use a stronger storyline, probably the greatest error occurs in "The Green Lantern," when the hero is given a white guy for a sidekick. Thus negating one of the greatest and most original sidekicks in entertainment history the Inuit Pieface.

Next film in the theaters: probably "Season of the Witch" w/ Nic Cage, Ron Perlman, and Chris Lee, and is scheduled for a January 7, 2011 release in the area in which I live.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 21, 2010, 03:21:53 PM
BLACK SWAN: A goody-goody ballerina (Natalie Portman) must learn to tap into her dark side so she can dance the role of the seductive Black Swan; with the help of a free-spirited dancer (Mila Kunis) she does the job, maybe a little too well.  The backstage melodrama drags a little bit early on, but there is some wonderfully executed psychological horror on the back end.  4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 28, 2010, 03:01:54 PM
TRUE GRIT: A fourteen-year old girl hires a rugged Federal marshal to track her father's killer into Indian country.  Nearly a perfect Western, with truly gritty characters and performances. 5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 28, 2010, 03:15:16 PM
TRUE GRIT: A fourteen-year old girl hires a rugged Federal marshal to track her father's killer into Indian country.  Nearly a perfect Western, with flashes of Coen Bros. humor and a truly gritty performance by Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. 5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on December 28, 2010, 08:03:06 PM
TRUE GRIT: A fourteen-year old girl hires a rugged Federal marshal to track her father's killer into Indian country.  Nearly a perfect Western, with flashes of Coen Bros. humor and a truly gritty performance by Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. 5/5.

Hmm... I think you double posted by accident.

Anyways:

Tron Legacy: Saw it, liked it.  Already explained my thoughts on it in the topic about it.  Great techincal stuff, but has a weak story and some weak acting.  Still worth seeing.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 04, 2011, 10:06:33 PM
THE KING'S SPEECH: Reluctant monarch George VI, who was terrified of public speaking because of his disabling stammer, gets through the most important radio broadcast of his time at the dawn of WWII with the aid of his Australian speech therapist and personal confidante. This inspirational historical drama has classical gravitas, wit, great performances, and a comfortable obviousness.  4/5.

The actual historical speech can be heard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAhFW_auT20


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 26, 2011, 12:08:13 PM
THE FIGHTER: A small-time boxer from Lowell, Mass. gradually realizes that letting his dysfunctional family manage his career may be holding him back from reaching the big time.  Predictably, the human spirit triumphs, but it's an actor's movie: putative star Mark Wahlberg is overshadowed by great performances by Melissa Leo as his delusional mom and Christian Bale as his loser brother who's wasted his life since he knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down years ago.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Killer Bees on January 27, 2011, 10:34:21 PM
My partner and I saw Black Swan last weekend.  It was a toss up between that or Unstoppable.  But he says Unstoppable is the kind of movie he prefers to watch on DVD and not spend all that money at the cinema.

I agreed with him (although I would have been happy to go see it by myself on the big screen), so we watched Black Swan instead.

It was a mind melt of epic proportions.  To my knowledge I've never seen an Aronofsky  movie but I've heard heaps about his weirdness and this movie lived up to the hype.  We both loved it and had much in depth discussion about it afterwards. 

My one and only criterion for movies is: "was I enterained?"  If the answer is yes, the movie itself doesn't have to be Oscar worthy or deep and meaningful. 

This movie for me is a definited "YES!".  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 02, 2011, 01:16:52 PM
TANGLED: A roguish thief meets a girl with a mile of magical hair imprisoned in a tower in this Disney variation on Rapunzel.  Sure, it's a fairy tale acted out with animated Barbie dolls, but it's got the usual Disney humor, spectacle and charm; this forty year old man found it pretty entertaining.  4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HarlotBug3 on February 02, 2011, 01:52:25 PM
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD: A bass player must defeat a girl's seven evil exes to win her heart.  Funny, anarchic, very entertaining; at times this seems like something the Monty Python gang might have come up with if they'd been raised on video games and graphic novels.  4/5.

Was skimming. Couldn't contain my joy at this must-see being posted on my b-day  :bouncegiggle: :tongueout:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 09, 2011, 02:08:17 PM
ANOTHER YEAR: A year in the life of a happy, well-adjusted couple and their circle of miserable friends.  Typical Mike Leigh film: fantastic characterizations and performances--Lesley Mansfield should have got an Oscar nom for her portrayal of nervous, desperate Mary--coupled with little plot and an aggressive ordinariness.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on February 10, 2011, 03:24:16 PM
GREEN HORNET: Meh. Needs more Kato.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: JayJayM12 on February 10, 2011, 04:43:55 PM
The Mechanic:  When The Transporter isn't transporting, he trains young guys to be his sidekick in the assasination biz.  Sort of a Hitman and Robin scenario.

Actually, it wasn't too bad.  Nothing special, but worth the hour and a half or so.  The best part - it compelled me to go home that night and rewatch the original The Mechanic with Charles Bronson on Netflix streaming.  I've always been a fan of the original and enjoyed catching right after seeing the update.  The new one was actually fairly faithful, with it's own little twists, but it can't touch the original.  The opening, wordless scene is pure Bronson Brilliance!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 16, 2011, 11:32:27 AM
BLUE VALENTINE: The story of a failed working class marriage, told from the tempestuous present with flashbacks to the storybook beginning.  Excellent, painfully believable performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; not a good date movie unless you're planning on breaking up immediately after.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: JayJayM12 on February 16, 2011, 03:45:39 PM
BLUE VALENTINE: The story of a failed working class marriage, told from the tempestuous present with flashbacks to the storybook beginning.  Excellent, painfully believable performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; not a good date movie unless you're planning on breaking up immediately after.  4/5.

They oughta make more movies like that:  "Fellas, are you planning on breaking up with your girl, but you need the perfect movie to put her in the right mood?  Look no further than Blue Valentine.  So good, she'll be surprised if you DON'T break up with her afterwards.  Also, from the makers of Blue Valentine, coming soon to a theater near you, the new movie:  "Bi#$@, Get Your S&*t and Get Out", starring Anne Hathaway and James Franco.  Cameo by Mike Epps."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 22, 2011, 07:52:55 PM
Gnomeo and Juliet" w/ the voice talents of Michael Caine.

No surprise from the title, but this animated film is based upon William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." What was a surprise, at least to me, was how surprisingly effective I found it. Funny. Emotionally affecting. And the in-jokes came fast and furious. There were in-jokes referencing . . .

Apple -- Elmer's Glue -- Elton John -- The Enchanted Tiki Room -- Fantasia -- Kermit -- Lassie -- Little John -- Little Richard -- The Terminator -- White Out -- William Shakespeare, etc.

It's only later that one notices the problems inherent in the film. Such as some of the scenes do little if anyting to advance the plot and storyline.

"Justin Bieber Never Say Never' a concert film w/ Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.

I never see these films for the concert footage, I watch them for the backstage people, the backstage footage, the fans, the fans reaction.

While he certainly has talent, he is such a phenomena, it is hard to peg, even with this film, how much talent he has in regard to singers both past and present.

From the film, I would say, that he is such a phenomena, you couldn't put him in a smaller more personal venue, even though he looks better in such a venue, than he does in a larger more impersonal venue, where he tends to get lost.

The film also raised if it did not answer such questions as where does he go from here?How long will he be the flavour of the month? What happens then? And while I have seen a number of these concert films, the question I have yet to have answered is, while these films answer the question as to what tween and teen girls listen to in the way of music, what do tween and teen boys listen to in the way of music? That one I have yet to have answered.

Summary: While the film left several questions unanswered, I did feel the need to find out what is going on, and this film is the nearest I ever want to be to a Justin Bieber concert.

Next time: "The Eagle"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 23, 2011, 01:49:08 PM
BARNEY'S VERSION: We meet soap opera producer Barney as a sarcastic, hard drinking middle-aged man who (another character tells us) has gotten away with murder; flashbacks encompassing his three past marriages give us a fuller portrait of a flawed man.  Paul Giamatti's performance is great, but it turns out that two hours is too long to spend with Barney, especially when we reach his final days and he becomes a pathetic old man rather than a lovable scamp.  3.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 02, 2011, 01:48:40 PM
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1: With the Magical Ministry taken over by the evil Voldermort, Harry Potter and friends go on the run, searching for the Horcruxes they need to destroy to defeat the dark mage.  With boarding school politics left behind for a vision of a world controlled by fascist wizards, this is darker than previous entries in the series, but the quality remains as high as you'd expect from the series.  The plot is hard to follow for someone like me who's never read the books and missed the first five films in the series, with dozens of artifacts and minor characters to try to keep track of, but you get the gist---it's a quest to defeat an bad dude. 4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 06, 2011, 03:18:35 PM
(IMHO) There are three types of films. (1) Those not worth thinking about. (2) Those worth thinking about and which can be divided into two more types of films. (2a) The more you think about 'em, the worst they become or the overrated. (2b) The more you think about 'em, the better they come or the underrated. Fortunately, the following two films fall in the last type.

"The Eagle" w/ Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland

"The Centurion" From Roman armies disappearing in the north to murdered children to a seeming last stand, this is quite similiar to "The Centurion." Thus, if one enjoyed that film, one may enjoy this film. Indeed, some people who have seen this film actually enjoy this one more.

"The Book" Based on the book "The Eagle of the 9th." Which I haven't read. But if the film is a product of the 2nd decade of the 21st century, which it is, then the book, which was published in 1954, is the product of the '50's. So, you have that comparison.

"The Author" Rosemary Sutcliffe. My rule of thumb is that women write the better romance scenes, while men write the better action scenes, but Ms. Sutcliffe is an exception to the rule. The action scenes she writes compare favorablely to most action scenes written by a man.

"Fear" How we have forgotten what it means to have someone put a knife. A sword. A spear in our back. From the first scene, the film puts that out as a legitimate fear for people living in those days.

"Sutherland" An actor of limited range, but oh is he fun to watch.

"I Am Number Four" w/ Alex Pettyfer

From one of the better opening scenes in a film to a big kickass finale, this film more than met my expectations.

"Relationships" Like the previous film, the most interesting relationships in the film, were not between the male characters and the female character, except for the Aussie chick, who got little screen time, but between the male characters and the male characters. The teen hero and his mentor. The teen hero and the science nerd. The teen hero and the football jock.

Next time: "Red Riding Hood" (2011) and/or "Mars Needs Moms"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 15, 2011, 05:43:01 PM
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU: A senatorial candidate accidentally meets and falls in love with a woman fate never intended him to meet; divine agents in suits and hats try to keep the two apart so the Plan can be fulfilled.  Inspired by a Phillip K. Dick story, but given the Hollywood treatment; you keep waiting for a metaphysical twist to come, but instead all you get is a lame "love conquers all" ending.  Dick is probably rolling in his grave.  2.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on March 16, 2011, 03:03:54 AM
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU: A senatorial candidate accidentally meets and falls in love with a woman fate never intended him to meet; divine agents in suits and hats try to keep the two apart so the Plan can be fulfilled.  Inspired by a Phillip K. Dick story, but given the Hollywood treatment; you keep waiting for a metaphysical twist to come, but instead all you get is a lame "love conquers all" ending.  Dick is probably rolling in his grave.  2.5/5. 

The one main observation I had with this one is that its so by the numbers in many respects, ironic given the subject matter of the movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on March 16, 2011, 08:55:04 AM
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU: A senatorial candidate accidentally meets and falls in love with a woman fate never intended him to meet; divine agents in suits and hats try to keep the two apart so the Plan can be fulfilled.  Inspired by a Phillip K. Dick story, but given the Hollywood treatment; you keep waiting for a metaphysical twist to come, but instead all you get is a lame "love conquers all" ending.  Dick is probably rolling in his grave.  2.5/5. 

  I think Dick's stories can be difficult to translate directly to film, but I really don't like when they don't even make an honest effort. I make an exception for Total Recall because the ending to that short story was pretty bizarre and it really wasn't meant as any kind of serious movie anyway. I think I'll wait til this one comes to cable. Thanks Rev.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 17, 2011, 04:26:34 PM
I've seldom seen a film that is bad as most people make it out to be. Unless it is a film that is overrated, then it is normally not as good as most people make it out to be, but this film is not overrated. Indeed, it is probably underrated.

The animated "Mars Needs Moms" w/ the talents of Seth Green and Joan Cusack.

I was surprised at what a sweet-natured film it was.

I was also surprised at how much sympathy the film generated for all the characters, even the Supervisor. Because you know where she is coming from. She doesn't know what is best for everyone, but she think she does, so everything she does is not for her benefit, but supposedly the benefit of everyone else in the film.

The storyline was not as original as I first thought, but it was different from the storyline in most films, so that gave it some major cred (IMHO.)

And . . .
exciting action
resonating emotion
terrying horror

I'm glad I saw it, which is why I proably never read a review of a film before I see it.

Next time:"Red Riding Hood."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: JayJayM12 on March 22, 2011, 11:13:12 AM
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU: A senatorial candidate accidentally meets and falls in love with a woman fate never intended him to meet; divine agents in suits and hats try to keep the two apart so the Plan can be fulfilled.  Inspired by a Phillip K. Dick story, but given the Hollywood treatment; you keep waiting for a metaphysical twist to come, but instead all you get is a lame "love conquers all" ending.  Dick is probably rolling in his grave.  2.5/5. 

Yeah, this movie was definitely nothing special.  The Rev is right - they hinted at the metaphysical a couple of times, but never delivered.  And, the ending was atrocious and wrapped up too easiily.  What came before the ending wasn't horrible, but not great - I was never bored, but I was never enthralled.  2.5 out of 5 sounds about right to me...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 24, 2011, 10:34:52 AM
THE ILLUSIONIST: An out-of-fashion magician in the 1960s can't compete with rock and roll and finds himself playing to smaller and smaller audiences; he meets a girl who really believes he can perform magic, and she tags along with him as his career continues to decline.  Lovingly animated by Sylvain Chomet (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE) from an unproduced script by Jacques Tati in a nearly silent-film style; Chomet puts so much love into the noble project that you desperately want it to work out, but it fails to completely satisfy. The slapstick sequences are underdeveloped and never reach real anarchy (for example, so much more could have been done with the illusionist's incompetence when he tires to wash a car).  The film fares a little better when it aims at poignancy, but the ending is just sad without being cathartic---it plays as flat-out defeatist rather than melancholy.  Worth seeing, but I advise muting your expectations.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 21, 2011, 12:19:35 PM
SOURCE CODE: A man wakes on a train inside the body of another man.  Eight minutes later, the train blows up, and he re-enters the same body and to relives the scenario again.  There are two mysteries here: who blew up the train, and how is this possible?  Neither of the answers are mind-blowers, but the movie does deliver exceptional storytelling that keeps you engaged throughout.  After debuting with MOON, up-and-coming director Duncan Jones delivers two winners back-to-back.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: retrorussell on April 21, 2011, 06:07:01 PM
SUPER.  Funny flick about a dim man who gets fed up with seeing drug users/selling, cuts in line, carjacking, etc. going on in his neighborhood and decides to become a superhero.  His sense of "justice" is rather skewed as he beats people with a wrench for cutting in line, in one sequence.  He gets a sidekick in the form of a young, foul-mouthed comic book store clerk who, in one scene, seduces him by caressing herself and saying, "it's all gooey".  Riotous dialogue and violence, and though the comparisons to Kick-@$$ are inevitable, there's plenty enough to make it different.  Plus Kevin Bacon and Michael Rooker are thrown in for some camp enjoyment.  3.8/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 28, 2011, 12:33:02 PM
THE LINCOLN LAWYER: A slick defense attorney with sketchy ethics who works out of the back of a Lincoln towncar encounters moral dilemmas and outright danger when he takes on a millionaire client accused of beating a woman.  Excellent ensemble acting, led by Matthew McConaughey as the barrister, smooths over the implausibilities in the story; mystery and thriller fans will be satisfied, and forgive the fact that the script throws in a meaningless bonus twist after the movie probably should have ended.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 05, 2011, 11:57:32 AM
POTICHE: French comedy with nostalgic star power.  A trophy wife proves unexpectedly competent when she takes over her husband's umbrella factory while he recuperates from a heart attack. Well made, in a film style appropriate to the late 1970s setting, but it's so lightweight, fluffy and nostalgic that you wonder if there was any point to it all beyond keeping Catherine Deneuve busy.  Gerard Depardieu has grown far too obese to play any sort of convincing romantic interest.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 11, 2011, 11:20:28 AM
JANE EYRE: Frumpy but bright Jane Eyre becomes governess at the home of a handsome gentleman with deep secrets.  This obviously won't appeal to many people on this board (it's pretty much the antithesis of a "bad movie"), but the cross-class romance and tastefully tormented gentlemen will hit the sweet spot for Brit Lit film fans.  Mia Wasikowska is perfectly cast as Jane.  4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: crackers on May 13, 2011, 01:30:01 PM
Fast 5 - I like these films cause they are so bad. Paul Walker is a douche. The acting was dreadful and there was some real bad (in a good way) one liners. Having said that the heist idea is quite a well thought out affair.

I know this may not was well with quite a few of you, but each to their own.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 13, 2011, 01:55:01 PM
Fast 5 - I like these films cause they are so bad. Paul Walker is a douche. The acting was dreadful and there was some real bad (in a good way) one liners. Having said that the heist idea is quite a well thought out affair.

I know this may not was well with quite a few of you, but each to their own.

It looks "goodish bad" from the trailer.  I never saw any of the other movies in the series.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: crackers on May 13, 2011, 03:13:59 PM
Fast 5 - I like these films cause they are so bad. Paul Walker is a douche. The acting was dreadful and there was some real bad (in a good way) one liners. Having said that the heist idea is quite a well thought out affair.

I know this may not was well with quite a few of you, but each to their own.

It looks "goodish bad" from the trailer.  I never saw any of the other movies in the series.

2 Fast 2 Furious is my personal favorite. It seems none of the sentences are longer than 3 words (due to the actors not being able to remember anything longer, probably) Poor acting, over the top action sequences and again terrible one liners that make it entertaining bad viewing.

I'm not at all into cars so another thing that makes me laugh is when car enthusiasts say that they are the best films ever made and try to modify their car and hang out at a McDonalds car park.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 18, 2011, 01:37:09 PM
WIN WIN: A lawyer and high school wrestling coach (for a winless team) finds himself the guardian of an old man and his troubled teen grandson; the latter also happens to be a championship caliber wrestler.  Pleasantly predictable happy ending dramedy with a good performance from Alex Shaffer as the teen phenom.  I assume this is like an indie version of THE BLIND SIDE (haven't seen it) with Paul Giamatti and wrestling rather than Sandra Bullock and football. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on May 21, 2011, 03:07:56 PM
Insidious (2011) - This starts out as an OK haunted house picture, but gets kind of silly later on.  There's a demon in it that looks like Darth Maul. :question: Otherwise, it's not a terrible piece of entertainment.  I'm happy to see that James Wan, writer/director of the horrible Saw has gotten a little better at making films.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on May 22, 2011, 06:20:49 AM
I'm not at all into cars so another thing that makes me laugh is when car enthusiasts say that they are the best films ever made and try to modify their car and hang out at a McDonalds car park.

You should visit Lancashire!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 23, 2011, 05:32:31 PM
"African Cats"
The latest Earth Day documentary from the Walt Disney Company.

I noticed it played out more like a film than a documentary, which may have been the aim of the filmmakers. I also noticed that you could have replaced the cats in the film with human actors, and you'd have a starting script for a fairly good film.

"Prom"
Which made me once again raise the question: "How did my fellow classmates and I from the class of '70 ever manage to survive three years of high school?" We went to a three year high school.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on May 24, 2011, 06:35:58 PM
Priest (2011) - Absolutely horrible.  Boring, goofy, and derivative.  No fun.  Crappy acting.  I watched it in 3D and while the effect was actually pretty good, it didn't really help the film.  Please don't watchi it!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 25, 2011, 01:02:11 PM
POETRY (2010): A Korean grandmother in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's takes a poetry class to fulfill a lifelong ambition.  Dry, subtle character study that gains narrative drive from a slow-boil subplot about the suicide of a local girl; it's poetic indeed.  4/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: JayJayM12 on May 28, 2011, 07:28:40 PM
Hangover 2 - I had read a few reviews saying that it was an almost carbon copy of the original, but I figured "nah, that's just lazy journalism - it can't be THAT similar.". Then I saw it - it really did follow the first one almost beat for beat.  Same order of events, similar song cues, deja vu ending...  Having said all that though, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.  If it ain't broke, i guess you shouldn't try to fix it.  It had a lot of laughs, went to a lot of darker places than the first one, and moved along at a good pace.  Not a game changer by any stretch, but an entertaining way to spend a couple hours or so...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MrMari on May 29, 2011, 06:51:02 AM
Kung Fu Panda 2 - Great movie. I think I might have likes this one more than the first. The sequel defiantly had more of a darker edge and it pulled on the heart stings a little but it was still humorous enough for the kids. Seems like this series might go on. This is the ONLY way I can stomach Jack Black (Fat Sandler).


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 03, 2011, 05:39:57 PM
BRIDESMAIDS: A failed bakery operator whose personal life is a mess is asked to be maid of honor for her best friends wedding, with predictably disastrous results.  It's the female answer to THE HANGOVER, character based rather than plot based, but just as funny (if not quite as original).  Guys, if she insists on dragging you to a chick flick, you're not going to do better than this one; there's even a bout of barfing bridesmaids that will likely wind up as the funniest grossout scene of the summer.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MrMari on June 03, 2011, 06:52:17 PM
BRIDESMAIDS: A failed bakery operator whose personal life is a mess is asked to be maid of honor for her best friends wedding, with predictably disastrous results.  It's the female answer to THE HANGOVER, character based rather than plot based, but just as funny (if not quite as original).  Guys, if she insists on dragging you to a chick flick, you're not going to do better than this one; there's even a bout of barfing bridesmaids that will likely wind up as the funniest grossout scene of the summer.  3.5/5.

Saw this in the theater a couple of days ago. Its been a while since I laughed this hard. People in the theater were in hysterics. I love Kristen Wiig and I love her even more now. She wrote this film and now the question on everyones mind is can she duplicate her success? I took a lot of crap at the office for telling people I loved it but what the hell, I'm comfortable with my manhood. Go see BRIDESMAIDS.  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 08, 2011, 04:01:30 PM
Not anything new in the way of films, but I have seen three new trailers.

"Real Steel"
Whatever the focus of the old trailer was, the new trailer changes that to the father and son relationship and how a sparring bot can help the two bond.

"Green Lantern"
I just do not not like superhero films. Never have and probably never will, but if there is a superhero film I might see, this might be it, as the Green Lantern is one of my favorite superheroes.  And the new trailer makes me even more likely I'll see it. Much more so than the old trailer. Though, like alot of recent films, it looks like the filmmakers are letting the SFX overwhelm the other parts of the story.

"Cars II"
Which will be out June 24, which is only a week after "Green Lantern" is released on June 17. Thus, it'll be interesting to see how the two films do in competition with each other.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on June 09, 2011, 02:47:23 PM
[]Super 8[/i] (2011) - If any film is deserving of being a big summer blockbuster this year, this is it.  It's not a great film, but it's a fun and exciting one.  The gist of the story is that some kids are working on a Super 8 zombie film, and while filming a scene they witness a massive train deraliment (I'm not buying into a pickup truck derailing a massive speeding train in such a way, but I'll play along) and some strange cargo is released.  I won't say too much but weird things happen in the town, like dogs running away, car engine blocks and microwaves disappearing, and people going missing, too.

Like I said, it's a lot of fun, and while it kind of forgets to maintains an emotional hold on the audience towards the end, it introduces some tragedy at the outset that helps give us characters to empathize with.  The cast perform very well, especially the group of kids.  I liked that the main character was into building and painting monster models 'n' stuff.  Some downsides are phony modern CGI, a score that's not very memorable (but not bad by any means), and use of overplayed popular songs from the late 70's.

I'm thinking that if I was young enough while watching this it would stick with me like Jurassic Park, but I don't think anything will beat that as far as being my most thrilling movie-going memory.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on June 10, 2011, 12:03:35 PM
Midnight in Paris - I don't know how many people here like Woody Allen. His work can very very spotty, especially over the last 20 years. Woody Allen himself said something recently along the lines that he just makes movies, many as he possibly can, and knows that some will work and some won't. The last film of his that I liked was Match Point from 2005, which I thought was excellent.

Midnight in Paris was quite good in my opinion. It's certainly not going to appeal to filmgoers who have no interest in European ways, but for those that do, it is an enchanting portrayal of the city, and one of his best concepts in a long time. Owen Wilson plays a Hollywood writer, who self-identifies as a bit of a hack, visiting Paris with his fiancee (played by Rachel McAdams). His romantic obssession with 1920's Paris is a constant annoyance to his fiancee, who comes across as an enormous shrew. One night, while walking around Paris around midnight, he finds himself lost and stops to rest on some steps. Along comes what appears to be a vintage 20's automobile who convince him to join them as they drive around Paris for some fun. This ends up being a portal to 1920's Paris, and over the next few nights, he continue to travel time and runs into the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and about every artistic luminary that spent any time hanging out in Paris at that time.

The film is goofy, nostalgic, occasionally poignant, and was a lot of fun to watch for me. The hour and a half runtime also made it really fly by. The film reminded me of similar concepts Allen has explored in the past in films like The Purple Rose of Cairo and Sleeper.

In my opinion, Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen's better films. I would go so far as to place it in his top 10, but I understand some may find that a stretch. If you appreciate Woody Allen, I am convinced you will like it. If you don't, then I'm sure you'll be in no hurry to catch it.

I give it a 4.8/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 10, 2011, 06:32:15 PM
Midnight in Paris

I may see this if it stays in town for more than one week.  As it is next week Takashi Miike's latest, 13 ASSASSINS, is coming to town for one week only and I'm going to be sure to catch it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 14, 2011, 07:00:48 PM
13 ASSASSINS (2010): The Shogun's brother, Naritsugu, may inherit rulership of Japan, but he's sadistically unhinged (think a Japanese Caligula); outnumbered ten-to-one, a band of samurai try to ambush and kill him in a town in a mountain pass.  This is a true epic; you may be confused trying to follow the dozens of characters and their complicated relationships.  Once the swords are unsheathed and the battle begins, confusion will turn to wonder.  The final battle is mythological in scope; it's one of the longest most elaborate martial sequences ever filmed.  It runs at least a half hour.  The Japanese cut is 15 minutes longer than the version touring the US, so that we'll have a reason to buy the DVD when it comes out.  I'm extremely stingy giving out 5 star ratings, but this comes very close.  I may bump it up in the future.  Definitely a must see if you like samurai movies.  4.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on June 15, 2011, 12:08:02 AM
I've decided to start applying ratings to my viewings.

Rango (2011) - This may wind up as my favorite film this year.  In spite of being in an auditorium full of horribly-behaved children and inconsiderate parents, this was great.  You basically get Western with animals that utilizes part of the plot of Chinatown and some other weird and clever bits thrown in.  The animation is impressive, and it's really a breath of fresh air seeing a film that's far from the norm in the world of modern animation.  Heck, it's far from the norm in general.  I wish I'd seen this sooner. 9/10

13 Assassins (2010 [2011 for the US]) - I was a little bit underwhelmed overall, with part of the greatest thrill being able to see the Toho logo on the big screen, but it was a nice film, and the big battle at the end was certainly something!  I haven't seen any of Miike's other films in their entirety, but this seems pretty restrained for him excepting a scene of a naked woman missing her limbs, but the tone keeps the unpleasant moments from seeming cheap.  Very professionally made, but I wasn't thrilled.

I didn't realize that the US release was shorter; I'll be looking forward to checking it out on video and maybe I'll like it more. 7/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on June 16, 2011, 11:48:36 AM
I'm not at all into cars so another thing that makes me laugh is when car enthusiasts say that they are the best films ever made and try to modify their car and hang out at a McDonalds car park.

You should visit Lancashire!

Or any Sainsbury's car park after 10pm...
Putting neon lights under your car and listening to drum and bass thats so loud it causes the whole street to shake does not make you cool.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 21, 2011, 07:21:28 PM
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011): A nostalgic writer romanticizes Paris in the 1920s; on a visit to the city with his fiancee, he discovers that at the stroke of midnight he can travel back in time to party with Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, Dali, and other intellectuals of the Paris circle. Owen Wilson puts a nice shine on Woody Allen's old neurotic, and there are fun cameos throughout (both in terms of the actors and the historical figures they portray). It's sort of frou-frou, but also like a pleasant, witty conversation with a sharp old friend. 4.5/5.

I like the bit where Gil, who's from the future, meets Luis Bunuel and gives him an idea for a movie.  Bunuel says, "I don't understand---why don't they just leave the party?"  Film fanatic joke there.  

Also I think Woody took extra care to make sure he got some nice shots of Rachel McAdam's hinder.  I appreciate that kind of attention to detail.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on June 23, 2011, 01:37:24 PM
Quote
Also I think Woody took extra care to make sure he got some nice shots of Rachel McAdam's hinder.  I appreciate that kind of attention to detail.

Agreed, Rev. I appreciate Miss McAdams in her fairer complexion form, but it was nice to see her with some color. Maybe it was just the blonde hair that created the optical illusion. In either case, she was hot, despite her character being an absolute shrew.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on June 23, 2011, 05:36:09 PM
Gees, I keep forgetting to add what I see.

This summer, I have seen Thor and Green Lantern.  I give Thor a 4 out of 5 and Green Lantern a 3 out of 5.

Soon, I hope to see X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter 7.2, and Captain America.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: WingedSerpent on June 23, 2011, 08:56:34 PM
X-Men: First Class. Thor. Preist. Green Lantern are the most recent.

Will most likely see Captain America, and I can't think of any other summer movies I might go to off the top of my head.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on June 24, 2011, 09:34:36 PM
The Tree of Life (2011) - My favorite film of the year, and it'll probably remain so.  I have difficulty explaining it, but I felt overwhelmed while exiting the building, and I sat in my car for 10 minutes while intermittently sobbing and shedding tears.  I think reactions in the crowd were varied.  Some people gave out little bemused chuckles, a guy in front of me was leaned over holding his head and either crying or praying, others looked very serious and contemplative.  It's an abstract film but beautiful and spiritual if you just let youself go with it.  10/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 28, 2011, 04:29:17 PM
Cars 2

I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the previous Pixar films. But, of course, it is the little things that make a film.

In 2-D not 3-D, but it might be one of the few films that might actually look better in 3-D.

The Rating
Having seen all the previous Pixar films, this is probably the most violent since "The Incredibles." And there were some scenes in it, that I thought were even more shocking than any of the scenes in "The Incredibles," such as the death of the first British agent in the film. Actually, Pixar wanted a rating of PG. Why it got a G rating is anybody's guess.

Sophia Loren
Not in this one, but in the Italian language version she voices the character of Mama Topolino.

Pizza Planet Truck
Anybody see it in the film? I missed it.

Paul Newman
But, did anybody besides myself catch the tribute to the late Paul Newman in the film?

John Ratzenberger
Voices a character in the film, as he has in every previous Pixar film.

Production Babies
And they continue to be listed at the end of the credits. Every baby born to someone working on the film.

Fritz Feld
This is really obscure, but before the film there was an animated short subject featuring the characters from "Toy Story." Did anybody catch the tribute to character actor Fritz Feld in the short subject.

The Muppets
Before the film or the animated short subject there was a trailer for the Muppets film coming up in November. The film looks promising, if only because it features that Muppet humor were are familiar with, as the trailer starts out being a very un-Muppets type of film, changing to a Muppets film half way through the trailer.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 28, 2011, 07:07:42 PM
THE TREE OF LIFE: Recalling the death of a brother, a man unleashes a flood of memories from his childhood, and even primal memories going back to the dawn of creation.  Grandiose, poetic, and spiritual, with scenes of ordinary family conflict alternating with amazing depictions of the birth of the universe, all set to sacred music.  Even if you don't actually like the movie, you're going to be leaving the theater fairly impressed by what you've seen.  I agree with Pigermann; there's not likely to be a better movie this year, and I think this already has Best Picture and Best Director sewn up, with a possible win for Brad Pitt, too. 5/5.     


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 07, 2011, 03:38:00 PM
BUCK: Documentary glibly but accurately described as profiling "a real-life horse whisperer."  The story is how a gifted cowboy overcame childhood abuse and applied the lessons he learned to training horses.  It's an inspirational movie, with all the lack of conflict or subtlety that word implies, but it holds your interest and is definitely worth a watch if you're interested in either horse training or child abuse.  (Newt should put this on her list for sure).  3/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Psycho Circus on July 14, 2011, 05:03:02 PM
BRIDESMAIDS (2011):

Excellent film! I was really worried going into this, thinking that it would be some really boring by-the-numbers chick flick that would sap 2hrs from my life like Sex & The City did about three years back. Not the case at all, as I was pleasantly surprised by a hilarious and heartfelt film that kept my attention fully. I wasn't familiar with any of the main actresses but they all did a stellar job. The best comedy film I have seen in a very, very, very looooong time and my best film of the year so far. I highly recommend this film, even to guys and I'm glad to see it has received many positive reviews.

5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 14, 2011, 05:16:05 PM
THE LAST MOUNTAIN: Documentary on the environmental effects of mountaintop removal coal mining in Coal Mountain, West Virgina.  The mountaintop removal process has little to recommend it, but unfortunately so does this suprisingly dull and disorganized polemic.  2.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Criswell on July 15, 2011, 02:41:15 AM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - Pretty good end to a franchise that was a major part of my childhood. Was pretty cool for my first every midnight showing. Oh and I got to see the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises which looks great!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 19, 2011, 07:29:10 PM
"Winnie the Pooh" w/ narration by John Cleese and voices by Jim Cummings.

I have enjoyed the adventures of Winnie the Pooh on the big screen and the TV screen for over half of my life. Now it is time for another generation to enjoy the adventures of Pooh.

Though, I must admit, during all that time, I have never read any of Milne's original stories.

You'd be surprised at how much goes into making an animated film, even one as simple as this. The credits at the end seemed to run as long as the film itself, but if you see it, stay to the end of the credits. There's a nice twist at the end of the credits.

The animators also seem to have taken a leaf from Pixar, listing the babies born to the people who worked on this film, while they were working on the film. Just as Pixar does as the end of each film.

And remember "No stuffed animals were harmed during the making of this film."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 27, 2011, 10:13:58 AM
WINNIE THE POOH: Pooh and friends search for Eeyore's missing tail and try to evade the deadly Baksun while the bear desperately searches for a pot of honey.  Clever mix of several A.A. Milne stories, with charming animation and certain sequences that are written like Abbot and Costello routines. John Cleese's intrusive narration and even the storybook itself play major roles in the plot.  Refreshingly innocent; this feels more like golden age Disney than anything they've done in years.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on July 27, 2011, 11:03:18 AM
WINNIE THE POOH: Pooh and friends search for Eeyore's missing tail and try to evade the deadly Baksun while the bear desperately searches for a pot of honey.  Clever mix of several A.A. Milne stories, with charming animation and certain sequences that are written like Abbot and Costello routines. John Cleese's intrusive narration and even the storybook itself play major roles in the plot.  Refreshingly innocent; this feels more like golden age Disney than anything they've done in years.  4.5/5.

With a 3 1/2 year old, I guarantee this will be seen at some point. We took Miles to see Cars 2 and he is not quite ready to sit all the way through a movie at the theatre quite yet, but he's getting there. We'll probably have to wait for DVD.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 27, 2011, 11:33:24 AM
WINNIE THE POOH: Pooh and friends search for Eeyore's missing tail and try to evade the deadly Baksun while the bear desperately searches for a pot of honey.  Clever mix of several A.A. Milne stories, with charming animation and certain sequences that are written like Abbot and Costello routines. John Cleese's intrusive narration and even the storybook itself play major roles in the plot.  Refreshingly innocent; this feels more like golden age Disney than anything they've done in years.  4.5/5.

With a 3 1/2 year old, I guarantee this will be seen at some point. We took Miles to see Cars 2 and he is not quite ready to sit all the way through a movie at the theatre quite yet, but he's getting there. We'll probably have to wait for DVD.

Don't know if this makes a difference but it's only 70 minutes, probably less if you don't stay for the credits (and maybe get there late and skip the previews and the opening cartoon which isn't that good).  It seems like a good first movie for kids.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on July 27, 2011, 12:40:56 PM
WINNIE THE POOH: Pooh and friends search for Eeyore's missing tail and try to evade the deadly Baksun while the bear desperately searches for a pot of honey.  Clever mix of several A.A. Milne stories, with charming animation and certain sequences that are written like Abbot and Costello routines. John Cleese's intrusive narration and even the storybook itself play major roles in the plot.  Refreshingly innocent; this feels more like golden age Disney than anything they've done in years.  4.5/5.

With a 3 1/2 year old, I guarantee this will be seen at some point. We took Miles to see Cars 2 and he is not quite ready to sit all the way through a movie at the theatre quite yet, but he's getting there. We'll probably have to wait for DVD.

Miles made it through about 45 minutes of Cars 2 before he started getting antsy.

Don't know if this makes a difference but it's only 70 minutes, probably less if you don't stay for the credits (and maybe get there late and skip the previews and the opening cartoon which isn't that good).  It seems like a good first movie for kids.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 03, 2011, 12:25:11 PM
A BETTER LIFE: An illegal Mexican immigrant in LA hopes to buy a truck to run his own business while dodging immigration and trying to keep his son in school and away from Chicano gangs.  Well-acted; at times a bit too obvious and too virtuous, but a valuable peek at a culture that doesn't make it on-screen very often.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Vik on August 03, 2011, 12:35:30 PM
Green Lantern
Average. I liked the visuals, but nothing special.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on August 05, 2011, 03:46:47 AM
The Change-Up (2011) - Some funny things here and there I guess, but it's just a generic film with a tired concept wrapped up in vulgarity as an excuse for entertainment.  Pretty dumb overall, and I got kinda bored and restless by the end, it just goes on too long.  Don't watch it.  A generous rating of 4/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MrMari on August 09, 2011, 05:48:18 AM
Captain America  :thumbup:

Fun movie. Avengers better live up to the hype. Of course, stay for the teaser after the credits.

Also saw the trailer for the Spider Man remake? WTF?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: MrMari on August 09, 2011, 05:50:02 AM
BRIDESMAIDS (2011):

Excellent film! I was really worried going into this, thinking that it would be some really boring by-the-numbers chick flick that would sap 2hrs from my life like Sex & The City did about three years back. Not the case at all, as I was pleasantly surprised by a hilarious and heartfelt film that kept my attention fully. I wasn't familiar with any of the main actresses but they all did a stellar job. The best comedy film I have seen in a very, very, very looooong time and my best film of the year so far. I highly recommend this film, even to guys and I'm glad to see it has received many positive reviews.

5/5

Yeah man, I just watched this one again as its now hit the local 3$ theater. Laughed my ass off again!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 24, 2011, 10:48:16 AM
SUPER 8: Young teenagers accidentally discover an air force cover-up while filming a homemade zombie movie.  With its kid protagonists and misunderstood aliens, it positions itself like a lost Steven Spielberg sci-fi romp from the early 1980s, and delivers solid nostalgia. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: JaseSF on August 24, 2011, 12:45:51 PM
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): A genetically enhanced ape named Caesar, the accidental result of experimental drug research designed to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, is adopted by lead scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) and his father Charles (John Lithgow) who happens to be suffering from Alzheimer's himself. Caesar however begins to outgrow the enclosed area in which he lives and as he moves more out into the world discovers a lot of harsh truths about human beings and the way we treat apes in captivity. Eventually Caesar is himself confined as he becomes seen as a threat to the safety of others but soon begins to organize his fellow apes for a potential revolt.

This surprised me. It was much better than I expected it would be largely because the acting in the film was so solid with Franco and Lithgow both giving fine, even at times moving performances and Andy Serkis stealing the whole movie with his performance as Caesar despite the fact all the apes are created by CGI. I have to say this is some of the best CGI I've seen in a film and it was well put to use here for the most part. But it's the acting and the realistic emotions put on display that make this a winner. Also there were lots of little nods to fans of the original film and in many ways this movie acts as a reverse sort of take on that one. This prequel doesn't quite jibe with the original films in terms of continuity but it's still a darn good movie. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

30 Minutes or Less (2011): a pizza delivery boy named Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) has a bomb strapped to him by two crazed ape-mask wearing country hicks named Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) determined to use him to rob a bank for them in order to use said money to pay an hitman to take out Dwayne's hardened Vietman Vet father in order for Dwayne to finally inherit the old codger's vast lottery winnings. Nick goes to his old childhood friend Chet (Aziz Ansari), an high school teacher, for help and the two unlikely bank robbers soon set out on a wild and crazy adventure trying to outwit Dwayne & Travis, the hitman and pretty much everybody else they encounter all while trying to insure Nick doesn't get blown up.

This was funny. It was really a quite good comedy. It's another movie that surprised me by being much better than I anticipated. There's also a lot of adventure and action in this one with several nods to classic action film classics. I also liked that the characters looked and acted very much like real people. The only thing that kind of falters is one does have to wonder just where Dwayne and Travis get their hands on so much weaponery and the unbelievable incompetence of cops and guards in this one. Still it's best not to examine such stuff so closely and just enjoy. *** out of ***** stars.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 24, 2011, 02:52:02 PM
"Fright" the 2011 remake of the 1985 classic vampire film. How did they compare?

The character of Charley Brewster was better in the 1985 film.
The character of Jerry . . . in 2011 not better than the earlier film, but a different take on the character. Almost a blue collar vampire. Call this a tie.
The character of Peter Vincent was better in the 1985 film.
The character of Amy was better in the 1985 film.
The character of Evil Ed was better in the 1985 film.
The opening scene was better in the 1985 film.
The setting was better in the 1985 film, where you had the atypical vampire in a typical American suburbia, while in the 2011 film, you had the atypical vampire in the atypical city of Las Vegas. Thus the contrast worked better in 1985.
The violence was better in 1985, because there was less of it, so when it happened the affect was there. The violence in the 2011 film was so over the top and so much of it, that the affect of it was lost.
The sex was better in 1985, because there was more of it. While we are probably less homophobic in 2011 than in 1985, it was the 1985 film that expressed the homoeroticism that can occur in vampirism.
The commercials were better in 1985,  because there were fewer of 'em, if any. In 2011 you had commercials for Budweiser, Century 21, Chili's, Google, the Hard Rock Casino, Volkswagen, etc.
The ending scene was better in 1985, because it was tighter and did not drag out so much.
The music. That was the one thing that 2011 did better than 1985. The music did a better job setting the mood in 2011 than in 1985.
Conclusion: 2011. Like a lot of remakes, not a bad film, but like alot of remakes a needless remake. There was no need to remake what I felt, along with "Lair of the White Worm," was the best vampire film from the '80's.

Next time: the remake of "Conan the Barbarian," though from having seen the trailer, it'll probably suck worser than the remake of "Fright Night."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on August 24, 2011, 04:41:29 PM
The Conan remake is not really a remake, it's another take on a literary character.  The new movie is closer to the book Conan, though still not quite there.  And it is a far inferior film to the Arnold one.  Also, the 3D is pointless and damages some of the pretty decent looking vista shots.  Feels like a Nispel film - some well put together sequences, bland characters, competent violence, blah story and random romance.  Mamoa, I think is his name, is a good Conan, probably the biggest surprise of the film.  He talks more and has more of the humor and bloodlust of the literary character.  The main girl is played pretty badly, actually, the worst performance in the film.  Ron Perlman gives good support in a thankless role as Corin, Conan's father.

It's worth a watch on a slow day, but not a good film.  Call it a 5/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on August 25, 2011, 11:23:02 PM
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010/2011) - Watched this last night and it really wasn't very good.  While it's handsome looking and has a much more fleshed-out story than the original TV-film, it wasn't that creepy or exciting.  The opening scene is pretty freaky and got my hopes up but I dunno, I just didn't care for this.  5/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 07, 2011, 09:03:18 AM
TERRI: A high school principal takes an interest in a fat kid who goes to school in his pajamas.  At first it seems like it's going to follow a predictable plot arc, but in a twist the story just sort of peters out instead; great performances make up for it.  Still, in 2011's "wise-but-flawed-adult-mentors-troubled-teen" mini-genre, I'd recommend WIN WIN over this. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 23, 2011, 12:51:51 PM
PROJECT NIM: Documentary about Nim, a chimp who was raised as a human, taught sign language, and then abandoned and shuffled around to a series of temporary homes, unsuited to fit into either the human or ape worlds.  Thought-provoking, and one of the most emotionally affecting movies of the year; fans of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES owe it to themselves to check out this real-life version.  4.5/5/   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on September 23, 2011, 04:48:58 PM
Drive: Very stylish.  That's the word for Drive.  It also has a great score, great acting, and a common but still good storyline.  The pacing and style is pretty arthouse-like, which is pretty interesting for a genre film like this.  Oh, and the violence is grotesque.  Think A History of Violence.  It's a beautiful film on a few levels...  But it's kind of hard to talk about or describe why.  Worth seeing in theatres.

9/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 28, 2011, 09:06:11 AM
MONEYBALL: The real life story of how iconoclastic Oakland A's GM Billy Bean used geeky advanced statistical analysis to assemble a team of undervalued misfits who could challenge for the pennant on the A's miniscule budget.  A good anchoring performance by Brad Pitt and an unexpectedly funny script turn what could have been dry subject matter into very solid entertainment.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 05, 2011, 12:13:00 PM
TABLOID: "What do cloned puppies have to do with kidnapped Mormons?," asks Joyce McKinney.  You'll find out in this documentary about the bizarre British tabloid sensation case in which the former beauty queen was accused of abducting a missionary, tying him up, and forcing him to have sex with her for three days.  It's a strange, funny and ultimately inconclusive story, told entirely through interviews.  The only downside is the suspicion that McKinney, who doesn't seem to be on speaking terms with reality, may be being exploited for her entertainment value once again, thirty years after the initial scandal.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on October 10, 2011, 11:39:13 AM
The Ides of March

Ryan Gosling plays an idealistic Junior Campaign Manager for a Democratic presidential candidate, played by George Clooney. At least, he is idealistic in comparison to the jaded and cynical world of modern politics, as he is fully aware of the stakes of the political big leagues and plays accordingly. Included in the cast are Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood.

I was very, very impressed with this film. The writing was exceptional, the direction was superb, and  the performances were impressive by the entire cast. Usually when I exit a film, even of ones I really enjoyed, I find something about it that I either didn’t enjoy or could have been done better. Not so with this one. I couldn’t find a damn thing wrong with it. The scenarios and dialogue were so convincing that I bought everything about it, hook, line and sinker. Part of this is because it painted the exact picture of politics that I have known to be true for a long time. Politics is about playing a game in which the stakes are incredibly high, and even the most seemingly inconsequential choices are anything but.

The film doesn’t say anything new. The title alone is indication enough of that. But it carries the time-proven message that abolute power corrupts absolutely very well. It does this with the equally time-proven methods of quality writing, direction, and performance. While the film portrays Democratic candidates, the message is easily applicable to any major political race, and all but the most staunchly partisan viewer will fail to recognize that. If political drama is a part of your viewing regimen, this one is first rate.

4.8/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 12, 2011, 09:36:58 AM
DRIVE: A stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver goes on a heist that turns wrong, with bloody consequences.  Quiet Ryan Gosling is like the Man With No Name, but using a car instead of a gun; the pace is slowed down and quiet, with infrequent but intense bursts of violence.  Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are very good as a pair of Jewish gangsters.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 20, 2011, 09:53:59 AM
50/50: A 27-year old man comes down with a rare type of cancer and is given a 50% chance to live.  Well-acted dramedy that jerks tears and chuckles in about equal amounts. 4/5.

BELLFLOWER: Two jobless, hard-drinking college-age kids struggle with relationships while they spend their free time building flamethrowers and post-apocalyptic cars out of their favorite film, MAD MAX.  They should be delusional nerds, but in fact they're awesome ladykillers.  Seriously, dude?  2/5.  Don't let the MAD MAX connection sucker you in; this is indie mumblecore drama at its most relentless.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on October 20, 2011, 12:52:21 PM
DRIVE: A stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver goes on a heist that turns wrong, with bloody consequences.  Quiet Ryan Gosling is like the Man With No Name, but using a car instead of a gun; the pace is slowed down and quiet, with infrequent but intense bursts of violence.  Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are very good as a pair of Jewish gangsters.  4/5.

