Discussion in 'Entertaining Diversions' started by Inigima, Jan 16, 2012.
When I saw it in theaters I almost walked out. It has since grown on me.
I'm not a huge fan of it, mostly because of the self-indulgent first act, but I agree Kurt Russell is fantastic in it.
Yep! Shame about the (subjectively) sixteen hours of boredom leading up to it.
I'll like your post but disagree with the content.
Based on recommendations here, I watched Take Shelter last night. I shouldn't have done that late at night. That movie is seriously unnerving in a very deep way, and I'm still a little on edge because of it. Some people seem not to like the ending, but I think it's actually perfect. If you take it at face value, yeah, it's a cop-out. But that's your decision to make. Do you take it at face value or not? That's really the question of the movie to begin with.
Wait, there are people who DON'T like Death Proof? WTF?!
Most. Back when my friends still ran a video store, they had a policy that if you started watching a movie and didn't like it, for whatever reason, you could just bring it back and switch it for anything else as long as it was still the same day of rental. Number one most returned movie: Mulholland Dr. Number two: Death Proof. Number three was always whatever the latest Lars Von Trier movie was.
I wonder how many people missed the lesbian scene because of this?
Watched Bottle Shock tonite. My only question:
What the fuck happened to Gustavo and his wine in the third act?
I just watched Resident Evil: Retribution! What? Don't you judge me!
My score: definitely one of the Resident Evil movies.
I love the Resident Evil movies. They are far and away my favourite modern terrible B-movie series. I don't even understand why I like them, and apart from a handful of things* I couldn't tell you what happens in any of them, and I've seen some of them more than once.
* Like, for example, I remember one of them takes place in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, and one of them has Milla Jovovich running down the side of Toronto's City Hall.
They are awesomely bad and there's something really watchable about Milla Jovovich, beyond the fact that she's very pretty.
I watched Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I think Cage has a random number generator in his head that he employs to decide how to deliver every line. All in all, not very good, but I can see in it an early rough draft for Crank 3, in which Chev Chelios must always be on fire.
The dudes what made Spirit Of Vengeance are the same dudes behind the Crank series, and they've already discussed the possibility of making a combined Crank/Ghost Rider sequel for the third. Which I would murder somebody for.
My wife and I have taken to saying "SCRATCHING AT THE DOOOOOOOOOR! SCRATCHING AT THE DOOOOOOOOOR!!!" whenever something is bothering us. I will never be able to repay Nicolas Cage for the hours of entertainment he has given me.
I will be honored to be your second in this, sir.
When Blaze became Ghost Rider, he should have still kept Cage's voice. After I watched it, I did of course immediately follow up with this favorite:
And I have a strong yen to watch Vampire's Kiss again.
I watched Silent Hill Revelation with a housemate the other night.
Let me begin by saying that I am a hopeless fangirl of the video games, so I was initially rather excited when the movie Heather looked a lot like the game Heather.
Then it all went quickly to shit in a very small handbasket. Like the game the movie did have a bleedthrough of the alternate Silent Hill outside the town. Unlike the game, this continued to happen repeatedly, which sort of takes away the scary when it's just constantly happening.
The sets were fabulous, the monsters were mostly bloody amazing, the sound track and sound effects were spot on. The story and plot, however, was rather like a 9 year old watched a parent play the game, then told the story of the game to his 6 year old friend, and then said 6 year old friend wrote the script, while somehow drunk.
This movie actively offended me, while at the same time made me REALLY want to go and re-play through several of the games, so maybe that's a good side effect.
In conclusion Michael J. Bassett (writer and director), has made my list of people I will risk jail to punch in the face.
I watched The Element of Crime, which is one of Lars von Triers' early films, apparently first in the "Europa Trilogy." So take every cliche of the european art film, mix together, and you've got this thing. It's filmed in sepia tint, kind of black and white with occasional splashes of color (like a blue light bulb in the frame). The whole thing is set up as a dream or a hypnotic regression so it doesn't make narrative sense. Lingering shots of dead horses (always a fun time), and even if you stick around for the whole show hoping for answers, there aren't any.
Y'know, I've watched a bunch of his stuff, and every time I regret it, but then I go and watch another one. Will I watch Melancholia? Probably some day. That seems to be part of his continuing series of "look how badly I treat my female characters" series. The only one I kind of liked was The Five Obstructions because it wasn't actually him, he was just challenging another director to make films based on his own arbitrary rules.
I watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on Netflix, because it was there and I'd never seen it. It's such a simple movie at face value, but the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. Jimmy Stewart's character is kind of a big ole hypocrite. He's all, "Rule of law! Don't pick up a gun!" then he picks up a gun. He is admired for it because he doesn't know how to use the gun, but decides to stand up to the bad guy anyway. When John Wayne tells him who really shot Liberty Valance, and makes him go back in and become a senator or whatever, Stewart is obligated somehow to live a lie for the greater good of the community, but he's not obligated to maintain the lie for the girl who loves him. Yet apparently he does.
So he gets the girl and John Wayne doesn't. Since the whole thing is a flashback we can see that 20 years later she's not exactly happy, and she regrets how she treated Wayne. She got to see the world and be a muckity muck's wife, but apparently she yearned to be back west, living a simple life. Does she know? Has Stewart told her? When the conductor at the end says, "It's the least I can do for the man who shot Liberty Valance!" we see Stewart wince, but we don't see his wife react at all. Is she still deceived?
I was kind of rolling my eyes at the performances and the production values throughout. It's such a goofy, "How ya doin' thar, pilgrim?" 50's western (even though it was made in 1962) that it's hard to take seriously. I knew pretty much who shot Liberty Valance, but I didn't know exactly how, or how they were going to show the truth coming out, so I stuck with it. But the questions it brings up stick with you, and elevate the movie. Why didn't John Wayne step up and become sheriff long before Stewart got to town? Even if he didn't want the job, why didn't he take care of Valance for the good of the community? What code did he live by where as long as Valance didn't bother him, he'd let the asshole make life miserable for everyone else?
My wife was sifting through movies on Amazon Prime and mentioned there was one we hadn't seen but might want to.
How is it they managed to make a poor quality movie starring Martin Freeman, Alan Rickman, John Malkovich, Sam Rockwell, and Bill Nighy? How did they even manage to GET those guys with this script? How did this movie not destroy Zooey Deschanel's career? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would have been a better movie if they'd just had a black screen with Stephen Fry's audiobook version of the book running.
If only they'd actually used a script written by Douglas Adams they might have made enough money to double their budget!
Are you suggesting that success at the box office makes something a good movie?
So, Thale. I'm not going to make the special character above the E, so please don't correct me.
I thought it was pretty good, and I was genuinely creeped out for most of the movie. Luckily there isn't a massive amount of dialogue, and my wife could translate for me, but the woman who plays Thale did an amazing job - I didn't really need a whole lot of translation to get what was going on. Considering that the director/editor/sound guy/etc paid out-of-pocket for everything is pretty impressive. I won't rank it above the one Swedish?/Danish/Nordic? movie about Nazi zombies, but it takes itself seriously, and that I can respect. If a proper english release ever gets made, I'd watch it again.
"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
The Well-Digger's Daughter. When I picked it up off Netflix I wasn't aware that it was going to be in French with subtitles, but I didn't mind. It was a really touching story about a father with six daughters around wartime who doesn't really know what to do when the oldest one, his angel that takes care of the other girls, gets pregnant and is shunned by the parents of the boy. It's funny and touching and beautifully shot. The main girl looked familiar, although I didn't place her at the time--she was the stupid mermaid in that awful Pirates movie. But don't let that scare you away, she actually can act! Very well in fact.
Last night: Bernie. A Richard Linklater joint. I thought I had stopped watching Linklater movies after being severely disappointed in the Bad News Bears remake, but as it turns out he just hasn't made one in a while. Which is too bad, because if Bernie is any indication, he's still got some juice left.
Bernie's sort of a shaggy-dog tale, based on a real-life incident where a small-town celebrity, a funeral director acting as a mean old woman's man Friday, almost gets away with murder. There's no real mystery element here, as everybody knows Bernie did it. Instead, Linklater frames the story like an Errol Morris movie, utilizing some of the actual townsfolk in both documentary-style interviews and as actors re-enacting scenes that (supposedly) took place. It's a great, great idea.
What's interesting about the approach is that the non-actor performances provide a weird contrast that gives Jack Black (as Bernie) a context for his usual schtick. The man he's playing is a broad and charming personality, who's behavior is reinforced by the support of the older ladies of the town that serve as his client base. Sort of how P.T. Anderson recontextualized Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, although the two movies could not be more different in tone. Jack Black really nails this role, though. If you're not a fan of Black, I don't think this movie will necessarily change your mind, but much like Linklater's earlier Jack Black vehicle School Of Rock, the movie is designed from the ground up to play to his strengths. It's a very charming, very entertaining performance - and yet, Matthew McConaughey almost steals the whole movie in a hilarious turn as a district attorney. Believe me, I'm as shocked as you are.
