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Old 09-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #11416
Thorpesaurous
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

I've watched four movies recently, all of which warrant mentioning to some degree or another, and I bring up in part because I feel like they may all sort of affect my feelings toward the others.
First was Thursday night, I threw in my DVD of Alien, mainly because I had a friend home from California last week who was adament that I watch Prometheus, which I haven't seen yet. And while we were drunkenly heading home from dinner (spectacular BBQ in of all places Westport CT), he went on one of his long, annoying dissertations, this time about Promethius. So I rewatched Alien, and as I already knew, it was awesome. It's remarkable how well that movie holds up.

Friday night I opted against going out because I had to open up my shop for work the next morning at 5. There was zip on TV, so I started sifting through the excellent ATnT On Demand menu, and stumbled across Win Win, something I'd heard good things about. It had reentered my conciousnous again recently when Bobby Cannavale appeared as Gyp the sociopath gangster on the premier of Boardwalk Empire last Sunday, and I looked him up to see what if anything I knew him from. He was in Win Win. It's one of those quircky, melo-dramatic comedies, that's not exactly ha-ha funny, but still has funny moments layed over what is an otherwise dark drama. Think in the vain of Little Miss Sunshine, or Sunshine Cleaners. Sometimes these movies work for me, sometimes they fail miserably. This one worked. In no small part due to it's lead Paul Giammatti being so genuine. And the fact that the kid who plays Giamatti's fountain of youth, and the chance to reclaim his concious, actually does a nice little understated job, even if it's a little unbelievable that a troubled 15 year old who's already got an auto theft under his belt just needed to be loved in order to get that genuinely good kid to break through. Certainly worth a watch on cable.

Then Yesterday I did in fact open up at 5, worked till noon, grabbed a couple top notch dogs at Super Duper Weenie (I prefer Rawley's in the local hot dog wars, but SDW is right down the street from the Movie Theatres), and went to a 12:40 of The Master. The theatre was unusually full for an early bird special of an arthouse flick. My first thought is that this is an extremely challeging flick for an audience. PTA is without question a great filmmaker. His stuff is rich and stunning to look at. And he creates incredibly dense characters. But he's not generally driven by narrative, and this may be the best example of that of all his works. I felt like there was a sense of that in There Will Be Blood, but it was redeemed in a way with what was one of the better endings in recent memory. Something for the audience to cling to. A pay off for what was otherwise a long and sometimes meandering character study of a fascinating character, which while spectacular, and a genuine monster performance, it remained long and meandering. It was a spectacular movie, but it's also something that I've only watched a second time because of it's nature.
This is similar. Although there are here two spectacular performances. In spite of it being the titular role, this isn't about Hoffman. This is really about Phoenix's Freddy Quell. There's some thinking that this is really about this "type" of person, who returned from WWII, particularly the Pacific, a little after the hero sheen of the European soldiers wore off. There was this rudderless mass of young soldiers. They didn't stand toe to toe with Hitler, they blew up an island nation of different colored foreigners, and there's a different sense about them. Many led a rudderless existence in this undeveloped western america. Drifting from job to job. Damaged by what they'd done. A lot of alcohol abuse. But I actually think there was an effort to establish that this was a guy who wasn't stable at the get go. I won't try to into too much detail as to not spoil anything, but I do think you'll see an obvious attempt to pain that character as psychologically dinged.
Phoenix's character is incredibly well done. There's a constant energy, a fidget, a flex, a spasm. It's just really physical. The posture. Everything about the guy paints him as a loose canon. Even the composition of the flick in that first half act, introducing Freddy, is exquisite. The music even is this gorgeous off kilter sticcatto sounding stuff, reminded me a lot of when Taylor and company first land on The Planet of the Apes, and it establishes this weird unknownness about the character.
Hoffman is equally powerfull. It strikes me as a big job to pull off a cult leader. You have to be extremely compelling to pull it off. It has to be believable that people would put this belief in you, and he absolutely does it. Mostly through a couple of extended sequences siloloquey. His daughter's wedding was a great introduction where one could see how he was this massive figure. He's a master bullshitter, who is obviously smart. He's funny, and he's a huge personality without coming off overwhelming. Just a really delicately powerfull performance. And I think I like it more than Phoenix's by a tad. There's a few moments when his facade cracks that are really compelling. And there are a few moments when they share scenes together that are awesome. The first processing scene. And a scene that I'm still not entirely sure what to make of where Freddy starts to lose faith a bit.
Overall, I do find it a problem how skimmed the narrative is. Unlike TWBB, where we learned about this stunning character in the structure of the rise of the oil industry. Boogie Nights we learn about this character against the more fleshed out structure of this tranforming era of the porn industry. This is set up to learn about these two incredibly compelling characters against the structure of the rising of this cult, and the structure just isn't that strong. There's isn't a lot of narrative about what is supposedly scientology. And if you're going in hoping to learn about it, you're going to be disappointed. In the full theatre I was in, two groups of people got up and left. One group seemed offput by the nature of content, which can be rather racy in Freddy obviously disturbed psyche.
I would score it in the mid eighties for it's two master performances, and it's lush production, particularly the score. But after a first act that really whetted my pallet, I was a little to let down by the lack of conclusion to the narrative, but hey ... I'm not a proffessional film critic, but I'd actually like to see it again to let it soak in more. And I would like to see it again, so that's gotta mean something.

