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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:02 pm 
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yamiiguy wrote:
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P.S. 'Aviator' is a word.

P.P.S Avatar is certainly not one of the top 5 films of all time. Probably not top 50 either. Probably top 250.


Yes "Aviator" is a word, but google what "Avaitor" as he spells it and see what it means. Just thought that might be a misspelling on his part.

Also "AVATAR" is in the Top Ten top grossing movies of all time. And I have never understood the hate for it, when most of the same people like other films that don't hold a candle to "Avatar".

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Wow, I actually didn't notice the spelling difference! But he/she joined before Avatar was released.

I like Avatar. It's not a great film but it's certainly a good one. Being one of the highest grossing films isn't a reflection of quality nowadays though - Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland are all in the top 10.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:39 pm 
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dvdjunkie wrote:
You are the perfect person to go see this film. Apparently you wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you in the arse.

Uh, neither would you if you think that Cameron's post-T2 work is among the greatest films ever made.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:28 pm 
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yamiiguy wrote:
Godard - Breathless
Tarkovsky - Ivan's Childhood
Fellini - La Strada


Thank you. :)

Today I watched the first two Lord of the Rings films again (didn't have time for Return of the King, regrettably). Although I still like them quite a bit - even love them in parts - I have a few quibbles with them, particularly The Two Towers. Frodo, Sam and Gollum's story is easily the most compelling; Sean Astin and Andy Serkis are great, Elijah Wood is quite good, and all three characters are the most interesting in the series (excluding Gandalf). But the other two stories didn't captivate me as much: Merry and Pippin's subplot with the Ents is a thinly-veiled metaphor for the destruction of the environment, but I love its conclusion; and sometimes the action of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli's story felt a little slow. Really, I was always impatiently waiting to see the lead Hobbits and Gollum again. All their scenes are sweet, funny or exciting. I pretty much love Fellowship of the Ring, although the subplot of Aragorn and Arwen's romance never interests me.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Avaitor wrote:
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Uh, neither would you if you think that Cameron's post-T2 work is among the greatest films ever made


James Cameron is one of the most accomplished American directors we have today. He spends a lot of time researching his projects before committing them to film.

"Titanic" is the largest grossing films of all-time, and his recent re-do, which cost him in excess of $18 million and the better part of two years to get it ready for a whole new generation of theater-goers to re-live that tragic night in 1912.

My own opinion of "AVATAR" is it is one of the best films to combine CGI and live-action so seamlessly, and you can't tell me that you can tell where one starts and one leaves off when it is mixed so well. Also if you haven't seen "Avatar" in IMAX 3-D then you really don't know what you are missing. Again, as with "Titanic", Cameron immerses you in the film and doesn't try shocking you by throwing things at the screen and such, but by involving you in the story and the characters.


Sorry if the only good taste you have is in your mouth, but I would like to see what you think would be considered YOUR Top 10 movies in this modern age of movies.

And you still haven't explained the spelling of "Avaitor" - is that correct or were you intending to spell it differently and that's the way it came out?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:32 pm 
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dvdjunkie wrote:
Sorry if the only good taste you have is in your mouth, but I would like to see what you think would be considered YOUR Top 10 movies in this modern age of movies.

Modern as in, what, the past 15 years?

I'd say-

Pan's Labyrinth
In the Mood for Love
Life is Beautiful
Chasing Amy
Persepolis
Spirited Away
American Beauty
Almost Famous
Inglourious Basterds
Hugo

Honorable mentions:

X2: X-Men United
The Dark Knight
Coraline
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Royal Tenenbaums
Moulin Rouge!
Mulholland Drive
City of God
The Artist
Lost in Translation

These are just from the top of my head though.

dvdjunkie wrote:
And you still haven't explained the spelling of "Avaitor" - is that correct or were you intending to spell it differently and that's the way it came out?

