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

March 7th, 2009, 18:36
Yeah, David Lynch is awesome. I love his movies and Twin Peaks. Last one I've seen was Lost Highway which is great. Really weird and hard to understand but awesome.
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March 7th, 2009, 20:55
I love Mulholland Drive. It's so disturbing . The soundtrack, too (another masterpiece by Angelo Baddalamenti).

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March 8th, 2009, 16:47
Just saw Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. It's about his and his comrades-in-arms' experiences and memories of the 1982 Lebanon invasion and the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Banned in Lebanon, not surprisingly — it's not at all kind on the Phalangists, who are very much a player there.

I can't say I enjoyed it much. Films by Israelis about how Israelis feel terribly bad about killing all those Arabs (or, in this case, how terrible they feel about Arabs killing other Arabs while they're watching), with some second-degree Holocaust trauma mixed in, just start to feel really terribly old after a while. As with most of the ones I've seen, this one had the same sense of emotional distance — as if everything's seen through the observation slit of a Merkava tank, or a TV; with an unbridgeable distance between them and the Arab "other."

The director clearly had good intentions, but the film still made me want to slap him one. As if he's trolling for sympathy for feeling so bad about shooting those light rockets over the camps as the Phalangists were doing Arik's dirty work. Give me Lemon Tree or Divine Intervention any day of the week.
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March 8th, 2009, 18:09
We were gonna wait to watch Mulholland Drive again, but couldnt resist, we had to absorb it again once the first dose wore off. Lots of revelatory moments, a good experience, almost better the second time. It has more of an emotional impact now that instead of it just being bizarre, you know what's really happening.

Ive never seen Blue Velvet - got it in my netflix que now!
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March 8th, 2009, 19:36
Just saw Watchmen. Loved it. It had it's share of not-so good moments, but overall it was great. Definitely something different than the usual super-hero movie.
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March 9th, 2009, 05:02
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Just saw Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. It's about his and his comrades-in-arms' experiences and memories of the 1982 Lebanon invasion and the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Banned in Lebanon, not surprisingly — it's not at all kind on the Phalangists, who are very much a player there.

I can't say I enjoyed it much. Films by Israelis about how Israelis feel terribly bad about killing all those Arabs (or, in this case, how terrible they feel about Arabs killing other Arabs while they're watching), with some second-degree Holocaust trauma mixed in, just start to feel really terribly old after a while. As with most of the ones I've seen, this one had the same sense of emotional distance — as if everything's seen through the observation slit of a Merkava tank, or a TV; with an unbridgeable distance between them and the Arab "other."

The director clearly had good intentions, but the film still made me want to slap him one. As if he's trolling for sympathy for feeling so bad about shooting those light rockets over the camps as the Phalangists were doing Arik's dirty work. Give me Lemon Tree or Divine Intervention any day of the week.
Haven't watched this yet but read an interesting review over at EI which seems to have some similarity of critique.
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March 9th, 2009, 06:55
Very good review; describes my experience of the film to a T.

In the final analysis, this is what Waltz with Bashir is about: the evasion of responsibility. It is not that the self-reflection offered by the film is only partial, and that we would simply be nay-sayers to be dissatisfied with it. Because there is no sense of what the Israeli role in Lebanon was, because it is about ethically and morally redeeming the filmmaker and his contemporaries — and by extension the Israeli self, military and nation, the Israeli collective in other words — because of all this, the film is an act not of limited self-reflection but self-justification. It is a striving towards working through qualms to restabilize the self as it is currently constituted; it does not ask challenging questions that would destabilize that self. And we are reminded of the psychologist's comment near the start of the film: "We don't go to places we don't want to. Memory takes us where we want to go."
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March 10th, 2009, 18:51
Great news for 300 fans. Frank Miller will be writing the graphic novel that the sequel to 300 will be based on. The sequel will also be made by Snyder.
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March 11th, 2009, 20:37
About Waltz with Bashir again: the animator, Yoni Goodman, is doing a personal project. Going by what he's put on the Web, it doesn't have the things that pissed me off about Ari Folman's film. Worth a look: [ http://closedzone.com/ ].
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March 13th, 2009, 06:11
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Smokin' Aces:
The first 75 minutes were great, the solution unconvincing. It´s an ensemble movie with lots of high profile actors. Feels a bit like an unconnected Ocean's 11 with hard & fast action scenes. Still better than average.
I didn't want so see it at first because I was afraid I might be grossed out, but my (foster) sonny convinced me to watch it, anyway… so I saw it last night.
Well, who needs a plot or a solution? It has the Tremor brothers.

