The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

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The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:20 pm

New month, new watching thread.

Baraka (1992) on Blu-ray for the first time. The first 20 minutes of this gorgeously-photographed 'spiritual' documentary left me bored and thinking I was about to be preached the beauty of other culture's religious practices/costumes. Then something clicked when I caught on, subliminally, that there were some pretty awesome subtle transitions between the movie's segments. From a shot of the Koran to one of the Torah, from poor children playing in Brazilian slums to the profile of a young exotic dancer (with the awesome 'Host of Seraphin' song/chant in the background) and from women crowding at a tobacco factory to a Tokyo subway (with a smoker throwing away a cigar in-between) the editing of "Baraka" is a thing of beauty. A montage contrasting chicks being inspected/separated on a factory line in slow motion with urban life at warp-speed photography (along with the movie's many close-ups of faces, particularly the one that does a 'silent blind scream') stands out and showcases the Blu-ray and 70mm film formats at their pristine best. The remastered DTS soundtrack is boss too. I liked Discovery's "Planet Earth" better but in it's own way "Baraka" is a one-of-a-kind experience that works better in high-def.

Robert Benton's Feast of Love (2007) on Showtime HD for the first time. Where has the Robert Benton that gave us "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Places in the Heart" been for the past two decades? Except for "Nobody's Fool" (which was only OK) the 90's and Y2K have seen the man waste his talents (and his actors') on such forgettable dreck like "Billy Bathgate" and "The Human Stain." This is one preachy melodrama overstuffed with-too-cute-by-half Hollywood actors mopping and lusting for love in an Oregon community where everybody seems to know and/or drop by Greg Kinnear's coffee shop. Not even Morgan Freeman in the leading role (he looks tired) or a surprisingly open depiction of sex (which really enhances Alexa Davalos' performance as young girl madly in love :roll: ) can save "Feast of Love" from disappointing given Benton's pedigree as a character development director.

And, last and certainly least, Big Brother 11/Big Brother After Dark on CBS-HD and Showtime 2 HD for the first time. I've avoided most reality shows since I can't stand them (except for "The Amazing Race" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") but somehow the live three-hour nightly "Big Brother After Dark" show has become an addiction I can't shake off. I realize I'm watching trash and that the contestants are all narcissistic types (Russell the Jock, Casey the a**hole that just got kicked off, etc.) but damn it if it's not voyeuristically amusing to have them on-screen while I surf the net, do some work or just plain leave them as background noise. Last week I tuned into the CBS versions of "BB" for the first time ever and yet again, I know I'm watching trash (Julie Chen looks/acts so phony during her live segments it's no wonder she's earned the nickname 'Chenbot' :mrgreen: ) but I can't look away. My credibility and reputation as a purveyor of quality opinions on this board just took a nose dive with this admission, but it's the damn truth: I'm addicted to "Big Brother." :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Stubblecat » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:32 pm

The Hangover is a fun and moderately smart Summer movie. It deserves its box office success. Sure, the female characters are all stock and the only male character with any dimension is Ed Helms, but it's just so damned fun that you can forgive any shortcomings.

Terminator Salvation was next. It had much more in common with the comic book and graphic novel side of the Terminator franchise. A fairly thin story was improved with some gee-whiz action sequences. I wasn't a fan of the washed-out colour palette though. It made the film feel drab, when it should have been a bit more vibrantly in your face.

And (very) lastly... Miss March. A huge bait-and-switch as the trailer was cut really well and presented this film like something akin to the sweet-yet-sick Sex Drive. The truth is that this film is just about the worst movie I've suffered through in a long time. So much potential gets wasted throughout its overlong running time. To be fair, there are something like 3 legitimate laughs. The rest is all torture.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby azul017 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:49 pm

Funny People -- Judd Apatow's winning streak has fizzled out. There are some genuine laughs here, but this film is way too long. Apatow should know how to keep an even pace and know how to keep the audience interested and involved (plus giving away the film's ending in the advertisements is a huge mistake on Universal's end). There's way too many (unfunny) standup scenes, too much lingering on the characters and too long of a movie -- a movie like this should not be longer than 2 hours. People expecting something along the lines of The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up should stay away.

