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    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2013 edited
    Ooh, gotcha. I thought you were complaining that it didn't really fit with the rest of the story, tacked on or something like that. But yeah, it did pop out a bit and I was thinking "yeah, nice, enough with this crackpot for now, show me the virus" once or twice :) So yep.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2013
    Hopefully, I will get to see Pacific Rim a bit later today.

    I just watched Only God Forgives, and I enjoyed it. It's my sort-of nightmare viewing: strange-and-brutal.
  1.  (11114.3)
    Hoping to squeeze in time for TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM or FRUITVALE STATION. Both films have gotten highly praised for various reasons, and FRUITVALE has been cited in connection with the Trayvon Martin killing.

    Still hoping to see PACIFIC RIM in the theater.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2013
    William Gibson is fanboy-enthusing about PACIFIC RIM on Twitter. It is disconcerting but also kind of cute.
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2013 edited
    Just got around to watching TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, and I have to admit it's one of the better ones.

    It's wonderful to watch a depressingly dry and grey spy story that's so understated that whenever anyone so much as raises their voice or shoots a signifigant glance they run the risk of coming across as hammy. Never crossed that line, though. Not with that cast.

    And the Cold War Era zeitgeist was also a joy to watch. "I had to pick a side[...]. It was an aesthetic choice as much as a moral one. The West has grown so very ugly, don't you think?"

    A total gem.
  2.  (11114.6)
    "Now You See Me" finally came out in Norway, and I watched it after having it heartily recommended by friends in the US. It is a really fun flick, and very much worth watching... A nicely paced playing-cat-and-mouse-with-the-police kinda flick, with some crazy-talented magicians as the basis.

    Some suspension of disbelief is required - you really have to believe in the power of hypnosis, for instance - but it's a really fun ride. There's a one bit that feels a little bit like a total ass-pull until you start to think about it. And then it still feels a little ass-pully. Spoilers follow in the hidden bits:

    So at the beginning, I was thinking that this might be the kinda movie where the twist is that one or both of the investigators on the case are actually working WITH the quartet of crime magicians. Turns out that the main character on the police side, the main investigator played by Mark Ruffalo, is actually the guy who's been orchestrating the whole thing. And he's been working on the inside of the police, keeping them enough on the trail that the magicians really get tested, but not ever letting them get caught.

    Now, there are a few things in his behavior that make sense in retrospect. He's actively ignorant about magic tricks in his investigation, for instance, falling right into the magicians' traps and seeming to lack the genre-savviness to even suspect that there's something fishy when one of the magicians seemingly dies in a car chase. He's a little too much of a Dumb Cop to have captured so many criminals during his career, it looks like... A lot of the real breakthroughs come from his interpol assistant, who was forced upon him early, and who turns out to have a real interest in the history of magic tricks. So he's there as part of the show, to add to the spectacle and pull strings in the background.

    However, this is the kind of movie that throws the suspicion onto so many people that in the end you're just sitting there with a roster of candidates and waiting for them to reveal who it is. But the viewer never gets the chance to work it out. It's not the Sixth Sense reveal where suddenly the way everyone is acting towards Bruce Willis makes sense. It's the "okay, that's out of the way now, let's see the ending" reveal.

    In a way, though, it IS thematically appropriate. It's a movie about magic tricks, where all the showy stuff is there to distract you from what the trick actually is. Which is sorta exactly what the movie does. And it does throw out enough possibilities and ideas that you're left with a myriad of potential outcomes, especially with the whole hypnosis angle thrown in.
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2013

    I really must watch that again actually, haven't seen it since the cinema but I still have a strong sense of it.
  3.  (11114.8)
    @taphead: Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy was a real gem. I had just read The Spy who came in from the cold before watching that, and wow.
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2013
    Saw Pacific Rim this evening. The first half an hour or so had me pretty worried, and it certainly has some flaws, but once it gets going it's a whole lot of fun. Worth seeing at a cinema, I suspect.
  4.  (11114.10)
    I saw World War Z today. While it had almost nothing to do with the book, if you ignore that irksome fact, it's actually a really entertaining zombie action movie.
  5.  (11114.11)
    We watched The Secret of Kells yesterday and what a splendid animation! One thing popped into my mind right away - is it just me or did the visual storytelling borrow from games quite a lot? I mean, the opening sequence was 1:1 platformer gaming, and there's something later in the animation that brings to mind something that could be an indie reaction/puzzle game...
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2013
    That having been said: Thank FUCK they went the way they did in the final moments and didn't do... that. You know what.

    I was mouthing the same silent prayer when I saw it, Magnus, and was SO glad they didn't cave in.
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2013
    @ rough night

    My general response to the people criticizing WWZ for not being like the book is "That's true, but if it'd been like the book it would've been 87 hours long and wouldn't have gotten to the theaters because there's no market for an 87 hour long anthology movie about a worldwide zombie war."
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2013 edited
    @ johnjones

    True, but an innovative screenwriter/director combo might have at least tried. Vaguely quoting a dozen pages of dialogue from the book hardly counts as an adaptation. As it stands, WWZ will go down as the movie so bad that it drove my wife into labor.


    'Secret of Kells' is a marvelous film - I'm eagerly awaiting the director's second movie, 'Song of the Sea', which is currently inching through post production. Kells is one of my antidotes to too many CGI cartoon movies.

    Song of the Sea conceptual teaser
  6.  (11114.15)
    Sounds like WWZ is about as much an adaptation of the book as taking LotR and doing an action thriller of a single elf warrior trying to unite his family during an orc onslaught, and calling it Lord of the Rings... Many an "unfilmable" book has been adapted to the screen with much more intact than just the name.
  7.  (11114.16)
    COMPUTER CHESS is director Andrew Bujalski's version of a feature-length film shot on video. It's an early 1980s set ensemble comedy about a group of computer enthusiasts who've descended on a semi-seedy hotel to test their computer programs in a chess competition. But the film is less about who will win the competition but about the mishaps that descend on the players. These mishaps include non-existent room reservations, forced sharing of space with a couple therapies group, and the presence of wandering fluffy stray cats.

    If you can handle watching a film deliberately shot in black and white analog video, with all its occasional shakes or whatnot, you might enjoy the film.

    COMPUTER CHESS official website.
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2013
    @ manglr

    You have the viewpoint character, played by Brad Pitt, go all over the world and encountering various situations involving the zombie plague. That's pretty much what the interviewer from the book was doing except he was doing it during the aftermath. I think if you tried to do various bits from the book, you'd just get a confusing mess. I tend to look at the movie as a kind of prequel to the book in which we get to see what the interviewer was doing during the war.


    No, WWZ is a movie quite like LoTR in that it focuses on a set of characters who get separated from each and examines the world through their various experiences. Pitt see the world on the "front lines" of the war, while his family deals with life behind the lines. Do you think the film version of Lord of the Rings would have been better if they'd shown a few minutes each from Orc #2 at the Battle of Gondar, Rohirum 6 from Helm's Deep, Elfguard 7 in Elrond's court and the like?
  8.  (11114.18)
    i would love to watch a day in the life of a LoTR's Orc
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2013
    @ Miranda's Eyes

    That sounds great! - It'll probably be next year before it's released on this side of the Atlantic
  9.  (11114.20)
    I would really love to see both the 87 hour long WWZ tv show (preferably BBC, not HBO) and a LotR orc's-view spinoff movie.