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Modern Movies; The last 10 years!
Topic Started: Jan 6 2011, 07:25 AM (13,460 Views)
tgir
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Rented Rango which was ok. It was amusing to try to catch all the references to other movies.

Also saw Jane Eyre ( the 2011 version directed by Cary Fukanaga. I must say that I tremendously disliked the choices the director made in how the story was told. Told largely in flashbacks, if I had not read the book dozens of times when I was growing up, I would have been helplessly lost and would have ceased caring early into the film. In fact, this choice was so distracting that it ruined the film for me, enough that I cannot comment very much on the acting. No one wasn't good; Sally Hawkins was very good in the role of the detestable Aunt Reed. It goes without saying that Judi Denche was fabulous as Mrs. Fairfax. Also disappointed in the portions which were left out, although these were parts of the story commonly left out. However, the film include Jane's time with the Rivers family.

Disappointing because I found the choice to tell so much in flashback made the story incomprehensible to anyone who isn't already familiar with characters and plot. I had very high expectations and they were not met.

There's also a recent
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tgir
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I really liked Bridesmaids, too. Melissa McCarthy darn near stole the whole thing. My biggest quibble was that they went so far out of their way to make Megan physically unattractive. I think more subtlety would have served the character even better.

Jon Hamm was really good as the selfish asshole.
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Saw Tower Heist yesterday with hubby. It was a really good time. Not art, definitely flawed in terms of logic, etc. but fun. A nice balance of cast, with each player nicely utilized.

Saw previews of The Avengers, which looked like it would be fun, if you enjoy the genre. I am pretty sure I will see it. Which makes me all the more anxious for the next Robert Downey Jr. piece to come out. Anybody know the release date of Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows?
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tgir
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Hoping to get to see The Muppets, maybe tonight!

Rented Crazy Stupid Love and enjoyed it for what it is. I really like Steve Carell and Emma Stone. Good performances for this genre. Pretty sure hubby didn't like it as well as I did but it's a rom/com. Manages to be funny and tender in places. Not terribly original. Liked the Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling dynamic very much. Kevin Bacon managed his role without veering into the realm of skeevy. I thought Marisa Tomei was a bit wasted. I wonder what this film would have looked like from the woman's perspective.
Edited by tgir, Nov 28 2011, 12:45 PM.
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tgir
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A few weeks???????

Dax, you must be very busy.
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tgir
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Thanks, Dax, I kept trying to find an exact count of remaining Closer episodes. Any word about the possible spinoff? Who/what? When? Is it a done deal?

Krystal, I agree that there isn't much to watch on TV that is very good. I am still watching The Closer, and I like Mike and Molly (but that's not quite as strong as it used to be for me) and Big Bang Theory. Some others, but not much that is must see. I think I just don't have as much patience for shows as I used to. Maybe I am just getting old and cranky. Hubby is more willing to actually go to a movie or watch one than he used to be.

Dax, I am sorry you have to work so much. I'd never be able to keep up.
Edited by tgir, Dec 1 2011, 08:00 AM.
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tgir
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Thanks, Dax. I am still a little confused. Early on, I think I read the article you linked and thought Closer would be around summer 2012. But more recently, it sounds like the series will end early 2012 (at the end of this set of episodes) and no summer run. I hope not. I can see that it is probably time to wind things down, for the series but will miss it when it goes. I only hope it ends well.

Excited for McDonnell's role in the spin off. I always like her and don't think she gets enough work.

Lol Krystal. I like Brenda's parents, but only in small doses. I think it's a hoot that she's still worried about disappointing her daddy.
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I think Prime Suspect would have been better if it either avoided being shopped as an American version of the British Prime Suspect with the incomparable Helen Mirren or or if were a better imitation of the original. As it was, I went in with high hopes and was very, very disappointed.

I did think that Bello was fine, but there was nothing about this show that made me interested in watching more. Plot, story, characters were totally forgettable to me. It's certainly not the worst thing I've seen, but it's not really good, either, imo. It's one of those things I won't notice missing.

