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Old March 15th 09, 15:31   #661
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Re: What are you watching now?

There's nothing wrong with elevating Rocky to that level, if the actual boxing wasn't so ridiculously wrong and bad I would have it among my best,

As usual, full reviews can be found at,

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The Great Escape (1963)
This was fun, but that was about it. A little too long in the tooth, and every character was too one note across the board. My biggest gripe was how stupid the Germans were made to look, the reason the Germans were so feared was because of how competent they were, not how stupid they were, and I felt the first 30 or so minutes especially went too far in making the Germans out to be stupid. But, it had McQueen on a moto bike giving us a preview of the X games years before anyone thought of the X games.

A History Of Violence (2005)
So you would think that you couldn't screw up a film with Viggo Motensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt? Well, I'm sure someone can, but that person is not David Cronenberg. I will admit my bias in that Cronenberg is if not my favorite, one of my favorites directors. But, even with that being the case I felt his direction was spot on in AHOV, and then when you add in his brilliant use of restrained gore, and the acting of Hurt, Harris, Bello, and especially Viggo you have one of the best movies I've ever seen. And of course, that's without even getting into the way the film subverts the standard view of violence in our culture and on film.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)
I know a lot of people have complained about the pace of this movie, but I really loved how it was paced. I would have gotten rid of a few tangential stories with Jesse's gang that didn't matter to the overall story and I would have liked to see more about Jesse's wife and brother and how they deal with Jesse's fame. But, I really did like this and thought it did a great job breaking down the cult of celebrity. Casey Affleck was really good as Ford, but Brad Pitt was the best he's ever been as Jesse James.

Best In Show (2000)
I wasn't a big fan of Waiting For Guffman, but after loving Best In Show so much I'm going to have to give Waiting For Guffman another shot. This movie was funny, that's all there was to it. Great performances all around and this wasn't mean funny, which was a nice change of pace.

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
I'm not going to lie to you, I don't believe I completely understood this movie. I think there has to be depth beyond the obvious "big brother is watching you this is an allegory for what the Bush administration is doing" theme, because if that's it then this really isn't a good movie. But, I do believe there is more, I just need more time with the film to better understand it. The rotoscope was cool at times, but it was also too distracting and took away from the need to pat attention to the story other times. But hey, Keanu Reeves was actually really, really good, so that counts for a lot.

Laura (1944)
I'm still trying to figure out why this movie worked so much for me. Outside of Clifton Lee's performance it really wasn't anything to write home about and in so many places the story was convoluted and contrived defying all common sense or realism. But, for some reason when this was over I thought, "heh, that was pretty great". There's been a few movies that for reasons unbeknownst to me I ended up loving, and Laura is one of those movies. Not the bets breakdown of the film, but that's what I got.

On The Waterfront (1954)
Brando is amazing, but that goes without saying. Some of the material is a bit too clunky and heavy handed, and my gosh, the editing is just atrocious in places, as is the ridiculously obvious use of stunt doubles in the final fight. But, it's still a story that holds up, is filled with a lot of great performances and was a good watch.

Watchmen (2009)
So yeah, I loved this film and would put it in the upper echelon of comic based films, far above anything offered last year. The story was great, the acting was good across the board, with a couple of stand out performances, the effects were done well, and I loved the takes on violence, heroes and how sex ties into both of those. It's not the greatest film of all time or anything like that, but it is a great film.

Appaloosa (2008)
Remove Renee Zellwegger from this and you would have a much better picture. She doesn't belong in this setting, she's still a terrible actress and she is not a woman that multiple men would lust over. Viggo and Harris were a great pair and I did like Harris' no frills style of direction, but the story felt like it was lacking something.

Into The Wild (2007)
Emile Hirsch is excellent, and the supporting cast is good as well. What I loved most about the film was how it portrayed Hirsch's journey as amazing, but didn't make the man himself amazing, instead it provided continual counterpoints to show him how foolish he was being and portrayed Hirsch as a headstrong idiot for not heeding the advice of others and not realizing that life isn't mean to be a singular experience. The best moments for Hirsch in the film are when he is with others, the worst are when he is by himself. Great movie, I really liked it.
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Old March 15th 09, 15:45   #662
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Re: What are you watching now?

I disagree that the boxing in the original Rocky was bad. The opening seen in the chapel was especially accurate, and Stallone did a fine job of learning the sport enough to portray it in the film. I'm a fan of the sport and train in it (though at a very beginning, amateur level).

Even the sequels are pretty decent (Mr T knew how to handle himself in a ring) up until the 4th. Dolph Lundgren looked completely ridiculous.


