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FEBRUARY 2015 MOVIE THREAD

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Technico Support from the January thread: 

 

Has anyone seen "Predestination" yet?  It's a closed loop time travel story so, by its very nature, it's absurd.  Still, I think it's worth a look.  It's certainly different from anything else you'll see.  I won't say much more about it yet; don't want to give anything away.

 

Saw it last night.  You're right, it's an extremely contrived story, but it's good.  Ethan Hawke's foray into genre films is paying dividends.  It's funny, he's going to be starring in another movie this year called "Regression", and I know I'm going to get it confused with this one.

 

The stuff with the baby was the most difficult part to wrap my head around - at first I was thinking "Noooo, that must be some other baby."   But when I thought about who the parents were, it actually makes sense... sort of.

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Technico Support from the January thread: 

 

Has anyone seen "Predestination" yet?  It's a closed loop time travel story so, by its very nature, it's absurd.  Still, I think it's worth a look.  It's certainly different from anything else you'll see.  I won't say much more about it yet; don't want to give anything away.

 

Saw it last night.  You're right, it's an extremely contrived story, but it's good.  Ethan Hawke's foray into genre films is paying dividends.  It's funny, he's going to be starring in another movie this year called "Regression", and I know I'm going to get it confused with this one.

 

The stuff with the baby was the most difficult part to wrap my head around - at first I was thinking "Noooo, that must be some other baby."   But when I thought about who the parents were, it actually makes sense... sort of.

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it.  What got me was the ending.

 

   He became the bomber to lure his future self to find him because he was lonely and wanted to be back together with the only person he ever loved.  And then the film ends with him in the past saying something like, "I miss you terribly," so he's destined to become the bomber again and again.

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Oh wow, okay.  I didn't pick up on that aspect of it.  Need to rewatch the last five minutes.

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My Daughter and I watched Dracula Untold on Saturday night and absolutely loved it.  It is wonderfully dumb and great.

 

As long as you purge your mind of any historical realism and think of the movie as the prequel to Castlevania or the awesomely campy Dracula 2000, you will make out just fine.

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Were they actually trying to sell that movie as a historical piece? I never got that feeling from the trailers.

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Were they actually trying to sell that movie as a historical piece? I never got that feeling from the trailers.

 

It is a mash-up.  Vlad Tepes and Mehmed al Murad from this movie resemble their actual historical selves in name only.  Everything else is totally fucking Bram Stoker and it is probably better that way.

 

The movie also conveniently forgets that Vlad had a younger brother, Radu.

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Random question that I am somewhat polling various film groups on as I try to kill an embarrassing blind spot.

 

I am largely blind to Studio Ghibli and Miyazki stuff. I have only seen Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies. How do you prefer to watch these films? In the original language with subtitles like a normal foreign film or with the American actor voice overs? I am leaning towards sticking original but was curious what others here prefer.

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Subbed.

Now get off line and watch My Neighbor Totoro right this fucking second.

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Depends on the movie.   Anything set in Japan like Spirited Away, Mononoke Hime, Arrietty, or My Neighbor Totoro should be watched with subs.

 

Watching Howl's Moving Castle or Nausicaa dubbed doesn't really bother me thanks the movies not really haivng any direct culture references to Japan.

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The Dubbed versions have some wackiness (Like in 'Spirited Away', the girl yells "A bath house!" when she clearly doesn't seem to be speaking at all, but they figured people in the US wouldn't know what the hell it is without the voice-over) but they're all done quite lovingly by John Lasseter so they're never poor, like a lot of dubs.  I'll just as often watch them dubbed as subbed, in all honesty, because part of the fun is going "Is that...is that James Vanderbeek?" then looking it up and feeling good about yourself, or just enjoying Phil Hartman voice a talking cat.

 

And, because no one asked!, here's how I rank the Studio Ghibli movies ( I haven't seen Tales from Earthsea, Arrietty or The Tale of Princess Kaguya)

 

17. Castle in the Sky: I only watched this once and didn't get much out of it, though I don't remember anything about it.  I'd like to watch it one day again, but you know...who has the time?

16. Pom Poko: A story about a bunch of raccoon-like creatures who fight by crushing people under their enlarged testicles.  I thought this was really uneven.  Also, I can't believe Disney imported this one, but not another one that will come up much higher on my list.

15. Porco Rosso: I honestly remember almost nothing about this, just that it didn't really turn my crank when I saw it, when the story of a high-flying, fighter pilot pig should be right in my wheelhouse.

14. The Cat Returns: This is a nice, slight little piece of fantasy, a sort-of sequel to to 'Whisper of the Heart'. It's only 75 minutes, and I recommend the English dub as you get Cary Elwes voicing a dapper cat.

13. Whisper of the Heart: A little different from most Studio Ghibli (Well, until recently) in that it's a mostly straight-up love story with only dashes of fantasy thrown-in.

12. From Up on Poppy Hill: This is just a straight-up love story, no dashes of fantasy, and I pretty much loved it even though the big central mystery isn't that mysterious.

11. Grave of the Fireflies: I mean, it's good, well-made, but it's so depressing that I really never want to see it again.

