Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched (Jan 2011 - Nov 2013)  (Read 1317618 times)

oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13930 on: July 08, 2012, 11:03:24 PM »
As yet another reason why Spielberg deserves to (still) be called on of the Greatest Living Directors.
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michael x

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13931 on: July 08, 2012, 11:07:27 PM »
Moonrise Kingdom

Wonderful!

Anderson grabs a moment in time, a few momentous summer days in the life of two 12-year-olds, and freezes it in place. As the song Le temps de l'amour from Suzy's record goes, "Because the time for love // It's long and it's short // It lasts forever // We remember it". Not the deepest lyrics, but there is something magical in the song. As Suzy and Sam dance on the beach, the melody and lyrics remind us that this happy moment can't possibly last. After all, the entire island is looking for them. How fitting that, in the finale, we find that their secret cove has been removed by the storm. The moment can't be recreated, so it must live forever in their memories.

I see Wes Anderson playing with permanence and transience also in the ultimate line of the film: "See you tomorrow!" We're made aware of the fact that the characters in the film have futures ahead, futures that bring change we can't witness. All very Eastern, I suppose. The strangely melancholic magic of storytelling is captured in that simple line.

I didn't know Bruce Willis had a performance like this in him. He plays the lonely, hang-dog Captain Sharp and throws himself into the character, playing it without a trace of the knowing "wink-wink" stuff he'd do in the past. In fact, all the actors give good performances, but I expected nothing less from the other adult actors.

This is probably my favorite Wes Anderson film. There's an admission of optimistic possibilities amidst the melancholy absent from the subtle nihilism of Royal Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic.

It's the time for love // the time for friends // and for adventure

MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13932 on: July 08, 2012, 11:20:24 PM »

The Interrupters - Steve James – director of Hoop Dreams, one of the finest documentaries ever made — returns to the streets of Chicago to spend a year in the company of the CeaseFire organization.  These heroic men and women are dedicated to “interrupting” violence on the streets before it begins, mediating conflict and calming tempers without judgment or police involvement.  They’re not interested in right or wrong, or gang disputes (indeed, they claim most of the violence stems from interpersonal conflicts entirely independent of gangs) or sending people to jail.  Their sole mission is to stop being hurt and killed.  And from what James shows us, they seem to be quite effective, although in an inevitably limited fashion.

James focuses primarily on the activity of three interrupters, each with a violent and/or criminal past of their own: Cobe Williams, a fatherly cool-headed role model; Eddie Bocanegra, a sensitive and compassionate man who gets kids to express their feelings about violence through art; and Ameena Matthews, daughter of a legendary gang leader.  All three are exceptionally admirable people, but it was Matthews who I found most endearing.  She came through an extremely tough childhood and adolescence and emerged as a strong woman, persuasive speaker and deeply passionate and devoted to the cause.

Much of the running time is spent exploring the relationships with a few select individuals (Caprysha, Flamo, Mikey) these people are trying to reach out and help.  While this helps build strong attachments for the viewer (as in Hoop Dreams, the film is loaded with genuinely moving moments) it also contributes to the film’s main failing, a feeling of repetition.  Of course, that’s often the nature of the problem… the rage doesn’t simply go away after a couple of brief chats.  But I would have preferred to see a greater breadth of what CeaseFire actually does in practice.  A little more balance between the individual stories and the larger picture could have felt more informative without necessarily compromising the emotional heart of the movie.  Nonetheless, it’s a very compelling and often powerfully moving film about some brave and generous souls doing what they can to mitigate one of our society’s most troubling issues.  Rating: Very Good (82)

« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 12:38:01 AM by MartinTeller »
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13933 on: July 08, 2012, 11:20:54 PM »
Blast of Silence (rewatch)

I tried watching this a few months ago, but couldn't get into it. I'll have to give it another try.

Same problem when I watched it in December. Recently I saw Murder by Contract which was this film done very right. Better acting, less cliche and as for the Taxi Driver influence, Murder by Contract was a better source for ripping off.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13934 on: July 08, 2012, 11:25:05 PM »
*shrug* I love them both.

