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 Posted:   May 7, 2014 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

Gangster Squad (2013) -- 8/10

Great movie! Very entertaining, stylish, well-made. Tremendously exciting action sequences and a killer cast. Pretty ferocious and violent, too. Sean Penn's performance was a bit too caricature and a lot of scenes felt like they had been trimmed down to 10% of what they once were, resulting in brief blips of moments that should have meant more, but otherwise I really enjoyed Gangster Squad.

I also found this film entertaining. Kind of a shame it was shot down by so many critics.

Steve Jablonsky's score was good, as well.

 Posted:   May 8, 2014 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

Ripper Street season 2. Excellent period piece. I lauded this one in another thread.

Outpost: Rise Of The Spetznaz. Not so excellent. A fairly good performance from the main Nazi, but generally B grade fare.

47 Ronin is a good supernatural/mythical take on the legend of the 47 Ronin out of Japan. 13 Assassins is epic and classic, this one is very good but not classic. Still, its nice to see Reeves in good form. The woman playing the villainess is superb.

 Posted:   May 8, 2014 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

Mr. Jones 4/10

This has been getting the usual "I've never heard of these reviewers" raves razz so we tried out this independent horror tale last night. It has a fantastically creepy trailer and the movie itself has a good opening 40-45 minutes before it just falls apart.

What is supposed to be a fresh take on found-footage horror actually turns out to be an odd mixture of mockumentary and standard narrative, switching back and forth between styles which ends up just being jarring, not daringly creative.

Basically a young couple working on a wilderness documentary find a new subject for their film, Mr. Jones - an enigma who has become something of a sensation in the art world for sending some very disturbing scarecrows, or totems, to random people over the years. These scarecrow sculptures have had very disturbing effects on people and our young couple may have found this mystery man and are determined to learn more, and so on and so on...

The totems are really freakish and eerie ....

you can check out more of these things here -

But avoid the movie. The last 30 or so minutes are so disappointing and frustrating once Mr Jones' actual agenda is revealed ( the truth behind the mystery itself isn't a bad idea ), and the movie heads right into trippy, trying-so-hard-to-be-clever ridiculousness.

Another review described the movie as "if David Lynch directed Lovecraft " which maybe sums up what is wrong with the film big grin

I might have to see this just for the visuals...

 Posted:   May 8, 2014 - 8:05 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

HER (2013) - 9/10
A surprisingly charming and emotional film that really gives a good look at modern relationships. My husband didn't want to watch it because he thought it looked creepy but I was glad I got to finish it. The soundtrack, though annoying on its own, worked well in the film and largely fit the tone. Some strange interactions that come from focusing around a character that is also an AI are inescapable. I also couldn't get over how much Phoenix looks like my uncle with that mustache.

The Heat (2013) - 8/10
Really funny stuff, though more funny at the beginning than at the end. My husband and I laughed so much at the beginning while they were chasing the young black drug dealer that we had to pause it multiple times to avoid missing anything. The plot is at times a bit ridiculous and nonsensical but I largely enjoyed following the characters throughout. Though the advertising is largely full of hip-hop and rap, the film is thankfully saved from a significant amount of either. The score works well and generally does a good job matching the tone of the film. Songs used are typically fitting.

 Posted:   May 9, 2014 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Black Rock with Kate Bosworth

Here's my rather hasty Netflix review, which pretty much says how I felt about it:

What a horrible movie! It begins with some of the most maddening and inane dialog, and I immediately began to wonder what had prompted me to put this in my queue. And it only got worse -- much much worse! It was so bad that when I got back from taking it to the post office, I went through 8 pages of reviews to mark the ones with 1 and 2 stars as helpful. I usually glance at these reviews before I select a movie, but somehow didn't do so this time. Since 98% of future viewers are going to hate this movie, save yourself the wasted movie and DON'T put it in your queue. What a dismayingly awful movie, and a waste of every penny spent making it.

Apparently Bosworth did this because the director (and co-star) was a friend of hers. Simply horrible. And I'm still curious what prompted me to rent it from Netflix!

 Posted:   May 10, 2014 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

The Fairly Meh, Way Too Long And Ultimately Kind Of Grim Spider-Man 2. Good when it focuses on the relationship between Spidey and Gwen Stacy, and not bad when Electro's around, but far too over-stuffed and never really exciting. And while going for emotional impact is one thing, killing off Gwen - though certainly canon - deals such a blow to proceedings towards the end that it renders the movie a bummer. (Additional minus point: the grating presence of the '60s theme song, which doesn't work here as well as it did in the Raimi movies.) 5/10.

 Posted:   May 10, 2014 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Whoops. What with finals and all I forgot to do my April update:

A good deal of comfort viewing: horror and easy TV to help the studying go down. Not a great month. American Hustle was very disappointing and Frozen was pretty disappointing as well. Knights of Badassdom was even worse than I feared it would be, and it's a concept I would have loved to have loved. I couldn't help but thinking how much better The Mask would have been with a John Powell score. Really like Ripper Street season 2 aside from the finale, Party Down was hilarious as was (more occasionally) the first season of Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23. Of the movies, We Are What We Are was surprisingly good, and Absentia was quite good too, though better in its first half than its final act.

 Posted:   May 10, 2014 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

All Is Lost, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bloody Great Big Hole In My Boat. The film is about as nautical as can be - there was a sextant involved would you believe, however, there were no first person eyepiece view shots in the film. This technique was deemed unecessary - instead we see the chart plots made to denote progress - which is the correct way to visually weigh up the situation for audience inclusion in the plot. I say all this because it conveys the sort of thougthfulness put into the production in connecting up the non-verbal story arc while making sense for anyone watching.

