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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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The Strangers

Watched this the other night, it was so-so. The plot was nothing new and the acting was spectacular but at least they staid true with the killers. Their motivations were spot on with reality. Worth a watch if you like suspense driven spook movies.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ****

So much has been written about this movie over the years, and upon viewing it one can understand why. Too often movies are heavy handed and want to do our thinking for us, they are in a way that complete antithesis of what the medium of film and interpretive art are supposed to be. 2001 is not a film that succumbs to the need to be heavy handed or to tell the audience what to think. That is also why 2001 is a very polarizing movie, there is no in-between, people either love it or they hate it. They either "get it" or they don't understand it. 2001 is all about questions, it is about who we were, what we are and what we can be. It is about stagnation and it is about progress. It is about how the smallest of events can bring about just as monumental of a change as the largest of events. In short, 2001 is about whatever you want it to be about. There are very few cue moments, moments where it is made definitively clear what is going on. And even those moments hinge upon how you have interpreted the moments prior and how you will interpret the moments that are to come.

Outside of the thinking and depth brought to the movie, there is also a sparseness to it and a sense of loneliness and desperation. The strive of man to advance and progress in their quests is played out both through operatic musical cues and through the long and lazy shots of our progression. Nothing is taken for granted, every moment is worked for and every moment works because of that. The lack of dialogue is most telling, because in this day and age the average movie going audience expects to be wowed, to have the story move along at a brisk pace and to always inform them of what is going on through a character you can relate to. 2001 certainly doesn't move at a brisk pace, it doesn't always inform us, nor does it give us a single character to relate to. The focus in 2001 is on the unknown, on questioning what you are seeing, not on the characters or their rather minor struggles in the grand scheme of things. Those musical cues I spoke of earlier are truly the backbone of the entire film. They are haunting when they need to be haunting, mundane when they must be mundane, and suspenseful throughout. In a lot of ways the music in 2001 reminded me of the music in The Proposition. Yes, 2001 is a great movie by itself, but without the musical cues it contains I don't believe in any way that it would be as profound or thought provoking as it ends up being. Change the music and you would change the mood and tone, and I can't think of any movie besides The Proposition that wasn't a musical and depended so much on its musical score.

Lastly there would be the camera work on display and the shot selection from Stanley Kubrick. Too often directors either go for the far too simplistic or the experimental when it isn't really needed. Kubrick mixes both in 2001 and the result is a stunningly beautiful look. You have the most simplistic of shots, lit perfectly and full of all you need to see and then they are gone. You have experimental type shots from odd angles that allow you to take in the surroundings and truly examine them because they present an aura of oddness to you so they must be examined. It all comes together to create a beautiful looking film with fantastic visuals that grab your attention from the get-go and never let go.

That was a lot to say something so simple, if you haven't, watch 2001. If you have, watch it again. Much like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind or Det Sjunde Inseglet, there is so much to chew on with each repeated viewing that you didn't notice the first time around. Tremendous, tremendous movie, I really can't say enough about it.

P.S.: The old wrestling fan in me came out hardcore when 2001 first started and I couldn't get images of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair out of me head when his theme music was being played. It's funny how for as much as I've forgotten about pro wrestling since I got involved with real fighting, the theme music of the one wrestler I ever truly thought was amazing stays with me. Also, did Alien take some of their score from 2001, because i thought I heard some similarities, but I wasn't certain.

Rain Man (1988) ***1/2

Rain Man is a movie that could be endlessly sappy, it could provide the happiest of endings and it could provide a miracle cure, thankfully, it doesn't. Rain Man ends the only way that it can end, with one man changing and the other staying the same. It ends with the brothers separated and with no cure for Raymond to be found. That and the journey of Cruise's Charlie are the strengths of Rain Man. The rest of the movie is honestly very cliche and very formulaic, but that's actually okay because it serves as the impetus for that ending and for Charlie to change.

There are two key scenes in Rain Man, bookmarks on the movie. In the beginning Charlie is overseeing the offloading of expensive cars, but he can't stay still, he has to move about and he has to make sure he maintains control over all he sees. This is where Raymond comes into play and the effect he has on Charlie is seen in the final moment of the movie. Charlie calls back to Raymond, and at that moments he realizes all he can do is tell Raymond goodbye and let him go because he doesn't have control over all he sees. So, he tells Raymond goodbye and stands there leisurely watching the train depart. The Charlie at the beginning of the movie would never have been able to do this, but the Charlie that has met Raymond and been affected by him can now partake in such actions.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tom Cruise is a very good actor that gets a whole lot of flack for reasons I'll never understand. Sure, he's an overbearing pompous jerk in real life, but that has nothing to do with what he does on the screen. He is an actor that as his career progressed was willing to take on many different roles and play them all quite differently showing great range in the process. I've always been a fan, and Rain Man was the first film of his that I saw where I envisioned him as more than just an action hero/heartthrob. His performance was the performance of the movie, surprisingly enough. Hoffman was good, but his role was rather simplistic and straight forward. There wasn't anything hidden behind his eyes or in his soul because Raymond was on display for all to see. Cruise had to be deep and nuanced in his role, he had to bring the humanity to the part to make you believe that he could be affected by his brother and that his brother could change him.

