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  1.    #1  
    ...was Rendition.

    I hadn’t expected much when I got the invitation to the preview. Despite what some might think, I dread seeing a movie that has at its core a message. I hate forced unnatural stories -- stories that are steered primarily in service to a specific interest. (as in the old Hollywood aphorism: "if you want to send a message, call Western Union")

    Rendition does not do that.

    Its a wonderful film -- dramatic, suspenceful, well acted and directed -- and it doesn’t really navigate by anything other than the truth of the characters in the story.

    Without telling too much, its a film that has at its center the “rendition” of a legal alien to Egypt from america for “special” interrogation.

    The film has many wonderfully nuanced performances. The Egyptians are all surprisingly effective and believable -- as is Reese Witherspoon, who I’ve never really cared about before. Meryl Streep is quietly brilliant -- capturing the banal shebtch upper level DC bureaucrat -- simultaneously ordinary, middle class, and compassionless.

    My only reservation regarding the film is its somewhat awkward ending. Though it works for me -- it almost seems as though it was not the one they originally planned on using.

    Needless to say, its also a film that deserves to be seen for its topicality -- relevant here in part because of our “What torture tells us” discussion.


    (From time to time maybe others will see films and feel inspired to write something about how you felt about them and why. Speaking for myself, I’d like simple good / bad movie and why, kind of "reviews". I hate knowing almost anything about the story or plot of a film, before I go.)


    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 84


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2010 at 07:20 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Bayre,

    I agree with you on one point - I hate knowing anything about a movie before I see it...but I am a cinematic junkie, so I see previews, and some reviews. And it spoils things.

    Some of the best movies I've seen I did with no prior knwoledge.

    Now, as for Rendition, I will likely see it, although I really don't care for the latest run of political messgae films (these days around Iraq, bad soldiers, blah blah.)

    While they are fine fictional entertainment, they are very far removed from reality.
    Unfortunately, people don't really get that.

    I would say "The Kingdom" was a "message" film as well, but was really wrapped in an action film.

    I will withhold judgement on Rendition until I see it.
  3. #3  
    The movie I saw last night was Resident Evil - Extinction. It had a deep message about the enslavement of humanity and the rights of Zombies... NOT! Really enjoyed it though, but it was too short

    Surur
  4. #4  
    I have not seen the first two Resident Evil movies, but did see Extinction.

    For what it aimed at, it was good. I would've liked more Vegas stuff...inside the casino and resorts, that sort of stuff. And no T&A, which are required for said fare.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Bayre,

    I agree with you on one point - I hate knowing anything about a movie before I see it...but I am a cinematic junkie, so I see previews, and some reviews. And it spoils things.

    Some of the best movies I've seen I did with no prior knwoledge...

    I would say "The Kingdom" was a "message" film as well, but was really wrapped in an action film.

    I will withhold judgement on Rendition until I see it.
    I'm glad you want to come to films like me -- without expectations. Luckily I get to see most of what I see before reviews are published, and sometimes before they're advertised.

    Kingdom was for me just OK -- it lacked sufficient complexity for my tastes.

    I like my villains to be sympathetic and my narratives challenging to follow.

    Films like the recent Babel, Crash, and Memento -- and the good and somewhat less great, Syriana.

    (or for those with longer memories: The Conformist, La Bonne Annee (Happy New Year), Mean Streets, or Shampoo.)

    Rendition is that kind of film -- its story is told in a complex interwoven way -- and there are no really unsympathetic bad guys.

    BTW -- Bayre is what BARYE is when he stands in front of his full length mirror -- au naturel -- having shed the garments of his human oppressors, as he reads aloud to himself the posts he made to OT...
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/19/2007 at 01:21 AM.
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  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    The movie I saw last night was Resident Evil - Extinction. It had a deep message about the enslavement of humanity and the rights of Zombies... NOT! Really enjoyed it though, but it was too short

    Surur
    cool -- thanks Surur !
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  7. #7  
    I love all of the Resident Evil Movies..They rock !!!!.The next one is going to be the best I feel..more then likely the last...The umbrella corporation will be no more considering Alice is bringing her Friends
  8.    #8  
    Reservation Road

    With a cast that included: Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Mira Sorvino, and yet another of the endless supply of Fanning sisters -- Reservation Road promised to be an interesting film.

    This excellent cast though is unfortunately wasted on this much too predictable story about a boy killed (early on) in a hit and run accident -- and the consequnces that flow from that original event.

