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  1. wfcentral's Avatar
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    #121  
    The movie I saw last night was "Paranormal Activity" - I thought the acting was great (you really think it is a home movie) - but, it did not scare me like I thought it would... my family was pretty freaked... I'm a guy and I'm more terrified by movies like "Saw" because there really are some psychos out there who could do that stuff... demons and ghosts (not so scary to me).
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  2.    #122  
    ...is a flawlessly acted, well directed and written film.

    Its a story that revolves around a very modern California family -- two bright teenage kids, two parents -- all living in an upper middle class liberal community.

    One parent is a doctor -- the other is struggling to again find herself, now starting a garden design business. They have been together for nearly 20 years -- and they are both women.

    Products of blind artificial insemination, the kids have come to an age where they secretly want to learn anything they can about their genetic father.

    On their own they secretly initiate a contact that brings into their lives a charming, affectionate, and interesting guy -- someone they all are drawn too -- including one of their parents.

    The complexities, hurts, and choices forced by the unexpected dynamics of this new person in their lives is underplayed and often painfully real.

    The entire cast is wonderful -- but Annette Benning and Mia Wasikowska are exceptional.

    For many years, at least since her marriage to Warren Beatty -- Annette Benning's career has been nearly invisible. I can hardly recall when I last saw her. In this film she successfully portrays with sensitivity and determination a character who less well acted, could have easily been seen as the villain of the story.

    I've never before seen Mia Wasikowska. She's plays a bright, beautiful, and together 18 young woman, on the verge of heading to college. Her performance is always real, always in the moment. (She looks BTW, like the younger prettier sister of Kirsten Dunst.) Wasikowska has ahead of her a terrific career -- I'd expect that she'll receive the sorts of roles that Gwyneth Paltrow has had over the years.

    Though much of the year remains, this film will probably get a good number of Oscar nominations. Likely both Benning and Wasikowska will be at the least nominated for their performances.

    This is writer director Lisa Cholodenko's first major film. She might not be nominated (in part because the film will probably not do big box office) but she certainly deserves a directing nomination. She might well get the writing award as a consolation trophy instead.

    THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is an enjoyable, believably told film -- one well worth seeing. Definitely a good date movie --

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it an: 82

    Last edited by BARYE; 07/01/2010 at 04:48 AM.
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  3. Micael's Avatar
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    #123  
    Haven't seen it yet, but looking forward to seeing The Last Airbender. I'm not sure if the other Hominoidea of this thread enjoy this genre, but I *really* like the trailers - looks like great eyecandy.

    But M. Night Shyamalan has fooled me before with 'awesome' trailers, only to let me down totally in the delivery.

    Will have to see....
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  4.    #124  
    is a story inspired by the real events attending the arrival in america of a young promising Chinese dancer -- a dancer who had come of age during the last dark days of China’s cultural revolution and Mao.

    The story is in essence a metaphor for the awakening and birth of modern China, as well as its nascent love affair with america itself.

    Though enjoyable and occasionally moving, the film often feels stilted and stiff -- which in a film about ballet is a bothersome imperfection.

    Structurally Mao’s Last Dancer does not end with the climatic on stage reuniting of the dancer with his parents, the natural dramatic peak of the story. Instead it adds an historically meaningful but dramatically weak coda that follows his heroic eventual return to visit his native village.

    Though the story is told in part through flashbacks, I would rather they had intercut the montage of these events more rapidly. I cared less about his success and what he experienced in america, and more about the Chinese prelude. That story and those events that precede his coming to america is the film’s most involving part.

    Nevertheless I couldn’t help but be impressed by the grace and strength of all the dancer’s performances. Their acting though, while mostly decent, is not inspired. Clearly the primary component sought in casting the film was a high degree of balletic experience and skill. Unfortunately its hard to ignore that these were not professional actors and actresses. The acting though mostly not terrible, is not really involving in a empathizable way that truly involves one in the story.

    The camera work, shot choices, and general absence of fluidity is also sadly unexpected for a story devoted to dancers and dance. Composition choices were guided primarily by a theatrical appreciation for the dance -- not a filmic one.

