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Thread: Films of 2012

  1. #91
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    Okay, the Martian gravity is something like 0.38g. Let's assume that a 1912 estimate may have been off, say 0.333g.

    The best athletes on Earth can't high jump much more than 7.5 feet, I think. this involves raising their center of gravity from about +3.0 ft (relative to the ground) to +7.5, or 4.5 ft.

    Triple that, and you have 15 ft. 3 + 15 = 18. That's impressive, but hardly enough to let one scale mountains, reach airships and such. Not even able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, like that other alien fellow.

    Ahh, so what? If I had Tars Tarkas for a sidekick and Woola trailing along, my enemies would fear me. If I had any real enemies.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I haven't seen John Carter yet, but I'm delighted to hear that the producers did not relocate ther story away from Mars, nor update the period to the present, nor scale down the Green Martians. I hope that they retained a reasonable amount of the original plot as well
    Based on a short review from a Finnish fanboy I just read, there do seem to be a number of very significant changes to the original plot ref: A Princess of Mars. Seems to be a lot further away from the original than, say, Fellowship of the Ring was. But then again, this movie does not actually claim to be A Princess of Mars - the Movie

    On the subject of science and JC, Andrew Stanton had this to say recently:
    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news...eling-for-mars
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  3. #93
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    There's a thread on the John Carter movie here which might be a better place to discuss one movie in detail.
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  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Just to pick a nit, his body doesn't die, it goes into a trance-like state... suspended animation... stasis. This allows him to return to it periodically, although in later books, he learns how to do it without returning to his body.
    I'll gladly defer to your expertise. Everything I know about JC I got from the Wikipedia page. I'm pretty sure it said he died. In either case I don't see how your version is any more credible. Humans cannot enter suspended animation. Sure they can be unconscious, but they cannot survive for months without sustenance.

  5. #95
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    Supermodels.

    Not only do many survive for months without measureable sustenance, but they also seem to function in a trancelike state.

    Seriously, I wasn't trying to justify the "science" involved, only correct a mis-statement. He seemed as dead but his body did not decay. Which is very convenient if you're coming back to it after a few years.

    If all you know about the Barsoom novels is what you read on Wiki, well, you really should read one or two books before trying to explain them.
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  6. #96
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    ...and now I'll step in and say: no more on that one movie, please - put it over in the thread for that one Movie. These Movie listing threads are fun, let's keep them on topic.
    I don't see any Ice Giants.

  7. #97
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    We could always merge some of the John Carter discussion posts over to the proper thread.

  8. #98
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    Been busy with end of term. Missed an early start to summer. Hunger Games opening at $153 million is pretty big news. No one saw that coming.

    For the week of Friday, 6 April:

    Titanic 3D: I liked Titanic, but I have never felt the need to see it again. And since I can’t see in 3D, this isn’t high on my list. Nice to see Kate pressing the carpet for Jim, given how utterly pointless this endeavour is.

    US:

    American Reunion: The only interest I have in the American Pie series is that it appears to have given some oxygen to Alyson Hannigan’s career. Other than that, enh.

    ATM: ATM phobia is a fairly modern phenomenon, though quite rational. This is a more or less OK stab at exploiting it. And as anyone who reads British tabloids will tell you, kids in hoods are scary.

    Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope: Morgan Spurlock does Comic-Con. The one way I know I will never truly be a geek is because I seriously would rather have my teeth extracted than go to Comic-Con.

    The Hunter: so let me get this straight; these guys go off in search of a Tasmanian wolf/tiger/thylacine whatever; an animal that has not been sighted alive since the Depression, and they want to kill it? How very 1850s.

    Damsels in Distress: I loved Whit Stilman’s Barcelona, and from this it seems he’s lost none of his verbal dexterity. I feel he’s akin to Woody Allen, only without the extra baggage and creepy undertones.

    Air Racers 3D: Documentary about the Reno Air Races. In 3D.

    Delicacy: It seems Audrey Tautou will be playing Amelie for the rest of her career. I’d say it was a good thing Emily Watson turned Amelie down, but she’s been typecast since Breaking the Waves.

