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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:38 pm 
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My main problem with The Maltese Falcon was Mary Astor's performance. She seemed totally wrong for the character. Otherwise, I rather liked it myself.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:49 am 
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Treasure Planet - It's definitely one of the most overlooked of the Disney films. I really enjoyed it and wish that others would like it more, too. Sure there are some flaws, but it's definitely up there with Ron and John's other pictures.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:01 am 
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Ratings based on a 5 star method.
[Blue = 1st time rating and/or viewing]

A Man for All Seasons (1966) ✰✰✰1/2
[^ Pro: Well made historical fiction account. Would like to see the actual play. Cons: Lags in places. Family members fell asleep.]
The Journey of August King (1995) ✰✰✰1/2
[^ Pro: Strong main character. Cons: There were some vulgar animal scenes I could've done without. Felt the movie at the end wasn't resolved enough.]
Being Elmo (2011) ✰✰✰✰1/2
[^ Touching documentary on the life and career of master puppeteer Kevin Clash. (Found out how little I know of the Jim Henson Company.) Grab your tissues.]

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Dr Frankenollie wrote:
The Night of the Hunter - Robert Mitchum makes a great villain, playing the role of an unhinged and deluded reverend playing the role of a kindly, doting father figure. His character, Harry Powell, keeps the facade of being an amiable man up even when the child protagonists know he's up to no good, and this makes him much more threatening. There's speedy, almost jerkish editing at times, and the cinematography is gorgeous - especially when John and Pearl run along a riverbank. Powell is a fascinating character, but unfortunately in later scenes Mitchum acts in a goofy manner, spoiling the power of his character. Moreover, the resolution is abrupt and bewildering in direction. Despite these problems, the movie is still very enjoyable, with exquisite use of silhouettes and shadows, and the scene in which Powell sings a hymn with Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish) while she is armed with a shotgun against him is oddly moving.


I'd say that Mitchum's 'goofy manner' in the later scenes conveys his increasing desperation. He has managed to keep up the good preacher facade for a while but towards the end the wolf breaks out of the sheep's clothing - an literal, experessionist take on the "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly, they are ravening wolves" narration.

Personally, if I directed the film (not that I would have done as good a job as Laughton!), I would have ended it after Powell is taken away by the police. However, I see what Laughton was saying in the final act, he probably did it a bit too heavy-handed.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:36 am 
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Just watched Bear City (2010). Funny and lots of hot guys!


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Saw Coonskin yet again. I still love this movie. In fact, this is my favorite Ralph Bakshi movie.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:50 pm 
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What I can remember recently:

Saboteur - I wasn't expecting to like it too much, since I'm pretty unknowledgable about earlier Hitchcock, but it was very entertaining. I liked the actors and while there wasn't too much suspense, it was hard to look away.

Shadow of A Doubt - I know Hitchcock says that this is his favorite film of his, but I wouldn't place it as one of my favorites. I liked the actors a lot, but the story almost moved too slowly? I honestly can't remember why I didn't like it that much, but obviously there was some reason.

Snow White and the Huntsman - I liked this a LOT more than I expected to. First of all, I don't think I have ever seen an actress look as gorgeous as Charlize Theron did. She was also the best part of the cast. Kristen Stewart was fine, as was Chris Hemsworth. Overall it wasn't fantastic, but it'll probably end up being one of my favorite movies of the summer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:41 am 
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Moonrise Kingdom - My review - Grade: B+

Prometheus - - After the months of hype and a huge advertising campaign, Ridley Scott's Alien prequel that isn't an Alien prequel (but probably is), is finally here. Is it any good? Yes but after the huge build-up, it was bound to be disappointing. There's a lot the film gets right - the visuals; the questions it asks; the David character, played terrifically by Michael Fassbinder (an obvious nod to Spielberg's A.I.). However, it lacks subtlety in most places, except for where it's not needed. The dialogue can be quite clunky and I could never escape the feeling that the film would have been much better if there was no Alien connection at all. - Grade: B-


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:08 pm 
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War Horse 8/10

I'm a sucker for movies about a girl/boy and his/her horse, en this is a good one in the genre. Without laying the message on thick this movie shows the foolishness of making war (not least because innocent horses get involved in it and are victimized) There are a few memorable scenes, such as (SPOILER) when the horse Georgy runs from the battle scene, real fast, finally getting completely entangled in barbed wire in 'no man's land' - and how two soldiers form opposing sides forget they are enemies for a moment as they work together to release the horse carefully (SPOILER ENDS).

