Rate the last film you watched



  • edited June 2014
    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit- 7/10
    Kind of a simple story but a nice beginner to the Jack Ryan series; explaining how Ryan ended up in the C.I.A.
    Lone Survivor- 10/10
    Intense, edge of your seat action as a team of Navy Seals attempt to withdraw from an Afghani mountain littered with Taliban fighters. Based on the true story of a group of soldiers attempting to capture or kill Taliban warlord/leader, Ahmad Shah. It's hard to watch at some points as it looks so real and the stuntmen did a fantastic job throughout!
    A wonderful tribute appears at the end just before the credits and the guys they picked for the roles look remarkably like the Seals involved in the real life story.
    I've seen a couple interviews with Marcus Lutrell, one of the Seals in the story, and he said the movie is as close to what actually happened as possible.
  • It's upsetting that most people don't seem to care for original material like this anymore.  One guy in the theater had his phone out messing around for much of it, another was getting up and walking out like every thirty minutes, and the girl he was with even whipped out her iPad for a while.  Ugh.  This is why I tend to wait and watch movies at home.

    God, I really hate that! How did you get through the film without chucking something at them? :P

  • edited June 2014
    God, I really hate that! How did you get through the film without chucking something at them? :P

    Oh it was tough, believe me!
    American Hustle: 5/10
    How this was nominated for so many awards, I will never understand.  Costumes were fantastic, yes, but nothing else really stood out to me.  It's not a bad film by any means, but it's probably the most overrated film I've seen since Argo.  Some good acting, particularly from Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, but I don't think the entire main cast deserved to be nominated.  It has enough charm to get by, but I found it a grind to get through, and thought it could have been cut down significantly.
    Robocop (2014): 7/10
    This one surprised me in a different way.  I was convinced that it would be on the same level as the Total Recall remake, but in fact, it was quite engaging, and seemed to have a good grasp on what the source material was trying to do.  I was worried that the social commentary/satire element would be lost in a modern interpretation, and that there would be too much focus on action, but that wasn't the case.  It's subtle (although there are a couple of callbacks that are far too blatant), and there's actually nuance in the performances, and the action is mostly reserved for the final act, and aside from the generous helping of CGI, these actions scenes wouldn't be out of place in an 80s movie.
    Not a great film, and certainly doesn't touch the original, but it has its moments for sure, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: 7/10
    I wasn't really sure what to expect here.  I knew people who had seen this when it first came out and hated it, and now after watching it, I feel like their expectations must have been based on a fondness for Danny Kaye's 1947 adaptation.  I love Kaye's version, but I think Ben Stiller took the material and made it his own in a way that mostly works.  It's an easy, fun film with a lot of very nice cinematography.  Probably a little too heavy on the inspirational-sounding indie-rock soundtrack, but whatever.  Maybe I just still think Ben Stiller is cool for some reason.
    Anchorman 2: 5/10
    Well this was a disappointment.  I loved the first one, and didn't really think it needed a sequel, but I was excited when it got one anyway.  There's too much reliance on rehashing old jokes, but too little reliance on an understanding of why those jokes worked in the first place.  Ron Burgundy saying "By the beard of Zeus!" or whatever in the first movie was funny because it's a quirky character trait that you might imagine someone actually saying.  "By the hymen of Olivia Newton John" is just taking the original gag to a ridiculous extreme.  It's this kind of out of character remarks that make this film a failure where the original was a great success.
    However, for all its failings, there are some jokes that hit, even ones that are rehashed.  The giant newscaster cameo battle at the end, which is of course a rehash of the battle in the first film, comes out of nowhere and is gloriously stupid and absurd.  It's just too bad the rest of the film is so mediocre.

  • edited June 2014
    The quote function didn't work for some reason so I improvised.
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: 7/10
    I wasn't really sure what to expect here.  I knew people who had seen this when it first came out and hated it, and now after watching it, I feel like their expectations must have been based on a fondness for Danny Kaye's 1947 adaptation.  I love Kaye's version, but I think Ben Stiller took the material and made it his own in a way that mostly works.  It's an easy, fun film with a lot of very nice cinematography.  Probably a little too heavy on the inspirational-sounding indie-rock soundtrack, but whatever.  Maybe I just still think Ben Stiller is cool for some reason."