I watched two comedies recently:

1. Religulous- Bill Maher's documentary that makes fun of religion. It's pretty much his talk-show/stand-up routine in movie form, so fans of Maher will enjoy it well enough, others might not. Don't expect to get any interesting or relevant analysis or commentary here, just go into it for the entertainment value.

2. Zack and Miri Make A Porno- Kevin Smith's latest. Movies with Seth Rogan will continue to be enjoyable until we get sick of him, and I haven't yet. Pineapple Express was the first of his I didn't like, but he's a fine enough standard "average schlub gets into wacky adventures" comic actor to carry a movie with a decent script, and that's how I would describe this one- decent. I'm not a Kevin Smith fanboy- love Clerks and find the rest of his movies to have funny moments surrounded by predictable childish humor and ineffective attempts to bring poignancy into it, and this is more of the same.

The x-factor for me is Elizabeth Banks, who I'm in love with. Other than maybe Jenna Fischer, I've never seen anyone who is both that gorgeous and hilarious. He open-throated laugh is infectious and sexy as hell. The killer is that she has a classic Hollywood beauty look- blonde, blue-eyed, thin, could be on the cover of Vogue or headline a mainstream "dramady" with the best of them, yet does hip projects.

Of course I also appreciated the presence of Traci Lords and Katie Morgan, a porn legend and super-star, respectively.
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Old March 15th 09, 16:39   #663
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by GKarsEye View Post
I disagree that the boxing in the original Rocky was bad. The opening seen in the chapel was especially accurate, and Stallone did a fine job of learning the sport enough to portray it in the film. I'm a fan of the sport and train in it (though at a very beginning, amateur level).
I train in the sport now, have for close to four years. I've competed in amateur boxing and professional kickboxing, and the boxing in Rocky is ridiculously bad. It's all haymakers and direct shots to the face with no one ever covering up or bother to actually use head or foot movement. What Rocky shows is street fighting, and while it does work to heighten the drama and tension, it doesn't work in a technical sense. I know if I ever boxed like they do in Rocky I'd be yelled at for days by every one of my trainers and probably my opponents trainers as well.
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Old March 16th 09, 00:18   #664
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Re: What are you watching now?

Well isn't that the point of the story- that Rocky is more of a puncher/brawler type? The reason Micky didn't want to train him is that he was too distracted by his street life to completely dedicate himself to studying the sport? Heck, the guy didn't even really learn proper footwork until the second sequel.

I see fighters nowadays keep their heels on the ground, their heads are static and yes even their arms are low. It just ain't the old days.
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Old March 16th 09, 01:49   #665
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by GKarsEye View Post
Well isn't that the point of the story- that Rocky is more of a puncher/brawler type? The reason Micky didn't want to train him is that he was too distracted by his street life to completely dedicate himself to studying the sport? Heck, the guy didn't even really learn proper footwork until the second sequel.

I see fighters nowadays keep their heels on the ground, their heads are static and yes even their arms are low. It just ain't the old days.
He did it when he was training to, and Creed did the same stuff. I wouldn't have had a big problem with it in the fight, because In understood the dramatic reasons for it there. But training is when even brawlers do everything right, then go out and start brawling in the fight while their trainers just shake their head. For as much as Ali was a severely inferior film, the one area I thought it completely trumped Rocky at was in the technical display of boxing, but it's no biggie.
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Old March 16th 09, 11:24   #666
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Re: What are you watching now?

Surprisingly I didn't see Ali, despite its subject matter. I don't necessarily have a problem with Will Smith but I couldn't imagine him doing the movie and character justice.

I wonder if my favorite boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, might make a worthy biopic. Or any of the old greats- Luis, Dempsy, etc. The only one I can think of is LaMotta in my 2nd favorite boxing movie of all time, Raging Bull. But those old timers had much more interesting careers than the modern guys.
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Old March 17th 09, 17:04   #667
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Surprisingly I didn't see Ali, despite its subject matter. I don't necessarily have a problem with Will Smith but I couldn't imagine him doing the movie and character justice.
Watched some of it the other day. I don't think he did, and I am a bit of a Will Smith fan.
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Old March 20th 09, 12:06   #668
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Re: What are you watching now?

As usual, full reviews can be found at,

Bill's Movie Emporium
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/

Smultronstället (1957)
It's Bergman, so that's already a plus. Bibi Andersson is in it, that's another plus. But, the performance of Victor Sjöström as Borg makes the film as great as it is, but I'm not telling anyone something they don't already know. The idea of someone coming to a great understanding near the end of their life and being happier for it is pretty universal and something everyone should be able to relate to, and it is quite exhilarating watching Borg become content, and that sounds weird, but ya know. Fanny Och Alexander is my favorite Bergman, but this may be his best.

