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 Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):

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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 4:11 pm

Well, here it is. I'll post mine soon.
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Jeebus

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 4:56 pm

Yikes. I have eight writeups to do. This definitely snuck up on me. I'll get it together as soon as I can.
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Hunter

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 5:05 pm

I'm too lazy to do write-ups that nobody would care about.

But I'd happily do it if someone requested the film to write-up on.

And that would make the write-up better because I would be more focused.
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Harry Lime

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 5:08 pm

Hunter wrote:
I'm too lazy to do write-ups that nobody would care about.

But I'd happily do it if someone requested the film to write-up on.

And that would make the write-up better because I would be more focused.

Same here. Though, I don't think any will. The only worthwhile movie I watched this week was Elephant.
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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 5:25 pm

Superbad* (2007)
This is the defining teen comedy of this generation. It's incredibly foul-mouthed, rude, crude, and completely relentless with it's one-liners and hilarious situations. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill are flawless as the two hapless teenagers as they go on a journey for booze and sex. Seth Rogen and Bill Hader are funny as hell as the two cops that take Cera's and Hill's nerdy friend for a ride around the town. This movie completely lived up to its hype, and will be remembered for years after as the greatest teen movie ever. Evan, played to awkward perfection, is a character that I really see a lot of myself in, which is what made it even more enjoyable, and another reason why this film is excellent. It is incredibly real. Anyone who's ever gone to high school will recognize numerous characters from this film as people they've known in their own life. It's easy to identify with all the main characters. The characters talk the way regular teenagers talk. With non-stop profanity. Also, the scene with Evan singing that Guess Who song to the drug dealers will go down as one of the greatest scenes in the history of film. Also, there are little things that you'll pick up on during rewatches (like one of the drug dealers snorting cocaine off a blade affraid ).
* seen it three times this week.
Rating: 10/10


Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
This film, on the surface, could be looked at as your cliched indie, family comedy where every member of the family has some kind of neurotic thing about them, and they all learn to get along by the end. And this certainly is that. But all the characters are realistically written and impossible to hate. The performances from every member of the family are Oscar-worthy. The entire film is heart-warming.
Rating: 10/10


All The Real Girls (2004)
This is a perfect romance film. It opens with the womanizing main character at the end of a date with his best friend's sister. These two are startinig to get close. They haven't slept together yet, but you can tell they love each other. The great thing about this is that the film doesn't resort to any cheap cliches to get us to believe these two are in love. Everything is believable, from it's setting in the sleepy, small rural town, to the painful pasts the two characters share. The performances from the two leads are phenomenal. They have excellent chemistry and they look real good together. The ending isn't happy. It's quite melancholy and open-ended. Both characters fuck up, and it doesn't end with their fuck-ups resolved, but it's easy to understand why. I didn't judge the two characters. I simply pitied them in the end. This is one of the most emotionally draining romantic dramas ever.
Rating: 10/10


Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Punch-Drunk Love is P.T. Anderson's second best film, behind Magnolia. The plotline isn't as layered or thick as that of Magnolia, but instead it focuses on character development. Barry Egan is one of the most complex characters ever created. The film is loaded with symbolism from the abandoned piano to Egan's infrequent freak-outs. I didn't quite figure out the meaning of all the symbolism, but I'm sure upon rewatch it's become more clear. This is another romance film, and Adam Sandler and Emily Watson are very cute together. Philip Seymore Hoffman gives one of the greatest performances of the 21st century despite he's little screen-time.
Rating: 10/10


Cinderella (1950)
One of the greatest Disney films of all time. Based on the classic fairy tale, Disney takes it and gives it gorgeous animation and excellent voice-talents. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the storyline, so I won't go into it. There are some real cute musical numbers in this film, and Cinderella is certainly one of the most sympathetic Disney characters out there. The villains (the step-mother and two step-sisters) are nasty, ugly, and watching them get their comeuppance in the end is a delight to watch. Seriously, Disney just doesn't make films like this anymore, and haven't since the early ninties when The Lion King and Toy Story came out.
Rating: 10/10