I also think it's possible that I was unable to give it the full thought it needed because I went straight to another movie after (I should've reversed the order) ....

{This was actually so long I had to split it into two posts ... which has never happened to me for something I didn't cut and past}
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #11417
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I left one theatre, walked small sushii joint across the street to kill an hour with a few rolls, and then walked around the corner to second theatre (weird that theatres are that close I know), and checked out End of Watch.
Now this comes off as a sort of gimmicky cop movie in it's ad's. It's a gritty cop flick, which we've seen before, but done from this ultra realistic approach from these handy cams. We've seen the handy cam thing before, sometimes working, and other times just seeming like a horrible gimmick. I really felt like this one worked. For starters, they used mounted stuff, like security cams, police car cams, in addition to two characters actively recording, as a means to get us multiple perspectives. Also, it's not all that long, which is a problem both from perspective exhaustion, and in terms of visual limitations, so I think that short running time helped. It has some limitations, mostly in that they really sort of dump this "Mexican Drug Cartels are really pissed these street hero cops are snooping around their scene" plot device in the second act, and don't really flesh it out much, but that's ok with me, as it's really just a maguffin to make the movie go, which is really a dark buddy cop movie, and in a lot of ways a small character study of two dipshit buddy cops with multiple sides to them. A pretty stunning ending. Some well executed action sequences. Violence that made it's way to over the top at times. A Cartel story line about human trafficking and torture that still doesn't make much sense, but allowed for some visceral emotional response. But over an hour and a half it kinda worked. The best scenes were sort of unrelated to the larger story. An opening car chase. A fire rescue. A random child abuse stop. I'd score it in the low 80s, and say it's well worth a cable watch or rental, and maybe better than that if your looking for an easily accessible watch at the theatre that you want to be emotionally manipulated by. If the Cartel story made more sense, and those characters were played better than something out of the old highly offensive Lil Homie figurines, it could've been better, but then that may have affected how well the visuals held up. Tough call. For a random choice, I was pretty happy with it.

An aside, I saw trailers for:
Lincoln, which could be too Speilberg-y to payoff how I hoped. Too much Amistad, not enough Shindler's list. Just quickly it looks like he's playing to much to formula. I'm sure it'll be great on first watch, because the guy is a master, but it could fall apart over time, because of his focus group mentality of assembling story. Like the travelling carboard cutout cliche characters parading through Saving Private Ryan that I didn't even notice in the theatre after being shell shocked by the bracketing of two of the greatest battle scenes ever put on film, but watching it on cable picking it up in the middle can actually sting.