I haven't seen this film, but I heard some recent criticism in the media that there were some anti-semitic elements to it. I don't know if that means there were disparaging portrayals or depracating stereotypes or whatever. I'm just curious if you got anything like that from it. I'm don't particularly care either way, I'm just curious.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 20, 2011, 02:11:51 PM
DRIVE: A stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver goes on a heist that turns wrong, with bloody consequences.  Quiet Ryan Gosling is like the Man With No Name, but using a car instead of a gun; the pace is slowed down and quiet, with infrequent but intense bursts of violence.  Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are very good as a pair of Jewish gangsters.  4/5.

I haven't seen this film, but I heard some recent criticism in the media that there were some anti-semitic elements to it. I don't know if that means there were disparaging portrayals or depracating stereotypes or whatever. I'm just curious if you got anything like that from it. I'm don't particularly care either way, I'm just curious.

No, I didn't get any anti-Semitic vibe at all and the criticism seems silly.  Jews aren't usually portrayed as tough-guy gangsters, so I would say its hardly stereotyped.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on October 21, 2011, 12:41:36 AM
DRIVE: A stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver goes on a heist that turns wrong, with bloody consequences.  Quiet Ryan Gosling is like the Man With No Name, but using a car instead of a gun; the pace is slowed down and quiet, with infrequent but intense bursts of violence.  Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are very good as a pair of Jewish gangsters.  4/5.

I haven't seen this film, but I heard some recent criticism in the media that there were some anti-semitic elements to it. I don't know if that means there were disparaging portrayals or depracating stereotypes or whatever. I'm just curious if you got anything like that from it. I'm don't particularly care either way, I'm just curious.

No, I didn't get any anti-Semitic vibe at all and the criticism seems silly.  Jews aren't usually portrayed as tough-guy gangsters, so I would say its hardly stereotyped.

Okay. I thought it sounded silly. I was listening to the Adam Carolla podcast recently and that was one of the news stories they covered. They sort of glanced over it and didn't spend much time, so I never got much on what the fuss was about.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 26, 2011, 09:47:23 AM
DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (2010): When court officials start spontaneously bursting into flames as her coronation approaches, Empress Wu suspects a conspiracy and hires the one man she believes can uncover it: Detective Dee, whom she imprisoned years ago for treason.  It's a mix of mystery, intrigue, fantasy, spectacle, and kung fu; what's not to like?  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 29, 2011, 05:22:50 PM
"Real Steel" w/ Hugh Jackman.

A middling film, but with enough in it, that overall I liked it.

Maybe I should see more films, but I did think the script for this was one of the poorest I have ever come across.

On the other hand, I sound the film soundtrack was one of the best I have ever heard.

Thus, my favorite scenes were the ones sans dialogue, but just with the boy, his robot, and a musical background.

I have this strange idea that the first opening scene in a film should tell you something about what you'll see, but when the film opened, I actually thought I had walked into the wrong theater, and was watching a different film, then the one I paid to see. I didn't like the opening at all.

Also the climatic fight between Atom and Zeus should have, by rights, should have been the most exciting fight in the film, but there again the filmmakers (IMHO) screwed something up, for the second to last fight between Atom and Twin Cities (IMHO) came out being the most exciting fight in the film.

And unlike other films set in the future, and according to the script, this was set in 2020, little or nothing was done to make the audience believe it was set in the future.

 Interestingly enough, or maybe not, but for a film that was supposedly set partly in Texas, none of it was filmed in Texas, but it sure looked like it was filmed in Texas. I need to get out more.

And, there were the normal amount of in-film ads, which I always like to look for in a film. I saw ads for Budweiser -- Cadillac -- Chase Bank -- Cocoa-Cola -- Espn -- Harvester International.

And yes, there is already a sequel planned for 2014.

The next film I plan on seeing is "Johnny English Reborn" w/ Rowan Atkinson. Hopefully, this Sunday. A sequel to "Johnny English," which I have already seen.

And before "Real Steel," I saw the trailer for Spielberg's "War Horse," which I also plan on seeing in December, even though the trailer made it out to be one of the most saccharine films I might ever see. Maybe I should read the book , upon which the film is based, first.

Till next time.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 02, 2011, 12:26:47 PM
THE RUM DIARY: An alcoholic journalist goes to Puerto Rico and encounters unscrupulous real estate developers and bottomless mini-bars.  From Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel, with Johnny Depp again playing a (subdued) version of the gonzo journalist in a script with some decent set pieces that ultimately goes nowhere.  It should have been titled "Mild Concern and Dislike in San Juan."  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 11, 2011, 12:12:39 PM
MARGIN CALL: 24 hours in the life of a financial firm (modeled on the Lehman Brothers) that panics when they discover research indicating that the risky mortgage-backed securities they've specialized in have become toxic.  Star power (Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons) and an emphasis on drama above details make this intelligently written movie probably the closest thing to a "financial thriller" we're likely to see.  3.5/5, though opinions will probably vary widely on this one thanks to the dry subject matter.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 16, 2011, 12:37:44 PM
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE: A young woman flees a cult-like commune to stay at her sister's lakeside vacation home and finds it impossible to exorcise her demons and  adjust to normal life.  The abrupt ending is a let down but it's well-written and beautifully acted; with one role, Elizabeth Olsen has now accomplished more than her more famous twin sisters have in their entire careers. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on November 19, 2011, 10:48:10 AM
We watched TOWER HEIST last weekend.  Ben Stiller is funny, Alan Alda is a very hateable villain, and Eddie Murphy is actually quite funny for once, but I thought that Matthew Broderick stole the show as an unemployed Wall Street wizard.  This one is really quite good!!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Silverlady on November 19, 2011, 06:09:16 PM


We saw PUSS IN BOOTS.   Very cute.  Antonio Banderos, once again as the voice of PUSS.   And Salma Hayek as the voice of his feline co-star, KITTY SOFT PAWS.  If you liked Shrek and Shrek II, you probably will like this one.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 20, 2011, 11:14:22 AM
MELANCHOLIA: News that an unknown planet (dubbed "Melancholia") may enter earth's orbit breaks on a depressed woman's wedding day.  A strange, sad, metaphorical movie with great performances by Kristen Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg that sees director Lars von Trier again drawing on his experiences with depression, but in a far less outlandish way than 2009's ANTICHRIST.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 21, 2011, 10:58:49 AM
(I'll be watching a bunch of wannabe awards nominee movies in the upcoming month, stuff that I probably wouldn't watch otherwise).

PARIAH:  A lesbian teenager in Brooklyn leads an uncomfortable double life, trying to hide her lifestyle from her conservative parents while struggling to find a suitable partner for her first sexual relationship.  Excellent acting salvages a well-intentioned but familiar script that occasionally drags.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 22, 2011, 05:16:16 PM
THE IDES OF MARCH: A senior press secretary (Ryan Gosling) stumping for a Democratic party presidential candidate (Geroge Clooney) finds his ethics tested by dirty tricks and scandal. Ironically, the script becomes much more appealing when it leaves its apple-pie idealism behind and gets down to the thrilling business of mudslinging, betrayal and extortion.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on November 22, 2011, 09:33:54 PM
THE IDES OF MARCH: A senior press secretary (Ryan Gosling) stumping for a Democratic party presidential candidate (Geroge Clooney) finds his ethics tested by dirty tricks and scandal. Ironically, the script becomes much more appealing when it leaves its apple-pie idealism behind and gets down to the thrilling business of mudslinging, betrayal and extortion.

Well since there is no score, I'm amusing a 4 out of 5?

Interestingly enough, I heard the same thing about the movie as well.  Once it moves to the second half, the movie gets really good.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 22, 2011, 09:53:02 PM
THE IDES OF MARCH: A senior press secretary (Ryan Gosling) stumping for a Democratic party presidential candidate (Geroge Clooney) finds his ethics tested by dirty tricks and scandal. Ironically, the script becomes much more appealing when it leaves its apple-pie idealism behind and gets down to the thrilling business of mudslinging, betrayal and extortion.

Well since there is no score, I'm amusing a 4 out of 5?

Interestingly enough, I heard the same thing about the movie as well.  Once it moves to the second half, the movie gets really good.

3.5/5.  :smile:  You could go 4/5 if you have a real interest in the actors or in political thrillers in general. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on November 23, 2011, 01:25:58 PM
THE IDES OF MARCH: A senior press secretary (Ryan Gosling) stumping for a Democratic party presidential candidate (Geroge Clooney) finds his ethics tested by dirty tricks and scandal. Ironically, the script becomes much more appealing when it leaves its apple-pie idealism behind and gets down to the thrilling business of mudslinging, betrayal and extortion.

Well since there is no score, I'm amusing a 4 out of 5?

Interestingly enough, I heard the same thing about the movie as well.  Once it moves to the second half, the movie gets really good.

3.5/5.  :smile:  You could go 4/5 if you have a real interest in the actors or in political thrillers in general. 

SPOILER ALERT!

I really liked it. I think I gave it a 4.5/5. The second half was the more compelling, I agree, but I thought the apple pie idealism was an important part of the "loss of innocence" equation. I liked the ending because you don't know if he's going to play ball or if his intention is to let the cat out of the bag. The question remains to be answered: has he been corrupted, or has he retained his ethics and intends to blow the lid off.

I found it highly effective and engaging.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 25, 2011, 09:41:26 AM
THE DESCENDANTS: Matt King (George Clooney), the trustee of a large parcel of land once owned by a royal Hawaiian ancestor, becomes the primary caretaker for his two bratty daughters when his wife goes into a coma.  A pleasant watch with a good balance of drama and comic relief; a winner for fans of Clooney, or Hawaiian scenery.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 29, 2011, 06:19:01 PM
"Johnny English Reborn" w/ Rowan Atkinson.

We'll start at the ending and work back towards the opening.

Or should I say endings. There seemed to have been three endings to the film. One in Switzerland, which I enjoyed. One in England, which I did not enjoy, as it only replayed what we had seen before. And one more in London, during the credits, which I also enjoyed.

Recently, I have been complaining about how films opened, but I rather enjoyed the opening for this films. Also . . .

The casting. Good. Especially the actors casted as the villains. Most film villains look like actors trying to pretend their villains. But the actors who played the villains in this one really did look villainous.

The cinematography. Good. I especially liked the shot of the jet taking off into the sunrise.

Locations. Good.

Music. Good.

Sets. Good.

Rowan Atkinson. Good. I was surprised how short he was, when he stood next to the other actors in the film, and his facial features are irregular, especially his nose, but you know what. He looked good. He looked good with a beard. He looked good without a beard. He looked good in a tux. A 3-piece suit. Golf togs. Coat and tie. He is one of the few actors I have seen who look good no matter what he wears. It must be the way he carries himself.

A sequel to "Johnny English." This is one of the few sequels I have seen which I actually thought was better than the original. And I hope they continue the series, but with a better script next time.

And the action sequences were a mixed bag.

Next time (hopefully): "The Muppets"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 30, 2011, 10:16:10 AM
HUGO: An orphaned boy who tends the clocks at a Paris train station in the 1920s becomes the reluctant apprentice of a sour old magician with a secret past.  Pitched as a kids' picture, this beautiful-looking 3D movie about movies is really of more interest to adult cinephiles.  Includes the bonus short "A Trip to the Moon", in 3-D! 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: bob on December 01, 2011, 03:21:08 AM
Jack and Jill - Pacino makes this Dunkin Donuts movie shill a hell of a lot better then it has any right to be, the stuff not involving him is really hit or miss with most of them missing badly

lots and lots of celebrity cameos

2/5 stars


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on December 01, 2011, 11:58:27 AM
Jack and Jill - Pacino makes this Dunkin Donuts movie shill a hell of a lot better then it has any right to be, the stuff not involving him is really hit or miss with most of them missing badly

lots and lots of celebrity cameos

2/5 stars

Ah-ha!  I thought you go that.  The smell of crappy comedies lured you into one once more!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: bob on December 01, 2011, 05:30:23 PM
Jack and Jill - Pacino makes this Dunkin Donuts movie shill a hell of a lot better then it has any right to be, the stuff not involving him is really hit or miss with most of them missing badly

lots and lots of celebrity cameos

2/5 stars

Ah-ha!  I thought you go that.  The smell of crappy comedies lured you into one once more!

I was actaully talked into watching it with a friend....one final note as bad as the movie is I think Pacino might deserve an Oscar nomination just for carrying this


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 05, 2011, 11:14:43 AM
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY: George Smiley, a British intelligence agent forced into retirement during a regime change, secretly investigates his own agency (the Circus) searching for a Soviet mole.  A mighty extravaganza of Cold War intrigue and paranoia, but you might have to jot down notes to follow the complicated plot full of minor characters.  A must see for fans of serious spy movies; they just don't make these anymore.  4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 14, 2011, 12:58:33 PM
I'm way behind, I'm not sure all of these are still in theaters but I'm fairly sure none have been released to DVD yet.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN:  A mother's tortured relationship with her psychopathic son told in impressionistic flashback fragments.  It's sort of THE BAD SEED by way of THE TREE OF LIFE; it's confusing and frequently audience-alienating, but the core tale of a mother bound to a horrifying monster of a son she doesn't love is deeply disconcerting.   4/5.

INTO THE ABYSS: Documentary covering the last days of Michael Perry, convicted of committing a triple murder for a red Camaro valued at a couple of thousand dollars.  Many frightening, sad people are interviewed, but the scariest character of all may be a death row groupie in serious denial.  It's raw, it's real, but its seriously depressing; we go into the abyss, and we never come out.  The "message of hope" at the end is bitterly ironic. 3/5.

GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE: Slightly surrealistic biopic covering the life of a French folk/rock icon, the hard-drinking, hard-smoking Lothario Serge Gainsbourg, with a scary puppet doppelganger on hand representing his inner demons.  The experimentalism and some dead-on portrayals of Gainsboug's glamorous lovers---Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin---make for a lively tribute to the rakish singer's rebel spirit. 4/5.

THE TRIP: As part of a foodie assignment for a newspaper article, two working actors take a week-long trip across the north of England, bickering, bemoaning middle age, and trading Michael Caine impressions.  Sort of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE on tour, it's witty but inconsequential.  3/5.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 18, 2011, 12:51:29 PM
THE ARTIST: A silent film actor falls fast when he refuses to adjust to the arrival of talkies, while an extra he discovered is becoming a huge star in the new format.  A modern (mostly) silent film that evokes its era beautifully and features some very clever touches (the "soundmare" is a ton of fun).  A novelty, but a very solid and entertaining one.  4/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on December 20, 2011, 10:15:48 AM
I'm way behind, I'm not sure all of these are still in theaters but I'm fairly sure none have been released to DVD yet.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN:  A mother's tortured relationship with her psychopathic son told in impressionistic flashback fragments.  It's sort of THE BAD SEED by way of THE TREE OF LIFE; it's confusing and frequently audience-alienating, but the core tale of a mother bound to a horrifying monster of a son she doesn't love is deeply disconcerting.   4/5.

INTO THE ABYSS: Documentary covering the last days of Michael Perry, convicted of committing a triple murder for a red Camaro valued at a couple of thousand dollars.  Many frightening, sad people are interviewed, but the scariest character of all may be a death row groupie in serious denial.  It's raw, it's real, but its seriously depressing; we go into the abyss, and we never come out.  The "message of hope" at the end is bitterly ironic. 3/5.

GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE: Slightly surrealistic biopic covering the life of a French folk/rock icon, the hard-drinking, hard-smoking Lothario Serge Gainsbourg, with a scary puppet doppelganger on hand representing his inner demons.  The experimentalism and some dead-on portrayals of Gainsboug's glamorous lovers---Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin---make for a lively tribute to the rakish singer's rebel spirit. 4/5.

THE TRIP: As part of a foodie assignment for a newspaper article, two working actors take a week-long trip across the north of England, bickering, bemoaning middle age, and trading Michael Caine impressions.  Sort of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE on tour, it's witty but inconsequential.  3/5.



I don't regret getting married and having kids in the slightest, but there is a small part of me that envies being able to watch this many movies.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 20, 2011, 03:13:49 PM

I don't regret getting married and having kids in the slightest, but there is a small part of me that envies being able to watch this many movies.

I wouldn't normally watch this many movies but I am voting in the Online Film Critics Poll this year and I feel obligated to see as many potential award nominees as possible.  This past month I've been mixing in ones I watch on screener DVDs with ones I actually see in the theater.  I still have a stack of about 30 screeners I won't be able to get to before my vote is due in.  After the nominees are announced I'll have to try to catch all the ones I haven't yet seen before my vote is due in a week.

Two more:

CERTIFIED COPY: An antiques shop dealer contacts the writer of "Certified Copy," a book that proclaims that copies are as important as originals, to argue about his theory; as their day together progresses their relationship shifts until they end up playing different roles entirely.  Gets points for ambition, dialogue and acting, but it ends up playing like a psychological thriller with all the thrills taken out.  3/5.

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS: When a single gift out of several billion is left behind on Christmas Eve, Santa's affable but bumbling youngest son Arthur takes it on himself to make sure it gets delivered before sunrise.  Surprisingly dense and entertaining, juggling lots of well-drawn characters and subplots together with an entirely new, technology-influenced mythology of Santa Claus.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on December 20, 2011, 06:06:19 PM
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS: When a single gift out of several billion is left behind on Christmas Eve, Santa's affable but bumbling youngest son Arthur takes it on himself to make sure it gets delivered before sunrise.  Surprisingly dense and entertaining, juggling lots of well-drawn characters and subplots together with an entirely new, technology-influenced mythology of Santa Claus.  4.5/5.

Oh yeah, that film was made by the studio who did Wallace and Gromit.  Glad to hear it turned out well.  I'm interested in their next feature: The Pirates! Band of Misfits


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on December 23, 2011, 08:55:14 PM
Quote
When a single gift out of several billion is left behind on Christmas Eve, Santa's affable but bumbling youngest son Arthur takes it on himself to make sure it gets delivered before sunrise.  Surprisingly dense and entertaining, juggling lots of well-drawn characters and subplots together with an entirely new, technology-influenced mythology of Santa Claus.

Yeah, I've heard a lot of good stuff about this film, but the trailers are ATROCIOUSLY BAD.  Some of the worst marketing for any major release I'm aware of.  I mean, this is the first time I ever had a real idea what the film was about. 

Me, I recently saw:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - solid followup.  I actually overall enjoyed this one more than the first, chiefly because the villain is much better.  It does get a bit excessive with the explosions and slow mo - but it actually has some good dialogue scenes between Holmes and Moriarty.  On another note, it might be worth mentioning here that Moriarty and Holmes did indeed essentially have a kung fu battle in the story the film is loosely based on. 

8/10

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Wow, some GREAT pacing in this one.  Doesn't slow down for a moment.  Just action set piece, twist, super cars, hot women, good humor, great Hollywood entertainment at its best - and a lot of the action and stuff is practical.  A real winner.  9/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: the ghoul on December 24, 2011, 09:15:29 AM
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - solid followup.  I actually overall enjoyed this one more than the first, chiefly because the villain is much better.  It does get a bit excessive with the explosions and slow mo - but it actually has some good dialogue scenes between Holmes and Moriarty.  On another note, it might be worth mentioning here that Moriarty and Holmes did indeed essentially have a kung fu battle in the story the film is loosely based on. 

8/10


I agree, except for the part about liking it more than the first.  I think I like them about equally.  Moriarty is a great villain.  I loved the confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty near the end.  This movie is a perfect blend of action, weirdness, and humor.  As I have stated before in regards to the first Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes film, this one also has a lot of similarities to the Wild Wild West TV series.  I am hoping there will be a third. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 27, 2011, 10:28:46 AM
So this week I'm going to try to catch up on the 7 awards-nominated movies that I missed during the year.  That's going to mean a lot of double features.

THE IRON LADY: Caught in what appears to be the early stages of dementia, Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) remembers her rise and fall from power as Britain's first female Prime Minister.  Streep's performance, especially as the vulnerable older woman, is the reason to watch.  Otherwise, the film is like looking at old press clippings: fun if you're a Thatcher fan or professional detractor but of only passing interest otherwise.  3/5.

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN: A production assistant has a brief fling with an insecure, pill-popping Marilyn Monroe while she is in London to film THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL with Sir Laurence Olivier.  Fluffy but entertaining; Michelle Williams rightfully gets most of the acting credit for her Monroe impersonation, but Kenneth Branagh is also memorable as an Olivier who may not be as confident as he appears.  3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 28, 2011, 01:11:43 PM
BEGINNERS: Middle aged cartoonist Oliver sabotages his relationships, but adjusts his priorities when his 75-year old dad announces he's gay, takes a younger lover, and then is diagnosed with cancer.  With its quiet old-timey jazz score and gentle breaking of the fourth wall (a Jack Russell terrier commenting on the action via subtitles), Mike Mills' sophomore feature brings to mind late 70s/early 80s Woody Allen, though with more melancholy and less funny.  3.5/5.

WARRIOR: Two estranged brothers enter a mixed martial arts tournament, each as heavy underdogs.  It wants to be the ROCKY of MMA movies, but with its flurry of fight movies cliches and a seemingly invulnerable Russian fighter named "Koba," it's more like the ROCKY 4 of MMA movies.  2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 29, 2011, 11:33:08 AM
ALBERT NOBBS: Albert Nobbs is a woman secretly living as a man in 19th century Dublin.  Glenn Close plays Nobbs believably, but the character is so withdrawn, shy and delusional that it's painful to spend so much time with her; Janet McTeer steals Close's thunder as a more exuberant character in a similar situation.  2.5/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 30, 2011, 11:20:17 AM
THE SKIN I LIVE IN: A research scientist is working on creating an artificial skin that will resist malaria, but who is the strangely docile young woman he's holding at his estate and using as a guinea pig?  A complex story about the outer limits of depravity that shocks through its plot and its understanding of human psychology, not cheap tricks.  There are many delightfully perverse secrets buried in the story, so the less you know going in, the better.  4.5/5.

TAKE SHELTER: A construction supervisor has vivid nightmares involving a looming storm, and he's unable to control his obsession with building an elaborate shelter for his wife and child even though he understands that he's losing his mind.  Slow to start but it builds to a powerful tempest.  Michael Shannon has specialized in playing psychos for years now, but this is the role that will finally get him mainstream acclaim.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: bob on December 30, 2011, 02:23:52 PM
Rev. Powell is becoming a hero of sorts for me in that he has watcheda ton of theatrical movies as of late  :thumbup:
i


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 30, 2011, 03:10:09 PM
Rev. Powell is becoming a hero of sorts for me in that he has watcheda ton of theatrical movies as of late  :thumbup:
i

The reason is I'm voting in the Online Film Critics poll and I have a week to catch up on all the nominees I missed over the year. Still 2 more to watch. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 31, 2011, 04:23:15 PM
Finally caught up on my 2011 viewing!

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN:  Boy reporter Tintin's discovery of a secret message hidden in a model ship sends him off on a globetrotting adventure with his dog snowy, a drunken sea captain, and a pair of bumbling twin Interpol agents.  Beautifully concocted mix of THE MALTESE FALCON and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK containing the year's most thrilling action sequences; why in the world has it taken so long to bring this franchise-ready property to the big screen?  5/5.

SHAME:  A sex addict finds his routine disrupted when his irresponsible and unstable sister comes to live with him.  Falls into the same trap as many "serious" movies about sex; it makes the surroundings dull, dreary and dour so that we can't enjoy the rutting scenes, or will feel guilty if we do.  But nothing in this sex addict's life looks authentically empty; his lifestyle actually looks like a lot of fun, and he'd probably enjoy it if the director would stop playing such depressing music during the threesomes.  2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Kaseykockroach on December 31, 2011, 04:55:53 PM
The Artist: Gimmicky, one-note, but cute fun.
2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on December 31, 2011, 07:10:00 PM
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN:  Boy reporter Tintin's discovery of a secret message hidden in a model ship sends him off on a globetrotting adventure with his dog snowy, a drunken sea captain, and a pair of bumbling twin Interpol agents.  Beautifully concocted mix of THE MALTESE FALCON and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK containing the year's most thrilling action sequences; why in the world has it taken so long to bring this franchise-ready property to the big screen?  5/5.

Yes!  Glad to see others saw this.  That's what I thought when I saw the movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on December 31, 2011, 08:31:43 PM

SHAME:  A sex addict finds his routine disrupted when his irresponsible and unstable sister comes to live with him.  Falls into the same trap as many "serious" movies about sex; it makes the surroundings dull, dreary and dour so that we can't enjoy the rutting scenes, or will feel guilty if we do.  But nothing in this sex addict's life looks authentically empty; his lifestyle actually looks like a lot of fun, and he'd probably enjoy it if the director would stop playing such depressing music during the threesomes.  2/5.


(http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llh6yiut4W1qc7xoe.png)
"Sorry, I'm from Wisconsin; is that the same as gettin' a lot?"   :wink:

I still kind of want to see this though; the same director made HUNGER, which I loved.  But it looks like a rental (for a few reasons).


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on January 03, 2012, 03:13:06 PM
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This is the American version directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two main roles.

It's difficult to classify this as either a remake of the Swedish film or just the American adaptation of the novel. Both follow the book quite well. Because of this, it's hard to say whether the film borrowed extensively from the Swedish version or simply followed the novel on it's own terms. In my view, a film adaptation of the novel could only be done a certain way to be successful, and both versions did it, end of story.

I thought it was quite good, chilling and disturbing where it needed to be. The performances were carried off admirably. I actuall preferred Daniel Craig in the role of Blumkvist. The character was supposed to be a smooth operator who has bedded many women, to be in stark contrast to the character of Salander, making their short-term affair so striking and unlikely. I didn't think thing the actor in the Swedish version was able to carry that off as well as Craig did. Aside from that, it was similarly effective to the Swedish adaptation. Stellan Skarsgard was a standout as well, using his smooth presence to great effect.

A bit slow-paced, but then I don't mind that. I would gladly recommend it.

4.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 06, 2012, 11:53:56 AM
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL: Disowned by mission control and cut off from support, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) leads his team from Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai to stop a terrorist intent on inciting a nuclear war.  Full of ridiculously magical techo-gadgets and thrilling set pieces; like James Bond, it's not ashamed to go ridiculous to achieve a suspenseful effect.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 11, 2012, 10:37:07 AM
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This is the American version directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two main roles.

It's difficult to classify this as either a remake of the Swedish film or just the American adaptation of the novel. Both follow the book quite well. Because of this, it's hard to say whether the film borrowed extensively from the Swedish version or simply followed the novel on it's own terms. In my view, a film adaptation of the novel could only be done a certain way to be successful, and both versions did it, end of story.

I thought it was quite good, chilling and disturbing where it needed to be. The performances were carried off admirably. I actuall preferred Daniel Craig in the role of Blumkvist. The character was supposed to be a smooth operator who has bedded many women, to be in stark contrast to the character of Salander, making their short-term affair so striking and unlikely. I didn't think thing the actor in the Swedish version was able to carry that off as well as Craig did. Aside from that, it was similarly effective to the Swedish adaptation. Stellan Skarsgard was a standout as well, using his smooth presence to great effect.

A bit slow-paced, but then I don't mind that. I would gladly recommend it.

4.5/5

My review:

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: A disgraced journalist requires the help of an eccentric, antisocial and potentially dangerous computer prodigy to solve a decades old murder.  Does exactly what it was meant to do: provides American viewers who would never watch the original subtitled version a chance to see Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel on film.  A rare Hollywood remake that doesn't dumb things down for the audience; in fact, it even expands on the original by running longer (3 hours!) and extensively covering the epilogue of the novel, which was left out of the Swedish movie.  4/5.

One unusual complaint from me was the soundtrack---there were moments when it was way too prevalent, playing inappropriately tense music during simple exposition scenes.  It's an oxymoron: an intrusive ambient soundtrack.  The brilliant opening credits are typical Fincher, though they basically have nothing to do with the movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on January 17, 2012, 12:12:14 AM
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This is the American version directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two main roles.

It's difficult to classify this as either a remake of the Swedish film or just the American adaptation of the novel. Both follow the book quite well. Because of this, it's hard to say whether the film borrowed extensively from the Swedish version or simply followed the novel on it's own terms. In my view, a film adaptation of the novel could only be done a certain way to be successful, and both versions did it, end of story.

I thought it was quite good, chilling and disturbing where it needed to be. The performances were carried off admirably. I actuall preferred Daniel Craig in the role of Blumkvist. The character was supposed to be a smooth operator who has bedded many women, to be in stark contrast to the character of Salander, making their short-term affair so striking and unlikely. I didn't think thing the actor in the Swedish version was able to carry that off as well as Craig did. Aside from that, it was similarly effective to the Swedish adaptation. Stellan Skarsgard was a standout as well, using his smooth presence to great effect.

A bit slow-paced, but then I don't mind that. I would gladly recommend it.

4.5/5

My review:

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: A disgraced journalist requires the help of an eccentric, antisocial and potentially dangerous computer prodigy to solve a decades old murder.  Does exactly what it was meant to do: provides American viewers who would never watch the original subtitled version a chance to see Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel on film.  A rare Hollywood remake that doesn't dumb things down for the audience; in fact, it even expands on the original by running longer (3 hours!) and extensively covering the epilogue of the novel, which was left out of the Swedish movie.  4/5.

One unusual complaint from me was the soundtrack---there were moments when it was way too prevalent, playing inappropriately tense music during simple exposition scenes.  It's an oxymoron: an intrusive ambient soundtrack.  The brilliant opening credits are typical Fincher, though they basically have nothing to do with the movie.

That's wierd. Aside from the opening title sequence, I don't even remember the soundtrack. All I remember are the visuals and the performances. What's so wierd about that is that the soundtrack is usually one of the things I pay attention to. In this film, I barely noticed it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 17, 2012, 11:11:51 AM
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This is the American version directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two main roles.

It's difficult to classify this as either a remake of the Swedish film or just the American adaptation of the novel. Both follow the book quite well. Because of this, it's hard to say whether the film borrowed extensively from the Swedish version or simply followed the novel on it's own terms. In my view, a film adaptation of the novel could only be done a certain way to be successful, and both versions did it, end of story.

I thought it was quite good, chilling and disturbing where it needed to be. The performances were carried off admirably. I actuall preferred Daniel Craig in the role of Blumkvist. The character was supposed to be a smooth operator who has bedded many women, to be in stark contrast to the character of Salander, making their short-term affair so striking and unlikely. I didn't think thing the actor in the Swedish version was able to carry that off as well as Craig did. Aside from that, it was similarly effective to the Swedish adaptation. Stellan Skarsgard was a standout as well, using his smooth presence to great effect.

A bit slow-paced, but then I don't mind that. I would gladly recommend it.

4.5/5

My review:

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: A disgraced journalist requires the help of an eccentric, antisocial and potentially dangerous computer prodigy to solve a decades old murder.  Does exactly what it was meant to do: provides American viewers who would never watch the original subtitled version a chance to see Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel on film.  A rare Hollywood remake that doesn't dumb things down for the audience; in fact, it even expands on the original by running longer (3 hours!) and extensively covering the epilogue of the novel, which was left out of the Swedish movie.  4/5.

One unusual complaint from me was the soundtrack---there were moments when it was way too prevalent, playing inappropriately tense music during simple exposition scenes.  It's an oxymoron: an intrusive ambient soundtrack.  The brilliant opening credits are typical Fincher, though they basically have nothing to do with the movie.

That's wierd. Aside from the opening title sequence, I don't even remember the soundtrack. All I remember are the visuals and the performances. What's so wierd about that is that the soundtrack is usually one of the things I pay attention to. In this film, I barely noticed it.

In one of the early scenes, where the lawyer is interviewing Lisbeth for the first time, the "eerie" soundtrack was mixed way too high---it was a pure exposition scene and there wasn't any need for atmosphere.  It intruded on the conversation.  Thanks to that issue showing up so early, I paid attention to the soundtrack through the rest of the film, and it annoyed me.  If I hadn't noticed it early on I probably wouldn't have commented on it at all.  It certainly didn't ruin the film.

I wonder if it could have been something weird involving sound levels at the particular theater I saw it at?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on January 17, 2012, 02:55:39 PM
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This is the American version directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two main roles.

It's difficult to classify this as either a remake of the Swedish film or just the American adaptation of the novel. Both follow the book quite well. Because of this, it's hard to say whether the film borrowed extensively from the Swedish version or simply followed the novel on it's own terms. In my view, a film adaptation of the novel could only be done a certain way to be successful, and both versions did it, end of story.

I thought it was quite good, chilling and disturbing where it needed to be. The performances were carried off admirably. I actuall preferred Daniel Craig in the role of Blumkvist. The character was supposed to be a smooth operator who has bedded many women, to be in stark contrast to the character of Salander, making their short-term affair so striking and unlikely. I didn't think thing the actor in the Swedish version was able to carry that off as well as Craig did. Aside from that, it was similarly effective to the Swedish adaptation. Stellan Skarsgard was a standout as well, using his smooth presence to great effect.

A bit slow-paced, but then I don't mind that. I would gladly recommend it.

4.5/5

My review:

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: A disgraced journalist requires the help of an eccentric, antisocial and potentially dangerous computer prodigy to solve a decades old murder.  Does exactly what it was meant to do: provides American viewers who would never watch the original subtitled version a chance to see Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel on film.  A rare Hollywood remake that doesn't dumb things down for the audience; in fact, it even expands on the original by running longer (3 hours!) and extensively covering the epilogue of the novel, which was left out of the Swedish movie.  4/5.

One unusual complaint from me was the soundtrack---there were moments when it was way too prevalent, playing inappropriately tense music during simple exposition scenes.  It's an oxymoron: an intrusive ambient soundtrack.  The brilliant opening credits are typical Fincher, though they basically have nothing to do with the movie.

That's wierd. Aside from the opening title sequence, I don't even remember the soundtrack. All I remember are the visuals and the performances. What's so wierd about that is that the soundtrack is usually one of the things I pay attention to. In this film, I barely noticed it.

In one of the early scenes, where the lawyer is interviewing Lisbeth for the first time, the "eerie" soundtrack was mixed way too high---it was a pure exposition scene and there wasn't any need for atmosphere.  It intruded on the conversation.  Thanks to that issue showing up so early, I paid attention to the soundtrack through the rest of the film, and it annoyed me.  If I hadn't noticed it early on I probably wouldn't have commented on it at all.  It certainly didn't ruin the film.

I wonder if it could have been something weird involving sound levels at the particular theater I saw it at?


It might be. Something like you're talking about (and I remember the scene) is something I would have picked up on instantly and probably been annoyed with.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 18, 2012, 11:02:53 AM
NY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE: An oaf (Gerard Depardieu) forms an unlikely friendship with a 95-year old woman who sees the intelligence buried inside of him.  This sweet, literate character study will play well for it's target audience of little old ladies, but less well for its secondary audience of semi-literate lummoxes.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jim H on January 22, 2012, 07:06:29 PM
Underworld: Awakening - Weak sequel filled with plotholes and unlikable lead characters.  OK action scenes, gory and competently made.  4/10.

Hugo: Sweet, charming, funny, beautifully shot, and very rewarding film.  Will have extra punch for those familiar with early silent film work.  Great performances.  One of the best films of the year.  Just shy of a 10/10.  9/10 from me.

Haywire: Good action scenes, solid acting from a stellar supporting cast, though Gina is just a decent lead (doesn't have much to work with).  Soderberg's style seems a poor fit for action film-making to me - everything is flat, blandly lit, and unamped.  That is, he seems to deliberately drain every scene of energy in his films, which is the opposite of what you want in an action film.  It's still worth a watch though.  6/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 01, 2012, 09:42:30 AM
A DANGEROUS METHOD:  Carl Jung struggles with his relationship with surrogate father figure Sigmund Freud, and gets drawn into a sexual relationship with a masochistic patient.  Supposed to give us the juicy details of psychoanalysts' sex lives, but the story is surprisingly dry, and maybe even repressed.  Worth a watch if you have an interest in the subject matter.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 17, 2012, 10:17:32 AM
PUSS IN BOOTS: Caught this on its last day at the second-run theater. A swashbuckling kitty teams up with an egg to steal magic beans from notorious criminals Jack and Jill. This is good children's entertainment that got swallowed up min 2011 in a sea of great children's entertainment; it's thrilling but not as thrilling as TINTIN, adventurous but not as adventurous as RANGO, cute but not as cute as THE MUPPETS.  3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Flick James on February 17, 2012, 11:36:51 AM
A DANGEROUS METHOD:  Carl Jung struggles with his relationship with surrogate father figure Sigmund Freud, and gets drawn into a sexual relationship with a masochistic patient.  Supposed to give us the juicy details of psychoanalysts' sex lives, but the story is surprisingly dry, and maybe even repressed.  Worth a watch if you have an interest in the subject matter.  3/5.

I have been interested in this film mainly because it's David Cronenberg. I really liked A History of Violence. Some found Eastern Promises a little dry and over-slow, although I still liked it a good deal. How would you compare A Dangerous Method to Eastern Promises in that regard?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 17, 2012, 11:39:10 AM
A DANGEROUS METHOD:  Carl Jung struggles with his relationship with surrogate father figure Sigmund Freud, and gets drawn into a sexual relationship with a masochistic patient.  Supposed to give us the juicy details of psychoanalysts' sex lives, but the story is surprisingly dry, and maybe even repressed.  Worth a watch if you have an interest in the subject matter.  3/5.

I have been interested in this film mainly because it's David Cronenberg. I really liked A History of Violence. Some found Eastern Promises a little dry and over-slow, although I still liked it a good deal. How would you compare A Dangerous Method to Eastern Promises in that regard?

I haven't seen EASTERN PROMISES, but I would say DANGEROUS METHOD is nothing like the other Cronenberg's I've seen.  It's a straight historical drama. Frankly, any director could have made it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 22, 2012, 10:45:14 AM
PINA: Wim Wenders tribute to avant-garde choreographer Pina Baush (who unexpectedly died during filming); it features elaborate 3-D stagings of her abstract dances interspersed with tributes from members of her company. I'm not sure this labor of love will do for the esoteric field of modern dance what BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB did for Cuban music, but it's impossible to come away unimpressed by the grace, dedication and creativity of the dancers. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 03, 2012, 03:13:40 PM
The animated "The Secret World of Arrietty" w/ the vocal talents of Bridget Mendler, David Henrie, and Carol Burnett.

Originally in Japanese, it was re-dubbed into English using people Americans might know.

There is another English version using people the English might know, which I have not seen.

And it is good to see, or in this case hear, Burnett. She's been in show business longer than most of us have been alive.

As always the strength lies in the animation. Just beautiful animation from Studio Ghibli.

If there is a weakness, then it is in the story. Though based on the famous children's novel "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton. It is a book I never had any interest in reading. Though, this version of the story is suppose to be better than the previous live action version with John Goodman.

And, as always, I noticed how westernized this film is. There is little to indicate that it takes place and was made in the East. Some of the decorations. The use of chopsticks in the home. The eastern writing on the truck. But that's about it.

I did notice that the most eastern-looking character in the film is the villainess. And that she is a member of the lower classes. Not only her position in the film, but also in her appearance.

I also noted how few characters appear in the film. Only 10 or 4 Borrowers and 6 Beans. And some of those characters are quite minor to the story.

Last year at this time, I had seen several films. But a year that began well, ended badly. I only saw one film after Halloween. Thus, a year which began well for films, ended badly. Hopefully, this year which begins badly weill end well.

Next time: Hopefully, "John Carter of Mars."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on March 03, 2012, 09:56:58 PM
The animated "The Secret World of Arrietty" w/ the vocal talents of Bridget Mendler, David Henrie, and Carol Burnett.

Dammit, you saw that film?  Man, I wish it was playing around my area.  I so want to see this film!  I love Studio Ghilibi and their films.  If only it was in my area...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 16, 2012, 11:15:00 AM
BULLHEAD (2011): A hypermasculine, steroid-shooting bull of a man seeks revenge for a boyhood wrong amidst the Belgian agrarian hormone trading underground. A well-plotted crime drama with a twist that makes you feel a strange sympathy for its intensely frightening protagonist. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 19, 2012, 04:40:32 PM
The animated "The Secret World of Arrietty" w/ the vocal talents of Bridget Mendler, David Henrie, and Carol Burnett.

Dammit, you saw that film?  Man, I wish it was playing around my area.  I so want to see this film!  I love Studio Ghilibi and their films.  If only it was in my area...

Yes, but I seem to have gotten lucky. It sounds like it was a limited release film, and those seldom, if ever come to the area in which I live. It is worth seeing, if only for the animation, which being from Studio Ghilibi, is always lovely.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on March 20, 2012, 09:23:30 PM
John Carter (2012) - A civil war vet is transported to Mars during the middle of a civil war.  He may hold to key to turn the tide of the battle.  A basic and cliche, but classic sci-fi tale wrapped in pretty visuals and decent acting.  Not much to say since I already said what everything I thought about in another topic.  It is a 3.5 out of 5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 21, 2012, 09:43:21 AM
21 JUMP STREET (2012):  Two mismatched loser cops---a jock and a nerd---go undercover to infiltrate a high school drug-smuggling ring, and find their social statuses reversed from when they were students a mere 7 years ago. Dumb, vulgar and obvious, with scattered chuckles; it's acceptable-ish entertainment. I have to concede that the audience I saw it with dissolved in laughter at gags that seemed predictable and left me stone faced. Maybe this is a comedic masterpiece if your sense of humor peaked in high school? 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 29, 2012, 11:48:12 AM
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012): In a future dystopia a poor teenage huntress is forced to fight in a televised tournament to the death.  It's no BATTLE ROYALE, but it's not as "tween-y" as it might have been; as a role model, deadeye Katniss kills starry-eyed Bella. The movie is entertaining and draws you in with the novel setting and the inherent drama of the tournament format, while at the same time plot missteps keep reminding you how much better it could have been. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on March 31, 2012, 08:59:53 PM
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012): In a future dystopia a poor teenage huntress is forced to fight in a televised tournament to the death.  It's no BATTLE ROYALE, but it's not as "tween-y" as it might have been; as a role model, deadeye Katniss kills starry-eyed Bella. The movie is entertaining and draws you in with the novel setting and the inherent drama of the tournament format, while at the same time plot missteps keep reminding you how much better it could have been. 3/5.

Apparently the book does a better job at getting its themes and messages across, while also having a few surprises that could have made this movie really twisted.  For example, there is something about those dogs that is really distrubing.

Anyhow, I've seen some movies myself...

21 Jump Street: A sort of parody comedy of the original series that loves to make fun of itself and other cop shows & movies within itself.  The comedy is hit and miss, with a really stinker at the end and laugh out one in the middle.  There's not much to say about this one other than that though.  Worth a watch, but prehaps wait for this come out on DVD.  I say its a 3.5 out of 5.

The Secret World of Arriety: A tiny family lives beneath a house and lives off the small things that they can 'borrow' from the people that live there.  Based of The Borrowers series, this Studio Ghibli is a very slow pace one, but presents us a sweet story and amazing visuals that we can take in.  Very melancholy but it works.  Probably best film I've seen that came out this year and I highly recommend this one.  I give a 4.75 out of 5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 06, 2012, 10:43:02 AM
THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD (2011): An Albanian family is imprisoned in their home in accordance with ancient oral law (the "Kanun") after a killing sparks a blood feud with a rival clan. The Kanun itself, a strange rural anachronism in an age of cell phones and video games, is by far the most compelling character in this exotic but slow-moving drama. 3/5.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Vik on April 10, 2012, 01:23:54 PM
John Carter
Loved it. One of the most fun theatre experiences I have had in recent times. Too bad there's apparently not going to be a sequel, despite the fact that the issue with the Therns was left unresolved. Though I wish there was a 2D screening. The 3D wasn't really bad or anything but it didn't bring anything to the mix either. 4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Vik on April 12, 2012, 11:32:28 AM
The Hunger Games
I wasn't particularly excited about this one but I enjoyed it a lot. The first half was slow but necessary for the second half to be effective, which was genuinely suspenseful at times and had some awesome scenes. My main complaint (besides obnoxious teenagers in the theatre) is the shaky cam that drove me nuts at times. Either way, I'm looking forward to the sequel and might check out the books. 4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 13, 2012, 04:01:06 PM
THE SECRET WORLD OF ARIETTY (2010/2012-English dub): A sickly boy makes friends with one of the two-inch tall "borrowers" who live underneath the floors and live by foraging for crumbs in human households. Very solid adaptation of a minor children's classic; should delight kids and nostalgic adults. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 20, 2012, 10:47:11 AM
JURI DREAMS OF SUSHI (2011): Documentary profiling 85-year old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, a perfectionist who's almost more sushi-making machine than man. It's more interesting than a sushi documentary has any right to be, but it's essentially a well-made adaptation of one of those articles you'd read in the "Lifestyles" section of the Sunday paper. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 24, 2012, 04:53:07 PM
The documentary "Chimpanzee"

What you see reinforces what you know.
1. Man is not the only one to use tools.
2. Chimps will kill and eat other monkeys.
3. Some males will display maternal behavior.
4. Man apes ape behavior. When you are playing, do not disturb any adults that are napping.

Even chimps born domestically are poor house pets.
1. They can grow into big bruisers.
2. Something that can break a rock, the size of your head, in half, is not something to mess with.

You could do a documentary on the people doing the documentary.
!. They traveled by truck till the paved roads quit. Then they traveled by four wheel drive till the roads quit. Then they hiked for miles. lugging in everything they needed, to their base camp.
2. A minute of usable footage is considered a good day's work.
3. The dry season may have been bad, but the rainy season was worst. Having the only dry spot for miles around, the base camp attracted spiders, as big as your fist, centipedes as long as your forearm, armies of army ants, but the worst were the vipers. Get bit by that, and you died, as you couldn't be evacuated fast enough to a medical center.

This is the fourth year in a row, that a documentary like this has been shown about the time of Earth Day. And each year a portion of the box office has gone to someone working to protect the enviroment. This year the money went to Jane Goodall.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on April 25, 2012, 08:32:47 AM
The Avengers:

A team of 'unique' heroes are assembled to defend us all from war.

This one pretty much nailed it.  The characters worked great together, bringing together multiple franchises and Mark Ruffalo in particular did a fantastic job as the third Hulk in three movies.  They even handled the differences in the 'Heroes' well.  There is one shot in the battle scene which flits from each main character doing kicking butt in their own unique ways which just flowed really well.

Loki's character wasn't as well defined as in the first one, but is always a stand out, Robert Downey Jnr spouts one liners and generally acts like a jerk [which is always good value] and even the secondary characters have some heartfelt moments. 

Overall I couldn't really complain about anything other than the whole 'we're going to war' premise, with the plot jumping from 'we're at peace' to 'we're at war' with little evidence to suggest it's actually going to happen, even though it does.

If you enjoyed the latest batch of Marvel films, you'll love this one, if you didn't, you probably wouldn't see this one anyways.

4/5 stars.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 02, 2012, 11:34:28 AM
THE KID WITH A BIKE (2011): A French boy tries to reunite with the father who abandoned him; a single hairdresser takes an interest in him.  Young Thomas Doret is excellent as the understandably troubled boy who craves love but instinctively sabotages his chances in this thoughtful heartstring-tugger. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 18, 2012, 02:17:57 PM
THE DICTATOR (2012): A Saddam Hussein-like dictator (Sacha Baron Cohen) escapes an assassination attempt and tries to regain his position before his double can sign a new democratic constitution at a U.N. session. Nothing revolutionary, but solid laughs and you do have to admire the politically incorrect relish with which Cohen seeks to offend Arabs, Jews, Republicans, feminist organic co-op grocers, and anyone with a sense of good taste and propriety. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 23, 2012, 10:34:06 AM
FOOTNOTE (2011): The story of two Professor Shkolniks: father Eliezer is a bitter Talmudic scholar whose life work can be reduced to one footnote in a major reference work, while son Uriel is a rising academic star who has outshone his father but remains loyal to the old man. It sounds dry, but there's surprisingly juicy drama (and comedy) about lifelong grudges, office politics, and the complex father/son dynamic inside the professorial premise. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: HappyGilmore on May 23, 2012, 02:20:01 PM
Dean~
I pretty much agree about Avengers. Loved it. Ruffalo was perfect as Banner/Hulk.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on June 09, 2012, 10:46:59 AM
PROMETHEUS - A team of scientists travel to a distant planet looking for the origins of humanity, all hell breaks loose.  That's basically it. 
I loved this, I thought it was gorgeous-looking, well-cast and fun but the story is pretty muddled; a lot of people are going to hate it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 11, 2012, 10:56:08 AM
Tchoupitoulas (2012): Documentary following three boys who miss the ferry home and are stranded in New Orleans overnight. An abstract tribute to childhood wonder; nine year old William, a curious dreamer and budding poet, becomes more interesting than the carnival city and its street performers. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Doggett on June 12, 2012, 02:21:35 PM
The Avengers.

