Page 6 of 12 < 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 11 12 >
Topic Options
#4389 - 01/04/12 11:34 AM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Can it be that none of us has found anything worth mentioning at the movies since October?

This one counts as 2011, though I saw it only yesterday. Hugo. I was bowled over in a way I didn't expect, and kept in a dreamlike state of just taking it all in from start to finish. Martin Scorsese establishes a world that is both Paris c. 1930 and a place for fables to play out. Gorgeous work from all the support elements, design and photography and music. Lovely performances from Ben Kingsley, the two children, and many others. And maybe the first really integral, immersive use of 3-D I've seen. See it in a theater.

Top
#4394 - 01/05/12 08:27 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Jon]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Well, I've been too busy going to movies! Hugo, hm? I skipped that one, and it sounds as if that was a mistake.

I'll mention just one of the ones I've seen and liked -- Young Adult. Charlize Theron gives a powerful performance in a story that sounds like a typical romantic comedy: successful, beautiful young woman leaves the big city to return to the small town where she was born to reconnect with her high school sweetheart. Only there are kinks in that story. An author of YA fiction (Theron) sees her successful career coming to an end. She's no longer young (37) but she is still beautiful, although now she has to work at it (false hair, etc.). And she drinks like a fish. Then to cap things off, her highschool sweetheart is now married and is a new father. Going back is only the first of a number of bad decisions she makes, and toward the end she reveals something about her past that explains why she has gotten so far off the track. The town itself is no picket-fence dream; it's filled with small people leading small lives. She does bond with one former classmate who gives her some perspective (Patton Oswalt in another good performance). Young Adult is not a parody of romantic comedy; it's played absolutely straight. The movie is funny and poignant and smart. I'd say Charlize Theron was a shoo-in for her second Oscar if it weren't for Meryl Streep waiting in the wings.

Top
#4396 - 01/06/12 12:05 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Has anyone seen The Iron Lady? It hasn't opened here yet.

I want to put in a word for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I haven't read the book so it was all completely new for me, and I really liked it. Most thrillers now are just action sequences from beginning to end, and that can be fun...but this one builds up a lot of tension just through the investigation. There's a nasty rape sequence, not related to the plot but to illustrate something about the title character...mainly, hurt her and you pay for it. (The rapist gets his come-uppance in a most satisfying way.) And there's a violent episode toward the end. But the rest of it is just peeling back layers of the past to get at the truth. It's a good-looking movie, too, very slick.

Top
#4397 - 01/06/12 01:10 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: ]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I liked The Descendants a lot. Movies about family dynamics aren't always as interesting as they ought to be, but this one certainly is. A woman is in a boating accident and falls into a coma. Her husband learns from one of their daughters that his wife had been cheating on him. That's the plot, in essence. Everything that happens spins off that one fact. This isn't one of Clooney's old-smoothie roles...he's at a loss what to do and fumbles his way toward finding a satisfactory solution. Extraordinary performances from the three youngsters in the film (two daughters plus a boyfriend).

Top
#4408 - 01/09/12 01:33 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Lorna]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Yesterday I went to see War Horse and I wish I hadn't bothered. I don't understand how so many critics could rave over so schmalzy a movie. It is pure schmalz. Well, there are some good things in it. Emily Watson makes something out of her nothing role as the mother of the boy who raised the horse. All the characters are one- or two-dimensional because of the episodic structure of the story. And there were some effective shots...a panicked horse racing through the trenches at the front line, for instance. But most of the movie was so blasted manipulative! Like, laugh when I push this button, now cry, now go "Awww..." I liked the horse...or horses, all 12 of them that played the title role (2 foals, 2 colts, 8 stallions). And there was a scene-stealing goose that added some genuine humor in contrast to the manufactured kind everywhere else in the movie. Spielberg has always been a manipulative director, but never so blatantly as this. Yucch.

Top
#4409 - 01/09/12 09:01 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Rita]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Jon, see what you started?

I almost didn't go to The Descendants because the previews made it look like a fluff movie. But it has real substance and it is so well done! Clooney makes good movies. And yes, it has his signature shot, a lingering close-up of the back of his head. grin

Rita, I couldn't agree more about War Horse. Great horse(s), bad movie. Everything from the bright yellow Norman Rockwell sky casting a hazy glow over the awful poverty of the Devon farmers (well, it's home, don't you see) to that annoying French girl with the impenetrable accent to...well, just plain bad movie-making.