Hostage (2005)
Bruce Willis hasn't had a really good movie in a long time, but he's really back in top form for this one. I admit that I hated this film the first two times I watched it, but it's grown on me after numerous rewatches, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. Don't go into this film expecting Die Hard in a House. Hostage gives up funny one-liners and non-stop action for a darker atmosphere and character development. If you're expecting it to be identical to the book, don't do that either. The book really expands on every character and takes it to whole different levels than the movie, but it would be unrealistic to expect the makers of this film fit all 400 pages of material into a two-hour movie. That upset me the first time I saw it, but I've let go of that. On it's own, it is a very good thriller. The action scenes are great and the first finale is spectacular to witness. The second finale (there are two sets of bad guys in this film), on the other hand, is devoid of any logic and is painful to watch. This scene brings the film down a couple of points. If they had put any thought into the ending, this film would make my top 100, no problem.
Rating: 7.5/10


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2004)
Not great. The book was over 600 pages long, and the makers of this film had the film's running time come out at 2 hours and 23 minutes (which is twenty minutes shorter than the Chamber of Secrets). Numerous important details are skipped over. Interesting subplots are completely abolished. The film is chaotic and way too fast paces. Things happen too quickly, and if you didn't read the book first, you might not understand what's going on. But, that's the least of my problems. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore is a joke. In the books, and even in the first three movies, Dumbledore is shown as calm and collected, yet with an enigmatic presence. Instead, he's turned into a loud, raving, screaming, lunatic. I don't know if that's Gambon's fault or the director's, but it's a huge mistake. Now for the positives. Amazing special effects. All the magic described in the books is captured in the movie perfectly. Alan Rickman, who barely has any lines in this film, is once again kick-ass as Snape. The child actors are seriously underrated as well. Daniel Radcilffe is hated by many. And while I can agree that he's pretty awful in 1, 2, and 5, I think he was quite good in the Goblet of Fire. I've always found Emma Watson a very good child actress, and she's just as good as she always is in this one. Rupert Grint is also quite entertaining. Ralph Fiennes is also perfectly cast as Lord Voldemort.
Rating: 6/10
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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 5:27 pm

Hunter wrote:
I'm too lazy to do write-ups that nobody would care about.

But I'd happily do it if someone requested the film to write-up on.

And that would make the write-up better because I would be more focused.

I will happily comment on any comment you give to any film. Same with you, David.
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estefanbe

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:22 pm

Re-watch: L.A. Confidential - 9/10

Impressive detective film that has the feels of classic works like The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. The three leads succeeds, as do James Cromwell, Kim Basinger and Danny DeVito in supporting parts. The score is also wonderful, setting the mysterious mood wonderfully. One of the most intelligent scripts ever written, combined with thrilling direction makes this an entertaining yarn.

Re-watch: Back to the Future - 10/10

One of the most feel-good films of all-time, Michael J Fox delivers as does Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. Alan Silvestri`s score is also wonderful and the script is both smart and funny, speaking to audience of all ages.

The Last Mimzy - 4/10

Poor attempt at a modern day E.T. Even though, it`s 90 minutes, it feels much longer and the film drags quite a bit. The film also feels a bit too much scientific mumbo jumbo for what is intended for a child audience. The children also prove to be a tad annoying (especially the boy) and the actors playing the parents are just boring. Michael Clarke Duncan also appears wasted. Any positive aspects? The special effects are very well done and fit in with the scenery. There are also a couple of funny moments and I liked the film`s small message about how modern technology is sucking imagination out of children. Rainn Wilson also gives the film`s only good performance as he proves to be both funny and fascinating to watch. Unfortunately, he can't save this poor film.

Re-watch: The Incredibles - 9/10

One of Pixar's best, the animation is splendid, the voice work is great and the script doesn't speak down to its audience. The action scenes and score also deliver, as this proves to be an incredibly entertaining ride.

