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Old 09-29-2014, 04:53 PM
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Movies you've seen recently


I'd like this thread to contain peoples' opinions about films they've seen recently - either because they liked them and wish to recommend them to others or because they didn't like them and wish to warn others to avoid them.

I'd like to start this list off with a wonderful film called "The Grand Budapest Hotel".

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_8

This film rated 8.2 on IMDB. That is an extremely high rating and I enjoyed it very much. But I've only watched it once and I formed the very strong opinion this film deserves to be watched several times.

In trying to describe this film, I have a real problem. I have no idea how to describe it. It would seem to be part History lesson, part Comedy, part Thought Piece. IMDB describes it as a Comedy. But it is really so much more than that.

The sets and photography is quite possibly the most lush and most beautiful I've seen in a very long time. It easily rivals films like Dr. Zhivago or Marisa Berenson or Lawrence of Arabia. But there is a lot more to it than just the physical beauty. The cast is full of very famous actors. But I only recognized one of them. That is a tribute to the costumes.

I'm sorry that I'm not doing a very good job of describing this movie. But from the moment the film begins, until it ends, I found myself just riveted in my seat. I couldn't have gotten up and left - even if I wanted to.

Oh, Hell! I guess I just want to suggest that you give this film a try. Just watch the first ten minutes or so and if you don't find yourself mesmerised by that, I'll be very surprised.

Anyway, I loved it and hope that you will too. A truly great cast:

Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
and more.

P.S. Edward Norton may well be my most favorite actor of them all.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-29-2014 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:09 PM
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Human Trafficking (2005)

I recently saw this film and found it to be extremely enjoyable. It was also very "gripping". It stars Mira Sovino and Donald Sutherland. Sutherland is more of a supporting actor But, be that as it may, IMHO, they both did a top notch job.

Seems to me that many people don't like Mira Sorvino. But I have always found her to be an excellent actor. She did a great job in "Mighty Aphrodite", even thought it was kind of a silly movie. IMO, she held that film together n spite of some other actors who put in a very poor performance.

Here is the IMDB link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0461872

This movie was rated 7.7 which is unusually high for most any film. I would have given it around 7.1. But it was still a really good film.

If you try it, I think you'll like it!

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-29-2014 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:04 PM
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New out is The Two Faces of January with Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Llewyn Davis.

Set in Greece in 1962, crimes and cons and such.

Very Hitchcockian. Right down to the music. Basically a 3 character movie. Fairly good, but you have to like that style of things.

Dunst in particular is quite good. She really ups her game. Does a very good job of not being herself.

(Unfortunately, too many blurbs of the movie spoil it. Including IMDb's.)

Recently watched Chef and Side Effects (2013). Both reasonably good.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:19 PM
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The most recent movie I went to see was Sex Tape.

(Looks at the films other people are watching.)

Okay, I'll quietly leave the thread now.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:25 PM
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I watched an indie movie called Blue Ruin a few days ago and I loved it. The story isn't anything new: a man seeks vengeance for the murder of his parents.

What's great is the hero. Pale, weak, and trembling, he has no business being in an action/suspense movie. And he isn't particularly intelligent, fumbling repeatedly in his mission.

If you don't care about the guy, you'll probably find the movie slow and boring. But I watched it with my jaw open, fixed to the edge of my seat.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:56 PM
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Most recent movie I saw in theaters was Guardians of the Galaxy. Saw it once when it came out, then again with my son when he got back from basic training. Both times in Imax 3D. I liked it even better the second time around. The soundtrack just ties the movie together with a bow and Chris Pratt is perfect.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:07 PM
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Okay, took the 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old grandsons to see the Boxtrolls. Both the boys loved the movie and actually watched the entire thing. I thought they did a good job on the movie too.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:09 PM
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It was a few months ago but: Snowpiercer.

Best line of the movie was when the wit sitting in front of me blurted out, "It's Brazilmeets Polar Express!" He didn't mean it as a compliment.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:31 PM
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Watched Obvious Child last night. Started off slow then turned into a pretty decent movie. Several "Hey, it's that guy (or woman)!"s. Like, you know, that guy, who was in the last part of The Office, who, you know, did stuff.