And what's up with Apatow continously casting his friends and family in his films? I'm tired of seeing Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill in every "fat loser" comedy these days.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:25 am

The Hurt Locker
The reviews had me expecting too much in the way of nail-biting suspense. It is suspenseful but not of the crawl out of your seat kind. More a series of well done vignettes than an actual plot. B+.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Chris_Sax » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:09 pm

See In The Loop, you bastards.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Stubblecat » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:37 am

Obseve & Report - I expected a kinda smart comedy-with-heart. Instead I got a film with one likable character who sadly gets very little screen time. All the pinciple actors are completely loathesome with next to no redeeming qualities. The final act features just wayyy too much naked flabby guy penis and a completely bizarre blood squib that would fit better in a Sam Peckinpah film.

Wendy And Lucy - A definite throwback to the early-90s indie film days. Michelle Williams plays almost a silent role as Wendy, who faces the heartache of running out of money, losing her dog and having her car break down on the way to what she hopes will be an opportunity for a better life in Alaska. A quiet rumination on how real life is just plain cruel.

The Girlfriend Experience - Steven Soderburgh's latest 'one for me'. I found it to have a rambling narrative with no real focus. The dialogue at times just seems muttered. I found it hard to sympathize with a high-end escort and a super-fit personal trainer griping about the financial crisis. Not for all tastes I guess. In case you're wondering (because it stars porn star Sasha Grey) the R-rating is only for a bit of dialogue. There's barely anything risque going on here, folks.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby azul017 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:41 am

Chris_Sax wrote:See In The Loop, you bastards.


Only if you see District 9.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby HGervais » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:08 am

Stubblecat wrote:Obseve & Report - I expected a kinda smart comedy-with-heart. Instead I got a film with one likable character who sadly gets very little screen time. All the pinciple actors are completely loathesome with next to no redeeming qualities. The final act features just wayyy too much naked flabby guy penis and a completely bizarre blood squib that would fit better in a Sam Peckinpah film.

First off, what on earth made you think it was a comedy with heart? 2nd, Jody Hill movies are clearly an acquired taste. It's one of the best movies I have seen this year and the reasons it is so funny are rooted in all the examples you noted for hating it. It's comedy as a razor blade.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Stubblecat » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:18 am

I guess I approached it with the whole recent Judd Apatow mindset. I didn't find much comedy in it. Maybe it's because I used to work in a mall (and currently work at an airport) and I have known many real-life security guards who are just as deluded and annoying as Rogan's 'Ronnie'.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:26 am

Rewatched Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) and François Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959) on Criterion discs (DVD for the former and Blu-ray for the latter). After six or seven viewings (who can keep track? :P) my initial hesitation toward embracing "The Third Man" has vanished. This one just keeps getting and better with each viewing, so much so that I've upgraded my fine 2-disc "Third Man" DVD package to Blu-ray ($16 brand-new at amazon) and passing the DVD's along to father in Arizona. On third viewing (with the Brian Stonehill commentary track) "400 Blows" seems warmer and more poetic toward Antoine Doinel's plight than the coldness I came away with on my first viewing. I'm still not fully in love with Truffaut's debut feature (I end up liking Doinel's friend René more) but I'm getting there, dreading that one day I'll love it so much I'll be forced to splurge for Criterion's expensive "Antoine Doinel" Box Set. Criterion's Blu-ray loop of Doinel running toward the beach set to an extended loop of Jean Constantine's piano portion of the movie's theme song is one of the most hypnotic title screens I've ever seen. Spent ten minutes last night before and after the movie just staring at it in dazed amusement (just like I did with the "Jules and Jim" DVD title screen looping 'Le Tourbillon'). :shock:

Jess Franco's Venus in Furs (1968) on TCM Underground for the first time. Neither masterpiece or dud, this semi-erotic "Carnival of Souls"-type ghost story sits squarely in the middle of Franco's prodigious output as a genre journeyman. James Darren and Maria Rohm sleepwalk through several Spanish-pretending-to-be-international-locations (Istanbul, Rio, etc.) as trumpet player Jimmy and mysterious beauty Wanda (respectively! :roll: ), of which the latter may or may have not being murdered in a sadistic sexual ritual at a posh jet set party. Trying to bury his guilt for doing nothing to save Wanda Jimmy shacks up with a Rio singer (Barbara McNair) but Wanda's pull ends up getting the best of him. Klaus Kinski is particularly effective as one of the tuxedo-wearing sickos that has his way with Wanda (and eventually gets his commupance). While filled with laughable moments (the little musical theme with the movie's title that repeats every time Wanda finishes her 'business') the movie is soaked in atmosphere, features good-looking women undressed (mostly Rohm) and packs a hell of a (predictable) ending that wraps things up nicely.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:54 am

