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 Posted:   Aug 17, 2013 - 11:51 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

To the Wonder 3/10 *
Better than Tree of Life. It actually has a discernable structure and story-like presentation. Abstract is cool, but just making the camera follow actors around aimlessly while they flap their arms and look pensive gets tired after a few hours. Malick is very less a filmmaker now, compared to his stuff up to through Thin Red Line. Keeps getting thinner in subject and more diffuse- must be all those billowing curtains. Spoilers below smile
It's sort of about a bunch of egomaniacs using each other as emo gratification devices. the male is remote and ungiving so the females get upset and break things and leave him. The ukrainian one fails at life so comes back to him and gets upset some more when he won't open up to her. She goes to another man for sexual gratification to get back at the husband, he gets mad, they get divorced. Meanwhile a priest loses his faith and has no compassion for the poor okies he visits. So the affleck dude walks around with him and is inspired by him enough to tell the ukrainian chick he forgives her when she leaves, then more wandering around the landscape and armflapping ensues.
Basically that's the whole film, ppl wandering around the scenery flapping their arms and looking back at the camera. All the characters are dipthongs unable to communicate and just act out their frustrations when they can't get what they want. Feeding on each other. No one grows. No one changes. The affleck character is supposed to be forgiving but the actor is unable to change his expression. I guess artsy fartsy movies are about meaninglessness and people who can't improve themselves? Nihilism is supposed to mean humanity. Shrugs. Ebert said it was about souls in pain, but people who do that for a living are pretty much egomaniacs. Some may really like this movie, but I get bored pretty easily.

 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 2:49 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Olympus Has Fallen (2013) - 1/5

I wonder how many of my brain cells just died over the last two hours while watching this. It's made even worse by the fact it's one of those movies that thinks it's playing with an original idea, not to mention takes itself so seriously. Video game-level special effects, tons of script padding, and a boring lead character. (Gerard Butler is one of the poorest excuses for an action hero in recent memory.) And apparently, our Secret Service are about as effective as Stormtroopers! I did get a hysterical laugh out of the one scene that completely rips off Die Hard's McClane/Gruber encounter, though. They even included the cigarette! Ugh, what a terrible movie.

 Posted:   Aug 21, 2013 - 6:17 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is 40 (2013) -- 8.5/10

Let me say that I have grown veeeery weary of recent big-star/big-budget cutting-edge-comic-actor movies...stuff like Dinner with Schmucks, Date Night, The Campaign, Due Date, My Idiot Brother etc. I was even nervous that This is 40 would turn out sour but I was pleasantly surprised as I laughed my arse off! While not as good as Apatow's previous 40-Year-Old Virgin or Knocked Up, it's about on par with Nick Stoller's Forgetting Sarah Marshall in the laughs department. It is really funny and quite sweet too. The supporting cast is a little less showy than the typical Apatow production (except for scene-stealing Melissa McCarthy and Charlene Yi) but John Lithgow and Albert Brooks turn in winning performances as the Dads. Megan Fox is on hand to perform the 'Brad Pitt on Friends' role -- someone so beautiful that their entire role revolves around comments about how beautiful they are. Overall the movie was very sweet, fun to watch, and I laughed out loud constantly...what more could one ask for?

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2013 - 12:28 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

One eyed jacks, Brando.

Been a few years since i saw this. Didnt remember much about it. Had a bit of a reputation of being a little slow, and although i adore the beautiful love theme and main title, i have never quite 'got' the adoration of the full score, so i wanted to check out how it fitted in the film.
It is certainly well-crafted and an interesting story of cold-dish revenge and how circumstances can alter intentions.
Others will know more about it than me but there were reports of Brando being impossible on set and waiting three days for the right wave in the background! But overall the final product seems worth it.

I found that the score in the film fitted very well - in fact, you notice it more each time that lucious love theme cuts in - to me Friedhofer seems to have almost taken the perfect pace of the theme from the coastal setting which cleverly seems move in time with the waves.

