Author Topic: Resurrecting the Movies thread...  (Read 527847 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2007, 11:39:06 am »
I saw Children of Men yesterday and didn't love it. It wasn't boring, and its vision of a near-future dystopia was dazzling and scary. But overall I thought the story was bleak and kind of pointless. (Re the question Dell posed: I do have children, so that might color my view, but I really do understand why some people don't have and don't want children. However, I think the prospect of all of humanity being wiped out within a few decades would be depressing, regardless of one's parent or nonparent status. Besides, I'm not sure whether the movie was suggesting that the world was falling apart BECAUSE children weren't being born, or the other way around.)

But overall, I saw a lot of pretty good movies over the past year. (That is, once I could venture out to the theaters and enjoy any movie at all, aside from ... you know.) In no particular order, I liked:

Little Miss Sunshine -- just saw that again a week ago, and it's still wonderful
The Queen -- both lead performances were excellent
The Departed -- yes, Mark Wahlberg was great (actually I always like him, for some reason, even though he's bland and affectless) but personally I think Leo stole the show
Blood Diamond -- again, Leo was excellent, and believe me, I am NOT a huge Leo fan normally
Hollywoodland  -- critics just did not get this movie; it was a lovely study on success and failure
The Illusionist -- I usually like Edward Norton, too, again inexplicably because he, too, is bland and affectless
The Prestige -- not only do I l ike Christian, but * donning hardhat * I like him even better than Hugh!
The Devil Wears Prada -- light and cute

I still haven't seen United 93 or Babel or Casino Royale or The Good Shepherd, The Lake House, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls, A Good Year, and probably a bunch of others.

Back to the overrated movies: my picks for most overrated from that list are Forrest Gump and Chicago.

Whew! OK, now I think I've caught up.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2007, 12:11:19 pm »
I would definitely pick Forrest Gump from that list, too.  And (donning my hardhat) I would add Titanic.

I really loved Chicago - own it, in fact - so I'm going to plead the Fifth on that one.

I've avoided seeing Children of Men because it seems just too bleak to me, too.  But I hear it's a good "action" movie and that Clive Owen is "the perfect action hero."

I still want to see Little Children and Notes on a Scandal next, because they contain, together, my three favorite actors right now (Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, and Cate Blanchett, in order (not respectively ;)).  I might take Friday afternoon off to see Little Children, because it's only playing at a theater that doesn't have a day care center for Will-O.  I'd also like to see Volver, but I'll have to try to fit that in sometime maybe next week.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2007, 12:14:10 pm »
Oh, and Katherine, I thought Ben Affleck was *wonderful* in Hollywoodland.  It's a shame he hasn't gotten more notice for it - it was really such a subtle, nuanced performance.  That last scene shooting the home movie - Oh.My.God.  Amazing, beautiful stuff.  And like you with Leo, I *am not* a Ben Affleck fan.  But I do think he tends to be more underrated than not.  For instance, I thought his comic, self-satirizing turn in Shakespeare in Love was brilliant.  Maybe that's where he just excels - at making fun of himself.  He was also quite good in Bounce, which I hear was another self-deprecating one in the alcoholic-in-rehab sense.
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2007, 04:06:05 pm »
I like Keanu.  He was Africa hot in "Speed."  Liked him in My Own Private Idaho a lot.

I have a story about him (do I ever not have a story?).  Absolutely true.  About seven years ago, I worked with this guy who had studied filmmaking at the University of Miami, of all places, and whose wife Barbara had studied at the all-powerful USC.  In so doing, she had worked with a few big name actors and still kept in touch with a few of them.  Around the time Keanu was playing in his band (Dogstar, wasn't it?), the phone rings one day, my co-worker answers and someone says, "Yeah, can I speak to Barbara, please?"  He says, "She's not in right now, can I take a message?"  He goes, "Yeah.  Just tell her Keanu called."  We laughed about that, like, imagine if he said, "Keanu who?"  Turns out he was calling her to invite her to see Dogstar play at a local club (in Miami) that night.  Both of them ended up going, naturally, and they were out until 4 a.m.  He said he was "a really cool guy - just acted like a regular guy you've grown up with, or something."

Thanks for the terrific story, Barb!  Ah...one day maybe I'll get to brush close with Keanu's greatness!   While having coffee after Gustavo with the NYC crowd, someone (John Gallagher maybe?) was trying to think of 'that actor who was born in Beirut'...I immediately came up with 'Keanu Reeves' and I think everybody else looked at me like I had two heads ;), but that's who he was thinking of.  I mean just because I know all of Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal's pertinent data doesn't mean I don't have room for additional trivia!

