What films have you been watching recently?


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Whizzo
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Use of an explosion to push a space craft isn't too extreme, Project Orion was planned around the use of atomic bombs to give thrust.

The problem with the Enterprise using its warp core blowing up to escape the black hole is the fact that a) they were at warp so the black hole probably wouldn't have been able to do anything and b) if they ejected the core they wouldn't have been at warp any longer so would have been pulled straight in anyway.

I must get around to visiting the Romulus memorial in Star Trek Online...
#961 at 14:16:59 - 25/01/2010
Stevas
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Yes, but that project relied on there being a wave of plasma to "ride" (that is, matter), and on the object that needed propulsion not trying this sort of thing while situated on pretty much the event horizon of a black hole (I'll get back to this).

There's no "wave" here to ride. Either they're relying on matter just smacking into them from the explosion (probably not a good idea, and not even possible: see that whole "almost sitting on the event horizon" thing later), or they're hoping the shockwave from the explosion will propel them....

Which there won't be. Because there's no medium to propogate said shockwave. At least, certainly not enough of a medium to do this particular job (And also no "shockwave" in the sense that most viewers would naturally assume.)
Hence my incredulous "IN SPACE", see.
And I think it's pretty much the implication, really. "Hey, we'll explode the hell our way out! There's nothing a good fucking explosion won't solve, right?" i.e. an explosion pushes shit, yes? Not in space it doesn't (technically, for this discussion). It still "throws" shit out, yeah, but that's all you're relying on for any propulsion (as with Project Orion).

Okay, so let's say they're relying on this idea: that matter thrown from the explosion is gonna just "hit" them out of the pull of the singularity; like BAM - HOME RUN! THE ENTERPRISE IS OUTTA HERE...
That whole Almost Sitting On The Event Horizon Thing
No, in a word. Even assuming they did have the hull (or shields) to withstand the "shockwave" of matter hitting them hard enough to push them away, we're talking about (apparently)... um... a ship that's at maximum warp and STILL can't escape a black hole? The fuck? (Especially considering I just did some "research" (okay, it's wiki) on warp factors and discovered that it actually means they can go faster than light? The double fuck?) So basically, any matter that is escaping with enough energy to even dent the Enterprise is defying physics already (considering it's been thrown CLOSER to the black hole) - let alone enough to shred it's hull, or, indeed, smack it clear of danger.
And while I'm on, what's with putting the Enterprise in artificial "peril" in the first place, when they have a drive that can go faster than the gravitational pull of a black hole already?

/Isn't a trekkie, honest
/Or whatever it is they like to be called
/Waits for someone to say "IT'S JUST A FUCKING MOVIE, IDIOT"
#962 at 15:45:37 - 25/01/2010
Stevas
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In other words, my "IN SPACE" wasn't directed at their using the principle of Project Orion as an aid for propulsion, it was more at the implication that a simple explosion would solve everything (with, naturally, most viewers just assuming that everything works in space just as it does down here - see also: that whole sound in space thing).

Put another way: no, it's not too extreme. Where it's being done in such a way that the matter you're relying on for the propulsion isn't being thrown straight down the throat of a singularity, that is.

EDIT: apologies if that wasn't clear, by the way. The IN SPACE, I mean. And my above post. And this one. Um. Yeah, I'm a bit spaced myself today...
#963 at 15:57:54 - 25/01/2010
Boo
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If you put that sort of effort into developing Flying Monkeys, you'd have an army of 'em by now.

Sheesh! It's just a movie!

;o)
#964 at 16:28:12 - 25/01/2010
billdoor
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Look, it had less McGuffins than most star trek does (no one attempted to reroute the power to the main deflector dish through the EPS power conduits, no inverse tachyon pulses were emitted and so on)but it is still Trek, so trying to employ anything vaguely like physics, even a fantastical one thats coherent in their sci fi universe, is FUCKING POINTLESS.
#965 at 16:29:13 - 25/01/2010
billdoor
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Or, what boo said.
#966 at 16:29:37 - 25/01/2010
Stevas
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I've been doing this for years, you know? Homework?
Onedin Line on the telly.
Flying monkeys?
Discussion on internets on just how close/far away the new Trek film is to actual theoretical physics.

I think it's some sort of universal law. I should really be sorting out insurance for my new bike, but I'll get right on working out just what that law is all about instead...
#967 at 16:36:27 - 25/01/2010
peej
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You do that, I'll carry on wondering just how the focking hex someone as hot as Uhura could be attracted to ol' pudding-basin-head with the frickin' ears.
#968 at 16:55:44 - 25/01/2010
Binky
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oh oh, I watched Moon. It was good and all that, but I thought it was going to be fecking amazing the way people had gone on about it :-/
#969 at 17:05:11 - 25/01/2010
Boo
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Moon?

