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In theaters now or coming soon
Topic Started: Jan 6 2011, 07:23 AM (6,204 Views)
Gatekeeper
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Here is a thread to discuss the latest movies that you have seen or the ones you which to see soon.
Edited by Gatekeeper, Jan 6 2011, 07:24 AM.
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Gatekeeper
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Ten films to look forward to this year
By Tom Charity

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

* The new year offers a new crop of films
* Tom Charity offers his list of those to anticipate
* New offerings from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg made the cut


(CNN) -- The first rule for any critic must be: Keep an open mind. The second rule: Hope for the best.

Still, we're only human, and while all films may be equal until you actually experience them, as George Orwell put it, some are more equal than others.

It's hard, for instance, to work up a whole lot of enthusiasm to see Nicolas Cage battle demons in the Dark Ages in "Season of the Witch," when you suspect he's miscast and in it only for the money, and you know the movie's been kicking around for months. (Having seen it, I can assure you it's every bit as grim as it looks.)

The truth is, you hope for pleasant surprises, but you pin your trust in the filmmakers who have impressed you in the past. This year, there may be dozens of terrific films coming down the pipeline, but these are the 10 prospects that really float my boat.

They are listed in order of release. And to keep things fair, I haven't included anything I've already seen (though I'm certainly looking forward to second viewings of Errol Morris' tragic-comic documentary "Tabloid," the Korean art film "Poetry," and Juliette Binoche in the teasingly ambiguous "Certified Copy").

"Source Code" (April 1)

Duncan Jones follows up his acclaimed debut -- the low-budget brain teaser "Moon" -- with a grabby fantasy thriller about a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who has just eight minutes to find a suicide bomber on a train -- a mission he fails again and again and again. It could be "Groundhog Day" with a body count, or this year's "Deja Vu."

"Your Highness" (April 8)

An R-rated medieval sword and sorcery romp from the "Pineapple Express" crew? This looks like a winner even before you throw in the white-hot Natalie Portman. Danny McBride wrote the script and enjoys the lion's share of the trailer. Director David Gordon Green also has "The Sitter" earmarked for release this summer.

"Water for Elephants" (April 22)

"I Am Legend" director Francis Lawrence aims to capture the magic in Sara Gruen's best-seller about a traveling circus. Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson put on the show, while Richard ("Fisher King") LaGravenese wrote the script that convinced "Inglourious Basterds" discovery Christoph Waltz that this was a better way to go than David Cronenberg's next picture.

"The Tree of Life" (May 28)

Every Terrence Malick film is an event, and his first since "The New World" in 2005 promises to illuminate nothing less than the meaning of life. It's a return to the Midwest, the scene of his film "Badlands," and traces the experiences of a boy growing up in the 1950s and into disenchanted adulthood. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn play father and son (in that order).

"X-Men: First Class" (June 3)

In a nifty bit of repackaging, "Kick-Ass" dynamic duo Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman have concocted this prequel to the series. James McAvoy plays the young Charles Xavier, and Michael Fassbender ("Hunger") is the future Magneto. Jennifer Lawrence from "Winter's Bone" and January Jones from "Mad Men" fill out the hot cast list.

"Super 8" (June 10)

Another must-see film from J.J. Abrams, this purports to be Area 51 -- the horror movie. Steven Spielberg produces and Elle Fanning has top billing. Plot details are scant, but sometimes the less we know, the better.

"Contagion" (October 21)

A viral thriller in more ways than one from Steven Soderbergh, reteaming with "The Informant!" star Matt Damon. Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and Jude Law should keep things interesting as the world falls apart around them. About time an A-list director tackled a disaster movie.

"Hugo Cabret" (December 9)

Martin Scorsese's magical adventure movie is based on a graphic children's novel about an orphan living in secret in a Paris train station. Author Brian Selznick, who's related to "Gone with the Wind" producer David O Selznick, peppers the book with references to the early days of cinema. What makes this even more enticing is the chance to see what Scorsese can do with 3-D.

"War Horse" (December 28)

Steven Spielberg pulls double duty this year, what with "Tintin" (December 21) and this film of Michael Morpurgo's novel about a boy separated from his horse when the latter is sent into the trenches during WWI. Richard Curtis and Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot") wrote the script. According to co-star Benedict Cumberbatch (a name to watch in his own right), it's a children's film told through the eyes of the horse.

