The Last Three Movies You've Watched

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Humphrey
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23151 Post by Humphrey » 01 Nov 2013, 06:22

I've been away, which was the reason for my absence from here.

Only three films to report on (apart from the 30+ I watched for work).

Gravity :5stars: descending to :3stars: the more I think about it. It is what cinema is supposed to be: thrilling as fuck. I was exhausted by the time I left the cinema. The only other time I felt this viscerally affected by a film that wasn't horror or porn, was when I first saw The Matrix. But with a bit of distance, the film starts to fall apart. It ceases to be that wonderfully simple film
Spoiler
of a breakneck escape from onrushing death, and it becomes an oddly dull film about a woman coming to grips with the death of her child and being inspired to love life once more by the self-sacrifice of voice-of-God-Clooney. Ultimately she is born again, gasping for air, from the symbolic womb. And then there are the questions: why did the Russians blow up one of their satellites? How come they had time to execute an orderly escape while the Americans didn't? How come the Chinese also slipped away safe and sound? Why did neither the Chinese nor the Russians attempt to offer help to the Americans? Then there are the (several) jumpings of the shark: the ISS blows into smithereens around her, but not a single splinter touches her. She successfully leapfrogs onto the Chinese space station from a vessel travelling at a different speed, using a fire extinguisher for propulsion, when she has no experience of a propelled space-walk rig, and has never successfully landed a jet propelled landing capsule...
Overall: an adrenaline rush while it lasts, but like a frenetic wank, it is over too soon and seems sordid and scarcely credible with hindsight.

Blue Jasmine :2stars: I'm not a fan of Cate Blanchett, but she does OK, here. Louis C.K. is wonderful in his short supporting role. But Allen back on form? Puh-lease. This is an unimaginative rip-off of A Streetcar Named Desire, and provides, once more, proof that Allen cannot do subtle. I mean you don't need to give us a conflict between the Queen of England and a Sunderland football fan to highlight class conflict in 21st century Britain. What's wrong with, say, a New York gallery owner who loses her business because of her husband's dodgy dealings, who has to move in with her sister who runs a beauty salon? Or fashion journalist versus burger joint owner/waitress? Or architect versus taxi driver? But multi-millionaire socialite versus grocery store bagger? :roll: Shows that Allen (at least as a filmmaker) can only think of the world in trite binary oppositions.

Beyond the Hills :5stars: Romanian girl returns from Germany, where she works, to remote Romanian village, where her childhood friend now lives as a nun. Things go wrong. Wonderful.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23152 Post by Buckykatt » 01 Nov 2013, 10:30

Eyes Without a Face :4stars: Stunningly shot, eerie, gorgeous to look at, haunting and a good if offbeat film for Halloween night.

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23153 Post by knarf » 01 Nov 2013, 11:36

Humphrey wrote:I've been away, which was the reason for my absence from here.

Only three films to report on (apart from the 30+ I watched for work).

Gravity
Spoiler
And then there are the questions: why did the Russians blow up one of their satellites? How come they had time to execute an orderly escape while the Americans didn't? How come the Chinese also slipped away safe and sound? Why did neither the Chinese nor the Russians attempt to offer help to the Americans? Then there are the (several) jumpings of the shark: the ISS blows into smithereens around her, but not a single splinter touches her. She successfully leapfrogs onto the Chinese space station from a vessel travelling at a different speed, using a fire extinguisher for propulsion, when she has no experience of a propelled space-walk rig, and has never successfully landed a jet propelled landing capsule...
There are definite flaws and "movie moments" in this, but some of your questions are have answers.
Spoiler
Satellites have been intentionally blown up in the past, and there were concerns about the debris causing a chain reaction like in the film. Anyone in the stations (assuming the Chinese one was continually manned) would have been able to evacuate quickly, especially if there wasn't any extravehicular activity going on at the time (and the Russians could've been forewarned). Plus, there's really no way they really could have got to them to help.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23154 Post by Steel Frog » 01 Nov 2013, 13:29

Buckykatt wrote:Eyes Without a Face :4stars: Stunningly shot, eerie, gorgeous to look at, haunting and a good if offbeat film for Halloween night.
You sure about this?

