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Khadaji
02-07-2008, 02:52 PM
Just saw the Illusionist. Loved it, even though I spotted the ending early. I do confess that I am growing tired of Paul Giamatti who seems to be everywhere lately. I don't know why Edward Norton isn't higher on my favorite actors list because he does a superb job every single time I see him.

Saw Good Luck Chuck. I didn't hate it. But I can't say I liked it either. It could have been good. I couldn't decide if it wanted to be a gross-out comedy or a romantic comedy. By trying to be both it ended up succeeding at neither. There were a few moments of sweetness. Jessica Alba was smoking hot.

Saw Gwendoline but really only rented it to see Tawny Kitaen naked. Bad acting, bad script, bad directing. But I got to see Tawny Kitaen naked.

Saw Shoot 'em up. An over-the-top action film that was all go from the first moment. I liked it, but although I am usually the one who says: "If you wanted reality, what were you doing at a movie?" I have to say that it just went too far too often. It was: impossible action, impossible action, impossible action, ooo, now you went too far and lost me.

What are you watching?

Trunk
02-07-2008, 03:01 PM
King of Kong : awesome

Eastern Promises : awesome

Once: boring. Turned it off.

The Invasion: boring, but watchable.

Skammer
02-07-2008, 03:02 PM
Eastern Promises: loved it.
The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: excellent. Casey Affleck really deserved to be nominated for his performance.

Walloon
02-07-2008, 03:13 PM
I'm catching up on some 1970s movies I missed the first time around:

The Assassination of Trotsky: Muddled account of the Stalin-directed assassination of the Marxist apostate in Mexico in 1940, with Richard Burton as Trotsky. Directed by the usually talented Joseph Losey, it could have been much better.

Lady Sings the Blues: This surprised me. I assumed it was Berry Gordy's vanity production for Diana Ross. But it's a real movie, with an intelligent screenplay. And Diana Ross is no amateur in the acting department in her movie debut. The movie has little relation to the real Billie Holiday's life, but no matter, the real Billie Holiday invented a lot about her life too.

Up next:

Mary, Queen of Scots, with Vanessa Redgrave in the title role and Glenda Jackson as her cousin and enemy Queen Elizabeth.

Amazingrace
02-07-2008, 03:15 PM
Once: boring. Turned it off.

Thank you! I was starting to think that I was the only one who didn't like this movie. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood or something, but I just kept waiting for it to capture my attention, and it... didn't.

The Last Picture Show: I liked it. Interesting to see Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Randy Quaid, and Cybil Shepherd in their much younger days.

Waking Life: I thought it was really interesting, but I didn't get to finish it because the DVD player wasn't reading the disk.

well he's back
02-07-2008, 03:16 PM
Recent rentals -
Hot Fuzz - funny but not as funny as I thought it would be, if that makes sense
Sunshine - well done sci-fi with actors I really like.

watching all of the "Alias" TV show with my daughter, cause we missed it when it was originally on.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
02-07-2008, 03:27 PM
I've been renting the BBC show Monarch of the Glen. It's not the most exciting thing I've ever seen, but it's nice to have a change of pace once in a while. Beautiful scenery and lovely men in kilts.

susan
02-07-2008, 03:29 PM
The King of California. It was all right. A little heavy handed, a little cute, and no subplot, but all right.

Sampiro
02-07-2008, 03:31 PM
Eastern Promises- good movie (not great, but good- and damn, Viggo ain't shy is he?)

Straight Jacket (http://imdb.com/title/tt0367097/)- low budget comedy about a 1950s pretty-boy superstar who marries a secretary to hide the fact he's gay. Some laugh out loud moments but not as funny as the same creative team's drag queen fest Girls Will Be Girls (http://imdb.com/title/tt0339071/).

Ken Burns' THE WAR (the one about WW2)- still watching it. It's good, but nothing like his Civil War in quality or coherence (though he's dealing with the entire world [through 4 towns] and 85 million soldiers rather than a few million Americans on the eastern seaboard)

Superbad- I may be the one person in America who couldn't watch this blockbuster without hitting the fast forward button. I can appreciate low brow humor, but just didn't like this one.

yellowval
02-07-2008, 03:33 PM
Eastern Promises—As already noted, an excellent film.
Miss Potter—About my favorite children's author, Beatrix Potter. Not as much of a chick flick as you might think. My husband thought he was going to hate it but he quite liked it.
This is England—It's about a young boy who becomes involved with a group of skinheads. It was recommended to us by Netflix and we both really liked it.
Just received Sicko, The Jane Austen Book Club and 2 Days in Paris in the mail today.

ETA: Sampiro, I didn't like Superbad, either.

divemaster
02-07-2008, 03:40 PM
A recent Netflix rental was Kobayashi's Harakiri. I was completely blown away. The Criterion release is a 2-discer, but I only had the one via the rental. It had a trailer and a great commentary track. I definitely want to pick this up for my collection.

You wouldn't think that a movie that spends about 80 percent of its running time with one guy sitting there telling a story would be so compelling. But it is. Of course we get flashbacks and such to fill it out but the primary focus if the human condition, not flashing samurai steel (although we get that in the last 20 minutes or so.). The film's running time flew by as I was totally engrossed.

The DVD looked and sounded great. Highly recommended.

