DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Attrage » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:53 pm

Alien - What an amazing exercise in tension building. The plot that everyone knows - an alien being stalking the crew of a starship and offing them one by one - doesn't even begin until over an hour into the film. And I love that slow build-up of agonising tension, culminating in the infamous chest-burster scene. Even after probably a dozen or so viewings, the final 20 minutes still has me on the edge of my seat. One of the final moments brings a smile to my face every time - the blink-and-you'll-miss-it view of the alien as Ripley boards the shuttle. It's hair-raising stuff - she walks right by it. And I love the personality of the alien - *spoiler* on the Nostromo it's kills are fast and brutal (minus unlucky b*stard Dallas that is) whereas on the shuttle, it's like it knows it's now alone with Ripley and can take it's time. It sort of languidly reveals itself, it doesnt appear to be in any particular hurry to do away with her. It's brilliantly creepy.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby azul017 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:56 pm

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - I forgot how much fun this classic is. It's so joyous, so fun, and wonderful. It's a shame Errol Flynn became the 1950s Charlie Sheen and wasted all that goodwill and money on drugs and hookers.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby mavrach » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:09 am

I'm a Cyborg, and That's Ok - Finally a movie about a mental institution where you feel insane afterwards as well. This one is more about emracing everybody's insanity instead of trying to cure them. It focuses on a girl who's committed because she thinks she's a cyborg, refuses to eat and instead tries to charge herself in various ways. Absolutely crazy movie that stays lighthearted nonetheless.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby mavrach » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:12 am

Scenes from a Marriage and Saraband- I've been going through some of Bergman's stuff lately. I figured that a TV miniseries must be pretty good if it gets a sequel 30 years later. SFAM is a personal and realistic depiction of a deteriorating marriage. Marriane & Johan are one of the most realistic portrayals of a couple that you'll ever see. They're right for each other but can't make the connection, despite both of them trying so hard. Most of the time is just the two of them talking. It's so rich that characters that you never even meet (they're discussed) even feel fully realized.

Saraband was a bit awkward. You'd assume that this is where you'd reconnect with the characters and see how they developed over the years. Honestly I feared that they'd do something like in the Christmas special of the UK The Office, where they'd take back their initial realistic but relatively sad ending, in lieu of a Hollywood happy ending. Saraband did not do this, but disappointingly focused on Johan's other family that we didn't know he had the whole time. Good characters & performances and all, but that's not what we wanted to see.

Rashomon - I finally gave this one a crack. Every accolade you've heard for this movie is true. Again, way ahead of its time in storytelling. And the more you learn about this one, the richer it gets. I can tell this will improve with more viewings.

Spartacus - Good overall, but this could've benefitted from being about 45 minutes shorter. It did drag, but at the same time had some awesomely staged sequences.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Attrage » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:59 pm

mavrach wrote:I'm a Cyborg, and That's Ok - Finally a movie about a mental institution where you feel insane afterwards as well.

That's the best one-line review of a movie I think I've ever read :)
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Attrage » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:23 pm

Death to Smoochy - If I wasn’t prone to shooting off at the mouth, I’d just say, “good, but not great” and move onto the next movie. But, that’s never going to happen. While I don’t think it deserved the shellacking it got when released, I do agree it could have been a lot funnier than it ended up. I did get a kick out of some of the Smoochy songs, particularly “My stepdad’s not mean...he’s just adjusting.” And Danny Woodburn (aka Seinfeld’s Mickey) is always a pleasure to watch. Though there were moments that had me imitating Jared Leto’s sarcastic rant in Panic Room: “Oh, it’s all so ironic and amusing!” overall there are enough funny moments in this one for me to give it at least a rental recommendation. As per usual for me, it’s little moments that I found the funniest in the entire movie – Edward Norton’s outburst with Catherine Keener when he tries to stick it to her that his office has a view, and she fires back, “They all have views!” and his response, “Not looking out this way, cupcake!”, and his sincere line: “When my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker.” Not to mention Robin Williams’ amusing ad libs consisting of various crass insults about a guy in a giant purple rhino suit. “I’m goin on safari, motherf*cker! Sa-far-i!”
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:42 pm

Attrage wrote:Death to Smoochy - If I wasn’t prone to shooting off at the mouth, I’d just say, “good, but not great” and move onto the next movie. But, that’s never going to happen. While I don’t think it deserved the shellacking it got when released, I do agree it could have been a lot funnier than it ended up. I did get a kick out of some of the Smoochy songs, particularly “My stepdad’s not mean...he’s just adjusting.” And Danny Woodburn (aka Seinfeld’s Mickey) is always a pleasure to watch. Though there were moments that had me imitating Jared Leto’s sarcastic rant in Panic Room: “Oh, it’s all so ironic and amusing!” overall there are enough funny moments in this one for me to give it at least a rental recommendation. As per usual for me, it’s little moments that I found the funniest in the entire movie – Edward Norton’s outburst with Catherine Keener when he tries to stick it to her that his office has a view, and she fires back, “They all have views!” and his response, “Not looking out this way, cupcake!”, and his sincere line: “When my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker.” Not to mention Robin Williams’ amusing ad libs consisting of various crass insults about a guy in a giant purple rhino suit. “I’m goin on safari, motherf*cker! Sa-far-i!”


