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Old 01-04-2007, 09:50 PM   #181
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Saw The Descent over the weekend, and was pleasantly surprised. Not a great movie minde you, but had parts that actually made you jump, especially sitting in a dark room w/all the lights out. Haven't had a horror movie do that in a while.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:28 AM   #182
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I saw The DaVinci Code finally, I'd have to give it 3 out of 4 stars. Mainly I didn't like the fact they came out with this one first, also they didn't reference Robert Langdens small instances of what happened in Italy. As was done in the book. To me they should have made Angels & Demons first, then came out with The DaVinci Code... Though I did read the books in the order the movies will come out. I definately think Tom Hanks made a perfect fit for the character Robert Langden!
I refuse to watch that movie... I read the book and thought it was pretty gay. Maybe I was expecting more due to all the hype. But it seemed like a kid's book - ya know? They "narrowly" escape every close call... give me a break :thumbdown:
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:41 PM   #183
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Mozart and the Whale, it is movie about two people with Aspergers that meet in a group... romantic comedy, maybe a dramedy... they learn to understand each other and their place in the world... 3 out of 4 stars...
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:40 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by boston_aloha View Post
I refuse to watch that movie... I read the book and thought it was pretty gay. Maybe I was expecting more due to all the hype. But it seemed like a kid's book - ya know? They "narrowly" escape every close call... give me a break :thumbdown:
Haha, well if you can get by that it's pretty good... Trust me that's not how the movie is.
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:44 PM   #185
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Have any of you ever seen "mating habits of the earth bound human"? It's a sex-comedy with Mackenzie Astin, and Carmen Electra. Actually a pretty good movie, I laughed at my buddy when he first threw in the tape.
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:23 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmpleSound
Have any of you ever seen "mating habits of the earth bound human"? It's a sex-comedy with Mackenzie Astin, and Carmen Electra. Actually a pretty good movie, I laughed at my buddy when he first threw in the tape.
I enjoyed David Hyde Pierce's National Georgraphic-style narration, but I found the movie to be more annoying than funny.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:34 PM   #187
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Children of Men (***) Very interesting storyline about life in 2027 after no babies have been born since 2009, due to pollution or something making everyone sterile. Clive Owen (as Theo) and Clare-Hope Ashiitey (as Kee, the mother of the first baby in 18 years) are charismatic in the leads, and Michael Caine is surprisingly interesting and compelling as a wise-old hippy who aids them in their journey (I had been so tired of the "we need a 60-year old British guy, get Michael Caine on the phone!" typecasting from his last few movies... it's like he's the only Brit left in that age group now that Anthony Hopkins has lost his credibility). There are holes in the story-- like especially they never really explain why everyone is sterile, and also the technological landscape of 2027 is about as advanced as you'd expect from 2008-- but it is still easy to get into it. It's best value is as a discussion piece, both about the main premise and all the sub-issues brought up throughout the film.

Babel (*1/2) This is up for an Oscar? Actually, I shouldn't be surprised. It feels like it was WRITTEN to try to win an Oscar. Following in the formula of Crash, Babel follows the lives of four groups of people in different parts of the world who, (SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT) you find out eventually, are all related to each other somehow. (SPOILER OVER) The acting isn't bad, but the writing is just trying to hard... trying too hard to make a point ("everything's related", or "guns are bad", or "pay attention to your kids", or "immigrants are people too"), trying to hard to be hip (Japanese teenagers obsessed with sex and cell phones, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett fresh off of People Magazine touring Morocco because Africa's cool now), trying to hard to look raw (shaking camera, wacky story order). It all comes off as contrived and implausible. So did Crash, with its incredible coincidences and similar preachiness, but at least at that time I hadn't seen the formula before. This movie's best value is as a discussion piece-- whether about the many issues it raises, or just about how ridiculous and pretentious it is.

The Science of Sleep (***1/2) If a Gael Garcia Bernal movie wins awards this year, please let it be this one (not Babel). One of the most creative movies I've seen lately, The Science of Sleep follows the real life and the dream life of Stephane (Bernal), a French-born kid who was raised in Mexico after about age 5 and has returned to Paris for the first time since his early childhood. Stephane's real world is mostly boring and awkward, except for his dealings with beautiful-enough neighbor Stephanie. His dream world, on the other hand, is exciting and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Unfortunately for Stephane, his two worlds sometimes collide. This movie has humor and heart, while the low-fi special effects and creative writing make it something truly unique.