Theres a space cube that an alien wants. He takes it then gets caught, which is part of his plan, breaks free, unleashes as army from another dimension and a bunch of superhero types try to stop him.

The green angry one was funny.

3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on June 17, 2012, 09:04:51 PM
For Father's Day, my 18 year old daughter and I went to see SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, which she has been desperate to watch for some time.  I was pleasantly surprised by how good this is!  The photography is gorgeous, the plot intriguing, the villains do some serious carpet chewing, and Kristen Steward is much less wooden than she is in the TWILIGHT films (which my OTHER daughter made me watch!).  This one is really worth the price of admission. the opening battle sequence, and the fairy forest scene, are visually amazing. Some of the best CGI I have ever seen.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 04, 2012, 09:54:42 AM
MOONRISE KINGDOM: A misfit scout runs away from camp to rendezvous with his emotionally troubled pen pal on a remote New England island; adults and the scout troop team up to hunt the couple down. Touching comedy about misfits in love, but you have to meet Wes Anderson halfway on his highly artificial deadpan style, where no one acts or talks quite like a real person. The ecclectic cast includes Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances Dormand, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on July 08, 2012, 01:08:42 AM
They Live (1988) - Just got back from a midnight show.  I enjoy this movie more and more each time I see it.  It's pretty hilarious in spots, and downright tense in others, but it's just a ton of fun to watch, especially with an appreciative crowd.  There were moments where folks were laughing for apparently no reason but overall people were having a good time.  The famous fight scene got almost as many gasps as it did laughs.   :smile:  I'd rank this a 9/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 13, 2012, 12:00:26 PM
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (2012): A depressed college student interning at a magazine finds a purpose when she begins investigating a man who has placed a personal ad looking for a time-traveling companion. When the growing relationship between the moody girl and the crazy guy gets hard to swallow, the supporting characters---her reprobate supervisor and a nerdy fellow intern---take up the dramedy slack; it's minor, but too humorous and sweet to dislike. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 18, 2012, 10:29:49 AM
TO ROME WITH LOVE: Four stories from Woody Allen set in Rome: a Roman citizen becomes famous for no reason, a young married couple is separated and tempted by other lovers, an architecht follows a younger version of himself through a romantic fling, and a retired opera director wants to make a mortician into a star tenor. There are no huge laughs (the opera phenom who can only sing in the shower comes the closest), but the stories are all well-written and charming enough to keep you watching. It's simple enough: if you're a Woody Allen fan you'll be satisfied, and if you're not this trifle won't change your mind. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on July 20, 2012, 04:33:24 PM
MOONRISE KINGDOM - the most Anderson any screen has ever held and the best movie I've seen this year by a wide margin. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 25, 2012, 10:06:06 AM
HEADHUNTERS (2011): An art thief who uses his position as a corporate headhunter as his cover thinks he's struck a gold mine when he meets a CEO who's perfect for the job he's shopping, who also happens to own an original Rubens---unfortunately for him, a murder complicates his big score and sends him on the run. Hollywood thrillers could learn a thing or two about implausible plot twists from this crazy but crowd-pleasing Norwegian thriller with dashes of black comedy. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 07, 2012, 10:50:53 AM
Have the Melbourne International Film Festival [MIFF] on at the moment so have a few films to see.  Below are the two I've seen thus far.


Killer Joe:

A family of trailer trash hire a policeman/contract killer to kill the matriarch of the family after the son gets in trouble with drug dealers and needs the insurance payout.

Basically the above description does little to explain the sheer craziness of this film.  I was going to link to the trailer, but it is unfortunately one of those trailers that shows too much of the film and it's much better going in knowing very little.

One of the ushers before our screening felt the need to stress that the film had 'dark themes, very violent and disturbing' and whilst he wasn't wrong, he also didn't say how hilarious it was.  This may be one of those moments when you realise I need psychiatric help perhaps.

Matthew McConaughey plays Killer Joe and does an incredible job, channelling part Norman Bates, part Bateman from American Psycho.  The whole film is dark humor surreal film that really is there to build towards the final scenes, which in short are just. Plain. Insane. 

Very highly recommended if you don't mind watching something that has hints of incest and paedophilia, plenty violence and trailer trash.




The Legend of Kaspar Hauser:

Vincent Gallo's surreal take on the Kaspar Hauser legend also is very hard to explain.  I had many people tell me how bad it was but I actually quite enjoyed it, helped in part by the thumping soundtrack and a terrific performance by Silvia Calderoni as Kapar Hauser.

The trailer has little to do with the film other than the music.  But it gives you a good idea of what you're in for [wait, no actually it doesn't]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV7EYwZc1xQ

"Arriving on a deserted beach in the Mediterranean sea, in a time and a place unspecified, Kaspar Hauser is forced to confront the evil of a Grand Duchess who feels threatened by the power he exercises over the community."

There are alot of monologues, a few bouncey breasts, plenty of electronic thumping music and many wackadoo moments.  Kaspar Hauser wears headphones not connected to anything for the whole film and moves like a person possessed the whole time [its a great job by Calderoni]

Even more so than Killer Joe this one is hard to get a handle on.  A friend saw an earlier screening and hated it, but I quite enjoyed its bizarre nature [but then I love surreal films].  Best I could describe it, is that it falls, to me at least, in a similar category of late night surreal films like El Topo, but with dance music and a smaller scale.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on August 08, 2012, 10:57:09 AM
Have the Melbourne International Film Festival [MIFF] on at the moment so have a few films to see.  Below are the two I've seen thus far.


Killer Joe:

A family of trailer trash hire a policeman/contract killer to kill the matriarch of the family after the son gets in trouble with drug dealers and needs the insurance payout.

Basically the above description does little to explain the sheer craziness of this film.  I was going to link to the trailer, but it is unfortunately one of those trailers that shows too much of the film and it's much better going in knowing very little.

One of the ushers before our screening felt the need to stress that the film had 'dark themes, very violent and disturbing' and whilst he wasn't wrong, he also didn't say how hilarious it was.  This may be one of those moments when you realise I need psychiatric help perhaps.

Matthew McConaughey plays Killer Joe and does an incredible job, channelling part Norman Bates, part Bateman from American Psycho.  The whole film is dark humor surreal film that really is there to build towards the final scenes, which in short are just. Plain. Insane. 

Very highly recommended if you don't mind watching something that has hints of incest and paedophilia, plenty violence and trailer trash.





Thanks for posting; I'm kind of intrigued to see KILLER JOE, though it's not likely to hit my town's theater.  Sounds like you're in for an interesting week!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 10, 2012, 01:33:05 AM
Well I'm missing alot of the good screenings due to it being a sell out/during work hours [damn you Ace Attorney and Beasts of the Southern Wild]  But it'll be a fun two weeks.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ghouck on August 12, 2012, 01:43:58 AM
I saw the new "Total Recall"

Pretty horrid IMO.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 13, 2012, 09:27:07 AM
Film number three at MIFF:

Berberian Sound Studio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlNCiGVQsd0


Synopsis

1976: Berberian Sound Studio is one of the cheapest, sleaziest post-production studios in Italy. Only the most sordid horror films have their sound pro- cessed and sharpened in this studio. Gilderoy (Toby Jones), a naive and introverted sound engineer from England is hired to orchestrate the sound mix for the latest film by horror maestro, Santini (Antonio Mancino). Thrown from the innocent world of local documentaries into a foreign environment fuelled by exploitation, Gilderoy soon finds himself caught up in a forbidding world of bitter actresses, capricious technicians and confounding bureaucracy. The longer Gilderoy spends mixing screams and the bloodcurdling sounds of hacked vegetables, the more homesick he becomes for his garden shed studio in his hometown of Dorking. His mother’s letters alternate between banal gos- sip and an ominous hysteria, which gradually mirrors the black magic of Santini’s film. As both time and realities shift, Gilderoy finds himself lost in an otherworldly spiral of sonic and personal mayhem, and has to confront his own demons in order to stay afloat in an environment ruled by exploitation both on and off screen.



Basically this film was a mixed bag: it had tension and silly moments coming out all over the place, and a nice build up only to falter near the end. 

Throughout the film the different aspects of the film, the sound design, the fact you have this awkward British sound engineer in a foreign environment and culture, the screaming, this film builds a great feeling of suspense waiting for you to figure out whether the horror on the screen will translate into real life horrors, but in the end I can't help but feel it was a bit of a cop out.

That being said up until the last fifteen minutes I was pretty engaged, and the sound design on this is appropriately excellent.

Overall a solid 3.5/5 but a more satisfying ending may have bumped it up to 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on August 16, 2012, 07:42:38 PM
So I found out that Killer Joe was actually playing at one theater in Toronto so I checked it out this afternoon. WOW, that was crazy as hell! I'm not going to talk about the plot, and as another poster said please don't check out the trailer. Incredibly disturbing, very funny and very surprising I don't know what else you could ask for.

Friedkin teams up with playwright Tracy Letts for a second time, the first being 2006's Bug. Now I thought Bug was intriguing but in my opinion failed to come together in a satisfactory way. This felt much tighter and the dialogue was especially terrific. If it's possible go see this in the theater, but if you cant you have one hell of a surprise for you when this comes out on blu ray/dvd.

9/10 A true return to from from one of my all time favorite directors.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on August 19, 2012, 11:57:09 PM
The Dark Night Rises-Caught this is IMAX this evening. This film amplifies the best and worst qualities of Christopher Nolan. Visually this is a stunning achievement, the IMAX shot action scenes are among the most terrific I have ever seen. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer features prominently and is fantastic. Anne Hathaway makes for a terrific cat woman, and Bale is good as usual.

Now for the bad parts, of which there are quite a few. Firstly the screenplay is ridiculous, packed full of cliches and endless speeches. Characters rarely interact instead they mostly just show up places and make ridiculous monologues. Considering they spent 250 million on this you would think they would have done a couple more rewrites as some of the dialogue is frankly embarrassing.

I really disliked Bane and felt his voice while decipherable was annoying and he rarely says anything interesting in his constant monologues. Either making him speak less or giving him a voice that is actually menacing instead of cartoonish would be better decisions IMO. For me he was the worst part of the movie and its a shame considering how talented Tom Hardy is.

Despite these problems and others I would still suggest catching it in IMAX. The sheer scope of this film is startling and it has a surprising amount of emotional resonance despite plot problems throughout. I will say that it gets better as it goes on with the finale being especially powerful.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 21, 2012, 05:41:42 PM
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" w/ Jennifer Garner and CJ Adams.

They come into our life for a brief time, and then they are gone. It was good while it lasted. And there were adult men, in the audience, who were weeping.

Next time: Labor Day is next month, and that is always a good day to see a film at the cinema. I'll have to see what is on.

Saw the new trailer for Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," which will be out in October. And the horror homages keep on coming. Besides the homages to "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein," one of the characters looks and sounds a little bit like Peter Lorre. And now that I think about it, the film also paid homage to "Godzilla."

Saw the trailer of "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart," as I have already seen their show in Orlando, twice, and enjoyed it both times, I'll probably see this. Coming December 21.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 22, 2012, 10:52:36 AM
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" w/ Jennifer Garner and CJ Adams.

They come into our life for a brief time, and then they are gone. It was good while it lasted. And there were adult men, in the audience, who were weeping.


Ah... I think you like that better than I did.

I thought it was fertility porn for childless couples disguised as a kid's movie. I can see how grownups might respond but I kept thinking this was the kind of movie I hated to be dragged to as a kid. It does contain the goofiest line that will be spoken onscreen all year: "If this little boy can grow a leaf on his ankle, then we can make pencils out of leaves!"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 28, 2012, 08:17:32 AM
Total Recall (2012)

Colin Farrell looks confused as he runs around doing actioney things.


This wasn't altogether as bad as I thought it would be, though I was prepared for bad.

It was an entertaining mindless action flick and it had all the hallmarks of cool visuals, pretty things to look at and lots of lens flare.  At the very least it was better than any of the Transformers just because the characters were less annoying and the action was exciting enough.  Just as one dimensional mind you, but at least they weren't utter rubbish like some of the robots in Transformers: I don't think I heard Jessica Beil's character name mentioned ONCE, people just kept saying 'her/she/you' etc.

Overall an entertaining way to waste my night!  Disclaimer: I was feeling cooped up at home and probably would have been excited to watch anything just to get out of the house.

3/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 29, 2012, 11:03:10 AM
THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (2012): Timeshare king David Siegel and his ex-beauty queen wife are building America's largest private home, a replica of Versailles; but when the real estate bubble bursts and David has to sell the private jet, can the family cut back their spending and adjust to being just multimillionaires rather than billionaires? Tastefully made so that, despite their cluelessness and self-centeredness, the Siegels come across as complex and often unhappy individuals rather than just caricatures of American greed. If reality television had wit and heart, it might look a lot like THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 05, 2012, 11:43:04 AM
PARANORMAN: The weird kid who sees ghosts is a town's only hope to save them from a zombie invasion brought about by an ancient witch's curse. Quality animated entertainment in the CORALINE mold; adult fans of cheesy horror movies should dig it, too---this is the first time I've caught a visible boom mic in an animated movie. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on September 08, 2012, 08:54:42 AM
Expendables 2:

Stallone and pals go on a mission to let loose upon their enemies all of the world's supplies of explosions.  I'm pretty sure it also used up all the fake blood allowed for this year, and had a severe amount of 'look that guy doesn't have a head anymore.'


This was alot of mindless fun.  Still no proper plot points or dialogue but the action felt a lot better in this one, even if some of the 'secondary' Expendables could have easily not been there and nobody would have noticed...

I enjoyed the heck out of it and was a slight bit more cohesive than number 1 overall so a solid 3.5/5: good but a bit schizophrenic at times.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pacman000 on September 08, 2012, 12:28:44 PM
Raiders of the Lost Ark

It's back in theaters for it's anniversary.  :teddyr:  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 19, 2012, 10:29:25 AM
I WISH (2012): When a 12-year old Japanese boy hears that if you make a wish at the exact time two bullet trains pass it comes true, he gathers his friends for a trip to the magical spot so he can wish for his broken family to be reunited. Sweet and minor, made with obvious love and care, but I wish they had dumped two or three meandering subplots and made the film about 30 minutes shorter. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Torgo on September 19, 2012, 06:39:09 PM
I went and saw "Raiders of the Lost Ark" this past Saturday at a local theater who got their hands on one of the restored prints that AMC theaters had been showing for a little while. It's still my favorite movie of all time and getting to see it on the big screen again 31 years later was just too cool. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on September 25, 2012, 10:30:29 PM
The Master-This is one of those times when I'm happy to live in Toronto. Not only did I get to see the film before the rest of canada but I got to see the 70mm presentation which was incredible. The clarity of the image was astounding and it is a true shame that more filmmakers don't take advantage of this incredible medium (this is the first film shot entirely in 70mm in 16 years). So if you can get a chance to see it in its proper format do it, because who knows when or if we are going to see another example of great 70mm film making.

As for the film, well first one must talk about the acting. Hoffman and Phoenix deliver career topping roles that are on  every level astounding. As good as Day Lewis was in "There Will be Blood" (Paul Anderson's previous film) he does not hold a candle to Phoenix's transformation here. His character is a lost soul, a desperate alcoholic wandering, not knowing where he belongs. Hoffman who usually portrays insecure characters is a picture of confidence and charm and we fully believe that he could start a religion. The interaction between these two is some of the finest moments in film that I can recall. Phoenix will win an oscar for this.

I'm not going to get into plot, but will just say that despite great performances this is not an easy film to watch. There is little emotional resonance and the plot doesn't move along as much as it drags. However this is the kind of film that only becomes a masterpiece in retrospective. There are no easy answers, no heroes or villains, no moment of catharsis. Yet looking back (its only been a couple hours) I find so much to digest in this film. This is no simple anti Scientology movie and those looking for that will be unsatisfied. This is not even a film about religion as much as it is about the human condition in general.  We all want answers and purpose in our lives but sometimes they seem nonexistent. What Hoffman offers to Phoenix is love, home, and a cause. While we may disagree with his methods, is this not what we all want?

A masterpiece 10/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 26, 2012, 10:21:25 AM
I, too, just saw THE MASTER.

THE MASTER: Failing to fit in to society after returning from the war, a libidinous alcoholic sailor falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader (blatantly modeled on L. Ron Hubbard). Powerhouse performances by a seedy Joaquin Phoenix and a seductive Phillip Seymour Hoffman anchor this thought-provoking, sometimes confounding study of the human search for meaning that ultimately concludes that a depraved freedom is preferable to a sick salvation. 4.5/5.

I don't know if Phoenix will win the Oscar but he'll definitely be nominated, and as of today he would get my vote.

A slight warning: some people may find the narrative here too convoluted and disorienting to follow. At my screening an older couple walked out of the movie halfway through.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on September 26, 2012, 12:40:11 PM
ARRRGHHH!! I wanna see THE MASTER so bad!  Sometimes I hate living in  a flyover zone!! (Lucky me though, my town still managed to get 2016  :lookingup:  )


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 10, 2012, 05:02:53 PM
And in honor of Halloween . . .
Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie"

The thing in these homage films, and these is definitely a homage film,  is to pick out all the homages, and this one is chockful of horror homages. There are at least a baker's dozen, and that's only the ones I recognized. There are probably several I missed.

"Frankenstein," of course.
There is a character named Van Helsing as in "Dracula's" Van Helsing.
Another character sounds like Peter Lorre and is named Edgar as in Edgar Allan Poe.
A pet is named Shelley as in Mary Shelley, authoress of "Frankenstein."
There is a film clip of Chris Lee as Dracula in "Horror of Dracula."
Sometime horror actor Martin Landau provides one of the voices.
The two white stripes in the poodle's bouffant hairdo. "Bride of Frankenstein"
The invisible goldfish. "The Invisible Man."
The scene at the fairground. "The Mummy"
The shadows on the wall. "Nosferatu."
Shelley. Almost every Japanese monster film ever made.
And while not a horror film, the movie marquee pays homage to Disney's "Bambi."

I must also mention Danny Elfman's score for the film. It really enhances the film's mood, and is probably the best score he has ever done.

The only thing I couldn't figure out is what is the time frame for the film? The acknowledgement that Pluto is no longer a planet dates the film to the last decade, but the cars and interior design in the film dates the film to the late '50's and/or the early '60's.

A fun film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 17, 2012, 08:38:19 PM
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS: A screenwriter working on a script titled "Seven Psychopaths" finds himself involved with real psychopaths when his crazy friend draws him into a dognapping scheme gone wrong. With a hip masculine cast (Colin Farrel, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits), brisk violence, and a couple of Tarantino-esque exchanges that become immediate classics, this is a very good movie that always seems just about to turn into a great one, but never quite gets over the hump. Still worth a look for fans of crime comedies. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on October 23, 2012, 11:45:55 PM
Argo-The latest from Ben Affleck has been getting some incredible critic hype. Having loved Gone Baby Gone plus the incredible reviews I had high expectations going in. It's a terrific film, one of the best films this year. The most satisfying third act in a film that I have seen in years.
4.5/5 :thumbup:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 24, 2012, 11:15:16 AM
fulci keeps watching the same movies as me, only he gets there one day before I do.

ARGO: Based on actual events, this thriller documents the tale of six U.S. diplomats who escaped the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis by pretending to be a movie crew scouting locations for a fake sci-fi extravaganza. Solid, tense thriller; after watching the last half hour, you'll never complain you had a tough time going through airport security again. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 14, 2012, 12:37:59 PM
CHICKEN WITH PLUMS [POULET AUX PRUNES]: In 1950s Tehran, a master musician decides to go to bed to die after his beloved violin breaks and he can't find a replacement; his life story is told in flashbacks and dream sequences featuring appearances by Socrates, the Angel of Death, and a giant Sophia Loren. An exotic and elegant fantasy drama that strikes an unique tone of despondent whimsy; beautiful, romantic stuff. My favorite movie of 2012 so far. From the makers of PERSEPOLIS (this one includes a brief animated sequence). 5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: InformationGeek on November 17, 2012, 05:06:56 PM
I saw two this past month:

Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph is the villian for an old arcade game and he's fed up with being the bad guy and everyone else in his game looking down on him.  Wanting to prove himself a hero, he jumps to a different game to win a medal.  However, after getting it, he finds himself running into something bigger in another arcade game.  I can't explain more, but I do really like this movie.  It was a lot of fun, the jokes were great (though video game references to older games may go over some young audiences), the animation was top-notch, and it had really good voice acting.  I find the movie a bit predictable and Sarah Silverman's character will possibly annoy people (I'm immune to annoying characters personally) for the bad parts.  Still highly recommend to video game fans and parents with kids.  4 out of 5.

Also, there was a short before it called The Paper.  I won't say much about it but dear god, it was so beautiful!  Some of the best CGI animation I've ever seen and a lot of heart to it.  I would be shocked if this wasn't nominated for Best Animated Short.

Flight: After a horrible plane crash, the captain finds himself in a jam.  While he is praised for being a hero and saving almost every single person abroad, the investigation starts suggesting that there was something else going on.  The captain, who was drunk and high at the time, knows he didn't cause the crash (Act of God and mechincal failure), but he still might land himself in a load of trouble as his life starts spiraling out of control.  It's a character piece, something I don't often go to see in theaters for, and it's a damn good one.  Like Wreck It Ralph, I found some portions predictable, but the rest was still pretty solid.  The highlight of course is the acting where Denzel Washington really brings the emotion and drama of this broken character to life.  I would give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Also, this movie probably had one of the most nailbiting scenes this year with the plane crash scene.  I was seriously on the edge of my seat the entire time, horrified for the conclusion that would be coming.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 26, 2012, 01:27:25 PM
THE SESSIONS: A polio victim (and poet) in an iron lung hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. John Hawkes projects all the sexual charisma of a man in an iron lung, which is great acting but makes the emotionally manipulative plot hard to swallow. It might have worked better if he hadn't been portrayed as being such an AWFUL poet. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 21, 2012, 10:17:20 AM
THIS IS 40: A couple entering the dreaded 40s struggles with finances, mooching inlaws, and trying to find time for sex when the kids are banging on the door in this "sort of sequel" featuring the secondary characters from KNOCKED UP. Solidly scripted domestic comedy with laughs emerging naturally out of flawed characters. 3.5/5. Oddly enough, this is the first Judd Apatow movie I've seen.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: A_Dubya on December 22, 2012, 10:17:12 AM
The Dark Night Rises-Caught this is IMAX this evening. This film amplifies the best and worst qualities of Christopher Nolan. Visually this is a stunning achievement, the IMAX shot action scenes are among the most terrific I have ever seen. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer features prominently and is fantastic. Anne Hathaway makes for a terrific cat woman, and Bale is good as usual.

Now for the bad parts, of which there are quite a few. Firstly the screenplay is ridiculous, packed full of cliches and endless speeches. Characters rarely interact instead they mostly just show up places and make ridiculous monologues. Considering they spent 250 million on this you would think they would have done a couple more rewrites as some of the dialogue is frankly embarrassing.

I really disliked Bane and felt his voice while decipherable was annoying and he rarely says anything interesting in his constant monologues. Either making him speak less or giving him a voice that is actually menacing instead of cartoonish would be better decisions IMO. For me he was the worst part of the movie and its a shame considering how talented Tom Hardy is.

Despite these problems and others I would still suggest catching it in IMAX. The sheer scope of this film is startling and it has a surprising amount of emotional resonance despite plot problems throughout. I will say that it gets better as it goes on with the finale being especially powerful.

I agree with most of this. I didn't get into the Bane character like I did with previous villains like Joker, Scarecrow and 'Al Ghul. It was ok, and the ending saved it from me totally hating it, but I'm not picking up the BR/DVD.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: ChaosTheory on December 31, 2012, 01:46:01 PM
DJANGO UNCHAINED - made With The Generous Cooperation of Franco Nero.  :teddyr:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUdM9vrCbow

Loved this, from start to finish.  It was gory, hilarious and surprisingly romantic.  The movie's biggest strength is in the cast though - Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington - and Don Johnson, of all people - are perfect.  There's also an against-type turn from Samuel L. Jackson and a nice handful of spaghetti western cameos.
(And incidentally, there's a  big difference between being a movie set in a racist world and actually being a racist movie.)
10/10


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: the ghoul on January 03, 2013, 12:39:09 AM
Django Unchained:

I really enjoyed this movie.  I liked it a lot, but I wouldn't say I loved it.  Being a huge spaghetti western fan as well as someone who likes Tarantino movies, this one should have been knocked right out of the ballpark where I am concerned, but it wasn't quite the home run I was expecting.  This was nowhere near as good for me as Kill Bill 1 and 2, or Inglourious Basterds.

Tarantino has made very good use of tunes he has lifted from spaghetti western soundtracks in the past, but in Django unchained the great pieces he chose were not used to nearly as good an effect.  The mood of the scenes just didn't match the recycled score as well as he has managed to do in the past, and it just seemed like he put the songs in because they were cool, without much thought to how they fit into the film.  Maybe it was time to get Ennio Morricone or one of the other great Italian maestros from the spaghetti western era to write a brand new score.

DiCaprio and Don Johnson were great.  They really nailed the typical spaghetti western villain roles they played.  Kudos to them.  In fact all of the actors were very good in this film, except Tarantino himself, but I always cringe when I see him act.  You'd think he would be better at it by now. :bouncegiggle:

There were parts of the movie where I thought the violence was purely gratuitous and lacked the stylistic touches the great spaghetti western directors were known for.  There were other parts where I thought this movie really hit the mark in that regard.  So I would say it was a mixed bag stylistically.  If I were to rank this movie among the 100 or so real spaghetti westerns I have seen, I would probably put it somewhere just below the middle of the pack.

Though I found the film to be quite enjoyable overall, it was nowhere near as good as any of the Sergio Corbucci (the director of the first Django movie) spaghetti western movies I have seen, and it is not a movie I would buy on DVD, because I would much rather spend my time watching one of those Corbucci flicks or any of the other spaghetti westerns in my collection.   


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 04, 2013, 12:43:58 PM
SKYFALL: M (Judi Dench) is being politically pressured into retirement after a disastrous theft results in the exposure of multiple agents; an aging James Bond (Daniel Craig) tracks the rogue spy responsible. Starting off string with the best chase and titles sequences of the year, it's more fun foolishness from the franchise that refuses to retire. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 09, 2013, 11:31:45 AM
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012): A man suffering from serious bipolar disorder returns home from the mental institution and meets an equally troubled young widow who promises to help him reunite with his estranged wife if he will be her partner in a dance contest. It's a trick play. Lots of eccentric gestures are deployed to hide the fact that this is just a formula romance flick; it's not touchdown but its a solid gainer thanks to precise execution from the players, including Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro in a great supporting role as the obsessive/compulsive Eagles fan dad. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 15, 2013, 04:35:50 PM
ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012): The true story of how a CIA intelligence analyst tracks down Osama Bin Laden. Leave your politics at the door; this is real life spy stuff, where James Bond is a girl desk jockey, people get hurt, and children get orphaned. My #4 movie of 2012. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 23, 2013, 11:37:45 AM
LIFE OF PI (2012): A religious Indian boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. A mix of LIFEBOAT and (a somewhat faulty) relgious allegory, with the most spectacular visuals of 2012. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 28, 2013, 03:29:00 PM
Well, the new film year starts off well.

"Hansel and Gretel: the Witch Hunters" (Not the Asylum version.)

There be SPOILERS ahead.

An odd, but interesting mix of fact and fiction.

And one of those films the critics hate, but the audience loves.

A fun film to watch as long as someone is running, flying, fighting, chasing, etc. But if they stop and open their mouth to say something, the film goes downhill quickly. Still, not every line is bad.

Hansel (Jeremy Renner) to his two compadres, when they accidentally return to the witch's house, where the story started. "Don't eat the f------ candy!"

And Gretel (Gemma Atherton) to one of the townspeople: "Are you a good shot?"--Townsman: "Not particularly. That's why I use a shotgun." ROTFL at that one.

And look and listen for the in-joke referencing "Goldilock and the 3 Bears."

Still, the action makes up for most of the shortcomings in the acting and script. The stunt coordinator and stuntmen and stuntwomen really outdid themselves this time. It's nice to see someone get it across the chops from a gun butt swung like a baseball bat. Now that's des-per-a-tion.

Surprises . . . or not.

How much comedy was in it. But, I should not have been surprised. In the last 3 years I have yet to see a fantasy film that was not more or less tongue in cheek.

How little violence it takes to turn a PG-13 rating into a R rating. A couple of people go splat and that's it. But, why parents insist on bringing their kids to a R rated film, as some people did in the audience, still boggles my mind.

How short it was. Under 90 minutes. Which is short for a full length feature film now days.

That the 2nd hand clothes seller was depicted as a Jew.

That no children were killed in the making of this film. While the children in the film are under threat from the time the film begins, not a child character is killed on screen.

I should have seen that one coming. Shooting the hostage. It dates back at least 56 years to the western "Forty Guns," when Barry Sullivan shoots Barbara Stanwyck, who is being used as a human shield by her brother John Ericson.

Normally, I wouldn't ask for a sequel, but I'd like to see a sequel to this one. It ends in a place, where a sequel can pick up, and the film was a financial success after its 1st weekend. Of course, it reportedly only cost $6,000,000 to make, and you don't have to sell many tickets at $13.50, which is what I paid to see it in 3-D.

What will I see next? I don't know. Excluding "Oz," which will be out in March, and which I am already planning on seeing, I was not impressed by any of the trailers that were shown before the film began.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 29, 2013, 08:13:20 PM
DJANGO UNCHAINED: A freed slave apprentices as a bounty hunter, then goes undercover to rescue his wife from a cruel slave plantation. It's unfocused---the script can't decide whether it wants to be a classic Spaghetti western, a serious commentary on racism or a ridiculous revenge fantasy---and some of the mood-breaking music choices are indefensible, but Christoph Waltz is great as the cultured killer, and Tarantino can still craft tense and funny individual scenes that  play out like perfect little mini-movies. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 06, 2013, 09:49:27 AM
CENTRAL PARK 5 (2012): The story of the five teenagers who were picked up in Central Park, charged with rape, and convicted based on suspect confessions, then freed after serving years in jail when DNA evidence identified the real rapist. A frightening reminder that whenever there's a horrible crime, society demands that someone must pay, and you don't want to be the one in the wrong place at the wrong time. NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE DURING AN INVESTIGATION WITHOUT A LAWYER PRESENT. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 15, 2013, 12:31:51 PM
"Oscar Nominated Short Films": The five Oscar nominated live action shorts from 2012, each about 20 minutes long: a dead soldier works for a shadow collector in a steampunkish afterlife, an elderly composer struggles with his memories, a suicidal drug addict is pressed into watching the daughter of his estranged sister, two Afghani boys hope to grow up to play Buzkashi (a game played on horseback with a dead goat), and a Somali boy decides between becoming a pirate or a fisherman. Most of these films are melancholy dramas, with a little black humor in the USA's "Curfew" and a little magical realism in Belgium's "Death of a Shadow"; "Henry" (the Canadian composer's story) was emotionally devastating and my favorite, but the field is strong enough that almost everyone seems to favor a different one. A refreshing change of pace from feature films. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 22, 2013, 11:21:29 AM
"Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animated": The five animated shorts nominated for an Academy Award this years, plus some bonus shorts to round out the running time. The nominees are the fun but slight 2-minute stop-motion "Fresh Guacamole"; the clever standalone Simpsons short "The Last Day Care"; Disney's romantic "Paperman"; "Head Over Heels," about a wife who lives on the ceiling while hubby takes the floor; and "Adam and Dog," about man's first encounter with his canine pal in the Garden of Eden. Curiously, none of the nominated shorts have any dialogue. The black and white "Paperman" looks great and is the prohibitive favorite, but my vote would go to "Adam and Dog" for the best combination of visual artistry and storytelling. Overall a bit of an uneven and even weak field; 3.5/5 for the compilation.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 01, 2013, 11:08:00 AM
AMOUR (2012): An elderly man takes care of his wife as she suffers mutliple strokes, becomes an invalid, and slowly dies. Starts slow and turns excruciatingly emotional; hardcore dramaheads will swoon. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 08, 2013, 12:24:02 PM
SIDE EFFECTS (2013): A psychiatrist prescribes a cutting-edge antidepressant for a suicidal woman who has resisted other treatments. It works, except that she suffers a strange side effect; she now sleepwalks and doesn't remember anything she does during the blackout. Steven Soderbug's swan song lurches unsteadily from drama to medical/legal thriller while taking some passing swipes at the pharmaceutical industry, before finally settling down into a satisfying mystery. I would have rated it higher if I hadn't guessed the ending early on. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 15, 2013, 12:57:55 PM
QUARTET (2013): When a prima donna past her due date arrives at a home for retired musicians, three of her old colleagues try to put the past behind them and recruit her to reform the old quartet for a benefit performance. It's manna for the lace doily set, and likable performers make it pleasant enough dusty kitsch for the rest of us. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 15, 2013, 03:56:48 PM
"Oz : the Great and Powerful"

What I liked.

The action
The sisterly cat fight or witch fight at the end has to be one of the better such fights I've seen.

The actors
Mostly competent. But, with Sam Raimi directing, can Bruce Campbell be far behind? Though, it wasn't to the credits that I realized what part he played. Then it was not his appearance, but his distinctive voice that gave it away.

Costumes
It's original vs. traditional. I didn't think anything could beat the costumes in this, till I saw the trailer for "The Great Gatsby." Which makes next year's Oscar race for best costume, one of the hottest races out there.

"The Great Gatsby" We'll see how it does. While there have been several attempts to turn it into a film, they have more or less been considered failures. We'll see if this one does better.

The emotions
Always enjoy something that provokes an emotional wallop in me. This one did, especially the ending.

The surprises
I found several nice surprises in the script.

The writing.
Some of it, at least. Oz to the elderly tinkers on their planned attack on the Emerald City: "If you don't keel over on the way there." ROTFL! At that one.

What I didn't like.

The ticket cost
Of course, it was full evening price w/ 3-D vs. discounted afternoon matinee price w/ 2-D. But $13.50 vs. $5.50. No wonder "Oz" earned almost as much in one day that "Jack" earned in one week.

I have a growing concern about the cost it takes to make and market a Hollywood film. Where $300 mill. is now chump change for making and marketing a film in Hollywood. And looking at the trailers before the film, the price is not going down for awhile. Of course, as long as Hollywood thinks it can make its money back from a film audiences want to see, the price will not go down, but go up.

What's next: None of the trailers impressed me, except for the trailer for "Monsters' U." The prequel to "Monsters', inc." Where the Pixar animators tested their wings with the latter film, they upped the ante a hundredfold with the former film. I bet it was also a fun film for them to make, as they, no doubt, put a lot of their college experiences into it.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 21, 2013, 04:01:35 PM
I'll stick this here, as I have already talked about the film in the post above.

Yes, there is to be a sequel to "Oz : the Great and Powerful," which is regarded as being successful enough to call for a sequel. And most of the talent in the 1st one have already signed on to be in the sequel.

Even without a sequel, the film has boosted the careers of the people involved. Sam Raimi is to direct the pilot episode of the Fox TV series "Rake." In part, because of the success of "Oz : the Great and Powerful." The show is based on the Australian TV show of the same name.

In its 2nd week, "Oz : the Great and Powerful" earned $42 million and was #1 at the box office for the 2nd week in a row. That is about half of what it took in in its 1st week. There is a simple monetary formula, which tells you whether a film has "legs" or not, but I can no longer remember what it is or was.

What most surprises me is how well "Oz : the Great and Powerful" is doing overseas. It is earning almost as much internationally as it is domestically. And unlike "Alice in Wonderland" to which this is being compared, which has a story that resonates internationally, "Oz : the Great and Poweful" is an eminently American story, which was originally written as a piece of political satire.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 27, 2013, 11:34:20 AM
STOKER: India Stoker's father dies on her 18th birthday, and the uncle she never knew she had shows up soon thereafter and installs himself in the house she lives in alone with her attractive mother. This loopy, lurid and occasionally lovely melodrama/psychological thriller with Hollywood stars (Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman) is the first English language film from Chan-wook Park (OLDBOY). I like his Korean movies better. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: rebel_1812 on March 31, 2013, 02:40:21 PM
ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012): The true story of how a CIA intelligence analyst tracks down Osama Bin Laden. Leave your politics at the door; this is real life spy stuff, where James Bond is a girl desk jockey, people get hurt, and children get orphaned. My #4 movie of 2012. 4.5/5.

True story?  Did they give Osama cement shoes before they threw him in the ocean?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: pizdatrica on April 05, 2013, 03:15:17 AM
Jack the Giant Slayer- I don't know, it was nothing special. The story is weak, and childish. The design of the giants is kind of unrealistic, and childish. The rhyming went on my nerves, and the 3D effects aren't noticeable except for a few scenes.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 10, 2013, 12:55:34 PM
SPRING BREAKERS: Four college girls head to Fort Lauderdale for a week of drinking, drugs and sex and end up teaming up with a local gangster for a crime spree. It's a crazy movie, a cross between "Girls Gone Wild" and LA DOLCE VITA for the ecstasy age; it works because writer/director Harmony Korine has finally accepted that he's an exploitation movie director working with an arthouse movie toolkit, not the other way around. Some people will hate the arty shots and nonlinear narrative moments, but its got boobs, shock scenes and a gonzo performance by an unrecognizable James Franco as a rapper/gangsta who plays Brittney Spears songs on the piano. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on April 16, 2013, 11:06:38 AM
Oblivion:

Visually speaking, Kosinki nails it and takes a slight step forward on plot and characters compared to his last picture Tron: Legacy.  This film is one of two things: either a rip off of a few sci-fi tropes and recent films, or loving homage to sci-fi films by copying and pasting a few ideas from other films.  It really can go either way. 

In any case it was a rather enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, though I couldn't help but feel like there was plenty missing, with too much of a reliance on set pieces rather than character development and the last few minutes goes past in a by-the-numbers ending that wasn't particularly engaging.

Still, like Tron: Legacy, Kosinki has an incredible visual style which is a lot of fun, and he knows how to pick people for soundtracks [first Daft Punk in Tron, and now M83 who do a pretty great job in this film]

I certainly rate this higher than films like John Carter, but it will be telling to see how Blomkamp may blow it out of the water with Elysium later in the year [if District 9 is anything to go by]

It's also still better in many ways than other films like Prometheus by pure virtue of having a less complicated, more by-the-numbers plot line.  It's funny, that's both a positive and a negative at the same time...

A solid 3.5/5 for me: enjoyable, visually striking and has the occasional awesome moment whilst could have been better and a bit more 'solid.'


**spoilers/comments on a few plot points**

Two elements I would have loved to see expanded on is his relationship with Victoria which seemed severely underplayed.  They could have had a very interesting plot point by bringing her 'back to the fold' after dying earlier for being an ineffective team.  The chance was there to change the group dynamic, but he just walks away/abandons her, which I think was disappointing [yes I'm being slightly vague but oh well]

I also would have liked to see more of Tech 52 which would have given the ending a bit more punch rather than the typical 'sappy' ending he played a part in right at the end.  It would have been much more interesting seeing his story unfold a bit further rather than disappearing part way through and simply reappearing at the end... [It seems like the writers conveniently forgot that there were at least 50 other techs out there who no doubt would have been affected by the fall of the Tet]

Speaking of which, I was a little disappointed when we see the inside of the Tet.  The computer/super being running things is an interesting choice, but doesn't really explain why it needs to mine the Earth for resources.  That and the exchange 'she' has with Tom Cruise is a little silly...



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 17, 2013, 06:01:32 PM
TRANCE: After torture fails, gangsters hire a hypnotherapist to help their amnesiac comrade remember where he hid a stolen painting, but can they trust her not to play with the subject's mind? It's a good, if implausible, starting point for a psychological thriller, but the audience has no rooting interest among the major characters and although the plot twists a lot, after we find the painting we're left with an empty feeling. 2.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on April 22, 2013, 09:38:53 AM
Saw two movies in the past week.

Spring Breakers-Rev already described the plot so I'll just say what I thought about the movie. What stuck out to me immediately is how great this film looks, managing to look consistently beautiful throughout while not shying away from showing some grimy scenes. Adding to this is a fantastic score from the always great Cliff Martinez and Skrillex of all people. Now I am no fan of dubstep, but I have been listening to the Skrillex songs of this album on my ipod all week and actually think they are superior to Martinez's. I had heard praise of the Britney Spears scene beforehand and it is truly incredible, highly doubt any single scene from a movie in 2013 will top that one.

Now although I mostly loved this movie I thought there was an overuse of montage. In fact large parts of the film are narrations over said montages which wouldn't be a problem is the script was a bit better. This caused my attention to wain at a couple points during this film which is a problem considering its short length and undeniably entertaining subject matter. Still I mostly really enjoyed this, a vast improvement over Korine's last film Mr Lonely which had one amazing scene and not much else going for it. This one has two amazing scenes, incredible visuals and music and some really interesting performances so overall I would say check this out.

The Place Beyond the Pines-Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver who drifts from town to town, his romantic interest has a man in her life. He turns to crime in order to make a better life for himself, her and her small child. Hey wait isn't that the plot synopsis for Drive? Yep all that happens again only this time with a motorcycle and this time it's his kid from a one night fling. Despite these obvious similarities this is stylistically quite different and as the movie goes on we realize that this is a much more epic kind of story.

Instead of singularly focusing on Gosling like Drive did we are opened up to a range of characters with Bradley Cooper getting a large chunk of running time as a cop trying to do right against the face of corruption. Later on we are introduced to two young actors who are very much intertwined in this saga. This is a really interesting movie structured like a three act anthology film. Gosling steals the show with his incredible first act in which yes he acts quite a bit like his character in Drive, but you know what I loved Drive and if it's not broke don't fix it. There is some truly incredible motorcycle work in this section among the most dangerous looking I have seen on screen. Although the latter 2 thirds are far less action oriented I feel they hold their own in terms of filling up the gaps of this time spanning story. Bradley Cooper puts in an excellent preformance, this and Silver Lining's prove that he has more range than just playing that douche in the hangover films.

I was surprised to see Mike Patton (singer of the legendary Faith No More) listed as composer here. Considering his extensive avant garde experience I expected something a bit crazier but he puts in a restrained tasteful score here. A common criticism I see about this film is that the acts become increasingly less engaging and I would have to agree with this assertion. However although it does lose the momentum and humor that make the first act so amazing, it still has much to offer in the three different but related stories it tells. An excellent movie that edges out "Side Effects" as my favorite film of the year so far.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 24, 2013, 10:30:06 AM
THE LORDS OF SALEM: An overnight DJ is drawn into a web of witchcraft when she plays a mysterious record. It wants to be a rock and roll ROSEMARY'S BABY, but most of the time it's just a bunch of dream sequences floating around in space, looking for a movie they can attach themselves to. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on April 29, 2013, 03:47:19 PM
Pain and Gain-Outrageous comedy from Michael Bay based on a true stories of some bodybuilders who turn to a life of crime in order to pursue their vision of the American dream. I thought this was absolutely hilarious throughout, fantastic performances, awesome directing, and one hell of a script. I like that so many critics are trying to find ways to dismiss this based on Bay's previous work. That IMO is not film criticism, that is following the herd and it is one of the reasons the internet has become such a cesspool for meaningful discussion. This movie aims to be a big stupid funny movie and succeeds 100% too judge it on different criteria is missing the point.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 01, 2013, 10:21:02 AM
UPSTREAM COLOR: A woman is fed a hallucinogenic worm, then gives away all her possessions in a hypnotic trance; after being operated on by a pig farmer she begins a romance with a young businessman. "Baffling" is probably the best descriptor for this dreamlike riddle without a solution. Most will hate it (a guy who walked out of my screening actually said "this is killing me"). A select few will be fascinated. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 08, 2013, 10:24:56 AM
MUD: A 14-year old boy, the son of a commercial fisherman working the Mississippi River, helps a fugitive he finds hiding out on a remote island. Accomplished storytelling that weaves in multiple subplots and minor characters, blending drama, romance and adventure, with a coming-of-age message that's neither too bitter nor too sweet. Easy to recommend. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 16, 2013, 10:56:51 AM
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES: A trick motorcycle rider's decision to rob a bank to try to support his illegitimate child leads to consequences that echo through generations. It's the story of three different men; each tale is well-acted and dramatic, but after a while you might start to wonder why this is one movie rather than three. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Bushma on May 20, 2013, 08:00:38 AM
Yesterday I took the kids to our local second run theather to watch Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D.  Five dollars a piece was a great price, and I figured they'd like the movie.  I was right, we all enjoyed the movie actually.  It was much better than I thought it would be! The romance wasn't pushed too far, the villan was a nice canned cheese which fit the role (he even came with his own lacky), and the brave knight and some good lines which made me laugh.  CGI wasn't the best, but it had a nice cartoon feel to it which really helped to add to the story feel to the movie rather than it feeling real.  4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 22, 2013, 10:17:32 AM
THE ANGEL'S SHARE (2012): When he becomes a father, Robbie tries to put his violent life as a street thug behind him; his unexpectedly refined palette for malt whiskey may provide him a key to escape poverty. Powerful drama assaults you up front, offset by working class comedy that lingers throughout. Finishes with a wisp of heist movie for a finely balanced mix sure to lift your spirits. 3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 02, 2013, 02:06:47 PM
More to see something/anything on Memorial Day, but it did seem to be the best film, I had not seen, playing on that day.

"Epic"

A beautiful looking film, that was only let down by its . . .

Cinematography
You need something/someone special to shoot a great action scene. That was lacking.

Writing
The characters veered toward stereotypes.
There was no sense that anyone knew how to write great comedy.
And none of the scenes had the emotional impact that they should have had.

It was only towards the end, did the film seem to have come alive, but . . . Sometimes you need to see something mediocre to appreciate that which is good. Which means . . .

Before the film, I saw the latest trailer for Pixar's "Monster U." Pixar is so far ahead of everyone in animation, cinematography, and storytelling, it is not longer funny. Looking forward to this one, which should be the next film I see. With a report after I see it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 05, 2013, 10:28:24 AM
RENOIR (2012): Portrait of the final days of impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir, and of the growing affair between his son (future film director Jean) and a headstrong model. Beautiful looking, as befits the subject---with her glowing copper hair, Christa Theret looks like a painter's vision that's stepped off a canvas---but too often watching this slow-paced, reverent movie is like watching paint dry. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 16, 2013, 11:59:23 AM
THE RAMBLER: A nameless man is released from prison and hitchhikes across the West heading for a job at his brother's ranch, meeting a mummy-collecting professor who records people's dreams on VHS tape and other insane weirdos along the way. This is going to be marketed as a horror movie but you should go in looking at it as a black comedy; it's got the twisted humor of your sickest nightmares. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 19, 2013, 11:03:16 AM
BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013): In their third feature film in 18 years, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delphy) continue to discuss their relationship, now as middle-aged parents vacationing in Greece. The movie is like sitting down with a smart, classy couple for cocktail conversation, then spying on them as they go back to their hotel room and fight. It's not my kind of thing, but it is an actor's showcase, and I see why people admire it. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 26, 2013, 09:37:07 AM
THIS IS THE END: When the Apocalypse occurs, no one at James Franco's housewarming party is raptured, and the surviving actors must find a way to make it through Judgement Day without getting on each others' nerves. It has entertaining moments, but the idea of Hollywood celebrities falling over themselves to score cameos in a movie that's whole point is to depict Hollywood celebrities as dimwitted, self-absorbed, shallow cowards strikes me as pretty damn smug. Additional half-star off for some of the most shameless in-movie advertisements you'll ever see. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 03, 2013, 02:13:18 PM
Pixar's animated "Monsters University," or, as I like to call it "Monsters' U."