I remember buying this thing on DVD when it came out, roaring at it, and never, ever seeing it again... Kind of forgot it existed. Wait - the disc is still there too!
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Gabriel Girard » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:03 pm

Lolita (1962) - That this film got made at all is a testament to Kubrick's tenacity and clout, that he chose this to be his first move after Spartacus got him in the big leagues is a testament to his gutsiness. I think this is the best adaptation of the novel one could hope for at that time. It's filled with sexual innuendo and brilliant performances from everyone, with a special mention to Shelley Winters. Kubrick's touch is more evident through the humor than through the directorial style which lacks the traditionnal Kubrick touches. One can thank this film for making him work with Peter Sellers who would do stellar work in Dr.Strangelove 2 years laer.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:20 am

Colombiana (2011) another girl in skimpy outfit surrounded by violence fest from the Pen of Luc Besson...he seems to have been dreaming the same fantasy since forever... a gamin wielding a gun leaving chaos in her wake and emerging without a scrape. If you like that sort of thing...and well who doesn't? this is worth the watch. It's overlong but it's stylish with lots of violence set pieces and well choreographed violence. I'like to see his Colombiana meet up with his Transporter...now that's entertainment.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby J.M. Vargas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:58 am

Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA (2011) at NYC’s Angelika Theater for the first time. If you had told me at the start of the year that my two favorite movies of 2011 would both deal with the emotional states of their female leads as a new out-of-nowhere planet orbits around Earth’s atmosphere (with the planet being the ‘B’ story on both movies) I would have said you don’t know me or the types of movies I like. “Another Earth” enthralled me with the introspective journey of wish-fulfillment its characters embark on as metaphors for the humanity-changing extraterrestrial events surrounding them. “Melancholia” expands this canvas by looking at family relations (which “Another Earth” chooses to ignore) and human traditions (the wedding that takes nearly half the movie's running time and its like a movie-within-a-movie), then brings the main protagonists and themes together for one of the most monumentally sad-but-uplifting final moments I’ve ever felt watching a motion picture. And this coming from someone that, except for ‘The Kingdom’ TV series, hasn’t liked anything else Lars von Trier has done (“Breaking the Waves” literally gave me a headache). Maybe I just got used to the ‘shakycam’ technique after everybody else (Paul Greengrass movies, the new “Battlestar Galactica,” etc.) started using it, but “Melancholia” also happens to be gorgeously-lit and framed from start (the amazing slow-motion prologue) to jaw-dropping end. These aren't just visual/shock stunts though, but exclamation points to the things von Trier is trying to express about himself, depression, clarity of thought and humanity. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I may have to check "Antichrist" after seeing "Melancholia" because the latter has left me hungry for more of whatever it is Lars is selling. :?

I honestly didn’t think Kirsten Dunst had this kind of performance in her. She’s never less than riveting even during the portion of “Melancholia” where Charlotte Gainsbourg (who’s no lightweight) is the focal point of the story. Keifer Sutherland is wasted but does the most he can with a thankless role. The supporting cast (Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, Udo Kier, John Hurt, Alexander and Stellan Skarsgard, young Cameron Spurr, etc.) do their small parts so well I found myself wondering what each were doing on their own when the 2nd half of the movie unfolds. You can tell this is a European movie because, unlike “Another Earth” (which also limits its impact on the narrative), the media (TV, cell phones, internet, etc.) doesn’t intrude into the quiet build-up of character development that’s the laser-like focus of “Melancholia” even as its not-so-fantastic ‘B’ story gathers momentum. Beautiful, well-acted, introspective and the ultimate what-would-I-do-if-this-were-me play-along scenario, “Melancholia” is the type of experience I (rarely) go to the movies to experience. Shame most people will only see it on Video On Demand or (eventually) DVD/Blu-ray because the experience of seeing/hearing "Melancholia" on a big screen with surround sound is something I’ll never get to experience again. Guess that means I'm going to have to go see it again before it leaves theaters because here in NYC (unlike 90% of the country) that's an actual option! :D
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:34 am

Diamonds are Forever...which i think is an example of Bond on a Budget, Las Vegas looked seedy and ugly, Lots of ugly american stereotypes.....Bruce Cabot as a henchman? he was 67 years old! I can see where you want to a Bond Girl to show off her assets, but Jill St John just hanging around in a bikini looked forced. In my memory I thought Bambi and Thumper were inspired...on latest viewing I can see they weren't very much of a threat - too bad. My least favorite Connery Bond, which still puts it ahead of a lot of other Bond Films.

