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 Posted:   Aug 5, 2015 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Tomorrowland 4.5-5

On a side note I just read Disney decided not take a loss on Tomorrowland. Perhaps it (at least) made it's money back.


Wow, had not heard that, but that is good news.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2015 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

On cable, I watched the classic AMERICAN GRAFFITTI. I remember the first time I saw it in the theater and marveled at how well Lucas captured the lives of teenagers on the brink of adulthood in 1962. I remember a drive in my home town where we all gathered, and I remember “dragging the Ave.” as part of our teenage rituals.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.
It is still a relevant, marvelous coming of age movie no matter what decade people are from. It was wonderful to see the young Dreyfuss demonstrating his early comedic acting chops. Loved Paul Le Mat’s character who embodied the tragedy of not being able to move on, to break from the town he lives in, to break away from others’ perception of him and to finally break away from the whole teenage, high school persona. As he said, “The Ave. is getting shorter.” No, he is just getting older, is stuck in a rut and doesn’t have some kind of future new identity. Both Ron Howard and Dreyfuss have the opportunity to break away from their small town, to emerge and become evolving men, but only Dreyfuss leaves perhaps following the possibilities embodied in the Suzanne Summer’s symbolic character.

Loved the music, of course, and if one listens to the lyrics carefully, you can see that some of the songs were just to capture the era, and some were strategically placed to support various narratives on the screen.

I thought the only misstep was using Harrison Ford who was a bit too old for the movie at that time.
9.5 out of 10.

I just watched the western THE SALVATION on DVD. It starred Mads Mikkelsen and was directed by a Danish director. While it is supposed to take place in the American West, if was filmed in South Africa. Interesting landscapes and towns. I liked it, but it is slow in some parts. There are some really interesting camera shots here and there. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was a great, evil villain. Eva Green spoke volumes with her eyes. Mikkelsen, an actor that I greatly admire, seemed to play his part a bit too stoically considering the conflicts and tragedies in the central narrative. Also, parts of it reminded me a wee bit of High Noon.

The music by Kasper Winding was fairly subdued. You won’t hear a rousing western score in this movie. The economic piece in the movie provided interesting character motivations. If you like westerns, you “might” like this movie. I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2015 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

Harbinger Down - 2/10 lance henriksen is on good form. Allegedly it was a practical effects heavy film. There didn't seem to be too many actual effects in it it and those that were there may as well have been digital. They also didn't seem to be very good, but it was difficult to tell as the scenes with them were shot very badly. No memorable scenes and a derivative script. Probably should have steered away from quoting The Thing, though there is a nice paraphrasing of a famous Jaws quote. Damn shame as I really wanted to like it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2015 - 12:45 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Waking Sleeping Beauty 4.5-5

This is a documentary by a Disney animator about the resurgence of the Disney empire in the 90’s. I had some issues with the makers attack on Ex Disney animator Don Bluth essentially calling him a traitor. Other wise the film seemed like an unbiased account of Disney’s great success and behind the scenes troubles at that time. The film really hits home the cutthroat, egotistic, childish, liars that run the entertainment business.


Ponyo 1-5

I’m more a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s earlier films. After Porco Rosso I felt the films started to become more and more bizarre and unreliable. Ponyo is perhaps his worst film in my opinion.

The animation is very juvenile and simple looking. Yes, theres lots of stuff moving about, but the craftsmanship harkens back to the cartoonish style of the 30’s. The backgrounds are sketchy and much more appropriate for a children’s book than a feature film. Miyazaki’s films were known for gorgeous backgrounds and interestingly rendered locations. The lack of a coherent story or character motivations is nothing short of a mess.

Other than the score the film is something I hope to forget.



American Beach House 0-5

I guess this was supposed to be a modern take on a teen sex comedy. Except all the participants look well into their 20’s or 30’s. If you ever grew up watching those teen movies from the late 70’s into the 80’s you know what to expect.

Most are usually pretty cringe worthy. But this one takes the cake. It’s dreadful, and not even fun in a bad way like so many of it predecessors.

Anyone with a hand held camera or camcorder could make a better film. I’m almost willing to say this is the worst movie ever made, it’s so incompetent.

Misha Barton has reached the bottom of the pit. No she's a hundred yards of dirt underneath that pit. This makes her other film “Virgin Territory” look like oscar material.

Maps of the Stars 2-5

I enjoyed Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska’s performances but the film otherwise failed to connect. The other actors most notably the young boy were horrible.

It was a weak, tired, and transparent attempt at satirizing the loathing sensibilities of the people in the entertainment industry.

Films like this try their best to use the most shocking of ideas and imagery in order to present a cutting edge or artsy story. For myself this just means they lack any credible ideas.

