I was quite enjoying this until my wife pointed out that Cary Grant was allegedly a little bit bent sometimes, so we stopped watching the DVD and set fire to it with a flamethrower in the middle of the living-room.
Visually impressive, but . . . yeah, I was just not a fan of this new take. If it hadn't been called Star Trek I might have been able to take it as a generic but fun summer action flick. But I guess I just like the originals too much to care for this new version. The casting wavered between "okay" to "awful." I liked Karl Urban (for a change) as McCoy, even though his performance was just a blatant imitation of DeForest Kelley. Bruce Greenwood was good, even with as little as he had to do. It was cool to see Nimoy again, but something felt off about his performance. But I don't know who was worst: Simon Pegg (because it's . . . Simon Pegg) or Anton Yelchin and his annoying borderline-spoof performance as Chekov. (Yelchin fared much better in Terminator Salvation.)
Not the worst movie I've seen all year (that honor still belongs to the Friday the 13th remake), but definitely not among my favorites of 2009.
Hammer's first real Gothic horror film, and an absolute gem. Everything here works to perfection, and it certainly established the pattern for all subsequent horrors. There's an annoying plot hole near the end, but it's still amazing. Some say that this was kind of a false start for Hammer (DRACULA being much better), but I'd say that CURSE is slightly underrated (I give it a high 10) whilst DRACULA may be slightly overrated (I give that a low 10).
THE classic Hammer horror. Brilliant, still scary, and with impeccable performances, this is the one which really encapsulates everything that Hammer was. The only "drawback" is the reduced geography of the events. But it's still absloutely brilliant. I'm giving it a 10, but it's a low 10 compared to CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.
Tommy Lee Jones hunts Benicio Del Toro. It has the flavour of both THE FUGITIVE and FIRST BLOOD, but I don't think it's as good as either. I expected more from director William Friedkin. But he still knows how to film a chase. Unfortunately, it looks like a lot of stuff was left on the cutting-room floor - the female characters in particular just seem to peter out. Good fight scenes, but it could have been so much more.
Now here's a film I would never have watched in a million years, but my prejudices overcame me, and I was rewarded to a certain extent. It does have all the charm of old Hollywood, and it's gorgeous to look at, but it is a little bit sappy (who would call his mom "Dearest" in real life?). Child star Freddie Bartholomew is endearing to a certain extent, but I also felt that he needed his head kicked in. But that's just vindictive. I enjoyed it.
Oh, just a footnote - I repeat that I think this unweildy thread would be much better if it were divided into months. Michael, you started the thing - would you have any objection to doing a "What Have You Seen In The Month Of... " thingy?. We could start that in January.
Terminator Salvation - Funny how a one-on-one, hand-to-hand, low-explosive story can be more interesting, suspenseful and dramatic than a larger action flick with lots of fire power and lots of people. T1 really holds up well...a very meaty, emotional story. T2 went for big thrills and action and it was done right. T3...huh??? TS...surprisingly, I didn't fast-forward through any of it, but I didn't find any of it particularly fascinating or really worth my time. It was just something loud and mildly exciting to watch on a rainy day - kind of like Die Hard 4. And, as with DH4, I won't ever watch it again - 4
The Last Voyage (1960) - Not sure why there was a composer on board, as this was the most musicless disaster flick I've ever seen. The little girl was highly annoying, and all the acting was very one-dimensional, forced and hammy, and things never really felt dramatic or urgent. The story made a beeline from start to finish and didn't do much of anything daring or intriguing along the way. It's very odd that it was randomly narrated by some Hitchcock-like voice. I did watch the whole thing, though. One thing was funny... Instead of using visuals to explain/imply why something happened, they kept having the actors spell it out for us each time in major fireworks display. This was the first time I ever thought it was overdone and totally silly - 6
Similar films The Terminator - 9 T2: Judgment Day - 9 T3 - 5 The Poseidon Adventure - 10 Poseidon - 7.5 Titanic - 4.5
The 2007 biopic of Edith Piaf,with an Academy award winning and critically lauded performance by Marion Cotillard, is one of the best movies of this past decade that I have seen. And I saw it almost by accident.
On a gray, rainy and chilly day here in Atlanta yesterday, I cooked breakfast for myself and housemate. He has a PS3 and also an account with Netflix so we can watch movies directly onto my plasma tv. He just started to watch it right after eating and I had no real desire to do so since I was trying to finish putting up Christmas decorations. No sooner had the movie began, with the opening shot with Piaf on stage about to perform that I became hooked.
