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 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

sorry double bank raid.

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 6:55 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 1 (2013) created by David S. Goyer -- The main character is called Da Vinci, but he's really a mash-up of Dr. Who and Sherlock. The setting is a pseudohistorical one full of intrigue designed to appeal to fans of both Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons) and the currently-very-popular glut of histitillating TV (Game of Thrones, Spartacus, White Queen, Vikings, etc). As for the show itself . . . it's pretty uneven. It's an amusing enough diversion. Often preposterous. A bit shallow. Occasionally enormously captivating. Season ends on an awful cliffhanger -- no resolution here. This is not how it should be done. Pretty excellent score from McCreary. I'm very curious to see how the next season unfolds and I hope they can keep the quality a bit more even moving forward.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

i enjoyed this series mastadge, although it wasnt anything special and was a bit silly but as you say an amusing diversion . i particularly fancied the minx who was secretly bonking the king and bumping off enemies in all sorts of grisly eays .

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Insidious 2 (2013) - 5/5
I didn't go see "Insidious" in theaters because of a lot of negative reviews. I watched it when it showed up on Netflix streaming and really enjoyed it. I was surprised when they announced "Insidious 2" because horror sequels typically suck and I didn't think there was a lot of story left to tell from the first. Early in "Insidious 2" it becomes clear that there is a lot left to learn about the story from "Insidious." The things we saw in "Insidious" were just a taste of what James Wan has in store for audiences in "Insidious 2."

The plot once again involves spirits of the dead interacting with the living. The family from the first film is back and things aren't as normal as everyone thought they would be. The experts are called in again to investigate. With the experts' help, we learn the identity of the woman shown briefly at the end "Insidious" and explore a darker world. The film wraps up nicely by the end,

Joseph Bishara returned to compose music for "Insidious 2." The music retains much of its sinister feel, with sharp violins that almost sound like they are screaming. I am not familiar enough with the music from "Insidious" to say if there are many new elements in the music but the music is just as powerful and unsettling as before.

If you enjoyed the otherworldly adventure at the end of "Insidious" you will be in for a treat with "Insidious 2." While "Insidious" spends a lot of time building towards its climax, "Insidious 2" jumps into things much earlier, giving you a more in-depth look at the spirits. It is rare that a horror sequel is good and even more rare that it is as fantastic as "Insidious 2." Horror fans should not miss this one.

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


If you enjoyed the otherworldly adventure at the end of "Insidious" you will be in for a treat with "Insidious 2." While "Insidious" spends a lot of time building towards its climax, "Insidious 2" jumps into things much earlier, giving you a more in-depth look at the spirits. It is rare that a horror sequel is good and even more rare that it is as fantastic as "Insidious 2." Horror fans should not miss this one.


I loved that ending sequence. Can't wait to see it now! It's scheduled for early october over here but I hope I will get to catch a preview sooner.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 9:04 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Planes. Not as successful a direct-to-DVD upgrade as Toy Story 2, and I'm not really sure about the ethnic stereotyping (even if the film's villain is the full-on American Ripslinger), but a perfectly pleasant way to pass an hour and a half and better in every respect - animation excluded - than its celluloid relative Cars. This doesn't excuse Dane Cook for Good Luck Chuck, mind. 6.5/10.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 6:50 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

wrong thread

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 2:38 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Our man in Marrakesh. don sharp. 66

tony randall, terry-thomas. senta berger, herbert lom, john le mesurier. klaus kinski.

silly but fun. 7 outta ten

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Nice review mark. With your film knowledge i wouldve expected you to have seen this already!!
nice steady 70s western. Always liked it.
Im fond of the little touches like luke Askew - whose character has previously been shot in the mouth - lowering his scarf to eat. R G Armstrong is great and Duvall is at his peak here with anothr believable portrayal.


Thank you. smile Despite my many years of movie mania, there still are tons of films I have yet to see. The more I read about film history, the more I'm intrigued with!

