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


King Mark
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What moral grayness are we talking about, Hurmm? If anything, this film wasn't gray enough for me. It was neither subtle nor strong. That's the problem. I didn't care much for Emily Blunt's character because she's merely an observer, audience's moral compass (in case you don't know what's right and wrong). She doesn't really change or develop. I was waiting an for her to participate in the film's events at least. Never really happens. It's simply not very good writing.

I wish the film would simply end of Blunt holding her gun, this thing would make bit more sense. But no, she's the same Emily Blunt who we saw in the film's opening, only doing one questionable thing... while being threatened by a gun. That' bad writing, right there.

Or perhaps we are talking about Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro's characters? That makes slightly more sense. But then, you know from the start there is something wrong with them. Besides, it didn't really feel shocking or new when they revealed who Benicio really is. It's the only logical plot solution anyway, right from the start. The title gives that away.

So yeah, the film looks ok (in a Nolan-esque way), is well directed. But felt empty. I just wish they had some better writers though, less on the nose. You know, like The Wire used to be on television, for example (maybe because I'm currently rewatching it). At least there you could see moral compromises being made and, hey, moral grayness, without forgetting about your characters.

Karol

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That's the mistake everyone's making - the film isn't ABOUT the walk. That's just what happens at the end. It's about the story of a man, the artist inside him that needs to be expressed, and then all the setup and planning and shenanigans that go on getting ready for the walk.

It's a really well made film.

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It looks really, really spectacular in IMAX.

And he sure knows how to actually use 3D to a benefit and not a detriment.

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I love not only his visual style, but also the attention to character development and his talent for using special effects and camera tricks in service of the story. Not just style over substance.

If I could take only one of his films to a deserted island, it would be Contact without a doubt. The film still blows me away every time. And Jodie Foster's breathtakingly wonderful in it.

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Yea, I love that film.

The score to The Walk reminded me of the score to Contact at times.

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If Interstellar was normal bad, it could have been fun, but it couldn't even do that. There's something about Nolan's style that sometimes rubs me the wrong way. It's a feeling I also felt during Zemeckis' Contact. It has to do with their particular style of trying to be profound, which results in a kind of storytelling, acting and dialogue that I find annoying. It's as if the director wants to ram the profoundness down our throat. I like it when 'depth' is layered, not when it find itself on the surface.

Cheers!

Alex - who also spoke the truth when he gave Inception a 1/10

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See, that's exactly what I felt about Sicario, and not at all about Interstellar. In Inception's case, I think that the film itself was harmless but it spawned an army of internet teens who suddenly used it as their go-to "deep and philosophical" picture. An unfortunate stigma for a film that, in my view, didn't care about any of that. It's all about perception I suppose… Nolan, to me, has no trace of forced weight, it all just is. I can see it in Contact though… some of the "wonderstruck" dialogue is pretty hammy.

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I saw nothing forced in Sicario. Quite the opposite. Again, I felt the actual topic mattered less than the sensation that Villeneuve was more focused on building.

The screenplay reads a more average film, but under Villeneuve's precise direction, it's something that really creeps under your skin.

Interstellar, while a film I enjoyed in its attempt at heart, was not as effective in that regard.

But I'm not sure how Alex might feel about it. It's not as "pushy" as Prisoners I guess.

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See, that's exactly what I felt about Sicario, and not at all about Interstellar. In Inception's case, I think that the film itself was harmless but it spawned an army of internet teens who suddenly used it as their go-to "deep and philosophical" picture. An unfortunate stigma for a film that, in my view, didn't care about any of that. It's all about perception I suppose… Nolan, to me, has no trace of forced weight, it all just is. I can see it in Contact though… some of the "wonderstruck" dialogue is pretty hammy.

Hmm, Contact has been an influence for Interstellar and I definitely recognized a similar style (though, I admit, in Interstellar it's less enlarged). It's why I reacted they way I did. The school scene was pure Zemeckis. But to you it's two completely different things? Strange but okay ...

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Matthew Foster ...

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It has its influence, but Contact is more heavy-handed in execution. But that's the kind of film it was going for, and it embraces that. So it works.

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Hmm, Contact has been an influence for Interstellar and I definitely recognized a similar style (though, I admit, in Interstellar it's less enlarged). It's why I reacted they way I did. The school scene was pure Zemeckis. But to you it's two completely different things? Strange but okay ...

But there are very few american movies of that size that refrain from this brand of paternalistic didacticism. At least not since the 80's.

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35c4a388b0979e6f4dd1ef020c36932b.jpg

The Hobbit; The Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition)

Saw this on the big screen last night - in glorious 2D. It actually looked great, better than I remembered the theatrical cut looking - dunno if they changed some of the visuals or not.

I'll save details about the differences for Tolkien Central, but for here I'll just say the extended cut (it is 16 minutes longer than before) certainly improves the film, quite a bit actually. There are some nice new dialogue scenes, including ones between Gandalf and Radagast, Bilbo and Bofur, Thranduil and Bard, and Dain and Thorin. But there are also a bunch of new, really impressive battle scenes. The whole battle is now staged better, with more establishing shots to help show the scope of what's going on, as well, as some new aspects of fighting not seen before. There's also a really impressive action sequence involving a chariot and a frozen river that should never have been removed from the film, as its the best action scene in the trilogy! You also finally get to see Thorin's funeral and Dain's coronation.

