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  1.    #41  
    Charlie Wilson's War

    is both thoroughly entertaining -- and mostly true.

    Based on a story written by a 60minutes journalist George Crile, it tells the tale of an obscure undistingished Democratic congressman from Texas who, though previously known mostly for "pusssy chasing" and booze, almost singlehandedly armed the Afghan Mujadeen and drove the Soviets from Afghanistan.

    The film navigates the dangerously difficult path between a serious real story and a funny and fun film by following the film's hero, Charlie Wilson.

    A man of unexpected subtlety and depth, he understands more than he seems, and much more than his contemporaries.

    By experiencing all that changes him through his not entirely sober eyes, we participate in his journey, and learn by his observations. Never is the movie overburdened by a need to lecture or teach its audience -- yet its able to communicate the basic facts so that the film's story does have some context.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 80
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/16/2008 at 04:20 PM.
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  2. #42  
    "A man of unexpected subtlety and depth, he understands more than he seems, and much more than his contemporaries."

    Hmmmm. Reminds me a lot of GW Bush
  3.    #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever View Post
    "A man of unexpected subtlety and depth, he understands more than he seems, and much more than his contemporaries."

    Hmmmm. Reminds me a lot of GW Bush
    1911sforever -- good to hear again from you !!

    I'm relieved that your long absence has not lessened your sense of humor or irony ...

    (BTW -- I realized after I wrote that about Charlie Wilson, that I was being overly generous.

    It'd be more accurate to say that he was smarter than he seemed, and more informed than most of his contemporaries -- but I'm grading a bad class on a very forgiving curve ... )
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/14/2007 at 02:41 PM.
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  4. #44  
    "I am Legend"

    I am disappointed should be the title. While much of it works very effectively, the last act just weak...typical Hollywood ending. Along with suck *** CGI, the movie loses it's punch.

    I wish I waited for the DVD.
  5.    #45  
    THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY

    is a true story. Based on a non-fiction book as was "Charlie Wilson's War" -- another film I saw recently and liked -- it could hardly be more different.

    Directed by Julian Schnabel, a prominent 80's NYC SOHO painter (and who was at this screening), it’s a film seen quite literally from the perspective of a man who has suffered a catastrophic paralyzing stroke -- a man whose paralysis is so utterly profound that he cannot even speak or swallow. (this is all revealed BTW in the film’s earliest moments).

    We experience his disorientation, despair, and helplessness through him and his eyes. Schnabel has adopted an approach that is simultaneously both stylized and rigorously realistic .

    Through his recollections we learn about his past -- a past that was fun, creative, and romantic.

    In truth I was somewhat surprised that I enjoyed the film as much as I did since the basis of the film is unquestionably very dark. That it often manages to be fun and entertaining is major achievement. It works in part because we are allowed to in effect experience this alien world through the eyes of a courageous explorer who has struggled to communicate to us from the awful beyond ...

    Excerpt from the book on which the movie is based (written by that paralyzed man):

    "Prologue
    Through the frayed curtain at my window, a wan glow announces the break of day. My heels hurt, my head weighs a ton, and something like a giant invisible co**** holds my whole body prisoner. My room emerges slowly from the gloom. I linger over every item: photos of loved ones, my children's drawings, posters, the little tin cyclist sent by a friend the day before the Paris-Roubaix bike race, and the IV pole hanging over the bed where I have been confined these past six months, like a hermit crab dug into his rock.

    No need to wonder very long where I am, or to recall that the life I once knew was snuffed out Friday, the eighth of December, last year. Up until then I had never even heard of the brain stem. I've since learned that it is an essential component of our internal computer, the inseparable link between the brain and the spinal cord. That day I was brutally introduced to this vital piece of anatomy when a cerebrovascular accident took my brain stem out of action. In the past, it was known as a "massive stroke," and you simply died. But improved resuscitation techniques have now prolonged and refined the agony. You survive, but you survive with what is so aptly known as "locked-in syndrome." Paralyzed from head to toe, the patient, his mind intact, is imprisoned inside his own body, unable to speak or move. In my case, blinking my left eyelid is my only means of communication..."


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


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:11 PM.
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  6. #46  
    Barye, I was "surged". I'll be around a bit more often now.
  7.    #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever View Post
    Barye, I was "surged". I'll be around a bit more often now.
    In the words of the single human I most admire:



    Why don't you open a new thread 1911sforever and talk about what you saw, experienced, and learned -- what did YOU observe that we could never know about ??? Tell us where you were, what you did.

    Did anything about what you experienced change your views ?? do you have any new ideas that are the progeny of what you went through ??
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/19/2007 at 07:23 AM.
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  8. #48  
    I work for one of the "16" and would take a dim view of my holding forth. Also, my "surge" CONUS travel regarding the counter-IED fight.
  9. #49  
    National Treasure - Book of Secrets

    Mindless fun featuring set pieces and phoned in performances.

    The theatre was packed for the first afternoon showing, which was a surprise. This thing will win the weekend box office hands down, once again demonstrating the public's appetite for PG rated fantasy fare.
  10.    #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    National Treasure - Book of Secrets

    Mindless fun featuring set pieces and phoned in performances.

    The theatre was packed for the first afternoon showing, which was a surprise. This thing will win the weekend box office hands down, once again demonstrating the public's appetite for PG rated fantasy fare.
    I too thought it mindless schlock when I saw it a couple of weeks ago.