Could really sympathize with the struggles of semi-standup comic. (Got a relative who's doing that.)

David Cross (who I can't stand) had a limited role and didn't screw up the movie.

OTOH, I was dreading seeing Gaby Hoffmann in it given how unlikeable her character is in Girls. But played it quite differently. Who knew she could act?

One character mentioned a life event she had in college in the 60s when she would have been waaay too young. Someone needed to do the Math.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:17 PM
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Big Ass Spider is a lot better than you might expect. The loose performance of Greg Grunberg works so well for it, he makes it worth watching. It may be a stupid low-budget monster movie, but it's the best one I've seen in a long time.

I also liked Cuban Fury, a sweet romantic comedy with Nick Frost and Rashida Jones. Formulaic maybe, but that's an inescapable fact of the genre.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:45 AM
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Watched Scarlett Johansson's Lucy on Friday - I enjoyed it, my wife liked it until the end third.

It's an art movie with surrealist trappings, not a SciFi action movie, despite appearances. This is why I enjoyed it and people who harp on about the "people only use 10% of the brain" thing didn't.

Another movie I saw recently was Byzantium, the 2012 Neil Jordan vampire film with Soirse Ronan, Gemma Arteton and Johnny Lee Miller - lovely, moody, that Soirse Ronan is shaping up to be a great actress (I had an idea after Hannah, and I quite liked her in The Host too) - and Gemma Arteton is a lot more than just a Bond/St Trinians Girl.

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Old 10-06-2014, 03:10 AM
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Watched Hell the other day. I thought the plot premise was good, but the movie quickly fell into the usual apocalypse movie tropes. It's a German film and I watched a dubbed version, which wasn't too bad. The visuals were pretty good as well.

Although there's one glaring, obvious plot hole:
SPOILER:
Why didn't they just travel at night?
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:58 AM
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I really loved the Grand Budapest movie too, Charlie. It is hard to describe it, but it's just a terrific film.

I watched this one awhile back: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440345/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_5

This is This Must Be the Place with Sean Penn. It's a very odd movie, but I actually enjoyed it even if I didn't completely understand it.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:11 AM
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I despise Wes Anderson's style of filmmaking, and yet I found Grand Budapest Hotel to be tolerable. I'll even say I enjoyed most of it. Given how much I can't stand his style, that is high praise indeed.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:15 AM
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Saw The Congress about a month ago. A bizarre, fascinating movie that isn't done justice by its trailer. Based on a Stanislaw Lem novel, the movie follows Robin Wright, playing a version of herself, who sells her digital image in perpetuity, having to give up acting forever. The trailer makes it seem like the film is about a search for her son... and parts of it are, but much of it is not. The description in the third sentence makes it seem a commentary about digitization and who owns the rights to your image... and parts of it are, but much of it is not.

It's kind of hard to say what this movie was about, but regardless, I recommend it highly.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:34 AM
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I've seen lots of good movies lately. Would recommend all of these, in descending order of pretentiousness:

The Holy Mountain: Such levels of surreal imagery it makes Eraserhead look straight forward. Not for prudes or the squeamish. It's about a bunch of weirdos seeking immortality by ascending to a higher plane of self awareness and leaving behind everything that weighs your soul down. Lots of religious and mystical overtones. The mindscrew train proudly derails, crashes into an orphanage and explodes in a shower of LSD. Favorite scenes include:

- the Spanish conquest of Mexico reenacted with frogs and lizards, complete with tiny costumes and weapons. So cute and oh my god the blood, why?
- "Rub your clitoris against the mountain!"
- A woman pleasing a giant robot vagina with the mother of all dildos.
- The sanctum of 1,000 testicles.
- The "fight" with the Alchemist. Every Alchemist speech is a Zen/10.
- "To save the economy we must eliminate four million citizens in the next four years." Sounds like something from Dr. Strangelove.
- Fascist soldiers shooting protestors, birds flying from the wounds.

I kinda sorta feel like the ending is an eye rolling copout, but I don't know what else it could do. And the audience did purge itself of all illusions, no false advertising there.