Mixed in with all of this was the strange surrealist nature of the story. Was it real? Was it someones imagination? In the end I didn’t care.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2015 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Wind Rises (2014) - 9/10
Probably one of the best films I've seen from Studio Ghibli in a long time. This one touches with real subjects similarly to Grave of the Fireflies though it has a lot more scope thanks to being in essence a biopic. The personal issues were dealt with wonderfully and I really connected to the characters. My dad, who normally hates animated movies, was also quite moved by this film. The English dub was also quite good as Disney has been doing for a while now.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2015 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Wind Rises (2014) - 9/10
Probably one of the best films I've seen from Studio Ghibli in a long time. This one touches with real subjects similarly to Grave of the Fireflies though it has a lot more scope thanks to being in essence a biopic. The personal issues were dealt with wonderfully and I really connected to the characters. My dad, who normally hates animated movies, was also quite moved by this film. The English dub was also quite good as Disney has been doing for a while now.


I'll have to check this one out. I liked Grave of the Fireflies.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2015 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


Maps of the Stars 2-5

I enjoyed Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska’s performances but the film otherwise failed to connect. The other actors most notably the young boy were horrible.

It was a weak, tired, and transparent attempt at satirizing the loathing sensibilities of the people in the entertainment industry.

Films like this try their best to use the most shocking of ideas and imagery in order to present a cutting edge or artsy story. For myself this just means they lack and credible ideas.

Mixed in with all of this was the strange surrealist nature of the story. Was it real? Was it someones imagination? In the end I didn’t care.


I went to see it in the theater and liked it more (I'll probably settle on 3,5/5). Julianne Moore's performance was very strong indeed and I did enjoy the kid actor and that storyline as well. Robert Pattison's performance, meh. But Cronenberg is lucky to get him to give these movies some exposure.

I enjoyed Maps the most out of Cronenberg's recent movies, "Cosmopolis" being very lackluster and "A Dangerous Method" a tad forgettable. I watched "A History of Violence" again recently and it along with "Eastern Promises" is way above these latest outings. Oddly enough those two were also more mainstream and traditional filmmaking.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2015 - 6:44 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Watched my way through the MI series:

Mission Impossible - has improved with age, I think, except for the sexism. Also in this age of everything being spoiled on the internet it's hard to imagine how shocking that opening was in 1996!

M:I:2 - Had never seen this one before. It's more a John Woo flick than an M:I flick, with doves and eyeball reflections and fires and characters tumbling through the air like a Mike Allred comic. Apparently there was a 3.5 hour cut of this at one point? And Woo was attached to return for the 3rd, for a time? Entertaining but anonymous 90s-style action flick. Thandie Newton was too good for this movie.

M:I:III - An odd duck. If you're in it for the plot this is not your movie. As with many Abrams projects, the plot follows a McGuffin and the villain is a cipher whose purpose (for the film) is not really to threaten the world but to make things personal for Ethan Hunt, who carries the joke of a movie with a committed, relentless intensity. Apparently Joe Carnahan was going to make an M:I:III but lost the job -- I'd be curious to see a Carnahan M:I movie.

Ghost Protocol - I don't seem to love this one as much as everyone else. It has some neat stuff but seems too sprawling, to me, and the garage fight just doesn't engage me. Also it needed more Ving Rhames.

Rogue Nation - Another solid entry, bolstered this time by the amazing performance by Rebecca Ferguson as Tom Cruise's equal, and a villain who's more there than in most of the other films in the series. Also needed more Ving Rhames.

Anyway. A surprisingly enjoyable series, especially given that it's not a genre I tend to love.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2015 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Social Nightmare. A movie about cyberbullying from The Asylum that premiered on Lifetime doesn't sound very good, and it isn't - the subject matter deserves a better script and actors. Plus it's so screamingly obvious who's hacking poor Kirsten Prout and Chloe Bridges that I was actually shouting "IT'S YOUR MOTHER, CAT!" (Cat is Kirsten's character) or words to that effect at the screen*. It doesn't help that Daryl Hannah's plastic surgery seems to be turning her into Karen Black... 2/10.

*It's so obvious that the Blu-ray release cuts to the chase and just renames the movie Mother, with Daryl on the cover.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2015 - 12:07 AM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

Prisoners 7.5/10 - Very well acted, directed and shot film. Not as dour or depressing as i thought it would be given the subject matter and had enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. Jackman was excellent, perhaps even better than Gyllenhall, and he's been on fire the last few films i've seen him in: this, Enemy, Nightcrawler, End of Watch.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2015 - 1:30 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

A Deadly Adoption. Straight-faced parody of Lifetime Original Movies, but only Jessica Lowndes seems to be in on the joke. 5/10.

