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


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Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi.   I love how character based this is. All of our main characters experience an emotional journey and growth in this movie. And do so often by, screwi

You can just imagine the outrage if this sophisticated ping pong of rape drama, societal satire and character study would have been made in Hollywood today. But Paul Verhoeven has always been the mast

Not that I was particularly taken with the film, but that a biopic requires big action scenes to not be "dead" is such a silly pre-requisite. Why must there be big battle scenes if they have no real r

Never seen it, probably never will. Don't like Christian Bale normally.

Bale is an underrated actor.

An underrated actor ... adored and respected by millions of moviegoers! I'm not sure how that rhymes ...

Underrated as an actor, I mean, if that makes any more sense. People just know him for Batman, but I'm sure few are familiar with his more dramatic work where he really shines. Bale gives smiles in American Psycho that look appropriately devilish.

On the one hand, you are right, people here seem to think he can't act, but I'm sure he shows up in best actor lists all around the world. I'm sure the fans he made with Bats have checked some of his other movies too.

Alex

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Avatar

This is a James Cameron film through and through. It therefore suffers from much of the pitfalls that Titanic had. A very clichéd, black and white story. Dialogue that drives the point home. Characters that aren't inherently sympathetic (I don't even know if I liked Sully).

This is basically Dances with Wolves crossed with the military mentality of Aliens. Military and big corporations out on a bug hunt. It has Cameron's typical fascination with hardware.

Like Titanic this film starts out slow, and the story moves in predictable ways. There isn't actually a single surprise on a story level in that first part at all. We've either seen it from previous Cameron films, or any film featuring native Americans

As a writer Cameron has very little original to offer.

As a director however he is simply unbeatable. The way he tells his story, the way he frames shots, the way he uses special effects, the way he edits it all together is better then pretty much any director out there.

Of all the directors known for their visual flair, and their big special; effects films, Nolan, Snyder, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, even Steven Spielberg, not a single director alive can match him in that department. To create a film, an environment that feels visceral, real.

None of these could have done a better job depicting the sinking of the Titanic, none of them could have matched Cameron here. He takes special effects and someone makes them more then that. You totally believe this world you are seeing, you totally believe it being destroyed. And because of that, despite the obvious story, he managed to involve you, and makes you care. Like you almost can't help it.

The acting is universally fine, though many characters lack complexity.

Worthington starts out an ass hole, and you slowly warm to him. Zaldana manages to bring ife in what could have just been blue Jar Jar Binks. Weaver is Weaver, so cynical and hard-headed. Stephan Lang is given no shades of grey to play, so he hamms it up and becomes pure evil. Ribisi is properly loathsome in the Paul Reiser role.

Despite their rockey relationship on Aliens, Horner and Cameron work well together. Horner has walked this path before. The entnic sounds recall Thunderheart and many of his other more eclectic works.Without losing it's effects. The 4 Note danger motif is this time use to signify loss. (it really works during the destruction of Hometree). The first two notes of the love theme recall "My Heart Will Go On" but then goes in a different direction.

Horner and Cameron share the same strengths and faults. But they do pull each other through somehow.

As a big, epic movie experience, Avatar is up there. Like Titanc it is riddled with things one can complain about. But like Titanic, Cameron's pure skill as a director makes you forgive him.

If he were to ever direct a film using someone else's story and script. It would probably be the best film ever made!

***1/2 out of ****

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Michael Jackson's This Is It

Ignoring the fact that Sony Pictures spent $50M just to get their hands on the rehearsal videos (and turned out the film within 3-4 months), the documentary still serves as a loving tribute to Jackson's career and a highlight of his most popular songs. I do like how Jackson was a perfectionist and made sure the musicians nailed down the downbeats and tempos perfectly (his favorite euphemism for song tempos is "simmer"), but also had a good rapport with everyone involved. I think the movie goes a bit too long, but Michael's songs still remain hugely entertaining and engaging.

Anyone who's looking for a more in-depth and honest look at Michael's last days will be sorely disappointed. For a concert movie though, it's definitely engaging.

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Man that reminds me of the whole aftermath of his death. This opened while I was still working at the theater and just the massive amounts of people going to it, refusing to leave during the credits, standing up and dancing in the aisles throwing their popcorn everywhere. What a fucking joke.

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I found Avatar to be mundane and dull.

Me too. Then again, I don't like most of his films. True Lies, Titanic and parts of The Abyss are downright annoying. He did good with the Terminator films (especially the second one) and Aliens (even though I didn't really care for it the last time I watched it, which was right after the brilliant Alien - now THAT is an experience movie!).

Alex

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Michael Jackson's This Is It

Ignoring the fact that Sony Pictures spent $50M just to get their hands on the rehearsal videos (and turned out the film within 3-4 months), the documentary still serves as a loving tribute to Jackson's career and a highlight of his most popular songs. I do like how Jackson was a perfectionist and made sure the musicians nailed down the downbeats and tempos perfectly (his favorite euphemism for song tempos is "simmer"), but also had a good rapport with everyone involved. I think the movie goes a bit too long, but Michael's songs still remain hugely entertaining and engaging.

