Last Movie You Watched

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Oz
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Postby Oz » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:39 pm

@symbv: The DVD cover says it was nominated in 15 different categories and it's certainly worth it. I wouldn't have paid any attention to the film if Japan Times' Mark Schilling had not picked it as his favorite film of 2010. In a year that saw the premieres of both Miike's 13 Assassins and Nakashima's Confessions that's a bold statement, but he is right. Villain really is that good. Mitsushima has happened to pick really great acting jobs since Love Exposure. She has a very ungrateful role in Villain, but she pulls it off perfectly - stealing the scenes whenever she's around.

As for Yagira's performance in Nobody Knows, yeah, it's great. The entire child cast is astonishingly good and I can't help admiring them and Koreeda for the high level of acting in the film. Yagira has the most complicated and difficult role of the film on top of carrying most of the film on his shoulder yet he pulls it off naturally. However, the oldest girl of the family, portrayed by Ayu Kitaura, should also receive more recognition since her role is quite tough as well. Of course I don't know what sort of competition there was at the festival, but these kids deserve critical acclaim for their work with Koreeda.
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Postby arkiel » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:20 am

Don't be Afraid of the Dark. It was okay. Core conceit relied on every character being incredibly stupid. Kinda surprised I liked Katie Holmes' character as much as I did.

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Postby Azathoth » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:35 am

Drive. I know, I'm late to the party; Ryan Gosling's face is intolerable, hence my delay. Luckily for most of the film he does very little with it, so it's not so bad. As I would expect of the guy who directed Valhalla Rising, the atmosphere is stunned, hazy, a wildly druggy movie although drugs have nothing to do with it. It's the return of the slow action film, the artsy Western if you like - and that is quite good enough - but the spaciness is what really makes it. Gosling's face may be awful, but his protagonist is easily the most interesting action hero since The Man With No Name - but while Eastwood's Blondie was a mischievous, laid-back demigod who slouched just as easily when he was tortured as when he was on top of the world, the Driver's a twitchy, nocturnal subhuman with what appears to be a speech impediment, barely capable of carrying on a conversation, not even troubling to change out of his bloodstained jacket.

The comparison to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has been made by a number of reviewers and not without reason, but the more I think about it the less appropriate it seems. Both are essentially fairy-tale Westerns tempered by cynicism, yeah, why not. GBU though is constantly mocking its own operatic plot, as Blondie steps forward to offer subtly snide ("After a meal there's nothing like a good cigar") and occasionally fourth-wall-breaking ("That...might be cannon fire") commentary every time the drama gets sufficiently heavy. This on the other hand is a movie without a sense of humor - which is not to say it can't be funny; Gosling's endlessly awkward smirking strings along the first half of the film - nonetheless it is without a sense of ironic humor, it doesn't step back and laugh at its monstrous and idiotic population - and monstrous and idiotic they mostly are, of course, being as tragic a collection of petty crooks and people involved with petty crooks as you could ask for - but this is a movie which for better or worse (hint: better) refuses to laugh at its own over-the-topness when it could just be unabashedly sentimental throughout. It's rare to see in the current form of Synthesized Movie Product, although once that kind of canned sentiment was far more prevalent. At any rate it doesn't feel canned here, not least because it is not afraid to eventually take back the plot from the sentimental direction and pull out of the fairytale and down the road that leads to the end of the world, so to speak. The brave knight does not win the heart of the princess, and that's as it has to be. After all, when brave knights are such sperglords, they rarely win anything anyway.
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Postby child of Lilith » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:38 am

^Probably going to watch this soon. I wonder if I'll have the same reaction?
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Oz
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Postby Oz » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:58 am

Shinji Imaoka's Underwater Love: This film defies all sorts of conventions and the world it portrays is unlike any other - full of deranged people, kappas, anal pearls and gods. At the same time it's a pink film, a musical and a dramedy of sorts. So this is what you get when you put together a famous pink film director, the cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a balls-to-the-walls crazy script and a bizarre Japanese band. Beyond all the craziness and positive energy the film doesn't have much to offer, which disappointed me greatly in the end. It does have some kind of thematics from the get-go, but it never felt like the film did anything substantial with it.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus

"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan

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Postby tomrule123 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:39 pm

Bottle Rocket. Wes Anderson's first film and Luke and Owen Wilson's film debut in performing (Owen co-wrote the screenplay with Anderson). For a film debut, it's surprisingly excellent. Owen Wilson's character is just a delight to watch, but Luke Wilson and Robert Musgrave's characters are also enjoyable. Definitely check it out.