    Iron Sky: Or: Sarah Palin vs. the Moon Nazis From Hell!. OK, this isn’t the best-acted trailer I’ve ever seen, but still, the fact that they got this movie made at all is something of a triumph, and opens the way to a new generation of crowd-sourced films.

    Surviving Progress: Not really anything new in this future shock doc; same issues we’ve all discussed before, but maybe they can be said again. Still, I don’t really understand the meaning of “bad progress”. If progress got us into this mess, regress isn’t going to get us out.

    The Assault: French thriller based on the true story of a mission to take down a group of airline hijackers in 1994. Loses some impact after United 93, but still looks good.

    We the Party : Mario van Peebles’s take on young modern black ambition. Actually seems quite upbeat, given its subject matter.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2012-Apr-12 at 11:39 AM.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Titanic 3D: I liked Titanic, but I have never felt the need to see it again. And since I can’t see in 3D, this isn’t high on my list. Nice to see Kate pressing the carpet for Jim, given how utterly pointless this endeavour is.
    I had my critical capabilities challenged on Roger's blog because I stated firmly that I have no interest in seeing it and explained why. How could I know that without having seen it? What kind of critic would do that?

    ATM: ATM phobia is a fairly modern phenomenon, though quite rational. This is a more or less OK stab at exploiting it. And as anyone who reads British tabloids will tell you, kids in hoods are scary.
    Apparently, plenty of people in the US would agree with that.

    Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope: Morgan Spurlock does Comic-Con. The one way I know I will never truly be a geek is because I seriously would rather have my teeth extracted than go to Comic-Con.
    I'd rather have my teeth extracted than watch anything by Morgan Spurlock.

    The Hunter: so let me get this straight; these guys go off in search of a Tasmanian wolf/tiger/thylacine whatever; an animal that has not been sighted alive since the Depression, and they want to kill it? How very 1850s.
    Yeah, I don't understand that one myself.
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  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Iron Sky: Or: Sarah Palin vs. the Moon Nazis From Hell!. OK, this isn’t the best-acted trailer I’ve ever seen, but still, the fact that they got this movie made at all is something of a triumph, and opens the way to a new generation of crowd-sourced films
    It isn't the best-acted film either, or best-anything really, except perhaps the best-crowd-sourced-film. But it's quite decent if you don't except too much of it. Take it in the same spirit as Robert Rodrigues' faux-B-films and I'm sure you'll be entertained.
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  11. #101
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    ... it appears to have given some oxygen to Alyson Hannigan’s career

    Her career is doing quite well, thank you.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460649/
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  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    ... it appears to have given some oxygen to Alyson Hannigan’s career

    Her career is doing quite well, thank you.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460649/
    I think he meant the movie series, of which she was in three before "How I Met Your Mother."

  13. #103
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    I had my critical capabilities challenged on Roger's blog because I stated firmly that I have no interest in seeing it and explained why. How could I know that without having seen it? What kind of critic would do that?
    I gotta say, Gillian, I agree. The whole point of being a critic is to learn to break through your own preconceptions, even if they turn out to be right.

    I think he meant the movie series, of which she was in three before "How I Met Your Mother."
    Yeah; that's what I meant.

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Yeah; that's what I meant.
    Then, appearing in the fourth movie in that series gave oxygen to her career doing that series?
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  15. #105
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    I was speaking of my abiding interest since its beginning; not in any current interest I might have (or not) for this one in particular.

    UK

    A Cat In Paris: OK, this wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought this would be like The Incredible Journey but it seems to be more like a gender-switched take on Catwoman. Kinda creepy undertones toward the end I thought.

    The Cold Light of Day: Odd for Europe to get an action flick before America, but this is set in Spain so, maybe they figured Americans don’t know where Spain is, or something. Anyhoo, this looks pretty decent for an action flick, but Henry Cavill’s performance bodes somewhat meh for Man of Steel

    Headhunters: Swedish film (and yes this is a Swedish film, so prepare yourself for nudity) based on a thriller by Jo Nesbo, a writer of what could charitably be referred to as “airport standard” fiction. Wants to be the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but lacks the interesting lead character.

