We have a music discussion thread but seem to lack a film (movie if you're from that bit of the world) discussion. The idea's pretty self-evident: what films have you seen recently, what did you think of them? Fairly similar to another thread really...
To start, I watched Gomorrah (2008) for the second time last night. It's a really good bit of Italian film-making and centres arouind the problems faced by Naples throught the stories of a few people whose paths cross with the organised crime there. It certainly doesn't pull punches in terms of the gritty reality from the first scene and a fairly grim ending.
Some of the settings are brilliant too, there are scenes shot in some buildings which look seriously run down in Naples which leads to a good degree of accuracy.
Overall I'd give it 8/10.
So what's anyone else watching?
In the last two weeks I've watched Green Zone and The Ghost Writer in theatres. Green Zone, of course, is the big action/drama starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass. Damon, as usual, is quite good. Some critics have complained about the jumpy hand-held camera work (a Greengrass signature notably used in the 2nd and 3rd Bourne films) but it fits the subject matter perfectly--the subject being the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States. I'm not much for rating a film by the numbers, but I'll say that this one is certainly worth at least one peek on a big screen.
The Ghost Writer stars Ewan McGregor, with Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams playing pivotal roles. Roman Polanski directs. Brosnan is a disgraced former British Prime Minister; McGregor is ghost-writing the P.M.'s autobiography; Williams plays the P.M.'s wife. This is another film connected to the notorious "War on Terror". The acting is superb, the settings sufficiently wind-swept and menacing, the drama can sometimes seem over the top but is leavened with a sort of biting humor that makes it all work damn well. Terrific movie, though not the sort of thing I necessarily want to see over and over again.
I am in the middle of watching Red Cliff (Chi Bi), the International version, not the butchered American one. I finished part one yesterday and am working on part 2 today (and probably tomorrow, it is long). It is a very fun movie, set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. You can really see that John Woo is going for an epic feel, which he captures very well. Besides the characteristically over the top action scenes, the characters are interesting and likeable, and he takes the time to develop them. The latter makes the move move kind of slowly in places, but I think it is well worth the payoff in how it enriches the story. What really struck me today was how absolutely perfectly he started part two. The opening credits are interspersed with the pivotal scenes from part 1. This tells you the entire story of part 1 in a few minutes, without it being a boring prologue. A good example of showing vs. telling. Oh, and the eye-candy is nice. China is a beautiful country. The cgi could be better in places, but I have seen far worse.
We have become rather addicted to Netflix- but are watching some older TV series that we missed the first time around. I will leave it up to Olen as the OP as to whether we should discuss television or just stick to movies/films.
The last movie I watched was Stardust, the adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book by the same name. The cimematic version was fairly faithful to the original story, although some material was (necessarily) dropped. Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer were both outstanding. There was plenty of humor and the CGI effects were nicely done.
Mrs. Treydog watched Seraphine, a biopic about an untrained French artist (Seraphine Louis). It was her kind of film, as the artist was troubled and likely psychotic. As a painter, Mrs. Treydog prefers suffering artist movies.... Seriously, she found it quite interesting and definitely worth viewing.
I'm currently following Stargate Universe, Stargate has always been one of my favourite shows. But Stargate Universe still has a lot to live up to if it ever wants to get better than Atlantis.
Watching Stargate SG1...again. My favorite season show of all time. 50 discs and I've already watched them all before but its been so long its like watching them over for the first time.
Pride and Prejudice - not my favorite version. My favorite one involves Colin Firth with his shirt open and a damp chest after an impomptu swim.
Valmont - another Colin Firth one, this time he has long hair drawn back in a pony tail.
It's been a while, but let's see, the last one I watched (and was quite surprised by how good it was) is When the Last Sword is Drawn, a samurai movie I found on hulu.com. Thought it sounded interesting, but the plot and story were so compelling, and the actors/actresses were outstanding, that I just sat there and drooled over the storytelling . . . If only I could write stories like that! And the cinematography was poetical, making the settings characters in their own rights. I watched it while I was working on combat scenes in my own fiction, and thought maybe I could learn a thing or two. Well, I certainly did, and not just swordfighting techniques, either! If any of you have ever watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this is as lyrical in its imagery, but I thought overall Last Sword was better quality in the story and character development.
I will admit that I cried at the end.
I have put When the Last Sword is Drawn on my Netflix list. The synopsis sounds very neat.
While not movie theater movies, I have started watching the Sharpe's Rifles movies again. I fell in love with them several years ago, and now I cannot resist the urge to dust them off every year or so to see again. Sean Bean is at his finest playing Richard Sharpe, rough, uncultured, a proper honoured user, and perhaps because that more a gentleman than most of the other officers around him.
The supporting cast of the Rifles themselves strong, led by Daragh O'Malley as Sgt. Harper. The individual troopers have personality, making them feel like real people rather than simply stuffed uniforms. John Tams plays Hagman, and has one of the most incredible singing voices. He is the one singing Over the Hills and Far Away in the series (and other songs).
One of the real treasures in this series are the guest stars though. Quite a few talented British actors (and a few non Brits) made their way through this series as it was done. Brian Cox is most notable as Hogan. Too bad he only did a few of the films. Daniel Craig is in the one I am currently watching - Sharpe's Eagle. He does not look a thing like the man I know from films like Layer Cake, Archangel, and of course the Bond films. But his voice is unmistakable. James Purefoy (of Rome fame) turns up in a later film, and is simply fantastic. Elizabeth Hurley makes an appearance. Alice Krige too. Even Alexis Denisof takes a turn.
I saw Up in the Air a little while ago. If you like George Clooney, you will like it, as it features him at his confident, suave, cool best. The story has some good character development throughout, albeit is a little predictable. My only problem was the ending, which seemed rather flat. We saw Clooney's character change though the movie, but at the end we are left to wonder what for? I do not want to spoil it so I will not go into details. Still, in spite of that it was a fun watch, if for nothing else the sheer pleasure of watching George Clooney strut his stuff in a role that was tailor made for him.
I finally saw Avatar for the first time tonight.
Number 1 grossing movie of all time!
Did you see it in 3d? I agree the script was distinctly so so and the plot was nothing special but they really nailed the graphics with 3d which actually worked and didn't make the background look stupid.
I went and saw Iron Man 2 yesterday, it did exactly what it said on the tin. It was about as intellectually challenging as and with depth of a pancake but nonetheless it was enjoyable enough for the two hours. Large machines smashing eachother to bits for two hours (and no appriciable reason) can only be a good thing. Robert Downey was excellent in it and fitted his character well. Overall entertaining in a light sort of way.
As a blast from the past I also saw Highlander again a few days ago, after the event I can never quite believe how bad that film is. It must be among the worse I've seen, what did they spend their $16M on?
I still have no seen Avatar, even though it is now on disc. I will get around to it eventually, when I am in the mood for a mindless action movie with a hot blue chick.
I am currently in the middle of When the Last Sword Is Drawn. As haute said, it is good. I have found the way it jumps around confusing though, making it take a long time for me to warm up to.
I liked Highlander. Yes it was a bad movie, but still thought it was fun, and it really stood out in the very sparse field of sword and sorcery movies that were around at that time (if you think it is awful, try The Beastmaster!). Granted Christoper Lambert's acting was horrific, but Clancy Brown makes up for it with his sheer coolness ("I'm Candy. "Of course you are..."). I love that suit of armor he has in the flashbacks.
I actually like a lot of bad movies. Done right, a bad movie can be loads of fun. Look at most of the Lovecraft movies, like The Unnamable I and II. Or the Return of the Living Dead movies. Tons of fun!
I liked Nomads too. It is a different kind of movie. Not an overt supernatural horror type, but rather much more low-key in its creepiness. Plus is has Pierce Brosnan, whom I have been a fan of since Remington Steele.
Memento was another I enjoyed. Very odd movie. Not one I would want to see again, but very cool the first time around.
I finally got around to seeing Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween a little while ago. On one hand it was interesting seeing so much depth given to Michael Myers for a change. But that is also the biggest problem of the movie. The main character is not Laurie as it was in Carpenter's classic, it is Michael instead. Making a movie about how cool it is to be a serial killer does not really do much for me. Although granted I do know that is what most horror fans seem to want these days, given the successes of franchises like Saw. In the end it turns out to be pretty meh, quite missable.
Watched (re-watched, actually) The Big Lebowski on a large-ish screen in a fellow's backyard in Grand Junction, Colorado, last weekend. If you haven't seen it, you ought to--it's not a "great" film, but it is a highly amusing shaggy story set in 1980's Los Angeles, centered around the adventures of The Dude (Jeff Bridges). The Dude, for the uninitiated, is a middle-aged hippie bowling aficionado who ends up entangled in a convoluted crime caper featuring a wheel-chair bound millionaire, the millionaire's ex-porn star trophy wife, the millionaire's haughty arty daughter, a smut merchant, and German nihilists. Directed by the Coen brothers, this film is absurdly funny and sublimely profane.
Sense and Sensibility, The Green Mile - I don't watch TV often, just was in the mood to today.
A few days ago I watched Three Days of the Condor, one of my all time favorite spy films. The reason being that the protagonist is not an action hero. Rather he is a guy paid to read books. The only thing he has going for him is his brain, which he uses to good effect throughout the movie. The ending is not what you would expect (at least from a modern movie), which is rather nice.
Today I finished Ride With the Devil, an outstanding U.S. Civil War movie centered on a group of Bushwackers in Missouri. Some of them survive, most do not. Those who do live are forever changed. It is a strong, character-driven story, not too predictable, and doesn't flinch to show the ugliness on both sides of guerrilla war between Kansas and Missouri. As one character says at the end: "Its not right, and its not wrong, it just is."
Not exactly a movie, but not exactly a TV series, either.
Hulu.com uploaded 62 episodes of the Korean drama The Great Queen Seondeok. I've been watching it for the past couple of weeks. It's a great story, full of intrigue, plot twists, and best of all, a cast full of three- (and even four-) dimensional characters. It's a standout due to the strong characters of the two main protagonists (both female), who lock horns with each other over the royal throne. The series takes place during the Three Kingdoms period of Korea's history, in the early seventh century. The acting is outstanding, and the writing is well-done. There are no cardboard characters here. I love the villains in this pieces as much as I love the heroes.
I'm off now to watch Episode 47!
I saw The Road a few days ago. An excellent post-apocalypse movie that focuses on a father trying to protect his son (born after the apocalypse). It does not go into details about what kind of apocalypse it was, although nuclear is heavily implied given the night where the sky was lit up like fire. It does not really matter though, because the focus of the story is not the event, but rather the two characters.
The director makes excellent use of color to reinforce the bleakness of the new world, or perhaps I should say the corpse of the old world. Everything set in the present is dull and muted. Lots of browns and greys. Fields are filled with detritus of crops, and most of it looks like November, cold, but without the pleasant white blanket of snow. The sky is a neverending sheet of grey clouds. There are often strange rumbles in the distance, of earthquakes perhaps, and great plumes of smoke. The occasional flashbacks to pre-apocalypse stand out in stark contrast, being filled with vibrant color. Showing us that this was a time when not only the world, but the characters, were more alive.
It is a pretty grim tale, with the father trying to hold onto his humanity in world with precious little of it left. Cannibals are a constant threat, and make for some very chilling encounters. Not a super-action movie, there are no heroic battles with evildoers, just a desperate race to escape and survive. Often this happens as others fall victim. The scene in the basement still stays with me. Just plain creepy.
My only complaint is that like many movies seem to be these days, the dialogue is mixed very low, with Viggo Mortensen especially talking in raspy whispers most of the time. The rest of the sound is mixed higher, so it is very hard to hear what people say. Turning up the volume does not help because then the rest of the movie is too loud. I had to watch it with the subtitles on, otherwise I would have missed half the dialogue.
I also saw The Crazies yesterday. Another good movie starring Radha Mitchell (I love her, she always plays strong characters and does not have giant fake boobs and a zillion dollars of plastic surgery. She would make a good Teresa I think.) A remake of a Romero film, it is a fun horror movie about a government-created virus accidentally loosed upon a small town. As the local sheriff and his doctor wife try to figure out what is going on, the government moves in and throws a black bag over the entire area and everyone in it. It has shades of Half-Life there, as the infected people are not the only danger, but the soldiers quarantining the place as well.
One thing I liked about it was that while the virus made people homicidal, in its early stages there were no physical signs of it. So anyone could be infected, and you would not know it until they tried to kill you.
I watched Children of Men again last night. It's a brilliant film and probably one of my favourites for it's dark atmosphere, brilliant settings and long scenes, and for having a hero who is genuinely a normal guy.
It's a bit outdated now (the idea is that humanity has become infertile by 2009 and is set 18 years after) but from the news bulletin fragments (in the style of BBC news) it begins with to a great many little details like the tensions between the right wing government and the extreme left it paints a picture of a country falling apart through dispair. It's not a happy film though it's well worth watching.
Agreed, Children of Men is one of the better movies I've watched out there. Yes, it is very dark and depressing, but pretty realistic, too. To me, it has a George Orwellian feel to the story, and yet it is one of hope in the midst of despair.
I've been watching The Kingdom of the Wind, a South Korean drama from 2008. It's a historical drama set in the first decade of the Christian era, about the part of ancient Korea that is now mostly incorporated into North Korea (Goguryeo). The lead character is a prince born with a curse, and his father, the King, is unable to kill him, so instead he sends the boy out to be raised as a commoner, with no knowledge of his parentage or family. It has elements of a Greek tragedy (think Oedipus) as well as romance. It's pretty well acted, not over the top or too melodramatic, and the villains are truly, intelligent and understandable in their motives, while the heroes are flawed. Good stuff!
I liked Children of Men as well, and The Kingdom of the Wind sounds interesting (a Korean Oedipus? I have got to see that! ). Last week I watched The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance. For those of you with a Netflix account I canít recommend this four-part PBS documentary enough. It covers the history of the family over hundreds of years and several generations. It is a story filled with political intrigue, assassination, and religious fervor. Not to mention the Medici patronage of artists such as Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, which the documentary explores in admirable detail. For me this goes right alongside Ken Burnsí wonderful Mark Twain and the extraordinary The Cove as the best documentaries Iíve seen this decade.
Children of Men was so-so.
A movie that I would highly recommend is 'Conspiracy' starring Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci. The former plays Reinhard Heydrich, and the latter plays Adolf Eichmann. The entire film takes place in one house, and mostly in one room at that, but showcases dialogue that is so riveting that it's impossible not to remain fixated. This dialogue is also incredibly disturbing in nature, as the film is a rendering of the infamous Wansee Conference of January 1942. High ranking bureaucrats, SS officers, and party members met to discuss the question of handling Jews, what to do with them, the fastest methods of extermination, and whether or not the law made provisions for such things. You can imagine how creepy that would be to begin with, but the fact that the characters go about discussing this in a very logical and methodical way is what really makes the content so troubling, and it's not a smooth discussion at all.