While IRL, a grown woman being so undone at the prospect of her parents' disapproval would be beyond annoying. I think it was added as a way to see a chink in Brenda's armor. It would have gotten really old really fast as a steady diet but once or twice a season was fine. It was good to see someone able to completely stand up to her, see through her and see Brenda and not Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson.
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Yes, saw it and loved it. Although I am surprised you did, Krystal!
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Exactly!

(Plus: Daniel Craig in chaps cannot be underestimated!)
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tgir
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If you like Pixar, Toy Story 1, 2 or 3, Shrek (first), Bolt are all good. I loved Wall E very much. The Incredibles is very good, but also animated. Not sure your feelings re: animated films.

The Harry Potter movies are good. Also the Chronicles of Narnia films, but the first is the best.

The Goonies is really great. I also liked The Addams Family. Labyrinth is really good but might be a bit intense for some kids. Stand By Me is good. I am sure that my younger kids were watching it with the older ones by the time they were 8 or 10, but it might be too old for them. ET is also kid appropriate. The Black Stallion is really good. My adult kids still love Princess Bride and also Willow (which is more intense).
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tgir
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Krystal,

I didn't read your request very well. I thought you wanted recommendations for KIDS 8-10. I thought you had kids coming to visit and needed something to occupy them. Sorry about that. I'm not crazy, just a sloppy reader, sometimes.

OK: Best in Show is pretty funny and not sentimental. Memento is good. Wonder Boys, In America (excellent film), Syriana. Any of the Coen brothers' films, unless you hate Coen Brothers films. Serenity is a good one.
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Yes! I noticed that GL was on the tv during that scene. I think it was Bert.......can't remember. I saw it when it was in the theaters...
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tgir
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It's been a rough couple of weeks (no worries, just ugly stuff rearing its head at work again. It's part of a bad cycle.)

We went to see Dream House in the theaters and liked it for what it was, although it struck me as being a bit cobbled together from ideas from other films.

I actually really like Daniel Craig in all of his roles, even if I dont' like the film itself (Quantum of Solace). He was really good in Defiance. And I adore Rachel Weisz, who is married to Craig.

Probably doesn't really belong here but we just saw The Descendants, which is having its pre-Oscar second round of theaters. Missed it when it was in town last time.

I thought the film was really good, but if you go expecting a light hearted comedy, this is NOT the film for you. Do NOT go see it if you don't want to find yourself crying, more than once. Apparently, my husband doesn't read up on movies as much as I do. I knew enough of what to expect to be able to enjoy the film very much. Clooney is so good at making us believe what he does is totally without any effort on his part. In a great departure from his usual demeanor of being a very charming fuck up, he plays the only real adult in a sea of laid back islanders who have no problem letting him do all of the heavy lifting and dealing with reality so that they can continue their laid back lives. And the issues he has to deal with are so earth shatteringly difficult, so overwhelming, that only pure selfish indulgence could have allowed his 'friends' and family to foist all of the heavy lifting for even one of these issues on him, much less two simultaneously.

Huge kudos for peopling the cast with very real, very ordinary looking people (Clooney and Shailene Woodley excepted, and also, depending on how you look at her, but to me, she looks 'normal' instead of 'glamourous' Judy Greer). I am familiar with Woodley from The Secret Life of An American Teenager (yes, it's terrible but I watched it sometimes mostly because it had Molly Ringwald (not good) and Mark Derwin (not terrific but I still love him from his days as Mallet, original version). BTW, the show is shit but it is full of really good actors, including Steve Shirripa (Sopranos) and Jennifer Coolidge (lots of roles) and some that I dont' know from other things, but who are actually quite good: India Eisley; Daren Kagasoff, and Francia Raisa. Most of the writing is awful, but some of the characters and actors really do a good job with what I consider bad material. Woodley is not my favorite of the cast, and indeed, I almost skipped the movie because she is in it prominently. But she really did a great job playing an all too privileged teenager who is angry with her parents, justifiably.

I've never been to Hawaii so I cannot comment on the authenticity of the city or the lives depicted. But I can attest to the authenticity of the emotions surrounding the loss of someone you love, but perhaps not so well as you might have done, and the regret therein, and how in the end, what truly matters is that you did love them and the love is more important than the millions of things that had daily made you forget that you loved that person.