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (undated)

In what could be -- should be -- one of the films of the year, "Let the Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson directs this classic John le Carre Cold War thriller -- previously the basis for a terrific BBC drama series. Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Stephen Graham and Benedict Cumberbatch head the impressive British cast, but all eyes will be on Gary Oldman, stepping into Alec Guinness' shoes as veteran spy George Smiley.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/07/top.10.movies.2011/index.html?hpt=Sbin
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Cheryl
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Geez. I'm away from the board for two days and we have about fifty new movie threads. Just kidding! :P

Actually, not too many of those listed appeal to me except may the prequel to X-Men. Movies just aren't what they used to be. We used to go to the movies every single weekend, there was always something I was dying to see. Now the movies I want to see and actually make an effort to see are few and far between.
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shelle_cr
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We've seen The King's Speech recently and Colin Firth is just brilliant there. An amazing film, a must see this year, I'd say. A great drama with amazing actors. Loved it, want to see it again.
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Marg
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shelle_cr
Jan 22 2011, 04:29 PM
We've seen The King's Speech recently and Colin Firth is just brilliant there. An amazing film, a must see this year, I'd say. A great drama with amazing actors. Loved it, want to see it again.


I agree, it's a great movie with brilliant acting!!
Edited by Marg, Jan 22 2011, 06:25 PM.
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tgir
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I don't know how I missed the list above, but I did. I'm looking forward to most of the above although I doubt that some of them will make it to my town. Def. want to see The King's Speech but I have a feeling I will have to wait for the DVD. I am so glad that Colin Firth is getting such good roles.
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Cheryl
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I'm so excited! Hubby is taking me to see The King's Speech tomorrow BEFORE the football games! Woo-hoo! He's such a sweetie. I'll let ya'll know my thoughts after I watch. Love me some Colin Firth!
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Krystal
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I actually want to see the games. I am hoping for the Steelers vs the Bears, or as both cities would say Stillers vs Da Beaars....

Love the regional accents in both cities.

I rooted for the Burgh vs Cards here 3 years ago and could not go to a pary as I would hav been smacked.
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Cheryl
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Hubby and I both really enjoyed The King's Speech. Colin Firth was AMAZING as was Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. I really hope Firth wins an Oscar for his performance as it is totally deserved. I almost didn't' recognize Guy Pearce! My fave parts are when he would curse to help his stammer. So funny! Hubby was pleasantly surprised. Two thumbs up! Now I really want to see The Green Hornet. LOL......could you get any two opposite movies?
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Gatekeeper
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Cheryl
Jan 23 2011, 06:17 PM
Hubby and I both really enjoyed The King's Speech.
Glad you liked it. I would have to drag my husband to go see it with me so I may have to wait for DVD. B-)
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shelle_cr
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Luckily, this hubby has been already brainwashed and he likes Colin a lot :) Few times a year he coems to me and says "Let's watch Pride and Prejudice tonight".

Anyway, we're going to see Black Swan next weekend and Never let me go the following week.
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blosslover
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I saw The King's Speech today, I took my Mom. She really liked it, and so did I.
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shelle_cr
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Glad to hear, I cannot wait for the DVD.

Yesterday, we went to see The Black Swan and tonight Never let me go.

Liked both a lot.

The Swan was darker and more psycho. Very scary and often quite disgusting, but really well done.

Never let me go was more psychological and less scary in the obvious way, but it shook me anyway. I've cried really hard towards the end.
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Krystal
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Just watched "Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", the last of the 3 Swedish movies. Fabulous. A bit long but I hung onto every word. I am bummed again at the fact that there will be no more. I love Noomi Rapace and the guy who plays Bloomquist.
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tgir
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I also just watched The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and to be honest, I didn't like it nearly as much as I did the previous ones. Perhaps it was just that I wasn't in the right mood or frame of mind for that particular film.
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shelle_cr
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Have you read the books? I wanted to but a friend told me it was too violent for me and I think she's right. So I'm not sure I want to see it on the screen, big or small.
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blosslover
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I only saw the first movie in the trilogy. If you can't take violence, you should skip it.
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Krystal
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I didn't think it was that violent. The rape was rough to watch, but then so many great movies have similar storylines. I guess I watch a lot of violent movies. In any case, the books were fabulous, some of the best story telling in I don't know how long.

