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 Posted:   May 7, 2015 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Giver (2014) - 8/10
Very happy with the end result here. The film makers managed to do a great job contrasting black and white footage with later additions of color. Everything went smoothly and managed to tell the story in a concise 1.5 hour film. Sure the ending was a bit non-sensical but it still had the proper emotional payoff necessary. Beltrami's score was serviceable, giving the right amount of emotion when needed. I would have liked the theme to be a little more complex but ultimately it fit and helped when it was given the spotlight.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2015 - 3:16 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Misleading spoiler tag. I've seen Her so I read your spoiler, but I haven't seen Lucy. I would suggest stating outside the spoiler tag that the blacked-out text reveals the ending of Lucy as well...

Consider it stated, although I'd say putting people off seeing Lucy constitutes a public service (Scarlett in ass-kicking mode notwithstanding).

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2015 - 3:51 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Last movie I have watched is Seven by David Fincher, which was a few days ago.

 
 
 Posted:   May 10, 2015 - 12:37 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Catched up with some recent horror flicks:

Haunt (2014) 4/10

Got the Varese CD of the Heil score and decided to check it out. Family moves into haunted house, son meets girl from the neighborhood and together they summon previous owners' ghosts. It has that drawn out vibe that American Horror Story had in its first season but only at the very end it goes all out, and that felt extremely rushed and incoherent. The Insidious "end title" rip off is also misplaced. I get the feeling this one stayed on the shelves for some time and they tried to make the best out of what they had.

The Conspiracy (2012) 2/10

Shot on a shoestring budget this faux documentary starts off interesting with two documentary makers focusing on a conspiracy "Alex Jones" type nut who goes missing. One of the documentary makers decides to take on his cause while the other one is skeptical. They stumble on a secret society, a conspiracy concocted for this movie and it is rather silly and reminiscent of the Simpsons' Stonecutters episode lol, and the predictable ending (done much better in a British cult classic) is laughable at best. OK, I wasn't expecting Oliver Stone JFK level of writing and editing here and I love movies about people stumbling onto conspiracies, but this was just too dumb for words and the found footage style didn't help either.


The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014) 8/10

There is a 1976 movie that is based more or less on a true story of a series of killings in 40s Arkansas by a hooded killer who never got caught. Though by no means a classic, still somewhat of a cult film. This new version sees the hooded killings re-emerge, notably after a screening of the 1976 movie takes place, and so the town is once again faced with its ugly past. This whole angle of referencing and even using footage from the 1976 movie gives the 2014 version a meta-quality that the later Scream movies also have. It's a nice tribute as the killings in the original are reproduced, though in updated fashion and definitely more gruesome. The lead actress Addison Timlin plays Sami, who escapes the killer and is determined this time to find his true identity. She as well as the rest of the cast (including Denis O'Hare from True Blood and Veronica Cartwright from Alien) is excellent. I liked this more than I did the original, the gritty editing and look of the picture is very strong and it's cool to see such a high end production come out of what is a rather overlooked exploitation picture from the 70s. There is one scene in particular involving a fractured bone that was cringeworthy. I regret not seeing it sooner, I was expecting this to be a straight up remake dismissing the original movie, I'm glad it payed homage as well as upstage it!

The Pact (2012) 7/10

I love the way this movie looks and the dysfunctional characters in it; the main performance by Caity Lotz is excellent. There are sequences that reminded me of "The Entity" and "The Changeling" and there is definitely a lot of tension and mystery in this one. Score was also surprisingly effective. Once the mystery starts to unravel it does lose some of its edge, but still an ok entry in the genre.

The Pact 2 (2014) 4/10
Despite the original cast returning in minimal fashion this is a rather redundant sequel that is nowhere near as effective as the first one. I cared for the characters in the first but this time less so. Best to avoid and stick with the first one.

