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Thread: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

  1. #61
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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    When I was a kid I saw "The Omega Man" on a Saturday afternoon movie and it scared the shit out of me. It's remained one of my "guilty favorites" since then.

    When "I Am Legend" was released I wanted to see it but expected it to be one of two things - a terrific turn of the novel or a real piece of shit. It's neither. It's okay. It's no great shakes. The best part of the movie was seeing NYC vacant - mostly CGI but really well done.

    Caught "3:10 to Yuma" yesterday. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I really liked it. Lots of sssslllllooooowwwww parts, but a lot more intelligent than most westerns (except for the fact that Russell Crowe gets on the train at the end. A true "yeah, sure" moment).

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Did you notice that Crowe whistles to his horse as the train pulls away and it dutifully follows? Getting on doesn't mean he was going to stay on. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Hey Pete - yes, I saw that. Further suspension of disbelief - the horse heard his little wet-whistle tweeter over a steam-powered locomotive. Ummm-hmmmm. Yet inside the train car he was handuffed and in a cage (and if the previous 2 hours proved anything, it was that he can't pick a lock).

    I just didn't like that they took what was a very enjoyable 2 hours and crapped up the last few minutes with that kind of BS.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I think it's funny that the marketing geniuses can't figure out why nobody is going to see WALK HARD. It's a movie with no audience. Anybody who cared about Johnny Cash is too old for a Judd Apatow comedy. Judd Apatow's audience thinks Kurt Cobain is "rock history"; they couldn't give a damn about Cash and his progeny. People might plump for a new Will Ferrell movie, but who will go out of his way to see poor old rubber-faced second-banana John C. Reilly?

    And the trailers were totally unfunny to boot. It's a wonder anybody went.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I know it's a silly (perhaps lunatic) idea, but I still think that godawful poster for WALK HARD killed the movie. I think it's the worst I've ever seen, and includes foreign genre films.

    I know, I know, I "don't get it." So what? You want advertising that will intrigue a potential audience, not repel them. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Apparently, you were right. The movie is a box office dud.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Just to amplify, guys like me old enough to get all the music history jokes in a movie like WH probably already own parodies like THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH and THIS IS SPINAL TAP, which nailed them perfectly 20 years or more ago. Why would we brave the inconvenience, noise and expense of the cineplex to see unfunny versions of jokes we already laughed at?

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I could never figure out why WALK HARD was getting so much press. It seemed like every time I turned the TV on, there was either a commercial for it or some kind of interview-type show with the stars. They can't blame their failures on lack of publicity.

    And I agree that the WALK HARD poster is garbage. Is that supposed to be a parody of a famous Johnny Cash photo? My girlfriend and I saw it in the theater, and she thought it was supposed to be Jim Morrison. I thought it also looked like Shane MacGowan's cover of "The Snake." Whatever they were trying to do, I missed it.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    If it sucks as much as it sounds like it sucks, the reason they are pounding it so hard in ads is to maximize the revenue before word of mouth kills it. That way they can suck in as many people as possible before everyone has heard that it sucks and minimize the losses.

    The studio did that beautifully with "Bolero" in 1984. Test audiences showed the studio that it was one of the most awful movies ever made, so they promoted the living hell out of it (come see the "virginal" Bo Derek frolic naked in the desert) before it hit the theatres. When it landed it did monster business the first week, decent business the second week, then dropped off the planet. But the studio made it's money back and though they didn't profit, didn't eat it.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Hey, I saw BOLERO when it came out! It was a classic Golden Turkey and its cheesetastic ending is one of the all-time great visual punchlines in cinema.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    SHOOT 'EM UP (2007) --

    A real mess. Not terrible as a mindless time-waster, buuutttt

    SPOILERS to follow:



















    While I admire the writer/director for having the gumption to come up with his idea and actually, physically animate the most compelling fifteen minutes or so of it to pitch to the studios, there is such a blatant hypocrisy integral to the plot that watching it is like trying to digest a vegetarian steak explicitly composed of beef. An "anti-gun" movie that virtually creams over its own violence? When the (British) hero almost supernaturally slaughters thirty people -- with fucking guns -- and then turns to a captive bad guy to deliver a jaunty, "What do you think of your Second Amendment now?", is the audience really supposed to respond with a thoughtful, "Ah, now I see the inherent antipathy of gun violence to the sacred human soul."? The actual reaction is and always will be, "Shoot some more of them! Shoot some more!" And if the protag had used other means of dispatching his enemies, would they have been any less dead?