    It's funny you say that- while I haven't seen the original Kaye version, I didn't like this movie at first. But I watched it a second time ('cause I always watch stuff no less than twice before forming a final opinion) and then watched it with a friend and then another friend and his wife (4x) and I liked it better each time through.
    It is a little heavy on the, as you say, inspirational-sounding indie-rock soundtrack, however, Major Tom doesn't fit that description and the Major Tom sequence was my favorite part of the movie.
  • Edge of Tomorrow 8/10

    I'm kinda swinging between a 7/10 and a 9/10 on this one, mainly because I'm undecided on the ending. 95% of the movie is really, really, really good. The final 5 minutes, unfortunately, are a bit muddled and seem to break the film's own internal logic. I've not yet decided whether that's because I don't 'get it', or because it's a messed up ending.
    Even if it is a messed up ending, it's still a superb, fresh-feeling film with proper ideas, fantastic presentation and great performances. The entire story premise forces character development, which makes it hugely satisfying to watch. An intelligent science fiction action movie. That doesn't happen very often.
    Think Black Hawk Down + Starship Troopers + Source Code.
  • Teeth 7/10
    Really not a lot of people's cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it! Thank God for the 'Cult Films' section on NetFlix :)
    I wasn't expecting much which is why I think I was pleasantly surprised. The overarching plot is fairly simple - it's a horror movie where a girl finds out she has 'vagina dentata' which means essentially that her nether regions have teeth. She starts off as a spokesperson for chastity but it all changes as the movie progresses.
    THAT part was pretty standard, but the subplots were the most interesting - family dynamic, taboo and fear/lack of education about what it is to be human etc.
    It's shot really nicely with a kind of ethereal feel (when there isn't blood everywhere - there is a lot of that) and the main actress carries the story really well.
    Take a look if horror is your kind of bag! 
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Great!
    Really liked this one. We had high hopes and were not disappointed. 
    Daughter 2 had to check with me a couple of minutes into the movie that the apes were actually CGI.
    It was very easy to just accept them as 'real'. Easy to tell the difference between all the ape characters as well. 
    I loved the Koba character. He is one badass monkey.
  • edited July 2014

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: 10/10
    This surpasses the first film in every way.  It is fantastic.  The CGI is absolutely incredible; definitely some of the best I've ever seen.  Possibly the very best I've seen, in fact.  There's no reason whatsoever to need to question whether these animals are real or not.  Like Richard Parker in Life of Pi, these ARE real animals.  There is very rarely any question about it.  
    All the ape acting, like the first film, is spot on (a couple of sequences in particular, where Koba interacts with a couple of humans, are just stunning,) and provides so much depth and nuance.  The human acting this time around is also good, fortunately, but of course, the apes are where it's really at.  There's also a great score by Michael Giacchino that, coupled with some really beautiful cinematography, bring the film together very nicely, and elevate it far above Rise.
    It must have been an incredible undertaking to bring this to life, but it was handled so flawlessly that it seriously makes the first film look like kind of a joke in comparison.  Pacing is a little slower than the first, but no time seems wasted, and everything that happens has very clear and tangible consequences.  There is a minimum amount of levity, and it is usually immediately followed by something that completely negates it.  It's a dark, sometimes frightening film, but nevertheless, it's also quite fun, and builds to a very satisfying conclusion.  That final shot... amazing.
    It's really a remarkable film, and I hope it isn't disregarded come awards season.  Probably my favorite of the year so far.

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator
    edited July 2014
    I really need to see Apes. And Dragon 2. And Guardians, when that comes out.
    Time to book the babysitter.
    Despicable Me 2 - 7/10
    A lot of fun, much like the first one. First half definitely stronger than the second. The latter end of the film seemed to forget about the whole 'villain as responsible parent' basis and became just a standard comedy action caper. Still fun, but less unique.
    Still, nice voice acting, amusing characters and the animation on the Minions is outstanding.
    Best gag: Doctor Nefario's not-so-rapid ascent.
    Also, my son managed 24 minutes of the film! Not bad going, given the attention span of 19th month old. His training has begun.
  • R.I.P.D. - ?/10
    You know a movie is bad when Jeff Bridges is more annoying than Ryan Reynolds.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    R.I.P.D. - ?/10
    You know a movie is bad when Jeff Bridges is more annoying than Ryan Reynolds.