Typical product from Pixar
--humor
--great action
--emotional resonance

But, what makes this atypical from Pixar and most animated product is its . . .
--realism

It is probably the most realistic look at college life, that I have seen, since "Paper Chase." And having spent more years in coillege than I care to remember, it is alot more fun to watch than "Paper Chase."

And add . . .

two of the funniest cameos I have ever seen in an animated film.
One of the greatest animated villainesses I have ever seen.
--her appearance
--her cold demeanor
--her controlled voice.
One has to go back 50, 60, 70 years to find someone as good. And her appearance tops those, as those had to look human.
And one final punchline after the credits. So, stay to the end.

Makes this well worth watching (IMHO)

As for the short subject before the film . . .
"The Blue Umbrella"
One may not care much for the story, but that's why Pixar is the best. They are seldom willing to rest on their laurels, but are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

As for the trailers  before the film . . .
Disney's "Frozen"
This may not say much for the film, but the trailer was one of the most cleverly scripted trailers I've ever seen. Just when you thought you knew where the trailer was going, someone would throw in a curve. Hopefully, the film's script is as clever.

Next time: "Yi! Yo! And Away! 'The Lone Ranger'"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 10, 2013, 10:27:48 AM
IRON MAN 3: Iron Man fights a terrorist, bio-engineered super-mutants and panic attacks in this third entry in the franchise. Robert Downey Jr.'s gleefully narcissistic portrayal of Tony Stark has made IRON MAN the most watchable of Marvel's onscreen superheros, and this entry doesn't disappoint on the blockbuster level with over-the-top action sequences and plenty of sarcastic putdowns and quips from the misanthropic Stark. Ben Kingsley is a treat. As a sidenote, this is the movie's first week in the second run theater and it was absolutely packed on a Tuesday afternoon. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 12, 2013, 04:58:29 PM
"The Lone Ranger"

I have the feeling that alot of people who dislike this, just don't get it. They don't get the time. They don't get the place. Of course, that goes for alot of films set in the past. I, on the other hand, get it. Maybe because I have always had more empathy for fictional characters set in the past then those set in the present.

Or, maybe it is because . . .

If one can overlook the blunders of both history and geography in the film, from attitudes expressed to guns drawn, it is a fairly realistic look at that time and place.

Or, maybe it is because . . .

It is just one of those films, that the more I think about it, the better it becomes. With surprisingly good . . .
--acting
--directing
--writing

And a fair amount of humor that got more laughs out of the adults in the audience than the kids.

But, the 3 best reasons to see it.

(1) One of Johnny Depp's best performances, as he steadily walks the tightrope between overdoing it and underdoing it. And not to take anything away from Jay Silverheels, but this is the best Tonto yet.

(2) The greatest train chase in film of all the film train chases.

(3) The greates piece of music ever written or most likely will ever be written. "THE WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE."

Next time: Unless something else comes up between now and then "Planes."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 17, 2013, 08:51:06 AM
DESPICABLE ME 2: Now retired, supervillian Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain league to infiltrate a mall where one of the merchants is plotting to take over the world; he's simultaneously annoyed by and secretly attracted to Lucy, his gung ho assigned partner. Good kid flick with an entertaining villain and lots of slapstick from the little yellow Minions. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 17, 2013, 09:54:26 AM
THE LONE RANGER (2013) - I loved this film!  Well-acted, beautifully shot, with excellent casting and lots of action.  I'll admit, in the final chase when the William Tell Overture kicked in, I wanted to stand up and cheer!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 26, 2013, 09:25:14 AM
SIGHTSEERS: A dowdy and desperate dog psychologist goes on a holiday in the English countryside with her new boyfriend, and soon notices that people who annoy him turn up dead. It has the tone of a black comedy, but the laughs are extremely subtle; it ends up like a British working class version of BADLANDS, with more relationship talk. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 28, 2013, 11:07:14 AM
FRUITVALE STATION: On New Years Eve, Oscar makes a resolution to quit dealing drugs, but ironically has a fatal run in with the police. Based on a true story, this is earnest and moving filmmaking, as guileless as its protagonist. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 07, 2013, 09:17:05 AM
THE HUNT: A small Danish town turns on a formerly beloved kindergarten teacher when he is wrongly accused of molesting his best friend's daughter. Depressingly believable blood-boiler. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 17, 2013, 12:21:24 PM
There we are.

The animated "Planes" with an international voice cast and my highest recommendation. The best film about prop driven planes since "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" from 1965.

As foreign box office becomes more and more important to American films, we are going to see more and more American filmmakers trying to appeal to film fans in foreign countries.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: crackers on August 22, 2013, 06:04:31 AM
SIGHTSEERS: A dowdy and desperate dog psychologist goes on a holiday in the English countryside with her new boyfriend, and soon notices that people who annoy him turn up dead. It has the tone of a black comedy, but the laughs are extremely subtle; it ends up like a British working class version of BADLANDS, with more relationship talk. 3/5.

I saw this the other day too  and really enjoyed it. I thought it was very funny and I wasn't expecting some of the deaths to be that grisly.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: crackers on August 22, 2013, 06:38:58 AM
Alpha Papa

(http://www.imagempm.com/UK/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Alpha-Papa.jpg)


I am a big BIG fan of Alan Partridge, but this was just dull. I laughed probably twice.

Such a shame


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Mr. DS on August 22, 2013, 08:35:52 PM
Smurfs 2, at a drive in.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 04, 2013, 10:52:44 AM
20 FEET FROM STARDOM: Backup singers, many of whom are far more vocally talented then the singers they are supporting, get their turn in the spotlight in this documentary. The stories of these women (they're almost all African-American women from a gospel background) are about what you'd expect---hard work, little money or recognition---but the music (from doo-wop to jazz to soul to classic rock and roll) is phenomenal. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on September 07, 2013, 04:35:35 PM
This is Us with One Direction.

As in the other concert films, little interest in what's going on on stage, but interested in the audience's reaction and what is going on backstage.

It looks easy, but that is because there is alot of hard work. Both backstage and offstage.

I am sure there are boys who are fans of the boys, if you can find a boy with the courage to admit it, but you don't see any male fans in the audience till you get to Italy. Oh, those Italians. Maybe with the current rise of all-girl groups someday we might see more male fans on screen. One other thing I noticed was how the group's fans were older than what normally one sees at one of these concerts. Fewer pre-teens and more teens and older.

Then the boys have the poorest physiques I have ever seen. Anytime they take their shirts off, I want to tell them to put their shirts back on. And unlike Justin Bieber, who plays a mean drumset, and the Jonas Brothers, who also play musical instruments, and whose concert films I've seen, except for one boy, who plays the guitar, none of the boys seem to play any musical instrument.

If I had any advice for Simon Cowell, who was responsible for much of their success, it is to take some of the money he has made and get an interior decorator to do a total make-over of his home.

Some family background, which I thought was the least interesting part of the film.

And something else surprised me. How little the fan reaction varies from country to country. (IMHO) we are losing our differentation, and that is not necessarily good.

Next time: Unless something else comes up, next month is "Romeo and Juliet."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 11, 2013, 11:53:22 AM
THE SPECTACULAR NOW: A popular high school party guy (and burgeoning alcoholic) falls for a nice nerdy girl after being dumped. Strong teen drama; charming star Miles Teller surely must be John Cusack's long lost son. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 18, 2013, 09:35:43 AM
THE ACT OF KILLING (2012): A Western documentarian gives leaders of Indonesian death squads, now grandfathers and respected elders of paramilitary groups, funds to make a movie proudly re-enacting the massacres they committed as young gangsters. A terrifying glimpse at the human mind's capacity to rationalize and normalize evil, and one of the most moral pranks ever pulled. I doubt there will be a better movie released this year. 5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 25, 2013, 09:43:38 AM
THE STORIES WE TELL (2013): Actress/director Sarah Polley interviews family and friends to get their perspectives on a family secret. A heartfelt and well-told story, though the  narrative's intricacy and novelty is being oversold in some quarters. 3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 02, 2013, 09:50:07 AM
ENOUGH SAID: Facing an empty nest as her daughter prepares to leave for college, massage therapist Eva (Julia Louis Dreyfuss) meets a charming and funny (if overweight) guy; but, will she follow her heart, or be poisoned by listening to his ex-wife's complaints? This pleasant adult romantic comedy with a steady stream of low-key laughs allowed the late James Gandolfini to take his final bow as a nice guy instead of a wise guy. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 21, 2013, 11:25:45 AM
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Tom Hanks stars as the real-life Richard Phillips, who was held hostage in a lifeboat by four Somali pirates after his freighter was hijacked in 2009. Tense and realistic examination of how dangerous the high seas still can be; Hanks is as great as you would expect, but the amateurs playing the Somalis are also quite good. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 30, 2013, 09:55:16 AM
PRISONERS: Desperately seeking his missing daughter, a father imprisons and tortures a feeble-minded suspect after the police release him without charges; meanwhile, a detective is following up other leads, and wondering where his key suspect has disappeared to. Brutal and painful to watch at times, it's an arthouse combination of a revenge movie and torture porn, motivated by a cruel moral dilemma parents will hate to contemplate. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 06, 2013, 10:31:36 AM
12 YEARS A SLAVE: Free black musician Solomon Northrup is kidnapped from New York and sold into slavery in Louisiana, where he is passed from one master to another. Outrage after outrage; this movie may well prove to be the "Roots" for the upcoming generation. Expect it to win some awards. 4/5.

This wasn't a theatrical viewing but I think it's still in theaters so:

PRINCE AVALANCHE: A worker (Paul Rudd) who loves the solitude of nature hires his girlfriend's party-loving brother (Emile Hirsch) to help him paint lines on a seldom-traveled rural road; they clash but eventually open up to each other. The two actors completely inhabit their roles in this slow-moving bromance dramedy. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 13, 2013, 10:48:12 AM
ALL IS LOST: A man (Robert Redford) who is sailing a yacht solo in the Indian Ocean finds himself lost at sea after his hull is breached by floating debris. Redford and writer/director J.C. Chandor do an impressive job of milking maximum tension out of this nearly dialogue-free, one actor contest between a man and the sea. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 18, 2013, 10:20:43 AM
DALLAS BUYERS' CLUB: At the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, a homophobic redneck and hustler turns up HIV positive, then enters into an unlikely partnership with a transvestite to smuggle unapproved drugs into the USA to treat patients through a "buyers club." Awards-quality turns from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in this unexpectedly libertarian film (when was the last time you saw a movie where Food and Drug Administration bureaucrats were the villains?) 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 27, 2013, 09:46:25 AM
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE: Worried that her rising popularity will make her a symbol of revolution, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) arranges a "tournament of champions" style Hunger Games with survivors of previous contests competing against each other to the death. Against all odds, this teen-oriented series warning about the dangers of governance by reality TV continues to be more charming than hokey. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 02, 2013, 09:46:53 AM
SAVING MR. BANKS: Fussy author P.L. Travers fights Walt Disney every step of the way as he tries to adapt her story "Mary Poppins ," while flashbacks to her poor Australian childhood reveal why the character holds special meaning to her. Sure, this is Disney Studios patting themselves on the back about how their classic whimsy banishes cynicism and heals hearts, but it's also pretty damn fine entertainment. Pair it with ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW if you need a contrasting bitter Disney flavor to cut the sweetness.  4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 09, 2013, 10:11:26 AM
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: Llewyn Davis scrounges for gigs and a new couch to sleep on each night as he tries to make a living as a folksinger in New York City in 1961. Oscar Isaac is believable (and believably unlikable) as the choleric singer with a golden throat and no prospects in this minor entry in the Coen brothers canon. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 10, 2013, 10:50:28 AM
SHORT TERM 12: Young idealistic caretakers deal with her personal demons while helping emotionally troubled youth in a group home. Nothing surprising in this earnest, heartwarming indie drama, but it's well made. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 11, 2013, 02:10:32 PM
THE WIND RISES (2013): Between the wars, apolitical young Japanese engineer Jiro (literally) dreams of building magnificent aircraft; he ends up working for the navy as World War II approaches. Hayao Mizyaki's (likely) final film is a realistic (if sentimental) historical drama for adults; the story drags occasionally, but the artwork is as good as ever. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 27, 2013, 05:24:33 PM
The films from Walt Disney Studios just keep getting odder and odder, but you will have a better understanding of the film title, after you see the film.

"Saving Mr. Banks" w/ Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks.

A father who was an alcoholic, who did not understand how the world works, and suffering from "the white death."

A mother who was a candidate for suicide, who was 3rd in line for her husbands affection, and who was trapped in a problem she could not escape.

And between them, a little girl. No wonder she grew up to be a woman who makes you want to tear your hair out, but I had more sympathy for her after seeing the film that before seeing the film, which is probably the purpose of the film.

As for Emma Thompson . . .? There will be no justice if she is at least not nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. In the film, she is no longer Emma Thompson actress but P. L. Travers authoress.

But as hard as her job was, Hanks has the harder job of portraying Walt Disney, everyone thinks they know what Walt was like. He did a great job in a hard role, and I did get one insight into Walt. What a tough s.o.b. he was, as you realize he had to be a tough s.o.b. to survive and thrive in Hollywood.

The film also reminded me that "Mary Poppins" owed much of its success to the music by the Sherman Brothers, who are also portrayed in the film.

And a plug for the wildlife documentary for "Bears," which will be out on Earth Day in 2014. Except for one year, when Warner Brothers released a wildlife documentary on Earth Day. Walt Disney Studios is the last of the major studios to continue to do wildlife documentaries.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on December 27, 2013, 10:13:03 PM
It's a great time of the year for movies so I've been heading out to the theaters as much as I can. In the last few weeks I saw:

Nebraska-I've yet to see an Alexander Payne film that I didn't like and this one is no exception. In someways it's nothing new for Payne falling comfortably between About Schmidt and Sideways. When Bruce Dern gets a phony letter in the mail promising 1 million dollars he will stop at nothing to go get his prize despite the protests of his whole family. Seeing an opportunity to bond with his father Will Forte decides to drive him and it becomes an opportunity for the whole family to make a trip out to their old home town. This is a very small movie that manages to be both funny and dramatic at the same time. June Squibb is the comic highlight as Dern's wife who has no filter and just about everything she says is funny. My only complaint would be that the black and white looked pretty lousy especially compared to this years France Ha.

American Hustle-Silver Linings Playbook was among my favorite films of last year so I had high expectations going in for David O Russel's follow up. First the good, this movie is very funny for much of the time. Scenes between Louis Ck and Bradley Cooper are outright hilarious and some of the best of the year. Performances are generally strong with Bale adding a bunch of weight and a De Niro impression to his repertoire. Jennifer Lawrence gets a similarly high strung role as she did in SLP and brings the energy level up considerably anytime she is on the screen. Now for the bad which is that when this movie is not going for comedy it is pretty much a mess. Basically as a million other reviews have pointed out this is O Russel's attempt at a Martin Scorsese style crime saga and while he can do wonders with a fight movie (The Fighter), or a romantic comedy (SLP) he has no business attempting an epic and falls flat on his face. Frequently boring in between moments of inspired humor this is a badly paced and poorly written film. Critics giving this a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes is truly perplexing and shows that their bulls**t detector is in need of a serious tune up.

Wolf of Wall Street-Thought the trailers for this looked pretty bad and wasn't expecting too much of this one. Could not have been more wrong as this is IMO Scorcese's best film since Goodfella's and likely my favorite film of the year. Before this film I would say that no comedy should be over 2 hours, Scorsese gives us 3 and it's consistently hilarious and completely insane. DiCaprio gives the performance of his career, endless memorable scenes, and a director at the top of his game in his 80's. This is the reason I keep going to the theaters.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Hammock Rider on December 29, 2013, 12:24:24 AM
Well i spent my hard earned money on 47 Ronin. It's not the worst movie i've ever seen but it's not really good either. I knew there were going to be some major changes to the traditional story of the Ronin and that didn't bother me because I usually like to take a movie for what it is and accept it on its own terms. So this movie had action and looked good but it lacked heart and the sacrifice of the Ronin didn't have much emotional impact. You can probably wait until this one shows up on cable.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 15, 2014, 09:59:48 AM
AMERICAN HUSTLE: A gung-ho FBI agent blackmails a small-time con artist and his mistress into helping him run a sting that starts small and keeps getting more and more elaborate as the targets become Congressmen and mafioso. Great characterizations by Christian Bale (channeling DeNiro) and Jennifer Lawrence in a comic relief role highlight this star-powered caper flick. 4.5/5.

I have to disagree with my friend Fulci420 above; I found this much better than the good but overrated and formulaic SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. This is ultimately very conventional filmmaking, too, but the caper film allows for a much broader set of choices and textures than the boy-meets-girl picture.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 29, 2014, 09:49:56 AM
HER: In the near future, a recently divorced man falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system. Melancholy meditation on the way technology simultaneously facilitates and thwarts our basic need for human connection, with alarming hints of where we might be heading. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 05, 2014, 09:50:22 AM
NEBRASKA: A stereo-equipment salesman accompanies his demented father on a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, to collect the million dollars he obstinately insists he's won in a sweepstakes. Effective, if a bit obvious, father-son piece, with the right amount of comedy and satire (courtesy of greedy relatives) to cut the melancholy. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 14, 2014, 10:04:32 AM
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS: Putting these shorts together on one program and releasing them to theaters is a brilliant idea; I look forward to these every year. This year's batch is a good mix of 2-D and 3-D animation, and comedy and artsy-ness. The "host segments" feature an ostrich and giraffe dishing gossip about cartoon characters and are quite amusing. 4/5 overall. A quick breakdown:

"Get a Horse!": The first new Mickey Mouse cartoon in forever. Lightweight but fun. 3.5/5
"Mr. Hublot": French animation set in a steampunk city. Nice looking but I didn't get involved with it. 3.5/5
"Feral": Shadowy story of a wolf child put into Victorian society. The artiest of the shorts. 3.5/5
"Possession": Strange Japanese folktale about items that come to life. This is almost a horror short and was my favorite, but it's too weird to win. 4.5/5.
"Room on the Broom": Children's storybook adaptation about a witch and her animal friends. I suspect this will win the category. 4/5.

Also showing but not in the competition:

"The Missing Scarf": Narrated by George Takei, this fake kid's story with a nihilistic moral is great, but the final joke was way too bleak for the Academy. 4.5/5.
"A la Francaise": French nobles depicted as chickens. Doesn't really go anywhere. 3/5.
"The Blue Umbrella": Sappy Pixar sketch about umbrellas in love. Pretty. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on February 14, 2014, 10:10:27 AM
My
 colleagues are urging me to go see the film FAAN SE TREIN [FAAN'S
TRAIN] about a challenged man whose passion and outlet are the trains
which run near his home.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 23, 2014, 05:13:10 PM
"Pompeii"

From where I sat, an interesting mixture of fact and fiction, believability and non-believability, strengths and weaknesses, and something personal.

Fictions
The spiked ball on the chain. It has a number of names, but I've always called it a morning-star, and it has always been one of my favorite weapons, because it looks so COOL! But I have recently read, that it never existed outside the imagination of some very imaginative writers.

Killing 4 men in less that 4 minutes. Probably not going to happen.

Horse breaking leg by stepping in a hole. Yes, happens too often, but that hole. It looks too large. When a horse steps in a hole and breaks a leg, the hole is normally the size of a gopher hole.

Driver not attending to horse. If he didn't think to do it, his mistress who is riding in the carriage he is driving, is probably going to tell him to do it, before she steps out of the carriage in front of all those men on the road.

The horse coming back to the stable. Even if it survived the volcanic tremors, it'd have gotten there before daylight, as it should not have been that far from the stable, or it'd have been found wandering the countryside later in the day.

A Senator with that much money to fund the entire re-building of Pompeii. Probably not. Of course, he could have been only interested in re-building the arena.

Destruction of Pompeii. Dramatic enough, but probably not as dramatic as in the film.

And yet . . .? And yet . . .The film had a number of facts in it.

Facts
Stepping stones across the street, so when the streets flooded, one didn't get one's feet wet. Fact.

No thumbs down for death in the arena. Again fact or mostly fact. That mistake is believed to have come about because of a painting from the 19th century called "The Dieing Gladiator" or something like that, when the verdict for death was depicted by the watchers of the combat giving a thumbs down sign.

Sails shading the arena seats. Again fact. Indeed, sailors were hired to raise and lower the sails that shaded the arena.

Believability and non-believability.
There has been not that much change in the past 2000 years, that mankind still relate to each other much the same way that they did yesterday as they do today.
So, when I see a film from the past, I like to see whether the characters relate to each other in a believable or non-believable manner. Here some of the relationships were believable and some of them were non-believable.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
The gladiator scenes. At least, I thought they were better than the ones in "Gladiator."

The SFX. I ought to go back and re-watch "The Last Days of Pompeii" and see how those SFX compared with the ones in the current film. It supposedly had some of the best SFX for a 1935 film.

Performances. If you look past the film stars to the supporting players. That's what drives me nuts about some reviews. They only look at the top of the cast list, instead of further down the cast list, when some of the best performers in a film occupy that position.

The ending. At least it took me by surprise.

Weaknesses
The gladiator scenes. Still not as good as those from C. B. DeMille's "The Sign of the Cross" from 1932. Now there was a showman who could stage a great scene of combat in the arena.

The writing. There were some real clunkers of dialogue.

And now for something more personal.
In 1935 one could use the destruction of Pompeii to do a film about the Christian religion. Now one uses the desctruction of Pompeii to do a film about romance.

I always check out a film to see how it impacts me emotionally. These one did to some extent. So . . .

I liked it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 24, 2014, 08:47:54 PM
A further thought on "Pompeii," which I saw recently.

Unlike "Frozen," which the more I think about it, the better it becomes. The more I think about "Pompeii," the worst it becomes. Yet, the moment the lights came back on at the end of the film, I felt I hadn"t wasted my money. And that is all I ask in a film.

Some more thoughts, which I'll put here, as I don't want to scatter them all across the board, and they do apply to films now showing or will be upcoming.

I wonder if Warner Bros. isn't making a mistake by doing another "Space Jam" film, when they should be doing another "Legos" movie, and actually they are, "The Lego Movie 2," which will be out in 2017.

"Family" vs. "non-Family" It looks like the Legos movie, which is somewhat of a family film, beat out Kevin Costner's new movie, which is not a family film. Which makes me wonder, with that and "Frozen" being such a success, we won't have a new slew of family films coming to the cinema.

But, what is Dreamworks doing? I just heard the radio ad for "Peabody and Sherman," and I can't imagine after that  anybody who remembers the original cartoon series on TV going to see the film. Or, maybe it is just the ad campaign that I hate.

Blue Swede has hit it big again now that their version of "Hooked on a Feeling" is included in both the film and trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy." I went back and listened to the song, and I had forgotten how much I liked it. Then we always say that the music of our generation is better than anyother generation.

And will the song play on RadioDisney, since both RadioDisney and Marvel are part of the Walt Disney Company.

Next film on my list to see is "Muppets 2."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 28, 2014, 11:51:25 AM
THE LEGO MOVIE (2014): In a world made of Legos, one incredibly average Lego-man is chosen by a prophecy to stop the evil President Business from freezing everything in Legoland in perfect order with a giant glue gun. Despite the generic, brand-forward title, this is an extremely clever and entertaining comic adventure, probably the greatest toy commercial ever animated. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 11, 2014, 04:20:36 PM
Not mine, but seemingly everone else's. The sequel to "300" took in $45.1 million at the box office making it the #1 film that weekend, and a couple of things worth noting.

I almost always laugh when people say they want to see more originality from Hollywood. It's films like this, sequels which do well at the box office--one of the reasons, there are others--as to why there is so little originality from Hollywood. It is only when sequels start to do poorly, will there be a chance for greater originality from Hollywood (IMHO.)

And once more we see a critical divide between audiences and critics. Here we see a film that did well with audiences at the box office, but poorly with critics, while "Peabody and Sherman" did better with critics, but less well with audiences.

And in the future, may we see at the box office . . .

They are old. They are tired. They are on the way out. Which is a bit harsh and not totally true, but my thoughts did come from an article I saw in "The New York Times Magazine" on how interchangable have become the actors who have played the Superheroes in the recent Superhero theatrical films.

And as the newest and brightest star in the Superhero firmament, the article said it was . . .

(1) An actor with a black belt in martial arts.
(2) An actor who has a starring role on "Kickin' It."
(3) An actor who has abs that just will not quit.
(4) An actor with a modicum of acting talent, as he is regarded as being the best thing in both the newest "Conan" and "G.I. Joe" films.
(5) An actor that is a babe magnet, as pre-teen girls, teenage girls, and even older women in their 20s, think he's hot.
(6) An actor named Leo Howard.
(7) And who is only 16 years old.

That last is what bothers me. Not that there have not been young performers before, as they date back to the times of William Jonson and Ben Shakespeare, if not before. It is just that performers seem to be getting younger and younger, or I am getting older and older, or both.

Still if Marvel Studios did it with "The Avengers," I can see them doing it with "The Young Avengers," with him and 11 or so more young performers, depending how many of The Young Avengers Marvel Studios want in the film.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 11, 2014, 04:38:29 PM

I almost always laugh when people say they want to see more originality from Hollywood. It's films like this, sequels which do well at the box office--one of the reasons, there are others--as to why there is so little originality from Hollywood. It is only when sequels start to do poorly, will there be a chance for greater originality from Hollywood (IMHO.)


Couldn't agree more. If people paid money to see original stuff, Hollywood would make it. Only a small minority of filmgoers value originality.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 12, 2014, 11:29:59 AM
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (2013): A Japanese couple discovers that the boy they have been raising as their son was actually switched at birth with a child from a poorer family. Well-made but fairly obvious familial drama.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: jimpickens on March 13, 2014, 02:35:05 AM
300 Rise Of An Empire.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: fulci420 on March 17, 2014, 07:18:27 PM
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson's latest shows that he has perfected his craft, and that craft is making meticulous Wes Anderson movies. You may not resonate with his sensibilities but at this point he is accomplishing his goals to perfection. Every frame is wonderfully designed feeling at times to be as much a cartoon as his earlier "Mr Fox" despite being filled with a bevy of familiar Anderson folks and some new ones. Ralph Fiennes is the perfect leading man for this picture perfectly balancing a character that is at times sleazy, others lovable and always hilarious.

An interesting addition is a sense of darkness that begins to infiltrate Anderson's world. War is looming and a few times we see violence erupt on the screen unlike anything seen before in his past films. This adds an additional layer to the proceedings that is nicely balanced with the whimsical adventure that serves as the films driving force. With the hilarious trailer (which does give away a bit too many of the films funny lines IMO) and knowledge of his past work I think this is a sure thing for fans of his aesthetic but its so entrenched in said aesthetic that I cant see it converting any of the unconvinced.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 19, 2014, 09:11:00 AM
Finally got to see THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. A stock broker bends ethical rules to build a fortune while feeding his obscene appetite for hookers and Quaaludes. Although the target of the satire is easy, this mixture of GOODFELLAS and WALL STREET is Martin Scorsese's best, and funniest, movie in quite some time. A minor quibble is that the movie's middle section spends about an hour longer than needed in convincing us that Jordan Belfort and his cronies are a bunch of narcissistic douchebags. 4.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on March 19, 2014, 09:56:59 AM
Monuments Men:

For what should have been an interesting story, I was kind of, well, bored.  Probably could have done more with the superb cast, in particular building up their relationships with each other but everything just felt really 'as it should' which means you just spend the whole movie waiting for them to get to the point.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Archivist on March 23, 2014, 08:04:59 PM
Monuments Men:

For what should have been an interesting story, I was kind of, well, bored.  Probably could have done more with the superb cast, in particular building up their relationships with each other but everything just felt really 'as it should' which means you just spend the whole movie waiting for them to get to the point.

I saw Monuments Men last week, too.  Not bad, and a very solid film, but not a 'oh my gosh, how amazing' film.  They did have a great cast and an excellent premise, but even the attempts at emotional moments didn't quite work for me.

What surprised me was the female majority of the audience.  I saw it in an evening slot in the City during the week, and the audience was mostly women.  They piled into the theatre in packs and talked loudly through the first ads, and then applauded at the end of the film.  It was like a meeting of the local George Clooney fan club.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 24, 2014, 05:11:49 PM
"Muppets: Most Wanted" w/ Ricky Gervaise, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey.

I liked it, so the surprise was not that I'd like it, but how much I liked it.

The best part, for me, was all the self-referential in-jokes.

The 2nd best part was the music. "The Macarena" never sounded as good.

The 3rd best part was all the guest stars in it. Did I mention the self-referential in jokes?

The 4th best part was the forgotten history lesson. I had forgotten there was a Colonel Blood who did try to steal the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London, and while he was unsuccessful, he came closer to stealing them than anyone before or since.

A couple of final thoughts.

Obviously from the story and who was in it, the filmmakers were going for something that might have an international appeal. Which you'll probably see more and more in American films, as foreign box office becomes more important than American box office.

And I hope it is successful enough that there will be an 8th sequel, as this is the 7th sequel, to the original Muppets movie. For all the people who liked the original film, it is my least favorite of all the Muppet films, and probably the only I really did not enjoy.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 26, 2014, 09:03:51 AM
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014): A former concierge tells the story of how he came to own the once-elegant titular hotel, a story involving a murdered widow, a stolen painting, and a jailbreak. Wes Anderson's detached, artificial style, which can be alienating in a modern setting, is perfectly suited to this period screwball comedy with a literary plot. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Muscle Hedonist on March 26, 2014, 12:39:13 PM
The Hobbit 2. Don't think I have to say much about the movie itself, but that cinema visit was the first time I saw the teaser for the new Godzilla movie - boy, that sure was something.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 02, 2014, 09:21:53 AM
ENEMY: A history professor becomes obsessed with finding a man who appears to be his exact double. Jake Gyllenhall is excellent in both roles, and director Denis Villeneuve creates a sense of existential dread that rivals David Lynch (or fellow Canadian David Cronenberg); the mysterious ending will fuel a minor interpretation industry. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 16, 2014, 08:34:15 AM
THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (2013): A feature length interview with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield that (perhaps unfairly, perhaps understandably) turns into a referendum on the Iraqi invasion and the War on Terror. There are no bombshells---Rumsfield is far too savvy to sabotage himself---so this effort only adds a little context for political junkies, while being unlikely to sway anyone's opinion of this enigmatic and powerful man in one direction or another. 3/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on April 17, 2014, 05:00:21 AM
Grand Budapest Hotel:

Great film from Wes Anderson with some standout performances from Ralph Fiennes and co.  The deapan and odd humour may not appeal to some, but I think it was a well crafted, funny and generally endearing caper, though I have a problem with how some of it wound up by the end.  I wouldn't be surprised if Fiennes gets some award season nods for this [he was wonderful].  One of my favourites of the year so far!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 23, 2014, 08:26:33 AM
UNDER THE SKIN: Disguised as a human female, an alien seduces (and "collects") lonely males in Scotland. The story drags at times, especially in the final act, but the hallucinatory scenes are elegantly trippy and well worth the price of admission. Scarlett Johansson's nude scenes don't hurt. Reminded me of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, only sexier. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 30, 2014, 08:53:49 AM
BEARS: Disney's latest nature doc follows two bear cubs through their first year of life. Great footage of these magnificent beasts prowling the Alaska wilderness, but the anthropomorphic commentary gets so cutesy you wish sometimes mama bear would go GRIZZLY MAN on narrator John D. Reilly. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 06, 2014, 05:16:46 PM
BEARS: Disney's latest nature doc follows two bear cubs through their first year of life. Great footage of these magnificent beasts prowling the Alaska wilderness, but the anthropomorphic commentary gets so cutesy you wish sometimes mama bear would go GRIZZLY MAN on narrator John D. Reilly. 3/5.

Seen it, too. And a great documentary from the same people who next year are bringing you "Monkey Kingdom."

In Southeast Asia there is a jungle.
And in this jungle there is an abandoned temple.
And in this abandoned temple there is a troop of monkeys.
And in this troop of monkeys there is this mother monkey and her baby monkey.
"Monkey Kingdom!"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 21, 2014, 08:55:22 AM
LOCKE: A construction foreman is called away on personal business on the eve of a huge building project; we watch in real time as he drives to London juggling phone calls from work, home, and his destination. Tom Hardy will be rightfully praised for what's almost a one-man show as a profoundly decent working man facing the devastating consequences of a single bad decision. But, the real, unacknowledged star is Steven Tyler's minimalist script, which manages to wring a hell of a lot of tension out of a "you have a call waiting" notification. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Josso on May 21, 2014, 10:14:48 AM
Monuments Men:

For what should have been an interesting story, I was kind of, well, bored.  Probably could have done more with the superb cast, in particular building up their relationships with each other but everything just felt really 'as it should' which means you just spend the whole movie waiting for them to get to the point.

I totally know what you mean I think maybe the pacing of the story telling was off or something, but the cast was fantastically chosen.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 27, 2014, 05:33:32 PM
"Million Dollar Arm" with Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton, and Alan Arkin.

"Frustration"
If you want a film that defines the word frustation of the characters, then this is the film. The characters are constantly being frustrated to the end of the film, where everything works out for everyone.

"India"
A film shot overseas, here India, often gives me an insight into a land and people that I have not seen, especially, as again here, it covers something besides the tourist "hotspots."

"Reinforcement"
A film often, for good and ill, often reinforces what we think we know.

"Courage"
It takes courage to leave one's home and family and come to a strange land. Certainly, more courage than I have ever possessed.

"Wedge"
Outside the continent of Africa, India and China are the two biggest markets yet untapped--for the most part--by the American entertainment business. And as the theme parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai are the "wedge" for the Walt Disney Company to enter the Chinese entertainment market, this film is the "wedge" for the Company to enter the Indian entertainment market.

"Fixer"
Whether large or small an American company wanting to do business in a foreign land needs a "fixer" or someone who knows the ins and outs of a country, before they do business.

Of course, the same thing applies to a foreign company who wants to do business here in the U.S., as they need an American "fixer," before doing business here.

"Differences"
There are whole books written on the subject of how doing business here is different than doing business overseas.

And, of course, for a foreign company, the same thing applies. Doing business in their home country is different than doing business here in the U.S.

My only complaint about the film is that it seemed to be longer than it was in some parts. Still, it was a much better film than what I expected.

Next time: "Maleficent"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on May 28, 2014, 04:19:38 AM
The Babadook:

The Babadook (2013) Official Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szaLnKNWC-U#ws)

Low budget Australian horror, but saying that the film looks great and has a very decent build up.  Good performances and plays on my ultimate fear: annoying kids. [He's not the scary part, but by god I wanted to throttle him at the start, something about screaming kids]

This of course serves as a good build up for the film which centres on a single mother Amelia who is struggling to deal with her hyperactive and needy child who has been seeing something in the house, the boogeyman-like Babadook, which arrives in the form of a children's story book which has some pretty confronting imagery.  As Amelia starts to unravel from the lack of sleep, well, you can see where things go from here.

What the film lacks in big over the top scares, it makes for in great atmosphere, and as I mentioned the build up is terrific with her son's screaming really punctuating her tough situation [like any sleep-deprived parent] and Essie Davis does a fantastic job of portraying an unravelling mother [she does a great dead-tired stare].

Highly recommended if you get a chance to see it at some point.  It's in limited release here but has been getting a ton of buzz after Sundance so hopefully it'll make the jump to a wider release soon.

4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 28, 2014, 09:44:39 AM
GODZILLA: Slumbering monsters from the atomic age awaken and rampage across the western U.S. Sorry, but I like my Godzilla battling smog monsters or teaming up with flying robots named Jet Jaguar. This is just a fight scene with a movie built around it. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 08, 2014, 01:59:30 PM
"Maleficent" w/ Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.

Warning! There be spoilers ahead.

A beautiful looking film. Probably the best looking fairy tale film I have ever seen. But . . . ?! And it is a big but.

If you do see it, be aware that it is probably one of the strangest films you'll see this year. We'll get to the why later. I liked that it was not the same-o, same-o one normally sees, but you may not agree.

As to why it seems so strange. I think that has to do with the fact that it is a new take on an old fairy tale.

As for what is the new take . . . ?

Not always so, and maybe rightly or wrongly, but two females living in the forest without a male. There seems to be a definite lesbian vibe there. Though, there are two things that soften the vibe. (1) "The kiss of true love" is given on the forehead and not the lips and (2) the younger female does take up with the pransome hince.

And it is understandable why she would take up with him, besides the fact that he is only one of the two handsome men in the kingdom. We'll get to the other one later.
He is certainly, externally, someone most women would want to wake up next to in the morning. But more then that, I think, internally he is someone most women would want to wake up next to in the morning. He is not someone who would get drunk every night. He is not someone who would gamble away the kingdom. He is not someone who would abuse: emotionally, mentally, physically, his spouse. And he would try to be a good father to the heirs of the kingdom.

But, more then that, the film, while there have been several film versions of the story, probably the best known is the much under appreciated at the time, 1959 animated version of the story. So we'll compare that film to this one.

What I like about this one, at least, more than the 1959 version.

1. The characters
a. Maleficent. In the animated version, she is a great villain, but that is all she is. Here she is a more complex character, which I like, as it makes her a more interesting character (IMHO.)

b. Aurora. Much more active in deciding her fate, which again makes her a more interesting character than the animated version. And she looks closer to the 16 she is in the story than she does in the animated version.

c. The ravenwere. Or a raven that can change into a man, or a horse, or a dragon, or whatever. In the animated version, a raven is just a raven and not as interesting. And the only other handsome man in the kingdom. I actually had some idea he might be the one to come away with Aurora.

d. Stefan. No pretty boy here or man neither. I can't get over the fact how not handsome, even homely, he was as both boy and man. And which leads us to my next like.

2. The human face. This version put a more human face on the characters than the animated version did.

3. The film was a strong condemnation of ambition, greed, paranoia, revenge, and all the dark emotions. And I wonder how much that had to do with the writer, who is regarded as not only one of the best writers in Hollywood, but is one of the few female writers in Hollywood. And to top that, now days when it takes two or more writers to write a film screenplay, this was a solo effort.

What I neither liked nor disliked about the film, but was different.

4. It was Maleficent and not one of the other fairies who softened the curse at the christening.

5. Unlike the animated version, where the location of Aurora was unknown to her 16th birthday, here her location is known from the time she leaves the palace for the cottage in the wood.

What I disliked, or at least disliked more than the animated version.

6. The fairies' names. While again there were three fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather is much simpler to remember than whatever they were named in this film.

7. The music. As much as I enjoyed the orchestral music in this one, it just pales next to Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty," which was used in the animated film.

8, The ending. I liked the ending in the animated version more than the ending in this one.

Still, as much as I enjoyed the animated version, I think I enjoyed this one more for the reasons given.

And one final thought. We know how young are some of the princesses, here only 16, but let us also remember how young are some of their princes. Many of them are not out of their mid 20's, and some are not even out of their late teens, as here.

Next up: "Planes: Fire and Rescue" and a wonderful tribute to the men and women who are smokejumpers.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Pilgermann on June 09, 2014, 12:05:51 AM
Edge of Tomorrow - Didn't expect to care for this much but I was entertained quite a bit.  Tom Cruise plays our hero of course, being thrown into the frontline battle against alien invaders against his will and getting himself killed.  But in a Groundhog Day scenario he finds himself repeating the same fateful day over and over, learning a little more each time.  I don't want to spoil the plot even if it's sci-fi silliness.  I tend to get bored by endless displays of whizz-bang CGI in most modern movies but this one wasn't too overbearing, it's pretty engaging and handles its gimmick pretty well, plus Emily Blunt:

(http://24.media.tumblr.com/bf38ab3c028d3567f3853ccb5d3e8b0c/tumblr_n6u2d2rLht1sgli53o1_500.gif)

I'd watch it again but won't be sad if I never do.  A generous 7/10.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BakuryuuTyranno on June 15, 2014, 03:46:48 PM
Oculus

Another of those "good compared to other Hollywood horror, but not strictly speaking good" films.

The good:

Thankfully jump scares are minimal although it still opens with one of those quasi-action scenes almost every big-budget horror movie in recent years had.

Its quite character-driven too. There aren't any characters who only exist to die.

The possessed people still look normal, unlike what the trailer would first suggest. Even when someone eventually assumed a monsterous appearance, that was mostly when attacking children, so it kinda makes sense.

And finally there's no arbitrary love interest.

The bad:

Essentially, Oculus is far inferior to the director's earlier film Absentia.

Absentia had better atmosphere, better characters, better pacing, a better eldritch abomination type threat...

Remember how Absentia worked great by keeping its beyond-comphresion entity almost entirely offscreen?

Well... the mirror manifests apparitions that look like basically interchangeable with any ghost/demon/entity from most other big-budget horror. They're possibly the most unimaginative "cosmic horrors"  since The Slaughter presented a generic succubus-type creature as a female version of Cthulhu.

And if you're seeing someone who already died walking around, wouldn't them looking normal be generally freakier anyway.

Bottom line - only worth recommending if you don't already have Absentia on DVD


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 17, 2014, 08:52:42 AM
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (2014): This sequel expands the world of the Viking dragon-riders of Berk, as an outsider seeks to raise a dragon army to destroy the peaceful settlement. Appealing sequel with soaring animation and a major plot surprise. Many seem to like this sequel better than the original (though I suspect they may have already forgotten how much they liked the original). 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 02, 2014, 08:59:19 AM
IDA: In late 1950s Poland, an orphan is about to take orders to become a nun when she learns that she is actually a Jew; accompanied by her only surviving relative, she sets out to investigate the fate of her parents. Slow, somber and serious, this is a worthy addition to the Holocaust genre, showing the lingering effects of the atrocity decades later. 3.5/5.

RADIO FREE ABELMUTH: In an alternate-reality America, a music producer receives transmissions from a mysterious entity known as VALIS ("Vast Active Living Intelligence System") with advice for overthrowing the fascist President of the United States. This adaptation of Philip K. Dick's paranoid sci-fi novel, which sat on the shelf for four years, has TV miniseries-level production values, but the bizarre plot retains some interest. 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 07, 2014, 07:03:34 PM
An update on "Maleficent," and who is happy and unhappy. That is not to say that everyone mentioned is happy or unhappy, so maybe I should say who has reaon to be happy and unhappy.

$200 million domestic box office
$400 million international box office
$600 million total box office, so far.

Angelina Jolie
Whatever the critics may think, and we'll get to them later, it is probably her best acting performance in a decade, and there is already talk of, if not an Oscar nomination, then a Golden Globe nomination.

Audiences
This speaks, for some reason, to audiences better than the better reviewed "X-Men : Days of Future Past" and/or "How to Train Your Dragon 2," which was favorabley reviewed by 90% of the critics, yet are unlikely to earn as much at the box office, then "Maleficent," which got favorable reviews from only 50% of the critics.

The English
As much of the film was shot in England, and as there is a plausible chance there will be a sequel, it, too, is likely will be shot in England, which boosts the English film industry and the English economy.

Gays and Lesbians
I guess it all depends upon what you read into it, but some see a gay vibe in "X-Men : Days of Future Past," and there is supposedly a gay character in "How to Train Your Dragon 2." Not so much for what the character says, but what he leaves unsaid. And if that is true, then I give props to Dreamworks for inserting a gay character into one of their films, before Disney and/or Pixar, liberal or not, as they may be. As for "Maleficent," while some read a mother-daughter relationship into the relationship between the two female characters, I read an older more mature woman and an younger less mature relationship into the relationship. Indeed, I read the relationship as much like the one in "Blood of Dracula," though not as weird a relationship as that one.

Mexicans
There is a surprise in every prize. The surprise is how well "Maleficent" is doing in Mexico, where to date it has earned $43 million at the box office. That is a lot for an American film, especially one that has nothing to do with Mexico.

The Suits at Walt Disney
1. It has legs. A month after it first opened in theaters, it is still playing in some theaters, and is still doing respectable box office.
2. It--apparently--has made back what it cost to make, and that is not easy for a film that cost over $200 million, and it looks like it may even earn a profit, after all is said and done.
3. Sequel. I am thinking they are already thinking of doing a sequel, especially one that sets up so well a story for a sequel, as this one does.

As for myself . . .
My perpetual funk, where I am neither happy nor unhappy, but which does confirm what I have thought for some time.

1. International box office is growing more important for American films, which means the type of films made in America is likely to change to appeal more to international audiences.
2. Critics do not speak the same language as movie goers. I can remember a time in the past, when everyone liked the same films. Now, alot of the films favorablely reviewed by critics are not your top earners at the box office, and the top grossers at the box office, are not often favorablely received by the critics.
3. Critics, at least in this case, have little effect on what movie goers watch. Their unfavorable reviews cannot stop movie goers from seeing "Maleficent," nor can their favorable reviews make most movie goers see "X-Men : Days of Future Past" nor "How to Train Your Dragon 2."
4. Quantity of money is not the best way to judge the quality of a film. Unless critics want to contradict themselves and say "Maleficent," which is likely to earn more at the box office than "X-Men : Days of Future Past" and "How to Train Your Dragon" is a better film than those two.

As for the Unhappy . . .

Critics
For the reasons given above.

The Suits at Dreamworks
While "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is doing well, it is not doing as well as was expected. This is especially true for a film that was suppose to be a big hit for Dreamworks, especially as the company is under pressure to come up with the big hit, after several failures at the box office. Still, Dreamworks has a dozen animated films coming up, including "How to Train Your Dragon 3," within the next 4 years. So, we will see how they do.

Next time: Planes : Fire and Rescue.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 08, 2014, 08:57:50 AM
COHERENCE: Eight professionals gather for dinner on a night when a comet is passing by the earth; the lights go out, and a bizarre astronomical anomaly throws them into  whirlpool of paranoia. Like a good Twilight Zone episode, this low-budget, largely improvised indie gives you shivers by exploring far out ideas, without the need for special effects. Exciting filmmaking. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 16, 2014, 04:57:32 PM
And the updates  continue.

The box office gross, both domestically and internationally, for "Maleficent" is now well over $633,226,318.00 It has done exceptionally well in both Ireland and the U.K., which is no surprise, but it has also done exceptionally well in Asia, specially China, Japan, and the Philippines. The last one is the one that surprised me. Though, I am afraid that it says that western folklore can overshadow eastern folklore, even though all those countries have their own rich folklore tradition. Of course, some stories are universal. For example, folklorists who have studied the subject have found over 100 variations of the basic story of "Cinderella," which has been told and retold in cultures ranging from the ancient Egyptians to the South Sea Islanders and beyond.

What I like about "Maleficent" is that, for me, the more I think about it, the better it becomes. It also raises a number of questions, and those films I like as well. For example . . .

(1) Why did it speak to audiences, but not to the critics?

(2) Was it underestimated by the critics, or were they right, and it was overestimated by audiences?

(3) Can critics grasp anything that is more or less new? One of the knocks of the highly praised by the critics "X-men : Days of Future Past," a film which I must admit I have not seen, is that it is the same-o, same-o. While "Maleficent" is not entirely new, as it is a remake of an older film, is that it is something a little bit different.

Next time: "Planes : Fire and Rescue"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 16, 2014, 10:56:21 PM
Patty and I caught HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 at the theater yesterday afternoon.  A thoroughly enjoyable romp back to the Viking village of Berk, with more dragons and more drama than before, and a couple of truly original plot twists!

I really liked this one.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on July 17, 2014, 06:00:04 AM
(1) Why did it speak to audiences, but not to the critics?

I've always believed that the only people who count in a movie are those who made it and those who watch it. Critics are legless people who teach running.  :twirl:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 21, 2014, 07:48:00 PM
"Planes : Fire and Rescue" with the voice talent of Ed Harris (his 1st animated film) Brent Musburger, and John Ratzenberger.

A nice salute to the men and women who risk their lives to fight fires.

I have been to Yellowstone a couple of times, so I recognized that in the background scenery, and while I have yet to make it to Yosemite, but I saw some of that in the background scenery as well.

