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Old February 5th 09, 18:59   #591
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Re: What are you watching now?

Here's what's up,

Paranoid Park (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....oid-park-2007/

Yet another brilliant take on humanity from the mind of Gus Van Sant. Stylistically this is in a similar vein to his other indie work, and bears the most resemblance to his most polarizing effort, Elephant. However, the big difference in Paranoid Park is that it isn't about the event that takes place, but what happens after the event and how life goes on. Also, I had absolutely zero problems with the non-actors, this isn't a massively fictionalized story, and the facts are that most kids in real life are the way the kids in this movie were. All in all, tremendous stuff.

The Red Shoes (1948)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....ed-shoes-1948/

I know I'm going to upset a lot of people, but I was not a fan of The Red Shoes. It's not a bad movie and I recognize the craftsmanship on display in its production, but I wasn't drawn in by the story, the ballet number didn't excite or entice me at all and Marius Goring was so uninspiring as the romantic lead that I could never get into that storyline. This one just wasn't for me I guess.

The Magic Box (1951)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....agic-box-1951/

Interesting biopic. It is very straight forward and formulaic, but I highly enjoyed the look at genius and how it isn't always appreciated. I also enjoyed the way this film dealt with Greene's methods and the terrific way it built up suspense for the first time he tried his movie camera. Surprisingly great film.

The Evil Dead (1981)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....vil-dead-1981/

Fun film, Bruce Campbell is awesome and remains one of the most criminally underrated actors in the business. The gore was great, the atmosphere was excellent. It was a bit too lean on story and is by no means a deep film, but a very fun effort.

Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes (1972)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....gottes-1972-2/

Stupid WordPress almost lost my write-up for this movie, thank Odin I copied it right before trying to find out what was wrong. Either way, powerful film, and Klaus Kinski is absolutely mesmerizing in his portrayal of madness and the depths of human depravity. Tremendous tone and atmosphere, plenty to say about the world then, the world now, our interaction with nature, etc.. Just an all around great film, one of the best I've ever seen.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....ide-shut-1999/

This one was able to sneak up on me, because all I ever heard before watching it were bad reviews. Of course being a big fan of Kubrick I was skeptical as to how it could be so bad and it turns out I was correct to be skeptical. Like usual Tom Cruise is rock solid in his role and continues to be an actor who gets hated on for no reasons, he actually has talent people. Also like usual, Nicole Kidman was weak as all get out and the one glaring flaw in the film. But, great atmosphere and the usual Kubrick use of an outrageous topic to tackle the simple ideas of humanity.

The Man From Earth (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....om-earth-2007/

Very good science fiction. This is more in line with written science fiction than it is with any sci-fi you will find on TV or in the movies. It's not about any external threat, it's not an action film, but it is a suspense film built around the idea of questioning everything around you. I didn't much care for the ending, it would have been better if the whole father/son thing had never been revealed, but still a great film.

Fitzcarraldo (1982)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....carraldo-1982/

With all the hoopla over Slumdog Millionaire, I would like to point peoples attention to this film. Not only is it an inspirational tale about following your dreams and being happy regardless of money or status, but it also works in the completely opposite way and unlike Slumdog is incredibly deep. That deepness stops Herzog's film from being a fable, it's an actual story, with fantastic visuals and great acting. Really great film.

Marty (1955)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....ew-marty-1955/

Great little film, and very much the companion piece to Annie Hall. Marty tackles much the same issues as Annie Hall does, just in different ways and with different results. Marty is about overcoming your issues and finding love, and it is a really sweet film about the pressure put on you by your friends and family to find the love they want, not the love you want. Marty ends up a really sweet and touching story.

The Reader (2008)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....e-reader-2008/

Despite what most people think, this isn't about the Holocaust. A love story that's about how much love hurts and how devastating love can be to the parties involved. Tremendous acting from Winslet like usual, but David Kross came out of nowhere to deliver a performance that more than held up next to Winslet's. Plus, hey, Kate Winslet is nude and having lots of sex, you can't beat that.

4 Luni, 3 Saptamāni Si 2 Zile (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....i-2-zile-2007/

Powerful film about a period of time for two women, but it's not about the issue of abortion in any way. The acting is great all around, the cinematography is great and the long takes establish a distinct feel right away. Really and all around great film that more people need to see.

Harold And Maude (1971)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....nd-maude-1971/

Yes, there were moments that felt forced, the ending didn't really work like it should have and the movie feels empty for some reason. However, I loved the dark humor, the suicide attempts were hilarious and I enjoyed the overall tone of the film.