Not a greatest type movie, but a great movie nonetheless, and a movie that is often overlooked from its era. I understand that's due mostly to the stock nature of the underlying story, but the meat and potatoes of Rain Man is the change in Charlie and the fact that Raymond won't change and that dynamic is enough to make this movie one worth seeing.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Definitely, definitely have to go to K-Mart, buy underwear..." Ah yes, there was some humor in that movie as well. Though one could argue the sheer challenge of acting the part of Raymond is worthy of some note. Hoffman did a good job of playing the part and mimicking the mannerisms.

And 2001's music IS Rick Flair...WOOOOOOO! Laughing
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:49 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I loved 2001. Great movie, great book, great director.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I saw 2001 for the first time when I was pretty young. And believe it or not, I really liked it, despite the fact that I had no idea what was really going on. There was Hal, there was Dave, and they were in space. Oh, and some freaky monkeys in the beginning. That's about all I comprehended. And yet...I greatly enjoyed it and even started reading all the books. I always wanted to see 2010, but never have. Anybody else done so? Now I feel inspired to go watch 2001 again. *departs to order said movie from the library*
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Yep, I've seen both. 2010 had Roy Schnieder in it (Chief Brody from Jaws, another classic). I thought they were both pretty good actually.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:03 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Okay, so have any of you ever seen The Happening? I'm a fan of Shyamalan's movies, but I'm afraid this was deplorable. I was very excited about this when I heard about it, but I was laughing so hard when I do believe I was supposed to be scared! I also think Mark Wahlberg is a great actor, but certainly not in this movie. As I heard someone else say, was Wahlberg's script written in italics? Because that's how he delivers most every line.

I think the idea was a good one, as what's scarier than people suddenly trying to kill themselves? How do you fight that? But it could have been done oh so much better. I mourn what could have been an amazing movie, but for reasons unknown to me, was not. Sad
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:53 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I saw it in the theaters. I liked it. It wasn't great, but the idea was cool. You don't see trees as the enemy too often. And Wahlberg's acting was terrible! Uhg! And a lot of the suicides (most) had me laughing. But in a way, it was entertaining. Worth seeing but not owning sort of deal. But I can't believe they're going to make a sequel. I don't really think it's worthy of one. I'd say this movie was better the The Village though, but falls short of Unbreakable.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:26 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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A sequel?! Oh, my. My sisters and I are making a parody (we like making little home movies) called The Occurrence. We've already got the first scene, which I think came out really good. Not sure how long it'll take us to put it all together (probably a month or two), but I'll try to share it when it's done.

Anyway, I did find the basis for the movie very convincing. I could have easily been scared to death had it been directed differently. But as it is, as you said DS, I can't help laughing. Smile
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I couldn't help but laugh when the guy was feeding himself to the lions. Oh that was funny Laughing
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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And the fact that someone was videoing it and sending it on to friends...and then that they were all watching it without seeming to even be bothered! Shocked

Definitely worthy of a laugh. I was just watching some of it again yesterday, and I laughed even harder than the first time. Very Happy
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Poor Shaymalan. His films keep declining in quality. Killer plants? Oh my...
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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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So, being without a DVD player for a bit, I've been doing nothing but watching DVR'd movies, and until I get picked up by another newspaper I decided to start a blog for my reviews, here's a few movies from my blog, Bill's Movie Emporium, http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/ and more will follow.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/review-2001-a-space-odyssey-1968/

Annie Hall (1977)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/review-annie-hall-1977/

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/review-mr-smith-goes-to-washington-1939/

A Streetcar Named Desire (Original Director's Version) (1951)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/review-a-streetcar-named-desire-1951/

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/review-reservoir-dogs-1992/

Strangers On A Train (1951)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/review-strangers-on-a-train-1951/

Låt Den Rätte Komma In (2008)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/review-lat-den-ratte-komma-in-2008/

Rear Window (1954)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/review-rear-window-1954/

Det Sjunde Inseglet (1957)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/review-det-sjunde-inseglet-1957/

Jungfrukällan (1960)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/review-jungfrukallan-1960/

Read, enjoy and time willing I'll be back with more. Also, if you do read, then comment, comment, comment. It can be negative, positive, you can praise me or rip me apart, any comments are good comments.

Cheers,
Bill
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 PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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The next batch that I watched,


Les Diaboliques (1955)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/review-les-diaboliques-1955/

Vertigo (1958)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/review-vertigo-1958/

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/review-the-postman-always-rings-twice-1946/

The Descent (US Version) (2005)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/review-the-descent-us-version-2005/

Great Expectations (1946)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/review-great-expectations-1946/

High Fidelity (2000)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/review-high-fidelity-2000/

The Thin Red Line (1998)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/review-the-thin-red-line-1998/

Gran Torino (2008)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/review-gran-torino-2008/

The New World (2005)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/review-the-new-world-2005/

Frost/Nixon (2008)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/review-frostnixon-2008/

Read and enjoy!
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 PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Yet another batch as I try to catch up,

Trainspotting (1996)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/review-trainspotting-1996/

Finding Neverland (2004)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/review-finding-neverland-2004/

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/review-before-the-devil-knows-youre-dead-2007/

Grindhouse (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/21/review-grindhouse-2007/

The Queen (2006)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/21/review-the-queen-2006/

Field Of Dreams (1989)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/review-field-of-dreams-1989/

2010 (1984)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/review-2010-1984/

High Noon (1952)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/review-high-noon-1952/

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/review-slumdog-millionaire-2008/

The Bucket List (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/review-the-bucket-list-2007/

As usual, read and enjoy if you like.
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