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March 13th, 2009, 20:03
The Puzzle
A Korean mix between Reservoir Dogs and The Usual Suspects. Tries a bit too hard to be cool, and a little less overacting would have been nice. The movie is fast paced and surprising though, and it's technically well made. Altogether a deserved C+ for competent entertainment.

Tokyo Gore Police
The follow up to The Machine Girl Too weird to describe. A gore fest with a lot of creativity. I guess it's a good genre movie. No rating.

Once a Thief
Earlier John Woo movie about three childhood friends who steal paintings. Certainly one of his weaker movies. The pacing is bad, the acting uneven, the action okay but closer to Jackie Chan than John Woo. Only a D.

The Punisher (1989)
The legendary Dolph Lundgren vehicle. Typical 80s action movie: no brain but guns in both hands. Extremely violent, logic is not a factor. Fast pace, high body count, good atmosphere. A nostalgic B+.

The Punisher: Warzone
The latest Punisher, starring that guy from Rome. Much closer to the Lundgren movie than to the boring new Punisher with Tom Jane and Travolta. The budget was relatively high for such a flick, which can be seen everywhere. They got competent actors and a good team behind the camera. Clearly a movie for fans. If you are a fan you get extreme violence, the typical story, weird characters and good atmosphere. Don't bother if you don't like primitive action flicks. B-, due to the lack of nostalgia.

Dead Presidents
Infamous for the bloody robbery in the 4th act, but there's much more to it. The movie portrays a group of (black American) friends who grow up in the poor part of the city, are sent to Vietnam, don't get a chance when they are back home and in their desparation try a robbery. Vietnam and the robbery are very fast paced and brutal. The other two chapters are slower and more serious.
Dead Presidents is a good, surprisingly serious movie. The acting is quite good, the atmosphere convincing. It's just not a popcorn flick. B.

Vampire Party
Rather harmless French comedy. A couple of victims are invited to the party - as buffet. Generally decent acting, even though in the typical French comedy style. Most jokes are not as stupid as one would expect. Atmosphere and effects are good, the pace too. No substance but a lot of solid gags and at least some suspense. Also not overlong. Fast paced 85 minutes, then it's over. C+ and a recommendation for an evening with the boys.

Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'
Finally their 4th short film. Once again quality stuff. I would see it behind The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, but that doesn't make it any less good than it is. B+.
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March 13th, 2009, 20:58
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The Punisher: Warzone
The latest Punisher, starring that guy from Rome
What!!! Titus Pullo???

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March 13th, 2009, 21:21
Yes, Ray Stevenson. He's quite a good choice for The Punisher.

And to make things even weirder: They let a German woman from Mannheim direct it. A former kickboxing and karate world champion.
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March 14th, 2009, 21:00
me and my girl watched Flash Gordon "savior of the universe edition" last night - awesome!

What a fun old 80's movie.

Max von Sydow as "Ming the Merciless" was great! I dont care what anyone says, the costumes in this movie were pretty freakin cool. Queen's music thru it rocked. Laugh-inducing dialogue. Cheesy effects. Yet all in all, it really wasnt all that bad. Then again, i have an unusually high tolerance…





Loved the intro where Ming's wreaking havoc on earth, using buttons labeled "Earth Quake", "Typhoon", etx. I knew I was in for a real treat at that point…
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March 14th, 2009, 22:29
I vaguely remember my father taking me to see Flash Gordan when I was a kid. Yes, Queen's music definitely rocked.
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March 14th, 2009, 22:35
Eden Lake
========

I saw this one several weeks ago, and yes it is one of the very respectful horror films in recent year. It has similarities to the legendary Deliverance, except that the bad guys here are not hilly billies but a group of young deviants, as in the "Them" that released two years back. Basically, the attackers become the peoples (replacing monster or evil spirits in other horror flicks) that you should fear about. No matter how intelligence you are, or strong and better you are than those bad guys, they just somehow even better and beat you senseless. They shown no remorse, no qualm in cutting off piece by piece of your beloved ones and then laughed gleefully in your face.
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March 20th, 2009, 14:39
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
me and my girl watched Flash Gordon "savior of the universe edition" last night - awesome!

What a fun old 80's movie.