This is a movie to watch several times over.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:58 am 
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Snow White & The Huntman 4/5


Was amazed at how many people are not paying attention to the PG_13 rating of this film and bringing their small children to see this movie.

Rupert Sanders has brought to the screen a marvelous film that is cast perfectly and tells the story with a lot of fresh ideas. Charlize Theron is the evil Queen Ravenna who will do anything to get rid of Snow White, including having a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth in one of his best roles) track her down and kill her and bring her heart to the Queen.

Ever since "The Runaways" I have been waiting to see Kristen Stewart in a role that does more than expect her to be pretty and weird. I hate the "Twilight" films because they don't challenge her abilities in one bit. With the role of Snow White, Kristen Stewart brings something different to the lead character. She is vulnerable, but teachable, when it comes to taking care of herself.

Without getting to deep into the story, I want to commend Sanders for not overdoing the CG effects. There are plenty but they are not distracting in the least. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and at just a couple of minutes over two hours in length, he manages to tell a complete story and not use a storybook, cop-out ending.

Don't wait for the video release of this film, go see it on a big screen with the big sound, and sit back and be prepared to be entertained. Very good film and I gave it a 4 out of 5t stars because I think it will hold its own at the box office with The Avengers, Battleship, and The Dark Knight Rises.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:18 pm 
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^I'm far from amazed at seeing parents that bring young children to these movies. They dont get babysitters, many pg-13 movies are aimed at kids, and it happens all the time where I live.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:31 pm 
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John Carter - I just finished watching it and I really enjoyed it. It was kind of difficult in understanding everything there is to know without reading the novels (kind of like HBO's Game of Thrones), but everything that I did understand was great. It's a fun action-movie, and I definitely need to watch it a few more times (and with the commentary) to really get into the mythology of John Carter. Too bad that this film didn't do that well at the box office, but hopefully Blu-ray and DVD sales will help it earn back some of its money.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:16 am 
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On the topic of The Maltese Falcon, I’ve never really heard of anyone having trouble following it. That’s a complaint usually attached to The Big Sleep. Besides, the story specifics aren’t paramount to your enjoyment but watching how pathetic these characters are as they become increasingly obsessed with the falcon is where the true entertainment lies. Outside of having a hard time believing that anyone could be seduced by Mary Astor, I really like the movie (matter of fact, I own the Blu-ray).

Puss in Boots (2011) 6.5/10 - While still not a great movie, it was - for the most part - an enjoyable one and worlds better then the last two installments in the Shrek franchise (ugh). Those two movies were just a total train wreck, tied down by a continuity that’s already had two well done ‘happily ever afters’ the first time around, to which it then seemed like Shrek was just manufacturing problems for himself. Not to mention the irony of this being a franchise built on mocking fairy tale cliches while becoming one itself. That said, even while using the same tired old formula, Puss in Boots felt more even. We have new characters, a new setting, a new main protagonist (who, trust me, brings a whole new flavor) and no more of those manufactured Shrek problems. We actually have less time devoted towards pop culture gags and more time devoted towards...character development. I know, right? While still not handled as well as it could have been (Humpty Dumpty and Puss’s back story feels forced), our villain here actually has some depth, which was nice to see (the last two movies in the Shrek franchise were just rehashing the shallow power hungry villain). There were also some really funny moments in this movie, something absent from the last two Shrek installments, although they did overplay the cat humor. Overall, I was surprised that I didn’t hate this movie.

