Haven't seen Ponyo, but looking forward to it.
My latest: De Storm (the Storm) concerns itself with the flood of coastal Netherlands in '53.
I force myself to watch stuff like this to work on my language skills.
Starts well, but dissolves into soap-opera melodrama. 2/5
Last edited by Metzinger; 01-14-10 at 11:14 AM.
As much as I don't like CGI substituting for reality, especially when it's clumsily done (like when Pierce Brosnan as James Bond was kitesurfing, or almost all of the last Indiana Jones movie), I don't mind it when it creates its own world. At that point, it's just as much fantasy as any live-action production. Live filming is just as calculated and just as pre-organized as CGI, at least unless it's genuine documentary footage, so there's not really a different amount of disconnect for me -- it's all equally implausible.
So, for me, that sets aside animation as a medium, not a genre, as they say. It's just a way of presenting a story. I don't really care for animated movies that were made with the thought of, "Hey, it's a cartoon, so let's fill it with stupid jokes, toilet humor, and at least one brutal nut shot." They pigeonhole themselves into the same old Saturday morning thing without advancing the art of telling the story.
That's the important part -- telling the story. I think that Up! was exceptional in that regard, and used its artwork to draw the audience even further into its world.
Maybe I just want a Dug.
Okay, just to re-track this thread. Just watched the two Riddick films (Christmas gift from my action addicted brother). "Pitch Black" was pretty good. Simple tale of survival ala Alien. Keep it basic, let pacing and suspense carry the day. 6/10. #2 "Chronicles of Riddick" is a textbook in too much ambition without any restraint, movie by committee. Not every idea that pops into one's head deserves film time. If your laughing during the "big crisis scene" something has gone horribly amiss. 2/10
Curse of the Golden Flower: Hmm. 7/10. Maybe an 8.
Visually fantastic, more opulent than Baroque Italy, and barely about an epic battle, despite employing a thousand soldiers in its production. It's about a morally vacant emperor and the utter implosion of his family. Very much a tragic tale that held my attention through to the end.
This Is Spinal Tap. All the way to 11 (you have to have seen it to understand this rating)
Suzy Creamcheese, what's got into you?
Grand Prix, starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, and Yves Montand. 9/10.
Probably the best car racing movie of all time. They say that nothing like it will be made again, and I agree -- the access that they were granted, including filming between actual race practice sessions, plus earning the blessing of the Old Man himself ("Il Commendatore", Enzo Ferrari), would never be possible today. F1 racing of the 1960's was as fast as it was going to get before major advances in safety, spearheaded by Jackie Stewart, would make racing deaths a rarity (indeed, several of the drivers who participated in the movie would lose their lives within the next few years). The movie's stories nicely summarized those of racing in general and F1 in particular.
As a piece of filmmaking, it was a fascinating effort. Director John Frankenheimer worked his crew hard, and it paid off. No CGI, of course, no miniatures (unless you count Formula 3 cars with special exhausts to visually match those of F1), and the actors drove themselves whenever possible. A Ford GT40, the car that dominated Le Mans in its day, was used as a camera car. The montage sequences were cool enough on my big TV, but must have been spectacular on a hundred-foot-wide Cinerama theater screen.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. ??/10.
If you dig Terry Gilliam, you'll definitely like it.
If you don't, you might not. If you don't know who Terry Gilliam is, and especially if you haven't seen his other movies (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, etc), I will make no guarantees as to whether you'll enjoy this one.
I'll say that I don't think there'll be anything like it this year. Go see it while you can.
*add-on* I should mention that this was Heath Ledger's last performance. He had shot the footage necessary for his character's real-world appearance before he died, but not all the footage for the magical "in-the-mirror" scenes. Gilliam brought in Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrel (all friends of Heath and Terry), tweaked the script just a bit, and completed the film with them. Read more here -- it's a lot more personal than most people would expect:
Last edited by BarracksSi; 01-24-10 at 12:43 AM.
The Missouri Breaks - 7.5/10 - Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton
The Best of the Doors, compilation, 1997 from various other Doors titles etc, Universal Home Video (VHS)
8.5+ for originality, artistic quality and footage not normally seen in a documentary/concert. Outstanding work from the 1990s.