That had Sam Rockwell in it, who utterly destroyed the role of Zaphod Beeblebrox in, in...

that film.

/twitches
#970 at 17:44:43 - 25/01/2010
Syrok
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Gamer

Enjoyable movie I thought. Probably doesn't win any prizes but if you just want to be entertained for 90 minutes it's good enough.
#971 at 11:31:03 - 27/01/2010
Micro_Explosion
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Star Trek (the new one)
It is very good and better than any of the others although most of them had something good in each of them. The new actors pull off the roles convincingly enough that I stopped comparing them to the original actors very quickly and the action was better than most blockbusters.

The plot was the weakest part of it all with a fairly typical revenge plot where only this lot can save the universe - fun but I would like to see something a bit more intelligent in the next one.

Beautiful

Armageddon
I remember that when I first saw this when it came out it seemed good - not amazing but very entertaining. I'm not sure what has happened since but other than a couple of scenes (Bruce talking to his daughter before he goes boom being one of them) it is terrible in just about every way.

Direction is terrible, acting is poor, the script is clunky and uneven and the pace is weird. Why they thought taking an hour and a half before anything happens was a good idea is beyond me. Most of the plot is farcical where anything that can go wrong does go wrong, nearly always because of them doing something ridiculous.

By the end I wanted them all to die and the asteroid to hit earth, taking Michael Bay and his lack of any obvious talent with it.

I wish Tony Scott would come back and make this sorts of films instead of Bay.
#972 at 00:12:09 - 31/01/2010
NewYork
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Bright Star

Period drama about a love affair between John Keats and fashion student Fanny Brawne.

Slow burning, intense (however completely non-sexual) love story. It isn't overly dramatic except where it needs to be. The two main characters are very likeable and intelligent. The little girl is simply adorable :) As with any period drama everyone is well-spoken but it isn't overwhelming and it doesn't overpower the characters. Very tragic and frustrating, overall, but the happy middle bit is very summery and uplifting.

The visuals are fantastic. The scenes out in the countryside have a lazy dreamlike feel to them. I'm sure a film student might harp on about how the seasons are excellently used to reflect mood: this is true, and it works very well.

Well worth seeing.
#973 at 19:36:15 - 31/01/2010
Syrok
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Just watched that after reading your recommendation and have to agree. :)

#974 at 22:32:10 - 31/01/2010
peej
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NewYork said:Bright Starcompletely non-sexual) love story.


/skips
#975 at 08:57:30 - 01/02/2010
NewYork
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Syrok said:Just watched that after reading your recommendation and have to agree. :)

Yay, I'm so pleased! :)

peej said:
NewYork said:Bright Starcompletely non-sexual) love story.


/skips

Ah, peej. There is no hope for you :P
#976 at 10:50:00 - 01/02/2010
peej
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Probably not.

#977 at 11:35:59 - 01/02/2010
billdoor
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Thunderbirds- Arse
Cars- not arse
Blood diamonds- not arse
Terminator Salvation- mostly not arse apart from the ending which was arse.
#978 at 11:54:05 - 01/02/2010
peej
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Ahhh did manage to watch one flick over the weekend. Antichrist.

Pretty much standard Lars von Trier stuff dealing with the darkest and most twisted core of humanity, exposed through traumatic events. Dafoe was at his scenery-chewing bonking best. Definitely worth watching unless you're a bit wussy about fingernails :)
#979 at 12:46:08 - 01/02/2010
HairyArse
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Law Abiding Citizen - S'alright. 6/10.
#980 at 12:50:53 - 01/02/2010
NewYork
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Watched Moon. Spoilers follow.

Micro_Explosion said:Moon
Script, direction, style, and plot are all excellent and is a rare example of 'intelligent' sci-fi that didn't bore me stiff. For a debut film that is ambitious and with a relatively small budget, it manages to be better and more believable than most other films this year.

Sam Rockwell is outstanding in one of his best performances and is completely convincing throughout.

I've deliberately not mentioned the plot because I went in knowing nothing other than Rockwell was in it and Spacey was the voice of the robot. If you know nothing more than that going in then I suspect you would enjoy it a lot.

I agree with you, though I probably wasn't as in love with it as you are.

I too went into it with no real idea of what the plot was supposed to be: I expected some story about the effects of isolation and loneliness, and so was quite surprised when things got weird.

I wouldn't mistake soberness for intelligence. I found the plot was contrived, and forced. I don't feel a situation like this is remotely believable from a logical perspective (why use humans at all, why bother implanting memories, why have such a convoluted process of switching people--clearly the most sinister situation the writers could think up--why is live communication jammed in both directions, why isn't Sam effectively monitored, how exactly is the cost of sending a rescue mission every three years any better than just training a new dude every three years, if you are going to go the clone route, why not give him some actual company instead of orchestrating a charade--again, this was just the writers trying to be sinister, I'm sure--etc.)

