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Thread: Films of 2012

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    That's not what IMDB says.
    In an interview he mentioned that part of the things he wrote was exactly the personalities of the other passengers, to the point where once he's remade the lawyer so he was actually likable the execs didn't want him killed, to which Whedon's response was something like: but that is exactly why he should die, now it will have emotional impact. (following his general idea that if you kill off a character, it should either be someone the audience likes or the villain).
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  2. #122
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    You know, I maintain this private mental list of celebrities who would make a fortune releasing audio books of bedtime stories. Celebrities with soothing voices. Morgan Freeman. Leonard Nimoy, actually. Tom Petty. And I can't decide if the reason Werner Herzog isn't on that list for me is because his voice isn't actually soothing or because I don't think his voice is soothing because I'd be too worried about what he would do to me as I slept.
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  3. #123
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    I'd add Philip Pullman to your list, Gillian. Actually he's not quite a celebrity in that sense, and he does audio work already, but hey, he's still worth a mention.

  4. #124
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    Oh, there are plenty of authors on the list of "does really good audio books," but it is indeed a separate list.
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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!"

  5. #125
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    Don't know if it actually dates to last year, but "Headhunters" is playing downtown, I'll probably go check it out. The reviews seem to be positive ones, not that it matters much to me. If a movie sounds interesting enough, I'll go see it. It is Norwegian made, based on Jo Nesbo's novel by the same name. I have enjoyed a number of his "Harry Hole" mystery novels.

  6. #126
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    For the week of Friday, 11 May:

    Dark Shadows: Yes, we all know now, this is a comedy. But to be fair, they tried revamping this straight twice and bombed. And yes I just said revamping. Things I like about this trailer: Eva Green, Michelle Pfieffer, Chloe Grace Moretz. Things I don’t like so far: the jokes, and Johnny Depp’s Halloween-level makeup job. So we’ll see.

    US:

    Hick: What is Chloe Grace Moretz doing? Is she going to play slinky jailbait in every one of her movies? I leave you to judge and make my exceedingly awkward 36-year-old male way as far from this trailer as possible.

    Transit: Yeah this movie’s stupid. But I have a question: what the heck is wrong with the colour? It looks like it was shot on a cloudy day on Dad’s camcorder. And Jim, surely all those days on a cross would have led to more than this?

    The Cup: Aussie jockey movie. Now fill in the blanks.

    Dragon Eyes: Jean-Claude Van Damme and Peter Weller are in this, but you can’t tell from this trailer, which is basically one extended fight sequence. Decent one though.

    God Bless America: Wow. Remember when Bobcat Goldthwait was in Police Academy? Actually, don’t answer that; I don’t want to feel old. Anyway, for the last few years he’s been carving out a niche for himself directing blacker than black comedies. Yes, this movie is basically a retread of Falling Down and Super but at least it understands the world it’s skewering.

    Sleepless Night: Cop on the edge loses it all and goes on the lam to save his family. You know the drill. Oh, and it’s French.

    Girl In Progress: A familiar “daughter educates her mother” story, with some inter-ethnic strife thrown in.

    A Bag of Hammers : Two despicable petty thugs accidentally adopt a child whose mother is the only person on the planet even worse than they are. This movie looks pretty bad, but there are signs of promise- the fact that two of the world’s most beautiful women (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Seyfried) are in it doesn’t hurt.

    Bonsai: Cute little love story from Latin America

    Changing the Game: For once, a story about a young black boy from the hood who makes good before things turn bad doesn’t have to do with gangs, but the stock market. Yes, heavy-handed metaphor, but someone had to make it.

    El Gringo : In these “foreigner trapped in shifty small town” movies aren’t we supposed to have sympathy for the protagonist? If not than what’s the point? And if so why show him blowing two people to smithereens before the trailer even starts? This is old school, 70s level violence, the kind we’ve lost in our PG-13 world. But that doesn’t make it good.

    I Wish: Child’s eye view of divorce in Japan. What is the Japanese view of divorce I wonder? I imagine the rate must be fairly high, given the high-stress life of your average Tokyoer, but does their culture look down on it?

    Nesting: Gen-X married couple go back to their old life to rekindle their marriage. The jokes are almost funny.

    Nobody Else But You French thriller about a journo who investigates the murder of a Marilyn-wannabe model.

    Otter 501: A documentary about baby sea otters will tickle your “d’aaaw” reflex like no other. But in truth, my grandma used to live near Big Sur and I can tell you, they’re a LOT cuter in real life.

    Philly Kid: Onetime next big boxer has to throw a fight to save his brother yadda yadda.

    Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish: Er, in a world where people earn doctorates in Klingon, how exactly is Yiddish “the world’s most irrelevant language”? And how is the fact that a Yiddish dictionary is 8 volumes long a hindrance? Surely that would be a boon for translators? I dunno. Movie looks well made.