"After all, this thing we call samurai honor is ultimately nothing but a facade"

Equipoise
02-07-2008, 03:41 PM
Eastern Promises: loved it.
The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: excellent. Casey Affleck really deserved to be nominated for his performance.You'll be happy to know that Casey WAS nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for that role. The film, which I loved, was also nominated for Best Cinematography. Roger Deakins, the cinematographer, was double nominated. He also worked on No Country For Old Men. He's never won an Oscar and he's the favorite. Casey doesn't have a chance in his category, but I'm very happy for him that he was recognized. I think he belonged more in the lead category, but what can you do? I also loved Brad Pitt, who's always a good actor, and did an excellent job here as the wary and resigned Jesse James. Also worth a mention is Sam Rockwell as Ford's brother Charley, Sam Shepherd as Jesse's brother Frank, and Paul Schneider (also great in Lars and the Real Girl) as Dick Liddil. My only complaint about the movie (and it's a tiny one) is that Mary Louise Parker didn't have much to do except look pretty and be there to scream over Jesse's body. Any actress could have played that part.

Btw, Viggo Mortensen was also nominated for Best Actor for Eastern Promises.

jjimm
02-07-2008, 03:43 PM
La Vie en Rose. As always, I dislike movies that spend too much time in flashback, but Marion Cotillard's performance was absolutely flawless. And I loved Edith Piaf's music already. So, I was pretty impressed, despite my misgivings.

Hostile Dialect
02-07-2008, 04:07 PM
Khadaji, if you liked The Illusionist, check out The Prestige. Similar subject matter, came out at the same time, has David freakin' Bowie in it.

As for me, my last few rentals include (this is off the top of my head): Buffalo 66 - Loved it. I suspect I'll be watching it again and again over the years. It took a while for me to warm up to it, but I think the way that director Vincent Gallo's own character develops in spite of himself and without letting us know until the very end, is incredible. The whole time, you think that he's actually not growing or changing at all--and then at the moment of truth, you realize that

Altered States - Also awesome. Definitely something all psychonauts and most scientists can dig, I think. You know how An American Werewolf in London was cool when it actually got down to the action, but all the exposition was repetitive and boring? Altered States took a similar format and actually made the exposition fascinating. The protagonist is the archetypical psychonaut and the archetypical scientist, willing to throw everything away for the sake of empiricism. He actually reminded me quite a bit of a friend from my first semester of college, who I'm rather fond of and miss dearly. The ending was orgasmically climactic.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - I was disappointed. It was a gorgeous film and technically well-done in a lot of ways, but stuffed to the brim with cliche, especially when we found out the protagonist's motive. Granted, there was a certain catharsis in the final revenge scenes, but the exposition was just too drawn-out.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God - Seven different kinds of awesome. I don't think anyone can make you feel the crushing superiority of nature over man the way Werner Herzog could. And I've also never seen anyone play crazy as well as Klaus Kinski.

Oh man, this thread is getting me all excited about my movies again! I'm going to have to go pop in Street Mobster. (Or maybe Blacula?)

Sampiro, I love The War too. I got the whole box set. I haven't been watching it lately since I started my month of unlimited rentals down at Citizen Video. Oh, shit, that reminds me, it's up tomorrow! I better watch my movies and go pick up some more!

yellowval, I've been waiting to hear some recommendations for This is England. I'm gonna have to go check it out.

vivalostwages
02-07-2008, 04:29 PM
I loved The Illusionist too.

I just watched Across the Universe--it wasn't all that. There is another CS thread about it.
I also watched Elizabeth--the Golden Age and it pretty much sucked except for the costumes.

I rented The Brave One and The Assassination of Jesse James... and have higher hopes for them.

I am also watching season four of Six Feet Under and season four of Nip/Tuck via Netflix. Both good.

Oslo Ostragoth
02-07-2008, 04:33 PM
Planet Terror (half of Grindhouse) - absolutely loved it. Take a bunch of '70's movie cliches, put them in the hands of a very talented director, and stand back. The only DVD where I watched all of the extra features, then watched the movie again.

Proudest Monkey
02-07-2008, 04:54 PM
We also saw Eastern Promises recently. Loved it; loved Viggo.
Other rentals during the past month:
Ratatouille--loved the animation; the pace of the movie was a bit frantic.
The Kingdom--didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The scene where

Jason Bateman almost has his head cut off
had me pulling the stuffing out of the couch. (I've loved Jason Bateman since he was a kid in that show where he and his mom's boyfriend constantly tried to outsmart one another. It ran for about 5 minutes in the 80s. Off to imdb to find the title.)
The Simpsons Movie--liked it; hated my husband singing "Spider Pig" for the next two weeks.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry--my husband's pick. I hate, hate, hate this genre of soul-sucking "comedy" and Chuck and Larry was no exception.

[pointlessly proud of accomplishing a mundane task] That's the first time I've used spoiler tags in a post! Hope they worked. [/ppoaamt]

yellowval
02-07-2008, 05:00 PM
yellowval, I've been waiting to hear some recommendations for This is England. I'm gonna have to go check it out.
I had never even heard of it, so I had no expectations going in or any idea what it was about. I was pleasantly surprised but don't want to give away too much by talking about what I liked. Let me know what you think of it when you're done.

Justin_Bailey
02-07-2008, 05:10 PM
Rambo Trilogy - Never saw them before, but they're big dumb action at its finest.

War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise Version) - I can't believe it took me so long to see this, but it was cool. Damn Tom Cruise for losing his mind.

LurkMeister
02-07-2008, 05:15 PM
I finally signed up for Netflix and so far I've gotten Confederate States of America and the first season of Rome, both because of what I've read about them here. I'm slowly filling up my queue as I think of movies I've missed in the past or had recommended here.

Icarus
02-07-2008, 05:33 PM
Double feature of Superbad and La Vie en Rose, ain't I eclectic!