Flight, which I hadn't heard about at all, stars Denzel Washington as Denzel Washington hero pilot, in what I'm sure will be a cheese fest, but seems interesting enough as a what if scenario to be intrigued.

Argo looks awesome. I'm all in on the Ben Affleck director train. Great cast.

Killing them Softly looks really cool. I'm still not sure what my expectations are. A caper in the sense of an american sort of Lock Stock, or a grittier sort of heavily Scorcese influenced gangster flick. Again, great cast.

Looper I'm still not sure what to make of, but I want to see it.

Cloud Atlas looks like it'll be awesome. Another great concept flick.

And while I'm sure it'll be awfull, I'm still genuinely scared of Silent Hill in 3D.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #11418
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Finding Nemo (in Real3D) - 10/10
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:50 PM   #11419
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
It's pretty brutally sad. They never actually say it's New Orleans. They even show a map, a school teacher to the kids, and I couldn't make out New Orleans. And while Katrina is obviously an influence, that's only part of what makes it so sad. The wiping out of this unique, little culture, and it's clawing for survival is a huge part of it, but moreso it's the relationship between the father and his daughter that's so tough to handle. Both actors were remarkable, particularly considering neither is really an actor ... yet. But the girl, Hushpuppy, in particular, does some pretty incredible work, and is asked to do quite a lot, including a bit of narration. She comes across as tougher than could be imagined being in that culture, yet so childlike at other times. I can totally see both of them getting Oscar noms.

Thanks. I may have to see this without her.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:01 PM   #11420
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
And while we were drunkenly heading home from dinner (spectacular BBQ in of all places Westport CT),

Then Yesterday I did in fact open up at 5, worked till noon, grabbed a couple top notch dogs at Super Duper Weenie (I prefer Rawley's in the local hot dog wars, but SDW is right down the street from the Movie Theatres), and went to a 12:40 of The Master.

Which barbecue? I think I prefer Rawley's too. That's next to the Dairy Queen right? The BBQ joint across the street is pretty good, not amazing, but good. A friend of mine lives near there.

I also just saw The Master last night. Did you get to see a 70mm screening? There's two theaters showing it in 70mm in NYC. Looked gorgeous, but I can't say I would have known it was 70mm, if they didn't tell me.

I think you're right on the mark with your review. I really enjoyed watching it, but it's a meditative movie and not a drama that builds to a climax, and for that reason, I wouldn't unreservedly recommend it to everyone. I had heard going in it wasn't really an expose, it just took the idea of a cult leader and went from there. I think that helped prime me for what kind of movie it was going to be.

Joaquin Phoenix is just absolutely fantastic in it. Gaunt, tensed, his own body seems coiled up even when's he laughing. An amazing physical performance. A great character study, but not an amazing story.

It must have gotten a good review in the Times, because the audience was surprisingly old on a Saturday night
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:45 PM   #11421
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Man On Fire. 9/10. Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning have great on screen chemistry.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #11422
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Which barbecue? I think I prefer Rawley's too. That's next to the Dairy Queen right? The BBQ joint across the street is pretty good, not amazing, but good. A friend of mine lives near there.

I also just saw The Master last night. Did you get to see a 70mm screening? There's two theaters showing it in 70mm in NYC. Looked gorgeous, but I can't say I would have known it was 70mm, if they didn't tell me.

I think you're right on the mark with your review. I really enjoyed watching it, but it's a meditative movie and not a drama that builds to a climax, and for that reason, I wouldn't unreservedly recommend it to everyone. I had heard going in it wasn't really an expose, it just took the idea of a cult leader and went from there. I think that helped prime me for what kind of movie it was going to be.

Joaquin Phoenix is just absolutely fantastic in it. Gaunt, tensed, his own body seems coiled up even when's he laughing. An amazing physical performance. A great character study, but not an amazing story.

