The Official Review Thread of 2012

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:32 am

I actually love Lost so the fact that the audience is left to dissect and debate the answers is actually a PLUS on my book. 2001 and Stalker are also both vague in their meaning yet are considered among the best science fiction films of all time.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:09 am

There was a Hollywood Reporter article on Damon Lindelof where he said that vague was good. I contend that he's a moron. Vague is bad. Everything that's wrong with the script has to do with vagueries that are never answered. We spent more time after the movie picking part the parts we were confused on that the ultimate message regarding religion is almost insignificant. And these weren't minor nitpicks, but huge fallacies that didn't reconcile each other. It was distracting. They tried too hard to add mysteries that weren't solved. Lindelof destroyed Lost too from what I understand...why is he the sci-fi go-to guy? He knows jack shit about good sci-fi.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Reza » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:21 am

Okri wrote:I didn't mind it, but the screenplay is walking pile of garbage. Terrific visual presentation, but really, that ending - chickenshit.


.....but it's ok ''chickenshit''. Can't wait for the sequel.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Okri » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:36 pm

I didn't mind it, but the screenplay is walking pile of garbage. Terrific visual presentation, but really, that ending - chickenshit.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:04 am

PROMETHEUS
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall.
Dir: Ridley Scott.

Director Ridley Scott is responsible for two films considered to be among the greatest science-fiction films ever made, Alien and Blade Runner. His record since then has been spotty, to say the least and even his good films don't quite match up with those two revered classics. He returns to the Alien-verse somewhat with this sorta-kinda prequel to the Alien-saga, almost as if to prove that he still has it. He's only partially right. This doesn't quite measure up to the first Alien film but it's as a standalone film, it's still a very good piece of sci-fi, the type we seldom see these days where everything has to be action-packed and PG-13 so that alone makes it seem fresh.

Oscar Prospects: A strong contender for Art Direction. Costume Design, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Cinematography and Makeup are possible.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby ksrymy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:37 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:Original Song


If Florence Welch gets an Oscar nomination I will cry. She is easily the best female musician in the game right now and "Breath of Life" is a spectacular song. The only thing about Welch that gets me if that all these Kristen Stewart films have her attached. "Heavy In Your Arms" is another beautiful song by Welch, but, alas, it had to be written for New Moon.

Welch actually has performed at the Oscars too. She took Dido's place when A.R. Rahman performed "If I Rise" from 127 Hours.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:57 am

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Sam Spruell, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan, Lily Cole.
Dir: Rupert Sanders.

First things first, this is DEFINITELY better than the other Snow White movie this year Mirror, Mirror. This version gives a darker, more feminist take on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale. On the positive side, there are some really cool visuals and effects and Charlize Theron is a pretty awesome Evil Queen. She humanizes her and makes her scary. On the debit side, I'm sorry but Kristen Stewart is a rather poor Snow White. I don't know if I'm being fair to her performance or my views are colored by my distaste for Stewart's celebrity and public persona but I simply cannot buy her as this beautiful, inspirational, radiant, strong and pure-hearted character she's supposed to be playing. Add to that the rather abrupt, disappointing climax and an attempt to throw in a Twilight-esque love triangle in there, this qualifies as a disappointment. Which is too bad because it could've been a really awesome movie with just a recast and one script tweak.

Oscar Prospects: A contender for the pretty awards namely Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup and maybe Cinematography. Original Song, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are both possible as well.

Grade: C+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:11 am

MEN IN BLACK 3
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, Alice Eve, David Rasche.
Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld.

This movie was a very pleasant surprise. It really shouldn't be good. I mean, I'm a fan of the first one which was a really fun romp. The second one was was really kind of blah. When I heard that there's gonna be a third one, I thought it was joke and expected the worst. Well, surprise, surprise, it's actually kind of good. It's not as good as the first one of course, but the crazy alien shenanigans work. Josh Brolin is terrific. He does a good job channeling Tommy Lee Jones yet is able to give an actual performance beyond just a impersonation.

Oscar Prospects: Makeup, Visual Effects and Art Direction are not out of the question.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri May 25, 2012 10:02 pm

I give up. I've given them more than a fair chance, but I've finally made my decision: I really, really dislike super-hero movies. Avengers, you were the last straw.