Max von Sydow as "Ming the Merciless" was great! I dont care what anyone says, the costumes in this movie were pretty freakin cool. Queen's music thru it rocked. Laugh-inducing dialogue. Cheesy effects. Yet all in all, it really wasnt all that bad. Then again, i have an unusually high tolerance…


Loved the intro where Ming's wreaking havoc on earth, using buttons labeled "Earth Quake", "Typhoon", etx. I knew I was in for a real treat at that point…
Max von Sydow is one of the truly great actors. Minimalistic, precise, great screen presence. I've watched The 3 Days of the Condor again last weekend. He's also great as contract killer.
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March 20th, 2009, 15:25
Undeclared War
An older Hong Kong action fireworks by Ringo Lam. Typical buddy movie story, exlosive action, fast pace, mixed acting (often quite solid, but a few actors … are more suited for action scenes), lots of clichès and no Jackie Chan style comedy. Entertaining and still watchable. C, if you like this kind of movie maybe even a B.

Afro Samurai & Afro Samurai: Resurrection
Overrated. The ultimate style over substance manga movie. The drawings look modern in an old fashioned way, meaning they look hand drawn and then pimped up, instead of using a lot of CGI crap. The hip hop sound track is the true star of the movies. The RZA should have gotten an Oscar for each of them. Absolutely superb. Both films look and sound great.
The weakness is the lack of a hero the audience can identify with. Afro looks cool and is an invincible, emotionless killing machine. He wants revenge, the reason why is shown in flashbacks. A pretty flat character. His victims are more interesting, but they always die. Which leads to both a lack of suspense and a feeling of unease.
The first movie is more artsy, the 2nd more commercial.
B- for the first, the 2nd starts great but collapses in the 2nd half. C. An A for the sound track. And yes, I don't listen to hip hop.

The First Power
An early 90s horror/thriller with Lou Diamond Phillips. Didn't age well. No trash, but also not really worth your time. D.

The Baader Meinhof Complex
This year's Oscar nominee for best foreign language picture. Unfortunately I don't understand why. The 7.4 at IMDB are too much IMO.
As most (all?) films produced by Bernd Eichinger (check him out at IMDB, you'll be surprised how many of his movies you've seen ) , this one has great production values and a convincing visual style - always in context of the available budget. Germany really looked like that im the 70s, at least AFAIR. The cast is packed full with German A-list stars. Great actors like Bruno Ganz and Alexander Maria Lara (both from Downfall) only have small supporting roles. The actors with sufficient screen time deliver good or better perfomances, the others are at least solid.
The Baader Meinhof Complex doesn't work as a movie though. It doesn't tell a story, but rather a collage of key events involving the RAF (Red Army Faction) group. Everything is already known, everybody has read Aust's book, everything RAF is still headline news. The movie is neither complete nor does it create any suspense whatsoever, not even in the brutally realistic action scenes.
The Baader Meinhof Complex fails on a high niveau. It's only interesting as a lesson on how terrorism grows, and as an introduction to the historical facts surrounding the RAF.
C-.
The far better movie is the 2 part docudrama Todesspiel (= Deadly Game) (IMDB 8.3). It focuses on the later events including the kidnapping of Hans-Martin Schleyer and Lufthansa plane "Landshut". Both were meant to put pressure on the German government under chancellor Schmidt to release the first gen RAF. This is only mentioned briefly in Baader Meinhoff. The first gen members committed suicide after the GSG 9 anti terror force had stormed the Landshut in Mogadishu.
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March 20th, 2009, 15:32
Just got Repo Man in the post. Woo-hoo!
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March 20th, 2009, 15:47
Ten ´til Noon
One of the legion of mediocre Tarantino clones. 10 minutes are shown through the eyes of different people, starting with a guy who gets shot by a pro. The audience learns more and more about the story behind this.
Starts very interesting and then it runs out of steam. The conclusion is unconvincing. It looks like the script editing stopped in the middle and they decided to shoot what they have. It's still reasonably entertaining though. C-.

Flickering Lights
Another weird Danish gangster movie.
Four small gangsters decide to retire with a case full of the boss's money. They open a restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
A wonderful movie. It's less chaotic than the other Danish films, has far less action and still great dialogs. It's always surprising and even sometimes poetic.
B+.

Angel of the Night
Danish vampire horror. Quite okay. As good or bad as all the other mediocre vampire movies. C-.

You Kill Me
A melancholic gangster comedy by John Dahl, starring Ben Kingsley. A killer who works for the Polish mafia is burned out. He is sent to alcoholics anonymous to get rid of his problem.
This is a calm, carefully made movie full of funny situations and great, polished dialogs. Kingsley is great - and his killer is quite the opposite of his Oscar nominated annoying, loud gangster in Sexy Beast (great movie, highly recommended!). The supporting cast lists a lot of well known non-mainstream actors like Bill Pullman, Tea Leonie, Luke Wilson, Philip Baker Hall and Dennis Farina.
A-.
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