Short Circuit (1986)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....-circuit-1986/

This is another film where you need to ignore my rating, because Short Circuit may be atrocious in most ways but its also awesome and really fun to watch. Racial stereotyping never gets better than Fisher Stevens, Guttenberg is the Gut, and Johnny 5 is genuinely funny and quite the achievement from a technical standpoint to boot.
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Old February 6th 09, 14:14   #592
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Re: What are you watching now?

Quote:
The Evil Dead (1981)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....vil-dead-1981/

Fun film, Bruce Campbell is awesome and remains one of the most criminally underrated actors in the business. The gore was great, the atmosphere was excellent. It was a bit too lean on story and is by no means a deep film, but a very fun effort.
Oh dude, it's ALL about Evil Dead 2. Misleading title, since it's actually a remake not a sequel. But the action and horror are way better and it's funny, as opposed the attempt at spookiness and seriousness of the original.


I watched a couple of comedies this week:

Ghost Town
Ricky Gervais, and I'll pretty much check out everything he does. This movie is the typical Hollywood comedy with romantic themes and absurd plot device. Gervais' character is a jerk who dies for 7 seconds which somehow gives him the power to see ghosts, including Greg Kinnear (an actor who's in everything apparently), who convinces him to break up the engagement of his ex-wife (Tea Leoni). So if you guess that he's gonna fall in love w/ her and it makes him a better person, blah blah, congrats, you've seen lots of movies. But Gervais makes it enjoyable enough, and there are solid cameos by Kristen Wiig (whose impression of Nancy Pelosi on SNL is one of the only good things on that show) and Asif Manvi (sp?) from The Daily Show.

Basically if you need what I call a "compromise flick" (defined as a movie that a couple can watch without either of them losing their mind) this will suffice.

Hamlet 2
I LOVED this movie.

It's a very silly spoof of the tired plot line of a down on his luck teacher who gets a class full of troubled students and instill a love of the subject matter and education with his passion. Since the class is drama, it's also the best attack on the acting and theater culture I've seen.

It's about a failed actor turned high school drama teacher who has only two students and puts on stage versions of popular movies (his adaptation of Erin Brokovich starts the movie). Budget cuts threaten to terminate his program and job, and he decides he needs to put on a play that will dazzle everyone enough to keep drama. Enter his original script for a sequel to Hamlet, which involves Jesus and a time machine to allow the title character to save everyone's life while resolving anger issues with his dad. Throw in a bunch of Latino students, repeated rollerskating slapstick and Elizabeth Shu as "herself," and you got gold. Very very highly recommended.
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Old February 8th 09, 02:13   #593
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Re: What are you watching now?

Cell, now that you have seen Fitzcarraldo, you really should see Burden of Dreams, a doc about the making of Fitzcarraldo, shot as Fitz was made. It is every bit as great, and will greatly enhance your appreciation of Fitzcarraldo. .
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Old February 10th 09, 15:57   #594
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by Jade Jaguar View Post
Cell, now that you have seen Fitzcarraldo, you really should see Burden of Dreams, a doc about the making of Fitzcarraldo, shot as Fitz was made. It is every bit as great, and will greatly enhance your appreciation of Fitzcarraldo. .
Maybe someday I will, but I'm generally opposed to documentaries as I hate that style of film making and gave up on them years ago.

Here's what I've been watching,

Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (1964)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....-dollari-1964/

Dollari is good, but it's essentially the beginning of Leone forming his directing style, same holds true for Morricone and his score. There's a rawness to this film, and Eastwood is his usual awesomely stoic bad ass, but mostly Dollari takes the Western and re-envisions what it could be, a world of utter darkness.

Per Qualche Dollaro In Pił (1965)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....o-in-piu-1965/

While not as great as Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo this is probably a more important film because this is when Leone really hammered out his style and fixed any of the kinks his earlier efforts suffered from. Eastwood and Van Cleef are awesome, Morricone's score is tremendous and the showdown at the end is the stuff of legend.

Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....iwo-jima-2006/

Powerful film making, easily Clint's best directorial effort in my eyes. The film has a beautiful monochromatic look to it and there's a subdued nature to the entire thing that just works. I realize not everyone is a fan of Eastwood the director, but this is just a fine movie regardless of who the director is.

The Good Earth (1937)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....od-earth-1937/

Nothing ever beats a bunch of lily white people playing Asians, nope, that never gets old. I couldn't get past that fact, it's just abhorrently bad the way the "Asian" characters are depicted in The Good Earth. But, when you do get past it you realize that what you are viewing is a book without any of the inner monologue. The Good Earth is a series of snapshots with these characters, but we never connect with them and we never get a sense of what is going on in their heads.

