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Old 04-10-2007, 12:54 PM   #2401
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Flags of our Fathers

It was about time I saw this movie, I've heard that Letters from Iwo Jima is better, but FooF was very good and dramatic movie too.

Maybe it suffers a little bit from the fact that there have been way too much WW2 stuff released on various formats during the last 10 years.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:25 AM   #2402
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Children of men.

I've seen better TV mocumentaries by the Brits (future speculation/terrorism). This movie really suffers from a mediocre budget, or just lack of vision. The refuge camp was especially crummy. How Hamas came to be there wasn't really explained, heck the 'collapse' of the world was handled in a tiny 8 second TV splash on a screen on the train and a couple of one liners passed between Theo and his father. Most everything seemed either rushed or lightly adressed (hell even Equilibrium spends longer on exposition!).

Clive Owen seems to be on a roll of stinkers lately :/, and he's going to reprise his role in Sin City 2. How much longer before he's on a weekly TV show or doing ads for erectile disfunction treatment?
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:01 PM   #2403
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I saw 300. Extremely disappointing despite the fact that I went into the theater with no expectations. I don't mind fast paced, "in your face" filmmaking like this, and I enjoy a lot of comic book/graphic novel movies (including another adaptation of Frank Miller's work, Sin City). But this movie was a turd.

It's not the fault of the director, necessarily. Though George Romero's Dawn of the Dead is still superior, I had a lot of fun with Zack Snyder's remake. He did a good job adapting the source material to the screen here too. Visually, 300 is a pretty cool flick. The problem is the source material itself.

For one thing, there is no plot or character development to speak of. The vast majority of the film depicts a battle, but who gives a damn about who lives or dies when we are given no REASON to give a damn? Still, had the movie been a bit more grounded in reality, I may have enjoyed it regardless. But this is where I really got upset...

History is interesting. Period. If someone wants to create their own world and populate it with hobbits or Jedi or whatever else, that's great. But damn it, why butcher a historical battle? Why even tell a story about Spartans vs Persians, making use of several historical facts, if the end result will have massive dinosaur things and gigantic elephants charging around? Frank Miller might be just a bit overrated... Let's not forget he's the guy who wrote Robocop 2 and 3.

Anyway, 300 was a movie made for teenagers and if the world was a better place, it would only be ENJOYED by teenagers.

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Children of men.

I've seen better TV mocumentaries by the Brits (future speculation/terrorism). This movie really suffers from a mediocre budget, or just lack of vision.
What the... It had some of the most incredible special effects I've seen in a long time. Maybe they did them on a small budget, but I certainly couldn't tell. The long takes (where most of the effects were used) were so mindblowing, especially the one that ran ten minutes near the end. Cauron's "vision" was huge for this movie, in my opinion. True there wasn't much exposition, but I would argue it wasn't necessary. It had pretty good characters and a well defined objective...I found it very entertaining myself.

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Shortbus, I like the style, it's a great format for character driven stories. The real sex was refreshing, there's definitely something achieved that couldn't be with simulation.
Really? Can you explain why? I saw the movie and found the sex to be gratuitous.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:13 PM   #2404
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True there wasn't much exposition, but I would argue it wasn't necessary. It had pretty good characters and a well defined objective...I found it very entertaining myself.
I don't know how you can argue a movie about the end of civilization requires no exposition. The plot reads like this to me (contains spoilers).

"Let's pretend that everywhere but Britain has fallen into total chaos, maybe because of the recent infertility of our race, maybe not, who cares!?. The point is that lots of refugees are arriving in Britain and the "Government" treats em really harsh by locking them up in camps and cages on the street (just pretend no one ever saw The Siege, or lives in Australia).

Now this guy, doesn't matter what his job or background is, all that matters is he lost a baby (real tearjerker, classic motivation!) and he has this ex-wife who after the loss of their baby joined a terrorist group that wants to fight for refugee rights. Doesn't matter why she did, she was just upset, thats all, oh and incidentally when she and her ex-husband where younger, they where hippies. Anyway she's the leader (I said don't think about it!). And she's the only one who has ever made contact with some near mythical separationist group (Hey!).

Well the wife, she gets in contact with her ex-husband and ropes him into doing a job with her. See they've found the only fertile woman in 18 years, we don't need to explain why, where she came from, or how a single baby will be enough to save the world, she's a symbol. And this couple who lost their own baby, are gonna save this one so the mother will name it after their kid that died. People will never see that coming.

