Pretty funny, not great but had enough interesting stuff going on for it to be worthwhile. Good b-movie.
Pretty funny, not great but had enough interesting stuff going on for it to be worthwhile. Good b-movie.
Margaret, in short, is one of the best movies of the last decade. However, it does have its shortcomings, and I would not recommend it to everyone. It is 152 minutes, and that's the "short" version. That's the version that's on HBO this month, and it is purported to be the inferior version. I plan to watch the extended (186 minutes) cut soon, both to get the full experience and, hopefully, to confirm my admiration of this film. It's likely you'll either love the movie as much as I, or loathe it.
I recorded this entirely on a whim when it came on late at night after a showing of Used Cars, of all things.
Been really curious about Margaret. I have to see the original/as intended long version. The story re:the making and delayed release of this movie is fascinating too. Pretty sure all you need to do is google the title and/or maybe the director to pull it up. One of those 'only in Hollywood' stories.
Superman: Unbound - At WonderCon, a couple of the friends we went with wanted to see a screening of this new animated Superman flick. It's based on a story by Geoff Johns that seemed to basically be re-telling the origin of Brainiac. It was pretty decent and had some funny lines, especially from Lois Lane, but the way Brainiac was defeated was a little too... Signs-esque for me. I've certainly seen worse animated films and I never read the source story, so I thought it was alright.
Lego Batman: The Movie Dc Superheroes Unite - Another one watched at Wonder-Con. i think I would have liked this a lot better had I not already seen almost all of it while playing the video game. As it was, it was cute enough and had a couple funny Joker bits, but it's clearly geared more towards kids than me.
The Five Year Engagement - Much like the engagement period the title refers to, this movie was way too damn long. Over two hours long, and it drags in parts. Other than that, though, it was fine. Relatively funny, Emily Blunt is cute, Chris Pratt was pretty great and there were a lot of cool cameos. It was a pretty enjoyable film that gets dragged down in the middle. Could have used some more editing.
Alfie - In my continuing quest to watch everything Michael Caine has ever done, Alfie was showing on Turner Classics. I actually had to think twice about watching it because I remember seeing the trailers for the Jude Law remake and thinking it looked horrible, but I stuck to my vow, watched it and ended up being really glad I did. It's basically about this womanizer who goes through life not caring what his actions do to the the women he loves and then leaves and then some stuff happens and he realizes the error of his ways. Simple enough.
I really liked that Caine breaks the 4th wall, though, and talks to the audience. It was funny and, even when being a total bastard, he's charming as hell. I bet he could have talked me out of my pants. There's a scene towards the end, one of the ones in which he begins to realize the error of his ways, that was extremely well done and very affecting. I liked the movie a lot.
Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker - Watched this one at the urging of my comic shop guy. I was a really big fan of Batman The Animated Series when it first came out, and I still enjoy watching re-runs of it on Hub sometimes, but I never really watched Batman Beyond. So we borrowed this and watched it and I think it's probably the best animated comic book film I've seen to date. Not too surprising given some of the names shown during the credits, like Pail Dini and Bruce Timm (who did the original Batman TAS) and voice work by Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Angie Harman, Dean Stockwell, etc.
It was a lot darker and more violent than I'd expected. I read that for it's initial release, it was censored quite a bit. I actually thought the "twist" was fairly clever, too. Good movie.
Blood And Bone - I tried watching this once before on TV, but it was an edited version, so I got through about 10 minutes of it before I shut it off. Those first 10 minutes took place in a prison bathroom where a bunch of big dudes, including Kimbo Slice, were trying to shank Michael Jai White and he was kicking their asses. The fighting was cool, but I couldn't deal with all the bleeping. So I was glad to see it pop up unedited on one of the movie channels.
The plot is pretty simple, but the action is the star here, and it performs pretty well. Michael Jai White isn't quite as charismatic as someone like Bruce Lee, and this movie is VERY Bruce Lee, but he holds his own. A surprisingly solid supporting cast including Julian Sands, Eamonn Walker and a cameo by Gina Carano help, too. It's a little silly overall, but it knows it's silly and doesn't try to hide it or overplay it. I liked it quite a bit.
Safe House - Put simply, this is a bland, predictable action flick that is elevated only by the performances of the two leads. I give props to Ryan Reynolds for doing a good job with the drama, and not a wisecrack in sight. Denzel is... Denzel. It's the kind of movie where you know exactly how it's going to end about 15 minutes into it, and with lesser performances, I would have just turned it off. I'm going to call it solidly average, which is probably being generous, but I do enjoy watching Denzel work.
Among the things I found when looking for information about it was a scathing review by Armond White which only made me enjoy the film more, actually. Despite his, IMO, unreasonable disdain for the film and its supporters, White brings up a salient point about Kenneth Longeran's lack of visual cinematic prowess, reinforced when he calls Margaret "a morose version of a Woody Allen film." He considers this a negative. I do not.
While I don't give out any spoilers, go ahead and stop reading if you want to preserve your freshness to the film.
Anyway, rather than the visual, the movie's strength lies in its extremely deep and realistic characters, its measured narrative and its universal themes.
This is one of the areas where White's review falls way short. He harps incessantly on the allusions of the film to post-9/11 America, but I agree with the late, great Roger Ebert's assessment: "Actually, 9/11 figures only marginally; what's important is the conflict between the young woman's perfectionism and things as they are." I'm so glad I went back to the Google to find that White review, because I didn't find the Ebert quote until now. Anyway, it's impossible to make all the universal references Lonergan makes in the film without touching on universal themes.