No, everyone has priorities, and internal conflicts between political and military groups become very apparent as the conversation progresses. For history buffs, there's a lot of unspoken subtext regarding power struggles that will delight, but even for people who know nothing about Nazi Germany, the characters are so fascinating that historical knowledge isn't necessary to appreciate this film. As Heydrich pulls the strings, threatening some, wooing others, and ultimately shaping the fate of millions of people as he makes decisions for everyone, you'll remain glued to the screen. Manipulation at its finest, and Eichmann as the pencil-pushing sidekick is equally interesting. Perhaps the greatest impact comes at the end of the film, when you discover what historically happened (or didn't happen) to all of the people involved in promoting murder.
Honestly, don't miss this jewel of a film. It's based on the only surviving transcript of the Wansee Conference, and you'll walk away from the film with a lot to think about. If anyone does check it out, please let me know what you thought of it.
I saw Conspiracy a long time ago, and have rewatched it several times since. I agree with everything ON said. It is a good movie. A little disturbing in the cold, methodical way that the group is discussing the extermination of millions, and also fascinating in the way it demonstrates the in-fighting between the Nazis.
I watched Despicable Me a week or so back.
It's a great movie with comedy that's actually GOOD and a kids movie that they put EFFORT into it. It features a Villain who's the main protagonist. After meeting a new villain who's much more competent with the whole "Evil" role, the protagonist, Gru, works to no end in trying to steal the moon. After the rival(Victor)steals a shrink ray to steal it, Gru uses three orphans and the ADVENTURE BEGINS!!
I give it a...A-
It's a little slow at first but the psychological aspect of the movie is touching. My friend started crying when we were watching it. Then some bunghole in the back told her to shut up. XD
I just finished watching Digging to China, a wonderful little movie about a girl who befriends a severely retarded man. Evan Rachel Wood plays the girl, who is far too smart and imaginative for her own good (she once tried digging a hole to China, but found that a mysterious electrical barrier protected the core of the earth... Zot!). Kevin Bacon turns in a spectacular performance as the retarded man. It is hard to imagine he is the same actor from movies like Footloose. The relationship that develops between the two tugs at your heartstrings, and had me in tears more than once. Definitely a chick flick, so guys beware.
On a completely different note, I have also been slowly working my way through the old Showtime series Robin of Sherwood, starring Michael Praed as Robin, The Hooded Man. This is by far my favorite incarnation of Robin Hood. The series was shot on location, which brings a real sense of realness and grittiness to each episode. ut best of all is the kind of Robin it has. He is not some spoiled Baron's son out to get his title back. Rather he is a Saxon revolutionary fighting the Norman invaders who oppress the common people. With a healthy dose of magic and paganism, Robin is Herne's Son, and carries Albion, one of the Swords of Wayland, charged with the powers of light and darkness.
The supporting cast is strong, with Nicholas Grace truly shining as the Sheriff of Nottingham. A brilliant, bitterly acerbic, and utterly amoral man contemptuous of everything and everyone around him. He is a man you really love to hate, and truly deserves the title of master villain. My favorite character is Nasir though, a Saracen assassin who was enslaved by the devil-worshipping sorcerer Baron De Balleme and freed by Robin. A man of few words, he fights with two swords, and just generally looks cool at all times. He was the first Saracen character in a Robin Hood story, and was actually supposed to die in the pilot. But the writers liked the character so much they kept him instead.
The series suffers the same drawbacks as most t.v. shows, as the heros always find some reason not to kill Sir Guy and the Sheriff when they have the opportunity, and likewise always somehow wriggle free when the tables are turned. Michael Praed leaving the series at the end of the second season gave them the opportunity to break from that mold for a truly sad episode in which the Sheriff finally has his victory. Or does he? For the third season begins with Jason Connery as a new hero who takes up Robin's mantle as Herne's Son. Not as good as the first two seasons, it is still worth giving a watch at least once.
I finished watching R-Point, it's a Korean movie about the vietnam war.
A squad of soldiers disappears during the Vietnam war and only one survivor remains. He claims that all of the other soldiers are dead but the central command keeps getting weird messages from Donkey 3, the squad that went missing. A group of soldiers were sent to rescue them, but instead suffers from paranoia and strange events. In the last moments on R-Point, the soldiers turn on each other, claiming the other ones are a part of some conspiracy. Then the delusion of a ghost comes in, a blind soldier and the commander of the squad are the only ones alive. The commander orders the blind one to fire at the ghost in front of him, only to be killed in the process. Then, the only one left is the blind one, who starts to suffer from paranoia himself and starts going insane. The movie closes on the message that it started on, only difference being the squad that's calling is the one that went to rescue the first one...
I loved R-Point! It is one of my favorite movies in the new genre of War-Horror films. My favorite part was the Americans who came in on the helicopter to check their radio gear, and then the squad finds the helicopter...
I actually watched TV this week (I hate TV) ...Top Chef. Hate to admit it, but I liked it.
I've been wanting to watch this movie for soooo long! Ever since it first came out and I read the reviews. Through the years people kept referencing this movie.
Then Hulu.com uploads it!
I just finished watching Kurosawa's "Ran" - the remake/interpretation of "King Lear." Phenomenal movie! I know I didn't get all the layers - this is a movie that bears watching more than once. Half the story is told in the silences, which for me is powerful stuff, especially the way Kurosawa visualized it. Every second is as good as all the reviews, etc I had read of it.
Another Kurosawa you should see, and that is more accessible than some of his earlier work, is Kagemusha. I will not say much, beyond the fact that it is visually stunning and conveys a great deal without words.
Ran never did much for me. The main reason being that I disliked all the characters, especially the old king. Granted, I did get to see most of them get killed, they all certainly had it coming.
Kagemusha is in my Netflix queue, so I will probably be seeing it in the next few weeks.
I have been watching a lot of nature documentaries lately. Eye of the Leopard was an excellent one that followed a leopard for three years, starting from her birth. You really begin to feel a bond with Lagadema (the leopard), as she discovers her world, faces some very fearsome trials (such as nearly being killed by a pack of baboons), steps up to game to make an amazing kill of a baboon in the middle of their group, and even takes an infant baboon under her wing and tries to protect it. I highly recommend renting it.
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure was another good one that followed Dolly, a Dolichorhynchops living in the late Cretaceous. It follows her life from start to finish, and is punctuated with a little bit of science from paleontologists. The main target is children, so it is not heavy on facts. Still, it is a delightful animal tale. If you look at it as a short film about an animal it is a lot of fun.
Super Croc is another. Just hearing Sam Neill's narration is worth the price of renting it. Even cooler is not only the palentology involved, but the studies of modern day crocodiles. Truly fantastic stuff. The bite force of these animals is just astounding. Seeing the final, reconstructed Super Croc is just awe-inspiring in its size.
Prehistoric Predators was so-so. It is a three part series that examines the Saber-Tooth Cat, the Dire Wolf, and the Short-Faced Bear. The Dire Wolf episode was my favorite. The facts that come out in the shows are very interesting, such as that the Short Faced Bear was built specifically for scavenging and it tremendous size was meant for intimidating other predators away from kills. The animation was a bit sub-par though, even for a nature show where you do not expect ILM quality work to begin with. Also it got repetitive at times, as scenes and information is recyled between episodes.
Now I am watching a pile of shark documentaries, starting with Shark Week 2009. The first episode in the series was just jaw dropping. It is a dramatization of the New Jersey shark attacks of 1916, and at two hours in length, it is a movie in its own right. It is shot as if a documentary of that period, with a reporter interviewing a scientist from the New York Museum of Natural History who was one of the closest things to a shark expert at that time, and breaking away from that to show the actual events. Very cool.
The rest of the first disc has been fascinating. There is one episode that details half-a-dozen shark attacks upon people. Thankfully in these all the people survived (it would not be much fun to watch if they had not), and often you wonder how they managed. You just cannot help but to feel empathy for those poor souls, who were happy campers one moment, then looked down to see a great white clamped onto their leg. In some of the cases, bystanders were truly heroic in swimming out to rescue the victims, risking death themselves, bringing them into shore before they could bleed to death.
I just finished watching one that tested a shark suit (mail armor) which is effective protection against most sharks. This test was against a great white however. The shark bit the mail right in half. In the past measurements of shark bite force were thought to be comparatively weak. Pound for pound, they were found to not be much stronger than dogs. However, the people making these studies overlooked the tremendous size of some of these sharks, which more than makes up for the relative weakness of their bites compared to their overall mass. A great white's bite force measures 4,000 pounds. So when those jaws clamp shut, it would take a crane to pull them apart.
Really astounding to watch are the great white's polaris breaches. They are the result of their style of attack. Cruising in deep water, then rocketing straight up at full speed (25mph) to hit the prey animal from underneath. They have video of sharks going completely out of the water while making these attacks. Seeing an animal that huge make those tremendous leaps is just breathtaking. http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/great-white-sharks/great-white-shark-pics.html and http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/shark-week-leaping-great-whites.html
One thing I have noticed when watching all these great whites, is that all of them seem to be heavily scarred around their heads. My guess is that is from their favorite prey, seals. It sounds hard to believe, but they are supposed to be ferocious fighters. That explains the reason for the great white's tactics. Where other sharks tend to like to slowly close in to figure out if their prey might be a threat, the white makes one sudden attack from ambush, with the idea being to instantly immobilize the target.
We just finished the first season of Dollhouse. It is one of those shows that you think about long after it is over. I am in no way confident that I "got" everything Joss Whedon was trying to say about society and humanity, but it was certainly worth watching. Which is not to say it was not disturbing and ambiguous.
Otherwise, we are working our way through all seven seasons of Homicide: Life of on the Streets. It was the forerunner of The Wire, with a number of the same production people involved. It is gritty, depressing, and incredibly well-written and well-acted. The interesting thing is, except for perhaps Yaphet Kotto and Richard Belzer (who was known more for his stand-up comedy), none of the actors were especially prominent when the series began. One thing that is interesting to look at is how Homicide differed from most "cop shows" from the time (or earlier). There are some incredible moments, such as when Det. Pembleton (Andre Braugher) manipulates a suspect into a confession because of pressure from above to "close the case." He does it knowing that his Lieutenant is watching- and that he will not accept the confession because he knows it is bogus. And a lot of the show has that dynamic- of one-on-one or two-on-one confrontation- often with someone else observing. This is character-driven storytelling at its best.
I agree with trey - Homicide is one of the most underrated cop shows on TV ever. In many ways it was better than Hill Street Blues, and that was one of the first character-driven police shows I can remember. I loved Homicide because of relative unknowns, but also because each actor, from Yaphet Kotto as G and Richard Belzer (you can catch him on Law & Order: SVU - he plays the same character), to the unknowns like Andre Braugher, Stephen Baldwin, et. al. turned in incredibly powerful performances. Andre Braugher remains as one of my favorite actors because of what he did on that show.
I'm (re)watching the Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister series. It's a British show from the 80's...political satire. I'm pretty sure it would translate smoothly to most nations' politics, though. Sir Nigel Hawthorne is superb as the scheming Sir Humphrey, and easily steals the show; Paul Eddington, as the idealistic but utterly cowardly Jim Hacker, is fantastic, though, too. The show is beyond superb.
I'll second the above, Yes Minister is excellent. I most like the private secretary Bernard Wolly (I can't remember who played him). Some of his interactions with Sir Humphery are priceless. I'd certainly recommend it, though I didn't like Yes Prime Minister nearly so much.
As far as what I'm watching... not much really. The Edinburgh Festival is on so I've been to a couple of plays (I suppose they count as watching). One was a particularly good adaption of Sunset Song by a group from Aberdeenshire so they had the accents right which was nice to hear.
Just finished watching 'Flawless' on Netflix. Released in 2007, I had never actually heard of it.
It's a crime thriller starring Demi Moore and Micheal Caine set in 1960 at the London Diamond Corporation. In short Caine is this brilliant bloke who poses as a janitor at Lon Di, and enlists the help of the glass-ceiling victim Demi Moore to rob the vaults of the company. Making her think that he will only take a thermos full of uncut diamonds that would never be missed, the entire vault ends up missing two tons of diamonds.
The plot doesn't quite live up too the title, and theres a couple of quirks in the characters that I sort of snorted at that just weren't believable to me, but hey, I've done that in my own writings, so who am I too judge?
But there are twists and turns in the movie that were quite well thought out and displayed, and Caine steals the show with his superior acting as usual, Demi Moore came in at a great second, but this is hardly her Magnum Opus. Plus, who doesn't like seeing British stuffed shirts having the thumbscrews put to them for a change?
If your thinking the pairing and the setting reflects Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the awful movie 'Entrapment' (1997) you couldn't be further from the truth, there is little to no 'action' in this flick, relying on a perfect pace and overall well-written story and close-ups to convey plot points.
That was Black Hand's review and pick for movie of the week, I'll see you at the line outside the port-a-potty at the Nightwish concert featuring other Northern European metal bands.
I think I've seen 'Flawless' before, I'm not sure...
anyway, I recently watched 'Dog Soldiers'-a british horror film about a group of soldiers who get lost in a forest full of werewolves. they find a small farmhouse and hold of the relentless werewolf assault and gradually and gruesomely get picked off. Eventually a collie dog and a single soldier are let in the now destroyed house.
It's a low budget film with an all British cast and filmed entirely in Scotland. The plot is enjoyable and (considering that there are no special effects) the werewolves are well-done. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good horror.
Oooh, I'll jump in again to give a vote for Dog Soldiers. That film is a guilty pleasure, it's so much more enjoyable than it has any right to be. It certainly follows the way a lot of British films go these days - no budget so they can't afford well known actors or cgi but they generally make up for it in good casting and plotting. Certainly it puts more pressure on the director to get it right if he can't hide things with fireworks *cough starwars cough*. I might be biased becuase it plays to the home audience but I rate it very highly, particularly for the interactions within the squad which are brilliantly done.
I just finished re-watching Letters from Iwo Jima for about the fifth time. My first time on blu-ray though. Once more, I was just left in awe by this movie.
The cast is superb. A real treat after the stiff acting one always sees by Japanese actors in the old 70's movies like Midway and Tora! Tora! Tora!. I think the movie being in Japanese really makes a huge difference, as the cast does have to struggle to deliver lines in a foreign language. Being subtitled, I know most Americans cannot even bear to watch it. After all, you have to read. Nothing more terrible than that, except perhaps having to think as well.
Funny thing was when I was watching the extras, Eastwood was talking about making the movie, and he commented that directing was a more difficult for him than usual, because he did not know what the actors were saying! He had a translator repeating everything he said on the set, and vice-versa. It never occurred to me until then just how difficult that must have been to do!
Ken Watanabe stars, and I swear that man is awesome. I think I saw him first in Memoirs of a Geisha, and he blew me away there as well. As Eastwood says in the extras, Watanabe has a terrific face and a great presence. Looking at pictures of the real General Kuribayashi, it is amazing how similar the two men are in appearance as well.
One thing that always strikes me about this movie is the contrast it makes to Flags of our Fathers, especially concerning the cast. I always get confused watching Flags because except for the native american, I cannot tell the characters apart. I really mean that. With the same clothes, same haircut, same young, clean-shaven faces, they all literally look the same to me. I know Eastwood went with unknown actors because he wanted people to see the characters, rather than the people playing them (which inevitably happens with well-known stars), but I think it back-fired. The only characters in Flags I could tell apart were the minor characters, who were played by seasoned actors that I knew.