The Killing (1956)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....-killing-1956/

Surprisingly this was a Kubrick film, because it felt nothing like a Kubrick film. It was slick, and I found the story engaging, but overall it felt like a hollow movie, I don't know what it was missing exactly, but it was missing something.

Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....tizmoret-2007/

Brilliant little film. I found the meaningful parts of the story engaging and well done, but I was really a fan of the slow, dry nature of the comedy on display. Not surprisingly that has been the big complaint I've heard about this film, but I really loved the dryness, starkness and slow fashion of the narrative.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....dventure-1985/

I honestly believe that people who don't enjoy this film have either no sense of humor or have completely forgotten what it's like to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Complete nonsense from start to finish, but it's supposed to be nonsense. It's fun, funny, interesting, colorful, an all around great movie, and I was surprised to discover this was a Tim Burton movie, I never had any idea about that until this viewing.

King Of New York (1990)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....new-york-1990/

Christopher Walken is great as the chill and cool bad guy, Laurence Fishburne is just as great as a completely manic killer. King Of New York looks great, a sort of neon noir with shadows pushed out of the way by neon colors and splashy visuals. But, the rest of the cast is pretty bad, and the story is non-existent and never makes any sense.

Babe (1995)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....iew-babe-1995/

A movie I can't say enough great things about. It looks beautiful, features astonishing animatronics, great themes and messages, is endlessly cute without manipulating the viewer, features an amazing performance from James Cromwell, great voice acting, I could go on and on. Babe is great, everyone should see it.

Weird Science (1985)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....-science-1985/

There are some funny moments, and certainly some eye candy, plus Bill Paxton makes any movie just a little bit more awesome. But, this is a pretty weak writing effort from John Hughes, and outside of the awesomeness of a few Babylon 5 regulars in small roles, Anthony Michael Hall and a young Robert Downey Jr. there isn't much here. There's plenty of misogyny and outdated jokes that fall flat, but that's about it.
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Old February 11th 09, 01:02   #595
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Maybe someday I will, but I'm generally opposed to documentaries as I hate that style of film making and gave up on them years ago.

.
Documentaries are a genre. As far as style goes, they can vary as greatly in style as The Godfather from Sesame Street. If most of your exposure to documentaries is from cable channels, well, most of those are annoying crap that often get their facts wrong.

If you watch The Burden of Dreams, You will feel as if you were there for the making of Fitzcarraldo. BoD is every bit as gritty and gripping as Fitz. You will find out that people died making the film. You will also find out that in many ways, what Hertzog did to make the film was more challenging than what Fitzcarraldo did. And, the clash of personalities between Hertzog and Kinski is as dramatic as anything in the movie.
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Old February 11th 09, 02:34   #596
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Re: What are you watching now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade Jaguar View Post
Documentaries are a genre. As far as style goes, they can vary as greatly in style as The Godfather from Sesame Street. If most of your exposure to documentaries is from cable channels, well, most of those are annoying crap that often get their facts wrong.

If you watch The Burden of Dreams, You will feel as if you were there for the making of Fitzcarraldo. BoD is every bit as gritty and gripping as Fitz. You will find out that people died making the film. You will also find out that in many ways, what Hertzog did to make the film was more challenging than what Fitzcarraldo did. And, the clash of personalities between Hertzog and Kinski is as dramatic as anything in the movie.
I have seen more than my fair share of documentaries, and only a few have reached what I would consider a good level. It's a genre I just don't care for across the board, there's no malice on my part, it's just never clocked for me no matter what documentary I've watched, be it Crumb, We Were Kings, Touching The Void, Hoop Dreams, etc.. Like I said, maybe some day I'll give BoD a go, but there's far more fictional movies I'd rather get to first.
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Old February 11th 09, 02:55   #597
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Re: What are you watching now?

Those are all decent docs, but VERY conventional. Have you ever seen a more experimental sort of doc, such as Koyaanisquatsi, Chronos, or Baraka(1992)? You might find them more interesting. Or, maybe not.

Chronos and Baraka play on HD cable with some regularity. You might check one out, if you get the chance.
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Old February 12th 09, 02:56   #598
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Re: What are you watching now?

I commend you on your view of "Eyes Wide Shut." I would personally rather be tied to a chair and shocked in my tweeter with enough power to launch the space shuttle than sit through five minutes of that movie.
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Old February 17th 09, 19:56   #599
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Re: What are you watching now?

