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Author Topic: Outrageous Prices For Food and Entertainment! (The Movie Reviews Thread)  (Read 23023 times)
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winna

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« Reply #560 on: 02-06-2013 18:01 »

So what you're saying is that it's pretty much the opposite of Jack and Jill?  Especially since what you seem to be describing sounds like it's probably actually a movie.
~FazeShift~

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« Reply #561 on: 02-09-2013 01:17 »

Django Unchained
Oh man how awesome is Christop Waltz?
Super. The answer is Super awesome.
He had great screen presence in this, a pleasure to watch.
I liked DiCaprio and Jackson too, and Foxx had some badass moments.
The hoods scene was highly amusing also!

A-
Googzeez

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #562 on: 02-09-2013 04:16 »

Do you think DiCaprio was snubbed? I really think he deserved an Oscar.
Meerkat54

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #563 on: 02-09-2013 13:00 »
« Last Edit on: 02-09-2013 13:02 »

Another Earth

I've watched it before but that was before I was bothered enough to post on here. So I watched it again this evening.

Pretty good plot. Not incredibly much Sci-Fi (more romance), but I enjoyed it before and I enjoyed it again. I find it funny how the two earths gradually get closer and closer as the months fly by. I mean, won't they eventually collide? Which leads onto one of my new and most recent scientific theories of life, but I won't go that deep into it. The movie itself was good. It was touching at some points and did have a few twists along the way. I understood it better this time, having watched it again, I noticed a few more key elements to the story. [halfofftopic]The trailer itself was pretty cool though, but then again, aren't 95% of all trailers better than the movie itself? Imo it is, anyway.[/halfofftopic]

But yes, overall, I enjoyed it. And I do recommend it for people who are into mild Sci-Fi/Romance/Drama movies.

8/10
~FazeShift~

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« Reply #564 on: 02-10-2013 23:32 »

The Master
A drink-loving sex obsessed sailor (Phoenix) comes back from WWII and meets a charismatic leader (Hoffman) of a cult called "The Cause".
The cult leader takes a liking to the sailor despite his drunken antics and half-befriends, half-recruits him into his organisation as it grows.
Phoenix is great in this, his physicality and facial expressions are impressive, and Hoffman has a good performance too.
Story is not too exciting plot-wise, but it kept me interested.
B+
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #565 on: 02-11-2013 07:56 »

I just saw a weird person on the internet who thinks Quantum of Solace is better than Skyfall.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #566 on: 02-13-2013 18:34 »

Les Miserables

In 2010, Tom Hooper directed Colin Firth in an Oscar-winning performance as a man struggling to speak. It's fitting, then, that in his follow up, he directs Russel Crowe in a role as a man completely unable to sing.

I should preface any review of this film by pointing out that I'm extremely biased in its favour. To date, I've seen Les MisÚrables 5 times on the stage and that's not including the trip to watch the 25th anniversary show broadcast in the cinema and the years of my life spent listening to the various cast recordings available. I love Les MisÚrables and, so, I'm coming at this film from the point of view of someone who is pre-disposed to adore it.
I can, however, give the very well-informed opinion that it is a wonderful adaptation of the musical and that fans of the show ought to enjoy it, providing that they understand that this is a true adaptation. Some movie musicals play as if someone merely took a camera along and filmed a performance of the play. This is not one of those films.

Les MisÚrables is made up of 3 hours of the most beautiful music ever written, but the film, surprisingly, doesn't exactly play to that. When adapting Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Tim Burton said that he wanted the actors to sing to the front row rather than to the back - a perfect mantra regarding how serious musicals should be adapted to film. The songs should be acted intimately rather than belted out with the focus being purely on how pretty it sounds.
Tom Hooper has taken things a step further here by getting the actors to sing live on set as opposed to the genre's standard way of doing things by having actors mime to a pre-recorded soundtrack. The end result is a series of songs that sound gritty and rough around the edges, but for the most part, also capture the heart and purpose of the story being told.