But I do not have that problem with Letters at all, even though Ken Watanabe was the only actor I knew. Each Japanese character is unique in appearance. Partly it was the different uniforms between officers and enlisted men. I think the facial hair that many had helps too. For example Baron Nishi has a very distinctive thin goatee (haute would like the Baron, he was an Olympic gold medalist in horse-jumping before the war, and a well-known ladies man ). Kashiwara has this really straggly look. Saigo really stands out as clean-shaven, baby-faced and looking every inch of the sloppy civilian he really is, while Shimizu is always all prim and proper, etc...
The other thing I liked about Letters over Flags was that where Flags bounced around constantly, Letters was pretty solidly done in chronological order. Letters does have flashbacks which reveal more about the characters, but the way those are done it is very clear that it is a flashback, what character it is about, it offers real character development, and finally, they are brief, keeping us in the moment.
What is astounding is that this movie was basically made on a whim. Eastwood was preparing to shoot Flags when he came across a book of Kuribayashi's letters. They so inspired him that he wanted to do a companion film told from the Japanese side. He ran it by Spielberg (who produced along with Eastwood), who said "Yeah, sounds great!" and so they did it at the same time as Flags. Just like that, a fantastic movie was made.
All in all it is one of the best war movies I have ever seen. It is all about sacrifice. The last stand where there is no chance of victory, let alone survival, but they keep on fighting anyway. Of the 22,000 Japanese on the island, only two dozen were taken alive during the battle. Another 1,800 surrendered months, and even years, later. Some hiding out until 1951. The other 20,000 men all died.
I saw about two thirds of Letters (the latter part) and loved it. It was compelling, gritty, and very much my taste - asking questions about honor, loyalty and comradeship in the face of war (which tends to break down notions of civility).
I've not had a chance to locate it on DVD and watch the full movie. When I do, though, it probably will go next to The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape as one of my favorites.
I went and saw Burke and Hare last night. Generally I was impressed. There were some fairly glaring and odd issues with it, mainly historical inaccuricies which seemed completely unnessessary - ones which were required for the plot or humour I'm fine with but, without spoilers, there were some big ones which affected neither.
Still it was bizarrely funny in a dark sort of way and the casting was bang on, Simon Pegg does black comedy well and delivered some fantastic lines. Ronnie Corbit was in it too and it appears he's still quite able to act. I was also surprised how little accent butchering went on (there were mistakes but the writer did well to give the illusion of accent using occasional words while keeping it largely in English). They also caught some aspects of Edinburgh well in terms of the feel of bits of the city, and many scenes in places which were recognisable, even the occasional in joke.
The final scene... well it's true (and that's not all).
I'd recommend it.
"First you shall pull the holy pin. Then you shall count to THREE. THREE is the number you shall be counting. Two is not allowed and neither is four after you had counted to THREE. Five is WAY OUT!"
"One, two, five!"
Can you guess what I saw?
I bought the Man With No Name trilogy on blu-ray last week and watched the three films over that weekend. I learned some interesting things in the extras. Fist Full of Dollars was the first movie where Sergio Leone began using his trademark extreme closeups. The reason was that it was shot in the what at that time was the brand new process of technoscope, which allowed for it. So basically Leone was making the most of a brand new technology.
I have always liked the way he used those closeups of character's faces. All other directors before and since only use the closeup to show a character's reaction to dialogue or events. Leone uses them to build tension to a nearly unbearable level before an explosion of action. At the same time he also humanizes all the characters, as we look deeply into their eyes, study every line and crease on their faces, every droplet of sweat beading their skin. They cease to be cardboard villains just waiting for the hero to gun them down. Instead they become people, and when they die, there is a sense of weight in the event that is lost in modern action films.
Some other interesting things I learned. The reason Eastwood did the three films was that he was doing Rawhide at the time, and his contract forbid him from filming movies in the U.S. during the hiatus' between seasons. But he was free to film overseas, which of course the Leone movies were. Still, he brought his guns from Rawhide, plus a few other props. He keeps the guns throughout all three films in fact.
Another neat thing I learned was why the films seem to dubbed, and not dubbed, at the same time. The cast was made up of actors from all over Europe. Each actor spoke their own language when filming. Then afterward the sound was dubbed over for each each country it was released in, except the parts that were originally spoken in that language. That is why Eastwood's lines are all his, in English, and the other actor's are all dubbed into English. In the Spanish version all his lines were dubbed over, and all the Spanish-speaking actors left as they were, etc...
Also interesting is that Eastwood's character was never meant to be the same person in all three films. In fact, in the second film he even has a name: Manco. By the end of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly they sort of gave up on that however, and Eastwood picks up the characteristic poncho from a dead soldier before the final climax.
Another neat thing when you watch them in a row is you see that many actors make recurring appearances. Besides Eastwood of course, the other obvious one is Lee Van Cleef being in For A Few Dollars More and
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. But there are a lot of others too. The guy who played Ramon in Fist Full also plays El Indio in For A Few Dollars More. He even uses the same rifle in a few scenes. There is a big Spanish guy with a beard who shows up in all three as a henchman. The undertaker in the first is also in the second, etc...
All in all a fun time watching. I love the soundtracks, especially in the first and third movies. GBU did drag on for too long at 3 hours though, my only real gripe about the films.
Currently, I just started going through the Lord of the Rings special editions again. I wish they would release them on blu ray. The end credits for Fellowship are playing as I type this. I picked up Band of Brothers on blu-ray tonight, so that will be next in the pipeline.
Has anyone seen The Pacific? It is out in stores now, but I do not want to put down $70 for it until I have a better idea how good it is. I have it in my Netflix queue, but they do not have it available until the end of the month.
An interesting thing to do is track back through the "man in the middle" theme.
Although it may go even further back, Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest inspired Fist Full of Dollars. And then there is Kurosawa's Yojimbo. There's argument as to whether it was based on Red Harvest or The Glass Key, but the theme is the same in either case.
Some of my favorite moments- in Fist Full of Dollars, when "Joe" asks the outlaws to apologize to his mule.
In For a Few Dollars More, when the hunchback Wild (played by Klaus Kinski!) confronts Lee Van Cleef for the second time. Van Cleef notes, "It's a small world." To which Wild replies, "And very, very bad."
One other fun note- Lee Van Cleef lost that finger tip while working on his house, rather than as an accident while filming. (A number of Western stunt actors have lost fingers to blanks from the firearms.)
I really like some of the things people here have said they were watching. I'm watching Le SamouraÔ from 1967 right now. Though there aren't any samurai in it. But it's great.
Well for a change I'll report on a rather poor film. I go to second hand shops and buy a fair few bad films, some good-bad (Big Trouble in Little China) some bad-bad (The Terror Within springs to mind as potentially the worst film ever made).
Anyway I saw Supernova last night and it wasn't so much bad as profoundly mediocre. It's not new but it had it's share of half decent sets and effects which were acceptable for 2004, but had I designed the sets I'd have been annoyed by how awful the script, directing and acting were. To call the character's cardboard would be an insult to boxes everywhere, they were dire. The plot was the rather derivative nonsense I'd expected (and wanted, to be honest mindless sci fi is fine by me on a Monday night) but the baddy (there is no other word) was just that. Bad, no redeeming features and obviously so from the start. Within ten minutes I knew exactly what was going to happen, and was right. There were no twists, and too much action killed any tension it might have developed.
Frankly one to avoid.
I was thinking some more about Sergio Leone last night, and realized that one of my favorites from him is
Once Upon a Time in the West. No Clint Eastwood, but quite a cast all the same- Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, and Henry Fonda in a remarkable role. Not to mention the incredible Claudia Cardinale.
Do try to see the full version, even though it does run long. The opening sequence alone- with Jack Elam, Woody Strode, and a third actor whose name escapes me- is worth the price of admission.
1. Awesome movie during about a boxer during the American Great Depression.
2. Very emotional movie.
3. Has nothing to do with Cinderella...thankfully.
4. Russel Crowe and other actors are really good in this film.
Go watch it now.
After spending last week watching Band of Brothers, I spent this week watching The Pacific. Of the two, I liked The Pacific better. The main reason is that it tightly focuses on 3 main characters. BoB had so many characters that I often had trouble telling one from another, especially if I did not see them for an episode or two and they turned up again. I had that problem to only a smaller extent with the ancillary characters in The Pacific, but since they are the supporting cast, it is really not a deal-breaker.
Thanks to that tighter focus, The Pacific is a much more character-driven story than BoB was, precisely because of the greater emphasis it is able to place on each individual. It really gets further into what each man was experiencing, and how those things effected him over the long term. For example we see Leckie slowly unravel at Cape Gloucester, and follow him through his battle fatigue and brief sojurn in the psychiatric ward of a base hospital. Or at Okinawa we see Sledge steadily lose his humanity, going deeper and deeper into an ugly abyss, only to regain it in the strangest and most tragic of manners.
The Pacific also shows us a much uglier war than what the boys from the 101st endured in Europe. Wounded Japanese will literally blow up corpsmen coming to help them, and it just gets worse and worse as the Marines get closer to the home islands of Japan.
Sometimes even worse than the Japanese themselves is the environment. The jungle itself is shown as the enemy it was, especially at Cape Gloucester, where it was the worst in the entire war. So bad that it was impossible for even the Japanese to march across New Britain from Rabaul to where the Marines landed at Cape Gloucester. Then there is the coral at Pelileu, impossible to dig in, so they had no latrines, no foxholes, nowhere to hide. Or the mud at Okinawa, (the attack coincided with monsoon season) which was bad enough that even amtracs would get stuck in it.
All in all a strong series, and well worth watching. The $80 I spent buying it on blu-ray was well worth it.
I've not seen The Pacific yet. But I did read Flags of Our Fathers. Powerful stuff.
I know that each island the Marines took was different, with their own different challenges. The jungles were common in the southern islands, but as they moved further north, there was less and less plant cover. Iwo Jima was called Sulfur Island for a reason - it is all volcanic rock and black sand. The beaches themselves were hard to slog through because the sand kept shifting. Add to that the fact that the entire island was honeycombed with tunnels and underground rooms and you begin to get an idea of the hell that Iwo Jima was. Tarawa was hell to take, too. If I remember my history correctly, there was a miscalculation in the invasion plans and they went ashore at the lowest tide of the year (neap tide), so the amphibious vehicles couldn't even get past the coral reef. Marines were being shot while wading ashore.
And yes, the Japanese High Command had very little regard for life. That is a relatively recent development in Japanese history, as I understand it. People were basically considered cannon fodder for the High Command.
When you learn the gritty details, it makes you respect what those 19 and 20 year old American boys went through. No wonder Tom Brokaw considers them the Greatest Generation. They certainly learned the hard way what is really important in life.
The war in Europe was won by the Allied Army, the Air Force, and to some extent, the Navy. But I believe the US Marines own the Pacific War.
Well after a huge Merlin binge (the newest series), the Bourne movies. Gotta love a good plot!
I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned (though I suppose it's hardly new so maybe no surprise). Anyway I finally got round to watching Taegukgi Hwinallimyo (in the Korean original) or Brotherhood:Taegukgi (UK) /Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (US). As the name sort of suggests it's a Korean film about the Korean war.
For those who haven't seen it, you should. It doesn't mess around about showing a more accurate portrayal of war than is common in films. It also doesn't show either side as being much better than the other, as far as summary executions and conscription went. The characters and characterisation are excellent as it follows a pair of brothers during the conflict as one loses most of his humanity and the other watches unable to do much.
I would add that it isn't a happy film.
Unless it's a romantic comedy, most Korean dramas/films usually aren't happy at all.
Olen, I looked up Tae Guk Gi on Wikipedia. It sounds like the one I just finished watching; a similar K-drama that left me impressed with its handling of the human costs of the Korean conflict. Road No. One is about two men who love the same woman (the typical Korean love triangle) who are forced to learn to cooperate each other as they first retreat south, then back north along Road No. One, which is the main road that runs/ran from Seoul to Pyongyang (now the capital of North Korea).
It is tough, gritty, realistic (I found myself looking for Dale Dye, it was that good) with moments of humanity. The supporting characters are well drawn, especially Sergeant Oh. Unlike most Korean love triangles, where the loser doesn't develop much throughout the story arc, all three participants in this complicated relationship progress through their own journeys. It was one of the best character-driven war movies I've ever seen.
I'll also have to say that Road No. One is the best K-drama I've seen so far, and I've seen some good ones over this past year. How good you ask? It's so good I couldn't think of writing a better version of it!
If I get the chance to watch Tae Guk Gi, I will definitely do so!
We just finished watching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_(2006_film) by Tarsem Singh. It was rather on a whim- since we have Netflix and a Roku player.
Turns out to have been a fortunate whim. The visuals are quite incredible- the movie was filmed in over 20 countries. If someone is interested, I would recommend getting the DVD version to enable captioning- plus some good extras. Although it is in English, the young actress is difficult to understand at times. But that should not put you off.
I don't want to say much about the plot, beyond the fact that it revolves around stories and how our own experiences inform our reactions to them. If you are a fan of cinematography, this should definitely be on your list.
I just finished watching Road Games, a little Australian gem from the early 80s. It is an homage to Rear Window, only with the main character as a truck driver (there is even a direct nod to Hitchcock by way of a magazine that the truck driver has with him on the cover). It is heavy on suspense, and keeps you very firmly rooted in the pov of the truck driver, seeing what he sees, imagining what he imagines. Nothing fantastic, but fun nonetheless.
I just finished 'In Good Company' (again). Pretty much the only movie I like where the romance doesn't continue, but I think that's because its obvious that the main character had grown up. With winter (and cold season) approaching, I'll probably be dredging up 'While you were sleeping' and 'You've Got Mail' for another watch. Gotta love the chick flicks...and of course Pride and Prejudice is just begging to be put in the Xbox
Was there ever any other
I watched Centurion the other night. It is a film directed by Neil Marshall that stars Michael Fassbender as Quintas Dias, the soul survivor of a Pictish attack on a Roman fort in 2nd Century Britain. Seeking revenge, Dias manages to hook up with the Ninth Legion, led by General Virilus (Dominic West) who are on their way to avenge Dias' fallen comrades. The film also features the stunning Olga Kurylenko as the Pict warrior, Etain.
I was ended up being pleasantly surprised by this film. The narrative is evenly paced with some interesting twists in the plot. The performances are exactly what we have come to expect from pros like Fassbender and Dominic West. I wasn't that big a fan of Marshall's film, Dog Soldiers, but I liked this one. Granted, there are a few developments in the film that strain credulity, but overall this is one that I would recommend.
Got to see one of the old Dr. Phibes movies tonight - Vincent Price at his best - hilarious !!!
Just watched the season finale for Leverage. Otherwise, continuing with Homicide (near the end of Season 4, now); Monk; Eureka; and a gem we just found, William and Mary. What can I say? Netflix has taken over our schedule. But, since Mrs. Treydog will likely have knee replacement surgery sometime next year- that is probably a good thing.
I've been watching the Highlander series for the last couple of weeks. I'm almost finished with season 5, which is my favorite one. And the blooper reel included in this set is one of the best blooper reels I've ever seen.
