Mr. Breathmask

What Is The Last Film You Watched? (Older Films)

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Indy, you were the one who thought Minority Report had a very dark ending, right?

No, I thought it was an optimistic ending, but it isn't anywhere close to the "happily ever after" ending that most people give it credit for. It's much more grey than it is black or white. But I was the one who made a big fuss about it.

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Oh yeah, all that family interaction stuff is completely believable...

Going to watch Super 8 this afternoon. There's been ZERO hype or promotion here; there's no buzz at all about it; mainstream cinema goers don't even know what it is. At the multiplex we're seeing it it doesn't even have top billing - it's only just come out this weekend...

I wonder why this broadly appealing, highly rated movie has been sent out to die over here. Bizarre.

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I see the similarities with Shyamalan, but I think it's pretty different overall (and not just because Spielberg is better at executing what approaches both filmmakers utilize). For one, WotW seems much more gritty and realistic compared to Shyamalan's restrained surrealism, especially in script and acting (oddly, in cinematography it is reversed). When Shyamalan wants to show a strained relationship, he uses silence. When Spielberg does, he uses dialougue that the characters use to (usually unsuccessfully) mask the tension. The latter is, in my experience, much more realistic. That's not a dig at either filmmaker - I think both results are intentional, and both work (at least in most of Shyamalan's films). But I prefer Spielberg's approach.

Yes, Spielberg is more gritty, I suppose, but neither are realistic, IMO. Both directors love a similar style of heightened drama. (See the tone of basement scene in War Of The Worlds when Cruise is going to take care of the man behind closed doors - if they showed that clip on TV and I didn't know what it was, I could've sworn it was Shyamalan)

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Well, it's a modern horror B-movie and very much aware of itself. Shyamalan tried the make one too with The Happening but it didn't turn out so well, IMO.

Karol - who might see Tree of Life today

How?

Alex - seemingly trying to link every post to Shyamalan today

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Well, it's a modern horror B-movie and very well aware of itself. Shyamalan tried the make one too with The Happening but it didn't turn out so well, IMO.

Alex - seemingly trying to link every post to Shyamalan today

Yes the trees were truly scary, swaying in the wind like that. The unseen enemy in the wind, poisoning our minds with madness. DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN. I am sure it all looked fantastic on paper.

I can't fathom how they let this guy direct such abysmal things and throw away money but Hollywood is a strange place.

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How?

Alex - seemingly trying to link every post to Shyamalan today

They're showing it this week in one local small cinema. The fact that it is literally 7 minutes walk from my house makes it even more tempting.

Karol

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How?

Alex - seemingly trying to link every post to Shyamalan today

They're showing it this week in one local small cinema. The fact that it is literally 7 minutes walk from my house makes it even more tempting.

Karol

why not drive,

my theatre is about that or just a bit further but its already 97 and will be 107 in an hour or two, yuck.

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The Pixar Story (available on Netflix streaming, one of the good things on there, for us Yanks who have Netflix).

Excellent and even moving documentary on one of the most incredible Hollywood stories since Disney.

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Super 8.

Good and honest, but lazily paced (poorly edited) and not really all that satisfying. Spielbergian my arse. The seams which tie the plot together are too contrived to the point that the little conveniences show up as the poorly concealed necessities they are. The main kid was far and away the movie's highlight and saving grace, he turned in a genuinely touching performance.

*** / *****

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So far the Europeans seem to be less impressed then the Americans.

The film is essentially a hodge-podge of the stuff you've seen for years now. Why on earth would anyone think of it as a great film is beyond me.

The Tree of Life.

Absolutely mesmerizing. I was dreading this film, to be honest. Afraid of it being pretentious and pompous in the attempts to say something relevant and profound. The trailer was wonderful, but that can be misleading. I'm happy to say it turned out to be very engrossing and wonderful experience. Impressionistic and subtle. I's say this is very close to what Stanley Kubrick tried to accomplish in 2001: The Space Odyssey, but from a more naturalistic tone poem perspective, quite typical for Terrence Malick.