I spend so much time believing all the lies. ;)

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23155 Post by Batman » 02 Nov 2013, 01:23

Steel Frog wrote:
Buckykatt wrote:Eyes Without a Face :4stars: Stunningly shot, eerie, gorgeous to look at, haunting and a good if offbeat film for Halloween night.
You sure about this?

I spend so much time believing all the lies. ;)
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23156 Post by Steel Frog » 02 Nov 2013, 06:09

Batman wrote:
Steel Frog wrote:
Buckykatt wrote:Eyes Without a Face :4stars: Stunningly shot, eerie, gorgeous to look at, haunting and a good if offbeat film for Halloween night.
You sure about this?

I spend so much time believing all the lies.
I prefer to be on a bus on a psychedelic trip, reading murder books and trying to stay hip.
My friend and I did that once; we stole a car and went to Las Vegas.

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23157 Post by Humphrey » 04 Nov 2013, 01:42

Tanguy :3stars: Parents turn to guerilla warfare when they want rid of their 28-year old son, who refuses to move out. The premise is pretty good. What the director does with it is both more and less than what you'd expect: it never descends/rises to a level of silliness that you'd find in a Blake Edwards film (a brief, but explicit reference is made to Edwards in the film), but neither is it a straight-faced examination of the real phenomenon of 30-somethings refusing to fly the nest. As a result, the odd cartoonish moment mixes a trifle uncomfortably with close-to-the-bone observations about the extremely thin line between love and hate in very close family relationships.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23158 Post by Bill » 05 Nov 2013, 00:47

Humphrey wrote: Only three films to report on (apart from the 30+ I watched for work).
aww I was hoping for your (hopefully negative) review of Only God Forgives
.

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23159 Post by Humphrey » 05 Nov 2013, 00:53

Bill wrote:
Humphrey wrote: Only three films to report on (apart from the 30+ I watched for work).
aww I was hoping for your (hopefully negative) review of Only God Forgives
Still waiting for it to come to B'buster online.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23160 Post by Humphrey » 11 Nov 2013, 08:02

Noticed after a week of no service that B'buster have stopped operating. Switched to Cinema Paradiso (I hate streaming services and don't want to watch films on a computer, however amazing the screen might be).

Iron Man 3 :3stars: This is good solid Hollywood blockbuster territory with a strong charismatic star, a passable script and a decent support cast (except for the mercifully underused Don Cheadle, although even he struggles to cock up a character as straightforward as this). The odd flash of charm (Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau and Guy Pearce, even Gwyneth Paltrow, all have a strong scene or at least one perfect line) makes this a very satisfying Sunday-afternoon watch. It certainly won't stick in the mind, but then again, why should it try?

Pacific Rim :1star: Rewatched this with my wife and brother. Still a very bad film.

This is the End :3.5stars: Laugh-out-loud funny in several places. The only real criticism I have is that Michael Cera's magnificent cameo overshadowed everything, and none of the film could live up to that level of perfection.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23161 Post by Humphrey » 13 Nov 2013, 01:10

Ender's Game :3stars: Thoughtful, and thought provoking, even if clunky in places. (The bloke two or three rows ahead who was checking his phone for the time or for new entries in an interminable Skype conversation every 2 minutes, is a shit. Work on your patience, twatface! It's not necessary to look at your phone every other fucking minute. You did not do this three years ago, when you didn't have a smartphone yet, and you don't need to do it now. You just do, because you're turning into a moron, a lazy tech-addicted lard-brained twat of a greaseball with no ability to become absorbed in a thing.)
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23162 Post by Steel Frog » 13 Nov 2013, 13:36