For instance, in the 1990s European art films weren't my thing, so I'm still catching up on movies from 20 or more years ago. Last night I started Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Trois couleurs" trilogy with Three Colors: Blue. Tonight, I'll be watching "White," with "Red" scheduled for tomorrow evening. I had watched Kieslowski's "The Double Life of Veronique" a few months ago, so I knew what to expect style-wise. He really had a unique visual style, and obviously worked closely with his cinematographers and designers for the incredible color control in these last few films of his. (I'm eager to explore his earlier work.)

Juliette Binoche is superb in this, playing a woman knocked utterly sideways in her life by the car crash death of her young daughter and husband, a renowned composer. Music plays a hugely significant role in "Blue." Zbigniew Preisner rises to the challenge of writing the world-class symphonic work that the fictional composer had been working on. The last few minutes in which the music plays over shots of the main characters of the story is intensely moving.

I've really become enamored with Preisner's music over the last couple of years. His score for "Veronique" is fantastic as well. And the best musical moment of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is the use of his "Lacrimosa 2" from his tribute to the late Kieslowski.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

X-Men: First Class 8-10

First let me say I haven't read an X-Men comic since the 70's, so I rate this on the film alone and not the material it comes from.

This was an enjoyable film. A smaller budget meant more time for character interplay and development. But it also had it's gee wiz SFX moments. (Granted the CGI wasn't all that convincing) Over all I liked the balance between story and SFX/Action. The score while not outstanding served its purpose for the most part.

I enjoyed James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender performances. Jennifer Lawrence was adequate, charming and quite cute. (It's actually the first thing I've ever seen her in!) Nicholas Hoult was sympathetic. Kevin Bacon was awesome especially in the beginning. I wish they gave his character more depth later in the film. The rest of the cast really didn't impress. Wasn't expecting to see Oliver Platt, but his small role was enjoyable and it helped seeing a familiar face among the crowd.

Spoiler:

I had no idea Hugh Jackman made a cameo. Glad I missed that bit of information because his scene was a shock and hilarious!


Now it was not without it's issues. I thought the mutants special abilities and skills rather lame and or unspecified. While I am by no means a prude I did find the sexualization of the women in many scenes unnecessary. Can we have a film without a night club/strip club, brothel sequence? Was it at all necessary to the story? The agent undressing so she could enter the club was ridiculous in concept alone.

Many did not like Mystique's sudden alliance with Magneto near the end, especially when Xavier was so seriously injured. My take, something was off. They built the sequence of events up nicely during the entire run of the film, but the situation at the end just seemed to be the wrong time for her change of alliance.

One final note. It was strange they took a real historical event then totally fictionalized the outcome.
Over all a decent escapist film if you can suspend disbelief.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 11:13 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Prisoners: 9 out of 10

I knocked one point off because this movie too long. I felt some tighter editing was needed.

The trailer already indicated that this is a story of kidnapping, but it is more layered and textured
and is not a simple kidnapping story. The opening scene introduces the whole notion of what a predator is, and predatory behaviors and the vagaries of the religious are examined in this movie. It is also a human drama of anguish and pain.

The cinematography is superb! It is haunting, dark, and damp. I thought the script was very strong although I’m still pondering a few plot holes that I can’t reconcile. (Or missed upon first viewing.)

All the actors were magnificent. I wish the movie had utilized Viola Davis more; she is so talented.
Jake Gyllenhaul is wonderful, but in the end, this movie belongs to Hugh Jackman. He is so talented. I’d bet good money there will be an Oscar nomination for him. His performance is stunning.

This is a uber-tense movie, and I had my hands fisted throughout the show. It is
one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2013

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

Amelie (aka "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain") - 10/10

I've been watching through some of my DVDs that I've not watched for some time, and I think I'd only got around to watching this one once when I originally bought the disc. I'm glad I picked it off the shelf as this beautiful, charming and funny film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet really hit the mark for lifting my otherwise downhearted spirits.