Blade Runner: The Final Cut - Probably the second or third time i've checked out the blu-ray. I don't need to get into it again, though we all haven't discussed Blade Runner in a while, but I'll never understand how such a perfect blend of elements could have been the end result of such a tumultuous production. In my own mind it's easily the greatest science fiction film of all time, and it's definitely the best film to come out of the 80's.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby HGervais » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:43 am

I'm in the middle of a Farscape marathon and once again I say it is easily the greatest science fiction TV show in television history. Funny, exciting, inventive, wise, absolutely heartbreaking and funny....yeah I know I listed funny twice. Love that damn show.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:45 am

HGervais wrote:I'm in the middle of a Farscape marathon and once again I say it is easily the greatest science fiction TV show in television history. Funny, exciting, inventive, wise, absolutely heartbreaking and funny....yeah I know I listed funny twice. Love that damn show.


What do you think of the acting of the male lead?
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby HGervais » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:50 am

Future Man wrote:
HGervais wrote:I'm in the middle of a Farscape marathon and once again I say it is easily the greatest science fiction TV show in television history. Funny, exciting, inventive, wise, absolutely heartbreaking and funny....yeah I know I listed funny twice. Love that damn show.


What do you think of the acting of the male lead?

I think Ben Browder is often pretty amazing and considering how as the show went on he became more heavily involved with the writing of the show that should not be a surprise. I will grant you the first 6 or 8 episodes they did not know exactly what they were doing with him yet but once they hit that halfway mark of season one the kinks got worked out and Browder's work started to sing.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:30 pm

Sword of the Stranger - On blu-ray. Words cannot describe how much i loved this damn movie. Amazing animation that looks stunning in HD, a truly amazing score, and some wonderful characters. Any fan of animation, North American or Japanese owes it to themselves to track this one down. Any fan of the Samurai genre in general would have an amazing time with this film. It really is one of the single best efforts i've ever seen - easily blows away both Ninja Scroll and Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal. Simply a beautiful, beautiful film on all fronts. I'd probably place it in my all time top 5.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:48 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Sword of the Stranger - On blu-ray. Words cannot describe how much i loved this damn movie. Amazing animation that looks stunning in HD, a truly amazing score, and some wonderful characters. Any fan of animation, North American or Japanese owes it to themselves to track this one down.

Toldja.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby BenSaylor » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:26 am

On a bit of a Hitchcock kick lately, which includes these 3:
The 39 Steps--I enjoyed this a lot. Much of the humor holds up, and the film is suspenseful and visually appealing as well.

The Lady Vanishes--Didn't like this one as much as The 39 Steps; I think the humor is overdone, and the mostly train-bound narrative made the film less interesting visually for me.

Stage Fright--Alastair Sim is a hoot in a meaty supporting role, but otherwise, I found it hard to get into this one. It's never very suspenseful, and the characters aren't really worth caring about.

And also:
In the Loop--Hands down the best movie I've seen so far this year. Terrific, terrific satire. This is a movie that has so many great lines that it should reward repeat viewings.

The Hurt Locker--For me, this lived up to the hype. Kathyrn Bigelow does a first-class job staging the action; you always know what's going on in a given sequence, and her work with slow-motion is stunning. Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie both give very strong performances. There's only one narrative mis-step in the film (which only lasts a few minutes); otherwise, I had no problems, and the film's last scene is one of the more perfect closers to a film in recent memory for me.

Knock on any Door--This Nicholas Ray courtroom melodrama is well filmed but awfully preachy. Humphrey Bogart is very good, however, as the dedicated defense attorney for John Derek's "Pretty Boy" Romano. Ray and Bogart's other collaboration, In a Lonely Place, is the superior film in all respects.

Heaven's Gate--I found this to be a beguiling and evocative film that does a great job of immersing the viewer in the time in which it's set. There are certainly flaws to be found (I would have removed John Hurt's character and cut the Harvard graduation prologue, for starters), but overall, I think this is much better than its reputation would have one believe. It sure could use a better DVD, though. The old MGM disc I saw it on is just terrible; a new transfer would really make Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography shine.