    Le Havre: Latest from Finnish director Aki Kurusmaki; this one of the “crotchety old man finds cute lost soul and opens to the world” variety. Only this one involves illegal immigration, as touchy a subject in France as it is everywhere else with something worth ditching your life for.

    North Sea Texas: Dramedy about a preteen gay/straight love triangle in a Norwegian oil town. Yes, this being Europe it is possible to have preteen gay/straight love triangles. In Europe, childhood is far more overtly Freudian than in other locations.

    This Must Be The Place: Probably the most laid-back depiction of post-Holocaust vengeance I’ve ever seen. Sean Penn plays a fairly broken androgynous ex-rock star who drifts his way towards his father’s executioner to the music of David Byrne. Odd but interesting.

  16. #106
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    Watched the trailer to "The Assault". I caught the "Mayday" episode about that incident, just the other week, while flipping through channels.

  17. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I gotta say, Gillian, I agree. The whole point of being a critic is to learn to break through your own preconceptions, even if they turn out to be right.
    I'm not allowed to learn from experience? James Cameron makes very shiny movies that are often not terribly interesting. I don't like very shiny movies without interesting plots. If someone were paying me, I would watch it. No one is paying me. I have chosen not to spend the three hours and the 3D prices; am I not entitled to that opinion in advance? I have to make choices on my fixed income which movies I am and am not going to pay to see. I have to make time-based decisions for everything I get from the library and Netflix. I think, with that in mind, I have to make choices on limited information.
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  18. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I gotta say, Gillian, I agree. The whole point of being a critic is to learn to break through your own preconceptions, even if they turn out to be right.
    I would have agreed if Gillian had written a review of it.

    "I don't want to waste money seeing the retrofitted 3D version" is a perfectly valid opinion based on the knowledge that 3D added to non-3D movies just plain doesn't add anything for non-CGI and that the non-CGI is the reason for not wanting to see it again.
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  19. #109
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    I can see Gillian's point. She's not being paid to review movies. If she doesn't want to see one because - for whatever reason - it doesn't appeal to her, that's fine.

    Roger Ebert is paid to review movies. I'm willing to bet he sees/has seen lots of movies he would have preferred to avoid.
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  20. #110
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    I suppose that speaks to the strange netherworld in which internet publishing exists. It is more than a hobby, yet less than a profession. Does an internet publisher have the same responsibilities as a credited professional? Not sure.

  21. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Roger Ebert is paid to review movies. I'm willing to bet he sees/has seen lots of movies he would have preferred to avoid.
    Yes, and his books of negative reviews are a lot more fun than his book of four-star reviews. He makes up for the punishment of seeing it by really wicked prose.

    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I suppose that speaks to the strange netherworld in which internet publishing exists. It is more than a hobby, yet less than a profession. Does an internet publisher have the same responsibilities as a credited professional? Not sure.
    To be perfectly frank, given my own particular movie project, reviewing any theatrical release is unnecessary, because I didn't get it from the library in its proper alphabetical slot. And I went through "N" last night to get ready for putting those movies on hold. Due to a flaw in the current library software, that meant going through the DVD collection "manually." There are over eighteen thousand items in the collection, and I made choices about which I would and wouldn't be watching. My personal requirement for my journal is one movie a day. I've never promised which ones.
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    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  22. #112
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    For the week of Friday, 13 April:


    The Cabin in the Woods: It’s a bit of a shame, really; in order to push home its selling point, the trailer has to give the main plot twist away- after all, it’s not as if this trope is anything new or original. That said, I’m not sure said plot twist is particularly new or original either; it’s basically a cross between The Most Dangerous Game and The Truman Show. And why, after waiting 3 years for MGM’s rubble to clear, could they not have waited another few months to capitalise on Whedon’s name post-Avengers?

    US:

    The Three Stooges: As with John Carter, I’m not sure the audience for this movie exists anymore.

    Detention: No no no don’t parody The Breakfast Club; you’re not smart enough for that.

    The Lady: It really is astonishing how much Michelle Yeoh looks like Aung San Suu Kyi. Other than that, can’t tell much from this trailer.