The cast are mostly all phenomenal. Hugh Jackman is an unconventional Jean Valjean, but he certainly copes with the singing and, if you ask me, that's incredibly high praise, seeing as how difficult a role Valjean is to sing. He also brings a good, layered degree of emotion to the part and, as the movie's anchor, he is perfect.
Sacha Baron Cohen gives a scene-stealing performance in a role that is, to be fair, inherently scene-stealing. Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne all give solid performances, too.
In fact, the only weak link is the aforementioned Russell Crowe whose positioning within the film is frankly baffling. He is completely and utterly wrong for the role that he plays. I've heard Javert described as being "like a train". He's strong, determined and relentless. Russell plays him like a wounded puppy, anxious that you might stick his nose into the mess that he's just made on the carpet. He can hit the notes and his singing isn't exactly bad on a technical level, but there's absolutely no power behind his voice and his weakness is exemplified by his co-stars' brilliance.
What's hugely upsetting is how many scenes would have been utterly incredible with the right person in the role. The song "Stars" is given the most beautiful instrumentation that I've ever heard of it, "Confrontation" is no longer accompanied with obviously choreographed stage-fighting, but now, raw, violent... well, confrontation, and (spoiler alert) "Javert's Suicide" is now set atop a genuinely harrowing jump that would... you know? Visibly kill you. Yet Russell Crowe is in them, singing like a man humming to himself as he climbs out of the shower.
As I said, though, Russell is the one weak-link of the cast and, at the other end of the spectrum, we're given Anne Hathaway who is utterly breath-taking. I was never a huge Hathaway fan. I didn't have a problem with her but I found her rather bland for the most part. I'm happy to announce that the hype surrounding her performance is absolutely justified. She will win Best Supporting Actress at the coming Oscars and deservedly so. "I Dreamed a Dream" isn't usually one of the show's emotional buttons for me, yet in the film version, the single close-up of her face as she sang it had me welling up with tears. And I'm a big, strong man who doesn't cry.

The film's cinematography is a mixed bag. Some of the shots are utterly beautiful whilst others are rough and raw. I'm one of the few people who doesn't seem to be a fan of the cinematography in The King's Speech, finding its strange placement of people within the frame to be jarring and not feeling that the justification for it being a visual representation of the king's stammer was completely validated, but fair enough, at least there was a justification there. When Javert sings to Valjean in his factory, taking up 2% of the screen with a huge, plain amount of space awkwardly framed behind him, I fail to understand what they're trying to convey, visually. Honestly, I don't think there's any purpose to it this time beyond them thinking it looks cool.
It doesn't.
There is also an annoying emphasis on extended, extreme close-ups. Sometimes, it's absolutely the right decision for the film to make (as with Anne Hathaway's previously mentioned performance), but there are some scenes in which you're begging them to cut to something else instead of being left on someone's face filling the entire screen for 4 minutes at a time. The problem with these shots is that they often don't feel like a natural choice, but rather like one dictated by the difficulty in editing between takes given that the actors were singing live.

Anyway, the story is wonderful and a true epic - something quite rare to see these days. The music is also utterly sublime and despite the intentionally jagged presentation of it, here, its beauty still shines through. Almost everything is handled marvellously in adapting it to the screen and the source material is more than good enough to forgive the few shortcomings caused by its translation.
In all honestly, it's a near-perfect adaptation of the definitive piece of musical theature. In many ways, it's about as close to a true masterpiece as one can find, given that it not only does what it does expertly, but pushes boundaries and into new territories for its genre.

10/10
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #567 on: 02-14-2013 18:40 »

Django Unchained

Django Unchained is a good film, but a disappointing film. Inglourious Basterds was a true masterpiece; intelligent, original, gripping - just sublime. It had a voice of its own and used it to comment on the relationship between cinema and reality, focusing on the power of stories to change the world.
Django Unchained is, sadly, a return to the "elaborate spoof" school of film-making that Tarantino previously employed to give us the likes of Kill Bill and Grindhouse. It's not that Django Unchained being little more than a thinly-veiled parody of spaghetti westerns makes it a bad film, but it does make it little more than a fun piece of popcorn cinema and, after Inglourious Basterds, I hoped for more.

Tarantino is less reined in than in his previous effort and, as a result, the film is full of self-indulgent moments such as an extended cameo as an Australian that gets blown up with dynamite or the use of the theme from '60s western, Django, as this film's opening music (which, if you ask me, is akin to lifting the theme from Jaws and using it in your own shark-movie). I'm all for Tarantino taking a cue from a western here and one from a war movie there and re-appropriating them to evoke this and that, but surely he's crossed a line here?