It's also frustrating watching them lumber towards a revelation that you figured out as soon as you realised there was a clone. She's dead, you idiots. Hurry up.

Character-wise, I did not understand how calm these guys could act when confronted with what they believe to be a clone of themselves. Yes, they get a bit hot headed some way in, but for the most part, it's presented in a very quirky fashion. Sure, it's weird and comical watching them interact, but believability is chucked right out of the window. They are way too chilled in trying to find out the truth.

I liked the robot. At times I felt he, too, was a sinister presence, but he turned out to be a swell guy :) Which is another silly oversight, of course: I felt having the robot as truly helpful was a huge cop-out. Indeed, Sam (and Sam) had way too much freedom to do whatever the heck they wanted. For such a grand conspiracy, you'd think the company in charge would have better security.

The atmosphere was good. Very cold, sterile, lonely. That's probably more of what I liked, the slow descent into madness, the physical degeneration, the effects of the realisation that your life is a lie, and that you are part of a machine, and that you are expendable.

But it was built on some very shaky plot.


Had a very Dead Space vibe to it, though, didn't it? :)
#981 at 14:50:16 - 01/02/2010
Stevas
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Dance of the Dragon.
Okay, here's the blurb:
"Jason Scott Lee (Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story), Korean heartthrob Jang Hyuk (Windstruck, Volcano High), and Singapore's A-list artiste Fann Wong (Shanghai Knights, Just Follow Law) star in Dance of the Dragon, a modern day tale of love, passion, courage and hope, with the demanding and visually stunning disciplines of ballroom dancing and martial arts woven into the plot.

Asian-American Hollywood actor Jason Scott Lee plays the role of Cheng, a former martial arts champion. His relationship with Emi (played by Singapore's top actress Fann Wong) is threatened by the arrival of Tae (Jang Hyuk) whom Emi mentors in dance. Soon, student and mentor appear to develop feelings for each other, leading to a showdown that will resolve the passionate love triangle. Dance and martial arts are pivotal to the films storyline. Ballroom dancing is Tae's lifelong dream and through Emi, he can develop this craft. Tae must also face in a martial arts challenge with the loser leaving Singapore - and Emi."

tl;dr version:
"MARTIAL ARTS! DANCING! IT'S, LIKE, THE IDEAL MOVIE FOR A COUPLE MADE UP OF A GUY WHO PUTS UP WITH STRICTLY AND A LADY WHO PUTS UP WITH CHOP SOCKY SHITE!"

Review:
No. Just... fucking no.
#982 at 15:03:34 - 01/02/2010
Stevas
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Also:
Inglorious Basterds
For:
- The main bad guy is pretty much awesome, and actually carries the whole film as far as I'm concerned (he does let himself ever so slightly down in one scene, for me, mind.)
- ENNIO FUCKING MORRICONE.
- The opening scene is so good, it was always going to be downhill from there.

Against:
- Everyone else is pretty much a cartoon character. I half expected them to start dropping anvils on the Nazis.
- "Wait, is that ENNIO FUCKING MORRICONE? It must be... it is. It's got to be. It's ENNIO FUCKING MORRICONE. Ohboyohboyohboyohboy, thisisgonnabeawesome..."
[2 and a half hours later]
"Oh. Maybe not then."
- The opening scene is so good, it was always going to be downhill from there.

Is it just me or is Tarantino getting less realistic and more "the fuck?" unbelievable with every film?
- Reservoir Dogs
- Pulp Fiction
- Kill Bill
- Those grindhouse things that I can't remember the name of
- This



/SPOILER ALERT HERE




Okay, I'm expected to believe that every important high ranking dude in the Third Reich is crammed into a tiny cinema, and security is so utterly shit that it's possible to trap everyone in there with a couple of bars across the doors? Really? Nobody checking passes and fuck-knows what if they even think about taking a piss? No guards stationed at every door? Seriously, Quentin?

No. No, it's not your masterpiece, mate. Not by a long way. Sorry, but you shot that particular bolt on Dogs already.

But I did still love that last line.
#983 at 15:19:24 - 01/02/2010
Espad
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/Jesus how the hell do i follow a stevas review...

Avatar - great visuals, good 3d, naff story.
8/10
#984 at 17:20:57 - 01/02/2010
Syrok
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The World's Fastest Indian.