The Fountain (*) This could have been the best movie ever, but it surely was not. Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream) goes time traveling with three parallel "love" stories: a conquistador and a Queen Isabella figure, a medicine research doctor and his sick wife from the present, and a bald guy in the future and the tree of life from which he eats. All three feature Hugh Jackman, while two feature Rachel Weisz... thank God they didn't make her play the tree too. The theme of love throughout time is inspiring. Unfortunately, the story is disconnected and downright boring. On several occasions, you get to see Hugh Jackman as Yul Brenner in an asteroid-bubble staring at a tree for 3 minutes straight. Enough already! The disconnected story also keeps us from ever really feeling for the characters, which is a problem in a movie that's fundamentally supposed to be about love. Great idea, poorly executed.

The Holiday (**) It was everything I expected it would be. If you enjoy romantic comedies, you will be neither disappointed nor surprised. It's touching, predictable (except for the predictable little surprises, of course), funny, well-acted, and, most importantly, attempts to have at least one male lead and one female lead that every couple in the theater can relate to ("oh, I'm just like Kate Winslett and you're just like Jack Black!"). I usually despise predictable movies, but the strength of the all-around acting and the funny moments made this one downright watchable.


By the way, note to everyone, thanks for the reviews and especially to the reviewmaster Tobynosker for starting his own thread. I had been avoiding these for fear that the reviews have been giving away too much information, but for the most part I've been wrong-- they're just interesting. In other words, Tobynosker's reviews (***1/2) and everyone else's reviews (***). Keep up the helpful work!
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:52 PM   #188
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Request:
Before I go and see Blood Diamond, did all you people who liked it also like The Departed?

Just checking.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:24 AM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyD
In other words, Tobynosker's reviews (***1/2) and everyone else's reviews (***).
I probably would have received **** from Billy had I not given that same rating to Babel.


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Babel (*1/2) This is up for an Oscar?
Nope. But that's only because the Academy Award nominations won't be announced until January 23rd.

It is nominated for Best Motion Picture - Drama at the Golden Globes (to be given out on Monday), though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyD
Following in the formula of Crash, Babel follows the lives of four groups of people in different parts of the world who, (SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT) you find out eventually, are all related to each other somehow. (SPOILER OVER)
Crash is a pretty poor comparison, mainly because Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's other films 21 Grams and Amores Perros also connect several different stories with different narratives together.


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The acting isn't bad
Not at all. In fact, Brad Pitt delivers his best performance to date in Babel, while Adriana Barraza and Gael Garcia Bernal are particularly strong in their supporting roles.

Cate Blanchett may have put together the best body of work of any actor in 2006 (besides Babel, she was terrific in the underseen and underappreciated Little Fish and is receiving Oscar buzz for her role in Notes on a Scandal), but the true star of Babel is unknown 26-year old actress Rinko Kikuchi who is remarkable as the deaf-mute teen Chieko.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyD
but the writing is just trying to hard... trying too hard to make a point ("everything's related", or "guns are bad", or "pay attention to your kids", or "immigrants are people too"), trying to hard to be hip (Japanese teenagers obsessed with sex and cell phones, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett fresh off of People Magazine touring Morocco because Africa's cool now), trying to hard to look raw (shaking camera, wacky story order). It all comes off as contrived and implausible.
Let me just say: I disagree.

I could understand if you said that the writing, as it concerns piecing together four different stories from three different continents together, was shoddily done (because it was) or that the jumbled timeframe made the film hard to follow at times (because it does), but the audience isn't asked to respond to the connections or the time in which they occur as much as they are forced into the dramatic individual stories which themselves were well-written, directed and acted.

The film wasn't "trying to hard to be hip" by introducing you to a sexually obsessed Japanese teenager. Instead, the film introduces you into the opaque mind of a deaf-mute teen who is jarred by the recent death of her mother and is neglected by her father. Looking for an outlet to deal with the frustrations of her life, she makes several bad choices which she herself believes will help her realize her desires to be "hip" and happy, but she has misinterpreted what it takes in life to achieve that desired level of happiness.