Django Unchained still contains a handful of scenes that showcase Tarantino's ability to fire on all cylinders, but it also contains a lot of scenes that only really work as an homage to the poorly written western films that they're aping. It's a shame that not all of the film's confrontations end as cleverly as the early one in the saloon and that many of the later scenes erupt into nothing more than a not-particularly interesting shoot-out. Yes, it's a Tarantino western, so we're to expect shoot-outs, but Tarantino is capable of subverting expectations and playing with conventions rather expertly. Much of this film just feels lazy, as if Tarantino is on auto-pilot.

Still, with Tarantino on auto-pilot and Christoph Waltz co-piloting, you're in safe hands. It ranks up as a mid-level Tarantino movie. Far from from being another of his masterpieces, but thoroughly entertaining and a considerable cut above the average output from Hollywood.

8/10
~FazeShift~

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« Reply #568 on: 02-15-2013 01:16 »

Documentary called Side By Side
Keanu Reeves interviews some big directors about the transition from 35mm to digital film making, their preferences, pros and cons etc.
Interesting!
B
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #569 on: 02-15-2013 16:05 »
« Last Edit on: 02-15-2013 18:23 »

Life of Pi

This isn't just a stupid film, but it's a fucking stupid film. It tells a shaggy dog tale that amounts to nothing more than a parable conveying an utterly idiotic moral that's supposed to be spiritually re-affirming. If you ask me, it just serves as more of a reason to be an atheist.
It's difficult to discuss the film without spoiling the ending seeing as how much of the film's entire purpose hinges on its final moments (which ultimately promote the message "Who cares how bullshit religion is? I believe it because it's fun and I'm too weak to believe the truth. Praise God/Allah/Vishnu").

The first third of the film tells the story of Pi as a child, before he finds his way to the boat with the tiger that you're probably familiar with from the promotional material. Almost all of this third is entirely pointless and does nothing but bloat the running time. With the exception of a very small handful of scenes, almost all of these scenes serve no purpose other than to set up some minor things you can call back at the very end of the film. It could easily be condensed into some short flash-backs whilst on the boat, or a mere 10 minute sequence. It's nice to have the things set up for the pay-off at the end, but they should be intricately woven into the narrative, not just lazily blocked out in a 30 minute prologue.

After a while, Pi gets stuck on the boat and the film gets really silly. The film is clearly a story told by an unreliable narrator, but the ridiculous embellished aspects really take you out of the film. I mean, as if a whale just happened to dive out of the water next to the boat for Pi to enjoy the spectacle. Once you get to the end of the film, you realise that they serve an absolute purpose, except that it doesn't work because the unreliable aspect of the narrator is only revealed at the end of the film, when it should be made clear from the start as it was in, say, Big Fish. Plus it actually serves to further undermine the film's moral which is pro-embellishment. If you go too far, embellishing your story can really cheapen it by making it less real and less believable - something that the film demonstrates to us, fully, before it tries to make us agree that when choosing between the truth and the legend, you should always print the legend.

What's worse, though, is just how absolutely and frustratingly moronic Pi actually is. Mild, mid-way-through-the-film spoilers ahead: At the start of the boat sequence, he's stranded with an orangutan, a zebra and a hyena. The hyena keeps attacking the other animals, whilst Pi stands there with a huge oar in his hands shouting "NOOOOO!" and crying because he doesn't want the animals to die. Hyenas aren't particularly big or powerful. He could easily have hit it with the oar and protected the other animals if he wanted.
He repeatedly makes really stupid decisions that are obviously not the right thing to do and it had me swearing at the fucking idiot.

On the plus side, the film's special effects are largely incredible, though their quality is inconsistent. Practically every animal was rendered with CGI and the quality should be evident in that I said "practically", just in case some of them were real, because honestly, I wasn't sure in some cases. Richard Parker, the tiger, in particular, looks stunning (except when he gets wet). I assume that all of the animals were CGI because at the start, we see some really bad CGI animals mixed in with the good ones (namely an elephant and komodo dragon). Presumably all of these animals were created with CGI to establish a world of CGI animals and make them less jarring later on, because there's no other reason that I can see why cut-aways of things in the zoo could possibly need to be rendered with CGI.

The direction was also very inventive. I saw the film in 2D, but it was extremely blatant how much the film's shots had been crafted to work within the medium of 3D film. I imagine it'd look great in 3D, although at times, it did feel a bit gimmicky and as if Ang Lee was trying far too hard to justify the use of it.
Still, it's worth noting that I'm not an Ang Lee fan. This is the third Ang Lee film that I've endured and I've hated every one. Those films are Hulk (widely regarded to be terrible because it is), Brokeback Mountain (widely regarded to be great even though it's terrible) and, now, Life of Pi. Let that tell you what you need to know about how compatible my taste is with yours and, you know? Form an opinion of your own or something you sheep.