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2015 - 2:38 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Noah 2014

Sure, I read all the bad things about this film but it's on Neflix so I thought I would give it a try. What the hell am I watching?! It's like a really bad 80's European fantasy film. The effects are atrocious, like really cheap stop motion animation. (Is it CGI?) The landscape and sky visuals look like really bad 70's optical effects. Watching the first few minutes of the film I seriously thought it was a parody of some kind. I'm only 25 minutes in should I continue?

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2015 - 3:15 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004) 4-5

This was a really engaging BBC docu-drama about an international manned mission to various planets and moons in our solar system. The story was written as scientifically accurate as possible taking into account time delay communications, solar radiation poisoning, and artificial gravity. The CGI was rather good for a television production such as this. The score beautifully composed by Don Davis perfectly captured the riveting action on the screen. My only small nitpick was the sense of impending doom the astronauts faced at every stop along the journey. It was a bit over dramatic at times. Still, the film left me with a sense of awe and wonder missing from most Hollywood films of today.

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2015 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Noah 2014

Sure I read all the bad things about this film but it's on Neflix so I thought I would give it a try. What the hell am I watching?! It's like a really bad 80's European fantasy film. The effects are atrocious, like really cheap stop motion animation. (Is it CGI?) The landscape and sky visuals look like really bad optical effects. Watching the first few minutes of the film I seriously thought it was a parody of some kind. I'm only 25 minutes in should I continue?


NO! I wish I'd had Netflix before I wasted my time renting this on Blu-ray from the local, but probably soon to be extinct, last surviving video store in my NC town. What a piece of modern junk NOAH is. What puzzles is how this crap ever gets made?

I now have a Roku and subscribe to Netflix streaming (did you know "The X-Files" is on it, and fully remastered in 16X9 HD?), and I suggest you check out the movie TRACKS.

Anyway, I watched on Blu-ray yesterday FORCE OF EVIL from 1949. Damn fine movie, an American classic. Later, on the Warner Archive streaming service, which I highly recommend subscribing to, I watched George C. Scott's RAGE for the first time since I saw it when it was originally in theatres in 1972. Not a great movie, but good and ultimately sad. Pegged the score as Lalo Schifrin as soon as the main titles started -- which took forever, I was getting annoyed. It sounded like Goldsmith at first, but I knew it wasn't Goldsmith, then I thought maybe Fielding, but then I heard Schifrin and so it was.

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2015 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Noah 2014

Sure I read all the bad things about this film but it's on Neflix so I thought I would give it a try. What the hell am I watching?! It's like a really bad 80's European fantasy film. The effects are atrocious, like really cheap stop motion animation. (Is it CGI?) The landscape and sky visuals look like really bad optical effects. Watching the first few minutes of the film I seriously thought it was a parody of some kind. I'm only 25 minutes in should I continue?


NO! I wish I'd had Netflix before I wasted my time renting this on Blu-ray from the local, but probably soon to be extinct, last surviving video store in my NC town. What a piece of modern junk NOAH is. What puzzles is how this crap ever gets made?

I now have a Roku and subscribe to Netflix streaming (did you know "The X-Files" is on it, and fully remastered in 16X9 HD?), and I suggest you check out the movie TRACKS.

Anyway, I watched on Blu-ray yesterday FORCE OF EVIL from 1949. Damn fine movie, an American classic. Later, on the Warner Archive streaming service, which I highly recommend subscribing to, I watched George C. Scott's RAGE for the first time since I saw it when it was originally in theatres in 1972. Not a great movie, but good and ultimately sad. Pegged the score as Lalo Schifrin as soon as the main titles started -- which took forever, I was getting annoyed. It sounded like Goldsmith at first, but I knew it wasn't Goldsmith, then I thought maybe Fielding, but then I heard Schifrin and so it was.


Thanks for the feedback. I'll checkout X-files!

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2015 - 12:03 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


I now have a Roku and subscribe to Netflix streaming (did you know "The X-Files" is on it, and fully remastered in 16X9 HD?), and I suggest you check out the movie TRACKS.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll checkout X-files!