If you don't want to read more about the film and possibly be spoiled, stop here.

Spoiler (maybe)
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There is a moment on the screen when Clooney's character has just been told that his wife will never emerge from her profound coma caused by brain trauma and that per his wife's advance medical directives, the doctors will have to disconnect the machines keeping her alive. She will die in a few days or perhaps as long as two weeks.

The look that passes over Clooney's face as he struggles to maintain composure lasts only a few seconds, but conveys so much and is itself worthy of an Oscar nod.

On a more personal note, I have had to deal with these sorts of issues more than one time in my life. When my mother was only 42 and when I was still in high school, she suffered a very serious brain aneurysm and while ultimately, she survived, albeit with serious disabilities, I remember well what it was like to see a relatively young woman, who had been seemingly very alive and healthy when I left for school that morning, hooked up to machines, covered in bruises left by the insertion of numerous needles. And the decisions we had to make then. And the decisions we had to make at the end of her life, nearly 32 years later. And the decisions we had to make for my father.
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tgir
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Dax, is Bret one of your friends?

Great that he won for best song.
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I have to say that I am disappointed that Viola Davis didn't win. Of course, Iron Lady never played anywhere near me so I haven't seen it and to tell the truth, am not interested in seeing it, even for Meryl Streep. I like Meryl Streep very much and I am deeply conflicted about The Help as a film. I am not at all conflicted about the performances of any of the actors. Viola Davis was truly wonderful in that role. I would have liked to have seen her win.

Similarly, I haven't seen The Artist (won't be playing around here. Ever.) I thought Hugo was a better film than The Descendants, and among the best film nominees I saw, Hugo was my favorite. I still haven't seen Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, or The Tree of Life. Or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (hope to see it. Hasn't made it to my area. Read the book).

Aside from that, I'm ok, I think with the winners. I would have liked to see Clooney win simply to encourage him to appear in such roles.
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I found Hugo to be a very beautiful film, one of the best I have seen in a long time.

I always enjoy Clooney's performance but imo, his performance in The Descendants was his best, by far. I can't say that I think he should have won--I haven't seen enough of the other performances. But I really feel he deserved a nomination.
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I thought that the Oceans films were fun for what they were.

I just found out abut Prometheus. It sounds tremendous! I saw the first 3 Aliens films in the theaters, including the first and we were really poor back then. But I dug some coins out of the sofa and got enough for a ticket. I never could get anyone to go with me in the theater, but kids and hubby all ended up liking the first 2 a lot (Aliens (2) was my favorite, actually.) so I am super psyched about the new one coming out.

And---just found out that my local movie theater is having a midnight showing of The Hunger Games on 3/23. I had conveniently already taken the 23rd off, so may wait in line to see the flick, depending on weather, line, etc. Couldn't get any of the kids to agree to see it with me.
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Rented Midnight in Paris---I must say that it is not my favorite Woody Allen picture. Owen Wilson did a decent Woody Allen impersonation, which really says it all.

Kathy Bates was terrific in her small role but nothing about her role was written to scream Gertrude Stein if they didn't call her Gertrude Stein. Notice I say how the role was written. To me, the historical literary and artistic characters were mostly charactertures rather than fully fleshed out characters. I almost think that was Allen's point, in a way, or one he was toying with. Wilson's character, Gill, had so romanticized the writers/painters of the 20's--I would like to think that Allen was trying to make a statement that the romanticising of the creative genius of this era didn't allow Gill (or us) to really understand them as people, but to see only the surface of icons.

Or it could have just been a mediocre film.



Rachel McAdams was fine in her role--I didn't see her 'acting' but I could easily imagine young Diane Keaton saying all of her lines. This is not the fault of Rachel McAdams but rather that Allen's voice or stock characters have not really evolved or changed for decades now. One note: Alison Pill was lovely as Zelda. I wanted to make note of that because so often in film she does not come across as being particularly lovely (or maybe it is just me) but as rather plain. But as Zelda, she was lovely and appealing and it was easy to see why men would be attracted to her.

