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 Posted:   Sep 21, 2010 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   Cryogenix   (Member)

Heat - We started this not knowing how long it was, but ended up finishing it. The first hour went by reasonably well, with maybe 15 minutes of lulling during the private life scenes with spouses or girlfriends. Second hour was about the same. Around the 2-hour mark, I felt the movie was going to end very abruptly and oddly because of the time...fortunately, there was still about another hour to go... Not as caper-driven as I'd hoped, but a solid drama with some superb acting by an all-star cast. The Pacino-DeNiro coffee encounter was some of the best interaction I've seen onscreen; they had dynamite chemistry and their subtle looks were incredible. Also, this has one of the most intense, realistic gun fights I've ever come across. Nicely shot. The film could easily be trimmed by 30 minutes without losing much of importance, since the interaction in the coffee encounter summed up each character's life, doing away with the need for all the tedious backstory early on. Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman were both super cute in this - what a surprise to see them together again (Where the Heart Is came later, I believe.) That's the beauty of not paying attention to the credits or reading reviews prior to seeing a film: all the appearances are surprises. Loved the ending!...the very end - 9.5

 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2010 - 8:29 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

WALL-E

I just caught up with this film on a used DVD and have watched it twice. I really liked the first 25 minutes showing how the title character goes about his programmed business collecting, crushing and stacking garbage in huge pyramids. Like many of us, he retires at the end of the day to enjoy a little entertainment and get some rest. Along the way he salvages a few valuables such as spare body parts for himself, a Rubik's Cube and Twinkies for his cockroach friend. After getting a crush on a technologically superior robot named EVE, the film takes a slightly bizarre turn when WALL-E heads into outer space and encounters the "human blobs" living on a vessel run by computers. I do like the amusing bits like WALL-E's use of a fire extinguisher in space and his confrontations with a fastidious cleaning robot. A bit of a downer for a kids film I thought, but still an enjoyable film.

I'll rate it 8/10.

 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2010 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Devil

Just may be the surprise of the year, and in a good way. With a bit of a dumb title, and some very doubtful pedigree via an original story, but not all written by M.Night Shyamalan, "Devil" is a very well executed suspense thriller with a dash of horror, a slice of whodunit and a pinch of morality, all of which make for a good, tingling time at the theatre.

The film is very straightforward in it's intent right from the outset: The Devil is out to get his due this day by snagging well deserved souls and we are about to watch it happen. I really feel that ones take on how good this movie is all depends on whether or not you "buy into" the story. If you do, as I did, you are hooked. Just go with it, you wont be disappointed.

The scenes are extremely well blocked and executed, the acting is uniformly good and the dialogue is spot on. There really isn't a wasted scene in the movie and there some good scare moments that made me jump out of my seat. But the best moments of the film of course are those inside the elevator. Its a classic "who's doing it" for most of the film and you will keep on guessing, even if you think you figured it out. And what I also liked about this movie is the morality tale that it spins, as in, the horror and violence has a point. There is a reason to this madness and it emotionally anchors the film someways that most so called horror films do not.

"Devil" is a movie I feel should be experienced in a large, dark theatre and not at home. There are moments when the lights go out in the film and there is only the sound of what is taking place for several long and tense seconds, and you are wondering what in gods name is going on and then, the reveal.

And the music is great! Very boisterous, in your face and Hermmanesque in style and I loved it.

For a movie with a very limited budget, they knew what to do here and again it proves the point that what we don't see scares you more than what you do. Yes, there are moments of gore, but its all after the fact and adds to the notion that things are gonna get worse and worse. And they do, all to the delight of us horror fans.

Take a chance on this one if you are in the mood for a good thriller. I believe you'll have a "Devil" of a time finding a better one this year. wink

7/10

 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2010 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Devil

Just may be the surprise of the year, and in a good way. With a bit of a dumb title, and some very doubtful pedigree via an original story, but not all written by M.Night Shyamalan, "Devil" is a very well executed suspense thriller with a dash of horror, a slice of whodunit and a pinch of morality, all of which make for a good, tingling time at the theatre.

The film is very straightforward in it's intent right from the outset: The Devil is out to get his due this day by snagging well deserved souls and we are about to watch it happen. I really feel that ones take on how good this movie is all depends on whether or not you "buy into" the story. If you do, as I did, you are hooked. Just go with it, you wont be disappointed.