Oh, and Katherine, I thought Ben Affleck was *wonderful* in Hollywoodland.  It's a shame he hasn't gotten more notice for it - it was really such a subtle, nuanced performance.  That last scene shooting the home movie - Oh.My.God.  Amazing, beautiful stuff.  And like you with Leo, I *am not* a Ben Affleck fan.  But I do think he tends to be more underrated than not.  For instance, I thought his comic, self-satirizing turn in Shakespeare in Love was brilliant.  Maybe that's where he just excels - at making fun of himself.  He was also quite good in Bounce, which I hear was another self-deprecating one in the alcoholic-in-rehab sense.

I need to see Hollywood - I also like Ben Affleck.  He was very good, I thought, in Bounce, and I also loved him in Chasing Amy.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2007, 05:25:15 pm »
So true about Ben Affleck, Barb and Lynne! I think JLo and a few bad role choices were his downfall. I liked him in a few things (Shakespeare, Good Will Hunting), then became soooo not interested in him for a while. But Hollywoodland changed my whole view of Ben -- he was fantastic: poignant, likeable, subtle, tragic.

And thanks for the nice words about Keanu! I probably would not fight to the death to defend his acting, but he's cute and appealing and not nearly as bad as people make fun of him for being.

I wish I could see Little Children, but it hasn't shown anywhere near here at this point. And another one I'd love to see but will probably have to wait for the DVD: Half Nelson.


Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2007, 05:33:42 pm »
I saw Half Nelson.  It was very good.  Very... raw.  As good as Ryan Gosling was, the performance somehow didn't stay with me.  I probably need to don my hard hat again, but I think it's being a tad overrated.

One nice thing about living in Boca Raton - we do get many arthouse films here that a lot of similar-size markets don't because there are so many transplanted New Yorkers here.  We never did get Sherrybaby or Sweet Land, unfortunately, but we have gotten several others that didn't make it to other places.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Best Movie of 2006?
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2007, 04:58:06 am »
I think I will remember this cinematic year for the number of disappointments. I was looking fwd to RUNNING WITH SCISSORS.  It wasn't up to par. 

Really?  - I was really looking forward to seeing this (not in UK cinemas yet) as I really enjoyed the book.

From the 'best Movie of 2006' thread in 'Movie resources' ...

quote author=JakeTwist link=topic=7088.msg135563#msg135563 date=1167626628]
http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/features/article2115036.ece

The Belfast Telegraph

Damon's top 5 movies

[Published: Sunday 31, December 2006 - 15:27]

By Damon Smith


1. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (released January 6)

The most controversial film of the year, Ang Lee's heartbreaking love story, based on a 30-page novella by Annie Proulx, wears its heart on its sleeve to chart the tempestuous 20-year love story of ranch hands Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger), who cross paths one summer in ultra-macho 1960s Wyoming.

This is a heartrending portrait of an enduring yet impossible love, distinguished by gorgeous cinematography, haunting orchestral score and an elegant screenplay.

Gyllenhaal's energetic turn as talkative dreamer Jack contrasts with Ledger's riveting portrayal of an introverted soul, simmering with self-loathing.

Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway are stunning as the wives who end up casualties of Jack and Ennis's war with their true desires. As Jack puts it: "That ol' Brokeback got us good."


2. UNITED 93 (released June 2)

On September 11, 2001, the world as we knew it was changed forever. The events in New York City that fateful autumn still resonate today and are a stark reminder of mankind's terrifying capability for destruction.

Paul Greengrass' harrowing recreation of events on United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth hijacked plane, unfolds in real time, beginning with scenes of the hijackers in their hotel rooms, preparing for their mission.

Greengrass shoots events in the claustrophobic cabin and on the ground on handheld cameras, with a cast of largely unknown actors playing the passengers.

Key military and civilian personnel, including Ben Sliney (the man in charge of the FAA's command centre), play themselves, adding to the unsettling air of realism.

Even though we know, with sickening certainty, how the film will end, we pray for a different resolution.