Voice-overs didn't bother me at all. Often whispered, this time they seem more like a part of the sound design rather than to narrate things. I wasn't sure about these things in The New World or The Thin Red Line where, I thought, they weren't necessary. But here they work beautifully, completely integrated into the film. The use of music is very good too, as expected. There is very little of Alexandre Desplat in here. Which is probably a good thing for it is probably the least striking material to be found in the film. I like his contributions (and the album too), but there is something almost too shy about it.

It is one of the most gorgeously looking film I've ever seen. Every frame of it is an absolute beauty. It plays a lot with light and makes everything feel like a dream. In its drama portions parts, the film is almost entirely concentrated on faces, which seem very life-like and rich in emotions. Even if you won't like the film, the visual glamour will definitely make up for it. You can trust me on that. Emmanuel Lubezki delivers big time. I also need to mention the decision to bring Doug Trumbull from his retirement and bringing back some old school effects to the table. There is a bit of CGI as well, but it looks rather good. Overall if you were longing for some visuals that recall the greats of the 70's, then look no further.

The performances are great all around too. Altough, they are more a part of the whole experience that the director orchestrates, rather than driven by any plot and/or logic. The kids are great in particular. Surprising, if you consider the fact this is their first feature film. Brad Pitt gives one of the strongest performances in his career and not for a second I thought of him as Brad Pitt. Jessica Chastain looks absolutely gorgeous.

The funniest thing about The Tree of Life is that I can't be bothered to try and discuss its themes and implications. And I have no desire to. Partially because some of the stuff, if spoken aloud, would sound pretentious. And partially because it is about anything but analysis. Same with 2001 or Blade Runner. These kinds of films are very simple actually, of you think about it. They're not at all about their scripts/stories/characters/concepts. Their mastery lies in weaving all of the elements into an experience. And what is a film as a medium, if not an experience. They convey mood rather than tell a story.

This is a first time this year I had a really good time at the movies. I'm grateful. Didn't expect that coming.

Karol

P.S. Of course 12 people or so left 40 minutes into the film, so I guess this is already a rule of sorts.

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Looking forward to it, Croc.

Back on the subject of Super 8, and I must say I don't get all the fuss made here about the score. Yeah it's nice and perfectly serviceable, but it's nothing special. Just because it doesn't sound like an RC production doesn't automatically elevate it to greatness. The best thing I can say about it is it's inoffensive.

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I finally watched Deathly Hallows Part 1. To quote Joker from Dark Knight, it was so BORING. I had to finish it today after falling asleep in the first 40 minutes yesterday. It did improve as it progressed. It was like Harry Potter crossed with an art house film.

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So far the Europeans seem to be less impressed then the Americans.

The cinema was less than half full. Only released here this weekend. Dreadful turnout, and it really is a shame because the film is deserving of a visit to the pictures - considering the shite people seem perfectly willing to see normally.

I blame Paramount for failing to cough up a marketing budget of more than ten quid.

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It was like Harry Potter crossed with an art house film.

You don't watch a lot of art house, right?

As for SUPER 8, after reading the last comments i'm somehow relieved that i am not feeling more like an ass - not more than usually i mean - for thinking it wasn't neither worth the time to shoot it nor the child actors it got.

So far the Europeans seem to be less impressed then the Americans.

The cinema was less than half full. Only released here this weekend. Dreadful turnout, and it really is a shame because the film is deserving of a visit to the pictures.

Wait, didn't you just say it sucked?

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P.S. Of course 12 people or so left 40 minutes into the film, so I guess this is already a rule of sorts.

Ha, I had to drive half an hour to an Art House theater to see it. None of the commercial theaters around here dare show it. Nobody walked out when I saw it.

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Like I said, it's certainly honest and well meaning, but I'd heard it harked back to the glory days of Spielberg; and does it buggery. If that was Abrams' intention then he's a nothing but a pretender.

I agree that Super 8 is rather refreshing - in as far as it's refreshingly uncynical. I guess maybe that's what people meant when they compared it with classic Spielberg.

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It's Jurassic Park (bus crash) meets E.T. (alien wants to go home among other things) meets Cloverfield (alien itself) meets War of the Worlds (Lillian battle), meets Lost (several references for example hatch landing) meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind and so on. The film is anything but its own thing. That's the problem.