Humphrey wrote:Ender's Game :3stars: Thoughtful, and thought provoking, even if clunky in places. (The bloke two or three rows ahead who was checking his phone for the time or for new entries in an interminable Skype conversation every 2 minutes, is a shit. Work on your patience, twatface! It's not necessary to look at your phone every other fucking minute. You did not do this three years ago, when you didn't have a smartphone yet, and you don't need to do it now. You just do, because you're turning into a moron, a lazy tech-addicted lard-brained twat of a greaseball with no ability to become absorbed in a thing.)
A review which didn't cover the movie at all, but instead indulged your personal world ... I TOTALLY approve! ;)

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23163 Post by Batman » 18 Nov 2013, 03:08

Babette's Feast (1987) - :3.5stars:. Good film, but I wouldn't have guessed this was a Best Foreign Language film Academy Award winner. I saw this with a film society and afterwards they had a little discussion. I didn't add anything as the new guy, but I thought the whole let's discuss the film would have been more fun if we had done it after a shitty movie. "Redemptive quality of food? Fuck that. Let's talk about how ridiculous it was pretending Stallone is a genius in a prison."

Thor: The Dark World (2013) - :4stars:. They've obviously taken a lesson from The Avengers and decided to make these films more about the characters. Better dialogue all around combined with more action and humor than the original makes for a much better popcorn flick.

Blue Velvet (1986) - :2.5stars:. This was quite disappointing. I was expecting something more along the lines of the genius of Mulholland Dr. Instead I got a bad episode of "Twin Peaks".
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23164 Post by Batman » 18 Nov 2013, 03:09

Mrs. Miniver (1942) - :3stars:. Given the date of the movie, I can understand why it was so popular during WWII. However, watching it for the first time more than 70 years after its release date made it seem cartoonish and extremely jingoistic. Still, if you can separate yourself from modern sentiments, it has its charms.

One Chance (2013) - :1.5stars:. This is the "true" story of the opera-singing schlub who won the original series of "Britain's Got Talent (although apparently not in grammar)". I put the word "true" in apostrophes because this is only the sort of "truth" you might find when Simon Cowell is involved. In fact, as the saccharine story progresses, it becomes evident that the title "One Chance" couldn't be more inappropriate. This is not the story of a guy who secretly sang in the shower and then thought he'd give Nessun Dorma a shot on national television. No, this fellow has been singing his whole life. His choir master was extremely supportive and gave him plenty of chances to shine (chance number one). He decides to pursue his love of opera and go to Venice in order to study at Pavarotti's school (chance number two). He flubs his final performance in front of Pavarotti and goes home. However, once home he lands the lead in a Welsh production of Aida (chance number three). Finally he tries out for BGT and the rest is history. In short, this ain't Rocky. It's a vomit-inducing film that would be better suited for the Lifetime network rather than the big screen. Fuck you, Simon Cowell.

Castle in the Sky (1986) - :3stars:. Another pretty film from Studio Ghibli. I don't think it's as amazing as Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle, but it's a nice little film.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23165 Post by Batman » 18 Nov 2013, 03:10

Gravity (2013) - :3.5stars:. This film looks amazing. You'll sit there watching and wonder what kind of budget Cuarón had that allowed him to shoot in space. It really is spectacular. Where the film drags a bit, though, is when they have to convince Sandra Bullock that she wants to continue to live. I think this film would have been just fine without her needing to make some kind of personal journey like that. Self-preservation would have been enough of a motviation for me.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - :2.5stars:. This was a nice little biopic and both Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson do fine work. But ultimately, it's rather forgettable.

You Can't Take It with You (1938) - :2.5stars:. Truth be told, this wasn't just a little boring, it was a lot boring. I fell asleep several times trying to watch this. I suppose it's good enough if you're hopped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie Sticks, but anything less... meh.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23166 Post by Buckykatt » 18 Nov 2013, 07:54

Batman wrote:
You Can't Take It with You (1938) - :2.5stars:. Truth be told, this wasn't just a little boring, it was a lot boring. I fell asleep several times trying to watch this. I suppose it's good enough if you're hopped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie Sticks, but anything less... meh.
I don't disagree, but if you ever have a chance to see this version, with Jason Robards as the patriarch and Colleen Dewherst as Grand Duchess Olga Katrina, I highly recommend it. I have an ancient copy on VHS that I should burn to DVD one of these days.

