Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
#6452 - 01/20/13 04:05 AM Current Movies (2013)
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Has anyone had the chance to see Quartet? (Maggie Smith as a retired opera star.) It's in limited release right now, but it's not showing here.

Top
#6458 - 01/20/13 08:42 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
NoŰl Coward wrote a play called Quartet, but I don't think there's an opera star in it. Not the same thing?

Top
#6463 - 01/21/13 07:52 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Umm, Coward's play is called Quadrille, I'm pretty sure; I've got a copy around here somewhere. Kind of sentimental, as I recall. In the movie Quartet, Maggie Smith moves into a retirement home for performers, where she finds the residents planning a production of Rigoletto -- so it must be THAT quartet...plus (I'm guessing) Maggie and three other characters in some non-singing ensemble.

Top
#6466 - 01/21/13 10:36 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#6468 - 01/22/13 12:04 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Kay]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Yes, I meant in addition to the Rigoletto quartet. Does anyone else remember Pauline Collins as the new young maid in the original Upstairs, Downstairs?

Top
#6481 - 01/24/13 01:06 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Of course I remember Pauline Collins! Actually I've revisited those episodes pretty recently, as I now have the complete Upstairs, Downstairs DVD set.

Top
#6485 - 01/24/13 08:49 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
I remember Collins both in USDS and Shirley Valentine (I think she got an Oscar nomination and maybe a Golden Globe for that one).

Jon, are you watching Downton Abbey? Just curious since you have USDS on disk how you think it compares.
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#6496 - 01/27/13 04:16 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I'm watching Downtown Abbey, yes, but to me (despite the obvious publicity hooks they've been using) there's not enough similarity between the two premises to compare them usefully. Yes, we see both above and below stairs in both. But DA is centrally concerned with the business of an heir, and the handing of the estate intact (in trust) to the next generation. And there's really nothing comparable to that in US,DS.

I think Julian Fellowes is a clever writer (I enjoyed his novel Snobs, as well as the movie Gosford Park), and he knows the Downton Abbey milieu, but perhaps his plot-invention resources are limited. He's fallen back on soapy contrivances rather often, and I find the prison sequences a deadly weight on the current series.

Top
#6499 - 01/27/13 07:42 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I looked at the old thread too, and I don't think anyone here has yet talked about Argo. It's playing at theaters again, in the wake of its Academy Award nominations, and I definitely recommend it.

Everybody probably knows by now that it's based on the real "exfiltration" of 6 Americans caught in Tehran in 1979 when they escaped the embassy before its takeover, who were hid by the Canadian ambassador until the CIA got them out by giving them identities as crew of a fictitious movie scouting for locations. There's been some criticism (mostly mild) that it makes the actual escape more nail-bitingly suspenseful than the smooth operation it really was, but I find that a fair tradeoff. We know, after all, how it turned out, but the participants at the time didn't know it was going to work and it must have been terrifying till they got away -- so this puts us back in their state of mind.

Anyway, Chris Terrio wrote a sharp, effective screenplay, Ben Affleck directed it extremely well, and he also plays the role of CIA operative Tony Mendez in appropriately subdued fashion (his job, after all, is to blend in and not be remembered). And it's stuffed with great actors in supporting roles, some of them tiny but all valuable: John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Clea DuVall, Tate Donovan, Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver, Philip Baker Hall, Richard Kind, and many more. Good stuff.

Top
#6594 - 02/20/13 07:47 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Jon]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game has finally been made into a movie; it's in post-production now and is scheduled for a Nov. 1st release. The screen adaptation was written by Gavin Hook, who also directs. Only two names in the cast were familiar to me, Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford. But the real stars of this movie have to be the kids. Ender is played by 15-year-old Asa Butterfield, who has already played the lead in two other movies, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Hugo. Here are Petra and Ender:


Top
#6597 - 02/20/13 11:02 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! What took them so long?

Top
#6647 - 02/28/13 05:07 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
One website says that the technology to film the book has finally caught up with Card's imagination. But, frankly, I don't believe that's true. The one big tricky thing in the book is the arena where the kids are taught to fight mock battles, but even that has surely been doable for some years now. Or am I overlooking something?

