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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #5715 on: December 26, 2012, 04:39:25 PM »

From the past two days:

CINEMATIC TITANIC: SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (2008): Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumns tackle the Christmas "classic" about Martians in green face paint kidnapping Santa Claus. MST3K already mocked this low-budget atrocity in 1991, but here we get all new jokes with updated references (e.g. there's a Google Earth joke). It's not as good as the first time around (there's no "Let's All Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas" carol) but it's a successful remake. My favorite joke is when the angry kid says "you... you Martians!" and Josh Weinstein objects "whoa, can't believe they dropped the M-bomb!" 3.5/5 (4/5 for devoted fans)

CLOUD ATLAS (2012): The movie goes back and forth between six stories set in different time periods (two are in the future), with the same actors playing different roles in each story. The way it switches back and forth almost at random between the stories makes it too confusing at the start, it's too long, and I wish there had been a more rigorous narrative connection between the various tales besides the wishy-washy, feel-good "everything is connected" spiel; on the plus size the scale and ambition is impressive, and it's fun to try to spot the actors in their various roles. 3/5.

BRAVE (2012): A stubborn Celtic princess butts heads with her equally strong-willed mother over an arranged marriage, but when she unwisely asks for help from a witch the situation gets messy and she must mend her relationship with mom to save the kingdom. The medieval Scotland setting and fairy-tale atmosphere are appealing, and except for below-par comic relief this revisionist princess story lives up to Disney/Pixar's usual high standards. 3.5/5.

LINCOLN (2012): Historical drama about Lincoln's pragmatic attempts to get the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) passed in the House of Representatives, using bribery, threats and misdirection. Somewhat stiff and formal, as might be expected given the material, but great performances and the appearance of historical realism make it surprisingly entertaining, falling just short of the must-see classic status it aspires to. 4/5
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
claws
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« Reply #5716 on: December 26, 2012, 10:33:36 PM »

Recent viewings:

Blu-ray: Prometheus (2012) - Decent and spectacular looking (at least in HD) prequel. 4.5/5
Blu-ray: Saint Nick (2010) - Got this because of Jack's review. Enjoyed this one. Fun and gory. 4/5
Blu-ray: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) - 5/5 "Charlie Brown, beat it"
Blu-ray: Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) - 5/5
Blu-ray: Stardust (2007) - Very entertaining. De Niro was hilarious. 5/5
DVD: Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) - Cheesy Slasher-mess and quite unintentional funny. 3.5/5
Blu-ray: Iron Man (2008) - First time viewing. Decent but way too long. 4/5
Blu-ray: Moon (2009) - First time viewing. Nearly perfect. 4.5/5
Blu-ray: Shaft (1971) - First time viewing *gasp*. A bit long and dull at times. 3.75/5
Blu-ray: Rolling Thunder (1977) - Perfect Grindhouse/Exploitation. 5/5
Blu-ray: Deliverance (1972) - Classic. 5/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #5717 on: December 27, 2012, 12:29:00 AM »

"Lockout" (2012)

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Sci-fi actioner bolted together out of bits stolen from "Die Hard," "Outland" and "Escape From New York," with a couple of "Star Wars" style space dogfights thrown in for good measure.  In the near future,  a maverick military man (Guy Pearce) is sent in to rescue the First Daughter (Maggie Grace), who's been taken hostage during an uprising aboard Earth's first orbiting space prison facility. Pearce and Grace share some good one liners and the sets are impressive but the story is so thin that the movie starts running in place pretty quickly.

Fun while it lasted but three months from now, I doubt I'll even remember that I saw this.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #5718 on: December 27, 2012, 12:49:48 AM »

I watched a "found footage" film called BIGFOOT COUNTY tonight.
First of all, the language was absolutely horrendous.  None of these folks could complete a sentence without dropping the F bomb at least once, and sometimes 3-4 times in one sentence.  Secondly, Bigfoot never puts in an appearance.
Awful all the way around.  Avoid.
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Jack
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« Reply #5719 on: December 27, 2012, 07:44:53 AM »

Deathstalker (1983) - Mr. Stalker is tasked with recovering three artifacts [insert generic sword & sorcery lore here], which involves him going to a big gladiator tournament and eventually facing off against the evil antagonist. Really entertaining nonsense from beginning to end Smile Our "hero" goes around forcing himself on every woman he meets, including one that was previously a man until the sorcerer gave him a sex change - Stalker is rather surprised to find the job wasn't complete. Main characters get killed off in a very disposable way, just to streamline the plot going forward. After a brutal "fight to the death" competition in the arena our sidekick guy returns to his girlfriend who acts like he just scored a touchdown. Nudity galore  Thumbup Ah, good times! 4.25/5.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #5720 on: December 27, 2012, 12:07:27 PM »

Watched It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947) again. Both are wholly appropriate for Christmas with the first being an involving epic emotional roller coaster ride and the second being the perfect sweet little Christmas movie about people being good to one another. Both recommended for this time of year if anyone actually hasn't seen them.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #5721 on: December 28, 2012, 12:41:36 AM »

"Real Steel" (2011)

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An odd mix of cyber-ass kicking and sappy sentimentality, this family friendly sci-fi feature set in the near future stars Hugh Jackman as a down-on-his-luck "robot boxer" who bonds with his long-lost son over the course of one crazy summer on the World Robot Boxing League circuit.