    Pick a side next time.

    Also, I didn't like the presence of a newborn in the midst of all of the mayhem. I just don't care for "entertainment" that uses threats of violence (or violence itself) against children as a plot device. Laugh at the relative diminuativeness of my gonads, if you must, but that's just the way these things affect me.

    The flick had its moments, but overall it's not difficult to understand why it sank at the B.O. like a lead sailboat. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I just rented the latest Werner Herzog film--Rescue Dawn--and it's a good one. The best thing about it though are the dvd specials and what Herzog had those actors doing.

    Another good one I got is "champion".It's a biography on Danny Trejo and that guy must make 6 films a year & is a rags to riches type story.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I passed on alien vs predater, heard everyone hated it. Saw I am Legend instead. I enjoyed it, except they had about 3 scenes where something jumps out and scares the crap out of you. totally unnecessary.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    DOOMSDAY . . . .

    Wow . . . can a fairly big budget film accidentally turn out this bad?

    I mean, Neil Marshall (writer/director) is supposed to be a young gun on the rise, right? I saw DOG SOLDIERS and THE DESCENT and found them to be, well, okay, but nothing special, though my opinion of his previous work has been in the distinct minority. So how could an allegedly talented guy come up with a steaming cow pie like this? ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK crossed with MAD MAX/THE ROAD WARRIOR and then wrung dry of any residual intelligence. Bad acting, ludicrous plotting, mouth-dropping audacity (in a bad way) that the old standby of deus ex-machina can't even begin to justify (I won't tell you where the warrior babe gets her brand new shiny car and functioning cell phone -- you have to see for yourself), just a complete, mind-numbing mess that might have come from a Wonder Woman-loving fanboy who literally ate a dozen genre movies, partially digested them, and then threw up in front of an operating camera.

    I try to stay away from the "worst film ever!"-style pronouncements, but, brothers and sisters, Uwe Boll now has real competition in the most inept filmmaker sweepstakes.

    Wow.

    PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Sweeny Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet St. - Most brutal musical ever. I liked it and I don't normally dig musicals.

    Rambo IV - Is there a more violent film than this? This is the violence porn as Hostel is to the torture porn genre.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    No Country for Old Men...

    A pretty good thriller but by no means a great film. Slow, bordering on boring at times. Just because it has an ambiguous ending does not make it deep. In fact the only clever thing about endings like this is the writer, who cannot come up with anything decent and has the audience too afraid of being labled 'philistines' to say what they really think, which is... 'What the fuck?!?
    Last edited by gazot; 03-17-2008 at 04:51 AM.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    What did you find so ambiguous about the ending Gazot? I thought it was almost tied up with a ribbon, it was so neat and tidy. I thought this was the best movie I've seen in almost 10 years.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Well maybe it didn't need an ending and so it didn't really get one. 'Tied with a ribbon'? c'mon the ending was left open for interpretation. Were you expecting the end when it came being as it was so pefect a finish? An average film for me but much like my opinion on Monzon I'm probably wrong 'cause everyone else thinks it's so great...

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    SPOILERS - don't read on if you don't want to know how it ends....

    I just re-watched it on the weekend - everything except the Tommy Lee Jones character was pretty much all wrapped up. Lewellen and his wife are dead, and Anton has the money and is able to make a getaway from the car accident. Just about everyone else is dead. I just don't see any ambiguity.