As I type this I am watching '300' and then I shall watch 'Gladiator' and then maybe...just maybe, I might watch 'Troy'.
Thanks 'Rosa! I've ordered them and they should arrive within the next couple of weeks.
Thanks to Grits' Home For The Holidays, I have been watching Jane Austen movies in between episodes of Kung Fu. I watched the 2007 version of Persuasion last week, Becoming Jane earlier in the week, and the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice a few nights ago. I am still hankering for more, but am not sure what to watch next. I kind of want to do the "real" version of P&P (the 1995 epic), but it is a really big commitment in time. Or I am thinking of watching Lost in Austen again, or perhaps Miss Austen Regrets.
Or maybe something else. Has anyone ever seen the 1999 or 2007 versions of Mansfield Park? I tried the 1983 version last summer, and just could not get into it. What about the 2007 version of Northranger Park?
I am just not in the mood for Emma, or Sense and Sensibility right now, as I watched both back in the summer as well.
Angel season 5.
All of my favorite characters have finally come together. David Borenaz as Angel, James Marsters as Spike (my personal favorite Buffy character of all time), Andy Hallet as Lorne...
I gotta say, seeing Gunn become the worlds best lawyer was hysterical.
Well, I'll be watching some classic Doctor Who for a while. I got about 15 Doctor Who DVDs from my awesome family for Christmas.
I have mentioned before that we are working through the entire series of Homicide: Life on the Street.
For Christmas, Mrs. Treydog and I pooled our gift certificates and got the entire series plus the Law & Order crossover episodes plus the movie (not available from Netflix).
I did remark that it was a bit worrisome that our gift to each other was a box of murder....
But, of course, the series is so much more than that. In fact- the homicide(s) simply serve as a source of stress to show people at their worst (and best). What it is really about is how a group of people can do the job without losing themselves- or what happens if they do. And the acting and writing and cinematography are all just incredible.
My Christmas Eve/Day movie-marathon playlist consisted of Die Hard 1 & 2, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, Scrooged, Bad Santa and A Muppet's Christmas Carol. Hardcore.
Today I paid a visit to the theater for a viewing of Black Swan.
That was an experience... and a trip... maybe even both! It is the story of a schizophrenic ballerina who, under the pressure of the lead role in a major upcoming performance of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, slowly loses control of her condition. By the third act the lines between her two personalities have blurred so much that neither she nor the audience can tell what is real or simply a hallucination, and it gets pretty crazy at times.
Well my first of January viewing consisted of:
The Thick of It - for those that don't know it it's a British political satire (once described as the perfect opposite of the West Wing), everyone in it is obnoxious and incompetant which makes good hangover watching. The main character, Malcolm Tucker, is the real icong on the cake though, it's fairly obvious who he was based on. Certainly one to watch though I should probably mention that the language in it probably isn't very PG-13.
Starship Troopers - which has no right to be nearly as enjoyable as it is. The mindlessness was great though some of the gore was a bit much for my delicate state.
And finally Event Horizon - now there is an evil film, certain to cause as good nights sleep...
OOOOOOOOH! I was watching Inception, Planet of the Apes, I am Legend, Sherlock Holmes, and Matrix!
All my favorite movies! HAHAHA! When we were watching Planet of the Apes and I am Legend, my 14 yr. old sister had to run into the other room. LOL. ANd to protect her reputation, I won't mention her name on this forum, because her storie is good... LOL. Shame on you, (using common codename not assioated w/ forum or real world) Nelly!
"Elizabeth" - a new "redo" on the life of Queen Elizabeth, and the best I have ever seen done - Awesome film !!! Epic !!!
Is that the Cate Blanchett one? I loved that. There was a sequel, Elizabeth - The Golden Age, which was decent, although not quite as good.
I just watched Rogue for the second time, and once again loved it. Once you get past the fact that it's a giant crocodile movie, it is an excellent horror movie. Turns out there was a IRL croc named Sweetheart that actually did attack over a dozen boats in the 70s. But didn't kill anyone.
In any case, the cgi is decent, and the croc does attack like a real one, rushing up from ambush to take people at the water's edge and vanishing underwater with his prey in a moment. In fact the first death was like that. You never even saw it. One moment a character is standing in the water and the camera moves to the others. Then there is a splash, the camera moves back, and there is just some ripples in the water where the man was standing.
The real strength of the movie are the characters, and their interactions. Once the pressure is on they act like real people would. Which is to say they panic and do stupid things in the heat of the moment. They also come up with some rather creative ideas to save their skins.
Radha Mitchell stars, and as always does an excellent job. She has been one of my favorite actresses ever since I first saw her in Pitch Black, and has always been one of the front-runners in my imagination for casting as Teresa. Sam Worthington has a small part. This was before he got famous. He plays an boatmaster hick, and does a good job. Probably because it does not require any actual acting on his part.
The other real strength of the film is the Outback itself. It was filmed in some of the remotest parts of the Northern Territories, and the landscape is just breath-taking.
All in all, one of my favorite films.
The thing I liked about the 2005 Pride & Prejudice was how dirty and real everything looked. Iím afraid that whenever I see Donald Sutherland I have a ďLook, thereís Donald Sutherlandď moment, so it really takes me out of the scene. For me Colin Firth is Darcy, so good luck everyone else in the world with that role! I will always recommend the 1995 version as a good use of time.
I preferred the 1999 Mansfield Park with Frances O'Connor, but I always like to watch multiple versions. I know I watched the one with Billie Piper, but I donít remember it as well. I think the characters were portrayed as more youthful in that version, if that makes sense.
You are right about the newer P&P. It does make it much more clear that the Bennets are definitely lower upper class. Especially the one scene where the father is helping herd the pig around in the mud. That underscores the importance of the daughters all finding well-off husbands. It was not just a matter of greed, but survival.
I am the same way with Donald Sutherland. OTOH, since I like him, I do not mind that I see the actor rather than the part he is supposed to play. He has a great voice, and always looks like a psychopath, even when he is playing a nice guy like my Mr. Bennet.
Last night I finished watching the Scarlet Pimpernel episodes/movies from 1999, starring Richard E Grant. Tons of fun. Richard Grant was perfect for the role, and is just a joy to watch strutting his stuff (and shooting off his mouth). The series is filled with co-stars, including Elizabeth McGovern as Mrs. Pimpernel, who makes an excellent opposite to R.E. Grant. Also very pleasantly surprising was seeing Jamie Bamber in the first episode, and Gaius Baltar (I forget the actors name) in the third. Not to mention Julie Cox, whom I have had a crush on since she played Princes Irulan in the Sci-Fi Channel Dune/Children of Dune movies.
I got round to watching Pan's Labyrinth yesterday, now there is a very good film, I'd say among the best I've seen. It's a eerie mixture of fantasy and reality half set in facist 1944 Spain and half in this strange fantasy world. How much is real and how much is imagination is never really made clear. It also has a fantastic dark atmosphere which bridges the real and unreal and adds to the contrasting brutalities of each.
Given how much I enjoyed it it's hardly surprising that it's rather grim. Certianly one to watch though.
I just watched something that made me shat my pants (metaphorically, of course). And that's saying something because normally, I ain't afraid of horror movies.
The movie is of Thailand origin (I guess) and, although I don't know the original name, was titled Ningen Ramen (人間 ラーメン) in Japan. WHICH BASICALLY MEANS HUMAN NOODLES.
The intro was sick as hamster. It involves a butcher chopping down intestines (guess where they came from) and still alive human that was HOOKED, HOOKED I TELL YOU, from his stomach and dangling over a large pot that was full of (seemingly) hot water. You can guess the rest.
And BAM, the scene cuts back from the present, and guess what. A bloodied male is lay sprawled against the floor, and theres a deranged woman innocently HAMMERING AWAY AT NAILS THAT WAS IMPALED ON HIS FINGERTIPS AND THE FINAL TOUCH INVOLVES DISMEMBERING HIS LEG WITH A GOD-FORSAKEN CLEAVER. He dies of course, and a delightful scene was laid before my eyes. His bloody intestines were used as noodles (turns out the deranged female was an owner of a restaurant) and selled to the unsuspecting customers of that particular joint.
The moral of the story, kids, is that you SHOULD NEVER allow your ever-so-innocent friends choose your movies for you. Sorry, but it just wouldn't work for your mind nor your ability to resist puking. Really. Ever.
So yes, that was the movie I was watching. The acting was so-so, the plot I couldn't really grasp, it had me screaming like a little girl whose voice could shatter glasses, teached me the real meaning of Dementia but I would list it as one of the scariest (OK, not scariest but the most appalling and shocking) movies I've ever seen.
So yes. That was the movie I've seen today.
EDIT: Anybody seen the movie 20th Century Boys, yet? If you could somehow understand Japanese, it well worth the watch.
*Petra is puking*
Oh, god, that's DISGUSTING! Not in the 'eww' way, either. Like, really and truely horifying. And that was just a summary!
Im watching Monty Pythons Life Of Brian I love John Cleese hes my favorite especially in Life Of Brian
Speaking of Monty Python...
If anyone is interested, look up The Meaning of Life's Mr. Creosote (from The Autumn Years segment).
I am not to be held responsible for damages if you fail to provide a bucket. You have been warned.
Senior Pirates Inc. FTW!
(It appears you have seen it, but seeing as you're a Monty Python fan, I'm not surprised).
Ze 'are is vere 'igh and ze sauce is vere rrrrich! With Truffles, Arche Vin, Gran' Marnier, Bacon, and Creme.
You know, that actually sounds pretty good!
Punisher: Warzone :3 I love it. Its hilarious!!
I just finished watching an outstanding little movie called http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBmc1ZdpkEM. It is a tiny independent movie, with about 5 actors total. A good example of how the quality of a movie is not based upon the money thrown at. It was made by the same guy who did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjp0I_okX0w
It is a sci-fi movie, filled with more than one excellent twist and turn. Nothing is at first appears, and even when you do figure things out, there is still a rather intricate plan in motion. The main characters think, and in fact the plot is built upon a game of wits between them. Through much of the film I kept wondering why one character did not kill the other even when given opportunities. Then at the end it all became clear, and all made sense. All in all, the plot is just fantastic. A very fun ride.
Perhaps neatest, the voice of the computer is Erin Grey. So a huge fan-girl squee out of me for that!
If anyone hasn't watched the http://www.redlettermedia.com/ movie reviews, I highly recommend it. That guy is both hilarious AND insightful.
Oh, and he just released his review of Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. It's long enough to qualify as a feature film on its own, and it will tell you up front and to-the-point everything that made you wonder what had happened to make you stop enjoying the Star Wars films.
WARNING: Do not plan on drinking anything during that time, I take no responsibility for any destroyed keyboards.
For Christmas, I found a "Band of Brothers" box set under our tree, and a collector's edition of "Avatar". I finally had some time (work is slow right now... ... ) to watch them. It was my first viewing of Avatar. Amazing! And I could watch BoB over and over again. The best TV mini-series I have ever seen.
I just saw The American. It was an excellent film. Not an action movie, but rather a very understated - and because of that very intense - drama. The action scenes are few, short, and lethal, just like in real life gunfights. Something that is rather refreshing to see given the plethora of super-action movies in which people dodge bullets by doing cart-wheels or other gymnastics, etc... There is a lot of conflict simmering just under the surface however, something reinforced by the fact that in this movie guns really do kill people. There are many times where you are wondering if someone is going to get killed in the next few seconds. Sometimes they do not, a few times they do. That uncertainty really makes it all so much more powerful.
Clooney is a little odd here, as he plays a laconic assassin, rather than his usual smooth-talking, charismatic Face. But he delivers as a professional killer who has been in the business for too long. He tells you more through what he does not say, rather than what he does.
Tonight I saw Yesterday is a Lie. A very cool movie, it blends film noir with metaphysics and old-fashioned heartbreak. On the surface it seems to be your basic detective noir movie, except the protagonist is female (which would be enough for me right there). But then it starts digging into some mind-bending science, jungian psychology, and metaphysics as it the main character seems to be losing her grip on reality. But as the story goes on, we begin to see that she is actually seeing past what are mind's have convinced ourselves is reality.
The basic premise here being that the universe does not all fit together into nice neat pieces. We only pretend that it does. That time is not linear, and we experience that in the movie. That people themselves are not distinct, but rather one moving back and forward through the frames of existence, where every decision makes a new parallel universe, or destroys it. It goes on, but I do not want to spoil it all.
It reminded me very much of Pi. Not in the least because it was filmed in black and white. One of the neat touches is that the protagonist is colorbind. This was also a subtle clue that she also sees the world figuratively as well. Thinking that everything is logical, that all the pieces of reality have to fit together nice and neatly.
All in all, a very cool, trippy movie.
A Bronx Tale
@ RagingMudcrab - no, did not see that.
Definitely see that one then. A very different, vulnerable Clooney. Loved it.
I finally saw The Green Hornet. I dug it. It was stupid, but fun. Just what I expected. No complaints really. My standards are low with this sort of thing generally.
Anyone in need of a good laugh should see "Death at a Funeral", while it looks dull and B-Movie at best, I almost laughed so hard that I cried.
did someone say "the new predators" film?!?! Well I must mention it because after watching it yesterday I have decided to rewatch all of the alien, predators and alien vs predators film series. It has it all- a serieal killer, a mercenary...a crazy scavenger and none of those pesky xenomorphs to steal the show from everyones favourite spacemen---the predators!!!
GAAAAAH !!! Fabio was eliminated from "Top Chef All Stars!"
A funny old vampire movie - Eddie Murphy's "A Vampire in Brooklyn" Best line:
"There's a new vampire in town, and his name is Julius Jones...ha ha ha."
We recently dropped all of our premium cable channels in a move to cut expenses. Work has been slow To replace them, we signed up for Netflix. It turns out that by connecting our Wii to the internet, we can download movies and TV shows directly to our television.
Since doing this, the fee-on-say and I have started watching a Showtime production called "Dexter". What a bizzare, interesting, and well written/acted show! We are hooked and have been having two episode dinners at the coffee table.
By the way, I definitely recommend Netflix
Heh, we go a step further than that and just don't have a TV to avoid the licence (for those across the pond most European countries require you to licence a TV and it ain't cheap). Frankly I don't see the point, there's so little on TV I want to watch except films and it's cheaper to buy second-hand DVDs and get what I want to see and watch it on a big computer monitor.
A good Scottish film I saw recently was Neds, about someone growing up on a Glasgow scheme in the 70s (not that things have changed much). Quite dark but fairly accurite in it's portreyal.
I'm a lot like SubRosa, except I don't have Netflix. They don't have closed captioning. I also don't use iTunes for shows or movies either for the same reason. If it doesn't have CC, I pretty much can't watch it and enjoy it.
I use Hulu.com because of all the streaming services, they're the best for CC. Still, they're less than perfect. There's quite a few shows on that don't have CC.
I could live without cable TV/broadcast TV, but I can't live without cable internet (the fastest broadband option in my area). We only have cable TV because my mom is tech-phobic and only wants to watch shows on TV like she always did (and tape to VCR, but with the recent digital conversion and the loss of the VCR remote, she's helpless!).