Shelle, you should read the books for sure. You can skip the rape part, when it starts just skip it and go on with the story. Lisbeth is a character not to be missed, and her strength dealing with almost incomprehensible circumstances is inspirational.

The characters are so well written you feel like they really exist even when you are done with the books.
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tgir
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Yes, read all the books, in rather quick succession. Definitely violent. It was probably just the mood (hubby brought home the dvd to watch that night and I really wasn't in the mood for this kind of film. I think it is definitely a mood kind of thing for me) and I found I kept being irritated with how the film differed from the book. Understandable, of course, that the film would make some simplifications, etc. Usually, I can overlook it for the sake of enjoying the film but in this one I could not. Don't get me wrong: the acting is really good. I also think that the film and book both rely on a lot of motivation from a 'secret' part of the government to justify what happened to Lisbeth and what happens in the movie. I found this very unsatisfying--difficult to follow, and honestly, not terribly realistic. As far as the film goes, part of it was lost, I am sure, in translation from Swedish to English subtitles.

I have extremely mixed feelings about the books and films. On one hand, the Lisbeth character is one of the most interesting and compelling I have encountered in a long time. But at the same time, he veers into creating in Lisbeth an weird and unpleasant male fantasy: she's brilliant and beautiful in a weird way, physically very tiny--almost childlike in her build- but very strong--she can kick some serious ass--yet can be raped! By just your average middle aged bureaucrat--no need to be physically imposing. Just perverted.

I think I am just done with reading or watching anything that depicts a female character as a rape victim, being raped, abused, etc. until men start writing about exactly what it is that makes (some) men feel entitled to rape women. Lisbeth likes stereotypical male interests: computers, motorcycles, martial arts. She likes having sex with men or women and is not afraid to take the lead. She's not cuddly or into emotional bonding, so there's none of that worry about post coital affection or really any sort of affection or being asked to fulfill any of her emotional needs. She doesn't share them. OH: and when she acquires a lot of money, she goes out and gets a boob job. Def. a dream girl for a certain type of man.

The original title of the first book was Men who Hate Women (I think) and to be honest, on a certain surely unintentional way, I think this is what all of the books are about: hating women.
Edited by tgir, Feb 8 2011, 10:14 AM.
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Krystal
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Funny I can not disagree more. Larrsen (sp?) was a big advocate for women's rights and if you recall between chapters he quoted depressing statistics about rape and battering of women. The things I read about him gave me the impression that he actively worked at helping abused women.

Lisbeth was small and looked like a child but was very srong. That to me showed strength is not in size alone. Like you don't have to be some muscle head to protect yourself.

Yes, Lisbeth was raped. Rape is a reality everywhere and in some countries like Africa, it is a daily occurence. The sex trade goes on even here, Sweden and other so called "civilized" countries.

The movies skipped a lot but was still 2 1/2 hours long, so it had to. I never saw a movie based on a book that didn't. That's why I would read the books first.

I thought it was the best book and movie series I can recall. Lisbeth, totally unique character who survived terrible circumstances. Great writing, great characters, well cast and acted movies. My opinion.

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tgir
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I am sure he was an advocate for women's rights. And sincere about it, too.

And yet, instead of exploring or attempting to explore why some men rape--except for the obvious second generation of serial rapists in the first novel--surely an exception in the world of rapists, he chose to depict multiple rapes of multiple characters in very graphic detail. Lisbeth's rapist used her money to control her, to extract sex from her and finally raped her, all the while feeling quite pleased that he was making her pay with her own money to be raped by him. Until she got her revenge, of course.

Certainly I am all too familiar with the reality that rape is a common occurrence in the U.S. and world wide. Sex trafficking is not just for third world countries, either. In my supposedly very progressive state, there were recent raids and arrests. My local newspaper refers to the rape of children as sex with a child, not rape. And it seems that there's a lot of it going on in my small corner of the world. Not many convictions and not very lengthy sentences--unless the accused is not white. THAT merits a picture in the paper of the accused. And a host of letters to the local newspapers about how all of these out of towners are coming to our fair city to commit all sorts of crimes (and it is true: there is some attempt by drug dealers to expand their business to small towns and rural areas. Of course, that would mean competing with the LOCAL drug suppliers.) Long sentence, too.