Quartet at last made it to the left coast, and it is charming and funny and I loved almost every minute. There's a note of sadness in it, touching on the loss of gifts and the approaching end of life. But it's a minor note; the movie is witty and upbeat and bubbling over with the love of music. Most of the supporting cast playing retired musicians are in fact retired musicians themselves (Dame Gwyneth Jones can still do a killer "Vissi d'arte"). And all the way through the movie we hear strains of familiar music, mostly operatic but not all. Periodically we hear the opening line of the Verdi "Quartet", a sort of teaser for what is to come.

Click to reveal..
Only it doesn't come -- not fully, at least. Maggie Smith's character and three others at the retirement home once recorded Rigoletto in a standard-setting performance. Maggie has to be talked into taking part in a concert staged annually on Verdi's birthday; she's just not the singer she once was. But she finally agrees, and when she and the others walk out on the stage, the entire audience rises and applauds like crazy out of sheer joy at seeing these four together again. And that's where the movie ends, on that moment of joy. We hear the quartet sung over the closing credits; we don't see the four stars singing it.

That's the part that left me unsatisfied. The four actors were given training for imitating operatic singing and were filmed doing so, but the scene was cut. Either they were terrible at it or the director thought that moment of joy would make a better ending. (It could have been moved to after the performance.) I really don't know why it was cut.

Top
#6662 - 03/03/13 08:53 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
We saw Quartet this afternoon and thought it was absolutely delightful. Now I'm going to have to go into SPOILER mode.
Click to reveal..
Yes, it was a little disappointing not to see them singing the quartet, after all that build-up...but only a little. The charm of the movie remains intact. I can live with it.

Top
#6666 - 03/03/13 09:31 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Pretty much what Barbara and Lorna said, including the spoiler...and, for Harry Potter fans, sort of fun to see Dumbledore and Minerva together in a different context.

Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut was a success...


Edited by Kay (03/03/13 09:33 PM)
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#6674 - 03/05/13 05:16 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Kay]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
When Hoffman was asked why he waited until he was 75 to make his debut as a director, he answered..."I don't know."

Click to reveal..
I'm of two minds about that ending. I can see why Hoffman ended the movie where he did. The music was there to reunite those four people, so the reunion is the thing, not the music. Still, since the whole movie builds up to their singing together, we should have been able to see that. It couldn't have been an easy decision for Hoffman.

Top
#6677 - 03/05/13 08:44 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
And given that Pauline Collins is the only one in the bunch who can make any claim to actually being able to sing, we would have been hearing dubbed voices...great ones I am sure (if they were credited, I didn't catch them) but not the visible performers. The Rigoletto number was important BECAUSE it linked the four of them...and eventually brought Jean and Reggie back together.


Edited by Kay (03/05/13 08:44 PM)
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#6683 - 03/07/13 03:47 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
The first trailer for Joss Whedon's film of Much Ado About Nothing has just appeared. This is the movie he shot in and around his Santa Monica estate in less than 2 weeks, in B&W, predominantly with actors he'd worked with before. It has played at a festival or two, got picked up by a distributor late last year, and is scheduled for June release.

Top
#6689 - 03/08/13 12:42 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Jon]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Uh...well.

Top
#6824 - 04/04/13 01:12 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
Yesterday, I saw Franšois Ozon's In the House. It starts fairly slowly, becomes rather surreal, and then slows down at the end. Well worth a visit (though I'd have preferred to have seen some of the subtitles in British English rather than American English). The major roles are a bored teacher and a creepy youth, and Kristin Scott Thomas is always worth watching.

Top
#6834 - 04/06/13 02:44 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Andrew]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I've not heard of this one. I've left a request at Fandango to be notified if it shows anywhere in this area, but frankly, I doubt that it will. I've not seen a movie with subtitles in a theater since I moved to California. Pittsburgh, yes, but not here.

Top
#6838 - 04/07/13 01:11 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I haven't heard of it either. Instead, I went to see a blatantly commercial film, Oz: The Great and Powerful. The drawback for me was James Franco in the title role. For most of the movie the character Oz is a jerk, but I kept thinking of what a good actor could do with the role. There are good things in the movie and it is visually appealing, but on the whole I was underwhelmed.

