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Author Topic: Recent theatrical viewings  (Read 67598 times)
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #465 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.
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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 #466 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.
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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 #467 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.
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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 #468 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.
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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
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #469 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.

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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #470 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.
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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 #471 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.
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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 #472 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.
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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 #473 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.
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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 #474 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.
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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 #475 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.
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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 #476 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.
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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
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #477 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.

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #478 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.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #479 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.
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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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