    Small Beautifully Moving Parts: Modern girl gets pregnant and tries to reconnect with her estranged mother, who apparently ran away from everything. Looks real.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Dark Shadows: Yes, we all know now, this is a comedy. But to be fair, they tried revamping this straight twice and bombed. And yes I just said revamping. Things I like about this trailer: Eva Green, Michelle Pfieffer, Chloe Grace Moretz. Things I don’t like so far: the jokes, and Johnny Depp’s Halloween-level makeup job. So we’ll see.
    We may go see it tomorrow, though there's only so much in the way of quality I'm expecting.

    El Gringo : In these “foreigner trapped in shifty small town” movies aren’t we supposed to have sympathy for the protagonist? If not than what’s the point? And if so why show him blowing two people to smithereens before the trailer even starts? This is old school, 70s level violence, the kind we’ve lost in our PG-13 world. But that doesn’t make it good.
    Actually, I wrote a piece last week about the problems I have with '70s cinema. The violence wasn't even part of it.

    Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish: Er, in a world where people earn doctorates in Klingon, how exactly is Yiddish “the world’s most irrelevant language”? And how is the fact that a Yiddish dictionary is 8 volumes long a hindrance? Surely that would be a boon for translators? I dunno. Movie looks well made.
    It's hardly as though Yiddish theatre were something all that new. The Federal Theatre Project did Yiddish theatre in among the English and Spanish and so forth. And I can think of languages actually spoken by people from birth which are a lot more irrelevant than Yiddish, not just Klingon.
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    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!"

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    For the week of Friday, 11 May:

    Dark Shadows: Yes, we all know now, this is a comedy. But to be fair, they tried revamping this straight twice and bombed. And yes I just said revamping. Things I like about this trailer: Eva Green, Michelle Pfieffer, Chloe Grace Moretz. Things I don’t like so far: the jokes, and Johnny Depp’s Halloween-level makeup job. So we’ll see.
    The WTOP (leading local all-news station) reviewer loved it; the Washington Post reviewer hated it. I have not found the trailers inspiring so plan on giving it a miss.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  9. #129
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    Yeah I know; long delay, final exams etc. Anyway, limbered up for this by listening to “Low Rider”. There’s a really cool sax piece at the end I’d never heard before.

    For the week of Friday, 8 June:

    Prometheus: Given that Ridley Scott was something like the sixth choice to direct Alien, you’d think he wouldn’t need a pitch beyond “I’ll do it”; but he had one and it went something like this: “This will be your typical straight-up monster in the dark slasher, but I guarantee it will look like 2001”. It’s fair to say he succeeded. If nothing else, Ridley Scott is the best visualist in modern cinema. For Prometheus, his pitch, at least to himself, appears to have been somewhat similar: this will be a typical straight-up monster in the dark slasher, and yet at the same time it will be like 2001. Here is where he fails. Horror is a very specific style of filmmaking requiring claustrophobic setting, iron pacing and simple structure, all of which Alien had in spades. Prometheus wants to be a contemplative, epic scifi ala Kubrick, but that requires a slow, reflective pace and a grandeur of scope that defeat any attempt at horror. Thus the sudden shift into horror at the movie’s midpoint not only kills whatever epic feel this movie had built up, but also brings the focus back from the cosmic to the pedestrian. It turned the aliens at the centre of the piece from all-seeing gods into petty and somewhat perverted bullies. Suddenly it isn’t about humanity anymore, but about which of this small group will survive. How can we feel the epic insignificance of humanity if we’re supposed to be invested in the wellbeing of a single person running for her life? The plot, which borrows heavily from Dan O’Bannon’s original script for Alien (which was itself essentially a rework of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness- which explains why Guillermo del Toro blames this movie for the failure of his Madness adaptation) can’t steer these two horses and ultimately collapses under its own weight, leaving any potential resolution for a sequel. I am therefore placed in the awkward position of hoping a film I didn’t especially care for does well enough at the box office to warrant one, simply so I can actually see the ending this film could not give me.

    Ill Manors: At this point I’ve run out of ways to say that well’ard, lowlife gangsta flicks are the only trick the UK film industry has left to pull (they did it with aliens last year, for god’s sake), but even by recent standards this looks pretty friggin hard.

    Mission to Lars: Documentary about a severely autistic man whose only desire in life is to meet Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metallica. Written by his sister, and she pulls few punches.

    US:

    Bel Ami: A literary period piece set in 18th century France starring Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristen Scott Thomas, and it’s higher on the anticipation list than Madagascar 3? What could possibly be- oh right: Robert Pattinson is in it. My feelings for Uma aside, let me at least say that I’ve never seen Ricci look more ravishing than she does in this trailer.

    Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: The Madagascar series has always impressed me with its inability to impress. Even the Ice Age series was wittier than this.

    Peace, Love and Misunderstanding: It’s fair to say that Driving Miss Daisy did far more for the careers of Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy than it ever did for its director, Bruce Beresford. He’s been off the radar of late but comes back with this fairly conventional piece about a recently divorced Mom (played by the suddenly aged Catherine Keener) who moves back into her mother’s hippie commune. Imagine a joke with that set up. It’s probably in the trailer.