Oh, it's an inside joke, haha. Something I don't even remember actually, but I've been going by this misspelling for years. I know that this isn't how you spell the word "aviator", but I still go by it everywhere I go online.


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The Landlady (1997 / directed by: Robert Malenfant)

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Well... did you ever wonder what Rocky's Adrian would be like in the Glenn Close role from Fatal Attraction? Neither did I. But here she is anyway as a not-so-shockingly tame Christian loony who kills her husband to get out of the domestic-neglect ghetto and move-on-up to become Landlady of a boring apartment building where she kills about 7 or 8 people over the course of 90 minutes. Bore. Snooze. Yawn. This thing really lacks. Not ideas- the bodycount is impressive, there's copious (enough) nudity, and the kinda studly object of the title psychotic's obsession spends half his screentime shirtless. However, it's all boring. I don't remember the last time I've seen onscreen death treated with such apathy. Even the "climactic" death of the killer is just: oh, look, she died. Movie Over. The movie is littered with stuff they could have had fun with but I suppose there's a chance they thought this was a cerebral film. Not quite. It's unwitting camp with no camp value. Watch Rose McGowan in Devil in the Flesh instead. It moves about as slowly as this but I've always enjoyed it.

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Requiem for a Dream - I had wanted to see this for years and I finally bought it the other day and watched it today. It was very scary and had a lot of horror movie elements in it, especially with Ellen Burstyn's scenes (she was fantastic, by the way). It was a little different from what I was expecting, but still a very fine film. Recommended, though everyone should be aware of its graphic, but realistic, depictions of drug addiction. It actually should be required viewing in some high school health classes, in my opinion.

The Aviator - I don't really know why I watched this, other than my liking for Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, and Cate Blanchett (I also wanted to see how Gwen Stefani was*). They were all very good, notably Blanchett. The film seemed a little too lengthy, and was slow at points. I thought Stefani seemed very natural and could have actually been in it more. Recommended, still.

Happy Easter!

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Pearl Harbor - I have no idea why I wanted to watch this since it's been years since I've seen it, but I watch it yesterday and quite enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but I liked all of the characters and the storyline (that everyone already knows). I now have There You'll Be stuck in my head, but that's okay because it's a wonderful song.

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Beverly Hills Vamp (1989 / directed by: Fred Olen Ray)

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I can't really tell which is the chicken and which is the egg here, but I'm guessing Fred Olen Ray copied Jim Wynorski. This is obvious by the time we get to Evil Toons, but 1989 was the year of this and Wynorski's Transylvania Twist and Roger Corman only backed one of these movies. Wynorski's. However, even though Wynorski's Sorority House Massacre 2 and Hard to Die mop the floor with Toons and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, I believe Ray's Beverly Hills Vamp is a better all-around movie than Twist. Both are parodies of the horror genre and both are marred by lame comedic gags that aren't funny- especially sound effects. But Twist tried to be the Airplane! of horror parodies while Vamp is much smarter, focuses more on character humor (some of it is surprisingly clever), and the horror side deals squarely with vampire films and their sexual hang-ups. It's still unbelievably dopey, sleazy, clumsy in terms of gags, and Eddie Deezen makes a terrible lead. But the film's characters are relentless in spitting out mouthfuls of dialogue so big and about something Ray can claim he knows (B-movie production) that I was impressed. Jay Richardson, and in particular Caryle Waldman (the snippy cleaning lady) and Tim Conway Jr. save the day, cast wise, since none of Ray's trademark hookers have any real personality (though Michelle Bauer tries her hardest, she's seen better days: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama). This is where Wynorski will always be able to claim superiority. Even the worst performances in his subgenre knock-offs usually have their own charm (although I've ragged on Twist for a reason: Steve Altman is about 4 times more insufferable there than Deezen is here). Both movies have Chuck Cirino doing the music and Twist can claim the better score. But one last word on casting: this movie really needed Monique Gabrielle (the best thing about Twist; sorry, Robert Vaughn).

