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Author Topic: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back  (Read 362634 times)
Blace
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« Reply #1245 on: February 04, 2010, 09:19:15 PM »


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - adults will love those just as much as kids.  The movie also depicts heaven (oversized food).  I think the ads speak for it.  Go see it, guaranteed love.

I didn't like that movie. It was boring, unfunny, repetitive, and lacked heart or imagination. It just really goes to show how much better Pixar is than anyone else in the business.

Anyway, I've watched quite a few since last time. I got sick of posting after each movie because I felt like I was clogging it up, so I'm only going to post after I watch a few.


Virtuosity (1995) -

Despite two of the biggest stars in the business, Virtuosity never is able to maintain any entertainment out of a decent premise. Denzel Washington is slumming here, and yet he still manages to make the movie watchable. Russel Crowe's villain is a virtual reality creation of about 200 different killers (from Jack the Ripper, to Charles Manson, and finally the guy who killed Denzel Washington's characters family) who escapes into the real world. Russel Crowe is completely defeated by the role. He has multiple personalities he has to incorporate and it makes his character uneven and at times hilariously over the top. I never felt for one minute like he was menacing or terrifying. Add in a mediocre production surrounding the two stars and a plot that doesn't do much and you have wasted potential. I expected more from this movie.

Moon (2009) -

A deceptively simple movie with quite a few surprises up its sleeve. It relies completely on Sam Rockwell and he gives it his all in a wonderful performance. I don't want to give anything away because it will take away from your enjoyment of it. I will say that it is a little too slow at times and doesn't have enough drama and emotion as I would have liked given the ideas it presents, but this is thought-provoking science fiction and it uses a small budget effectively. Some people won't like this because of its slow pace that makes its 97 minute length seem longer, but if you stick it out I think you'll be rewarded with a satisfying experience you won't forget soon.

Thirst (2009) -

Thirst is a movie I admired more than I liked. It has great visuals and atmosphere, fine performances, and good cinematography, but the film is a mess when it comes to the story. It has many moments that lack coherence and the pacing is all over the place. The film is 2 hours and 13 minutes, but it felt like 4 hours. It is way too long and lacks the emotional resonance necessary to draw some one in for a long period of time. The movie is a romance first, gothic horror second. I think that was the problem I had with it. I expected something totally different than what I got. It's also incredibly gory and features lots of nudity. In other words, it's no "Let the Right One In", but it isn't without its gory and sensual pleasures.

Extract (2009) -

This is a highly enjoyable film with plenty of funny moments and a brisk running time that goes by quickly. The performances are uniformly good. Ben Affleck is very good as the stoner buddy to Jason Bateman's character, while Jason Bateman seems to be playing the same kind of character he has been playing in his last few roles. Kristen Wiig isn't her typical quirky self, restrained effectively by Mike Judge. David Koechner always turns in a great performance as the annoying neighbor. Don't be fooled by Mila Kunis' significant amount of time in the ads though, she isn't in the film much and doesn't do anything memorable with a very small part. I haven't seen any of Judge's other movies, but if this is anything to go by, I will be checking them out here real soon. Extract is one of the better comedies to come out in 2009.

Pandorum (2009) -

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. You can basically call it "The Descent" in space because it has a bunch of similarities with that movie, but it has also plenty of satisfying science fiction to go with it. This is a sometimes thrilling and intense movie with an intriguing set-up and interesting ideas. It had a few twists and turns I wasn't expecting and kept me guessing most of the way. It explores the mental stability of someone who is stranded in space and doesn't have any help. I know I wouldn't want to be in their situation, but just watching it through this movie was a satisfying experience that I recommend to anyone with an interest in this sort of movie.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 09:26:23 PM by Blace » Logged

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« Reply #1246 on: February 09, 2010, 01:07:17 AM »

Someone else post on here! lol

Saw VI (2009) -

I never thought I would be able to say that I liked another Saw installment outside of the first one, especially after witnessing the horribleness of the fourth and fifth installment. The series was getting incredibly stale and convoluted to the point that I didn't care anymore. I haven't liked the series since the third installment decided to take it into confusion, but this one is the best one I've seen outside of the original. There's still plenty of gore and torture going on, but they tackle the health system effectively and the movie is infinitely more entertaining than the last three installments of the series. The only downside to this movie is the fact that you have to watch the crappy installments for it to make sense. I never thought I would say this, but despite torturing myself to watch those out of some crazy hope that another installment would be good, I finally got the pay off I have been waiting for. The series really could end right here because the ending pretty much wraps everything up. We know it won't be, but the next installment more than likely won't matter and I'll be able to skip it without and worries. Whether I will or not is uncertain, but I will say that I enjoyed this installment enough to recommend it to those who have stuck with it this long. If you haven't, I don't know that it is worth watching the others to see if this one pays off for you or not, but take solace in knowing that it did for me.

