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  • A War of Arrows 6/10
    Chinese sub-titled, steamed through Netflix. There are times I really enjoy a good/bad, movie about fictionalized history. Where the timeline, costumes, and major events of the movie are correct but the characters and their stories are complete bull.
    So goes A War of Arrows. To keep it short, think Chinese version of Apcalypto without either the good guy or bad guy character development. Because of this you dont really care who gets whacked as long as someone does, and in an interesting manner. Oh there are some quality kills as you might have guessed, via arrows, but in general this movie was just a half way fun way to waste and hour and half.

    Duff
  • Soloman Kane - 7/10
    Really thrilling medieval fantasy adventure based on a character from Robert E Howard (Conan the barbarian). Has some fantastic visual and costume design, and the action is visceral and excellently choreographed. Highly recommend this if you haven't seen it, seems to have gone under the radar.
  • Yes! Solomon Kane is really good fun. It never quite takes off 100%, but it's still very nicely done with an excellent cast. Must have been one of Pete Posthlethwaite's last roles.
  • edited January 2013
    Silver Linings Playbook: 7/10
    I enjoyed this, and thought it had some great performances, especially from Jennifer Lawrence, who is amazing. I didn't feel that it was a great movie, and thought it had a really odd change in tone for the last act. It goes from being a fairly realistic representation of people with mental illness (something that I am quite familiar with, as my sister is bipolar) with some good drama, to this strange sugary romantic comedy ending where everything works out great and everyone is happy. It didn't really sit right with me.
    Not really sure why it was nominated for best picture when a work of art like Moonrise Kingdom wasn't, but I don't understand the Oscars for the most part anyway. Good movie, not great, and not Russell's best film. I still give that honor to I Heart Huckabee's. Also, I don't really get why Bradley Cooper has gotten so much praise for this. He's a decent actor, but he's always doing the same thing. There's more yelling and being "crazy" here, but I hardly think it was the performance of his career or anything. Again, good, not great.
    Glengarry Glen Ross: 10/10
    I had seen this before, a long time ago, and didn't really remember it. Just a fantastic film with a fantastic script and some fantastic acting across the board. Yes it's men in suits yelling at each other, but I haven't ever seen it done this well anywhere else. I wish Alec Baldwin had a larger role, but his scene is just a concentrated dose of brilliance, so you don't really need more I guess. So many classic moments in this film.
  • edited January 2013
    Apologies for the double post, but I think this deserves its own post.
    Cloud Atlas - 9.9/10
    This was honestly only brought down for me by a few odd line deliveries, a couple of CGI sequences that seemed unfinished, and some weird makeup (which is a little unavoidable with this kind of thing.) When the trailer first came out, I thought this would be a disaster, and a total mess of a film, but somehow, they actually managed to pull it off. It feels cohesive, even though it's sometimes overwhelmingly detailed and jumps back and forth in time like it's nothing. I found almost every character to be quite interesting and well portrayed, and most of the visuals were extremely impressive. The different stories would have all stood on their own had they been in separate movies, but the way they're intercut is absolute genius.
    I was wondering how it was even possible to write a script so complex, and I came to the conclusion that it must have been written in segments, shot in segments, and then edited together. Maybe that's not right, but it seems like the most logical way to go about doing something so incredibly complicated. It wouldn't have been nearly as engaging if it had been told in chronological order; getting hints at what happens in the past from scenes that take place in the distant future, and then seeing how it all works together was very rewarding.
    Despite it's running time (just shy of three hours) and complexity, this is a film that I didn't want to end. Once it became clear that the end was in sight, I wanted to rewind time and watch it again. I could honestly watch a film like this for six or nine hours and be completely fine with it. I became so invested in the characters and their stories, I just wanted to see more, even though they all came to a worthwhile conclusion.
    It's overwrought, impossibly complex at times, and beautifully simple at other times. I especially enjoyed the Wachowski sections. They're total masters of the greenscreen set, and the Neo-Seoul segment especially was incredibly gorgeous. Like I said earlier, sometimes the makeup was very very weird, especially when Doona Bae was done up as a southern belle, which looked extremely strange. But as well, if you're going to have the same actors play characters of different races across hundreds and hundreds of years, you're going to have some issues with weird looking makeup. Definitely didn't dampen the experience for me (Hugo Weaving as a Nurse Ratchet type was a stroke of genius.) One good thing about making such a long movie is that you're free to have a few moments that are really "off" as long as the rest of the film holds up, and let me tell you, Cloud Atlas holds up.
    Definitely one of my favorite movies of 2012, and quite possibly a new entry into my list of favorite all-time movies. I want to watch it again ASAP. And then again after that. Come on Blu-Ray!
  • Really can't wait to see Cloud Atlas when it appears on blu-ray. The Wachowski's post-Matrix work has been fascinating and far more versatile than the Matrix trilogy suggested might be the case. I still maintain Speed Racer is one of the absolute best films of the 2000s.
  • Pitch Perfect
    10/10
    Hilarious, and the acapella singing was very interesting.
  • edited February 2013
    Warm Bodies 9/10
    A very, very fun/cute/funny/well acted/Zombie/Action packed movie with impressive VFX and Cinematography. DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER!!! it will ruin a large portion of the plot. Warm Bodies in my opinion, is an excellent movie.
  • I have, unfortunately, seen the trailer and it did look surprisingly entertaining. Bit of a shame that they've give away so much in the trailers and that they've also targeted it squarely at the Twilight crowd. Look forward to catching it at some point!
  • A Good Day to Die Hard: 2/10
    As one of our party commented, Try Hard. I didn't enjoy the 4[sup]th[/sup] in the franchise either, so I was surprised to find this one was actually worse. The story is contrived, ridiculous, and weak. No actor shows any chemistry with any other actor. The set pieces are way too over-the-top, the humour obvious and devoid of wit, and even the special effects were lacklustre in places. The best part about this film was that it ended.
  • edited February 2013