The "rock'em sock'em robot" fight scenes are loads of fun to watch, even though the schmaltz threatens to overpower the proceedings from time to time.

Added bonus, Evangeline ("Lost") Lilly plays Jackman's girlfriend, and I'd almost forgotten how fiiiiine she is cuz it's been a while since I've seen her.
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Jack
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« Reply #5722 on: December 29, 2012, 08:08:15 AM »

The Feeding (2006) - some cheesy bigfoot is loose in the mountains. First it killed all the deer and now it's started on humans. A couple of forest rangers - elite forest rangers - go in search of it. Meanwhile some generic kids are camping and partying. Oh and three-quarters of the way through they decide it's not bigfoot - it's a werewolf. Even though it doesn't follow any of the werewolf rules like lunar cycles or changing back into a human during the day. Meh, not much to like about this. Not a single character I cared about, the kills were lame, no suspense, no nothin' really. It gets downright comical when this girl is being chased by the werefoot or whatever, and she trips over a branch, obviously resulting in no injury whatsoever but we're supposed to believe that she's basically paralyzed from the waist down. And even though bigwolf was just seconds behind her it takes him 5 minutes to catch her once she's stopped moving Lookingup At least with werewolf movies you always find out at the end that it was someone you knew and trusted throughout the movie; of course you don't get anything like that here. 2/5.
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claws
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« Reply #5723 on: December 29, 2012, 09:07:28 AM »

Ahhh The Feeding. One of the many Lionsgate DTV DVDs I blind bought years ago. I think like only one out of fifteen Lionsgate discs was watchable. The Feeding is crap.
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Jack
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« Reply #5724 on: December 30, 2012, 07:28:51 AM »

Ahhh The Feeding. One of the many Lionsgate DTV DVDs I blind bought years ago. I think like only one out of fifteen Lionsgate discs was watchable. The Feeding is crap.

Oh oh, that's two movies in a row we've agreed on.  Are you feeling okay Claws?   BounceGiggle
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« Reply #5725 on: December 30, 2012, 11:57:36 PM »

Bridesmaids - Does it matter what I or anyone says? It's made like 4 trillion dollars. It's first function was to be about girl stuff and it fulfills that, the second was to be good and it more or less fulfills that if sometimes rather sloppily. It's a girl "hangover" and is like that but weaker and more scattered yet well choreographed for the hugeness it achieved. 3.75/5
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #5726 on: December 31, 2012, 01:01:01 PM »

HOLY MOTORS (2012): "Mr. Oscar" drives around Paris in a limo taking on nine "assignments" which require him to become an accordion player, a hitman, or a twisted, fashion model-abducting leprechaun. As a parable about the illusion of identity or the disappearance of actors into their roles or whatever it doesn't add up to much, but it makes a virtue of unpredictability and several of the sketches are delightfully weird. 3.5/5.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
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« Reply #5727 on: December 31, 2012, 06:50:30 PM »

Most recently rewatched Christmas in Connecticut (1945), Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)] continuining with the Christmas themed viewing. Christmas in Connecticut is kind of light-hearted fare and very appropriate for the Christmas holidays even if it feels a tad dated. It's got a winning cast with Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan and Sydney Greenstreet who add to its downhome Christmas charm feeling. Enjoyable escapism. The Home Alone films are dumb and cartoonish but surprisingly fun and rewatchable especially over the Christmas season. The first film has a bit more of a Christmas message going for it with Kevin helping Old Man Marley reconnect with his family. The second just basically retreads the same territory but takes things to even more unbelievable extremes and one doesn't quite connect the same with the pigeon lady as one does Old Marley.
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Jack
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« Reply #5728 on: January 01, 2013, 07:41:17 AM »

Shadow Puppets (2007) - some people wake up in an otherwise empty mental hospital. All of them have amnesia and nobody knows who they are or how they got there. As they explore the place they find a few more equally confused people, and also find a sort of shadow monster - it's like an organized black cloud that floats around and occasionally kills someone. And maybe one of them is actually behind all this, and is just pretending to have amnesia? This is a favorite of mine, it makes me feel like I'm one of the characters - trying to figure out what the heck's going on in a confusing and scary environment. The characters were great with strong personalities, and they were all sympathetic to some degree. It stars Jolene Blalock (T'Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise). 4/5.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #5729 on: January 01, 2013, 04:36:18 PM »

LES MISERABLES (2012): After being imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his starving sister Jean Valjean escapes and adopts an orphan girl while fleeing from vengeful offcier Javert in this film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical based on Victor Hugo's 19th century novel. Hits the melodramatic notes it aims for and will satisfy its intended audience (which, I confess, isn't me). Anne Hathaway can actually sing; Russel Crowe cannot. 3.5/5.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
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