If there's a show I like, I often wait for the season to come out on DVD, like SubRosa, and buy it (if I can afford it). Most of them do have CC, and it's rare to find one without it.
I rarely turn on the TV for anything but video games - unless I am having trouble sleeping. The only exception is when my son is in a war zone, I spend an inordinate amount of time watching the news (and cursing the idiot newscasters - like Geraldo, who embeds himself with a platoon leading the charge into Bagdad and when told THREE times he is not allowed to give out any information as to their position - tries to draw a map in the sand with a stick to show it).
I cannot state with truth that I don't watch program television. There are several shows that I enjoy. The Closer, Law & Order, House M.D., and my latest fav...The Walking Dead on AMC. My better half got me hooked on the aforementioned cooking shows...and...yes...she even has me watching American Idol. Any Sci-Fi/Fantasy show will get a view from me as well. I have always been a huge Star Trek fan, and always will be. The revamped Battlestar Galactica from SyFy was great, and now that I have Netflix, I plan on watching the entire series again.
Dinocroc vs Supergator, is a unique experience. It did *exactly* what it said on the tin and made two hours of a sunday evening disappear in a haze of bad effects and plodding plot. Still it was one of those films which is so bad it's good, and begging to have a drinking game made of it.
I saw I Am Number Four last night. T'was decent. I found it comparable to Jumper, which I liked. So yeah, it was alright. Easy entertainment. Of course, Timothy Olyphant makes any movie good though. Such intense stares. Murderously angry.
I saw a couple interesting ones lately.
1. Shutter Island. That was amazing. Everything kept me guessing until close to the end. Some of the scenes were pretty sad, though -sniff-
2. Cinderella. Its a Korean horror movie. It was really good, though very gory And like Shutter Island, it has lots of twists and turns.
3. A Haunting in Connecticut. Wasn't scary, really. And to me it was a lot like other haunting stories. -shrug-
I keep trying to watch Teeth, but I'm outnumbered by three revolted males who are too freaked out to even think of such a scenario
The future MrsOtherRick and I are now halfway through Season 2 of Dexter on Netflix, and we are so hooked. I watched Doomsday yesterday. It was sort of like Mad Max meets Resident Evil meets Underworld. I wasn't overly impressed. I got sucked in because I like the "end-of-the-world" genre of sci-fi movies. And then of course, NASCAR was on yesterday, which chewed up 3 hours of my day.
Slightly off the beaten path here, but I've been heartily enjoying http://www.youtube.com/user/CruelestChris#p/a/u/2/A_sd2vLeWJg LP of a rather horrible game known as Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (which is yet another generic UE 3 FPS). His commentary will have you rolling.
Also, despite his pseudonym (Evil Tim), his humor is actually quite tasteful.
An OLD Kathleen Turner/Nicholas Cage film (you know it was well done with those two in it) - set in the 50's with a lot of the songs of that era - Peggy Sue Got Married ... or will she? - I loved it, it fit right in with the type of movies I like best = love stories that transcend time/death/species/etc.
Cat People - man falls in love with girl that turns into leopard after mating - the Kinski one only
AI - child robot falls in love with human mother, goes through all kinds of hell to get her back
Swamp thing - woman's husband turns into swamp monster, she still loves him
The Fly - same exact scenario as above, substitute giant fly for swamp monster
Chances Are - Husband dies, soul jumps into baby being born - finds her when he is 20 years old - remembers their life together when he sees her.
Peggy Sue Got Married - Woman time travels back to just before her 18th birthday and has the chance to redo her future, and reshape others.
Ghost - man dies, his ghost comes back to save woman he loves
Yeah, yeah, I know. I have juvenile taste in movies, lol. But it is what I like.
I have been keeping up my John Wayne Western festival. After a spate of rather blah movies - The Comancheros, The Undefeated, Cahill U.S. Marshall - I saw a true gem today: The Searchers.
This is a very powerful movie. As one of the commentors said, it was not about the violence of the West, but rather what the violence did to people. Racism and hatred are the themes that flow through the entire film, how violence feeds and waters them, and how they burn people up. I have to give props to John Ford for making this film, and not shying from showing the ugliness and brutality on both sides of the West. In 1956, that was a real statement. Such as showing the aftermath of a US Cavalry massacre of Comanche. Or even more powerful, the aftermath of the raid on the settlers. Which is even more powerful because he never shows you the bodies. You just see the reactions of the characters.
Wayne's character Ethan is as much a villain as he is a hero (really an anti-hero, one of the few times Wayne ever played such a dark role). The main villain Scar is his mirror image in fact. Here is a man who shoots out the eyes of a dead Comanche, so that his ghost can never find the Spirit World, and will be doomed to wander the land for eternity as a lost soul. While he starts out wanting to rescue his two kidnapped nieces, half-way through the search we see that change. When he realizes that his surviving niece Debbie has been with the Comanches so long, she is probably more one of them than a White woman anymore. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1FKQnLIUzAs/TIcnU3bwAwI/AAAAAAAABBU/IIoULTCjZFU/s1600/John+Wayne+The+Searchers.jpg illustrates that realization so powerfully. The way his eyes are shrouded in darkness as he stares with loathing at the White women taken from a Comanche camp.
I saw it on blu-ray, and I have to say wow. Even for a movie not originally done in the format, it is just eye-popping. The sky is bluer than blue, and the characters seem to practically jump out of the screen. A lot of that is just John Ford's cinematography. He went to great lengths to really make the landscape a character in the film, rather than just a backdrop.
I just saw the Adjustment Bureau, which was good, as I expected. Really, when you have a Philip K. thermos story, the director of the Bourne movies, and Matt Damon, then end result is usually awesome. In this case, I was a little surprised on how the romantic side of the story was a very large part of the movie, as the reviews hadn't really painted it that way, but it was still an enjoyable movie. Terence Stamp as Thompson was a highlight.
I've been watching more European cinema recently and came across a real treasure which I shouuld have watched earlier. The lives of others is about a writer under observation under the Stazi in the GDR. The main character is a Stazi officer which gives it an unusual edge but it really captures suspicion and mistrust throughout. The characters a subtly put together but really shine and the mood is equally rich.
I'd really say this is one to watch, it's also remarkable how recently it's set...
I don't watch TV much, rarely a movie will come on I want to see. I caught this one last night - another chick-flick (as usual) - "Love Comes Softly" - about a rich city woman who travels west with her husband in a horse-drawn wagon. He gets killed their first day there, she is pregnant, and it is winter. (no stage coaches till spring). She is stuck there, and must marry a widower with a young daughter to have a roof over her head till she can get a stage coach home. Although nothing happens quickly or easily, she eventually ends up falling in love with both the widower and the little daughter by the time spring comes.
Yes, it was a tad predictable, but fun to watch. The little daughter steals the show with her amazing performance.
Anyway, it brought to mind another chick-flick I saw and loved - Stolen Women, Captured Hearts:
A young (red haired) woman's parents die and she travels west to live with her brother. On the way, the stage coach is attacked by a marauding tribe of native americans. They kill almost everyone but let her and another woman go. One really great looking man amongst them stares at her really hard - she somehow feels a connection to him.
When she arrives at her brothers, he promptly sells her to the farmer next door for a wife so the two properties will be tied together.
After mating on the wedding night with her new husband she is laying in bed (unhappy with her new husbands performance of his duties) and thinking about that one man that had stared at her during the attack. The next day she and the other girl that was on the stage with her are inside her new house when it is attacked by the same tribe - the man that stared at her is amongst them. In the attack they hurt no one, do no harm to the farm or others, but they kidnap the redheaded woman (WOO HOO!) and that other girl.
She has to live in the tent with the great looking guy and keeps trying to escape but he keeps catching her and bringing her back. So he tells her the reason he keeps bringing her back is that he heard her calling to him that night after she slept with her new husband. So they end up mating (HOT scene, but not hot enough to be rated) and she falls in love with him.
Then Custer (another great acting job on his part) comes and takes her back to that man her brother made her marry - and then IT IS ON because the great guy wants her back.
If I'm going to watch a western, this is what I want to see - it's about as chick as you can get - I loved it, lol.
Here is a clip of scenes from it:
I got the Borne movies in a box set for my birthday. I guess I'll be watching those.
The Bourne movies are the exception to the rule that the movie is never as good as the book.
At first when I heard Matt Damon was selected to play Bourne, I was like "Matt Damon?? Are you kidding me??" I thought he was just too nice and too 'boy-next-door' to play such a complex character as Jason Bourne.
Then my brother rented the first movie on one of his increasingly rare visits to my house. I watched it with him, and had to pick my jaw up off the floor at several points throughout the movie. Matt Damon played the character with an intensity that exceeded that of the book.
Matt Damon owns Jason Bourne. There can be no other. I don't think you'll regret it.
Matt Damon is perfect as Jason Bourne, precisely because he has that ordinary, regular guy look to him. He is the perfect spy, because he is the kind of guy you look at once and then forget about as soon as you look away.
Plus the Bourne movies have Brian Cox, whom I have adored since his turn as Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter.
I have been continuing my John Wayne fest for the past few weeks. I have had several good ones: The Alamo (which was more about the myth than the reality, but no surprise really. I have never seen an Alamo movie that showed the Tejanos who fought to defend it.), where he really shines. The Cowboys was just bland, as I found Sons of Katie Elder to be. Fort Apache was a lot of fun, although Wayne is just a supporting character there. The Horse Soldiers, while inspired by Grierson's Raid IRL, just did not do much for me. Same with She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, which is the red-headed stepchild of Fort Apache.
However, I got a truly brilliant one in there. Stagecoach. When I was young people used to always rave about it, but I never got to seeing it. So unlike the others, this was my first time seeing it. Wow. It just blew me away.
First off, it is a character-driven piece, about a group of extremely diverse people all thrown together on a stagecoach journey. The ride, and the ever-present threat of Indians on the warpath, turns up the pressure on all of them, allowing us to see who they really are under the veneer of civilization (which some wear more heavily than others).
Wayne himself is simply magnificent. Any other description would be a disservice to him. He is the quintessential Western hero in this film. Larger than life, a man of simple ways, resolute determination, and a heart of pure gold. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_UX7GApCbB4c/RlXLFgO-DGI/AAAAAAAAAMw/8jWSfAszQPw/s400/WayneStagecoach01.jpg, you want to cheer. He makes a wonderful juxtaposition with John Carradine, who is actually young in this film! Carradine plays the Gentleman/Gambler, who is always at the service of the Upstanding Lady, yet practically curls his lip at the Fallen Woman. Where on the other hand Wayne is always the true gentleman, and treats both women with equal grace. Yet of course is drawn into a sweet romance with the Fallen Woman.
Add in the action scenes. While rare, they had a big impact on me. The reason being that this was shot in 1939. Before CGI, before wires. This was all done for real. We see a man leaping from a horse onto the fist of three pairs of horses pulling the stagecoach, while all are going at a full gallop. Then he is shot and "dies", falls to the ground between the horses, and the other horses and coach pass over him. One miscalculation and that stuntman - Yakima Canutt - would have been dead. Then Wayne (or his stuntman I am sure), makes a similar leap from the coach to the first set of horses pulling it, and then continues jumping to the leading pair. Goddess, those men have balls of pure brass!
Finished the Borne movies. I thought Identity was a little meh, but Supremacy and Ultimatum were fantastic!
Borne will have 2 armed guys against him and in a blink of an eye he'll have them knocked out with their guns in his hands.
Goin old school here. City Lights by Charlie the Chap. It was suprisingly AMAZING for such an old 'movie'. Made me cry at the end.
This film shows that even without words, one can express his thoughts with actions. Bravo is all I can say.
I am so digging Netflix. Last night, my better half and I finished watching Season 2 of Dexter. It originally aired on Showtime. What a great show! Twisted, but really cool.
Tonight we started a new series on Netflix that was also on Showtime originally. Jeremiah. The setting is 15 years after a virus has caused every human that had past puberty to die. The end of the world meets Lord of the Flies. Awesome show so far.
Not big on watching network TV - but have found myself watching two of these quasi reality shows:
The "Top Chef All-Stars" - Missed the end of the episode, but caught a preview of the finale, looks like the cousins Mike and Antonia are going to be "batter-ing" it out.
Celebrity Apprentice - Dionne Warwick got the axe - and pretty well deserved, (IMHO). Am I the only one that thought she was closet tippling through the show? Dionne looked smashed, appeared to be holding herself upright in the chair by dint of stiffening herself into a board, either that or 'The Donald' now knows where that missing broom went.
We'll probably be seeing her in "Celebrity Rehab" next, from the lines on her face that alcohol has been pickling in her for a long time.
She quit, then tried to take it back - said she "changed her mind." (Let's hope the new one works). 'The Donald' cannot tolerate a quitter, it never went into deliberation after that.
Let's face it - he himself never gives up. He has fought tooth and nail to keep those three hairs covering that bald spot for how many years? It isn't like he couldn't go to "The Men's Club" and get implants, he certainly has the funds. But he doggedly continues in the 'comb-over'.
I always wondered if "The Adoring Fan's" hairdo was inspired by him.
Her charity earned nothing during her stint in the show - pretty unimpressive for the Diva of the 60's.
"The moment I wake up..
Before I put on my make-up,
I take a little sip of you." ... Dionne Warwick
Still going through all the seasons of Monk (yay Netflix!). Also watching To Serve Them All My Days- it is one of those BBC series. Set at a boarding school following WWI- the main character is a shell-shocked Welshman who becomes a history teacher.
It is a bit- slow... And the episodes can be uneven.
Netflix is a wonderful thing.
Wrothken and I have been watching Scrubs for awhile. I can't believe I missed so many episodes! And I saw other ones so many times I thought some characters were in the show way, way longer than they actually were. Its a cute show, though I get sad whenever someone dies.
And I finally got to finish watching Teeth. It is officially my new favorite movie, just behind Hard Candy. I feel so bad for the poor girl when she first discovers her... um... gift. And some parts make me cringe for her.... but the "punishment" is generally deserved. Doctors make some funny comments while they attempt to fix what she does to the men. And the last mutilation was done in such a hilarious manner. Of course, Wrothken refused to watch it with me.
Today in the theatre: Sucker Punch.
This film is very aptly named, let me tell you. It invites you in with the promise of fetish and hot women killing monsters in increasingly unbelievable ways, takes all that preconception, and wallops you in the gut with it.
This was an extremely intense movie; a far cry from a summer blockbuster. The overarching theme of the film is escapism, and what some people do to cope with the world when it all turns bad.
Great ending, by the way; very unexpected twist.
This is NOT A movie about pandering to fetishism, this is a movie that takes everything you know about them and physically assaults with them. If you want a clear message of girl power presented in a crisp, burlesque package, I heartily recommend this one.
I saw Driven the other day. It was better than I expected it to be. Plus, the end was set in Detroit I really enjoyed the very tangled web of relationships between the characters. It did not really have cut-and-dried villains except perhaps for Burt Reynolds, who turns in a solid performance as the ruthless boss. They characters were competitors, but many of them managed to either remain or become friends through it all. Basically, they were just people with their own agendas. Stallone was good, and perhaps more importantly he had a good character. A man who had it all and lost it, and has been humbled by the experience. On the downside, the movie seemed unsure of what character to focus on: Stallone's, or the new kid he's been brought back to mentor. Because of that it often seems to wander.