I have to say I really liked the film and the concept. It's a gripping tale for one thing and an interesting departure for Redford, who pulls off his challenged and somewhat elderly lone mariner convincingly. A big thumbs up!

 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Yesterday I saw the 2006 "Murderous Intent" starring Eddie Redmayne. Here's the blurb at Netflix:

When Nigel (Tom Sturridge), a student at an exclusive British private school, is murdered, his classmate Alex (Eddie Redmayne) emerges as the prime suspect. Dr. Sally Rowe (Toni Collette), a forensic psychiatrist, questions Alex, probing for the truth behind the crime. As Alex's father (Patrick Malahide) presses the police to drop the case, Rowe discovers shocking secrets about both boys and their possible connection to an earlier murder.

There are twists within twists, and I suspected the principal twist. I'm glad I saw it, although it took me almost 8 years to get around to doing so.

 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Dans Paris (2006) 7.5/10

If I had seen the typical negative IMdb thread about Dans Paris, I would have denied myself a positive film experience. Garrel and Duris were excellent and I loved their on screen rapport. The entire cast was superb. Duris, in fact, could have taken his role way over-the-top but thankfully didn't and instead gave us a gem of a performance. Garrel plays the "lovable heel" role well.

Special mention to Guy Marchand, who was wonderfully sweet and sympathetic--in a gruff way--in this.

Christophe Honoré's direction was always interesting. I particularly liked the non-linear handling of Paul (Duris) and Anna's (Joana Preiss) relationship and its beginning and end. I am smitten with the way Paris looks in winter--it's bleakly beautiful. I found it was affecting my mood and pulling me further into this film. I would watch Dans Paris again just for those city scenes.

The music score by Alex Beaupain was a jazzy effort and if the music used in the persuasive theatrical trailer is any indication, the music was inspired by the Miles Davis composition "Milestones", or was perhaps yet another take on that classic.

I found the Duris-Preiss duet of the Beaupain song "La Haine" to be one of the emotional highlights of the film.

 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 7:46 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)


 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

The Ramen Girl- 8/10

Delightful little tale of a young woman, played by Britney Murphy, abandoned in Japan by her selfish boyfriend. Having no real life experience, Murphy sets out to discover herself by training to become a ramen master. Fun quirky film. Enjoyed it quite a bit.

 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

What a shame Murphy passed away so young. frown

 Posted:   May 13, 2014 - 5:41 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

The Amazing Spiderman (2012) -- 8/10
The Amazing Spiderman 2 (2014) -- 9/10
Dallas Buyers Club (2013) -- 7/10

 Posted:   May 14, 2014 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Fargo (The Television Series) 3.5-5

I was concerned this was going to be a gory mess, literately, focusing on bloody murders and human suffering. Such is not the case. It has some violent scenes, but frankly it's pretty tame compared to what everyone else is producing nowadays. The series is more of a physiological thriller, which is a plus for me.

There's a lot I like about this show. Number one is the cinematography. It's gorgeous. The lighting of sets and locations along with other elements like smoke makes very simple and mundane locations rather interesting. The theme song is very beautiful and the music within the series while sparse is effective.

I really enjoy the whole cast, and most characters have distinct personalities. Acting is generally outstanding from the major performers, though at times I feel they are trying a bit to hard to impress.

As with most shows the plot can often be a mess and this show really stretches my "suspension of disbelief". Unless there is some unforeseen supernatural elements in this, it has "Jumped the Shark" on more than one occasion.

Still I find this series fresh and entertaining. (For the record I never saw the film.)

 Posted:   May 14, 2014 - 5:08 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Robocop 2014 0/10

This new Robocop 'lite' has nothing on the original. Not one element that they improved upon; not in acting, not in special effects, not in camerawork and cinematography, not in casting, not in writing, not in music and licensing of music, ... the list goes on. Watching this new version, I yawned, I cringed, I looked at what time it was but mostly I remembered how good the Verhoeven was in the first place.

 Posted:   May 17, 2014 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Tarzan. Nicely animated with a good David Newman score, but never remotely in the same league as the Disney feature; an annoying narrator and a cute montage set to a Coldplay song don't help matters in the least. 4/10.

EDIT: Also, a horrendous pacing problem near the end with the climax being unforgivably rushed.

 Posted:   May 17, 2014 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Killer Joe (2011) 8/10

I don't know why it took me so long to watch this film but today I did. Perhaps I wasn't too won over by the previous play Friedkin adapted into a movie, Bug, but this time he truly delivered a great movie. First off, the rating debate is baloney, the violence in this movie I felt is instrumental to the story (there is a lot of beating up and abuse going on). There are obvious references to it being a play; the dialogue, the way certain shots and scenes are set up as well as you never see the Rex character (I imagine in the play you don't either). Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple are incredible in their roles and McConaughey's character demands attention throughout. Very interesting dynamics between all of the characters and good from start to finish.

 Posted:   May 17, 2014 - 1:39 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

THE GREAT DEBATERS Denzel Washington Forest Whittaker.

Not bad, not great. A few nice moments. Didn't like how in the end credits they said what the fictional characters went on to do. That seemed stupid.

James Newton Howard's music was pretty good.

 Posted:   May 18, 2014 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

The Ramen Girl- 8/10

Delightful little tale of a young woman, played by Britney Murphy, abandoned in Japan by her selfish boyfriend. Having no real life experience, Murphy sets out to discover herself by training to become a ramen master. Fun quirky film. Enjoyed it quite a bit.

I really liked this gem of a movie too. I had forgotten about it, its been a while ago since I saw it on video.

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