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Random Movie Musings
 PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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I watch plenty of movies, and this is the place where I'll post what I thought about them. This is open for discussion from anyone, tell me what you thought about the movies I list, offer your own movie thoughts, etc..

Bolt (2008) ***1/2

Great movie, it was simply stated in parts, intelligent throughout, funny, had some really great voice acting and a story that worked on many different levels. What surprised me the most was how crisp and clean the animation was, I think Pixar has spoiled me to the point where I don't expect the same level of animation from anyone else. And yes, I do realize that Pixar is Disney at this point so they were partly responsible for Bolt, but this still wasn't a Pixar movie, know what I mean? Anyways, back to Bolt, this was a traditional children's tale with just enough of an adult edge to it that it all came off in spot on fashion. This now slides up to my #2 movie of the year behind Wall-E, making my top 2 movies both animated and a good return to past glory for Disney.
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 PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:37 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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It was pretty funny. The hamster was definately the best part of it though.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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The Replacements (2000) **
This was fun, completely predictable and cliche, but fun, and that's all there is to it really.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) ****

Breathtaking movie. It had such symmetry to it, the first act connected to the last act, and so on and so on. The writing was genius, and the performances were sublime and helped to put across the notion of love lost and what love really is better than any other movie I've ever seen. The movie wasn't hard to follow at all, the one knock I've heard others put forth about it, and it caused you to think both why you are watching it and then after. The only small problem I may have is that Mary was able to mail off Clementine's tape and get it to her a grand total of one day, two at the most, after she took the tape. But, I'm willing to forgive that and I'm also now willing to declare this a simply out, the greatest movie I've ever seen and my all time #1.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Eterna Sunshine took a lot out of me. A lot of people bashed it because they're having a hard time accepting Jim Carrey as a serious actor. Fantastic film though. Absolutely amazing.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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The Prestige (2006) *

I don't care, I just don't care. That's the main problem with this movie, in the end I have no reason at all to care. I don't care about the setting, I don't care about any of the characters, I don't care about what happens to any of the characters, and I don't care about any of the obvious twists. The twists are another big problem, mainly the huge Bale twist, it just doesn't work, at all. First, the whole, we were both living half lives therefore somehow we are redeemed for our actions and one of us should be allowed to ride off in the sunset with the little girl as long as the other one dies motif doesn't work. But, most importantly, it doesn't work visually, I don't buy Bale as both guys at any point in the movie. The Prestige also suffers from set-up syndrome, nothing can just happen, everything has to be set-up or foreshadowed in some way. Life doesn't work like that, and neither do movies. Some things are set-up or foreshadowed, but not every single big event. Lastly, the plot is convoluted to no end, yet it's far too easy to figure out. There's no suspense over what is going to happen, and the only twists are provided by characters doing things totally out of their character and contradictory to how they have acted for the rest of the movie. I watch movies like this, and the rest of Nolan's work, and I really don't see how anyone can view him as a decent film maker, let alone a great one. Like most of his other work, The Prestige was completely directionless, it was a gaggle of ideas thrown about without any cohesiveness to them.

As an aside, darn you IMDB kids for actually rating this highly and ensuring I had to watch it one more time as I continue my quest to DVR and then watch (and rate) every movie in your top 250! Crying or Very sad
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:53 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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The story wasn't meant to take anyone in. The point of the movie was to show how far two awful people will sink to one-up each other. Jackman found a sick solution, while Bale's were simply sick from the beginning. The story is almost about the side characters, partucilarly Cutter (Michael Caine is brilliant). The film explores the raw hatred that one can let destroy them. In the end, there's no winner, but rather a sense of sacrifice and even more a sense that evil has been laid to rest.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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The final scene completely negates that line of thinking when it goes out of its way to pain Bale as the winner and as some sort of redeemed figure. Take away that scene and your point would stand, but that scene completely wrecks any chance of that point holding true.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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See, but if you grasp the concept of the twin thing then it still means that he is a miserable man. See, Bale's character wasn't cloned, it was simply twins. He lost his twin brother to maintain his illusion. He is shown to survive and even get the daughter back, but Jackman was shown to actually value the important stuff. He did his magic for the people, while Bale had no purpose. And whichever twin survived (it isn't made clear) has to live with the loss of either Sarah or the blonde. Either way, he was still miserable. The loss of a twin who had basically lived your life and the loss of your love has to be painful. Therefore, it means that while he survived, Jackman wowed the audiences the most. He was seen as a better magician and that is what the competition was truly about.
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:30 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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*enters in a puff of smoke*