    You mean you didn't like "Men in Black" in the "Dead Like Me" universe? I have to agree--that film was bad. Bad bad bad. Bad. Really bad. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: "'RIPD' is bad. Really bad. It's impossible to imagine how vastly, mind-bogglingly bad it was. I mean, you may think 'Green Lantern' was bad, but that's PEANUTS compared to 'RIPD!'"
    It's so bad that I wasted a perfectly good "Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" joke on a film undeserving of a H2G2 reference....
    OK, so...
    InTension 10/10
    This brilliant short screened recently at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival, and I'm totally lying about that rating. It's a 7 at best. Well shot though. Yay, me.
    X-Men: Days of Future Past 7.5/10
    I enjoyed the movie--it looked good, the performers did well, the film succeeded at it's goal of telling an exciting action story, then re-booting the universe so that "X-Men," "X2," "X3, X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "The Wolverine" never happened.
    I suppose the main issues for me were two-fold. First, when you do this kind of time travel story, you know that tons of future mutants will die in wonderfully creative ways, but the timeline is going to be reset, no it never happened, so *yawn* The 2023 scenes did look good, but Halle Berry's contribution was to toss a single lightning bolt. Sunspot--well, it's a good thing I read the comics and casting notices so I knew he was Sunspot, because it's not like anyone said his name or anything. Still, his actor got paid to wear a motion-capture suit, scream and point his arms. It's a paycheck. Blink was, by far, the most effective of the mutants introduced in the film. Her "teleportals" were very well realized on film, and she was obviously the most effective member of that team. Without Blink, they would have all been dead years before. Bishop? Again, it's a good thing I read the comics, or I would have wondered why Bishop's teammates kept shooting him.
    My second issue stems a bit from the first: because the entire movie is a time travel "reset button" and because so many of the new characters introduced had zero depth, and because the majority of the established characters had little-or-zero character growth, I never emotionally engaged with the film. Technically it's gorgeous, the story beats are well defined, but I just didn't care that much. Xavier as a drug addict was somewhat interesting, but there's no doubt that he's going to get off the needle and start being Professor X again, so, despite stellar work from James McAvoy, I didn't engage. However, just as in "First Class" Mystique gets to steal the emotional core of the film and tuck it into her blue bodysuit. While we all know going into the film that Mystique will not succeed in killing Trask, the question of will she be "reasoned" out of it, forcibly restrained, or even killed off is open till the end of that sequence in front of the White House.
    A few other observations/questions: *SPOILERS*
    Quicksilver had the best action sequence in the film by far. That superspeed sequence in the Pentagon was spectacular. Singer indicates that the majority of that scene was done in-camera--using motion control to shoot the "frozen" passes at 3600 fps and Quicksilver's passes at 60fps. Most of the suspended objects were practically rigged on set, and CGI was mostly limited to fluids and particles. I nit the headphones, since the Walkman wasn't released until 1979, and, listening to the radio, well... He would have had enough time to hear start of the attack of the first guitar strum of "Time in a Bottle," but forget about that--that sequence was just fun!
    Boy, Anna Paquin got great billing for three seconds of screen time and no dialog! (Singer indicated a scene in 2023 of the X-Men rescuing Rogue was cut for time)
    I have always assumed that X-Men Origins: Wolverine took place in 1978/79 and that the final battle between Logan and "THAT'S NOT DEADPOOL!" was the "reality" behind the Three Mile Island incident. Certainly, in 1973, Logan doesn't have his adamantium yet. Given that, in the last sequence of 1973, we see that Mystique is impersonating Maj. Stryker, does this mean the Weapon X program never existed? Did Wolverine get adamantium in the new timeline? Just wondering....
    What in the HELL happened to James Marsden's jawline?! He's got some double-chin action going which he'll need to work on for the next film.... Yes, that's a cheap shot. It's also true.
    Peter Dinkalage is awesome.