    Jones's speech about his dreams seem to me to be about how close he came to getting killed when he went back to the hotel room, even though he doesn't know it. Seems like on some unconscious level he DOES know. But other than the fact that he didn't get his man and failed to save Lewellen, he is pretty much tied up as well - retired and won't ever come in contact with Anton again.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    'Jones's speech about his dreams seem to me to be about how close he came to getting killed when he went back to the hotel room, even though he doesn't know it. Seems like on some unconscious level he DOES know. But other than the fact that he didn't get his man and failed to save Lewellen, he is pretty much tied up as well - retired and won't ever come in contact with Anton again.'

    Like I say it was open to interpretation. Look it wasn't a terrible film but I just can't understand all the plaudits it's getting. And after watching it once I really can't imagine sitting through such a slow paced flick again so I guess I missed out on this one..

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I just read a cute review of DOOMSDAY from a gal who was one of nine in the opening night audience at her local theater. When an on-going storm knocked out the power about mid-ways, the manager assured everyone that the movie would be resumed and shown in its entirety a.s.a.p.

    Several patrons simply snorted in derision, while one seemed to sum up the prevailing attitude by asking, "Can't we just get a ticket for another movie?"

    In brevity there is wit . . . and truth. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    A bit of a pleasant surprise.

    I'd heard nothing but bad about Nicolas Cage's recent sci-fi flick NEXT, and knowing him to be on a monumental run of stinkers (THE WICKER MAN, anyone?), I really didn't expect much from it. But I was fairly tuckered after a long couple of days on the road and expected to drift off into DSS ("Deep Snoring Space") when I veged out in front of the tube earlier this evening.

    This story of a psychic who can see only two minutes into the future wasn't sucky at all. It was kind of fun -- I rated it a "7" on the IMDb, pretty high for me --, it had Jessica Biel being Jessica Biel, and for once I enjoyed the hoary old conceit of the end.

    I also found out why a short story attempt of mine from several years back about a guy who could see half an hour into the future and affect the coming events was returned to me with the notation that "Philip K. Dick did it better." Dick wrote the story that this was based on ("The Golden Man") years ago.

    Oh well. Maybe next time. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I really like Clive Owen, so got Shoot 'Em Up from the library, but it was SO BAD that I literally turned it off after two minutes. I'm the type of guy who will sit through most movies, but this was the fastest I've ever turned one off, which is a rare event. So obviously stupid I just couldn't continue.

    I like remakes of movies when the remakes are destined to be better, when someone says of the original, 'Hey, that movie could have been good if I had my hands on it.' Improve something. But I don't understand remaking something that was perfectly good in the first place. I did like the Cape Fear remake though.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Ditto. I thought Shoot Em Up was bad to the point of being completely insulting. I was even more surprised to see Giamatti put his name on such a steaming pile of crap. I watched the entire movie in FF after a few minutes just to see if it redeemed itself just a little bit but it never did as my gut told me from the opening scene. The credibility of both actors were shaken right in the toilet for me after this. I have a real wide sense of humor & I'm really not too hard to entertain but jesus christ I hated that fucking movie. I was just about willing to buy it just so I could personally stomp on it in the street right in front of blockbuster.

    I was going to check out NEXT also but as you mentioned, Cage has not done a single thing lately that does not induce sleep upon the opening credits. Thanks for the heads up. Looking at Biel doesn't hurt any either. Her ass in Chuck & Larry was particularily memorable.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Jessica does some memorable work in NEXT, especially in the towel scene.

    Though it has a nice budget, NEXT seems at heart to be a little B movie. We're given helicopters, shootouts, a wicked -- if short -- car chase, and FBI agents and terrorists up the Wazzoo, but its primary focus is on this somewhat weather-beaten, ordinary-acting Las Vegas guy who lives by using his ability to see two minutes into the future as long as the acitivities will affect him (which slot will pay off next, what hand the blackjack dealer will deliver, like that). The middle stretch isn't even very fast-paced, but I dug it enough to be entertained.

    WARNING, however, and a big one. There's a major dichotomy among those who've seen the movie regarding the ending, and those who didn't like it felt really, really pissed. It worked for me.

