Current Movies 2014

Posted by: Barbara

Current Movies 2014 - 01/16/14 05:18 PM

I was surprised to read that American Hustle has been nominated for TEN Academy Awards. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but I guess I didn't realize it was that great. The movie was adequately directed, but I didn't see any "outstanding achievement" there. Amy Adams did most of her acting with her cleavage. I do see how the other three actors would be nominated -- Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and especially Jennifer Lawrence. Did anyone else see the movie?

Gravity also received ten nominations, but most were for technical achievement.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/17/14 12:09 PM

Oh, I loved American Hustle, and I hope it wins the Oscar. It's light-hearted and slick and just plain fun.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/18/14 12:34 PM

At first I didn't recognize Christian Bale under all that facial foliage he was wearing. The movie is funny and doesn't take itself too seriously...I liked it a lot. But it is just a one-joke movie, isn't it?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 02/15/14 07:49 PM

Nothing on The Monuments Men? Is it that bad?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 02/15/14 11:56 PM

No, it's not a bad movie. It has its flaws. It's not the kind of solid movie I've come to expect of Clooney. But it is sooooo entertaining...lots of good things in it. Go. You won't be disappointed.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 02/17/14 08:03 PM

I want to second that. It is very entertaining, from start to finish. It's easy to imagine the excitement the real-life Monuments Men must have felt whenever they found a concealed treasure. The movie is episodic, as it alternates among different lines of investigation going on simultaneously. The individual scenes are great, but the movie doesn't flow easily from one to another, giving it all a choppy feeling. One nitpicky thing. Movies set in the past have to be careful about avoiding anachronisms, especially linguistic ones. Twice Clooney says, "We have been tasked with recovering works of art..." At the time of World War II, the word "task" was still a noun. Calvin & Hobbes.

Edited to add that my son just called to warn me not to go see The Monuments Men -- ha! Not for everybody, I guess.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 02/18/14 08:41 PM

Why didn't he like it?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 02/19/14 01:14 AM

Well, he went in with lowered expectations because of the lukewarm reviews, but he just found it preposterous that those men would go into enemy territory without any protection by real soldiers. Everyone except Clooney was miscast. The movie would have been better if they'd shown more of the investigations that led to the discoveries (like the mines), the detective work involved -- and I have to agree with him on that point. Horrible thought: he might have enjoyed it more if he hadn't read Edsel's book the movie is based on. I didn't read the book, so it was a case of ignorance is bliss for me.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/02/14 09:35 AM

If you haven't seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, drop everything and go. This movie is impossible to describe, so I'm not even going to try. Just go.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/02/14 10:26 AM

I am going to make an effort to get's showing at our local "art" house but only at night...and at one of the megaplexes that is practically in another county.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/02/14 06:10 PM

I want to second Austin's endorsement. The only way to describe this movie is to say "Wes Anderson". If you responded to his Moonlight Kingdom, you'll love The Grand Budapest Hotel. It's such a rich movie; there is so MUCH in there to see.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/03/14 06:02 AM

I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel a few weeks ago - very entertaining, although at times it reminded me of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and suchlike. The cast looked like movie royalty - Dafoe, Goldblum, Wilkinson, Murray, Balaban, Swinton etc., etc. Terrific performance by Ralph Fiennes. I've never seen an Anderson film before, but I now feel like ordering the lot, probably starting with The Royal Tenenbaums
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/06/14 07:26 PM

I think I will too. The only Wes Anderson film I'd seen before TGBH was Moonlight Kingdom, but that one movie was enough to make me a believer. I especially like the way he tosses in grim reminders not to take the parade of images too glibly (death of an animal, the loss of fingers, etc.).
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/29/14 05:36 PM

I've enjoyed The Royal Tenenbaums on DVD recently - very strange but often mesmerising.

Now last week, I saw Calvary, with the great Brendan Gleeson as a parish priest in Sligo (near Ben Bulben). There were a lot of recognisable actors, many of them quite nasty, and Gleeson's actor son was really creepy. All of us in the Picturehouse in York just sat there till the credits were halfway through (very unusual for me and probably most of the others). Go and see it if it comes near you.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 04/29/14 11:17 PM

I certainly will, if it's booked here. The US release date is Aug. 1, so we'll have to wait a bit.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 08/11/14 10:57 PM

It's beginning to look as if I'm not going to get to see Calvary; none of the local theaters have it booked as of now.