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:20 am 
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Return of the King - This used to be my second favourite LOTR film (after Fellowship), but now it's my favourite. What can I say that hasn't already been said? It's funny, emotional, brilliantly shot and a perfect, well-crafted conclusion to the trilogy. Sean Astin, Andy Serkis and Billy Boyd give especially standout performances, but the rest of the cast is generally brilliant too. Acting-wise, only Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom are mediocre, but that's forgivable. Peter Jackson thankfully didn't make the film just one large battle, but continues to explore fascinating characters like Gollum and focuses just as much on the Hobbits as the men and elves. 10/10.

No Country For Old Men - Not really an exploration of what drives and motivates evil, but more of a vivid demonstration of what evil can do. Anton Chigurh (chance personified) is the star of the film, and the other characters are mainly two-dimensional stock characters for Chigurh to play off. Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem are all quite good, and as is the norm for a Coens film, the dialogue is sharp, elegant and to the point. The third act can be disappointing, but it's better than following the formula of a standard action thriller. At times, the thick tension and suspenseful scenes can be equated to Hitchcock, most of all in the gas station sequence. It's not the Coens' best film (Fargo is still champion, with Barton Fink close behind), but it's a well-executed and brilliantly directed film nonetheless. 8/10.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Dr Frankenollie wrote:
The first time I watched 2001, I was bored to tears by it. Now that I've watched it again, I can say it's not as bad as I first considered it, but I'm uncertain of what I think of it. Douglas Rain is very good as Hal 9000, the visuals are ahead of their time, and it can be thought-provoking; yet the characters are one-dimensional, it goes at an agonisingly slow pace, and it can be very vague and pretentious. Put simply, I have very mixed feelings about it.


I share those same feelings. I actually wrote a rant about it but decided it'd be best to not provoke anyone. If someone wants a 'general' idea of how I feel about the movie, then go watch the Confused Matthew review and the afterwords.

dvdjunkie wrote:
Apparently you wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you in the arse.

dvdjunkie wrote:
Sorry if the only good taste you have is in your mouth, [...]

It’s understandable if you disagree with him but being outright rude is just uncalled for.

Anyways, the latest...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) 7/10 - I thought it was just as good, if not slightly better, then the original Swedish film. I could go over the pros and cons of both movies but in the end, I enjoyed both equally.

War Horse (2011) 7/10 - Long, episodic and emotionally manipulative. I can live with that but it’s the disconnect with the boy and his horse that makes this movie drag (I can’t even remember their names). I never bought their bond or understood why I should care about either of them. I found myself more concerned for some of the supporting players who only had a few minutes on screen. Never read the book or seen the play to compare, but this seems like a rather major flaw. That and just how formulaic the story is. Still, it was well made. Spielberg certainly knows how to stage a shot and provides plenty of spectacle here. One of the best features of this movie is the cinematography. Absolutely stunning. The ending seems ripped straight out of The Searchers and Gone With the Wind (not surprising, since Spielberg is a big fan of both). The John Williams score is appropriate / effective, although most of it seems borrowed, not only from others but himself too. I guess that’s my main problem with this movie, that while well made, it’s just too by-the-book to leave any kind of lasting impression. It feels more like a homage to movies of old then an original piece of work.

