What films have you been watching recently?


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NewYork
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That's on the iPlayer at the moment. Apocalypto, I mean. If anyone wants to watch it. Or don't watch it. Make up your own minds. What am I, your mother?
#1021 at 17:50:11 - 15/02/2010
peej
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NewYork said:That's on the iPlayer at the moment. Apocalypto, I mean. If anyone wants to watch it. Or don't watch it. Make up your own minds. What am I, your mother?


It's also on Beeb 2 this week sometime. Possibly even tonight.

#1022 at 17:52:13 - 15/02/2010
Syrok
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peej said:
NewYork said:That's on the iPlayer at the moment. Apocalypto, I mean. If anyone wants to watch it. Or don't watch it. Make up your own minds. What am I, your mother?


It's also on Beeb 2 this week sometime. Possibly even tonight.


It was last night most likely because that's the channel I watched it on. :)
#1023 at 18:00:00 - 15/02/2010
FlexibleFeline
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Espad said:Moon 9/10

Bloody loved it, Sam Rockwell is excellent, great music and I LOVED the sets and model effects.


Seconded - just saw that the other day, knowing very little about it, and thought it was a real treat. Sam Rockwell just can't really do anything wrong, imho.
#1024 at 00:22:47 - 16/02/2010
NewYork
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I found it nicely atmospheric, and I liked the robot, but I found the plot contrived. I ranted about it in this post.
#1025 at 01:05:37 - 16/02/2010
peej
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FlexibleFeline said:
Espad said:Moon 9/10

Bloody loved it, Sam Rockwell is excellent, great music and I LOVED the sets and model effects.


Seconded - just saw that the other day, knowing very little about it, and thought it was a real treat. Sam Rockwell just can't really do anything wrong, imho.


Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Admittedly the one blip in his career (he's a great scenery chewer!)
#1026 at 08:32:32 - 16/02/2010
NewYork
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A Serious Man

A Serious Man is the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances, Sy Ableman, who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person – a mensch – a serious man?


So, I understand this to be a "Coen Brothers" film, though I don't know what weight that carries.

Good film, anyway. A dark comedy. I really feel for the main character, a family man whose world is crashing down around him, trying to cope as best he can. It's quite bleak and depressing.

It's a slow film, with a still, sunbleached suburban setting. Very pretty to look at.

There's a few too many "ha, it was just a dream!" sequences, which I always feel are unfair to the viewer.

Sy, the man who the main character's wife is now seeing, is brilliantly unlikeable. The son is a pretty cool kid with a fun side-story. The rabbis, all frustrating (as they are meant to be).

Jewish humour, but it's universal. I gLOL'ed in places.

I won't say how it ends, but after watching this and No Country for Old Men, I'm sensing a pattern.


Not a must see, but I liked it.
#1027 at 17:50:54 - 16/02/2010
NewYork
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Amreeka

Amreeka chronicles the adventures of Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. In America, as her son navigates high school hallways the way he used to move through military checkpoints, the indomitable Muna scrambles together a new life...


So, yeah, a film about an Arabic mother and son leaving the West Bank to start a new life in America. It's around the time of the Iraq invasion, so naturally they face racism and Islamophobia.

It's not overly dramatic - it deals with these issues in a relatively light way, with the worst of it amounting to small town bullying. It's not all doom-and-gloom, and there are a number of positive, likeable characters.

Quite funny, in places, in a cute fish-out-of-water way. It has all the "coming to America" comedy you'd expect.

It's refreshing to see a realistic portrayal of people's attitudes, like on the son's first day of school it's not like most stories where he's immediately the outsider - most kids don't even care, and it's just a few people causing trouble for him.

It is heartbreaking to see the two struggling to adapt to their new surroundings, as their hopes are quickly dashed. The mother-son relationship is so sweet, and a few scenes between them nearly had me going. Indeed it's a very uplifting film in terms of celebrating family values. You can't not fall in love with the mother, seeing how hard she works to set up a new life for her and her son, against all the odds :)

Some of the political commentary inserted here and there can be a bit preachy, but it's rare to see the opinions coming from a non-American point of view (they comment on how American news does not show Iraqi casualties, for example), and it's refreshing, in that sense.

Note: a lot of the film is non-English, so if subs annoy you, avoid.