4/10


Lincoln

Lincoln makes a mistake that plagues films based on real life: it assumes that we already know and love the man from the get go, merely because he's Abe Lincoln. Now, I'm not saying that I don't love Lincoln, but a film has to stand on its own feet. If you don't spend some time establishing the protagonist and what their character is, then I don't see why I should care about them. Obviously, in this case, the protagonist is Abe Lincoln, so I already know him to an extent - but, it's not the real Abe Lincoln, is it? It's a fictionalised portrayal of the man, and I want to know who this specific interpretation of the legend behind the man is - especially as Daniel Day-Lewis opts for a performance that, whilst seemingly more historically accurate, is somewhat against the stereotypical view of the ex-President, cultivated by his portrayal in the media throughout the years. He gives him a weak and somewhat weedy voice (which historical accounts suggest is accurate), but then uses it to captivate during speeches all the same, which is quite impressive. It's just a shame that so few of his speeches in the running time are particularly captivating.

The film is largely lots of men sat in a room, talking; but very little of what they say is even remotely interesting. People talking in a room can be utterly captivating if its handled in the fashion of, say, 12 Angry Men. This film feels less like it was written by the likes of Aaron Sorkin and more like it was copied and pasted from Wikipedia articles.

The fact that the film bothers to continue well beyond the passing of The Emancipation Proclamation and through to Lincoln's assassination shows its absolute disregard for writing and film-structure. The film seems to have no intention of giving us a well-crafted story; rather, it just wants to show what happened. The assassination might be a logical end-point for a movie about Lincoln on the most obvious level, but this isn't a biopic chronicling the life of Lincoln from childhood to death; it's the story of the passing of the bill that freed the slaves. Lincoln's assassination is, therefore, irrelevant (unless you use it to make a point about people's refusal to accept the bill or the sacrifices that Lincoln made, but this film certainly doesn't).

Ultimately, Lincoln is incredibly dry without the depth needed to justify being so. It's really boring on, pretty much, every level. Spielberg's direction is functional, the cinematography is functional, and even most of the performances rarely go beyond merely being functional. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a good performance, but one well below his usual standards. He's most likely going to win this year's Oscar for Beast Leading Actor, but the idea of him beating Joaquin Phoenix in The Master is insulting.

This film would be best confined to being watched purely by American children, writing an essay on the history of slavery, who can't be bothered to read the textbook.

5/10


Zero Dark Thirty

I don't understand the praise that this film is receiving because, honestly, I have no idea what the film is trying to say. It feels largely like an attempt at portraying events as they happened, without editorialising or sensationalising things - which would be a legitimate purpose for the film, I suppose, if it weren't for the fact that the film's protagonist is an entirely fictionalised character. My understanding is that she's an amalgamation of multiple real people, but that, surely, suggests that the film is taking liberties and trying to craft a story. Then what is it trying to say? "Killing is wrong"? "Torture is / isn't justified"? "The pursuit of murder always leads to empty rewards"? Or simply just "Fuck bin Laden"? I don't really know. It seems to be trying to tell me multiple, contradictory parables. I've even seen people read the film as a pro-conspiracy message in which the protagonist's final actions are due to the fact that the man they got isn't Osama bin Laden, after all, but she can't bring herself to tell everyone. Obviously, the person who read it that way is illiterate, but it proves my point that the film is completely confused when it comes to its purpose.

I could forgive all of that, somewhat, if it was the gripping thriller that it's reported to be, but it isn't. You're treated to stark reminders of events such as 9/11 and the London bombings before cutting back to people in an office saying things like "Have you go him yet?", "No, but we're working on it". Just as with Lincoln, with someone like Aaron Sorkin at the helm (i.e. someone that can write interesting dialogue), this might have worked. As it is, it's incredibly dull and seems to be little more than a means to an end. And by the way, it's over two and a half hours long, so it's an incredibly drawn out means to an end.

That end, of course, is the actual raid on the home and assassination of bin Laden, himself. It's the most interesting part of the film by a mile, but it's still not hugely captivating. It sort of feels like you're watching somebody play a really boring Call of Duty knock-off. It's not particularly like there's any more plot present than there would be in the middle of a video game.