The Invention of Lying (2009) -

The Invention of Lying left me underwhelmed and unimpressed for its entire running length, despite some funny moments here and there. It wasn't boring or bad really, it just could have been much funnier than it was given its incredible premise. What would happen if no one could tell a lie and only the truth, but you somehow manage to tell a lie when everyone has to believe it? Gervais takes some jabs at religion and a few other things in very unsubtle ways, which might bother some people. It didn't bother me much, but he could have at least done it a little better. The romantic portions of the film were surprisingly poignant for me towards the end and didn't really bother me as much as it did other people. I won't say this is a bad film, just a disappointing one. I can't quite recommend it, but if you are interested in it no harm will be done by watching it.

Smokin' Aces 2: Assassin's Ball (2010) -

A violent, over the top B movie with horrible special effects (on purpose? can't tell), constant one-liners, and a plot that struggles to keep things going. It doesn't make much sense and I didn't care to make sense of it. It uses words that I'm not familiar with and tries to explain them, but fails. I found it to be a problem. It is occasionally entertaining, but it doesn't even come close to any sort of quality. It's poorly shot (the shoot-out in the bar is horrible edited to the point that you can't tell what is going on at all) and the acting is mediocre. People who dig brainless, tasteless, and hyper-kinetic action movies will probably dig it. Others will want to stay far away or lower their expectations to incredibly low levels to get entertainment out of it (which is what I did). This movie completely deserves the direct to DVD treatment it got.

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« Reply #1247 on: February 13, 2010, 01:59:36 PM »

I'm still on my Planet of the Apes kick - working my way through the TV series, and have been surprised by the quality.  It's pretty good stuff!
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« Reply #1248 on: February 14, 2010, 01:02:39 AM »

I watched Halo: Legends tonight.  It was nothing spectacular but overall I enjoyed it. There are a couple of duds but 2 of the stories at least were really good. The artistic style of one of them was superb. Btw, yes, it's not released until Tuesday but I could take it home for a peek due to my job.
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« Reply #1249 on: February 14, 2010, 03:14:09 PM »

Few more:

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) -

A low rent fantasy adventure with bland casting, uninspired direction, humor that falls flat, a lack of fun, and no "magic" to speak of. I haven't read the novel, but I think this would have been an insult if I had. My friend that read the novel was disappointed. I was hoping for an exciting adventure from director Chris Columbus, who did a solid if unremarkable job on the first two Harry Potter films before they got taken to the next level by more inspiring directors. I now know that the reason the first two HP films were at least enjoyable was because of the incredible crew they had surrounding Columbus. He just doesn't do anything here in Percy Jackson that I really thought stood out. The special effects are decent and kids might enjoy it, but anyone older than 12 or so probably won't get a kick out of this kiddie adventure/Harry Potter wannabe.

The Stepfather (2009) -

A watchable and entertaining horror movie, but one lacking the scares or wit to put it into recommendable territory. The acting is all fine and there are some decent moments, but there is nothing surprising about the movie at all. It's repetitious and is directed with all of the traditional conventions in mind. No mold breaking here. The movie also has huge leaps of logic and a few plotholes. I can't say I was bored by it, but I can say that beyond that it was lacking in almost all areas.

New York, I love You (2009) -

There's a few cute moments and the movie isn't boring, but it fails to connect on any emotional level and there's too much happening. There's so many characters that none of them get the right amount of screen time to flesh out each story. You get about 5-10 minutes, then it is on to the next story. They go back to a few of them a couple of times, but my favorite ones were the ones they didn't go into more than once (go figure). I happen to be a huge fan of Love, Actually, a movie similar in a bunch of ways, but it was better acted, had an emotional core, and dedicated just enough time to get you involved with each story and their characters. I was hoping for something similar here, and New York, I Love You has a few moments that I liked, but it was a little disappointing. It also does not do a very good job of highlighting the city in which it is based, and I think that was the point of the movie.

Whiteout (2009) -

It's not even close to one of the worst movies I've ever seen, despite being one of the most trashed films since I started watching movies frequently. It's somewhat entertaining thanks to better than expected performances from Kate Beckinsale and Tom Skerritt. Beckinsale's introduction is ridiculous and didn't belong in the movie, though (shot of her getting in the shower just to raise the pulse of every guy watching). It's your standard thriller, albeit it with a unique flavor thanks to its setting. The problem is that the setting hampers the film rather than enhancing it because it can be very hard at times to figure out what is happening, especially during the fighting sequences that take place outside. It is just an average movie from almost every angle you take it.
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« Reply #1250 on: February 15, 2010, 06:48:43 PM »

Since I had off for Presidents' Day, I spent it doing 2 workouts and watching 3 DVD movies.  I saw:

House of Flying Daggers- I love this film.  It's beautiful.  I love how the first hour is pretty straightforward but the second hour deftly sidesteps the usual cliches like a skilled martial artist.  I also liked that though the film was pretty laconic, the quieter scenes had poetic dialogue.  Sure there were some implausible scenes, but that's part of the fun of movies like this, and the fight scenes were all pure lyrical art.  My only sore point is that part of the ending left off with a major cliffhanger.