A very sweet film, overall. Nice ending :)
#1028 at 11:22:37 - 17/02/2010
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I've been quite cynical about this. Not sure why, although I'm starting to think I might have been suffering from "not liking it coz its popular" syndrome.

Either way I decided to make my own mind up about it and dragged myself (willingly) to see it last night.

WOW. WOW! WOW! WOW! It really does live up to the hype it's been getting. Story wise it was fine. Nothing that will set the world on fire, but decent enough in a family friendly kinda way.

The 3D stuff though, JEEBUS! It really is handled exceptionally well. A few hiccups aside, it was gorgeous throughout.

Thoroughly recommend seeing it if you're wondering if it'll be any good or not. I really don't see 3D taking off in the home though. I think you need a massive cinema screen to really appreciate it.
#1029 at 10:37:20 - 18/02/2010
NewYork
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I agree, it works best as a spectacle. It won't be the same on a TV screen, or worse, a computer monitor.



The September Issue

The September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine weighed nearly five pounds, and was the single largest issue of a magazine ever published. With unprecedented access, 'The September Issue,' directed and produced by R.J. Cutler, tells the story of legendary Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her larger-than-life team of editors creating the issue and ruling the world of fashion.


This is a documentary about the September issue of Vogue magazine (apparently the most important) and all that goes into making it.

The people filmed are depicted in a very complimentary way and I think the film could just as easily have been edited in a negative slant, but instead everyone appears quite likeable, even the supposed "ice queen" editor Anna Wintour. Perhaps they didn't dig deep enough for any dirt.

There's something quite exciting about watching the experts in their field at work, even if I don't really understand it. Even more interesting is the interaction between experts, as they shoot down each other's ideas. The film doesn't delve too deep into office politics, but the power-plays are fun to watch. Ultimately, though, everyone seems to get on and there's a lot of respect between the magazine staff, so there was no bitchiness on the level I expected.

The rush to the deadline, with all the setbacks they face, doesn't exactly give the film "tension", but does add momentum. I was rather surprised that it takes six months to plan and make the issue. :O

The disheartening part is how these people devote their lives to something so superficial and frivolous. There's a brief interview with Wintour's daughter, who says she doesn't want to follow in her mother's footsteps because she finds it a "weird" industry and that she doesn't believe "fashion is life," like most in the industry do. Wintour talks about her successful siblings, and how they find her line of work "amusing". While I respect these fashion people for being so good at what they do, there's another part of me that thinks it's all a terrible waste of time.

The photography and modelling is gorgeous to look at, and even more so how artificially it all comes together.

Fun documentary about a bizarre world, but perhaps too flattering.
#1030 at 14:47:58 - 18/02/2010
Micro_Explosion
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Up
It's definitely good but not Pixar's best. The opening section is probably even bolder than the opening of Wall-E (with its 20 minutes or so of no speaking) but after that it feels about as generic as any of Pixar's films ever have from the mildly irritating kid, the grumpy bloke, and a fairly ordinary bad guy.

Some of the scenes are brilliant and even when it isn't it's still leagues ahead of anything I've ever seen from the likes of Dreamwork's Studio. Compared to their other stuff I thought it was slightly below Ratatouille and Wall-E but just above Cars and Monsters Inc.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Very entertaining but not as funny as I hoped, still, the insanity of the story and some of the voice acting easily made up for it. Up is funnier but overall, this is just as fun.

Mr T and the inventor person steal the film but the rest of the cast is above the normal standard. The lack of use of the latest flavours of the month to do the voice overs helps it out a lot.

The quality of the animation and its art direction isn't as good as Up either but it's a very good effort.
#1031 at 23:40:42 - 19/02/2010
FlexibleFeline
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NewYork said:I found it nicely atmospheric, and I liked the robot, but I found the plot contrived. I ranted about it in this post.


Good post - I can't really disagree with those points!
#1032 at 07:36:40 - 20/02/2010
Syrok
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Going through the old Bond films at the moment.

From Russia with Love isn't quite as good as Dr. No. Both are somewhat more entertaining than the newer Bonds.
#1033 at 11:14:05 - 20/02/2010
Micro_Explosion
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I was never a huge fan of the older Bonds, I think it was because I'm interested in films where the story is more about the person/people than any big event. Bond saving the world or a person was never that interesting because I always knew he would win; it's like watching a football match - live it's great, recorded and watching later is far less interesting to me.