Top
#6847 - 04/08/13 03:04 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
As one (I believe Jon is another) "Oz purist" I am not sure I want to see this "prequal" that doesn't really derive from Baum's original concept...any more than "Wicked" did, I seriously doubt that I'll be seeing it...

Thanks for the heads up, Lorna...
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#6891 - 04/20/13 08:33 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Kay]
Austin
Unregistered


Don't believe that "best movie of the year" guff in the Oblivion promos. It's slow and derivative and hugely disappointing. Just a scrapbook of SF tropes...nothing original at all.

Top
#6892 - 04/21/13 11:51 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I'd like to second that. Bits of Star Wars, cyberpunk, Space Odyssey, cloning, etc. Tom Cruise is finally beginning to show his age, but he performed as well as the role would allow him to. Save your money.

Top
#6894 - 04/21/13 04:44 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Did he run?

Top
#6896 - 04/21/13 05:09 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Austin
Unregistered


Ha, yes. Briefly, and not as fast as usual, but he was running on sand.

Top
#6921 - 04/26/13 09:11 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Barbara, what was cyberpunkish in Oblivion?

Top
#6922 - 04/26/13 12:00 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Oh, mostly the presence of high-tech in the midst of decay -- or in this case, devastation. Some of the imagery (glass, sharp angles), but not much. Nothing of the cyperpunk viewpoint or density of language. Surface borrowings.

Top
#7000 - 05/18/13 02:53 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Star Trek into Darkness just opened, and it's a lot better than the first revisionist movie. The title is misleading, because it's not a dark movie at all. It's fun, from beginning to end, just what ST ought to be. For people not ST fans, the movie will work as an energetic action flick. But for those who are fans, Star Trek into Darkness is just filled with special treats. I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil it.

Top
#7001 - 05/18/13 04:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Yes, it's impossible to talk about this movie without giving too much away. It will play for both fans and non-fans, but I'm going to nitpick on two points. First, sending Chekov to replace Scotty in the engine room. What do navigators know about engineering? Second, J.J. Abrams is a little too fond of swooshing cameras with ultra-quick cuts during the action sequences, so you don't see precisely what's happening, only the result. Maybe that doesn't bother other people, but I think it's a cheat.

That said, Star Trek into Darkness is still a whomping good adventure story that plunges right in without bothering with unnecessary exposition and doesn't sag in the middle, hurray! It's remarkable in one other respect: it manages to be simultaneously nostalgic and brand new. And that is quite an accomplishment.

Top
#7014 - 05/20/13 12:10 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Oh, it is fun! I saw it yesterday. I'm sure I missed a lot of the Trek references, but I got some of them, such as the role-reversal. I'd better not say any more.

Top
#7017 - 05/20/13 01:15 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
I went to see Pedro Almodˇvar's "I'm so excited" (original title: "Los amantes pasajeros") last week. The English title is apparently homage to the Pointer Sisters, of whom I've vaguely heard. In the film, it's performed by a collection of gay aeroplane stewards, who are doing a sort of cabaret to entertain the 1st class passengers, in order to stop them thinking too much about the problem with the plane's undercarriage (the plane is scheduled to fly to Mexico but is actually flying round and round Toledo [in Spain, not Ohio!] until an airport is available for landing).

Anyway, it's quite entertaining if rather inconsequential and there are cameo roles for Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. The second-class passengers have all been drugged to keep them quiet, while the 1st class passengers start to unravel, revealing various crimes that they've committed or are intending to. Eventually, the plane lands at La Mancha Airport - a Spanish in-joke, apparently: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Mancha_Airport.

Don't know whether this will be shown in the USA. When I saw the trailer a few weeks ago, I was reminded of a hilarious Scottish TV series entitled "The High Life", featuring Alan Cumming, among others. IMDB will tell you more!


Edited by Andrew (05/20/13 02:06 PM)

Top
#7042 - 05/29/13 09:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Andrew]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Remember In the House? I put in a request to be notified when/if it became available. A few weeks ago I got email saying it was showing in three theaters "in your area". The nearest theater is 52 miles away! So I won't be seeing that one.

But it looks as if I'm So Excited will be playing locally, and Joss Whedon's Much Ado as well. I've put in notification requests for both of them; we'll see.