When Osama bin Laden's death went public, I was genuinely very saddened by the response of the general public (though I suppose I wasn't surprised). People were partying in the streets. I'm not sticking up for bin Laden here; I think he was an awful, evil human being - but something doesn't sit right about having a street party because a human being was killed. It's more something of a necessary evil that we should probably accept, but certainly not sing and dance about. I don't agree with the death penalty (because I'm not a cunt), so maybe that's the problem.
I digress; my point is that this film struggles between almost being an extension of those street-parties and taking my pacifist's approach. It can't really choose what it wants to be and the end result just feels indecisive. Are we supposed to be rooting and cheering when they take down bin Laden? Are we meant to be surprised at how uneventful and somewhat upsetting the whole affair is, and, then, use it to examine our take on corporal punishment? With more of a clear direction, these sorts of ambiguities could be turned into a genuinely harrowing and insightful look at ourselves as a society, but the film clearly doesn't have a clear idea of what it is and that's why it doesn't work.

Katherine Bigalow's direction is another element where I don't understand all of the praise. I liked Point Break and I liked The Hurt Locker, but her direction here is merely straight-forward, amounting to nothing more than a generic, shaky-cam thriller. There's really very little to the direction beyond that. It's functional at best.

On the plus side, the final scene is nice, and I need to praise Jessica Chastain, who is excellent as ever. Her character isn't hugely interesting, but (as she's proven in the past - see The Help), she's very good at infusing relatively blank roles with a great deal of depth.
Sadly, the other elements of the film amass to nothing more than a two and a half hour nothing where bin Laden dies at the end and, perhaps, you can force some sort of emotion out of somewhere in your psyche because, you know? 9/11.

5/10
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #570 on: 02-16-2013 15:39 »

The last Stand

I'll make it quick and painless:
A really classic, old-school action movie, that does not take itself too serious.
If you want to have a nostalgic evening (and give your brain some time off), it's the right movie.
Nicely done, entertaining...not more, but also certainly not less smile
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
****
« Reply #571 on: 02-17-2013 00:26 »


Srsly?
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #572 on: 02-17-2013 02:33 »

Yes.

I think I justified my opinion reasonably well.

Care to explain why you don't agree?
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
****
« Reply #573 on: 02-17-2013 12:15 »

It would appear that we have a fundamental difference of opinion of how well the material has been translated to the screen. For me, the focus on more 'intimate' performances or 'playing to the front row' as it has been referred to, utterly fails.

The power and magic of the stage show as with all stage shows stems from the music, and in casting relatively weak singing talent they have lost much of the emotional connection that comes from the show (the main exception being Anne Hathaway - who completely blew me away).

Finally, and most importantly, there are the things that work on stage and just don't work on screen. Or rather there are things that are easier on stage than they are on screen. I refer to the inherent intimacy of live performance (and as one who has been on both sides of the curtain, I speak from experience). This intimacy allows us to make connections to characters who have had a relatively small amount of time on stage to establish themselves in our affections (cheifly, I refer to Marius and the grown up Cosette). The intimacy of stage allows us to make the connection quicker - watching the film I was left asking "why should I care?"

As you are a self-confessed lover of the show, I imagine you went in to the film with the required empathy already in place. I did not know the show on entering the theatre and left thinking that the director had not done a good enough job in making me care about our miserable players' plight.

I did exit, however, seeing the inherent brilliance of the underlying material and rushed out to buy the anniversary concert on DVD the next day - that really did blow my socks off.

cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #574 on: 02-17-2013 13:35 »

Fair enough.

As I said, I'm extremely biased in its favour.

I imagine that if you get hugely into the stage show, you'll enjoy the film a lot more should you come to see it again.

I think that Les Mis would work really well in a full-on, gung-ho, musical adaptation with incredible singers being filmed, too, but it'd be a very different feel and I'm not sure that it would quite, necessarily reach any sort of level beyond feeling like we were watching a filmed version of the stage show. I don't know. I hope someone comes along and remakes it in 10 years just so that we get yet another version with yet another cast, just like the nth anniversary shows.