    Other than the cognitive dissonance between it being a great movie and a rather brazen toy commercial, this was super satisfying. Very funny, interesting and well told story, and the most innovative and exciting visuals I've seen in a film (animated or otherwise) for many years.
    Loved the central theme of 'creativity is great!' and the stylistic twist towards the end was unexpected and very cleverly handled.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 9.5/10
    Wow! Some of my friends were a bit let down by this film--they wanted non-stop Ape/human fighting. Instead, what we got was a nice bit of suspense... Yes, we know there's going to be a big battle, but it's about the decisions and mistakes and miscommunications that lead to the inevitable breakdown that holds the drama. The filmmaker's remembered to make us care about everyone (Always the most important thing in a movie for me.), and there are several places and events into the movie that could have become the trigger element for the main confrentation--the actual trigger event is well done (and hinted at in the first movie. After "Rise" one of my comments about Koba was "Well, we know who Caeser's Brutus is going to be.")
    Possibly the best looking film I have ever seen--not entirely because of the excellent CGI work for the Apes, either--while the collaboration* between mo-cap performer and animator provides stunning and emotive performances, what truly sells things is the camerawork--the director avoids the super-dynamic, overly kinetic camera work loved by so many CGI-heavy films these day, instead leaving the camera grounded in positions and movement one would get from a physical camera; no stupid "Pull out from Gary Oldman standing on top of the Transamerica tower to show the entire city, then panning and flying thru the forest to the Ape settlement" shots that, while pretty, also scream SPECIAL EFFECT! The grounded, simple camerawork gives the entire movie a grounding in naturalism that supports the illusion of the Apes.
    *Note COLLABORATION between Mo-cap actor and animator. Recently, the talented Andy Serkis has been giving interviews where he's referring to the CGI in "Dawn" as "Digital Makeup" and that the Caeser performance is basically "100%" Serkis. Now--Serkis is a gifted performer. The use of CGI over mo-cap is certainly  effective, and the mo-cap actors were indespensible in creating the performances and moods of the Apes. Serkis is truly deserving of award nominations, and I hope Serkis's campaign for acknowledgement of the contribution of the mo-cap performers leads to some sort of "official" awards. MORE importantly, I hope Serkis's campaign gets the unions to re-classify mo-cap performers as ACTORS and not BACKGROUND/EXTRA.
    That said, Mr. Serkis's assertions that Caeser's performance is 100% Serkis, with the animators applying "digital makeup" in a slavish roto process are untrue. (I know animators who worked on this show). There are scenes where Serkis was used as a reference, but the mo-cap data was trashed and scenes completely keyframe-animated. And, *AHEM* you can't motion track an eyeball, can you? All that gorgeous eye work--all those little twitches as eyes change focus, all the pupil dilation, all that little motion is 100% animation. Knowingly or not, Mr. Serkis is showing great disrespect to the animators who (and I cannot stress this next, all-capitalized word enough) COLLABORATED with Mr. Serkis to make Caesar a compelling character.
    There is no disrespect to Serkis intended here, just noting that theater, TV and Film are all collaborative art forms. No actor creates a character 100% on his or her own--there is information from the writer, guidence from a director, and a whole host of other technical elements from camera to costume.... To use "Thor" as a quick counter-example--Chris Hemsworth did a nice job playing the Mighty Thor, but without, say, his costume, he's just be a buff blond guy saying funny lines. Serkis has been in this business too long to be showing such blatant disrespect to the other artists who supported his performance.
    IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS FILM YET, THERE IS  A POST-CREDIT'S "AUDIO" TAG! (Spoiler below for those who saw the film and didn't stay)
    The post-credits audio tag is the sound of shifting debris, and pained breathing of Koba--he's not dead.
  • From what I've read, Serkis has been massively misquoted recently. I'd also argue that "digital makeup" isn't a negative description of the ape work in films like this. Pre-digital, these effects would be done by an actor wearing a suit, or prosthetics, and extensive make-up. Now the same thing (albeit with much higher fidelity) is achieved digitally. It IS digital makeup.
    That's in no way denigrating. In fact, to read it as a negative is to insult all makeup artists. :)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited July 2014
    Entirely possible, nay, probable Serkis has been misquoted recenty. I'll cite this article, which excerts both Serkis and director Matt Reeves.: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Andy-Serkis-Calls-Motion-Capture-Digital-Makeup-Riles-Up-Animators-66260.html
    However, to pull a direct quote from the article: "It's a given that they absolutely copy [the performance] to the letter, to the point in effect what they are doing is painting digital makeup onto actors' performances" (Emphasis added)
    As I said in my last post, I know animators who worked on that show. That particular quote is untrue--There were a fair amount of shots where mo-cap was tossed and everything was keyframed.
    And I toss out this interview with the VFX supervisor on LOTR, Randall William Cook, who addresses Mr. Serkis's continuing assertions that the animators are basically doing 100% roto. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/motion-capture/lord-of-the-rings-animation-supervisor-randall-william-cook-speaks-out-on-andy-serkis-99439.html I note this interview is from 2003--which does mean Mr. Serkis has been saying things like "100% roto" for a decade.
    Again, I stress, Mr. Serkis is a fine fine, FINE actor (And I recommend "Burke and Hare (2010)" for his fans to see how good Serkis is when it's just Serkis in a costume--there's no doubt the man's a fantastic actor). Oh, I was an actor for 20 years--I studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside Kerri Kasem. I trained at SCR with Will Ferrel. John De Lancie would be the best acting coach I ever had. Also, I was accepted to Juliard. I point this out, not to toot my own horn, but to note that I have a huge deal of understanding and sympathy for the plight of the actor. I've been there! And, yes, I AM tooting my own horn, because I'm pretty damn good, myself! I very much want to see Mr. Serkis's campaign for more respect for mo-cap performers, because I know several actors who work at that--highly skilled dancers, clowns and mimes, huge amounts of classical training, skill and background, and they get paid crap because the unions still consider mo-cap background actor work. It's not... it's a full performance! (Oh, yeah, most mo-cap actors are stage-trained and/or have backgrounds in dance and mime. It's a huge challenge to emote soley via body language.)