There Will Be Blood (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....be-blood-2007/
The first two-thirds of TWBB were really tremendous, it's such a shame that the final act went completely off the tracks. Day-Lew was powerful, but I felt he veered too much towards insanity in that final act, and one major flaw in the entire of the film was Paul Dano, I never bought him as a strong character or a rival to Day-Lewis. But, the film looked beautiful with great visuals and I loved the the allegory of the first two-thirds.

Touching The Void (2003)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....the-void-2003/
I'm not a fan of documentaries to begin with, but initially I liked Touching The Void. Unfortunately that didn't last as the docudrama style didn't work for me at all, and the film became real boring real fast.

Babe: Pig In The City (1998)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....the-city-1998/
Babe: Pig in The City isn't on the same level as Babe, but that's only due to a few scenes ringing false. However, Babe: Pig In The City is still fun, with killer comedy, deep messages and themes that are a tad bit darker than in the first one, great voice acting, and a visual style that is breathtaking and hard to describe. If you aren't taken by the fake city that Babe inhabits then there's probably something wrong with you.

Magnolia (1999)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....magnolia-1999/
Magnolia is a splendid film, with a theme that runs throughout and works perfectly in the films resolution. I wish that some of the stories had been given more time near the end, but it's a minor gripe. Acting wise there isn't a weak link in Magnolia, and I know I keep on saying it but Tom Cruise is really great in this. However, my favorite performance was from John C. Reilly, a criminally underrated actor that was the lynch pin for the entire film. Tremendously directed, just a great movie all around.

Sex, Lies And Videotape (1989)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....ideotape-1989/
I liked the way this handled its themes, and it featured a surprisingly good performance from Andie Macdowell. Stylistically it was very appealing, but I did feel like it fell a bit short of believable story wise, although most of that falls onto the shoulders of James Spader, I didn't buy his character, mainly the way he chose to portray Graham.

James And The Giant Peach (1996)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....nt-peach-1996/
Amazing film, full of wonderful characters, terrific voice acting and a brilliant integration of live action and stop-motion animation. The themes were all classic, but they were all presented in a unique and vibrant fashion, outside of a few minor glitches this was a great movie.

Apollo 13 (1995)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....pollo-13-1995/
Ron Howard's masterpiece and a brilliant movie. The cast is great top to bottom, and the amazing thing that Howard does is he allows it to play like a horror movie for the most part. The scenes are claustrophobic and the characters are trapped in their situation fighting and invisible killer, the fear and tension is palpable. Apollo 13 also does a great job of showcasing the wonderment that is Outer Space and space travel and why it is so sad that most people don't pay any attention to either nowadays.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....demption-1994/
One of my all time favorites as well as the movie I rank as #1 all-time. I've heard the complaints about the film, and I just don't see it. Everything about this movie is perfection, form the cast to the cinematography, to the score, the dialogue, the themes, the coloring, everything. This movie is more than worthy of all the praise it receives.

Sunshine (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....sunshine-2007/
I really enjoyed the first two-thirds, but that last act was a letdown. I know people have criticized some of Boyle's other works for also falling apart in the final act, but I never witnessed it in his other pictures. However in Sunshine the movie does fall apart in the final act, there's too much of a tonal shift, it becomes too supernatural, too badly shot and too cliche. Still, the first two thirds were good, the CGI was very good, although I will say I don't understand what all the hubbub was about the music, because outside of a few places i found it rather ordinary.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters (2007)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....theaters-2007/
Like I say in my review, any fan of the show will like this, but I don't see many non-fans caring for it in any way. It's the same type of humor from the show, some works, some doesn't and it's stretched out a bit too long. But, being a fan of the show I enjoyed this a lot.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress....-project-1999/
I've never understood the backlash against this film, it is a tremendous film, a great story idea and one of the best, maybe even the best, horror films to ever come out. Somewhere along the way horror fans began to think of horror as nothing more than blood and gore, and when a movie like The Blair Witch Project comes along and is about the true horror of suspense, the mundane and the unknown, people rebelled. Whatever, it's their loss, great movie.
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Old February 17th 09, 23:17   #600
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Re: What are you watching now?

Blair Witch, I think the backlash comes from the original marketing making it out to be true, and then having it be revealed it's not true after all. When it was still believed to be true, I heard rave reviews from everyone I knew who had seen it, when it became known it was just a movie, that's where I started hearing negative reactions.
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