And yes, the (I'm guessing 25th) anniversary concert was fantastic - and so is the 10th anniversary one. I just wish they'd actually performed the show on stage instead of singing an abridged version to the mics, so that it'd be a real alternative to the film.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #575 on: 02-25-2013 21:55 »

So...based on the lack of response to my question in the Offtopic test thread, I guess no one watched the Oscars telecast? (People from New Zealand, UK, Australia, etc. are excluded from that question, I guess--I won't assume y'all care enough about Hollywood to wake up in the middle of the night/skip school/work to watch such a bloated, awkward affair.)
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #576 on: 02-25-2013 22:09 »

(People from GERMANY!!!,  New Zealand, UK, Australia, etc. are excluded from that question, I guess--I won't assume y'all care enough about Hollywood to wake up in the middle of the night/skip school/work to watch such a bloated, awkward affair.)

Fixed it for you wink

But on a more serious note:
Even at a more convenient time, I would not have watched  it.
I am rather the numbers/statistics guy, so the mere results (Category, Nominations, Winner) in quickly consumeable textform is usually enough for me.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #577 on: 02-25-2013 22:24 »
« Last Edit on: 02-25-2013 22:25 »

Yeah, there are some outliers like you from Germany, Spain, Italy. Yeah yeah yeah. "All y'all across the pond." tongue

It's so long, that it gets pretty tedious. A lot of it was not funny and rather awkward. I'm reading a lot of comments and articles online blasting Seth MacFarlane for the "We Saw Your Boobs" song, but I found it pretty hilarious (and the joke was on him, that it's such an awkward and stupid song). I found the "Family Von Trapp!--They're gone!" skit the best though--wholesome ("small and white, clean and bright"), and pokes fun at a beloved classic movie.

I need to see Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Les Mis. Amour doesn't particularly interest me, though--I am pretty confused as to why this movie in French wasn't a nominee in the best foreign film category?
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #578 on: 02-26-2013 09:10 »

The only part I saw involved Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing and singing. There was nothing that would have topped that.
AllEggsIn1Basket

Professor
*
« Reply #579 on: 02-26-2013 19:10 »
« Last Edit on: 02-26-2013 19:12 »

I did not watch the Oscars. Even if I had a TV that would pick up the reception, I wouldn't have watched because I cannot accept the fact that the only nomination related to Skyfall was for the theme song and that somehow that Snow White and the Huntsman, Twilight Edition movie got nominated for anything. On top of that, our newspaper (since I live in the Richmond, VA area) has been yammering about Lincoln ever since the film crews showed up. All the artsy-fartsy types in the whole tri-cities area have been falling all over themselves to hail it as "the greatest thing ever to happen to Richmond!" and completely ignore the fact that the Civil War resulted in Richmond being burned to the ground.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #580 on: 02-26-2013 19:15 »

I don't see your problem. Like they're saying, that was clearly the greatest thing to ever happen to Richmond!
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #581 on: 02-26-2013 19:55 »

I think that overall, the Civil War was a good thing for Virgina. Without it, you wouldn't be able to say things like "during the Civil War, Richmond was burned to the ground" to bring in the tourists. tongue

But in (some but maybe not all) seriousness, it wasn't the people filming Lincoln who set fire to Richmond. That was the retreating Confederate Army. The city was then rebuilt and is doing pretty well today. Far worse damage with a longer recovery time occurred following the rebellion of the Colonies, with the British soldiers smashing and burning everything that would smash or burn in 1781. The fire of 1865 destroyed a much smaller portion of Richmond by comparison.
AllEggsIn1Basket

Professor
*
« Reply #582 on: 02-26-2013 21:37 »

My problem with the movie is that it is far from the greatest thing to happen to the city, especially given all of the tax incentives coughed up by the state and localities to attract film crews. The best thing to happen to Richmond was Lewis Ginter.  wink His work in the area has had and will continue to have a much greater impact than a single film that shot some percentage of its footage in Richmond.

tnuk, have you been to Richmond? I can't tell if your knowledge of it is from research or an in-the-flesh visit, but Richmond is one of those cities with a few nice enclaves, a moderate amount of so-so areas, and then a fair share of gritty, nasty, frightening areas. It has come a long way since I was in elementary school back when it had one of the highest murder rates in the country, but I still don't much care for it. I worked at a university there for about a year and a half before transferring to my current job. I used to get hassled walking the half mile from the staff parking lot to my research building and we had a few break-ins as well.   

totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #583 on: 02-26-2013 21:56 »

tnuk, have you been to Richmond?