Anyone who's looking for a more in-depth and honest look at Michael's last days will be sorely disappointed. For a concert movie though, it's definitely engaging.

It was dull. Really, you should watch Spike's Lee Bad 25. Now that's a well made documentary!

The Last Battle: Luc Besson's debut film is set in a post-apocalyptic environment. The B&W photography looks good and the story about survival is entertaining enough. Overall, a nice little film but it still feels like a professionally made student film. 6/10

lastbattlebr-02_zpsc0a9565b.jpg

Yes, it's Jean Reno!

Alex

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Technically advanced but artistically it's all too mundane for me. When you watch Alien, you see a painter at work, an artist making a movie. That's what I miss with Cameron. He's a technician.

No, there is more then that.

Have you seen Titanic Alex? The mise en scéne of the sinking is cinematic perfection. Above and beyond what any other director EVEN Spielberg is capable off!.

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Cameron seems ironically too intellectual in a technical sense to care about the 'story' - he is a scientist who knows he has to tell those archaic stories that work as lowest common denominator so he can get all this money to create his worlds and visions. I doubt he cares too much about the stories involved and i think the world would be poorer without such driven men. After all, Cameron often enough stormed ahead laying the groundwork for a lot of technical brilliance Hollywood thrives on.

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I am very curious why he does those AVATAR sequels. Pure paycheck job i'd say in other cases but Cameron would not be Cameron if there would not be some ace up his sleeve. There is just no reason to mount a three-hour epic following a finished story, a lot of it playing underwater, no less. It sounds so bound for a megaflop, i am piqued what drove JC there.

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I am very curious why he does those AVATAR sequels.

Because they are a perfect playground for a technician and the money they make (Avatar is one of the biggest moneymakers ever) isn't too shabby either.

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Technically advanced but artistically it's all too mundane for me. When you watch Alien, you see a painter at work, an artist making a movie. That's what I miss with Cameron. He's a technician.

No, there is more then that.

Have you seen Titanic Alex? The mise en scéne of the sinking is cinematic perfection. Above and beyond what any other director EVEN Spielberg is capable off!.

One static shot from Scott or Snyder is more intoxicating to me than 2 hours of Cameron's flash.

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Well, cinema started as huckster carnivalism, so i don't begrudge an artist his right to stun people with technical innovations. When i saw AVATAR in 3-D i was aware that it wasn't a great film, but it was a great movie experience, something i had not in years in this kind of harebrained Hollywood exercises.

I don't think an ORIGINAL film by Cameron would get more love from people turned off by AVATAR. There's always something wrong.



One static shot from Scott or Snyder is more intoxicating to me than 2 hours of Cameron's flash.

In essence, PROMETHEUS is about million frames a better experience than AVATAR. Well, to each his own. And Snyder, judging by what i saw of his, seems a rather hollow chap who was raised on a steady diet of entertainment product and it shows.

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Well, cinema started as huckster carnivalism, so i don't begrudge an artist his right to stun people with technical innovations.

Neither do I. And I was impressed 'technically', just not artistically.

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Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola's trippy masterpiece remains as fascinating and haunting as it ever was. The beach attack is one of the most stunning production numbers I've seen on film and there's a madness that jumps off the screen at you throughout the film, probably enhanced only by the behind-the-scenes drama of this troubled production. The movie can get quite cynical at times and doesn't offer much heart and soul, but this fits perfectly with a late seventies look back at the Vietnam war. The film somehow manages to be both a massive, big-budget epic production and a genuine work of art at the same time. A true rarity.

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Neither do I. And I was impressed 'technically', just not artistically.

it wasn't made to be framed and hung in the Louvre. It's just a movie. If it tickled the senses with things you never saw before, that is already a mighty accomplishment.

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Well, cinema started as huckster carnivalism, so i don't begrudge an artist his right to stun people with technical innovations.

Neither do I. And I was impressed 'technically', just not artistically.

If pre-Someone To Watch Over Me Scott is an Auteur, then Cameron is a master showman.

Ever since The Abyss, i guess, Cameron wants to make the biggest, most expensive, most visceral film that can be made up to that point. And he is willing to push the envelope, his crew, his actors and himself further then pretty any other film maker to achieve this.

I don't know of any living director who for the opening scenes of Titanic would have actually have gone down and film the actual ship. Anyone else would have used CGI or a big model in a tank. For Cameron, for some reason that wasn't good enough.

There is something in that mentality that has to be admired. Most film makers have gotten lazy because using CGI is so easy. Cameron hasn't. If it was technically possible, he would have gone to space and shot the footage of The Venture Star there.

In that drive, that obsession towards (technical) perfection, Cameron reminds me of Kubrick.

Stanley tended to write much better scripts though.

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