That said, the script and some of the acting in the earliest films is very good.
#1034 at 12:17:36 - 20/02/2010
NewYork
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Big Fan

Paul Aufiero, a 35-year-old parking-garage attendant from Staten Island, is the self-described "world's biggest New York Giants fan". He lives at home with his mother, spending his off hours calling in to local sports-radio station 760 The Zone, where he rants in support of his beloved team, often against his mysterious on-air rival, Eagles fan Philadelphia Phil. His family berates him for doing nothing with his life, but they don't understand the depth of his love of the Giants or the responsibility his fandom carries. One night, Paul and his best friend Sal spot Giants star linebacker Quantrell Bishop at a gas station in their neighborhood. They impulsively follow his limo into Manhattan, to a strip club, where they hang in the background, agog at their hero. Paul cautiously decides to approach him, stepping into the rarefied air of football stardom--and things do not go as planned. The fallout of this chance encounter brings Paul's world crashing down around him as his family, the team, the media and the authorities engage in a tug of war over Paul, testing his allegiances and calling into question everything he believes in.

Patton Oswalt is perfect in this film about sports obsession, though the same theme applies to any kind of obsession, really.

The main character is so into his team to the point that it consumes his entire life. Following one of his favourite stars to a club puts him in a situation that forces him to decide between his devotion to the team and common sense.

I thought it was a good movie with lots of cringeworthy moments. Very depressing, too, as the main character is pretty much a lost cause from the beginning of the film to the end.

The film is fairly safe and predictable throughout until the tense and electric final scene which is gripping, and for a moment shocking.

I think people who take their hobbies way too far will find something to relate to, here.
#1035 at 16:24:42 - 23/02/2010
peej
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Micro_Explosion said:I was never a huge fan of the older Bonds, I think it was because I'm interested in films where the story is more about the person/people than any big event. Bond saving the world or a person was never that interesting because I always knew he would win; it's like watching a football match - live it's great, recorded and watching later is far less interesting to me.

That said, the script and some of the acting in the earliest films is very good.


I have a soft spot for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "You Only Live Twice". I think Lazenby did a decent job stepping into HUGE shoes with the former, and the sheer scale of the latter always makes my jaw drop (plus I *heart* Little Nellie)

I'd take either of those over just about any of the Bonds before or after. The Daniel Craig stuff's embarrasingly chocker with product placements, in fact I end up counting how many products there are in the films rather than paying attention to the wispy thin plots.
#1036 at 18:00:49 - 23/02/2010
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peej said:The Daniel Craig stuff's embarrasingly chocker with product placements


Too bloody right, and none more crass than the "That's a nice watch - Rolex ?"

"No, Omega"

He might as well have draped it across his arm in John Candy Trains Planes and Automobile style !


The thing that lets the early films down for me is the riduculously sped up footage during fights or chases. I know it was the 60s, but it looks bloody awful !
#1037 at 18:46:33 - 23/02/2010
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Hurt Locker

Very well directed, extremely well acted and gives you what feels like a genuine insight into how these guys and women deal with the shit that happens. But, although I would recommend it to anybody and know it's a very good film, strangely I didn't enjoy it all that much.
#1038 at 19:24:32 - 23/02/2010
Sillothian
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peej said:I have a soft spot for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "You Only Live Twice". I think Lazenby did a decent job stepping into HUGE shoes with the former, and the sheer scale of the latter always makes my jaw drop (plus I *heart* Little Nellie)


OHMSS is a good Bond film, but I think George Lazenby was always on a hiding to nothing as a replacement for Sean Connery.

Maybe if the film had been more along the lines of those that had directly preceded it then Lazenby would have made more Bond films. As it was you had a new Bond, no gadgets, no extravagant enemy hq, a new theme tune and Bond falls in love.

OHMSS feels more like a Bond reboot than part of the existing franchise, which is probably why Diamonds are Forever goes back to the tried and tested formula.

As for my favourite Bond that will have to be Roger Moore. Live and Let Die has always been my favourite Bond film and has the best theme music too.
#1039 at 19:34:47 - 23/02/2010
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A shitty week at work had me cracking open The Big Lebowski again.

One of the *very* few films that I can watch again and again (Pixar's stuff seems to hit the spot too).