I've seen a bit of Virginia in the flesh, but don't think I've been to Richmond. I've done a lot of reading around on the American Civil War and the Colonial rebellion, though. So it's second-hand knowledge. At some point I might have gone through Richmond in a car, maybe. If so, I don't recall it. I do know that it's got both good and bad neighbourhoods, and my comment about it "doing pretty well" was more meant in comparison to parts of the American south that were pretty much stripped of their income by the end of the Civil War and the outlawing of slavery across North American continent.

I like Virginia. I'd like to visit it again sometime, partially to see more of it and partially to say hi to the friends there that I've not seen in a few years. Maybe if I get back there sometime, you'll come say hi as well.
winna

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DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #584 on: 02-27-2013 01:24 »

Colonial rebellion?  I don't believe I've ever heard of that before.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #585 on: 02-27-2013 03:51 »

Lincoln really was a tedious movie, if you judge it by the standard with which most mainstream movies adhere. Lots of dialogue. That said, I really enjoyed it. I've been woefully ignorant of this chapter of American history and have been trying to inform myself. I downloaded Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, the one that Lincoln is based on. I haven't made much headway, though. Maybe I might find Shelby Foote's books on the Civil War, since he seems to be the premiere historian on the matter.

That said, I didn't think Lincoln deserved the Best Picture award. But Daniel Day Lewis KILLED it. I was so absorbed by him. I felt like I was watching Abe in the gray-hued, stressed out, beleaguered flesh himself. The voice was a fascinating choice. DDL is just awesome--and his acceptance speech just cemented that notion in my mind. One of the highlights of the show. Youtube it, if you can find it.

Lastly, I saw Argo last night. Now, with the disclaimer that I've seen only 2/3, 3/4 of the Best Pic nominees, I think this movie soundly deserved the Best Picture award. Soundly. First, its production quality was perfect--what better way to depict events taking place in the late 70s than to make it look like a film made in the 70s? The subplot of the movie within the movie created hilarious comical moments. And more importantly, made me think of how movies manipulate our thinking and attitudes towards history. I need to read up more on the subject, but it sounds like so much of the true account was exaggerated, distorted, or glossed over, in the interest of providing a fast-paced, absorbing piece of entertainment. The filmmakers scored high on those marks; taken as a movie, Argo is wildly brilliant and entertaining. However, I'm doubtful that it is faithful to facts.

I wish they had played Tony Orlando's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree." As young as I was when the hostage crisis took place, I distinctly remember all the yellow ribbons. And that song, that dreadful, dreadful, catchy song. (I love that song by the way. smile)
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #586 on: 02-27-2013 04:51 »


Knock three times on the ceiling if you want to hear additional references to that era... :P

sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #587 on: 02-27-2013 05:51 »

And twice on the pipes? You know, I bet you looked like Shaun Cassidy when you were younger, Tachy. I loved him!
~FazeShift~

Moderator
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #588 on: 02-28-2013 22:45 »

Wreck It Ralph
Argh, stop using celebrity voices whose faces I picture more than the characters they play dammit!
A sexy soldier girl won't work with Jane Lynch's voice, because of her mannish face!
You too Jack McBrayer!
I liked some of the game references (not that I've played many of the oldschool ones), but it wasn't terribly hilarious, mere chuckleworthy.
C+
homerjaysimpson

Space Pope
****
« Reply #589 on: 03-02-2013 05:47 »

Wreck it Ralph

I liked it up till near the end. The movie lost steam and got kinda boring. frown It did have cake jokes and it did have a "Sonic Says".

C+

Oh crap! The world as we know it is coming to an end!
~FazeShift~

Moderator
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #590 on: 03-04-2013 15:37 »
« Last Edit on: 03-04-2013 19:42 »

Same review score as hjs = time to kill myself

Anyhoo,
Life Of Pi
A man tells a story of his fantastical survival from a shipwreck on the Pacific on a small boat with a Bengal tiger.
It was fine, not amazing to me, the lead was an ok actor, and the vfx were cool (I can see why the vfx community is disgruntled at being snubbed in Hollywood).
B-

Searching For Sugar Man
The tale of Rodriguez, 70s folksy blues singer/songwriter who fell into obscurity in his native USA, but managed to sell half a million records in South Africa (also Australia but they left this out) over a few decades
Two South African fans investigate his mysterious background and rumoured suicide onstage, and are surprised to find him still alive and well in Detroit... comeback tour!
Great documentary about a misplaced musical poet.
A
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #591 on: 03-10-2013 10:45 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2013 10:46 »

Here's the right thread!

