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Old 01-19-2008, 02:47 PM   #3101
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Treasure Planet
It's hardly the greatest Disney film ever made, but this certainly didn't deserve to flop. Aside from some 3D animation work that doesn't fit very well with the 2D stuff, this is a perfectly respectable non-musical animation. I enjoyed it, anyway...
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:13 AM   #3102
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I agree. I think maybe it bombed because the trailers focused more on the "Pirates in space!" angle and less on the relationship between Jim and Silver which is what was actually interesting about the movie. Also Doppler is pretty good.

I hated that annoying fast-talking robot at the end though. Oh man.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:31 AM   #3103
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Heh. It felt to me like they were desperately trying to shoe in an Aladdin genie-style wit. And it didn't really work, though I didn't hate B.E.N. as much as many reviewers seemd to.

I shall certainly look forward to Musker and Clements' next animation, though...
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:39 AM   #3104
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Just saw Persepolis yesterday. I read the graphic novels over a year ago and enjoyed them; it's a fascinating, heartbreaking look at Iran during and immediately after the Revolution, told from the perspective of a Persian woman who lived her childhood and adolescence at that time. Particularly significant for me was that although I was born and raised in Canada, far away from what was going on over there, my own family had been persecuted for their religious beliefs, just as members of Marjane's family were persecuted for being communists.

The film follows pretty much the same plot as the graphic novels, as far as I can remember, and contains some spiffy animation, to boot.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:55 PM   #3105
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Death Proof

One Half of the Grindhouse hits UK DVD release.

Tarantino's take on 70's explotation movies as a bunch of girls are stalked by a psycho stuntman and his Death Proof car.

Tarantino always does good dialogue and great music in his films and he replicates the look and feel of the 70's Deathrace 2000/mad max style movies in good stlye.

Great fun especially the big finale car chases using old style stunts and real cars (No CGI).

Good fun.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:51 AM   #3106
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Just finished watching Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Eclisse (1962) and sipping a glass of wine, being meditative (Monica Vitti is insanely resonant, though admittedly I wanted to watch it for Alain Delon). Intriguing take on the transition from one love to another and what it means for Vittoria, the story's heroine.

Interestingly enough, the authority who does the optional commentary is Richard Pena, Program Director at the Film Society of The Lincoln Center, NY, as well as an associate professor at Columbia University, and formerly a professor of film studies at The Art Institute Of Chicago, my alma mater. I had taken his class, Authorship In Film, while working on my undergrad there. He gave me an 'A' on my final paper on the work of Alfred Hitchcock.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:43 AM   #3107
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Sunshine: I love Danny Boyle, I think he's one of the best directors working right now, but I was a bit skeptical going into this one. When you take a very visual and creative director and let him loose in space there's a good chance you'll end up with a 180 minutes pretentious Kubrick tribute full of nothing but bizarre imagery and pretention. Luckily though, Danny just made a nice little thriller instead. It's shot beautifully, it's got some really tense set pieces and, most importantly, it's just very entertaining. It gets a bit goofy in the last 30 minutes or so but it's really not that big of a deal, especially when the first hour is so good.


