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927505.  Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:10 pm Reply with quote

Just stumbled across Red Cliff (John Woo, 2008). Massive combat scenes of clashing armies. What extraordinary choreography. Bloody brilliant. If there's any CGI involved - I can't see it.

927506.  Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:17 pm Reply with quote

There's a sequel which is rated higher than the original on IMDB.

927520.  Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:23 pm Reply with quote

City of God, a deliberately funny depiction of horrendous events. A little too kinetic for its own good, but still great. I'm getting into a discussion with a friend over Twitter, who thinks it's "poverty porn" (e.g. Slumdog Millionaire), but I don't think this particular film, even though many may have intepreted it as a glorification or positive portrayal of that "culture", sets out to give that message. To me, it's a condemnation of the kind of mindless crime that goes on, as well as a commentary on the relationship between art and violence (the photographer is being creative and not delving into crime, but he in a sense exploits the crime to achieve that) - but the film's rapid back-and-forth style and youth-appeal are two major elements that seem to contradict my interpretation. Of course, this is all speculation on my part, as I have no idea what the filmmakers actually wanted to do with the film.

927892.  Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:41 pm Reply with quote

Memento. People should stop making big deals out of average and uncomplicated films. I've come to the conclusion that people go monkeypoo over him and his films because they're extremely accessible films posing as "intelligent" and "sophisticated" films, when really, they're not smart, but smartarse. Of the several films of his that I've watched, the only ones I properly liked were Insomnia and The Prestige, in decreasing order. On one hand I don't mind his pandering as it gets people talking about and interested in films, but on the other hand, it's almost like selling out.

Dazed and Confused. The kiddish charm adds to the enjoyment of this film, and it avoids falling into a lot of the traps that American Graffiti (a film I pretty much hate) falls into. It plays almost smoothly, and it has a very distinct and different take on nostalgia that I appreciated.

Oceans Edge
929338.  Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:14 am Reply with quote

Vertigo tops Citizen Kane as the Greatest Movie of All Time

Honestly? I'm not sure either one is the "Greatest Movie of All Time". Citizen Kane has always been over rated in my opinion, and Vertigo? Rear Window or North by Northwest were better offerings from Hitch for my money

929344.  Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:35 am Reply with quote

Strangers on a train -- even better IMHO

929714.  Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:59 pm Reply with quote

The 1996 restoration of Vertigo (James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes dir. Alfred Hitchcock) - 8.47. Some lovely shots, some great camera angles, a good plot, a rather chilling ending and reasonable performances (although one might go so far as to suggest that Jimmy Stewart was a little outside his comfort zone latterly) certainly combine to make this a memorable film but I don't know that I'd call it the best. Perhaps it's that my dialogue fixation is left a little unsated that prevents me from being more fullsome in my praise. Maybe it's that I think modern films are, more often than they are given credit for, better than critics seem willing to accept.

Now, since it was my birthday my mummy took me to the cinema yesterday afternoon as a treat; in deference to her octogenarian sensibilities we settled for something sedate; namely The Dark Knight Rises (Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine) - 8.67. I'm joking of course - TDKR is not that sedate and my elder sister came too. In direct contradiction of what I've just written for Vertigo this film's standing probably benefits from the fact that it's currently in theatres and therefore has a certain caché but it is in any event fast-paced and filled with action for pretty much all of its 2 hours and 44 minutes; yep, you get your money's worth out of this one lads and lasses. There's plenty of opportunity for the storyline to throw you off balance more than once and while the science is a bit ropey occasionally (something that always acts as a distraction for me unfortunately) provided you can look past that it all hangs together moderately well. The performances are good - as you might anticipate - but it does rather expect that you've seen the first two films of this reworking which neither of my companions had and so I felt that their transgressions of my NO TALKING* rule were somewhat justified since they were asking important bat related questions; I sincerely hope this didn't interfere with other people's enjoyment to any great extent - but I digress. The dialogue again was a little sparse for my taste and the 'scenes from a hellhole prison' sections broke the momentum but it was an unexpected pleasure to see Tom Conti anyway. The forlorn hope metaphor that is the theme of much of the film is highlighted through these scenes so I don't have an easy solution as to how you do without them but they do impact negatively on the otherwise relentless and pretty compelling action (presupposing that you like that sort of thing). While there may yet be more films that relate directly to this Batman concept and timeline I don't think the Dark Knight has yet been shown as sufficiently disturbed for my tatse; especially as we find him in this last of the trilogy when his hope of redemption has been lost. That version of the story would inevitably have to be more wordy, analytical even, and psychiatrists from Chase Meridian to Jonathan Crane to Harleen Quinzel have proven problematic in the Batverse.

* actually the rule is 'don't break the mood' but if in doubt see above

931114.  Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:38 pm Reply with quote

At some point last week I watched Inspector Clouseau, the third Pink Panther film, and the only "original" one without Peter Sellers. It's no stain on Alan Arkin that the film wasn't that great - certainly no more stupid than the Sellers ones, but without the energy. Alan Arkin was actually really good as Clouseau, and the fact that he's not Peter Sellers is both obvious and irrelevant. It was also somehow more logical than the previous two Pink Panther films. Overall, unnecessary, but I'm okay with what it turned out as.

931341.  Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:38 pm Reply with quote

I feel that the best of the Clousseau movies was 'A Shot In The Dark'.

931416.  Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:49 am Reply with quote

Of the three I've seen, The Pink Panther is still the one I think I enjoyed the most. A Shot in the Dark was too... dare I say "obvious" and flat for me.

931417.  Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:49 am Reply with quote

I watched Baghead today. Quite enjoyed it.

932012.  Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:57 am Reply with quote

What's New Pussycat?. Wonderful performances, but overall not held well together; it's a pity Allen's script was mangled so. I did appreciate the references to Lawrence of Arabia and (at least that's what I think they were), and several of the more obvious Allenisms.

932075.  Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:22 pm Reply with quote

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Max Pirkis, David Threlfall) - 7.2. Again. This is a great film; even given that the military setting is going to make it 'my kind of thing' anyway the film is constructed so that the friendship and the conflicts between the Captain and the ship's surgeon fill the segments between the action sequences admirably - although these elements are by no means all that's going on. The Age of Enlightenment backdrop is highlighted by the classical soundtrack (by Boccherini btw) which is nicely woven into the shipboard activities and the seascapes are beautifully filmed. Some of the shots; presumably accomplished by helicopter - or possibly magic carpet - are superb, others merely atmospheric, dramatic and/or artful. I suspect that having a cast that is largely British headed by a New Zealander may have cost the film in terms of the scores from US reviewers but, frankly, bollocks to that - there aren't enough better ways to spend 2 hours and 18 minutes that I can afford to underate this one.

932086.  Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:35 pm Reply with quote

I believe the only reason it was made at all was because of Crowe's involvement. Pity they didn't follow it up, O'Brian's books deserve it. Crowe did in fact start a twitter trend for a sequel but it has come to naught as yet.

Oceans Edge
932114.  Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:26 pm Reply with quote

100 Greatest Maniacal Movie Laughs


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