    Lockout: Dear God; are people supposed to be enticed by this? That dialogue was clichéd when Escape From New York savaged it 30 years ago. And come to think of it, isn’t this the EXACT SAME PLOT? I think Guy Pearce may be under the impression that this will do for his career what Taken did to Liam Neeson’s, but Liam Neeson can pull this crap off. Anyone here remember Harry Twenty on the High Rock? I’d like to see a movie made of that.

    Touchback: Perhaps it’s the ridiculous outfits, or the doctorate in Newtonian mechanics required to understand the jargon, but I’ve never been able to take American football seriously. Is this movie insinuating some kind of time-travel plot? Not sure.

    L!fe Happens: So you don’t have a condom, and you have sex anyway. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for you. Yet another movie in which everyone is an unsympathetic *********. Please tell me, are most people like this and I’ve simply missed out on the world?

    Bad ***: Gotta admit, if you’re going to make a movie called Bad ***, casting Danny Trejo, Charles S Dutton and Ron Perlman is one way to do it.

    Blue Like Jazz: So. This is what happens when you go to Reed. My only experience of Reed was when I was attending St Johns; a college so difficult I dropped out after a nervous breakdown. Turns out many of my fellow students were former denizens of Reed who had left because they found it too stressful. From the trailer I can see what they meant.

    Deadline: To quote John Oliver’s review of The Help: “Wow! White people are amazing!”

    How to Grow a Band: Interesting examination of the evolution of a new band, and why bands fail or succeed.

    Monsieur Lazhar : Good Teacher Movies are fairly common, but this trailer feels like it speaks fairly true. Interesting to see a French-language film set in Canada and starring an Algerian.

    Pseudo: Blood of Our Own: Who knew there was a Canadian-Bollywood films? The global village is connecting in strange and unexpected ways.

    Unraveled : A white collar criminal gets his own documentary before being shipped off to jail. Psychopaths are so odd when they get caught; they don’t care about what they did, but they still try to justify it.

    Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day : Not the standard title for a vigilante vs. serial killer movie.

    UK

    Edge: Group of lost souls gather together on the edge of a cliff and have a laugh while contemplating suicide. Very British.

  23. #113
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    Perhaps it’s the ridiculous outfits, or the doctorate in Newtonian mechanics required to understand the jargon, but I’ve never been able to take American football seriously.

    Trust me. The vast majority of American football fans do not have doctorates ... in anything. Yet, they still enjoy the game.
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  24. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    The Three Stooges: As with John Carter, I’m not sure the audience for this movie exists anymore.
    Well, I certainly won't be watching it.

    Touchback: Perhaps it’s the ridiculous outfits, or the doctorate in Newtonian mechanics required to understand the jargon, but I’ve never been able to take American football seriously. Is this movie insinuating some kind of time-travel plot? Not sure.
    It has never ceased to amaze me how much effort people are willing to put into learning the most insignificant rules of football imaginable yet call learning things with real-world applications "hard work." And "boring."

    L!fe Happens: So you don’t have a condom, and you have sex anyway. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for you. Yet another movie in which everyone is an unsympathetic *********. Please tell me, are most people like this and I’ve simply missed out on the world?
    Well, I've never been happy that particular word has become as popular an insult as it is; I think it says something unpleasant about our society. As does the fact that movies like this are popular.

    Blue Like Jazz: So. This is what happens when you go to Reed. My only experience of Reed was when I was attending St Johns; a college so difficult I dropped out after a nervous breakdown. Turns out many of my fellow students were former denizens of Reed who had left because they found it too stressful. From the trailer I can see what they meant.
    I got wait-listed to Reed, when I was a senior in high school, and I've occasionally had cause to be very grateful that I didn't get in. The combination of Reed and bipolar might have given me my very own nervous breakdown.

    Deadline: To quote John Oliver’s review of The Help: “Wow! White people are amazing!”
    I was grousing about The Help for just that very reason, and a friend said something about how it's nice that a film shows the good things white people did for the Civil Rights Movement for a change. I advised him to watch every film ever made about the Civil Rights Movement and tell me how much of a change it really is.