It must have gotten a good review in the Times, because the audience was surprisingly old on a Saturday night


Yeah, Rawley's is next to the DQ. If you don't spend a ton of time in Fairfield, you should give Super Duper Weenie a shot next time you're around just for comparison. Like I said, I prefer Rawley's, but SDW's split dogs and big variety of custom dogs is definitely worth a shot. And I like their fries better.
The BBQ across from Rawley's is Wilson's BBQ. It's alright. More Carolina style. I like their pulled pork. Has a vinegary twinge. But the place I went to during the week is further toward NY, in Westport CT. A rich town. It's got a sweet little shopping strip in the center of town, and the place is right in there, it's called Bobby Q's. It's more St. Louis style. Sweeter. And it's a nicer place. Sit down type of joint. Has a nice beer garden on the roof in the summer.

It was not a 70mm presentation. It still looked spectacular. I love that theatre because they're one of only three around here I can hope to carry the more off the beaten path cinema, but it's not exactly state of the art. The seats don't rock, which makes it quite uncomfortable.

I too found the audience to be quite old. I don't know if it was the WWII element or what. But it didn't seem like a crowd that's reading cinema literature. And of the people who left mid show, both were of retirement age. It was obviously content driven: In white

One left during Freddy's fantasy where all the women were naked, which seemed like a tough get. And the other left after Amy Adams tugged off The Master into the sink, a scene I still haven't gotten my head all the way around.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #11423
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

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Cloud Atlas looks like it'll be awesome. Another great concept flick.
Yes
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #11424
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Hall Pass
7/10
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:02 PM   #11425
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Dredd 3D - 8/10
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:34 PM   #11426
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
But the place I went to during the week is further toward NY, in Westport CT. A rich town. It's got a sweet little shopping strip in the center of town, and the place is right in there, it's called Bobby Q's. It's more St. Louis style. Sweeter. And it's a nicer place. Sit down type of joint. Has a nice beer garden on the roof in the summer.
And of the people who left mid show, both were of retirement age. It was obviously content driven:

I just looked at the Bobby Q's website. Damn, now I'm hungry.

Yeah, that Amy Adams scene I wondered about as well. Asked my wife about that. It almost seemed like it referred to a scene that was deleted. My wife was convinced it related to the Laura Dern character....but they just hinted at that...it felt like they were going follow up on it later.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #11427
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

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Originally Posted by KevinNYC
I just looked at the Bobby Q's website. Damn, now I'm hungry.

Yeah, that Amy Adams scene I wondered about as well. Asked my wife about that. It almost seemed like it referred to a scene that was deleted. My wife was convinced it related to the Laura Dern character....but they just hinted at that...it felt like they were going follow up on it later.

...

I sorta felt like it was sort of implying Master's letting go of his control. Sort of the rich business man who likes to be dominated kind of notion, although not as implicit due to the era. But I'm really not certain.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #11428
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

Cleanskin (2012)


"Cleanskin: Ewan (Sean Bean) is a British Secret Service Agent faced with the task of pursuing and eliminating a British born Asian suicide bomber Ash (Abhin Galeya) and his terrorist cell, whilst Ash wrestles with his conscience and reflects on his journey to terrorism".

My rating: 6.8/10, at the lowest. Probably 7+ though.

Very well-made action/thriller flick that does a good job of incorporating some elements of drama.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:15 PM   #11429
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Moon: 8/10

What a simple yet great concept for a film. Sam Rockwell had the enormous task of not only having to basically carry the thing on his back, but also having to play different versions of himself (which most likely required a whole lot of talking to empty space in front of a green screen). He handled it extremely well and the movie never seemed to drag or be dull even though it was just him and a computer with smileys as the characters.

I wish I had seen it on the big screen at a theater instead of some bootleg download, decent quality though. Def thinking about getting the DVD/bluray and watching a proper version of it. From what I saw, the cinematography was excellent, especially the exteriors of the moon.

A sequel would be great if they retained the writers and everyone else who was involved in this one.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #11430
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21%

Violent, boring, and dated.
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