 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2015 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) - 7/10
Went to the theaters yesterday to escape the heat and my husband preferred to see this over other movies out there. It was a solid movie with a typical plot hunting after the nuclear warhead mostly made interesting by the comedy and a few decent chase sequences. Pretty typical Guy Ritchie style of humor but it worked more often than not. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments. I wouldn't say it is memorable for its plot but some of the gags will certainly stick with you.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2015 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Fright Night Part 2 (1988) 7/10

Takes a while to get going, not as well written as the first one but definitely in the same goofball spirit. Roddy McDowall once again stealing the show aside from what has to be the first black trans vampire lol.

Dune (1984 3 hr TV version) 5/10

There's simply too much exposition, I still don't know what families control what planet or part of the spice production, the geopolitics bore me. The most interesting aspect is Paul Atreides' journey into self prophecy and I do like the dream elements which showcase Lynch's strengths as opposed to the rather uninspired battle sequences. The TV version is edited terribly, however the latest German anniversary edition blu-ray did a great job of incorporating upscaled scenes with high def material, most likely the best this tv version will ever look. If you've never seen Dune, watch the theatrical cut first.

13 Sins (2014) 8/10

A mishmash of different successful horror premises has a guy performing increasingly twisted challenges within a certain time period. I liked the cast, the pacing and the dark humor. A strong rental.

Videodrome (1983) 10/10

Remains a great movie and reminder of a time when video corrupted our minds. I can't wait for the remake: Streamcloud. wink

Cronenberg's Early works 7/10

Included on the recent Arrow release, the short films are actually fun and interesting, "Stereo" was a challenge to finish but had a lot of style to it and interesting ideas. Still need to watch "Crimes of the Future" though.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2015 - 5:27 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Well like it or not Dune is probably 80% geopolitics/religion and 20% adventure story so there would be just as many people complaining for lack of development and exposition if they cut all that stuff out. After all in order to understand the gravity of what occurs in the plot you have to understand some of how it fits in the overall sense of the world, which means understanding the different major actors and what they have been doing.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2015 - 9:14 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Attack on Titan Season 1 (2013) - 8/10
After giving up on the show after the first episode I finally revisited it recently and finished the first season. The first four episodes or so take a drastic turn from how it starts and then the show starts to get more interesting. I thought the world created was interesting and the whole concept of fighting off these huge titans was well-executed. The last six or seven episodes went very fast with some intense action and overall quality writing. I rarely have experienced episodes of anime that went so fast. There is still plenty to see in season 2 whenever it starts airing but I certainly found it to be a huge improvement to all of the anime that are so typical. When everything else feels like it fits within a certain style of anime this one keeps things fresh all of the way through and presents some intense, yet gruesome action.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2015 - 5:40 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Well like it or not Dune is probably 80% geopolitics/religion and 20% adventure story so there would be just as many people complaining for lack of development and exposition if they cut all that stuff out. After all in order to understand the gravity of what occurs in the plot you have to understand some of how it fits in the overall sense of the world, which means understanding the different major actors and what they have been doing.

Yes, but in the TV version it's just too much establishing and setting up that world while the so called "payoff" in the end is more fantastical and seems to transcend all of that. It remains a flawed movie across the board but there is something about that world and its characters that makes it appealing to watch and each time I revisit it I'm I fascinated by some of it, but the conclusion always is the same; though as ambitious as it may be, it doesn't work.

 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2015 - 5:43 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation 3-5

If you turn your brain off for two hours you will probably be entertained. It's a standard by the numbers, not particularly inventive or clever action adventure flick. As others have mentioned it felt more like a Bond film than a spy caper. Entertaining enough if you toss logic out the window.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2015 - 10:37 AM   
 By:   the_limited_edition   (Member)

On Deadly Ground (1994), 2/10

Dear Lord, what a mess. Seagal is as clueless as director as he is an actor (though in decent shape at that time), and Michael Caine's face looks like a death mask [sic!]. As with JAWS IV, he was probably thinking already about a beautiful house his fee for On Deadly Ground would help building.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2015 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Heavy Metal 2000 2-5

Well I know I wrote a short review for this, but it disappeared. In short, first time seeing this. (Only took me 15 years!) Not as bad as I keep hearing, but not good either. Animation fans should see it one time, just so they can check it off their list.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2015 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Attack on Titan Season 1 (2013) - 8/10
After giving up on the show after the first episode I finally revisited it recently and finished the first season. The first four episodes or so take a drastic turn from how it starts and then the show starts to get more interesting. I thought the world created was interesting and the whole concept of fighting off these huge titans was well-executed. The last six or seven episodes went very fast with some intense action and overall quality writing. I rarely have experienced episodes of anime that went so fast. There is still plenty to see in season 2 whenever it starts airing but I certainly found it to be a huge improvement to all of the anime that are so typical. When everything else feels like it fits within a certain style of anime this one keeps things fresh all of the way through and presents some intense, yet gruesome action.


My 17-year old daughter likes this a lot, and she's one of those Anime freaks who watch it all online in Japanese. I'm way behind, still working my way through the first hundred episodes of Inuyasha!

 
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