Top
#7143 - 06/26/13 09:12 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


If you're not put off by the thought of zombies, go see Brad Pitt's World War Z. Even if you are put off by the thought of zombies, go see it. It's a tense, fast-moving, scary movie, truly scary. It's a big-budget, carefully made film, not the usual horror fare tossed off in a summer movie. I was surprised by how good it is.

Top
#7150 - 06/27/13 01:39 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
I've just got back from seeing Behind the Candelabra at the York City Screen. Very good sets and excellent acting, especially by Michael Douglas. Quite a few cameo roles as well. The story is, of course, familiar, but the ending did bring a small tear to the eye. Has anyone here seen this? I gather that it was on HBO a few months ago but isn't showing in cinemas in the US.

Top
#7151 - 06/27/13 07:39 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Andrew]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
The Liberace movie, yes, it's showing on HBO now but I haven't watched it. It won't be showing in theaters because it's a TV movie.

Top
#7154 - 06/29/13 03:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I saw Behind the Candelabra on HBO a few weeks ago. Excellent all around, and Michael Douglas (and the writing) really surprised me with the depth of his portrayal. Matt Damon is excellent as well, and there are fine brief contributions from people like Scott Bakula, Cheyenne Jackson, Debbie Reynolds, Rob Lowe.

The whole Liberace phenomenon is one that I have been finding hard to explain to young people now. I suppose in a way that's a good thing.


Edited by Jon (06/29/13 03:47 PM)

Top
#7155 - 06/29/13 03:59 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Last week I saw the new movie of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon and filmed in and around his house in 12 days, in B&W. It's less of a cinematic romp than the Branagh version (which I do love), being closer to a straightforward rendition of the play in modern dress. All Shakespeare's scenes are present and in the right order, I believe, though internally streamlined for a 109-minute running time.

The play's emphasis on virginity at certain points sits oddly with the modern setting, especially as we get fleeting indications of a Beatrice-Benedick affair in the past that went wrong, and none of the unpleasant things Claudio says are minimized -- rather the contrary. But Fran Kranz's convincing portrayal (I would never have expected this of him, after the stoner dude in The Cabin in the Woods) did a great deal to paint a portrait of a specific young man with some very real problems, which he may in time overcome. Of the others, I enjoyed Reed Diamond in a different sort of part from the police he usually plays, thought Amy Acker rose beautifully to the challenge of Beatrice, and want to give a special round of applause to Nathan Fillion. His Dogberry was sheer delight, and I only wished the role were longer -- he definitely benefited from having all his scenes retained (which doesn't always happen, even onstage). Recommended.

Top
#7159 - 06/29/13 09:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Jon]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I saw it just a couple of days ago and found it a joyful thing indeed. I got a kick out of the somewhat gleeful abandonment of all pretense at a consistent time period for the setting (the characters had cell phones but the women wore frumpy Depression-era clothing while speaking late 16th-century English). Some compression was necessary for a modern audience, of course, and I would take issue with only one bit of the editing, in the sequence of the minor matter of Benedick's beard. We're given most of the set-up but not the payoff; it would have been better to delete the sequence altogether (although I probably would have hated that).

I wasn't quite as taken with Fillion's Dogberry as Jon was, because some of the malapropisms were lost in the low-key delivery. I was greatly impressed, however, by Clark Gregg's Leonato. Leonato is a utility role, a character needed to oil the machinery of the plot but not particularly important in himself. Leonato's shock at learning of Hero's alleged infidelity leads him to wish death upon his own daughter, but he quickly comes to his senses and helps work out the solution. Because of the extremity of his first reaction, I've always thought that that transition back to good guy must be a very tricky thing for actors to handle. Gregg managed it beautifully -- good job. Amy Acker and Fran Kranz were outstanding, completely believable in every regard.

Going from the sublime to flirting with the ridiculous, I want to second Austin's recommendation of World War Z. Of all the monsters/creatures/whatever that populate shlock horror movies, I've always thought zombies were the most boring. They walk at a snail's pace with their arms held out from their bodies a little, sometimes making hokey noises and sometimes not. But not these zombies. They're fast and they're crafty and most of all, they're scary. Can you imagine that? A scary movie that actually IS scary. The actors playing the zombies turn in such good performances that I was amazed. The movie has a number of nice little touches in it. One scene takes place in the refrigerated section of a research lab, where Brad Pitt is trying to fool one zombie into not attacking him. You can see Pitt's breath in the cold air...but not the zombie's. smile It's a good thrill ride.

