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Author Topic: What films have you seen recently?  (Read 140590 times)

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2008, 02:49:42 PM »
Quote from: Sorrow-Kun
Title: The Last Samurai

I'm cheating, since this is about the fourth time I've seen this film.  They just happened to show it on TV, so I watched it.  Parts of it are a bit over-the-top and theatrical (such as the excessive use of slow-mo during action scenes) and parts of it are a bit difficult to believe, but on the whole it's a very evocative and dramatic film.  It works, I guess, because the character development of the main character, Captain Algren (Tom Cruise) is so profound.  In fact, the character development all round is very good.  It has its flaws, but it's absorbing, moving and lasting, which makes it an excellent film experience.  Although I wouldn't watch it on TV again...

The Rating: 8/10
I saw it yesterday for second time as well. It's weird because in my memory the film was really good and I would have given it 7~8, but it did nothing for me this time. Character development of Cruise was good, and rest of the cast are solid on their roles in the story, but way over-the-top and weak as a cinema for me.

6/10

Offline AC

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2008, 09:20:20 AM »
Swing Girls - 7/10

Juri Ueno was great and the journey of creating a jazz band from a ragtag group of deadbeat students was hilarious. One thing I notice about the humor is that it works because of the punchlines that hit the mark most of the time, and the characters' quirks. And yep, I can't ignore the foot-tapping jazz rhapsody.

Two things I didn't like about Swing Girls is how certain parts are ill-resolved i.e. problems kept coming yet they are resolved too conveniently. Nevertheless, it was a good movie.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2008, 10:55:54 PM »
Death at a Funeral: 7/10 I chuckled through most of this with the occasional hard laugh. Nice use of black humor throughout

Children of Men: 8/10 Bleak, terrifying, and surprisingly touching

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: 9/10 Downright hilarious, most of the laughter being internal though. I don't think I've ever seen the subject of nuclear holocaust taken so casually before.

Se7en: 9/10 Frightening albeit predictable thriller. Within the first ten minutes I knew where the movie was going, but just to see the complexity of the murders as well as looking inside a psychopath's mind kept it engaging all throughout. Also, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt played off each other perfectly.

Offline AC

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2008, 10:00:13 AM »
The Hidden Blade - 9/10

This is one of the best samurai movies I've ever watched (considering I haven't watched many of Akira Kurosawa's movies yet). The story was great right from start to finish by contrasting how the peacful life in the beginning slowly but imminently shatters towards the end. Comedic moments were there mostly in the first half of the movie - the samurai's training to become soldiers were hilarious - but it appropriately subsides to make way for the drama that succeeds. Comedy and more significantly drama complement each other without getting in each other's way.

The cinematography and rustic atmosphere were marvelous; so were the characters and the chemistry. Takako Matsu was particularly great as Kie, I must say. Presently, I've watched 2 of Yoji Yamada's movies - The Hidden Blade and Love and Honor last year (I'll be rewatching this next week). I'm only left with what I've heard is the best among the three - The Twilight Samurai.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2008, 03:45:30 PM »
Flight of the Phoenix (2004) 5/10
There is one and only one reason I bothered to watch this movie, and it's because Hugh Laurie is in it.  Sure, as a side character, his role is pretty much insignificant, but after hearing about this movie in one of the specials on my House MD DVDs, I was willing to pick this out of the bargain bin and give it a try.  Two hours later, I can't say that I hate the experience, but I can't praise it either.  A remake of some 60s movie, Flight of the Phoenix is a tale about a group of oil diggers trapped in the middle of the desert after their plane crashes.  These stranded people have the choice between waiting for rescue (despite failing to send a mayday since their radio antennae gets blown off) and building another plane from the wrecked remains of their old one. Due to water restraints, the first option gives them slightly over a month to live; the latter gives slightly over a week.  As with all such "survival" stories, a bunch of dilemmas ensue and the thin veneer of proper socialization falls apart as their water supply drains away.  Though I tend to find such dramas compelling, this movie simply does not have the time to explore its characters thoroughly enough to have any meaningful drama once the shit starts to hit the fans.  To make matters, worse, virtually every character here falls under some convenient Hollywood trope, and the "hero" of this movie is so generic that it's painful.  The only positive thing I'll say is that I like the arrogant aeronautics engineer (who first suggested making a new plane out of the old one).  His unabashedly blunt and abrasive nature almost makes me wish that he was played by Hugh Laurie.  In regards to the movie as a whole, it's cliched, anti-climactic and quite frankly, not worth your time.       

