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Author Topic: Recent theatrical viewings  (Read 68156 times)
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #375 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. 
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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 #376 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.

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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 #377 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.   
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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 #378 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.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #379 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.
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« Reply #380 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
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« Reply #381 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.
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« Reply #382 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. 
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« Reply #383 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.
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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 #384 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.
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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
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #385 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. 
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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
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #386 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.
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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 #387 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
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #388 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. 
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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 #389 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.
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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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