I have no problems at all with the performances in Blast of Silence.  I also don't think existentialist second-person narrative is much of a cliché.
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jbissell

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13935 on: July 09, 2012, 12:32:17 AM »
Glad that you liked The Interrupters, MT.

jbissell

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13936 on: July 09, 2012, 01:29:16 AM »

Possession 7.5/10

I was expecting crazy going in and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Everything in this film is ratcheted up to 11. It really could just be renamed “Sam Neill & Isabele Adjani make crazy faces and yell a lot”. It took a while but eventually I got accustomed to the manic performances and went along for the ride. Overall, while the performances are certainly over-the-top, they’re pitch perfect for the tone of the film. The plot centers around the crumbling marriage of Mark (Neill) and Anna (Adjani). Mark descends into depression trying to win her and their son back. He meets Anna’s other man and the two soon realize that Anna has another…man. Oh and Anna has a doppelganger. And a bunch of other stuff happens that I don’t even want to attempt to explain. There’s also an extended scene of Anna have a miscarriage in a subway tunnel that alternated between frightening and laughable. The camera is in constant motion, the numerous close-ups very effective in making everything feel claustrophobic, even though the action is not confined to one location. It’s certainly…something?



Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13937 on: July 09, 2012, 11:11:50 AM »
Being There (1979)

The fish out of water story is common enough. Through some set of circumstances, someone's ignorance of a situation is often taken as simple wisdom. Chance (Peter Sellers) is a sheltered, probably autistic, gardener who is thrown into the world for the first time when the man he works for dies. Things aren't going so well when he is hit by a car and taken in by Eve (Shirley MacLaine) and her wealthy family who mistake him for a wiser, more aristocratic man.

In this case, Chance's gardening thoughts are taken as metaphor, guiding decisions at the very top of American politics. Of course, Chance is not a strategic fellow and any misinterpretations are of those around him. We feel bad for the way his innocence is questioned by those around him that are more cynical as all he ever asked for was a job working the garden.

The performance here from Sellers is an interesting, highly mannered one. Yet that manner is so dry that it makes the film a bit aching at times. The film feels hours long under the weight of its overly formal nature. It's an interesting idea that just doesn't pan out.

2/5

Junior

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13938 on: July 09, 2012, 11:55:09 AM »
The Amazing Spiderman.

I never liked the Raimi Spiderman films. They were compotent and had some of the Raimi touch, but they were mostly undone by a poor lead performance and poor supporting performances. I never liked anybody other than Franco for the most part. And the moment that everybody points to as the worst part of the franchise (the dancing in 3) is a high point for me. So I greeted the prospect of a new version so soon as a promising development instead of a knife in the back. But could Marc Webb (the most apt director to take on the franchise if only for his name) reboot the series effectively? Yes, he could.

I have a theory that had this been the first filmed Spiderman film (well, the first big budget blockbuster version) it would be hailed as one of the best of the superhero genre. Webb brings some of the inventiveness of his previous film, (500) Days of Summer, and adds in some particularly striking framing and directing. I love how this movie looks and feels. It's big and small at the same time. The first person shots work particularly well, and you could easily take stills and turn it into a comic book without the over-done style that Ang Lee brought to his much maligned Hulk film. It works for the action shots and for the interpersonal scenes equally. See the courting between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey for an example of how well Webb directs the character interactions.

Of course, none of this would be worth anything if the actors weren't up to snuff. The good news is that, as I had hoped, Andrew Garfield is a much better choice for the man in the spandex. He's smart and clever and never under or overplays the scene. He spouts the oneliners better than his predecessor ever could. The scene where he shows up his high-school tormenter is hilarious physical comedy. He pairs wonderfully with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacey. Unlike the cold blanket Dunst Mary Jane Watson, Stone is fiery and confident and a perfect match for Garfield. I was also pleased to see a development about halfway though the film that meant we could avoid the standard superhero and love interest thing. The film also takes time after the climax to give them some actual drama, another nice touch. It's good to see a summer action film that cares as much about its characters as it does its explosions.

The action isn't bad, either. Just before the final fight there is a scene that is patently ridiculous. It's corny as hell and quite silly, but Webb navigates it deftly. I laughed a little to myself, but it also fit the tone the film was using. Garfield imbues the character with charisma and an interesting kineticism in his Peter Parker role that transfers over to the superhero side as well. The movement in the film is quite enthralling.