Linklater often makes movies about how people try to fit themselves into systems (the crazy college-town ecosystem of Slacker, the time restraints on the couple of Before Sunset, the school system in School Of Rock, etc.) while still retaining individuality. Bernie provides another wry example, giving us a man who the townsfolk would literally like to see get away with murder. Like I said, this likely won't change your opinion on Jack Black (or Linklater for that matter), but I found it to be a really pleasant surprise.
I watched Magic Town where Jimmy Stewart is a pollster who finds the perfect American town. If you take a poll in this particular city it will accurately reflect the rest of America's opinions perfectly.
So he has a big account on the line, and if he can deliver the same numbers as the Gallup people for a fraction of the price, he'll have a gold mine! Of course, he and his two assistants can't let the people of Grandview know that they're being polled, because that would skew the results, so he has to live there for awhile, talk to people, and slip his questions into daily life.
He ends up coaching the basketball team and falling for the Acting Editor of the local paper, played by Jane Wyatt. There's a lot of lead up to the point where she finds out his secret and I was getting kind of bored by it (especially because her hair-do makes her head look oddly trapezoidal and it was freaking me out). Once the secret is out, all hell breaks loose and it becomes really interesting again (and a post-war parable about... the Great Depression? Maybe a bit condescending message to post-war Europe?)
I'm having fun with the classics on Netflix lately.
Watched Rambu: The Intruder at a thing called B Movie Bingo a theater down the street does. It's put on by the guys who do Video Pizza. I did not win the grand prize (a real mace) or any other prizes (video pizza and free tickets) but I did get to watch the movie with Dutch subtitles which inexplicably substituted the Dutch for nutsack every time asshole was used in English.
55 minutes of the 80 minute are a build up for the last bit which just becomes a ripoff of Rambo II, complete with beefcake Stallone grimaces.
Last night: The 10th Victim. Old sci-fi fans might recognize this as being based on Robert Sheckley's "The Seventh Victim"; movie fans might know this as one of the inspirations for the Austin Powers series; Italians might know it because Ursula Andress is in it.
It's a blast. The premise is awesome enough - in the future, war has been replaced by The Big Hunt, a volunteer program for people with violent tendencies that gives them a chance to kill each other. The Hunt itself is the most popular entertainment in the world, and if you manage to make it through ten hunts (five as hunter, five as victim) then you get to retire an insanely wealthy man or woman. The tone is entirely satirical, as the movie isn't super concerned by the logistics of the Hunt itself but rather uses the idea as a springboard to take potshots at various aspects of 60s pop culture, while having Marcello Mastrioanni wear increasingly hilarious eyeglasses and Ursula Andress in increasingly alluring clothing.
Sure, the satire is pretty dated (although there are some hilarious subtextual barbs aimed at the Italian movie industry, like the scene where a bunch of sun worshippers are interrupted by black-clad "neorealists"), but visually The 10th Victim is a pop-art masterpiece. This is the vein of 60s science-fiction where the set design and locations do most of the heavy lifting, while director Elio Petri keeps throwing up awesomely composed frames accentuating blocks of Day-Glo colors. (A word about Elio Petri: I'm only really familiar with him from his overtly political films of the 70s, especially the incredible Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion, so The 10th Victim is a nice peek into his more playful side.) The main metaphor of The Big Hunt slowly mutates from being an analog for global conflict and towards an analog for marriage - Marcello, playing a variant of his womanizer persona made famous by Fellini's La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2, eventually "falls victim" to Andress' ensnarement of marriage - reminding you that this was totally made in 1965.
Questionable sexual politics aside, fans of New Wave sci-fi and fizzy pop-art will dig it.
Silver Linings Playbook.
I don't really see what all the fuss is about, but it was light and relatively enjoyable. Bradley Cooper is fairly one-note, but I appreciated his comic timing. Robert DeNiro also has some nice moments in it.
It's still really hard to believe that Jennifer Lawrence is only twenty-two. She's as watchable as Marilyn Munroe, but also has amazing depth that makes her seem far older. Her depth and Cooper's shallowness kind of made them work as an on screen couple, and you forget there's a fifteen-year gap between them.
She's really in a sweet spot for her career. She can play a pretty wide age range and actually has talent, plus, you know, not bad to look at. Here's hoping she doesn't hit some kind of drug-fueled downward spiral.
I watched Moneyball. Normally, I'm not a fan of sports movies, but this was really good. Brad Pitt was exceptional -- he's definitely underrated as an actor. His character should have taken Boston's offer, though.
Finally got around to watching Prometheus. It wasn't very good.
"We tried to tell you." - Everyone on the Internet
Except lizard_king. Also, I sort of enjoyed it despite it being a disappointment.