Top
#7160 - 06/29/13 09:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Interesting....WAY back...1958 perhaps...there was a TV daytine series called Matinee Theatre, that presented a lot of stuff, including a production of Much Ado...with Nina Foch as an incredible Beatrice...I had forgotten about it until this discussion came up. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0643532/
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

Top
#7170 - 06/30/13 08:23 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Kay]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Something else interesting...both Jon and Barbara liked the Beatrice, but neither had anything to say about the Benedick's performance. Being polite?

Top
#7183 - 07/02/13 02:28 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Well, I was hoping Jon would come back and field this one, but...I'll just say he's a stick. Not Jon, the guy who played Benedick. The actor's name is Alexis Denisof, and I've seen him in only one other role -- Wesley in the Buffy TV series (the Watcher who temporarily replaced Giles). I've never thought Sarah Michelle Geller was a good actor, but there's a difference between "not good" and "downright bad", and IMO Denisof gave the only downright bad performance in that entire series. He's a lot better in Much Ado -- but he's still a stick.

Top
#7184 - 07/02/13 02:37 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I wouldn't go that far. I think he's fine, using that overworked word with its frequent faint-praise connotation of "plenty good enough, but I can't get really excited." He doesn't hurt the film at all, but if I'm listing 3 or 4 standout performances, I'll choose others.

Top
#7185 - 07/02/13 03:45 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Jon]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I remember Wesley...he overacted terribly. I think the character was carried over into Angel, but I didn't watch that one.

Top
#7187 - 07/02/13 08:41 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Lorna]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
He overacted in Angel too, but not as badly as in Buffy...I think. It's been a while.

Top
#7216 - 07/09/13 07:07 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I went to World War Z, and I have to say that without doubt, those are the best zombies I've ever seen! grin

Top
#7217 - 07/09/13 08:13 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Lorna]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Me, I went to The Heat. I like Sandra Bullock and there are a lot of funny things in the movie, but there were so many scenes of the two women scrabbling at each other and talking over each other and acting like silly schoolgirls instead of middle-aged law enforcement officers that I started thinking, oh, %!#@!^%, will you get on with it! Frankly, I wish I'd gone to see the zombies instead.

Top
#7218 - 07/10/13 12:41 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I, too, made a wrong choice -- Now You See Me. I read somewhere that it was similar to The Prestige, and that was enough to draw me in. But the only connection was the subject matter, illusionists and how they work. The tricks in Now You See Me were entertaining at first, but they grew more and more preposterous so that the movie ended up just being ludicrous. Correction: there is one more connection with The Prestige -- Michael Caine is in both movies.

Top
#7290 - 08/11/13 07:09 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I'm a little late with this, but if you got a kick out of RED, you'll enjoy RED 2. It's pretty much the same basic story (without the novelty appeal, of course) but with new gags, new stunts. Helen Mirren still switches between grande dame and heavily armed assassin with ease, equally comfortable in both roles. Mary Louise Parker is still stealing scenes from Bruce Willis, and John Malkovich is a real hoot in this one. It's a funny movie.

Top
#7297 - 08/13/13 09:12 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
I figured I'd look RED up on Netflix and watch it. There was a movie called Red, all right, so I watched it. Unfortunately, it was a 5 year old drama about a man whose dog is killed, and how he gets retribution for it. Not a bad movie, IMHO, but obviously not the one you are talking about.
_________________________
Regerds, Pete

Top
#7298 - 08/13/13 05:55 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Pete]
Austin
Unregistered


RED stands for Retired, Extremely Dangerous...some old spies forced out of retirement who whomp the living daylights out of the bad guys. Really fun to watch, and so is RED 2.

I'm also late, with Pacific Rim. It's a hardware movie, with fantastic attention to detail in the sets and the F/X. The plot is predictable, the characters are stereotypes, the dialogue is conventional, and I loved every blessed minute of it.