Wanted to watch that one for a while but couldn't find a, ehm... suitable copy. It's about a old men trying to realize his dream: Riding his old motorcycle at over 200mph.
Had me smiling most of the way through. Great feel-good movie.
#985 at 22:27:49 - 01/02/2010
Whizzo
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Espad said:Avatar - great visuals, good 3d, naff story.8/10
A fair summary of the film.

One of my colleagues suggested the hard arse military bloke would be perfect as Duke Nukem, I think he's on to something!

The Wrestler sometimes film critics and reviewers will explode in orgasmic delight at a film, I watch it, I then wonder what the hell they were drinking/smoking/injecting to come to that conclusion. Not this time, it's a truly excellent bit of cinema, Mickey Rourke gives a great performance and I thought it was a damn fine film.

Oh and any of the characters in that strip club who weren't impressed with Marisa Tomei is either blind or a poof!

/rubs thighs
#986 at 23:20:40 - 01/02/2010
NewYork
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That she is 45 and looks that good is insane.

I think from seeing Rourke out in the wild after the film, it's clear it's not so much a "performance" as it is them filming Rourke going about his usual day. He really is that messed up :) Still a cool dude, though. Can't wait to see him in Iron Man 2 and The Expendables.
#987 at 23:24:30 - 01/02/2010
Espad
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Whizzo said:One of my colleagues suggested the hard arse military bloke would be perfect as Duke Nukem, I think he's on to something!


He reminded me of Brian Fury from from tekken
#988 at 10:25:15 - 02/02/2010
NewYork
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Passing Strange.

Director Spike Lee commits the Broadway musical Passing Strange to film.

About a young black dude who escapes his dull life in 1970s LA to head to Amsterdam and then Berlin, searching for “the real” (trying to find himself, basically). People he meets with along the way open his eyes to art and new ways of thinking (and have sex with him, of course), while his mother yearns for him to return home.

Amazing production. The cast have huge amounts of energy and confidence, giving very commanding performances (most across multiple parts). The songs are very involving, and cover a wide range of genres, but all have this awesome black baptist singalong mentality (and the audience are shown a number of times getting involved). Just a really high energy production. When it rocks, it rocks hard.

Very easy to follow thanks to the highly charismatic and infectious narrator/ringleader/this-play-is-really-about-him-isn't-it guy.

Breaks the 4th wall quite a bit, but always in clever ways. Sometimes the backing band chirp in with little comments (always cool) and the narrator will make references to the production, and the audience reaction is piped in very well. During the intermission the cameras follow the actors backstage. It's a serious production, but they poke fun at themselves quite a bit.

I love the whole cast, but the main character is a frustrating one as there's always that sense that he's too young to "get it," and he only realises what's important when it's too late. I guess it's easy to pick on him when all the other characters seem so much wiser than he is (also, he looks like the guy from Hustle).

Nearly had me going with the ;_; in some of the sadder moments, especially with regards to themes of home and family. A lot of it is black (the race, not the morbid) humour, but ideas of leaving home, trying to find something, and young rebellion are universal.

It runs a bit long at 2h15m but it's totally worth it. You'd put "life affirming" on the poster.
#989 at 13:54:21 - 07/02/2010
Micro_Explosion
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Saving Private Ryan
This seems to have lost a lot of its impact since it came out, probably because the big set piece scenes have been done to death or surpassed by so much. Other that the bookend battle scenes, excitement is slim and the psychological and emotional side is as flimsy as most Spielberg films.

Tom Hanks is good and Matt Damon is massively underused. The script has its moments but it seems to have dated a lot more than other films of a similar age.

Helvetica and Objectified
Two documentaries focused on design - the first on the font, the second on modern product design. They're both interesting but pretty lightweight and don't give a huge amount of insight, still, they're interesting enough.

Passchendaele
Directed, written and starring Paul Gross (he what was the mountie in Due South) that tells the story of a Canadian first world war soldier and the battle of Passchendaele.

The first half is a bit on the slow side and is more of a love story with him home in Canada falling in love with a nurse before he goes back to war to make sure her kid brother stays alive.

In terms of entertainment it's good but the focus on the importance of Canadian soldiers to the Commonwealth is the most interesting part - their involvement is often overlooked. I had no idea that they were thought of at the time as one of, if not the, most effective and fearsome parts of the British military.

Acting is good, script good, direction good. The miniscule budget is obvious if you compare it next to something like Saving Private Ryan but it never looks fake.

Absolute Power
Clint Eastwood as a burglar accidentally catches the American President murdering some woman (might be his wife). For some reason Clint doesn't seem to recognise the President until he sees him on TV.

The secret service people are incompetent, despite being the 'best trained' bodyguards in the world.

The plot is ridiculous and it isn't one of Eastwood's best by a long shot.
#990 at 15:39:33 - 07/02/2010

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