To sum it up, we just wan't to show people at their worst, forget what drove them to it, and then we want to chuck a baby in there! The last baby on the earth that could save the race, and how even when faced with (alluded to) salvation most people will still be selfish and stupid and violent. Hey!, maybe then they'll wonder if we're worth saving? Its genius."

Then on the day of filming in the refugee camp, in an inspired move they dress up the some refugees in headscarves and green flags, again alluding to something weighty without any decent exposition.

The camera work is good, great tracking shots in the battlescene at the end but that really made it look scripted/constructed. Just like scenes from recent shooter video games. By pure coincidence I had only just recently played Cold Fear which uses the same perspective as this scene, complete with rain and blood splatter on the camera lens. Many people liken it to Half-Life 2's scripted scenes too.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:35 PM   #2405
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I don't think the movie needs to explain all that, and some of those questions they don't know about either. It's a day-in-the-life-of type of movie, and it might seem odd to have a character pause each time to explain something that the other characters already know. The focus of the movie is easy enough to understand and would get cluttered with every detail explained.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:43 PM   #2406
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Whoa there Crunchy... I just said the movie was entertaining, and had some brilliant technical virtuosity. I didn't say it was high art, though it definitely stood out last year since not many good movies were released. Children of Men was more about setting and atmosphere to me. It wasn't about WHY the atmosphere exists. It just does. I mean, why would people who have lived in that place want to discuss what the cause was if not to satisfy an audience like us? I'm not saying it can't be done in a subtle fashion, I'm just saying I didn't find it necessary.

Perhaps you were looking for something different than I was. You obviously want everything explained to you, but I didn't require that. I just think your comments were too brutal. Lack of budget? Lack of vision? Neither seemed a problem. Lack of exposition? Sure, now THERE is an accurate criticism. I would agree there in a heartbeat, despite disagreeing it was a problem.

By the way, I am one of those people who was saying last year that Children of Men reminded me of Half-Life 2. I wouldn't really compare it to Cold Fear, though I've beaten that game too. Anyway, I'm not going to get bent out of shape by the fact that you disliked Children of Men. It's not a masterpiece, and I'm not going to defend it as if it was. As I said, I just found your criticisms a bit harsh for a film that did things, technically, that have never been done in film before. I think, in a way, that movie will spark a revival of decent action scenes in the movies. I know I haven't seen action scenes that impressed me that much in some time...
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:04 PM   #2407
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I made the 'mistake' of watching Grave of the Fireflies. I say mistake because I'm still cut up from watching it. A couple of times I just wanted to stop the film, but its so beautiful I could not.

Its a hard film to recommend watching, you really have to want to see it to get through it all I imagine so I'll just say, try not to watch it alone.
I just watched this for the first time. I'd wanted to for a long time, finally bought it a few weeks back, then watched it last night due to your post.

Yeah, I was pretty cut up too, but I have no reservations on recommending it. Grab the hankies and prepare for an emotional experience.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:43 PM   #2408
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You obviously want everything explained to you, but I didn't require that.
I always feel why a character is in the story is just as important as what they do during it. Understanding why characters do what they do is enjoyable to me. I just couldn't understand half of the decisions people made in this film. Why should I believe that getting a single woman capable of bearing children to an unknown and vaguely referenced group of people is important?

There's a difference between being subtle and not trying. Maybe I'll borrow the book from the library. My original comments where linked to the impression that the theme would have been better in a longer format with better elucidation. The movie feels rushed.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:49 PM   #2409
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I have no reservations on recommending it. Grab the hankies and prepare for an emotional experience.
I don't know many people who'd watch films for that kind of emotional rollercoaster. That last montage at the end of Setsuko just about did me in. That's why I have a hard time recommending it. To anime lovers its a must see.
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Old 04-13-2007, 01:31 AM   #2410
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I dont unserdtand, you can recommend a film that provokes humour in a comedy, but when it comes to sad emotions its questionable?
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:56 AM   #2411
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Flags of our Fathers

It was about time I saw this movie, I've heard that Letters from Iwo Jima is better, but FooF was very good and dramatic movie too.