Now, most of the major problems with the film (like its lack of resolution of many open plot threads) still remain, but if you're gonna watch one version of the film, this is the one, no question. Some good stuff in here.

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See, that's exactly what I felt about Sicario, and not at all about Interstellar. In Inception's case, I think that the film itself was harmless but it spawned an army of internet teens who suddenly used it as their go-to "deep and philosophical" picture. An unfortunate stigma for a film that, in my view, didn't care about any of that. It's all about perception I suppose… Nolan, to me, has no trace of forced weight, it all just is. I can see it in Contact though… some of the "wonderstruck" dialogue is pretty hammy.

Hmm, Contact has been an influence for Interstellar and I definitely recognized a similar style (though, I admit, in Interstellar it's less enlarged). It's why I reacted they way I did. The school scene was pure Zemeckis. But to you it's two completely different things? Strange but okay ...

hqdefault_zpsslgcgy2b.jpg

Matthew Foster ...

That's the one scene that seemed heavy-handed to me until I realized that's the point - the teacher's spiel sounded awfully scripted because it is, it's the stock response she's been trained to give.

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Nah. Of course that's the point but the whole setup reeks of a rustling script page: how both parties act like they are hit cold by their different perceptions just seems a bit twee.

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That's the mistake everyone's making - the film isn't ABOUT the walk.

But... but... The Social Network was also that movie about Facebook...

(Not that I've seen The Walk yet, but I'm certainly interested in it)

If I could take only one of his films to a deserted island, it would be Contact without a doubt. The film still blows me away every time. And Jodie Foster's breathtakingly wonderful in it.

Oh yes. I believe she deserved an Oscar for that one.

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What moral grayness are we talking about, Hurmm? If anything, this film wasn't gray enough for me. It was neither subtle nor strong. That's the problem. I didn't care much for Emily Blunt's character because she's merely an observer, audience's moral compass (in case you don't know what's right and wrong). She doesn't really change or develop. I was waiting an for her to participate in the film's events at least. Never really happens. It's simply not very good writing.

I wish the film would simply end of Blunt holding her gun, this thing would make bit more sense. But no, she's the same Emily Blunt who we saw in the film's opening, only doing one questionable thing... while being threatened by a gun. That' bad writing, right there.

Or perhaps we are talking about Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro's characters? That makes slightly more sense. But then, you know from the start there is something wrong with them. Besides, it didn't really feel shocking or new when they revealed who Benicio really is. It's the only logical plot solution anyway, right from the start. The title gives that away.

So yeah, the film looks ok (in a Nolan-esque way), is well directed. But felt empty. I just wish they had some better writers though, less on the nose. You know, like The Wire used to be on television, for example (maybe because I'm currently rewatching it). At least there you could see moral compromises being made and, hey, moral grayness, without forgetting about your characters.

Karol

I think Sicario and The Wire are saying things in a different way. I wouldn't compare the two, Sicario is ultimately a lot more cynical in tone. I disagree that Blunt's character is bad writing.

You hit the nail that she's the vessel for the audience, and she has stepped into a world where things move so fast, so beyond her control that she's merely an observer. I think it's a pretty bold move to make your main character so inconsequential to the proceedings... I can't remember the last film to do that. The film dares and expects you to expect that she will somehow turns things around, that she's strong and capable enough to do so. To show us how out of depth she was in this was the whole point of her character, really. If she had participated it could have been seen as a cop-out.

And I don't think Sicario was trying to ram things down our throats either. It just presented a world where laws and individuals don't matter, in the narrative of the film. This is presented pretty straightforward without much subtlety, and again I don't think it's detrimental in this case because the film isn't attempting to be deep and layered - it just presents that world as it is, wrapped around action-thriller sensibilities.

And even if you disagree with how she was handled, there is at least one sequence - the convoy into Mexico, that is staged and mounted so well that the suspense and intensity would have grabbed you... at least temporarily?

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Sicario

I must agree to a large extend with Croc on this one.

A technically flawless, brilliantly shot film with a pitch perfect cast.

The convoy scene into Juarez is the best part of the film. With Roger Deakins' camera work switching from all encompassing areal shots to tightly framed close ups from inside the cars (you could actually feel the bumps in the road at times) Johann Johanson's soundtrack pulsating with dread. At that point Sicario promises to be a great film. Or at-least a brilliant exercise in suspense.

But unfortunately, despite having several impressive scenes after that, the film never really takes flight.

Emily Blunt is very strong in a role that actually doesnt amount to much. She's the audiences way in. We like her, we sympathize with her. But she isnt actually part of anything. She get's thrown around like a dog toy by both sides of the conflict, and then pretty much discarded. Same for her partner.

The script not only lacks character development (which I suppose is defendable, since many of the characters in the film are beyond development), but it also lacks any kind of direction or message.

The film has no moral compass, the characters arent grey, or black and white, or much of anything. They exist, they seem to serve a purpose and thats basically it.

For a film about the terrible drug war waged in Mexico and the southern states of the US, Sicario has very little to say. And even worse it doesnt seem to give it's audience anything to think about, or mull over either. I was hoping this film would give me something to think about. But no, there really isnt much there....

I gotta say though. Benicio Del Toro really get top marks for his performance here. Going from enigmatic and restraint, to relentlessly violent, yet thoughtful and gentle at the same time. He almost manages to rise from this deeply shallow movie.

Almost...

** 1/2 out of ****

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