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 Posted:   Mar 27, 2013 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Also, I was close to going to see GI Joe Retaliation this weekend and then I looked at the prior films this director worked on and I just shook my head. What are they smoking to get no name directors and give them massive budgets (see TRON Legacy)?

Have you seen Step Up 3? A ridiculous movie, but with amazing epic choreography. I'm going to see GI Joe, probably, just to see what the guy can do with an action scene.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2013 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Also, I was close to going to see GI Joe Retaliation this weekend and then I looked at the prior films this director worked on and I just shook my head. What are they smoking to get no name directors and give them massive budgets (see TRON Legacy)?

Have you seen Step Up 3? A ridiculous movie, but with amazing epic choreography. I'm going to see GI Joe, probably, just to see what the guy can do with an action scene.


I have not seen any of his movies. Just from the short trailers I've seen and the hip hop in the films are enough to keep me away. But I appreciate your perspective here that there might be some correlation between quality directing of dancing and quality directing of action.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2013 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Also, I was close to going to see GI Joe Retaliation this weekend and then I looked at the prior films this director worked on and I just shook my head. What are they smoking to get no name directors and give them massive budgets (see TRON Legacy)?

I agree. Chu's previously filmography does not inspire much hope in me, although to be fair he's just one of many problems I've having with Retaliation.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2013 - 3:37 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Dredd (2012) -- 8.5/10

Intense, stylish, a visual marvel, relentless...this was a fun action film. Reminded me of RoboCop 2 at times -- the masked supercop, the graphic violence, the decaying future civilization (both geographically and morally), the new drug scourge to hit the streets (nuke vs. slo-mo).

The effects of the drug slo-mo were breathtaking experiences of color, light, and wonder. Olivia Thirlby is kickass and even though she wears stocky Judge armor she still exudes sexiness as she comes into her own as a rookie. Lena Headey was ok as the vile bitch Ma-Ma, but I've never been a huge fan of hers. Karl Urban pulled off a feat of a performance with his only visible features the area between nostrils and neck...couldn't have been done with just anybody, but he was a great Dredd. Paul Leonard-Morgan's score was perfect for this film -- acoustics and orchestra just would not have worked, and his relentless driving beats and rhythms propelled the film nicely and played a big part in making the film play like a rollercoaster.

Gotta say the gore did put me off a bit...just way too over the top for my tastes. The amount of graphic violence could have been cut in half and it still would have been a ultraviolent flick. Don't know why gore bothers me with some films and not with others -- it actually is right at home in this gritty, brutal, unforgiving future of a movie and compliments the surroundings and characters, and yet I still kind of grimaced from time to time. I kind of got the same feeling as I did when watching Watchmen's violence, although the gratuitous gore in that film was much more vile and I hated that movie. I'm a walking, talking contradiction however, because I thought Ma-Ma's moment of death was a rare instance of a visually poetic sort of violence. Hard to explain, but if you see it you'll know what I mean...it was an ingeniously photographed death scene, one of the best ever in the history of the movies.

A small complaint, though, as Dredd was tight and furious in the best way. It actually reminded me more of an 80's old-school action film more than stuff like The Expendables or whatever.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2013 - 9:10 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Julius Caesar (1953) - 10/10
The first Shakespeare film I have truly enjoyed and a triumph for all involved. There is nothing more amazing than a classic film that truly grabs your attention. To me Marlon Brando stole the show with his fantastic performance. Others were equally amazing and of course Rozsa's score was fitting and equally regal. Still, I am glad to have had the option of subtitles when dealing with anything Shakespeare.

 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2013 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Silent Hill (2006) dir. Christophe Gans (6.5/10)

Silent Hill: Revelation (2012) dir. Michael J. Bassett (2/10)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) dir. Kathryn Bigelow (8.5/10)

Homeland, Season 1 (2011) developed by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon (7.5/10)

Poupoupidou (2011) dir. Gérald Hustache-Mathieu (5/10)

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os) (2012) dir. Jacques Audiard (9/10)

A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære) (2012) dir. Nikolaj Arcel (7.5/10)

 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2013 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

The Sessions (2012) -- 9.5/10

 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2013 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Expendables (2010) 5-10

The Expendables are disposable. Horribly choreographed and edited. I was never quite sure at any given second who was tossing the punches and who was receiving the hits. Lots of music video style editing with split second cuts. Lots of extreme close ups of arms, torsos, and other body parts.

Not sure if this is the result of today's editing style, laziness on the part of the production, or if this was done to cover up the fact these actors are just to ridiculously old to be playing action heros.