I downloaded the HD broadcasts that were shown on Germany and the quality is amazing. I'll still buy them if they hit blu-ray but not sure if that will happen. Fox recently announced it would not do the last Simpsons seasons on blu-ray, they want it exclusively available on their digital archive, I wonder if that is the strategy for X-Files as well.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2015 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Prometheus

Premiered on uk terrestrial t.v last night. Am still not sure what i thought of it.
Its virtually a remake of alien, just with marginally different species, with some fairly harrowing scenes.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2015 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)


I now have a Roku and subscribe to Netflix streaming (did you know "The X-Files" is on it, and fully remastered in 16X9 HD?), and I suggest you check out the movie TRACKS.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll checkout X-files!


I downloaded the HD broadcasts that were shown on Germany and the quality is amazing. I'll still buy them if they hit blu-ray but not sure if that will happen. Fox recently announced it would not do the last Simpsons seasons on blu-ray, they want it exclusively available on their digital archive, I wonder if that is the strategy for X-Files as well.


Sadly, as we know physical media is going to be completely phased out eventually.

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2015 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

Noah. A bummer of cataclysmic proportions, with Darren Aronofsky's additions to the perfect work (especially the rock creatures) helping not a jot. Some entertainment can be had in spotting when Jennifer Connelly's English accent wavers (incidentally, how come Russell Crowe gets to keep his regular voice?) but otherwise Industrial Light & Magic, Look Effects, Mr. X Gotham and Technicolor (the FX houses) are the movie's real stars. 2/10.

And yet it looks like a masterpiece next to Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings!


Movies with bible themes are, like everything else, cyclical; what’s old becomes currency from new chumps. In the fifties and sixties, big screen technology gave the religious-themed spectacle “The Ten Commandments,” “Ben-Hur,” “King of Kings,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “The Bible” and “Hawaii” a presumed prestige; their expensiveness kept them from straying too far from the otherwise sadistic fantasies and periods. (Okay, DeMille’s bible study camp is rollicking relief, for which we’re eternally thankful.) In the seventies some religious movies got hip and we were doing singalongs in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell.” Then came Scorsese’s “Last Temptation of Christ” and afterwards Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.” Roughly a decade later The History Channel confirmed the reversal of its primary mission with Downey’s miniseries “The Bible,” a huge ratings hit forecasting God & Company would be returning for some limited engagements. With Aronofsky’s “Noah” a prime example, believers got more than they expected. This time movie technology isn’t advancing the biblical simplicity of indecorous bling of wickedness and the promise of good cheer in the afterlife. Instead, as atheist ecology, CGI is being used to destroy a faith-based story, to make mock of it as “Transformer: Extinction of Intelligence.” Unboundedly stupid, inconceivably disrespectful to even primitive cognition in the general audience, to say nothing of the contempt for the sincerely nescient religionists, “Noah” is indisputably the worst prestige epic I’ve seen in my lifetime of watching movies.

Ridley Scott is virtually Bronston De Mille resurrected, having reconfigured “Fall of the Roman Empire” as “Gladiator,” refashioned “El Cid” as “Kingdom of Heaven,” and now renovates “The Ten Commandments” as “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” His track record has been spotty: big hit “Gladiator” has some deplorable effects and editing but, as forgiveness of sins, Crowe seduces with his voice and is very moving at the climax. The theatrical version of “Kingdom” a bitterly fought compromise, a domestic flop suffering severely from the studio-demanded cut of Bloom’s romance with Eva Green. Releasing his “director’s cut,” with the love affair and other connectives restored, it becomes whole and given the on-going savagery in the Middle East even more germane. (His most convincing yet underrated roadshow, it’s helped by writer William Monahan using agnosticism as salve to soothe the ulcerations of religious insanity.) A similar vexation applies to “E:GK.” Deemed a box office disappointment here (recouping cost and into profit via int’l admissions), in its present state it’s not satisfying. Mammoth with graphics to the point of overdose — all right, the crocs turning the Nile into blood and chariots tumbling into a ravine are pretty good (a salute to the “mirrors” in “Solomon and Sheba”?) — there’s little compensation from Bale’s Moses and Edgerton’s Ramses. Plot advances foreshortened; the preperbutal image of the higher power derisory; wtf Signourney Weaver’s all about anyone’s guess; and plenty of other danglings due to fights over length. Have to wait for Scott’s four hour plus vision to see what’s missing, if he releases it — he’s on record saying he won’t. Who believes he’ll not allow two hours of expensively produced material to be included in a deluxe Blu ray? I don’t. What we know: there won’t be anything like De Mille’s screamer dialogue or the Mexican mercado adornments. What we might hope to get: Weaver as coupling of Judith Anderson and Vincent Price fulminating about the plagues and demanding a hit on Moses. No one else has the potential to provide the laughs we need as emergency relief.

