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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by cadman View Post
    I just saw 1408 last night...Scary
    I liked this one because it was not a slasher, demonic, blood & guts spattering movie. It was a good ghost story style movie, though probably more intense than the average ghost story. I loved the ending. I watched all the alternate endings on the DVD and they certainly settled on the best one by far.
  2. #22  
    I didn't see the ending......Baby was crying... Have to finish it tonight!!!
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Rendition... Its a wonderful film...
    Indeed, I did see it last night, and I thoroughly agree with all your comments, including the perhaps less than perfect ending.

    A terrific twist near the end though, which I certainly didn't see coming!!
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  4.    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    Indeed, I did see it last night, and I thoroughly agree with all your comments, including the perhaps less than perfect ending.

    A terrific twist near the end though, which I certainly didn't see coming!!
    Its real good to hear that you liked Rendition as much as me -- (and that you also felt that the ending was not as organic as the rest of the film)

    (if you haven't already seen them, I suggest watching: Syriana and Crash)
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  5. #25  
    I bought Syriana months ago and I haven't watched it yet.
  6.    #26  
    The Martian Child is a small well crafted story about a guy who adopts a socially awkward but precociously brilliant boy.

    John Cusack (with Joan Cusack, and Amanda Peet) is fine and believable as a writer of science fiction who is caring, impatient, and confused by the kid he adopts.

    That the flim succeeds or not is based on our caring about the kid -- and he is sufficiently real for me to care about him.

    The film's final narrative solution is a bit of a cheat from where it begins -- but I was mostly into the kid and his travails enough to accept the story as it develops.


    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 66
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  7.    #27  
    The Kite Runner

    is a well told, sometimes moving tale of friendship, betrayal, fealty, honor, and reconnection -- played out against Afghanistan's recent history.

    It begins slowly (not helped by the more than 2 minutes of text credits), but eventually the story that unfolds is absorbing and effective.

    Despite a central premise about which I'm a bit skeptical, and a somewhat unlikely rescue, the film mostly respects the truth of its story.

    One of the aspects of its world that the film shows, is the bifarcation between the poor and rich, educated and ignorant, and modernists and traditionalists that exist in places like Afganistan and Pakistan.

    (the lead actor was at the screening. He's of Egyptian descent but British born, and he has an american accent in the film. And though he already spoke arabic because of his Egyptian parents, he had to learn the Pashtun language -- which he was able to do within a month !!)

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 70


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:31 PM.
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  8.    #28  
    P2

    is meant to be a scary film. Or at least suspenseful.

    Any movie would have a problem though when its "Carrie" moment happens within the first few minutes. Expectations get raised that can almost never be delivered upon.

    The film has the basic elements of a winning suspense film: a believable set up, decent acting, and an attractive young woman in jeopardy.

    The premise: young woman needs to work late on Xmas eve, gets locked in after the office building is closed -- and what happens next ...

    The evil doer is decent -- almost restrained -- for the most part not performing in too much of a scenery eating way.

    Overall a good popcorn chomping, girlfriend holdable kind of DVD rental.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 51
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  9. #29  
    Saw "Michael Clayton".

    Not a big Clooney fan, but thought it was good.

    Very good cast and performances.

    Could have been about 15 shorter, but other than that, enjoyed it. The performances made an average story better.
  10.    #30  
    August Rush

    was a sweet, mutithreaded, transparently manipulative film that finally broke down my skepticism and made me cry.

    The story lacked believability, the kid at its center wasn’t especially compelling or credible, the story was contrived -- yet I actually liked the film in spite of myself.

    The music is more than good. And the performances of the other actors are fine.

    Maybe I’m a sucker for a film that interweaves a love story between a rock star and a classical music cellist.

    Or maybe I’m even more susceptible to stories about abandoned orphans who are discovered to be music prodigies -- like in the wonderful Chinese film: Together.

    Worth seeing.


    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 72


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:27 PM.
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  11.    #31  
    LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

    was meant to be a romantic ode to the consuming power of disconnected love -- of obsession and release. It also makes nodding reference to the necessity of accommodation to imperfect relationships, to imperfect love.

    Unfortunately it’s a story that takes forever to play out -- and many of its detours do nothing to advance that story.

    Based on the apparently highly regarded Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ s novel, the film is a bit of a bookend. Its primary story really only takes place within the film’s beginning and end, and it could have lasted 20 minutes instead of about 2h 20m.

    For this film to work, I as an audience need to be as overtaken by the girl’s beauty, intelligence, and spirit as was the film’s protagonist.

    And perhaps because of my exhaustion, I never was.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 53
    Last edited by BARYE; 11/23/2007 at 02:42 AM.
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  12.    #32  
    WAR/DANCE

    is a documentary that takes place in an impoverished isolated part of Uganda, where a little known and very very ugly civil war has been bleeding the people there, most especially the region's children.

    It takes place in a refugee camp where survivors of massacres, rape, and brutalization have fled for some semblance of sanctuary.

    Against all that background, WAR/DANCE is a joyous, exquisitely photographed film about the impossible quest for a music prize by the children of this camp.

    The story follows a similar arc as other documentaries, but it's nevertheless wonderfully told, and sometimes a quite moving film.

    And as someone who occasionally has a camera on his shoulder, and who pretends to know a little about video, I can't say enough about how beautifully photographed this film was.

    It must have been shot under very difficult conditions, yet it looks a million times better than anything I've ever done.

    Worth seeing.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 67


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:33 PM.
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  13.    #33  
    Mist

    on the surface intends to be a suspense / horror film. But secretly its more ambitious than that.