Goldeneye One of my favorite modern day Bonds for a lot of reasons. The First appearance of Dench's M 2.0 - Sean Bean, whose presence improves any movie, though the Villain's character seems forced...it smells like a condolence prize for not getting cast as Bond..gotta remember in the 90's Bean's Sharpe was HUGE, - Famke's dominatrix, one of my favorite villains...the woman truly loved her work and looked good doing it. Izabella Scorupco's Russian programmer is my favorite Bond Woman...up until 1hour and 34 minutes into the film..then for 10 minutes she acts stupidly out of character and then goes back to being well written. You can actually SEE the edges were someone INSERTED pages into the script. It makes me throw things at the screen. The first female character in the Bond universe who is more than a cardboard cutout who can actually rescue herself more often than not.

Casino Royale what's not to love about the reboot? For me Eva Green was the only weak link but then most of his leading ladies ARE, they are almost always cast for an appeal i can't explain, but certainly lightweight and forgettable. But maybe it's a guy thing. adore Jeffrey Wright's Felix, Giancarlo's Mathis and M's staff which for the 1st time seemed believable in their jobs. and a naked Bond...who actually looks like he gets been beaten and tortured for a living and cleans up well doesn't hurt.

I'm watching the Harry Potter series in order, but i am stuck at Deathly Hallows Vol 1, which isn't available online rental and i haven't got the disc yet. When you watch them back to back to back, you start noticing that their entire school year seems to go by awfully quickly in the course of a 2 hour movie. Can someone explain to me WTF is with quidditch...if catching the snitch gives you 150 points and wins the game..that means everything else the other team members DO is pointless and unnecessary to the game's actual score. BTW Hogwarts seems to do absolutely no background checks on their Defense of the Dark Arts teachers at all. Another thing that stands out when you watch them en masse is that Harry's dialogue is very sparse...the character spends most of this time reacting to other people's dialogue instead of initiating any of his own. In 6 films I counted only a handful of naturalistic dialogue from Radcliffe and that was usually in his scenes with Ron Weasley. As an adult i think the films would go much quicker if you cut out all the John Hughes teen angst, but that's me.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Polynikes » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:53 pm

molly1216 wrote:
Casino Royale what's not to love about the reboot? For me Eva Green was the only weak link but then most of his leading ladies ARE, they are almost always cast for an appeal i can't explain, but certainly lightweight and forgettable. But maybe it's a guy thing.


Molly, I think it is a guy thing! I enjoyed Eva Green's performances in Casino Royale, Kingdom of Heaven and Camelot. I am surprised you found her lightweight and forgettable. I could understand someone finding her too theatrical and flamboyant, but I think she is hard to ignore in Casino Royale. Happy Christmas.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:11 pm

Cowboys and Aliens... a lot of stereotypes riding around in this desert. it has all the pieces but no soul. you had practically no vested interest in the film...and it SERIOUSLY needed tightening of the script. 5 guys on a script...and what? no editor? the end should have ENDED in the field..going back to the town proved nothing, it was in fact a tease, that something interesting MIGHT happen before the credits rolled but nothing did. some of the supporting characters showed up and were completely and utterly wasted. you had Walton Goggins playing a nearly nothing role? WTF is that? the aliens were wasted as well - more than half the human characters should have been erased off the page and some more interesting less insect like aliens should have been used. i dunno..if i was 12 i'd be happy. but i'm not 12 and these guys are used to writing for 12 year old boys. not grownups. I felt embarrassed for the actors..they deserved better.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby azul017 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:35 pm

molly1216 wrote:Another thing that stands out when you watch them en masse is that Harry's dialogue is very sparse...the character spends most of this time reacting to other people's dialogue instead of initiating any of his own. In 6 films I counted only a handful of naturalistic dialogue from Radcliffe and that was usually in his scenes with Ron Weasley. As an adult i think the films would go much quicker if you cut out all the John Hughes teen angst, but that's me.


That changes with Deathly Hallows, Part 1. You'll either like the change in terms of framework or find more problems with it. In Part 2, however, the main character initiates his own actions and dialogue.

Plus, if you read the books (or Wiki'd them), it answers those questions you posed since the movies cut them out or barely acknowledge them.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:02 am

azul017 wrote:
molly1216 wrote:Another thing that stands out when you watch them en masse is that Harry's dialogue is very sparse...the character spends most of this time reacting to other people's dialogue instead of initiating any of his own. In 6 films I counted only a handful of naturalistic dialogue from Radcliffe and that was usually in his scenes with Ron Weasley. As an adult i think the films would go much quicker if you cut out all the John Hughes teen angst, but that's me.