Hairspray - 8/10

Fun, lively musical with great songs and an enjoyable cast. Marc Shaiman's songs are great as well and the story's message doesn't hit the audience over the head. The highlight of the film is Nikki Blonsky who gives a great performance in the lead (I hope she gets a Golden Globe nomination, because she deserves it).

I did feel John Travolta's accent was a bit too much like Dr. Evil and didn't fit in with the rest of the cast. I also thought the film ran a tad too long, but nonetheless I had a fun and enjoyable time at Hairspray (It doesn't beat The Producers, though).

Die Hard with a Vengeance - 5/10

Despite some good performances and managing to retain much of the humour from the other Die Hard films, this entry suffers mainly due to the lack of much action scenes. This film just fails to be much exciting and essentially shares a similar flaw to Casino Royale: Much like the poker scenes in that film took away from the action, so do the riddle-solving ones. We don't want to see McClane solving riddles, we want to see him fighting terrorists.

In addition, the fact that McClane is called to the scene by the actual villain right at the beginning of the film, kind of loses the whole "wrong time at the wrong place" magic that the other ones have. However, as mentioned before, I did like the performances and those are what save this film from being a complete dud. Bruce Willis is his usual one liner delivering self and Sam Jackson provides a great performance as well. Jeremy Irons also does a good job and despite the averageness of the film I would probably rank him as my second favourite villain of the Die Hard franchise.

Re-watch: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - 10/10

An absolutely magical film, helped by a fantastic direction by Steven Spielberg, a charming script by Melissa Mathison and a brilliant score by John Williams. The young actors do a tremendous job as well, especially the 6-year-old Drew Barrymore whose future performances haven't even come close to her work in E.T. A souring achievement and even on the upteenth viewing, it stands up as a wonderful film.

Re-watch: Blazing Saddles - 10/10

An incredibly hilarious film, Mel Brooks manages to show not only the racism of 1874, but present day as well. Thanks to delightful performances, a terrific soundtrack and a very funny screenplay, Blazing Saddles succeeds immensely. This will be a favourite of mine for many, many years.

Superbad - 7/10

Funny film, but mostly due to McLovin and the two policemen. However, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera do provide their moments. Cera was amazing on Arrested Development and he does a good job here as well and the fact that the three main characters are so likable also helps things. The film does run way too long and there are some scenes that aren't that funny. I did laugh plenty of times and enjoyed myself. I could name three films this year that were funnier than Superbad, though.
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Jeebus

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:36 pm

Yeah, I'll definitely comment on any writeups that people make in due time. I hate when I do them and no one comments on mine. I also hate when people just throw around ratings and meaningless comments like 'overrated', 'pretentious' or 'masterpiece' without giving any kind of explanation. I'm looking right at you Jack.
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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:40 pm

Well, so far moi, and Estefan have posted. So I suppose I'll comment on Estefan's. L.A. Confidential is oone of the coolest neo-noirs ever, and the only film I thought Russel Crowe actually gave a great performance in. Back To The Future is an essential 80s film, and has great rewatchability. I'd only watch The Last Mimzy for Rainn Wilson, and even then, I'm not in any hurry to see it. You know my opinions on DHWAV and Superbad. I'd easily watch Hairspray. Looks quite entertaining. Haven't seen Blazing Saddles in a long time.
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estefanbe

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:47 pm

You only liked Russell Crowe in L.A. Cofidential? What did you not like about him in The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, Cinderella Man and Master & Commander? He's one of my favourite contemporary actors and I felt he did great jobs in all the above mentioned films.
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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:53 pm

Oh, I forgot all about The Insider. Yeah, I really liked him in that as well. Otherwise, I've just found him egotistical and full of himself in most of the movies I've seen him in (especially in Gladiator and Master and Commander). I haven't seen either lately, and I have seen The Insider and L.A. Confidential since I saw the other two I mentioned, so I don't know. Maybe a rewatch of each would help me better appreciate him.
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Hunter

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   26/8/2007, 6:57 pm

I don't say pretentious (ever) or overrated (often). Guilty at masterpiece though Embarassed.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   30/8/2007, 10:31 pm

It only took me the entire week to do them. Sorry about the briefness of the last few, my thoughts on them were as simplistic as the films were:

Superbad (four re-watches.)