The Wizard of Oz movie with James Franco

I thought it was middle of the road, most notably was that visually it was pretty to look at --but still a bit disappointing since they relied on CGI,  especially when considering how Sam Raimi has done great work with practical effects. The CGI was painfully obvious in some places, but in others like with the China Doll, it looked great.

I realized almost immediately that James Franco is one of those actors who I can no longer see them as the character but just the actor. So it was basically Franco the Great and Powerful but we're gonna call him a different name. In some cases it works (like the upcoming This Is The End) but here it didn't and while I like him as an actor here I couldn't really root for his character. I was also disappointed by Mila Kunis's character development.


Also I lost it when the monkey said "That's all I ever wanted" because he's voiced by Zach Braff and that delivery was too JD like and my mind exploded with all these JD quotes from Scrubs and I couldn't stop laughing. But I did like his character(s) even though it made no sense to me why his Kansas counterpart was even friends with Franco who was a complete dick to him.

Ultimately I wish the movie had focused on the witches instead of Oz (but at the same time not be "Wicked"). But I did like the movie. I read in a review that best described it as "visual cotton candy".

C+
~FazeShift~

Moderator
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #592 on: 03-10-2013 18:00 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2013 18:01 »

Robot & Frank
Set in the near future Frank Langella stars as an elderly retired burglar living alone and with failing memory, his son (James Marsden) gets him a live-in helper/butler/health-carer robot, which Frank is initially opposed to.
Once he realises the robot doesn't have any qualms about helping him commit burglaries, he enlists his help in a jewel heist.
Quite funny and charming buddy movie with a soft hearted core.
A-

Zero Dark Thirty
Jessica Chastain is a passionate CIA operative on the trail of bin Laden.
The "controversial" scenes of torture didn't really faze () me as I have already seen
Unthinkable
, which has scenes just as disturbing, if not more.
She eventually gets a lead on one of UBL's trusted couriers leading to his compound in Pakistan, and she sends in the Navy SEALs, which is pretty cool if not very darkly shot.
B+
homerjaysimpson

Space Pope
****
« Reply #593 on: 03-11-2013 22:20 »

The Great and Powerful Oz

Most boring movie of the year goes to...

Also the China Doll should burn in hell.

Fail
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #594 on: 03-13-2013 07:02 »

Netflix-a-thon today!

Untouchables - B+

Better than Gangster Squad, though not perfect in it's own right.

Brick - B-

Stylistically awesome, I think the high school setting is semi lost on me but the noir language was fun.

Drive - A

Was not expecting it to be blunt with the violence to such an extreme level. But I very very very like it. Seriously though didn't Ryan Gosling just need a fucking hug?
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #595 on: 03-13-2013 13:52 »

The problem with Zero Dark Thirty is that it depicted that torture was integral to getting information that led to the capture of Bin Laden. When CIA memos and former operatives have confirmed that in reality, torture did not work, that it just resulted in wrong information (because really, people under that sort of physical duress will say whatever the fuck to make it stop). But the CIA and American government wants to continue to delude the public that torture is necessary.

Not that movies should be considered historical documents, but hey. Stuff like that matters.

I love The Untouchables, though can't ever stomach the scene where De Niro goes ballistic with the baseball bat. And while I liked Drive, I thought it needed way more bitchin car chase scenes. Not enough. And I'm a chick--but the movie is about a stunt/getaway driver! Gosling and Mulligan had really no on-screen chemistry, but I really adore those actors.

And Gosling...humannahumanna!

Edit: Next on my Netflix queue: Cowboys and Aliens. My husband's choice. But whatever!
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #596 on: 03-14-2013 01:05 »

You can't get mad at Cowboys and Aliens for stating exactly what it is in the title.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #597 on: 03-14-2013 13:57 »

You can get mad at it for being such a terrible, terrible film, though.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #598 on: 03-14-2013 14:20 »
« Last Edit on: 03-14-2013 14:21 »

Oh, I'm looking forward to it (e.g., I really enjoyed Prince of Persia, though I logically knew that it was a terrible movie; Jake Gyllenhall helps out a lot, I guess. smile) But what I really want is Beasts of the Southern Wild, up next after that.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #599 on: 03-14-2013 18:28 »
« Last Edit on: 03-14-2013 19:00 »

You can get mad at it for being such a terrible, terrible film, though.

And this is where we differ*.

*I'm not really gonna defend the movie but I had no problems with it. I liked it fine and think that there are so much worse movies out there.
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