    For the Love of Money: I’m impressed that someone gets the Bible quote right for once (“For the love of money is the root of all evil”) but quoting at the start of the trailer is overkill. Other than that, looks like a well made flick that follows the standard plot of nice guy falls in with the wrong crowd, gets in over his head and can’t get out.

    Lola Versus: It says something about the appeal of Greta Gerwig that I like her even though I haven’t seen her in a film yet. Again, the story’s been told. A lot. But this at least has some clever lines.

    Pink Skies: Documentary about an attempt to break a world skydiving record to raise money for breast cancer. Not much else to say really except all power to them and I hope it worked.

    1 Out of 7 : The title refers to the number of runaways who end up on the street, but it reads like a test grade, and that is appropriate, as this trailer is essentially a school informational video. Whoever made this seems desperate to tell people that running away from home is bad. Well yeah. But when you do it you’re not usually in a rational frame of mind. Or you are, in which case your home is worse.

    2016: Obama's America : Another tedious political documentary. America, let me tell you, away from home, this has got to be the single least observed presidential election in recent memory. Other countries have their own crises to work out, and no one cares if Romney wins.

    Blocked: Bad boy makes good, past catches up with him etc.

    Dark Horse: I’m a depressive nihilist but not enough of one to get anything out of Todd Solondz’s movies. Though I must say that by his standards this looks positively heartwarming.

    Double Trouble : At this point I’d say Asian action movies have reached Hollywood circa 1983. Maybe that means in a few years we might start getting some actual wit.

    Patagonia Rising: Darn dams. Why do they have to be built at all? Has anyone ever really done a cost/benefit analysis for their entire span; the species they wipe out, the towns they displace, the plagues and poisons they bring? Can the damage really be quantified?

    Paul Williams: Still Alive: Documentary about a fanboy who wants to find out what happened to 70s songwriter Paul Williams (he wrote “The Rainbow Connection”!) I’m surprised that the trailer doesn’t end with Williams punching the guy’s lights out.

    PTown Diaries: Documentary about Provincetown, Massachusetts, focusing on its gay community.

    Virgin Tales: I’ve never understood the purity movement. But then I’m not an Evangelical fundamentalist. Still, it does seem somewhat paradoxical; telling girls in the name of purity to essentially sexualise themselves by openly advertising their virginity, forgetting that many men find that to be a sexually attractive quality.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Prometheus: Given that Ridley Scott was something like the sixth choice to direct Alien, you’d think he wouldn’t need a pitch beyond “I’ll do it”; but he had one and it went something like this: “This will be your typical straight-up monster in the dark slasher, but I guarantee it will look like 2001”. It’s fair to say he succeeded. If nothing else, Ridley Scott is the best visualist in modern cinema. For Prometheus, his pitch, at least to himself, appears to have been somewhat similar: this will be a typical straight-up monster in the dark slasher, and yet at the same time it will be like 2001. Here is where he fails. Horror is a very specific style of filmmaking requiring claustrophobic setting, iron pacing and simple structure, all of which Alien had in spades. Prometheus wants to be a contemplative, epic scifi ala Kubrick, but that requires a slow, reflective pace and a grandeur of scope that defeat any attempt at horror. Thus the sudden shift into horror at the movie’s midpoint not only kills whatever epic feel this movie had built up, but also brings the focus back from the cosmic to the pedestrian. It turned the aliens at the centre of the piece from all-seeing gods into petty and somewhat perverted bullies. Suddenly it isn’t about humanity anymore, but about which of this small group will survive. How can we feel the epic insignificance of humanity if we’re supposed to be invested in the wellbeing of a single person running for her life? The plot, which borrows heavily from Dan O’Bannon’s original script for Alien (which was itself essentially a rework of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness- which explains why Guillermo del Toro blames this movie for the failure of his Madness adaptation) can’t steer these two horses and ultimately collapses under its own weight, leaving any potential resolution for a sequel. I am therefore placed in the awkward position of hoping a film I didn’t especially care for does well enough at the box office to warrant one, simply so I can actually see the ending this film could not give me.
    I have to say, this one didn't even make our calendar. But then, there isn't anything on it for this week.

    Bel Ami: A literary period piece set in 18th century France starring Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristen Scott Thomas, and it’s higher on the anticipation list than Madagascar 3? What could possibly be- oh right: Robert Pattinson is in it. My feelings for Uma aside, let me at least say that I’ve never seen Ricci look more ravishing than she does in this trailer.
    She's a lovely, lovely woman. I'm still not planning to see this.

    Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: The Madagascar series has always impressed me with its inability to impress. Even the Ice Age series was wittier than this.
    I watched the first few minutes of Ice Age, before the library's DVD failed me. Or, you know, saved me. That's still more than I've seen of this and more than I intend to.