    Unraveled : A white collar criminal gets his own documentary before being shipped off to jail. Psychopaths are so odd when they get caught; they don’t care about what they did, but they still try to justify it.
    It's why I stopped reading a book by a certain advocate for Indian casinos the other day. There's only so much of that I can take.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnjrp View Post
    It isn't the best-acted film either, or best-anything really, except perhaps the best-crowd-sourced-film. But it's quite decent if you don't except too much of it. Take it in the same spirit as Robert Rodrigues' faux-B-films and I'm sure you'll be entertained.
    After just watching it I'll make a depressing prediction, this is likely going to be the best movie I'm going to see in the cinema this year. This is not depressing because it says bad things about this movie, it's depressing because it says bad things about the mainstream movie industry.

    The parody stuff is a bonus, it doesn't drive the plot and, despite being about nazis from the moon and with a Palin clone as US president, it's less cliched than the vast majority of mainstream movies, especially sci-fi action movies.
    It easily passes the Bechdel test.

    This is a movie that believes in the contract between movie and audience. There's a required level of suspension of disbelief, it is indicated clearly when the main premise is presented right up front and after you hit that level the contract isn't violated.
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    For the week of Friday, 4 May:


    Yeah, it’s been a while. Two weeks of hard labour cataloguing records for the Royal Society pretty much wrote me off, which means I missed the beginning of summer. Still, just enough time left to include…

    The Avengers: Or Avengers Assemble to give it its ponderous British name, presumably chosen so that we Brits wouldn’t be offended that it shares a name with a 40-year-old camper-than-a row-of-tents TV show. We also got this Avengers before you Americans did, which is strange, given that one of the characters is called Captain America. The trepidation was unwarranted because, as I’m sure you all know by now, this movie is fantastic; in my humble opinion, the most effective action movie since Speed, which, of course, Joss Whedon also wrote. I think giving this movie to Whedon was the smartest in a long succession of smart moves Marvel has made with this franchise- he’s a comic nerd to the core, and, more importantly, he knows how to inject character development seamlessly into action better than any writer alive. Remember how, in Speed, even the nameless hostages had memorable personalities? That proves vital in this story, as there are 6 major characters, and all must be given a believable motivation and means to contribute. That each team member felt indispensable, even Black Widow, whose job in Iron Man 2 appeared to consist entirely of bending herself into suggestive poses, is a testament to Whedon’s abilities. Beyond this though, besides making himself into a Hollywood titan overnight, Whedon has also dispelled the myth of Michael Bay for good: that summer action fare need be dumb to be entertaining.

    US:

    Mother’s Day: Rebecca de Mornay plays an icy, controlling villainess. Again. But hey, Deborah Ann Woll is in it.

    lol: Two things I really can’t handle are Miley Cyrus and texting. So a movie concerning both was never going to appeal to me. Maybe if it was called stfu

    A Little Bit of Heaven: Is that really the right title for a movie about cancer? I once read an article about how America is trying to rebrand cancer as a lifestyle change, like becoming a vegetarian or something. We’re all supposed to be happy and look on the bright side, because who knows, if it goes terminal it might be our fault for not smiling enough.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel : It’s one thing to cry “White people are amazing!” It’s another to cry “Really obnoxious parochial racist white people are amazing! Eventually.” Bill Nighy and Freida Pinto are in it though.

    A Beautiful Soul: I suppose it’s a good thing that African Americans are jumping on the evangelical flick bandwagon that white people have so long dominated.

    Asylum Blackout: Uh, people who made this movie, you are aware that only a tiny fraction of insane people are actually dangerous, right?

    Chronicling a Crisis: I thought this was about an actual crisis, but no, it’s about a personal crisis. Good for this guy that he can put his personal problems out there for everyone else to deal with.

    Death of a Superhero: Andy Serkis keeps turning up in the oddest places. But then for him it’s hard to define exactly what “odd” would be. He certainly is a far more versatile actor than his motion controlling masters appear to give him credit for. I quite like this story; at the very least, it seems a more honest treatment of cancer than other movies I could mention.

    First Position: Declaration of interest here: I hate ballet, always have. I don’t see the point of telling a story through dance, because unless you know the story already you’re never going to understand what the dance means. That said, those of you who like ballet, can you honestly tell me it’s worth this? Warping and twisting your body from the time you’re old enough to walk, for what? A ten year career? 20? At least gymnasts and tennis players get endorsements.

