What was the last movie you saw?

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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:53 pm

Tonight I watched the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There. While other Coen films have explored the realm of contemporary noir, this one is an homage to classic noir, right down to being filmed in black and white (with terrific Roger Deakins cinematography), plus the inclusion of characters with names like Diedrickson, Nirdlinger and Riedenschneider that will resonate with fans of film noir. Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is a small-town barber. One day, the man sitting in his chair (Jon Polito) claims to be a businessman looking for a partner who can help him get things off the ground. Ed is intriquied, and to get the money, he blackmails Big Dave Brewster (James Gandolfini), who he suspects of having an affair with his wife Doris (Frances McDormand). The plot gets very murky from there on, but even more than most Coen Brothers films, this one is about atmosphere, not story. I found it quite good, with a solid core performance from Thornton, and a terrific scene-stealing turn from Tony Shalhoub as a philosphizing attorney.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:42 am

Two Mules for Sister Sara is an offbeat but interesting Western/romantic comedy (there's an unlikely blending of genres for you). Hogan (Clint Eastwood) is a mercenary who has contracted to help the Mexican rebels who are trying to end the French occupation of their country in the late 1860s. On his way south, he rescues Sara (Shirley MacLaine), a woman dressed in a nun's habit (although she lets Hogan think she's a nun, the audience quickly sees through her claim). Although each gets on the other's nerves, the two are forced to work together to find the Mexican rebels and help in their assault on a French garrison. Don Siegel, in the second film of his lengthy partnership with Eastwood, supplies a steady directorial hand on this one; I enjoyed it pretty well.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby pennybug84 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:18 am

The Hunger Games.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:26 pm

Memento, which I watched tonight, marked Christopher Nolan's emergence as a major director. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is hunting for the man who raped and killed his wife. Sounds like a simple plot, yes? Actually, not so simple. Leonard suffers from a rare form of amnesia brought on by the trauma of the crime, rendering him unable to form new memories. He has to rely on tattoos all over his body containing important information and on Polaroids he takes and leaves notes to himself on. Nolan tells the story in an intricate, non-linear fashion that makes a lot of demands on the viewer. As Leonard proceeds on his quest, we repeatedly meet Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), both of whom may be helping him, or may not be. Nolan delivers suspense and plenty of emotional punch, Moss and Pantoliano are both very good, and Pearce is simply extraordinary in the lead role.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:58 pm

It's been quite while since National Lampoon's Animal House hit the screens; it's not a real favorite of mine but I do like to watch it every so often. It is, of course, the often tasteless but also often hilarious tale of fraternity hijinks at Dartmouth Faber College. John Belushi made his all-too-brief breakthrough to stardom in this one, and Tim Matheson is very good, playing off of Belushi very well. Also watch for Kevin Bacon's cameo.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:17 am

Tonight I watched one of John Woo's best-known films, Die xue shuang xiong/The Killer. Ah Jong (Chow Yun-Fat) is a hit man who is becoming tired of killing. When on one of his jobs he accidentally blinds a young nightclub singer (Sally Yeh), he resolves to do one final hit, to pay for corneal surgery to restore her sight. But his employers are thinking of rubbing him out, and the implacable police Inspector Li (Danny Lee) is on his trail as well. This one is kind of a spiritual successor to Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai; there are differences in the story line, but the main themes and the fatalistic tone are the same in both films. Of course, in a John Woo film, there is a prodigious expenditure of ammunition and a body count high enough to do credit to a small army. It's violent, a bit pretentious, and overdone at times, but Chow Yun-Fat is, as always, an effective lead.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:45 am

Tonight I watched Mystic River, Clint Eastwood's dark and powerful film based on the equally excellent novel by Dennis Lehane; like all of Lehane's work it is set in Boston. Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn), Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins) and Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) are three boyhood friends whose adult lives intersect when Jimmy's teenage daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is brutally murdered. Sean is the state police detective on the case, while Dave was one of the last people to see Katie alive. Hanging over all three men is a dark episode from the past, when a 10-year-old Dave was kidnapped by a pair of pedophiles and held captive for several days. While the intricacies of Lehane's novel are, of necessity, simplified on film, the screenplay by Brian Helgeland (who also did the excellent adaptation of LA Confidential years before) is highly faithful to the core story and the characters. Penn and Robbins are both excellent, and deservedly won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Rossum is impressive in her handful of scenes, while Marcia Gay Harden was Oscar-nominated as Dave's wife Celeste. In comparison to these performances, Kevin Bacon is "only" very good as Sean Devine, while Laura Linney is just a touch overwrought as Annabeth, Jimmy's wife. Overall, an excellent film and a textbook example of how to adapt a novel to screen.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby marielle » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Watched Melancholia last night. Strange movie... I didn't understood everything... but it was beautiful

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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:42 pm

I'm sure some folks here are familiar with Fast Five, the latest film (for now, at least) in the series about fast cars and flat characters. This one picks up right where the previous film left off--Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) break Dom (Vin Diesel) out of a prison transport bus. All three now being fugitives, they end up down in Rio de Janeiro, where they are in a tight spot. To get out, they'll need to pull a heist on Rio's leading crimelord (Joaquim de Almeida), while eluding the grasp of relentless federal agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). To do so they need help, so characters from each of the previous films in the series show up--among them Vince (Matt Schulze), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Han Lue (Sung Kang) and Gisele Harabo (Gal Gadot). My one big reason for watching these films can be stated fully in two words: Jordana Brewster (a favorite of mine). After her passive role in Fast & Furious, it's nice to see her get in on the action just a little bit this time around, not to mention utilizing her knowledge of Portuguese in the Rio scenes. Otherwise, the action sequences are exciting but a tad unbelievable at times (the final chase sequence looks like it defies some of the laws of physics), and the script has no real surprises.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:15 am

The Brothers Rico, which I watched tonight, is a modest crime thriller from the late 1950s. Eddie Rico (Richard Conte) appears in the opening scene to be a happily married, respectable suburban businessman. But it soon develops that Eddie has a past, working in the rackets for a man named Sid Kubik (Larry Gates). Now Kubik needs to find Eddie's brother Johnny (James Darren in one of his earliest roles), and asks Eddie to do so for him--but doesn't tell Eddie that he wants to find Johnny to kill him. Eddie may not be able to save Johnny, but perhaps he can get himself and his wife Alice (Dianne Foster) out from the mob's clutches. There's nothing really classic about this one but it's fast-paced and competently executed.
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