Funny People--Heaven's Gate felt shorter to me.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:10 pm

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Despite having as many endings as Return of the King and an entirely gratuitous bar fight, this was quite the serving of badassery.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:26 pm

Valkyrie - Wow, that was awesome. Top drawer Cruise, very intense at times. I loved it.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:12 am

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - Easily my favorite after Azkaban. It felt more epic that any of the others and I loved the blend of humour and heavy stuff. Loved how Yates was always juxtaposing Draco alone with the others having fun. Broadbent was fantastic and Bonham Carter owns Bellatrix - I wanted more of her. Loved how stupid Ron looked when he ingested the love chocolates and man Lavender was a pain!'

The One-Armed Swordsman (1967) - I didn't expect this to be so slow and thoughtful. A nice reflection on violence with an unexpected storyline for a martial arts flick. See it for the colors and the intense acting - the fights aren't that great.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby MilanJett » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:08 pm

Friday the 13th Caught the remake on On Demand. It was okay. Really thin on the "victim looks like Jason's mother" plot. If they did more with that and added a half hour in the beginning for the mother's killing spree. Otherwise the pace and the killing in general were good.

The Haunting in Conneticut Saw this in the theater and had to get the blu-ray. It got mixed reviews, but I dug it.

Getting ready to go watch Sicko again. Talked with another fan at the local pharmacy today and it put me in the mood to watch again.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:36 pm

Pontypool. Just about the oddest movie I've seen in quite some time. Stephen McHattie gets a starring role (for once) as a big-time shock jock washed up into small-town Pontypool, Ontario. Amidst the wintertime whiteout morning show routine, reports start coming in of mumbling mob violence and stuttering linguistic confusion spreading like the plague. And then it gets weird. It's a bit of a rocky ride toward the finish line but, for the most part, this is a seriously ingenious and darkly comic little horror movie. It's also original. Anybody looking for something unusual to cue up for their Halloween viewing should keep this in mind. Just don't go in expecting a large-scale zombie movie or gore effects. This is a low-budget, one-set movie. That seems to be the root of the disappointment expressed (poorly) in certain forums. Certain forums. Certain forms. Curtain forms. Curtain forums. Certain forearms...
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby molly1216 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:53 pm

pulled Ed Brubaker's Angel of Death from the Netflix queue...i'm a big Zoe Bell fan. and it was good. much better than i had expected. I don't know who Paul Etheredge is but IMHO he succeeded in doing something Steven Soderbergh couldn't do and Tarantino keeps attempting. Soderbergh tried to obtain vintage acting performances in the Good German* to complete his retro stylized film..and Tarantino keeps trying to recreate the whole grind house product. I found the straight b-grade dialogue and b-grade performances matched perfectly with such b grade fare as an assassin's traumatic turnaround to hero character. I do recommend it. but it's like having half a meal...it needs to be paired with something, but i need to figure out what.

I think why it was off putting is the fact that he used Grade A actors, it was uncomfortable to watch them act 'badly' if he had used lesser actors as Tarantino does, he may have pulled it off
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:56 pm

A Perfect Getaway
A near perfect mystery-thriller and a great popcorn flick. A.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:32 am

Fist of the North Star - A slice of my teenage years brought back kicking and screaming from beyond the grave. Martial arts masters with the power of gods, beating the tar out of one another in a setting that's part Mad Max and part Enter the Dragon. The old Streamline Pictures dub from my 1992 VHS copy is still intact, and it is awesome(ly awful). The DVD also looks fantastic, really a nice job restoring what was a pretty harsh picture on the old VHS tape. Also gotta say the whole thing held up better than i thought it would. It's pure 80's anime, and the plot is beyond simple, but the whole thing comes together pretty well, and the quality of the animation isn't half bad.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:16 am

The 10th Victim
Of faint historical interest only. Pretty snappy PQ though.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby HGervais » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:47 pm

Star Trek: Insurrection....don't ask. Not bad for an episode of the TV show and who knew androids could age so badly?
Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell.....lower tier Hammer Horror with Peter Cushing in just about the most ridiculous wig ever worn by an actor. Some nice scoring from James Bernard, some decent staging from Terence Fisher and typically fine acting from Cushing are not enough to raise this one above average.
Mission Impossible: 2...it's like a parody of action movies but nobody who was making it knew it. You know when a movie does not ask anything more of Thandie Newton than to act wooden, she isn't that bad. Thank goodness Dougray Scott did this instead of X-Men. Bad movie but like a good car wreck, impossible to look away.
All in all, a craptacular day at the home theater.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:17 am

