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> The Current Cinema, recommendations and condemnations
Wertz
post May 21 2003, 05:12 PM
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As there seemed to be a fair bit of uncharacteristically civil discussion in our other movies threads biggrin.gif , I thought it might be an idea to start one which could be more or less continuous, related to whatever films might happen to be on release at any given moment.

For example, there's already been some discussion of X2 and The Matrix Reloaded on the other threads. Anyone want to recommend them - or not? Any other films out at the moment worth catching - or missing?


One I'd like to which I'd like to draw attention at the moment would be Down with Love. Okay - this is not going to everybody's cup of tea by any means, but it's a reasonable alternative to the current action-laden blockbusters. If you remembers those Technicolor Rock Hudson/Doris Day vehicles from the sixties, you should find it a real hoot (I chuckled like a fool through the whole thing). A familiarity with campy romantic comedies full of double entendres and split-screen phone conversations is not prerequisite - it's very cute and pretty funny anyway - but it might help with some of the more "in" jokes. David Hyde Pierce is very good as the Tony Randall character (and Randall himself has a cameo role). For those not wishing to see such a film just because it's silly and fun and you feel good afterwards, you can always claim you're taking it in because of its incisive deconstruction of pre-feminist sexual politics in mainstream American cinema. cool.gif Also, if you do go see this film, don't get up and leave as soon as the end credits start to roll (if you're one of those types), there's a fairly giddy coda to the whole thing...

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

Feel free to add to this thread on an ongoing basis as new films get released. arrow.gif
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Cyan
post May 21 2003, 05:42 PM
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I went and saw the Matrix Reloaded, and my first impression was disappointment, but the more time that I have to digest it, the more that I appreciate it for some of the intricacies of plot. It does have that middle child syndrome, and I do have a few issues, particularly with long, drawn out scenes that should have ended twenty minutes before they did whistling.gif

Still, I recommend seeing the film, but I don't want to go into much depth here, because I don't want to add any spoilers. If anyone else sees the film and wants to talk about it, we should start a new thread with a spoilers warning. smile.gif
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Ultimatejoe
post May 21 2003, 06:32 PM
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Personally I've lost faith in movies in general. Unless I have a specific interest in a film, such as Schindler's List I assume that any movie coming out will be poor. Quite simply the movie industry has been so heavily restructured in recent years that most movies are so "safe" in their profit potential that all creativity is abandoned. The only thing that can save a movie for me is:
  • A really thrilling performance by a talented actor
  • A truly innovative filmmaking approach
  • A really interesting idea
  • A movie where the love of the craft leaps up off the screen
Unfortunately these attributes are increasinly rare in films. I enjoyed the remake of Ocean's Eleven for the last reason; but now I've heard that they are making a sequel. It's just too much.
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nighttimer
post May 21 2003, 07:14 PM
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crying.gif I saw X2 and will see The Matrix Reloaded sometime within the next week or so. However, even though I am a fan of comic books I'm getting a little tired of comic book movies.

Besides the two aforementioned flicks, still upcoming is Hulk and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The Charlie Angels, Lara Croft, Spy Kids and Terminator sequels aren't based on comic books, but they will be heavily using CGI (computer generated imaging) to recreate spectacular feats of derring-do.

I would very much enjoy seeing a movie with character development, a coherent narrative, smart dialogue, and real acting without computers and artsy-fartsy cameras whirling around.

I want to see a movie. laugh.gif
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Ultimatejoe
post May 21 2003, 09:08 PM
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Try Ghost World... it's available for rent.
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Cyan
post May 21 2003, 10:07 PM
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I just want to second Ultimatejoe's Ghost World recommendation. That was a very good movie. smile.gif
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Digital Patriot
post May 21 2003, 11:37 PM
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You guys talking about this one?

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0162346

I read the review and description. It would not have been a movie I would have rented normally.... but if 2 outta 3 Americas Debaters recommend it..........

--cheers
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Cyan
post May 21 2003, 11:54 PM
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Yep. That's the one. I really enjoyed it. smile.gif
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Abs like Jesus
post May 22 2003, 12:17 AM
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One that hasn't been mentioned here which I really liked was Phone Booth with Colin Farrell. It probably won't be nominated for any prestigious awards, but I think Farrell did an excellent job. There's something to said both for an actor and the movie when it can generage serious interest while maintaining the same scenery throughout the entire film.