    I do think Mr. Serkis's quoted comments, if accurate, are a little denigrating to the rest of the team. Still a fan.
    Final note--here's another good example of how a mo-cap performance makes a character work: HULK! The 2003 Hulk movie had Eric Bana play Banner and Ang Lee played Hulk. The 2007 Hulk movie had Ed Norton play Banner and several stunt actors play Hulk.... Avengers had Mark Ruffalo play Banner AND Mark Ruffalo play Hulk. I believe that a HUGE reason of why Hulk from Avenger went over so well with the audience is because, for the first time, the same actor played both aspects! Ruffalo's Hulk has many Bannerisms in his performance: Banner had this characteristic gesture of biting his thumb. There's one scenen in Avengers where Black Widow kind of barks at Hulk, and Hulk raises his hand to his face in what is ALMOST but not QUITE Banner's thumb bite--it's a beautiful little reaction that reminds the audience that Banner and Hulk are parts of the same being, and it's the type of reaction that a stunt actor probably won't think of. The Actor is INDESPENSABLE to the performance.
    But, much like an editor, a good animation finishing up the renders over the mo-cap can add to or destroy a performance. In closing I note, again, that a lot of the emotion of Caesar and the other Apes comes from the eyes---pupil dilations, the little shifts of focus as the Apes look at each other, etc--and that you can't mo-cap an eyeball. Right there is the unarguable example of the contrbution of keyframed animation in collaboration and support of a master actor to enhance the emotions of a performance. :-)
    I do note that WETA coined the term "digital makeup."
  • edited August 2014
    Guardians of the Galaxy... It was ok Look... I'm surprised as well. I was really looking forward to this one and was hoping for the best. Maybe that was the problem. My girls were not actually excited to be going either to be honest. I had to make them!
    I struggled at the start to get into it. Everything is pretty and looks like it should be fun, but I just wasn't feeling it. It started to pick up by the time the 5 Guardians are together and I enjoyed it from there. But looking at the reviews online I have to wonder if we were watching a different movie. Not bad by any means and it had some very funny parts, but I'm not struck by any desire to watch it again.
    Unlike Dawn of the Planet of the Apes we saw a few weeks back. That movie was great.
  • edited August 2014
    Looking back on my recent ratings, I feel like I've been a bit generous lately.  Maybe I've been starved for really great films, but after today, I think I need to start grading on a curve in here...  Because today I saw what is quite possibly the best film I have ever seen, and certainly the only one I've seen this year that truly deserves a perfect rating:
    Boyhood - 10/10
    What Richard Linklater has done here is something that will be remembered as a milestone in film history.  When I first heard about the project back in 2003, I kind of just assumed it wouldn't ever actually be finished.  Surely something would happen that would halt the process, and make it just an interesting idea that someone else would have to try someday.  I never thought that it would end up being one of the most significant films of all time.  But it is.
    Let me assure you, there is no hyperbole intended in this post.  Boyhood is a truly remarkable achievement, and an absolute masterpiece.  It is overwhelmingly beautiful, and watching the progression not only of the characters, but of the skills of the actors and the filmmakers is utterly fascinating.  If you're familiar with Linklater's previous work, there's a lot that will feel familiar here, and you can really see how he's grown as a filmmaker over the years.  There's a huge dose of nostalgia at work as well, that I think is going to be especially poignant to people in my age range (I'm 31) who clearly remember all of the years that the film spans.  And while the nostalgia is there, it isn't central to the film because of how it was produced.  It exists because that's when the scenes were shot, not because it's trying to make you remember the past.
    It's rare for me to cry during movies, especially in a theater with other people, but as soon as the credits ran, I totally broke down.  It was hard for me to breathe.  What I had just witnessed felt transcendental.  It's almost hard to explain why it's so moving.  From a technical standpoint, it's very simple.  There's nothing remarkable about the way it's filmed, other than the fact that it spans so much time.  There is also no plot.  There are no villains or any major events driving the action forward.  The scenes that the film focuses on are completely mundane for the most part.  It's simply showing things that happen to people during their lives: they go to a baseball game, or they go camping, or they get in a fight, or witness someone else having a fight.  They fall in love, and fall out of love.  They get drunk, they go bowling, they go to church.  They grow up.  This is a film that isn't really about anything except capturing the experience of life.
    Stop reading about it and just go see it.  Yes, it's long, and there isn't any action or CGI or things blowing up.  But it is one of the most singularly unique films you will ever experience.  There has never been anything like it, and I don't think there will ever be anything like it again.  Believe the hype.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Guardians of the Galaxy 6/10*
    There's nothing wrong with the movie. It did what Marvel needed it to do--open up the universe, introduce us to a bunch of characters and make us like them, be a fun action ride, etc... It was fine.
    It's nothing special however. It's formulaic, it's derivative, and I think it revels in it's own formula. James Gunn knows exactly which movies he's paying homage to with each sequence, and has fun winking at the audience.VFX were acceptable by 2014 standards, but there were a few sequences that just looked bad. Score was forgettable, but Star-Lord's two mix tapes should provide enough 70's and 80's music for another two soundtracks.
    It was fine, it was fun, I was entertained watching it, but, like the fluff that it was, I won't really remember it in a year.
    Dave Bautista as Drax deserves special notice for his acting. Drax is the most truly sympathetic character in the film.
    Chris Pratt may now be cast in all roles that would normally go to Ryan Reynolds. Pratt's cockiness doesn't make me want to reach through the screen and slap him as I so often wish to do with Reynolds.