A semi-documentary, highly artistic blend of performance footage in black and white as well as color molded with conceptual sections and personal outtakes of Robbie Krieger, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek and lead singer/spritual chameleon Jim Morrison. A personal favorite is the section featuring "The Unknown Soldier" (also my favorite song on "Doors 13") in which the group play acts the execution of Morrison, who is "shot" and slumps tied to a post, spitting fake blood. While gory perhaps the point of the senselessness of war is graphically and distinctly bought to your attention. Fun and mayhem fuel most of the rest of the feature, not in the Monkees sense of course but in the serious light it was meant to be delivered, even in mockery.
The first time I saw some of this footage was in a later episode (late eighties-early nineties) of the USA Network cult classic "Night Flight" and I jumped when I found it for sale used.
Ray Manzarek was the musical director and Robbie Krieger directed other aspects of the production. While not a historical accounting or their career it presents an enjoyable look at their music and lives surrounding it. If you are a long time Doors fan you probably bought this in 1997 when it was new but I am catching up and five dollars was better than new.
I look for good music based video titles. Many popular movies have little interest to me. The video I viewed before that was a Nine Inch Nails concert and before that a VHS of The Monkees episodes.
I have not been to a movie theater since TITANIC. Bawled my head off when the the old woman dropped the stone in the sea and died.
Last edited by Rollfast; 01-24-10 at 11:26 AM.
silent movie by mel brooks & company-1976. 7-7.5 as a mel brooks fan. if you're not, i could see it being
The Spy Next Door: 4/10.
0/10 for overall production quality, all the way from acting to lighting (might as well have gone straight to video), but 8/10 for Jackie Chan being Jackie Chan. Yeah, he's been doing this a long time, and the fight sequences have more rapid shots than in his heyday, but he's still fun to watch. Fun fluff if you're a Jackie Chan fan.
El Norte - 8/10
Slightly marred by occasionally amateurish acting and directing, there are certain scenes that attempt to reach for greatness. The film details the experiences of a brother and sister escaping political persecution from Guatemala during the 80's, while looking for a better life as illegal immigrants in the U.S. Although this is the same period in which the U.S. (through the CIA) had politically and financially supported anti-leftist Latin American regimes responsible for thousands of deaths through para-military death squads, El Norte does not dwell on that aspect.
an early coppola one-the conversation with gene hackman (and a really, really young harrison ford!). 8.5.
the player with tim robbins-8.5
also lawrence of arabia-10. every time i watch it, i look for some way to edit scenes or cut down the overall time.
never come away saying i could have done without that scene. only obvious way is to kill the intermission/maurice jarre
score and i just can't do it. maybe i should ask ted turner for help; he'd probably be able to knock an hour off without
remorse or overanalysis.
Funny People - 7/10
This is the one with Adam Sandler as a famous comedian/movie star (like himself, so it's not a stretch ) who's diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, then takes on Seth Rogen (who's playing a struggling standup comic) as an assistant and writer.
It got so-so reviews, but the critics who didn't like it were the ones who wanted a laugh-a-minute flick. There are some really sharp jokes here and there, but it's really pretty interesting, and gives a look at the off-stage drudgery behind standup comedy. Lots of other comedians make cameos, as does James Taylor.
The Steel Helmet - Sam Fuller - 4/4
Right, another film by the irrepressible Sam Fuller. Like many of his better and often lowly budgeted films, one might become somewhat distracted by the dry and silly humor, the camp, the judicious use of melodrama, and the troupe of seemingly hokey characters. And yet in spite of the lacking of the realism that seems to be the elemental goal of this genre, The Steel Helmet reveals in its own way certain truths of the realities of the combat experience. Indeed, Fuller dedicated The Steel Helmet to the American Infantry. By the term truths, I speak not of scenes that attempt to unattainably recreate the realism of combat through drama and special effects on film, but the human interactions and emotions of the true players who have lived this life and experience from time immortal. As he has done in a couple of his later films, here he bravely but tastefully critiques the racism that existed in America at that time.
Last edited by pigmode; 02-12-10 at 07:41 PM.
James Marsh documentary Man on Wire about the planning and carrying out of one of the all-time stunt/adventures - Philippe Petit's fantastic wire walking between the World Trade Center Towers on Aug 7, 1974.
cool! it's in the netflix queue and definitely looking forward to watching it.
With premium satellite we get good movies most every night. Last Cinema movie.. "Up in the Air." We liked it. about 7.5.. Last TV movie.. "Life." about reality TV out of control. The ultimate Game show.. The listening audience got to watch 6 people play "Russian Roulette," on National TV.. For real. The people who drew the blanks got 5 million dollars.......Really quirky.. I like quirky... I'd say also 7.5..
Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living
^ Since January 1, 2012