That changes with Deathly Hallows, Part 1. You'll either like the change in terms of framework or find more problems with it. In Part 2, however, the main character initiates his own actions and dialogue.

Plus, if you read the books (or Wiki'd them), it answers those questions you posed since the movies cut them out or barely acknowledge them.

thanks.
the Harry potters are great for what they are. They are at least as watchable as other series and a lot more watchable than that Twilight malarky. It will be nice to see the lead character become the LEAD instead of the victim. i adored the 1st three books when they got published here. i never did have the 1st US edition of #1 i had a 4th printing that i sold a long time ago. but when the world went crazy at book number four...i took a giant leap in the other direction. i worked retail bookstores for the entire series and by the last book the mere words Harry Potter caused me physical pain. So watching the series was rather fresh and new to me. If i were a kid i'd watch them in an infinite loop.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:10 pm

Victor Sjöström's THE WIND (1928) at NYC's Film Forum for the first time. Other than a studio-imposed happy ending this is a well-made silent melodrama with great visual techniques (incredible practical-effect wind storms) to fully get across the conflicted inner-feelings of its tortured characters. This would make a great double-bill with “The Grapes of Wrath” as cinematic portrayal of the hardships of harvesting the land on trying times. And has Lillian Gish ever given a performance where she isn’t fully committed? From her silent-era work in D.W. Griffith’s epics to “Night of the Hunter” and her late-career TV work, she’s never less than a joy to watch.

THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS (1928) on Blu-ray... again! Nothing new to say, it works like a charm and gets better with each new repeat viewing. And my father and his wife gave me a framed original German poster of the movie framed as a Christmas gift! I'm such a happy boy right now! :D

GANJA AND HEN (1973) on TCM-HD Underground for the first time. A micro-budget blaxploitation/avant-garde horror flick that seems to have inspired Abel Ferrara’s “The Addiction” in having an innocent person (Duane Jones) cursed with vampirism, then following how the addiction to blood consumes that person and those he loves (i.e. Marlene Clark’s Ganja). Besides the expected dose of grindhouse moments (tons of explicit 70’s era sex, hookers dying to fill Hess’ lust, etc.) and a slightly-different mythology (an ancient knife with germs causes vampirism) the movie is not easy to follow, is badly-shot/lit and very weird. Only until the very (amateurish but well-meaning) ending, when redemption/salvation seems within reach at a church service, does “Ganja and Hen” writer/director Bill Gunn reveals his true colors. Good intentions, lousy-but-fascinating results.

THE SLAMS (1973) on TCM-HD Underground for the first time. A no-nonsense action thriller (an early credit for then-young DP Andrew Davis) starring Jim Brown as a con that is sent to an L.A. prison with the knowledge of where over a million in stolen loot is hidden. With a slew of criminals, guards and prison residents trying to squeeze Curtis for the info our “hero” must use his wits and few allies (including newscaster girlfriend Judy Pace) to both keep alive inside prison and try to escape. The movie is what it is and it doesn’t attempt to be anything more or less.

Allan J. Pakula's ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976) on Blu-ray. This and James Brooks’ “Terms of Endearment” (both of which I saw for the first time in 1983) were responsible, at the tender age of 10, for transitioning me from will-watch-anything kid into a young person that could appreciate cinema for something other than action scenes and dancing/singing cartoons. For the first time characters seemed relatable as human beings, and their dramatic arcs involved human emotion and hard work rather than magic spells or guns. Even though I saw it on TV (and “Terms of Endearment” in a movie theater) “All the President’s Men” is the flick that gave birth of the cinema-loving freak whose opinions you’re reading right now. I liked “ATPM’s” so much at age 10 I sought and read the book (in Spanish) so I could understand its plot better.

And yet, rewatching it twice recently on BD (once with the sleepy Robert Redford commentary), there were small chinks of imperfection in the armor of quality story-telling I recall the movie being (the ‘fake’ scares when Woodward is in the garage talking to Deep Throat, Bernstein’s lucky-coincidence meet with Washington Post employees that knew the right people at the right moment, etc.) that conflict with the book’s version of events. The Bernstein-Woodward book is the Watergate Bible, so the movie version taking liberties with the truth to fit its cinematic needs sticks out for me (a certified Watergate scandal nut) like a canon going off at a golf course. On the other hand I noticed even more visual motifs that Allan Pakula used to frame the ‘little guys against powerful large institutions’ subtext of the narrative than the famous Library if Congress roof shot. Twice we see a high-angle shot of a car with Woodward and Bernstein leaving the Washington Post parking lot, and twice their line is empty while every other vehicle on the street is going the opposite direction (never noticed that before). “ATPM” is the granddaddy of conspiracy thrillers on the big screen because it was actually real people in power doing the horrible things they denied doing until the truth made it impossible for them to survive. It’s the best movie I’ve seen where typewriters, notepads, telephone conversations and the unrelenting pursuit of the truth are front and center. And holy s***, I had never noticed that Jane Alexander and Dustin Hoffman were together in “ATPM” a couple of years before they played opposite each other in “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