    A Good Day to Die Hard: 2/10
    As one of our party commented, Try Hard. I didn't enjoy the 4[sup]th[/sup] in the franchise either, so I was surprised to find this one was actually worse. The story is contrived, ridiculous, and weak. No actor shows any chemistry with any other actor. The set pieces are way too over-the-top, the humour obvious and devoid of wit, and even the special effects were lacklustre in places. The best part about this film was that it ended.

    I have always been a huge fan of the original Die Hard trilogy, but why even pair the latest additions with Die Hard, because they just don't fit beyond having the character's names - really it's just another Bruce Willis cop film. These new ones lack the personality and what made Die Hard so attractive - The character would be out of his depth and would always come out battered and bloodied. The fact that they decided to go for a R rating in america gave people a bit of hope for this new one to be more of a Die Hard than 4.0, but they released it as a cut 12a in the UK - why?
    I had no excitement for this version as soon as they attached John Moore as the director, then i saw the trailer and decided to avoid like the plague.
  • Indeed, I might have been a little optimistic to hope that this one would return to the heights of the original trilogy (I too deny that the 4th, and now the 5th, belong in the same series).
  • Just from the trailer I can see that the latest Die Hard has a ton of unrealistic giant explosion and CG stunt set pieces, which indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of what made the original film so great. The whole point is that the action was down-to-earth and unfussy. Other than a couple of VERY key moments, like the diving out the window bit, it's all very low key. I mean, a whole sequence is based around McLane not wearing any shoes. While McLane is clearly super tough, the ordinary nature of the character and his apparenty vulnerability is what made the film engaging - watching it, you could have a slight feeling of "I wonder if I could do that if I was in the same situation?"
    While Willis's 80s work is often thought of in the same bracket as Stallone and Schwarzenegger's, it's really the polar opposite. The latter 2 were playing hyper-real supermen, while Willis was creating something a bit more grungey.
    The more ridiculous and OTT the films have become, the less that applies. McLane goes from being an everyman, approachable, mundane cop who becomes a hero to an unrelatable Generic Action Hero.
    Same kind of problem that afflicted the latest Indiana Jones, really.

  • ...to an unrelatable Generic Action Hero.

    GAH.. I salute you sir.

  • Same kind of problem that afflicted the latest Indiana Jones, really.

    There are only THREE Indy films.
  • Wrath of the Titans:
    So far as sticking to the way the Greek myths are, this movie failed completely. But I still liked it. I thought the acting was good, and the effects were simply amazing. Also I had fun watching Ralph Phines playing someone other than Lord Voldemort. But I still heard a "Nyeeahh!" in there at one point.
    So I'd give this movie a good 8.5-9/10

  • Wrath of the Titans:
    So far as sticking to the way the Greek myths are, this movie failed completely. But I still liked it. I thought the acting was good, and the effects were simply amazing. Also I had fun watching Ralph Phines playing someone other than Lord Voldemort. But I still heard a "Nyeeahh!" in there at one point.
    So I'd give this movie a good 8.5-9/10