Superbad - I'm getting a little old for teen sex comedies, and I've seen quite enough of Jonah Hill, thank you very much (he's in every third comedy released nowadays), but this one had some real inventiveness and depth to me. They really captured that teen way of making just flat out stupid moves.

La Vie en Rose - Some brilliant set piece scenes in that one. Marion Cotillard should get the Oscar, she was astounding.

Chefguy
02-07-2008, 06:33 PM
10 Items or Less, with Morgan Freeman and whatzername Paz. Not a bad little film, but a jarring note was that the female lead was supposedly from Spain, but had a first name of "Scarlett".

Yllaria
02-07-2008, 06:43 PM
Working through the Connections 3 series by James Burke. It's a little more disjointed than his previous series (although I haven't seen Connections 2, so I can't speak for that one), but I'm enjoying it. There's science, there's history, there are odd ways of looking at things, what's not to love?

Inner Stickler
02-07-2008, 06:46 PM
Cannibal! The Musical - Freakin' hilarious.

Waydowntown - A weird movie about 4 college graduates who make a bet about who can last the longest without going outside of their apartment and downtown glass skyway warren.

Scotland, P.A. - Revamped Macbeth for the 20th century.

blondebear
02-07-2008, 10:48 PM
"King of Kong" and "Forbidden Zone"; I saw mentions of both movies here. Quite entertaining, each in their own way.

A coworker recommended "MirrorMask". It has some pretty nifty CGI and set design work.

Inner Stickler
02-07-2008, 10:52 PM
A coworker recommended "MirrorMask". It has some pretty nifty CGI and set design work.Ooh, I watched that movie a few weeks ago. I thought it was really cool too. I got the basic plot down but I feel as if there were subtleties I missed, though.

Hostile Dialect
02-08-2008, 01:48 AM
I watched Street Mobster today. Awesome. Definitely one of the best balances between plot and action I've seen, even if there was a little bit of overacting and the fighting was a little too obviously fake at times.

Zjestika
02-08-2008, 07:32 AM
I just saw King of Kong last night and I loved it. I was nearly in tears at the end- over a documentary about Donkey Kong champions. It had great music, too.

dawson
02-08-2008, 08:21 AM
Gone Baby Gone - Gritty, dirty and well made. Had me emotionally invested from about the fifth minute.

Eastern Promises - Am I the only person who didn't really care for this movie? Not very original and somewhat unrealistic. Decent acting though.

Bosstone
02-08-2008, 08:29 AM
A coworker recommended "MirrorMask". It has some pretty nifty CGI and set design work.MirrorMask is, so far, the only movie I've rented twice from Netflix.

I saw Spiderman 3 last night. It was a bit crowded, with lots going on, but easy to follow and highly entertaining for all of that. The fight scenes were nicely choreographed.

Elendil's Heir
02-08-2008, 08:50 AM
We're making good use of our Netflix membership.

The Terminator - My 11-year-old son saw all the TV ads for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and wanted to see the original movie. So we watched it. The '80s hairstyles, clothes and synth music are a bit distracting, but it's still a great, straightforward, pared-down action flick with a time-travel twist.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Even better. The liquid-metal Terminator is still 'way cool; we rewound and slow-mo'd several times for his transformations. There's also more of an emotional core to the movie, with the uneasy relationship between Sarah, her son John, and Ah-nuld's reprogrammed good-guy cyborg. Next up: Terminator 3, which I liked more than most T. fans did when it first came out.

I saw the first two installments of Ken Burns's The War, but haven't gotten back to it. Just not all that interested - it wasn't nearly as good as The Civil War. Likewise, the concluding episodes of the British political satire The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard are gathering dust on the shelf. Someday I'll get back to it.

Max Torque
02-08-2008, 11:34 AM
Fracture: meh. Anthony Hopkins was great, as usual. Unfortunately, the entire movie isn't Anthony Hopkins. It's not as clever as it thinks it is, and they appear to have changed the original ending, because there's a scene in the trailer that doesn't appear in the movie. I'd wait for cable.

Leiko
02-08-2008, 12:08 PM
Across the Universe: Awesome, though watching on a TV rather than in theatre (I saw it twice in theatres) has definitely made me appreciate the reviews more. When you can't get the spectacle of the big screen, the contrived plot is more notably contrived, at least for me.

My friends and I also rented Stardust, Strangers with Candy, and the The Tenth Kingdom, but since we haven't finished Tenth Kingdom or started the others yet, I can't report back. I saw Stardust at a movie theater and loved it; I just have to hope it made the transition to small screen well. (Especially since all of our TVs are smaller than I'm used to, unless we can get a dorm TV room key and watch it on the big screen.)

Love Rhombus
02-08-2008, 01:20 PM
My friends and I also rented Stardust, Strangers with Candy, and the The Tenth Kingdom, but since we haven't finished Tenth Kingdom or started the others yet, I can't report back. I saw Stardust at a movie theater and loved it; I just have to hope it made the transition to small screen well. (Especially since all of our TVs are smaller than I'm used to, unless we can get a dorm TV room key and watch it on the big screen.)


Mmm, Tenth Kingdom was so good. Especially the yummy Kimberly Williams. Scott Cohen I did not know before this, but he was quite good.

I just got Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix and Aliens vs. Predator.

I just finished Black Sheep, and it was awesome. Very gory, but exactly what it says it is: a movie about killer sheep.