Some good performances from the main actors and memorable support from ben johnson and slim pickens and katy jurado.

It sustained its length quite well, and oozes class. proper film, 8.5 outta ten.

 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Five card stud on tcm.

Havent seen this in years and, although a little bit silly, it was more watchable than i remembered.
Good score by Jarre whch could do with a release. I always recalled the lively Dean Martin title song, nice tune altho some of the lyrics and the bridge in the middle seemed a bit forced and crowbarred in, although that said i have been humming it all day. ..He was king at Five card stud...!

Incredible supporting cast of western stalwarts, Denver Pyle, Whit Bissell, John Anderson, Roy Jensen, Ted de corsia (the villain in sterling Haydens Gun Battle in Monterrey) and the first time i saw Yaphet Kotto.

7 out of 10.

Anyone else a fan of this one or its score?

 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

QUO VADIS?, the 2001 polish film. 170min international version (miniseries cut exists).


The irritating overuse of close-ups put me off. Even on TV it got annoying. I can't imagine what it must be like watching this in a theatre (it was intended for international theatrical release). Actors all unknown outside of Poland. Not terribly charismatic, though the actress who played Lygia was very beautiful. Nero, OTOH, looked like a character from Lord of the Rings. Acting Ok to terrible. Cinematography, not so great. Better than average score by Jan Kaczmarek. The director was Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 78 at at time. Now dead. The pacing, even in the "short" version, feels like that of a 78 year-old. At least the Colosseum scenes with the lions are fairly brutal. wink

Not terrible. Just dull. Now I like the 1951 original more, and even the 1985 Italian TV mini series with Klaus Maria Brandauer as Nero doesn't feel as lame as it used to be.

 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 9:44 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Epic. I still wish it had kept its original title of Leafmen, but either way it's a much better environmentally-themed animation than FernGully: The Last Rainforest and (ugh) Once Upon A Forest. I could have done without Beyoncé's song over the credits, however. 7/10.

 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 2:46 AM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
7/10 ***

Good movie from Luc Besson. The main character is a journalist/writer who goes for the secret occult stuff popular in the time of Lovecraft and Howard and Burroughs. She is looking to resurrect a mummy of an Egyptian dr with the help of an outcast scientist who uses telepathy and unusual mental powers to awaken dormant things. He sparks up a pterodactyl in Paris and then the mummies activate. Adele wants the mummy dr to work on bringing back her sister who suffered trauma due which Adele feels guilt over. The Egyptians use advanced technology. Lots of amusing hijinks and emotional motives to make amends focus the story. Besson directing is usually a good thing. Dinosaurs and mummies.

 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)


The Fog (1980) -- 9/10

 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 6:57 AM   
 By:   RedOkt64 2.0   (Member)


The Fog (1980) -- 9/10

:-) A favorite. Fine cast... great atmospherics (by ace cinematographer Dean Cundey and makeup effects wiz... Rob Bottin (who also played Captain Blake). And, I love the score. Thanks Deputy...

 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 7:46 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

:-) A favorite. Fine cast... great atmospherics (by ace cinematographer Dean Cundey and makeup effects wiz... Rob Bottin (who also played Captain Blake). And, I love the score. Thanks Deputy...




Into the Blue (2005) -- 6/10

A little better than average. I liked that I didn't really know where the story was going. Unfortunately it ultimately didn't go anywhere great, but I was guessing throughout the film and there were a few surprises and misdirections that were fun. Josh Brolin having a good time as a bad guy is always fun -- in this film I loved how good he was with little student children, taking them on a tour and making them laugh and teaching them about deep sea salvage...while he probably has several dead bodies nearby. Scott Caan has tremendous energy which I like, but he's pretty much doing the same thing here as he always does. Paul Walker as usual isn't great but somehow I always like watching him in movies, no matter which. Jessica Alba was good. I really liked all of the action set on the ocean floor, it felt clever and unique to me to take a cookie-cutter drug-dealers-and-treasure-seekers thriller story and staging most of the major events and chases on, in, or under water. Overall not a great maritime adventure thriller, but not a terrible one either.