Hero- Definitely some good ol' wire-fu fun.  Okay, the colors and wire-fu could have been more subtle, but that scene in the beginning where
Code:
Nameless and Snow fend off the arrows while the calligraphy students continue to write
is a total winner.  Most people seem to like Hero more than House of Flying Daggers, but I loved House of Flying Daggers much more.  Hero had a more complete ending, though.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior- Classically styled chop socky film.  Lots of great fights, things going kablooie, a car chase (well, a tuk-tuk chase), and every woman on set being pretty (save for a couple of token matrons)... yeah, total "guy movie."  It's a rip-rollicking good time, though the ending felt short.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 05:48:34 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #1251 on: February 16, 2010, 04:48:08 AM »

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) -

A low rent fantasy adventure with bland casting, uninspired direction, humor that falls flat, a lack of fun, and no "magic" to speak of. I haven't read the novel, but I think this would have been an insult if I had. My friend that read the novel was disappointed. I was hoping for an exciting adventure from director Chris Columbus, who did a solid if unremarkable job on the first two Harry Potter films before they got taken to the next level by more inspiring directors. I now know that the reason the first two HP films were at least enjoyable was because of the incredible crew they had surrounding Columbus. He just doesn't do anything here in Percy Jackson that I really thought stood out. The special effects are decent and kids might enjoy it, but anyone older than 12 or so probably won't get a kick out of this kiddie adventure/Harry Potter wannabe.

Nope. The novel is just as uninspired as the rest of the pop-fantasies like Eragon.
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« Reply #1252 on: February 16, 2010, 10:11:58 PM »

Not a movie, but Heroes the TV series has basically consumed all of my free time. Starting up Season 2!

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior- Classically styled chop socky film.  Lots of great fights, things going kablooie, a car chase (well, a tuk-tuk chase), and every woman on set being pretty (save for a couple of token matrons)... yeah, total "guy movie."  It's a rip-rollicking good time, though the ending felt short.

If you liked Ong-Bak, I recommend Chocolate! It's like the dude from Ong-Bak, except it's a mentally challenged teenage girl kicking ass instead!
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« Reply #1253 on: February 17, 2010, 02:19:17 AM »

Whip It -

Drew Barrymore successfully marries the coming of age tale with a sports movies into an entertaining and likable movie, despite its shortcomings. Whip It is definitely cliched and predictable, as per the usual sports movies, but it comes out intact thanks to an a smarter than average screenplay that allows the characters room to grow over the story. Ellen Page is believable as the nerdy, but pretty girl searching to get out of the shadow of her moms former life. There's also some strong support from Kristen Wiig, Daniel Stern, Marcia Gay Harden, and Alia Shawkat. The movie does have its fair share of quirky moments that kind of broke the barrier for me, but it has a few chuckles along the way to keep things lighthearted and fun, even when the emotions start to carry the film towards the end. Whip it isn't exactly what you would call a "great" movie, but a good one it certainly is. It's also a good time at the movies.
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« Reply #1254 on: February 18, 2010, 03:27:20 PM »

Last person on the planet to see Avatar.

Terrible writing mars potential: 7/10
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« Reply #1255 on: February 18, 2010, 05:29:11 PM »

Last person on the planet to see Avatar.

Terrible writing mars potential: 7/10

I agree completely.  Glad you got to see it, though! :)
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« Reply #1256 on: February 20, 2010, 12:08:45 PM »

Black Dynamite = Awesome:)
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« Reply #1257 on: February 22, 2010, 01:43:59 AM »

I've watched a good deal of movies, but the most recent ones would be

Gomorrah - Less than I expected.  It's a very interesting look at probably one of the worst groups of (loosely) organized crime, The Camorra, but it was so detached that you never really get a feel for what anyone is doing.  Probably because it was trying to show a full spectrum of the activities that the group was involved in in too short a movie.  Still interesting nonetheless.

Apocalypse Now - Finally got around to seeing one of Coppola's masterpieces (next up is The Godfather trilogy).  Amazing movie, really not much else to say there.  Brando's performance was incredibly eerie, but it definitely worked.  It ALMOST makes me want to read Heart of Darkness again...almost.
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« Reply #1258 on: February 22, 2010, 02:00:37 AM »

Starting up Season 3 of Heroes. Video games have kinda taken a backseat to Netflix lately ever since I discovered the wonders of Instant Watch.

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« Reply #1259 on: February 22, 2010, 02:36:27 AM »

So I've been watching a lot of the television series Mad Men recently.

I love this show. Season 2 is a little weaker than the first and third but everything is still well done-- beautiful. John Slattery's character cracks me up and Hamm is wonderfully intense.
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