Happy Feet 2 (2011) 5.5/10 - There is no point or payoff to this movie. It just meanders the whole time and as flawed as the original one was, at least it wasn’t boring. This is just one large environmental PSA that I could do without.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:22 pm 
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I finally saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, breaking the seal on some fancy, special edition DVD I had bought several years ago from a 5 dollar bin at a grocery store. I actually watched this on Easter, but I forgot to mention it. I thought it was a pleasant enough movie at first, though the little kids are the opposite of the Mary Poppins kids in that they are annoying and loud, and they seem to have been chosen because they look like models rather than for their acting. The thing that disappointed me about the film though, was that I had remembered the stuff about them being trapped in a castle and pretending to be dolls and all, because I saw at least parts of it when I was little (or that's all I remembered) on TV airings (I could have seen it at a kiddie mattinee too, but I don't remember), but it turns out all that stuff is just a story the dad is telling the kids. That kinda made it seem a bit worthless to me, because we knew it was just a story from the beginning. In the end, you have a film about little more than a poor, inventor dad telling a silly story and then coming into money in the end, ha. Still, it has its own charm to it, maybe due to it starring Dick Van Dyke (and, in a small role, Benny Hill; that was a surprise, yet I almost feel I can remember that from when I was a kid; yes, I was most familiar with Benny Hill when I was a grade schooler and I would sneakily watch his show late at night), or maybe due to the flying car and the doll scene. Probably just the combination of those things. Oh, and a couple of the songs, though most aren't that great, despite being from the Shermans. Overall, it is NO Disney film, there's not much to it, but it has its charm.

I also watched Dracula, Dead and Loving It yesterday. This is an old favorite of mine. It is absolutely hilarious to me, though it looks so low budget compared to Mel Brooks' earlier stuff. It seems way cheesier because of that, but it is just sooo funny. And yet, the first time I saw it, in theaters, I remember being disappointed. This one really had to grow on me. Incidentally, Amy Yasbeck is gorgeous in it. She's an actress whom I sometimes find really stunning. Anyway, watching this really made me miss Leslie Nielsen. And, I still feel Peter McNichol (sp?) is an entirely underused comedic actor. He's the best part of this one.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:59 pm 
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Miller's Crossing - A hugely underrated gangster film, with great performances all around. I love the 1930's gangster style production design and the beautiful, nostalgic score by Carter Burwell; more than anything else, it's the dialogue that shines. Everything is so elegantly, eloquently put - Caspar's opening monologue about ethics, Tom Regan's witty retorts, a lot of what Leo says, etc. The script, like most of the Coens' work, is wonderful.

Rashomon - First time viewing. It's a bit jarring after watching mostly American colour cinema to watch a black-and-white film with English only in its subtitles, but overall I enjoyed it. The story was simple, but the plot rather complex; it says some interesting things about subjectivity and selfishness. Akira Kurosawa's direction was impressive, and I marvelled at the seamless editing and use of flashbacks in particular, as well as how much of an impact this film seems to have had on world cinema. I think the best scenes were the heart-warming ending and the sword fight in the fourth, 'real' version of the story; in the case of the latter, I enjoyed how the Bandit and Samurai were nervous and realistically cowardly, in contrast to their behaviour in previous flashbacks.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Watched my first Bergman a few days ago, which was Persona. After browsing the IMDb boards after my viewing, it seems that it was not such a great place to start. While it was much more cerebral and engaging than I was expecting, it was still clearly a fantastic film, and the performances were just as great as the directing. It reminded me a lot of Robert Altman's 3 Women, which I found to be superior.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:55 pm 
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I'm a big Bergman fan and while Persona seems to be the most critically acclaimed of Bergman's films nowadays, it really isn't a great place to start with his work. I'd say the best place to start would be Fanny and Alexander, which is certainly my favourite, or the iconic Seventh Seal. From there move on to Wild Strawberries and The Virgin Spring.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Fanny and Alexander might be a bit too long for most people, especially if you go with the TV version. I would echo The Seventh Seal or Wild Strawberries though. Those were my first Bergman films, and definitely went well for me.

I might also suggest Autumn Sonata.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Thanks for the replies! I went through his filmography and added a lot to my Netflix queue!

And yamiiguy, I'm reading your film blog now and I really like your posts! Definitely going to regularly follow it now!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:32 pm 
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I'm having an intermission from Ben Hur and I might not bother switching it on again. Overlong, melodramatic, badly acted and pompous.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:40 pm 
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^Are you watching the silent version or Wyler's (not that it matters)?

Don't even bother with the second half, as I always found the first half more enjoyable and you don't even like that.

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