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Author Topic: What films have you seen recently?  (Read 140788 times)

Offline Mesachie

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #210 on: December 19, 2010, 03:28:44 AM »
Just finished How to Train Your Dragon and was pleasantly pleased that the last half the movie really lifted it up.  In retrospect, it may be at least somewhat predictable.  Oh, wait.  It canna be both, right? If it is predictable, that negates the retrospective aspect, eh?  If it requires retrospection, then it wasn't all that predicable. What a conundrum. Sadly, it won't be reviewed here so I cannot be tutored about the good, the bad and the ugly aspects.  I do recommend it if you like animation.  The artwork is pretty good.  It isn't the artsy fartsy stuff of The Protrait of La Cossette, but it is effective to the story at hand.  The hero isn't the typical Japanimation angst-ridden incompetent over-reactor, that I am starting to detest, though he does have his moments of doubt. 
Spoiler for Hiden:
What I came to like the most, was not the hero but his peers.  The "enemy", so to speak, at the beginning of the movie. Who, once they accept the hero, stick with him. And the girl, of course, who encourages him, even guides him. So Tsundre, yet so pleasing.
  I will probably keep this one for future viewing.   
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #211 on: December 19, 2010, 06:28:55 AM »
There were a lot of things to like about How to Train Your Dragon.  There's also a shit ton I thought was stupid as ****.  The story plot was predictable and has been used way too often in animated features lately.  Lovable loser who doesn't fit in with society finds something special about himself and eventually saves the day.  See also Kung Fu Panda, Mulan, Antz, etc.  I also realize that it is supposed to be a kids movie, but could we not have had the viking kids acting like Californian hipsters?  Would it have killed them to actually talk like viking recruits instead of high school ****faces jockeying for Prom date consideration?

In the end, I'm relatively satisfied with the film.  My gripes seem major, but overall the damned thing was adorable and has a rather surprising ending.
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Offline Shadowmage

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #212 on: December 19, 2010, 08:26:37 AM »
To be honest, most Disney, Pixar and a few Dreamworks projects (like How to Train Your Dragon) are some of the best pieces of animation I've ever seen.  Many of the stories go into a few tropes, but the execution is impeccable and the whole package is refined to a mirror shine.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 05:59:09 PM by Shadowmage »

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

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #213 on: December 19, 2010, 05:48:23 PM »
Yeah, but the best of the animated movies have always featured good stories.  Like I griped with video games, if something looks good but the substance of the product itself is poor, it's a shit product.  Was WALL-E good because of the outstanding animation or because of the quirky choice of main character and perspective and a story that expands the horizons while being believable?  Was Finding Nemo about the looks or the flawless execution of three characters trying to find each other while trying to find themselves?

Etc.  You tend to hear it about the less well told stories.  "Well it looked pretty, but it was overall an okay movie... good for kids".  Yada yada.
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Offline The Big Guy

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #214 on: December 19, 2010, 07:09:25 PM »
Quote
The story plot was predictable and has been used way too often in animated features lately.  Lovable loser who doesn't fit in with society finds something special about himself and eventually saves the day.

Uh, the storyline is fine, the problem is if you notice that's unoriginal, it didn't do a very good job. The best example would be Star Wars. It's exactly the same storyline as above, but I've never heard anyone call it unoriginal before. The prequels were more original in terms of plot line, because how often does a prophecy go the other way and make the hero a villain? And everyone loves the prequels right? Didn't think so.  The point is that the storyline doesn't always matter as much as the execution of it. Make that always in fact.
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Offline Mesachie

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #215 on: December 19, 2010, 09:42:32 PM »
TIF, I dunno if the name Joseph Campbell rings a bell with you or not.  If it does then the idea that we have been telling the same stories for a long long time now is not foreign to you.  Good storytellers will embellish this, emphasis that, change it a bit, leave enough in that it echos warmly in our ear and yet is not the same exact tale. 

You are right about Kung Fu Panda, Mulan and Antz to a point.  But they are not the same story, the Panda wasn't Mulan while Antz and HTTYD both resemble Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, eh? At least to some degree.  They ain't one offs but they ain't the same thing either.  Common elements do not make it the same story.  Individual execution is exactly that.  Unique. Each one told by different people in its own way.  Even in a collaborative effort like movie making.  Or perhaps even more so because of its nature.   
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Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #216 on: December 19, 2010, 11:50:19 PM »
If it does then the idea that we have been telling the same stories for a long long time now is not foreign to you.  Good storytellers will embellish this, emphasis that, change it a bit, leave enough in that it echos warmly in our ear and yet is not the same exact tale. 

This is too often used as an excuse, a misinterpretation of some postmodern mode of thought.  No one goes into a film expecting it to revolutionize plot.  But if it feels formulaic, then it's probably because of mediocre execution in some aspect.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #217 on: December 20, 2010, 02:54:18 AM »
Changing the subject:

Tron

Boring, barely makes sense, preachy, no balls even for a Disney movie.  The original movie was interesting, unique, and somewhat thought provoking.  This one is trash.  I didn't even like the visuals.  The only thing that was cool was the updated light-cycle sequence.  That would make a kinky video game.

2 / 10
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Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #218 on: December 21, 2010, 10:48:10 PM »
Goodfellas: 10/10

Probably the best movie to have watched while the Godfather trilogy is still fresh in my mind, and I gotta say, compared to the Godfather (Part I), which is certainly a better movie, I gotta say I liked this one a little better. It probably has to do with the fact that it deals with characters at a level of stature between those of The Godfather and On the Waterfront, allowing them to have all the luxury of the bosses while still having the more down to earth and gritty nature of grunts and people in the mercy of the mafia. Though more importantly, I honestly thought this was the funner movie. Ray Liota does a great job as both the narrator and the central character, being able to both like him and be disturbed by his life. The only real complaint I have for it would be the soundtrack which began to grate on my nerves early on. This is just me, but I think it would have worked better were it to utilize an original score instead.