Oh, and Audrey Tautou's deep brown eyes are a pleasure to behold smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 12:00 AM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Gone Baby Gone (2007) - 3/5

After seeing and loving The Town and Argo, I wanted to check out Ben Affleck's directorial debut and found it to be kind of an uneven experience. The first half was excellent, but the second half was almost like a different movie, and one less fulfilling, with some cliched, confusing and complicated plot developments. Although I suppose that's really more a problem with the book it's based on than Affleck's directing. That said, you get a sense that he hadn't quite found his footing as a director yet, as it tends to drag in places. Also, a little too bleak at times for my taste.

Not a wholly bad film, but just an ultimately disappointing one. Fortunately, Affleck knocked it out of the park with his next two films, which were much better.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 1:13 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I'm really looking forward to Prisoners: Denis Villeneuve's one to watch, and his next film -- coming later this year! -- also looks intriguing.

Since my last update I've worked my way through all the rest of Carroll Ballard's features (except The Nutcracker: The Movie, which I may or may not watch around Christmas): Never Cry Wolf (1983), Wind (1992), Fly Away Home (1996) and Duma (2005). Not the most prolific director, but a very good one, and also very skilled at coming up with technologies to get really cool shots -- the yacht-mounted cameras in Wind that improbably managed to make the sport seem exciting, and the aerial footage from Fly Away Home come to mind. Wind is probably his weakest movie, but its Poledouris score has stuck in my head the most. I do wish Isham's score for Fly Away Home would get a real release someday. Anyway. It's been fun going back through his filmography.

I also watched World War Z -- the unrated extended version, I think, because it was the only one on the rental disc -- and enjoyed it pretty well, though I would have liked it better if Pitt's character were a little less of a superhero. Also, I liked the concept of the swarming zombies but as usual the CG execution didn't really convince, much as it failed to convince in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and much as CG scuttling insects so rarely manage to look like real scuttling insects. As good as they're getting at rendering things now, they still haven't figured out how to convincingly simulate biological movement.

Also watched Oblivion, which was pretty enough if you find antiseptic sf-scapes pretty, but which was also pretty much a giant mass of familiar imagery and clichés tossed in the blender. Was there a single surprise or surprising visual in this entire film? I read it described somewhere as the precise average of all sci-fi movies and that about covers it. It was enjoyable enough, and less bad than the director's Tron: Legacy, but also completely forgettable and disposable.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I also watched World War Z -- the unrated extended version, I think, because it was the only one on the rental disc -- and enjoyed it pretty well, though I would have liked it better if Pitt's character were a little less of a superhero.

That's interesting. Most reviewers seem to point out that they liked the fact that he wasn't a stereotypical, gung ho, superhero-esque action star, but more of an Everyman, just one whose background gives him the experience and skills needed to handle extreme situations. I thought the movie did a terrific job making him a very relatable character, someone who could have been the guy living next door, and there was actually a moment toward the end where I started wondering if he would even survive the movie.

I think I prefer the theatrical cut, though. I liked a couple moments that were exclusive to the uncut version, but overall thought it didn't really do much to improve what I thought was already a well-crafted and suspenseful experience.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 2:02 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

That's interesting. Most reviewers seem to point out that they liked the fact that he wasn't a stereotypical, gung ho, superhero-esque action star, but more of an Everyman, just one whose background gives him the experience and skills needed to handle extreme situations. I thought the movie did a terrific job making him a very relatable character, someone who could have been the guy living next door, and there was actually a moment toward the end where I started wondering if he would even survive the movie.

He looked that part, and they tried to sell it, but he was just too super-competent (and also super-lucky). Like his time as a UN fixer had turned him from Everyman into Übermensch. Super weapons and combat skills. Super battlefield surgeon skills. Super problem solving skills. Super pattern recognition skills. Super pancake-making skills. Super people skills. No, he wasn't typically macho or gung-ho, but he was several cuts above Everyman from what I could tell.

I did really enjoy the movie though, despite my problems with it.

 
 Posted:   Sep 30, 2013 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

THE WORLD'S END

I'm going to let this one sit with me for a few more days but I just got back from it and I must say it was...different.

70 percent of the film is what you expect from the trailers but there are some darker themes that I didn't see coming and sprinkled through out [bullying, betrayal, divorce, suicide, depression, etc] and the finale was nothing at all like what I thought it would be nor even what the whole film was building up to.