Hot Fuzz 8/10
I openly admit it: Hot Fuzz is probably one of the most enjoyable live-action movies I've seen in a long time.  An ingenious satire of the buddy-cop film, this movie drops off its main character, a bright, hard-working super cop into a quaint British town where crime is practically nonexistent.  He must go through the daily grind of convincing his slacker colleagues to actually do crap, and he eventually uncovers some deep dark secret which falls on deaf ears.  Yes, the premise sounds cliched (and it is is) but the movie presents these tropes with so much wit, humor and attitude that I was completely dumbfounded at how well everything came together.  If you want some clever laughs and some conceptually epic action scenes (and can stomach some gore), then I highly recommend this movie.     

Syriana 5/10
I'm a person who has a great amount of respect for genuinely daring ideas.  This is why I have such high regard for shows like Bokurano, and this why I should have liked this movie more than I did.  Syriana is a decentralized movie about the lives of four people: one person who is an American spy in the Mideast, one person who is financial adviser to the heir of an oil-rich nation, one person is a executive member of America's largest oil corporation, and the final person is an immigrant worker in the Mideast who becomes a suicide bomber. Since the movie never points out or even attempts to create "heroes" and "villains", there's no one to cheer for or care about. And from what I glean, the point here is to show that no one really is in control of the deaths and corruption surrounding oil. Everyone works to their self-interests, and those who come out on top are the ones who are the best equip to break the rules (In short, America wins). My main problem with Syriana is that it's a very poor theatrical experience. The movie has some great food for thought, but I could not care about anything happening on-screen since there are too many divergent ideas running in tandem and the character dramas felt too detached from one another.  The movie ranks pretty high on my plausibility meter due to the believable human interactions, but I would rather have some contrived melodrama that means something to me, than just a series of events that provides a series of perspectives and nothing else.

Crash 9/10     
In short, this movie was so good that I finished it and then watched it again (albeit with director commentaries). Crash is a fascinating movie that shows how prejudices and misunderstandings can drive human relationships, and how interactions can affect all parties involved.  By the end of the movie, I was absolutely stunned at how all these stories came together to create a meaningful, genuinely touching whole.  This movie has great concepts accompanied by solid acting, and I can see why this won an Academy... though I have yet to see Brokeback Mountain.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2008, 04:00:04 PM »
You didn't like Syriana?  Well, I guess I do have a natural bias towards hyperlink cinema.  Hell, I even really liked Normal.

Hot Fuzz, alongside with Shaun of the Dead, is the reason why I'm a huge fan of Simon Pegg.  Unfortunately, he hasn't done anything quite as good since.  And Crash is an amazing film.  Deeply underrated, I feel, even after winning an Oscar.

KR:  That's about what I thought of Death at a Funeral, but I had higher expectations because of the hype around it when it first came out, both from critics and friends.  It turned out to be chuckle-worthy, but certainly not the ROFL-every-minute film I'd heard about.

Offline AC

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2008, 04:17:55 AM »
Hot Fuzz 8/10
...the movie presents these tropes with so much wit, humor and attitude that I was completely dumbfounded at how well everything came together.  If you want some clever laughs and some conceptually epic action scenes (and can stomach some gore), then I highly recommend this movie.
I love that movie too, particularly for two things:

One: "Don't worry; it's just Bolognese!"

Two: The scene where someone "lost his head" screams "WTF!?".

And the actor who played Father Christmas who stabbed Sgt. Nicholas Angel during the opening scenes, was Peter Jackson. Is that right...?

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2008, 12:05:54 AM »
Title: Frost/Nixon

Excellent.  A brilliantly scripted and brilliantly acted film that shows the interviews and what happened behind the scenes, and, more impressively, gives a deep insight into both of these men.  The film melds a number of different styles from historical documentary to character study and the story is really well crafted (with the added advantage of being true).  The best scene in the film is a drunken phone call that Nixon makes to Frost.  My only criticism is that the film falls in love with the irony of the story, and it smacks too heavily of the irony, particularly in the final few scenes (the Italian shoes metaphor was a bit much for me).  It's a lot more sympathetic to Nixon than Oliver Stone's film, so that might turn some people off depending on their political disposition.

The Rating: 9/10

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2008, 11:52:42 AM »
That I'd have to agree with for Frost/Nixon., including the rating. Saw it yesterday with my dad and brother before he went back to California. Though my favorite thing about it was the irony of much of the story, especially how it allowed for its more humorous of scenes.