    Based on a Steven King story, the film begins slow as it introduces its characters and their environment -- and then rapidly brings on the horror that they must confront.

    The film’s special effects are rather dodgy in the beginning, but eventually they begin to be more persuasive.

    Though the movie resorts too often to stereotypes, it also has some performances better than film’s like this usually have.

    What will disturb people the most about this film is its conclusion. I doubt if many in the audience expected it.

    Though I was never particularly frightened by the film -- it was an interesting an entertaining ride, nevertheless.

    (probably few if any saw Project Greenlight, a reality series on Bravo. But strangely much of the story underlying this film reminds me of the Project Greenlight script. This was a film financed and produced by the same film company, Weinstein Bros. (Coincidence -- probably not)

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 60
    Last edited by BARYE; 11/22/2007 at 04:03 AM.
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  14. #34  
    2/3 of this movie is very good, but the last 1/3 takes an abrupt turn that left me cold.

    maybe if I had read the book, I would have gone with the flow, but as a free standing screenplay, it stumbles.

    worth seeing because the Coen's know how direct, and the acting is excellent.

    craft wise it gets a 5/5, but as a film 2/5, due to a few glaring directing mistakes.
  15.    #35  
    Atonement

    was a film I very much liked. It persuasively recreates a prewar British upper class world of privilege and desire -- a world where the surface happiness shrouds an undercurrent of inevitable sadness and destruction.

    The acting is brilliant -- especially that of Keira Knightly and the young girl who is the film’s main protagonist.

    I have had a crush on Keira since I first laid eyes on her extraordinary abs in “Bend It Like Beckam”. In Atonement she is beautiful, sensitive, and passionate. She is the sort of girl that any intelligent guy would reflexively chase after a bus so as to have another moment or two to look upon her.

    Should anyone have the good luck to see this film, watch for an amazing filmed sequence that happens on Dunkirk beach. It is one of the most complicated yet seamless uncut movie passages I have ever seen. (The only comparable shot in an american film was the opening of Robert Altman’s “The Player” ).

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 80


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:29 PM.
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  16. #36  
    If you want to talk about seamless continuous scenes, what about "Russian Ark" or "Children of Men"?
  17.    #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    If you want to talk about seamless continuous scenes, what about "Russian Ark" or "Children of Men"?
    I liked "Children of Men" -- which specific scene are you're referring to -- are talking about when he goes to that apt. block to rescue the mother, the great scene in the car... ??

    Didn't see Russian Ark.

    There's a great long scene shot handheld by the director himself Claude Lelouch in my favorite film, La Bonne Annee (Happy New Year) that's worth looking for.

    I've always thought that the long opening for Welles' was very over rated -- it lacks energy or even genuine tension because the audience doesn't have any real idea what is about to happen. And sadly the rest of the film is weak too.

    I have to mention a film from somewhere in Communist Eastern Europe (Hungry,??) made in the late 60's or 70's. It was called the "Winter Wind" and I only got to see it once.

    The film runs for maybe 90 minutes and it consists of only about 5 continuous, incredibly fluid shots.

    I was absolutely enthralled by it, though most everyone else hated it. (possibly dizzy from the movement).

    The story involved revolutionary partisans on horseback. I can't imagine the logistics of how they achieved what they did -- but it looked magnificent !!
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/11/2007 at 01:45 AM.
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  18.    #38  
    Revolver

    Several years ago I was fortunate to attend the premiere of a new film by a first time young director named Guy Ritchie.

    The movie was: “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”.

    I LOVED it. The energy, the wackiness of the characters, the convoluted yet perfectly integrated plot, the real yet totally over the top cast...

    I so much loved the film that I did something I never do. After speaking with Guy Ritchie briefly after the screening, I, a little embarrassed, asked him (and some cast members) to sign the movie poster the publicist had given out. I told him that it was to remember when I met someone who was destined to be a great director.

    “Snatch”, his next film, confirmed my expectations. Brad Pitt’s performance as an Irish Gypsy boxer was hilarious.

    Then Madonna happened...

    I adore Madonna -- she’s one of the most unique and ageless forces of nature this planet has ever produced. Beautiful, creative, and supremely self confident.

    Being her husband though, must be a career in and of itself.

    Like Delilah and Samson, like Cleopatra and Antony -- Madonna is a great woman who has seemed to suck the creative essence entirely from her formerly great lover.

    Since falling under Madonna’s spell Guy Ritchie has made “Swept Away”, and now “Revolver”.

    Neither were any good.

    "Revolver" was a film I excitedly looked forward to seeing. When I finally got to see it I was terribly disappointed.

    Its convoluted in a confusing, badly written kind of way. Many in the cast are the same as "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", but its almost as though they are just redoing their previous characters here, in different roles.

    As if to attempt to explain or justify the film, “Revolver” has a lengthy postscript of actual shrinks describing a particular psychiatric phenomenon.

    Weird -- its as though he realized that the film hadn’t provided its audience with answers within it.
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/26/2007 at 02:01 PM.
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  19. #39  
    barye,

    both of the scenes in Children of Men were great.

    I highly recommend Russian Ark. I think you could appreciate it.

    I was going to see Revolver tomorrow, but now I am wondering if I should.... I was looking forward to it...
  20.    #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    barye,

    both of the scenes in Children of Men were great.

    I highly recommend Russian Ark. I think you could appreciate it.

    I was going to see Revolver tomorrow, but now I am wondering if I should.... I was looking forward to it...
    I was exhausted when I saw "Revolver" -- maybe I was overly harsh and impatient -- a NYTimes review I scimmed was much more positive about it.

    See it for yourself -- I'm curious if you'll dislike it as much as me...
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