That being said I did laugh and enjoyed the hell out of the 70 percent that was what it was and I don't even think I dislike the other 30 but it just felt...off...and I don't know...

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 8:47 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Double Indemnity. Stayed up 'til midnite watching it on TCM last night. I had only seen small bits of it before, but this time I watched it all the way through. Awesome! Perfect casting, excellent score by Rosza. As sleazy as he was or became, you almost felt empathy for Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray and how his obsession with Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck) led him to destruction.
Definitely agree with Robert Osborne that this was more deserving of Best Picture and other oscars than was Going My Way.

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2013 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

GRAVITY

Congratulations to director/writer/editor Alfonso Cuaron for motivating me to go to a theater to see a movie for the first time since 2009. After enduring nine(!) previews, the film started.....


Silence can be golden. It's refreshing to see a vehicle floating through space without a large dose of bass rumble. The opening sequence in this film is an unbroken 15 minute long shot of astronauts going about the business of repairing the orbiting Hubble telescope. Then a warning call comes that a destroyed satellite's debris field is fast approaching. Veteran astronaut Kowalski (George Clooney) tells newcomer Ryan (Sandra Bullock) to drop everything and get the hell out of there.

Within seconds the shuttle (and other crew members) is ripped to shreds by the debris and Ryan is sent spinning out of control. From this point forward, it's Bullock's film all the way. Talk about extreme close-ups. The POV slowly comes toward Ryan's face from the vacuum of space and penetrates her helmet so that we are right there with her and can see out of her helmet as she does. Truly spectacular.

There's no MTV-style editing in this film. In addition to the opening shot, many scenes play out in real time with minimal edits. What a challenge this film must have been for the filmmakers and actors. Well done by all. If it's true it took four years to make this film the results were well worth it.

I'm giving the film a 9/10 rating for a brisk and efficient 95 minutes of entertainment. Bravo to Sandra Bullock for her performance and for looking so cute with her short haircut. smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2013 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Gravity (2013) - 10/10
TV shows have become so high quality lately that movies need to show you something unique to draw you out to the theater. “Gravity” succeeds at this perfectly. If you have seen the trailers you may think you have seen a lot of the film. The majority of what you see in the trailers takes place in the first 20 minutes of the film, so there is a lot you haven’t seen. The film does focus primarily on Sandra Bullock in space but it never becomes tiresome. The pacing is excellent. She constantly moves from one obstacle to another.

The cinematography is very well done. We are treated to some gorgeous shots of earth from a low orbit. The film largely feels realistic as the characters move through space. Steven Price wrote a solid minimalist/atmospheric score that works well in the film. He makes good use of solo vocalists to emphasize how alone the characters are. The final cue of the film is gorgeous and stands out compared to the rest.

“Gravity” is a tense film that grabs hold of the audience from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. Through great use of long shots and skillful editing, there isn’t a dull moment. If the trailer gets you yearning for more, this is a film that you must catch in theaters to get the full experience. The 3D ads to the experience, giving space a depth that would otherwise be missing. If you enjoy the thrill ride that comes with big movies in theaters, you will not be disappointed by “Gravity.”

Captain Phillips (2013) - 8/10
A good thriller is gripping even when you know how things are going to end. Many are familiar with the story behind the Somalian pirates that attacked the ship Captain Phillips helmed. In the hands of a director like Paul Greengrass, the story feels fresh and the threat immediate. Skillful direction combines with powerful acting by Tom Hanks and talented young Somalian actors.

After a brief introduction to set the scene and introduce the characters, the tension becomes immediate rather quickly. There are few moments of calm once things take off. Henry Jackman provides added tension through a brooding percussion-driven score. Though it works well, it largely serves as sonic wallpaper and would be difficult to distinguish from other similar scores.

The film was portrayed well in the trailers so if you liked what you saw in the trailers, you will probably enjoy the film. Though it is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, it moves briskly and never drags. If you enjoy the modern style of portraying thrillers as realistic as possible, you will be swept up into “Captain Phillips.”

 
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