The scenes are extremely well blocked and executed, the acting is uniformly good and the dialogue is spot on. There really isn't a wasted scene in the movie and there some good scare moments that made me jump out of my seat. But the best moments of the film of course are those inside the elevator. Its a classic "who's doing it" for most of the film and you will keep on guessing, even if you think you figured it out. And what I also liked about this movie is the morality tale that it spins, as in, the horror and violence has a point. There is a reason to this madness and it emotionally anchors the film someways that most so called horror films do not.

"Devil" is a movie I feel should be experienced in a large, dark theatre and not at home. There are moments when the lights go out in the film and there is only the sound of what is taking place for several long and tense seconds, and you are wondering what in gods name is going on and then, the reveal.

And the music is great! Very boisterous, in your face and Hermmanesque in style and I loved it.

For a movie with a very limited budget, they knew what to do here and again it proves the point that what we don't see scares you more than what you do. Yes, there are moments of gore, but its all after the fact and adds to the notion that things are gonna get worse and worse. And they do, all to the delight of us horror fans.

Take a chance on this one if you are in the mood for a good thriller. I believe you'll have a "Devil" of a time finding a better one this year. wink

7/10



Thanks for your review! I was going to skip it but after reading your post I'm planning on catching it at the theater now!

---

My Soul to Take...October 8th...Wes Craven...can't wait! Gonna see this one opening day, first thing.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2010 - 4:27 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. There's a reason that this film (and the first one), though successful, didn't strike a chord the way High School Musical did; it's still diverting, and Demi Lovato proves she's several cuts above the Selena Gomezes of this world (as she also did in the first one, and when she and Selena teamed up for Princess Protection Program). Plus Christopher Lennertz supplies an above-average Disney Channel Original Movie score - when all the sound but the underscore disappears once the winner's announced in the climactic contest between Camp Rock and rival Camp Star, Lennertz really brings home the emotion when Camp Rock loses. 7/10.

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2010 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

ATTENTION HORROR FANS: there is a movie you need to see...P2.

Dude, Wes Bentley is f***ing creepy!



P2 (2007) -- 9/10

Trust me on this. I can't tell you how many times I used to pass by this title at Blockbuster, being somewhat curious but ultimately judging it as a lame direct-to-DVD horror film. Boy was I wrong -- I wish I'd picked this one up a long time ago! This movie excels in the "claustrophobic horror" category. You will be shocked at how much suspense and intensity the filmmakers manage to squeeze out of a simple scenario (psycho stalks woman in parking garage). It's a silly premise, but this was a very inventive horror film, and some of the best horror films are not about their setup but about their style and tactics. This quiet little film is scarier than most mainstream attempts. The villain in particular is extremely disturbing due to his persistently friendly demeanor, no matter what sick shit he's up to. Usually, in horror movies, the more the twisted villain thinks what he's doing is normal or justified, the scarier he/she is. Great credit to Bentley for imbuing this character with a horrifying off-kilter normalcy. Like his classic final line: I just want to be friends!!! Man I loved that!

This film also has the distinction of joining the hallowed pantheon of all-time scariest Christmas horror movies.

A favorable review by the Ebert:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071108/REVIEWS/711080305



And for those that need extra convincing, meet your heroine!



 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2010 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)







Rachel Nichols alert! smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2010 - 9:39 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Reality Bites (1994) -- 8.5/10

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2010 - 2:23 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Looking for Eric (2009) by Ken Loach -- Excellent comedy from Ken Loach. Eric is a middle-aged man, who has moved past but never gotten over a mistake from his youth. When circumstances bring him face to face with his mistake, he ends up depressed and distant from his friends and the stepsons who live with him, one of whom is getting into some trouble. Eric has a series of imaginary conversations with his soccer hero, Eric Cantona (played by himself), by means of which he struggles to get his life back together. It sounds like a sappy self-improvement comedy, but with Loach's naturalistic and very humanistic eye behind the camera, it comes across as believable, touching, and often very funny. (****)

Boogie Woogie (2009) by Duncan Ward -- A toothless black comedy poking fun at the high-class London art scene. Boringly executed, with a fun cast (Gillian Anderson, Heather Graham, Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Lee, Danny Huston, Alan Cumming, Stellan Skarsgård and more) mostly wasted and characters about whom it's impossible to like or even care, a bunch of people stabbing each other in the back has never been so little fun. It's like the filmmakers, for fear of offending their targets, forgot to entertain their audience, or at least have something interesting to say about the subject. Maybe worth it if you already have some appreciation for the art on display. (*)