    This is a film that potentially could have been much more --

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it an: 73


    Last edited by BARYE; 08/18/2010 at 03:13 PM.
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  5. #125  
    "KICK ***"! a lame story... the little girl was cool... something about a little girl doing all that killing left a bad taste in my mouth though...
  6.    #126  
    is a documentary as much about the heroic Tillman family, as it is about the iconic Pat Tillman.

    Atheist, liberal progressive thinker, iconoclast -- Pat left a multi million dollar football career to enlist as a private in the army after 9/11.

    He thought himself immeasurably fortunate to be an american -- a place that allowed him freedom of thought, expression, and opportunity -- and felt obliged to pay it back after the country was attacked by terrorists from Afghanistan.

    Insisting on no special treatment, he became an ordinary enlisted Ranger.

    Actively resisting efforts by administration officials (at least as high as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld), Tillman refused to be used in interviews, and fought efforts to use him for propaganda purposes.

    After completing his training, Tillman was sent to Iraq -- rather than being sent to Afghanistan where he had enlisted to serve.

    In Iraq he became angry at a war that should never have been fought, at the way it was being pursued, and of the tactics being employed. He wrote home of his frustration in letters to his family.

    By coincidence, Tillman was part of the army group assigned to "save" Pvt. Jessica Lynch. He saw how the mission was a lie from the start -- how the troops were held back for nearly a day until a combat cameraman could be brought forward to record the events. He saw (as Jessica Lynch later confirmed) how she was never a victim of Iraqi mistreatment, how she had been cared for by Iraqi doctors who assisted american soldiers in transferring her to their care. He was furious at the propaganda lie made of her capture and "rescue".

    After completing his first combat tour in Iraq, the army offered him an early release from his 3 year obligation so that he could return to football. Though disillusioned by the war Pat declined their offer, as he was determined to keep his word and commitment.

    Sent this time to Afghanistan, he was on a badly lead recon mission when poorly supervised colleagues killed him in an act of unexplainable but accidental stupidity.

    Generals and senior officials of junior's administration early on learned that Pat had been the victim of friendly fire.

    Embarrassed at the manner of Tillman's death, determined to manipulate it for propaganda use, they invented a phony story about how he had been killed under fire saving his comrades during an ambush.

    His comrades were sworn to silent secrecy by their officers. Tillman's brother -- a Ranger on the same mission -- was consciously lied to by his officers and colleagues.

    A posthumous Silver Star medal would be awarded to Pat Tillman -- and his valor and sacrifice would be celebrated.

    News of what had actually happened to Tillman reached the White House -- and 2 days after his death, junior deleted from an important speech false details of how he had died.

    The Pentagon and the administration expected that the Tillman family to accept this lie, his medal, and go home to mourn quietly.

    But Tillman's family -- as heroic as was their son and brother -- refused to accept the lie. At great cost they doggedly pursued the truth, insisting their son was a hero for how he lived his life -- and knowing he would not want to have his death used in a lie.

    This a moving and uplifting story -- as much about his extraordinary family as it is about Pat Tillman. He was a truly extraordinary guy (who I regret I knew nothing about until after his death.)

    Well worth seeing.

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

    Last edited by BARYE; 09/03/2010 at 09:19 AM.
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  7. Micael's Avatar
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    #127  
    I find the thought that some people would use his death as propaganda and for political points really upsetting.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  8.    #128  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I find the thought that some people would use his death as propaganda and for political points really upsetting.
    are you agreeing then with his family (mother, wife, father, brothers) ??

    BTW, his brother -- a Ranger on that same mission, though unaware of what had happened to Pat -- insisted on finishing his service commitment though the army offered him an early honorable discharge.

    Even after he learned of the lie -- he was determined to do the honorable thing.
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  9. Erckul's Avatar
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    #129  
    The Human Centipede. Really disturbing.
  10. #130  
    Quote Originally Posted by Erckul View Post
    The Human Centipede. Really disturbing.
    Sounds rather B-ish!


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  11. Erckul's Avatar
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    #131  
    here is the trailer for The Human Centipede

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  12. #132  
    Yep, it's a B movie, alright. I'd not sit through it. LOL
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  13. #133  
    I like movies like The Prestige, Memento, Insomnia, Inception, Hot Tub Time Machine........
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  14.    #134  
    is a very good film.