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23167 Post by spivey » 19 Nov 2013, 13:20

Marwencol :4stars: Probably one of the most fascinating things I've ever watched. A closeup on the notion of art as psychotherapy. Remains neutral while still lavishing the camera on its subject. Bravo.

Gravity :2.5stars: I so want to give this more stars 'cause it had some truly poetic shots in it...
Spoiler
the shot of Sandra Bullock curled up asleep with the hoses doubling as an umbilical cord; the reflection of herself in her own floating teardrop - cheesy for some, beautiful to me
but there was something about it that just rang hollow. (People were comparing it to 2001 for God's sake.) Visually, yes, it was stunning, and I'm a huge fan of Alfonso Cuarón's work, but this (like the most recent Superman endeavor) felt like an orgy of sound and sight at the expense of story, reflection, insight, meaning, etc. Plus, it didn't help that I've got "Clooney as gently rugged and charming guy" overload. C'mon, dude. Play a child molester already.

Her :4.5stars: Spike Jonze's first film as sole writer. Spike Jonze as aesthetic Charlie Kaufman. Breathtaking. Successfully explores several themes without meandering or losing the story. Transhumanism, sousveillance, futurism, the effects of technology on human relationships (as well as, I think, economics), love, gender theory. Love it or hate it, but in an age of remakes and sequels, this is a movie.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23168 Post by Batman » 27 Nov 2013, 12:01

The Counselor (2013) - :2stars:. Great cast, great screenwriter, great production team. Mediocre film. Meh.

Philomena (2013) - :3stars:. This was a nice little film but solely due to the performances of Judi Dench and especially Steve Coogan. He plays Martin Sixsmith right on the line of utter tool and decent person. In other words, probably exceedingly accurate.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) - :4stars:. I was kind of surprised at how good this was. I wasn't particularly bothered with the first film, but this one was much more intriguing. Jennifer Lawrence does a great job playing a girl who is trying to save her family while simultaneously being unwillingly flung into the forefront of a revolution. The film has plenty of tension and surprise, at least for this guy who hasn't read any of the books. Print is dead, don't you know.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23169 Post by alan smithee » 01 Dec 2013, 14:59

spivey wrote:Plus, it didn't help that I've got "Clooney as gently rugged and charming guy" overload. C'mon, dude. Play a child molester already.
:D
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23170 Post by Steel Frog » 01 Dec 2013, 16:33

alan smithee wrote:
spivey wrote:Plus, it didn't help that I've got "Clooney as gently rugged and charming guy" overload. C'mon, dude. Play a child molester already.
:D
Played a wife-beater on Rosanne. Does that count?

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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23171 Post by Gren » 03 Dec 2013, 08:19

Batman wrote:Philomena (2013) - :3stars:. This was a nice little film but solely due to the performances of Judi Dench and especially Steve Coogan. He plays Martin Sixsmith right on the line of utter tool and decent person. In other words, probably exceedingly accurate.
Agree that there wasn't much to it, but I loved the performances so would go :4stars:
Batman wrote:The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) - :4stars:. I was kind of surprised at how good this was. I wasn't particularly bothered with the first film, but this one was much more intriguing. Jennifer Lawrence does a great job playing a girl who is trying to save her family while simultaneously being unwillingly flung into the forefront of a revolution. The film has plenty of tension and surprise, at least for this guy who hasn't read any of the books. Print is dead, don't you know.
Completely agree on this one.

Also:

The Butler - :2stars: - Impressively boring. Can't remember the last time a titular character had so little impact on the film. Yes he was there but everyone else was far more interesting. And don't give me any waffle about him just being a mechanism to tie the story together.

After Earth - :1.5stars: - Will Smith wants you to know this film isn't about him so does his best to piss you off at every opportunity. He takes this further by introducing lots of interesting ideas into the film and then doing nothing with them.