The Lord Skuldren is not pleased with your condemnation of The Prestige. (lol) For I am one of those people who actually enjoyed this movie including the twists, the acting, and the ending. I thought Jackman and Bale both gave stand up performances. I found myself wound up in their revenge. I certainly didn't see Bale's twin twist coming, though Jackman's clone twist was easily foreshadowed with the cat. Still, seeing him with a hundred clones in glass boxes had an affect. Plus the twin that survived was the one who wasn't actually the father of the child. In the end no one was truly happy. Alas, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just let it be known that there are people who like this movie and they aren't necessarily stupid or insane. Very Happy
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:25 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I'm not sure where to ask this, so here it shall go. I've never seen Cloverfield, and am tempted to go rent it soon. However, first I'd like some opinions. Now, no spoilers, mind you, but who liked it and who didn't and how much? Smile
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:56 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I liked it. Its just a survival story. Not really much background on the monster unless you get into the viral campaign (which was really cool I recommend it) but its a fun ride. If you get motion sick easy you may get a little blah, but I think you can handle it.
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:01 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Ah, sounds good then! Yeah, I saw somewhere else that said beware of motion sickness. Smile
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Its not as bad as everyone says it is. Quarantine was definately the worst I've seen. That one made me kinda sick. Good movie, just too much movement with little or no control over the camera. But yeah, watch Cloverfield. Watch the viral campaign too. It was insane the way they set this movie up. Some real craziness. Dark Knight had a wild one to. They basically created Gotham City without a physical place. All online stuff. I went with it and started getting calls from the Joker and Commissioner Gordan and stuff like that. Really wild.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:28 am Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Roman Holiday (1953) ***

I really liked the non-Hollywood ending. It doesn't matter if they may have feelings for each other, they can't be together and that's why he walks away alone. I also liked how Princess Anna yearned to be able to do things like wash clothes, cook dinner, vacuum, etc.. Things that in today's culture are viewed as almost a death sentence for a woman being free. The acting was also choice throughout, and Hepburn is gorgeous. But, for as much as I liked about it, this was a very flawed movie. There were numerous bad cuts, but most of all there was never any real chemistry between Peck and Hepburn, and that's kind of essential in a love story.

An American In Paris (1951) ***

I'm beginning to notice a trend with Gene Kelly, he likes to knock his movies back a few steps with completely unnecessary numbers right before the big climax. Singin' In The Rain was a darn near perfect movie ruined by the completely unnecessary Broadway show tunes number at the end. An American In Paris was headed towards great movie territory, because just like Singin' In The Rain it was getting the musical theme right. All the song and dance numbers flowed naturally from the story, the singers and dancers were superb, and the story was light, but effective. Then came the ending with the exceedingly long, completely unnecessary and tonally wrong last dance number that just ruined the ending. I realize a lot of people loved the end ballet number, but I felt it was tacked on and really had no place within the movie An American In Paris was trying to be. Plus, Nina Foch's character is just forgotten in the final moments, thrown to the side with no explanation when the story no longer has any use for her. An American In Paris could have been great, but it faltered in the end and because of that it ends up a little bit less, but still good.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) ****

Double Indemnity made me a fan of Billy Wilder, but Sunset Boulevard made me think of the man as a genius. This is his masterwork as far as I'm concerned. It is masterfully crafted from start to finish. It plays with the concept of a linear story, it uses narration in a perfect and haunting fashion. The performances from Holden, Swanson and Von Stroheim are epic. The writing is both witty and snappy, with a hard edge to it while containing immense depth. The plot is tight, concise and it moves along at a brisk pace, never letting up, never allowing a chance for the viewer to breathe. The music is often overlooked, but without it I don't think the movie would have pulled off its foreboding and thick atmosphere anywhere near as well. There is an attractiveness to the film because of how real it is. Sunset Boulevard doesn't hold back at all in regards to Hollywood and films in general. It is an industry that will use and abuse you. Today I think it is harder to relate to because of how much money most actors make, but the story is still very relateable because most people realize there will come a day when their chosen profession won't want them any longer and will toss them to the side for a newer, better model. A tremendous movie, one of my all time favorites and an all time great as well, and a tremendous way to spend a couple of hours immersed in a film.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:05 am Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Some Like It Hot (1959) ***1/2

There are some moments that just aren't funny, cutting or ingenious, but they are few and far between. Like all comedies this comes down to personal taste, it's not raunchy, it's not overly simple. It is very smart while at the same time being very base and appealing to the lowest denominator in a lot of moments. Most people overlook that because of how stylishly Wilder hides the lower moments and makes you think you are watching something truly high brow when in fact you are just watching a dude tell a hot blond that she just made his pecker all stiff. It does work though, and finely at that. The timing is there between the actors, both the leads and the supporting cast. That leaves us with the best part of the picture, Marilyn Monroe. I read somewhere that she was a size 16 for this movie, and if that's not a reminder of how Hollywood and the rest of the world at large have lost their minds I don't know what else is. She was beautiful in Some Like It Hot, with curves in all the right places, and when she walks away and you see her bare back you realize this is a real woman you are watching, not some god awful stick figure. I don't care about how much trouble she supposedly was on set either, or how much difficulty she had with her lines. What matters is her performance on screen, and it was great to watch. There's effervescence behind every line, and a sultriness and warmth behind every smile or facial expression. She really does enrapture you and cause you to forget about everyone else in the movie. Great flick, definitely recommended.
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