Synecdoche, New York: Probably the best film on this list. A surreal, densely symbolic piece that focuses on the purpose of life, art, and death. Philip Seymour Hoffman is awesome as usual. About a playwright trying to craft his magus opus while his life falls apart. Extremely depressing. Challenging to watch due to the subject matter and out of control recursive meta commentary. It was fun reading people's interpretations of it; would definitely benefit from a second viewing. Lost me a bit when he
SPOILER:
subsumed his personality into the maid.
The minister's rant was the best sermon ever. Perfect ending.

All Quiet on the Western Front: I put off watching this for a long time because I thought a '30s movie of the book would be too sanitized and hokey. I was wrong. Some great battle sequences where people are mowed down like grass.

The best scenes are away from the trenches when Paul tries to rejoin society and explain his experiences to an ignorant, jingoistic society. That's when he realizes how fucked he really is. I also like when the soldiers get together and try to figure out why the war is happening -- a mix of subversive rhetoric and nationalism (the damned French started it!).

Kubrick's Paths of Glory is a better commentary on humanity, but this is a better WWI movie...if that makes sense.

Under the Skin: Weakest movie on this list. It's about a woman who's actually an alien who seduces men, lures them back to her house, and kills them. Besides a rich bounty of full frontal Scarlett Johansson this offers arresting cinematography and a melancholic atmosphere and score. It's slow paced with little dialogue, but didn't feel boring to me (many disagree though). It didn't do a whole lot story wise unfortunately. It's just missing something to make it really great. That skin collapsing scene though...

Dear Zachary: A definitive "soul test" movie. Guaranteed to make you either incredibly angry, depressed, or both. Will stick with you for several days. Don't watch it right before the weekend or bedtime. It's a documentary about...well, it's hard to say without spoiling the effect. It starts with the murder of the filmmaker's best friend by a sociopathic girlfriend. But it turns out the best friend impregnated the girlfriend with the titular Zachary. The film is ostensibly about recording stories from far flung family members so the son can know his dad. But then it gets worse.

Chicken Run: Stop motion family fun animation. Formulaic to the core, but executed flawlessly. Tons of charm, or maybe it's the accents. Basically The Great Escape except with farmers and chickens. Prison camp cliches are up ended by a ditzy, mostly female cast. Some meat is murder/feminist themes, but never explicit. Great soundtrack. Snappy slapstick, surprisingly quotable, love to hate them villains.

"My life flashed before me eyes! It was really boring."

[Rec]: Spanish horror. Best found footage movie I've ever seen. That might not be saying much though since I find most of them stupid or dull (e.g. Paranormal Inactivity). Works well because everyone is trapped inside a cramped building. Pseudo-zombie movie, more like the rage virus. Avoid if you can't stand women screaming at the top of their lungs. The main characters are dumb and refuse to fight back with weapons. Worth it for the last 20 minutes.

Killer Klowns from Outerspace: Saw it as a kid, had to see it again. If you like shlocky B-movies you're probably familiar with this. Every klown scene is solid platinum. Love all their wacky gadgets and the makeup effects are impressive. But the mandatory human drama scenes weigh the whole thing down -- you know, when the klowns aren't turning people into cotton candy cocoons so they can drink their blood with silly straws. The ventriloquist scene was actually a little creepy. The short clown was adorable, would hug before being murdered. The theme song is a super catchy remix of the classic Entrance Of The Gladiators.

"Fuck you! Over."

Sharknado 1 + 2: Millions of years of human evolution have led to these two masterpieces. A single tear rolls down my cheek. Such majesty.
  #17  
Old 10-06-2014, 08:55 AM
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I tried to watch Grand Budapest, but I couldn't get into it. To be fair, I was pretty tired, so that might have had a lot to do with it. Someday I may attempt it again.

Last month, I saw The Notebook - only 10 years after it was released... It was very predictable and a bit corny, but still a sweet movie. I loves me some James Garner, so that may have colored my perception a bit.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:59 AM
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Yesterday I watched Frozen which was very enjoyable and I teared up once or twice. After that I watched a 1947 British film Green for Danger starring Alastair Sim. Different movies, but both very entertaining. Next weekend I will go the actual theater to see Gone Girl.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
Last month, I saw The Notebook - only 10 years after it was released... It was very predictable and a bit corny, but still a sweet movie.
Oh, that reminds me, I saw Safe Haven (same author) on telly the other night. I actually enjoyed it - like you said, that one was also predictable and corny, but sweet. Although ... I didn't see the "twist" at the end coming.