My thoughts stayed the same. Easily the funniest film I've ever seen. I couldn't stop laughing throughout the entire duration. Every single scene, every single line was absolutely hilarious. I was just dying. All of the performances are absolutely perfect. Just like 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up the film combines crude and unbeatable comedy with heartfelt emotion and sentimentality. 'Perfect' is the only way to describe this film. It also happens to be the most realistic/relatable film I've ever seen, in terms of my own life. It felt like I was watching a biography on my current life. The essence of teenage culture and the relationship between two 'outcasts' is captured so perfectly, which makes sense since Rogen and Goldberg wrote it when they were around my age. It's like they saw how horribly unrealistic the standard teen comedy is (American Pie, etc.) and completely fixed everything about it. Just simply perfect. Easily the best film of the year.
RATING: 10.0/10


Speed



Extremely fun and exhilirating throughout. Reeves and Bullock provide a rare form of chemistry that is usually lacking in the romantic side of action films. Hopper exceeds all expecations in the typical 'Insane villain' role and proves to be a joy to watch. The phrase 'Die Hard on a bus' really does apply perfectly to this one. It's a film that grasps you in the opening scene and refuses to ever let go. I knew that they were going to survive some of the scenes (i.e. Jumping the gap on the bridge) but I was still on the edge of my seat in anticipation. It's very unique for an action film to give me that kind of quality and it certainly proves to be an extremely tense and thrilling ride. Certainly one of the best of the action genre.
RATING: 9.0/10


Fracture



A bit better than I had expected. It doesn't really stray too far from your typical courtroom thriller, but it seems to be much more engaging than the majority of them. The conversations between Gosling and Hopkins are decent, but are far too reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs to the point where it's too obvious that Hopkins was cast solely for the character's likeness to Hannibal. The film really shines when it's just focused on Gosling's character, and in his relationship with Rosamund Pike. That's where I found it to be the most engaging. I did like the contrast between the two characters and how the film showed two very different ways that arrogance can drive a man to the bottom. Gosling was too cocky and overlooked so many things that he was made a complete fool. Hopkins, on the other hand, studied everything and made sure it all was perfect but underestimated the intelligence of Gosling because he was too blind by his own arrogance. But the film hinges too much on a twist that you can see in the second scene of the film and the fact that Hopkins' accent breaks through every single time he talks became too much of a bother for me too fully enjoy the work.
RATING: 6.5/10


Fast Times at Ridgemont High



A teen cinema classic, and rightfully so. It's hilarious, realistic and very enjoyable. All of the performances are great and a joy to watch. It's a bit cliched and cheesy, but you have to keep in mind that this is the film that created most of those cliches. I really love how it studies the different groups of teenagers from the pothead surfers to the fast-food workers to the regular Joe's. Even more so, I love how it studied the various pressures of High School and how these affect the teens involved. It subtly does a deep investigation on the pressures of drugs, sex, careers and school through very different, but very similar and relatable stories of youth. One of my favorites to sit back and relax, and it's a great joy to see so many phenomenal actors (Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Forest Whitaker, etc.)
RATING: 8.5/10


The Ex



Another relatively large disappointment. I was expecting this to be absolutely phenomenal and I was let down. When combining two of my favorite comedic actors of the day, Zach Braff and Jason Bateman, with a supporting role from probably my favorite female comedy regular (Amy Poehler) and a cameo from another one of my favorites (Paul Rudd) I was bound to expect something great. The result ended up being far from that. It was so unbelievably unfunny that I found it hard to sit through. I was waiting to laugh my head off, and I barely received a few chuckles throughout. It was an easy to watch film, sure. It was nice and relaxing, but it wasn't that funny. The script and the characters are just so poor, annoying, whiny and plain stupid that it's hard to feel anything at all for them. It seems like none of them have an ounce of intelligence. A big disappointment.
RATING: 5.0/10