I finished watching Claymore today. This is probably my fourth time watching the series. Again, I just loved it. It is packed with gore and ultra-violence, which I know draws in the young male crowd. But that is not what it is really about, which is why they get all flustered with the ending, which I loved.
It is set in a fantasy world where monsters called Yoma roam the land, eating people's innards. Making it worse, they can take human form to hide amongst people, and pretty well above and beyond anything a human can fight in an even battle. In come the Claymores, who are women infused with Yoma energy, making them powerful enough to fight the Yoma and win. They are tough chicks with big swords (hence the name).
However, the more Yoma energy (or yoki), they expend, the more like monsters the Claymores become. If they expend too much, they literally become monsters, and cannot go back to being human. The series revolves around this fight within each Claymore to retain their humanity in an incredibly violent and horrific world. The goriness and violence of the series is meant to underscore this. It is a nasty world these Claymores live in. Going from one battle to another, most have nothing else to live for but killing Yoma. They have no families, no friends, even the people they are sworn to protect fear and hate them because they are half-monsters. Their lives are simply one battle after another, and can only end one of two ways. They either get killed in a fight, or they Awaken and become a monster.
Enter http://images.wikia.com/claymore/images/3/3d/Clare47.jpg, who like many of them became a Claymore to get revenge on the Awakened Being that killed someone she loved- http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_W9P7q0qPA8U/TDEaCi6MrLI/AAAAAAAAAow/dFS7VRTmqW4/s1600/teresaofthefaintsmilejs8.jpg. Teresa had been the greatest fighter of her era, and took Clare in. In the process Teresa learned to live again. At least until she died (which I will not go into). Clare herself meets someone who changes her life - Raki - and the show revolves around the two polar opposite forces in her life. One hand there is her lust for vengeance that can only end in self-destruction - even if she achieves it. Then you have her love for Raki, which gives her a reason to live for the first time since Teresa. Seeing how it all plays out is just marvelous.
Now that is over though, I have that familiar post-series letdown. Whenever I watch a good series, I get so used to it, that when it is over it is a bit depressing. Now I have to decide what to watch next. I am thinking of maybe going back to my Horatio Hornblowers. Or maybe staying with anime and doing Twelve Kingdoms again, or Crest of the Stars/Banner of the Stars I & II. Maybe even Gunslinger Girl, in spite of how depressing it gets at the end.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" - with Colin Firth - WOO HOO !!!! A very well done Oscar Wilde.
Just saw The Lincoln Lawyer.
Read the book, liked it, saw the film was doing well enough on Rotten Tomatoes to justify seeing it, was actually impressed by some of the performances.
Especially Matthew McConaughey, who managed to act just a little differently this time around, but was still himself enough to pull off the Mickey Haller role.
The other actors turn in solid performances, and as a legal thriller it avoids the cliches by "solving the case" halfway in, while the rest of the film focuses on the legal jousting without trying to make it into a metaphor for something its not. It's the good parts of Law & Order with enough time to develop the characters and tell a story.
The Crucible - the actors did an awesome job with this, there was no point that I lost immersion because of bad timing or acting whatsoever, the story was powerful and riveting, it was extremely well directed - worth the time to watch this one !!
I am watching Crest of the Stars, Banner of the Stars, and Banner of the Stars 2. All three are 12 episode anime series' starring the same two characters. Each is a separate story, at a different time in their lives. Like Claymore, the traditional gender roles are reversed, with the girl being the strong, silent, warrior type, and the boy being the more supportive type.
The shows are space operas, being set in a future where the galaxy is divided among 5 main factions. 4 of them are formed together in a treaty against the final one: The Abh Empire. The Abh are basically elves in space. But not magical fantasy elves. They are the result of genetic engineering, having been created to serve as slaves to work in space in the distant past. They rebelled and destroyed their creators. But they still continue the practice of genetic engineering, with all births being artificially done. The Abh's home is space, and they really have no interest in the planets they conquer as part of their empire. They really only want to control the space around them. So they tend to be very hands off in their rulership of regular humans (or "Landers") living on the worlds. Still, they are hated and feared by Landers, because they look different, and of course because it makes good propaganda for the other 4 nations.
I liked how the tackled the obligatory issue of FTL travel. It is done by using gateways called Sords that allow access into and out of Plane Space. Plane Space is another dimension laying beneath our own. As the name implies, it is only two dimensional, lacking the dimension of depth. To survive there, ships need to have a special engine that can create a Space-Time bubble around them in three dimensions. If a ship's space time engine goes out, it will be immediately crushed down into two dimensions, and everyone on board instantly killed. Combat in Plane Space is interesting, because it can only take place between ships whose Space-Time bubbles have merged. So it is by necessity at relatively close range. Because ships cannot jump into or out of Plane Space on their own, all movement through it is controlled by the Sords. So unlike in Star Wars, you cannot just hit your hyperdrive and be on the other side of the galaxy a minute later. You have to go from one Sord to another. So controlling the Sords means total control of space travel. So in peacetime this means regular trade routes through the Sords, and in war it means attacks can only come through those same routes.
One thing I like about the shows is that each is quite different in its plotting and feel. The first is your standard boy meets girl and they have space adventure kind of story. With the backdrop being the beginning of an all-out war between the Landers and Abh. The second series is your basic war story, with our boy and girl now years older and serving on a ship in the Abh fleet. The third is more about diplomacy, with our pair now acting as ambassadors to a planet conquered by the Abh, and trying to sort out is a very chaotic and violent revolution going on on the surface.
In addition to the two main characters, we also see a lot of the various Abh admirals and their staff chiefs during the shows, which keeps us up to breast on what is happening overall in the war. They do a good job of making all them unique and interesting, and very distinctly elfin/Abh in outlook. Some of them are just hilarious, like the Bebaus twins, one who is the admiral, the other the chief of staff of the same fleet. Both come from a family known for "Spectacular Insanity". Admiral Bebaus does not disappoint on this score either...
All in all, they are good anime shows, well worth the watch. All of them are based on a series of novels, and I hope that they make the final two into animes.
My husband and I just bought Roots, and we've been watching it one episode at a time. I read the book in high school and couldn't put it down. So far, I love it.
I'm watching The Confession on Hulu. Starts off with "A hitman walks into a confessional to talk to a priest." From there, it gets...good.
I can't explain it. What I can say is that you should definitely watch it. Kiefer Sutherland and John Hurt are at top notch levels with this. For all the shots of two guys sitting in a congessional booth, the amount of struggle is truly impressive.
Currently viewing Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster on MST3K.
Sweeny Todd, with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, anyone?
That's on my queue as well. I'd like to point out something about the voice actors they've got.
They managed to get Captain Jean-Luc Picard/Professor X/EMPEROR URIEL SEPTIM VII of TAMRIEL!! (Patrick Stewart), Luke Skywalker/Batman TAS's The JOKER!!!/Fire Lord Ozai (Mark Hamill), and Rear Admiral Adama/Jaime Escalante/Lt. Castillo (Edward James Olmos) in one series.
That the universe is still here, after enduring such a concentration of Awesome, speaks to the existence of God, who probably has also put this on His Netflix queue.
I do indeed prefer to see females as more than just the playtoys of men!
I think all of them sound interesting, and I'm the kind of person who will usually give anything a chance--I never make assumptions about movies without seeing them myself first, no matter what the critics say, that sort of thing.
My husband and I have watched some more kid-friendly anime like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, and Ponyo--definitely kid-calibur stuff. We've barely even scratched the surface of anime as a whole, and would like to see more. I'll likely give all your recommendations a try, and I'll let you know what we thought, if you'd like!
I would love to hear what you think of the anime's you watch. I recommend watching them with Japanese audio and English subtitles, as the English voice actors almost all of them use are just atrocious.
There are two more I can throw in as well.
Serial Experiments Lain is a mind-bendingly freaky series about a girl who just might be a god, or something else. But she is certainly not human. It goes very deeply into the philosophy of what makes people people, and what is reality and not.
Blood+ is an excellent anime about vampires, without it seeming like they are vampires at all because they are so non-traditional. It's about a girl who finds out that she isn't at all normal, and cannot really recall what happened to her before the preceding year. She finds her family beset by monsters, that only she can kill because her blood is poison to them. Then there is the creepy guy following her around, who won't tell her who he is, but seems to be her servant. A very cool series with action and character development.
Theres barely any anime available over here, so ive been searching the internets to find some, unsucessfully. The closest thing I got was final fantasy VII: Advent children.
Still a great movie, and square enix always amaze me with their unbelievable graphics and detail. Brilliant story as well, but you wont understand at all if you've never played the game.
Grey's Anatomy--the episode tonight is so bittersweet. Callie and Arizona are getting married, so that's the happy part. But Callie's situation with her parents is so heart-breaking! Her mother just said some very hurtful things to her, because she won't accept her daughter's marriage to another woman... I mean, I can see the mother's point of view, and even though I don't agree with her I can understand where she's coming from. But poor Callie--she wants so badly to please her parents and to marry the woman she loves, but her mother's coldness to her and her lack of enthusiasm just makes me want to cry! How any parent can turn on their child because of something like that--to me that is the abomination. No parent should ever treat their child in such a way, whether they agree with something or not. It just breaks my heart that real people do that to their children in this world every day...
But kudos to Grey's Anatomy for taking on such a controversial but important subject in the show! Though I am, myself, heterosexual, gay rights is something that I consider highly important. They are people just like all the rest of us, and should have just as much right to marry whomever they love, regardless of gender. Each human being should have that right, and no one should have the right to force their own personal beliefs onto others. But that's my opinion, so if anyone here disagrees, I would rather not get into a debate. I will respect your opinions, and I ask that you do the same for me, so we can agree to disagree.
OMG! And thank you, Dr. Bailey!!! What she said when she talked Callie up, she said it beautifully!!! Woot!
Tears! Omg! Callie's dad turned the car around to go back and dance with her at her wedding! Yay! :')
I love this show. It's one of my favorites!
Well, I'd like to point out what day it is. No, not that dumb Rebecca Black song.
Today is Freya's Day!
Which means that Yesterday was Thursday. Sorry, meant to say
So I went to go see THOR!
In IMAX THOR-D!
Seriously, though, just saw Thor, and I must admit how much I was surprised by it. There's a certain amount of humor, yes, and some tropes you can identify rather easily when they're used. But the tone of the film is easily capable of dragging you in.
Oh, and stay through the credits. You'll be happy that you did. Especially if you're one to appreciate July movie tie-ins.
LOL. Love what you did with that, Captain Hammer. I'll have to go see it. I'll probably wait until it comes out to rent, though, because I'm not fond of movie theatres anymore... And I'll be sure to watch it on a Thor's day!
Hey, he's my patron! Most other gods and goddesses are fond of swords, axes, spears, or archery equipment. But you want a god with a hammer, there's only one way to go...
Cardcaptor Sakura, as suggested by our dear friend SubRosa! I watched the movie this morning with my daughter. Probably should have watched the series before watching the movie, but I loved it. I watched it with the original Japanese (English subtitles), and I'm very glad I did (I usually watch foreign films in the original language, because I love languages). I've always loved the sound of the Japanese language, especially--it's beautiful, and some day I hope to learn it. The costumes the characters in the movie wore were beautiful and cute. And Sakura and her pet/friend are both very cute!!
Shaoran's mother was very pretty, too. At first, I wasn't sure if I trusted her, which is probably what the writers/creators wanted. And that sorceress from Sakura's dreams was very interesting. I felt great pity for her...and I am glad at how it all turned out, except that I was hoping she would get to keep that exquisite headpiece!
I won't say too much, in case anyone here hasn't seen it and wants to, but it was very enjoyable, and my little girlie seemed to enjoy it as well. And it appears she didn't mind the Japanese--I don't know if she really even noticed. Three-year-olds are still not as bothered by language barriers as many adults.
I'm going to start watching the series next, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it just as much. Thank you, SubRosa, for your suggestions!
Odin's the closer equivalent of Zeus/Jupiter. Old man, with big flowing beard, king of the gods, fits the archetype of "Skyfather" (male weather deity associated with destructive forces as tool of justice/retribution), one of three brothers descended from a world-shaper, protector of guest-right, etc.
Thunderstorms are a far more dangerous thing in Greece than in Scandinavia, where it's blizzards that are culturally the most feared meteorological phenomena. This, and a few others, mark the difference between the two, but the differences are largely circumstance-based, and the cross-cultural similarities between the two indicate descent from the same proto-concept in pre-historic societies.
It will not be out for another year, but I am looking forward to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1611224/. I wonder if he will use Lincoln's Repeater, loaded with holy water bullets? Not just good for killing Super Mutants I see!
I loved that book (and wonder what would happen if somebody were to write an Abraham Lincoln vs. Twilight piece) and I eagerly await the movie. The same guy who wrote this also wrote Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and I think that would make a great movie as well.
Looks to be quite promising, though. It's a great premise and the original writer is coming back for screenplay duties.
Girl in Gold Boots on MST3K.
So far, it's got everything I look for in an MST3K movie: terrible acting, cheap washed-out picture, cliched....
But I've just come across one of the most hilarious jump-cuts I've ever seen. You really have to see it to believe it, it's incredible.
Im hoping to see priest when it comes out.
I should start going to church if thats what sermons are like
Field of Dreams for the billianth time, still bawling like a calf every time.
Another excellent movie for making you cry your eyes out-- Pay it Forward. I sob almost uncontrollably every time I watch it (which isn't often, because I just can't do that to myself too much).
I've only watched one tear jerker that I know of, and thats The boy in the striped pyjamas. The end had us both in tears, and thats not usual for me.
Second comic-book movie just seen with the fratre and the amicis.
X-Men: First Class is...not quite as first class as Thor was (let me Hammer the puns home now).
I would suggest that vegetarians avoid this one, as it is most definitely full of Bacon-y greasiness.
And by that, I mean that Kevin Bacon turns in a great performance as Sebastian Shaw.
The new imaginings of Erik Lensher (Magneto) and Charles Xavier (Professor X) are pretty well done. For those deeply familiar with X-Men and Marvel comics history, there are some deep diversions from the established lore, and the characterizations of the supporting cast takes a few amateurish turns.
That said, look for a few instances of foreshadowing from James McAvoy regarding the future of his character. And be on the lookout for a great cameo with a precision F-strike that does deserve a few laughs.
It's not worth rushing out to see at this given minute. But it is the best thing in theaters right now unless you're up for another round of Norse drinking with Thor (and with stupid Pirates hogging the IMAX-3D theaters, there's nothing new for you) and if you're gonna see a movie this weekend, I suggest this one.
You won't see anything special, but you should enjoy yourselves.
I have been on a Legend of the Seeker kick of late. It is a great show! A shame it only lasted two seasons...
Watched the newly released 'Kung Fu Panda 2' yesterday. Great fun, made me want to get a panda.
Also watched X-men First Class, good film if you like X-men, I just love seeing new characters and discovering what cool abilities they have. Teleportation is still at the top of my list.