An action film has one primary goal. To thrill. They fail at every chance. Very ironic when you consider the action stars of the 80's had some of the very best action sequences in modern film history.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2013 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Yeah, I didn't care for the first Expendables because I mostly just found it boring and riddled with piss-poor CGI. However, I thought the sequel was a huge improvement in every regard and gave me everything I wanted as someone who had grown up on '80s action movies.

 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2013 - 3:52 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Yeah, I didn't care for the first Expendables because I mostly just found it boring and riddled with piss-poor CGI. However, I thought the sequel was a huge improvement in every regard and gave me everything I wanted as someone who had grown up on '80s action movies.

Good to hear the sequel is better. That is after all what a film like this is supposed to emulate.
I forgot to mention the CGI. Especially bad CGI blood!

 
 Posted:   Apr 8, 2013 - 8:42 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

I just watched "Expendables 2" as a time killer more than anything else, as I had seen the first film and was not impressed.

However, I actually enjoyed "Expendables 2" . It's really a live action cartoon, sure...but it's a fun film as a light-hearted homage to all the 80's action film stars who make their appearances throughout. In-joke references to the various stars abound and the trademark tag line banter between Willis and Schwarzenegger is classic. Chuck Norris' entry is highlighted by a familiar cue. I confess I didn't recognize Jean-Claude Van Damme until the closing credits.
No acting awards here but just for the fun of the film I'd give it 7/10.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 8, 2013 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Dredd (2012) - 3/5

Various flaws (including minimal characterization and a weak villain), ultimately nothing special, but if you take it at face value, it's a fun little 90-minute shoot-'em-up.

My full review:
http://michaelam1978.livejournal.com/2013/04/08/

 
 Posted:   Apr 10, 2013 - 9:48 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Where Eagles Dare (1968) - 8/10
Solid war film, more interesting than some others from the same era. Loses some points because nobody speaks German despite most of the film taking place in Germany and the film explicitly telling you at the start that the characters are supposed to speak fluent German. Fantastic score by Ron Goodwin and some great action sequences towards the end.

Gayby (2012) - 8/10
Finally a gay movie that doesn't involve anyone coming out as a central focus of the plot. "Gayby" is a romantic comedy but stays away from many of the typical clichés. The focus of the film is two characters' attempt to conceive a child the old fashioned way. Jen is a straight woman in New York who decides to have a child with her gay best friend Matt. Awkwardness ensues as they realize that it is quite a bit different than they imagined. Throughout the film both Jen and Matt try to date other people and their dates meet each other in some strange ways.

For an independent film, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and acting. Though most of the actors are unknown, they feel authentic and provide a good look into the gay dating scene in New York. Though some of the actors are quite cute, none feel unrealistically attractive like you see in mainstream films. There are a number of good laughs and overall interesting characters as they deal with romance the best way they know how.

I don't know if "Gayby" ever got a theatrical release but I caught it when it showed up on Netflix streaming. If you enjoy gay themed movies, this is one of the better ones you will see. "Gayby" is worth checking out on Netflix streaming when you get the chance.

 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2013 - 6:10 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

John Dies at the End (2012) dir. Don Coscarelli -- Offbeat and amusing but I was expecting something more. (5/10)

Red Dawn (2012) dir. Dan Bradley -- Even worse than the original. (2/10)

Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) dir. Stuart Beattie -- Still goofy but at least not horrendous iteration of the Red Dawn theme. (5.5/10)

Bernie (2011) dir. Richard Linklater -- Haven't really sorted my thoughts here yet. I didn't like it, exactly, but I was impressed.

Boss, Season 1 (2011) created by Farhad Safinia -- Wow, a show in which everyone is awful pretty much always. Kelsey Grammer is excellent and carries this improbably watchable thing; Connie Nielsen, Kathleen Robertson and Martin Donovan are very good; Hannah Ware is truly awful and her character's plotline is by far the weakest link in this series. (7.5/10)

Rabies (2012) dir. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado -- Awfully bad slasher/comedy, so chock full of horrible, pathetic, and idiotic characters that it's even harder to care about their fates than it is to suspend disbelief. I'm surprised to see so many positive reviews for this pile of crap. (2/10)

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2013 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) - 9/10
High school life in the United States is fun for many and painful for the outcasts. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” centers on the high school life of an introverted outcast named Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he navigates his freshman year of high school. Early on, he meets two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), who welcome him into their circle of friends. As the film unfolds, we are slowly introduced to the true problems facing Charlie as events from his past surface. While it is never made completely clear what happened, we are given enough information to make an educated guess by the end.