The 100-Foot Journey -- a word of warning: this is NOT a Helen Mirren movie. She's in it, but strictly in a secondary capacity. The movie is about the Indian family that opens a restaurant directly across the road from Mirren's posh restaurant. The two gals I saw the movie with loved it, but I was somewhat less enamoured. The acting was top-notch and the scenery gorgeous, but I found the movie slow and too long.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 11/20/14 08:27 PM

If any of you are planning to go see Interstellar...DON'T. There's not one original thing in that movie. Instead we get bits and pieces of Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Farscape, Stargate SG-1, Gravity, Looper, Cloud Atlas, and probably more. Interstellar is what you get when people who know nothing about science fiction decide to make an SF movie. The real-time drama of Rosetta is far more exciting.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 11/21/14 12:56 AM

I wish I'd read that post instead of the critics' favorable reviews, also written by people who know nothing about SF, evidently. The first part of the movie is fairly good, establishing the reason why mankind needs to find a new place to live. Earth's resources are pretty much depleted; the whole planet is one giant dust bowl. One scene shows a family eating a meal, and all they have on their plates is corn. So far so good.

But once the hero leaves his farm to pilot a new spaceship in search of another habitable planet, the movie veers off into the ridiculous. One preposterous sequence follows another, and the plot loses all connection to logic. A movie like this can only have a fairy-tale ending, and that's what Interstellar has. Take Austin's advice -- don't go.

But yes, Rosetta is far more exciting! Comet-riding stories have been around since the 1950s; the first one I read made me think what a nice fantasy! Wish-fulfillment SF, and rather clever. I couldn't take it as prophetic for a number of reasons, such as the surface instability of comets. Of course, a lot more is known about comets now than when those early stories were written, but I still tended to think landing on one wasn't possible. But now they've gone and done it! I guess Arthur C. Clarke was right: If man can think of it, man can do it. We'll have to see whether the big questions will be answered (Did comets seed the earth with life?), but, oh my, what a giant step!
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/26/14 11:33 PM

Drop whatever you're doing and go see Into the Woods. You won't be sorry.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/27/14 02:54 PM

Amen to that! It's a real winner.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/29/14 08:17 AM

I saw it yesterday, and I loved it. I didn't know Chris Pine could sing! I liked that false ending, where it looked as if the story is headed for happily-ever-after but then it veers off into even darker fantasy. I couldn't always understand what Jack was singing, but everybody else came through loud and clear.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/29/14 09:55 AM

We went yesterday too. Evidently Emily Blunt has never sung in public before, just like Chris Pine. Anna Kendrick was another surprise. The only other thing I've seen her do is Up in the Air, quite different from her role as Cinderella. I think they were all just splendid.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/31/14 01:25 AM

I never saw Into the Woods on the stage, so I have nothing to compare the movie to and I thought the movie was just dandy. But people who are familiar with the original version are grumbling about the cuts, and there's been criticism of Meryl Streep's performance as the Witch. Evidently in the stage production, there was some pathos in the Witch's role. As I understand it, the audience never sympathizes with the Witch but does come to understand her and perhaps feel pity. Streep's Witch is a cartoon witch (and a very good cartoon witch she is), but that's not how the role was originally conceived.

For me, the high point of the movie was "Agony" -- the duet sung by the two princes. Here we have two young men, brothers, basically in accord, singing of their two ladyloves -- but they still can't refrain from jockeying for position in their two-man hierarchy. Delicious. grin

A little cinematic synchronicity: two new movies about male British geniuses. The Theory of Everything (Stephen Hawking) and The Imitation Game (Alan Turing) feature stellar performances from the two leads, Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, both of whom have been nominated for Golden Globes and will probably get Oscar nods in a couple of weeks as well. IMO, the Hawking movie is the better of the two, but only slightly.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/31/14 08:42 AM

My daughter saw it the other night, and she was blown away by it.

I personally have decided that I should judge movie adaptations as movies, not as books or stage works. Streep's character for instance. Did it fit the movie?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/31/14 04:28 PM

Well, the story needed a villain, and she fulfilled that function very well. But she was kind of one-note compared to the other main characters.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 12/31/14 08:05 PM

Yes, that's it. Some of the characters don't even have names; they're identified and defined by the roles they play in the world of the story -- the Baker, the Prince, etc. But these characters step outside their conventional roles and do things that are not necessarily expected of bakers and princes and the like. Little Red Riding Hood's basket of goodies she's taking to Granny are all conned out of the Baker's Wife or outright stolen, and the girl eats most of them before she ever gets to Granny's house. The Baker's Wife and Cinderella's Prince have a little smoochfest when no one is looking. The Baker himself -- an ordinary, confused and frightened man -- turns out to be a hero in his own modest way.