Chronicle (2012) 6/10 - I’m surprised by how much I didn’t like this movie. For some reason, I thought it would be like Kick-Ass meets Cloverfield (two movies I like), but I found everything in this movie just way to contrived to be enjoyable. I like that they had an introverted kid as the main character (not something you often see) but found the whole abusive father / dying mother combo nothing but a convenient excuse to turn him ‘evil.’ Not to mention the other cliches, like the super popular kid running for class president and high school bullies. It wasn’t all bad. Some of their goofing around was fun to watch, the first time you see them flying through the clouds was breathtaking (especially considering the budget) but in the end it all seems like wasted potential.

The Borrower Arrietty (2010) 7.5/10 - It’s a good movie. I’ve heard people rag on it and I know where they’re coming from but I found it even better then Ponyo - so it surpassed my expectations (it helps that it didn’t come with all the hype that a Miyazaki film carries). The story is a bit thin but I found the characters likable and the pace of the film relaxing. My biggest problem is that it’s over before it even begins (or so it seems). I could’ve spent all day with these characters and then it just ended, like a good TV show cancelled too early in it’s life. Then again, it’s better to leave you wanting more then to have you wishing it were over. Oh, and I hate the crappy Disney Channel pop song they shoved at the end of the US dub credits. It has no place in a movie like this (I've been recommended the UK dub).

TheSequelOfDisney wrote:
It was kind of difficult in understanding everything there is to know without reading the novels (kind of like HBO's Game of Thrones)

I haven't read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and have never been confused when watching Game of Thrones. From what I understand, they specifically added characters (like the one prostitute, I can't remember her name) that weren't in the books, who's soul purpose is to clarify things for the audience - like character motivation or important past events in Westeros history.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:02 am 
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jpanimation wrote:
I haven't read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and have never been confused when watching Game of Thrones. From what I understand, they specifically added characters (like the one prostitute, I can't remember her name) that weren't in the books, who's soul purpose is to clarify things for the audience - like character motivation or important past events in Westeros history.


Well, I guess I wasn't confused per se, I was just swarmed with information (especially during the first episode of season one) and couldn't keep hold of everything until I watched a few episodes. I'm totally onto everything now, but at the beginning I was at a loss as to where to put the dense and detailed world of Westeros (Essos seemed much easier to understand).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Yeah, my only problem with The Maltese Falcon is Mary Astor. I just don't think she's right for the part at all. Otherwise, it's a classic


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Prometheus - 8.5/10

As Alien is my favourite film, I've been waiting eagerly for this film for years and, happily, I wasn't disappointed. While not as good as Alien, Prometheus is nonetheless an entertaining film and the the two-hour run time flew for me. A few complaints: Prometheus lacks the suspense that Alien has come to be renowned for and I found myself bracing for a fright or a shock that never came; the ending felt quite rushed, particularly Noomi Rapace's final encounter with an alien life-form which lacks the tension of Ripley's escape from the Nostromo in Alien; while I like Charlize Theron very much, her character is wholly unecessary in the film and doesn't really serve any real purpose. Other than that, I really enjoyed the film; like Alien, the cinematography is amazing and the sets are incredible. I also particularly enjoyed Michael Fassbender's performance as the android David. He is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors and he is definitely one of the better elements in Prometheus. While the film is still billed as an Alien prequel, it definitely works as a stand-alone film, though if you are an Alien fan, there are plenty of nods to the 1979 classic. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Prometheus and, in light of the film's final scene, I think that another film in the saga from Scott is imminent, one that might tie-in a bit more closely with Alien and further explain the origins of the iconic creature.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:09 am 
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TheSequelOfDisney wrote:
Well, I guess I wasn't confused per se, I was just swarmed with information (especially during the first episode of season one) and couldn't keep hold of everything until I watched a few episodes. I'm totally onto everything now, but at the beginning I was at a loss as to where to put the dense and detailed world of Westeros (Essos seemed much easier to understand).