Ebert ranks the film #14 best for 2011. I rank it higher than that, but I don't want to oversell the film too much. Plus, I do need to see it at least once more to be sure I'm not.
BTW, apparently Lonergan enlisted the help of Martin Scorsese to help him cut the film down to the 153-minute version. When pointing this out in the review, White belittles Scorsese for being unable to make a good film in the past decade. Ummm... Hugo?! Yeesh. This kind of stupidity is one of the reasons White's review did not soil my opinion of the film. Hugo is also a 2011 release, incidentally, and #4 on Ebert's Best of 2011 list.
Armond White is a tool.
Ok. Very late to the game. But maybe enough so that the WAVES of hype died down enough for me to judge this with fresh eyes. First of...Knee crunchingest, fist slappingest, stabby stabby stabbiest thing I have seen in a bit. Superhuman. Yeah, plays like a videogame...run, run, BOSS fight...lather rinse repeat. Still, was never bored. Deftly paced/directed, considering I am not a huge fan o'chopsocky...not bad. Looking fwd to the sequel, which should be easy to figure as far as plot wise. As far as the Dredd comparisons, which are valid...I think Dredd used the 'up we go' thing a lot better.
OOOOh this is a 'not for everyone' flick. First off, mad mad mad mostly practical old school fx. Some of the wackiest **** I have seen since that Treat Williams/Piscopo flick where the butcher shop got reanimated. Very trippy/existential plot(blame the book) and you will either buy in...or you won't. Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti try to 'cult-flick' this up, but the leads are a little wooden, and it MAY be too much for most to forgive. Me, I dug it big time. Recommend to the rare few who have some sick **** on their minds. It's the SAUCE man...
Ok. Clever idea. Cuban movie that models itself(only slightly) after my beloved Shaun of the Dead. I admit, I have only a rudimentary grasp of the Cuban socialist slant that goes on here. I do know that, like most Zed word flicks tend to do, this one has YONKS of social commentary. History class schmistory class...is it good? Glad to say, hell yes. Good characters and fine storytelling are the universal language. This is available on HBO on demand, available on most cable systems. Cannot recommend enough. As far as the fx...a little too much reliance on cgi, not terrible...but it does not have a HUGE gore quotient. You will laugh...and be moved...and make sure you stay through the excellent animated credits which are finely paired with Sid Viscious' version of MY WAY. Love this little movie.
And the lord smiled upon me, because this has been a HELL of a movie watching week. Ok...clowns...awesome practical fx with gags predicated on clown-ish elements, decent enough victims, a GREAT iconic killer, and oh yeah...CLOWNS. When the religious ceremony involving undead clowns started up, I knew I was watching a winner. Nice postscript too, which I won't spoil...but 2 words...clown head. Tee Hee what a blast. I WANT A SEQUEL!!!!!!!
Lords Of Salem - Only noticed this had been released on accident. When my dad bailed on going to see Obilvion with me, I found myself with a few free hours and decided to see what else was happening. This was... an interesting failure. There are things that I really liked about it and things that I didn't, but for the most part I left the theater unsatisfied. I did appreciate the atmosphere Zombie was able to build (with the help of some excellent original music by John5) and I liked the idea of the story and the fact that there wasn't any CG at all, but... well, I don't want to spoil anything. I'm not sure Sherri Moon was the best choice for the role, though she isn't bad, but I never really connected to her or cared much about her either way. Jeff Daniel Phillips was really the only actor who managed to come across as sympathetic and made you care.
It wasn't bad enough for me to give up on Rob Zombie as a filmmaker (dammit), but it wasn't good enough for me to think The Devil's Rejects makes him anything more than a one-hit wonder, so to speak. I would be interested in reading the book, which supposedly goes into much more detail about stuff, but I'm not going to actively seek it out.
Sleuth - Since deciding to watch every pre-1980 Michael Caine movie, I come across, Sleuth is my second favorite. Great performances by both Caine and Laurence Olivier, funny dialogue and a good story. Some of the dialogue is so rapid-fire that I had trouble catching all of it through their accents at first, but once I picked up the rhythm, I was fine. Enjoyed the movie immensely.
Strange Circus - Damn, man, this movie is ****ED UP. Twisted, weird and just ****ed. Loved it. Sion Sono <3 XOXOXOXOX.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - The lady wanted to watch this, and I agreed to it because a movie with Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilson could not possibly be bad. And it wasn't. It's a kind of sad movie about getting older and it's sad just watching all these awesome people be old, but it was a nice movie.
Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall of The Slasher Film - A documentary about slasher films. It focuses mostly on the start of the genre and features interviews with people like John Carpenter and Wes Craven and such. It was pretty good, even if not all that informative. I was glad that there were a lot of kills straight out of the movies included, giving me a chance to see some of them again and some I'd not yet seen. Worth watching.
Wow, you had a really different opinion on Lords of Salem(Me & Mondo weighed in on the dedicated thread). Just ordered the soundtrack(cause the music was tip top), but the book...is based on the original script. Which, due to budgetary constraints, got culled rather severely according to Rob Zombie. Also I think some stuff got left out because of the death of Richard Lynch during filming. A lot of the Amazon reviews claim it's kind of hard to read because its so stylized. And yeah, that Going to Pieces doc is terrific.