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2015 - 6:33 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The Imitation Game.

Unfortunately for you, Ralph, I've only just seen it so I'm newly acquainted with "indecorous." But that is it. The film was a major disappointment - it "bombed." The performances were, without exception, juvenile and contrived enough for me to lose patience more than a couple of times.

First of all, the color was shifted towards the blue end of the scale. Apparently, it's a black and white film with single tone colorisation and just a tad more than 3 shades per frame. It has that flatly dimensioned and colorised postcard look about it.

For crying out loud, the events portrayed are a piece of history and what have they done - they've squeezed complex and real people into caricatures that causes one to squirm with almost every utterance they make. You know, I'd seen several scenes from the film on TV before seeing it today, one of which is that of Keira Knightly performing her test in under 6 minutes. Well, don't you know, when it comes to the actual movie that's all there is to it. There's hardly any extra material padding out the clips as seen on TV. The end result is there's no real character development, unless you consider the over-acted portrayals from the leads as somehow making up for the brevity of what should have been a very carefully worded, academic study of important historical personas. It was, instead, a case of all caution being thrown to the wind in order to bring in the vehicle at 110 minutes. The truth is it was a hopelessly botched effort. The limp dialogue between the policemen pursuing Turing within that intermittently arching investigation, as it trudged alongside the main discourse of the story, was repeated everywhere else internally. Some of it becomes unintentionally funny. Take, for instance, the young Alan being told by the headmaster of the young Christopher's passing. The shot is held on young Alan - one can almost hear the director giving intructions in the way of the silent era. Over the long take, the different areas of the lad's face providentially take turns to convey quivering, or a twitch, as the emotion swells with disproportionate exaggeration. It just goes on and on until you have to laugh for being overdone. Or, how about the scene where he is a lone figure hugging his love letter to Christopher, moving towards the throng of returning schoolboys, only to find that when the last has gone past him there is no Christopher with whom to conjugate some "code." I mean, that was painful to watch due to it being so out of order and beyond the pale in terms of the tried, tested and most tired of approaches.

All in all, a very amateur and diminished piece of work from all concerned.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2015 - 9:38 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Roughly a decade later The History Channel confirmed the reversal of its primary mission with Downey’s miniseries “The Bible,” a huge ratings hit forecasting God & Company would be returning for some limited engagements.

Imagine if the Downey in question had been Robert Jr instead of Roma. smile (Then again, we wouldn't have had The Soup's parody of Roma being interviewed with Mark Burnett and getting lost in his beard.)

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2015 - 12:19 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Wow I disagree completely about The Imitation Game. I thought it was quite engaging and was done quite well. But then I'm used to all these modern tricks that you said made it difficult for you to watch.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2015 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Towards the end, after the Christoper machine stops with it's solution, the team's decision-making apparatus degenerates into something of a farce. "My bro's on the Carlisle," says the young baby-faced member of the team, while sobbing away. "We can't let the cat out of the bag, now, can we?" suggests Turing, "otherwise they'll know we've cracked Enigma."