The Scrivener
02-08-2008, 03:17 PM
Rain -- small-budget indie from New Zealand, based on the novel by Kirsty Gunn [IIRC]. A Kiwi family spends an idyllic mid-'70's summer in their cottage on the seaside, in a tiny hamlet where people have nothing to do but go sailing, fishing, and booze it up in a series of parties. The virtually alcoholic wife is bored and embarks on a steamy fling with a photographer who lives on his boat. (When the boat's a-rockin',...). Her thirteen-year-old daughter, played by an actress who actually does look thirteen, twigs to this and aggressively pursues the same guy, to fateful consequences when her six-ish-year-old brother drowns while she's fooling around with the shutterbug in a scene that manages to be provocatively erotic while steering clear of explication or explicitness. Does a good job portraying the roiling psychodramatics of a nuclear family coming apart at the seams, with the adults behaving like teens and the teenager awkwardly exploring her burgeoning sexuality -- always a tricky topic for moviemakers. Features a sensual song-based score by Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame) with additional songs by cult Kiwi and Aussie bands Human Instinct and Sherbert.

twickster
02-08-2008, 07:24 PM
Last weekend, watched two movies:

1. Interview, the Steve Buscemi-directed movie with him and Siena Miller (who I was curious about, having seen Factory Girl a couple of weeks ago): pretty "meh." They were both good, but there was a Whole Lotta Actin' going on.

2. 13 Going on 30, which I actually enjoyed more -- it didn't pretend to be anything other than what it was, and I like a good romantic comedy. And how can you not like Jennifer Garner? The fact that the whole "okay, so how was this actually resolved" thing was totally glossed over -- who cares. Mark Ruffalo is yummy.

Hostile Dialect
02-08-2008, 07:59 PM
King of Kong is a real winner. I recommend it for everyone.

Eastern Promises - Am I the only person who didn't really care for this movie? Not very original and somewhat unrealistic. Decent acting though.

I dunno, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who didn't like Gone Baby Gone.

Leiko
02-08-2008, 09:45 PM
Mmm, Tenth Kingdom was so good. Especially the yummy Kimberly Williams. Scott Cohen I did not know before this, but he was quite good.

I just got Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix and Aliens vs. Predator.

I just finished Black Sheep, and it was awesome. Very gory, but exactly what it says it is: a movie about killer sheep.

I'm not liking Kimberly Williams yet, but I think she'll grow on me after I forgive her for bringing a dog into a restaurant kitchen. (Health code violations!) Scott Cohen is super; surprising, though- I know him best as Max on Gilmore Girls, and Max was not like this.

Killer sheep, you say? I may have to investigate this.

Jophiel
02-09-2008, 12:56 AM
I put the animated Dragonlance movie into my queue despite having seen the shabby trailer.

Seeing the whole movie made me want to stab myself in the face.

I could go on at length about the poor voice acting, horrible pacing and eye-rendingly bad CG. Instead I'll treat you to this visual representation (http://img120.imageshack.us/my.php?image=macena1.jpg) of how terrible this film was.

Yes, that is Verminard's mace passing through his body. :dubious:

I also saw Clockwatchers which was good. Not great, but good and kept me going until the end. It's a little difficult to balance making the viewer feel drawn out stretches of time and solitude and actually boring the viewer with the same.

Hostile Dialect
02-09-2008, 01:02 AM
I just saw Donnie Darko. WOW. I cannot believe I dilly-dallied and never ended up seeing it when it came out. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I totally missed my chance to be part of the Donnie Darko cult. Either way, I'm going to have to watch it over and over again.

I also rented Kissing Jessica Stein* and Tokyo Drifter today. I'll report back on those.

*I'm about to start leading/advising the Gay/Straight Alliance at my old high school--well, about to make it official; I've already pretty much taken command--and I'm screen-testing the entire LGBT/Camp section at my favorite rental store until I find a good movie that I won't get fired for showing at the club meetings.

mswas
02-09-2008, 01:06 AM
I just saw "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", it is an amazing film. Casey Affleck as Robert Ford and Brad Pitt as Jesse James. It is a haunting and beautiful western. The analysis of Robert Ford as a person is very lush as he moves from someone who idolizes Jesse to someone who fears him, and ultimate his killer. The performances by each is absolutely phenomenal, as is every performance really. Brad Pitt cuts a frightening Jesse James, and Casey Affleck plays a very haunted man.

Love Rhombus
02-10-2008, 12:45 AM
I'm not liking Kimberly Williams yet, but I think she'll grow on me after I forgive her for bringing a dog into a restaurant kitchen. (Health code violations!) Scott Cohen is super; surprising, though- I know him best as Max on Gilmore Girls, and Max was not like this.

Killer sheep, you say? I may have to investigate this.

Oh, I didn't mean she was a good actress (though she had some moments) but she was easy on the eyes :p . Just beware the damn singing pearl :mad: . I HATED that bloody thing.

As for the killer sheep, it's a great parody of "nature gone amuck" movies, and I'd recommend it to those people, though as I mentioned, the gore is pretty heavy.

Kythereia
02-10-2008, 11:54 AM
Waitress, Ratatouille, and Offside. Haven't seen any of them yet... any (non-spoilery) thoughts?

Khadaji
02-10-2008, 01:46 PM
Just finished Skinwalkers. I watch a movie while I work on the elliptical machine. It takes a few days, but it gives me something to do and makes the workout less arduous.
I wanted to see it in the theaters, but it only lasted one weekend here. For good reason. I've seen worse movies, but it was pretty mediocre.