Of course, it was fun to watch for the in-jokes in the film. The ones that I caught, and there are probably more, were "Howard the Duck," "CHIPS," and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

The film featured more fire SFX than seen in any other animated film to date.

Looking at the trailers before the film, I realized it is easy to make a children's film. What is hard is to make a children's film that is "good."

Besides Ratzenberger, Disney Animation has taken another leaf from Pixar. At the end of the credits they list the Production Babies, or those babies born to those people, during the production, who were working on the production.

If there is a downside, it is the unoriginal story, but that is made up somewhat by having all the characters portrayed by planes and other motor vehicles.

Next time: "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: SynapticBoomstick on July 21, 2014, 09:08:54 PM
Transformers: Age of Extinction

The trailer gave me high hopes for this movie. The stupid Witwiky family was gone, the robots had a more solid body style, and for the first act of the movie the tone was much bleaker. Then halfway through I discovered that Bay and crew still can't write their way out of a torn paper bag. The dialogue was all canned and the acting suddenly fell out. All the cards were on the table as well thanks to the marketing campaign; the Dinobots, though awesome, would have had more impact as a surprise.

Also, the new "Decepticon" transformation method? Ick.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 23, 2014, 09:51:49 AM
AI WEIWEI: THE FAKE CASE (2013): A peek at the life of Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei, as he is essentially under house arrest while awaiting a verdict on (likely fabricated) charges of tax evasion. This is an important document of a man who refuses to be bullied (and there's no bigger bully in the world than the Chinese government), but it's unfortunate that much of the day-to-day footage is mundane and assembled in such a way that the drama of the situation is lost. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 30, 2014, 09:26:38 AM
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE: The male partner of a pair of centuries-old vampire lovers struggles with ennui. Not much really happens, but Jim Jarmusch's movie does a fantastic job of encasing us inside the vampires' immortal languor. 4/5. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 04, 2014, 05:14:38 PM
A place holder and a reminder not to watch films back to back.

Saw "Hercules" Sat. a.m. and then saw "Guardians of the Galaxy" Sun. p.m. And that is too much to digest in less than 48 hrs. I should watch no more than 1 film a wk. to give me the time I need to digest what I have seen.

I want to do an individual review for each film, but they are so similar in so many ways, which is why I probably saw both of them, that I have not totally decided how to divide my viewing experience in two. When I do, I'll have an individual report on each film.

And we shall see what we shall see.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 05, 2014, 08:06:50 AM
The Melbourne International Film Festival is on at the moment.  Got 13 films to see in two weeks.  Good times ahoy!

So far three have been seen.  More to come this week.

Wetlands (2013):

BTW the trailer is definitely NSFW

https://vimeo.com/72133858 (https://vimeo.com/72133858)

The short version of the description from the MIFF site:

"Meet Helen Memel. She has haemorrhoids and enjoys masturbating on filthy public toilet seats … and that's just before the opening credits!"

So yeah, this one was certainly an adults only session.  But certainly not the crassest, most outrageous film I've seen.  Aside from the 'unconventional' way in which Helen lives her life, this actually has quite a few sweet moments and a pretty fantastic performance from the lead actress who tackles the content with an energetic enthusiasm that kind of makes it hard not to just 'run with it' and kind of makes her passion for dirtiness seem much more normal.  Thumping soundtrack, bright vivid colours and a four way pizza bukakkae scene make this a pretty interesting film.

Overall I enjoyed this one quite a bit, though the content will certainly put quite a few off.  4/5

The Distance (2014):

The Distance Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuXrt3C1q0A#ws)
"Three telepathic dwarves are hired by an Austrian conceptual artist who has been imprisoned inside an abandoned Siberian power plant after the death of his insane Russian benefactor. Their task: to steal an item known only as "The Distance" from a heavily fortified room elsewhere in the plant."

Odd and deliberately bizarre filmed in a completely amazing location.  This one comes across like it's a concept that I'm not in on, but I liked it quite a bit all the same.  From the no dialogue [everything is in voiceover because apparently telepathics don't need to talk out loud] to the haiku spouting Japanese bucket in love with a chimney [yes that happens] it is certainly a bit of a mind trip.  Other than the ending which lacked a bit of punch, this was a pretty engaging and funny film.  3.5/5 [it was great, but the ending left me a little cold.]

Sorcerer (1977):

Sorcerer trailer: A film by William Friedkin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMof5PuQF7w#)

""I have a great fondness for Sorcerer, more than any other film I've made ... Sorcerer is the one I hope to be remembered for and the one film that came closest to my vision." – Director William Friedkin"

Bleak and nailbiting, this remastered classic came out the same week as Star Wars and kind of got lost in the shuffle.  Great soundtrack by Tangerine Dream and a pretty killer concept - four criminals hiding out in a South American slum take on a job to transport two truckloads of volatilte TNT across the jungle in a monsoon.  This had some pretty great suspense with an absolutely masterful rope bridge scene in the middle of a storm over a river.  After reading about how much they spent to get that bridge scene I'm doubly impressed.  Overall it has some weaker moments, but is a pretty strong thriller.  4/5 [less if you're not a Roy Schieder fan which there were a few of in the audience for some strange reason.]


Still to come: Blind [psychosexual thriller] Animation Short Films, WTF short films, R100 [described as "Fight Club as directed by Luis Buñuel."], Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon films [doco by the makers of Machete Maidens and Not Quite Hollywood], When Animals Dream [werewolf coming of age film.] and In Order of Disappearance [Swedish action dark comedy]


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 05, 2014, 10:57:50 AM
A review, but . . . ?! first . . .

"Sorcerer"

Never seen it, but I can remember, when it first came out to theaters, and it was not only "Star Wars" that did it in.

(1st) The title. With that title, people were expecting a fantasy, and it may have been a fantasy, but not the type that people were expecting.

(2nd) The only well known actor in it was Roy Scheider.

(3rd) It was, at least by critics, considered an inferior remake of the superior "Wages of Fear" from 1953.

(4th) And there may have been other reasons, but it did not help that the studio withdrew it, then did a hack job on it, before it was re-leased.

No wonder, it was considered a box office failure, in the U.S., only earning half back of what it cost to make it in 1977 or $12,000,000. Which today would not even cover the cost of all the lattes ordered from Starbucks.

And there are at least two versions of the film out there. The longer American version, which is more pessimistic, and the shorter European version, which is more optimistic. There may even be an Australian version, which differs from the American and European version.

If there is any good news out there, it has earned some what more appreciation, then when it was 1st released.

Now, for the review.

"Hercules"

What works. What does not work.

The beginning does not work, but . . .
the middle 3rd works, but . . .
the 1st twist does not work, but . . .
the 2nd twist works, . . .
and it then works to the credits roll.

Of course, IMHO.

What does not seem to work, but actually does.

Hercules is B movie material, so to see him in an A film, would not seem to work, but the film does press all the right buttons.

A friend to any woman or child in need.
(Just like our Trevor.)
A foe to all evil doers.
(Just like our Trevor.)

But . . .?! Whereas, Hercules depends upon the strength of his strong right arm, our Trevor depends upon the strength of his underwear, or, maybe I should say the strength of the stench emanating from his underwear.

I have seen Hercules battling alone so many times, to see him with his own little posse, would not seem to work, but . . .?!

while they are mostly stereotypes, I have to respect anyone who goes into battle expecting to die that day, but . . .?! when they survive, they continue to go into battle willingly.

What also works.

The villains.
The problem with that is that they actually work better than our hero. (IMHO)

The writing.
There are some great lines in the film.

The Rock, when asked, just before the big battle, whether he is scared: "Do I look like I'm scared?" ROTFL!

Ian McShane, just after everyone has broken out of jail, looking up the stairs to the top of the jail and what lies above it: "Well, you don't need a soothsayer to tell you what is waiting for us up there." ROTFL!

One more thing. While I was watching the film, I kept having flashbacks to "The Magnificent Seven." The American version. Not the Japanese version.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Up next: a review of "Guardians of the Galaxy"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 06, 2014, 03:58:37 AM
Well I wasn't around when it was released, but basic a budget blow out didn't help [1million to build the bridge, only to have the river dry up so they had to dismantle and build again for another 1million]

Great film though.  The version we saw was a remastered one with a different ending. This was probably the original ending that the studios then cut [can't speak for how different it was to the others since I haven't seen them].  Another factor that may have played a part was the first fifteen minutes or so are in foreign languages and doing a bit of research this apparently put off some viewers who left because they thought they inadvertently bought tickets to a foreign film.  Other than the name being on the trucks [and not really mentioned at all] Sorcerer is a bizarre title so really they should have thought that through a bit better.  Pretty sure Freidkin once said that Scheider is a great second tier actor and he tried hard on this one, but didn't have the 'pull' that a better known actor would have had [apparently Steve Mcqueen was his first choice but pulled out]

But still, all hail the glory of Star Wars.  Not surprised that it got swamped in the chaos after that was released regardless of the other issues.

Still, with it doing the rounds again, if it comes to a theater near you go see it!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Mofo Rising on August 06, 2014, 11:55:08 AM
I prefer Sorcerer to The Wages of Fear, but that's just my opinion.

Got to see Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen last night, thanks to Harkins' summer showings. (Saw Jaws a while back, too.) Raiders was made back when movies were meant to be seen in the theater, and this is the first time I've ever seen it that way. It's nice to see the little details, like Belloq eating that fly. Other than a few dated special effects and an insanely non-complicated plane boarding sequence, this still holds up. I mean, I know it's a classic, but not in some hoary old piece of literature way. The whole sequence from the plane to Indy hijacking the trucks is one of the best sustained action scenes ever made.

They're showing the next two, which I will go see, but I'm not as keen on them.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 06, 2014, 03:25:58 PM
GotG = Guardians of the Galaxy

H = Hercules

Action
Nothing wrong with the action in H, but . . .?!
"IT'S PERSONAL!" The fight scenes in GotG come across as being less impersonal and more personal, which (IMHO) always helps in an action scene.

Beginnings
For whatever reason, I had a hard time getting into both films. Actually, I did not get into GotG till they got to prison.

Casting
Nothing wrong with the casting in H. Actually, most of the roles were well cast, but . . .?!
The actors cast were typical, whereas, in GotG I found the casting to be atypical, which gives the edge to GotG.

Child characters
There is only 1 major child character in each film, and here H excels GotG, as (IMHO2) H made better use of the character.

Deaths (Villains)
The deaths of the villains in both films left me blah! I expected better death scenes in both films.
Certainly, there were enough deaths in H. Over 200 by my count, which would put it in my top 10. And GotG probably came close to that, if it did not exceed that number.

Humor
Both films had some much welcomed humor, but . . .?!
Being literal has always been funny in my book, but I never knew how funny it could be till I saw GotG.

Star Lord drawing his finger across his throat in a cutthroat gesture.
Drax the Destroyer: "Why would I want to put my finger on his [Ronan's] throat."
ROTFL!

Thus, giving the edge again to GotG.

In-jokes
Maybe because I saw no such jokes in H. Here again the edge goes to GotG.

Stan Lee's expected cameo as a "pervert" standing on the street corner talking to a woman.
But . . .?! The one that got to me was . . .
Star Lord reeling off the names of earth's outlaws and mentioning actor's John Stamos' name.
What was up with that?!

Music
GotG. Disappointed not to hear Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky," but Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling" somewhat made up for that.
Edge to GotG

Poignancy
Emotionally resonating in both films, but . . .?!
Whereas, I expected it in H, I was not expecting it in GotG,
which again gives the edge to GotG.

Secondary characters
Here is where GotG really beats H. Outside the main heroes. Outside the main villains. The secondary characters in GotG were the ones more fully fleshed out (IMHO3)

Sequels
I'd like to see sequels for both films, but probably only to get a sequel for GotG. What gets me about a sequel for this one, is that a decision was made to do a sequel, must have come from the test screenings, because an announcement was made about a sequel even before it was released to theaters.

Stereotypical heroes
Nothing wrong with the heroes in H, even though they were somewhat stereotyped, but . . .?!
getting past the gun-toting raccoon and the sentient tree, the heroes in GotG were less stereotypical than the ones in H (IMHO4)

Success and Failure
While H was expected to be a success, it is now a failure, relatively speaking.
While GotG was expected to be a failure, for reasons we'll get to later, it is now a success, more or less.
Which shows the fine line walked between success and failure (IMHO5)

Villains
There are 2 types of great villains.
Made great by the actors who play them, as in H,
or made great by the writer, as in GotG, whose villain I like better than some people.

Conclusion,
Thus, while I liked H somewhat better than some people,
and GotG somewhat less than some people,
I liked them both the same,
and I do not think I wasted my money with either one.
Though, I saw both in unnecessary 3-D.

Next time: Most likely nothing till "Big Hero 6."




Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 19, 2014, 02:38:30 AM
Last batch of Melbourne International Film Screenings [am going to split them up in a more readable format]:

Blind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX4Hhqjt6J8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX4Hhqjt6J8#ws)

"After losing her sight as an adult, Ingrid begins a slow retreat from the world. Encapsulated in the safety of her home and her head, she turns to fictions she builds around the memory of the things she could once see. But as the worlds in her mind become increasingly detailed and consuming, the barriers between reality and fantasy become ever more difficult to discern."

Winner of Best Screenplay at Sundance, this was a pretty interesting film, as Ingrid starts creating scenes/stories that sometimes switch location and content mid-way through conversation in line with her 'visualising' things which she can't see anymore, eg. two people will have a conversation in a cafe which then switches mid way through to a train as she pictures different scenarios.  Funny in places, touching in others, I quite enjoyed this one.  I can't help but feel that the lead actress doesn't really have a lot to do as most of it is 'in her head' but that's a minor issue.  A word of caution: There are a few sex scenes [mostly highlights from clips from a porn site, so it's on the graphic side].  Only shown in short bursts and the 'simulated' in-film sex scenes are fairly tame, so it's nothing too extreme but worth noting for those whose tastes are on the more delicate side of the fence.

4/5 [lost half a point for a bit too much 'sit and stare' by the lead actress, but that's just my preference for more to happen]



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 19, 2014, 02:51:52 AM
Housebound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDvdELdikmA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDvdELdikmA#ws)

"In a magnetic, star-making performance, Morgana O'Reilly plays Kylie, a petty thief who returns to her childhood home when the court places her under house arrest. Her mother (Rima Te Wiata) insists the house is haunted, but Kylie won't have a bar of it until strange whispers and bumps in the night have her convinced she's inherited her mother's over-active imagination. With an ankle monitor to keep her in one spot, Kylie ain't gonna escape this paranormal activity."

I don't know what it is, but New Zealand have the Comedy-Horror genre locked down tight [Braindead/Dead Alive, The Frighteners etc]

This was a blast and with a budget of $250,000 especially good as it looks like a much more expensive film.  The standout here is the relationship between Kylie and her mother which is hilarious in how real it felt: you very much think they are mother and daughter with the mother being a well written 'classic mother' type and the daughter the typical rebellious 'I left home to get away from my awkward mother.  I don't know maybe I just felt that dynamic because that's somewhat how I feel sometimes  :wink: .

I should point out: This is not a found footage film despite the description in the quote mentioning Paranormal Activity.  Whilst it has it's scary-ish moments, its not exactly a horror film, but more fun than anything.  This film feels like a fresh take on the horror/haunting genre, if only due to the fact that it's funny and keeps things relatively simple.  It's also incredibly well shot considering the budget.  There was a Q and A after the film with the director and it's clear he had alot of fun with this one, and hinted that he's been tapped on the shoulder for some Hollywood stuff, so I wouldn't be surprised if you see him popping up in the future as 'one to watch'.

4/5 [This review sums it up for me probably best: "Housebound quickly tears apart the classic haunted-house movie piece by piece, and then reconstructs it on the fly with fresh new materials, garnished with oodles of blood, dark comedy, strong characters and genuine suspense." - Twitch]


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on August 19, 2014, 02:56:10 AM
A friend to any woman or child in need.
(Just like our Trevor.)
A foe to all evil doers.
(Just like our Trevor.)

But . . .?! Whereas, Hercules depends upon the strength of his strong right arm, our Trevor depends upon the strength of his underwear, or, maybe I should say the strength of the stench emanating from his underwear.


 :teddyr: :teddyr:

Dwayne Johnson fainted when I was introduced to him. Now I know why. :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 20, 2014, 01:13:01 AM
More MIFF!

In Order of Disappearance:

Kraftidioten - In Order of Disappearance Official Trailer - Berlinale (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0tMPcv3a3I#ws)

"There hasn't been this much blood spilled in a frigid, snowbound landscape – especially with this much droll, dark humor – since the Coen Brothers fed a hapless Steve Buscemi into a wood chipper in Fargo." – Hollywood Reporter

Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) is a mild-mannered snowplough driver, living a quiet, respectable existence in a tiny Norwegian town. But when his son becomes the accidental victim of a drug deal gone wrong, Nils discovers that sometimes the only path to justice is the one you carve yourself.

Whilst not as good as Fargo, it certainly came close and has a similar style going for it.  Stellan Skarsgard is a great actor who unfortunately doesn't have as much to do here so is actually one of the weaker elements.  Fortunately however, this is because of the antagonist, 'The Count', a vegan Norweigian drug dealer played by the excellent Pål Sverre Hagen.  Seriously, his character made this film what it was.

Basic plot is above, with Nils gradually killing his way up to 'The Count' to avenge his son's death.  Nils is just a dad driven off the edge, and is played very well, albeit understatedly, by Skarsgaard.  As I mentioned his main role is to, in a sense, nonchalantly work his way up to the top and the sombre character he plays is completely counterbalanced by the very unhinged Greven/Count.  Hilarious in parts, but mostly in the chuckle to yourself kind of way.  Beautiful landscapes are a plus here as the visuals are generally pretty terrific.  I enjoyed this one alot purely based on 'The Count' who just a fantastically fun character.  At no point do you like him but you kind of want to, but at the same time you just hang in there waiting for the inevitable moment where he'll meet his demise.

4/5 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 20, 2014, 01:19:30 AM
When Animals Dream:

When Animals Dream | Trailer with English subtitles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SigQHY1uc74#ws)

"Sixteen-year-old Marie lives in a remote Danish fishing village with her father and her heavily medicated, wheelchair-bound mother. She has begun working at the local fish-processing plant, and is harassed by her co-workers. But when Marie's body begins to transform in a superhuman manner, she discovers a long-kept family secret."


Probably the least favourite of the 11 sessions I have seen at MIFF this year.  This werewolf drama had a lot going for it, with beautiful visuals and sound design at the start which really got my hopes up.  Sadly it kind of fell away a little.  Too often it seems that what makes or breaks a werewolf film is in the design of the transformation, and this one comes across on the cheaper side.  That being said it's a decent coming of age drama but it was just a bit boring in parts with some questionable direction in places.  As it was I didn't mind it but it was a bit too understated for my liking.

2.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 20, 2014, 01:37:55 AM
ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS

(http://cdn.indiewire.com/dims4/INDIEWIRE/f1667e6/2147483647/thumbnail/353x248/quality/75/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fd1oi7t5trwfj5d.cloudfront.net%2Fd4%2F46%2Fc5fa1fc04f75946bb9c4bd9f332c%2Fresizes%2F500%2Felectric-boogaloo.jpg)

Third Doco from Mark Hartley of 'Not Quite Hollywood' and 'Machete Maidens' fame which focuses on the crazy story of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and their Cannon film studio.  Full of clips and stories from their tenure, this is a fun documentary.  If you've seen the other two you know what to expect.  Unlike the other two docos, the focus here is not on an industry as a whole but more on the outrageous personality of the two, mainly Golan. 

In this case, the limited focus actually probably limits the film a bit as the other two played out more as fun anecdotes, whereas I got a bit sick of all the people interviewed talking trash about the two cousins and feel some of the time could have been better spent playing more clips and getting more stories from the production.  I guess there's only so many times you need people to say the same point over and over again before you kind of want them to move on and talk about something else.  Still it was fun hearing some crazy stories.

Overall the film is a fairly balanced documentary about two guys who were notorious for not paying their crew properly, raising funds based on a crazy poster or title and eventually grew too large too quickly before going bust.  What also comes through is the utter craziness of Menahem Golan, and he certainly loved what he did, even if he didn't make many friends along the way.

Given they finished shooting in May, I'm hoping Hartley will re-edit and tidy up for the Toronto International Film Festival just to up the pace a bit.  There was a Q and A with him after, with some crazy people asking stupid questions but one thing I can say is that this is apparently his last documentary.  Fear not, as it sounds like he's got some more features in the work after last years 'Patrick'.

Side note: I really need to see The Apple now.  That film looks bonkers...

3/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 20, 2014, 02:13:20 AM
R100:

R100 Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtgSz_fn_Ds#ws)

Absurdist director Hitoshi Matsumoto is back with more crazy. 

Always an artistic master of the weird and wild, with R100 filmmaker Hitoshi Matsumoto (Symbol, MIFF 2010; DaiNipponjin, MIFF 2008) follows a middle-aged furniture salesman through a monotone world where he escapes routine by joining an S&M club. He signs an unbreakable contract to be beaten – anywhere, anytime – by beautiful dominatrices for a year.

In a surrealistic adjunct, the salesman's fetishism forms part of another movie directed by a 100-year-old man. A censorship committee deems this film unwatchable for anyone under the age of 100, hence the rating restriction of R100.


Words fail me.  I don't know how to describe this other than 'wacky'.  The Distance and R100 are my two token 'crazy' MIFF films this year and what The Distance had in stark landscapes and telepathic dwarves, R100 makes up for it with a faster pace and many a Japanese dominatrix in leather beating/spitting and generally abusing the hell out of him, which he of course loves at first but then things start to get personal.

I loved Matsumoto's previous effort, Big Man Japan, but I haven't seen the Symbol [which according to my friend is a bit better than R100] this is still a nutty ride and generally had me laughing constantly at the absurdity of what I was seeing.  The Saliva Queen is a particular highlight but really the whole thing was a ball.  As with Big Man Japan things get especially crazy towards the end [watch for the CEO of the 'Bondage Corporation'- she's just nuts]  Probably my favourite of the festival this year, but I'm always up for absurdist wackiness, and I suppose anything with a 'Gobble Queen' may be a-ok by me...

Is that an earthquake?

4.5/5




Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 20, 2014, 10:47:10 AM
Dean: yes, you DO need to see THE APPLE... you can indulge your natural, natural, natural desire to meet an actual, actual, actual vampire!

BOYHOOD: Watch Mason Jr. survive a bratty sister, first love, and a succession of stepfathers as he grows from a boy to a man in this narrative experiment shot over 12 years with the same actors. Even though nothing out of the ordinary happens in BOYHOOD, it's strangely absorbing to watch the cast age in front of your eyes. I can't think of any other fiction film that so carefully imitates the intimacy of a good documentary. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on August 22, 2014, 07:33:18 AM
I intend to go see The Expoingables tomorrow: that is if I manage to wake up in time to walk to the cinema.  :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: FatFreddysCat on August 23, 2014, 09:46:55 AM
D'oh! Wrong thread.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on August 23, 2014, 09:58:27 AM
I intend to go see The Expoingables tomorrow: that is if I manage to wake up in time to walk to the cinema.  :wink:

I didn't.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 17, 2014, 09:14:01 AM
THE ONE I LOVE (2014): A young couple whose relationship is in the doldrums goes on a marital retreat and encounters a weird aberration in the guest house. Without spoiling the premise, the high-concept synopsis is "a romantic comedy in the 'Twilight Zone'"; it meets, and even exceeds that expectation, with fine acting from both leads and an intriguing infidelity scenario. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 24, 2014, 09:05:05 AM
TUSK: A shock comedian stranded in Canada, in desperate need for a replacement guest for his podcast, gets more than he bargained for when he answers an ad from an eccentric retired sailor who promises he has "many stories to tell." Kevin Smith's latest is a mixture of absurd black comedy, Canadian jokes, and torture porn: it has, to say the least, it has difficulty maintaining a consistent tone. It feels like a project made on a dare. This is not the kind of movie that gets noticed come awards time, but TUSK's makeup department deserves some year-end recognition. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 03, 2014, 08:45:26 AM
THE DROP: A Boston bartender finds himself caught between old friends, and nosy detectives and neighborhood psychopaths when his drop bar is robbed and ruthless Chechen mobsters want their money back. A formidable slow-burn dramatic thriller that slowly tightens its knots. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: StinkerMadness on October 03, 2014, 01:07:48 PM
Maleficent - Ok, so my wife would have killed me if I didn't take her to this so understand that my thoughts are from the point of a Thirty-something male.

My biggest problem with this movie is the fact that they turn Maleficent, who I feel is one of the best bad guys of all time, into a cupcake. The movie starts out with a pretty solid back story about her and sets the whole thing up to have just been a big misunderstanding. But when its all said and done, it is like Darth Vader having a tea party with Obi-Wan. I feel that top tier villains are extremely difficult to create and walking all over one of the best is a big no-no. Its fine if you give the character some motivation to why the character acts the way they do and to humanize them a bit but just turning them into a good guy sucks for me.

Boo on you Disney.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 08, 2014, 04:13:28 PM
Maleficent - Ok, so my wife would have killed me if I didn't take her to this so understand that my thoughts are from the point of a Thirty-something male.

My biggest problem with this movie is the fact that they turn Maleficent, who I feel is one of the best bad guys of all time, into a cupcake. The movie starts out with a pretty solid back story about her and sets the whole thing up to have just been a big misunderstanding. But when its all said and done, it is like Darth Vader having a tea party with Obi-Wan. I feel that top tier villains are extremely difficult to create and walking all over one of the best is a big no-no. Its fine if you give the character some motivation to why the character acts the way they do and to humanize them a bit but just turning them into a good guy sucks for me.

Boo on you Disney.


I liked it better than you did, stinkermadness, but I must admit your complaint about what they did with Maleficent was a common one among those who saw the film. Still, the complaints weren't enough to stop the film from earning, I believe, over $800 million at the box office. Most of it from overseas. Thus, while no year is given for the sequel, the rumor has it, with that large of a box office, there will be a sequel sometime in the future.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 14, 2014, 03:51:31 PM
It has been about 10 weeks, since I saw anything original in the theater, as there has been nothing that interested me, till last weekend, when I saw "Alexander and the . . . [etc.] at the local cinema.

Not great film making, but passable, and there were several things in it that caught my interest, which is about all that I ask a film to do now days. But first . . .?! The family, besides the mother and father, consisted of . . .

a 16-year-old boy in the 11th grade
a 14-year-old girl in the 8th grade
a 12-year-old boy in the 7th grade
and a toddler under 2 years.

1. The cast
That is the 1st thing that caught my interest.

Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Ed Oxenbould, Jennifer Coolidge, Bella Thorne, and Dick Van Dyke.

That is a major cast for what is a minor film or any film that is released in the off-season between Labor Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend.

2. There are words heard and scenes seen that I did not hear nor see in a child's film, when I was a child.

Apparently, the home has 3 bedrooms: the 2 oldest boys share 1, the girl gets her own room, and the parents share 1 with the youngest child, who sleeps in his own crib, but there is only 1 bathroom.
So, everyone has overslept, everyone is running late, everyone is in a rush, and the mother barges into the only bathroom without knocking and catches the oldest boy buck naked full frontal. Of course, being a teenager he totally freaks out that she saw his penis, and yes, they use the word "penis" several times in the discussion about the incident, later, when all are in the car together.

The girl, not wanting to miss performing the title role in the school's production of "Peter Pan," even if she has a cold, overdoses on a cough syrup, which has alcohol in it. So, now you have scenes of her vomiting in the bushes, vomiting on her father in the dressing room, etc.

As for the youngest boy, since they can't seem to find a clean diaper, you have scenes of him running around, both figuratively and literally, butt naked. And you also have a scene of him urinating all over the kitchen floor.

And in one scene, with Dick Van Dyke doing a reading of a children's book, the word "dump" as in defecate, instead of jump comes up several times.

The maturity of these scenes may be why the adults in the audience, when I saw it, seemingly enjoyed it as much as the children in the audience. Or, it might be . . .

3. A new film for a New Age.

When the father is laid off as an aeronautical engineer, he takes over the house and the children, while the mother works outside the home, earning the living, as a book editor for a children's book publisher.

Your best friend is an Afro-American or some other minority. The best friend of the middle boy is an Afro-American, and the BFF of the oldest boy's girlfriend is also an Afro-American. Which always makes me wonder, did they cast for the best actor to play the role, or did they cast for the best Afro-American actor to play the role?

4. Australia
References to its land, its people, its wildlife is sprinkled through out the film. Though, while not entirely original, Australia comes up in the original book upon which the film is based, that the Walt Disney Company seldom does anything without a reason, whether like "Million $ Arm" was shot in India to give the Company a bigger toe hold in India, Australia was used to give the Company a bigger toe hold in the Land of the ANZACS.

5. I would not have known, but . . .
The actor to play the middle boy and the title character is actually Australian. I wouldn't have known that, as he seems to have lost his native accent. He also normally seems to wear glasses, which he also lost for the film, which makes me wonder, if he wore contacts. Though, like many child actors today, most of his family are also actors.

That, as typical, the toddler and youngest boy was played by twins, but from the credits, it looks like he was played by 2 shes, which I didn't know.

I also don't know how well it did, as I never pay attention to the box office figures, but I was surprised at how many people saw it at the same time I did.

Next time: "Big Hero 6."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 15, 2014, 08:47:12 AM
PRIDE: In Thatcher's Britain circa 1984, a group of oppressed gays and lesbians in London raise money in sympathy for striking mineworkers in Wales, but not everyone in the community is happy to get assistance from "poofs." Pleasant liberal nostalgia, but the picture leans so far left that you might want to lie on your right side to watch it to counteract feelings of vertigo. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 24, 2014, 08:46:10 AM
GONE GIRL: A writer-turned-bar-owner becomes the chief suspect when his wealthy wife goes missing. Beautifully done mystery with nice twists and a few shocks to go with them. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 05, 2014, 10:07:11 AM
HORNS: A man (Daniel Radcliffe) is accused of murdering his girlfriend, then grows horns that cause his town's residents to confess their darkest horrible secrets to him. The solution to the mystery is obvious, but the method of sleuthing is novel. Unfortunately, HORNS takes a few too many stylistic and narrative gambles that don't pay off, and the intriguing setup ends up as a mild disappointment. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on November 06, 2014, 03:44:48 AM
What we do in the shadows:

What We Do in the Shadows - Official Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv568AzZ-i8#ws)

New Zealand mockumentary about vampires that is a lot funnier than I expected, though that's not surprising given that one half of the Flight of the Conchords is in it.  It may seem like the trailer has all the funny jokes in it [if that's to your taste] but I was surprised by how much more there was.

Best 'mocko' I've seen in years. 4/5 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 12, 2014, 10:08:45 AM
BIRDMAN: Aging star Riggan Thomas, who became a superstar by playing the superhero Birdman in the 1990s, writes, directs and stars in a Broadway show in an attempt to be taken seriously as an artist; unfortunately, he's simultaneously battling against the voices in his head, as his old alter-ego presses him to sign up to do "Birdman 4." There are no visible edits in the film (although it's not done in one take). It's Hollywood navel-gazing and soul-searching, sure, but the result is the best Hollywood can offer: it's unpredictable, bold, and unapologetic, with a completely committed cast and crew acting at their collective peak.  4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 19, 2014, 09:49:02 AM
WHIPLASH (2014): A talented young jazz drummer comes under the tutelage of an abusive, slave-driving music professor. J.K. Simmons makes R. Lee Ermey look like a p***y. Hand him the Best Supporting Actor statuette now. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 20, 2014, 10:36:55 AM
THE BABADOOK (2014): A widowed single mother deals with her troubled son, who's terrified of a storybook monster-in-the-closet called the Babadook; but is the thing really after the boy, or the mother? Intelligent Australian psychological horror---ultimately, more intelligent than horrific. I saw it in a preview; I think this is going into limited release next week. 3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 23, 2014, 12:44:23 PM
GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT: The Iranian town of "Bad City" is so sparsely inhabited it only has one little boy, one junkie, one prostitute, one vice lord... and one vampire. With no real plot to speak of, GIRL is a bit of a tease, but the exotic originality is irresistibly seductive. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 24, 2014, 10:10:56 AM
It's that time of year when I watch a lot of screeners in preparation for awards season.

LIFE ITSELF: The life story of popular film critic Roger Ebert; much of the footage is from his final days, showing him dealing with cancer and the removal of his jaw with surprising optimism. Like Ebert himself, it's hard to dislike. A crowd-pleaser and a noble eulogy. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 24, 2014, 05:17:05 PM
10 Big Reasons to See "Big Hero 6"

01. Academy Award
If this film does not win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film of 2014, there is no justice in the world. It is not only the best animated film of the year, so far, it is likely to remain the best animated film for the rest of the year.


02. The Action
A car chase that leaves most other car chases in the dust. Some of the greatest action scenes, as here, are not in your live action films, but in your animated films, as you can do in animation, what you do here, that you cannot do in live action, because it is impossible or it is too dangerous.


03. The Box Office
I seldom pay any attention to box office, as quantity of money earned is seldom any indication of quality of film seen. But, this film is already one of the top 20 grossing films at the American box office of 2014.


04. The Emotional Resonance
More so in this film, then in most films.


05. End Credits
How long has man been making films? Twice as long is probably needed to get audiences to stay to the end of the credits, but stay to the end of this one, and you see one of the great film tributes to one of the greatest legends in comic books.

And Disney has taken a leaf from Pixar and at the end of the credits to list all the babies born, during the time the film was made, to the people working on the film.


06. Feast
Studios are still making full length animated films, but few of them are still making animated short subjects. Disney/Pixar is one of the few. And in this one, watch for the scene where the man is wearing a DTV tee-shirt. That ought bring back memories for those who remember watching DTV on TV.


07. Humor
There are funnier animated films out there, but they are funny because they go for the cheap joke. Disney/Pixar may be not as funny as some, but they go for something smarter, more intelligent. And there are some parts of the film that are just hysterical, and from the laughter from the audience there is humor that appeals to both kids and parents.


08.Sequel
Seldom has there been a film that deserves a sequel more than this one, if they can come up with a script for it.


09. Twist
There is one of the greatest twists in the history of films in the film.


10. Miscellaneous
a. Everything you see in the film is already out there, or is theoretically possible in the near future.

b. Fred tells us how he is able to change his underpants once a week. What a piker. We ought to introduce him to our expert in not changing his underpants. Our very own Trevor. Take a bow, Trevor. A man who has not changed his underpants, since the day he put on his 1st pair of long pants.

c. Typical "sound and fury signifying nothing" at imdb.com for this this film. I'm getting too old to read all that s***! The people who post that s@@@! are they really that stupid, or do they just enjoy pretending to be that stupid? The 1st is worrisome. The 2nd is beyond comprehension.

d. And this film is meant to appeal not to the powerful, but to the powerless: weight challenged women, male nerds, kids. They may not be as powerful as the powerful, but there is more of them.


Next time: "Into the Woods" Walt Disney Studios probably has earned more money, unadjusted for inflation, for its films, but it has never won an Oscar for Best Film. It has been nominated, but it has never won. That may change this year. After some controversy about changes to Sondheim's Broadway musical, which Sondheim approved, the film is getting a lot of positive buzz.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 24, 2014, 10:00:44 PM
10 Big Reasons to See "Big Hero 6"

01. Academy Award
If this film does not win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film of 2014, there is no justice in the world. It is not only the best animated film of the year, so far, it is likely to remain the best animated film for the rest of the year.


You didn't like THE LEGO MOVIE? It's considered the frontrunner. I haven't seen BIG HERO 6 yet but I consider LEGO hard to beat.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 28, 2014, 09:54:06 AM
MAIDAN (2014): Journalistic footage of the Ukrainian Maidan protests of 2013-2014 as they progress from peaceful demonstrations to riots, presented in the raw with minimal editorializing or context. This is obviously significant historical footage that puts you in the middle of the action even as the tear-gas canisters fly; the downside is that the almost unedited nature of the footage makes the film often a chore to watch, especially during the peaceful first 45 minutes. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 29, 2014, 02:20:19 PM
NIGHTCRAWLER: An ambitious petty thief starts his own business shooting tasteless footage of crime and accident victims and selling it the bottom-ranked local L.A. television station. Local TV-news vultures are too easy of a target, but watch for Jake Gyllenhal's wild-eyed portrait of an amoral, autistic entrepreneur fond of quoting platitudes from an online business course. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 29, 2014, 04:49:18 PM
10 Big Reasons to See "Big Hero 6"

01. Academy Award
If this film does not win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film of 2014, there is no justice in the world. It is not only the best animated film of the year, so far, it is likely to remain the best animated film for the rest of the year.


You didn't like THE LEGO MOVIE? It's considered the frontrunner. I haven't seen BIG HERO 6 yet but I consider LEGO hard to beat.

Yeah, "Lego." I never had any interest in seeing it, so I never saw it, so it slipped my mind, but I do know a lot of people liked it, including some who post on this board.
"Big Hero 6" vs. "Lego." The race as to who wins, just got very interesting.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 30, 2014, 12:03:23 PM
THE FRAME (2014): The (literally) separate realities of a thief and a paramedic intersect. Some interesting ideas in Jamin Winan's professional-looking budget indie made in Denver, Colorado; the allegory doesn't grab you like his fantastical debut INK, but it does suggest that movie's cult success wasn't entirely a fluke. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 03, 2014, 12:34:41 PM
LISTEN UP PHILIP (2014): An insufferable, self-absorbed young novelist (Jason Schwartzman) comes under the tutelage of an insufferable, self-absorbed older novelist (Jonathan Price) while alienating all the women in his life. No one does smarmy and superior better than Schwartzman, and this is the role he has been waiting years to play: he's the kid from RUSHMORE grown up and spoiled by success. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 06, 2015, 12:24:16 PM
Ye-es!

"Into the Woods"
A film adaptation of the Sondheim Broadway musical based upon 4 fairy stories: "Cinderella," "Jack in the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Rapunzel."

I thought the high point was the adaptation of the stories. Probably the most faithfully, which we'll get to later, stories I have seen to date.

Cinderella
For dramatic reasons, most film adaptations reduce the ball to one night, but it actually lasted 3 nights, as here in the film.

White bread. Most people are getting tired of seeing an all-white version of the story, so you are finding more actors of color being cast into roles for the film.

Jack in the Beanstalk
What do you do with someone who is trying to kill you, but for whom you feel a great deal of sympathy?

Never before have I felt such, as I felt for the size challenged people in this film.

Little Red Riding Hood
How you hold it, separates the experts from the non-experts. I always like to see how a person holds a knife in a film. Most experts hold it underhanded, while most non-experts, like the baker, hold it overhanded.

Rapunzel
A nice piece of business that. Making the prince here, the little bro of the prince in Cinderella.

As in the original story, the prince was blinded by a hedge of thorns, and regained his sight, only when Rapunzel's tears fell upon his now blinded eyes. For in fiction, only the greatest gain comes with the greatest pain.

There are several versions as to how the witch found out that Rapunzel had another visitor to the tower, and it shows how fairy tales were once more adult than they are now. "Mother," Rapunzel says, being the naïf that she is, "why am I getting so fat, and why do my dresses no longer fit me?" It looks like Rapunzel and the prince were doing something more than talking when they were together.

The low point, if there was any, were the endings. I liked the 1st ending far better, as it seemed more like a fairy tale ending, while the 2nd ending seemed more like a modern day ending.

Still, the film was enjoyable enough, and I think any faults in it, were due more to the source material from the play, then anything the filmmakers did to adapt the musical into a film.

But . . . a true test of any film for me, is whether it inspires me to think of other things, and we'll get to those other things later, as I have now ran out of time.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 06, 2015, 01:01:23 PM
As I said in my last post, this one did inspire me to think of other things, such as shoes, ships, sealing wax, and . . .

If this film and the other Company films that I saw the trailers for, before this film, were placed on an I.Q. chart with the trailers for the non-Company films that I saw, before this film, the Company films would be higher on the chart. Not that it means that they will make money, or the other films won't make money, but they did seem to be coming from a place that was more intelligent.

The symbiotic relationship between the Company and the U.K. has  been good for the British film industry. This film was shot in the U.K. The upcoming "Star Wars" film was partially shot in the U.K. Some of the Avengers films were and will be shot in the U.K. And "Galavant" the TV series on ABC was shot in the U.K.

Looking at the two youngest stars in this film, you realize that the Company has an edge, [Hell! the edge! It has a lock on casting of younger actors and actresses.] Which is all to the good. For when the present phase in the Marvel film universe ends about 2020, we are likely to get some combination of . . .

Asgardians before they were adults
Avengers' Academy
New Warriors
Runaways
Young Avengers,
etc.

The "Siege?"

As Steve Rogers scrapes [to hell with the bottom of the barrel. They are now scraping the wooden floor beneath the barrel.] up an army of Superheroes--half of whom are boys and girls who are not yet out of their teens, and whom the youngest is only 10 years old--to come to the rescue of Asgard, which is under siege by another army of Superheroes lead by Norman Osborne.

And what do you do with the kids once you get them there? Throw them at The Hood and his friends. At odds of 10 to 15 against. Throw in a couple of adults on the kids' side, and the kids actually have a chance of winning. Because they have a number of things going for them. Light vs. Heavy. Speed vs. Ponderous. But what is more, a likely underestimation of the kids' fighting abilities. You'd probably fall down and injure yourself laughing upon thinking about a 10-year-old's fighting ability, but then the kid has won. Of course, silly is easy enough to do, but how do you do serious, which is what the film calls for, and is the true test of filmmaking.

Who would you cast? A fun exercise, but one I seldom play, except for this once.

If they were casting the film today,
and if I had any say in the casting,
then cast . . .

August Maturo or Augie Maturo,
who plays Auggie Matthews in
"Girl Meets World" on the Disney Channel,
as the 10-year-old. He even looks a little like the
10-year-old in the comic book.

Next time: 01/23 "Strange Magic" from the mind of George Lucas. Well, we know where that is going. Till then . . .?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 14, 2015, 09:55:33 AM
INHERENT VICE (2014): In 1970 San Francisco, weed-connoisseur and P.I. "Doc" Sportello investigates several converging cases that lead to a syndicate called "the Golden Fang," who are either heroin importers or a tax dodge for dentists. P.T. Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's inherently confusing novel is the new masterpiece of hippie noir, riding, and eventually snorting up, that fine line between rationality and irrationality where universal paranoia holds sway. 4.5/5 (I am strongly considering upgrading this to 5/5 but I need to see it again).


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on January 15, 2015, 12:08:08 AM
The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies

Alright, I'm going to say it: the action was nice, the scene with Sauron and Smaug were awesome but the rest was so rubbish I just really hated it.  Something about the emptiness of 90% of the dialogue just really grated me.  How many times do we need to hear someone say 'they're bred for war'.  Come on guys, we know they're going to lose.  No need to pump it up so much, only to have these war-bred orcs beaten by a bunch of fishermen.

Sorry Peter Jackson, but this was the weakest one yet.  Like I said the action was fun, so I suppose it's lucky there was a fair chunk of the movie devoted to it, and despite me rolling my eyes every five minutes, it never was boring.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 15, 2015, 07:28:13 PM
The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies

Alright, I'm going to say it: the action was nice, the scene with Sauron and Smaug were awesome but the rest was so rubbish I just really hated it.  Something about the emptiness of 90% of the dialogue just really grated me.  How many times do we need to hear someone say 'they're bred for war'.  Come on guys, we know they're going to lose.  No need to pump it up so much, only to have these war-bred orcs beaten by a bunch of fishermen.

Sorry Peter Jackson, but this was the weakest one yet.  Like I said the action was fun, so I suppose it's lucky there was a fair chunk of the movie devoted to it, and despite me rolling my eyes every five minutes, it never was boring.

But, even with the last film in "The Hobbit" series, we are not thru with Jackson and Tolkien.

As for myself, while I do not expect a word-for-word retelling, since book and film are two different media, I do expect a better retelling of Middle Earth, then what we are getting from Jackson. Actually, I find the whole telling of the story of Middle Earth by Jackson so unbearable, that after the 2nd film in the "Lord of the Ring" series I absolutely refuse to watch anymore and thus save my money. Still . . .?! What do I know . . .?! The films have so far been so successful, that the rumor mill has it that there will be more films based on Middle Earth in that time period that lies between the end of "The Hobbit" and the beginning of "The Lord of the Rings."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 23, 2015, 11:36:41 AM
PADDINGTON: A talking bear with a gift for accidental comic mischief searches for a family to adopt him in London. No surprises, but this British live-action teddy bear feature seems more innocent and less smart-alecky than American kids' movies, and makes for a nice change of pace. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Ted C on January 23, 2015, 02:15:42 PM
Alright, I'm going to say it: the action was nice, the scene with Sauron and Smaug were awesome but the rest was so rubbish I just really hated it.  Something about the emptiness of 90% of the dialogue just really grated me.  How many times do we need to hear someone say 'they're bred for war'.  Come on guys, we know they're going to lose.  No need to pump it up so much, only to have these war-bred orcs beaten by a bunch of fishermen.

Sadly, the battle could have been plausible. The heavily armored dwarves with pikes could have formed a line, with the elves and humans lending archery support from fortified or otherwise protected positions. That's pretty much what happened in the book, and it worked well until orcs got onto the mountain behind the human and elven positions. The battle as described in the book would have worked exquisitely for dramatic fight scenes, but PJ had to go and make it all goofy and ridiculous.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 02, 2015, 09:52:46 AM
STRANGE MAGIC (2015): Fairies vie for possession of a magical love potion leading to comic romantic complications in a plot adapted from "Midsummer Night's Dream," but with hit pop songs added. The animation is nice and older folks may like it, but what little girl who loves fairy princesses wants to see them doing karaoke numbers to songs their grandparents used to make out to? True story: in the theater I saw it at, one little girl yelled "finally!" when the end credits ran and then loudly declared "I never want to see that again"! 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 06, 2015, 09:59:14 AM
BLACK SEA: A down-on-their-luck crew of Brits and Russians refurbish a Soviet U-Boat to go on a hunt for sunken Nazi gold. Good old-fashioned testosterone-under-pressure movie. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 08, 2015, 02:36:41 PM
Ye-es!

Apparently, I liked it better than the Rev. Powell.

"Strange Magic" an animated film featuring the vocal talents of Alan Cumming and Rachel Evan Ward.

"From the mind of George Lucas."
Well, that explains a lot.

Underappreciated
I think there was a lot in it to raise it to a level greater than some people give it for being. It is your more highly regarded films and TV shows like "Broad church," that I think are overrated.

The animation
The style of it is not something I think I've ever seen before. Maybe because much of the animation was done in Thailand.

The humor
There was a surprising amount of humor in it that the adults in my audience appreciated.

Hopefully . . .
"Guardians of the Galaxy" has started a . . .
music trend in movies, where we hear more . . .
Oldies and Moldies being used as . . .
background music in a movie scene.
For seldom have . . .

Can't Help Falling in Love -- C'mon Marianne -- I'll Never Fall in Love Again -- Love is Strange -- Strange Magic -- Tell Him -- and Wild Thing

sounded better than they did here.

"I Should Have Seen That Coming"
The story was surprisingly not that straight forward. There were a number of twists and turns in it, that hindsight being 20/20, I should have seen coming in retrospect.

After the end credits
When will audiences learn to stay to the end of the credits, as here, there is often a surprise at the end.

Next time: McFarland USA
Or Disney's and Kevin Costner's reach out to a growing Latino audience.

Either that or "Seventh Son." Which ever one comes first to a cinema near me.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 08, 2015, 04:30:50 PM
BSK: it seemed aimed more at nostalgic adults than kids. Part of the reason for my low rating is that the kids in the audience actually seemed to hate it---and it is technically a kids' movie.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on February 10, 2015, 08:13:48 AM
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night:

Hipster Iranian vampire film. Probably the best description I can give it...

http://youtu.be/_YGmTdo3vuY (http://youtu.be/_YGmTdo3vuY)

I really enjoyed this film. Lots of hip music, sparse quiet acting and style out the wazoo. This paired with Only Lovers Left Alive would be a great double header.