Me and Orson Welles (2008) by Richard Linklater -- Zac Efron channeling Christian Bale is a high-schooler who finagles his way onto Orson Welles' production of Julius Caesar, falls into first love with Claire Danes, and grows up with some help from Welles' ego. This is just a fun, pleasant period piece, well-acted throughout (especially by Christian McKay, who nails Welles), and a welcome return (and then some, as it gives up the pseudo-philosophy in favor of a good story) to form for Linklater. (****)

Transsiberian (2008) by Brad Anderson -- Train thriller from the director of The Machinist. A nice couple are on a trans-siberian train when they meet another young couple who will complicate their trip with drug-related trouble. Harrelson is okay but not as much fun as he usually is recently. Mortimer is uneven and can be very good or very boring; in this movie she vacillates between the two. For a thriller, there was to me a pretty incredible lack of urgency to the whole affair, such that the climax and twists seemed to just arrive rather than be inevitable escalations of action. To be fair, I had a headache while I was watching which may have thrown me off the movie, but I don't think so. It just felt like a very well-shot slight misfire of a wintry train thriller. I'm still interested to explore more of Anderson's work, but this one just didn't quite do it for me. (***)

"Plastic Bag" (2009) by Ramin Bahrani -- Short film from the point of view of a plastic bag. Directed by Bahrani and narrated by Warner Herzog. A beautiful, fantastic movie. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 6:53 AM   
 By:   Cryogenix   (Member)

Se7en - Brad Pitt's acting in this was very obnoxious and self-serving (and just bad and shallow), and he annoyed me for most of the film. Too much playing with his hair and open-mouthed jaw/tongue movement to flaunt his lips and cheek muscles. However, I did like the last few minutes of screen time he had. This is a great crime drama with some excellent elements of gore. Fairly good mystery with some mediocre suspense. Somewhat too predictable at times, though. The ending was obvious about 50 minutes prior. It has decent creep factor - 8

The Devil's Advocate - It started off interestingly and appeared to be headed to greatness, then Keanu started losing his southern accent for entire scenes (ruining the credibility and believability of his character - big distraction) and the story started going to random places without really giving the viewer any solid insight as to why this was going on, which was frustrating. Charlize gave a brilliant performance and was the movie's only saving grace. The story was very random, chopped up and had pointless mystery. The clues to what was going on were there, to be sure, but the way the story's structured and gets to that final point was, I felt, stupid and unfulfilling. It's excitement without energy, mystery without intrigue, drama without emotion (except for Charlize's scenes) and some of the scenes were overly long and boringly explanatory. Very bizarre and different and somewhat mind-numbing. I wonder if this film was the inspiration for Constantine, which Keanu also starred in. One point of irritation: I hate scenes where dialogue is repeated for dramatic effect. During an exchange with his mother, Keanu shouts "Say it! about five times between her pointless rants. That kind of stuff usually isn't very effective, and it certainly wasn't in this case - 6.5

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

The Devil's Advocate

As much as I like the actors, I didn't think Delroy Lindo and Craig T. Nelson's scenes should have made the final cut, they signficantly helped drag the movie down for me. They would be great deleted scenes, but...

I was very disappointed by this movie, especially the grandstanding by Pacino at the end, which was so manufactured just to give him some actorly moments of yelling and being deliciously evil. The movie could have been great, a fine concept and story, but the way the screenplay was written and the structure of the story really handicapped the picture.

I've not yet seen a Taylor Hackford movie I've liked.

---

I agree that Pitt was distracting and somewhat irritating in Se7en. Imagine how perfect the movie would've been if the part of David Mills was played by say Edward Norton or Barry Pepper or Giovanni Ribisi...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   Cryogenix   (Member)

The Devil's Advocate

As much as I like the actors, I didn't think Delroy Lindo and Craig T. Nelson's scenes should have made the final cut, they signficantly helped drag the movie down for me. They would be great deleted scenes, but...

I was very disappointed by this movie, especially the grandstanding by Pacino at the end, which was so manufactured just to give him some actorly moments of yelling and being deliciously evil. The movie could have been great, a fine concept and story, but the way the screenplay was written and the structure of the story really handicapped the picture.