    Last Call at the Oasis : Documentary about how we’re running out of water, because, despite the fact that the warnings have been shouted for 40 years, we apparently still don’t care.

    Meeting Evil: I’m gonna take a shot in the dark here: Samuel L Jackson’s character is either a) a demon or b) the manifestation of the other guy’s darker motivations. Either way, the white guy’s the one doing the killing.

    Memorial Day : I’m not a huge fan of jingoistic war movies. War isn’t something to be proud of; it’s a necessary evil. But the presence of James Cromwell grants this some gravitas.

    More Than Frybread Nice to see a documentary about Native Americans that instils a sense of fun rather than fatalistic despair.

    The Diary of Preston Plummer : Gotta love a movie trailer that finds poetry in the second law of thermodynamics, probably the single most depressing truth ever unearthed about the universe.

    The Perfect Family: Kathleen Turner’s been a bit under the radar of late, which is a shame; she’s got great comic timing and that voice can still send shivers up a wall. Nice to see a movie yet again following Hollywood rule no 678: If you’re going to make a movie about accepting gays into your life, make sure they’re hot lesbians so the audience is on your side.

    This has been a very long entry so I’ll do the UK ones tomorrow.

  27. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Yeah, it’s been a while. Two weeks of hard labour cataloguing records for the Royal Society pretty much wrote me off, which means I missed the beginning of summer. Still, just enough time left to include…
    Pfft. Stupid having a life!

    The Avengers: Or Avengers Assemble to give it its ponderous British name, presumably chosen so that we Brits wouldn’t be offended that it shares a name with a 40-year-old camper-than-a row-of-tents TV show. We also got this Avengers before you Americans did, which is strange, given that one of the characters is called Captain America. The trepidation was unwarranted because, as I’m sure you all know by now, this movie is fantastic; in my humble opinion, the most effective action movie since Speed, which, of course, Joss Whedon also wrote. I think giving this movie to Whedon was the smartest in a long succession of smart moves Marvel has made with this franchise- he’s a comic nerd to the core, and, more importantly, he knows how to inject character development seamlessly into action better than any writer alive. Remember how, in Speed, even the nameless hostages had memorable personalities? That proves vital in this story, as there are 6 major characters, and all must be given a believable motivation and means to contribute. That each team member felt indispensable, even Black Widow, whose job in Iron Man 2 appeared to consist entirely of bending herself into suggestive poses, is a testament to Whedon’s abilities. Beyond this though, besides making himself into a Hollywood titan overnight, Whedon has also dispelled the myth of Michael Bay for good: that summer action fare need be dumb to be entertaining.
    I thought Captain America did a pretty good job at that, but what do I know? I will probably, however, be seeing this one sometime in the middle of next week. And then again later in the month. I have two friends who want to be taken to see it for their birthdays, and they both have social anxiety issues which mean we won't be going as a group. It's such a relief to know that I will be seeing a good movie twice!

    A Little Bit of Heaven: Is that really the right title for a movie about cancer? I once read an article about how America is trying to rebrand cancer as a lifestyle change, like becoming a vegetarian or something. We’re all supposed to be happy and look on the bright side, because who knows, if it goes terminal it might be our fault for not smiling enough.
    I read a very interesting book on the subject a while ago. It seems some cancer support groups are actually inclined to kicking people out if they relapse, because it brings the whole rest of the group down. And, yes, the constant "keep a good attitude, because being sad brings back your cancer!" is really, really bad for cancer patients.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel : It’s one thing to cry “White people are amazing!” It’s another to cry “Really obnoxious parochial racist white people are amazing! Eventually.” Bill Nighy and Freida Pinto are in it though.
    It does have a heck of a cast, and Roger Ebert likes it. I'll probably see it. And I have a great deal of sympathy for the Dame Maggie Smith character--I think India is a beautiful, fascinating country, and given my food tastes, I can't go because I would starve to death.

    Asylum Blackout: Uh, people who made this movie, you are aware that only a tiny fraction of insane people are actually dangerous, right?
    No. It seems no one is. Go on, you try telling someone that mentally ill people are more likely to be victims of violent crime than to be violent criminals.