    1 Out of 7 : The title refers to the number of runaways who end up on the street, but it reads like a test grade, and that is appropriate, as this trailer is essentially a school informational video. Whoever made this seems desperate to tell people that running away from home is bad. Well yeah. But when you do it you’re not usually in a rational frame of mind. Or you are, in which case your home is worse.
    Heck, I had a friend in high school who wasn't so much a runaway as kicked out of his house. I'm still willing to bet he would have shown up in the "runaway" statistics. I've known a few other people over the years who had the choice of running away and maybe having horrible things happen to them or staying at home and definitely having horrible things happen. It's not a happy choice.

    2016: Obama's America : Another tedious political documentary. America, let me tell you, away from home, this has got to be the single least observed presidential election in recent memory. Other countries have their own crises to work out, and no one cares if Romney wins.
    Well, I think you would if he does. But I'll agree that this is not a terribly interesting election.

    Paul Williams: Still Alive: Documentary about a fanboy who wants to find out what happened to 70s songwriter Paul Williams (he wrote “The Rainbow Connection”!) I’m surprised that the trailer doesn’t end with Williams punching the guy’s lights out.
    Maybe he would if he were taller.

    Virgin Tales: I’ve never understood the purity movement. But then I’m not an Evangelical fundamentalist. Still, it does seem somewhat paradoxical; telling girls in the name of purity to essentially sexualise themselves by openly advertising their virginity, forgetting that many men find that to be a sexually attractive quality.
    I could give them reading on the subject, but most of them won't do it. Heck, there are some places where sleeping with a virgin is claimed to be a cure for AIDS. And those are generally not willing partners.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    1 Out of 7 : The title refers to the number of runaways who end up on the street, but it reads like a test grade, and that is appropriate, as this trailer is essentially a school informational video. Whoever made this seems desperate to tell people that running away from home is bad. Well yeah. But when you do it you’re not usually in a rational frame of mind. Or you are, in which case your home is worse.
    A very uncomfortable amount of them have been abused at home to the point where the street is the least bad choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I could give them reading on the subject, but most of them won't do it. Heck, there are some places where sleeping with a virgin is claimed to be a cure for AIDS. And those are generally not willing partners.
    Snopes has the latter as a myth.

    One thing is definitely certain, hard numbers show that abstinence pledges has absolutely no effect on the frequency of teen pregnancies and STD's.
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    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  12. #132
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    At this point I’d say Asian action movies have reached Hollywood circa 1983.

    Parallaxicality, I don't understand this sentence. Can you elaborate?

    Have you finished exams yet?

    Pete

    PS Here's Ebert's take on Promethius

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/.../1005/GLOSSARY

  13. #133
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    Basically, they have the production values but they're still at the "tough guys and hot chicks means no need for a script" stage. Apparently Asian audiences aren't yet jaded enough to require the post-modern self awareness of Western action movies. With us, that started with Die Hard, which was in 1988, so maybe in 5 years Asian movies will catch up.

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    Ahhh...yep...I get it now

    Pete

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    I watched (well saw glimpses of) John Carter in the plane back home on Saturday.

    Conan the Barbarian IN SPACE?
    I'll have to pick up the book some day, I suppose.


  16. #136
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    Don't expect them to be books about loin cloth clad warriors and heroines in diaphanous negligées though.
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    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

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    Yep, the heroines of the original ERB Mars books don't even have the negligées. Nor yet do the heroes sport loincloths. Martians are rather strict naturists.
    The dog, the dog, he's at it again!

  18. #138
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    Just back from Brave. I'll have my review up in a bit, but I'm trying to decide if I'm going to give it an eight or a nine out of ten.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

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    Wow Gillian; way to call attention to my slowness. Was one day’s wait too much? Am I not human? Do I not bleed? Do I not die???? Oh woe betide! And to think, I saved you from Adam Sandler last week!

    For the week of Friday, 22 June:

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: If anyone could direct a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Timur Bekmambetov would be it. That guy files “logic” and “restraint” in the same boxes most of us place unicorns and boogeymen. And unicorns and boogeymen have more of a home in his world than real people. I haven’t read the novel; nor am I likely to see this (I’m not a fan of messing with history, particularly when that history involves slavery) but I gotta give him credit for even trying.

    US:

    Brave: As the guid auld Scots suffer under the yoke Disney’s antediluvian release schedule (17th of August? Seriously? Are you ASKING people to pirate it?) Pixar raises its shiltron against the array of Sassancachs willing this to fail. Personally, from what I’ve seen, this looks great, so I kinna say wha’ the scunners a’ on abou’. Merida is rapidly becoming my first animated crush since Jessica Rabbit (bar a brief obsession with Ariel, which lasted until I actually saw the movie).

    The Last Ride: Henry Thomas (that’s Ell-ee-ot to you) plays Hank Williams on the last days before his death. The story of a country singer who implodes in a storm of drink and rage and then tries to pick up the pieces has been told a few times (hello Jeff Bridges?) but this could be the archetype.