    I don't really know the history of Facebook, the true story of its formulation, or the reality of the backgrounds of the cast of characters who were behind its actual creation.

    What matters is that the movie is a compelling story on its own about the strivings and personal failures of a brilliant social misfit who craves acceptance of his peers and the love of a girl, while mostly being indifferent to riches.

    Ironically being a social misfit is what inspires in him, the geeky Jewish outsider, the brainstorm that formed Facebook -- a venue of friends interacting and revealing themselves.

    The Social Network bookends with two small but wonderful scenes. It opens with a touchingly alienated discussion between the Zuckerburg character and the brilliant beautiful girl he's dating. We hardly see her again during the entire length of the film.

    The film ends with him despairingly refreshing her Facebook page, unable to dare send her a friend request. In that moment I knew the weight of a lifetime of loss and regret that he felt in the marrow of my soul. He gains the world, becomes unbelievably rich, while losing the love of those he most cares about...

    Well worth seeing.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it an: 81


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  15.    #135  
    is a film I very much liked.

    I haven't time to say much (especially since my longer original post was lost to a weird browser crash).

    Its one of the best films I've seen this year -- in a year of particularly good films.

    Hereafter is nearly flawlessly written, directed, and constructed.

    The cast is excellent -- especially the wonderful French woman who is the center of much of the story.

    That Matt Damon, the ostensible star of the film could be relegated to an almost secondary supporting role for most of the film, demonstrates the confidence of the director has in his story and how its told -- a story he tells with almost a European patience and restraint.

    Though I've neither heard of, or seen films by this young director previously, from the evidence of his work here I am confident in predicting a long and fruitful career ahead of him. I regret that I unfortunately cannot recall his name (though possibly groovy might be able to help in this regard).

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it an: 83


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  16. Micael's Avatar
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    #136  
    European patience and restraint?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  17.    #137  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    European patience and restraint?
    the story evolves slowly, elliptically.

    The audience is continually kept in the dark as to where the film is heading, and how the disparate stories resolved and characters merged.

    Whenever an opportunity for histrionics or maudlin dramatization arrives, this director resists the impulse and stays with the organic truth and flow of each element of his story.

    Its a sensibility that was one of the reasons that 60's and 70' European films were so admired -- and that has too rarely been seen in american films.
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/20/2010 at 10:51 PM.
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  18.    #138  
    Black Swan is an intense, brilliantly performed, involving, and wonderfully made film.

    It is the dance movie I would have made had I money, social skills, or talent.

    Natalie Portman inhabits and animates her character to a degree that has seldom been achieved before in cinema.

    The role she’s taken is so physically demanding and unimaginably difficult for a nonprofessional ballerina to pull off, that it has almost always been handled by women who are first dancers and only secondarily have a bit of actress in them.

    Black Swan is about a girl dancer who dances at the gauzy razor’s edge between genius and madness -- between obsessive perfectionism, and utter dissolution.

    In 1965 Roman Polanski made a film with Catherine Deneuve called "Repulsion" -- a frighteningly disturbing story about a young woman losing it. Black Swan captures much of what I remember of that film -- and of what I once experienced with a brilliant girl I once knew and loved, and who was similarly crazed and afflicted.

    Portman communicates her turmoil with believable restraint, resisting the temptation to overact and be overwrought.

    Director Darren Aronofsky stages and photographs the scenes exactly as I advocated when I excoriated "Mao's Last Dancer" some months ago. The camera (and we the audience) shares the stage and scenes with performers -- the lighting, the movement, the editing -- all are in support of the film’s experience. Few dance movies will again be made in the same wretched style as “Mao’s Last Dancer “.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Mao’s Last Dancer...The camera work, shot choices, and general absence of fluidity is also sadly unexpected for a story devoted to dancers and dance. Composition choices were guided primarily by a theatrical appreciation for the dance -- not a filmic one.

    This is a film that potentially could have been much more...

    BTW, decades from now, 2010 will in retrospect be lauded as one of cinema's great years.


    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it an: 86


    Last edited by BARYE; 12/01/2010 at 10:22 AM.
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  19. #139  
    Pitch Black an excellent movie!
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  20. #140  


    i love this movie! lol
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