Speaking of worse movies ... I'm in the middle of The Black Scorpion. OK Joan Severance is easy on the eyes and I figured it couldn't be that bad. I was wrong. I mean, I know, it was a less than b movie, but I thought it could have some redeeming quality. I was wrong again. Bad writing, bad acting, bad plot. Bad action scenes. Joan just cannot fake fighting. (But she fakes sex very nicely.) Oh well, live an learn.

In the workout queue: Stealing Beauty.

Rucksinator
02-10-2008, 07:54 PM
I find it hard to believe that Khadaji found a movie worse than Skinwalkers.

Ditto everything said about The Assassination of Jesse James.....

Eastern Promises was good, but I wouldn't say great.

The British version of The Office. Very good, but not as great as people make it out to be.

The Maltese Falcon (up with the times, ain't I?). Pretty good. Worth seeing for how cool Bogey is.

Speaking of old movies, I recently watched A Streetcar Named Desire because of various recommendations. After it was done I checked out the Dope to learn that it was ruined by a couple of Very-Relevant changes made to adhere to the code of those days. (Not that I wanted to watch a rape, but after the way that they left it, I kept expecting them to reveal a mangled up face from cuts from the mirror.) It's a mediocre movie ruined by fuddy-duddies. Just Google-Image pics of Marlon Brando from when he was in shape. I can't think of another reason to watch that movie.

I have Night Watch and Day Watch in my Blockbuster queue.* Are these recommended, and it is necessary that I get them in order?


* I have to keep balancing them to make sure that Night Watch ("Very Long Wait") gets to me before the sequel (Day Watch, which is "Available"). I sent a recommendation to BB that they allow you go group movies together to make sure that they come in the desired order (similar to how multi-disk series are put in your queue by default).

JohnT
02-11-2008, 08:08 AM
In the Bedroom, Sissy Spacek plays a mother who loses her only child, causing strain in the marriage.

American Beauty, made in that 4-year period where Kevin Spacey was in contention as Wonderfully Talented, before he made the transition to Whatever Happened To Him?

A History of Violence. I'm sorry, I fell asleep during parts of this one, the night before the movie had to be returned.

Heat, will watch it tonight. Never seen it before, either.

Dunderman
02-11-2008, 08:26 AM
Purgatory - I have one question: Why isn't this movie better known? I picked up a reference to it somewhere (possibly on this board) and decided to rent it. Good decision. Nice acting, decently original story, just a pleasant jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces coming together nicely.

The Hidden Fortress - very good. I always find it distracting when I literally can't understand a word of what the actors are saying (I find myself waiting for them to say proper nouns, and in Japanese I easily miss even those), but this is one movie that didn't suffer. Originally wanted to see it because I'm a Star Wars fanboy and they say George Lucas took a lot from this film, but apart from the opening scene which is pretty much the "R2-D2 and C3P0 in the desert" scene I didn't notice much. Absolutely loved the fire party scene. Excellent acting by the princess.

The Thin Red Line - all right, but left me feeling like I missed something. Not a bad movie, but I didn't get the greatness.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys - except for the HUGE tempo and mood change at the end, I liked it. The opening scene has two boys practice triangulation by sawing down a wooden lamppost and having it crush a bottle they put on the ground, while they stand motionless just outside its reach. Dead cool.

Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer - no. Didn't do it for me at all, especially not the ending.

Larry Borgia
02-11-2008, 11:19 AM
This is England: Very good coming of age story about a very young British skinhead in the early 80s. I liked that it didn't fetishize the violence or the nazism. Very low key, which makes the ending a shock.

Thank you for smoking: Funnier than I thought it would be. Gleefully nihilistic. You cheer for the lead, even though he's an utter scumbag. Lot's of iconic actors well used. Rob Lowe in particular is brilliant.

Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer: Oh my god, was this bad. Bad on so many levels. I didn't think it would be great, but I didn't think it would be this bad. Quite possibly the worst big budget movie ever made. It's certainly a contender.

Dog Soldiers: Entertaining low-budget soldiers versus werewolves movie. Pretty good for the genre. Recommended.

Khadaji
02-11-2008, 12:09 PM
<SNIP>
Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer: Oh my god, was this bad. Bad on so many levels. I didn't think it would be great, but I didn't think it would be this bad. Quite possibly the worst big budget movie ever made. It's certainly a contender.
<SNIP> :D

OK, here is how bad The Black Scorpion was: I didn't hate Rise of the Silver Surfer... Now, if I didn't hate that and I gave a bad review to The Black Scorpion - well imagine how bad it must be.

Sitnam
02-11-2008, 01:15 PM
Donnie Darko - I rented it because I read a scathing review of Southland Tales that tore the directer Richard Kelly a new one, but still conceded that Donnie Darko was still wonderful. The movie is messed up, but days later I'm still thinking about it so it couldn't have been all bad.

Wuthering Heights - Caroline is a capricious nutcase and Heathcliff is a sadistic stalker, that's the Victorian image of love? I've been on a classics kick lately and since I have no intention of ever reading it I figured I could at least give it an hour and a half of my time.

The Way Home - A subtitled Korean film about a young spoiled boy whose dropped off to be taken care of by this sweet mute grandmother. Very touching, but I think something was lost in translation.

koeeoaddi
02-11-2008, 01:15 PM
Having just finished reading Lonesome Dove for the first time, I'm in full Lonesome Dove immersion mode, so:

Lonesome Dove (the miniseries) - fantastic, perfectly cast, maybe the best mini-series I've seen, along with Smiley's People, QBVII, Pride and Prejudice and the House of Cards.

Return to Lonesome Dove - bleeeeh, preposterous dialog, 90s hair. Jon Voight was okay as Woodrow Call, but otherwise this was predictably disappointing.