Not much really happens, but it's nice to watch a vampire films that's understated rather than over the top. I've read the feminist undertones were unintended but setting a female vampire in an Iranian environment and having her protect women is a pretty big coincidence. Works very well as the lead actress, despite not having many lines, has a fantastic presence.

Can't really explain it better. Great sound design made the brief moments of horror much punchier than I expected. If you want a film with a punchy story this isn't it, but I enjoyed it a ton.

4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 11, 2015, 10:04:49 AM
/\ That pretty much matches my thoughts about GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, Dean. /\

2014 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORTS: I look forward going to these every year. Honestly, this year's lineup is weaker than last year's. I hate to give another award to Disney, but I think the sentimental "Feast" (which screened before BIG HERO 6)  is clearly going to be the winner in a weak field. Most notable was Bill Plympton's "Footprints," (not nominated for an Oscar), about a man who wakes to find footprints by his door and tracks them, believing he's chasing a monster. This one was weird enough to keep the audience murmuring in confusion throughout. Catch it if you can. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 13, 2015, 03:10:50 PM
Finally, I got to see "Seventh Son." One of the few films I knew I wanted to see this year. And with that comes the understanding of sorts of why it's not high on most people's lists of good films. Though, there are some good features to it, which we'll get to later.

The bad
The acting, which ranges from passable to terrible.

When an actor turns in a bad performance, who is to blame.

(a) the actor
(b) the cinematographer
(c) the director
(d) the editor
(e) the writer
(f) all of the above
(g) none of the above

Though, in this case I decline to blame the actors, having seen them better in better films.

The writing which is as bad as the acting. Even though it is based--apparently--on a book by Joseph Delaney, which I have not read. Which may be to the good, as the book is suppose to be far superior to the film.

Both are so bad, that the scene of the witch in the village reminds me of that similar scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Yet this is suppose to be a serious film, while that was a comedy.

The mixed
If the music was surprisingly good, then the action scenes were surprisingly bad.

These films always have an old time vibe, except for some of the SFX, which is new. Yet the SFX had mixed results for me. For example, at the end, two sisters fight it out for the daughter of one and the niece of the other. With the mother fighting to save the girl, and the aunt fighting to kill the girl, and they fight as dragons, but I wonder if the scene would not have worked as well, if the two ladies kept their human form and fought it out that way.

The good. And there was some good in it.
As always, the scenery was magnificent.

Till someone invents a time machine, this is probably as near as we will get to what life was like in the Middle Ages. Where, even in the best of times, life could be brutal.

Whether the audience knew it or not, the film does raise a number of interesting questions about . . .
treachery -- tolerance -- loyalty -- love -- loneliness -- and conflict.

The film that I thought came nearest to this one was the previous "Hansel and Gretel : Witch Hunters," which I thought in most ways was the superior film.

As where Tusk in this one, and Edward in that one play the same role, as the faithful retainer, Edward comes off as the superior creation.

As where this one made a greater effort to differentiate the witches, it did not really matter that much, as they were still hard to tell apart.

But, where the other exceeds this one, is in the group dynamic of the witch hunters. There 5 then 4. Here 3 or so.

Both films earned more or are earning more at the overseas box office, then here at home. We should be getting a sequel to "Hansel and Gretel : Witch Hunters" sometime in 2016, which I am looking forward to seeing next year, but it is unlikely there will be a sequel to his one. Even though, if by chance it happens, I'd probably see it. I am just such a sucker for old time fantasy films.

Next time: Unless something intervenes, then "McFarland USA."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 18, 2015, 09:18:36 AM
THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER: The popular kids' cartoon gets its first feature, mixing 2D animation, 3D animation and live footage. The irrepressible Spongebob teams up with an old enemy to recover the stolen recipe for Krabby Patties. Starts out like a big-screen TV episode, but as it goes on it accumulates enough surreal zaniness (especially once the space dolphin shows up) to make it worthwhile. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on February 18, 2015, 05:42:16 PM
BSK: it seemed aimed more at nostalgic adults than kids. Part of the reason for my low rating is that the kids in the audience actually seemed to hate it---and it is technically a kids' movie.

A family film, but one that adults seem to enjoy more than the kids in the audience, when I saw it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 25, 2015, 09:49:06 AM
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE: A working-class boy is recruited into a secret British crimefighting organization run by snooty blue-bloods; meanwhile, his mentor is following up clues on the disappearance of celebrities that all point to an eccentric billionaire. Generally a fun romp in the James Bond mold, although some headachingly-edited scenes of gruesome carnage and a bad-taste ending break the campy spell. Sequels seem assured. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 04, 2015, 10:03:46 AM
MAPS TO THE STARS: The lives of a drug-addicted teen idol, a middle-aged actress desperate for a career jolt, and a disfigured personal assistant from Florida collide in Hollywood tragedy. The Tinseltown satire is nothing you haven't seen before, but it's nice to watch a cast like this (Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusak, Robert Pattison, and newcomer Evan Bird) acting nasty. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 06, 2015, 05:07:29 PM
"McFarland USA" w/ Kevin Costner.

The Walt Disney Company's effort to crack the burgeoning Latino film market.

If birth and immigration trends continue, by 2050, this country will be a country of minorities: Afro-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and even whites will be in the minority. Though, Latinos will make up the largest group of minorities.

Thus the Company is only 35 years ahead of most of Hollywood. And one wonders how a company that consisted of 2 brothers making silent, black and white cartoons in their uncle's garage in L.A. morphed into the largest entertainment company in the world. It's far thinking like this is one of the reasons why.

Of course, it also makes one wish that the so called leaders of this great country would put aside their short term partisan interests and start thinking more in the long term.

One cannot live in southern California for over a decade, from near the coast northwest of L.A. to just north of the Mexican border, without living in an area that is heavily Latino, but nothing as heavily Latino as what is seen in the film. That is one thing a film can do. It can give you a glimpse into lives with which you are not familiar, as this one does.

Enjoyable, even if it is not perfect. Thinking back, one realizes that several important characters disappear from the story without rhyme or reason.

But . . .?! The biggest fault probably lies with its length, as a film can only cover the highlights of the story, when the inter- and intra- relationships of the characters were probably more complex and complicated than those seen in the film. Thus, the story might have worked better in that regard as a longer TV miniseries.

What ever they got wrong, they did get right the subject of cross-country running, as it amazes me how mixed feelings I have about that, as 2 decades before the film even takes place, I ran cross-country in high school. Not that I was any good, never getting past J.V., but it was either that or football, and I knew I was no football player. And we never made all-State like the team in the film, but we did make all-County, and I got a couple of team medals out of that.

What I always thought most interesting was the diversity of the high school sports league in which we participated, while I was in school. Private and public. County and city. And 4 cities. Probably one of the most diverse leagues ever seen.

Private: Marian, a Catholic high school.

County: Castle Park

and 4 cities
Chula Vista: Chula Vista and Hilltop
Coronado: Coronado
Imperial Beach: Mar Vista
National City: National City

Before the film, a half dozen trailers. Probably the best being for "Ant-man." It probably shouldn't surprise me by now, but I continue to be surprised by how well the Marvel films come out. As "Ant-man" is not only a film about a man who can shrink down into the size of an ant, but a film about a man and his relationship with his friends, family, and mentor Hank Pym. Part of it is done during the casting. Whoever would have thought of Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Not me in a million years, but from the trailer so far, he is the Hank Pym.

Next up: Cinderella. The French version. If one wants to see the German version, then watch "Into the Woods."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 17, 2015, 11:42:52 AM
Cinderella
("And the revival continues." Ken Branagh)

Or, let us play 20 Questions.

Q: What was kept from the 1950 film version?
A: The names.
The stepmother: Lady Tremayne
Though, in the earlier version I thought she got her title from Cinderella's father, but in this version, she got her title from her 1st husband.
The stepsisters; Anastasia and Druillsa
The mice: Gus Gus and Jacq, but in the earlier version, Jacq refers to Jacques, while in this version, Jacq refers to Jacqueline.
The cat: Lucifer.

Q: What disease did the mother die from?
A: Consumption, or, as it was also known "The White Death." Though, that is only a guess, as nothing definitive is said in the film about the cause of death.

Q: Why is the stepmother a better villainess this time around?
A: Previously, in most versions, she has only her cruelty, but here she combines her cruelty with cunning, which makes her not only a better villainess, but a better foe, as well.

Q: Who married above their station? Who married below their station?
A: Cinderella, of course, married above her station, but it is the stepmother who married below her station. Her 1st husband may have been only a lowly knight or lord, but he was a member of the nobility, which put him in the upper class, and while her 2nd husband was a merchant, thus a member of the upper middle class, he was still a member of the middle class. Thus, below her previous station.

Q: How many points on the stag in the forest?
A: Never got a clear enough look to tell.

Q: What was special about the scene in the forest?
A: It was shot in Windsor Forest.
Which is a royal forest.
Which requires a royal dispensation to film there.
Which the Company was able to get,
Which shows the ability of the Company to get what they want. Both here and in the U.K.
And, unlike most of the forests in England, it has never been completely logged off.
Which means there are trees there that were old when Shakespeare was born.

Q: How big or small is that kingdom?
A: It must be plenty big or what a budget buster that ball would have been.

Q: What were the dances danced at the ball?
A: Normally, for that time period, we see the waltz, but we were taught the waltz in junior high, and none of those were a waltz. So, I just don't know.

Q: Why was the Grand Duke so set on the Prince marrying that particular Princess?
A: We don't know enough about the Princess to give a definitive answer, but I can't help but feel, that someone was slipping him something under the table, to promote the marriage.

Q; What advice did the King in the film give the Crown Prince, that Prince Philip should have given Charles?
A: "Marry for love."

And that is halfway, and as I don't want to lose what I have already typed, I'll post this now, and follow with the other questions later.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 17, 2015, 12:15:21 PM
Continuing Cinderella

Q: What were the cruelest words spoken in the film?
A: Cinderella's "I forgive you" to her Stepmother, as that will eat at her and eat at her and eat at her, till the day she dies.

Q: What was the most surprising thing about the film, if one thinks about it?
A: How good was the directing and the acting, and the acting was good from top to bottom. And as proof . . .?!

Q: What was the best scene in the film?
A: The Stepmother and the Grand Duke co-conspiring across the table. It could have been shot far more dramatically then it was, but that it was not, and that that scene worked so well the way it was shot, speaks volumes about what a great pair of actors you had in that scene, and what great writing that scene had.

Q: What trailers were shown before the film began?
A: New trailers for "Tomorrow land" and "Inside Out." While not original, what is in Hollywood?, "Inside Out" is so good, that (IMHO) it has to be considered the front runner, at this time, for next year's Oscar for Best Animated Film.

Q: What joke about gays can be found in the trailer for "Inside Out?"
A: I won't give any hints to what it was, but it is a joke that is likely to pass over the heads of most children and most adults, too, which is why I like it.

Q: What was the audience like?
A: Mothers and daughters.
Father and daughters.
Big brother/little brother dragged to the show, so little sister/big sister could see it.
People of color. And while previous versions of the story had a Cinderella, who was a racial minority, here she was typically white, but that did not stop racial minorities from coming and seeing the film.

Q; What was the biggest surprise about the audience?
A: The number of older, mature woman in the audience.  Who came by themselves, with their BFF, and/or who dragged their husband or male BF to the film. I expected young girls to see the film, but not that.

Q: Why did the theater like this type of audience?
A: Concessions. I can guarantee that for every $ spent on a ticket, especially at Saturday afternoon matinee prices, 2 $ or more was spent on concessions, and a theater's profit is not in ticket sales, but in the sale of concessions.

Q: What memorable moment happened in the audience as the film credits rolled?
A: One must understand, that during the ending credits, a number of songs from the 1950 version are played over the credits, and when the song "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" played, an older, mature woman, with a man next to her, who I presume was her husband, were standing in the aisle, waiting to leave, began to spontaneously dance in the aisle. Then she grabbed her husband, and they both began to dance in the aisle. The price I paid to see the film was worth it, just to see something like that.

Q: Will there be a sequel?
A: That is open to how well the film does at the box office, but the 1950 version, if direct to dvd, did spawn 1 sequel, which I have seen, and at least another sequel.

And, finally, the facts and figures.

Cost: $95 million
That may seem to be a lot, but for what you get, anything under a $100 million is low cost.
Domestic box office: $67 million (opening weekend)
Or, do not count your chickens before they hatch or your box office receipts before they are finalized.
$3 million less than expected and $2 million less than "Maleficent" took in on its opening weekend.
International box office: #37 million, excluding China, to date.
China box office: $25 million to date.
Audience: 66% female. 34% male.
Which is not surprising, but what is surprising is how many males of all ages loved the film.
Final: still on target to earn $800 million box office, and as it cost less than half of what it cost to make "Maleficent," even if it earns half of what "Maleficent" made. It still comes out ahead.

Next time: probably "Monkey Kingdom."
The Company, probably the last of the major studios to still do full-length documentaries.









Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 18, 2015, 08:40:43 AM
TIMBUKTU (2014): Jihadist thugs take over the oasis city of Timbuktu, enacting a repressive form of Sharia law, banning football, music, and enacting a liberal death penalty. Social realism with the message that, as much as the West may fear ISIS and other Islamic groups with terrorist ambitions, its the ordinary Muslims who suffer the most under these regimes. An Academy Award best foreign language nominee (lost to IDA). 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 25, 2015, 03:49:24 PM
An update on 3 films. 2 seen. 1 not seen. We'll start with the 1 not seen.

American Sniper

More interested in who made it, then the film itself, but there are a couple of salient facts about the film.

Whatever its politics. Whatever one wants to think about its politics. That does not seem to have much effect upon its take at the box office, as thus this month it exceeded "Guardians of the Galaxy," as the top grossing film, released in 2014, at the box office, with a box office gross of $337 million and counting. That is domestic gross only. If one wants to combine domestic with international gross than "Guardians of the Galaxy" probably still has the lead.

I have heard that the total (both domestic and international) gross for the film is $500 million or the domestic was 207% higher than the international. Which makes it somewhat unique in an era, when American films do better internationally than they do domestically.

As I said, what I find interesting is the man who made it, who has had, with a little bit of luck, a career in film and TV for the past 7 decades. That is a long career. Longer than most people, living or dead, in Hollywood.

Right of center, if he is not the most conservative person working in Hollywood, he is one of the most conservative, which would put him at odds with most of Hollywood, but they forgive almost anything in Hollywood, if one is successful. The only unforgivable sin in Hollywood is making a film that loses money at the box office. And he certainly has been successful over the years. Successful enough, that he'll probably keep working into the next decade. May he live so long. And even more so, he probably has the power to pick what he wants to do next, and his home studio--Warner Brothers--would probably finance it.

Big Hero 6
Seen

$221 domestically + $400 internationally = $621 million total and counting.

And like a lot of American films today, earning more internationally that it did domestically, with a gross of 181% higher internationally that domestically, as in . . .

the biggest animated film of all time in . . .
Indonesia
Malaysia
Thailand
and Vietnam.

The top grossing Disney/Pixar animated film in . . .
China

and the 2nd highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated film in . . .
Japan
Korea
and Russia.

Japan is the biggest surprise, as they were the 1st to get into anime. Thus, the people who made this film, must have done something right, for it to be so popular in Japan.

3rd biggest Disney/Pixar animated release ever. Behind only "Frozen" and "The Lion King."

And maybe calling for a sequel.

Cinderella
Seen.

It was the no. 1 film in . . .
Mexico
Hong Kong
Indonesia
Malaysia
the Philippines
Singapore
Thailand
Vietnam
and in China the biggest box office opening in March in history.

Which says several things or asks several questions.

(1) Why, when Asia has such a rich folkloric history of its own, including several versions of its own Cinderella, why it prefers something, if not Americanized, then Westernized?

(2) With several of those countries having their own movie presence, some large, it is still an 1-way street out there. We make something they want to see, but they do not, for the most part, make anything we want to see.

(3) And, it use to be that outside of America, the biggest market for American films was Europe, but . . .?! It looks like now, that Asia has surpassed Europe as the biggest market for American films.

As for the story, itself . . .

There have been people, at least since the 1890's, who have been interested in collecting all the variations of Cinderella, in the world, and there are, at the moment, well over 340 variations of the story from all over the world and dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians.

And only a decade or two after people started collecting variations of the story, the 1st film version of the story came out, and since that time, it has been adapted for film and TV over 100 times. Making it the most filmed, with the number of films, story of all time, or almost one film version every year, since the 1st film version.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 01, 2015, 08:41:31 AM
IT FOLLOWS: After a sexual encounter, a 19-year old girl is told that a ghostlike being visible only to her is now following her, and the only way she can get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else. Very nicely done budget horror with an atmosphere of paranoia, sexual tension and elusive metaphor; with a better ending, it could have been a genre classic. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 08, 2015, 08:57:39 AM
CINDERELLA (2015): Disney's live-action version version of the familiar fairy tale (wicked stepmother, pumpkin carriage, glass slipper) that follows the cartoon fairly faithfully. Unapologetic, sumptuous, old-fashioned entertainment that makes few concessions to modern tastes or trends (except for spiffy FX in the fairy godmother scenes) but succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 09, 2015, 04:07:26 PM
CINDERELLA (2015): Disney's live-action version version of the familiar fairy tale (wicked stepmother, pumpkin carriage, glass slipper) that follows the cartoon fairly faithfully. Unapologetic, sumptuous, old-fashioned entertainment that makes few concessions to modern tastes or trends (except for spiffy FX in the fairy godmother scenes) but succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do. 4/5.

And what I forgot to say in all my mumbling about "Cinderella," that it is probably the most filmed story in Hollywood history with over a hundred versions since the 1st one in 1907 or almost one an year either in the theaters or on TV.

The question also comes up as to whether there will be a sequel. It seems to have made enough money to be financially feasible for a sequel, and the story is there, as the villains are still out there, no doubt plotting and planning. Though, to work, they need to bring everyone back: cast, director, writer, etc.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 09, 2015, 04:35:36 PM
CINDERELLA (2015): Disney's live-action version version of the familiar fairy tale (wicked stepmother, pumpkin carriage, glass slipper) that follows the cartoon fairly faithfully. Unapologetic, sumptuous, old-fashioned entertainment that makes few concessions to modern tastes or trends (except for spiffy FX in the fairy godmother scenes) but succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do. 4/5.

And what I forgot to say in all my mumbling about "Cinderella," that it is probably the most filmed story in Hollywood history with over a hundred versions since the 1st one in 1907 or almost one an year either in the theaters or on TV.

The question also comes up as to whether there will be a sequel. It seems to have made enough money to be financially feasible for a sequel, and the story is there, as the villains are still out there, no doubt plotting and planning. Though, to work, they need to bring everyone back: cast, director, writer, etc.

I liked this one, but CINDERELLA 2 is not a concept that excites me.

ROMEO AND JULIET is my guess for the most filmed story of all time, considering how many different ways the old "star-crossed lovers" plot has been re-used. There was even a zombie-human version!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 15, 2015, 08:49:41 AM
SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY (2014): Survey of the feminist movement (including the radicals) from the late 1960s through the 1970s. At the risk of being labeled a chauvinist, there's not much new, striking or extraordinary in this parade of talking heads and archival footage that might fit better on PBS than on the big screen. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 20, 2015, 01:52:27 PM
Each year, since 2008, around Earth Day, the Walt Disney Company has released a nature documentary under its label Disney Nature. This year it was . . .

"Monkey Kingdom"

Which featured the social hierarchy of a troop of Macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka.

It was scary to see how closely the social hierarchy of Macaques mimics that of man, or . . . ?! Is it the social hierarchy of man mimics the Macaques. Still, it is scary.

We saw also animals that live in conjunction with the Macaques, such as the Monitor Lizard. Darn! Those in Sri Lanka are big suckers. Excluding basketball players, they are longer than most men are tall. Heck! They are bigger than most basketball players. They are only vulnerable, because they are as s-l-o-o-w as molasses in winter. If they were as fast as a horse, man would be in deep doo doo.

Outside the end credits of each nature film, when we get to see the film makers who made the film, I think this is the first time that man has been featured in one of the films. And I can understand why man and wild animals should not mix. Actually, I felt some sympathy for man. While, by nature most wild animals are not deliberately destructive, they are destructive, because they don't know better.

Actually, it was interesting to see how man lives in Sri Lanka compared to here. As advanced as their civilization is, and it is far older than ours, they are still less advanced than we are here.

And they got Tina Fey to narrate
. . . and Mickey Dolenz to sing the theme song for the old TV series "The Monkees." Lord, did that bring back the memories?

As an inducement to get people to see each film the 1st week it is released to theaters, the Company and theaters donate a portion of the box office to an organization that is trying to help the environment. So far they have donated to organizations that have helped the . . .

rainforest in Brazil
coral reefs in the Bahamas
savannas and jungles in Africa
national parks in the U.S.
people in Southeast Asia have clean drinking water.

We are also seeing more animated films. Before this film there were trailers for . . .

"Underdogs." Which is actually an Argentinian film and has been released already in Argentina and most of the rest of the world, but will not be released here till August of this year.
"Hotel Transylvania 2." Which, while a family film, from the audience reaction, where I saw it,  is more for kids than their parents and is scheduled for release in September of this year.
"The Peanuts Movie." Which is proof positive that Charles Schulz is sorely missed and is scheduled for release in November of this year.
But . . .?! Only one film has received an invitation to be shown at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and that is Pixar's "Inside Out."

One thing that can be said for Pixar, looking at the voice talent associated with the films, they try to cast the best voice for each character, while most of the others try to cast someone famous, best or not, for each character.

And each year, they show a clip from the next film to be shown the next year. In 2016, it is "China Born." We give them two theme parks, and they give us the right to film in parts of the country that are normally out-of-bounds to outsiders.

And finally, the Company is a little bit old and a little bit new.
New: now streaming media
Old: as far as I know it is the last of the major studios to still regularly release full length documentaries to theaters.

Next time: Either "The Avengers" or "Mad Max," which ever comes first, as I am looking forward to seeing both films.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 25, 2015, 03:16:48 PM
MONKEY KINGDOM: Disneynature's 2015 offering follows the adventures of a troop of monkeys living in a ruins in Sri Lanka. Entertainment, not education, and good on that level. You could learn something by accident. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 13, 2015, 01:36:33 PM
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (2014): An actress comes to grips with middle age when she is asked to play the "older woman" role in a revival of the play that originally launched her career (when she played the "younger woman"). Boasts a psychologically astute script full of parallelisms and good performances by both Juliette Binoche and (unexpectedly) Kristen Stewart as her personal assistant. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on May 14, 2015, 12:11:35 AM
2014 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORTS

Whoa: my undies got an Oscar nom? Wow.  :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 14, 2015, 08:36:46 AM
2014 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORTS

Whoa: my undies got an Oscar nom? Wow.  :wink:

Actually, I think they were nominated for a "Razzie."  :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on May 17, 2015, 07:12:56 AM
Mad Max: Fury Road

I'd estimate it's about 80% car chase. Really any more of it and I'd actually really just want to watch a nice character based drama just so I can stop watching things collide with one another.

Overall it's a pretty great film. The action set pieces are nuts, the people are nuts, the costume design is nuts and there is a guy dressed in a red onesie playing guitar that is also a flamethrower on top of a moving vehicle. Moreover they actually did it rather than using CGI.

http://www.mtv.com/news/2161513/mad-max-fury-road-guitar-player-doof-warrior-colin-gibson/ (http://www.mtv.com/news/2161513/mad-max-fury-road-guitar-player-doof-warrior-colin-gibson/)

I really can't overstate how awesome the behind the scenes for this movie must be.

Ok so plot wise, you don't really need much to worry about. There's enough here that the characters are fleshed out enough and with a largeish support cast they actually all manage to get a bit of screen time which is pretty nice all things considered. The other factor is the hilarious response from Men's Rights Activists who basically are campaigning for people not to watch it because it's feminist propaganda and has ruined such a strong piece of American culture. Forgetting for a moment of course that it's actually an Australian film series...

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/15/entertainment/mad-max-fury-road-boycott-mens-rights-thr-feat/ (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/15/entertainment/mad-max-fury-road-boycott-mens-rights-thr-feat/)

But yeah, call me crazy but it's kind of nice when you have female characters that aren't just victims/objects and actually have some presence in a film...


Really go see it so that there are more 90 minute long action set pieces in the future. See it at cinemas with as loud a sound system as possible. Turn your brain off and let it go over you. Like I said, if anything I was a bit too overstimulated by the end so I'm glad it finished when it did; it ended right before it was going to start to wear thin so be prepared to maybe hit your personal tolerance level...

4.5/5. So far best action film of the year and I really find it hard to imagine anything beating it in the adrenaline stakes.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: messedup on May 17, 2015, 07:55:59 AM
Mad Max Fury Road
Saw it yesterday and it's basically everything that dead said.
Don't mind the thin plot. It will be the most awesome theater visit you will have all year. It's like a 2 hour rollercoaster ride in 3D with stunning visuals, fantastic sound and over the top performances by every single actor.
I thought Furious 7 would be the most entertaining movie for me to see in theaters this year, but in the end Fury Road beat it to death.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on May 18, 2015, 02:16:00 AM
I should add it wasn't shot in 3D and I saw it in 2D. Only one shot near the end screamed to me as 'this is for the 3D market' so pretty sure it's not necessary to see it in 3D.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 19, 2015, 02:57:49 PM
Well, this is a contrary opinion.

I waited 30 years for this film, and what do I get "Disappointment," and you'll see that word used a lot.

Nothing can top "Road Warrior," but I thought this might be 2nd, but . . .?! It is not 2nd. It is not even 3rd. It is last and least in the series, for the following reasons.

Action
not up to par of the 1st 3 films.
Disappointed

Character definition
Characters not as clearly defined as in the 1st 3 films.
Disappointed

Emotionally
flatter than it should be.
Disappointed

Fights
not up to par of the 1st 3 films
Disappointed

Group dynamics
Mad Max is the ultimate loner, which I can understand, being something of one myself, but . . .?! After seeing "The Avengers : Age of Ultron," I miss that group dynamics, and what you see here is not done as well as in "The Avengers : Age of Ultron."
Disappointed

Mad Max
is the ultimate anti-hero, but he is doing here what he'd not do in the 1st 3 films.
Disappointed

Misogyny
what is the female equivalent? In films 2 and 3, you have male and female working together for the betterment of the group. Here . . .?! except for a couple of sops, you have male and female working in opposition to each other and not for the betterment of neither, and with male = bad and female = good for the most part.
Disappointed

Music
not up to the standard of the 1st 3 films
Disappointed

Pessimistic
More so than films 2 and 3
Disappointed

R-rated
Crowded, but . . .?! Not as crowded as "The Avengers : Age of Ultron," where there was not an empty seat in the house for the showing, and here the crowd was more homogenous. There there were all ages. Here it was solely adults. Which means the film lost part of its audience.
Disappointed

Ridiculousness
The 1st 3 films verged on the ridiculousness, but they never went over the line. Here it not only went over the line, maybe because of the need to top itself, but . . .?! It smashed the line.
Disappointed

Staging
of chase scenes. Films 2 and 3 held off to the climax. Here not, which reduces the climatic chase scene.
Disappointed

Story differentiation
Each of the 1st 3 films was different from the other, even if slightly, here the same as the others.
Disappointed

Tom Hardy
Probably an impossible job, but Tom is no Mel Gibson
Disappointed

Victims and villains
doing what they'd not do in the 1st 3 films
Disappointed

3-D
Normally, I don't see a film in 3-D as the tickets are normally more expensive, and "a $ saves is a $ earned," but . . .?! here I wonder if this is one of the few films that'd have been better in 3-D.

Conclusion
If one has not seen any of the 1st 3 films, then I'd say go ahead and see this, as it is not a "bad" film. It's just so mediocre in comparison to the others, and if one has seen one or more of the others, then wait and see this on TV or on DVD, as it was not worth the $18.60 (admission + snacks) that I paid to see it. Still . . .

When the next one comes out, "Mad Max : Wasteland." I'll probably see it in theaters, but . . .?! in 3-D. Let's just hope it won't take 30 years for the 5th in the series to be released. Though, I wonder who or what Mad Max, the defender of the defenseless, is going to defend, as he defends in the . . .

1st the family/his partner
2nd the settlers, personified by the Feral Kid. Now there's a name for the ages. With the actor who played him. now owning a jewelry store in Sydney.
3rd children
4th women

Maybe Mad Max can protect Australia's Great Barrier Reef and/or its wildlife. Both of whom need protection from the hand of man or woman.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 28, 2015, 07:38:41 PM
The parts are better than the whole, but . . .?! WHAT PARTS there are.
And like nil you have ever seen ere.

"Tomorrowland"

Understand it or admit you, like myself, do not totally understand it, and you'll probably like it. Do NOT understand it, or refuse to admit you do not totally understand it, and you'll probably not like it.

As for the parts . . .

When they started off with "It's a Great, Big Beautiful Tomorrow." Lord, that brought back memories and brought out the tears. And, of course, everyone recognized the singing of Rex Allen. The last of "The Singing Cowboys."

And that is why we ride "It's a Small World." For if we ride it and are deemed worthy, we will be taken into another dimension, but . . .?! We must be deemed worthy.

Blast from the Past.

See how many of the props you see in it, you recognize from past films.

And the relationship, between the two in the store, has not always been legal in the U.S.

The violence

The violence was--surprisingly--violent.

But . . .?! There was a couple of bigger surprises.

Where did she ever find a pay phone. For the most part, they no longer exist.

And even more surprising, where did she ever find a stick of Beeman's Gum. The only gum, except for Clove and Blackjact, that I'll chew, and I no longer chew gum, because like pay phones, you just can't much find them anymore, even though Blackjack was the first flavored gum ever made.

Dress to impress.

I was impressed by what people will wear in the future.

Not everyone.

I, for one, would not be interested in knowing the day of my death, for the moment I learn that, I'll also learn that there is nothing I can do to prevent it. As I get older, I think more about my demise, but . . .?! I also think about other things, but . . .?! if I learn that, and there is nothing I can do to prevent it, that's all that I'd think about.

Next time: most likely Pixar's Inside Out.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 03, 2015, 09:30:04 AM
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: After she inherits her parent's country farm, young Bathsheba must choose between three suitors---one lowly and loyal, one rich and respectable, one dashing and dangerous---or to remain and independent and focues on running her estate. Adapted from Thomas Hardy's popular but forgettable 1874 novel, this production is just what you'd expect, joining a long line of above-average literary adaptations with great cinematography and acting that ultimately can't translate the magic of the original prose. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 10, 2015, 08:43:47 AM
SPY: Susan, a frumpy CIA analyst pushing middle age, volunteers to go into the field to track an arms dealer after all the agency's main operatives have their cover blown.  Entertaining Bond spoof with a comedically restrained Melissa McCarthy capably leading an eccentric ensemble. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 17, 2015, 09:29:40 AM
I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (2015): Retired widow Carol loses her dog, strikes up a friendship with the pool guy, and meets a man with his own yacht. With fine ensemble acting, "Golden Girls"-style gags, a sexy widower, and a couple of wet hankies thrown in, this modest, mature romantic dramedy easily satisfies its target audience. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 22, 2015, 02:25:59 PM
I wanted to get this right in, ere I left it out.

"Inside Out"

I think most people enjoyed it more than I did, because . . .?!
I was Sadness.
You cannot have Joy without Sadness.
Which is why--probably--Sadness was my favorite character.

The problem I had with the film was the plot. Not the originality or the lack of it, like some people, but . . .?! I just could not wrap my mind around the idea that the main plot was went on in the girl's head. I always saw the plot as two different individuals--here Joy and Sadness--finding themselves outside of their comfort zone and thus have to rely on each other to find their way home and to protect themselves from the dangers out there. Oddly enough, that is even more unoriginal, dating back at least 200 years, to the story of Hansel and Gretel, if not farther, then the other plot.

Other than that . . .?!
There was a lot to like in the film.

The jokes were . . .
throwaways. So, you had to pay attention to what was happening.

The mouse was . . .
Ratatouille. That was a nice in-joke.

The studio was . . .
Paramount. Which caught me by surprise.

The cat was . . .
familiar. I should have been able to place it, where I'd seen it before, but . . .?! I couldn't.

Bing Bong was . . .
And this is a real stretch, but . . .?!  he reminded me of the Calypso song "Bim Bom Bay" by Jimmie Rodgers.

The voices were . . .
and this is a real strength of Pixar, they cast not the "best known" voices, but . . .?! the "best" voices for the role. Though, I was surprised, while watching the credits, how many well known actors voiced a character in the film.

And . . .?!

dream dynamics
family dynamics
friendship dynamics

It took me--again--by surprise, but . . .?! How much better this animated film nailed those dynamics, then most live action films on those dynamics.

I actually thought there towards the end, that the family would actually move back to Minnesota, from where they came originally, but . . .?! That'd have sent the wrong message, as "One can only move forward. One cannot go back." But . . .?! The family decided to stay in San Francisco, and everything worked out, but . . .?! They never did answer the question whether the father in the film got the investor he was looking at, or whether he had to lay off employees in a month or two.

And it was a nice conceit to see everyone's emotions at the end, and how all the emotions looked like everyone.

Next time: Ant-man.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 24, 2015, 09:04:32 AM
Went to see INSIDE OUT yesterday but the screening was sold out (!). So instead I saw

DOPE: Nerdy, college-bound Malcolm finds that his future, and his life, may be in jeopardy after he accidentally finds himself in possession of several kilos of drugs. Entertaining action-comedy with (some) black characters who buck stereotypes; it's sort of a mix of RISKY BUSINESS and BOYZ IN THE HOOD, with a few nods to SUPERFLY. Worth a watch. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 01, 2015, 09:04:49 AM
INSIDE OUT: The crisis management skills of young Riley's mental control team---the personified emotions- of Joy, Sadness, Fear, etc.---are put to the test when the girl's life is uprooted by a move from Minnesota to San Francisco. This movie effectively conveys relatively complex human psychology to children by depicting the mind as a colorful and adventure-filled landscape of control rooms, memory globes, personality islands, dream studios, and so on, and contains an unexpectedly mature moral---optimism is a bully, and if left unchecked by "negative" emotions it would destroy us. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 03, 2015, 08:47:19 AM
THE WOLFPACK: Documentary about the Angulos, a family of six boys and a girl, who were raised in an tenement apartment in NYC's lower east side and only allowed to go outside once or twice a year. They learn about the outside world and keep their sanity by re-enacting scenes from classic movies (Tarantino is a favorite). Their existence is almost like a real life version of the imprisoned children of DOGTOOTH, without the linguistic tricks and with a happy ending. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on July 03, 2015, 08:03:05 PM
Jurassic World

Dinosaurs! I had pretty low expectations about this one but I actually found it better than I originally thought it would be. Still it seemed to lack the heart that the first one had, despite the lead characters actually being half decent as far as vapid Hollywood productions go.

SPOILERS:

Why didn't the producers use the camouflaged dino feature more often? They really should have used that more than once.

3/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 15, 2015, 08:51:43 AM
AMY: Documentary on singer Amy Winehouse, using archival footage and never-before-seen home movies to follow her from a promising bright-eyed ingenue to a broken-down, skeletal addict who literally drinks herself to death. Doc does a good job fleshing out the stock figure of the self-destructive artist. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 22, 2015, 09:00:09 AM
LOVE & MERCY: Beach Boy Brian Wilson's story is told flipping back and forth between two time periods: his creative period making the "Pet Sounds" album, when his psychotic breakdown begins, and in the 1980s, when he romances a car saleswoman much to the displeasure of the psychiatrist who controls every aspect of his life. Superior biopic with multiple awards-caliber performances: from Paul Dano as bright young Brian, John Cusak as the shell of a man he becomes, and Paul Giamatti as the terrifying shrink. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 29, 2015, 08:57:10 AM
MR. HOLMES (2015): In 1947, retired and losing his memory, the real-life Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) tries to remember the details of his final case (which he is sure Watson has reported wrongly), while taking a young boy under his wing as a beekeeping apprentice. Not a mystery per se (although there is a mystery or two), but rather an interesting dramatic take on the detective icon as a lonely old man alienated from humanity by his intensely logical mind. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 29, 2015, 04:12:40 PM
I think a lot of people miss the depths to what a Marvel film can rise or fall, as they are actually far deeper then a lot of films that are suppose to be deeper, because they are not about superheroes or super heroines, but . . .?! about relationships. Relationships between families, foes, friends, mentors, etc. For example . . .

"Ant-man"

Villain
a hero is only as good as the villain, he or she faces, and "Ant-man" has one of the better ones in Cross. When is the last time you saw a villain that practiced meditation and yoga?

Surprises
not really any surprises in the film, except Pym survived. Maybe because of . . .

Sequel
we are promised a sequel. And I'm down with that.

In-jokes
a number of good in-jokes in the film.

Emotionally
resonating

Cynical
one of the most cynical films I've seen, as it basically says that we are all crooks. It is just some of us are bigger crooks than others.

Creepy
I found it surprisingly creepy, as near death comes by . . .
-drowning
-record needle
-dance step
-falling
-vacuum cleaner
-rat
etc.

Casting
the strength of a Marvel film always comes in the casting. Who'd have thought of casting Michael Douglas as Pym? Not me, but . . .?! He is perfect in the part.

Cameo
what is a Marvel film without a Stan Lee cameo?

After-credits scene
not 1, but 2 after credits scenes.

Action
some good action as a future Avenger takes on a present Avenger.

As to what is next . . .

Mr. Holmes
Except . . .
like so many films I want to see, it is not playing in the area in which I live.

Finest Hours
Based upon the book of the same title and regarded as the greatest rescue at sea in the peacetime history of the U.S. Coast Guard. When 2 oiler tankers run aground off the coast of New England during a storm and start to break up, it is up to the U.S. Coast Guard to set off in small boats to rescue both crews.
Except . . .
It is not scheduled for release to January of next year.

Thus . . .
There may not be anything I want to see till this Thanksgiving, when the next Pixar film "The Good Dinosaur" comes to a theater.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 05, 2015, 08:57:06 AM
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) once more finds himself a rogue agent when the IMF is shut down (due to events from the previous film), and he is left to hunt down the leader of a criminal syndicate with the help of a female British agent (rising star Rebecca Ferguson). A crowd-pleasing junior James Bond caper with a great chase sequence through the streets of Casablanca; fun, but it too often tries to imitate and top its excellent predecessor, GHOST PROTOCOL, resulting in a few plot (and physics) twists that defy believability. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: VenomX73 on August 05, 2015, 06:43:21 PM
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' 2015

(http://www.alfabetajuega.com/multimedia/imagenes/201507/116250.alfabetajuega-dragon-ball-z-resurrection-f-210715.jpg)

My 1st Dragonball at the movies. 10 out of 10, Frieza was awesome in this one.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 06, 2015, 03:20:39 PM
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' 2015

([url]http://www.alfabetajuega.com/multimedia/imagenes/201507/116250.alfabetajuega-dragon-ball-z-resurrection-f-210715.jpg[/url])

My 1st Dragonball at the movies. 10 out of 10, Frieza was awesome in this one.


So I see this is playing near me and has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes raing. If I know literally nothing about this---I mean, I don't even know if it's a TV show, or what---can I go and still enjoy it?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: VenomX73 on August 06, 2015, 05:07:53 PM
Yup its all good, even if you don't like anime, or have not watched the shows.
You may not know the names or anything like that, but it's 100% action packed!

(http://www.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/dragon-ball-z-resurrection-DBZ_ResF_GIF11.gif)

I'd go for it while it's on the big screen, I'm glad I did!


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 12, 2015, 08:49:13 AM
Yup its all good, even if you don't like anime, or have not watched the shows.
You may not know the names or anything like that, but it's 100% action packed!

([url]http://www.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/dragon-ball-z-resurrection-DBZ_ResF_GIF11.gif[/url])

I'd go for it while it's on the big screen, I'm glad I did!


Well, you're right that it was action packed and probably best to see on the big screen. I do wish I knew something about the characters, though. It was basically two guys fighting for an hour with what seemed like unlimited godlike powers; nothing was defined or explained for the newcomer. There were like 10,000 characters and I think I would have liked it more if I'd known who any of them were and what they were doing! Still, I don't regret it. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on August 12, 2015, 09:37:22 AM
Reposted in another thread but this one's worth a repeat IMO

The Duke of Burgundy:

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-xIMBnclyA
#)

"Peter Strickland's wryly subversive S&M fantasy is everything that Fifty Shades of Grey isn't … a wondrously bizarre affair, beautiful and baffling by turns." – The Independent

Originating as a tribute to 1970s Spanish sexploitation filmmaker Jesús Franco, the third film from wonderfully unique British director Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, MIFF 2012; Katalin Varga, MIFF 2009) ends up somewhere else entirely: an ethereal, fairytale world of women only, butterflies and human toilets!"


This has been my standout film so far. Produced by Ben Wheatley of  'A field in England, Kill List and Sightseers' fame and directed by Peter Strickland [Berberien Sound Studio, which was one of my favorites last year] this was a great film.

I never thought a film about S&M Lesbians in some weird 50s world with no men would feel so real to me.  Twirling

The characters are great. Its kind of like if Wes Anderson wanted to make an erotic, at times surreal, exploration on what it means to love somebody, and to try and cater to their tastes despite not really being as into it yourself. But really its a fantastic exploration about the relationship between two people and for that it explored BDSM dynamic in a really fantastic way. No crazy people who just want to hurt/be hurt or any of that stupid Fifty shades nonsense; just wonderful characters, lush cinematography and some bizarre psychedelic sequences. 

5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 19, 2015, 08:43:42 AM
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: After botching a plan to get a day off, Shaun and his flock of sheep travel to Big City to find and retrieve their farmer, who has amnesia. Full of nonstop nonverbal gags (the restaurant scene is worthy of Chaplin or Keaton) and meticulous animated textures, this dialogue-free adventure gives INSIDE OUT some unexpected competition for best animated feature of the year. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 26, 2015, 09:24:06 AM
THE END OF THE TOUR: The true story (much of the dialogue was taken from the actual tape recordings) of David Lipsky's intimate interviews with author David Foster Wallace during the last leg of his book tour for his blockbuster literary hit, "Infinite Jest." It's the best movie about two overeducated white guys talking to each other since MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Jason Segel should draw some "best actor" interest for his Wallace, as should the script for "best adapted screenplay." 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 02, 2015, 09:12:41 AM
BEST OF ENEMIES: Documentary covering the televised 1968 Gore Vidal/William F. Buckley debates and the lifelong hatred shared between these two intellectuals on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Vidal wins the debate, but not with ideas; he goads Buckley into losing his cool by calling him a crypto-Nazi, which prompts Buckley to call Vidal a queer and threaten to punch him. The ratings were a hit and contemporary American political discourse was founded. 3.5/5 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 09, 2015, 01:15:08 PM
PHOENIX: An Auschwitz survivor has facial reconstruction surgery that changes her appearance, then meets the husband who may have betrayed her to the Nazis in post-war Berlin. Slow-moving but involving post-Holocaust drama with a slight noirish tinge. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on September 14, 2015, 02:13:57 PM
In the area in which I live, when a holiday falls on a Monday, almost everything closes down, to give all a 3-day weekend. One of the few places that remain open are the movie theaters, which seem to be open 365 days an year. Thus, to keep from sitting around all day in my apartment and going bored out of my gore, I went and saw a movie. A mediocre film, but . . .?! One that had its moments, which we'll get to later, as it was the best of a bad lot showing that day. Thus, we have "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Sequel
Since the film apparently lost money at the box office, we are unlikely to see a sequel. Yet, if there is one, I'll probably see it.

Rome
I can't say I have ever been to Rome, but . . .?! I hope to get there in 3 to 4 years.

Hired Help
Anybody can be the boss, but . . .?! Good help is hard to find. Where do the villains go for their underlings? It's not like they are just there standing on the corner.

Hindsight
being 20/20. Who'd would have thought that Germany, whose economy was devastated by 6 years of war. Then divided into 4 power zones and then 2 countries, would emerge today with the most powerful economy in Europe.

Faux pas
Probably wrong, but . . .?! When you kiss the hand, the gloves come off 1st, as it is gauche to kiss a woman's hand, while she is wearing gloves.

Director
One thing almost kept me from seeing the film. The director Guy Ritchie, as the last two films of his I saw were his films with Robert Downy, jr. as Sherlock Holmes. The 1st was bad enough, but . . .?! the 2nd was one of the worst films I've ever seen. The stupidity of the characters in the film was mind boggling.

Children
No children were harmed in the making of this film. Actually, I don't even remember seeing any children at all, even as background extras, nor do I remember seeing any children in the audience, which we'll get to later.

Berlin
Unlike Rome, I have had the pleasure of visiting Berlin a number of years ago. Which is not that far from where my father's family lived, before they emigrated to the U.S. in the 1880's.

Audience
I was surprised to see so many people in the audience for a film that had not been that successful and had already been playing for some time. It's success or its lack thereof is probably due to the fact that its appeal was not to the younger generation, children, but . . .?! to those who remember the TV show which we'll get to next.

TV show
I wish it had come out later in my life, or I had been born earlier, as I might have then enjoyed it more, but . . .?! At my age, when I saw it, I was put off by its black humor and its cartoon violence. Thought, the people guest starring in it, can hardly be beat and include . . .

Anne Francis -- Arthur Malet -- Albert Dekker -- Akim Taminoff -- Angela Lansbury -- Alan Mowbray
Bernard Fox -- Barry Sullivan -- Bradford Dillman -- Bill Dana -- Bonnie Franklin -- Brooke Bundy -- Barbara Feldon -- Broderick Crawford
Carol Lynley -- Curd Jurgens -- Carroll O'Connor -- Charlie Ruggles -- Chad Everett -- Caesare Danova -- Cher -- Charles McGraw -- Charles Lane
Dan O'Herlihy -- Dorothy Provine -- Darren McGavin -- Doodles Weaver -- Daniel J. Travanti
Eleanor Parker -- Eddie Albert -- Elsa Lanchester -- Estelle Winwood -- Eleanor Audley -- Eric Braden -- Elisha Cook, jr.
France Nuyen
George Macready -- Glenn Corbett -- Gavin Macleod -- George Tobias -- Gerald Mohr -- George Sanders
Henry Jones -- Herbert Lom -- Harold J. Stone -- Harvey Lembeck -- Harold Gould -- Hal Smith -- Hugh Marlowe -- H. M. Wynatt
Ivan Dixon
Jill Ireland -- James Hong -- Jack Palance -- Jeannine Riley -- J. Pat O'Malley -- Jack LaRue -- John Carradine -- JohnHJoyt -- James Doohan -- Judy Carne -- Jack Weston -- Jack Lord -- and June  Lockhart -- John McGiver -- John Abbott -- Joan Crawford -- Jay North -- Joan Blondell -- John Dehner -- Julie London -- John Banner -- Jeanette Nolan -- Jesse Royce Landis
Kim Darby -- Kurt Russell -- Kurt Kaszner -- Kevin McCarthy
Lola Albright -- Leslie Nielsen -- Leonard Nimoy -- Lee Merriwether -- Liam Sullivan
Madlyn Rhue -- Maurice Evans -- Martin Balsam -- Mary Ann Mobley -- Michael Rennie -- Martin Landau -- Marta Kristen -- Malachi Throne
Nancy Kovack -- Noel Harrison -- Nancy Sinatra -- Nehemiah Persoff -- Nobu McCarthy -- Ned Glass
Pat Crowley -- Patricia Medina -- Peggy Ann Garner -- Perry Lopez -- Paul Lukas -- Paul Winfield -- Patsy Kelly -- Pat Harrington, jr.
Rip Torn -- Ricardo Montalban -- Ronald Long -- Richard Kiel -- Roger C. Carmel -- Richard Anderson -- Robert Culp -- Richard Beymer -- Robert Strauss -- Richard Erdman -- Reta Shaw -- and Ruth Warrick
Sid Haig -- Senta Berger -- Slim Pickens -- Shelley Berman -- Sonny Bono -- Sue Anne Langdon -- Shelia Macrae -- Sharon Tate
Tony Bill -- Telly Savalas -- Terry Thomas -- Ted de Corsica -- Ted Cassidy
Vera Miles -- Vito Scotti -- Victor Borge -- Victor Buono -- Vincent Price -- Vic Tayback -- Victor Buono
William  Marshall -- William Shatner -- Werner Klemperer -- Whit Bissell
Zalman King and Zohra Lampert

And that is only a partial list of the guest stars on the show, or, why the '60s' was one the best decades for watching TV.