Saving Mr. Banks - :2.5stars: - Really disappointing. Mrs. Travers didn't make a lot of sense to me. Maybe that's the point. Some great moments but I wanted more.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23172 Post by Batman » 04 Dec 2013, 08:04

The Family (2013) - :2stars:. Sometimes Luc Besson can make a tight, compelling thriller. Sometimes he can show fast-paced, well-choreographed action. Sometimes he throws in humorous situations or comedic moments. Too bad he didn't try doing that this time. Meh.

The Butler (2013) - :2.5stars:. Let me get this straight: there was actually a real guy that worked as a butler at the White House for 30+ years on which this film was made? But instead of using this man's acutal life the writers felt it necessary to stuff in a slew of cliched racial situations, as if Eugene Allen didn't really face any kind of hardships in his life.

Metro Manila (2013) - :3stars:. This was a somewhat interesting thriller about a Filipino farmer who is forced to move to the big city after a disastrous rice-growing season impoverishes him and his family. Once there he gets a job riding shotgun on an armored car, though his naivety seems to be the major reason he has such a large target painted on his back. One thing leads to another and we end up with a not particularly clever "twist" at the end. I suppose it was entertaining enough while it was running, but in retrospect, I'm probably being a half-star too generous.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23173 Post by Batman » 12 Dec 2013, 03:10

Carrie (2013) - :1.5stars:. Ugh. Completely unnecessary remake (I can't call it a "reimagining" as it was imagined exactly like the book and the first film). Absolutely nothing new or interesting was brought to this film. Sub-meh.

Hamlet (1948) - :4stars:. I was really dreading watching this. Shakespeare isn't always the most accessible author in the modern world, but I needn't have worried. Olivier's production made it quite easy to follow, and his acting was probably the most convincing Hamlet I've ever seen. Damn fine movie.

Oldboy (2013) - :3stars:. Another unnecessary remake, though this wasn't nearly as bad as Carrie. As far as the acting and production go, it's a decent movie. But if you've seen the original, you can't help but be disappointed as there will be no real surprises. The fight sequences are pretty good, though not done with as much style as Park's original.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23174 Post by Batman » 12 Dec 2013, 03:10

Nebraska (2013) - :3.5stars:. The subject matter here hit a little close to home. The humor is quite wry and the acting pretty good all around. Worth a watch.

Homefront (2013) - :2.5stars:. After Statham's previous action film Hummingbird, I was concerned that he had forgotten his purpose in action films. He's not there for character development or to build a twisting plotline. He's there to kick ass in short, sporadic bursts, preferably bare-handed. There's plenty of that in this film and not a lot of anything else.

Frozen (3D) (2013) - :3stars:. This was a good film, but not great. The songs are not particularly memorable and the pace is rather slow at first. Once we see the introduction of Olaf the snowman, things improve significantly. Not nearly as good as Tangled, but it's worth a watch.
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Re: The Last Three Movies You've Watched

#23175 Post by Batman » 13 Dec 2013, 07:49

(1963) - :5stars:. Well, I'm clearly a Fellini fan. I loved everything about this film and I'd say it was the best of his that I've seen to date. I loved the way he could drift between "reality" and "dream" and felt that showed as much about Guido's (and presumably Fellini's) character as anything else. And even though it comes across as an honest reflection of how he views himself, I don't think that disqualifies it from being accessible to someone else. I could see parts of myself in the film. I think maybe that's the "truth" he was aiming for, and one that I think he achieves. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

MASH (1970) - :2.5stars:. Wow. What a difference 40+ years makes. The sexism and religious bigotry come across as incredibly mean-spirited and offensive. Who knew that Hawkeye, Trapper John and Duke were such dicks?

Frenzy (1972) - :2.5stars:. Strange. This felt like Hitchcock took a huge step backwards. Nothing particularly exciting or memorable about this film and the few moments of light humor seemed out of place. Very peculiar.
Robin: "Gosh, Batman, is there anything you don't know?"
Batman: "Oh yes, Robin. Several things, in fact."


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