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Default What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread

May 25th, 2008, 14:54
Narnia- Prince Caspian
meh. Nice effects, but the story seemed nearly non-existent. I haven't read the books, so I don't even know if this one was about setting up a volume 3 that may nor may not exist. The characters, even the main ones, were flat and boring. The Wild Dogs had a fairly good time, but they think the chipmunk farting in Alvin and the Chipmunks is a good time, too.

What Happens in Vegas
Actually saw this with Mrs dte last weekend. There wasn't much out, so I agreed to see a chick flick. Turns out this isn't a chick flick, but a traditional romantic comedy. Has some really funny parts, although I think many of the jokes resonate better with couples that have been married for a while. Not going to win any Oscars, but certainly would be excellent for a "curl up on the couch with a Blockbuster and a bowl of Orville" date night.

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May 25th, 2008, 15:59
watched a couple of movies over the past week.

Juno-didn't get off to a good start with what seemed to be a ridiculous sunny d ad. however considering the movie soundtrack is filled with the talents of indie singer/songerwriter kimya dawson (one of my wife and my favourite solo artists) i was ready for more. i was a solid movie that really wasn't too in your face with its ideas, but did handle some real issues, and in the end i would give the movie a A-/B+ as its won of those movies that captures a slice of how dysfunctional and 'not by the book or script' most of our lives/relationships are and doesn't use them to morph them into riduculous comedy like a lot of other movies do.

Day of the Dead- (2007 straight to video (i think) remake)
wasn't expecting much from this but i'm a sucker for zombies movies, especially those from the romero 'universe'. this one has tons of zombies, and there is lots of to me supringly good special effects. its been probably a decade since i saw the original day of the dead, which i remember almost zero zombies in. this one does still have the secret underground base, and the crazy doctor, but unlike with the excellent dawn of the dead remake which was much closer to its original, save for the zombie neuvo, this movie did its own thing and strangely seemed to remind me of one of the many 80s/90s return of the living dead movies, with its 'small town under siege' script. decent though nonetheless, and i'd give it a healty C+/B-

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May 26th, 2008, 17:50
Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the Crystal skull: Better than expected. They caught the feel of the old movies and the beginning with nuke tests, the desert, and mccarthyism was pretty good. The ending suffered from too much CGI though. I cant help but feel that CGI often feel less real and give a worse Blue screen feel than the special effects in the older Indy movies or the original Star wars. At any rate I am a sucker for adventure movies that dont take themselves too seriously

Starship troopers - extended version Much better than I remembered, but this time I was in the right mood and with the right expectations. The (fan-added) extra scenes didnt add much to the story though.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
There were actually two westerns called The Unforgiven. Z—I'm guessing you mean the Clint Eastwood flick—great movie but though nobody probably remembers the Burt Lancaster/Audrey Hepburn one, it also was excellent. We caught another Western last weekend, 3:10 to Yuma, with Russell Crowe, which I thought was pretty good, til the last fifteen minutes, when it got a bit far-fetched. Still, worth watching.
Yep, its the Eastwood version I had in mind. Being born in -76 I usually tend to have a hard time appreciating movies older than me due to simple technical reasons.
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May 27th, 2008, 18:00
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the Crystal skull: Better than expected. They caught the feel of the old movies and the beginning with nuke tests, the desert, and mccarthyism was pretty good. The ending suffered from too much CGI though. I cant help but feel that CGI often feel less real and give a worse Blue screen feel than the special effects in the older Indy movies or the original Star wars. At any rate I am a sucker for adventure movies that dont take themselves too seriously
Glad to see a good review of this—I've heard some less favorable. I think it's hard to live up a series like this, so I give them marks for getting close. And I agree with you on the concept of CGI—many times it detracts for me, though it has some amazing abilities as well.


Yep, its the Eastwood version I had in mind. Being born in -76 I usually tend to have a hard time appreciating movies older than me due to simple technical reasons.
Yes, older than you it is. *(Sighs and remembers seeing the Wizard of Oz iin first theater release…)*..Still, it's a classic example of how Hollywood used the Western vehicle to start dealing with deeper social issues in a kind of surreptitious way. The film deals pretty strongly with racism and miscegenation, which at that time was pretty much frowned upon. If it had been a white man and an African American woman, they could never have got away with the romance angle but since Hepburn plays a "half-breed" Native American, the shock waves were on a lower scale.

Also it has a great line from Lancaster's hardbitten grumpy old mother—during the last shootout between the family and three thousand Indians, she gets fatally wounded and is dripping blood all over her pioneer dress and when asked if she's okay, says "I've cut myself worse with a kitchen knife."

Now that's feminism!

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May 27th, 2008, 18:13
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Glad to see a good review of this—I've heard some less favorable. I think it's hard to live up a series like this, so I give them marks for getting close. And I agree with you on the concept of CGI—many times it detracts for me, though it has some amazing abilities as well.
If you havent decided whether to go and watch it yet I'll have to warn you that there is a UFO angle that to some extent fits with the 50s atmosphere, but breaks the Indy tradition a bit.