MST3K #401: SPACE TRAVELERS (1992/1969) on DVD for the first time. A rare instance of a once-considered-great movie (1969 winner for Best Special Effects “Marooned”) with AAA talent (Gene Hackman, Gregory Peck, David Janssen, James Franciscus, etc.) becoming available to the Best Brains gang for shredding. Since its about a slow and tedious disaster in space (and this after being cut down significantly for “MST3K” running time) Joel and the bots have to work extra-hard just to cover the empty scenes where nothing happens (‘You can see Aaron Spelling’s house from here’). Once they get on a groove though the riffing is killer, especially during the obligatory ‘astronaut wives saying goodbye to their husbands’ scenes in which J&TB’s voice the opposite of what the wives are saying (‘did I renew that insurance policy?’). Trace Beaulieu’s every intonation of his ‘killer Peck’ voice is hilarious, and the fun had at Hackman’s expense (one of the rare instances of Gene not being good in a role) only makes the ‘Hackman is good in anything’ running gag doubly funny. An underrated experiment.

MST3K #403: CITY LIMITS (1992/1984) on DVD. The deadly middle of "City Limits" (from about 20 min. in until 20 min. before its over) bogs down the experience. Unlike similar apocalypse-set futuristic experiments like “Warriors of the Lost World” or “Escape 2000″ the filmmakers behind “CL” didn’t have enough money to stage or properly shoot over-the-stop stunts and shootouts that at least keep those Italian productions moving. It's just “Warriors” rejects riding around in bikes on badly/barely lit streets pretending to engage in a struggle with ‘the man’ (i.e. the Halliburton equivalent of ‘the future’) or, worse, people sitting around saying/doing nothing. I know James Earl Jones is in “City Limits” because I heard his voice saying ‘It’s F.U.N.’ (or was that Crow-as-J.E.Jones’ voice? :D) but he and everyone else (including nerdy-looking-on-purpose Kim Cattrall) either phones it in or is just trying too hard. The riffing is OK (‘It’s the Leno gang’) but, other than the nearly-run-into-the-ground NBC Mystery Movie jokes (which pays off at the start of #404) and ‘This is CNN’ gags, not very memorable outside of pointing out who the actors are (particularly Kim, duh!) and wondering why they’re there. ‘The Fantastic 85/185′ sounded like a promising host segment running gag but, as the show kept going, the names they kept coming with got lamer and lamer (‘Servo-Croatian Man?’). Mike’s Morrissey take reminds me of those amazing transformations as either a visitor/guest in Deep 13 (Torgo) or the SOL (Glenn from “Amazing Colossal Man”) that he perfected in the Sci-Fi years. Overall though, an OK but hardly-memorable experiement that can only improve on repeat viewing.

MST3K #404: TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1992/1959) on DVD. Forget the backstory and gossip behind its creation (which by itself adds yet another layer of hilarious subtext), “Teenagers from Outer Space” is just so jam-packed with all the elements that make an “MST3K” experiment so great the riffing is just the ribbon on an already-made present. You’ve got pretentious pompous a**hole bad guys (the ship’s captain, Thor, wool-bearded Leader), a sympathetic and likable hero in Derek (an idealized view of God-fearing, Bible-reading evangelical youths from that era), a lovely eye-candy girlfriend in Dawn Bender’s Betty, an outlandish premise with a hopelessly-mismatched budget (re-used skeleton, reflective gun ray effect, etc.), age-inappropriate actors playing ‘teenagers,’ cheap-ass "monster" that doubled as lunch for the cast/crew, non-existent production values, borderline-angelic small town folks, etc. The movie may be low-budget but at least it moves and never stays on any one scene or character for too long. J&TB unleash on it relentless but never mean or nasty riffs that keep pace with the narrative. Plus, for a no-budget movie, all the pieces of the plot fall together remarkably well from start the end. Love that both the bots and TV’s Frank introduce their respective invention exchanges (radical!) and that, rather than go for easy laughs, the Brains choose to go the smart-ass route with the host segments up until the photo shoot pictures at the end (‘the evening is for Tom Servo, but the night belongs to Crow!’). “Teenagers from Outer Space” is just so earnest and goofy that it doesn’t need the “MST3K” treatment to be enjoyable. As good as the riffing was back in ’92 (and its damn near flawless in my book), I can see a "Cinematic Titanic" version with fresher jokes (at least a couple of ‘Sandusky’ references) being an even better, funnier and weirder comedy treat.