OK, gotcha. I felt the same way during the first episode. I was like, "What's the big deal with winter coming?" lol

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:07 pm 
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I saw a LOT of films during the time I was on suspension. I'm gonna review them all shortly, but not all at once, of course. I'll do them in chronological order (meaning, the order that I saw them).


Hugo (2011)

I'm so glad I caught this one in the theater. Can't imagine having watched this the first time on the little screen. The 3D effects were just spectacular. More important: this film was heart, warmth and pathos. What a beautiful idea to celebrate the achievements of movie pioneer Georges Meliès and what a perfect execution by Scorsese. If I ever had any doubts about him as a director, they're all gone now. I was especially touched by the scene where Meliès sees one of his films again for the first time in ages. Ben Kingsley gave a strong performance, as did Asa Butterfield, who surprised me as the young protoganist Hugo. I'm also excited to see more of Chloë Grace Moretz. <3 All in all, one of the best movies of the past few years! 8/10

The Artist (2011)

The same goes for this gem. I also caught it in the theater, in a special 're-run'. It was a very special experience. I've seen real silent films on the big screen before (even accompanied by a piano player, during my Media Studies), but to see a modern film using all the techniques of the silent era was a totally different, unique experience. At first, I feared this was a gimmick that I would quickly grow tired of, but this was not the case at all! In fact, they used it in clever ways a few times, like when the Dujeardin character is dreaming and he hears all kinds of sounds (whereas the entire film had been silent up until that point). The story in and of itself was not particularly interesting. It's a fall deep-and-rise again tale that we've seen from Hollywood so often. It's the perfect execution and the wodnerful charisma and acting of the leading actors that make this a treat to watch. 8.5/10

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

A no-budget film with only three actors, staged almost entirely in a small appartement. That could work, if the story hadn't been so meager and the acting not so unimpressive. Two guys kidnap a girl and lock her up in a sound-proof room and try to get a ransom from her rich dad. But one of the kidnappers knows the girl all too well. The first 10 minutes is basically a 'how to'-guide to all potential kidnappers/rapists/molesters on how to grab a girl from the streets and get away with it: it shows all the necessary precautions you have to think of and how you have to execute your scheme. Then we see some very disturbing scenes in which a girl, tied down to a bed, gets stripped of her clothes and gets humiliated. Okay, this is all nice and good in porn, but it doesn't add to the story at all. The rest is pretty straight-forward and predictable, including the eye-rolling-inducing ending. Not worth your time. 6/10

An Education (2009)

This movie was widely celebrated, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why. It shows the relationship between a 16 year old girl and a 30-something man, taking place in the 1960's. She thinks he's a wildly interesting guy, who lives in artistic, avant-garde circles and surrounds himself with all kinds of sophisticated people. I don't have a problem with the age-difference at all. My problem is that their relationship is so devoid of any kind of passion and both characters are completely without any substance. They are both blank canvases and they stay that way all throughout the movie. We're being told that they're engaged in a heavy, turbulent relationship, but we don't see it. Why we should care about either one of them is a mystery to me. 6.5/10


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:15 pm 
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yamiiguy wrote:
Moonrise Kingdom - My review - Grade: B+


Glad to see you adding more reviews to your blog. I always enjoy reading one of your well-written critiques.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Prometheus-honestly, I was never an Alien fan, but this movie was a ride start to finish. Of course, plenty of time for characters and plot exposition, and a few scenes are milked, but once they start encountering all these otherworldly terrors, you're on the edge of your seat. I was anyway. But honestly, the wait for the movie start was more terrifying for me than the actual film, and it still ended up being one of the best movies I've seen this year. I liked all the actors too, especially Micheal Fassbender as David. He brought a uniquely Pinocchio quality to the otherwise unemotional hard-to-predict android. And I wonder if Ridley named david after a certain other robot(wink, wink).

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