    I could have diagramed this plot within the first ten minutes -- it sadly lacks surprise or a real empathetic connection with the audience -- the kiss of death for a film that wants to be a tear jerker.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 49
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/26/2007 at 03:35 AM.
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  9. #9  
    I had some interest in Reservation Road, but all the review seem to echo Bayre's comments.

    Maybe catch it on DVD...
  10. #10  
    "30 Days of Night"

    I am a sucker for B-movies, vampire movies, and adult comics (graphic novels), so I peeped this.

    About what I expected, albeit very bleak and dark. No humor. Very little CGI, which was good. Gore was there, and then some. Some disturbing scenes.

    The only thing that was not good was the jumping of time through the month (ex. Day 7, Day 29, etc.) did not convey the cabin fever that must have existed. (as well as little issues like going to the bathroom.)

    Seen worse and I've seen better.
  11. #11  
    and Barye, sorry for screwing up your name again. I will try to get it right.
  12.    #12  
    LIONS FOR LAMBS

    was a film I had high expectations for. I really wanted to like and say good things about this film -- but I can't.

    Clearly made for no money -- it spares every expense in the poorest production quality of anything performed in front of a camera since Days of Our Lives.

    And it seems they also neglected to hire writers -- as the plot was apparently mostly gotten from Sears.

    Sad really. Politically it was on the same side as BARYE, and its cast could not have been better: Merril Streep, Tom Cruise, and Robert Redford.

    They all perform well despite the unoriginal, uninvolving script. Cruise is especially good as a shallow ambitious right wing Senator (based on former Senator George Allen the world's most empty suit, and second most ersatz cowboy.)

    Redford directed it.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 47
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/26/2007 at 03:35 AM.
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  13. #13  
    Redford directed "The Clearing" as well? That was a wamred over turd. I think he is missing something in recent years in his direction.

    Sad to hear production values were low...I would have expected better, given the cast.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Needless to say, its also a film that deserves to be seen for its topicality -- relevant here in part because of our “What torture tells us” discussion.
    If you liked Rendition, you're gonna love Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay due out next summer!!
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    If you liked Rendition, you're gonna love Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay due out next summer!!
    If I ever get away, I intend to have my Solicitor sue that movie company for their uncompensated theft of my personal story !!!
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  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Redford directed "The Clearing" as well? That was a wamred over turd. I think he is missing something in recent years in his direction.

    Sad to hear production values were low...I would have expected better, given the cast.


    Wristcutters (a love story)

    ...was a film produced by Redford's Sundance Institute

    Sweet, quirky, and low budget -- it begins with a messy room and a bathroom sink filled with blood.

    Its black humoured facade conceals a romantic but unsentimental heart.

    I had heard some buzz about the film -- but knew nothing about it before hand. Well worth seeing

    (great sound track too. )

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 76

    Last edited by BARYE; 09/03/2010 at 10:33 AM.
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  17.    #17  
    MUSIC WITHIN
    was a well meaning film. It intended to be an inspirational, feel good movie about a someone who overcame adversity to acheive alot of good.

    Based on a true story, it mostly left me cold. I really never felt much for the characters or their story.

    It wasn't at all a painful film to watch -- and there were entertaining moments -- but I simply wasn't involved or invested in the people of the film -- or their outcomes.

    There was one unintended amusing moment BTW -- Leslie Nielsen, famously funny from the Airplane movies etc. -- has an innocuous and serious cameo role in this film.

    Exactly the kind of film roles he had before he became funny and hip. He's onscreen for maybe 60 seconds -- my thought was: WTF ??

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a: 56
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/30/2007 at 02:28 AM.
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  18.    #18  
    Sleuth

    was entertaining.

    a small film in many ways, it fills its objective of amusing the audience with its clever dialogue and a fairly tight plot.

    Taking place within a single location, with only 2 real actors -- you might think that this former stage play was doomed as a film.

    That its at all successful is thanks to the very good performances of Jude Law and Michael Kane -- and the very good script.

    Sleuth is a remake of a film made in 1972 (which I'd seen and quite liked) -- and in which Kane ironically, also starred, only in the younger character's part in the original.

    Worth seeing if you're into watching a semi-cerebral film with no underlying political message.

    On a 0-100 scale, I'd give it a 66
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  19. #19  
    I just saw 1408 last night...Scary
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    #20  
    I saw Atonement last weekend which I can thoroughly recommend, though I don't think it's out in the US yet. Rendition I may see on Wednesday night - I'll be out doing something on Wednesday, to avoid that worst of all American imports, "Trick or Treating" (yes I am Victor Meldrew!)
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