But the Witch stays within the boundaries of her conventional role; she's evil and powerful from start to finish. We may have gotten a hint of more complex behavior from the Rapunzel scenes. The Witch may have developed motherly feelings for the young girl. That's just a guess; we're not really shown enough to know for certain and there's no follow-up. Streep could perform only the material she was given to perform, and she did quite well with it. But I am curious about the missing bits.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/01/15 04:05 PM

I have GOT to see this movie.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/01/15 08:26 PM

I saw this years ago on stage and have only the vaguest memories of it...will have to catch the film.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/04/15 08:42 PM

Well, I've seen it now, and I agree with everything that's been said, both pro and con! The movie has layers, and I'm not sure I caught everything in one go-round. Anna Kendrick has more talent than she knows what to do with. The only thing that bothered me wasn't in the movie but in the audience...the number of small children that had been brought by their parents. This is ADULT fantasy, folks.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/07/15 01:18 PM

Have not seen the film yet but I do remember the stage version years ago and it was definitely NOT something I would take a child under, say 14 (PG14 is probably a good fit if those categories still exist).
Posted by: Pete

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/08/15 10:58 AM

About tine for s new Topic for 2015 movies, innit? Not me, as I haven't been to a movie in about 4 years.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/08/15 01:44 PM

Me either, except for the ones we get shown at Brandon Oaks...the one last night was the Gershwin flick with Robert Alda...saw it when I was about 12 I think.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/08/15 05:35 PM

Yeah. They show those old flics here, too. When I was at The Arbors, one of the other residents (a former Jesuit priest, who had left the priesthood to get married) mamaged the movies, and generally showed things he liked--he was fan of Jodie Foster, and I remember he showed "Nell", which blew him away. He'd watched it half a dozen times, as I remember. Damn, I wish I still lived there. . . .
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/08/15 10:19 PM

Once in a while we get a recent release (Saving Mr. Banks was one) but we are more likely to get Forrest Gump.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/08/15 10:27 PM

There was also some relatively recent prequel to the Wizard of Oz
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/11/15 03:17 PM

I didn't like that movie, especially James Franco's performance.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/11/15 10:56 PM

Nor the implication that he had the hots for Glinda...The only Oz movie that ever did justice to the original written works was the Garland one and it was not without its flaws...Lahr was awful as the lion, Garland was really too old for Dorothy and Billie Burke didn't do justice to Glinda...Margaret Hamilton's witch was the best thing in it...Where's Jon Conrad when you need him?????????
Posted by: Pete

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 12:25 AM

Garland was 16, wasn't she? They couldn't get Shirley Temple, so had to use Judy.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 11:56 AM

Lahr was awful as the lion? Are we talking about the same movie?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 02:57 PM

Bert Lahr's performance was a classic. It couldn't have been improved upon. I've never heard anyone call it awful before (and I hope never to again).
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 07:13 PM

Yes, he was perfect in the role. Kay, maybe you just didn't like the character.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 10:59 PM

Maybe I need to watch it again....
Posted by: Jon

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/12/15 11:52 PM

I was taken to The Wizard of Oz when I was 6 or so (in one of the big old theaters in the Chicago Loop, early 1950s) for what must have been its last theatrical reissue before it became an annual staple on TV. I had already read the book, precocious brat that I was, and like any kid that age had very decided expectations about how the book should be filmed. I kind of knew that they couldn't include everything, so I adjusted to the streamlining of the story, didn't mind the songs too much, thought the move from B&W to color was a thrilling idea, and positively enjoyed the performances -- especially Garland as Dorothy, Ray Bolger as scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the lion (though I was too young to understand the vaudevillian aspects), and Margaret Hamilton's witch. Even now, with my adult eyes, I can't see much wrong with any of the performances. I mean, Billie Burke is in no way my idea of Glinda, but I can't blame her, as that was her invariable screen persona; so those in charge must have wanted exactly that.

No, the things that bugged my 6-year-old self were the alterations from the book for which I could see no point: the endless initial sequence in Kansas (Baum has the house in the air by the second page, and the gimmick that all those actors would later reappear in Oz was lost on me), the changing of the silver shoes into ruby slippers, the conflation of the Good Witch of the North (who greets Dorothy initially) with Glinda, and most unforgivably (even now) the idea that the visit to Oz was all a dream. No. It was real. (And in a later book Dorothy, Em, Henry, and Toto go there to live permanently.)

Despite those objections, I still love the movie.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Current Movies 2014 - 01/14/15 08:22 PM

Jon pretty well sums up the problems I have with the movie also...I think we've discussed it before. NEVER understood the reasoning that led to turning the Oz sequences into a dream.