Last edited by MrDibble; 10-09-2014 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:42 AM
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Saw Grand Budapest Hotel a few months back and loved it.

Just saw Gone Girl and thought it was a great adaptation of the Gillian Flynn book - perfect mix of director, cast, screenplay (also by Flynn), cinematography and score.

Saw Rush, Ron Howard's based-on-a-true-story movie about duelling race-car drivers in the 1970s, and it was all right. Didn't blow me away, though.

Likewise Margin Call, a Wall Street drama with an all-star cast. Reviews were gushing; I thought it wasn't all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
...Soirse Ronan is shaping up to be a great actress (I had an idea after Hannah, and I quite liked her in The Host too)....
She's also quite good in Atonement.
  #21  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:18 AM
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Leap Year - Totally predictable, seen it all before, by the books rom-com with Amy Adams . Skip it.

Neighbors- Damn funny Seth Rogan comedy. See it.

Tansformers 4- As horrible and overly long as everyone said. I couldn't finish it. You should skip it.

Winter Soldier- Another worthy entry in the Marvel Universe. Watched back-to-back with The First Avenger. Good stuff.

Edge of Tomorrow- Excellent sci-fi based groundhogs day. Really good.

and finally

The entire Harry Potter series. We're going to Universal in December and wanted to get my 8y.o. son familiar with it. Still amazed at the consitancy of quality through all 8 films. Had to explain a lot of stuff as it went along since it gets pretty complicated. Horcruxes, hallows, Snape not really a bad guy, Mad Eye Moody was someone else for the entire movie, etc.
  #22  
Old 10-10-2014, 11:20 AM
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To warn off:
"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" Terrible - no where near as good as the first "Sin City". The one story taken from the comics, is okay. But the other stories added "around" that story, suck.

"Calvary". Read great reviews about Gleeson's performance. But left the movie feeling totally "whooshed" - far more questions than understanding (maybe that was the intent ?)

"Lucy" 2/3 of a decent action movie, but then they wrote themselves into a corner, and came up with a lame/"Altered States"-like conclusion.

Second recommendations:
"Edge of Tomorrow" Very enjoyable on more than just a sci-fi level. Not a huge Cruise fan, but he did well in this role (as with "Oblivion" - maybe sci-fi is his genre).

"Grand Hotel Budapest". But you have to like Wes Anderson's style. I really enjoyed this.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:23 PM
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MotW for us:

Happy Christmas with Anna Kendrick, some people you probably haven't heard of, and Lena Dunham in a minor role.

Very low budget. Not edited down well so the scenes drag on. Not really much of a story. We don't really get to understand the characters. Cute 2 year old kid who did an amazing job when he was "on" and not so much when he wasn't.

Kendrick's character's "boyfriend" in particular was a blob. Just a male-shaped human to fill up a chunk of the screen. I think that was more due to the script than the acting.

We were quite disappointed with the ending since:

SPOILER:
It just ... ended. One minute there's a movie and the next there are credits. It's like they ran out of money and just stopped or something.


Kendrick should do better movies than this. Not only does she have that gawd-awful Pitch Perfect on her resume, there's a sequel in the works. And I won't get into the Twilight thing ...
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:22 PM
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Writing a movie review blog, I see at least one movie a week; usually an old one. This week I saw Cat People from 1942, which I hadn't seen before. Pretty darn good. One of the better horror films from the 40s.

As it happens I saw The Mazerunner in the theater last night. It's a nice bit of mindless fun. Nice cinematography, but there were a few plot issues. As you might expect, it's best if you don't leave your brain fully engaged if you see it.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:25 PM
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Saw that "Alexander's really bad day" movie yesterday and it was pretty good for what it was.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:08 PM
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I recently saw The Judge with Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. I thought it was excellent. Highly recommended.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:45 AM
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maze runner

this is where i leave you

Patema Inverted
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:14 AM
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I recently saw The Judge with Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. I thought it was excellent. Highly recommended.
Oh Boy! I love Robert Duvall. I can't remember one film he was in that I didn't enjoy - all the way back to To Kill a Mockingbird, then Bullit, MASH, The Godfather 1 & 2, The Outfit (didn't like that one too much), if you like that kind of movie, you should see Charley Varrick (starring Walter Matthau instead), The Eagle has Landed, etc.