Purists would probably be put off by that and I think that a significant share of the more negative reviews stem from that. It didnt bother me much as I am fairly forgiving towards the genre.

I think CGI for backgrounds and scenery still has some way to go. Very few movies manage to make the CGI blend in with the live actors without feeling more fake than Superman flying ca 1980 OTOH we get some amazing character manipulation with Gollum or the short hobbits in LotR (which also contain some truly awful blue screen moments when the hobbits are carried by Treebeard).
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May 27th, 2008, 19:41
I've sent a sorta review of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull to another forum, so I'm copying it here as well.

"I wasn't expecting this film to be a sensation and, er, it is not.
On the other hand, it doesn't hurt series in any way and as a reunion works rather well. Its overall quality is more or less the same as that of Temple of Doom.

Probably the most positive aspect of Crystal Skull is its cinematography, CGI put aside. It strongly resembles previous three films and I was glad that Spielberg haven't adopted some of recently used new technics and shot the film in straightforward manner.
Harrison Ford was well in shape and I generally enjoyed his performance. Colour of his hair was suspiciously changing throughout though.
Adding Karen Allen to the mix was a nice touch because Indy had a great chemistry with her character in Ark. I was feeling pleasant nostalgy seeing her again and it sorta tied the series nicely together.
That shoot of Indy watching the blast was great in its symbolism and it's by far my favourite moment in the film.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of problems, most notably in the script.
Lucas and Spielberg repeatedly claimed that the main reason why it took so long for the fourth part to be made was that they haven't got a good script. Well, they still haven't one.

First, most of the characters were vastly underdeveloped and one-note. Seeing Marion again was nice but she had nothing interesting to do and her relationship with Indy was too sketchy to make the final scene work.
Cate Blanchett fitted her role well, but her character was also one dimensional and her psychic powers were lost quickly somewhere during the fifth rewrite of the story and thus remained a red herring. Also, her accent was too exaggerated.
Shia LaBeouf is a very uncharismatic actor so it was no surprise that he wasn't a matching sidekick to Ford and their dialogues were nowhere near that witty and entertaining as were those of Ford and Connery from Crusade.
On the whole, characters lacked proper motivations and were going through motions rather than emotions.

Second, the whole story was too silly for my tastes and wasn't blending well with the Indiana Jones universe. I would imagine something like that to be quite an ideal material for a new X-Files film.
Upon a more detailed look, a lot of scenes were just too far from reality, even for the film like this. After Indy's refridgerator extravaganza it was clear that authors threw any resemblance of reality out of the window, and unfortunately it wasn't getting better.
Sense of a real thread was almost nonexistant, the waterfall gig being probably the most obvious example of this. All the good guys were virtually invulnerable throughout, which along with underdeveloped characterizations added to my detachment from them. This film simply doesn't do enough to make its viewers really care about the characters.

Also, the quicksand scene was absolutely pointless since it moved the story exactly nowhere. The scene itself, I liked.

Action sequences were also a mixed bag. My favourite was the motorcycle one. It had just the right length and was imaginative enough.
Jungle car chase (plus the bugs), on the other hand, went on for too long and had pretty lackluster choreography.

This leads me to another aspect of the film I didn't quite like - CGI.
Quite surprisingly, the special effects in Crystal Skull weren't anything, uh, special.
Often it's blatantly obvious that it's computer graphic onscreen. It's giving some scenes somehow plastic feel, things are lacking "weight". Special effects used in previous films were much more suitable and I'm kinda dissapointed that creators haven't chosen to do it in a more old school way for the fourth part as well.

Also, what was that with all the cartoon animals? At the beginning I was scared shitless that I'm watching Caddyshack.
Some throwbacks felt also out of place, like LaBeouf's Marlon Brando or Tarzan impersonations.

I wasn't thrilled by the musical score either, it was quite often distracting and sometimes the main theme wasn't used ideally.

Previous films had always some kind of religious aspects connected to the artifacts which added some spiritual nature to the adventures, in Crystal Skull this was sadly missing. I'm an agnostic tending to atheism but I enjoyed those religious aspects and regarded them as one of the series' trademark.

In conclusion, the film wasn't funny enough, wasn't dramatic enough, wasn't clear enough, wasn't interesting enough, wasn't mature enough.
I don't want Indiana Jones to be next Cries And Whispers, but Crystal Skull was simply too childish for my liking.

After all that said, I think that the fourth Indiana Jones isn't a total catastrophe.
Pacing is good, Ford in form, locations nice and "Jonesy" and although the humour isn't exaclty fabulous, it isn't cringeworthy either. And thankfully, for most of the time it has enough respect for the franchise.
First hour was quite an enjoyable experience but after the quicksand scene, film has taken an unfortunate route with characters being left underdeveloped and plot overly infantilized.