    To Rome with Love : Woody Allen continues his tour of various European cities in an apparent wish to see the world before his death. Given his predilection for young girls, it was only a matt
    er of time before he found Ellen Page.

    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World : Basically On the Beach for happy people. Who knew Kiera Knightley had a sense of humour? And if you think this is the last apocalyptic movie to come out this year, there’s still The Last Symbol to go.

    Kumaré : OK. Isn’t this a bit unethical? If they won’t perform the Milgram experiment any more, then what does that say about this? And at the end of it, what exactly have you proven? That New Agers are credulous? I could have told you that.

    Love Birds: Murray from Flight of the Conchords gets his own movie! And OK as romcoms go it’s not up there with “Unnatural Love” , but heck isn’t Sally Hawkins cute?

    Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies : I know two things about Mary Pickford: 1. She was called “America’s Sweetheart” even though she was Canadian and 2. Charlie Chaplin apparently hated her. Given that her career ended with the silent era, not a time period frequented by modern film fans, I don’t really have that many points of reference.

    UK:

    Victim: All these gangsta flicks really don't sell the UK as a nice, comfy place to live. But then Brits are not the most optimistic bunch.

    Planet of Snail : Korean documentary about a man born deafblind, and how he perceives the world. Achieves a powerful kind of stillness, appropriate for someone from what is essentially another world.

    The Last Projectionist: From Cinema Paradiso to Last Action Hero, film projectionist has been one of the industry's most mythologised jobs. And now, thanks to the arrival of digital projection, it is going the way of the flint knapper and the swordsmith. I'm not sure that the industry has truly grasped what that means.

    Lay the Favorite : If and when this comes to America I doubt it will be under this title. But it is nice to see Stephen Frears make a movie again. And the lovely Rebecca Hall continues to astround me in her ability to transform.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2012-Jun-23 at 11:42 AM.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Wow Gillian; way to call attention to my slowness. Was one day’s wait too much? Am I not human? Do I not bleed? Do I not die???? Oh woe betide! And to think, I saved you from Adam Sandler last week!
    It just seemed the most appropriate thread to post the data in!

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: If anyone could direct a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Timur Bekmambetov would be it. That guy files “logic” and “restraint” in the same boxes most of us place unicorns and boogeymen. And unicorns and boogeymen have more of a home in his world than real people. I haven’t read the novel; nor am I likely to see this (I’m not a fan of messing with history, particularly when that history involves slavery) but I gotta give him credit for even trying.
    I read the novel. It was surprisingly worth reading. Still probably not going to see the movie in the theatre, though.

    Brave: As the guid auld Scots suffer under the yoke Disney’s antediluvian release schedule (17th of August? Seriously? Are you ASKING people to pirate it?) Pixar raises its shiltron against the array of Sassancachs willing this to fail. Personally, from what I’ve seen, this looks great, so I kinna say wha’ the scunners a’ on abou’. Merida is rapidly becoming my first animated crush since Jessica Rabbit (bar a brief obsession with Ariel, which lasted until I actually saw the movie).
    They actually use the word "crivens" at one point, which the hordes of small children (this is why we don't go to opening day matinées that coincide with summer vacation!) didn't get but which made me giggle. I also understood some of the only Scots Gaelic in the movie, because it was close enough to the Irish Gaelic phrase I remember which means the same thing. We saw it in 2D and I don't regret the decision.

    The Last Ride: Henry Thomas (that’s Ell-ee-ot to you) plays Hank Williams on the last days before his death. The story of a country singer who implodes in a storm of drink and rage and then tries to pick up the pieces has been told a few times (hello Jeff Bridges?) but this could be the archetype.
    This is a wait-until-DVD (because Graham does not care even a little), but I'll probably see it.

    To Rome with Love : Woody Allen continues his tour of various European cities in an apparent wish to see the world before his death. Given his predilection for young girls, it was only a matter of time before he found Ellen Page.
    This, I will not be seeing at all.

    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World : Basically On the Beach for happy people. Who knew Kiera Knightley had a sense of humour? And if you think this is the last apocalyptic movie to come out this year, there’s still The Last Symbol to go.
    I never assume the last apocalyptic movie of a year will be out as early as June.

    Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies : I know two things about Mary Pickford: 1. She was called “America’s Sweetheart” even though she was Canadian and 2. Charlie Chaplin apparently hated her. Given that her career ended with the silent era, not a time period frequented by modern film fans, I don’t really have that many points of reference.
    She was an extremely shrewd businesswoman who wouldn't put up with Charlie Chaplin's shenanigans. They were among the founders of United Artists. She was really tired of playing the ingenue, which is as much why she got out of film as anything to do with the coming of sound. She wasn't a bad actress, as silent movie acting goes. And she was part of one of the first Hollywood Romances, with Douglas Fairbanks.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  21. #141
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    For the week of Friday 29 June:

    Storage 24: The British can do scifi ; Doctor Who proves that. However, they’ve never been particularly good at alien invasion, which is weird, because they (or at least one of them) originated the idea. Of course, that was back when England ruled the world, which it no longer does, despite what many of its inhabitants may think. As a result, unlike the US, Britain doesn’t have the advantage of 60 years of space mythology or the unspoken understanding that their government has access to technology that can do literally anything. When the nerd at the Pentagon rushes off and grabs the Ultra-Spasmodic Neutronium Disruptor from the vaults, you can buy it, but when the nebbish in tweed from Cambridge does it, it doesn’t quite work the same way. And, after Big Ben and a few beaver hatted guards, the UK is seriously short of globally recognised iconography to violate. I mean does anyone really care if alien parasites infest Camden Lock? They pretty much already do.