Streets of Laredo - Not. Good. Despite the lovely photography and decent performances from Sissy Spacek and George Carlin (!) this one just doesn't compare to the original mini series, though it's marginally better than Return to Lonesome Dove.

...should I bother with Comanche Moon, or give it up?

anu-la1979
02-11-2008, 01:31 PM
Sitnam, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. I think both C & H were totally Axis 2, if you know what I mean. The only character that outdoes them on the personality disorder scale is wretched Sue from Jude the Obscure, or as I like to call it, Jude, I wish you WERE more obscure.

HoboStew
02-11-2008, 01:38 PM
MirrorMask is, so far, the only movie I've rented twice from Netflix.MirrorMask blows me away. Ever since I first saw it, I've been looking for movies that beat it in the visual department. The Fountain had some moments, but so far nothing has come close. Anyone have some suggestions?

ArrMatey!
02-11-2008, 01:40 PM
Black Sheep, which was, indeed, hillariously good. A movie about man-eating killer sheep. What more could you want? Note to the more sensitive viewers, however... There are some scenes that are -very- graphic.

Wit. I make no bones about the fact that I have a celebrity-crush on Emma Thompson. I rented this as a 'stay in one night and just be by myself' film, and.. Wow. Heavy material, excellently done and... Sad. Not much more to say about it than that.

anu-la1979
02-11-2008, 01:40 PM
I've heard Danny Boyle's Sunshine is supposed to be pretty good. It's next on my Netflix queue so I'll report back.

Zebra
02-11-2008, 02:17 PM
I watched Eastern Promises but I wasn't too impressed with it. It was not bad but there were things about it that bothered me.

JohnT
02-12-2008, 11:00 PM
Saw Heat, was quite entertained by Pacino's scenery-chewing. It was about 20-30 minutes too long, but it wasn't a bad 20-30 minutes.

Also, I happened to catch Pulp Fiction on one of the Showtime channels this hotel has, a movie I was contemplating renting a few weeks ago (so it kinda counts for the OP). Some thoughts:

1. The pace of the movie is surprisingly languid at times - the amount of time spent, for example, getting Vincent and Mia ready to go on their "date". Listening to Jody talk about her piercings. Like Heat, you could've trimmed some time from this movie but the film isn't really worse for having it in there.

2. Conversely, I appreciated the time the film took in developing the characters. Though, at times, it took too much time - Butch in the taxi cab has always been my least favorite part of the film.

3. Vincent is a particularly inept criminal. He's coming back from Amsterdam, obviously hiding out because he's been tagged with some other crime and is waiting out the statute of limitiations. He gets his car keyed w/o figuring out that it was Butch that did it, he takes his boss's wife out on a date where she O.D.'s on heroin, he shoots Marvin, he gets pissy at Mr. Wolf, he gets pissy at Jules, he destabilizes the Pumpkin/Honey Bunny situation, and, of course, he puts the gun down in the kitchen when he goes to the bathroom at Butch's apartment.

4. I never really had the courage to actually look at the Gimp throughout his moment in the sun. This time, I noticed he was *laughing* at Butch prior to being knocked out. :D

5. It holds up well. It doesn't scream "1994!", likely because the films conventions and cultural references are much older. One of the things that I'm finding I notice more and more in films of this period is the lack of cellphones, but it doesn't really bother me all that much in PF.

Darryl Lict
02-13-2008, 06:42 AM
Aguirre: The Wrath of God - Seven different kinds of awesome. I don't think anyone can make you feel the crushing superiority of nature over man the way Werner Herzog could. And I've also never seen anyone play crazy as well as Klaus Kinski.
Just watched that tonight. Fantastic movie. I suspect that Herzog and Kinski were probably actually going insane during the filming of that movie. I wonder if anyone died during the rafting scenes. Have you seen Fitzcarraldo? Another Herzog/Kinski collaboration on the Amazon, although Kinski was a replacement for Mick Jagger after something like 9 months of shooting. From what I've read, it was much more of an ordeal than Apocalypse Now to make. Now I have to see Woyzeck.

Children of Men. Another great post-apocalyptic movie with terrific performances by Clive Owen and Michael Caine (I didn't even recognize him).

Days of Heaven. I think I rented this one on the recommendation of this board. Wonderful movie, with beautiful cinematography. It was only shot at dawn or dusk and took something like a year to shoot. Terrence Malick supposedly threw out the script and had the actors improvise. It probably helps when you have Sam Shepard doing the improvising.

Hostile Dialect
02-13-2008, 11:43 AM
I suspect that Herzog and Kinski were probably actually going insane during the filming of that movie.

Kinski was, according to Herzog's documentary My Best Fiend. You know the part where Kinski's character beat the natives when they tried to run off with bananas and such? That wasn't in the script--the actual natives that they were working with were really stealing food from the set and Kinski himself was actually trying to beat the shit out of them to get them to stop. The guy was a nutter. He threatened to walk off the set daily on almost every film he ever worked on, and on Fitzcarraldo he was actually ready to write the whole thing off and literally row away until Herzog told him, "I have a rifle, and if you row away I'm going to shoot you and then shoot myself." He was bluffing, but it (obviously) worked.

From what I've read, it was much more of an ordeal than Apocalypse Now to make.

No kidding. The real dude Kinski's character was based on tried to get that ship over the mountains or whatever and either died trying or just never really got anywhere, I don't remember; but the consensus was basically "don't even try it or everyone will die", and Herzog actually did it.