Well, of course the Nazis wouldn't have spent much time scratching their heads over that one, would they? This "output" was very obviously targeted at a popcorn chewing audience and left me shifting about very uncomfortably. The storyline definitely plunged through a large hole into freefall at that point, if it hadn't already done so. Whatever coherence the plot had beforehand became fatally unbound and never recovered thereafter, even though it had entered the third act by then.

The film begins with Turing setting up his 'test' scenario with the cop, then telling him the story of Bletchley, over which by the way, he is still sworn to secrecy. What really annoyed me was the nosey cop is turned around to repentence after Turing has put him in the full historical picture, having been instrumental in opening the can of worms leading to the charges being levelled at Turing in the first place. That ridiculous twist of turning the cop into a future apologist for Turing's dreadful treatment at the hands of the law was tugging at the request for a bleeding heart a little too hard. The actor playing the cop merely looked daft with that open-mouthed expression for having smeared the war-hero so nastily when confronted with the full facts of the matter. That is over-simplified PC hype, and I for one don't buy it. I'd rather have had the unadorned, dusty truth in uncompromising detail.

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2015 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Not quite on the same level as the first one, but still damned good. 9/10.

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2015 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Egypt (2005) 5-5

This is a BBC production recounting various Egyptian discoveries told in the form of a docudrama. Think Indiana Jones without the Nazi's or fight sequences. The series was surprisingly riveting thanks to top notch production values, a tight script and engaging actors. The whole series was beautifully filmed as though it was a feature presentation.

The 45-50 minute episodes broke down as follows.

(1) The Search for Tutankhamun
(2) The Curse of Tutankhamun
(3) The Pharaoh and the Showman
(4) The Temple of the Sands
(5) The Mystery of the Rosetta Stone
(6) The Secrets of the Hieroglyphs

Highly recommended!

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2015 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Tideland (2005) 6/10

This is a Terry Gilliam movie. big grin It is told from the imagination of a young girl and I wont bother explaining this one lol. I had a hard time getting into it but if I had to describe it I would say it's basically Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 if you took out the killings and gore; It has a naive girl in the lead, dysfunctional families, the cast consist of mainly rednecks who inhabit their own tiny universe, there's a man child experimenting with sexuality and last but not least some very questionable parenting. Oh, and Jeff Bridges' performance here shows a lot of range.

The Crazies (1973) 8/10

I recently got the blu-ray and it's been a while since I've seen this overlooked George Romero movie; I always thought "The Crazies" was basically the first 20 minutes of Dawn of the Dead drawn out to be a full length picture; it has that same chaos and sense of urgency with people running around panicked and officials not having a clue what to do. It all makes for great drama and the crazies themselves almost take a backseat to this. I like the more paranoid 2010 remake as well but this one offers a broader picture as to what exactly is going on and has some good laughs as well.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2015 - 2:30 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Stay (2005) 8/10

Ewan McGregor plays a psychiatrist who tries to prevent one of his patients (played by Ryan Gosling) from committing suicide. First off, I have to say how hot Naomi Watts looks in this picture. Second, the movie is very stunning visually with top notch cinematography and editing, taking you on a great mind trip. There are clues given along the way both visually (editing, set design, props) as well as through the dialogue and the way it wraps up in the end is worthy of praise. The movie provides you with strong images that all serve a purpose. The score was ok (even including some Massive Attack if I'm not mistaken). Nice performance by the late Bob Hoskins as well.

A Civil Action (1998) 6/10

Courtroom drama starring John Travolta as a excessively greedy lawyer who takes on a at first sight "lost cause" case -involving kids dieing of water poisoning in a small town- when he discovers the environmental neglect of big corporations is responsible. The movie is basically a lesser Erin Brockovich without the charismatic lead and here it's Travolta's opponent Robert Duvall who has the best scenes. Impressive cast includes James Gandolfini, William H. Macy, John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, Daniel Von Bergen, Stephen Fry. The score by Danny Elfman didn't quite work for me; it has that signature Good Will Hunting sound he used more effective in other movies around that time.

 
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