I Am Legend: I wanted to love this movie, I really really did. Will Smith is fantastic in it and all the pieces were there to create a really great film but...it just never comes completely together. The main problem is the pacing and the structure of the film because it just doesn't make any sense. This movie is about 86 minutes long without the end credits which doesn't sound like too big a problem but it is when absolutely nothing happens in the first 60 minutes. Sure, it's really entertaining. The empty city is haunting, Will Smith's pitch perfect as Robert Neville, and there are some really tense set pieces, esepcially when he has to chase his dog into an abandoned building which is really well done. The problem is spend all this time just building the atmosphere so that once the time for actual story comes along they only have about 25 minutes to cram it all in and just feels so rushed. This movie only has two acts and the first act is 75% of the movie,. I've got to mention the mutants too which just didn't work at all for me. They never across as human, they never cross as a living thing, they always come across as lifeless CGI creations. Would it have been so hard to just use practical effects and makeup to make them? This movie could've been great, Will Smith is fantastic and there's some amazing moments, but there's just too many flaws in the design of it that just keep it from realizing it's potential. That's not to say it's bad, I'd still give it a solid 6 or 7 out of 10, but I could've easily given it an 8 or 9 if they had just taken the time to get the problems ironed out.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:53 PM   #3108
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The Mummy
For the first time actually.
I agree (with the fans on IMDB) that the special effects are really good, and the humour actually works most of the time, but I do not agree that the story is good!
Come on, you have this powerful priest committing the ultimate crime, therefore you bury him with a horrible curse making him a super powerful being if ever released, after that, you shove him into a "prison" using the same key that you use to the holy books, and put a lot of gold near him so that gold diggers want to find the grave, and don't even give the key to the protectors!

Oh yeah, and you put a map to this place that should never be opened, in the key!
The protectors are also completely incompetent. They go four people onto the boat to get the map, even though two people on the boat has been there before, and they wait until after the adventures have opened the grave before they attack the second time, where upon they give up and just say "don't continue, you'll die".. yeah..

In the end they accomplish nothing besides killing a load of people, ruining the grave, the holy books and all the old artefacts, and the protector thanks them?!

Add to that that most of the actors really over-play their parts, and a lot of the dialogue is cramped. (and I could see how the story would unfold a mile away, most of the movie I was going "and now she falls asleep" or "oh, look, more monsters, I never saw that coming"..) From the start of the movie it just felt like a B-movie (not b-movies as a positive; independent studio, unknown good actors and such, but B-movie like something people use to bash movies) even though it obviously had a good budget and good special effects.

4/10

Then again, I'm not overly fond of the Indiana Jones movies either.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:50 AM   #3109
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Brendan Fraser did not make a convincing action-hero... and yeah, the story was pretty bad. Great set-pieces though, and Rachel Weisz is hot.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:48 PM   #3110
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Home on the Range
Disney's "final" 2D animation may be disappointingly low-key, but it's also an enjoyable film. The plot didn't quite work for me, but I liked the art style, there were a couple of good (if unmemorable) Alan Menkin songs, and there were some good jokes.

Certainly not essential, but a well executed, enjoyable film.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:00 AM   #3111
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In the Valley of Elah

Tommy Lee Jones is on roll at the moment. In this he plays a retired MP who recieves a phone call to say his son back from Iraq has gone AWOL and sets out to find him.

When he turns up dead he teams up with a reluctant cop (Charlize Theron) to solve the murder.

From the Oscar winning writer/director or Crash this is part murder investigation and part social commentary on the Iraq war and it's effect on the young men sent to fight.

Tommy Lee Jones is his usual brilliant self, but there is good performances all around.

A decent look at personal tradgedy and the dehumanising effects of war, but not the social commentary it aims to be.

3.5/5


Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

A musical by Tim Burton. (never though i'd ever type that) He once again teams up with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter to bring the Sondheim play to the big screen.

Sweeney Todd returns to London after 15 years after wrongly imprisoned by a Judge with eyes on his wife and young daughter.

Setting up as a Barber above Bohnam Carter's pie shop (worst pies in London) he seeks revenge on the Judge and anyone else. using his friends (razors) he cuts the throats of customers and dumps them in the basement for Bohnam Carter to rekindle her Pie business in gruesome fashion.

A dark bloody play that is a perfect match for Burtons dark take on London. Virtually the only bright colour in the film is the gushing blood and there is a river of it in this film.

Brilliantly acted by Depp and Carter and surprisingly enough they both can sing. Depp in particular sounded like David Bowie at times.

Great to look at, some great songs (The song about who to bake into a pie was brilliant), surprisingly funny at time (Sasha Cohen was hilarious) and good singing.

I had a whale of a time.