He wrote a character who was small, built like a child, even a bit androgynous, until she got her implants (and really: rape victims go out and get implants just as soon as they get the ready cash?). Feisty. What a turn on to overcome such a spirited prey.

Lisbeth's revenge was rape of course. That's a whole lot of rape.

No wonder the books are so popular.
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Krystal
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I guess he wrote it that way because he is not a pyschologist. Rape is about power I am told, does anyone know why men rape women, or other men for that matter?

I don't know why you are so focused on the boob job. I thought it was out of character myself, but she had changed her entire appearance in the book, wearing high shoes and a wig as a disquise. So it was part of that disquise, and not even in the movie. I didn't think getting a boob job made her less of a character nor him less of a writer.
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tgir
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I thought it was inconsistent, out of character and played more to men's fantasies rather than being integral to the character or story. It wasn't just a disguise: there certainly are adequate bras that would have served the purpose. And the boobs were part of the story, part of the sex in the second book. The reason the boob job was not in the film was because the actress refused.

Throughout the books, Lisbeth is often held in positions where a man or men have absolute power over her. She is helped almost entirely by men. I find this significant. The books, more than the films, are full of sexual politics.

I can't help but wonder if Larsson didn't in some way, deep deep down inside of himself, also hate women. I realize that my take on all of this is my take and I don't expect it to be seen that way by anyone else. Yes, there are many ways to exert power, including rape. I am interested in hearing about why rape is an option, from the male perspective. What is the motivation? What must be deep inside a person to allow them to use this type of force? This type of violence? Why do (some) boys/men think it is perfectly ok to force sex with a woman they know socially? Casually? Are in relationships with or have had relationships with? I am extremely disinterested in reading or watching more 'entertainment' where women are raped.
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Krystal
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I don't think that much about rape. I don't think real highly of humanity. Given a chance, we'll fuck up the world and we are well on our way. Men are violent. Most religions are male dominated. Men start wars over anything they can think of, rape is just another way of controlling someone.

In many societies men have all or most of the power over women. Even today.

My favorite movies ae where the woman is a survivor. I loved Winter's Bone, Thelma and Louise (even though they went out, they did it on their own terms), Girl Interrupted.
Most of all Alien and Aliens. Weaver kicked some ass. Lisbeth is a survivor. I loved the series.

I think Larsen was a femnist. You can think whatever you want. He is gone now and that's a shame.

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tgir
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I don't think most men are violent. I certainly have known a number of women who are violent. I often wonder why people become violent. I also wonder a great deal about what goes through a man's/boy's head when he feels somehow entitled to have sex with/on/from some woman regardless of her feelings about the matter.

It isn't a matter of what I 'choose' to think. It is simply a matter of what I do think.
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blosslover
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I tend to watch more television than movies (and I don't get HBO/Showtime), and the first movie was stronger than what I am used to seeing. I wouldn't recommend it for people who are squeamish, same with the book series regardless of the quality of the story. While they the actions are needed in the plot, some topics are just too upsetting for some. For example I read the book "The Lovely Bones", but due to the subject matter, I had no interest in the movie and the abuse was implied.
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Krystal
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I think most people are violent, it is only a thin veneer of (some) societies that keep them in line. Look at how many tribal wars and race wars or entire wiping out of populations that go on all of the time.

The control/abuse of Lisbeth, I can see the CIA or Dick Cheney and/or any number of "civilized" govenments letting this go for 'national security" or "the better good".

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tgir
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I skipped both reading The Lovely Bones and seeing the film because of the subject.

Again, I am just tired of movies with girls and women being raped, murdered or otherwise abused. Especially with no real attempt to explore or illuminate why we tolerate this, as a society. Because we do.
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Krystal
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Then you should skip them.

You thought the series was depressing, I thought of her as triumphant.
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tgir
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I never said or felt that the series was depressing.

And thank you, I do find myself more than capable of deciding what I will and will not watch.

Or read.
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