Dreams (1990)
First, beautiful on a truly amazing scale. Every segment features a plethora of shots that are astonishingly beautiful, lush and full of color, at times I was at a loss for words just from the images. I didn't so much get behind the connective story, if you even want to say there was one, as much as I enjoyed the experience of Dreams. Taking a look into the mind of one of the greatest directors the world has ever seen was a wonderful journey, to see his fears, his hopes, the dreams that made him who he was, and haunted him through his years. It's certainly not Kurosawa's most conventional work, but I'd put it up there with his very best.

Tôkyô Monogatari (1953)
Everyday realism is the best way i can think to describe this. Every person, myself included, flits through life and ignores the things that should matter in favor of superficial constructs that shouldn't matter. This film doesn't judge, it simply shows how that can and does happen and how the people who should matter the most to us in the world can become a burden in our eyes.

The Elephant Man (1980)
Only my second Lynch, but i felt this was a few steps below Blue Velvet. John Hurt is very good, he makes an actual man, not some guy in a rubber suit. However, I felt sometimes the film was too on the nose with how it wanted us to think, there were too many big false moments, When the Night Keeper finally goes overboard for instance, and I could have done with the immense sentimentality Lynch decided to pour onto Merrick's character. He did do a great job of building suspense and mystery over the appearance of Merrick early in the film. An uneven, but still good film.

Mou Gann Dou (2002)
As close to a perfect thriller as you will ever find. This kept a tense and taut atmosphere throughout, from the initial cell phone game of tag to the movie theater incident to the final rooftop showdown. I always love Tony Leung, but Andy Lau was really good in this, as was Anthony Wong. Eric Tsang was great as Sam, and the interrogation scene between Tsang and Wong was one of the best two man exchanges put to film. I know I've had this argument before, but this just completely smokes the remake in every possible way.

Saw (2004)
Quite different from the rest of the Saw franchise, the first entry is actually more of an attempt at a real story as opposed to just mindless torture scene after mindless torture scene. In that regard I really did like the idea for the film as well as the creativity behind it. But, some truly atrocious acting from Danny Glover, a climax that was very contrived and the fact that the creativity I liked never really went anywhere left this flat.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Yet another PT Anderson film that I really loved. Sandler was great, although I would differ with the people who feel this is some sort of revelatory performance, there were echoes of this character in most of his comedic roles. This had some really funny moments, looked great, featured some great music and the usual PTA randomness & quirkiness I really like. My only complaint was that I would have liked for the supporting character s to be fleshed out more, but otherwise a very enjoyable film.

The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
I'm not a big fan of David Lean epics, I mush prefer Lean when he was directing, uh, lean pictures that didn't meander all over the place and feel unnecessarily bloated. The Bridge On The River Kwai looks great and I was engaged with the Col. Nicholson part of the story. But, I could have done without William Holden's character entirely and a good chunk of the story as a result, and the finale was too high on melodrama and irony for my liking.

The Terminator (1984)
One of my favorite sci-fi films. The concept is pretty simple and only stays that way because Cameron makes sure to not focus heavily on the time travel aspect. Essentially this is a really cool and fun shoot-em up movie with some added sci-fi elements. There are a few spots where the CGI looks dated, and the sex scene is plain bad, but otherwise a really good sci-fi movie.

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
Fun movie, but that's about it. Nowhere near as smart or irreverent as most people claim and it would have been nice if it would have acknowledged that it actually is a Western. Redford and New man do have great chemistry and there are moments of enjoyment, but it's really quite a shallow and empty picture.

Fantasia (1940)
One of my all time favorites, this had a big impact on me as a child. It's pretty hard to describe the movie as a whole, but it does feature the usual superlatives in music and animation. Every segment is beautiful, just an all around fantastic picture.
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Old March 21st 09, 10:01   #669
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by GKarsEye View Post
Surprisingly I didn't see Ali, despite its subject matter. I don't necessarily have a problem with Will Smith but I couldn't imagine him doing the movie and character justice.

I wonder if my favorite boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, might make a worthy biopic. Or any of the old greats- Luis, Dempsy, etc. The only one I can think of is LaMotta in my 2nd favorite boxing movie of all time, Raging Bull. But those old timers had much more interesting careers than the modern guys.
seriously 2nd? surely anybodies top two are rocky and million dollar baby.
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Old March 21st 09, 13:31   #670
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Re: What are you watching now?

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seriously 2nd? surely anybodies top two are rocky and million dollar baby.
No way. I liked Million Dollar Baby, but Raging Bull is a perfect movie in every way.
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