10. The Wind Rises: I didn't really get much out of this, perhaps because it was Hayao Miyazaki doing a non-fantasy movie (And the one various sequences presented as dreams, kinda leaves you wishing the whole movie was like that) about a guy who makes planes then has to reconcile that what he's doing is being made for war.  The way all the sound-effects are done using human voices is an interesting technique, but I feel like it was kind of unsuitable for the subject matter.

09. Kiki's Delivery Service: Entertaining little flick about a young witch who uses her broom-flying skills to make deliveries.  As mentioned above, Phil Hartman voices her talking cat which is reason alone to see this.

08. Howl's Moving Castle: Perhaps more than any other, this is a film with Miyazaki-gone-wild, weaving a story with a giant walking castle, warfare, witches, talking fire sprites and an emo prince together.  It's really jumbled, but a lot of fun with great artwork.

07. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Great big fantasy story about a woman trying to prevent two nations from waging war and destroying them all.  It's a big environmental allegory and well-done.

06. Ponyo: A lot of people were down on this one, but I loved it.  It's just this little story about a boy catching a fish that turns into a girl.  There are two or three scenes in this movie that are among the best cinematic representations of joy onscreen that I've ever seen.  This just pasted a great big smile on my face that never disappeared until well after it was over.

05. My Neighbors the Yamadas: A bit of a departure as it's just a small-scale story about a family pulling together, illustrated in a wacky comic-strip style but it's really funny and really quite heart-warming.

04. Princes Mononoke: Probably the easiest entry-point for Studio Ghibli as it's quite exciting, surprisingly violent, and, if you watch the dubbed version, chock full of famous voices.  Another environmental story, I thought it was a little more effective than 'Nausicaa' in that regard.

03. Only Yesterday: The only one of these movies that you will not find with an American DVD release, presumably because of some scenes that deal with a young girl getting her period (That is so warm-heartedly done, I can't begin to fathom how anyone would object?!) but this is really wonderful if you can track it down (TCM has aired it a couple of times).  A woman returns to the farm of her youth and works there, re-evaluating her life while remembering her youth.  I think it's the best thing Isao Takahata's ever done.

02. My Neighbor Tortoro: This is pretty much like no other film out there.  Two young girls find these giant cat-like creatures and play with them.  What's different about it, is there is no malevolent force, there's one major crisis, but no one is really ever in any sort of danger.  It's just so big and warm-hearted.  I think every child should see this.

01. Spirited Away: Just a complete celebration of imagination and creativity.  A girl wanders into a bath-house for spirits and is immediately put to work where she has to find her own voice and confidence to save the day.  Just full of incredible scenes, settings and creatures.  I can watch this endlessly.

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Watched Chef tonight and it was great. Like, really, really great. Jon Favreau did an amazing job. Can't wait to watch it again. If I gave it a rating, I'd go something like 8 or 9 out of 10.

 

I saw this in theaters and anyone else who is planning on seeing it I've told it's pretty much a requirement to have access to a Cuban sandwich immediately after the movie's over, because you will absolutely want one and nothing else will suffice.

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I can't tell you how much I wanted a Cuban during that movie. My mouth actually started watering during the one scene where he's piecing together new recipes and they're trying the carne asada.

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Watched Chef on Netflix just the other day. Yeah, really good movie. There's a sandwich place near me that serves a Cuban, but I don't think it's anything near "authentic" and I really want to have one of those from his food truck yesterday

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I thought Spirited Away was supposed to be about prostitution?

 

The first film my son actually watched as a baby/toddler, rather than just have it be on the telly while he did his little kid things, was My Neighbour Totoro. He couldn't look away from it. Don't know what he liked about it because he hadn't learned to talk at that point, but he was mesmerised.

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Back to Chef, my girlfriend tells me that we should go to Miami some day. Honestly, as fearful as I am of flying, I may do it to get some authentic cuisine.

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Hey, the first five reviews for 50 Shades of Grey are up on Rotten Tomatoes... and... they're all positive.  And from pretty reputable sources, too.

 

That was unexpected.

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Hey, the first five reviews for 50 Shades of Grey are up on Rotten Tomatoes... and... they're all positive.  And from pretty reputable sources, too.

 

That was unexpected.

 

Justin Chang's review damns with faint praise.  It escapes me how similarly worded reviews will be fresh for one movie and rotten for another.

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Watched Chef on Netflix just the other day. Yeah, really good movie. There's a sandwich place near me that serves a Cuban, but I don't think it's anything near "authentic" and I really want to have one of those from his food truck yesterday

 

This is the film where Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara both show romantic interest in Jon Favreau's character. (He also wrote and directed the whole thing.)

 

That's JRR Tolkien-levels of fantasy writing right there.

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Princess Mononoke featuring the voice of Billy Bob Thornton is jarring and sometimes takes me out of the movie.

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Princess Mononoke featuring the voice of Billy Bob Thornton is jarring and sometimes takes me out of the movie.

 

Yeah, that casting to me is why I'll always watch the subbed version if I have a choice. His performance is so different from the original actor's that it completely changes the nature of the character.

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The best thing about being involved in the 50 Shades of Grey film is that no one will ever say "the book was better."

 

Ever.

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Princess Mononoke featuring the voice of Billy Bob Thornton is jarring and sometimes takes me out of the movie.

You wanna talk jarring voice actors and go with Thornton when Jada Pinkett-Smith is in the cast!  :P

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I dont know if her voice is as distinctive as Billy Bob.

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