Offline AC

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2008, 09:31:26 AM »
For Love and Honor - 8/10

It was a very good movie albeit not as great as The Hidden Blade. The plot is very simplistic but perhaps because of this, it loses its emotional appeal which was what made The Hidden Blade (and maybe for Twilight Samurai too) a wonderful movie. At least, the charm remains intact, much to my relief.

Takuyra Kimura is particularly great at portraying the haughty yet lovable Mimura. I honestly believe that this is one of, if not, his best performances. Now, if I can just get my hands on Twilight Samurai...

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2009, 03:28:15 PM »
Ip Man

A new movie that came just recently that is a biopic about the man Bruce Lee apprenticed under and was a well known figure in Chinese history.  The fight choreography was the film's best attribute as it was hard hitting, fluid, and actually looked believable enough.  I do have to say, there was a certain grace behind Donnie Yen's movements despite all of the poundings he dished out.  The grace may not be as obvious like in another Chinese movie "Hero."  Still, I thought there was something about the way those moves came out that had such a thing.

I will say that the jump in time period was a tad abrupt about mid-way through the film.  But, that is where it has its moments in a China preoccupied by Japan.  Like when Ip Man's son asked him why him why he did not eat much and did not practice much kung fu, the reply was that if he moved around, he would get more hungry.  The answer was so honest and actually blunt, yet endearing at the sametime strangely enough.  I also noticed the way the lighting and color changed to reflect upon the desperate time and to highlight the atmosphere of certain scenes.  The movie is simple in terms of its writing and complexity is not something you should expect.

However, I still say that this is a solid film to try and if you are in the mood for a Martial Arts piece that looks into an actual historical figure.  (And perhaps not as overblown as the Wong Fei Hong folklore at times.)  So, I do give this a 7/10 since it is an entertaining movie and I have to say its one of my favorite Donnie Yen movies since this is a better one in his resume.

Offline genki sakura

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2009, 06:16:57 PM »
Valkyrie 7.5/10

I liked it. Wonderfully made. Tom Cruise isn't too bad.

My boyfriend said that even though he knew what was going to happen, he was still sorta rooting for him. I was too. Even though I knew what was going to happen, there was still a part of me that really thought that they could pull it off.

While it could be a little dense with dialogue, it was still a great story. I was engaged in it from beginning to end. I don't think I was ever bored with it.










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Offline Godai

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2009, 10:26:10 AM »
Hot Fuzz 8/10
...the movie presents these tropes with so much wit, humor and attitude that I was completely dumbfounded at how well everything came together.  If you want some clever laughs and some conceptually epic action scenes (and can stomach some gore), then I highly recommend this movie.
I love that movie too, particularly for two things:

One: "Don't worry; it's just Bolognese!"

Two: The scene where someone "lost his head" screams "WTF!?".

And the actor who played Father Christmas who stabbed Sgt. Nicholas Angel during the opening scenes, was Peter Jackson. Is that right...?

Blasphemy! This movie deserves nothing less than 11/10!!

I mean come on, when that old lady is coming down the hill with the two pistols on the bike...priceless.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2009, 04:21:38 AM »
Title: Tropic Thunder

It was funny, but all the hype I heard about it set my expectations way too high.  I loved the idea, though.  The whole concept of a movie inside a movie which is really real life inside a movie about movie stars who think they're in a movie, but they're not.  Everything in this movie is ironic, particularly the characters (eg, a lying war veteran who was really a coast guard, a gay rap star who sings about pussy, etc).  The problem is that there's not even anything close to a semblance of subtlety, so the irony does start to come off as heavy handed, especially towards the end of the film where it comes dangerously close to embracing what it's trying to parody.  But the performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise just have to be seen.  Worth the time, but not the funniest satire I've seen.

The Rating: 6

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2009, 06:06:37 AM »
Title: The Happening

It's certainly no where near as good as his earlier films, but it's the best film M. Night Shyamalan has made in a while.  (Certainly a lot better than Lady in the Water, which was simply awful).  It's very suspenseful and atmospheric, and Shyamalan pays a lot of attention to detail, with the film rife with subtle symbolism and red herrings to keep the audience on its toes.  It forgoes the typical "twist" ending, a feature of Shyamalan's films, but it can be rather predictable at times, and the characters are paper thin, which is the films big downfall.

The Rating: 7
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