    *Since a 1-10 scale means different things to different people, here's what mine means: 1-3 are bad movies. 4-6 are average movies. 7-9 are good movies, and 10 is reserved for something that will blow my mind and soul. 6 for GoTG is high-end average. Well produced, well paced, nothing special.
  • edited August 2014
    Skin Deep - 5/10
    Just a really abstract way to portray alien abduction, human replacement and death. There's no explainations given. You just watch and figure it out as you go.......IF you can figure it out. I might have a handle on about 70% of it, granted, it's the simplest of plots, but the story is vague as to what and why things are happening which leaves it feeling empty somehow. There was more representation and imagery than substance.
    For instance- I think the apartment the girl was luring her victims into was actually another dimension or they walked onto her 'ship' somehow.....like immediate teleportation or a doorway.......?........maybe? Was she taking their souls? Using them for fuel? Using their energy? Who knows? Did the director know? If he did, he didn't bring it across in a way a general audience could understand even after a second viewing.
    There was a point in the movie where I thought if there was an alien invasion it might happen like this regarding the real world stuff. But then the story would wander off somewhere unknown and really freak you out with something very strange.
    I don't know how else to describe it. @-) ;
    Robocop - 4/10
    Not too fond of this remake. I think they went a little overboard with how much- or rather- how little was left of Murphy to the point where it wasn't compelling- just disturbing.
    The effects were pretty good but I couldn't get past the first point above.
    Even Darth Vader was more man than machine compared to this 'over the top' version of Robocop. I was a little disappointed.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 9/10
    Presumably you guys all know I'm a bit of a fan of Marvel movies by now. I've enjoyed all of them, even the freewheeling and entirely structureless Iron Man 2 and the largely irrelevant Thor 2.
    GotG is my favourite Marvel movie so far, for various reasons.
    - It's big, imaginative space opera. THIS SIMPLY DOESN'T HAPPEN ANYMORE. When was the last decent space opera? The Star Wars prequels didn't work. Chronicles of Riddick misfired. Serenity was great but was soured by the poor treatment of Firefly in general and its super downbeat ending. Space opera has basically only existed on television for the last 20 years (Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica etc). Seeing it back in the cinema is a thrill in itself.
    - People saying there's no plot: there's a simple but evident plot. A religious extremist has splintered away from his society and is trying to impose his views on everybody else. Nobody wants to take responsibility for his actions, and it's left to the ragtag Guardians to sort it out. Simple, but works for me.
    - The simple plot works because this is a character-driven movie. Which all good movies are (plot is overrated in the movie medium, IMO). To have a character driven blockbuster on this scale is unusual (also why I look forward to seeing DotPotApes) and rewarding.
    - Humour and style. While Marvel's fingerprints are all over it, this still feels like a James Gunn movie. Iron Man 3, Winter Soldier and GotG all have a very distinctive style, while still fitting into the overall Marvel brand. I'm surprised how often people say that the Marvel movies are all the same, because they're really not. They all fit into the general 'action adventure' genre, so there's inevitably similarities, but they still carve that out in their own sub genres.
    - The world building and character balancing in this movie is a bit of a masterclass for anybody wanting to do big ensemble pieces. Very little feels expositiony. They don't rely on flashbacks to reveal character motivations. Yet you know exactly what drives each of the Guardians, and where they've come from. 
    - It's a pretty tight movie. Those 2 hours are used very efficiently. Michael Bay should be sent away to study GotG before he makes another movie.
    Negative points? Well, as if often the case in Marvel movies the villains are under-developed. Interestingly, this is kind of the opposite to DC movies, where their is an obsession with the villains and the main character gets forgotten (ALL the Batman movies seem to suffer from this, except Batman Begins).
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: 7/10
    It was a lot of fun, and has a load of really great characters.  Chris Pratt was brilliant.  I agree with all of Simon's points, but for some reason they don't really add up to being anything particularly amazing for me.  Still very enjoyable to watch, but even though it's a tight movie, and very compact, I started to feel the length toward the end, which may just be because I was tired.  It's definitely very good, however.
    It's also really good looking.  Gorgeous in fact.  It's what The Green Lantern so desperately wanted to be, in more ways than one.  Bright, colorful, dense scenery, interesting creatures...  It's got a lot going for it.  But I also found that it suffered from the Marvel plague of having uninteresting and uninspired villains.  Oh no!  Another motiveless evil dude who claims to have infinite power, but chooses to use it sparingly!  Seriously, can I get one action movie where the bad guy is just like, "TAKE THIS!" and destroys the entire universe? ;)
    The good guys get some exposition, the bad guys wave their swords, there are some humorous moments, Stan Lee has a cameo (I'm convinced that even when he's dead, he'll appear in these films), there is a huge fight, and another, and another, the cities are demolished, the good guys are commended, and life goes on until a few years later when there's a sequel.  You've seen the formula in every other Marvel movie.  This is a good example of how to make the formula work well, though, and I enjoyed it.  Just not immensely so.
    Also gotta love the totally out-of-nowhere cameo in the post credits scene.  Really going for some deep universe unification with that one.
  • Also gotta love the totally out-of-nowhere cameo in the post credits scene.  Really going for some deep universe unification with that one.