I think it is just the ambling vibe that just relaxes me and rounds off any edges. Sure, the plot is all over the place but as it lurches around it mixes up some fantastic dialogue and plain surreal moments (a naked, deathsliding Julianne Moore? Yes, please.)

Having just seen Ghost Rider I did a double take at Sam Elliott's Wanderin' Stranger character. Looks like he'd hung around on set and found himself in another movie.

And since Jeff Bridges appear to be a hot tip for the oscar, topical too!
#1040 at 11:02:16 - 24/02/2010
blizeH
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Just watched Evangelion: You are not alone

Rather dreadful and pointless imo. About the only bit I ever so slightly liked was the music during the end credits, and even that was really bad apart from a slightly catchy chorus.

:D

(don't think I've ever enjoyed an anime movie before, god knows why I thought this one would be any different)
#1041 at 01:20:13 - 01/03/2010
billdoor
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Fantastic Mr Fox- fantastic.

Thanks to our 3 year old I have now seen it half a dozen times but we actually saw it on the big screen (well biggish, it was 20th Century Fox's screening cinema in Soho) on Sunday, so I got to watch it uninterrupted. Its definitely one of those two levels film, the boy enjoyed it a lot but I think I enjoyed it more.
#1042 at 09:46:26 - 01/03/2010
Binky
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Watched Franklyn last night. Thought it was shit.

Thanks.
#1043 at 14:59:25 - 01/03/2010
Micro_Explosion
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12 Angry Men
Excellent film based around a jury where only one of them votes for not guilty at the start against all the rest.

The eventual outcome is predictable but the performances and the script along the way are excellent. Some of the acting is definitely of-its-time but still better than 90% of modern films.
#1044 at 20:07:24 - 01/03/2010
NewYork
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What happens when one guy votes not-guilty? Does the vote need to be unanimous?
#1045 at 20:19:39 - 01/03/2010
Micro_Explosion
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Yeah it does so they start to discuss why they're voting the way they are, their points are gradually taken apart until they all agree.

All there needs to be is reasonable doubt and they can't vote guilty.
#1046 at 21:00:35 - 01/03/2010
NewYork
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In the Loop

With razor-sharp, truly laugh-out-loud dialogue the film pokes fun at the absurdity and ineptitude of our highest leaders. With everyone looking out for number one, and the fate of the free world at stake (but apparently incidental), the hilarious ensemble cast of characters bumbles its way through Machiavellian political dealings, across continents, and toward comic resolutions that are unforeseeable.


This film is hilarious. Some of the sharpest dialogue I've seen in a film. Every character hurls clever insults at a lightning-fast rate - there are no weak links. That's what I love, that there are no fall guys: everyone gives as good as they get.

It's like The Office meets Yes, Minister. But don't worry about the political setting, that's not crucial to the film. It's all about the extremely witty character interactions.

There's hardly anything to be said of the plot, in fact. There's some slight war-commentary in there, and it is a satire of high-level government, but mainly it's all an excuse to put these explosive characters together and see what happens in a series of skits.

Very intelligent and funny.
#1047 at 09:53:53 - 12/03/2010
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Micro_Explosion said:12 Angry Men


Trivia time, fact fans!

The set of the jury room had movable walls, and as the film progresses, the director had the walls moved in, in very subtle fashion, to rachet up the tension.
#1048 at 12:03:21 - 12/03/2010
JimJam
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Watchmen Ultimate Cut (R1), with the Black Freighter stuff added back in, and extended scenes...

I must say, I was damn impressed with the theatrical cut, even with the slightly changed ending. I thought that adding the Black Freighter stuff back would work, but it doesn't really. It detracts from the pace of the film in a way that doesn't affect the novel, and since the conspiracy is not the same as in the comic book, it's kind of rendered superfluous. Still a good movie, but I think the Directors Cut (extended scenes, no Black Freighter) would have been a better purchase.
#1049 at 02:06:20 - 16/03/2010
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Paranormal Activity. Just finished watching it, missing some of the subtleties for having the sound quite low (and the snoring upstairs).

In a nut shell: hackneyed, slow, irritating, punchable guy, boring, boring, ooh not bad, boring, Fuck! I just shat!, wasted momentum, stupid characters, boring... ending ruined by trailer. Out of ten.

Ok, I'll admit it. I haven't turned the lights out yet..
#1050 at 02:44:31 - 26/03/2010

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