After some quality TV, decided to honor my late father's birthday by watching some of his faves. Started off with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and it still holds up well, god, Lee Marvin could play a scumbag with the best of 'em, couldn't he? Then one of the 1962 Oscar's greatest disses, King Kong vs. Godzilla, the UNCUT, Japanese edition, which, with the Big G's triumphant roar would have re-opened the issue of Dad betting me and my bro over who would win (who knew about repeats?) and keeping our dollars. It's played much more serious, with a lot more backstory about the human characters, but still, a good fun ride. Then went back to The SeaHawk, and the finest buckler of swashes, Errol Flynn. Good fun, good memories, and I wonder what Dad would have thought about 60 inch screens, and BluRay and all the assorted technological wizardry for enjoying films. Think he would have been like a kid in a candy store....:-)
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:19 am

Telefon
Not bad Bronson suspense vehicle. The PQ while anamorphic leaves a lot to be desired. Not much damage per se, just very soft for long stretches and the sound sometimes drops too low at times.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:38 am

Ali : Fear Eats The Soul : It has a strange power to stay in the mind. The plot is deceptively bare bones : it's the dialogs and the feeling of discomfort that are important. One can see right away that Fassbinder is a great director, his framing is so precise and studied and he really knows when to linger on a shot. I'm still thinking about it three days later.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:02 pm

The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. Disclaimer: I'm usually open to the concept of remakes, and tire quickly of people complaining about the creative bankruptcy of modern Hollywood. Having said that, this is one of the most soulless, yawn-inducing movies I have seen in a long time. The problem is that there is absolutely no vision behind it. It feels like a paint-by-numbers job. There is no immediacy to the danger. I don't feel like the director is particularly interested in anything that is going on. Even the effects scenes are bland. In fact, the only positive thing I can say about it is that Keanu Reeves plays his role pitch perfectly. In your face, laws of probability!
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:11 pm

It's been a tradition of mine that when i'm home from work, sick as a dog, i curl up under the blankets on my couch with a nice histor-epic. Today, while doping on Advil cold & Sinus and green-tea flavored water, it was Wolfgang Peterson's director's cut of Troy on Blu-ray. It says a lot for my love of the genre, that even a film as maligned as this, i can enjoy immensely.

Maybe i'll pop Alexander in later...
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:18 pm

So no Alexander after all.

Did finally break out that King Arthur blu-ray that's been sitting on my shelf for over a year. Meh. Not even cold meds could save this one. There were a few moments of 'almost there' but overall it just fell flatter than a pancake.

Also watched 300, which remains a film i deeply love and enjoy to no end.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:48 pm

Where the heck is everyone:

Watched a few more recent buys:

Sky Blue - on Blu-ray. Already love this one, love it that much more now. A few of the extras are missing from the 2-disc PAL DVD i have, but the jump in picture and sound was mighty impressive. It's really a different kind of animated film, it shares some of the same sensebilities as Anime, and yet it feels more Western at the same time. It's a shame that no one has brought this to Region 1 as of yet.

Cutthroat Island - on Blu-Ray. After 12 years of crappy looking non-anamorphic DVD, man even a mediocre blu-ray transfer was enough to impress. Yes, the flick is cheesy, yes Geena Davis is totally out of her element, but it's a damned pirate movie through and through, and Frank Langella is awesome. I love this! I love it!
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:38 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Where the heck is everyone


Watching/following "Big Brother" (online feeds and the nightly three-hour "After Dark" program on Showtime 2) has really taken a toll on my movie viewing time. :oops:
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:48 am

The Late Show
Tongue in cheek homage to 1940s hard-boiled detective movies. Guess you have to be in the right mood. Lily Tomlin is wonderful however.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:49 pm

District 9
Came close to walking out at the 20 minute mark after an utterly uninvolving beginning, but it managed to come with an interesting hook that held my interest enough for me to stay put. Good to great special effects but still one of those instantly forgettable movie experiences. Probably has more resonance for South Africans.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:22 am

Saw Julie & Julia last night and was absolutely blown away by how good it was. Streep shows that once again she is the actress to beat as she channels Julia Child. Voice, mannerisms, inflections, facial expressions, etc, she literally becomes her. Stanley Tucci is a hoot as Paul Child as well. On the modern side, Amy Adams does a great job as Julie, but compared to Streep, she's just not as impressive. Overall great flick, but I sometimes curse my sharp eyes for spotting things that don't belong. Like a padded shipping envelope lined with bubble wrap in 1960. A book sample would have been in a cardboard box. Details, people, details!
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:42 am

Dunnyman wrote:Streep shows that once again she is the actress to beat as she channels Julia Child.