You should definitely see The Eagle has Landed and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both were excellent and Duvall appeared in both.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
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Oh Boy! I love Robert Duvall. I can't remember one film he was in that I didn't enjoy - all the way back to To Kill a Mockingbird, then Bullit, MASH, The Godfather 1 & 2, The Outfit (didn't like that one too much), if you like that kind of movie, you should see Charley Varrick (starring Walter Matthau instead), The Eagle has Landed, etc.



You should definitely see The Eagle has Landed and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both were excellent and Duvall appeared in both.

He was great in The Apostle, too.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:52 PM
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Watched Lone Survivor last night. It was OK. Some good, tense action scenes, but not a lot of depth. I really liked the part where

SPOILER:
The village kid brings in a duck when the American is asking for a knife.
  #31  
Old 10-19-2014, 03:57 PM
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Our MotW was Begin Again. No, not that one. This one.

Knightley is a song writer going nowhere. Ruffalo is a washed up music exec. Movie happens.

The Good: Good performance by Ruffalo. Hailee Steinfeld does a nice job as his kid. Mos Def does his best Mod Def. The "original" songs are mostly okay.

The Semi-bad: Wasted Catherine Keener. Adam Levine isn't the best actor. CeeLo Green was in it for no good reason.

The Real Bad: I expected such a movie to have several songs. But this one had way too many songs crammed in, plus several of them dragged on and on and on. The movie would have been 1/3rd the length if some songs had been cut out or edited down.

Which sums up the movie. A fine 30-40 minute short film heavily padded out.
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:06 PM
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Gone Girl the other night. I'd rank it as mediocre, with some good performances.

Saw Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz at a local film festival. It's an indy film about women musicians (not so much singers) who toiled in obscurity, with a brief heyday during WWII when a lot of the male musicians were in the Army. They had a lot of prejudices to overcome in order to be heard. I recommend it, particularly if you like jazz and swing.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:11 PM
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The Caveman's Valentine (2001)


I enjoyed it, I liked the story, it was a great movie to watch.
Only the part about the photography was a bit disturbing to me.
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:57 PM
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Saw The Skeleton Twins last night and totally loved it. Basically just four characters in the whole thing, and Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are effin' amazing.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:14 PM
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Another huge thumbs-up for Big Ass Spider. A couple of good shocks, some nifty gross-outs, rather funny in places. Good supporting cast. Like an updated American International flick.

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Old 10-19-2014, 10:19 PM
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Our MotW was Begin Again. No, not that one. This one.

Knightley is a song writer going nowhere....
How is she in it? I'm a fan.

Saw Gone Girl and, having loved the book, really liked the movie too. A pretty faithful retelling, with some other good stuff too.

Finally saw Gone with the Wind from start to finish, having only seen clips here and there before now. A little too melodramatic, and a little too besotted with Lost Cause mythology, but still a pretty good piece of moviemaking.
  #37  
Old 10-20-2014, 04:45 PM
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Re: Keira Knightley in Being Again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
How is she in it? I'm a fan.
She does an okay job, but Ruffalo really carries the movie. Since her character is somewhat of a shrinking violet, this may be intentional.

The singing she does is well coordinated. I don't know who does the actual singing though.

(This is not a 'dis on her overall acting ability. I actually liked Domino!)
  #38  
Old 10-20-2014, 04:55 PM
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The only non-animated movies I've seen all year are:

1) Dallas Buyer's Club (Saw it last Spring, mainly to find out if McConaughey deserved his Oscar... and he kinda did)

2) Guardians of the Galaxy

3) Saturday night, I saw The Judge.. A little too long and a little too slow, but I mostly enjoyed it anyway.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:52 PM
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Thanks, ftg. I've read elsewhere that Knightley did her own singing (as she did in The Edge of Love, too).
  #40  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:46 AM
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Caught It's a Disaster on Showtime over the weekend.