 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 9:17 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Alien Cargo (1999) - 8-10

A little known Sci Fi thriller. This is a small budget film with dated CGI model work. However a generally intelligent script and admirable acting by the two principle actors makes this film a delightful distraction. The film's setup is all to familiar. A long distance cargo ship. Sleeper chambers with a crew of 8. Then something goes terribly wrong...

So one is expecting an Alien rip-off, right? After all it's in the title! Well not quite. The "Alien" in this film is neither a man in a suite or a CGI monster. It's a bit more subtle than that. In fact the whole concept of this film is sort of the opposite of what one would expect. Maybe that's why it manages to be familiar, yet uniquely different at every turn.

There are a lot of low budget Sci Fi films and in my opinion this is one of the better ones. The director did a great job creating a forward moving story that retains suspense and tension. One area this film manages to excel is in it's no gravity scenes. They are not only convincing but actually quite cool. I would be hard pressed to mention another film that's done it better.

The film made it's rounds on cable television and received a VHS release. It never got a DVD release. If you want to see this film it can be found on YouTube. Good hunting. wink

 Posted:   Aug 31, 2013 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Grandmaster (2013) - 9/10
Movies, like martial arts, have many styles. Action, though powerful, will not inspire contemplation. Just as over time masters combined martial arts styles, “The Grandmaster” beautifully combines stylish action with cerebral philosophy. While there is enough action to satisfy the young, there is plenty of beauty and elegance to instill wonder in the older crowd.

The film focuses on the life of IP Man as he moves from promising young upstart to master and teacher. Every frame is purposeful in its execution, showing the skill of a master cinematographer. Fights are interspersed with slow-motion close-up shots of the environment and the fighters’ clothes to offer perspective rarely seen.

The film was modified slightly to prepare it for the American audience. 20 minutes were cut and some explanations added. I was ready to criticize the changes going in. Fortunately the film felt complete and I appreciated the explanations. I may watch the original Chinese version sometime in the future but I no longer feel any rush to do so. Director Wong Kar Wai made most of the changes himself and it shows.

Musically the film makes good use of existing pieces and shines with original score. Composer Shigeru Umebayashi worked with Nathaniel Mechaly on the film. They wrote some elegant themes and percussive action music. The main theme for cello is hauntingly beautiful and fits the characters well.

If you enjoy Chinese martial arts films, “The Grandmaster” is worth watching for the bone-crunching action and historical perspective. Just be sure you are ready for reading subtitles and thinking throughout.

 Posted:   Aug 31, 2013 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I can't wait to see that one, but as with Snowpiercer (which I'm also excited about) I refuse to watch the US cut. When they want to release the uncut versions they may have my money.

 Posted:   Aug 31, 2013 - 6:07 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

The Grandmaster - 7/10

Having seen countless numbers of martial arts films due to living with someone from Asia who has a predication towards those kinds of films. What makes this film a bit of an exception is it's execution. It's way more artsy than say "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and it takes itself extremely seriously as apposed to most other "chop socky" films if you will.

The film follows Ip Sun, the legendary kung fu master whose biggest claim to fame is that he is the one who found and taught the legendary Bruce Lee.

The movie starts in the early 1900's, just before Japan invaded China shows his rise to grand master status while one by one defeats other grand masters of other forms of kung fu. The film is beautifully shot but is a bit claustrophobic in that most of the scenes are shot in close ups or medium close ups. Very few master shots in show. In addition, many shots during the action scenes are in slow mo, showing detailed close ups of everything, from feet dragging across the floor to rain drops splattering off a characters hat while spinning with a round kick. It makes for great cinematography but it stifles the action too much. The color palette is very reminiscent of "Snow Falling on Cedars" if you want a reference. Gorgeous but slow.