    US:

    Ted: This is the redband trailer, but then if it were anything else, you would not have adequate warning. I’ve never been a huge fan of Seth McFarlane or his “beat you round the head with low culture references until you laugh for mercy” style. South Park’s assertion that Family Guy is constructed by manatees moving random plot element blocks around a tank has always struck me as a more merciful explanation than someone actually having written it. Still, he was cool in Hellboy 2.

    Magic Mike: Stephen Soderbergh directs a movie about a male stripper who just wants to design custom furniture. Really Steve? A disaster flick, a hot female assassin, and now this? Is this your late career tour of the magical land of Clichenia? Why not make a sequel to Traffic?

    People Like Us : Actually seems quite good despite its fairly icky premise (a “romance” between a guy and the long lost sister who doesn’t know who he is) . Chris Pine shows he has at least some range, while Michelle Pfieffer reveals a quiet dignity now that she has finally entered middle age (took her a while).

    Take This Waltz: Sarah Polley’s followup to Away From Her actually feels a great deal like Lost in Translation; an understated, almost platonic extramarital affair between two lost souls who connect in the strange netherworld of air travel. However, from what I’ve seen, Polley has revealed herself as a far better director than Sofia Coppola, as this relationship feels more realistic than the rarified, theatrical interplay between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in that movie.

    Neil Young Journeys : The latest in a series of documentaries by Jonathan Demme following Neil Young. He obviously likes the guy. And who would have guessed his speaking voice would sound like that?

    A Burning Hot Summer: “Some paintings upset me”. “Any painting not of you upsets you”. “I’m not mad at her for sleeping with another man; I’m mad at her for doing it like she was some kind of bourgeois.” Can you guess this film’s nationality yet? Did you say French? Well you’re wrong because- oh who am I kidding; of course it’s French.

    Beasts of the Southern Wild: A touch of magical realism in the ruins of the Mississippi delta. Reminds me very much of Ben Okri’s The Famished Road; a young mind moving between a too-harsh reality and a seductive, all-powerful fantasy world.

    I Heart Shakey: For a split second, I thought this might be good. And then it wasn’t. That was Steve Gutenburg? Yowza. I’m old. And remember when Alfonso Arau was going to be the Next Big Thing? That was long, long ago.

    Supermen of Malegaon : A real film-lover’s premise this ; a doc about an impoverished Indian town whose only form of entertainment are the amateur movies shot by locals and screened at the local video parlour. One guy decides he wants to make his own version of Superman, and, incredibly, pulls it off.

    An Invisible War : Documentary about the rape pandemic in the US military. Some pretty gut-wrenching statistics in that trailer (the total number of women raped in the US military is 500,000, compared to a total of 1.5 million active duty personnel at any one time). I’m not entirely sure why the trailer says the military is losing the battle. With a 2 per cent conviction rate, It seems to me like they’ve won pretty handily .

    Madea's Witness Protection : Still don’t get this; probably never will.

    Unforgivable: Getting a decidedly Swimming Pool vibe from this. Melanie Thierry even looks like Ludivine Sagnier.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2012-Jul-02 at 05:58 AM.

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Still, he was cool in Hellboy 2.
    In HB2 he was following someone else's script. From the trailers I've seen, I plan to miss Ted by a mile.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Ted: This is the redband trailer, but then if it were anything else, you would not have adequate warning. I’ve never been a huge fan of Seth McFarlane or his “beat you round the head with low culture references until you laugh for mercy” style. South Park’s assertion that Family Guy is constructed by manatees moving random plot element blocks around a tank has always struck me as a more merciful explanation than someone actually having written it. Still, he was cool in Hellboy 2.
    Family Guy is funny enough to keep me watching, though it has gone outside my comfort zone a number of times. That's on a network with at least some limits. Ted sounds like Family Guy with the limiters removed. The first review I heard just kept going on about how far it went. No thanks, not what I want to see.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Ted: This is the redband trailer, but then if it were anything else, you would not have adequate warning. I’ve never been a huge fan of Seth McFarlane or his “beat you round the head with low culture references until you laugh for mercy” style. South Park’s assertion that Family Guy is constructed by manatees moving random plot element blocks around a tank has always struck me as a more merciful explanation than someone actually having written it. Still, he was cool in Hellboy 2.
    Still not going to watch it.