Top
#7304 - 08/15/13 06:12 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
grin

Top
#7308 - 08/16/13 12:49 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
I just watched RED. Worth the two bucks I spent at Amazon to stream it.
_________________________
Regerds, Pete

Top
#7312 - 08/17/13 12:06 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Pete]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Ah, good. Glad you liked it.

Top
#7317 - 08/18/13 02:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
A miracle has happened. I know I have lower expectations of summer movies and just look for things that can give moments of passing enjoyment. But out of the dross that has shown up on the screens this summer, one real honest-to-god movie has appeared...Elysium. It was written, produced, and directed by Neill Blomkamp, only his second feature film (after the strange and compelling District 9). This guy is good. I mean REALLY good. Has anyone else seen it?

Top
#7318 - 08/18/13 09:16 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Christopher]
Austin
Unregistered


I saw it, and while some movies are drosser than others, I can't argue with what you said. I was thinking the zombies were going to be IT this summer, but now they're only a distant second. Blomkamp has worked just about every job there is in the entertainment biz (he even did some of the animation for SG-1), really learned his field before he started making features. Matt Damon is nothing short of terrific in the movie. I would never have cast him in that role, which proves only that I would make a terrible casting director. Anybody who hasn't seen Elysium...go.

Top
#7319 - 08/19/13 12:58 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Going tomorrow.

Top
#7323 - 08/19/13 07:35 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
I didn't think it was all that great. The visuals were good, Matt Damon was good, and Jodie Foster's haircut was great. The first part was the most interesting, setting up the contrast between the two ways of living. I couldn't understand most of what the villain Kruger was saying, and plot resolution by explosion after explosion after explosion is not one of my favorite things. And that shaky camera work made me dizzy.

Top
#7324 - 08/19/13 09:20 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Mike Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/00
Posts: 340
Loc: Brooklyn
I liked it. Too many explsions, yes, but it was still entertaining.

Top
#7326 - 08/20/13 04:57 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Mike]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I liked it at first, but then I started wishing it would just hurry up and finish. I had trouble understanding both Kruger and Spider, and the two mothers with the two sick daughters looked too much alike. I was left with the feeling that Elysium would recover, and I don't think that's what the movie intended.

Top
#7328 - 08/21/13 12:35 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Lorna]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Well, this is beginning to look like a boy/girl thing -- sorry, fellas, but I have to side with the ladies on this one. The movie was a big disappointment to me, and frankly I don't understand all the enthusiasm it has generated. Oh, there were plenty of good things in it, a number of them quite scary (such as the fact that English is no longer the primary language spoken in L.A.). Matt Damon pretty much carried the movie; it was a big role and he handled it well. Jodie Foster (she of the aforementioned great haircut) didn't have much to do; hers was a one-dimensional role. But I was happy to see she has abandoned that clenched-cheeks, unmoving-lips way of speaking she'd used in recent movies.

But Elysium is a derivative movie; I expected something more from the writer/director of District 9. The haves living on orbiting habitats while the have-nots were stuck on a dying earth -- that's a cyberpunk trope, first presented some forty years ago. As is the picture of a world openly run by corporations instead of governments, and sockets in people's skulls, etc. The hero's days are numbered because of radiation poisoning, just like in Gattaca and Crank. Those medical healing machines -- remember the sarcophagi in SG-1? Inception interrupted scenes at key moments to insert flashbacks in brighter colors than present-day scenes -- so does Elysium. And so on.

By the way, does anybody here believe it's possible to bring down a way of life by changing the word "illegal" to "legal" in a computer? No firewalls, no red flags, nothing?

Cyberpunk was short-lived as a movement, but it certainly left its mark, didn't it? Themes, images...everything but language. The language in those stories was succinct, image-rich, and sometimes cryptic, to force readers to read carefully. I don't know of a movie that's attempted that.

Top
#7331 - 08/21/13 10:01 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Ohhhhhhhhh, Barbara, you cut me to the quick! Yes, the computer fix at the end was too facile, but the movie remains the strongest protest against race prejudice I've seen. The inhabitants of Elysium are all white, while most of the earth's remaining population are latino. White Max is still on earth because he'd stolen cars and was an ex-con, just part of the human detritus left behind. There's a lot of anger in this movie, and it's directed at immigration laws (like the two ships carrying "illegals" that are shot down rather than being allowed to land on Elysium). Violence begets violence, and the movie is saying that's where we're heading.