    I actually forgot about the cameo. Had to explain to my girls who that was... they both thought I was joking.

  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff
    edited August 2014
    Planet of the Apes - 9/10
    Everyone here has pretty much covered why this film is amazing, so I'm just going to add my two cents in terms of a vote.
    My brother disliked it because he said it had 'too little action' - which just boggles my mind. Seriously - kids - what do they want from a film?
    My parents stayed awake through the WHOLE THING which is nothing short of a miracle, I assure you. If the eyes are open, it's a really good film.
    Talking of eyes - that's what I enjoyed most about the movie. There's a lot that the actors were able to do with the body language, but the eyes were apparently all CGI (following the cues of the actors, but originally made all the same) and I am just so impressed with that. The amount of emotion expressed in each of the monkeys eyes was amazing (although I did spot one monkey amongst the huge fight scenes which seemed to have robot eyes, like the VFX wasn't quite finished :P)
    RED - 9/10
    Well, this was awesome (from 2010, but I'm slow). Truth be told, I was initially put off of it by my family's description of 'Guns. Bruce Willis. Spies'.
    HOWEVER the reason this film is uniquely funny and interesting is that it kind of takes the mick out of all the other shooting/spies movies.
    And they managed to bag Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren which must have been a bit of a coo. Essentially, the title RED stands for the stamp on their super top secret file - e.g. Retired and Extremely Dangerous. It starts with Bruce Willis - a retired spy and agent, sitting at home alone, finding excuses to talk to a pretty woman at a call centre with whom he's struck up a friendship. He even reads the soppy romance novels she talks about so he's on the same page (unintentional pun).
    Then of course things get heated, someone tries to kill him and he has to go on the run with said call-centre girl who is also in danger because of her relationship with him. Cue Morgan and Helen as other retired spies.
    I really can't explain to you the fun of this film :) Some really great stereotype bashing, making total fun out of the huge spy films while also creating themselves a little niche. I enjoyed this much more than any of the serious Bourne or Bond films - and enjoyed the sub plots going on as well.
    Watch it if you want to be entertained :)
  • edited August 2014
    Amazing Spider-Man 2 -  ?/10
    Another ?/10 rating for this one too. My personal opinion, of course: This movie is terrible. I dont understand what they were going for at all. The thing I kept thinking throughout the movie was: This would make a lot more sense if it was a musical. The villains are cheesy and corny which really clashes with the more serious, real world environment of the film. It really went into Batman & Robin (1997 film) territory, for me. I think spoiler alerts for a 40 year old story aren't necessary but, TDOGS was completely tacked on and didn't really have any emotional impact for me either. Also, the movie is 2:20:00 and roams all over the place, in terms of story-telling. This movie is not better than Raimi's Spider-Man 3. Hearing Electro's inner thoughts performed in song form was worse than Peter Parker dancing in a night club.
    Guardians of the Galaxy - 8/10
    I loved it. Everyone has covered the main points. I love the way it harkens back to 1970s -1980s scifi. I have a feeling that Star Wars 7 will feel similar, which is, I think what everyone wanted out of new Star Wars movies in the first place. 
    Planet of the Apes - 8/10
    Great movie. Finally a case where a re-boot actually exceeds its original films.
  • edited September 2014
    The Final Cut- 9/10  This Robin Williams movie- although a little older now (2004)- kept me mesmerized through the whole show. The story centers around people who get implants at birth that record their whole lives. Robin was brilliant as always even though it's not a comedy in any respect; so I was surprised to see him in a serious sci-fi. I would recommend this for at least one viewing if not more.
    Godzilla- 10/10  Made me feel like a kid again but this Godzilla movie is (as I like to say) all grown up. Even though they kept some of the cheesy props i.e. tanks that didn't look like U.S. tanks even though they were on U.S. soil this time and an air raid siren that sounded like the ones in the old Japan based stories, I was thrilled and chilled through the entire movie from beginning to end. There's one sequence where the military drops Brody and other soldiers from a plane and they end up parachuting into the middle of a battle between the monsters. That sequence alone, I thought, would be worth the price of admission.....it was very well done.
    Some of the scenes looked like updated versions of the old movies, which I understand was intentional, and they pulled it off quite well.
    The music was also some of the most intense I've heard in a while in any film. I couldn't figure out the time signature the first viewing so I'm going to watch it again and see if I can figure out what the time signature of the music is, but it's not always a straight 4/4 time.
    Loved every bit of it!
  • The Station Agent - 9/10
    Fantastic movie. On netflix now. This movie is all Peter Dinklage.
  • The air insertion sequence in Godzilla is one of the most ballsy sequences in the last decade-or-so of filmmaking.
  • edited September 2014