Man on Fire



SPOILERS. This is indeed a film that is expertly split into two parts. The first half does a flawless job of developing the relationship between Creasy and Pita and making us feel for these characters. We enjoy watching them interact together, are so excited to see them developing such a strong father/daughter-esque bond that it completely tears us apart when Pita is taken away. Scott and Denzel do a brilliant job of making us feel Creasy's pain when she gets taken away. It's one of the most emotional scenes of all time, as we see Pita in tears but desperately want her to run before she is taken. This drives the substantial second half, which is a film of emotionless revenge. Creasy's need for vengeance is made completely understandable and we want nothing but for him to succeed in the brutal murders of every person who was involved. It drives some of the best and most stylized action of all time, in a journey that is more than just. We want him to succeed so much it hurts. What I found most interesting about the film was Creasy's transformation from beginning to end. He starts off as a man who doesn't care about anything in the world. He's completely indifferent and doesn't care whether he lives or dies. But it's this little girl who completely brightens up his life and teaches him how to love again, and that's what makes it so arduous for the audience when she is taken away. Pita's kidnapping not only stole her physical body, but it took back Creasy's ability to love. He once again becomes a creature of sheer pain and relentless furiosity in one of the most amazing quests ever put on film. The ending is one of the most bittersweet of all time. On one hand we rejoice in Pita's life and her safe return to her mother. But on the other hand we are in sheer pain as we know what Creasy must do, and that their beautiful reunion will be very short lived. The performances are simply excellent. Denzel is on top form, as always and this is the film that showed me that Dakota Fanning really is a great and underrated actress. Watching her cry is one of the most painful experiences of a film for me.
RATING: 10.0/10


Vacancy



Extremely poor. Just scene after scene of completely idiotic moves that not even the lowest of the low intelligent horror films have made. It's completely unrealistic and bafflingly unintelligent to the point where I wanted to vomit. The performances are decent. It was mildly intelligent. The idea is original. The lighting is nice. Everything else made me want to blow my head off with a shotgun. I wanted to visit the motel just so I could die. The ending is one of the least rewarding of all time.
RATING: 2.5/10


The Slaughter Rule



Another very poor picture. The ideals jump all over the place. It starts as a football film, and moves into a complicated romance, and then something about Gid's dark past and then homoerotica. The film just becomes far, far too wrapped up in itself to provide any actual entertainment or deep meaning. It seems like it believes itself to be a thousand times more intelligent than it really is. Ryan Gosling's performance was excellent still, as expected from him. He was the only thing that stopped me from turning the film off halfway through.
RATING: 4.0/10


Disturbia



Finally, something that was surprisingly good. Obviously it takes a lot of elements from Rear Window, but it really isn't the complete ripoff that everyone makes it out to be. This one mixes in some very likeable humor and adds a lot of elements to make it more relatable for teenagers. It does a good job of reflecting a teen's life, especially what would happen if one was completely cut off from the technological-based world of today. Shia LaBeouf was surprisingly good and I found him really likeable. The ending was a bit cliched and there were some elements throughout the film that I wasn't a huge fan of but overall this was a very likeable, engaging and enjoyable thriller. A pleasant surprise. Also, Sarah Roemer is freakishly hot.
RATING: 8.5/10
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Myron_Bolitar

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PostSubject: Re: Last Week You Watched (08/19 - 26/07):   31/8/2007, 12:05 am

Looks like we share the same thoughts on Speed, Superbad, Man On Fire, and The Ex. Speed is the first R-rated movie I ever saw, and will remain a favorite of mine for life, and I'm especially pleased you loved it. Can't wait to see Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
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