3. THE DEATH OF MR LAZARESCU (released July 14)

Cristi Puiu's jet black comedy, charting one man's haphazard journey through the Romanian health system, is by turns hilarious and emotionally heartbreaking, shot with an unflinching eye for detail.
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4. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (released September 8 )

Husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris gearshift seamlessly from directing music videos to the vast canvas of big screen with their glorious celebration of 21st century family life in all of its perplexing, dysfunctional glory.
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/snip/
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5. RED ROAD (released October 27)

British writer-director Andrea Arnold, who collected the 2005 Oscar for best live action short, graduates effortlessly to feature film with this voyeuristic thriller that crawls under your skin and lingers in the memory long after the end credits roll.

CCTV operator Jackie (Kate Dickie) is one of the team of people charged with scouring the city, spotting trouble before it happens. While focusing one of the cameras on the Red Road estate, Jackie is shocked to see Clyde (Tony Curran), the man she thought was still in prison for killing her husband and child.
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/snip/
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http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/features/article2115036.ece
© Belfast Telegraph


[/quote]

Red Road is a notorious estate in Glasgow (gang fights are common - and its really just a very depressing council estate) - I haven't seen it but I have been told it gived a pretty accurate portrayal of life there. And has got a lot of directing and acting awards... If you want an idea of REAL scottidh accents - and not those of Mel Gibson in Braveheart - see this!!!
http://www.idbrass.com

Please use the following links when shopping online -It will help us raise money without costing you a penny.

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/idb

http://idb.easysearch.org.uk/

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2007, 12:01:15 pm »
OK, so I finally saw United 93 on Friday night.  Wow.  WOW.

I would urge everyone to see it mainly because it's so well-done.  It's difficult to watch, though - not for the reason you might think - not because it's tear-jerking and/or manipulates you into caring so deeply for the characters that you're haunted afterwards.  But because it's so fast-paced that it agitates you.  It agitates you to know what ultimately happened to those poor people and to wish you could tell them through the TV set what's going on and to take the plane over sooner so they can save themselves.

My husband was actually quite upset afterwards, and I, for once, had to calm him down.  It wasn't because he's an airline pilot and it freaked him out to think he could be on the receiving end of such a thing.  But because he truly believed that had he or someone like him (who is an airline pilot who happens to have a purple belt in karate and who used to carry a hunting knife under one of his socks back when they could still do that) been on that flight, he could have saved them all.  And he was upset that they didn't do what they did sooner.  I told him you have to remember that they had no idea that the hi-jacking was any different from the kind they'd known of in the past, where they take you somewhere and make demands of the government but eventually let you go.  It was only when they started talking to people on the ground about it that they learned the truth, and by then, it was too late.  But the fact that they did as much as they did and didn't just sit there like lemmings waiting to die, I think, is extraordinary.

The movie was fantastic.  It is *not* a Hollywood movie.  That's what I love about it.  There is no back-story on any of the people on the plane.  You can't even figure out who Todd Beamer is until he finally says his infamous line "Let's roll."  And it's not said in a big Hollywood, "Die Hard," Ahnuld kind of a way.  It's said in the way a real guy under those conditions would say it at that moment.  If you blink, you might miss it.  I only recognized two of the actors - the only way it could have been better, I think, as if I didn't recognize any of them.  Because other than them, you feel as if you're watching a film someone on that plane and in those air-traffic control towers and at that military base took that somehow survived it all.  It feels real.  You are there.  I can't say enough about how impressive it is that Peter Greengrass made the suspense build like he did even though you know the outcome.  Or maybe it's because you know.  It made my stomach spin.

But I talked about it with my husband for about a half hour afterwards and then went to bed and had no trouble sleeping, and didn't find myself crying in the shower afterwards.  Why?  I don't think I'm heartless.  But I think this was, thankfully, an extraordinary situation that people got caught up in that brought the best out of most of them and the worst out of some of them.  We can only relate to it in our imaginations.  Most of us have not been held at gun- or knife- or bomb-point.

It's a reverent tribute to all of those people without being manipulative like World Trade Center, I think, was.
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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2007, 12:07:35 pm »
Wasn't it something?  I need to watch it again soon.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2007, 12:34:06 pm »
Sure enough, Scott.

Here's a link to a site that plays several critics' sound bites about it.  Gotta say I agree with all of them - especially "intestinally powerful."  I have never had my stomach so churned up by any movie in my life.  I could feel the tension in every single person on that screen, even the terrorists (which was in itself unsettling).  I also strongly agree with the critic who said, "both unbearable and unmissable."

http://www.united93movie.com/
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