    Magic Mike: Stephen Soderbergh directs a movie about a male stripper who just wants to design custom furniture. Really Steve? A disaster flick, a hot female assassin, and now this? Is this your late career tour of the magical land of Clichenia? Why not make a sequel to Traffic?
    I am this film's target demographic. Why can't movies made for my demographic ever be movies I'd actually like to see?

    Take This Waltz: Sarah Polley’s followup to Away From Her actually feels a great deal like Lost in Translation; an understated, almost platonic extramarital affair between two lost souls who connect in the strange netherworld of air travel. However, from what I’ve seen, Polley has revealed herself as a far better director than Sofia Coppola, as this relationship feels more realistic than the rarified, theatrical interplay between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in that movie.
    I really liked Away From Her; I suspect I'd have to see this one at the Olympia Film Society. Away From Her, I caught on DVD and immediately bought.

    An Invisible War : Documentary about the rape pandemic in the US military. Some pretty gut-wrenching statistics in that trailer (the total number of women raped in the US military is 500,000, compared to a total of 1.5 million active duty personnel at any one time). I’m not entirely sure why the trailer says the military is losing the battle. With a 2 per cent conviction rate, It seems to me like they’ve won pretty handily .
    I read the other day that a screening of that film actually convinced some people in the DoD to change the US military's rape prosecution policies. Behold, the power of film.

    Madea's Witness Protection : Still don’t get this; probably never will.
    According to the AV Club, he wants to do sci-fi because he was disappointed with Prometheus. I dread the finished product.
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  25. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Storage 24: The British can do scifi ; Doctor Who proves that. However, they’ve never been particularly good at alien invasion, which is weird, because they (or at least one of them) originated the idea.
    The British are the worst at alien invasion stories, apart from everybody else in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    And, after Big Ben and a few beaver hatted guards, the UK is seriously short of globally recognised iconography to violate.
    Well, Stonehenge springs to mind without even trying, but I was forgetting that "Britain" and "London" are the same thing.

  26. #146
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    For the week of Friday 6 July:

    The Amazing Spider-Man: I will not see this, as I refuse to pay twice to see the same movie. But I appear to be in the minority. But at least Denis Leary makes a convincing cop. And wow does Rhys Ifans look like Bill Nighy or what?

    Katy Perry: Part of Me: In spite of what I may have said in the past, I don’t actually have anything against Katy Perry. Truth be told I hardly know her. From what little I’ve heard she comes across as essentially a less talented Lily Allen, but unlike with, say Lady Gaga, I can actually listen to her music without wanting to rip out my own eyes. It’s her manufactured image that bothers me; like titling one of her songs “I Kissed a Girl”, even though as far as I can tell, she hadn’t, or calling another of her songs “"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, like she was advertising for a greasy spoon. There’s a certain innocence to all of this, and not in a good way. I understand that she had a somewhat sheltered life but girls kissing girls isn’t really that risqué these days, nor is crying “TGIF!” particularly cool or anti-establishment. Neither, for that matter, is marrying Russell Brand. She’s like a Barbie doll- a pop idol with all the transgressive bits sanded down so that she appeals to everyone and yet no one.

    Bol Bachchan : “My chest has become BLOUSE! “ Ah, Bollywood, you never change. If you did I’m pretty sure a sizeable portion of the world’s population would insurrect. And we couldn’t have that.

    US:

    Savages : It seems Oliver Stone has abandoned his socio-political commentary and gone back to the font of Tony Montana. He also seems to be taking his cues from Bollywood. Someone obviously thought Blake Lively and Taylor Kitsch would be massive stars by now. Shame that didn’t work out.

    China Heavyweight : Documentary about poor rural Chinese youths plucked to train for the 2012 Olympic boxing. No offence but judging by that crop I don’t think anyone will be chosen for the heavyweight division.

    Collaborator : A writer on the way down gets held hostage by his crazy murdering childhood friend, which leads to a nice bout of Stockholm Syndrome and some fresh new ideas. David Morse is really too scary for this to be funny so I’m not really sure where this is headed, but it looks like fun.

    Crazy Eyes: Lukas Haas! Wow. Witness was a long time ago. Here he plays a rum-soaked sad sack who becomes obsessed with an unattainable girl. Little to go on but looks nice.

    Not Suitable for Children: Ryan Kwanten has a get-out-oftypecasting free card. All he has to do is not speak in a US southern drawl, and he can disappear into another role, however similar that role may be. Here he plays a lothario who learns he will be rendered infertile in a few weeks and has to decide if he wants children.

    The Do-Deca-Pentathlon: Two brothers compete in their own private Olympics. Why is everyone so obsessed with the Olympics? I live in London; I can tell you right now, don’t get your hopes up.

    The Magic of Belle Isle : Yeah it stars Morgan Freeman and it’s got “magic” in the title. Let the predictable jokes ensue. Still, at least this is slightly snarkier than your average Freeman role, for which he must have been very pleased.