It's an indie film where four couples are having a Sunday couples' brunch. The characters each bring their quirky issues to the table; however, as they slowly become aware that a dirty bomb was set off in the downtown area - they realize they must band together to survive.
It's played very much as a dark comedy - David Cross, America Ferrera and Julie Stiles were the only actors I recognized; but they all were quite enjoyable. The humour may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it.
  #41  
Old 10-21-2014, 10:51 AM
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I've been on a Netflix Documentary binge lately. Some recommendations :

- A Band Called Death

-History Of The Eagles Parts 1&2

-Room 237

-Beware Of Mr Baker

-Pearl Jam Twenty

-The People Vs. George Lucas

-Blackfish
  #42  
Old 10-21-2014, 01:12 PM
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Blackfish is a very powerful film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2545118/

It's actually not about fish. It's about one black Killer Whale (a mammal). But IMO, it's really yet another film about the effects of allowing Corporations (in this case, Sea World) to do most anything they want in the pursuit of profits.

If your children ever clamor for you to take them to Sea World, take a look at this film first and then consider showing it to them before you go.

Many people would disagree. But I think it would provide children with a wonderful experience in social responsibility and if they decide to get involved in the struggle to shut down Sea World - or at least to eat into their profits by educating people about the harm they do, I think any children will get some great benefits and have a lot more entertainment from that. More so than they could ever get by watching a bunch of mammals who have been tortured and forced to jump around in order to entertain a group of obese adults and avoid starvation by being fed a bunch of dead fish.

IMO, Killer Whales do not want to be handed a bunch of dead fish. They are called "Killers" because they live to hunt and kill in order to eat. Not jump up and down in order to be fed cold dead fish. I'm sorry. But that really ticks me off.

If the children would join a group and march in front of a Sea World in an effort to educate people into not giving them any money, IMO, that would provide them with some great exercise and help them become healthier than they ever could by sitting on their asses and watching some poor tortured mammals go through the paces forced on them by trainers.

The movie illustrates what happens when some thousand pound mammal decides "Enough is Enough" and strikes back at the humans who have tortured it for most of its life.

Some people will hate this film but others will love it. It's really tragic in one sense because it's about the death of a fairly innocent young lady. But it's very empowering in another sense because it's also about people organizing to educate others as to what this corporation is all about as well as other corporations.

I apologize if I sound like I've gone off the deep end and I'm ranting in an insane kind of way. But this film is just so powerful that simply remembering the experience of seeing it has set me off.

Another great film (well, I think it's great) is "The Corporation"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/

I really wish I would have seen this film when I was a young teenager - maybe 12 to 14 years old. You may want to watch both these films before showing them to any children.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 10-21-2014 at 01:16 PM.
  #43  
Old 10-28-2014, 12:14 PM
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Mrs. FtG read This Is Where I Leave You last week and liked it a lot, so the film based on it became our MotW. I didn't know much about the movie outside of the actors (Bateman and Fey) appearing on talk shows and seemingly obsessing over Jane Fonda's fake boobs in the movie.

I wasn't expecting much since it's only 43% at Rotten Tomatoes (33% top critics) and I think that's a fair ranking.

Not really much of a story. Mostly a series of vignettes about a weird family. Figured out the "big surprise" very early on. I really don't think Bateman's character really learned anything or grew, at least in a long term way.

Some really good secondary actors: Corey Stoll (House of Cards, current Homeland) does a nice job at comedy. Adam Driver is also nice, but his character is a little too close to the one on Girls. Tina Fey's role didn't give her much to do.

The soundtrack at times was quite nice. But I wouldn't rate this as a bad enough movie with a great soundtrack to qualify for that recent thread.

BTW: Some character names and events were changed for the movie, as per Mrs. FtG.
  #44  
Old 10-28-2014, 12:45 PM
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Watched "The World's End", starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Always entertaining to watch those two together. It did get a little old and long with all the fighting of alien robots.
  #45  
Old 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM
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I saw Birdman on Sunday night and thought it was pretty fantastic.