I deplore violence against women.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:32 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Dunnyman should have wrote:Streep shows that once again she is the actress to beat for the Oscar as she channels Julia Child.

I deplore violence against women.

I agree, there is no reason to beat Meryl Streep whatsoever. Stanley Tucci is another matter entirely.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:39 pm

Splinter. Nothing original, but a fun and creepy little creature-horror flick. The acting is excellent across the board, and the effects are well done, if too obscured by messy editing. Worth a look for anyone who enjoys the trapped-in-a-gas-station-with-convict-by-monster subgenre.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:44 pm

Area 88 (series) - first few episodes. VERY cool stuff!Story about a group of mercenary pilots in the early-mid 80's who fly sorties in a fictional civil war in a middle eastern setting. Some of the characters fall into the traditional anime stereotypes, but the story is pretty well written, and the action is awesome. It's like animated porn for devotees of combat aircraft.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:46 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Area 88 (series) - first few episodes. VERY cool stuff!Story about a group of mercenary pilots in the early-mid 80's who fly sorties in a fictional civil war in a middle eastern setting. Some of the characters fall into the traditional anime stereotypes, but the story is pretty well written, and the action is awesome. It's like animated porn for devotees of combat aircraft.

I've been tempted to pick this up a few times based on some solid reviews and a neat premise. Let me know how it holds up over the course of the series. The concept struck me as something that might go nowhere fast, then resolve itself too quickly in a final episode or two.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Chris_Sax » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:41 pm

Future Man wrote:District 9
Came close to walking out at the 20 minute mark after an utterly uninvolving beginning... instantly forgettable movie experiences.


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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby BenSaylor » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:13 pm

District 9--An interesting premise, but after the first act the movie feels like a video game. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I don't think the rapturous critical reception it's received is warranted.

Downhill Racer--I really liked this. The ski photography is sensational (this must have been something to see in theaters), and Robert Redford gives a strong performance as a selfish, up and coming athlete. Having watched this on VHS, I eagerly anticipate the Criterion DVD release in November.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:02 pm

Side Street. Aside from suffering from just-go-to-the-cops-already syndrome (a failing common to many a noir), this is an exceptionally well-crafted movie. The climactic chase is brilliantly filmed. Lots of tension and fantastic Mann compositions throughout.

Speaking of Mann, I think I forgot to mention watching Bend of the River a while back. I dug it far more than The Far Country but not quite as much as Winchester '73 or The Naked Spur. Neat premise and a strong semi-heroic performance from Stewart.
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:00 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:Side Street. Aside from suffering from just-go-to-the-cops-already syndrome (a failing common to many a noir), this is an exceptionally well-crafted movie. The climactic chase is brilliantly filmed. Lots of tension and fantastic Mann compositions throughout.


This led me to check out They Live by Night which shares the same disc from the ten-title set. Where has this been hiding all my noir-loving life (besides unwatched on my shelf for too long)? Talk about fantastic compositions! And the story is tough and (unlike Bonnie & Clyde) tender at the same time. Moves right to the top of my favorite new finds this year. Thanks Andrew!
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Future Man » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:01 am

edit
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Future Man wrote:edit
Never heard of this one. Who stars? Who directed? Is it color or B&W? Most importantly Future Man, what do you REALLY think about 'edit'? :roll:
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Re: The Shiny New AUGUST Watching Thread!

Postby Mark Van Hook » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:29 pm

Future Man wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:Side Street. Aside from suffering from just-go-to-the-cops-already syndrome (a failing common to many a noir), this is an exceptionally well-crafted movie. The climactic chase is brilliantly filmed. Lots of tension and fantastic Mann compositions throughout.


This led me to check out They Live by Night which shares the same disc from the ten-title set. Where has this been hiding all my noir-loving life (besides unwatched on my shelf for too long)? Talk about fantastic compositions! And the story is tough and (unlike Bonnie & Clyde) tender at the same time. Moves right to the top of my favorite new finds this year. Thanks Andrew!


Right on, dude. Best directorial debut ever. Fact.
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