BTW, I am actually a fan of Woody Allen films. Just not all of them, I guess. I wasn't in love with Mighty Aphrodite, for example. Loved Small Time Crooks and Crimes and Misdemeanors, two non-typical Allen films. Loved all the older classics, as well. I haven't seen every Allen film, but a good portion of them and like most of them. This one wasn't bad, it just wasn't good, to me.
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I kinda like it but here, for me, it felt flat and tired.
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Glad you liked it Krystal. I really did enjoy it a great deal.
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Hubby and I just watched Drive, which was good but be forewarned: it's also very, very bloody.

Has some of my favorite actors in it: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan ( I always love her), Christina Hendricks! as well as Albert Brooks, and Bryan Cranston. Just read that the author of the book (James Sallis) this film was based on has written a sequel. I am anticipating a film sequel as well. I'd see it.

Krystal, hubby and I didn't like Moneyball as much as I thought we would. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grab my attention. Hubby used to be a big, big, big baseball fan, and is an economist so I would have thought it was a slam dunk. It just was kind of slow.
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Just came back from Brave, which was really a great deal of fun. Rollicking good fun, great animation, etc. A little weak in the story, but not bad. Probably not up there with the very best of Pixar films but worth the time to see. Special mention of the short before Brave: very sweet short entitled, I believe La Luna.

Some good animation coming up: Finding Nemo is to be re-released. Wreck It Ralph looks like it will really be good.
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I'm kinda doing a binge of kinda bad movies and thought I would recommend:

Bad Teacher.

This one is highly recommended for KMInfinity.
It's not a great movie, but it has some moments. I was in the mood for something like this. Highly inappropriate and pokes some pretty big fun at a couple of stereotypes.
Edited by tgir, Aug 13 2012, 10:00 AM.
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Forgot: Just watched Two Days in Paris on Netflix. I somehow overlooked this previously but was reminded about it by the upcoming Two Days in New York. A very good film I thought--falls into that category of romantic dramedy. Written, directed and starred in by Julie Delphy. English and French, with subtitles. Easily see influences by Woody Allen, hits stereotypes of the French, Americans and artists of various kinds. Very smart and also sweet/sad.
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Just saw Bernie as well. I liked it, but wasn't wowed. Except to learn that it was based upon a real person. I knew they used the actual townspeople in the film. Which makes it all that more darkly, darkly humorous.
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A short while back, I saw Two Days in Paris (2007) written by and directed by Julie Delphy who also stars, which you wouldn't think would work but it does. It's a very charming film about a French photographer and her American boyfriend who go to France to visit her family for a couple of days. P. sure I saw it on Netflix, which I am mentioning because the sequel Two Days in New York is about Marion (Delphy) who has broken up with her old boyfriend but has a child with him and is now in a relationship with a radio personality/author played by Chris Rock, who has a couple of exes and a child of his own. It's now playing on Netflix and again, is very smart and charming and funny and very French and also very American a la Woodie Allen in his coolest, most innocent form. Chris Rock is the new boyfriend and is a delight. I am mentioning this specifically because I am only a part time fan of Rock. I don't like it when he yells and gets shrill, but when he isn't that, he's so enjoyable. Delphy is a delight and I am becoming very devoted to her.

Warning: significant French dialogue in both films.
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Moonrise Kingdom: Excellent. Krystal, I predict you would hate it but hubby and I both loved it. The tone was perfect. Excellent cast. It could have gone so very wrong but instead, I think it truly is a gem. Kara Hayward was perfect as Suzi, with just the right intensity in her eyes and slightly awkward, every so slightly asymmetrical face. Real genius casting there. Lots of fun people popping up, especially Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel. Recommend.
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I haven't seen The Life Aquatic but Emily loved it. I was meh re: The Darjeeling Limited. The Fantastic Mr. Fox was pretty good: B+. Loooove Rushmore. I was also disappointed in The Royal Tenenbaums. Perhaps because all of the previews made it seem so fantastic and all the previews were fantastic--but the rest was a huge let down. But again, Emily liked it a lot so perhaps I should give it another try someday.

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It's been bugging me but I finally figured out: Kara Hayward really reminds me of Anna Kendrick (at age 12, with an edge.) Think: Up In The Air and 50/50, with an edge.
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