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Jay Temple 20 March 2015 04:14 PM

Movies you've seen recently
 
Since the last post was over two weeks ago (and I don't feel like digging past that), I'll start a new thread.

Birdman finally hit Redbox this week. I liked it, but ... this is why the Oscars don't matter all that much. (And yet, I watch the Best Picture winner every year.) The acting was good, and I liked the drum-based score, but how does anyone think this was the best movie of the year? The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy both had more interesting story lines and characters than this.

ETA: And I'll elaborate a little on the acting. It shows that acting is acting. These were good, "serious" performances by people (Michael Keaton, Zach G., Emma Stone, Edward Norton) whom I know mainly for comedies and science fiction. Zach is both, because, while he's best known for comedies, I first knew him as the coroner in Tru Calling.

RealityChuck 20 March 2015 05:52 PM

I thought its Oscar was well deserved. There was far more to it than the other films you mentioned. It was a film that wasn't just mindless action and a predictable plot and had something to say.

On Netflix, I discovered Mary and Max, an Australian stop-motion animated from from a few years ago that got no US distribution (despite opening Sundance). It's about a pen pal friendship between Mary, an 8-year-old Australian girl, and Max, a 44-year-old New Yorker with Aspergers. Funny and very poignant. Featuring the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Colette (as a grown up Mary), and Barry "Dame Edna" Humphries.

I know why it wasn't distributed -- it's not really a children's film.

Speaking of animation, the best animated film of last year was clearly The Book of Life.

Mouse 21 March 2015 12:12 AM

Call it tooting my own horn if you must but I had similar feelings about Birdman. I really wish the Academy would let go of the "True Art is depressing as hell" meme. It'd be nice if I could see a recent Oscar-winning film without feeling like slitting my wrists afterwards.

Anyway, here's my review from the previous thread.

Quote:

Saw Birdman today and right now I'm glad I'm not a professional movie critic because I really don't know what to say about this movie. It's not something where you just spout of "This is Good," or "This is the worst piece of shit ever," it's just complicated that way. I will say that Michael Keaton deserves all the Oscar buzz he's getting, but I find myself thinking, "There's no way I'm sitting through this movie again." In fact, I can place Birdman in two different categories I have regarding entertainment: "Good but gives me Very little Viewing Pleasure" and "Good, Possibly Even Great Movies but Movies that Once You've seen once, there's no reason to see it again." Yeah, need to think of shorter names for my categories. Anyone wanna help me out?

Anyway, I think of it as being like the comic Watchmen. I'm able to recognize the creative genius and the skill in plotting and writing that kind of story, but from a reading standpoint, it gives me little pleasure. Or in short, the writer in me is impressed with the craft, but the reader in me is left cold by the story.

Okay, I've given my two cents. If anyone wants to say something, feel free.
Anyway saw the live-action adaptation of Cinderella today. If nothing else, it was pretty to look at, and I don't regret seeing it, but I am a little disappointed. Kept thinking they were going to do something new with the age-old story, but they just played it straight. Found myself thinking of the Drew Barrymore version, Ever After. It's been years since I've seen it so I don't know how well it's aged, but it at least tried to do something new with an old story.

Lainie 21 March 2015 12:32 AM

Mouse, it's funny you should mention that -- I just read a review the other day that said it holds up pretty well, despite a few glaring mid-90s-isms.

Crius of CoH 21 March 2015 12:49 AM

Just saw Kingsman this afternoon. Quite enjoyable, plenty of fun; a modern Bond film (which was lampshaded in the movie). The CGI was a bit off, but not wrenchingly so.

Not_Done_Living 21 March 2015 02:17 AM

my 15 year old daughter and I went to see Chappie this weekend. We dont get to see much together due to her dance schedule -- and the stuff she watches at home is mostly Japanese Anime that i just don't understand -- so this was a good choice.

We really did enjoy it -- and feel it may have been dismissed due to the inclusion of Die Antwoord "Ninja" and Yoldani Fissure -- who are far from conventional.

its a serious but fun take on Pinocchio -- money well spent in my opinion.

Veruca 21 March 2015 03:45 AM

Just finished watching Foxcatcher. I think I need a little time to process it, but it was very well done. Carell, Ruffalo, and Tatum all delivered great performances. On a shallow note, it was really weird hearing Carell's voice coming from a face that didn't look like his at all - I don't know if they did a lot of makeup for this movie, or if it's just that he's aged since The Office was on the air, but he didn't look like himself (or at least how I picture his self) at all.

Jusenkyo no Pikachu 21 March 2015 05:10 AM

Finally got Barbie in Princess Power. It's got some of the best animation in the series yet (looking like, as one reviewer put it, "the cinematic equivalent of a swirl lollipop") and actually gives Barbie's character (a princess superhero) something resembling a failing--she lets her newfound popularity as "Super Sparkle" go to her head. Also, the disc includes an all-new episode of Life in the Dreamhouse.

Lainie 21 March 2015 01:41 PM

Last night my daughter talked me in to watching The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. It was funny and at ttimes touching,and I loved the cast (Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo, Peter Dinklage, Hamish Linklater, among others). I'd say it's worth watching if you like those actors and enjoy stories that treat serious subjects with humor. Mila Kunis' performance was especially good.

My one caution is that Robin Williams plays the lead, and at one point his character attempts suicide (not whited for spoiler because it's easily guessed from context). I personally didn't find it disturbing, because I wasn't identifying the character with the actor that closely, and because the circumstances weren't at all similar. But I imagine will put some people off the film entirely. In fact, I'm surprised my daughter, after watching it alone, wasn't upset, let alone that she wanted to see it again.

Gutter Monkey 22 March 2015 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living (Post 1865871)
my 15 year old daughter and I went to see Chappie this weekend.