The time period is portrayed nicely through the use of music from the era. Songs surface frequently as characters pass around mix tapes. There is very little score in the film, though most of what is there enhances the impact of major scenes. The film explores what it must have been like to be gay in the 80s through a major gay character and his relationship with a classmate. The story doesn’t shy away from difficult issues of young relationships and finding your way in life. Rather than presenting answers, the film leaves you contemplating your own life.

Movies as character-centric as this one are nothing without good acting. The young cast easily surpasses any challenges in their roles. Logan Lerman gives a fantastic performance, leaving me excited to see what he will do in future films. Emma Watson is someone most are familiar with from her roles in the Harry Potter series. Her performance is outstanding, and a good reason to check out the film. Ezra Miller’s performance is superb, and one that is even more outstanding considering the contrast with his character in “We Need to Talk about Kevin”. The rest of the young cast does an outstanding job as well.

If you enjoy a good drama and don’t mind it being a bit heavy on the emotional side, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” should not be missed. Hopefully you will walk away ready to welcome the outcasts in your life.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2013 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Battleship (2012) - 3/5

Big, loud, flashy, predictable and absurd every step of the way. But damn it, I enjoyed practically every minute of it. big grin

My full review:
http://michaelam1978.livejournal.com/2013/04/17/

 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2013 - 5:10 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Liked that review Sirusjr, and will be definitely checking out the film now...


---


Looper (2012) -- 6/10

Still digesting the film and taking it in, I do really respect the film but I didn't enjoy it. Interestingly, I feel the same way about an earlier Rian Johnson film with JGL, Brick.

The initial scene between Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the diner was the best part of Looper, absolutely. Brilliantly written and flawlessly executed, with dripping tension, poignancy, and clever wit. Some (most?) would say that description fits the film as a whole, but I didn't find that to be the case.

I'll have to give this one another chance down the line, but as it stands now I ultimately didn't really care for it. Sorry for scant discussion, but that's all I feel like writing about it. It isn't very easy for me to articulate the things about the film that I disliked...kind of strange...so that's all I'll write on this one. smile

 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2013 - 7:03 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Doomsday (2008) -- 1/10

Rhona's hot, one point.

 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2013 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Bourne Legacy (2012) - 8/10
I'm one of the few who wasn't particularly excited by the original Bourne trilogy. Perhaps it was the shaky cam, the lack of clearly understandable motivations of characters, or just hype killing all chance of really enjoying the movie. Either way, because of the low expectations set by critics for The Bourne Legacy, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. I read many critics complain that for an action movie this was mostly dialog. Thankfully, it is some of the most gripping dialog and moves at a fast pace that kept my attention for a long time. Tony Gilroy demonstrates once again that he has the ability to entrap viewers he displayed so keenly in "Michael Clayton."

"The Bourne Legacy" is only tangentially related to the original trilogy, such that you will likely still be able to enjoy it if you haven't seen the original films. Some mention is made to a character known as Jason Bourne but he is just there to explain why certain high level officials are being indicted for helping him. The central focus of the story is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he learns that the people who genetically engineered soldiers have decided to kill them off and junk the program, including him. The film always gives enough of a clear explanation for why the characters go where they do, and this gives it a fresh level of immediacy, especially in the second half of the film. Jeremy Renner is later joined by Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weiss) as the government turns against her as well. Both give compelling performances that make you care what happens to them.

The plot is heavy on science and the dialog is littered with names of secret projects that can at times be hard to keep track of. Still, things are explained frequently enough that you never feel any more in the dark than the characters. The film is propelled forward by a pounding electronic score from James Newton Howard. Most of the time, it blends with the film so well that most viewers won't notice it. The score is heavy on percussion and synth, opting for minimalist action music over sweeping themes.

Fans of the original trilogy expecting to see more of the same style of action as the focus of the film will be understandably disappointed with the approach Tony Gilroy takes the series. Fans of Michael Clayton style of conspiracy driven thriller will be glad the film takes a more cerebral direction, while still displaying a few solid action sequences.

 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2013 - 8:27 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Eight Below (2006) -- 8.5/10

Wow! Great film. Surprised at how exciting and adventurous it was, and took some unexpected narrative turns. I love animals and have a dog of my own so the loyalty, drive, and love of the dogs in this film meant a lot to me and kept me very emotionally invested in the story. Honestly, I haven't teared up at scenes of glorious triumph since the shuttle launch sequence in 1995's Apollo 13, but in Eight Below they got me again! Yes, scenes of canine survival in the wild...these beautiful, adorable, resilient creatures pulling off amazing feats of not giving up and mustering everything they have to deal with the situation thrust upon them. Paul Walker's character was stubbornly devoted to the dogs and was terrific to root for, as I saw parts of myself in that character, or parts I wish I had in myself. A very inspiring film.

 
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