I agree that Pitt was distracting and somewhat irritating in Se7en. Imagine how perfect the movie would've been if the part of David Mills was played by say Edward Norton or Barry Pepper or Giovanni Ribisi...


Yeah, those two entries you mentioned should've ended up on the cutting room floor, as they served no useful purpose to the overall story.

Yes, I totally agree about Pacino's grandstanding at the end (and the last five seconds of the end) which was absolutely pathetic and grating - I fast-forwarded through some of it until the hot stepsister got naked... smile

Edward Norton in that role would've been perfection! I can picture him doing the final sequence with Spacey, having all the suppressed anger and rage and despair pouring through his intense expressions. Pitt did alright, but it seemed somewhat forced.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

I fast-forwarded through some of it until the hot stepsister got naked... smile

YES.

Edward Norton in that role would've been perfection! I can picture him doing the final sequence with Spacey, having all the suppressed anger and rage and despair pouring through his intense expressions. Pitt did alright, but it seemed somewhat forced.

Now that we're talking about it, I think it actually really sucks that Norton didn't play David Mills. I'm no expert, but having seen a number of his films I do think he could handle every emotion and nuance way better than Pitt. Pitt seemed too awkward for the role and his annoying mannerisms were distracting, like you said touching his hair and his mouth/tongue gesticulations. Personally, Pitt's expressions and mannerisms have always been a little irritating throughout his career. I usually like his movies, but I'm not crazy about him as an actor (he was terrible, terrible, terrible when he guested on Friends). At the time of Se7en he was trying to shed his pretty-boy image from Legends of the Fall, Interview with a Vampire, and A River Runs Through It, so he tried gritty and grimy for Se7en, but he still came across as a novice and aside from the final scene of despair and rage (like you mentioned) I don't think he handled the acting requirements of the role as well as Norton (or Ribisi) would. Having said that, his "wet behind the ears" status as an actor at the time fit in with his character's "wet behind the ears" role, but otherwise he was just flat.

Just some rambling...wink

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   Cryogenix   (Member)

Pitt seemed too awkward for the role and his annoying mannerisms were distracting, like you said touching his hair and his mouth/tongue gesticulations. Personally, Pitt's expressions and mannerisms have always been a little irritating throughout his career. I usually like his movies, but I'm not crazy about him as an actor (he was terrible, terrible, terrible when he guested on Friends). At the time of Se7en he was trying to shed his pretty-boy image from Legends of the Fall, Interview with a Vampire, and A River Runs Through It, so he tried gritty and grimy for Se7en, but he still came across as a novice and aside from the final scene of despair and rage (like you mentioned) I don't think he handled the acting requirements of the role as well as Norton (or Ribisi) would. Having said that, his "wet behind the ears" status as an actor at the time fit in with his character's "wet behind the ears" role, but otherwise he was just flat.

I got what his character was supposed to be, but I wouldn't say "wet behind the ears" is accurate, since he stated he had 5+ years of homicide investigative experience. Perhaps more of a "fish out of water/small fish in a big pond" element, given where he came from and where he ended up, as well as the seasoned detective he was assigned to. The other big and noticeable issue with his acting in Se7en was the way he executed his dialogue. Many times, it seemed like he was nonchalantly reading lines from a dull book, rather than expressing his character's actual core being in words. His personality was very inconsistent as indicated by his infliction and confidence (or lack thereof for both.) By no means a bad film, it just could've been more gripping and emotional...and believable.

One thing The Devil's Advocate had going for it was the plethora of hot, naked women... Wow!

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

One thing The Devil's Advocate had going for it was the plethora of hot, naked women... Wow!

You're going to hell! Don't you see? It's just what he wants! Lust and stuff!!!

wink

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 3:00 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I thought Brad Pitt did a great job in Seven, even though I normally don't care for him (though I'd rather watch him than Edward Norton, but that's just me).