Next time: either the newest Bond or boy scouts vs. zombies. whatever comes 1st.
Harold J. Stone --



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 16, 2015, 09:10:41 AM
THE GIFT: An awkward old high school acquaintance (once known as "Gordo the weirdo") forces himself into successful businessman Simon's life with a series of gifts; Simon says he doesn't remember him, but there are hints that Gordo may have been bearing a grudge for a long time. A dramatic thriller that succeeds more through depth of characterization than plot twists. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 23, 2015, 08:43:23 AM
GRANDMA (2015): Young Sage shows up at Grandma Elle's house needing $600, and the crusty old lesbian poet fires up her rustbucket and hauls around town seeking to call in favors from friends she's alienated. Lily Tomlin (who just turned 76!) puts an angry feminist spin on the comedy stereotype of the obscene grandma. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 02, 2015, 08:50:10 AM
RIFFTRAX: MIAMI CONNECTION: I had never seen this movie before; I think Rifftrax was a good way to approach it. The film is an oh-so-80s mashup about a bad pop band who are also tae-kwon-do experts and the mess they get into with some ninja bikers. It's bad---real bad---but it doesn't have all the WTF? scenes I look for in a bad movie, so extra jokes were welcome. The short, about the useless superhero "Measuring Man," who teaches young boys about measurements, was a hoot. 3.5/5 overall.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 09, 2015, 08:51:43 AM
SICARIO: A gruesome discovery in a drug house leads an FBI officer to join a multi-agency team conducting dubious clandestine anti-cartel actions across the Mexican border. Ethically complex dramatic thriller that takes out a hit on the current prosecution of the drug war. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 14, 2015, 09:12:45 AM
THE INTERN: A bored retiree (Robert de Niro) becomes a "senior" intern at an Internet startup, becoming the unofficial mentor of the millennial workers, including the business' harried, workaholic founder (Anne Hathaway). Pleasant and predictable bit of nostalgia for the avuncular idea of manhood as solid, hardworking, gentlemanly; the audience laughed at all the obvious points, until the plot takes a late detour into too much drama. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Derf on October 21, 2015, 06:22:40 AM
Pan (2015). Much better than I feared it might be. It begins with infant Peter being left on the steps of an orphanage during WWII. The boys in the orphanage, run by evil nuns who steal their rations and beat them (as you would expect in a story like this) begin to go missing, and Peter investigates, only to find himself a victim of kidnapping by pirates in a flying galleon who take him to Neverland. Adventures ensue. The ending leaves an obvious set up for a sequel, but the movie is well done enough that I didn't mind and will go see it. The only performance that seemed subpar to me was that of Hook, whose affectations were obviously put on to make him "memorable." 3/4 Sprinkles of Fairy Dust.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Derf on October 21, 2015, 06:27:56 AM
The Martian (2015). Matt Damon stars as Mark, who is stranded on Mars for over a year while rescue efforts are made. It is basically "Cast Away" meets "Apollo 13." The only thing missing was him drawing a face on a potato and naming it Spud. It is reasonably well done, but not quite as great as it wants to be. 2/4 stars.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 22, 2015, 08:40:19 AM
GOODNIGHT MOMMY (2014): When a mother of twins returns home after an unspecified operation, one of the brothers come to believe that the stern woman whose face is hidden behind bandages is an impostor. Starts with a slow psychological burn, but by the end it will have you squirming as much as any torture porn fest. No mother will ever allow her child to keep hissing cockroaches as pets after seeing this. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 28, 2015, 08:42:39 AM
THE MARTIAN: A botanist is accidentally left behind on Mars and must figure out how to stay alive for months until a rescue mission can be arranged. A tribute to the human spirit of exploration, more inspirational than believable. Of course, the most science-fictional element of the story is the idea that NASA would launch a manned mission to Mars in our lifetime. NASA could probably send five astronauts to the corner deli to pick up lunch, but that seems to be about the limit of its capabilities right now. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 02, 2015, 04:15:00 PM
The Martian (2015). Matt Damon stars as Mark, who is stranded on Mars for over a year while rescue efforts are made. It is basically "Cast Away" meets "Apollo 13." The only thing missing was him drawing a face on a potato and naming it Spud. It is reasonably well done, but not quite as great as it wants to be. 2/4 stars.

The 1st weekend it opened, it had the 2nd biggest weekend opening in October, at somewhere north of $50 million. The 2nd weekend, it continued to be the #1 film at the box office in the U.S., at somewhere around $42 million. Apparently, it has "legs."

Of course, for every winner, we have one or more losers.

"Pan," a film that apparently cost $150 million to make, had an opening of around $15 million here in the U.S., and is thus unlikely to earn back at the box office, the cost it took to make it.

"Steve Jobs," while it did apparently have a decent opening, has faded fast at the box office, and is thus a film that apparently is without "legs."


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 04, 2015, 10:03:38 AM
BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015): Insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is tapped to defend an accused Soviet spy at the height of the Cold War, then negotiates a prisoner exchange with the Warsaw Pact powers. The first half proposes that America's strength comes from its adherence to fairness and the rule of law no matter the security panic of the day---always a relevant theme---while the second tilts towards painting a portrait of Donovan as a badass negotiator, making him into a mini-Oskar Schindler. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 11, 2015, 10:16:39 AM
THE PEANUTS MOVIE (2015): Lovestruck loser Charlie Brown tries to impress the new kid in town, "little red-haired girl." Low key nostalgic tour through "Peanuts" familiar running gags---kite-eating tress, 5-cent psychiatry, long-suffering Charlie Brown's continual sacrifice of his dignity for the amusement of his cruel peers---with a spiffy visual upgrade that stays true to the character design. I do miss my favorite "Peanuts" character, Dolly Madison, the kid who always had snack cakes. 3.5/5.

AIMY IN A CAGE (2015): While a mysterious virus ravages the outside world, a creative but bratty teenage girl is forced to undergo brain surgery to become normal, then imprisoned by her family in an increasingly nightmarish and surreal captivity. This super low-budget indie has an interesting cast (Allyisn Ashley Arm, Crispin Glover, Paz de la Huerta) and spectacular art design that makes Aimy's world looks like a post-apocalyptic "Pee-Wee's Playhouse", but the humorless psychological torture, unlikable characters and nonsensical manic pacing make for an unpleasant movie. I saw it in a pre-release screener, but I don't think this will end up with any serious distribution. 2/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 16, 2015, 02:23:36 PM
Not really theatrical viewings but I have screeners for movies still in theaters, so I'm putting them here for now...

ENTERTAINMENT: A low-rent insult comedian who performs in a tux with a grotesque combover plays unappreciative dive bars throughout the Southwest on an increasingly surreal tour. Imagine Andy Kaufman's "Tony Clifton" character as a real person with a tragic backstory and an almost autistic inability to connect to his fellow human beings and you will get a hint of the unique tone of this despairing but bitterly honest film. 3.5/5.

3 1/2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS: Told from the victim's family's perspective, this documentary follows the Jordan Davis murder trial, where, after a parking lot argument over loud rap music, a forty-five year old white man fired ten shots into a car with four black suburban teenagers, claiming self-defense because he thought he saw Davis brandishing a weapon (no weapon was ever recovered). A beautifully composed, thorough and moving look at a senseless tragedy, although the legal, factual and moral issues involved in this case are not actually very complex. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 19, 2015, 09:59:04 AM
More screeners...

BROOKLYN: A young, poor, small-town Irish woman takes a job in Brooklyn in the 1950s, and must choose between her longing to return to her home and the promise of love in her adopted country. Pleasant, if somewhat cliched, historical romance with an excellent performance by Saoirse Ronan; will especially appeal to Irish grandmothers and partisans of "old-fashioned entertainment." 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 26, 2015, 01:26:39 PM
SPOTLIGHT: Reporters from the Boston Globe's "spotlight" investigative reporting team uncover a conspiracy by the Catholic Church to systematically cover up incidents of sexual abuse by the clergy. Mark Ruffalo is the designated hothead, but in general SPOTLIGHT is wisely content to avoid "Oscar-bait" acting moments and let the drama of the situation carry the day. 4/5.

IRIS (screener): A portrait of spry, spunky 93-year old fashion plate and "geriatric celebrity" Iris Apfel, known for her colorful style and trademark glasses. Keep in mind I'm in the minority here, but although Iris is sweet this is disappointing lightweight fluff from a documentarian as legendary as Albert Maysles, and for a heterosexual guy it's a little like going clothes shopping with your grandma---no matter how much you love her, you'd rather be watching a football game. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 02, 2015, 09:51:08 AM
CREED: Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, seeks out Rocky Balboa to train him as a fighter. New blood, old formula, good fight footage, this virtual remake of the original ROCKY works reasonably well, but I'm not looking forward to the five rematches. 3/5.

JAMES WHITE: Unemployed, irresponsible, hard-drinking 21-year old New Yorker James White tries to pull himself together long enough to take care of his mother as she dies from cancer. This downbeat death drama/character study is an actor's showcase for Christopher Abbot and Cynthia Nixon. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 03, 2015, 07:27:43 PM
CAROL (2015): Two women in 1950s New York embark on a secret affair at a time when a "diagnosis" of lesbianism could cost a mother custody of her child. When watching a gay romance movie, I always ask myself: would this bore me if the story was rewritten as a relationship between two straight people? The answer is almost always "yes." 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on December 06, 2015, 02:52:46 PM
The Good Dinosaur

Beautiful story. Beautiful animation. And a darn fine Oater, as well.

Recognize the middle peak of Claw tooth Mountain? It is the peak Paramount Viacom uses on its logo. "Pay your respects to the competition. For where they are today, may be where you are tomorrow."

The strength of Pixar lies in its willingness to play against one's expectations.
Who'd have thought that the smallest would come from the largest. Not I.

That those you think you can trust, you can't trust, and those you think you can't trust, you can trust. Though, that is becoming more common, especially in books read.

Surprises
The violence was surprisingly violent. Thus, the PG-rating was well earned.

While it developed that way, at the beginning, I expected more "What was that, Lassie? Timmy has fallen down the well!"

Not that the film was free of Stereotypes.
The older sister is the brains in the family, and the older brother is the brawn in the family.

That the son can only come into his own, when the dad is gone. "The Lion King."

And notice . . .
That snakes have legs in this version.

Ere the film . . .
"Zootopia." The only animated trailer to get a laugh from the adults in the audience.

Surprising, though, it should not be, one can really bond with the animals in the film. Maybe because the people who made the film knew how to pace and edit, which is hard to do.

And look for all the in-jokes. Already, just looking at the film poster, in-jokes for Prada and Burberry.

Which may be why, while the other animation studios are good, Disney/Pixar is in a league by itself, and why this year, they dominate the Annies. That is not to say that they'll win, for as in all such awards, the best does not always win.

Next time: I was hoping to see the latest film version of "Macbeth," but . . .?! That is not yet in wide release. So, it looks like my next theatrical experience will be "Star Wars : the Force Awakens."

And we'll see what we'll see.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 08, 2015, 10:03:02 AM
I'll be watching double features every night this week to catch up on my awards voting.

THE ASSASSIN: A female assassin is sent to kill her own cousin, now leader of a breakaway province, in 7th century China. More HAMLET than HERO, THE ASSASSIN stately and gorgeous, but epically slow and confusing. 3/5.

45 YEARS: On the eve of their 45th wedding anniversary, husband Geoff begins behaving strangely when he receives a letter dredging up a dead romance from the past, before he met wife Kate. Subtly frightening meditation on our inescapable separateness, revealed by how fragile a partnership can be even after decades together. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 09, 2015, 10:09:10 AM
THE GOOD DINOSAUR: In a world where dinosaurs evolved intelligence, one apatosaurus separated from his farm must conquer his fears to return home (and domesticate humans along the way). Features the most beautifully detailed backgrounds I've seen in an animated film (you would swear they used photographs at times), and while the derivative story was nothing special, it brought a few clever touches to the table (the pterodactyl storm-chasing cult). BSK is right about the violence but he forgot to mention the drug trip, which was quite a surprise in a Pixar movie. I was wondering how moms and dads were going to explain why Arlo the dinosaur suddenly had 8 eyes to their 4-year olds. 3.5/5.

MISTRESS AMERICA: A college freshman with literary ambitions is homesick until she finds friendship and inspiration in the daughter of her mother's fiance, a flighty Manhattanite in her early thirties. A lightly witty and extremely mannered farce about a manic dream pixie stepsis (indie darling Greta Gerwig, who also co-scripted). 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 10, 2015, 10:49:01 AM
THE DANISH GIRL:  Based on a true story. Supported by his long-suffering wife, a Danish painter in the 1920s begins dressing as his feminine alter-ego, Lilly, eventually choosing to live as a woman and seeking out then-experimental sex-change surgery. Well acted and well intentioned, but humorless and oh so sensitive, this is a serious movie trapped inside the body of a routine one. 3/5.

ANOMALISA: Stop-motion. A motivational speaker suffering from a nervous breakdown has a brief affair with plain-Jane fan Lisa in a Cincinnati hotel. Strange and surprisingly funny, the movie's formal quirks serve its melancholy thesis that love is an anomaly. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 11, 2015, 10:14:42 AM
STEVE JOBS: Centered around various product launches, egocentric Apple CEO Steve Jobs deals with logistically crises, corporate backstabbing, and his strained relationship with the daughter he is reluctant to recognize. Surprisingly dramatic, although these biopics of the recently deceased always trouble me since the accused can't explain or defend himself. 3.5/5.

CARTEL LAND: Documentary focusing on the Autodefensa, a civilian vigilante group formed to fight against the Templar drug cartel in Mexico's Michoacán province, and also on a paramilitary group on the American side of the border ("Arizona Border Recon") that has declared war on the cartels. Shocking, brutal footage shows the complexities of Mexico's drug wars and brings a dawning realization that the purest intentions are inevitably corrupted and there may not be good guys on any side of the conflict. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 06, 2016, 09:49:10 AM
ROOM: 5-year old Jack, who lives as a captive with his mother, knows nothing of the world outside Room, the only reality he's ever known; when he's freed can he adjust to the hubbub of the outside world, and to people who are not his mother? Journeys from tense to tender, earning every tear it jerks along the way. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on January 06, 2016, 06:19:47 PM
ROOM: 5-year old Jack, who lives as a captive with his mother, knows nothing of the world outside Room, the only reality he's ever known; when he's freed can he adjust to the hubbub of the outside world, and to people who are not his mother? Journeys from tense to tender, earning every tear it jerks along the way. 4.5/5.

I am glad that you enjoyed it. Frankly, it's not my cup of tea, but . . .?! The film does have that rare distinction of a child performance, here Jacob Tremblay, who plays the boy in the film, so good, that there is talk of nominating him for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He has already been nominated by the Screen Actor's Guild in Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film.

And whether he wins or not, he's going to be a busy little man this year in 2016. Having 4 films coming out, the last 3 being in post-production.

Before I Wake
Burn Your Maps
Shut In
The Book of Henry

If he keeps this up, it looks like he'll have a nice career as an actor ahead of him.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 13, 2016, 09:43:06 AM
THE BIG SHORT (2015): Follows three groups of contrarian investors as they make big bets against the housing market right before the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 bursts the real estate bubble. Quirky characters and clever 4th-wall breaking asides to explain key concepts (with celebrity cameos) energize this financial thriller, which is pitched about halfway between the smarts of MARGIN CALL and the glitz of WOLF OF WALL STREET. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on January 20, 2016, 01:19:20 AM
The Hateful Eight:

So my short review of The Hateful 8: looks beautiful on 70mm (and ironically doesn't do too many landscape shots). Not Tarantino's best in my opinion and suffers a bit from some scattered characters. Still a fun enough ride if you can get over the pointlessness of how often people punch Jennifer Jason Leigh. Sammy Jackson at his descriptive best in one scene with an image that will burn in my brain for a while and Walter Goggins puts in a stellar performance as well.

Given the 3 hour running time I probably didn't need 45 minutes of introductions and the 'oh my lord, is that you x? Well I'll be' seems to get looped incessantly and could have been trimmed somewhat.

SEE IT IN 70mm if you can!

Side note; sound cut out at the screening during a key scene and was actually pretty fun because of it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 22, 2016, 11:44:19 AM
THE REVENANT (2015): 19th century scout Glass miraculously survives being betrayed and left for dead by his hunter companions, then sets out to survive the wintry wilderness as he hunts for revenge. The icy cinematography is the highlight of this somewhat overblown adventure; Tom Hardy again impresses as the villainous Fitzgerald, and Leo di Caprio stays in the chase for his first Oscar. The bear attack is great. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: jimpickens on January 23, 2016, 03:14:19 AM
Star Wars the force awakens mediocre at best basically a reboot of a new hope.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 05, 2016, 03:54:22 PM
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORT FILMS: ANIMATION: This year's Academy Award nominated animated shorts include Hindu superheroes from Pixar, a stick-figure vision of the future, the melancholy tale of an escaped circus bear, a comedy about two cosmonauts trying out for a space launch, and a sketchbook melee that's so violent and gory that they advised children to leave the room before it aired. "World of Tomorrow" is the critic's favorite, and would get my vote, but it may be too out there for Academy tastes (if so, look for "Bear Story" to win). I look forward to these every year; this is the strongest slate since they started sending these out to theaters. You shouldn't miss it if you have the chance. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 10, 2016, 09:57:41 AM
KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2016): Titular Panda Po, still childlike but now a celebrated kung fu warrior, must deal with a chi-stealing master from the spirit realm while simultaneously learning about his panda heritage when his biological father shows up. "Wuxia cute" is a hard tone to maintain, but this spectacular looking animation (love the split screens!) does a decent job. Shaw Brothers fans will like this. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 16, 2016, 08:55:16 AM
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (2015): In two journeys separated by decades, an Amazonian hermit and shaman reluctantly guides two European scientists on a trip to find a legendary medicinal plant. Colombia's entry in last year's Academy Awards is slow but beautiful, and shows a world and a culture we haven't seen very often in movies (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST this ain't). It fumbles a little at the end but there's a "Heart of Darkness"/APOCALYPSE NOW vibe to the journey downriver. The best part by far is a visit to a Christian mission/orphanage, and then the return years later to see how it has changed; I would have built the whole movie around that part. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on March 17, 2016, 04:06:29 AM
The Witch:

Old timey creeper of a film. A definite slow burner. Saw it at a cinema and right before things got a bit more intense someone loudly exclaimed "Is this a comedy?" as it was bordering on getting a bit silly and too full of itself. But then it started getting bloody and brutal. Gotta say though that the trailer was so good it was pretty hard for this one to match the hype. I can't help but feel that if they had a bit more cash and a bit more special effects they could have done something truly amazing. That being said I really enjoyed it, just know you have to be in the mood for a lot of religious based moaning in the first two thirds with not enough gore/scares to balance out the 'drama' 4/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 25, 2016, 12:10:40 PM
LADY IN THE VAN (2015): Dramatization of playwright Allan Bennett's memoir about an eccentric homeless woman (portrayed by Maggie Smith) who parked her van in his driveway in Camden Town and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years. Intelligently written but accessible, and humane without being sappy, this movie is a good reminder that the most interesting people are the ones we go out of our way to avoid talking to. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 30, 2016, 08:51:33 AM
ONLY YESTERDAY (1991): An office worker's trip to the countryside sparks memories of her life as a 5th grader in 1966: first crushes, math homework, school plays, etc. Japanese animation is not only confusing cyber-science fiction, Miyazaki fantasy epics and tentacle porn; they can also do boring dramas. From Isao (GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA) Takahata, this never before released in the U.S. (I can understand why---it has a tiny audience) was given a new dub by Disney as they have finally milked the Studio Ghibli catalog dry. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 06, 2016, 10:23:28 AM
EYE IN THE SKY (2015): An anti-terrorism operation turns into a tense ethical quandary when the military requests permission to bomb a house containing suspected suicide bombers, despite the presence of innocent civilians in the blast radius. James Bond never worries about protocols, legalities and chain of command when it comes to blowing stuff up; come to think of it, he never worries about the possibility of killing innocent civilians. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 23, 2016, 05:21:56 PM
Finally, saw "The Jungle Book." The previous time I tried to see it, it was sold out, which says something about its popularity, and it's even doing better in China, where they seem to take to talking animals. Doing even better than "Zootopia," as popular as that was.

Some nice foreshadowing.

Some other nice moments.
--Nice action
--Nice emotional resonance.
--Nice villains or not so nice.

Actually, it covered quite well all manners of villainy.
--The repulsive villainy of the snake. The seductive villainy of the tiger.
--The open villainy of the tiger. The secretive villainy of the snake and ape.
--The mostly brain of the snake. The mostly brawn of the tiger. And the brain and brawn of the ape.
--The funeral pyre. All villainy leads to death. At least in films, it does.

There does not seem to have been a straight adaptation of Kipling's "Jungle Book," but . . .?! This one probably comes closer than the others. Pointing out the humanity of animals, who are sometimes more human than humans.

Success breeds success. The critics have pointed out all the talent before and behind the camera, and this will likely continue, with them dominating both the domestic and international box office, as talent gravitates to where a successful product is being offered, which is what is happening so far. Of course, no word as to how long this will last, as nothing lasts forever, but with . . .

Animation
Marvel
Pixar
Star Wars
and now the franchise of converting their animated films into live action, which will continue with . . .

"Alice Through the Looking Glass"
"Beauty and the Beast"
"The Little Mermaid"
"Maleficent 2"
etc.

They have another hit film franchise going. Plus they have the platforms to which showcase their films with . . .

TV Shows
Theme parks
Ice shows
Cruise ships
Broadway shows,
etc.

Which are just ways to expand on their success. But . . .?!

We will see what we shall see with the next up "The Huntsman : the Winter's War."



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 27, 2016, 08:49:30 AM
BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (2016): On the south side of Chicago, barbers and stylists at the local co-ed barbershop struggle to maintain a normal life while gang violence disrupts the neighborhood. Malcolm D. Lee mainstreams his cousin Spike's impressive CHI-RAQ; the plot is predictable, but the ensemble cast is pleasant and the movie's heart is in the right place. Nicki Minaj as actress >> Nicki Minaj as musician. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 30, 2016, 01:51:25 PM
The Huntsman : Winter's War

I certainly can understand why so many people dislike it.
--the script. Could have been a whole lot better
--the acting. Could have been better. Though, I don't know whether to put that down to . . .
----the actors
----the director
----the script.

Sill, there was a lot to like, or, at least, a lot for me to like.
--the action
--the costumes
--the emotions
--the foreshadowing
--the humor
--the music
--the scenery
--the sets
--the SFX

An uninteresting . . .
--cinematography
--ending. Which I disliked more than I thought I would.

Still, there was a number of interesting features.
--both . . . where most films are either a prequel or a sequel. This was both a prequel and a sequel.
--a look at the other side.
--the secondary characters. Which I actually liked more than the main characters.
--that she's smart enough to keep a boot knife in her boot.
--use of children.

Similar to . . .
--Frozen. Of course
--Cinderella. The captain of the guard was black in both films.
--Golden Compass. The polar bear as transportation.
--Hunger Games. Maybe it was the children's archery that reminded me of this film.

Trailers ere the film
--Magnificent Seven
--Legend of Tarzan
--Alice Thru the Looking Glass

All of which I plan to see. Maybe even "War craft," which I had no plans to see, till I saw this one. Maybe it's looking to be a better year for films that I thought.

Next time: we'll see what May has to offer.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 11, 2016, 09:30:39 AM
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016): The Avengers are split when Tony Stark and his allies accept a deal to bring the team under the authority of the U.N., while Captain America leads a breakaway team to investigate a terrorist bombing without any oversight. Fun enough for fans, but I guess I'm the only one who thinks that too many superheroes spoil the plot. Plus, I missed two of the 19 movies Marvel released last year so I have no idea who half the players were and what the hell was going on. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 11, 2016, 05:43:05 PM
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016): The Avengers are split when Tony Stark and his allies accept a deal to bring the team under the authority of the U.N., while Captain America leads a breakaway team to investigate a terrorist bombing without any oversight. Fun enough for fans, but I guess I'm the only one who thinks that too many superheroes spoil the plot. Plus, I missed two of the 19 movies Marvel released last year so I have no idea who half the players were and what the hell was going on. 3/5.

"The business of business is business."

2015 - the year of Universal
$1 billion domestic gross in . . .
165 days

2016 - the year of Dis.
$1 billion domestic gross in . . .
127 days
And at that rate . . .
$3 billion domestic gross by the end of the year.
+ with American films making as much or more internationally, one is looking at not $5 billion total box office gross, as previously thought, but . . .?! $6 billion total box office gross for the year. And this is 1 of the reasons why.

2017 - the year of . . .?!
Ah, that is the rub.

"Ya'll ain't see nuthin' yet!"

Not a dozen Marvel characters, as here, but . . . 67 Marvel characters in . . .

Avengers : Infinity War - Part I in . . .
2018

Avengers : Infinity War - Part II in . . .
2019

ant-man
black widow -- black panther
captain America -- captain marvel
doctor strange
the falcon
hawk eye -- the hulk
iron man
loki
scarlet witch -- spider man
thanos -- thor
the wasp

That's 67 - 16 = 51.

+ the question is how many from "Guardians of the Galaxy."
At least . . .

star-lord
rocket
groot
gamora
drax

51-5=46 more to go.

The blowout to end all blowouts, or, why Hollywood is coming out of the woodwork and falling all over itself to appear in these films, as they are that Hollywood rarity--a regular paycheck for the next 2 to 3 years. And even an 1-time appearance in 1 of these films can earn 1 a paycheck of $1 to $4 million for lest than a month's work.

While, at first, I was leaning against seeing this, having read the graphic novel upon which this film was based "Avengers : Civil War" and lord, it hurt and it hurt bad, now I am leaning toward seeing it.

And we'll see what we'll see!






Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 19, 2016, 09:49:07 AM
HARMONY (2015): A wave of mass suicides threatens the existence of a future utopia where health and compassion are enforced though a combination of ideology and technology; one rebellious agent finds suspicious similarities to events from her teenage years. HARMONY'S provocative meditation on humanity's growing capicity to shape our own consciousness makes it an instant classic in anime's mindbending adult sci-fi subgenre, with more philosophical rigor---and ethical ambiguity---than normal. No Hollywood movie would ever depict the World Health Organization as potential villains, or self-harm as a potential act of defiance. 4.5/5.

I saw this almost by chance as I missed a movie I intended to see and noticed this was playing for one night only. I'm not the hugest anime fan but I think I got lucky here. Some will find it too talky but when the ideas are this fascinating I don't care.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 23, 2016, 02:25:55 PM
Captain America : Civil War

I finally got around to seeing this one. I wasn't going to see it, as I had read the comic book series upon which it was based, and--Lord--did that hurt, and it hurt bad. Yet . . .?! While this one did have some hurts, it did not hurt as bad as that, and--frankly--it was far funnier than the comic book series. Which should be no surprise, as I do prefer visual humor to verbal humor. What did surprise me was the . . .

Action
I have seen a lot of action scenes in my time. Some good. Some not so good, but . . .?! I don't (IMHO) think I have seen action scenes as good as the ones in this film. Which should be the casebook on how to do an action scene.

"No one does it better." Unless it is Marvel, as they succeeded where the Bond films have failed recently, and that is in interjecting some much needed and effective humor into the action scene. (IMHO)

And if the action scenes took me by surprise, what was even a greater surprise was the tete a tetes between the characters which tied the action scenes together, and which was  effective in schussing out the characters.

Actors
The old guys and gals have really grown into their parts.

The new guys. I think their appearance in this film effectively answers with an yes any question whether the actor who plays the Black Panther can carry off the role in the upcoming 2018 film. And even more surprising, as he is the 1st actor to play the Black Panther in a film, it is the actor who plays Spiderman in this film, who may be the best Spiderman yet, even though there have been others before him. While I have been inconsistent in my Spiderman film watching, I may see Columbia's next attempt at it in 2017. If only because it seems that Marvel is taking a bigger role in the film. Thus, it may succeed, where other films have failed.

All the others. From Ironman's parents and the MIT university prof to the CIA official to William Hurt and Alfre Woodward, much of the strength (IMHO) of this film lies in its acting.

Also . . .
The film raises that age old question: "What do you do with a man who wants to die? Thus killing him gives him what he wants."

Stan Lee. When are they going to do an Alfred Hitchcock and put his cameo at the start of the film? One spends much of one's time now scoping out the film watching for his cameo.

Not 1 but 2 after credit sequences. One does wonder whether the 1st sequence will have any part in the upcoming Black Panther film in 2018.

Dislikes
A couple of things I disliked about the film. 1st that the big airport fight, which I thought should be the last fight in the film, because it was so big, should have been the last fight in the film, and it was not. And more seriously, 2nd, at least in comparison to how the comic book series ended, I did not like the way the film ended. Though, we will have to see how the ending plays out in The Avengers : Infinity War - Part I in 2018 and Avengers : Infinity War - Part II in 2019, which is the next time the Avengers appear in a film.

Trailers
TAL (Trailers always lie) Still . . .?! Saw the trailers for "Doctor Strange," which we'll talk about later, and "Rogue One : a Star Wars Story," which looks interesting, as it contains almost, except for Mon Mothma's appearance, all new characters.

Next up: Most likely "Alice Thru the Looking Glass"


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 25, 2016, 03:48:57 PM
SING STREET: A working class Dublin kid forms a New Wave band in order to have an excuse to ask a beautiful older girl to appear in his music video. This is the movie John Hughes would have made if he was an Irishman in 198; it's full of familiar beats and obvious sentiments, just like a comfortable, catchy pop song. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 01, 2016, 11:40:07 AM
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (2016): In this adaptation of Jane Austen's novella "Lady Susan," Susan Vernon, a destitute widow, stays at the estates of various wealthy friends and in-laws, seeking to arrange an advantageous marriage for herself and her daughter. Kate Beckinsale plays Austen's antiheroine as a scheming cougar playing the patriarchy like a harpsichord, while Tom Bennett provides comic relief as her daughter's wealthy but rather stupid suitor. This is not my genre and Austen is not my author, but the film's few flaws are too slight to keep it from a perfect rating. If I liked it, Janeites will swoon like their corsets have been fastened too tight. 5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 06, 2016, 07:43:34 PM
"Alice Thru the Looking Glass"

As typical, better than the critics, with their "box" thinking, make it out to be.

Better emotion. Better scares. Better reality. And a couple more reasons to see it, which we'll get to later.

A fairly realistic look at what life is like for one woman in 1870s England. And oddly enough, or maybe not, probably a fairly realistic look at what the other side of the looking glass looks like in Wonderland.

One, from the beginning, feels for Tick Tock. If it was even possible, one can't think of any worst job than that deciding who lives and who dies. And that feeling only increases as the film continues.

As for the other reasons, this was Alan Rickman's last film, and if one is into weird, one might want to see this film, as it is probably one of the weirdest films one will see all year.

Next time: "War craft," and if not that, then "Finding Dory," and next month, there are only so many Fridays in an year, "BFG" and "Tarzan" go head to head. Probably because they expect the films to appear to different audiences. Though, I plan to see both, which probably says something about my taste in films. Though, I am not sure which one I'll see 1st.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 08, 2016, 08:44:22 AM
THE LOBSTER: In a future dystopia every adult must be in a mandatory romantic relationship or they are sent to a state-run hotel to find a match within 45 days, to be turned into an animal of their choice if they fail. I laughed harder at THE LOBSTER than at any film this year; if you have a strange, dark, and dry sense of humor like mine, you'll find it an unsettlingly hilarious date movie. Remember, you can't crossbreed a camel and a hippopotamus; that would be absurd. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 15, 2016, 08:59:37 AM
THE NICE GUYS: A thuggish enforcer and an alcoholic detective (and his 13-year old daughter) team up to investigate the disappearance of a young woman involved in the 1977 porno scene. Funny, crowd-pleasing action-comedy-mystery with great repartee between Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling, who are likeable, if not particularly nice. 4/5, maybe 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 20, 2016, 04:58:59 PM
I need to get this out, ere I forget what I was going to say.

"Finding Dory"

Sometimes the critics are right.
If "Finding Nemo" was a film about a parent's concern for a child that has physical challenges, then "Finding Dory" is a film about parents' concern for a child that that mental challenges. And . . .
with "Inside Out" and now "Finding Dory," Pixar is doing more films about the human mind.

On the other hand . . .
the film critic for the local weekly rag is wrong. Then I think he or she is wrong most of the time anyway. (IMHO) the best action scene is not the squid chasing, but . . .the truck hijacking. Not only is it as exciting as the other scenario, it is funny as hell. And from a human standpoint it is the more likely scenario to occur.

And you can count on 2 things occurring in a Pixar film.
1st. John Ratzenberger will do a voice cameo. Here he voices the husband Bill. And . . .
2nd. There will be a list of "production babies," or babies born during the production to people who worked on the film, during the credits. Something that Disney animation has picked up on.

And . . .
whether it is an in-joke or not, having Sigourney Weaver voicing Sigourney Weaver, is one heck of an in-joke.

And . . .
it only took them 13 years, but . . .?! the escapees from the fish aquarium in "Finding Nemo," finally made if all the way across the ocean, from Sydney, Australia to Morro Bay, California. But . . .?!

The business of business is business.
Which actually interests me more than the films themselves

This film has set a new Hollywood record for an opening week for an animated film, beating out "Toy Story 3," which had the old record. This over performance ought to go someway to making up for the underperformance of "Alice Through the Looking Glass." Though . . .

The film studio in monetary trouble at the moment is Paramount. Not only do they have fewer arrows in their quiver, but . . .?! One of their arrows, the newest "Ninja Turtles" is another underperformer at the box office. Making about half of what the 1st film made to date its opening weekend.

And . . .
it'll be interesting to see what shakes out next month in July, as "BFG" and "The Legend of Tarzan" open that 1st week. Then a week later "The Secret Life of Pets" opens, and 2 weeks after that, "Ice Age : Collision Course" opens.

The last two, from the trailers, are why the Academy ought to give the Oscar for Best Animated film to Pixar one year, then the next year Disney Animation. "Moana," anyone? Which has gotten some good play so far, especially among the natives of the South Pacific, who now have a character with whom they can identify. Not to say that other animated films won't be popular, but . . . Pixar/Disney is way ahead of the other American animation studios when it comes to animated films (IMHO.)

And . . .
That's how we earn the brownie points. Pixar/Disney now have the film's director come on ere the film and say thank-you for watching this film in your local cinema. We'll see how long that lasts.

Next time: as previously said, "War craft."

Needed to make a quick correction.

While the biggest opening for a Pixar film was "Toy Story 3," it was not the biggest opening for an animated film. That was for "Shrek 3." Though, the opening for "Finding Dory" has now surpassed both films.

And one other item of note. 62% of the audience to date has been female. We'll have to see if that changes.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 20, 2016, 06:38:18 PM
I need to get this out, ere I forget what I was going to say.

"Finding Dory"

So I'm almost 100% certain to be seeing this, should I be concerned that I never saw the original?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 20, 2016, 07:33:41 PM
I need to get this out, ere I forget what I was going to say.

"Finding Dory"

So I'm almost 100% certain to be seeing this, should I be concerned that I never saw the original?

The down and dirty answer is "No!" Most people should be able to enjoy "Finding Dory," even if they have not seen "Finding Nemo." Of course, if one is truly concerned that one will not enjoy "Finding Dory," not having seen "Finding Nemo," "Finding Nemo" should be able on dvd for viewing.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 22, 2016, 08:56:51 AM
WEINER: After laying low after a sexting scandal forced him to resign from Congress, Anthony Weiner launches a campaign for mayor of NYC and becomes the frontrunner---until a SECOND sexting scandal breaks, in the middle of the race. Weiner is a fascinating bundle of contradictions: an idealist, a hothead, a charmer, a politically savvy tactician who is incredibly naive about his post-scandal prospects, and a man who ruined his own career through series of lies who nonetheless shows an almost embarrassing level of candor and self-examination throughout this political trainwreck documentary. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 25, 2016, 02:54:32 PM
And we have a winner!

Pixar's "Piper," which played before "Finding Dory." From the audience reaction, or, at least, the audience with which I saw it, if it does not win the Oscar for Best Animated Short Subject, it'll probably be nominated for an Oscar for Animated Short Subject.

Next time: that's what I get for waiting around, I wanted to see "War craft," but . . .?! Now it's not playing in a cinema near where I live. As a big fan of Civil War films, though, I do see that "The Free State of Jones" has just opened, and having learned my lesson, I'll make an effort to see it this coming Sunday, even though the local reviews for it, have not been that positive.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 06, 2016, 08:56:54 AM
THE NEON DEMON: An ethereally beautiful 16-year old girl travels to Los Angeles to become a model; she's an immediate hit, but not everyone in town wishes her success. Nicholas Winding Refn's slow, surreal and saturated take on the horror genre makes for a beautiful movie, the kind you want to show off to friends, but the "Hollywood feeds on beauty" message is too shallow to commit to. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 07, 2016, 06:08:02 PM
The Free State of Jones

I can understand why some people dislike the film. It is not a perfect film. It could be better, still . . .?! There are a number of reasons to see it.

1st. It does give one some understanding of what life was when and where. Some. Total understanding would most likely come, only if one actually lived where and when.

2nd. Well, one can understand why it was rated R. It does give one some understanding of the horrors of war. Again some. Total understanding again would most likely come, only if one was actually there.

3rd. It does cover Reconstruction. At least up to 1876. A period of time that is not covered that much, at least, in comparison to the War.

It is the little things that make and unmake a film.

Fix bayonets.
There have been scholars that have studied the cause of deaths and wounds during the War, and, at least, some of the studies have shown, that few, for various reasons, of the deaths and wounds were caused by bayonets.

While I  can understand why it was done this way to show that nearly every person shot was killed instantly. That was not the case. Most of the people shot in the battle would survive the initial shooting. Only to die later or to survive the wound, and with medicine the way it was at that time, those that died were probably the lucky ones.

How do we know that the Knights were relatively prosperous for that time and place?
Their windows actually had glass in them.

Let George do it.

There are always questions.

Is history always inevitable? Could something have been done at that time to change the course of history? And if it had changed, would be better or worst off?

What would I do, if I lived at that time and place? Really. I have no idea as to the answer to that question.

Every time I see something like this set in the past, or read something, either fiction or non-fiction, I always ask myself, why mankind has not managed to wipe himself off the face of the earth.

Miscellaneous

This is not the 1st story to cover the Free State of Jones. "Tap Roots," both the book and the film upon which it was based, told the same story. The most notable fact about the film, besides the fact that it stars Van Heflin, is that Boris Karloff plays an Indian in the film. Not that far off, as Karloff was part Indian. Though, not a native American Indian in the film, but . . .?! an Asian Indian, which is why he took the name of Karloff. An exotic name to go with a somewhat exotic appearance. Though, his brother ne'er seemed to have any trouble with his appearance, having a long and distinguished career in the British foreign service under the family name of Platt.

And as many films I have seen, which is in the hundreds, it ne'er ceases to amaze me how much work and how many talented people it takes to make a film.

Next time: I mean to see either "BFG" or "The Legend of Tarzan" on Independence Day, which I failed to do. Thus, I'll try to see one of them this weekend.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 13, 2016, 08:58:12 AM
SWISS ARMY MAN (2016): Stranded on an island alone, a suicidal man is saved when a magical farting corpse washes ashore, and he's able to adapt the body into a jet ski, water fountain, gun, and eventually, therapist. The absurd minimalist premise grows stranger and more interesting as the film progresses (though it arguably laps itself at the end). Sort of a hallucinatory expansion of the scenes between Tom Hanks and his volleyball in CASTAWAY informed by Ben Franklin's "Fart Proudly." 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 18, 2016, 10:44:28 AM
AS THE GODS WILL: A series of toys/figurines (e.g. daruma doll, "beckoning cat") based on Japanese dieties come to life and put high school students through a series of deadly elimination contests. Followers of gory Japanese madness will appreciate Takashi Miike's superior effort packed with exploding teen heads, creative monsters, satisfying riddles, and wild black comedy. 3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 19, 2016, 11:39:45 AM
From the Fantasia Film Festival

EYES OF MY MOTHER (2016): A young girl on an isolated farm grows up alone, and very twisted, after her parents predecease her. This black and white serial killer character study is doomed to falls between audiences: it's too slow and somber for the average horror fan, but too grisly and disturbing for all but the most adventurous of art-house patrons. 3/5. 

THE WAILING (2016): A black magic plague hits a small Korean village, and a cowardly police sergeant finds himself in the center of the maelstrom when his young daughter becomes one of the victims. An exotic EXORCIST at an epic length (2.5 hours), patient audiences will find much to savor here, especially Kwak Do-won's leading role, which starts out in comedy and ends up in tragedy. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 20, 2016, 09:28:21 AM
THE LURE (2015): In this unique Polish fairytale-horror-musical, two mermaids come to the surface and become the headliners at a burlesque disco. The message here is clear: don't date a bisexual singing stripper killer mermaid, it will only end in heartbreak (or worse). 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: WingedSerpent on July 20, 2016, 09:19:15 PM
Saw the new Tazan movies.  It was mediocre at best. 


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 21, 2016, 10:54:30 AM
More from Fantasia Fest:

MOMOTARO: SCARED SAILORS: In this Japanese propaganda film from 1945 anthropomorphic animals work together on the home front supporting the military, who plan to retake a Pacific island from the Allies with paratroopers. How can you rate something like this? It's a complete curiosity, one of Japan's earliest animated films with a style and quality comparable to early Walt Disney; it's mild and idyllic until the cute little bears and monkeys grab bayonets and capture a cowardly Popeye. 3/5 for the curiosity factor.

THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK (2016):A man hides out in the woods, practicing ancient alchemical rituals from an old book, intending to summon a demon to make him rich. Ty Hickson, onscreen for the entire movie, acting opposite a cat, does a good job in a tough role, but the scenes when his worldly cousin Amari Cheatom shows up to deliver food, medicine and chemicals really sparkle and make you wish director Joel Potrykus has indulged his Tarantino-esque ear for dialogue in a two-person scenario. 2.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 23, 2016, 05:04:30 PM
THE GREASY STRANGLER (2016): A repulsive old man and his son run a rip-off disco tour in LA; the grease-obsessed father is secretly a killer known as the Greasy Strangler, and when his son falls for a nice lady, he feels the need to take her for himself. This sicko comedy is grotesque, off-putting, and totally amoral; it's got a lot of balls (literally) but no heart. Hard to recommend to general audiences, but what it does, it does with unapologetic greasy verve, and if you want to see a John Waters movie done with Tim and Eric's sense of humor, this is your only choice. 3.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 24, 2016, 02:16:22 PM
The BFG

From the novel of the same title by Roald Dahl.

I have only see 2 or 3 of the many films based on the works of Dahl. Though, that is more films than of his books I have read, which is 0. He's never been my cup of tea. Though, I did enjoy this movie well enough.

The title character was one of the more interesting film characters I have come across, as he was trapped between the world of the Beings (or us) and the world of the Giants, of which, he was one.

Still, he had more choice as to what happened to him, then Sophie, the little girl in the film, who had no choice as to what happened to her, and I can hardly think of a worst fate, then being without choice in your life.

A surprising amount of depth in the film. For when has 2 people not gone to war, because they perceived each other as being different. But . . .?! Still . . .?! Two people can put aside their differences and work together for the common good.

Though, the most surprising thing I found in the film was the amount of humor in it, which I quite enjoyed.

A Spielberg film, and, while the Company has distributed other of Spielberg's films, this is the 1st that he has made--apparently--for them directly. And we will see how long this relationship lasts. Though, there is a rumor in Hollywood, that he is somewhat unhappy at how he and his films have been treated by his previous studio Universal/NBC/Comcast.

Next time: who knows?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 24, 2016, 03:51:44 PM
PSYCHONAUTS, THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN (2015):An animated fable about an island inhabited by animals living in a society on the verge of anarchy after an industrial accident has wrecked the economy; a young girl, Dinky, seeks to run away and escape the island with a pair of friends, while Birdboy self-medicates with hallucinatory drugs. A feature-length version of the award-winning short "Birdboy," this is beautiful, heartfelt animation with funny characters (a talking alarm clock, piggy bank and inflatable duck) but not-for-kids themes of drug abuse and economic despair. This movie doesn't have US distribution yet but I sure hope it finds some, it's probably my favorite new movie at the Fantasia Festival. 4.5/5.  


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: FatFreddysCat on July 24, 2016, 06:07:28 PM
Took my now-9-year-old to see "The Secret Life of Pets" yesterday as his birthday gift. It was his first time in a movie theater. Had a blast. It was also my first time in a theater since 2007 - the week my son was born! At that time I took his older brother (who was about 5 at the time) to see Disney's "Underdog."

...hopefully next time I attend a theatrical showing the movie won't have talking animals in it. :D


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 25, 2016, 02:17:37 PM
THE HOLY FLAME OF THE MARTIAL WORLD (1983): Two orphans seek revenge on their parent's murderers, which can only be accomplished by attaining the yin and yang Holy Flame swords. Bonkers kung fu/fantasy action with English-speaking mummies, pink and blue cartoon ghosts, and a killer laugh (literally); delivers all the non-stop mania you hope from in a Shaw Brothers show. I feel lucky to have seen this on a big screen. 4/5.

IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX (2015): This porno-pastiche stitches together (non-hardcore) scenes from dozens of adult movies from the 70s to the 90s (and, for some reason, SAMURAI COP) with comic overdubbing to create a science fiction story about aliens making Earthlings horny (in preparation for an invasion, I guess). The clips---which include robot-controlled dildos, lactating Power Rangers, and Mr. Spock getting it on, among other sexy absurdities---can be hilarious, and I would have been happy to see a curated collection of such snippets. The WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILLY?-styled story, however, is lame and juvenile (characters named "General Willy" and spaceships dubbed "Foreskin Five" are typical jokes), on the other hand, and I could have done without them---they're nothing more than an unneeded excuse to enjoy clips that would generally be plenty hilarious without them. 2.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: indianasmith on July 25, 2016, 08:07:24 PM
Still under the weather today, although at least not having to be taken to the ER in raving delirium!
Anyway, I've watched 3 movies today:

JURASSIC WORLD - Wonderful reboot of the classic 90's franchise, the dinosaur effects are great and the Indominus Rex is a ferocious antagonist for humans and prehistoric reptiles alike! 5/5

CATHOLIC GHOULGIRLS - Three foulmouthed, hard drinking Catholic schoolgirls (moment of confusion - I thought girls got a new blouse every year, but these "teens" were stuffed into blouses that might have fit them in 2nd grade?? What's up with that?) try to survive the zombie apocalypse with their boyfriends.  Zero budget, zero talent, bad lighting, bad editing, so much glorious badness!!!
1/5 regular movie scale, 4/5 bad movie scale

And then there was . . .
THE BEWITCHING - This was a softcore film masquerading as a horror film.  Seriously, cut out all the sex and nudity and the movie's runtime is reduced to less than 15 minutes.    Basically, a witch travels to the mortal world to seduce mortal souls, which is strictly forbidden, and her coven sisters and mistress come after her to bring her to heel and free the men she has ensnared.  Hard to believe a movie with this much nudity could be so boring. 2/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 26, 2016, 10:36:11 AM
ATMO HORROX (2016): An "experimental satire" with avant-garde visuals and no comprehensible dialogue, focusing largely on the stalking activities of a monster wearing pantyhose with sweetgum seeds stuck on it over his face and sporting a plume of phallic balloons jutting from his crotch. Plotwise, the film completely baffling, although a theme of society's overindulgence in prescription drugs is apparent. When your movie is weirder than I like them, you know you're in some rarefied air indeed. There is a tiny niche audience for this; hopefully they can find it. 1/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 10, 2016, 09:04:39 AM
FINDING DORY: A fish with very early onset Alzheimer's is lost in the ocean for years and tries to find her way back to her home and parents with the assistance of the characters from FINDING NEMO, a "septopus," and other colorful aquatic anthromorphs. There are four great things about this movie: the fast-moving plot, the cute sea creatures, the excellent animation, and I forgot the other one. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 10, 2016, 12:56:22 PM
FINDING DORY: A fish with very early onset Alzheimer's is lost in the ocean for years and tries to find her way back to her home and parents with the assistance of the characters from FINDING NEMO, a "septopus," and other colorful aquatic anthromorphs. There are four great things about this movie: the fast-moving plot, the cute sea creatures, the excellent animation, and I forgot the other one. 4.5/5.

