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 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I viewed this the other night for the first time. Forced myself to finish it thinking it would get better, but it did not. It was like the longest (seemingly forever) nose-dive of a plane to impact and crash. I don't know how it got to be among the nominees for Best Picture and I'm astounded to understand the votes it got to give it it's Oscar for 'Best Original Screenplay'. I only viewed it because it was the last of the picture nominees I hadn't seen, and it only recently came out on dvd.
This group of 9 nominees is (for me), the WORST assemblage of nominees since they expanded the nominees to include up to 10 films.

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 9:28 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Yeah, Her didn't work for me either. I don't know that I'd consider it awful -- Phoenix was excellent as an emotionally inaccessible puppy dog in hipsterland. But I'm not sure what so many people are getting out of it. It felt very long and not very interesting.

I still haven't seen Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club or 12 Years a Slave, but of those I've seen, I'd probably rate them more or less as follows:

Philomena -- ***½
Gravity -- ***½
Captain Phillips -- ***½
The Wolf of Wall Street -- ***½
Her -- ***
American Bullshit -- **

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Hmmm ... frankly, to a slight degree I kinda enjoyed it. Didn't think it was perfect -- found Joaquin Phoenix's character annoying -- and thought it would have worked better as a segment of an anthology with other whimsical tales, but admired the accomplishment. (But have no intention of ever watching it again!)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   barryfan   (Member)

This whole batch of Oscar contenders was decidedly weak. But I couldn't agree with you more about HER. My best friend told me it was terrific and he and I often agree on what is a good movie. I watched it in his recommendation. Wooow was he off on this one. Boring, one-note, and ..........well........... boring. lol

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

This group of 9 nominees is (for me), the WORST assemblage of nominees since they expanded the nominees to include up to 10 films.

I agree - although I like Nebraska and haven't seen Her, so I can't judge that one yet.

2013 was an off year for movies overall. My only 5 out of 5 star film for last year is Inside Llewyn Davis. I've had to rely on offerings from around the world to help fill out my top 10 including:

The Past
Like Father Like Son
The Great Beauty (this did win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar - a good choice, even though I'll need to see it once or twice more to figure out what Sorrentino is getting at.)
A Field in England

All four of these, by the way, didn't play Seattle until this year.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Yeah, Her didn't work for me either. I don't know that I'd consider it awful -- Phoenix was excellent as an emotionally inaccessible puppy dog in hipsterland. But I'm not sure what so many people are getting out of it. It felt very long and not very interesting.

I still haven't seen Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club or 12 Years a Slave, but of those I've seen, I'd probably rate them more or less as follows:

Philomena -- ***½
Gravity -- ***½
Captain Phillips -- ***½
The Wolf of Wall Street -- ***½
Her -- ***
American Bullshit -- **


It may not have been any kind of masterpiece, but 'NEBRASKA' was easily my favorite of the lot. I've seen it now, 4 times on dvd and I thought the Black & White Cinematography was the years best, or at least, my favorite. The witty, sly and subtle screenplay and the acting by all the actors are what keep drawing me back. It's NOT 'laugh-out-loud' but I swear, at the end of each viewing, I've got a smile on my face! Incidentally, I think my choice of 'Nebraska' says something about me, but I don't know what - it made LESS money than any of the other nominees.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

This whole batch of Oscar contenders was decidedly weak. But I couldn't agree with you more about HER. My best friend told me it was terrific and he and I often agree on what is a good movie. I watched it in his recommendation. Wooow was he off on this one. Boring, one-note, and ..........well........... boring. lol


'HER' was set in L.A. in 'the near future'. I could envision the city's 'looks' changing, but people themselves don't change. These people wandering aimlessly looking at their hand-held devices did NOT have an 'Angelino' feel or look about them; and I was born there. And the dating and scenes of being cheated-on by another (in this case a computer) was nothing new. Horrible dating experiences and being cheated-on-experiences, apparently have NOT changed, only 'the delivery systems' for being hurt changed

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 11:29 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Montana Dave:

Of the big nominees, "Nebraska" is the only one I've NOT watched -- the clips made me almost cringe, although I was hoping the older woman would win best supporting!

As for "Her," as I've written elsewhere, while I didn't love it (nor hate it), I have no desire to see it again.