There's a hole in the world like a great black pit
and it's filled with people who are filled with shit



4.5/5
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:05 AM   #3112
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In Sweeney Todd, did they do the song, Not While I'm Around? I've never seen the whole musical but I've always liked that song.

Nothing's gonna harm you
Not while I'm around
Nothing's gonna harm you
No sir, not while I'm around
Demons are prowling everywhere
Nowadays
I'll send 'em howling I don't care
I got ways

No one's gonna hurt you
No one's gonna dare
Others can desert you
Not to worry, whistle, I'll be there

Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while
But in time, nothing can harm you
Not while I'm around

Being close and being clever, ain't like being true
I don't need to - I would never hide a thing from you
Like some

No one's gonna hurt you
No one's gonna dare
Others can desert you
Not to worry, whistle, I'll be there

Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while
But in time, nothin' can harm you
Not while I'm around.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:27 AM   #3113
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Yes they do.

Between the young boy who works for her and Helena Bonham Carter.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:57 PM   #3114
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There Will Be Blood - one of the best movies of the year (2007 or 2008, doesn't matter).
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:23 PM   #3115
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Seraphim Falls: Not the film of the year for 2006, but a well shot and played film, worth the rental.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:26 PM   #3116
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Man on the Moon: The Andy Kaufman biopic. Well played, but even if you came from that era, it tended to run fast and gloss over many aspects of his troubled life. If you're not from that era, forget it.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:29 PM   #3117
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The Prestige: Excellent. Another great Christopher Nolan film, with a great cast and fantastic cinematography.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:42 PM   #3118
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I've been watching several Italian explotation films in the last weekends with a fellow film buff. Most people have probably never heard of them though.

But another friend of mine showed me La Grande Bouffe yesterday. A really weird film. My friend liked it but I wasn't equally thrilled. But he is impressed by the frensch cuisine which I can't say that I am.

But now I just saw Botched. A really funny and over the top comedy. I liked it a lot and recommends it for a good laugh. Here's the trailer, but if you really want to see the film don't watch it (it gives away pretty much the entire plot).
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:56 AM   #3119
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Juno

16 Juno is a mature and way too cool to be true teenager who after seducing her best friend ends up pregnant.

Here starts possibly the funnist film of the year and of any other.

Vanessa Loring: Your parents are probably wondering where you are.
Juno MacGuff: Nah... I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?


Ellen Page is superb as the wisecracking Juno who uses humour to mask her insecurities. After getting pregnant she first looks into an abortion and then decides on adoption. After finding their advert in a Pennysaver magazine (next to the exotic birds) she meets with rich couple who will adopt the baby. Jennifer Garner is the seriously uptight wife and Jason Batement her ex grudge singer husband who Juno immediatly bonds with.

So Superb acting, superb music throughout (includ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rWjuIanddY) and a hilarious script.

A sweet and funny coming of age movie.

5/5

Cloverfield

So the most hyped movie of recent times. Blair Witch meets 9/11 and Godzilla.

Wow it actually lives up to the hype. Entirely shot in camcorder (warning film not for the motion sickness sensitive) we start in New York at a party for Rob who is going to Japan. Suddenly there is a huge explosion. New York is under attack from an unknown force.

What follows is a scary as sh*t voyage across New York as Rob and a small band of people try to survive amongst the chaos and reach Robs girlfriend.

Catching glimpses of a huge monster running amok in the city while the Army battle it with tanks and rockets. It is mostly non stop from the bridge attack to the pants wetting subway tunnel journey to the finale.

Superb SFX as you get glimpses of the monster, it's damage and the army attacking.

Thankfully it never explains the attack or the monster which adds to the mystery and suspense. Ufortunatly the easter egg after the end suggests a sequel and this is one film that really doesn't need one.

Refreshingly Brilliant.

4.5/5
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:15 PM   #3120
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This is England

This could very well be one of the best films I've ever seen. Incredibly strong. It doesn't even feel like a film.
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