Keaton's character isn't just a thinly-veiled version of himself, but there's no doubt that his career arc and personal life gave him a lot to work with in here. He's fantastic, and really shows his chops as an actor -- which is doubly impressive given how tricky it can be to act like an actor acting. At varying levels of "quality."

The secondary cast really shine, too. Zach Galifinakis brings a really good understated performance. Ed Norton is fantastic.

The cinematography and staging are fascinating and inventive. You get a really unique sense of timing and space. It's meant to seem like almost the entire movie is a single continuous take, and the effect is hypnotic and intense.

All of the above wouldn't mean much if the script was lousy, but it isn't. Funny, poignant, engaging...it hits a lot of solid notes.
  #46  
Old 10-28-2014, 02:34 PM
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Saw Rush last night.
About the 76' Formula 1 season and the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. I thought it was pretty great.
I knew nothing of the story going in but knew it was based on true events. Awesome since real life racing stories trump anything hollywood can come up with.
From reading some articles and interviews afterwards it sounds like they stuck to what really happened throughout.
  #47  
Old 10-28-2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marshmallow View Post
[Rec]: Spanish horror. Best found footage movie I've ever seen. That might not be saying much though since I find most of them stupid or dull (e.g. Paranormal Inactivity). Works well because everyone is trapped inside a cramped building. Pseudo-zombie movie, more like the rage virus. Avoid if you can't stand women screaming at the top of their lungs. The main characters are dumb and refuse to fight back with weapons. Worth it for the last 20 minutes.
I LOVED this movie. I saw all 3 in the chain. [rec]2 takes place at the same time as [rec] but through different character's eyes. Also, really good. [rec]3.....not so much

[rec] was made into an American film called Quarantine with Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter). Also, excellent.
  #48  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:27 PM
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Or most recent MotW was The One I Love with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss.

A couple in therapy goes to a "retreat" recommended by their therapist (Ted Danson). Really odd stuff ensues.

I don't want to say, not even in spoilers, what happens. It's more fun to see it unfold. (Hence I recommend avoiding sites where spoilers are likely to be given.)

I liked it. Mrs. FtG not so much. One of those "buy the premise ..." situations. It's more for the Safety Not Guaranteed crowd. (Also by the Duplasses.)

It's a two character (?) film. Certain subtle traits have to conveyed by the actors. Duplass does a reasonable job while Moss pretty much nails it.

It's a family-made film. The brothers Duplass co-exec. produce it. Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm and step-son of Danson) directs.

One quirk: The movie has two Oscar winners in incredibly minor roles. One just a small voice-only part, the other briefly seen in the background.
  #49  
Old 11-05-2014, 02:14 PM
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I saw St vincent. If you are a Bill Murray fan, run, dont walk to see it.

It's one of those "grouchy old men" films, kinda like Gran Torino. Its also very interesting to contrast & compare, since Clint turned his film into a bit of a action film, whereas St Vincent is more realistic.
  #50  
Old 11-05-2014, 02:38 PM
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Thirded Grand Budapest Hotel. I am a big Wes Anderson fan and I really enjoyed it.

I also recommend Dear White People. I'm into critical race theory so this was right up my alley. However, I expected it to be predominantly about white people being racist, a sort of laundry list cataloging white sins. It's really not about white people at all, though there are definitely some white people doing some racist things. It's really about personal identity and how we come to terms with the fact that we are always a part of someone else's agenda. Most of the people in the story are being used in some way, and how they grapple with that is relevant to any person regardless of race.

The movie isn't perfect but even flawed it has a sort of genius about it. It is a film that analyzes itself. You start off thinking it has a very clear simplistic message but then was the film is over you begin to realize the complexities it is grappling with. My husband found the culminating scenes reminiscent of Do the Right Thing. But the way the film worked best for me is that it really showed the core of suffering that drives every activist. It's easy to get caught up in high minded academic discussions of race, but films like this are a reminder that the reason we care about this shit is because people get hurt.

And even though I'm white, it left me with a lot to think about with regards to my own life and identity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Deth
I saw St vincent. If you are a Bill Murray fan, run, dont walk to see it.
I'm on it.

Next on my list to see is Django Unchained. I'm a tad nervous because I can be squeamish with depictions of intense suffering, but I also love Tarantino so I gotta go for it.
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