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JUNE 2015 MOVIE THREAD

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Watched What If (or The F Word in Canada) recently. It was a nice little movie that I was totally fine with.

 

I was a little concerned at the start since I couldn't understand a word Zoe Kazan said for like the first 5 minutes. I was like "Shit - if she is going to mumble through the whole thing no way I can watch this". Thankfully she spit out the marbles and we were good to go.

 

I mean it's a Romatic Comedy so you know what you are in for. I did appreciate the attempts to not do the obvious and at least try some stuff as we moved from Point A to Point B.

 

And Harry Potter was showing his ass off again so there was that

 

 

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We watched San Andreas over the weekend. I enjoyed it for what it was. As far as disaster movies go this is one of the best ones I've seen. The special effects were pretty good and The Rock is just awesome as this generation's Arnold.  Also, Alexandra...  wow.

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I saw 'Get Hard' recently and while it wasn't A-level Ferrell, it was still pretty funny.  What was odd about it, is the last few Ferrell movies have tried to wedge some political commentary into them ('The Other Guys' had the bits about Wall St. and the weird montage of statistics over the credits while Rage Against the Machine played; 'The Campaign' had the whole satire of the Koch Brothers; while even 'Anchorman 2' tried to take little potshots at the 24 Hour News channels) and this one really set up for that with Ferrell's character being a rich bigot who doesn't pay any attention to anyone beneath his social standing and, at some point, they pretty much toss it all out the window, for the sake of furthering the meagre plot.  It's really odd.  Still, the movie was fun, though I was bummed Dan Bakkedahl was mentioned in the credits, but then only got like 3 lines, none of them really funny.

 

Watched 'Always' last week.  I love that movie.  It's just pure syrupy, sappy Spielberg romance.

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Saw Entourage yesterday afternoon. It was ok I guess, had some funny moments but a lot of trying to hard jokes.

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I enjoyed Entourage. Drama killed it. I think if people go in expecting to be taken on as existential journey, they're missing the point. It's a 90 minute episode of the show, and I'm ok with it. Also, watching Ari Gold go fucking nuts is always a good time...

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One of my favorite hobbies is hate-watching TV shows. Entourage is one of my all-time favorite most hated shows. More power to you if you like it. But on top of being really dopey, I think it's pretty poorly acted, with Kevin Connolly leading the way, ESPECIALLY since a lot of the "serious" dramatic arcs come through E and he looks like he has a hard time reading, let alone emoting.

So naturally I saw Entourage today. It was everything I dreamed it would be and more from a hate-watch perspective.

Haley Joel Osment as the villainous wanna-be son of a Texas oil tycoon was absolutely amazing casting. Apparently he decided to ape his Texan accent by studying the great James Van Der Beek's immortal role in Varsity Blues.

I wonder what's the longest stretch in the film they had without a celebrity cameo. I am thinking no more than 90 seconds.

There were also a good amount of party scene montages. My favorite one came when they were about to screen HYDE and real quick there was a shot of Vince tossing shrimp around in a skillet. WTF?

It's just a true spectacle. A+.

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Watched Heaven Knows What, about street people, starring a former street person playing a street person, based on her autobiography.  Lots of drugs and slurred conversations.  Extremely grimy.  Need to take several showers.

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I saw Spy, and loved it. Just great performances from everybody and a real hoot. SEE IT. . . . 

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Jurassic Park is concurrently airing on SyFy, E!, USA, and Bravo. This is mind boggling. I know why they're doing it but still; mind boggling.

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Having a very lazy Sunday, so I'm sitting watching movies. One I'm watching, The Insider, completely forgot how great this movie is. Russell Crowe in particular is really great, surprised this one doesn't get talked about much in terms of his great performances.

For some reason, I guess its because I'm fascinated with behind the scenes movies about big stories, I think I'm going to watch Live From Baghdad next, that one is really good too.

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I had a free DVD rental from Red Box, so I snagged Kevin McDonald's Black Sea with Jude Law. It was a solid enough heist/suspense film set in a submarine that increased with the tensions. I thought Law was strong in this, but the camera work and story left a bit to be desired as I had a hard time keeping myself engaged with this one. I'd recommend it if you are looking for a quick film from early in 2015 and can find it for cheap from Redbox or if it ends up on Netflix Instant in a couple of months. 6/10

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Jurassic Park is concurrently airing on SyFy, E!, USA, and Bravo. This is mind boggling. I know why they're doing it but still; mind boggling.

I guess we know what studio made it.

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Jurassic Park is concurrently airing on SyFy, E!, USA, and Bravo. This is mind boggling. I know why they're doing it but still; mind boggling.

I guess we know what studio made it.

 

 

Hammer Films?

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With Christopher Lee as the T-Rex

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Over the weekend, I watched Area 51 (found footage UFO movie by, of course, the guy behind Paranormal Activity) and Time Lapse.  Both films were similar in that they were decent ideas that seemed to just be missing something and both came up a little flat, Area 51 more so than Time Lapse.  I wouldn't say they were bad, just that both were missing something.  Of the two, I'd definitely say Time Lapse was better and you should, I guess, see it, but it drags down a little toward the last third of the film before tying it all up with a cool ending.

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Watched Slow West tonight.  Shot in New Zealand, very colorful scenery, and a healthy dose of humor.  One of our group commented that the characters are all very low-key, which is surprising for a first-time writer-director.  Anyway, I declare it to be very good.  Go see it if you get a chance.