Maybe it suffers a little bit from the fact that there have been way too much WW2 stuff released on various formats during the last 10 years.
I didn't think that Iwo Jima was a better film than Flags of Our Fathers, and I'm not certain why that seems to be the popular opinion. I'm inclined to think that a few critics were overly impressed by the fact that one was in Japanese and the other wasn't. Both were well done and representative of Eastwood's directorial style, which seems to be calm, quiet, and introspective.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:13 AM   #2412
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My original comments where linked to the impression that the theme would have been better in a longer format with better elucidation. The movie feels rushed.
Well, I often find this a problem in movies lately. It's a problem that didn't exist so much before. Filmmakers used to tell a complete, detailed story in an hour and a half. Since they often don't anymore, I'm glad TV is getting better. Almost any HBO series is a gift in this day and age, and I love a good miniseries. More time to tell a story, when the time is used well, is always welcome IMO.

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I didn't think that Iwo Jima was a better film than Flags of Our Fathers, and I'm not certain why that seems to be the popular opinion. I'm inclined to think that a few critics were overly impressed by the fact that one was in Japanese and the other wasn't. Both were well done and representative of Eastwood's directorial style, which seems to be calm, quiet, and introspective.
I strongly disagree. Letters was so much better than Flags that it's shocking both were by the same filmmaker. It has nothing to do with the film being in Japanese. I've seen plenty of godawful movies in Japanese, but Letters wasn't one of them.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:54 AM   #2413
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I've got a new mission now. I'm going to watch every movie that Aki Kaurismäki has made and I'm going to watch them in chronological order.

Yesterday I watched the first one Rikos ja rangaistus / Crime and Punishment, an 80's Finnish version of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel.
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #2414
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saw it last night with a whole lot of people it was fun great night also got pulled over by the cops pretty scary but the movie was good and interesting stared off boring but half way threw got really good like a puzzle i like movies like that so if you like movies like that then you should see it.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:02 PM   #2415
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Really? Can you explain why? I saw the movie and found the sex to be gratuitous.
I guess it's the expressions, the little details. I didn't know it wasn't simulated until after I watched the movie, but I noticed it was good. I'm not even sure if it couldn't be achieved with simulation. I thought the movie was about sex, so did not find it gratuitous. The make love not war room wasn't used that much, and the rest I felt was essential, at least it was all used for the enhancing the story.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:11 PM   #2416
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I guess it's the expressions, the little details. I didn't know it wasn't simulated until after I watched the movie, but I noticed it was good. I'm not even sure if it couldn't be achieved with simulation. I thought the movie was about sex, so did not find it gratuitous. The make love not war room wasn't used that much, and the rest I felt was essential, at least it was all used for the enhancing the story.
I just personally find real sex in movies to be distracting. Obviously, in porn it's the whole point, but I don't see the point of real sex in a non-pornographic film. I've seen plenty of movies that claim to be intelligent art films with real sex in them. Caligula (terrible), Romance (average at best), Shortbus (not my cup of tea), 9 Songs (bah). The only one that is pretty good is actually one of the earliest. Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses. That one isn't bad. It's also not that great though.

I just don't see the point of the real sex in real films, when simulated would work just fine. Even the knowledge that two people are having sex in a movie is plenty for me...I mean we ALL know what that's like. Must we see it? And if we see it, must we see actual penetration? I mean, is it really necessary?
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #2417
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Beautiful Girls. I highly recommend this film.
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:33 AM   #2418
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Well I watched 300, and if you've seen any of the buzz about the film you'll know its anathema for guys to say nary a bad word about it so I'll just say it was a fun film to watch. I didn't find it overly gory at all and the homosexual undertones are neither "strong" nor "hard" (that was a very bad 'in joke' ).

Oh and the credits sequence really does list transexual [asian] #1 and #2, and transexual [arabian] #3.
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:50 PM   #2419
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I just saw Borat. It was absolutely hilarious. Not many movies have made me laugh that often!
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Old 04-14-2007, 03:47 PM   #2420
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Went to see Grindhouse today for my birthday, and had a blast! The first film, Planet Terror was much more entertaining to me than Death Proof, but the latter's car sequences were amazing. If they make a sequel, I'm not sure which trailers I'd like to see as full-length features...they all tickled my funny bone. I'd probably go see "Thanksgiving" and "Werewolf Women of the SS", before the others. But they all would make entertaining double features in various combinations.
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