    As to SHOOT 'EM UP, I reviewed it a bit earlier on this thread, and I fully agree with the last two sumations of the flick. I sometimes can let my few remaining brain cells go off-line and have fun with a complete goof of an action film like TRANSPORTER II, but SHOOT 'EM UP never allowed me this freedom. As I said before, it was so damned intent on pushing its political agenda in the viewer's face -- while reveling in the exact excesses it was condemning like Scrooge McDuck cavorting in his vault -- that my suspension of disbelief couldn't levitate me above the towering pile of bullshit.

    I like the fact that the writer/director had enough faith in his idea to go to the extreme of actually shooting an animated short featuring the most dramatic of its stunts, but I think maybe outside (studio? financiers?) pressures bulldozed the fun aside and turned the product into another "We're way smarter than all of you bozos out there in the seats watching us" diatribe. I also never care for the tactic of putting children in mortal danger for cheap thrills. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Actually, NEXT was not bad. Pretty decent actually. Not 4 stars, but a solid 3 or 3.5. Entertaining, moves well. Not great, but solid. Not going around raving about it or anything, but wouldn't pan it either. Worth a watch.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Guys, I think I'm losing my edge. Added to my thoughts about NEXT, this will mark my second positive movie review in a row.

    CLOVERFIELD.

    I missed this Godzilla-like monster flick in the theaters (I really wanted to see it on the big screen, but things happen, the way things always happen), and since then I've read mostly negative assessments of it. But catching the new DVD release was a pleasant surprise.

    Yes, it is shot as if all of the events of the film are being seen through a videocamera lens (just like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), and yes, this does lead to an excess of jerkiness that might induce sea sickness in the susceptible. However, this technical conceit is effective in ramping up the sense of reality and immediacy. The first seventeen/eighteen minutes are typical home movie stuff focusing on a going-away party for the central character (he's taking a job in Japan -- get it?), but at that point the plot kicks into high gear and hardly slows down. The viewer actually gains a perspective of what it might be like to be swallowed up (no pun intended) in the utter chaos engendered by a living creature the size of a high-rise abruptly appearing in the heart of a modern American city. There's gore galore, mass confusion (it looks like a cast of thousands), the sudden deaths of apparently central characters, the claustrophic impact of being trapped underground in the dark with pit bull-sized "parasites" doing their damnedest to eat you, and a nihilistic ending that will chill the heart of the most jaded "gothie."

    Surprisingly, there's also some subtle but punchy humor included, and not only in the first portion (when "Hud," the guy who does most of the taping, tries in his "cute loser" way to hit on a party guest he fancies). Even at the height of the slaughter, little lines here and there manage to tickle a bit. I can see why many folks who like to have every question answered unequivocally were ticked off, but I'd give the effort a solid "8" out of "10."

    Two good reviews in sequence. Frightening, isn't it? PeteLeo.

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    I caught Cloverfield last night. 85 minutes of my life I could have spent bashing myself in the head with a bag of potatoes, and enjoyed it every bit as much.

    Charlie Wilson's War tonight. High hopes.

  29. #89
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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by gazot
    'Jones's speech about his dreams seem to me to be about how close he came to getting killed when he went back to the hotel room, even though he doesn't know it. Seems like on some unconscious level he DOES know. But other than the fact that he didn't get his man and failed to save Lewellen, he is pretty much tied up as well - retired and won't ever come in contact with Anton again.'

    Like I say it was open to interpretation. Look it wasn't a terrible film but I just can't understand all the plaudits it's getting. And after watching it once I really can't imagine sitting through such a slow paced flick again so I guess I missed out on this one..
    i just saw this movie-- it was terrible- the ending was if "no more film for crummy movie".

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    Re: Incisive, Scintillating, Intellectual, "Lightning" Reviews of New Movies

    Haven't seen it, but the ads for Charlie Wilson's War did not offer one solitary thing to make me want to see it...it looked incredibly glib.

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