Watched with brains switched off, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a fairly entertaining film but sadly, nothing more.
It's no Raiders Of The Lost Ark or The Last Crusade, that's for sure."
Last edited by DeepO; May 27th, 2008 at 20:02.
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May 29th, 2008, 14:00
One those boring days i would probably take a look at these films:

Far Cry

Postal
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May 29th, 2008, 23:01
Originally Posted by Remus View Post
One those boring days i would probably take a look at these films:

Far Cry

Postal


So Postal is going to be a comedy? It actually looks like it might be quite funny.

The Far Cry movie looks like absolute garbage.
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May 30th, 2008, 06:29
Postal is a comedy. It's actually quite entertaining IMO…. despite being an Uwe Boll movie.

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May 30th, 2008, 07:04
Jaz, you've already seen it? I wasn't aware it had already been released. Straight to video then?
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May 30th, 2008, 17:47
Postal was released over here in late 2007. In theaters, actually, though it didn't last long . if you like your movies trashy (like I do), you'll be entertained for sure.

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May 31st, 2008, 03:28
I definitely want to see it (one of the few actual fans of the 2nd game), but it opened in ~12 theaters …

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June 2nd, 2008, 23:52
Did the Indiana Jones marathon, watched them all. The original is an excellent film, still holds up to this very day. Loved it. Temple of Doom next, omg wtf happend there?

Temple of Doom was one of the most disappointing, disheartening, annoying, and just at times flat out retarded sequels Ive ever seen. Pretty much mirrored my untimely Conan the Destroyer experience a while ago, and to think, Temple of Doom was the one we had to hit a couple different places to find!

Watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the next night w/ my dame, nowhere near as good as the original, but it was passable, especially following the hideous disaster of our viewing of Temple of Doom.
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June 3rd, 2008, 02:15
hmm i always liked temple of doom, same with the wife. true its not as great as the original, and it can be annoying at times, but i remember it scaring the piss out of me as a kid. i wonder if peoples lack of love for this movie is partially why they don't like the new one. i guess some movies just do better with nazis and jesus

oh and i will be watching this soon. had no idea about the new onion movie coming out on dvd tommorow (its always the good stuff that is blocked at work).

check out the trailer and laugh your ass off.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=dir&v=BG8Umfe4iSo

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June 3rd, 2008, 06:25
the thing that pissed us off so much about Temple of Doom was the one thing that will kill a movie outright for me ASAP - the unfunny comedy-relief sidekick. Kate Capshaw just ruins the film, she's annoying as hell - either she's riding backwards on an elephant to crazy music or she's screaming for the thousandth time at another creepy crawler dangled in front of her nose, or she's whining about her hair or this or that. She's a whiny girl, lets make her whine and scream a lot. Isnt it funny? Every time the movie gets going, her character pops up and just kills it. We were cheering for the bad guys on this one, i wanted to see her get the de-facto heart surgery and lava bath.

Even worse, as the final insult Indy miraculously falls for her in the end? A woman who is probably the last person on earth he has anything remotely in common with? Oh Indy, say it aint so! She's not even likeable!

Good Lord of the Tigers, that made no sense whatsoever, I couldnt take it. Not after the great film that Raiders was. Sean Connery did a little comic relief in Last Crusade as Indy's father, but the difference is that it was actually funny, and they didnt steamroll you with it every scene.
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June 3rd, 2008, 10:29
I also don't recall Temple of Doom being that bad. It's been well over 10 years since the last time I watched it so my opinion could change, but I remember it being very enjoyable. I was more annoyed by that Asian kid then by Kate Capshaw.
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June 5th, 2008, 09:23
I always saw Temple as more aimed at the kids—and yes, Capshaw was a poor successor to the inimitable, flammable-spirits-of-alcohol drinking Marian—still enjoyed it though.

We watched the first season of an old brit comedy last week—Black Adder. We were rolling off the furniture, even though some of it was really really silly. there's just something about british TV.

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June 5th, 2008, 14:15
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
We watched the first season of an old brit comedy last week—Black Adder. We were rolling off the furniture, even though some of it was really really silly. there's just something about british TV.
The first season (ironically the only one where Rowan Atkinson was involved in the writing) is very different compared to the other three and in my opinion not nearly as good. It's a bit too similar to mr Bean, even if there are some gems (excommunicated by all three popes, and seeking out the other seven most evil men in the realm). Season 2 with the Elizabethan age is my favourite, but 3 and 4 are not far behind
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June 5th, 2008, 17:07
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Black Adder
I agree with Zaleukos, first season is the worst.
My favourite is season 3 with season 4 close second.

For some reason, I wanna eat a turnip soup now.
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June 5th, 2008, 17:33
Thanks for the tips on BA, I'll slip season 3 and 4 up a few notches in the queue. If there's stuff in there funnier than the Mother Superior, I'm all for it.

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