Oh, there are exceptions, and it's those exceptions that have compelled me to give them another chance. I enjoyed the first Iron Man and loved the first Spider-Man. But most of the rest I've either hated or felt indifference towards. I can see they're trying to be something more... more intelligent, more accessible, more profound, etc. But they're still boring super-hero movies. There's nothing unlikeable about The Avengers per se, but nothing held my interest all that much. Robert Downey Jr's brash, biting way with the one-liners was refreshing in Iron Man I, as a defense mechanism to protect a deeper personality lying within from fully emerging; in the second film it became the only facet to his personality, and his delivery was mechanical and unwavering, like a sarcasm-generator. Now he's just a function of the movie. As one-fourth (or one-sixth) of The Avengers, whenever the film needs a change of pace he's called upon to let loose some Tony Stark-isms. And that's pretty much the formula designed to accomodate all four (or six) Avengers. Theoretically, the movie devotes time for all four personalities to shine alone or play off of each other (or, if you prefer, six personalities... assuming you believe that Scarlet Johansson's sultriness and Jeremy Renner's glowering count as personalities). In actuality, the individual Avengers have one-fourth of a personality, and they never really cohere. The story itself was some nonsense about saving the earth again, this time from an opening in the sky that looked like the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings. I just watched it for the special effects... which, fortunately, were marvelous but isn't that true for most special effects these days? And when the movie cross-cut from one Avenger to the other when they had simultaneous action scenes, I never really attempted to follow all the threads. When I turned my brain on to think, it usually led to questions like "How come Captain America seems to take all this new technology in stride, with no explanations whatsoever?" It was also fun to go back to childhood questions we used to ponder over, in the vein of "Who would win in a fight? Thor or The Hulk?" This movie actually provided some answers, althought I can't say they stuck with me.

But to go back to the beginning, there's one more recent superhero movie I've really liked, and which The Avengers suffers in comparison due to the film's similarities: X-Men First Class. This was giddy, gleeful, sometimes ballsy mainstream filmmaking full of imagination and surprises, complete with a re-envisioning of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Except for a conventional sheen on the surface, it's the sort of wonderfully ridiculous playpen the superhero universe can be when it's not too busy ruminating over its own sense of importance. And I'll take suave James McAvoy over snarky Robert Downey Jr any day, not to mention Kevin Bacon's ham and scenery-chewing over Loki's shit-eating grin.

I've fulfilled my superhero quota of the year. Now I don't have to see the new Dark Knight movie or the Spiderman "reboot", which looks like a Dark Knight movie anyway.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 19, 2012 8:36 am

THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed, Russell Tovey, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen.
Dir: Peter Lord.

An amusing stop-motion animated feature about a pirate who wants to get a huge booty so to speak. It's still a far-cry from Aardman Studios' best works, namely the Wallace & Gromit but this one has enough going for it to merit a recommendation. It also features great voice work especially by Hugh Grant whose voice I barely recognized as the Pirate Captain. There are quite a few good laughs and the animation's fun to watch but what makes this movie is Mr. Bobo the Chimp who is running a close second to Gromit as Aardman's best animated character.

Oscar Prospects: Animated Feature is possible but early release and not-big-box-office may hurt it.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Wed May 16, 2012 1:40 am

The Avengers (Joss Whedon)

Like many Americans, I too saw The Avengers. It doesn't seem like many people on this Board did though. I'm surprised I've put off writing about it for so long.

The Avengers recalls the assertions that Batman was one of the first "critic-proof" movies, where it didn't matter what was said, you're going to see it anyway. The Avengers takes that logic to incredible extremes. How can you not see it? You've already seen Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk. You've put years in, man! Not that any of those movies are terribly good, although I found Iron Man to be pretty endearing. Beyond that, every one of those movies featured a set-up plot point for this movie. It takes "Crossover Hit" to a whole different level. Ironically, I find more parallels between disaster films than superhero films. You go to see The Towering Inferno and Earthquake and you know who's who from the stars, right? There's no real character development to speak of. It's all personas. The only true movie stars these days are the characters, not the actors.