I did sort of wish I'd seen it in a theater. Big chunks of it certainly looked and sounded very nice as spectacle, and would have been even better on giant screen with bass rumbling through the entire body. And I can chalk up a lot of the very dumb behavior and approaches to things as just the result of incompetent project management by a dysfunctional corporate culture of a company that's simply much too big to fail (you just know that Weyland's all shot through Earth's government, all its profits privatized and all its losses socialized). And it was better than Alien 4.
'E.T.', with my five year-old. I'm pretty sure 'E.T.' is the first film I ever saw in the cinema and it also forms one of my earliest memories given that I was also five when I saw it for the first time. Spielberg plays the viewer like a violin but fuck it: when he plays you this well you just don't care. It was really cool watching it with someone who had never seen it before, too. His mouth was agog for the first hour and he nearly shit himself when Elliot first encounters E.T. In the corn field. And, of course, he was upset when thing with the thing happens and absolutely beside himself when it unhappened.
I finally saw Jagten. If you watch movies for entertainment, this film is not for you. Some messed up shit, yo.
It's a fantastic film, and the story is very complex in terms of deciding what is right and wrong. It annoyed me immensly that people in the theater were tutting at the decisions of Grethe. That's not the fucking point. Vinterberg didn't set up this film so that you could look at her character and go 'what a terrible person'. The most sympathy for the viewer goes to Lucas of course, but you can't look at the other major characters and think 'Yes, they were extremely at fault'. Even Klara's mother, who immediately assumes that Lucas is guilty, is not so easily blamed for her actions. Because what is her crime? Believing her daughter? What a bitch.
I also found the switch to Marcus' viewpoint extremely interesting, it really highlighted the theme. You don't see Lucas interacting with the police in interrogation, you only see the reactions of the people in the village.
And Mads Mikkelsen is just amazing. The scene in the church was just... wow. I was also really impressed by young Annika Wedderkopp as Klara and Lasse Fogelstrom as Marcus.
All and all I was really glad I was able to see it in the theater (even though some people really annoyed me), before it stops playing.
Wreck-It Ralph is finally out here. I saw it with my son, who is ten, and we both enjoyed it a lot. I get a feeling Disney Animation is out-pixaring Pixar with this one.
And since I hate subtitles with a burning fury that's only eclipsed by my hatred of dubbing, I am very pleased that the local cinema actually offers the original soundtrack and no subtitles on one screen for this movie. I wish they did that more often. Introducing my son to English language games and YouTube videos early is paying off.
Eastern Promises. A set of powerhouse performances tied to a decent, well-told story. It's very well-shot and it feels pretty authentic, and it doesn't mess around which is also a bonus. As a film about outsiders it's actually fairly effective and more subtle than you might expect. I very much enjoyed it, which is more than I can say for the last crime-related film I saw.
I was slightly troubled by the father's accent. Everyone else seemed to have put in some effort learning how their character would sound but I couldn't shake the feeling that his accent was German. He still gave a great performance.
Viggo Mortensen managed a full inhabitation of his character, and Vincent Cassel remains ever watchable and very dependable as an actor. Great stuff all around.
I actually saw The Third Man in the building they use for the restaurant, which felt a bit odd.
Hush you. It was a really fun movie if you completely forget anything from the books.
Today: Dredd, which is way, way better than you think it is, and The Bride Of Frankenstein.
Goddamn I love The Bride Of Frankenstein. It's influence is incalcuable. It struck me watching it again how it provided a template for how to do a horror sequel - take the original as the jumping off point, and make everything bigger, crazier and funnier. The original Frankenstein (also directed, like Bride, by James Whale) took it's tone from the novel and drenched itself in pathos, German expressionism, and some truly horrifying scenes. The sequel starts as a lark (an introductory scene explains that it's actually being told by Mary Shelley to Lord Byron and Percy Shelley because they wanted to know what happened after the book's climax), and quickly veers off into what must be one of the earliest displays of intentional camp in a major Hollywood movie.
Karloff, apparently, hated it. He thought the monster should never talk. Of course, had he got his way we wouldn't have the great scene with the blind hermit ("Smoke.... good!"), and therefore would have been robbed of my favourite scene in Young Frankenstein. Regardless, Karloff is tremendous in it, but the real star is James Whale himself. Lightening the tone seems to have invigorated his directing, which gets nuttier as the movie goes along. Content at first to frame everything within the incredibly great sets built for this movie, by the end his camera is doing flybys of Tesla coils and cramming enough Dutch angles to fuel a hundred EC Comics titles.
Great stuff, and probably my fave of the classic Universal monster movies.
Separate names with a comma.