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  Reply # 713029 6-Nov-2012 16:55 Send private message quote this post

The Debt - 8/10

We watched this on DVD last night.  I'd heard good things about it, and the cast seemed pretty strong - Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Jesper Christiansen.  Oh, and Martin Csokas and Sam Worthington.

The basic plot revolves around a group of three Mossad agents who are tasked to kidnap and bring to Israel a man called Vogle, AKA the Surgeon of Birchenau, for trial for war crimes.  The story is split between 1965 (Chastain, Csokas, and Worthington) and 1997 (Mirren, Wilkinson, and Hinds), and gradually resolves a conflict between events in the two time periods.

I really enjoyed it.  It felt like a solid, old-fashioned drama with a sprinkling of spy-style action.  Mirren, as always, is excellent, but the "younger" actors do a good job of representing the origins of the traits of their older selves.  The story is well-paced, and the acting is solid.  There aren't any real surprises here, but neither are there any real disappointments.

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  Reply # 713241 6-Nov-2012 22:45 Send private message quote this post

The Intouchables 9.5/10

It was a very nice feel-good film based on a true story. It is in french so you either need to be multi-lingual or prepared to read the subtitles. It's about a millionaire tetraplegic who employs a street smart immigrant (for lack of a better work) to be his carer. The movie is about their relationship and the intricacies of two cultures and personalities.

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  Reply # 713843 7-Nov-2012 21:36 Send private message quote this post

I finally got around to watching Warrior

10/10 - easily one of the best movie I should have watched last year!

Nolte, Edgerton and Hardy at their respective best.  

And what's even better is that it has one of my favourite bands The National's track "About Today", play out during that final scene.





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  Reply # 715826 12-Nov-2012 13:32 Send private message quote this post

Argo: Saw this on the Titan XC screen at Reading Courtenay on Saturday night.  Great film, really well put together and acted.  There's only so much you can do with a story when you know what the ending is, but there is an appropriate amount of tension throughout the film.  Affleck is really good, which is not something I tend to admit :)

Really loved how Tehran played an awesome role in the film too.  Some of the panoramic shots of the city were incredible, especially with the mountain ranges in the background.  I really enjoyed what they did with the closing credits too - showing side by side images of actual events in Tehran in 1980 and how they recreated them in the film.  

Definitely worth seeing, great pacing for a political film.

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  Reply # 715834 12-Nov-2012 13:36 Send private message quote this post

Men in Black 3 - 7/10

It's been a while since I saw Men in Black 1 and 2.  I've seen the first a couple of times, and the second only once, but I'd describe as enjoyable, if predicatable, films.  MIB3 doesn't deviate far from this path, and it was a pretty reasonable way to spend a couple of hours.

I think the biggest challenge that MIB3 had to overcome was avoiding repeating the gimmicks of the first two films.  I felt that MIB2 was very much a re-hash of the first film, with a slight inversion.  They manage to sidestep this in MIB3, for the most part, and present a film that attempts to flesh out the characters a bit more.  The ending, in particular, I didn't see coming so it was a pleasant surprise to see the characters given a little bit of depth.

Josh Brolin plays a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K, and he absolutely nails it.  A bit like Joseph Gordon Levitt's "imitation" of Bruce Willis in Looper, Brolin picks all the right mannerisms to copy, and it acts a bit like a dog whistle to trick you into thinking that you're seeing Tommy Lee Jones from 40 years ago.

Jemaine Clement does alright as the villain, but it's really just a means to an end for the wider story, and his back story and motivation are quickly forgotten.

Overall - it's no brain teaser (even with the time travel nonsense), so don't expect any Oscar winning performances (but that should be pretty obvious to anyone with eyes).  However, as a way to kill a couple of hours, there are far worse things to do.

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  Reply # 719122 18-Nov-2012 19:22 Send private message quote this post

Blitz - 2/10

Bad Teacher - 3/10

With Skyfall due out soon, and hearing some good reviews, I thought I'd sharpen my taste buds by watching some absolute crap...

Both my wife and I like Jason Statham movies.  I enjoy them because they've got (usually) good action scenes, and Statham is a pretty good action actor.  My wife has been a fan since she saw Transporter, and he did the now infamous "oil fight scene."  So we've been pretty happy to watch any of his films.  Italian Job (remake), Bank Job, Expendables 1 and 2, Death Race even.  Crank and Crank: High Voltage were even pretty good, with a deliberately cheesy and over-the-top "story" that worked in spite of their cartoonish approaches.  But Blitz just failed to be worth watching.  It didn't even fit into the "so bad it's good" category.  It's just bad.

In defence of the "Stath", he wasn't especially bad in this.  But we can judge him for agreeing to be in the film - I'm wondering if the director or producer has some dirt on him!  The plot, for what it's worth, is that the Stath is a Dirty Harry-style UK cop with anger issues, who get's teamed up with Porter Nash (Paddy Considine), a homosexual metro cop brought in to assist on the recent case of a cop killer.  The reason for highlighting (or event mentioning) Nash's sexuality is never made apparent, and it doesn't add anything to any aspect of the film's plot.  The cop killer's motivation is pretty weak and tenuous, and the resolution at the end is very limp and "meh." It's disjointed, incoherent, and pointless.  Even the action, such as a it is, is a waste of time.  After 20 mins, it was a 1/10 rating, and only brought up to a 2/10 because we made it to the end, and we smirked once (just the once - I can't even remember why).  A waste of the 100 cents I spent at United Video for the blu-ray rental, and only worth writing this review to spare other people from the waste of their time.