Neil Marshall's THE DESCENT (2005) on Blu-ray with the two commentary tracks on. It’s almost fitting that Natalie Mendoza didn’t make the commentary with Marshall and every other actress in the ensemble. It makes the Juno arc in the movie all the more tragic and her (character/actress) more of a lone wolf. The crew commentary squeezes a lot of mileage and laughs out of an assistant editor named Tina (no last name given until it shows up in the credits) that only speaks when prompted, and then uses as few words as possible. Luckily Neil and Co. have plenty to say about their baby (and even take shots at the editor struggling with ideas for the sequel), including pointing out the John Carpenter-inspired fonts and tributes to other genre classics (“Carrie,” “Deliverance,” etc.). The commentaries match the Unrated/Director’s Cut version perfectly, but the ‘R’ versions have the commentaries in the final minutes mangled to near-incomprehensibility.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby hoytereden » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:28 pm

^^^^^^^^
Ganja And Hess-I was looking forward to seeing this for a long time due, in part, to a couple of articles praising it in Video Watchdog. I must say that my first viewing left me underwhelmed. I recorded it so a second viewing is in order.
Teenagers From Outer Space is one my favorite of all the MST3K episodes.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:54 pm

spent the afternoon rewatching North by Northwest 50th anniversary edition with and without the commentary
i under appreciated this one until recently. it is definitely one of his most beautifully shot and arguably his masterpiece (though many of his films can be called that) i think it is creeping up my list to become my second favorite Hitch film after Rear Window...i think the two together being opposite types make a good double feature. one is open, small figure in a big world being chased...whereas Rear Window is contained (not as much as Lifeboat but not the same TYPE of film - Lifeboat is much more internal) Window you have a figure totally trapped with a narrow focus on the world and at risk.

Cleopatra (1934) shiny trashy delicious. marshmallow fluff surrounded by chocolate. it has been preserved and remastered but it's still not tack sharp. i guess i have become spoiled rotten i should be grateful these films still exist.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:19 pm

Drive - This has been a bit of a critical darling, and I enjoyed my time with it well enough. Ryan Gosling plays a quiet, unnervingly so, driver who stands around glowering a lot or looking longingly at Carey Mulligan (not much acting required there) when he's not stunt drivin' in the movies, or getaway drivin' in real life. Cary Mulligan plays the girl next door, who stares longingly at the creepy wierdo played by Ryan Gosling. There's a "heist gone wrong" plot we've seen a few times before, and some great supporting work in Bryan Cranston, Ron Pearlman, and Albert Brooks, but overall the whole affair didn't quite click for me like I thought it would. Nicolas Winding Refn really has a talented eye, and Drive looks stunning, but like Valhalla Rising, it's just too damn quiet a film. The glowering and longing looks don't really do much to convey any degree of emotion other than glowering or longing, and there's really no depth to the characters whatsoever. As an exercise in style, the flick is a surefire masterpiece. I kept thinking back to the old Walter Hill flick, The Driver, and how much this film's sparse characterization reminded me of that one. This is not a weak or terrible flick by any stretch, there's a ton of well mounted tension throughout, and Gosling can be downright terrifying when he snaps. On top of that, the chase scenes are flawlessly executed, and there are a few explosions of visceral violence that actually shocked the senses a little.

So yeah: The crime flick elements work extremely well, even if they're well travelled tropes, but the human element just sort of simmers, never really reaching that boiling point. Either way, I'll cautiously approach anything Refn does in the future, he's an interesting and unique personality in the world of film, like Lynch or Cronenberg only less overtly kooky or grotesque.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby mavrach » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:42 am

13 Assassins - My second viewing. Seriously this is one of the best movies I've come across in the past few years. Decades from now, I think this will be one of the only recent movies I'll still return to. I found the first hour to be somewhat dry the first time I saw it, but now I see how everything paid off so it was much more rewarding. The movie takes a good pace to build everything up, before going crazy in the second half.

And this is a case where you can argue that violence is a storytelling tool that can be used very effectively. By showing the villain's cruelty so directly, you're convinced along with the heroes that he needs to be taken down by any means possible. Takeshi Miike finally learnt his lesson to use gore in the right way. I hope he continues to produce movies of this quality, instead of his previous efforts to shock the viewer. I liked Audition though.

Then when it comes time for the action sequences, they mean so much more because we see the stakes. Any movie can show action, but few make it mean anything; just turn off your brain and drool. Not the case here. And as far as the action itself goes, it's way above par here. There are three instances where my jaw dropped. And even the dodgy CGI uses are forgiven, just because what's happening is so awesome.

And of all the characters, I was the most fascinated by Hanbei, who could almost be the hero if he had a different boss. A truly honorable and experienced samurai, but he believes a samurai's duty is to serve his master, no matter what his master does. That ideal versus Shinzaemon's fighting for the good of all, makes for an intriguing central conflict.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby J.M. Vargas » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:56 am

mavrach wrote:13 Assassins The movie takes a good pace to build everything up, before going crazy in the second half.

