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  1.  (10477.21)
    Mignola's style suited the film amazingly well when they used it. Didn't realise he was only involved at the concept stage, though.
  2.  (10477.22)
    @ Greasemonkey - There was a script book that had some of Mignola's concept art in it, as well as other artists like John Watkiss, but it's hardly complete. I was visiting a freind over at Disney before the movie came out and saw a lot more concept art that Mignola did that wasn't in the book. The problem with using Mignola as a character designer for animation is that he draws pretty ugly women, so I can understand to a certain extent why they didn't go all of the way with his art style. Mignola did do some character designs for The New Adventures of Batman though. His did the newer Scarecrow design.
  3.  (10477.23)
    Feb is a bit of a dumping ground at the theaters, but I will say that the absolute best film I saw in 2011 and probably years hits DVD in the US on Feb 14th. It's called TAKE SHELTER. It's written and directed by an exciting young director Jeff Nichols and features an affecting and unnerving performance by Michael Shannon.

    Here's the synopsis so you get a feel as to what it's about.

    Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives in a small Ohio town with his loving wife (Jessica Chastain) and hearing-impaired daughter (Tova Stewart). Though money is tight, he and his family are very happy. But then, Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an apocalypse that threatens them all. Rather than confiding in Samantha, he begins building a storm shelter in the backyard, and his strange behavior causes tension in their marriage and the surrounding community.

    I have some expanded thoughts on it here is you wish (I do film review blog and film podcast)

    I left the theater wowed with a big smile on my face. Has anyone seen TAKE SHELTER?
  4.  (10477.24)
    Haven't seen anything new recently, but finally managed to see, The Interrupters. Very hard film to watch, but one I would recommend everyone to see, I just can't praise it enough. It was done by the same guys who did, Hoop Dreams, and it offers no easy answers to the issues explored, but it has helped to restore some of my faith in humanity.
  5.  (10477.25)
    Went to see CHRONICLE and JOURNEY 2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND this week.

    Chronicle is an absolute cracker of a film. It really has no right to be that good.

    Journey 2 is better than the first and survives largely on Dwayne Johnson's charisma. The story is actually about father figures and manages to tell it in between big set pieces very well.
    Based on how much Dwayne carried this film I have high hopes to GI Joe 2 to be an absolute blast later this year.
  6.  (10477.26)
    Over here, our local Independent Film Festival has been bringing an intriguing mix of films from around the world.

    4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH finds Abel Ferrara taking his whack at the arty version of the end of the world. Not as visually stunning as MELANCHOLIA, yet it's not as emotionally dark as Von Trier's film. Instead, it gives you a feeling of how ordinary people would react in the face of inescapable doom.

    THE COLOR WHEEL manages to transcend that most cliched of indie film set-ups, the road trip taken by two dysfunctional characters, by offering hilariously nasty dialogue and some odd situations.

    FINISTERRAE is a surrealist film that will be either this year's version of a cult film or something that will be a chore to sit through despite its relatively brief running time. Briefly, it's about two ghosts who undertake a journey to become mortal, and their encounters with such things as a forest filled with trees with ears.

    KILL LIST will probably annoy those who want their genre thrills delivered upfront and quickly. For the rest of us, it's fascinating seeing hired assassination reduced to the level of a traveling salesman job before taking a really abrupt turn.

    SNOWTOWN turned out to be one of the most horrifying pictures I saw at the festival, especially since it made me wonder what the camera didn't show. It's based on a true crime spree that happened in the titular Australian town, and is focussed on the relationship between two of the men involved in that spree.
  7.  (10477.27)
    @Miranda's Eyes - your list there had me intrigued so [on my brunch break] I've just looked at the trailer for FINISTERRAE and maaan does it look odd:

    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2012
    I couldn't bring myself to go see Snowtown. The acid bath in Breaking Bad was enough for me.