    The Pact : I likes me a good ghost story, and horror movies with critical blurbs are rare, but judging from the IMDB reviews, this has more plot holes than a graveyard. Starting with the fact that there doesn’t appear to be a pact.

    United in Anger: A History of ACT UP : God people are stupid. It’s hard to imagine that we were once so scared of AIDS that we were willing to see those suffering marked and shipped off to camps. Funny thing is, research now shows all that hysteria had a negative effect; because the world didn’t end, people stopped believing in health warnings and so STD rates have skyrocketed in the next generation.

    UK:

    Ping Pong: Doc about the seniors’ world ping-pong championships. Goes where you’d expect it to, but it’s still sweet.

    Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present : Doc about a performance artist’s exhibition at MoMA. I’m not one to call art pretentious, but it’s hard not to say that about performance art, which always struck me as an excuse to perform theatre or film without the need for a script.

  27. #147
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    Best yet!

    I especially loved the stuff about Katy Perry. It always amuses me when young ladies think they're overturning the establishment when all they're really doing is giving dirty old men a treat.

  28. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    The Amazing Spider-Man: I will not see this, as I refuse to pay twice to see the same movie. But I appear to be in the minority. But at least Denis Leary makes a convincing cop. And wow does Rhys Ifans look like Bill Nighy or what?
    We will probably see it, though my problem with it is that it deals with Peter Parker's angst about his parents. Which was kind of a thing in the comics, but only kind of. It's like they're trying to give us the origin story from Spider-Man . . . and the pouty Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3.

    . . . I can actually listen to her music without wanting to rip out my own eyes.
    Or your ears, even!

    . . . Like titling one of her songs “I Kissed a Girl”, even though as far as I can tell, she hadn’t . . . .
    And I'm sorry, but when I hear that title, what comes to mind is a Jill Sobule song from about 1994. That was a fun song, and at the time, the subject matter was at least a little bit shocking.

    Neither, for that matter, is marrying Russell Brand.
    That's just unfortunate. Why have we even heard of him? He's just a bundle of annoying attributes.

    Savages : It seems Oliver Stone has abandoned his socio-political commentary and gone back to the font of Tony Montana. He also seems to be taking his cues from Bollywood. Someone obviously thought Blake Lively and Taylor Kitsch would be massive stars by now. Shame that didn’t work out.
    I just can't get into Oliver Stone. I loved Platoon and am looking forward to seeing it again (probably some time before the New Year . . .), but I watched Natural Born Killers the other day and couldn't stand it. And I wasn't even angry about JFK. It was too boring.

    Crazy Eyes: Lukas Haas! Wow. Witness was a long time ago. Here he plays a rum-soaked sad sack who becomes obsessed with an unattainable girl. Little to go on but looks nice.
    He was fun in Brick. I just have to keep reminding myself that he's my age.

    The Do-Deca-Pentathlon: Two brothers compete in their own private Olympics. Why is everyone so obsessed with the Olympics? I live in London; I can tell you right now, don’t get your hopes up.
    I lived in LA in 1984. As I recall, we got horrible traffic. Most of the events were at preexisting venues--including the coliseum built for the '32 Olympics--though they did turn the area around it into a pedestrian zone, which was nice. There are museums in the area, and it's nice to walk among them without dodging cars. However, it was a long time ago, so those are my most specific memories. I was seven.

    The Magic of Belle Isle : Yeah it stars Morgan Freeman and it’s got “magic” in the title. Let the predictable jokes ensue. Still, at least this is slightly snarkier than your average Freeman role, for which he must have been very pleased.
    He liked being in Nurse Betty because it was the first movie he ever made in which he had a love scene. He gets a little frustrated, I think, with being Morgan Freeman.

    United in Anger: A History of ACT UP : God people are stupid. It’s hard to imagine that we were once so scared of AIDS that we were willing to see those suffering marked and shipped off to camps. Funny thing is, research now shows all that hysteria had a negative effect; because the world didn’t end, people stopped believing in health warnings and so STD rates have skyrocketed in the next generation.
    That's the general problem with successful warnings of most kinds. If the warning is successful in solving the problem, people think, "All that fuss over nothing!"
    _____________________________________________
    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!"

  29. #149
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    I saw Spider-Man the other day, and it wasn't amazing. A decent popcorn flick, but nothing original (surprise surprise).
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  30. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    . . . like titling one of her songs “I Kissed a Girl”, even though as far as I can tell, she hadn’t . . .
    And I'm sorry, but when I hear that title, what comes to mind is a Jill Sobule song from about 1994. That was a fun song, and at the time, the subject matter was at least a little bit shocking.
    Ah, it's good to know I'm not the only one! The Jill Sobule song was much better.

    And, I'm not sure I agree with the implication that singers should only sing about things they have personal experience with. I certainly don't think Foster the People should have to commit a school shooting before they can sing "Pumped Up Kicks"...

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