But it's a controlled, slow-burn and sure-handed 'going crazy,' and that's what impressed me more than anything about both Miike and "13 Assassins." The old Miike of "Ichii The Killer" would have used the 2nd half of the movie to split samurais in half (more dodgy CGI), stick eyeballs out of sockets with arrows or cut down the bad guys into body parts that would have kept fighting on their own. This new, more mature Miike (who still hadn't appeared as soon as "Sukiyaki Western Django" a few years back) has learned to hold back on the gore and cheese (yummy! :D) and let the story/characterization dictate how to approach the action. I am so looking forward to what the new Takashi Miike 2.0 has in store for us now that he's 'matured' into a director with the confidence to not show-off his trickery just because he can. And you're so right about the Hanbei Kitou character mavrach; he's so clearly one of the good guys (moral and upstanding to a fault) that its tragic to see him fight to protect a scumbag like his Lord. Masachika Ichimura plays not only Hanbei's skills (he's every bit as good as the righteous assassins) but also his humanity, which gives the ending of the movie such a satisfying coda. Top 10 of 2011 pick for me, easy.
hoyterenden wrote:Teenagers From Outer Space is one my favorite of all the MST3K episodes.
So I guess you're one of those weirdos that are into 'TOOORCHHAAAA' for fun... sick! ;-) :)
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:06 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:
mavrach wrote:13 Assassins The movie takes a good pace to build everything up, before going crazy in the second half.

But it's a controlled, slow-burn and sure-handed 'going crazy,' and that's what impressed me more than anything about both Miike and "13 Assassins." The old Miike of "Ichii The Killer" would have used the 2nd half of the movie to split samurais in half (more dodgy CGI), stick eyeballs out of sockets with arrows or cut down the bad guys into body parts that would have kept fighting on their own. This new, more mature Miike (who still hadn't appeared as soon as "Sukiyaki Western Django" a few years back) has learned to hold back on the gore and cheese (yummy! :D) and let the story/characterization dictate how to approach the action. I am so looking forward to what the new Takashi Miike 2.0 has in store for us now that he's 'matured' into a director with the confidence to not show-off his trickery just because he can. And you're so right about the Hanbei Kitou character mavrach; he's so clearly one of the good guys (moral and upstanding to a fault) that its tragic to see him fight to protect a scumbag like his Lord. Masachika Ichimura plays not only Hanbei's skills (he's every bit as good as the righteous assassins) but also his humanity, which gives the ending of the movie such a satisfying coda. Top 10 of 2011 pick for me, easy.


I'd agree as well, but it's a 2010 pic. Dammit! I'd probably shoehorn it into #2 ahead of Inception and Behind True Grit.

The thing about Hanbei that I find awesome is that, as far as Bushido and Samurai philosophy goes, he's actually the righteous one in the traditional sense. The multi-tiered society of Feudal Japan would never have put a peasant's life or well being ahead of a lord's, no matter how big a douche he was. Shinzaemon is really the more progressive, almost anachronistic thinker. It's easy for us to look on him as the hero, but in peroid he'd be a low rogue for his actions.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby JoshRode » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:55 am

molly1216 wrote: I'm watching the Harry Potter series in order, but i am stuck at Deathly Hallows Vol 1, which isn't available online rental and i haven't got the disc yet. When you watch them back to back to back, you start noticing that their entire school year seems to go by awfully quickly in the course of a 2 hour movie. Can someone explain to me WTF is with quidditch...if catching the snitch gives you 150 points and wins the game..that means everything else the other team members DO is pointless and unnecessary to the game's actual score. BTW Hogwarts seems to do absolutely no background checks on their Defense of the Dark Arts teachers at all. Another thing that stands out when you watch them en masse is that Harry's dialogue is very sparse...the character spends most of this time reacting to other people's dialogue instead of initiating any of his own. In 6 films I counted only a handful of naturalistic dialogue from Radcliffe and that was usually in his scenes with Ron Weasley. As an adult i think the films would go much quicker if you cut out all the John Hughes teen angst, but that's me.


The teen angst is very much a part of the books as well - a bit too much in places. As for the Quidditch, there are examples in the books of games wherein one team had a lead so large that the other team lost even though they caught the snitch.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:48 am

Finished the last 2 Potters..less angst more grown up reactions....but damn the two last ones were much better films than the early ones. you DO need all that exposition though...it even helps to have read the books because i still had to use wikipedia to keep track. but i will definitely rewatch these..perhaps i will do the series again next year.

i'm on a series kick this week... I finished Harry Potter and pulled the 3 Noah Wylie Librarian movies from the library... they are just as silly as they were the 1st time..but oddly watchable. I'm also rewatching the shortlived the Unusuals and i will follow up with the shortlived Terriers (wish it was on DVD damn it) I have started looking at my favorite shortlived cancelled series as just long movies without closure. I may do Firefly for New Years.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Gabriel Girard » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:17 pm

True Grit - Awesomeness!