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Anybody know when the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale is this year? Thought it was this month, but I don't see anything going around yet.

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B&N has so many sales, its hard to keep track.;)

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This is from an old photoplasty contest on Cracked.com, but damn if I wouldn't watch this a thousand times were it actually to happen:

 

136678_v1.jpg

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Anybody know when the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale is this year? Thought it was this month, but I don't see anything going around yet.

 

It's usually after the Buy 2 get the third free DVD Sale they run in the summer. I think it usually starts end of June - Early July.

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This line from The Village Voice review of the FIFA movie United Passions cracked me up:  "As drama, it’s not merely ham-fisted, but pork-shouldered, bacon-wristed, and sausage-elbowed."

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So I watched some movies while my internet was buggered:

 

Hanna stars Saoirse Ronan and is a remake of the Bourne Identity only with a teenage girl playing Jason Bourne, and a bit more arthouse in the direction. And the soundtrack really doesn't fit the movie at all because the whole point is, here is someone who's been raised since birth to be the perfect secret agent/ killing machine, speak every language et cetera, but she has no cultural life whatsoever and has never heard music in her life. And then they go into a chase sequence and they start blasting this terrible 90s Superstar DJ techno bollocks for no goddamn reason whatsoever, and it totally takes you out of the movie. And they do that in every action sequence... it's like the director didn't have confidence in his images to express dynamism, and so he pretended he was playing Wip3out or something. The soundtrack was done by the chemical brothers apparently. Now mostly famous for one of them going out with Lily Allen for a bit, and her writing a song about what a crap shag he is.

 

Bullet to the Head stars Sylvester Stallone and Sung Kang, and is a remake of Fast and Furious with Stallone playing Vin Diesel and Kang playing Paul Walker. Not really. It is a bit similar, the cop and criminal forced to team up and save each other's lives without wanting to, only the hot girl is Stallone's daughter instead of his sister. And the bad guy triumvirate is Jason Momoa, Adewale and Christian Slater, which is nice and random. Because I'd been thinking about soundtracks, I really noticed here that in the action scenes there isn't one. Literally all you hear in the fights and chases is footsteps, grunts and impact sounds (and gunshots sometimes), and it works REALLY well. Hanna should totally have done that. Only that would have required Joe Wright to be as clever as Walter Hill, which is asking a lot. He only does Keira Knightley movies usually (Joe Wright I mean. Who directed Hanna. Walter Hill directed Bullet to the Head. It's not his best work. It's OK).

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stars Mara Rooney and Craig Daniel, because anyone with two first names deserves to have them put back to front forevermore (like Scott Ian from Anthrax). It's a remake of the Swedish film Men Who Hate Women (actual title), and is not as good as the original except the soundtrack is better. But I think Michael Nyqvist was a better Mikael Blomquist than Daniel Craig was, and Noomi Rapace was a much better Lisbeth Salander than Rooney Mara was. And other than that it's the same film except I think the ending is different and they never made the two sequels even though they're better than the first one in the trilogy. And invented the Skrillex haircut*.

 

* She just has long hair is the second one, instead of that multi-layered spiky thing that must take hours. But then she gets shot in the head, and they shave half her head to do the brain surgery to get the bullet out. So she's walking around with half a head of long hair and half a head shaved bald and loads of lesbians thought that looked really cool and sexy and did the same thing. And so did Skrillex.

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No need to hate on Chemical Brothers they're awesome. I love that Lilly Allen song though.

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We shall agree to disagree on that one. As on so much else.

 

If I had any Chemical Brothers CDs around here, I'd definitely post them to you. But I don't.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stars Mara Rooney and Craig Daniel, because anyone with two first names deserves to have them put back to front forevermore (like Scott Ian from Anthrax). It's a remake of the Swedish film Men Who Hate Women (actual title), and is not as good as the original except the soundtrack is better. But I think Michael Nyqvist was a better Mikael Blomquist than Daniel Craig was, and Noomi Rapace was a much better Lisbeth Salander than Rooney Mara was. And other than that it's the same film except I think the ending is different and they never made the two sequels even though they're better than the first one in the trilogy. And invented the Skrillex haircut*.

 

* She just has long hair is the second one, instead of that multi-layered spiky thing that must take hours. But then she gets shot in the head, and they shave half her head to do the brain surgery to get the bullet out. So she's walking around with half a head of long hair and half a head shaved bald and loads of lesbians thought that looked really cool and sexy and did the same thing. And so did Skrillex.

 

I have not seen a ton of consensus on the subject, but I thought the movies got progressively worse after rewatching all three a few months ago. I thought "Played with Fire" was okay to good. When it comes to "Kicked the Hornets' Nest"? Like yeah, I could have stopped with rewatching the second one and been fine. I saw somewhere that those two were television movies, and they had smaller budgets. I don't know if it's the truth, but it very much looked like it. The climactic battle between Lisbeth and her autistic giant half brother in that warehouse looked like it was shot for less than two hundred dollars US. I would've rather seen Fincher's take on the latter two films given they gave him a pretty hefty budget for his version of the first film. Then again, the budget is likely the sticking point as to why they didn't make the other ones. Those sets from the Vanger family flashbacks probably cost a pretty penny.

 

However, I certainly do agree that Rapace was the better Lisbeth. I think she had more chemistry with Nyqvist than Mara did with Daniel Craig.

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