One example only. A British cavalry unit prepares to attack a German camp set up in a clearing in the woods. A recon team reports the camp is lightly guarded and the Germans suspect nothing. So the attack begins, and we get a series of quick shots, switching from the mounted British yelling a battle cry and riding with their swords pointed straight ahead, to the Germans scrambling out of their tents and trying to make it into the woods before those thundering horses got there...back and forth between the two, building up tension for the moment the two collide -- but we're not shown that moment. Suddenly there are riders among the tents but there's no moment of impact, no first meeting of the two sides. I guess Spielberg couldn't get that initial collision to look effective, so he just skipped it.

Anyway, what the charging British don't know is the Germans have machine guns in the woods. Lots of them, lined up and ready to fire. It's not quite the Charge of the Light Brigade (swords against guns) because the movie cavalry didn't know they'd be facing guns (bad recon), but the result is the same. The camera pulls back to show the slaughter, a field littered with dead horses and dead British soldiers...all laid out in a perfect checkerboard pattern. Someone had to have measured the distances among the various clumps of corpses to get the placements that uniform. It is so stagey that what should be tragic becomes merely ludicrous. Phooey.

Bad news: The Iron Lady has not been getting very good reviews. Everyone is agreed that Streep is fantastic, but quite a few critics are saying the movie itself is crap. metacritic

Sorry to be so long-winded (no, I'm not), but I've got one more thing I want to mention.
.
.
.
*********** The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo SPOILER *******************
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I've not read the Millennium trilogy, so the story was new to me. But I was able to spot the killer early on. Not because of the script, or the direction, or the acting, but because of the casting. Stellan Skarsgård is far too strong an actor to be wasted in such a minor role...unless he had a big scene coming up at the end. And did he ever! Presence justified.

Now I'm done.

Top
#4414 - 01/10/12 08:12 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Barbara]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
Wild horses would not drag me to The Iron Lady, nor, if it comes to that, War Horse. I read all of the Millennium trilogy, so there was no point in seeing the film(s). (Spoiler: The books got worse as they went on.)

The one film that I saw in the cinema recently probably might not appeal to many of you. It's a low-key drama called Weekend. It got good reviews in The Guardian and elsewhere, and has won various prizes. The York City Screen had only one showing, and the cinema was far from full. IMDB has details and reports.

It all takes place in Nottingham, and is about a semi-closeted gay man (Russell) who spends an evening with an old friend and his family. He gets drunk/drugged, goes to a gay bar, takes someone back to his place. Next day, the "someone" (Glen) starts asking questions, then records his answers, then they have a dialogue, and things start to click. Glen isn't keen on relationships and reveals that he's imminently going off to the Pacific NorthWest for a couple of years. He doesn't want to go in for goodbyes, but Russell turns up at the railway station and ... well, nothing much happens. It's a bit slow at times, there's a bit of gay sex (but nothing very alarming, folks). Worth seeing if you can find it, IMNSHO.

Top
#4424 - 01/12/12 07:55 AM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Andrew]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
One showing only? Now that's really a limited release. Weekend didn't show in many theaters here. IMDB's box office figures (low) end in November and their "showings" link is grayed out, so I think it's gone. First released in Germany, for some reason.

Top
#4432 - 01/13/12 11:28 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Barbara, your spoiler point can be a real problem. I've heard one or two directors say (in DVD commentaries) that they had to consider this type of problem when casting, because of the nature of the story. Sounds like they didn't, in this case.

War Horse is still playing onstage in NYC. My friends who've seen it there say that the story didn't mean much to them, but the staging (British import) was extraordinary, with the use of life-size puppets and great visual flair. They weren't inclined to revisit it as a film.

Weekend got as many as 46 reviews, as collected by MRQE (a few are UK in origin, but most seem to be US). I'm surprised, because it escaped my radar completely. As Lorna says, it played here in early fall, and the UK box-office figures begin the week after the US ones stop; it's amusingly as if only 3 or 4 prints exist, and they flew them across the Atlantic. But on a second look at MRQE, the reviews are not only from the predictable NYC-LA-SanFran, it also opened in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Austin, St. Paul. Not Philadelphia (my area), as far as I can tell, but our screens for such movies have decreased greatly in the last couple of years.

Hugo is still playing in theaters, still in 3D. It's worth checking around to see where you can catch it, in my opinion anyway.

Top
#4446 - 01/16/12 01:04 PM Re: Current Movies (2011) [Re: Jon]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
I went to see Hugo, and frankly I didn't care for it much. Scorsese has gotten sentimental in his old age. Or, maybe I'm turning into a Grinch.

Did anyone else find Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as confusing as I did? So many flashbacks, most of which were not clearly flashbacks, just one scene following another without any differention between past and present. Great production, very slick...and perfect acting. (But something of Barbara's spoiler at work here too.) For all the things it had going for it, it wasn't a very satisfying movie.

Top
Page 6 of 12 < 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 11 12 >

Moderator:  Rita