Top
#7333 - 08/21/13 11:02 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Christopher]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Chris, I don't mean to be contentious, but the fact that Blomkamp's heart is in the right place doesn't mean his work is automatically successful. It takes more than good intentions to make a good movie.

Top
#7337 - 08/22/13 03:46 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Lorna]
Austin
Unregistered


I have to confess that initially I had some trouble with cyberpunk. Gibson's Neuromancer was the first I read, and it took me about five times as long to read as other SF novels. The language was a little easier to navigate in the Mirrorshades short stories, but it was still demanding. I think that's why cyberpunk was short-lived, and why we'll never hear its language in a movie. By the time I was getting the hang of it, Gibson had moved on to steampunk, which was more accessible but not as interesting, IMO.

One final word in defense of Elysium. All the things the ladies say are true, but can you name one SF summer movie from any year that does NOT have a lot of explosions? It's the dues Hollywood pays to get funding and distribution and whatever else is needed...audiences have come to expect a lot of big booms. Most summer movies are about the flashy F/X, but Elysium is truly ABOUT something, it makes a statement. That's what makes it special.

Top
#7340 - 08/23/13 02:08 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Nicely put, Austin, on both points.

Top
#7482 - 10/10/13 06:26 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Gravity...go, go, GO!

Top
#7489 - 10/13/13 02:05 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
I went, went, WENT...and oh yes, it is a goodie!

Top
#7498 - 10/15/13 12:29 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Rita]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Visually, it's the best space movie I've seen. Fantastic! But there's something in the plot I don't quite understand...and I'd better go into SPOILER mode for that.
Click to reveal..
Why did the George Clooney character have to die? He said his forward momentum would carry them both away from the space station, but her foot was tangled in the lines of the parachute deployed by the escape vehicle. Why didn't she just pull the tether to bring him in closer and they could both do the hand-over-hand climb to temporary safety? It was all so perfunctory, like "OK, George, your part in the movie is over, goodbye."

Top
#7507 - 10/19/13 12:36 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Lorna]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Yeah, that whole sequence was unnecessary. But there's something even worse.
Click to reveal..
There's no way they could travel by jetpack to the Chinese space station. The distance is just too far...even a shuttle couldn't make it. The reason is that all that hardware circling the earth occupies different orbits, deliberately, to avoid collisions. Everything is traveling at different speeds (the closer to earth, the tighter the orbit and the faster the speed). Some orbits are elliptical, some not. Garrett Reisman (who's done a few spacewalks himself) and other astronauts have pointed that out plus a few minor matters that weren't quite right, but they all say they were impressed by the number of things the movie got right.
In spite of that big boo-boo, I'm giving Gravity a thumbs-up, because it's a very enjoyable movie.

Top
#7521 - 10/22/13 07:35 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
We don't need SPOILER mode any longer, do we? I imagine everyone's seen it who's going to. I just want to add that I'm in agreement with everything said above; in spite of its flaws, Gravity is well worth seeing. Also, it's the second recent movie that has made me think of SG-1 (the first was Elysium). Remember the episode in which the Prometheus was fired upon by an unknown ship and Carter hit her head and passed out? When she came to, she found she was alone on the ship; the entire crew had evacuated to the nearest planet, not knowing she'd been left behind, unconscious. She had a concussion and had to fight against falling asleep, especially when she learned the Prometheus and the other ship were both trapped inside some sort of bubble and couldn't move. She coped with all that by hallucinating that Jack and the others each came to her and said what she needed to hear to keep her going (and eventually figure out a solution). Sandra Bullock was in a similar situation, and she hallucinated/fantasized George Clooney showing up when she need help. In both cases, the fantasy appearances were products of the women's minds, reminding them of things they already knew.

FWIW.

Top
#7543 - 10/28/13 01:06 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Another hearty note of approval here. I recall the first Spoiler point above making sense to me at the time, but it's now too long since my viewing for me to recall why. And I didn't know enough to be bothered by the second one. My own point of irritation was the script giving her a dead child; it seemed a cheap short-cut to Depth and Stakes and Recovering the WIll To Survive. And one blogger liked everything except her "thank you" at the very end. So we all have our points that bugged us, but nevertheless it's quite an achievement. It captures some of that feel of being in an environment very far from anything comforting or familiar or suited to our survival. I was lucky to catch it in 3D IMAX but it would be effective in any screening, I think -- but preferably in a theater, I'd guess, rather than at home.