    First Position: Declaration of interest here: I hate ballet, always have. I don’t see the point of telling a story through dance, because unless you know the story already you’re never going to understand what the dance means. That said, those of you who like ballet, can you honestly tell me it’s worth this? Warping and twisting your body from the time you’re old enough to walk, for what? A ten year career? 20? At least gymnasts and tennis players get endorsements.
    Well, I like ballet, and I can't imagine doing any more ballet than the two or three years I did as a little girl. (I still know all the positions, and I stopped before we went en pointe. Since it was at our local Y, I doubt the teacher taught that level.) But I suspect people who really get into ballet do it because they can't imagine not, just like any other passion.

    Meeting Evil: I’m gonna take a shot in the dark here: Samuel L Jackson’s character is either a) a demon or b) the manifestation of the other guy’s darker motivations. Either way, the white guy’s the one doing the killing.
    Give him time, give him time . . . .

    Memorial Day : I’m not a huge fan of jingoistic war movies. War isn’t something to be proud of; it’s a necessary evil. But the presence of James Cromwell grants this some gravitas.
    The only film class I've ever taken was "the history of the twentieth century through film." We did Sands of Iwo Jima, and one of our test questions was, "Is Sands of Iwo Jima propaganda?" My answer was, "Oh, dear God, yes!" It was one of several jingoistic movies we watched that quarter, and I hated all of them.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    the most effective action movie since Speed, which, of course, Joss Whedon also wrote.
    That's not what IMDB says.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  29. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    That's not what IMDB says.
    Kind of, it does.

    Script doctor Joss Whedon rewrote the script uncredited. According to Graham Yost, the credited writer of Speed, Whedon wrote most of its dialogue.

  30. #120
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    UK:

    Lawrence of Belgravia: Documentaries about aging former pop stars are more depressing than documentaries about aging former athletes, because with the latter there is always the hope of redemption, while with the former no one really cares if the protagonist gets to ride in limos snorting cocaine off call girls or not. Lawrence was once the lead singer of Felt, and comes across as a bit lost in the modern era. Still, it is possible to feel sorry for him, a bit. Like many pop stars, he has that sense of never having reached beyond a mental age of about 10, bemused at the hard knocks life seems determined to hand him.

    Angele et Tony: The French are very good at this sort of thing; the kind of raw, gritty romance with none of the sharp bits taken out. Still, for all their realism, French films appear to show a lot of grossly fat men getting gorgeous girls. Maybe I should move there.

    Dinotasia: Calm down Gillian, this isn’t directed by Werner Herzog, though he did narrate it(!). It feels a bit like Walking With Dinosaurs by way of Quentin Terantino; the violence is jacked up to comical extremes. I can’t speak for dinos but any documentary cameraman will tell you real nature isn’t nearly that exciting.

    Goodbye First Love: Very French take on the joys of young love (and yes, this trailer is very French indeed, for you Bawdlers out there). It does have the feel of a New Wave film; not much happens, but the emotions are there in every scene.

    Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai: Takashi Miike appears to have abandoned his former life of cinematic excess and made a bid for respectability. No more film credits made of semen or sweet little girls sticking needles into the eyes of middle aged men for him; no, he wants to follow in the steps of Kurusawa and make grand historical epics. Which seem to be the in thing in Asia right now. I wasn’t too impressed with his previous attempt, 13 Assassins but this one seems to have a more interesting story, even if it appears to owe a lot to Hero and Rashomon.

    Juan of the Dead: The title deliberately echoes Shaun of the Dead, but Shaun was a videogame geek with the life-experiences of a mayfly on meth. This is a Cuban movie, and zombies will have to start thinking fast if they want to stand up to a posse of Cubanos.

    Piggy : A story about as basic as you could get: a young boy makes a Faustian pact with a bloodied, sociopathic force of nature named Piggy to avenge his brother’s death, but soon has second thoughts. So, not much original there. But Paul Anderson imbues Piggy with the right level of inhumanity.

    Two Years At Sea: Arty flick about an old man who seems rather self-sufficient. Can’t say much else right now.

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