    Simon- "The air insertion sequence in Godzilla is one of the most ballsy sequences in the last decade-or-so of filmmaking. "

    Agreed- and the choral-like dissonance of the music really pushed it over the top. I almost felt like I had to hold on to my seat!

    I figured out the time signature of the main theme- very unusual compared to something like Star Wars which is in strict 4/4 time. The theme in Godzilla switches from three measures of 4/4 to one 3/4 giving it just a slight disorienting effect. I should have been able to pick up on that sooner as I was a music major and I've written stuff with much more difficult time signature changes than this. Sometimes it's the simple things that trip you up.

    The specific part I'm refering to starts around the 1 minute mark.


  • Godzilla's soundtrack is incredible - and the spine-tingling, vomit-inducing roar that he lets rip halfway through the cinema made me feel like I was being pushing into the cinema chair. 

    @Triem - I hadn't noticed that slight measure change, but I agree, it's completely disorienting. Just another example of me being oblivious to a deliberate music effect :P

  • Kirstie- "@Triem - I hadn't noticed that slight measure change,........."

    That was me, actually, Kirstie.   And I agree about the roar. I was watching it for a third time- yeah I know, a little obsessive, and I dozed off as it was a little late for me. I woke up with a start when Godzilla roared. I'm pretty sure they boosted the volume for that or my cat was playing a joke on me and pawed the remote.  ;^)  (awwwe- no wink emoticon!)


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