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Old 12-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #3021
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The Golden Compass

Based on the first Philip Pullman book "Northern Lights". I can't speak to it's closeness to the source material as I've never read the books.

Young orphan Lyra gets caught up in a strange story about multiple universes, dust ??, souls animals (Daemons), armoured polar bears, a tyrannical government who may or may not be religious in nature and the evil Nicole Kidman.

SFX is pretty cool. The polar bear fight was cool and the various Daemons were well crafted.

The acting was spotty. The young girl was a bit hit or miss and most of the cast are hardly on screen to care. The only decent characters was Nicole Kidman's spooky evil bitch and Sam Elliot (the coolest voice in holywood) as the sky captain.

The film itself was no LOTR, not even up to Narnia (which sucked) and spent most of the film explaining things to Lyra. Esp the exposition ending which just talks about what they need to do next then just stops........

Haven't not read the books I'm not upset about it, but I do get the impression it is probably NOT a good adaption and seriously waters down the religious aspect of the novels.

4/10

on the other hand

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Probably one of the best films of the year.

A Western Based on the fictionalised story of the last days of Jesse James it sees Brad Pitt as the eponymous outlaw and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford a Jesse James stalker who joins the gang to meet his hero.

It is a beautifully shot movie, superbly acted by both leads (Affleck in particular is amazing Oscar material). Brad Pitt as the paranoid outlaw jumping at shadows who maybe knows that the end is coming is cool, scary and at times pitiful.

It's not an action movie and the action sequences are few and far between. It's mostly a dissection of a folk hero and the man who killed him.

Brilliant

9/10
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:43 AM   #3022
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Stardust, was hilarious throughout, the characters were charming. Pfeiffer, De Niro, O'Toole, Strong, and Gervais must have really enjoyed their incredibly fun characters. Obviously not very complex or deep, it's very accomplished in its purpose.
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:24 AM   #3023
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Blade Runner: The Final Cut A+++++++++++!
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:53 AM   #3024
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Alice in Wonderland
My Disney film-watching continues! This was a bit... well... disappointing. Given how closely associated with the original story this film is, it does a remarkably good job of not really going anywhere. That said, it's still fun.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Having tracked down a copy of the two-disc edition, I have to say that I enjoyed this, though it never really felt like more than a mediocre action film dressed up in some (nice) animation. That and my DVD seems to pause at every chapter change, which is slightly irritating (and I'm wondering if it's a faulty disc, which would be rather annoying given the time spent tracking it down).
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:18 PM   #3025
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I watched Fargo again last night and I think that movie's pretty much perfect. There really wasn't a single flaw with it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:36 PM   #3026
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I watched Fargo again last night and I think that movie's pretty much perfect. There really wasn't a single flaw with it.
Agreed 100%. One of my favourites.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:24 AM   #3027
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Superman II
A bit too much of a face-off film for my liking - particularly as some of the fighting didn't make much sense to my mind - but an enjoyable enough romp.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:14 AM   #3028
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Which version did you see? The Donner cut or the theatrical version?
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #3029
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Oops. Sorry; should have specified that. I saw the original theatrical cut, though I also have the Donner version, and intend to watch it at some point .
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:16 PM   #3030
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The Donner version is only ever watched at 2am after coming home from the pub drunk.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:35 PM   #3031
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Blade Runner (US Theatrical Cut)
One from the 5-disc release that came out recently (in the UK). The last time I saw Blade Runner was several years ago, when the Director's Cut was on television, and I remember being rather confused by it. Partly because I was young and stupid, but since then I've been keen to see this film with the narration and whatnot. Interestingly, I'm now pretty sure that most of it is indeed unnecessary (although it did clear up a couple of things for me).

Anyway, the film. It's not my favourite Philip K Dick-based film (that's a toss-up between Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly), but it's certainly a very good film. I look forward to watching the Final Cut (possibly tomorrow).

Great DVD set, too. I'm pleased by how reasonable the picture quality is for the alternate versions, as I wasn't sure that they wouldn't just have copied them in from any sources available.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:44 PM   #3032
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Catch Me If You Can