.....

We really did enjoy it -- and feel it may have been dismissed due to the inclusion of Die Antwoord "Ninja" and Yoldani Fissure -- who are far from conventional.

its a serious but fun take on Pinocchio -- money well spent in my opinion.

I really liked it as well but I was already a fan of Die Antwoord and Yolandi so they would have had to really screw it up for me not to like it. :lol:

firefighter_raven 22 March 2015 02:35 AM

Recently watched Divergent which I didn't really find that interesting and Parallels which might actually be meant as a tv pilot. It's premise is very similar to Sliders but it's an office building that is the method of changing universes. The building jumps every 36 hours and it apparently has some purpose from it's creators but the cast doesn't know what it is.
It started off kind of slow but got much better towards the end to the point of being extremely frustrating if nothing else happens with it.

Veruca 27 March 2015 11:07 PM

Just finished "The Theory of Everything." I loved it - the story, the realism, the cinematography, the acting - and as the cherry on top, the main character is an atheist who's not portrayed as tragically wrong or as a jerk. Great movie all around.

Richard Davies 30 March 2015 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Veruca (Post 1866487)
Just finished "The Theory of Everything." I loved it - the story, the realism, the cinematography, the acting - and as the cherry on top, the main character is an atheist who's not portrayed as tragically wrong or as a jerk. Great movie all around.

I enjoyed that as well.

Last week I eventually bought a Blu Ray player, & had to decide what my first BR disc would be.

After thinking of a few films & looking round some shops I decided on ET, as it's always been a favourite of mine & I didn't buy it on DVD as my sister had a copy.

Crius of CoH 03 April 2015 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firefighter_raven (Post 1865938)
Recently watched ... Parallels which might actually be meant as a tv pilot. It's premise is very similar to Sliders but it's an office building that is the method of changing universes. The building jumps every 36 hours and it apparently has some purpose from it's creators but the cast doesn't know what it is.
It started off kind of slow but got much better towards the end to the point of being extremely frustrating if nothing else happens with it.

Watched it last night; it really was quite good! Certainly better than Sliders (which I followed for 4 increasingly-disappointing seasons in the hope that it would somehow get better). And yes, it does seem like a pilot episode for a series, what with all of those loose ends just begging for an adventurous conclusion!

Slight nitpick: from what I gathered, the building itself doesn't "move" from universe to universe; the interior does. The exterior exists in many universes (or there are many exterior shells). I wonder if the nuke destroyed the shell in the apocalyptic universe?

The gun was pretty neat.

firefighter_raven 03 April 2015 12:44 PM

Parallels building as the method of movement(and the first world they visit where the guy tries to destroy it with a nuke) also reminded me of Cowboy Feng's Space Bar & Grill by Stephen Brust. The bar moved through time and space as opposed to parallel universes but it drew it's power to jump from nuclear explosions.

We watched Unbroken the other day and it was pretty good. My wife almost wanted to stop watching during the raft scenes with the sharks and I had to go online to look up a few things that were bugging me about it but we both liked it.

Dutch Angua 03 April 2015 01:31 PM

I've fairly recently been introduced to the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. Very enjoyable for someone with a twisted and silly sense of humor like me :lol:
The World's End was, in my opinion, the weaker of the three but still quite funny.

firefighter_raven 03 April 2015 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dutch Angua (Post 1867155)
I've fairly recently been introduced to the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. Very enjoyable for someone with a twisted and silly sense of humor like me :lol:
The World's End was, in my opinion, the weaker of the three but still quite funny.

Pretty much how I feel. The first two were great and often watch them whenever they are one tv (yarp).The 3rd one was decent but only watch it every so often. But being American and a non-drinker, only parts of the pub scenes were really relevant to me so just assumed it was my fault I didn't like the movie as much as the others.

E. Q. Taft 04 April 2015 06:19 AM

Hey, it may take me a while, but I get around to seeing popular films eventually. Tonight I watched Forrest Gump. It was definitely worth watching. What I found most interesting was the way it told the story of Jenny, in small bits and pieces, usually where it crossed over with Forrest's. While Forrest gets by on miracles and talents appearing out of nowhere, Jenny's life has a more realistic and almost inevitable arc. I was surprised when I looked at a few IMDB user comments at the hostility toward the character and how she brushed off Forrest until she needed him. This attitude kind of ignores her backstory and the way she reacted to the abuse (and probably molestation) that came from her father. Yeah, more complicated men than Forrest would probably give up and find someone else, and you can't entirely blame them, but it's not really her fault.

I also recently re-watched Amadeus, which is still brilliant.

firefighter_raven 04 April 2015 12:46 PM

I watched "Out of the Clear Blue Sky" on Netflix yesterday and there must of been a ninja cutting hundreds of onions somewhere in the room.
It's the story of Cantor Fitzgerald ,who occupied the top 5 floors of the North Tower of the WTC, during and after the events of 9/11. It not only covers their efforts to deal with the chaos of finding out the fates of their missing people but their struggles to keep the firm in business in order to fulfill the Ceo's promise to take care of the families.
It was very emotional to watch but well worth seeing imo.

Horse Chestnut 04 April 2015 06:12 PM

I sat down with Interstellar last night, and might have it found mildly interesting, except for Nolan's inexcusable sound mix on the film. I was constantly taken out of the story because I could not hear the dialogue. I actually googled to see if it was the fault of the disc, and not me losing my hearing, and that is when I read about the director deliberately released a film where the soundtrack drowned out the actors' speech. Nolan defended it as an artistic choice, but really, it is just a screwed up sound mix.<p>The robot made me laugh at least, especially when it took off running. But it was a mean laugh.


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