Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched (Jan 2011 - Nov 2013)  (Read 1403570 times)

tjwells

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14040 on: July 08, 2012, 10:01:21 AM »
The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, 2012)
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http://nursingshorelines.com/2012/07/08/the-amazing-spider-man-marc-webb-2012/



(note: Iím not a comic book reader. If I get something wrong, just let me know.)

Iíll probably upset quite a few people with this statement, but I donít care, since itíll only stand for the next twelve days or so. The Amazing Spider-Man is the best superhero film Iíve seen in 2012. Donít take this to mean that I donít enjoy The Avengers. I did. Quite a bit, in fact. But, ironically, where much of that film seemed like just a pastiche of stuff Iíd seen from all the films that came before, Spider-Man feels incredibly fresh. It manages to take a story weíve seen before, and quite recently, and really come at it from an entirely different angle. It doesnít hurt that Andrew Garfield is a better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire could ever hope to be.

The plot (obviously) follows Peterís transformation into Spider-Man, hitting all the main points of the origin story that it needs to; the death of Peterís parents, the death of Uncle Ben, the bite by the radioactive spider, the fall into the boxing gym. But where the initial film focused on the budding romance with Mary Jane Watson and the menace of Dr. Norman Osborn aka ďGreen GoblinĒ, this reboot focuses on Peterís budding romance with Gwen Stacy and the menace of Dr. Curt Connors aka ďThe Lizard.Ē This is why I donít read comics.

Rather than going with an established name in what was certainly a quite risky (and arguably dumb and unnecessary) venture of rebooting a series not even ten years old, Columbia made the risky move of going with Marc Webb, best known for the indie romantic dramedy (500) Days of Summer, rather than a more established director. Fortunately, that choice pays off in spades, and I really think Webb has already created a more interesting and realistic universe than Raimi could have ever hoped to. Where that world was VERY comic book-y, with many of the supporting characters being nothing more than caricatures, everyone in this reboot feels like a real human being, someone I wouldnít be surprised to run into on the street.

Another aspect of the film that is so much more involving than the original film is the love story between Peter and Gwen. Say what you want, but I never really felt any chemistry between Maguire and Dunst; aside from that upside down kiss scene (which doesnít really count), they always just felt like two actors forcing a romance. With Garfield and Stone, the fact that they started dating is as clear as day from their first extended (adorable) scene together; an awkward conversation in the hallway. Itís all giggles, awkward glances and stuttered words, thankfully wrapped up by a stupid joke from Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). But itís in moments like that you see the vital romantic chemistry that is so often missing from superhero films (Downey/Paltrow excluded).

Webb also deserves some credit for playing up the romantic nature of the film. Obviously Raimi was more concerned with the superhero aspect in his original, and thatís fine. Heís always been more of a visual director than an emotional one. But Webb sparked his career with a beautiful film about relationships, so itís not a surprise that he focuses so heavily on that here. I was also surprised at how much leeway the studio seems to have given him with certain shots; any fans of his previous film will notice some similar techniques.

(Side note; during the first scene when we see Connors in the sewers, and he takes a corner, the heavy shadow is a clear homage to Nosferatu, yes?)

The film isnít perfect. In fact, as Iím writing this review, more flaws are coming to mind. James Hornerís score, while serviceable, is sometimes too whimsical and, for lack of a better word twee, for its own good. The security flaws at Oscorp, ostensibly the most advanced science lab in the world this side of Massive Dynamic, are glaring. And Marvel flirts with the possibility of a beautifully sad ending before taking the Hollywood way out. But for a film that had so much potential to go terribly wrong, itís surprising how well it works. Now that Webb has the basics out-of-the-way, Iím excited to see where he goes from here. Doing  a quick Google search has shown me the less-than-pleasant results for the Gwen Stacy character, so I know we could be in for a truly great (and heartbreaking) franchise.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14041 on: July 08, 2012, 11:03:38 AM »
The Barefoot Contessa

I've watched this once, and really liked it, but I've been apprehensive about watching it again, as I'm afraid I won't like it as much as my original viewing.

This was my 2nd viewing. I first watched it back in 1998 and found it to be a sad, forgotten gem. Back then, if I were a Hollywood Producer I'd buy up the remake rights and get Jennifer Lopez on the line. (Remember, this was 1998 Jennifer Lopez.) The rewatch was because I finally remembered to show it to Mrs. 1SO. I was equally apprehensive about it holding up, but that same Cinderella sadness came through. As for the wife, she also liked it a lot, but thought that Bogart disappears for an awfully long time in the middle, and found the final section a bit confusing because they dance around a particular revelation for an unusual amount of time.


The Lineup (rewatch)

Rating: Masterpiece (96)

Rereading my review shows how far I've come in my noir education. The things I pick out to talk about I now accept as genre conventions. While there's something missing that keeps me from also rating it so highly, it remains one of my favorites from my Noir Marathon. One of the most memorable (I saw it last November!) and one that I'm very likely to rewatch and dictate to others.
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Lobby

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14042 on: July 08, 2012, 11:11:15 AM »
Humpday (Lynn Shelton, US, 2009)

How far can you pull a bromance?