Fascinating story. I really like it!
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:31 PM   #3033
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Anyone seen Juno yet? Looks like it's only playing in NY and LA for now (Argh! Why does Chicago have to be the third biggest city in the US?), which is frustrating since all the reviews are out now, and they're great. They make it sound like a cross between Election, Knocked Up, The Opposite of Sex and Superbad (with bits of Little Miss Sunshine thrown in). In short, excellent.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:08 PM   #3034
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Bambi
It would be wrong to trash this film, but it's not one that I'm in any hurry to watch again. Nice animation, but that's about it.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:11 PM   #3035
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I've been watching a lot of Disney movies lately, too. First I watched a bunch of 80s ones, then I started back from Snow White and watched in order. I just got up to The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. (I skipped Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, though. I also didn't watch Fantasia because I'm hoping to rewatch it with a few friends soon.) Some of them (Bambi, all the package films) I'd never seen before. And some (Pinocchio, Dumbo) I had only the faintest childhood memories of. A few random impressions:
  • All the early animation is gorgeous.
  • Jiminy Cricket is a fantastic character. Ironically, he might be the most human character in any of these movies. He's constantly messing up, he makes impulsive decisions, he speaks with an old man's moral superiority while not having as many of the answers as he thinks he does.
  • Dumbo was a very pleasant surprise! As a little kid I don't think I saw it many times, but enough for the whole experience of rewatching it to be incredibly nostalgic. As I watched I remembered exactly what it was like to watch it back then, not in terms of the plot (which I hadn't really understood), but in terms of all those emotions. And it's such an emotional, sad story. The whole thing is being an outcast and making a fool of himself and hitting rock bottom and dealing with it with drinking (!) until they see scary hallucinations (That totally freaked me out as a kid!) and only in the very end getting somewhere. I wonder how much of these feelings come from the Great Depression.
  • Fun and Fancy Free was very entertaining all around.
  • I'm very glad I watched The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The Wind in the Willows section is a classic- as good as any of the full productions, though regrettably only half as long. The Sleepy Hollow story was less successful, but it was worth watching for that hilarious dancing scene. What I didn't like about it was that I detested Ichabod. Mr. Toad is crazy, but he's fun crazy. Ichabod's just selfish and mean.
  • Bambi was very pretty to look at, but much too long for the tiny amount of plot it had. It would have worked better as a short, like Bongo.
  • The "nature" model of love story is repeated over and over, yet each time the animators drag it out as though they think it's the freshest thing in the world. (I'm talking about the boy-meets-girl, boy-turns-into-brainless-machine, boy-floats-in-clouds, boy-looks-like-he's-going-to-lose-girl sequence.)
  • The Fox and the Hound would be a good movie if they'd cut out the worm subplot and the love story. And the songs. And that annoying Mama owl character.
  • If I didn't know ahead of time that The Black Cauldron was a Disney movie, I wouldn't have guessed it. It is so completely unlike every other Disney movie I've seen in plot and tone and pacing! Incidentally, it's not a good movie. Most of the character designs are bland, the plot is cookie-cutter fantasy stuff, the stakes are low, the world is boring, the pace is slow, the music is silly, the constant gimmicky effects are often pretty but just as often flawed enough to pull you out of the story. I do like Gurgi, though. A whole movie starring Gurgi would probably have been more fun.
  • The way they force the name of each of the package movies into a song is annoying.
  • The Peter and the Wolf short in Make Mine Music is completely ruined by Sterling Holloway's (He's the voice actor who did Pooh Bear.) narration. He doesn't stop blabbering about what you can see plainly, not for an instant! So how are you supposed to enjoy the music?

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Old 12-09-2007, 05:39 PM   #3036
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Beowulf

I'm suprised over how good it was, didn't expect that at all.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:07 PM   #3037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoriartyL View Post
Dumbo was a very pleasant surprise! As a little kid I don't think I saw it many times, but enough for the whole experience of rewatching it to be incredibly nostalgic. As I watched I remembered exactly what it was like to watch it back then, not in terms of the plot (which I hadn't really understood), but in terms of all those emotions. And it's such an emotional, sad story. The whole thing is being an outcast and making a fool of himself and hitting rock bottom and dealing with it with drinking (!) until they see scary hallucinations (That totally freaked me out as a kid!) and only in the very end getting somewhere. I wonder how much of these feelings come from the Great Depression.
Dumbo is the only movie (I think) that has ever made me cry. Nuff said.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:30 AM   #3038
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Aladdin
Aside from that carpet ride song, which I ceased to be a fan of once it became a song beloved of six-year-old girls at school concerts, this is a great Disney film. And the R1 DVD transfer seemed reasonable. Good stuff.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #3039
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Enchanted
I was the only one in my family with any interest in this movie, considering the clichéd plot. But I actually got my mother and one of my sisters to come. Meanwhile, my other sister kept insisting that I shouldn't go to it, that it's a "chick flick", that anonymous friends of hers had told her it was bad, that it's just plain stupid. In the end, she came too! And here's the kicker: we all loved it! Excellent movie. I found Giselle's outlook on love not only refreshing but even insightful.

Part of the reason I wanted to see this movie was the promise of 2D animation. I don't think they're quite there yet.* Don't get me wrong- it was all very fun to watch. But after seeing so much wonderful Disney animation lately it was a bit of a letdown, because this isn't really in the same league. There are very few in-between frames (What I'm trying to say is that it felt choppy.), the character designs were generic, the composition of the frames was only standard, etc. I had a similar mild disappointment with the songs: while it's wonderful to hear new compositions from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, this is nowhere near the quality of their work in Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas or The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

But it all worked perfectly in the context of the story. After all, it's sort of supposed to remind you of other experiences rather than create new ones. Most of the homages were more tasteful than they seemed (taken out of context) in the trailer.

Anyway, good movie. Really good movie. Don't be afraid to see it.





*If you're a bit confused as to what I'm talking about: As I understand it, most of Disney's 2D animators were fired after Home on the Range, when the CEO back then decided they should only work with 3D computer graphics. So they're building the whole 2D business up again from scratch.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:20 PM   #3040
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I saw Enchanted a couple weekends ago, myself. I liked it. Got a bit too RomCom-like at the end (and not in a very good way, mind you), but the rest was very much worth it. One of those movies where 3/4 of the audience consists of little kids (and the other 1/4 consists of their parents), and I'm the only one in the theatre laughing in places, y'know?

Anyway, funny story. I've always had this vendetta about Disney movies having kissing scenes in them; I mean, their target audience usually does find kissing to be totally gross, right? (At least, this was the case when me and my siblings/friends were growing up.) Then, Enchanted starts up, and lo and behold, it's all about kissing! I was in stitches.
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