If I may add to the list, then here are 4 more great things about the movie.

1st. "All good things comes to he who waits." "Finding Dory" comes some 13 years after "Finding Nemo."

2nd. The improvement in animation over that time. There are things, such as the movement of the plants in the ocean, that the animators wanted to do originally, but . . .?! could not, as the animation was not yet that developed.

3rd. The truck hijacking, with the music of Louis Armstrong in the background. One of the funniest scenes I have seen in an animated film in some time.

4th. And there is almost always a reason to stay around till after the credits. Gill and the other denizens of the aquarium in the dentist's office put in an appearance at the end.

Actually, there are 5.

5th. John Ratzenberger voices the character of the male crab Bill. "Wait a minute here! They're just using the same actor over and over! What kind of cut rate production is this!"

I am glad you enjoyed it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Kooshmeister on August 12, 2016, 07:43:48 AM
The new Ghostbusters, finally. I quite liked it.  :teddyr:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 24, 2016, 08:51:41 AM
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS: Accompanied by a monkey and a samurai beetle-man, a young boy seeks his father's magical armor while fleeing from his maternal grandfather and aunts, who want to take his remaining eye. Another Laika studio production that makes a refreshing change of pace from the Pixar/Disney formula---stories that are more exotic and epic, with the comic relief dialed back a couple of notches. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on August 24, 2016, 04:13:13 PM
Pete's Dragon (2016)
A remake of the 1977 film.

2016
Texas born and bred.
The writer is a Texan.
The director is a Texan.
The composer is a Texan.

And the cinematographer was from Montenegro.
Montenegro.
At times it has been part of . . .
the Roman Empire
the Byzantine Empire
the Ottoman Empire
Yugoslavia
and now it is an independent nation once more.

Starring Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Robert Redford.

From little acorns mighty Oakes are grown. Though, he stands only 1.5 meters tall. He is busy for the rest of this year (2016) and next year (2017) as he has 3 films in post-production. And not the youngest of the Oakes, as he has a little bro.

The Howards. Keeping it in the family. Her father is Ron Howard. Her mother is actress Cheryl Alley Howard. Her uncle is Clint Howard. Her grandparents are both actors Rance and Jean Howard. And she has an younger sister Paige who is also an actress.

Robert Redford. If not the last, then one of the last male superstars still active as an actor in Hollywood. 80 years old this month (August.) He does not look a day past 79. Making his TV debut in 1960 and his film debut 5 years later in 1965.

One of the better remakes I have seen, as they almost totally reversed everything from the 1977 film.

Time
1977: the past. Over 100 years ago.
2016: the present. Today

Location
1977: Maine
2016: Pacific Northwest

Genera
1977: musical comedy
2016: dramatic fantasy

Scares
1977: No
2016: Yes

Dragon
1977: animation
2016: CGI
Not so much in the 1977 film, but . . .?! it surprised me that covering it in fur/hair made it a far warmer character than you see in most reptilian dragons, whether friend or foe.

Afro-Americans in cast
1977: No, or, at least I don't remember any.
2016: Yes, several, including some in prominent roles.
I remember that was one of the complaints about the 1977 film was the lack of Afro-Americans in the cast.

And one of the in-jokes referencing back to the original film, which one can see in the trailer for the 2016 version, is the conversation between the back sheriff and his white deputy, while in pursuit of the dragon. That was the same conversation as Jim Dale and Red Buttons had in the 1977 film.

Next time: the animated Moana will be out in Thanksgiving, but . . .?! There'll likely be something before then.





Title: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Jacksondiok on August 30, 2016, 05:41:18 AM
Whats the difference between the US Theatrical and Euro Theatrical?


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 31, 2016, 10:08:36 AM
DON'T THINK TWICE (2016): Five members of an improv comedy team experience jealousy and professional disappointment when one of their members gets signed to the cast of "Saturday Night Weekend Live." You would think a movie about improv would feel less formulaic and planned out than this one; the good news is Keegan-Michael Key shows he can handle a comedy/drama role as deftly as a pure comedy. For some reason I don't really get, this is getting great RT reviews and high IMDB scores, so you might like it better than I did (not that I didn't like it, but it's pretty minor). 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 07, 2016, 08:43:11 AM
HELL OR HIGH WATER: Facing retirement, a Texas Ranger's last assignment is to track down two brothers who are robbing west Texas banks to pay off a debt. Solid storytelling and superior acting by Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine. It's compared to a modern Western, and rightly so, but it reminds me as much of a great classic country song: ordinary and majestic. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 16, 2016, 09:01:10 AM
COMPLETE UNKNOWN: Tom (Michael Shannon) meets a woman (Rachel Weisz) at a party whom he's sure he recognizes from his past, but she's now going by another name and is coy about whether she remembers him. Unlike it's protagonist, this film is very sure about what it is, to the point of being almost condescendingly obvious; I didn't get much out of it. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 21, 2016, 09:04:42 AM
SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU: The story of Barack Obama's first date with future first lady Michelle Robinson; she's a second year associate attorney and he's a new hire at the law firm. The story wisely steers away from explicit political content and instead pitches itself as a generically inspirational romance, focusing on Obama's distinctly American backstory; it's not great, but the fact that they could make a movie concept this odd work at all is sort of a miracle. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on October 02, 2016, 02:32:02 PM
The Magnificent Seven
the 2016 remake

While the 1960 original had better . . . (IMHO)
--writing
--villain
--opening
--music
--direction
--action
--acting

I did think the 2016 had the better . . . (IMHO)
--cinematography, as it had more opportunities to expand its horizon.

And while Denzel Washington is no Yul Brynner, it is hard to believe this is Denzel's 1st western, as he does show what a good actor, and Denzel is a good actor, can do with a role.

Though . . .?! If I had it in my power, I have tossed out the script, and made this into an actual event, just to see how it might have played out in real life.

Still . . .?! I am glad I saw it, as if the trailers that preceded the film were any indication of what was upcoming, we are set for films that are . . .

(a) less realistic
(b) more mind boggling in a negative sense
(c) less interesting
(d) all of the above.
And the race is on to the bottom.

Next time: maybe Queen of Katwe. Though . . .?! It is not playing particularly in my area.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 04, 2016, 09:07:32 AM
MASTERMINDS: A well-meaning but dimwitted security guard is manipulated by a sexy coworker into stealing $17 million from his armored car company, then betrayed after he flees to Mexico. Zach Galifinakis does a nice job as the lovestruck dupe in a mullet, and you'll surely laugh a couple of times. Comes close to being a good movie, but it too frequently it strays from character-based caper comedy into dumb gags (often delivered via montage). 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on October 08, 2016, 11:00:43 PM
Train to Busan 2016

Top of the Korean box office and it's a zombies on a train movie!

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyWuHv2-Abk#)

I had a lot of fun with this one: Entertaining action set pieces and mindless fun enough to not worry about plot holes. This one killed it in the Korean box office and is most certainly going to get a sequel.

Basic plot: Neglectful fund manager dad takes daughter to ex-wife in Busan via the fast train. With hints of an accident at a local biotech facility, just as they leave the station a girl runs into the train, starting off a series of zombie infections throughout the train whilst the cities in Korea all get overwhelmed. People who are on the train need to move through carriages/go to infected stations to try and survive the zombie outbreak on the train and the cities around them.

Great zombie design, interesting world building and the fact that it's on a train for the most part actually makes it quite tense at times. I give it a 4/5, probably the most fun zombie I've seen in a couple of years.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 12, 2016, 08:59:43 AM
Dean: TRAIN TO BUSAN was a hot ticket at Fantasia. I went to see some more under-the-radar movies while it was playing because I thought it would get distribution for sure and I'd be able to catch it later. Plus, zombies, meh.

QUEEN OF KATWE: The true story of Phiona Mutesi, who grows up illiterate in the Ugandan slum of Katwe but is discovered to be a prodigy when she signs up for a church-sponsored chess team. It tugs obvious heartstrings quite effectively, but the tone-perfect portrait of hard life in Katwe provides compensation for the cynic, while still hitting the inspirational notes for the target audience. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 19, 2016, 09:46:05 AM
HARRY AND SNOWMAN: In the mid-1950s Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer pays $80 for Snowman, a plow horse bound for the slaughterhouse; the horse turns out to be a jumping prodigy who will change Harry's life. Low-key, linear, but legitimately heart-tugging documentary. A must for horsefolk. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Newt on October 19, 2016, 10:35:23 AM
HARRY AND SNOWMAN: In the mid-1950s Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer pays $80 for Snowman, a plow horse bound for the slaughterhouse; the horse turns out to be a jumping prodigy who will change Harry's life. Low-key, linear, but legitimately heart-tugging documentary. A must for horsefolk. 3/5.

I envy your access.  Seems it will have very limited screenings in Canada.  Read the book and plan to see the film.  I recommend the book to my students (I am a professional equestrian coach).  It is a simple story that will appeal to horsefolk, as you say.  Inspiring to those of us doing it on a budget.   :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 19, 2016, 12:01:04 PM
HARRY AND SNOWMAN: In the mid-1950s Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer pays $80 for Snowman, a plow horse bound for the slaughterhouse; the horse turns out to be a jumping prodigy who will change Harry's life. Low-key, linear, but legitimately heart-tugging documentary. A must for horsefolk. 3/5.

I envy your access.  Seems it will have very limited screenings in Canada.  Read the book and plan to see the film.  I recommend the book to my students (I am a professional equestrian coach).  It is a simple story that will appeal to horsefolk, as you say.  Inspiring to those of us doing it on a budget.   :wink:


Lots of horsefolk here in KY, I think that's why it played here.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on October 26, 2016, 01:16:40 PM
MISS HOKUSAI (2015): Anime biopic on the life of Katsushika O-Ei, daughter of famous Japanese painter Hokusai; she's almost as devoted to painting as her famous father, but constantly feels inferior and knows she will never be as great as he is. Heavily episodic without much in the way of growth or development, but colorful splashes of the supernatural and dream sequences that recreate famous Japanese prints help the way across some dry spots. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 02, 2016, 10:09:40 AM
DON'T BREATHE: Three teenage burglars break into a blind Iraq war veterans home to rob him, but discover the old coot is more dangerous than they expected when he locks them in and turns off the lights. Remorseless and full of wrinkles. Hard to believe this was directed by the same guy who brought us the lame EVIL DEAD reboot, but it just goes to show you the power of original material. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on November 04, 2016, 12:35:50 AM
DON'T BREATHE: Three teenage burglars break into a blind Iraq war veterans home to rob him, but discover the old coot is more dangerous than they expected when he locks them in and turns off the lights. Remorseless and full of wrinkles. Hard to believe this was directed by the same guy who brought us the lame EVIL DEAD reboot, but it just goes to show you the power of original material. 4/5.

I really like Fede Alvarez. Even the Evil Dead reboot wasn't horrible in my opinion. The only thing I thought was lacking in Don't Breathe was a bit of a lack of proper character development (beyond Jane Levy and even then it stretched that a bit) plus the whole angle it ended up going in verged on a bit 'on the nose' in regards to that one strapped up scene. Still it was really well shot and nicely tense for a film with only a few people in it. I look forward to seeing what he can do with the news he may be tapped to direct a Girl with a Dragon Tattoo sequel.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Dark Alex on November 04, 2016, 03:48:22 AM
Dr Strange. Marvel's latest superhero offering. Had to do some persuading to get Kristi to go see it, but in the end she did and enjoyed it. Tilda Swinton kept giving me the impression her character had a really impish sense of humour and I kept expecting her to do something a bit childish and silly. Decent film, ticked the right boxes for me but nothing game changing.

Basically if you've enjoyed the other Marvel movies you'll enjoy this one too. If not, then give it a miss.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 11, 2016, 10:35:36 AM
DR. STRANGE: An arrogant physician discovers he is a magical prodigy (and defender of the universe) after seeking help from a mystical cult to cure his damaged hands. Marvel's most visually spectacular movie, with psychedelic-hued neural universes and fast-folding Escher cityscapes; it's nothing special plotwise, but it is a solid spectacle. Every time I think Marvel is finished, they pull out another success; but I do think this is their last franchisable character, and the future holds little besides lame crossovers (one of which was hinted at in the post-credits). 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 26, 2016, 04:57:11 PM
Moana

Action
Again why some of the best action sequences are not in your live action films, but in you animated films. I doubt if one can get something as humorous and as exciting as the coconut pirates in a live action film. And while not as humorous, the climatic action sequence between the villain and our heroes is probably best done again not in a live action film, but in an animated film.
 
Eyebrows
When Maui 1st appears, watch his eyebrows. Do they remind you of anyone?

Inside jokes
I imagine there were a mess of them. Probably more than I caught. The 1st one was probably the best definition of a Disney princess you are going to find in any film--Disney or non-Disney. The 2nd one was, and a reason to stay to after the credits, was the one after the credits. The one everyone else missed, because they already left the theater.

Islands
What I couldn't figure out was whether the islands portrayed in the film were based on actual islands in the Pacific, or were they totally fictional?

Maui
Probably one of the most rounded heroes in a Disney animated film.
He touches both your funny bone and your heart -- both braggart and man of his word -- both feeling and unfeeling -- both hero and coward -- both thoughtful and thoughtless.

The villain
A hero is only as good as the villain he or she faces. I won't say too much about the villain, as not to give too much away, but among animated films Disney has had some of the best, dating back to the days of old Peg leg and the Big Bad Wolf, and this is no exception.

And, yeah, I enjoyed it.






Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on November 29, 2016, 08:25:47 AM
The Magnificent Seven
the 2016 remake

While the 1960 original had better . . . (IMHO)
--writing
--villain
--opening
--music
--direction
--action
--acting

I did think the 2016 had the better . . . (IMHO)
--cinematography, as it had more opportunities to expand its horizon.

And while Denzel Washington is no Yul Brynner, it is hard to believe this is Denzel's 1st western, as he does show what a good actor, and Denzel is a good actor, can do with a role.

Though . . .?! If I had it in my power, I have tossed out the script, and made this into an actual event, just to see how it might have played out in real life.

Still . . .?! I am glad I saw it, as if the trailers that preceded the film were any indication of what was upcoming, we are set for films that are . . .

(a) less realistic
(b) more mind boggling in a negative sense
(c) less interesting
(d) all of the above.
And the race is on to the bottom.

Next time: maybe Queen of Katwe. Though . . .?! It is not playing particularly in my area.



Mom liked it. That is good enough for me and she preferred it to the original.  :smile:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on November 29, 2016, 08:29:41 AM
Skiptrace with Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville.

(http://www.joblo.com/newsimages1/skiptrace-cb1.jpg)

I have absolutely no idea what they're trying to do here - blowing pigs up?  :buggedout: - but I enjoyed it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on November 30, 2016, 09:31:33 AM
MONANA: Defying her parents, an island princess sails off to find a mischievous trickster demigod to help save her home. Once again, Disney successfully tweaks their formula with this Polynesian themed winner that features unique sidekicks (a particularly dumb chicken, an impudent tattoo) and adversaries (coconut pirates, a giant singing crab). Like BSK, I liked it. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 14, 2016, 09:57:37 AM
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA: An angry, underachieving janitor returns to his hometown to face personal ghosts after his brother dies, leaving him to care for his fifteen-year-old nephew. An actors movie; Casey Affleck broods a dream. 3.5/5.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS: An art gallery dealer (Amy Adams) receives a draft of a new novel from her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal); the story concerns a man whose family is kidnapped, and she thinks it's an allegory for their marriage. Both the framing story and the story-inside-the-story are good, though neither has a knockout ending; more assets than debits here, though, including a Lynchian atmosphere, a harrowing abduction scene, and Michael Shannon as a stoic West Texas police detective. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Ticonderoga 64 on December 18, 2016, 07:58:47 PM
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY(2016)

Pretty cool prologue to Episode IV: A New Hope, details of just how the Rebel Alliance got ahold of those Death Star plans in the first place. Nice use of some old characters here and great to see Darth Vader as a villain one more time. :smile:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on December 28, 2016, 09:56:31 AM
LA LA LAND: Struggling actress meets and falls for struggling jazz musician in this old-style musical set in L.A. Predictable beats, but played in a vintage style with a refreshing lack of irony; impressive choreography, especially in the highly effective bittersweet climax. 4.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 04, 2017, 01:00:05 PM
ROGUE ONE: A ragtag band of rebels steal the plans for the Death Star in this prequel to the original STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. This standalone film departs from the standard STAR WARS formula by about 25%; just as Lucas' original was based on Kurosawa's THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, there's a certain SEVEN SAMURAI feel to this one. It doesn't take as much advantage of its opportunity to expand the universe and break from its cliches as it could, but it is a welcome diversion. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on January 04, 2017, 06:37:29 PM
ROGUE ONE: A ragtag band of rebels steal the plans for the Death Star in this prequel to the original STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. This standalone film departs from the standard STAR WARS formula by about 25%; just as Lucas' original was based on Kurosawa's THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, there's a certain SEVEN SAMURAI feel to this one. It doesn't take as much advantage of its opportunity to expand the universe and break from its cliches as it could, but it is a welcome diversion. 3.5/5.

The final scenes especially with Vader were terrific, but the script seemed a bit bogged down with some useless exposition.

A few notes (with spoilers):

Great that every main cast member got to have an emotional beat in the movie that covered their different personalities/motivations well (for an action adventure at least).

Forest Whitaker severely overacted in a role that seems like it was largely left on the cutting room floor. His role in the film was mostly useless and could have been tightened up. Either expand on his relationship with Jyn and develop how she became a rebellious sort in the first place (which needed fleshing out anyway beyond being imprisoned at the start) or just have a scene where they have to rescue the pilot from some bounty hunters or something without the emotional connections so you can move things along a bit quicker.

Decent villain whose main character traits and emotional plot lines are mostly absent because they were fleshed out in a novel set before this movie. I'm not annoyed by that but it just means that the excellent Ben Mendelsohn doesn't get enough 'scowl on screen' time that I would have preferred.

CGI Tarkin was an interesting one: I think that the concept of digitizing a dead actor to be a fascinating experiment (and somewhat pertinent given Carrie Fisher's untimely death and how that affects future films) but if I'm perfectly honest they should have just cast Charles Dance and then been given the option to have proper dialogue instead of shoe-horning old footage/audio into a film.

Vader had a terrible pun but makes up for it by going ballistic at the end. That actually gave me chills and I would actually watch a movie of him just flat out destroying people, which would be much better at showing how terrifying he is to the people in the Star Wars universe.

Overall I enjoyed it a bit better than Force Awakens, largely due to an original, albeit a bit paint by numbers, plot.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on January 25, 2017, 01:34:39 PM
20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2016): In 1979, a single mother asks two women, a feminist punk boarder and a promiscuous high school friend, to help her raise her son. Stuck a bit in the characters-in-search-of-a-story genre, but excellent acting and good humor make for an entertaining two-hour dramedy. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on February 15, 2017, 10:39:23 AM
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017): Batman (the Lego version) must deal with the Joker's new league of supervillains, a new female commissioner of Gotham City with an anti-vigilante platform, the orphan he accidentally adopted, and most of all his own obstinant sense of self-reliance. An excellent extra-canonical Batcomedy; it's self-aware, sort of like an all-ages DEADPOOL, but sweet, funny, and with a likable protagonist. 4/5 (could go higher).


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 15, 2017, 08:48:17 AM
LOGAN (2017): In 2029 mutants have been virtually eliminated, and the borderline alcoholic former Wolverine hides out working as Uber driver; he takes on one last mission when a woman pays him to escort a young girl with mutant powers to the Canadian border. Dark, brutal, and elegiac, a fitting end to Marvel's gruffest superhero. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on March 22, 2017, 03:38:37 PM
JOHN WICK (2017): John Wick wants to retire from being the world's best assassin but they keep pulling him back in, so he kills about 100 of the world's greatest hit men, but more keep coming because in this world about 10% of the population is composed of assassins. There's a good idea here about the structure and laws of the criminal underworld and its neutral zone hotels in major cities and the action sequences are lively, but the whole thing is so absurd, over-the-top and cliched that it can only be taken as a comedy---and I didn't laugh enough to recommend. Everyone else seems to love how dumb and violent it is, though. 2.5/5


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on March 26, 2017, 06:46:09 PM
JOHN WICK (2017): John Wick wants to retire from being the world's best assassin but they keep pulling him back in, so he kills about 100 of the world's greatest hit men, but more keep coming because in this world about 10% of the population is composed of assassins. There's a good idea here about the structure and laws of the criminal underworld and its neutral zone hotels in major cities and the action sequences are lively, but the whole thing is so absurd, over-the-top and cliched that it can only be taken as a comedy---and I didn't laugh enough to recommend. Everyone else seems to love how dumb and violent it is, though. 2.5/5

Was that the original that came out in 2014 or the sequel that just came out? In any case, I enjoyed the first as a somewhat off-the-beaten-path actioner. Reminded me of a better done version of Smokin' Aces. Worth noting that the directors are stunt-men and it shows in the way they structure the action. Also of note is the new film by one of them, Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron which looks like an almost carbon copy of Wick, style wise, and the other director being tapped to do the Highlander remake...


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on March 28, 2017, 03:55:16 PM
A film is only a film. That is not what interests me so much. What really interests me is what it inspires and co-conspires. Thus, here is . . .
Beauty and the Beast.

SWF
What it took me by surprise, is that the appeal crosses all boundaries.
Single
also couples. Both married and non-married.
White
and non-whites. Which really is not much of a surprise. Ugly. Forgotten. By others. As I presume some non-whites see themselves as the Beast. And then there is the message of judge me not on my parents. Judge me on myself.
Female
and males. Both younger and older. and like non-whites, I presume some see themselves as the Beast. With the hope that a woman can see past the exterior Beast to the Prince in the interior.

If I got that wrong. I did get the next right.

Success
success  breeds success. And you have people both before and behind the camera, or more likely their agents, going to . . .
Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucas Films, House of Mouse (take your pick.) and saying . . . and here is an example from Marvel Studios. one of many.
"My client [Rachel McAdams] would like to do a film for you. What do you have?"--"Well, we do have this film called 'Dr. Strange,' and we'd like for your client to portray the title character's love interest."

Critic proof
I am sure there are critics that like the film. The majority of critics may even like the film, but if you look at those critics who dislike the film, you realize that they just don't get it. As to the why, one reason may be that it is an extremely old fashioned. It may have been released in 2017, but it would not look out of place if it had been released 50/60 years ago.

Boycott proof
If this is the 1st PG-rated film with a gay character, then the House of Mouse, which is normally ahead of the pack, is way behind the ball on this one. I was going to say that there had been homosexuals in films since the '30's, except, that there were gay themed films being made even before that.  All the way back to the days of silent films. And while I am not surprised by the boycott, which seems to have no effect so far, what surprises me is the strong backlash to the call of the boycott. And while I have not seen all the arguments on both sides of the issue, I know the ones calling for a boycott are being called out for being hypocrites on the subject.

Best
Normally, I pay no attention to the box office, but I just happened to stumble on the fact that Beauty and the Beast set a record or was 2nd in one day total box office for a film released in March. Which got me to thinking. This year the Academy picked Moonlight as last year's best film. Except, even when Moonlight went into general released it earned only a fraction of what Beauty and the Beast earned in one day. Even four months later, Moonlight has earned less than half at the box office of what Beauty and the Beast earned that 1st day. Thus, what is really the Best film. The one declared Best by the Academy, but which few want to see, relatively speaking or a film that a lot of people want to see, but is unlikely to be picked by the Academy as the Best film of 2017 or even nominated as one of the best films.

Next time: actually, Beauty and the Beast is not that uninteresting. Thus, we'll take up the film in and of itself.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on March 30, 2017, 08:16:20 AM

Ghost in the Shell:

I wanna like it. I really do. And I don't hate it. Visually it's pretty stunning, but take that away and what you're left with is some mild contemplative moments, lazy expositional dialogue and a general malaise that somehow takes longer than the original but has less to say. All the best 'recreations' from the original are washed down versions without much consequence, and there are a few moments that had no point in this, except either to be in the trailer or panicked attempt to smooth over the whitewashing controversy.

Overall I think you'd like it more if you didn't have a connection to the originals and I do admit there a few moments in this where it seemed like some thought had been put into it, but pacing wise it just seemed to rush over moments it should have delved into more and held too long onto too much 'and now I'm hacking the hotel system', 'now i'm doing this other things,' type dialogue which really would have excised almost a third of this film.

Biggest sin I noticed: IN the opening credits they show Ghost in the Shell twice and it confused the hell out of me.

Seen in 3d (which was actually good) in a cinema that had about a dozen people in it on it's opening day.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: alandhopewell on March 31, 2017, 02:23:16 PM
LOGAN (2017): In 2029 mutants have been virtually eliminated, and the borderline alcoholic former Wolverine hides out working as Uber driver; he takes on one last mission when a woman pays him to escort a young girl with mutant powers to the Canadian border. Dark, brutal, and elegiac, a fitting end to Marvel's gruffest superhero. 4/5.

     Trace and I went to see this, and were deeply disappointed; crude, overly gory, and overly profane.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 05, 2017, 03:09:21 PM
Actually, I find Beauty and the Beast interesting. One of the most interesting films I have seen in some time. I just like to run things thru the big picture. Thus, here is some of the things I find interesting.

Tropes. there be Tropes then there be Tropes
Here is one that I can date from more than 50 years ago. As what is ugly on the outside may be beautiful on the inside, and what is beautiful on the outside may be ugly on the inside.
Widowers
Contrary to fact, there are more widowers in films than widows. And this film adds 2 more to the list.
And one of my favorites, where someone, knowing that they may die,  finally expresses their true feelings to someone, because sometimes you have to say something to someone, ere you die. And there is a good example of this in the film.

Questions
And one not answered by the film. If I was in a similar situation as Belle in the film, how long would it be to I went mad.

Obvious. sometimes is not Obvious
If we know Le Fou is suppose to be the 1st canonical character who is gay, then the clues are there. If we do not know this, then the clues are still there, but they may not be that obvious. Again it may not be that obvious, but Le Fou seems to be not the only gay character in the village.

Music
I am so fond of the songs in the original animated version, I did not think that any new songs would equal this, but I was really fond of the new song Days of Summer.

Motivations
As pointed out, the motivations here are more plausible than in the animated version. Including the gay Le Fou. And the villagers. While you cannot condone their motivations, the film does make their motivations clearer.

Interesting. very Interesting
The Prince
Actually, comes off as less of a racist, than the villagers in the film. For if one looks closely there are more non-white characters, both as guests and servants, at the beginning of the film in the palace than there is in the village.
Handsome is as Handsome does.
I think the Prince looks better at the end of the film, his natural look, than he does at the beginning of the film, where he is covered in powder and paint.
Time and Distance
The distance between the village and the time it takes to get there, seemingly varies from scene to scene.
Guests
No guests were harmed in the pursuit of the curse. Seemingly, unlike the servants and the prince, allowed to escape the palace not cursed.

Emotions (IMHO)
The joys are more joyful than in the animated film.
The scares are scarier than in the animated film.
The sorrows are more sorrowful than in the animated film.
And the tragedy is more tragic than in the animated film.
Not only do the servants come across as being tragic characters, being caught up in something they had little to do with, but so does the prince, whose punishment seems to exceed his crime.

Characters
The priest
Accidentally or deliberately, comes across, excluding Maurice, as being not only the one truly educated man in the village, but also seemingly the only non-white man in the village.
Gaston
A more rounded character than in the animated, version going from a likable fool to a mean spirited fool. Which is just the opposite of the direction of the Beast/Prince who goes from mean spirited to more likable.
The fathers
Who take opposite directions in the film, when their wives die. Maurice, Belle's father, who becomes protective of Belle, while the prince's father, and there are hints to this, becomes abusive (emotionally? mentally? physically? sexually? or all 4) of the prince.
Enchantress
Who has a bigger part than in the animated version, and who may also be the village spinster in an alternate life.

Casting
Again impeccable and exemplary w/ a surprise in every film. Who'd have thought that Kevin Kline would do such a good job as Maurice. Not I.

Next time: possible winners and losers







Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on April 08, 2017, 08:46:31 AM
a giant singing crab.
I've had those.... Oops :wink:


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 12, 2017, 08:56:47 AM
YOUR NAME (2016): Two teenage strangers randomly and periodically swap bodies, but encounter difficulties trying to locate each other in real life in this romantic anime fantasy. Likable characters, quality animation, and just when the body-swapping possibilities seem exhausted, the script throws in an unforeseen twist that raises the stakes. at least one critic is sugesting a possible Oscar nomination. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 13, 2017, 03:08:02 PM
As I posted earlier, (IMHO) there were winners and losers from the success of Beauty and the Beast.

1st Winners

Emma Watson
Who earned an average of $7 and a half million a film, when she appeared as Hermione in the Harry Potter series, will most likely take in twice that playing Belle in this film. $3 million upfront + $12 million in profit sharing, when the box office total passes $750 million, as it has already.

Halloween costume makers
I can see a lot of little Belles this Halloween. For boys, more of a guess. The Beast is a little too complicated. I see, if boys dress up as a character from the film, it is more likely to be Gaston.

House of Mouse
Likely to surpass $1 billion in the international box office, which would mean that since the 1st billion $ earner at the box office,  o'er half of them have come from the House of Mouse, like this one, or its subsidiaries.

Musicals
Normally, with the success of this one, you'd likely see more musicals, but they are extremely hard to do and extremely hard to do cheaply, so it is extremely hard for them to turn a profit. Thus, most musicals, like this one, will be from the House of Mouse, who will continue to turn their animated films into live action. Though, I do expect to see, as it is so popular and critically acclaimed, to see a film version of Hamilton : an American Musical.

Theaters
The demand was so great, that 1st week it was out, that they had to add extra showings to meet the demand.

2nd Losers

Some of the competition that came out, when Beauty and the Beast was playing.
Both Power Rangers and Ghost in a Shell were expected to spawn sequels, which have since been canceled, when they underperformed at the box office, due somewhat to Beauty and the Beast.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: dean on April 14, 2017, 07:05:51 AM


Some of the competition that came out, when Beauty and the Beast was playing.
Both Power Rangers and Ghost in a Shell were expected to spawn sequels, which have since been canceled, when they underperformed at the box office, due somewhat to Beauty and the Beast.



Can't speak to Power Rangers, but I gotta say I'm sad that Ghost in the Shell didn't spawn a sequel, but am also not surprised because it really was mostly a 'meh' film and that can't be good for a film with the budget it had.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 19, 2017, 08:40:41 AM
KEDI (2016): Documentary on the stray cats of Istanbul, whom are treated like communal pets by the citizens. A soothing watch, although an hour was enough for me; the crazy cat lady in your life will lap this up like milk in a saucer. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 26, 2017, 07:09:26 PM
TONI ERDMAN (2016): A father given to (awkward) practical jokes visits his nearly-estranged workaholic daughter in Bucharest; instead of leaving when planned, he stays around posing (in a wig) as life coach Toni Erdmann, inserting himself into her work life. Fine acting by the two principals portraying characters who are more likable and believable than the synopsis makes it sound; I can see Hollywood remaking this as a comedy. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on April 29, 2017, 03:31:13 PM
Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2 : the trailer

I did want to get this up, before I saw the film next month. As I don't buy my tickets ahead of time, but only on the day that I see the film, I'll probably see it in its 2nd week of release, as there is some expectation that it'll have the biggest opening week box office on record, at least here in the U.S.,  surpassing even the latest Fast and Furious, which holds the record so far.

Surprise and surprise
We already know what the actors can do, as we saw most of them in the 1st film, but, those who have seen the film in its entirety, says the surprise performance comes from Michael Rooker as Yondu, who it is said gives an extraordinary performance in his role. "Yondu can fondue. Can you?" The surprise for me, what little I have seen of it, is Kurt Russell as Peter's father Ego. One of those actors, who I'd never have chosen for the role.

Imitation and Flattery
I don't think before the Guardians of the Galaxy had I ever seen a trailer that had an song not written for the film playing over the trailer. Now it seems like every other trailer had this. The latest I have seen and heard is the trailer for the latest in the Kings man series of films: Kings man : the Golden Circle, which will be out later this year.

DC and Marvel
This is from someone who prefers Marvel to DC, but one thing I think DC has done better than Marvel with DC's Robin, Super boy, Super girl, the Teen Titans, et al, is make use of its teen characters. That may change, and it begins with Aramis Knight as the Boy on Star Lord's ship. Then next year or 2018 we get from Marvel the following series with teen characters on TV or the internet: Cloak and Dagger, the Runaways, and Marvel's New Warriors, which will feature Squirrel Girl and Tippy Toe, Mister Immortal, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Microbe, and Debrii.

And what would a Marvel film be with out a cameo by Stan Lee. This time he apparently appears as Uatu the Watcher.

More on this "goodness," when I see it next month.

At least someone thinks it'll do good business at the box office, as there are already plans for a Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3 in 2020.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 08, 2017, 05:17:49 PM
They earn money the old fashioned way. They make full-length nature documentaries, and they are apparently the last major Hollywood studio to do so.(Warner Brothers did it one year, and that was the 1st and last time, I saw them do it.) And this was the 6th or 7th from the House of Mouse. Each one on a different subject and being releases around the time of Earth Day in April.

This one was Born in China and dealt with 5 types of animals in China: the snow leopard, the quiu antelope, the golden snob nose monkey, the giant panda, and the Chinese crane, as it followed these 5 type of animals thru the 4 seasons and into the spring of the next year.

And if one sees it the 1st week it is released to theaters, part of the box office is donated to some environmental group. This time the money went to the National Wildlife Fund for the conservation of the snow leopard and giant panda in China.

For some reason, there was not one last year or in 2016, but there will be one next year or 2018, and it will deal with life in the sea, especially the dolphin and will be called Dolphins.

And if you see this or any of the others, then stay to the end credits, because while the credits roll, they often focus on the wildlife photographers who make each of these documentaries possible, and it is an international mix of men, who often have to endure 2 types of weather: bad and worst. Who often have to pack in everything they need on their backs, and for whom 1 minute of usable film footage in 24 hours is a good days work.

Next time: excluding Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2, it'll most likely be 5th in the Pirates of the Caribbean series Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is scheduled to be in theaters at the end of this month.





Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 10, 2017, 08:47:03 AM
GRADUATION (2016): A Romanian father will do anything to ensure his daughter gets a scholarship to Cambridge and a better life; the goal becomes more difficult when she's assaulted on her way to final exams. Lots of threads here---Romeo's complex family life, the assault investigation, his attempt to navigate the local network of favor-trading, and a mysterious stalker. Unfortunately, even after more than two hours, there are still loose ends, but the movie does paint an effectively depressing portrait of modern Romania as a land of petty corruption. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 24, 2017, 10:05:01 AM
BAAHUBALI 2 (2017): The hero Baahubali, prince of a mythical Indian kingdom and legendary warrior capable of single-handedly defeating entire armies, seeks a beautiful and virtuous princess for a bride, and finds his throne treacherously taken from him by his jealous brother's lies. At over three hours (with an intermission) it's two movies for the price of one, but it feels like even more: like a grandiose Hollywood epic, like a Hercules movie, and like a Hong Kong wuxia with the most ludicrously impossible fight scenes ever staged, all the while remaining unmistakably Indian (yes, there are musical numbers). It has warts, but it will overwhelm you. There's no need have seen the first entry to enjoy this, the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on May 31, 2017, 09:17:08 AM
A QUIET PASSION (2016): Biopic of Emily Dickinson, following the poet's life as she becomes increasingly withdrawn and struggles with bitterness over her lack of recognition. The main plaudits have been for Cynthia Nixon's performance---and you spend enough time with the frail woman that she (almost alone) manages to overcome the affectation of everyone here talking like they're characters in a 19th century novel rather than real people---but writer/director Terrence Davies' insightful and witty script, full of Austen-esque quips and well-planned readings of Dickinson's poetry, deserves more credit than it is getting. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on May 31, 2017, 05:53:14 PM
Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Men Tell No Tales w/ Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Geoffrey Rush.
Hereafter known as POTC.

The fifth in the series or 1 short of a double trilogy. Will there be a 6th? The after credits scene would seem to suggest that there'll be a 6th film. That depends on how well this film does.

Johnny Depp
Hard to believe that this is the actor same whose motion picture debut was a victim of Freddie Krueger in the 1st Nightmare on Elm Street.

Javier Bardem
Depp may be a star here in the U.S., but in Europe Javier Bardem is the star, which is why in some parts of Europe POTC is subtitled Salazar's Revenge.

Geoffrey Rush
To paraphrase him, as he said: "That it was his role in Shine that got him an Oscar, but it was his role in POTC that got him an audioanimatronic figure in the theme parks and made  him famous."

Looking at the trailers.
The major studios are spacing their major films out at one a week, which squeezes out the smaller studios or reduces the windows of opportunity.

As to what is next in the way of films based on theme park attractions. Back on again is a film based on . . .
The Jungle Cruise with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
The Haunted Mansion directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Next time: Cars 3


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 07, 2017, 09:14:31 AM
WONDER WOMAN (2017): When an American spy crash lands in the ocean near her paradisaical island, Diana, a member of the race of Amazons tasked with protecting the Earth from the corrupting influence of the God of War, leaves her home to try to stop WWI. Gal Gadot is strong and charming, the fight scenes are exciting, and the WWI setting is refreshing. Once its feminist/DC bonus points expire, it will be seen for what it is: an above-average piece of escapism. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 14, 2017, 08:52:49 AM
I, DANIEL BLAKE: After a heart attack, carpenter Daniel Blake befriends a unemployed single mother while navigating an obstructionist British bureaucracy that denies his request for disability payments and requires him to look for work against his cardiologist's orders. It's not the fault of the actors, who do superb work, but I couldn't escape the feeling that I was watching a Labour MP's campaign speech retooled into a movie script. And, although it's almost certainly a moral failing peculiar to me, I nevertheless encounter frequent boredom during long stretches observing the quiet dignity of the struggling poor. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Trevor on June 15, 2017, 03:33:04 AM
There's no need have seen the first entry to enjoy this, the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. 3.5/5.

Sounds good: I always thought the highest grossing Indian film was this:

(https://www.quirkybyte.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/dp-59.jpg)


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 15, 2017, 07:33:21 AM
There's no need have seen the first entry to enjoy this, the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. 3.5/5.


Sounds good: I always thought the highest grossing Indian film was this:

([url]https://www.quirkybyte.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/dp-59.jpg[/url])


I think that may be the correct answer if you adjust for inflation.

It's really hard to believe it isn't this one:

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQnXpV2B1pY#)


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on June 20, 2017, 01:17:08 PM
Cars 3

When animated objects show as much or more emotion than most humans. When animated objects come across as being as human or more human than most humans. Then you know you are seeing one heck of a film.

Another reason to see it, for race fans, is that the filmmakers brought in almost a dozen people associated with racing to voice some of the characters in the film.

Next time: we'll have to see what is showing on the 4th of July, if not then, Spiderman : Homecoming, the weekend after. This is apparently the 6th theatrical Spider-man film, but it'll be the 1st one I've seen.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on June 21, 2017, 09:54:49 AM
IT COMES AT NIGHT (2017): In the near future a plague has wiped out much of humanity, and Paul and his wife and son live in a remote farmhouse; when a man breaks into their home looking for food, they suspiciously take him and his family in while secretly doubting his true intentions. Slow-developing and minimalistic, but multiple levels of paranoia keep the audience engaged. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 05, 2017, 09:37:55 AM
THE HOUSE (2017): Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler start a casino in their wacky loser friend's basement to fund their daughter's college bill. Surprisingly, this is a devastating satire about how rising college costs are deforming the core values of the middle class. Naw, I'm yanking your chain: it's a couple of bankable stars doing journeyman work in a sitcom-pilot quality script that uses some hip grossout violence in a vain attempt to hide its essential lameness. (I take my father out to see one movie a year, and he almost always picks a bad comedy). 1.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: javakoala on July 05, 2017, 12:52:29 PM
THE HOUSE (2017): Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler start a casino in their wacky loser friend's basement to fund their daughter's college bill. Surprisingly, this is a devastating satire about how rising college costs are deforming the core values of the middle class. Naw, I'm yanking your chain: it's a couple of bankable stars doing journeyman work in a sitcom-pilot quality script that uses some hip grossout violence in a vain attempt to hide its essential lameness. (I take my father out to see one movie a year, and he almost always picks a bad comedy). 1.5/5.

You have my sympathies. The minute I saw this film mentioned, I knew the Razzies had another winner on their hands.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 11, 2017, 05:34:53 PM
Nobody does it better than . . . Marvel.

Spider-man : Marvel

My take on the film.

From another Stan Lee LOL! cameo to one of the funniest after credit sequences one will ever see, this film cannot be underestimated. While it is the 1st Spider-man I have seen, it is probably the best Spider-man to date. It is also probably the best Marvel film to date.

Casting. It is all in the casting.  From the hero to the villain ((more on him later) to the character on the Staten Island Ferry, who has only 2 lines, they can cast like nobody's business.

The twist. I have seen any number of twists in films, but this one just hits you between the eyes, and then when you are thinking about it, it comes back and hits you again. Thus, this has to be one of the best twists ever seen in a film. And to make it better, the twist is not overplayed, but treated as a normal event.

A hero is only as good at the villain her or she faces, and who'd have thought that Mr. Mom would make such a great villain. But, then he is one of those actors whose ability you underestimate.

And a villain is only as good as his or her hired help. Thus, it was good to see the helpings get some significant screen time.

And the best element in the film. The human element.

There is probably more than 2 things wrong with the film, but I saw only 2.

1st. While the actor playing Spider-man is younger than the 2 previous actors to play him, he is still too old to play a 15-year-old.

2nd. I don't know whether it was the way the film was projected or
the 3-D glasses I used to see the film or
the film was kept purposely dark in places,
but I had trouble trying to tell what was going on in places.

There will be a sequel in 2 years. There was to be a sequel even before the film grossed, to date, over 1 weekend a box office in the U.S. of over $117 million.

As for what is next, nothing to November to Thor : Ragnarok, which will be my 1st Thor film. Which means I'll be saving some money, as I can't get in and out of a theater without spending at least $20, and that is just for 1 person.  And which will open 2 weeks before DC's Justice League opens. And while the film maybe better than the trailer, from the trailer, it looks like Marvel has yet to have any significant competition from DC.



Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 12, 2017, 08:57:26 AM
THE BIG SICK: A stand-up comic falls for a grad student who comes to his show, but two big problems stand in the way of their happiness: his traditional-minded family insists he marry a Pakistani girl, and the girl falls into a coma after they have a big fight. Even though it's based on a real story, it plays like a well-done formula romantic comedy, with the tweaks coming from the immigrant background and the extended interplay with the potential in-laws (nicely portrayed by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter). 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 21, 2017, 09:08:49 AM
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: The legendary ape leader Caesar swears revenge against a renegade human Colonel, now amassing a private army and using ape slave labor to build fortifications. Par for the course in this rare summer blockbuster set outside the Marvel Universe. They say this is the end of a trilogy but it left plenty of things unresolved and there's room for more stories before Charlton Heston gets back to Earth. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on July 22, 2017, 04:15:58 PM
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: The legendary ape leader Caesar swears revenge against a renegade human Colonel, now amassing a private army and using ape slave labor to build fortifications. Par for the course in this rare summer blockbuster set outside the Marvel Universe. They say this is the end of a trilogy but it left plenty of things unresolved and there's room for more stories before Charlton Heston gets back to Earth. 3/5.

I'd say that whether this is the end or not, since a number of things were left unresolved, and there's room for more stories, depends upon how well this one does at the box office.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 27, 2017, 08:45:28 AM
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS: Space agents Valerian and Laureline acquire a space McGuffin sought by a civilization of alien ectomorphs. This movie uses extreme busyness and constant eye candy to paper over some essential flaws: a cliched space opera plot and the miscasting of boyish Dane DeHaan as a dashing, veteran rogue. 2.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Ted C on July 28, 2017, 08:05:54 AM
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS: Space agents Valerian and Laureline acquire a space McGuffin sought by a civilization of alien ectomorphs. This movie uses extreme busyness and constant eye candy to paper over some essential flaws: a cliched space opera plot and the miscasting of boyish Dane DeHaan as a dashing, veteran rogue. 2.5/5.

Is it as visually amusing as The Fifth Element? Because that's all I want from it.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on July 28, 2017, 08:38:36 AM
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS: Space agents Valerian and Laureline acquire a space McGuffin sought by a civilization of alien ectomorphs. This movie uses extreme busyness and constant eye candy to paper over some essential flaws: a cliched space opera plot and the miscasting of boyish Dane DeHaan as a dashing, veteran rogue. 2.5/5.

Is it as visually amusing as The Fifth Element? Because that's all I want from it.

It's not quite as good as THE FIFTH ELEMENT overall, but it is in that league. You won't be disappointed with the visuals.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 02, 2017, 12:58:56 PM
A GHOST STORY: A young musician (Casey Affleck) dies and comes back as a ghost (under a sheet with eyeholes cut out), moving back to his house and silently observing his wife's grief. Amounting  to more than its gimmick of an Academy Award winning actor doing 90% of the movie mute and hidden under a shroud, it's ultimately a thoughtful and melancholy meditation on eternity and attachment, aimed at the patient and seasoned adult moviegoer only. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 09, 2017, 08:58:35 AM
DUNKIRK: In 1940 the Nazis have pinned the British army to the beaches of Dunkirk; we watch the evacuation through the eyes of a footsoldier, an RAF pilot, and a civilian volunteer of one of the "little ships" that ferried soldiers across the channel. More desperation than valor (although there's some of the latter), and that survival element makes Christopher Nolan's harrowing war movie feel real and legitimately dangerous. 4/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 16, 2017, 08:49:24 AM
THE WOMEN'S BALCONY: In Jerusalem, women resist a charismatic conservative rabbi who moves into their congregation after their synagogue is damaged and the old rabbi goes senile. Nothing groundbreaking, but the film confidently makes its anti-fundamentalist, pro-community case with enjoyable lightness and memorable characters. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 25, 2017, 08:43:35 AM
LOGAN LUCKY: Two brothers and a sister, from a West Virginia family that considers itself cursed, develop a complicated scheme to rob a NASCAR racetrack. Pretty good entertainment that could have worked a lot better than it did; Hillary Swank's Clint Eastwood impersonation is a flop, and when Daniel Craig is the most believable Southerner in the cast there's a slight problem. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on August 30, 2017, 08:49:18 AM
CITY OF GHOSTS: Portrait of the members of "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently" (RBSS), citizen journalists risking their lives to release news and videos about the horrors of life under ISIS from inside the Caliphate's capital city of Raqqa. Since the filmmakers can only follow members living in exile, the documentary is necessarily removed from the real action, and already out-of-date because Raqqa is now half-rubble as the final battle to defeat ISIS wages as I write this. Still, it's valuable contemporary history, and I admire anyone who stands up to bullies using whatever weapons they can scrounge. 3.5/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 07, 2017, 01:27:11 PM
MENASHE (2017): Widowed Hasidic Jew Menashe wants custody of his only son, his sole joy in life, but his rabbi won't agree to grant his blessing unless the grocery clerk agrees to marry again. Like its namesake, MENASHE isn't much to look at, but its good intentions win you over. 3/5.


Title: Re: Recent theatrical viewings
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 13, 2017, 08:43:49 AM
ALL SAINTS: A young Episcopalian minister is hired to oversee the selling of the All Saints church, which only has a few elderly parishioners left, but when a flood of Burmese refugees shows up he decides to fight the odds and save the congregation by starting a farm. A mini "Northern Exposure" reunion, with John Corbett as the minister and  Barry Corbin as a crusty parishioner. Steve Bannon called this tale of devout Christians working together in peace and harmony with refugees to build a community that benefits all "the most terrifying horror movie of 2017." 2.5/5.