Kikuchi's performance as the "sexually obsessed Japenese teenager" is heartbreaking, and amazingly done by an unkown actress who doesn't utter a single word in the film.

Billy's comments about Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett couldn't be anymore wrong, as the two never come off as the poster childs of Hollywood in this film.

The two are in Morroco on vacation trying to patch up their marriage, and both Pitt and Blanchett give strong, committed performances as two people fighting against time, language-barriers and a supposed political conflict from across the globe.

The two do not seem like stars, even though they are the only two well-known actors (besides, maybe, Bernal) on the screen, and instead play against type as ugly and at times disrespectful characters who mold perfectly into the film's ensemble cast.


Quote:
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This movie's best value is as a discussion piece-- whether about the many issues it raises, or just about how ridiculous and pretentious it is.
Crash was pretentious and followed a similar "formula" to Babel. But Babel was far from pretentious.

While thought-provoking, the film doesn't spoon-feed you a bowl full of preachiness with an agonizing score to boot. Instead, Babel presents powerful images in an abrupt and disturbing fashion without trying to beat emotions out of you in a heavy-handed way.

An audience member could leave this film with many interpretations of what Inarritu was looking to accomplish with this flick and its storytelling, because the many different dimensions and the lack of an overbearing political message being piled on leaves the meaning of the film to the audience members to discern for themselves.


****/****

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Old 01-10-2007, 01:09 PM   #190
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Waking Life ***1/2 - Great flick. Anyone interested in dreams and lucid dreaming should check it out.

Little Miss Sunshine*** - Funny movie with a nice message. Worth watching.

Thank you for Smoking *** - Very funny and great social commentary. Gives you a new outlook on the tabaco industry.

Grizzly Man ** - Unique story about a unique individual. Get ready to be amazed. Fairly strange.

I heart Huckabees **** - Anyone who is into philosophy will love this flick. It is very funny, and very insightful. If you don't like this movie, you don't like to think.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:39 PM   #191
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CK, what is your rating scale? Do you rate movies out of four-stars, or out of five-stars?
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:47 PM   #192
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Sorry, 4 stars is max.
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:43 PM   #193
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How about this everyone? I NEVER go to movies at the theater. I always catch stuff on TV or DVD or just randomly. I have a dumb obsession with cheesy action movies, and I like crime/mystery type movies with the expected twist. I don't really like comedies at the theater for some reason. They are better to watch with half your attention if you ask me. I am not above a social cause or commentary movie, and anything weird I usually like a little bit. Anyway, a client gave me two free movie tickets. So what one movie do you all think I should go see and/or wait for?

You know what? I like anything. Just give me something to try out.

Some movies I like/don't like available upon request.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:35 PM   #194
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Quote:
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I probably would have received **** from Billy had I not given that same rating to Babel.
lol. True. By the way, thanks for the back-and-forth. Even if I disagree with your take, I think it gives people a better idea of the film when they can read multiple opinions.


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Crash is a pretty poor comparison, mainly because Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's other films 21 Grams and Amores Perros also connect several different stories with different narratives together.
I agree with 21 Grams as being pretty similar in tone and style-- I had a similar reaction to that one, too. For me, Amores Perros had some of those style elements but really worked because it was more human and real... with a more realistic "connection" between every different story-- one of my all time favorite movies, so obviously it pains me to have it pointed out that it's similar to a movie I couldn't stand like Babel (even if I see the broad similarities, admittedly).

On your other points, I think the main difference between how you enjoyed the movie and how I didn't comes down to whether the individual stories were compelling-- for you they were, which allowed you to swallow the other flaws, but I couldn't get by their stories which just made the storyline flaws and overall herky-jerky style extra-distracting. This just makes more sense to me when you bring up Amores Perros-- Babel was like AP on steroids and in English, and I don't mean that in a good way. Director went to the hole too many times, i guess. Or, maybe I'm just too much of a cynic to enjoy that level of grandiosity.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:37 PM   #195
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Waking Life ***1/2 - Great flick. Anyone interested in dreams and lucid dreaming should check it out.
Thank you-- i'll probably try to check it out this weekend
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