Alright, so it's time for Cappy's Third Comic Book Movie Review of Summer 2011!!
Today, we have opinions on Green Lantern, DC's (via Warner Bros.) sole entry this year.
First, something that truly needs to be said about comic book movies in general. They're best when made in-house. This is why Thor did so well with the source material, keeping a general faithfulness to the comics narrative strength and using the history of visual evolution to nail-down the right effects for the big screen.
These are the two major flaws with Green Lantern. The story is barely there. I know that DC has no intention of merging Justice League properties on the screen until after the finish the run on Nolan's run with Batman and the next Superman film. But they introduce major villains immediately into the narrative, and turn some of the fundamental concepts of the comics' universe into cheap characters. Sinestro (Mark Strong) is well-acted but poorly written. Peter Sarsgaard is creepy as Hector Hammond, but with cheap lines and lots of scripted screaming, there's only so much one can do before turning a role into a self-parody, a dangerous line thankfully averted.
Honestly, given the great run Geoff Johns had with the Blackest Night sequence, I don't know why they didn't hire him for major writing credit for the film. He's written for TV and has interest in doing some film work, so the failure to pass up a strong story-teller speaks of the unwillingness for studios to try taking a few risks.
Then there's the visuals. They range from the fundamentally awesome (Tomar-Re's initial demonstration of a Green Power-ring's ability) to completely misguided (I now know more of Ryan Reynolds' pectoral muscle fibers than any man should ever know). You can see where they sunk the effort into the film, and at no point do you get the sense that they were going for cheap gimmicks seen in the Immortals trailer showing before the film (thank Shor that Skyrim comes out on the same day). Even a skin-tight suit would have been preferable to Reynolds' new skin he seems to get every time he goes ring-slinging.
All in all, a mediocre adaption of great material, with a good adaption of the visual style that seems to go a little over-board in certain respects. I don't know if it's better than Mr. Popper's Penguins, but if you've got nothing else to see this weekend, check it out. I can't way whether it's worth the extra three-to-four bucks for 3-D experience (a lot will depend on your desire to be visually wowed), but it's nowhere near the sh!t-show that was Joel Schumacher's two go-rounds with Batman. Kilmer and Clooney still give me shivers thinking about that.
EDIT: Have now seen this film in a not-tired, not-slightly-buzzed state. Above review null and void. Overall: Rotten Tomatoes is being generous right now.
I just saw Thor. I have to say, it was quite good. Much better than I expected. A look at the end credits showed many of the reasons why. Kenneth Branagh and J. Michael Straczynski behind the cameras. But even the people in front of the cameras were quite good as well. My biggest worry was Anthony Hopkins as Odin, but I think he did it excellently. Chris Hemsworth though was the real standout. He carries the lead very well. He looks like a god, has a great voice, and is just an all around cool guy. Even when he is being a complete A-Hole (like at the beginning of the movie). I wish he had been tapped to be Captain Kirk in the reboot of Star Trek, rather than Kirk's dad. He'd have done a much better job, namely by not being an annoying twit. But I digress.
All around a good movie. Even with some of the incongruities like Robin Hood, Jackie Chan, and Wilt Chamberlin, it still works. In fact, I think the African-American Heimdall was perfect (not being sarcastic, I mean it. He really feels like an outsider among the other Asgardians, standing alone at the end of the bridge.
The look was good. They even took that silly tic tac toe board the comic book Thor wears and actually make it look like real armor in the film. Likewise with those great big helmets. It all seems larger than life. As gods ought to (even though the movie is quick to point out that: "oh no, they are not gods, they would just look like that to primitives from a thousand years ago".
Every good hero is measured by his opponent. In this Tony Hiddleston as Loki is no slouch either. He was most cool, because while he is what I expected, he was not at all what I expected. A great trickster, his deceptions are merely deceptions. You have to really dig to see what is true plans are. His motivations were excellent, not to mention many-layered, and simply believable. In the end you find yourself thinking "Is he really all that bad?" He has become tied with Magneto as my favorite Marvel movie villain.
Finally, the obligatory epilogue at the end of the credits was once again most tantalizing, and I suspect is the lead in to The Avengers. I really like how the marvel movies are doing these now.
Okay, I'm sorry. Forget my previous post.
I saw Green Lantern at the Thursday night midnight premiere, and must admit to a certain amount of impaired faculties.
I saw it again today. Went with my brother, who just got into town. He hadn't seen it yet.
We both agree with my new assessment. Don't see it. Don't watch it if you have to pay, don't view it unless you must.
The CGI is a lot worse than I had originally evaluated. Ryan Reynolds was, I am sorry to say, a poor choice. He's a good actor with leading man capabilities, but he's just not Hal Jordan. Jon Hamm would have been a much better choice. So would Matt Damon. And Tom Hardy, but Nolan already tapped him for Bane.
But the writing. Oh, the writing. I don't know whether the writer's ever really read through an entire story-line of Green Lantern. Given that DC is about to pull another reboot of their whole product line, I don't know how much it matters. But if these story-lines are about to be introduced as comic-book canon, I'll have officially lost all faith in mainstream comics.
Just got back from seeing harry potter!
Brilliant film, and worthy of being known as the final HP movie.
I second Harry Potter. I pretend not to be a fan but secretly I think it's quite cool.
I also saw Transformers 3 for the second time today, I loved it. I enjoyed the story and I always love seeing new transormers and the giant Decepticon worm/snake/thing stole the show.
Lots of great films out this year and we're only half way through (sort of).
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
And I hate to admit it, but I think I liked it a little better than Thor.
Yes, better than Thor. Not by much, but a little.
It's hard to say what went right, other than noting how little went wrong. They don't default into stereotyped casting, with the exception of the Red Skull, but Hugo Weaving's nazi super-scientist turned deformed super-human mad-man is probably the perfect antagonist, more so than Loki whose entire driving force seems to be an out-of-proportion revenge scheme. This time around, the megalomania that made the original Agent Smith is back, as Weaving's Schmidt makes you ask "Is it possible to be too Nazi for Hitler to tolerate you? What does such a person want?"
Alright, so the one fault I have with the movie is basically the fact that one part of it is mediocre in a piece that consists of concentrated magnificence. We can stop here, say "See the movie," and be done. But there's more for me to say, and I need to say it here. As it is a definitive rant, allow me to throw up the spoiler tags.
Oh, and for the after-credits stinger: Yes, it's there. But, it has already been posted on YouTube, and the significant plot element comes at the end of the film, before the credits, not after. Still, to see the small bit on the big screen: Worth It!
I spent last week having a mini-lesbian film marathon, watching The Gymnast, A Marine Story, and Elena Undone. I have so fallen in love with Dreya Weber, who stars in the first two. She is an IRL aerialist, and is lots of fun to watch. In fact, I think she has just the right body to play Tadrose Helas, if there was ever a Teresa of the Faint Smile movie. The right attitude too.
Since then I have been going to the stars, watching Enterprise again. I am loving the series even more the second time around. I think all the things other people hate are the ones I adore so much. The opening theme. The lack of a prime directive. Humans not being the most advanced kids on the block, and there not even being a Federation yet. The Vulcans not being the nice, friendly, neutered puppy dogs they are in the later trek shows are a big part of it. Instead them being more than a little devious, and purposely holding humans back from space, creates a wonderful level of conflict that is missing from all the other shows. Even the original series, where Spock often faced animosity from other crewmembers.
Of the cast, I noticed that Linda Park is even more gorgeous than I remember her being the first time around. Jolene Blalock really shines as T'pol though, saying so much with so little. I just love how she sits like a bird in the captain's chair. The doctor is another favorite. I just love that half of his cures seem to use the menagerie of animals he keeps in the sick bay. Like the old days of medicine when maggots were used to prevent gangrene.
I also love the look of this Enterprise. All very basic, no carpeting, no spacious suites for every crewmember with their own shower and food replicator. It is all metal and flat-panel computer screens. Everyone eats in a common mess, and there is even a chef, and the captain has a steward. Controls are all dials and buttons, rather than the slick lcars interface from Next Gen. It looks like IMHO, a starship ought to. More like a submarine than a luxury hotel.
I've been hit by the Anime bug, and have started watching the quintessential series InuYasha. I did watch a lot of child Anime in my youth (Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, mostly), but I have to say that the more adult oriented series have quite a lot to offer.
And now, I pose a question to Anime fans. Which do you prefer: subbed or dubbed?
ahh, back to anime are we?
well for me it depends on the actors. For example FF:Advent Childrens English voice actors were still fitting, especialy the dark voice of Mr. Prius (George newbern)
Subtitles all the way, for any non-English film. The dubbing in Anime especially though is always done by the worst voice actors that have ever lived. Actually, I am sure they are not voice actors at all. They are probably just random people the studio found that could speak English. I literally cannot stand to listen to the dubbing in anime. I would rather not watch it at all. (Note this is not the case in anime that was made for an American audience, and so actually got real talent. For example, Naussica of the Vally of the Wind, which features Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Chris Sarandon, and Edward James Olmos. Or the aforementioned Advent Children. But those are far and between.)
Watching in the original language also gives you the benefit of hearing the emotion in the character's voices (this never carries over in the dubbed voices). If someone is happy, or sad, or angry, etc... it all comes across in the original language. The other advantage is that if you watch enough anime in Japanese, you start to learn the language a little, including the slang.
Speaking of Edward James Olmos...
A little while back I finally got around to finishing Battlestar Galactica 2001. An excellent series, but the ending was a major disappointment.
Godidit? Seriously? That was the best they had?
Yes, talk about Deus Ex Machina! Lets not forget that a star-faring civilization is just going to give up cities and technology to live as hunter-gatherers with a bunch of cro-magnons. Riiiight. That series had a lot of faults, even aside from the ending. Still, for the most part it was a fun ride getting there. You just could not take it too seriously. Now that I am watching Star Trek again, it really brings home one thing I liked about Galactica. No bumpy-headed aliens.
Definitely subbed for me - for one, it preserves a certain authenticity, for another, there is no longer such a thing as a neutral accent in English for me (even my own is marked!) and as a result I keep getting weirded out that the characters are speaking American/Canadian/RP/Australian/Scottish/Irish/whatever. German would be an option, but I have no idea where you'd even find anime dubbed into German, chances are the translation would be inferior and translations into German often weird me out anyway for some reason.
Although I should disclaim here that I have some hearing issues and as a result I generally want subtitles on anything I watch, no matter the language, and not being able to understand the spoken dialogue is actually a bonus.
...and now I shall resume lurking on this thread since I'm not watching anything.
I often have to use the subtitles because many movies these days mix the sound so poorly, that the dialogue is drowned out by the music and sound effects. Turning the volume up does not help, because that just makes everything else painfully loud. The Road was one of the worst offenders I found in this.
I also almost always have to use subtitles when watching British movies, like Layer Cake, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, etc... I think I have an easier time understanding Japanese than British English!
I have now finished watching InuYasha, from the first episode all the way to the end of The Final Act.
That was a great series. Perfect blend of seriousness and humor, with wonderfully deep characters and some truly heart-wrenching moments here and there.
So now I need a new series to view, and I have decided in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. As I understand, this is the version that stayed true to the source material.
But some bad news: the version on Netflix seems to be the English dub. However, Hulu has the subbed version, so that is where I shall be viewing.
I was going to suggest Gunslinger Girl, if you have not seen it yet. Netflix has the subbed version (at least on disc). Or Twelve Kingdoms.
Checked the version on Netflix, looks like it's the dubbed version, unfortunately.
I'll see if I can pull it up subtitled on Hulu.
No worries, Hulu has the subtitled version.
I have been watching Cadfael for the past few weeks now. It is a wonderful series. Thank you haute for turning me on to it. When she first explained it was a mystery show set in medieval England, I first thought of The Name of the Rose, another wonderful movie about a detective monk. Cadfael lives up to the comparison. Derek Jacobi is perfect in the leading role, and in the first season, Sean Pertwee as the sheriff opposite him. Sadly, Pertwee only sticks around for the first season, and then is replaced by lesser actors.
While it is a mystery show, and we are always led on a twisting and turning path until the truth is discovered, what I really like here is simply gritty, realistic slice of town life in 12th century England. It is very well portrayed, from the cloistered monks to the tradesmen and nobles. We don't really get to see a lot of this in film or t.v., and most we do tend to gloss over the actual setting, and just concentrate on people hacking one another up with swords.
The main character, Cadfael himself is of course the strongest part of the show. He is smart, compassionate, easy to like, and never one to underestimate. They have given him a rich background of being a former soldier in the crusades, not to mention sailor, and other things, before he finally settled down to become a holy herbalist at the abbey. All those things stand him in good stead, as he has a knowledge of the world, and its people, that other cloistered monks do not.
I am absolutely tickled that you enjoyed the series so much. A lot of what I have learned about plant pharmacology has originated from this series and reinforced by my own research (I have the Herbal PDR - sadly it's probably outdated).
It is quite strongly character driven, and I agree, for me, Sean Pertwee will always be the one and only Hugh Beringar. And yes, my Legion rider Hugh Berennus is Pertwee's Beringar. So if you want a clear idea of how he looks, talks and acts, just watch the first season of Brother Cadfael Mysteries.And enjoy all the alchemy that is such an integral part of the show!
I just stumbled upon a teleseries named The Borgias. I thought it was a parody of the game Assassin's Creed but I was wrong. IT'S ACTUALLY COOL. Full of family drama, court intrigue in the 15th century and well, romance. I haven't watched it to the fullest but all I can say from my first episode is that you guys should watch it.
Castle, Warehouse 13 and Eureka are the main things I watch. Though sometimes something else will catch my eye such as Australian series H2O, Just Add Water, though that's on hold with the account while I wait for finances to stabilize so I can resume Netflix/Hulu streaming.
I started watching Ironclad on Netflix last night. The previews made it look like nothing but a monument to testosterone. But what I have seen so far is interesting. It seems like a remake of the Magnificent Seven, just with knights. Plus it has some actors I like, James Purefoy, who really impressed me in Rome. Brian Cox has always been a favorite of mine. I loved Vladimir Kulich as Beowulf in the 13th Warrior. Plus Derek Jacobi, Jason Flemyng, and Mackenzie Crook.
Now watching Big Trouble in Little China.
Let's see if it lives up to all the people say it is...
You are in for a ton of fun! I have seen that movie about fifty times, and I still love it.
Today was a big blu-ray bonanza: Guns of Navarone, The Crow (the original with Brandon Lee), Manhunter (was marked down cheap), and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie (also on sale). Now the question is, what to start with?
I would say worst first, so Pirates of the Caribbean.
That movie is proof that Jack Sparrow was not all that made the other ones decent. He was the counter to Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly's more serious story, which was the focus of the previous three. Sparrow was the comic relief, and what made him so memorable is that he always came in at the right moments.
Now they're gone, and all we're left with is an obvious cash-in that proves we didn't go see Pirates just for Jack Sparr... *ahem* Captain Jack Sparrow's zany antics.
Careful TK. When speaking of Pirates o.t.C., never just abbreviate it to just Pirates.
Pirates is a different film entirely, and sold in a far more restricted setting than Pirates of the Caribbean...