    If you're looking for fantastic Ralph Phines (sic) performances, there are many, many better films than Wrath of the Titans to watch. :P
  • Cloud Atlas - requires a second viewing!
    This is one of those films that you simply cannot take it all in on one single viewing, so i'll be checking this out on blu-ray. I did quite like the film, and i'm holding back on details as i don't want to say anything that might spoil the film, but it can be difficult to keep up with the details of the story when it jumps about. The make-up was incredible, maybe they should have employed the make-up team that worked on this for Prometheus (i could never buy the aged Guy Pearce).
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator
    edited February 2013
    Really looking forward to checking out Cloud Atlas.
    The casting of Guy Pearce in Prometheus was entirely bizarre, given that at no point is he anything other than the old version of the character. Given the plot and casting, I'd rather assumed that he would 'de-age' at some point as part of the story, so when he didn't I was rather bemused.
    Using make-up/CG to age or de-age actors when they're playing younger or older versions of a character makes sense. But if the make-up/CG version is the ONLY version of that character in the story, it'd be a better move to just cast somebody the right age in the first place...
  • edited February 2013
    Yeah, Cloud Atlas was fantastic, and I can't wait to see it again. I'm reading the book right now, which is much different, but still fascinating and riveting, and it's helping me process the film, which is a plus.
    Red Dawn - 1/10
    Oh boy. This is one of the worst movies I've seen in a while. Worse than Battleship, even. It's a war action movie for the Twilight generation. Thor and his mouth-breathing football player brother (they couldn't look less like relatives, incidentally) fight the EVIL MOTIVELESS SOCIALISTS with some people they know, or maybe don't know, doesn't matter. 'MER-CUH #1 OOH RAH!
    There is no reason given to care about these characters, except for the fact that they're Americans, and they've got guns to PROTECT ARE HOME. You can't even root for the bad guys, because they're even more featureless and vague than the protagonists. They are the evil invaders, and that's all you need to know. I'm sure a lot of young Americans loved this film, because it plays on the xenophobic propagandism that they've grown up with (the outsiders want to take away our freedom, i.e., our sports cars, blonde girlfriends, and video games) but that's literally all there is to it. It's a perfect representation of the hurried Hollywood of the '10s, so for that, it gets a point. Bad acting, worse script, lens flares, ambiguous motives, terrible compositing, shaky cam, contrived sentimentalism... It's got it all.
    Skip it. Forget it exists. Maybe the worst movie of 2012, but I didn't see Twilight, so maybe not.
  • edited February 2013
    Heh, Sounds like it has a LOT in common with Battle Los Angeles, then. I can't find a single thing in that description I'd change if the topic was Battle Los Angeles, in fact.
  • edited February 2013
    I have to admit that I still love watching the original 1984 Red Dawn. Cheesy fun.
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
    An independent film about time travel. Minimal vfx until the very end. Super touching, well acted, well paced. 9/10.

  • Warm Bodies 9/10
    A very, very fun/cute/funny/well acted/Zombie/Action packed movie with impressive VFX and Cinematography. DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER!!! it will ruin a large portion of the plot. Warm Bodies in my opinion, is an excellent movie.

    I've already seen half the movie with all the different commercials they have had for it. Usually when a movie is advertised to that extent it means it isn't very good.....but, alas, I will take your word for it as I'm not a zombie fan.

    WIND CHILL- 3/10
    Not a very compelling film. I think it was trying to be scary but I found it more tedious than anything. Add to that, I noticed about a third of the way through they never used any names. In the end credits it simply lists guy and girl for the main characters. This left me feeling detached from the characters, not caring what happened to them. There were too many disjointed moments in which I had to rewind to try to figure out what happened and couldn't in a couple instances.
    Dark City- 7/10
    Weird, artsy and strange. A combination I've grown to like.....sometimes.
  • In Bruges - 9/10
    The script, dialoque, acting and characters are awesome. Colin Farrell's best role ever.
    This is a great example of a thorough script. a Story about hired killers, who went to unexcepted... holiday!? Everything is unexpected and twisted, surprising. Every aspect is considered well, every dialogue, every scene is important and plays a role in the overall story. the Film contains action, comedy, drama, in a well phased, powerful cycle.
    there's only couple of things that makes this 9 out of ten, and not perfect. The end wasn't "perfect". It missed one dialoque in the beginning, that made it abit confusing and not so "to-the-point". Tho, these are minor details.
    a Must watch!
  • In Bruges - 9/10
    The script, dialoque, acting and characters are awesome. Colin Farrell's best role ever.
    This is a great example of a thorough script. a Story about hired killers, who went to unexcepted... holiday!? Everything is unexpected and twisted, surprising. Every aspect is considered well, every dialogue, every scene is important and plays a role in the overall story. the Film contains action, comedy, drama, in a well phased, powerful cycle.
    there's only couple of things that makes this 9 out of ten, and not perfect. The end wasn't "perfect". It missed one dialoque in the beginning, that made it abit confusing and not so "to-the-point". Tho, these are minor details.
    a Must watch!
  • Yep, In Bruges is a classic. Fantastic script executed pretty much perfectly.
  • DanielGWoodDanielGWood Moderator
    edited March 2013
    The Bourne Legacy: 4/10
    Well, that was a bit naff. Not engaging, the story was a little bit convoluted, and the attempts to link it to the rest of the franchise kinda feeble. Some of the action was good, but not a match for any of the earlier Bourne films really. Meh!
  • edited March 2013
    Drive: 8.5/10
    I finally got around to seeing this movie. Took me way too long but I'm glad I finally sat down and watched it. Ryan Gosling was fantastic in the way he showed his thoughts through his action as he had very little dialogue. I was really impressed with not only the script/story but the way they portrayed it with so little dialogue. The first couple minutes of the movie Ryan Gosling doesn't even say a word. Just surprised me that it was pulled off so well. Loved it.
    Mystic River: 9/10
    Absolutely fantastic movie. Loved every minute of it. The acting was terrific and the story was engaging. Not much else to say. Definitely a great movie.
  • Drive took me a while to get round to as well, from the sounds of it I enjoyed it just as much! It's really rather good. I also love the soundtrack - Nightcall by Kavinsky and College & Electric Youth's A Real Hero were inspired choices.
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