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Postby Azathoth » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:10 am

Alien 3. Not as bad as many have said although I can see why they thought so. After Aliens so thoroughly diluted the persistent grotesquerie of the original in favor of the feel-good mother story, perhaps that grotesquerie needed to come back - and in the first half of the movie it does, stronger and more twisted than ever. Ripley's initial introduction to the prison and her second time around finding herself in a new world is probably one of the strongest sequences in the entire series, and at times Fincher's talent is not only visible but stunningly so (the utterly brilliant cremation/birth scene comes to mind). But once the alien itself starts actually doing anything it all goes rather to shit, and by the end it's painfully obvious why Fincher to this day won't involve himself with the film.

The thing is, the basic concept isn't that bad, but by the second act it's already being ignored in favor of "and then the alien kills some more guys in a symbolically irrelevant manner". But the alien has always been symbol of aberrant sexuality first, scary monster second - so after the original's skulking rape machine and the sequel's mothering hellbitch, it is surely possible to go for a set-up like "alien amidst sexually repressed male-only hyperreligious prisoners", right? (Although I have to say that I would rather have kept following the Beowulf model and gone for the "Ripley defends Earth from aliens" thing for the third act, myself). But for all that, nothing is done with the premise. The obvious trick to pull is the contrast/compare between the alien and the prisoners (whose sexual crimes are several times alluded to, as if this was intended to be relevant). Yet in the end the only prisoner who even matters (Charles Dance's charming but mostly useless part doesn't really count) is the obligatory Man Who Found Religion, and that's for a very loose definition of matters since ultimately he takes on the depressing role of sacrificial negro. And although it's hammered into our heads that a lot of these people are sex offenders, apart from a half-assed attempted rape the prisoners themselves pretty much buckle down and meekly do what an increasingly grim and attractive Ripley tells them to do once the going gets tough; the only threat from their quarter comes from the obligatory crazy one, who considers the alien to be a dragon (biblical? or maybe the Beowulf inspiration bore fruit once more) and accidentally releases it on the others while he's busy genuflecting. In general the feeling that the prisoners give off is not that of a threat in their own right but rather as background chatter, something which might be acceptable in a movie less obviously concerned with the ethics of fuck...

...ah, hell, who cares. It's not like any of this could ever have been as cool as the script draft where the alien attacks a bunch of Luddite monks on a space station made of wood anyway
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:35 am

Love ALIEN 3. It's my favorite film in the series after the original. I like ALIENS and all - it is by far James Cameron's best film - but I don't equate on the level of godliness that most people seem to do so. I find the mood of Alien 3 to be so superb, not to mention it visually is just such a tour de force. Did you watch the Assembly Cut? It's a far superior version of the film than the theatrical one which was just butchered by the producers trying to create a "streamlined flick". Alien 3 is a far better Fincher film than "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 2011" anyday.

Speaking of the Alien series last night I watched "Alien Resurrection" director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (co-directed by Marc Caro) first feature - "DELICATESSEN". First time I've seen it on Bluray & holy god was it a wonder to behold! Such inventive camera angles, Darius Khondji working his cinematography magic, eclectic & lively cast of characters, & just a fun wild world to be hold. Now if only I could find "City of Lost Children" on Bluray too.

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Postby tomrule123 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:01 pm

Whenever I watch Alien 3, I'd watch the Extended "Assembly" Cut. I don't love it as much Gendo'sPapa, but It's Okay for what it is.

If you've never seen Alien: Resurrection, Azathoth- DON'T. Please don't. Saw it once and never made it half-way throughout. Makes Alien 3 look like Aliens... seriously. Why the hell couldn't this franchise be a Trilogy?! But if you've already seen it and actually seen it in its entirety... congrats, I'm surprised you'd made it through this stupidity.

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Postby symbv » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:10 pm

^ Stupid as Alien: Resurrection is, do you think it is more stupid than AVP?
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Postby Azathoth » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:49 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Did you watch the Assembly Cut?


I watched a fan-edit based on the workprint.

View Original Posttomrule123 wrote:If you've never seen Alien: Resurrection, Azathoth- DON'T. Please don't.


I've seen it. It is silly.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:^ Stupid as Alien: Resurrection is, do you think it is more stupid than AVP?