Top
#7579 - 11/03/13 09:42 PM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Jon]
Austin
Unregistered


I expected to be disappointed with Ender's Game because there is so much in the book that just couldn't be crammed into a 2-hour movie. But I liked it. Colonel Graff's role has been beefed up, to keep Harrison Ford happy, no doubt. But Asa Butterfield is the perfect Ender. He's intense, convincing, and a little scary. The kid is great. The visuals are terrific. It's an exciting movie.

Top
#7580 - 11/04/13 11:21 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: ]
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Either the movie moves too fast or I'm getting too old, for I needed more time to assimilate what was happening before being plunged in to the next thing. That might be deliberate, to get us to go a second time to catch what we missed before. But Austin is right...it IS an exciting movie. Asa Butterfield is so RIGHT as Ender. I just may go back and see it again.

Top
#7581 - 11/04/13 11:25 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
Ender was invented as an 8 year old who thought he was playing war games at his school. He was scary, yes, because he was willing to kill when he felt it needed doing, but originally, at least, he was conceived as not realizing just how his use of the war games was going to be used.

A lot of people are willing to hate the movie, however, just because Ender was conceived and originally written by Orson Scott Card, whom they execrate because of his positions on gays. He's a devout Mormon, how did they think he was going to feel about gays?
_________________________
Regerds, Pete

Top
#7587 - 11/07/13 01:36 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Pete]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Pete, maybe that second sentence should have been put in Spoiler mode. But yes, it's exactly the same in the movie. The action had to be greatly constricted to cram as much of the book as possible into a two-hour movie length. As a result, there's very little sense of the passage of time (probably accounting for that too-fast quality Lorna mentioned). The final battle was definitely rushed; I think they missed the boat on that, settling for sparkly F/X instead of a step-by-step strategic attack. I don't quite understand the several references to Peter, Ender's older brother whose role was cut from the movie. Why mention him at all? Perhaps planting hints for a sequel?

But in the end, the success or failure of the movie rests squarely on the shoulders of the young actor playing Ender. Asa Butterfield met the challenge, no question of that; in fact, he carried the movie. The 16-year-old brought such intensity to the role -- the kid is a real presence on the screen. I believed him as Ender; everything else is secondary.

Oh...and Petra and Valentine look too much alike. I sincerely hope that was not intentional.

Top
#7590 - 11/08/13 11:55 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
And I sincerely hope there is no sequel, as the off-to-new-adventures ending indicates. I didn't like that whole little coda that came after the final battle. As I recall, the book ended with Ender being sent home to his family on earth and placed under a sort of suicide watch. The burden of genocide would be heavy enough to make anyone want to end it all. That was the proper ending for that story. Anything else would be cheapening what happened, and that's what the movie did. But up to that point, I did enjoy seeing the story unfold, and I agree that Asa Butterfield made a great Ender Wiggins.

Top
#7591 - 11/09/13 11:17 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Barbara]
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
Card's sequel. Speaker for the Dead, had an adult Ender, some light years away from Earth. He hadn't aged during the FTL travel, but his siblings on Earth had, and were now much older than he. That's all I remember of the book.
_________________________
Regerds, Pete

Top
#7605 - 11/13/13 12:10 AM Re: Current Movies (2013) [Re: Pete]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Speaker was a disappointment, mostly because Card writes about children better than he writes about adults. He's done a few YA books, but he writes ABOUT children, not FOR children. And his fictional children are all superkids in one way or another. He wrote one short novel (the title escapes me) about a three-year-old surviving on the streets of Amsterdam. Utterly preposterous to think that a child barely past toddler stage could have the perception and resourcefulness to live and thrive on mean streets. But the story was engaging in the way Ender was engaging, so you go along with the unbelievable premise just for the pleasure of following the story. I understand Card's fantasy stories feature superkids as well, although I've not read any of them.

Top
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >

Moderator:  Rita