Re: These people wandering aimlessly looking at their hand-held devices did NOT have an 'Angelino' feel or look about them; and I was born there. I have lived in Southern California for over 65 years, L.A. since I got out of the service in 1964, and I am out and about on my bike and public transportation nearly every day. And I see people yapping on their cellphones EVERYWHERE. On the bus or the rail, they'll be talking before it arrives, they'll be talking when they pay their fare, when they're walking down the aisle, all the time they are seated, and also when they get up and leave. When I rented a car a couple of weeks ago I had one person almost walk right in front of me while yapping on her phone and spotted several others texting while driving. So I think I may have a different perspective about that than you.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

Haven't seen "Her" and don't really plan to, but there were some good nominees.

Philomena was a very sweet, touching and well made picture. Deserved the accolades it got. Gravity wasn't the mind blower it was hyped to be, but it worked well enough.

The biggest head scratcher for me was American Hustle, another Scorsese wannabe that was cursed with two supremely awful leads in Bale and Cooper. Bale's accent was like something from junior high drama class. That pile of horseshit big grin did have some bright spots though: the pop song soundtrack ( imo ) was chosen very well, with some great selections. Also Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were fine. Loved those smouldering hate filled stares they gave each other razz Otherwise the movie was awful.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I'm thinking of 2 or 3 films in particular. '12 Years a Slave', 'Gravity', and their strange little cousin 'Dallas Buyers Club'. The latter title was just grating and featured two over-the-top scene chewers (eventual winning actors) and a screenplay that also got a nomination; somehow. And there was this big, splashy contest going on between the two contenders for the crown, 'Slave' and 'Gravity'. The technical aspects of Gravity were excellent, but that was all. Neither should have been in that final position to be 'neck and neck' down to the wire, as it were, when neither were that great in the first place.

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)


The biggest head scratcher for me was American Hustle, another Scorsese wannabe that was cursed with two supremely awful leads in Bale and Cooper. Bale's accent was like something from junior high drama class. That pile of horseshit big grin did have some bright spots though: the pop song soundtrack ( imo ) was chosen very well, with some great selections. Also Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were fine. Loved those smouldering hate filled stares they gave each other razz Otherwise the movie was awful.


I've never been much of a David Russell enthusiast, so I'm not sure how well AH fits in with his directorial vision. It certainly did seem very Scorsese-like (It is, at least, much better than Scorsese's own Wolf of Wall Street), but one bit from it has already gone down as one of my favorite recent movie moments: Bradley Cooper's giddy feeling of triumph (scored to David Bowie's Jean Genie) during which his attempts to mimic Louis C.K.'s scowl last no more than two seconds as he keeps breaking up.

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Re: These people wandering aimlessly looking at their hand-held devices did NOT have an 'Angelino' feel or look about them; and I was born there. I have lived in Southern California for over 65 years, L.A. since I got out of the service in 1964, and I am out and about on my bike and public transportation nearly every day. And I see people yapping on their cellphones EVERYWHERE. On the bus or the rail, they'll be talking before it arrives, they'll be talking when they pay their fare, when they're walking down the aisle, all the time they are seated, and also when they get up and leave. When I rented a car a couple of weeks ago I had one person almost walk right in front of me while yapping on her phone and spotted several others texting while driving. So I think I may have a different perspective about that than you.

Cellular automata? Steve Wolfram, eat yer heart out. wink

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I've never been much of a David Russell enthusiast, so I'm not sure how well AH fits in with his directorial vision.

Mark, I don't know if you're familiar with Film Crit Hulk, but I think he's one of the best film critics out there right now. This is I think an interesting appraisal of Russell's career arc: http://badassdigest.com/2014/01/20/film-crit-hulk-smash-the-fallrise-of-david-o.-russell/

If you, like me, find Hulk's formatting rough going, there's a "dehulkifier" bookmarklet that removes the all caps and converts the essays from third person to first: http://simonganz.com/2013/04/the-dehulkifier/

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Ah yes, the critic who writes like the Hulk, lol. Thanks for the link. smile

(I still need to see Flirting with Disaster. I've got it coming soon from the library.)

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2014 - 9:55 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I finally saw Her. If not particularly insightful, its production design, acting by Phoenix and Johanssen, and its overall mood make this memorable and worth revisiting. Very much in the mode of Spike Jonze's former writing colleague Charlie Kaufman, but less manic. Soothing score which fits with the ambience quite well - I can understand why it got an Oscar nod. Perhaps too Buddhist for my taste, but that just adds to the mystical atmosphere Jonze was conjuring.

 
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