We watched Bad Teacher the following night.  I'm not a huge fan of "rom-com" but the trailer for it looked funny, and the idea of Cameron Diaz going for a "villain"-type role seemed intriguing.  This falls easily into the category of "best bits in the trailer", and you'll spot every plot point a mile off.  The story here is that Diaz plays a reluctant teacher who gets dumped for being a gold digger, and has to return to her teaching gig to earn enough money to pay for plastic surgery to enhance her "abilities" to attract a new sugar daddy.  If that logic makes sense to you, then maybe you'll enjoy this film.  I didn't.  It was only slightly more coherent than Blitz the night before.  Justin Timberlake plays an apparently-wealthy substitute teacher that Diaz sets her sights on landing.  Jason Segel plays the down-to-earth gym teacher who hits on Diaz, but fails to impact because he has no money.  The standard morality tale of superficiality being beaten by sentimentality slaps you in the face a few times, just in case you forgot that lessons need to be learnt in this type of film.  Segel is under-used, to the detriment of the comedy element of the film.  Luch Punch, playing the rival to Diaz's character, has some comedic moments, but it feels forced and over-played.  In all, it was too long and too dull, relying on some fairly tame attempts at crass humour, without much humorous impact.

Just 4 days to go til Skyfall, to make up for the dross I've watched these last few days! 

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  Reply # 719152 18-Nov-2012 20:18 Send private message quote this post

Safety Not Guaranteed

Solid 8/10 from me. Same writers as Little Miss Sunshine. I really enjoyed it. One of those films where you're not sure whether the guy is crazy or not.

IMDB



Cheers,
Joseph

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  Reply # 719160 18-Nov-2012 20:41 Send private message quote this post

sidefx: The Amazing Spiderman - Complete and utter rubbish. Wish I could get those 2 hours of my life back. OK, maybe not *complete* rubbish but come on who honestly thought this would be a good idea after Rami's near perfect take on it?


can i chip in on this *partial spoiler* - should be ok to read the following sentence but not more

i used to get depressed watching superhero films because he never gets the girl and anything good in life *sigh - i'm so used to it now ...

*don't read any further if you dont want the spoiler*














 but this one ...

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  Reply # 719184 18-Nov-2012 21:02 Send private message quote this post

jofizz: Safety Not Guaranteed

Solid 8/10 from me. Same writers as Little Miss Sunshine. I really enjoyed it. One of those films where you're not sure whether the guy is crazy or not.


I really enjoyed it but a couple of the side characters seemed extraneous... they didn't really serve a purpose that I could see and the whole ex-girlfriend thing was never really tied up or explained.




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  Reply # 722337 24-Nov-2012 16:29 Send private message quote this post

jofizz: Safety Not Guaranteed

Solid 8/10 from me. Same writers as Little Miss Sunshine. I really enjoyed it. One of those films where you're not sure whether the guy is crazy or not.


Oh I'll have to check this out, I love Aubrey Plaza, she cracks me up no end!

Skyfall: Saw this at a "charity" type screening a few nights ago at Penthouse in Brooklyn.  It was a good crowd of pre-school parents (myself not one of them, happened on a ticket through one of them).  

The film was spectacular, I really loved it.  The last Bond film that I really enjoyed was Goldeneye - but probably because I remember more about the game on N64 than the film itself :)  

Skyfall is well worth seeing.  It's got all the typical Bond elements - beautiful women, stylish men, exotic locations, fast cars, and all the rest.  From the opening action sequence which is completely OTT (as you have come to expect) you get a real sense of the ongoing tone of the film. The rest is pretty much non-stop Bond - action and humour - some cheesy moments but this really reboots the franchise into something that's not like the cheese of old....it's more like a Nolan Batman Begins reboot than anything else.  

That said, it's not ashamed of its past and there's some really fantastic nods to the older Bond films...  Daniel Craig is great but the real stars are Judi Dench and Javier Bardem - the latter being one of the best villains I've seen in a long time, certainly one of the best Bond villains.  

Check it out!  It inspired me to watch Casino Royale last night - I'd started it a few times in the past but never got through it without falling asleep.  With my new inspiration following Skyfall I made it through the whole film and really enjoyed it.  But it's still no Skyfall.

Oh and I'd be interested in hearing people's views on one of the characters near the end in the last act.  An older gentleman (no spoilers in the thread please).  PM me if you agree that this really seems like a role that was written for "another actor"....?

So now I am faced with deciding whether or not to watch Quantum of Solace - I hear it's terrible, and if so I'd rather not spoil Skyfall and Casino Royale with it....thoughts?




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  Reply # 722385 24-Nov-2012 19:21 Send private message quote this post

End of Watch  8/10

if you are a fan of the TV program Southland, then see this film. It follows two cops on patrol in LA, shot with hand held cams , in car cameras etc, but it you soon forget about  how it's shot and the story takes over. Really worth seeing.

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  Reply # 725084 30-Nov-2012 11:49 Send private message quote this post

Animal Kingdom 8/10

Second time I have watched it, good Australian film.


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  Reply # 725132 30-Nov-2012 13:29 Send private message quote this post

gehenna:
Oh and I'd be interested in hearing people's views on one of the characters near the end in the last act.  An older gentleman (no spoilers in the thread please).  PM me if you agree that this really seems like a role that was written for "another actor"....?


Interesting, hadn't initially considered that angle.  General vibe is it would have 'taken you out' of the movie.

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  Reply # 727115 4-Dec-2012 22:32 Send private message quote this post

Watched Men in Black 3 on iTunes. Pretty good story, all well tied up, give it 8/10.




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  Reply # 731498 12-Dec-2012 16:56 Send private message quote this post

Skyfall.

Good movie, but not great as I was expecting. The whole personal revenge thing didn't cut for me. I give it 7.5/10 (a bit less than the 8.1/10 average on IMDB).




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