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Cape Fear (1962) -- 8.5/10

As high as I rate this movie, the 1991 remake is better at 10/10. Both are excellent, but the remake is a noteworthy improvement, and one of my all-time favorite pictures. The 1962 characters are more one-dimensional than their 1991 counterparts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing or a bad way to tell the story, but the complex "everyone has their dark side" shadings of the remake are far more interesting to me -- the characters in the 1991 version are considerably more detailed, finely drawn, and fascinating. Also, Scorsese blew me away with his visual storytelling, camerawork, and lightning editing, which significantly enhance the tale at hand. All actors in the remake are more impassioned and there is a heightened sense of desperation, panic, and terror...the 1962 version was a quieter study in psychological warfare, and it certainly has its place -- I imagine the earlier film, in its time, was just as terrifying for different reasons. Also somewhat of an influence on my comparison is that I saw the 1991 version first, at the impressionable age of 13, so it carries more weight and nightmarish quality to me. You absolutely cannot go wrong with either film.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2010 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Everybody's Fine (2008) -- 9/10

Warning: this film could reduce you to a quivering, sniveling emotional mess (unlike what the poster would have you believe). Trust me.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2010 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

BLADE RUNNER - THE FINAL CUT

I finally bought this 4-Disc Collector's Edition, which sports all 4 versions of the film. There really is not much difference between the various cuts of the film. Harrison Ford's narration has been removed and the ending is cut down to leave it a little more up to the viewer's imagination. In my opinion, 1982 was the greatest year ever for the sci-fi and horror genres, in terms of quantity and quality output in a single year, and this film completes my collection.

I tend to agree with critic Leonard Maltin's feelings toward the film. Like many of Ridley Scott's films, it's a technical marvel but has little in the way of character development. Pretty bare bones story as well. Deckard is given the task of "retiring" 4 rogue replicants. He locates each one, gets beaten up by them, then destroys them. He receives help with the second one (Leon) from a young and pretty Sean Young. Deckard doesn't seem to be very good at what he does. Young was the best looking female robot I'd seen until Summer Glau came along in the TERMINATOR TV series.

I'm glad to have the film in my collection. Disc 1 has three commentary tracks. Disc 2 has a feature length documentary on the film. Disc 3 has the three alternate versions of the film, including the 1982 theatrical version. Disc 4 has additional featurettes on various aspects of production. I bought this set used at Amazon for only $12.00, a real bargain.

Concerning Vangelis' score, I like it and it works well in the film. However, the saxophone solos sound very similar in theme to Frankie Valli's classic "You're Just Too Good To Be True, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". Did you notice that? Was this intentional?

I'll rate the film 7.5/10.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2010 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   mrscott   (Member)

Better late than never? Was on vacation. Saw this on Maui at a 4 theater multiplex.

The Town / Rated R for violence, sex, drugs, drinking, bad language and then some more violence.
In spite of the meaningless title TT is Ben Affleck’s best film since….. actually, it is his only really good film. And he gets all the credit. Based on a novel, he co-wrote the screenplay, directed and takes the lead role. This is a heist film of the first order. It is also a violent crime drama so take the rating warnings very seriously. Did I mention violence yet? Beatings, shootings and fights dot the landscape. Often in combinations. The story takes place in Boston where a screen blurb at the beginning of the film informs us that Boston is the bank holdup and armored car robbery capitol of the world. Ben plays the lead planner except for the two bad guys who run a flower shop and steal everything in sight while trimming some daisies. They are also the thinking thieves. On Ben’s violent team are three toughies all from bad neighborhoods. The main assistant baddie is played by Jeremy Renner right out of last years Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. The movie is structured with an opening bank heist then 45 minutes go by and a second Big Job takes place then exactly 45 minutes go by and as the finale begins to unfold so does the final big heist. This means the drama and character development has a chance to take place between the violence, thieving and gun fire. An unusual love story forms a big part of the story but is used to highlight the suspense and set up the action sequences. Actress Rebecca Hall has the female lead as she did in Woody Allen’s film “Vicky Chris tina Barcelona” (2008). Other good character actors like Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite (the Safari hunter outsmarted by two dino’s in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park ” (1997). This is a tightly directed and consistent thriller that shows the seamy side of the world of crime a lot like the Oscar winning film “The Departed” (2006). If you liked that film this one will be right up your crime ridden alley. Look for The Town to also be an Oscar contender. Do not mix up “The Town” and the M. Night Shymalan movie “The Village” (2004). It’s too bad all the prints of The Village didn’t disappear in an armored car heist. Along with “Armored” released December 2009 and “Takers” released August 2010 this makes three armored car heist films put out in less than 9 months. The next armored car flick should be here by January 2011. If not, I am going to feel a little ripped off.
Rated 3.5 out of 4 armored car heist films if one is released January 2011 as indicated above.

 
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