I watched Krull last night for the first time in years...Took me back thirty years-ish to seeing it in the cinema the first time!...Wow...Yes, yes mui fromage!!...But by God it's fun...Loved it...Many things that I thought I remembered didn't happen, but I had forgotten more than I thought...Maybe I'd invented the other bits as the years went on...
Going to watch Ironclad next week as part of our film night once a week thingy...Where we all sit down together as a family and watch something...Is good ya?!...
Krull! Oh goddess, I think I blocked that from my memory!
I was not impressed with Ironclad. It seemed to start out as a remake of The Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven set in medieval England (which would be rather cool to see). But it is not. Even James Purefoy and Brian Cox could not save it for me. It is mostly just a lot of gratuitous killing strung between a paper thin plot. Some of the action scenes were decent. I saw a few RL moves in there, which was a wonderful surprise. But then the other half of the fighting was pure idiocy. People sticking their sword 3 feet into someone's chest and then pulling it out as if it were in tissue paper, an armored man being chopped completely in half by a sword, etc... It also does not help that I know the reality behind the movie. Aside from the fact that King John did lay siege to Rochester Castle, and did eventually use a mine, the rest is just b.s. I suggest renting Captain America instead.
We watched The Ugly Truth on tele last night...I'd been dragged to the cinema to see it and I loved it there...God it made me laugh...Refreshingly honest...Very un-PC...My kind of film really...
I hate those gross-out comedies...I don't find them all that funny...Yes, I'll laugh at parts (hur-hur), but to be honest, something like The Ugly Truth which says fairly rude things, but in a straight-forward way - much better...
OMG! Guns of Navarone! I loved that movie! Almost as much as Great Escape and Magnificent Seven!
Don't know why I love those testosterone movies so much. I guess when they're well done I totally relate to the characters. Chick flicks? Meh. Mostly.
I just saw Fast Five, and have to admit that it was not only excellent, but by far the best of the Fast n' Furious franchise. Just as the 4th movie learned from previous mistakes, and recast the original stars, this one learned from other films, and stretched a bit from a formula of pure cars. It borrows heavily from films like the new Oceans Eleven trilogy, Italian Job, etc... Instead of just a lot of racing, the good guys are making a clever theft from a crime boss, using lots of planning and prep work. Just to make things interesting, the biggest, baddest cop in the Western Hemisphere is on their tails (the Rock) at the same time.
At the same time it brings us a crew of fun and interesting characters to back up our two heroes. In fact, they brought back characters from all the other FnF movies to make up the squad, which I thought was very neat. To be honest, they made the best part of the movie for me, because there is a real sense of family between all the characters, and it is great just to see them interact with one another.
Of course there are some fantastic car chases too...
They also took a cue from the new Marvel films, by adding in a teaser at the end of the closing credits, bringing back yet another old character. While I had been thinking this would have been the perfect movie to cap off the franchise, it is plain that they intend to continue with it. If they can keep up making films like this one, it will be well worth it.
Tonight, I've been informed, we're going to watch the first few episodes of the ORIGINAL Thundercats...Th'wife got the first season boxed set for her birthday yesterday...
All together now!!...
I just finished watching Trollhunter. In spite of how campy it sounds, it was surprisingly good. I am not a big fan of the hand-held camera genre, but like Quarantine and Cloverfield, this does it well. Basically a group of college students are trying to film a story about a poacher, who turns out to be a government sponsored troll hunter. He's sick and tired of all the secrecy around his job, so he lets them tag along with him as he does his work. In true horror movie fashion, they reveal a bit at a time, slowly upping the stakes until the final showdown with the 200' tall Jotun.
The trolls themselves are a bit cartoonish in appearance. But I cannot deny that they do fit the mythology of trolls, and what we are used to seeing in artwork. One look at them and you think "that's a troll alright." Rather than just some big horrific monster that they happen to call trolls. So it works for me. There are even little touches like the trolls being able to smell the blood of a Christian.
Finally, Norway itself was a real attraction in this movie. We see her in all her dark, brooding glory. The glistening waters of fjords, with mountains jutting about them like teeth. Clouds shrouding the tops of high peaks. Deep conifer forests. The landscape itself creates this feeling of powerful forces lying shrouded just beyond one's awareness. It is a land of giants and thunder gods.
Sounds like perfect troll country!
Sounds like it only needs one more thing: Dragons.
And somebody to shout at them...
Note: Literally, Skyrim live action trailer playing right as I write this on the tube-box...oh, wait, next ad now up.
Watched Unstoppable last night...Excellent film, really enjoyed it...
Ken Burns' Civil War documentary.
History the world can never forget. It was probably the most terrible war America ever fought. By the end, 2% of the population had been killed because of the war. And still the South has never really gotten over it. It took another century after the 13th Amendment was ratified for Black Americans to be truly free, after all.
I am officially hooked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I just finished the first disc of season one. Tons of fun in classic Star Wars fashion. The only thing that really throws me is Anakin. He's not a whiny twerp like he is in the movies. Nor does he back-talk the Jedi Council and Obi-Wan. He even cautions his padawan (when did that happen !) against disagreeing with the Council and acting rashly. Of course he still goes and does what he wants anyway, but he at least does it quietly, without rubbing it in the faces of the people he is defying. Now if this Anakin had been in the prequels, they would have been a lot more watchable.
The other characters are lots of fun too. In fact, the way the episodes tend to focus on one character or another is rather nice. Yoda was what I expected, and more, as he showed a sense of humor in his episode that I did not see coming. But in retrospect is not surprising. After all, I think my favorite line from Revenge of the Sith is when he tells the younglings: "Lost a planet has Master Kenobi, very embarrassing...".
Master Plo was very cool, everything we except a Jedi Master to be, and more. Cool, wise, self-sacrificing. Not to mention that mask he wears looks damn cool. Anakin's padawan Ahsoka is of course my early favorite. She's the classic spunky girl with a gun, except that she has a lightsaber instead. Plus she's a Twi'lek, whom I have always thought were most yummy. They even give personality to the clones, and the episode that focuses on small group of them on their own was one of the best.
Season two gets better. Particularly for those of us who like (over) reading subtext between female characters.
Does that mean there are more than two female characters in season two then? Seriously, George Lucas is so lost when it comes to anything that has boobs.
Hmm, I just saw on the Wookiepedia that Ahsoka is a Togrutan, not a Twi'lek.
Ahsoka gets a two/three episode focus with another female padawan. There are more females brought in but not quite as regularly as some (at least me) would like.
Farscape, all four seasons on blu-ray. Oooh-yeah!
I forgot to say I'd been to see the new Twilight film...
It wasn't rubbish...Not as good as the last one...I wanted to punch Pattinson several times, but Lautner was quite well served by the script this time...
Not rubbish...My considered review... ...
Edit - Just read all that ^ about Clone Wars...Quite liked it, but it all seemed to pass me by...The kids thought it was cool though...My boy had a Rex outfit... ...Bless him...
I just finished watching Turtle: The Incredible Journey. Absolutely wonderful. It had me nearly in tears at the end. I highly recommend it.
Just watched Four Christmasses...Ayyy...Not good...Really not good...
I just finished watching http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905372/ and although I wasn't planning it on, since I've both heard and read that it hasn't stayed true to the original (I'll just call it that although this new movie is a prequel, not a remake) and I could've done fine without it. The only good thing this movie did was to make me want to watch the 1982's movie since I haven't seen it.
Now, the movie itself failed in creating any tension, mystery and "horror" for me and no real paranoia between the characters in the movie - which was the key ingredient in the movie from 1982. Some scenes and sequences are good but most of it was just decent, predictable and/or just uninspired. I'd probably rate it somewhere around 4-5/10 since the movie overall is decent/average or slightly below.
Also watched http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409847/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986263/ recently, and both of those movies had potential. Had heard from a friend with very similar taste and view on movies that Cowboys and Aliens was decent but could've been a lot better and I agree. It's a pretty creative setting and all that, and with the cast it has, the acting ain't bad but not great and the effects are good. But overall it didn't really do it for me and seems like that for a lot other people to - as most people have either rated it average or a bit higher, and those who really had their hopes up (or not) has rated it 3/10 and such. I would settle on 6/10.
Surrogates has the same problem. It has a very cool and interesting concept and plot, but everything else is mediocre and it lands on a 5/10 from me.
Think it's time to actually view some great movies now so I'm planning on watching The Usual Suspects as I haven't seen that one yet along with The Thing from 1982. And will look at The Fall too which looks really interesting.
The Usual Suspects is great! One of my favorites!
If the plot doesn't keep you guessing until the end, you're brighter than me!
The other day we watched Scrooge, starring Albert Finney...The musical one...One of my all time fave films of all time mate!!... ...
I don't get to see a lot of movies with the time constraints of raising two preteens who resemble wild animals but I did take both of my daughters to the midnight showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn as that has become a necessity (for them). I enjoyed the movie, I have liked them all but I have to say the added "show" of watching a 25 year old and a 12 year old certainly enhances the quality of the films exponentially. It is hilarious every time Lautner exposes his chest to hear two girls squeal....HILARIOUS!!!!!!
And watching any film with my youngest son who is 10 is an interactive experience, ALWAYS. If there is music, he dances. If there is fighting, he simulates. And the list goes on. He doesn't like movies that just have you "sitting" there, hhmm wonder why????
No, not three, sorry, he's a bit young for me, now Carlisle is another story...hehe.
ROCKY HORROR OMG!!!! Now those were the days....ok, so if you know about it then that means only one thing so I ask WHO DID YOU PLAY?????? ROFL!!!!!!! I'll tell if you do.
And if Mitchell ever does that I truly hope I never know, hahahahahaha.
How did I know??? Well, someday we will have to get together and compare notes. I did wear a wig but only because my hair was very short and also not quite red enough.
It sure would be fun to do the TIME WARP again.....(as the song plays in my head)
Well all we really need is
A jump to the left
and then a step to the right
put your hands on your hips
and pull your knees in tight
but it's the pelvic thrust
that really drives you insane.....
That should get Foxy's attention.....
Might have to send out the nixhounds.....smoke signals???? HEY I KNOW, we could send him a DVD of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW!!!!!!
(Shakes head) He must be losing his touch, poor Foxy.....or he got caught in a ....oh geez....time warp.....
*Studies nails*...Probably shouldn't mention that I have a mega thing for Magenta...*Sniff*...
Anyone seen Clue?...It's a film based on...Well, Clue or Cluedo depending on where you are, with - Y'know - Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard (no, not you) and all that...And Tim Curry was the butler...Absolutely brilliant...The kids loved it when they saw it...
I think actually it'll be our next Now Watching...
Well, after Sherlock Holmes 2 tomorrow anyways... ...
I loved Clue! Esp with the ending 'twists and turns'.
*Goes off to Netflix to put it on next shipping.*
I have been watching Farscape on blu-ray for several weeks now. I have seen the series before, so I know how good it is. But it has been a few years. Wow, it still blows me away. Most shows take a season to really catch their stride. This one has it in the first episode. It has it all, excellent actors, strong stories, real character development, and of course plenty of sci-fi action.
I recently finished the end of Season One story arc, which was such a perfect cap for the events of that season (don't want to give away spoilers), and of course introduces Scorpius, one of my favorite villains ever. Just the other night I saw The Way We Weren't from Season Two, which was even better. Just astounding work.
One of the things I like best about Farscape is that it is not a goody two-shoes show with nice people who all get along and want to do the right thing (Yes, I am looking at you Star Trek). It is the opposite. A rag tag band of escaped prisoners, renegade commandos, and one lost astronaut. Everyone has their own agenda, their own needs, and they follow those goals, sometimes to the detriment of everyone else. People bicker, they fight, but at the same time they are all literally in the same boat, so are stuck with one another.
Through all of that, we see bonds of real friendship slowly develop between these characters, which is the real treat to see. It all happens slowly and naturally, nothing ever feels forced. As this happens, the character's themselves change, become more mature, and learn to live with one another. Like I said, real character development. The Way We Weren't is one of the most dramatic examples of this, because most of the episode is flashbacks to 3 years before, and we contrast the Aeryn Sun from that time, the one we know now, and they are two radically different people.
So to keep it short, if you like sci-fi and have not seen it, stop waiting. Netflix has it. Or better yet, buy it now. All four seasons on blu-ray only cost me $100 on Amazon.
I never got round to Farscape...I used to read all the Sci-fi mags with it in, but never seemed to grab me...They were very good (Browder and Black) when they both came over to SG-1 though...Is that the one with the girl with the frizzy red hair and mini skirts?...There's one series with that...Or was that Lexx?...Never saw that either... ...
And mALX, ropes are not my particular thing, but if it involves being in a broom cupboard with Lesley Ann Warren then hell yeah!!... ...
I second SubRosa, Farscape is one of the best SF series going. Pity about them not making the final season (especially after 4 which had a bit too much build up) but they did make two 90 minute episodes to round it off.
It's the characters which make it, as with most great bits of fiction. A lot of SF series (Star Trek being the most vomit inducing example) seem to lack a drive. Everyone works together in a utopian future and good is good and evil is evil. Farscape isn't like that and some of what they do is pretty questionable, but they have characters and it works. I really reccommend getting it and watching it over Christmas if you haven't see it.
Another SF great is Firefly. Such a pity they never made more of it because it had good characters and lacked moral clarity too.
Currently however I'm watching the TV adaptions of Miss Marple and Poirot. Nothing deep but good entertainment nonetheless.
Babylon 5 was always good too...
The wife is a big Firefly fan...Hence the Castle obsession too...Not that I'm complaining...Stana Katic...*Sigh*... ...
Aaamywho...Went to see Sherlock Holmes 2...Most excellent film...The only fly in the Chardonnay...Steven Fry was woefully miscast as Mycroft Holmes...The only one for me is Charles Gray from the ITV series from the 80s...Most excellent that man was...
Charles Gray being the Professor from The Rocky Horror Picture show... ...Aaand we're back to Magenta... ...
Oh hell I'm lolling... ...
It's early here...Very early...Just trundling through the film channels for some wallpaper while I write...And guess what's on?...Yep Rocky Horror!!...
Oh yes...Magenta coloured wallpaper...Followed by some Rose Tinted world methinks!!...
Thanks, folks, now I have Farscape on the way for some Christmas week viewing. That was a good reason to temporarily upgrade the Netflix membership.
Firefly is among my favorite shows ever. I've probably said it before, but my top favorite is still The Wire.
A quick glance through the bookcase reveals that the only TV shows I have on DVD are Firefly, Band of Brothers, Fawlty Towers, and Generation Kill.
Right now I'm watching Homeland, Parks and Rec, The Office, and Modern Family. The Office is losing me this season. I'll probably swap it for 30 Rock when that comes back on.
Latest film: Aftershock.
It's a Chinese film about a family that was torn apart by the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. A mother is forced to make a heart-shattering decision, and the rest of the film follows the separated family members as they struggle to cope with their lives after the earthquake, until another one brings them back together.
No political messages, no hidden agendas, it's simply a film directed in memory of the 240,000 people who lost their lives in Tangshan in 1976.
WARNING: Major tearjerker.
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