Not only was Cotillard brilliant, but everything else about the movie was almost just as perfect. The set design, art decoration, supporting cast, cinematography, writing and the score by Christopher Gunning were just superb on every level.
I loved this film. At times I was moved to tears, which is very rare for me. I have to be truly "into the movie" and I truly was with "La Vie en Rose". My only very minor complaint was the fusing of multiple time chronologies near the end. I had to be careful to not confuse the time frame each scene was in and requires concentration and a good memory. But that is minor and ultimately by the end I saw what they were going for and it worked.
I am now on a hunt to buy this album and I could almost kick myself that I, a truly film lover, almost missed seeing one of the best movies of this decade.
Interesting, I just watched Public Enemies, also with Marion Cotillard.
Sadly, not that good. The characters were kind of flat. But the biggest problem was Michael Mann's stylist choice to shoot the movie in hand-held digital video. Too often in the movie, it did look like live video. It just seemed TOTALLY wrong for this movie. Along with the hand-held close-ups that are probably more suited to small intimate independent movies.
I generally like Michael Mann's movies, but this one was off - 2/10.
"Wanted" -- absolutely terrific and gorgeous thriller starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. Was this a success? I enjoyed its dark sense of humor -- and an ending that for once didn't totally cop out (although it does leave room for a sequel in a fairly blatant fashion). I loved the way that the director, Timur Bekmambetov, lit and shot the film -- using shadows, lighting, and background sets to highlight figures and bits of set and decor as if they were truly graphic illustrations -- at one point Morgan Freeman has an extended close up -- and the glasses he wears are perfectly lit so that the metal rims are bright gold, reflecting light, but the lenses remain clear so his eyes are revealed clearly. Extremely hard stuff to do correctly. Scene after scene has amazing composition -- scenes that require shaky cameras get the appropriate full treatment -- but that technique isn't applied across the board willy-nilly as in "Star Trek" so that scenes requiring dramatic stability and focus are, well, focused! And, oh, that train crash! I'd give this an 8. (And I loved Elfman's score.) And I should add for those who might be squeamish, the film has over the top gore and bloody violence.
"Pinocchio in Outer Space" -- one of those fond childhood memories that I revisit every now and then -- really wonky but still delightful in ways that some childhood films are not. A 7.
Not really a movie, but I watched the DVD of late bodybuilder Mike Mentzer's "Underground Seminar" -- a fascinating record of a seminar/lecture he gave on the most scientific and rational bodybuilding techniques he had discovered based upon his many many years of training. It is a bare bones DVD -- Mr. Mentzer in a suit at a lecturn reading from a prepared talk with no illustrations or any other distraction. He actually spends a great deal of time explaining concepts like rational thought, the process of logical thinking -- and the folly of overtraining and steroid/drug use. He's articulate, fiercely intelligent -- and I came away from this DVD with a renewed passion to get back to the gym when and if my stroke recovery permits to try out his high intensity, recovery-oriented, healthy diet approach. If you are a gym rat or aspire to be one, this is a 10 in my opinion.
Woodstock 40th Anniversary (Director's Cut) - This 2-disc collection has a lot more video footage of those wonderful, chilling, easygoing hippie freaks, along with topless, perky-breasted young girls dancing around, bathing in the lake, etc (and those two bathers are insanely cute and sexy - I don't recall seeing them the first time I watched Woodstock on HBO years ago). I love watching how things came to fruition (from the construction to the apocalyptic-looking aftermath) and the music in between is pretty cool, too. Primarily, though, I like seeing what the concert-goers were doing. A far out, groovy release which I really dug, man - 9.5
Flashback - This was even better after watching the Woodstock DVD. Great acting all around, good comedy and drama, and the scene where Free is watching home movies of him as a boy always brings tears to my eyes (and is my favorite sequence of events in the film). Truly one of the most nostalgic-inducing films around - 9
Dead Snow - 4/10 - It was okay despite terrible characters, dialogue, script, acting, editing etc... and derivative of everything zombie that had gone before but for some reason i didn't dislike it too much. Must have been in a good mood. Some of the prosthetic effects were decent. And i like snow. which is lucky as it is currently minus 41 and there's shedloads of it outside my window.
Adoration - 2/10 - Atom Egoyan, please stop making films.
Adoration - 2/10 - Atom Egoyan, please stop making films.
I love Egoyan's films, and thought that Adoration was great. Keep making films!
I keep watchnig his films on the off chance i start to "get" them or they click with me. But it hasn't happened yet. i know he's well thoguht of i just don't understand why (feel free to tell me why you think he's great). It's the same problem i have with Jim Jaramusch.