Sitnam
02-22-2008, 11:20 AM
I have to resurrect this thread. I've seen a few of the recommendations listed so far and I loved them so I need more.

Recent rentals:

Michael Clayton: The Grisham court suspense genre is not really my bag but decided to see it being nominated for an Oscar. I saw it and it wasn't my bag.

Gone Baby Gone: Fantastic, the Afflecks have a niche and they do it well. I want to say more but I haven't worked out the Spoiler boxes yet.

Khadaji
02-22-2008, 11:44 AM
I'm watching Grindhouse: Planet Terror. I had originally read great things about it, but then it tanked in the boxoffice. (50 Mil worldwide gross, 53 Mil budget from the The Numbers web site.)

I assumed people didn't understand the concept.

Basically though, it just sucks. A by-the-numbers zombie movie. At least so far.

I usually insist on finishing everything I rent. I'm thinking about hitting the eject button.

Justin Credible
02-22-2008, 01:16 PM
The only thing I have rented recently is 3:10 to Yuma. It was awesome.

I watched War about a month ago, but kind of fell asleep on and off throughout.

JohnT
02-22-2008, 01:28 PM
I'm watching Grindhouse: Planet Terror. I had originally read great things about it, but then it tanked in the boxoffice. (50 Mil worldwide gross, 53 Mil budget from the The Numbers web site.)

I assumed people didn't understand the concept.

Basically though, it just sucks. A by-the-numbers zombie movie. At least so far.

I usually insist on finishing everything I rent. I'm thinking about hitting the eject button.

It was really one of those movies that you had to see with an appreciative audience, kind of like Rocky Horror.

SaharaTea
02-22-2008, 01:51 PM
3:10 to Yuma - already saw this in the theater and enjoyed it the first time, but the second time it made me fall asleep.

Waitress - charming and quirky treatment of dark subject matter. As a whole it almost works, but not quite. Great performance by Keri Russell, though.

Eastern Promises - definitely above average but not great.

Six Feet Under Season 4 - Better than season 3, but one episode is still giving me nightmares. I miss Arthur and am growing tired of Brenda and Nate.

Duck Duck Goose
02-22-2008, 01:58 PM
Tale of Two Sisters is getting buzz as a "brilliant" horror film, but I spotted two of the main plot devices early on, earning points from my teenage daughter. "Dang, Mom!" she blurted in admiration as Plot Point #1 was revealed exactly as predicted.

"Seen a lot of horror films," I said modestly.

It wasn't a bad movie, it's just that if you've been watching horror/ghost/haunted house movies for 35 years, you won't see anything particularly groundbreaking.

Sitnam
02-27-2008, 10:38 AM
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Long, but worthwhile. Why is Casey Affleck considered the supporting actor in this?

King of Kong: 5 stars, but I suspect it isn't a pure documentary.

This is England: Meh. A social commentary staring a bunch of jumbled characters with little purpose.

The Bicycle Thief: A 1949 Italian movie about a poor man who tries to keep his family alive in post war Italy. Considered groundbreaking at the time for using ordinary people for most of the roles. I thought it was decent.

twickster
02-27-2008, 10:55 AM
I am 2/3 of the way through the Bourne films, which I'm enjoying -- though I'm apt to tune out and focus on my knitting during the car chases, etc. Kind of the opposite of musicals, where you pay less attention to the plot development than the physical stuff that comes between. :D

AuntiePam
02-27-2008, 11:48 AM
You folks who liked The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford might like the book -- it's by Ron Hansen, who also wrote a novel about the Daltons -- Desperadoes.

My last movie was Lucia, Lucia, a Mexican movie about a woman whose husband disappears. She gets a ransom demand and enlists the help of an older neighbor and a younger (very hot) neighbor. It's part comedy, part thriller, part romance, which could have been a mess but it really works. It reminded me of Amelie in its look. The story was good but the way it was filmed made it even better -- very watchable.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
02-27-2008, 01:30 PM
I watched Death at a Funeral last night. I was really looking forward to it. I like British comedies, this has gotten great reviews and it has several actors in it that I enjoy watching: Matthew MacFadyen, Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage, among others.

I was so disappointed. It was mildly amusing in a few places, and that's it. Mostly it was contrived and dull. Lots of other people seem to be raving about this, but it just did nothing for me.

Justin_Bailey
03-01-2008, 03:59 PM
Two more I've recently watched...

Dragon Wars: D-War - Wow.... So bad... Like really, painfully bad. The acting was bad. The script was bad. The direction was bad. The goofs were stupid and obvious (after establishing the heroine was 19 the movie cuts to her drinking beer in a bar). But also really, really entertaining for people who enjoy cheesy movies. I wouldn't go so far as to say I recommend it, but there are comedies that are meant to be funny that aren't as funny as Dragon Wars.

Right At Your Door, on the other hand, was just bad. I've been watching a lot of these low budget terrorist attack movies lately and they all manage to disappoint. I think because they are all so desperate to have a "Gotcha!" moment that the filmmakers forget everything leading up to the "Gotcha!" should be entertaining too.

anu-la1979
03-01-2008, 05:24 PM
Finished The Lookout yesterday. It was great-Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave an amazing performance. Children of Men and Gone Baby Gone are my remaining two rentals. Hoping to get through one tomorrow, another on Monday, maybe.

Scissorjack
03-01-2008, 06:18 PM
MirrorMask blows me away. Ever since I first saw it, I've been looking for movies that beat it in the visual department. The Fountain had some moments, but so far nothing has come close. Anyone have some suggestions?