The Jazz Singer: 7/10

"You ain't heard nothin' yet." It's uncanny that was just a performer ad libbing in his catchphrase turned out be the most prophetic words spoken on film (or Vitaphone in this case). I wouldn't be surprised if it was the ad lib itself that most contributed to the birth of the talkies. With regards to the actual film, it's pretty standard stuff, a story about the conflict between ambition and tradition, as well as the reconciliation between the two. And being a film of the silent era, the acting is incredibly foreign to the modern audience. But all that aside, what ends up selling this film is Al Jolson's performance. His mannerisms are such that they don't feel too weird despite being silent style, and he is just fun to watch and listen to. This movie also gets some bonus points for being one of (as far as I know) two movies that can get away with the entertainment artifact of black face, and the only one that can use it for dramatic effect.

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #219 on: December 22, 2010, 01:12:35 AM »
Machete 4/10

The best parts were over before the title screen flashed.

Offline Tamashii

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #220 on: January 08, 2011, 09:28:44 PM »
Never Let Me Go
5/10
What a disappointment.

EDIT: I thought I would absolutely love this film. The trailer got me hooked. Even though I never read the book, the poster was enough. I love this poster! It's so beautiful. So whimsical, so simple. So wonderful. From this one image you could read the failed universe, the desperation, the horror, and that desire for escape, that bit of hope, that chance of love. You just knew it had to be a great love story. Yet we never felt such things, or anything like it in the film. Never mind seeing a scene that even closely resembles it. All I got was a lot of crying from Carey Mulligan--actually a lot of crying from everyone. Carey is darn good at it, but I never connected to the characters. Everyone came off as selfish, sometimes even unlikable. Everything was so sterile. They didn't, or better put couldn't, fight for their destiny, by design. Well it didn't work in this film. Neither did the message. It almost flew over my head. I watch a movie for its characters and story, for the conflicts and obstacles they have to overcome. The voice over also bothered me a lot. Some of the dialogue made me cringe. Ah, what an upset.

The Aviator
8/10
Great Scorsese fair, but missing his usual flair.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 11:23:17 PM by Tamashii »

Offline Mesachie

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #221 on: January 09, 2011, 12:51:13 AM »
Every Time We Say Goodbye
8/10

A young Tom Hanks stars in this small but excellent story of attraction and romance in the "true love conquers all" genre.  Set in British controlled Palestine during the Second World War, Tom is an American who enlisted in the British Royal Air Force prior to the US entry into the conflict.  Injured while fighting in North Africa, he has been invalided to Palestine where he meets a sweet and intriguing young Sephardi Jewess Sarah, played by Cristina Marsillach.  Much beloved by her family and adored by her cousin, She is the center of gravity for this movie.  Sarah is reserved, curious, shy and uncertain of her own feelings as they begin blossom.  Tom's character is quickly smitten, but very much the well raised young man, deeply distressed and totally mesmerized. 

For a story of growing attraction, the gap between cultures and how love can bridge vast distances, this is a charmer.  Well made but not high budget, the acting is generally sterling, the story arc predictable but very nicely paced.  By far my favorite "small" love story.  Tom's career is well known while his co-star disappeared from the industry in anther five years.  But what a pleasant piece of work to have in one's legacy. 

Released 1986.  The version I watched was without subtitles. I remember seeing it originally with subtitles for the Ladino language, a variant of Spanish and Portugese. Fairly extensive sections of the movie that deal with interactions of the Sephardi families are in Ladino (likely understandable to a modern Spanish speaker). The majority of the movie is in English and much of the content of the Ladino language can be inferred, but some of the charm dims since discussions between the grandmother and the girl are lost; the same with a heated scene with a very angry mother and a nice scene between the father and his lovesick daughter.     

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Offline Kaikyaku

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #222 on: January 13, 2011, 01:40:40 AM »
Never Let Me Go
5/10
What a disappointment.
I recently saw the movie too, but right after reading the book. As usual, the book was much better. Really this tale is a character study of these three people during their short lives. By the end of the book I felt like I really knew them. The movie had to cut a lot of the character development and, for whatever reason, skipped some that they could have kept in. I too found the movie to be a bit emotionless. I got more from the children then the adults. But if the idea of the story appeals to you, I would say the book is worth checking out.

As for movies, I saw Black Swan last week and I am honestly not sure if I liked it or not. I certainly liked aspects of it, and didn't like aspects of it. Overall, I guess I would have to give it a positive review, but there were a few elements that didn't seem to mesh as they should have.

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #223 on: January 13, 2011, 02:19:57 PM »
The Longest Night in Shanghai - 8/10

A collaboration between China and Japan.  Zhao Wei is superb as usual.  Sometimes devolves into melodrama, but generally is okay.  Has funny moments too.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #224 on: January 24, 2011, 01:28:01 AM »
Title: Black Swan

The moral of this story is that ballet ****s you up. I liked The Wrestler better than I liked this, but it's still a great movie. It's really twisted, visceral and highly sexual as well. The horror scenes were really well executed, and the acting was excellent all 'round. Natalie Portman should win an Oscar for this. However, when you boil it all down, its message is a bit simple (as is often the case with paranoid psychological thrillers) which is why I don't think it'll linger in my thoughts for a long time like The Wrestler did.

The Rating: 8/10
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