Ben and Andrew are old friends, but have drifted apart over the last few years. While Andrew still spends his time travelling the world, engaging with artists, women and drugs, Ben has married, bought a house and is planning to become a father.

One late night Andrew turns up unexpectedly at Ben's place. This is the beginning of a revival of their old bromance. This relationship is brought to a new place when they under the influence of too much booze come up with the idea to make a film where they're having sex with each other - despite the fact that they're both straight. This film would be their contribution to a local amateur art film festival with porn theme.

This is the setup of Humpday, a little lowbudget mumblecore indie style comedy, which I recently watched.

I was a little bit suspicious as I studied the cover. The plot as well as the image, showing two half naked men staring awkwardly at each other, suggested to me that I could expect something rather homophobic, containing a ton of sex jokes that would make me roll my eyes rather than laugh. I probably wouldn't have considered watching it if it wasn't for the mentioning of the Sundance festival and the fact that I had a vague recollection of it being mentioned in a positive way in the Filmspotting podcast.

For once I'm not going to keep you on a hold, but head straight for the verdict. This was a funny movie, the funniest film I've seen for a very long time. My daughter threw questioning glances at me as I watched the film, wondering what could bring me to that point. Everyone close to me knows how hard it is to bring me to laugh at a comedy. I don't lack humor completely, but I'm very picky. Hearing me laughing at loud at a movie is a very rare thing, but here I was, doing exactly this.

A serious comedy
I loved Humpday for the way it explored male homophobia and friendship without becoming homophobic in itself for a second. I loved it for its fantastic conversation, which sounds believable and natural all the way through. I loved it because while irresistibly funny, it's so much more than just a comedy.

Beneath all the awkwardness and absurd situations that made me laugh so hard, there is also a serious story that is told. This is a film about the nature of bonding and about finding balance and your own identity as you're making the transition from young adult to adult. It could so easily have fallen into a sickening overdose of political correctness or - more likely - into a predicable soup of worn-out clichťs. But it never does, not for a second.

It's a tricky thing to recommend comedies to someone else, since humor is such a personal thing. What's hilarious for one person is just annoying for someone else.

But speaking for myself I fell in love with this and I can't wait to see Lynn Shelton's next film.

 My rating: 4,5/5
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Lobby

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14043 on: July 08, 2012, 02:18:28 PM »
Just watched my second Bigelow movie, Strange Days.

Just... Wow!

I'll write more later, but I needed to get this off my chest.
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OmNom

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14044 on: July 08, 2012, 02:25:40 PM »
Humpday
I loved Humpday for the way it explored male homophobia and friendship without becoming homophobic in itself for a second. I loved it for its fantastic conversation, which sounds believable and natural all the way through. I loved it because while irresistibly funny, it's so much more than just a comedy.

...

But speaking for myself I fell in love with this and I can't wait to see Lynn Shelton's next film.

My rating: 4,5/5

I'm glad you liked this!  I liked it too.  I think it's on Netflix Instant right now if anyone's curious. 
The answers you seek are in Norway.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14045 on: July 08, 2012, 03:00:24 PM »
Your Sister's Sister is playing in Philly right now, I believe and I do want to get out to see it. However, the influx of things I want to see that are playing closer (and by extension cheaper) probably means I'll wait until DVD to catch up with it. Can't wait though.

Lobby

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14046 on: July 08, 2012, 03:06:07 PM »
It will open in Sweden in mid August. Not too sure though it will turn up where I live. The multiplux chain might just show it in Stockholm (often the case with small, indie movies). My hope goes to that my local arthouse theatre will pick it up.
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14047 on: July 08, 2012, 07:41:48 PM »
We Were Here (2011)

This is a perfectly capable film, yet for the ground it covers I'd much rather just watch Common Threads again. WWH has the advantage of perspective, which is worth something, but Common Threads being still pretty much right in the AIDS epidemic gives it a rawer, more emotional quality.

MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14048 on: July 08, 2012, 08:08:21 PM »

Blast of Silence (rewatch) - My dad was visiting, we were trying to decide on something to watch.  He said something like ďYou know a lot about noir, pick out a good one.Ē  I grabbed this and Asphalt Jungle, we went with this because itís shorter.  I wanted to see it again anyway.  And Iím glad I did, itís amazing.  I wonder how much (if any) this was an influence on Taxi Driver, with the misanthropic narration and the meticulous preparation of the gun.

Unfortunately, I just really donít feel like writing at all right now.  Iíll write something more in-depth the next time, in the meantime hereís my first review of the film.  Rating: Great (94)
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smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #14049 on: July 08, 2012, 08:28:19 PM »
I had a
Humpday
I loved Humpday for the way it explored male homophobia and friendship without becoming homophobic in itself for a second. I loved it for its fantastic conversation, which sounds believable and natural all the way through. I loved it because while irresistibly funny, it's so much more than just a comedy.

...

But speaking for myself I fell in love with this and I can't wait to see Lynn Shelton's next film.

My rating: 4,5/5

I'm glad you liked this!  I liked it too.

Ditto, and for the same reasons. The awkward tension is excruciating, but hilarious. I love finding a film that can make me laugh out loud. But like you say, everyone's funny bone is in a different place.

Proof: The most I think I've laughed out loud at any movie ever is Epic Movie. I might be the only one.

 

love