Karol

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Like I said, it's certainly honest and well meaning, but I'd heard it harked back to the glory days of Spielberg; and does it buggery. If that was Abrams' intention then he's a nothing but a pretender.

It's Abrams' take on the typical Spielberg 70s/80s concept. Primarily by being set in Spielbergville and having plenty of nods to CE3K and E.T. (plus JP). It serves pretty much every clichee you can expect from that sort of film, but it earns them through Abrams' foucs on characters before plot. It's not perfect, some of the characterisation and setup don't seem to really lead anywhere, and some of the clichees border on being taken too far, but in the end they rarely do. I liked it.

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There is nothing "wrong" with the movie as such.

Karol

I think there's quite a few things wrong with it, though the aforementioned pacing and blatant plot conveniences (we've got no fifth gear for the final act so let's just make the military hardware go haywire, for one example) are the major complaints I have. The film takes the long route for the sake of it; it's unnecessarily long-winded and the payoff ultimately doesn't warrant the trusting investment.

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I know what you mean.

Also Kyle Chandler (Deputy Lamb) doesn't accomplish anything in the third act. He breaks out to save the children, but doesn't do anything relevant in the end (apart from showing up in the finale).

Karol

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I thought the biggest convenience of the lot was

the baloney about how the alien stores some of its victims in its lair for food - thus making sure the girl would live (after being oh so carefully setup for the kidnapping, obviously.)

And somehow they knew it!

Contrived drama is bullshit and the movie would've benefitted from playing it straight, knocking thirty welcome minutes off the runtime in the process.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes is surprisingly not the train wreck I expected.

It's a really good movie, and if you leave before the credits you miss something important.

You don't have to stay all the way after the credits just about several minutes in.

Will the academy have the balls and the guts to nominate Andy for Best Actor? He deserves it.

there are several touching moments and nicely timed references to the original.

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Of course it's intentional. This movie is supposed to be a homage to Spielberg.

Yes but I agree the references were a bit forced . It tried too much to re-create some scenes from Spielberg movies. One that springs to mind is the camera panning around a dinner table of kids talking randomly

Another movie that goes after the 80's Spielberg-ish style film and works better on it's own is Let Me In

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Let Me In is a fantastic film that is entirely cohesive as a whole, while Super 8 feels like a series of references to Spielberg. I guess you could say they are imitating old and new Spielberg, respectively. ;)

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Back on the subject of Super 8, and I must say I don't get all the fuss made here about the score. Yeah it's nice and perfectly serviceable, but it's nothing special. Just because it doesn't sound like an RC production doesn't automatically elevate it to greatness. The best thing I can say about it is it's inoffensive.

That exact comment belongs to Silvestri's Captain America, not Super8

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Back on the subject of Super 8, and I must say I don't get all the fuss made here about the score. Yeah it's nice and perfectly serviceable, but it's nothing special. Just because it doesn't sound like an RC production doesn't automatically elevate it to greatness. The best thing I can say about it is it's inoffensive.

That exact comment belongs to Silvestri's Captain America, not Super8

Yes.

I think Super 8 is a fun and beautiful score, yet surprisingly small sounding.

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Back on the subject of Super 8, and I must say I don't get all the fuss made here about the score. Yeah it's nice and perfectly serviceable, but it's nothing special. Just because it doesn't sound like an RC production doesn't automatically elevate it to greatness. The best thing I can say about it is it's inoffensive.

That exact comment belongs to Silvestri's Captain America, not Super8

To both, actually. I listened to SUPER 8 several times now and nice as it is, i cannot bring myself to more than a lukewarm appraisal.

As for RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, i'm somehow eager to see it even if the Jablonsky-nized Doyle score warned me with a big sign reading "MAJOR BLOCKBUSTER SUCKAGE MAY WAIT AHEAD".

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Prefontaine

One of the two biopics made about Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine. This version focused more on his olympic goals and his problems with amateurs track and field. Without Limits focused on his relationship with his coach. If you are interested in Pre then you should watch both.

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