Pan's Labyrinth. Be warned, though, although a completely wonderful film, it's quite unsettling, even horrific in parts, and by the end you'll be emotionally drained: it's quite gruelling. Looks absolutely gorgeous, though.

pprgrl
03-01-2008, 06:58 PM
I just finished Shortbus, finally, I've had it from Netflix for about a month. I just don't have time to watch movies right now. It was really good, but not quite as good as I expected after reading the threads about it here. I think the thing that surprised me the most is how smoking hot Bitch was in that movie - I've seen Bitch & Animal live several times, and hung out with them after a show once, and she was never that hot back in the day. She looks about 10 years younger in that movie.

Next up is The Magdalene Sisters. One of my professors has been telling me to watch it for the last year or so, so since I'm taking Irish Lit with her this semester I went ahead and bumped it up to the top of the list. Hopefully I'll have time to watch it before the end of the semester.

Love Rhombus
03-01-2008, 07:08 PM
I've got Return to House on Haunted Hill , but unfortunatly this is not the version with the cool "choose your own path" feature. Only on Blu-Ray and HD :( .

I've watched Quills, and that is a dark, dark movie that actually makes the Marquis De Sade likeable. And it made me want to punch Michael Caine in the face, which shows how good he was in this one. Watch it, but be prepared.

I've been meaning to get Manhunter; any good?

Delly
03-01-2008, 08:22 PM
I just watched Stardust and am kicking myself that I didnt make more of aneffort to go see thisin the cinema. I loved every minute of it... so much so that Ive watched it 3 times since last friday!

AuntiePam
03-01-2008, 08:43 PM
Just watched another Mexican movie, Herod's Law (http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/09.11.03/herod-0337.html), from 1999.

It's a dark comedy/political satire. Very watchable. Nice use of color and music, and great scenery.

Scissorjack
03-01-2008, 10:53 PM
I just watched Stardust and am kicking myself that I didnt make more of aneffort to go see thisin the cinema. I loved every minute of it... so much so that Ive watched it 3 times since last friday!

Yeah, we rented it last night: huge fun, and we were both grinning like fools by the end. I wish I had caught that one on the big screen.

phil417
03-04-2008, 06:42 PM
We're currently watching Mythbusters, Season 1. My husband's enthralled.

Quote from Walloon: Lady Sings the Blues: This surprised me. I assumed it was Berry Gordy's vanity production for Diana Ross. But it's a real movie, with an intelligent screenplay. And Diana Ross is no amateur in the acting department in her movie debut. The movie has little relation to the real Billie Holiday's life, but no matter, the real Billie Holiday invented a lot about her life too.

I saw this in the late '70's. Who knew Richard Pryor could act? Also, the music is bitchin'.

Finally, Yllaria, where did you get dvd's for the Connections series? I'd love to have them.

Sitnam
03-05-2008, 09:26 AM
Mirrormask - I rented it because it was recommended here and it well deserves another. It was wonderful. The only regret I have is that my girlfriend and I didn't watch it on my much larger screen at home.

Nightwatch - My dad once said that after the first 30 minutes of a movie you should ask yourself if you really care what happens to the characters, if not then turn it off. I did that so 30 minutes is as far as I got. I saw enough, however, to get that it was a much less creative version of Highlander with Russian dubbed vampires.


I've been messing around with my new Netflix account and discovered the members movie lists. There's a member named Mr. Nuff and his list of 5 star movies matches my own 95% of the time so that speaks highly of the few he rated 5 stars that I haven't seen.

Trunk
03-05-2008, 09:46 AM
Revisiting. . .

The Assassination of Jesse James. Proof that any movie that is three hours long and boring will be given a pass by the critics.

The Kingdom. Oh, this is interesting, a CSI-style drama set against a backdrop of religious and political tension. Oh, wait, there's no Hollywood formula for how to end such a picture so we'll just give ya 30 minutes of car chases and gun battles.

Barking Dog
03-05-2008, 10:09 AM
Nightwatch - My dad once said that after the first 30 minutes of a movie you should ask yourself if you really care what happens to the characters, if not then turn it off. I did that so 30 minutes is as far as I got. I saw enough, however, to get that it was a much less creative version of Highlander with Russian dubbed vampires.

Is that based on the book?

Sitnam
03-05-2008, 12:28 PM
Is that based on the book?
I guess, I've never read the book.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
03-05-2008, 01:39 PM
I watched Sunshine (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448134/) the other night. It's not a bad little sci-fi movie about a team of astronauts sent to detonate a bomb inside the dying sun to re-ignite it. The astronauts are an improbable mix of people, as usual, but the movie had a nice look to it and pretty neat special effects. The whole thing takes place in space, near the end of the mission, and the only shot on earth comes at the very end.

It would have been better without the horror/supernatural element they threw in. And why would you name a ship that you were sending on this mission Icarus? And when that one disappears, why would you name the second one Icarus II? Seems pretty pessimistic.

Sitnam
03-07-2008, 10:46 AM
Paris Is Burning - A documentary about the 1987 gay subculture in New York interested in 'Vogueing'. The film is less about the dancing and more about the psychology and sociology of an abused and marginalized group. It was pretty good.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God - A bit strange to watch a movie about Spaniards speaking German only to be subtitled in English, but all in all it was well worth watching. On the list of lead characters who descend into madness Aguirre would have to make the shortest trip. What I haven't really figured out is...
what was the deal with all those monkeys on the raft at the end.

Once Upon a Time in China - As all Kung Fu movies go it's plot was characteristically light, but it stands firm where it must, the fight scenes. If you love martial arts movies this is a requirement, if you don't you can well give this a pass.

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