It's almost impossible to approach The Avengers without a bias. I know I can't. I know the characters somewhat from the comics, I've seen the movies, and I'm a fan of Joss Whedon. So I liked The Avengers quite a bit. I prefer Cabin in the Woods, but The Avengers while not a great or even good story was for me a ton of fun. It felt like Marvel vs. Capcom: The Movie. And yet Whedon does a pretty exceptional balancing act between cheekily serving up the mandates of this elephantine undertaking (the fights, the plot-points, the fights, the call-backs, the fight) and staying true to his voice. Everybody comes off pretty good because they're saying Whedon's dialogue, and the man has the narrative efficiency of a PIXAR movie, with satisfying set-ups and pay-offs. He should. He taught them to write. So my assessment of The Avengers, a film I wasn't terribly excited for (until Whedon was involved) as culmination of an aggressive marketing campaign I found overbearing, is basically: Nice. You guys pulled it off.

I find the success of The Avengers notable because this is a summer blockbuster by a non-stylist, a director whose action scenes are remarkably coherent, resultant from the lack of flash from every TV-grad image. Why did audiences go to The Avengers? Because they had to. Why are they going back again? Because they really, really liked it. People love this movie. And it's all because it's very funny and the action delivers on the level that they desire it to. How is it as a film? I don't know. The only way that I can approach it from any marginally objective standing is as a fan of Joss Whedon, not as a fan of the comic books. Those who were in the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fan-club knew that the show was essentially a comedy of manners with high school as a backdrop and whatever vampire threat they faced simply facilitated an arc that Whedon was using for other reasons. Dialogue is crisp. Characterizations are slightly more challenging than you would expect. His existential credo led to myriad sudden, intensely saddening deaths. And the dialogue! Every episode promised wonderful banter. Whedon is a credited, Oscar-nominated screenwriter on Toy Story, he's ghost written several features, and he moved onto other series like Firefly and Dollhouse, but it's Buffy he'll be remembered for -- not The Avengers, not whatever comes next! Whedon applied to The Avengers yields a team as a dysfunctional family. Those damn Marvel features move at such a breakneck speed that there isn't quite enough time for any of them to chill, so it's a minor miracle that all of them get their moment to shine, their one line. More so, every scene is built around incredibly multi-functional wordplay subtlely advancing the plot while remaining a charming, in-character joke. It's the light-as-a-feather elephant!

The parts that just don't make sense, like Scarlett Johansson as a Russian spy are pulled off about as well as they could by simultaneously ignoring the logic and evoking the best acting from her since...I couldn't even tell you. Why is there a girl with a gun and a guy with a bow and arrow alongside The Hulk, The God of Thunder, Iron Man, and Captain America? Because Marvel said so. It looks ridiculous -- though credit Whedon for using Hawkeye as a villain so as to validate the bow and arrow as any kind of impressive threat.

For me, the film was pretty much a total pleasure. I laughed, the nerd in me had a good time, and everyone I saw it with of the noob persuasion seemed to have a good time as well. This is one of those times where I just have to shrug and go along with the train as it chugs-chugs-chugs along to the multi-billion dollar mark.

(MVP -- although Mark Ruffalo makes for the best Hulk ever, I've got to give it to Tom Hiddleston, who is the only one who is probably above all this. Thor was a terrible piece of work, and yet he invested a boggling amount of depth that was no kind of deserved in that film! And here, he's essentially playing a plot device, conspiring to eliminate the team in the service of an alien invasion. His motivations are vague, his desires are bland -- and yet Hiddleston plays Loki like a man who is convinced that the book has been written long ago. At times he seems almost forlorn about the prospect of his own victory! Because Loki is presented as a menace, a fool, and a tragic figure, that Hiddleston manages to weave it all together in a semblance is pretty radical -- even though it doesn't hold up under much thought.)
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 12, 2012 8:01 am

DARK SHADOWS
Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Gully McGrath, Alice Cooper, Christopher Lee.
Dir: Tim Burton.

Now, I'm a huge fan of Tim Burton, I make no secret of that but even I was turned off and disappointed with the eyesore that was Alice in Wonderland. This is actually an improvement. Not much of an improvement but still an improvement. Tim Burton's film adaptation of the supernatural soap opera series contains some really good moments. Johnny Depp and Eva Green both give fun performances. There are some good laughs in there too. But unfortunately the entire thing is so tonally off. It wants to be both a gothic horror romance and a broad horror-comedy but does not seem to find the right balance to let it flow and that wacky over-the-top climax came from nowhere. But still, it's nowhere near Burton and/or Depp's worst. I enjoyed it.