    Clearly it was mainstreamy entertaining though -- (the screening audience I watched it with applauded!!), and its selling alot of tickets.

    The acting was perhaps as you say, phoned in -- but really the worse of it was the writing. This was a script that was cut and pasted together seemingly by a legion of outsourced semi-employed writers in training.

    Ed Harris -- an actor who can usually rise above his material -- begins the film as a man obsessed with both his ancestors and history. He’s then revealed to be this evil heartless villain willing to run over all of London (with his SUV) in furtherance of his demonic pursuits.

    Finally in the 3rd act he’s suddenly transformed into an altruistic saint who willingly sacrifices himself for the survival of others. Wow.

    So glad I didn't pay to see it...
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/26/2007 at 03:46 PM.
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  11.    #51  
    There Will Be Blood

    effortlessly plays out over a span of about 2 ½ hours -- telling a tale about the rise and life of an american prospector and entrepreneur. He’s a maniacal CEO who makes Bill Gates seem like Mother Teresa. He's cynical, hard, and merciless.

    Daniel Day Lewis’ performance is compelling -- he absorbs the screen even when he’s doing nothing. The story is driven by him, by a beast barely constrained by success.

    (there’s not, btw, much blood. But what of it there is, is memorable.)

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 71


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:37 PM.
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  12. priji's Avatar
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    #52  
    It was REALLY awesome, but the story line could have been a little better...but it was still awesome and worth $7 dollars. I loved it!
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by priji View Post
    It was REALLY awesome, but the story line could have been a little better...but it was still awesome and worth $7 dollars. I loved it!
    Which film was awesome?
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    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.
    thanks for the heads up on revolver, like you I loved lock stock and snatch, so was hoping revolver would be nice too..

    What did you think of Layer cake? I think you might like that one.. not unlike lock stock/snatch..
    And what about lucky nr Slevin? not as good, but entertaining nonetheless (somehow the brit gangsters seem more 'real' than the holywood ones)

    btw saw a docu about lock stock an very nearly it was not made by lack of funding (though some real time heavy dudes offered to finance it if they could have a cameo... but Ritchy politily declided there offer...)
    I believe it was through connections of Stings wife that it worked out in the end...
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  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    "I am Legend"

    I am disappointed should be the title. While much of it works very effectively, the last act just weak...typical Hollywood ending. Along with suck *** CGI, the movie loses it's punch.

    I wish I waited for the DVD.
    I really, really, REALLY wanted to like "I Am Legend", and I did like the movie. However, it's misnamed. It should be the remake of "Omega Man".

    The book is superb and carries an entirely different meaning for the title, "I Am Legend." As was previously mentioned, it's unfortunate that so much CGI was used, particularly for the human-turned-zombies/vampires/rage-filled, mindless infected --- movies are far more scary when real people are used (a la Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days / Weeks Later, etc.).
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  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bri Guy View Post
    However, it's misnamed. It should be the remake of "Omega Man".
    I agree....and misrepresented in nearly all trailers. Most of the trailers could easily lead an unsuspecting viewer to believe this is more of an action movie vs a horror movie.

    With zombies like this from the original...

    ...I told my wife walking out of the movie that they should have played some hightlight scenes from the original Omega Man during the credits...

    But as far as the movie, I did not care for it as much...but then again blood sucking, brain eating zombies with nothing more than a mob mentality with a more than healthy appetite ever really does it for me. From the one or maybe two trailers I had seen, I did not associate it with Omega Man until after the movie actually started. I probably would never have gone if I had known.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 01/16/2008 at 07:26 PM.
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT View Post
    thanks for the heads up on revolver, like you I loved lock stock and snatch, so was hoping revolver would be nice too..

    What did you think of Layer cake? I think you might like that one.. not unlike lock stock/snatch..
    And what about lucky nr Slevin? not as good, but entertaining nonetheless (somehow the brit gangsters seem more 'real' than the holywood ones)

    btw saw a docu about lock stock an very nearly it was not made by lack of funding (though some real time heavy dudes offered to finance it if they could have a cameo... but Ritchy politily declided there offer...)
    I believe it was through connections of Stings wife that it worked out in the end...
    Layer Cake - thumbs up.
  18. #58  
    If you can catch this while it's still out, "The Orphanage" is very good. It's not a "horror" movie as the trailers lead you to believe, but rather a spooky drama in which several storylines play out. Very rarely will you chuckle, be (mildly) shocked, and tear up in a movie. I wish Hollywood would learn something from this. It's in Spanish with subtitles, but it in no way detracts from the film, as the visuals are key.

    If anyone has seen this, I'd love to discuss.
  19. #59  
    Isn't this an a remake....I saw this on the show...the two thumbs up and down critics sitting in the balcony...dang...I know their names....anyways...and could have sworn I had already seen this movie 2 years ago. I think it was foriegn made then too but I thought it was in English and not subtitled.
  20. #60  
    The Eye with Jessica Alba is coming out soon. Anything with Jessica Alba I am game to go see, but beyond that I am actually looking forward to this movie. I have seen and own the original Japanese (or Hong Kong?) version, subtitled of course, and really like it. I would not classify the original as horror perse, like the Grudge or the Ring...also Japanese remakes...but rather more of a thriller or ghost story. It is creepy until you come to start to understand what is really happening. I hope that they stick true to the thriller / creepy / suspense themes of the original and do not "horrorify" it up just for the sake of it.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 01/16/2008 at 07:41 PM.
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