What was the last movie you saw?

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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:44 am

It's been a long time since anyone's made a really great Western, but the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit is a terrific one. The first adapation of the novel by Charles Portis was more of a John Wayne vehicle, but this one is truer to the source and centers on Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), who hires hard-bitten, hard-drinking US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her find Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), her father's murderer. They end up in an uneasy partnership with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who has his own reasons to pursue Chaney. The Coens get terrific contributions from their regular collaborators, cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer Carter Burwell (who based much of his score, very effectively, on the old hymn "Everlasting Arms:). Steinfeld, in her film debut (she was 13 at the time of filming), is terrific, a deserving Oscar nominee who holds her own with veterans like Bridges (also Oscar-nominated) and Brolin. If there's a weak link in the cast, it's Damon, who is no more than adequate, but that's a very small demerit to an otherwise wonderful film.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby pennybug84 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:00 pm

Finally saw Brave. It was different than I was expecting. It was good, but not my favorite Pixar/Disney film.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:20 pm

Gun Chung/Eye in the Sky is a solid, suspenseful police procedural from Hong Kong. A special surveillance squad with the Hong Kong police is joined by a new member (Kate Tsui); meanwhile, the squad's field leader (Simon Yam) determines that a hidden mastermind is behind the gang of jewel thieves his squad is observing, a man the police dub the Hollow Man (Tony Leung). While there isn't a lot of story or character development, this one is tightly paced, looks and feels realistic, and has a nice B-movie toughness and austerity.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:31 am

The Dead Pool was the fifth and final film featuring "Dirty Harry" Callahan (Clint Eastwood). While none of the sequels came close to the level of the first film, they were all satisfactory; this one probably ranks in the middle of the quintet. Harry investigates a drug related death on the set of a slasher film being directed by Peter Swan (Liam Neeson), while also dodging hit squads sent by an imprisoned mafioso. As his investigation proceeds, he discovers a sick sort of bingo game being played by Swan and members of his production crew, called "The Dead Pool," which involves trying to guess which of a list of local celebrities will die in the near future; Harry is none too pleased to find his name on the list. The combination of the different plot elements guarantees plenty of action, including several shoot-outs and yet another car chase through San Francisco's winding streets and hills. Eastwood is as good as ever in the role, Patricia Clarkson plays a local journalist who develops a bit of romance with Harry, and a very young Jim Carrey has a small role.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:03 am

Tonight I watched Walkabout, the first film directed by Nicolas Roeg, who went on to direct films like Don't Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth. An teenage Australian girl (Jenny Agutter) and her young brother (Luc Roeg, the director's son) are stranded in the outback; when they are in desperate straits, they are rescued by a teenage Aborigine on his "walkabout," sort of a manhood initiation rite. The focus of the film is not really on the survival adventure but on the cultural gap between the Aborigine and the two whites and their successes and failures at crossing that gap. Both the beginning and the end of the wilderness journey are marked by striking, even shocking scenes which I would not dream of giving away. Agutter and Gulpilil, both about 18 when the film was shot, are outstanding, and each has gone on to a very nice career. John Barry, who composed the music for several James Bond films, contributes a fine score, while Roeg, who began as a cinematographer, serves as his own on this movie with great effect. Definitely off the beaten path but worth watching.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:14 am

Tonight I watched Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari, a film which lives up to its classic reputation. It's a parable about the folly of trying to make unrealistic dreams into reality, played out in the lives of two men. Genjuro yearns for his pottery to bring him both riches and acclaim as an artist, while his neighbor Tobei is obsessed with winning fame and glory as a samurai. When fate seems to give both men the chance to live their dreams, they rush to do so, heedless of the consequences for their families. Mizoguchi was a poet with the camera and this is a great film, not perhaps for everyday viewing, but definitely worth watching at least once.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:42 am

Largo Winch, also known as The Heir Apparent, is a European action film adapted from a Belgian comic. The death of multi-billionaire Nerio Winch sends the W Group, the conglomerate he founded and ran, into chaos. Unknown to any of the higher-ups in the group, even Winch's longtime assistant Ferguson (Kristin Scott Thomas), Nerio had adopted a son, named Largo (Tomer Sisley). Now Largo must defeat numerous enemies to try to gain control of the corporation and fortune he is heir to. There is some good action in this one but the plot is a mess; Sisley makes for an engaging lead and overall it's decent entertainment.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:49 am

Tonight I watched a likable romance with a bit of a sci-fi element called Happy Accidents. Ruby (Marisa Tomei) thinks her streak of being a loser-magnet is over when she meets a gentle fellow named Sam (Vincent D'Onofrio). Sam has a few quirks, but he's irresistibly sweet--up to the day when he says he's from the 25th century. Is he a time-traveler or delusional? Does it matter? I really enjoyed this one. Tomei and D'Onofrio are a very likable lead couple, and Holland Taylor is very good in a pivotal supporting role. Brad Anderson, who wrote and directed, has a very nice touch with romance--this is not quite as good as his Next Stop Wonderland, one of my favorite romances of the last 20 years, but it's very enjoyable.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:15 pm

Today I went to see The Bourne Legacy, which is a decent action thriller but not up to the standards of the trilogy that preceded it. The pluses in this one are, first, the action sequences are as fast-paced and pulse-pounding as ever (although the final chase may have violated a few laws of physics). Second, the leads this time around, Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, are both weighty and compelling enough screen presences that the audience can invest themselves in the onscreen events and their characters' fates. On the downside, the story and script are an incredibly intricate mess. Three big problems stand out to me 1) the whole business with "blue pills and green pills" and "viralization." I was reminded of midi-chlorians (if you don't remember those, you're lucky). 2) The segments involving characters from The Bourne Ultimatum were very poorly integrated into the main story and serve no function in telling it; they should probably been dropped from the script once Matt Damon dropped out of the film. 3) There are way too many characters thrown at us without adequate introduction.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:55 am

I first saw Ruthless People when I was in grad school and watched it again tonight. San Stone (Danny DeVito), a millionaire clothing designer, desperately wants to bump off his shrewish wife Barbara (Bette Midler), and marry his mistress Carol (Anita Morris). The very day he's worked himself up to do the dirty deed, he comes home to find she's been kidnapped. Kidnappers Ken and Sandy (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) want to get back at Sam for stealing Sandy's design for the "spandex miniskirt." Meanwhile, Carol is cheating on Sam with Earl (Bill Pullman), who could very well be the stupidest person on the face of the earth, and the police are starting to suspect that Sam isn't really trying to get his wife back. This one was directed by the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team who gave us Airplane!, but it is nowhere near as hilarious as that film. There are some humorous moments and it's fast-paced, but there's nothing really distinctive about it.
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