Oscar Prospects: As with most Tim Burton films, this is a strong contender for nominations in Art Direction, Costume Design and maybe Makeup and Cinematography.

Grade: B-

21 JUMP STREET
Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Dax Flame, Nick Offerman, Ellie Kemper, Chris Parnell.
Dirs: Phil Lord & Chris Miller.

Now this movie was a blast. A movie adaptation of a TV series from the 1980's is of course a lame idea and the great thing about this movie is that it acknowledges it and decides to have fun with the concept of police officers going undercover in a high school. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill both make a great team and makes for a really funny action-comedy which actually pokes fun at many tropes of action-comedies. It really shouldn't work but it does.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: B

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Wed May 09, 2012 12:20 pm

She's good. Everybody is good. For a little while she reminded me of Ellie Kemper from The Office to the point where I did think it might be her. But she handles herself quite well. I think if anybody is going to breakout from this, it isn't going to be her or Fran Kranz (arguably the best here), but rather the incredibly hot blonde who makes out with a wolf mask, Anna Hutchinson, if only because it's going to be easier to cast her. But clearly they saw something in Connolly because she has a very scarce resume pre-Cabin. She's going big with this. I just hope that she still looks the same because this film was shot so long ago.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby flipp525 » Wed May 09, 2012 8:51 am

Sabin wrote:In the film’s most inspired sequence, Kristen Connelly’s Dana is at her endgame. It doesn’t matter if the virginal heroine dies in a horror movie, so long as she suffers. The Company celebrates with libations, because they are literally at the point where it does not matter if a human lives or dies. Their task is complete. They schmooze indifferent to Dana’s plight, as she is tossed around and beaten by a zombie on giant, wall-like screens behind them.

Kristen's a good friend of mine from undergrad. She's been flying low radar for a couple years now in small roles (Mona Lisa Smile, The Happening, Revolutionary Road). Hope she makes it big with this.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Tue May 08, 2012 9:26 pm

Wanderlust (David Wain)

I paid three dollars to see David Wain's latest theatrical release and an additional three for a pitcher of PBR. That's about right.

There are myriad issues with Wanderlust, and all of them can be pinpointed along the way of his other features. He's very good at setting up comedic possibilities and not incredibly great at knocking them out of the park while maintaining the appearance of a feature film. Wanderlust does not explore commune existence with any specificity that you couldn't toss off the top of your head. The beats from metropolitan life are pretty great though. I love the idea that something called a "micro-loft" is somehow not a studio apartment. Unlike Albert Brooks, he doesn't organically integrate the specific trappings of the caution-to-the-wind couple into the impending conflict. The satire here is very easy. Nothing special. What is special is that this is another David Wain joint and the entire cast is pretty game. And though it loses some of the inspired throttle of the opening scenes, it's replete with lovely little touches that keeps it all afloat. I don't know if Wain is better than Christopher Guest at creating better narratives, but give him credit for at least attempting a cohesive narrative and finding a place for improvisation within it. Wain still hasn't hit his stride yet. Wanderlust has funnier moments than Role Models, but the latter film is a much better film.

There is a scene in Wanderlust that is one of the funniest things I've seen in a year or so. Rudd is about to have sex in the next room but he has to psych himself up. And he starts talking dirty to himself in the mirror and becomes a frat boy/hillbilly who says the word "dick" in so many different variations. At times it sounds like "deeyuck." And he commits to it so fully. I have no idea what it's going to take for Paul Rudd to really hit. He has this effortless sunniness to him that screams a lack of complication. It's been best put to use in Wet Hot American Summer where he was cast as a child's idea of a popular kid. I would go so far to say that his performance in WHAS is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in film. And he's a good looking guy so every once in a while it seems like he's going to break through in a romantic comedy. And then it turns out to be How Do You Know, and it's two steps back (although he does retain his dignity in that disaster). He's in his forties and he seems to still be owning the career that Goofball Tom Hanks had in his twenties and thirties, and nothing seems to be changing that. But once again -- here he is. Hilarious. Movie star good-looking. Begging for somebody to do something more with him. And far too sophomoric to care.

Total trifle. Pretty funny moments.
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