Yes. AVP actually had its moments. Versus films are generally a bad idea, and this was no exception, but I think at times the first AVP actually builds a pretty strong hybrid atmosphere between the two franchises and at times it comes close to working really well. AVP2 on the other hand is one of the most boring movies I've seen; the long-promised "aliens invade Earth" scenario deserved better.
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Postby backseatjesus » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:31 pm

If any of you are in New York and want to see some David Lynch on the big screen, here's your chance:

http://tribecacitizen.com/2012/01/29/coming-up-mary-stuart-masterson-adam-gopnik-david-lynch/

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Postby Xous » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:03 pm

The Village

One of my all-time favorites, and watching it again reminded me of why I loved it so much. I've wanted to watch it again for a few years now, but I was hesitant to do so because I feared knowing the ending / various twists would ruin the viewing experience again - how wrong I was.

I dare say I liked the film more this time around than my first viewing of it - I picked up on so many little details that I think I missed (or most likely simply forgot) during my previous viewing. The atmosphere created by the sounds (or lack thereof), camera angles, and acting really put me right in the middle of the film. The story between Lucius and Ivy was so incredibly moving...

The only thing I didn't like about the film was how quiet some of the actors' lines were. I seriously considered looking for a subtitles option just so I could read along. I suppose it probably wasn't an issue when seen in theatres.
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Postby Azathoth » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:32 pm

The Scorpion King. What an appropriate movie for The Rock to have made. Like him in so many ways: big, greasy, disingenuous, faintly charming, and moronic in the way that only the late 90s/early 00s could pull off. It has fucking Godsmack playing over the credits for chrissake. It's no Conan the Barbarian, but it might be on the level of ...the Destroyer. Anyway the direct-to-video sequels that don't have The Rock in them are next on my list, because I hate myself and seek pain deliberately.
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Postby child of Lilith » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:44 am

Watched Drive. Very good film, though I did find the ending very abrupt. It wasn't bad, I just didn't expect events to wrap up so quickly. Definitely one I'll have to watch again.
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Postby Twin Drive Sigma Aquarion » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:16 pm

Super 8. Good but not great, I might have liked this movie more if it bothered A) Having aspects related to THE TITLE CAMERA and B) Set it's default genre because it apparently cannot decide whether or not it is a drama or horror movie. At least it is better than other over rated Sci-Fi stuff lie Cloverfield and E.T.
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Postby Trajan » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:10 pm

Blue Velvet

I don't know why but I like this film less each time I watch it. The initial infatuation has worn off and now it just feels like a film noir with some weirder stuff added to it that in the end, doesn't make it that much more remarkable.
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Postby EvangelionFan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:53 am

Films I saw in January '12 wrote:
** Mr Bean’s Holiday (2007)
*** 1/2 With the Lights Out (DVD) (2004)
**** 1/2 Last Life in the Universe (2003)
*** 1/2 The Muppets (2011)
***** Casablanca (1942)

- I was subjected to Mr Bean's Holiday on a bus ride back to Melbourne earlier in the month. Best summarised as "a man with a video camera meets new people and accidentally makes broad statements about the power of film"
- Nirvana's With the Lights Out Boxed Set comes with a DVD compiling rehearsals, live performances, and misc footage. It's pretty good.
- The Muppets is not as great as some have said. For those who are familiar with the original series, be aware that not all characters are fairly represented in this film. Although Statler and Waldorf appear early on, both are absent from the Muppet theatre audience. Similarly, the film does not explain how Kermit came to own the Muppet theatre (it was original series, it was owned by Scooter's Uncle), nor does it offer an explanation as to why he would be prompted to sell it. Also, the live actors are all great, if one can accept that Jason Segel's character is almost identical to his in How I Met Your Mother, and that Amy Adam's character is a little too perfect. Some scenes appear to have been cut short for time, as contuity issues are evident in a few scenes. Otherwise, an enjoyable Muppet outing.
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Postby MugwumpHasNoLiver » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:23 pm

View Original PostTrajan wrote:I don't know why but I like this film less each time I watch it. The initial infatuation has worn off and now it just feels like a film noir with some weirder stuff added to it that in the end, doesn't make it that much more remarkable.


As lovely as Blue Velvet is, it's never gelled with me entirely. It's always felt like something was missing, and I'm confident that I can blame the hour of footage trimmed from it's running time for that. The same problems also stopped Dune and Fire Walk With Me from reaching the greatness they deserved.

I still don't have a Blu-Ray player. If I did, I would be all over that 25th Anniversary DVD with all the deleted scenes.
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Postby Azathoth » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:53 pm

Not to shit on Lynch, but Dune's problems go way, way beyond the runtime issue. That is a problem, for sure. But the movie would never have been coherent (and possibly would never have been good) even if it had been fourteen hours long, like that version Jodorowsky wanted to make.
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