My main beef with the film is that perhaps due to edits made for America, the film does jump around in time and the final 30 mins do not focus on the main character but rather his love interest and what happened to her. It makes for an odd ending, with a 10 min coda on what he did after her story ends.

So overall its a good film to watch but is a bit frustrating at times. It comes across as an epic film, looks like an epic film, and the pace is such too, but it falls under 2 hrs and feels like 3.

 Posted:   Aug 31, 2013 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I can't wait to see that one, but as with Snowpiercer (which I'm also excited about) I refuse to watch the US cut. When they want to release the uncut versions they may have my money.

Yeah, I wanted to take that approach but a friend wanted to go see this one and I wanted to escape the heat for a few hours so I went to check it out anyway. I hope to eventually compare it to the original but I don't feel like I need to that much anymore.

 Posted:   Sep 2, 2013 - 5:11 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Been a few weeks since I've been in here!

Shotgun Stories (2007) dir. Jeff Nichols (9/10)

42 (2013) dir. Brian Helgeland (7.5/10)

Emperor (2012) dir. Peter Webber (6.5/10)

Strike Back: Vengeance (2012) (6.5/10)

Take Shelter (2011) dir. Jeff Nichols (9/10)

Knife Fight (2012) dir. Bill Guttentag (6/10)

Last Resort (2012-2013) created by Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan (6/10)

Kon-Tiki (2012) dir. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (7/10)

City of Ember (2008) dir. Gil Kenan (6/10)

The Host (2013) dir. Andrew Niccol (1/10)

 Posted:   Sep 2, 2013 - 8:10 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - 8/10
More than any other movie, the reviews and impressions of others colored people's impression of "Zero Dark Thirty." Many said it was pro-torture propaganda, while others that it was one of the darker movie they had ever seen. This, combined with the trailers that I saw far too often in theaters made me wait for DVD to watch it. I enjoyed it enough that I almost wish I had gone to see it in theaters.

Though there is a bit of torture at the start, the majority of the film is a detective story as Maya (Jessica Chastain) follows the leads in her quest to find Osama Bin Laden. It all build up to a final 45 minute finale in which we watch the raid on the complex where he is believed to be staying. If you have seen the TV show 24 or other violent modern cinema, the violence level in this film won't seem particularly out of place or heavy. The film certainly didn't seem as dark as everyone made it sound.

Jessica Chastain is so awesome in her role as Maya that she truly does drive the film. Her character's determination and drive kept me interested throughout. Other smaller characters were portrayed by similarly skilled actors, giving the rest of the film a solid believable feel. Alexandre Desplat's dark score largely blends into the background though it occasionally rears its head in a few of the major scenes. It hits all the right notes and ultimately succeeds at staying in the background where it belongs.

If you enjoy military-themed films, "Zero Dark Thirty" is a powerfully directed film that captures the spirit of the military as they hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The film feels realistic and gritty, without becoming unbelievable or trite. I enjoyed it from start to finish despite the longer run-time.

 Posted:   Sep 2, 2013 - 8:22 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

R.I.P.D. (1/10) Crap of the highest order. Not even worth a curiosity view. Avoid like the plague.

Star Trek Into Darkness (3/10) An occasional good moment constantly surrounded by many bad ones. Looks and feels nothing like Star Trek any more. Quite stupid to boot. The idiots that wrote this should be run out of hollywood... as well as the producers that OK'ed the script. Hiding the Enterprise in a planets ocean to conceal it from the inhabitants may quite seriously be the dumbest thing I have ever seen in a film of this nature. I guess space just wasn't cutting it any more.

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2013 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)


Crap story [essentially all of it is in the trailer] as is the character development but all that could have been forgiven if it actually brought the noise and was balls to wall action packed...and it wasn't. I honestly wouldn't even call it an action movie.

A massive let down.

-- The fight between THE ROCK and VIN DIESEL was more intense then ANYTHING in this film.


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