As for The Matrix Reloaded I certainly agree with the "middle-child syndrome." Having seen it twice though I can say I did appreciate the movie more once I got my mind around it. Some of the conversations could have ended sooner as could a couple of the fight sequences. I still expect the third installment to blow the second away and hopefully equal or one up the first. On the other hand... I'm also dreading that they'll end it with some over used theme that he's either (a)just dreaming it all or (b)within a matrix in a matrix that's in a matrix (infinite)

While comic book movies aren't everybody's cup of tea, I have to say I think X2: X-Men United was actually an improvement upon the first. Those who haven't seen the first or are unfamiliar with the comic book series may dislike the lack of character development, but those appreciating the story and history of the comics will probably like it a lot. I greatly enjoyed the darker plot and increased action. Since the end all but screamed another sequel, I'm looking forward to the third venture.

With the coming of The Hulk I would advise a little caution. While both Spiderman and the X-Men movies have had huge success and been truly entertaining, the previews make me think Bruce Banner may go the way of the recent Daredevil flick, which I found to be horrible. We have a $1 movie place here that gets films for the time between box office eviction and Blockbuster rentals. If you have something similar and want to see Daredevil I would recommend seeing it there. I don't consider it worth even the $3 or $4 it would cost to rent it.

Down With Love is quirky, but I liked it. I could have done without the excessive speech given by Zellweger towards the end when Catcher learns all but whatever. The rest of the film was entertaining with the play on words, playful manner by both Zellweger and McGregor. It probably won't draw as big an audience as the traditional "summer blockbusters" but for those who like cute and silly films (see: Legally Blonde, Josie and the Pussycats), it probably won't disappoint.

A couple rental recommendations I might offer are Good Advice (Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, Jon Lovitz) and Love and Sex (Famke Jannsen and Jon Favreau). They'll either be new releases or probably under comedy, though Love and Sex could easily be construed a humorous drama. I don't think either made it to the box office but were rather straight-to-video. My best guess is that they simply weren't funded well enough to hit the big screen, because they certainly are not (IMO) flops in any way, shape or form.

*Famke Jannsen is "Jean Grey" from the X-Men series by the way. In case anybody wondered or thought the film had "nobody" in it...

This post has been edited by Abs like Jesus: May 22 2003, 12:21 AM
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Wertz
post May 22 2003, 05:27 AM
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Another semi-recent video release I'd recommend is Waking Life. Someone mentioned it in one of the other movie threads recently (I'm thinking it was either cyan or Abs) and it's definitely worth a look - but only if you have a passing interest in dialogue-heavy quasi-philosophical animations (think My Dinner with Andre as a photo-realist cartoon).

On the other hand, I was expecting a bit more from Ghost World and ended up being somewhat disappointed. unsure.gif I guess that makes me the one out of three America's Debaters...

I would almost second Abs' endorsement of Phone Booth except - not too much of a spoiler here, I hope - I thought Colin Farrell's "sin" or whatever was a bit slight as a motivation for the caller's obsession, considering the victims of the first coupla shootings. It just seemed a bit random (and maybe a bit like there was too much effort to make Farrell's character "sympathetic"). I'd agree with his assessment of the performance, though: I know Farrell slightly and am, therefore, constantly amazed by his ability to portray someone who is not a complete gurrier. w00t.gif
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Wertz
post May 26 2003, 11:04 PM
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Finally saw X2 and thought it was way better than the first one. Way way better - it even had a plot!
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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 26 2003, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ May 26 2003, 11:04 PM)
Finally saw X2 and thought it was way better than the first one. Way way better - it even had a plot!

I'm glad you liked it, Wertz!
I might buy that one, even though I was so disappointed with it...Hugh Jackman looks a LOT better, and I can pause it at home. biggrin.gif
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Izdaari
post May 27 2003, 02:24 AM
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X2 and The Matrix Reloaded are the only ones on my current Must See list. Why? Because I loved the first ones, and because they're just my kind of films: my cinematic tastes are based purely on what is entertaining, and I have no concern for cinematic art whatsoever except as a means to that end. Sure, I like good acting, good directing and a good script, but I've enjoyed the heck out of movies that had none of those, and been bored to tears by some that had all of them but were slow paced, or had no characters I could relate to or just plain had a boring story line.
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Nu Marx
post May 27 2003, 04:55 AM
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My two most recent viewings were Matrix Reloaded and A Mighty Wind. The former is AWESOME. I agree that some of the dialogue scenes were a bit long-winded, but when the fight scenes come in....my jaw was on the floor. It takes a lot for a film to impress me, but this one did it just fine. The latter is hilarious. If you've ever seen Waiting for Guffman and/or Best in Show, then you'll appreciate it. Its another Christopher Guest film with all the same actors and the same mockumentary style. I laughed thoroughly throughout.
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Jaime
post May 27 2003, 12:30 PM
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I am a producer's worst nightmare. I haven't been to a movie theatre since 1997. devil.gif
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Wertz
post May 27 2003, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE(Abs like Jesus @ May 21 2003, 08:17 PM)
*Famke Jannsen is "Jean Grey" from the X-Men series by the way. In case anybody wondered or thought the film had "nobody" in it...

