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Kurug3n
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« Reply #4965 on: December 13, 2008, 03:49:33 PM »

Unbreakable- 8/10

The film builds and builds up into the ending and the ending would just be perfect if they didnt have the sudden text flash up.

Wanted- 10/10

Made for entertainment and fucking delivers

Step Brothers- 7/10

slow beginning but by the time there friends it works out

« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 03:52:34 PM by Kurug3n » Logged
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« Reply #4966 on: December 14, 2008, 08:01:57 AM »

It's a Wonderful Life - 9/10 - 3rd or 4th viewing.

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« Reply #4967 on: December 14, 2008, 08:47:46 AM »

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)- 1/10. I have a rule: anything with Jennifer Connelly automatically gets a point. Otherwise, this turkey would be scored lower. It has the worst CGI I've seen in 15 years; the dullest music I can ever remember; indifferent editing; roles that are only half-written; a silly plot with an eco twist (yawn); an annoying child actor; Keanu Reeves (nuff said). This is the kind of film that makes even Starman look good by comparison. Not that anyone on this board will be surprised . . .

But it did give me something to watch while I was waiting for the feature I actually went to see:

Cadillac Records(2008) - 7/10. Bio-pics are deadly, but bio-pics about artists (musicians, actors, writers) are worse still. That's because feature filmmaking--that bastard child of the theater--has to find drama in subjects even where no such thing exists. Creativity, by it's very nature, is internal and/or the result of patient slogging; there's nothing theatrical about it. So a film about a creative person is usually phony as hell. Only twice before in recent years have I seen bio-pics of merit: Ed Wood (where its subject is treated ironically) and 24-Hour Party People (where its subject--Factory Records' creator Tony Wilson--is heavily satirized). It would seem that there is no way to do your subjects "straight" and well under bio-pic rules.

Yet Cadillac Records has found a way to take off the curse (the title comes from the fact that Leonard Chess paid his successful artists with expensive cars). Rather than focus on any one personality, the film is actually an account of the rise and fall of Chess Records, with all its famous artists and even Chess himself simply members of an ensemble. The biographical elements are no less phony, but now when the arc of one phony biography crosses another, the resulting friction seems organic. And anyway, we keep getting diverted from one story to another, so that we are not required to dwell on the particularphoniness of any one bio for too long (although I was a little annoyed by the way the film soft-pedaled and even ignored Chuck Berry's more unsavory qualities). And then there's the music. I laud the practice of casting musicians as musicians; at least that way you get decent cover versions of great songs. A case in point: Beyonce as Etta James (Ms. Knowles can really belt out a tune). This film is wonderfully cast all around: Adrien Brody as Chess, and Jeffrey Wright--perhaps our greatest living screen actor--as Muddy Waters. The whole film is narrated by Wille Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer) which provides a neat payoff at the end when we realize he's not only the last man standing, he's the one getting all the royalty checks (he wrote a lot of the music). The funny--and occasionally touching--script was appreciated by the audience I saw it with: they gave the film an ovation. I concurred.

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« Reply #4968 on: December 14, 2008, 02:57:41 PM »

Tropic Thunder- 8/10

The dvd commentary is great with Robert Downey Jr. being in character.

Planet Terror- 10/10

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« Reply #4969 on: December 14, 2008, 03:48:36 PM »

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)- 1/10.

Surprise, surprise...

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7960.0

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« Reply #4970 on: December 15, 2008, 01:19:41 AM »

Burn After Reading - 8/10

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - 6/10

Both retarded, but both were fun.

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« Reply #4971 on: December 15, 2008, 04:03:02 PM »

The English Patient - Fourth viewing, and yet surprisingly I think I enjoyed it significantly more than the first three viewings. I might bump my rating up from an 8 to a 9.

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« Reply #4972 on: December 16, 2008, 06:12:30 AM »

I, the Jury (1953) - 9/10. Who the hell is Harry Essex, and how was he able to make such a great film? I guess it helps that he had John Alton shooting the images and Franz Waxman writing the music, and a cast worthy of a top-notch script. Biff Elliot was never going to win any Oscars, but he really is the definitive Mike Hammer (he could have played Spillane, too). He shoots, he slugs! And he can take it when it comes back on him. What a fabulous Velda. Then there's Peggie Castle: hubba hubba! She's got that good girl/bad girl vibe down. The film has a twist you can see coming 20 parsecs away, but no matter. Hard edged throughout, the Christmas card chapter markers are a nice touch (this is my new favorite Christmas movie). And the ending! At the close of The Maltese Falcon, Bogart gives Mary Astor up to the cops. What a total candy-ass! Hammer knows what to do with a duplicitous dame. Great final voice-over too: "The cops had their killer, and I had my memories." I've never seen the 80s remake, and now I wouldn't even dare . . .

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« Reply #4973 on: December 16, 2008, 12:08:30 PM »

North by Northwest (1959) - 8.5/10
Maybe a bit long. I would have loved to see the never made nose gag.

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« Reply #4974 on: December 16, 2008, 12:36:20 PM »

Land of the Blind - 8/10 - Rather odd but quite funny dystopian film that fortunately doesn't try to make itself "relevant" to today's political situation but rather a more broad condemnation of revolution and tyranny (with lots of historical references and literary/film allusions, some more affective than others). The real high point of the film is Tom Hollander as the Kim Jong-Il clone Maximillian, who steals his every scene with aplomb and relish; in particular, his scenes as a hack film director ("I want to capture the right mis-en-SEEN!") are indescribably hilarious (I particularly love the scene where he shocks his editor for disagreeing with a cut). Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland are also very good, although the movie goes a bit downhill after Sutherland assumes power and it turns into a more conventional message picture. Still, on the whole, very funny and intelligent, certainly of more entertainment and intellectual value than dumbed-down trash like V For Vendetta. Any movie with the line "We'd give you a trial by a jury of your peers, but we're running low on dictators" deserves a look, I think.

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« Reply #4975 on: December 17, 2008, 10:59:26 AM »

City of God (2002) - 9/10
Still.

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« Reply #4976 on: December 17, 2008, 01:26:22 PM »

Battle of Britain - 5/10 - Has all of the flaws inherent in this type of film: big stars reduced to cameos (except for the obnoxious Christopher Plummer/Susannah York romance), slavish adherence to "authenticity" (if not historical accuracy), characters who barely qualify as pencil sketches, stiff and didactic screenplay. Admittedly the air battles are impressive at first, but even they grow repetitive and tiresome before too long. Goes on the list of bloated overwrought all-star war epics with Battle of the Bulge and Tora! Tora! Tora! rather than, say, The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far. Give this one a pass.

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« Reply #4977 on: December 17, 2008, 07:25:52 PM »

O Brother, Where Art Thou? - 7/10
Good shit from the Coens, despite some major pacing issues.

Drugstore Cowboy - 7/10
Nice job Gus, but the bad still overrules the good, and you still deserve to die.

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« Reply #4978 on: December 17, 2008, 07:28:18 PM »

Drugstore Cowboy - 7/10
Nice job Gus, but the bad still overrules the good, and you still deserve to die.

For Psycho?

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« Reply #4979 on: December 17, 2008, 07:34:06 PM »

For Psycho?

The whole cast and crew deserves to die for that film.

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