    I caught A Dangerous Method last week (and again I only caught up with reviews afterward). I'm quite surprised it's getting so many "meh"s? The main criticisms are that it's dull, that it's filled with long, drawn out speeches, and that not a lot happens. I don't know. I found it enthralling. Perhaps inevitably given the topic, most of what drew me in was the subtext -- there's a lot of motive and meaning not captured in the speechifying. It's not perfect -- I felt bad for the actress playing Jung's wife, whose role was to sigh a lot and pop out a baby every so often, Keira Knightley's chin was distracting, and what was the point of Vincent Cassel's character? -- but it is very good. It did not feel very Cronenbergian, and I wonder if this is why some reviewers have been nonplussed by it. It's fertile for pseudointellectual post-screen pub talk at least, which is fine by me!
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2012
    Also saw A Dangerous Method last week, I definitely fall on the meh side of the reaction though. It felt more like a bunch of journal entries and letters brought haphazardly to the screen than something that was created with an actual story in mind that would drive the audience through from start to finish.
    Did nothing to budge my opinion on Keira Knightley's understanding of acting and I was disappointed that it used such broad strokes to paint Jung and especially Freud without really trying to hold either of them to account over their more problematic utterances. Where was the film's challenge to the damaging assumptions of these two profoundly important and flawed individuals? Where was the analysis of their work? I guess it was there, but it was so flimsy and abject:
    Ok, so Jung rationalises his self-indulgence with romantic fantasy and Freud needs to dominate everyone? That's it?

    The score and cinematography are pretty delicious and I guess it works as a rough primer for the early history of psychoanalysis, but for me anyway it fails as an engaging human story. The one character that the plot seemed to think we should really have been rooting for was played as a bug-eyed cartoon bedlamite for most of the movie and her eventual development into an independent, self-directing woman mainly happened off-screen.
    I felt bad for the actress playing Jung's wife, whose role was to sigh a lot and pop out a baby every so often

    Ha, yes. The only person in the film who I could feel any real empathy for.
    Sorry if you liked it and you feel like I'm crapping on it. I love most all of Cronenberg's other work because he tells confusing, disturbing, difficult stories that nevertheless have something important to say about the human condition. This just felt empty.
  8.  (10477.30)
    @Osmosis - Snowtown is worth seeing. The cast of real small-town locals is excellent, and the film doesn't deal directly with the torture and the murders most of the time. There's a fingernail-pulling scene that goes for a couple of minutes and that's it.
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2012
    @ city creed - Ha! Don't apologise, it'd be a dull world if we all agreed on everything :)
    Where was the analysis of their work?
    As a character piece, did it need more analysis? I felt it worked better as a study of their opposing views, and how Jung's experience with Sabina influenced his relationship with Freud (although even while in the cinema I thought Freud's character was a bit underdeveloped).
    her eventual development into an independent, self-directing woman mainly happened off-screen.
    That's a great point.

    Don't get me wrong, I didn't think it was perfect - I just don't think it deserves the thumping it's getting in reviews.
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2012 edited
    Really, does this need a reason?

    Miss Piggy's BAFTA 2012 Red Carpet Show
  9.  (10477.33)
    @The Mighty Foamhead - that is amazing.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2012 edited
    Mixed feelings about Chronicle. The found footage conceit didn't work so well, I thought. There weren't very good reasons for the camera being placed just so in a lot of the scenes, which undermines the realistic effect the conceit is supposed to produce. Which is annoying, b/c the film didn't have to do it. It could have kept the style (which is great) without having to explain it, and it would have been fine...

    Otherwise, I liked it a lot! Very knowledgeable about the superhero genre (I swear there's a nod to the death of Gwen Stacy in there).
  10.  (10477.35)
    I fucking hate the found-footage shaky-cam genre.
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2012 edited

    But what about such masterpieces as ---

    and also ---

  11.  (10477.37)
    It's fun. Much more entertaining than the first, which was just dull. Had to see it in 3D because, no 2D option and there are about 8 shots in the whole film that looked 3D, really not worth the extra.
    But I did enjoy the film as a pure b-movie action romp. Cage lets loose with the crazy, Idris Elba is great as a drunk monk and there's some fun stuff going on most of the time.
    So, er, it's fun I guess is what I am saying.
  12.  (10477.38)
    Found-footage shaky-cam is annoying, especially because I suffer from simulation sickness... I couldn't even get through Cloverfield because the ones holding the cameras seemed to be suffering from constant spazzing out even in calm scenes. Guys, if your bedroom scene looks like it's being filmed during an earthquake, you're overdoing the shakycam effect.

    Now, "Chronicle"... That one I could get through just fine, but the reason for cameras being nearby was kinda far-fetched at times. It pulled off the reason for the camerawork at times, but sometimes it takes you out of the movie as much as it pulls you in the other times. That said, I VASTLY prefer that to having to choose between turning it off and barfing.

    The movie itself, I really liked. Hidden spoiler complaint follows:
    The kid didn't have to start changing his voice and roaring like a monster at the end. It would've been far more effective - and maybe scarier - if he'd sounded more like himself.
  13.  (10477.39)
    chronicle may be the closest we get to a live action akira
    was pretty good despite a few flaws
  14.  (10477.40)