And John Favreau was the lead in Swingers and the brilliant Very Bad Things (as well as being a running character on "Friends" for several episodes).


QUOTE(mrspigpen @ May 26 2003, 07:29 PM)
QUOTE(Wertz @ May 26 2003, 11:04 PM)
Finally saw X2 and thought it was way better than the first one. Way way better - it even had a plot!

I'm glad you liked it, Wertz!
I might buy that one, even though I was so disappointed with it... Hugh Jackman looks a LOT better, and I can pause it at home. biggrin.gif

Hugh Jackman doesn't really do it for me. Now, James Marsden (Cyclops) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) on the other hand... blush.gif


QUOTE(Nu Marx @ May 27 2003, 12:55 AM)
My two most recent viewings were Matrix Reloaded and A Mighty Wind.

I'mk glad to see a recommendation for A Mighty Wind. I enjoyed both Guffman and Best In Show (and, for that matter, This Is Spinal Tap which Guest also had a lot to do with), but had heard that Mighty Wind didn't quite live up the other films. I'll definitely have to check it out now.


QUOTE(Jaime @ May 27 2003, 08:30 AM)
I am a producer's worst nightmare.  I haven't been to a movie theatre since 1997. devil.gif

Unless you never rent videos either, you're not quite the worst nightmare. smile.gif In the unlikely event that you're feeling left out in this thread, current video releases (or cable premieres even) would probably fall within the realm of "recent" as well.

This post has been edited by Wertz: May 27 2003, 04:58 PM
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Wertz
post Jun 1 2003, 03:42 AM
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Well, I finally made it to The Matrix Reloaded - and thought it was hilarious! This movie gives a whole new, hitherto unimaginable meaning to the word "excessive". As a thoughtful sci-fi action adventure fulfilling the promise of the first part of the trilogy, it was a signal failure. But as an inadvertent satire of itself, it was brilliant. If the script hadn't been quite so tendentious, I would almost have thought it was intentional (and, even so, I kept scouring the final credits for mention of Mel Brooks as a technical consultant). I positively hooted with laughter throughout what has to be the most ridiculously over-the-top film in motion picture history. I look forward to the final installment - if it builds on Reloaded, it could well be one of the funniest movies of all time. w00t.gif Loved it!

This post has been edited by Wertz: Jun 1 2003, 03:44 AM
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Jaime
post Jun 1 2003, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ May 27 2003, 12:56 PM)
Unless you never rent videos either, you're not quite the worst nightmare. smile.gif In the unlikely event that you're feeling left out in this thread, current video releases (or cable premieres even) would probably fall within the realm of "recent" as well.

Actually, we don't too often. However - last night we rented Barbershop.

Dialogue movies can either rock or be lame. This one was the former. Fantastic cast and writing. It was reminiscent of my other Ice Cube favorite, Friday. The writing on both (although different writers) captures the quintessential parts of city living.

I would recommend this one to any of you stay at home movie goers smile.gif
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Rancid Uncle
post Jun 4 2003, 09:16 PM
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I liked Mullholland Dr., it was crazy but after I thought about it, it all made sense.
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Abs like Jesus
post Jun 5 2003, 03:34 PM
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I just saw the un-edited version of The Sweetest Thing (Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair) last night and I have to give it my recommendation. While it was goofy and bubbly throughout the entire film, it was indeed funny. Among my favorites was the song about where a penis will or won't fit, and a rather comical ####### mishap... whistling.gif

Also, out in theatres right now, I have to recommend The Italian Job as one of those great summer "escapist" movies. While it is predictable for most of the film, there were a couple quick twists that entertained, and I liked the dialogue and cast. While Wahlberg and Theron were the stars, Mos Def, Seth Green and even Jason Stathom nearly stole the show.

This post has been edited by Jaime: Sep 18 2003, 05:59 PM
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