The story works and changes enough to feel like it's a different entity from the first film. Curt Connors (played nicely by Rhys Ifans) is an interesting enough character for the first film in a series. These first villains never get quite as much time as they probably should, but Ifans does well with what he's given. There's a larger arc hinted at throughout which is intriguing and new. This is a Spiderman film that hits all the right notes and is only flawed in its nature as a rehash of sorts so soon after the franchise began. But if people can look past stuff like that for Batman Begins I hope that this film will receive a similar treatment.

B+/A-.
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Lobby

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #13939 on: July 09, 2012, 04:38:06 PM »
The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, US, 2012)

Why it was necessary to remake Spider-Man


Was it too early to do make a reboot of Spider-Man? This question has been asked over and over again over lately and my impression is that most people would say "yes".

It's not that they don't like the new version; most seem to think it's just as good as or even better than the old one. But they don't see any good reason for its existence, since it doesn't bring much new to the franchise compared to Raimi's version. Why replace something that already works?

The short and simple answer is "toys". There's a tight bond between the producers of comic magazines, games, plastic dolls and t-shirts and the film producers. I was vaguely aware of it before, but watching The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was the real eye-opener to me. They feed from each other. The film promotes the toys and the toys promote the film. Whenever the market is ready to consume another set of toys, it's the right time to launch a new movie. But do you need to make it a reset? Yes, of course you do!

If you only set for another sequel in an existing series, there's the risk that the t-shirt or plastic doll could be passed on from an older sibling to a younger one. Now there is a small but distinct difference, a new look of the logo, and parents can be talked into buying the same thing all over again.

However we're film fans, not toy manufacturers, so let's put the obvious commercial interest aside for a moment. Once again: is there any way you can defend this reboot of Spider-Man, especially if you like me have a negative default setting towards remakes and sequels, thinking they occupy too much of Hollywood's attention nowadays compared to new and fresh original ideas?

I thought this over for a bit and I got surprised when I realized that my answer would be "yes".


Reasons for my approval

One reason is of course that I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man quite a bit. I watched it with my 18 year old, and while neither of us has superhero movies as our favorite genre, we both babbled enthusiastically as we left the theatre.

We agreed that the movie had found the sweet balance between action, humor and psychological drama - a tasty blend of salt, sweet and bitter. Andrew Garfield is the most adorable teenager you ever saw and it's impossible to believe that the guy is turning 29 in a month. The effects are at the level you expect nowadays and I thoroughly enjoyed the swinging between the skyscrapers as I always do, either its Maguire or Garfield who is hanging in the lines.

But even if I hadn't liked The Amazing Spider-Man as much as I did, I would still have approved. The thing is that I have reconsidered the way I look at those superheroes. I've started to see them as those timeless fairytales that we'll keep introducing to new children, generation after generation, making them a part of our cultural heritage.

Think of tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. I've never heard anyone complaining about the book publisher printing yet another version with a slightly new way to phrase the story and a different set of illustrations. No-one expects families to go book hunting in secondhand bookshops to look up old editions of the fairy-tales.

If there's a market for a book, someone will publish it again and no one will cry that it's "too soon" or "unnecessary".

Every time those stories come out, it will be like a happy reunion and we'll once again enjoy them, because even if they're familiar, we know that even the smallest of changes will add a new dimension to the experience.

Pop culture education
I think it's a bit of the same with Spider-Man. It's been ten years since the first part of last take on Spider-Man came out. Many of the kids in the audience for the newest Spider-Man movie were barely born then or were at least too young to see it as it came out. Shouldn't those kids also get the chance to enjoy the story about this superhero in the environment where it's best told: at a big screen, in a real cinema?

I guess that you could argue that they needn't have remade the movie. All they needed to do was to make a re-launch of the old series, showing the Raimi version in a theatre again. But hands on heart - how keen would the parents, who already have watched this movie as it came out - be to pay a full ticket price to see it once again? I think they want at least a little bit of variation. We've seen some attempts to do this, when they've slapped on some post-production 3D, as they did with The Lion King. But my impression is that it hasn't been any major success.

Kids who grow up today need to learn about Spider-Man, the same way as they need to know who Hansel and Gretel were or where the Cheshire cat comes from. They need a basic pop culture education and reboots like The Amazing Spider-Man can bring them that.

My rating: 4/5
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 04:46:32 PM by Lobby »
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