The Night Of The Hunter- More Awesomeness!

The Chronicles Of Narnia : Voyage Of The Dawn Trader : The most enjoyable Narnia movie so far. Sure it could use better character development and the actor who plays Edmund is pretty bad but it's a very enjoyable adventure film.

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus : Not quite as good the second time.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby mavrach » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:45 am

Ip Man 1 & 2 - I tried these on a whim and really enjoyed the first one, but the second had some bigger flaws that made it less likeable. I thought this was an interesting way to interpret a biopic. Y'all know I've been complaining about biopics all being the same movie over and over again. But these take Ip Man's life and turn it into fun action movies. There's no throwaway childhood scene, and there aren't even any training montages. When you meet him, Ip Man is already a grandmaster martial artist, and he's no better or worse at the end. It's about what he uses his art for. I did find myself missing some of the character study that you'd expect from a typical biopic. These got me interested in the character and I wanted to get to know him better. The grass is greener on the other side, as they say.

The other thing all biopics seem to do is try to cover the subject's entire life story in one movie, rather than focusing on their smaller acheivements. These do just that, and look they leave room for sequels! The only other biopic sequel I can think of is Elizabeth: Golden Age

Donnie Yen's performance as Ip Man was energetic, and has me making faux-martial arts moves in the air (my wife is thrilled about this). It presents Wing Chung respectably, as a unique style. That being said, for a movie that's supposedly presenting a true story of martial arts, there's a hell of a lot of wire fu that takes me right out of the action. Watching Sammo Hung go airborne in the sequel is laughable. I'm a lot more impressed by Yen's close-quarters moves than a chubby martial artist floating through the air.

And the codas of both movies lead you to beleive that all of Ip Man's work was for the sake of training Bruce Lee. That's great and all that he had a star pupil, but that was it? And I question if Bruce Lee was the greatest martial artist ever. Sure he could kick my ass, but somebody who became a famous actor couldn't also be the greatest martial artist ever too. Probably the highest profile one. It just seemed awkward that they kept cramming this down our throat.

Ip Man 2 had a definite drop in quality. I this could have been directed and paced better, that would have fixed a lot of the problems. The whole thing felt lopsided, with an unlikeable and unrealistic villain, lopsided episodic storytelling, etc.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Gabriel Girard » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:02 am

La Jetée - A very unique ''movie''. The most astounding thing about it is the way it manages to involve you in its story. The way the photos were shot, the careful editing and the narration all combine to create a very atmospheric experience. The story it tells is quite interestin and probably ahead of its time. If you're a sci-fi fan you owe it to yourself to see this, especially if you dig Twelve Monkeys.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:42 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:True Grit - Awesomeness!
The original with John Wayne or the most recent Cohen Bros. remake with Jeff Bridges?
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Gabriel Girard » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:54 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:
Gabriel Girard wrote:True Grit - Awesomeness!
The original with John Wayne or the most recent Cohen Bros. remake with Jeff Bridges?


Sorry, the Jeff Bridges one. I've never seen a movie with John Wayne...yet.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby molly1216 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:29 pm

Our Man in Havana has the most awesome checker game imaginable. Alex Guinness and Ernie Kovacks play checkers with NIPS, one as bottles of scotch and the other has bourbon. when you take a piece you must drink it.freaking amazing.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:42 pm

Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn - That was an absolute blast from start to finish. Quite possibly the best CG feature i've seen in terms of animation quality. The story moves briskly, tons of action, great characters, and some classic Spielberg set pieces. Just a great flick that will definitely rank high on the year end list.

Jurassic Park - On Blu Ray for the first time. Forgot how bloody magical this flick is. Great to go back to a time before the cynics wouldn't let you get away with something so whimsically joyous as the first act of this flick. Nice Blu-ray too.
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Re: DEC(ide2rem)EMBER(thejoyof)WATCHING(moviesin)2011(thread)‏

Postby azul017 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:48 pm

Sleepaway Camp 2 - Revisiting this title after a couple of years, and it's still an amusing little B-picture. Think of it as a cheap precursor to Scream, although it isn't as self-aware or well put-together. The references to Leatherface, Jason and Freddy still have me in stitches.

Sleepaway Camp 3 - First time seeing this, and it's not as funny as the second one. For a 80 minute film, it sure drags in places and hardly any gore in this movie. Plus, all Angela does now is kill, say a one-liner, rinse and repeat. Pamela Springsteen is great as the lead character, but Angela Baker deserved a better script for her third go-round.

Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Revisiting this again after a few years, and it's still as involving and humorous when I first saw it. Die-hard Fincher fans can scoff all they want, but this is still his most accessible and involving film. I hate the Forrest Gump comparisons, especially since it's nowhere as sentimental or maudlin as the former.
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