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  1.  (11239.1)
    Come on in and chat about movies. Whether you want to talk about the films that rocked your 2013, your anticipation for the new Wes Anderson, or what you think about the VERONICA MARS movie, this is the place.
  2.  (11239.2)
    So on one channel "Up" was running. Even though I've seen it several times and I was only halfway watching, I STILL got tears in my eyes at the opening. Jesus, Pixar.

    And then I flipped over to another channel since I'd, well, seen "Up" several times. And there was ANOTHER Disney movie, but I hadn't actually seen this one in years and years. "The Little Mermaid". Observations now!

    1) For those complaining about Ariel and Prince Eric being dumb, there's one thing I've realized as a 30-year-old: They're teens! And teens can be dumb. "Decide to get married in three days" dumb. "Met this girl on the beach and she's mute and hot and I wanna marry her" dumb. "Sign your soul away to a clearly-evil (but kinda hot, don't judge me) witch lady because you're twitterpated and your dad's a dumb jerk" dumb. And here's the thing: TEENS CAN BE THAT DUMB. So I can swallow that.
    2) The stuff happening in a coastside kitchen is freaking Hannibal-level horror to sea-critters. Crab-guy Sebastian watches the chef tear the guts out of a fish and toss it into a pan, and then the chef tries to kill the crab. You've gotta wonder what happens in the wake of Ariel's ascendance into crownprincesshood. I mean, we see that all the sea life is sentient, and it turns out that the birds and all the OTHER animals are too, so... Do we have a "Circle of Life" style philosophy going on, or do we punish eating meat the same way we'd punish murdering humans from now on?
    3) Disney deaths were BADASS in the 90s. Ursula's minions get blown a part, and she's cradling fish chunks. Then she gets impaled by a ship. And we SEE her getting impaled by the ship. And I thought the schaefers-on-tracks electrocution in "Oliver" was harsh.
  3.  (11239.3)
    ^^ This gives me the goodlies. 1) agreed, totally. 2) The world of The Little Mermaid is a terrible place where even the flora are sentient - they don't actually eat, they just cut things up for fun. 3) yes, baaaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaasssss.

    Saw Don Jon today - no classic but a fine, short, funny film that makes a good case against the continual barrage of sexual imagery on the mind.
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2014 edited
    Just watched yet another pretty damn good small budget scifi film, Extracted. Well worth watching. Once again indie scifi delivered interesting concepts, great characterizations and nicely nuanced storytelling.

  4.  (11239.5)
    I finally got around to seeing Gravity (it was still on at the IMAX). I'm not really clear why there was so much fuss about it, sure, the zero-G action sequences had some nice momentum tricks in them, but that's all they were: action sequences. The film was essentially about a woman who regularly talks to no one about how she has a dead kid (to a surging emotional orchestral score) and occasionally has things explode at her. It could have been set anywhere else, her emotional backstory could have been anything else, because they had nothing to contribute to one another.
    Am I missing something wonderful about this thing? Do I just lack a soul?
    Could it not have been a film about Clooney just letting her die? He seemed like he'd have been a much more interesting character.
  5.  (11239.6)
    @ Ben Klumaster - Gravity is definitely not an actor's movie. It's a really well directed movie and I enjoyed it enough, but the script is weak and the Bullock doesn't really add anything to it. The parts that where you are supposed to feel something for her just fell flat and there is some cringe worthy dialog that doesn't help. I wish they could've gotten somebody like Juliann Moore in the lead, I think she could've even taken cheesy dialog like: "no one taught me how to pray" and made it work.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2014
    I saw Her on Saturday.

    On one level, it is a Man Finds Love story in a nicely realized near future. It might go on a touch long.

    But, as conveyed by just a few casually delivered lines, stuff is happening which is of immense import and wonder. In retrospect, you realize that . . .

    . . . something like the Singularity has just happened, only the A.I.s have left humanity utterly behind.
  6.  (11239.8)
    After everyone one of my close friends telling me I just have to see it, I saw Frances Ha last night.

    ...I disliked it.
    I wanted to like it but...nope, just couldn't like the main character.
    It has moments of interest and examines the core friendship well but other than that, na - even the eponymous hero is pretty spoiled and even with the inevitable learning curve that comes through...meh, wasn't interested by that point.

    Am I being a grump?

    Is it deserved?
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited

    Jesus, but what a glorious piece of filmmaking that was. I went into it with just an inkling of what it's about, and that turned out to be very rewarding, since there's a lot to figure out, and the movie never once holds your hand through the actual "plot", such as it is.

    In comparison with Primer, this one is deeply romantic (although not necessarily how you'd expect it to be) and also stunningly beautiful. It's incredibly refreshing to see not just the imagery but the editing/juxtapositions being used to tell the story, just like a proper movie, you know?

    There's Philip K. Dick, Terence Malick and Charlie Kaufman in that there DNA, and that's not a bad mix at all.

    ETA: I think this is the film I've wished Darren Aronofsky had in him, but honestly I probably prefer it in Shanne Carruth.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited
    i saw two movies recently...

    the first was FILTH, with James McAvoy and based on the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name.

    What did I think of it? well you can read my thoughts on it right HERE.

    I also saw BORGMAN last weekend. A very sinister, weird little film with heavy supernatural overtones. A tale of the infiltration/invasion of a Dutch upper/middle class family by a group of people who live underground. Commenting on materialism, racism, elitism, religion, greed, family, trust, and male competition, it's the latest in a decent canon of euro films that take delight in physically and mentally torturing the Euro Bourgeois class, while tearing down their social pilars (see also - Michael Haneke and Dominik Moll)

    the director of this film also did a great little film called GRIMM. Definitely worth seeing
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2014
    I watched Nebraska this afternoon. It was great. Glorious, lucid B&W cinematography, great performances, and a story that is leisurely but involving.

    There is a tiny bit of feel-good at the end, but it is earned feel-good.
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2014
    I went to see American Hustle - which I enjoyed, but parts of it were messy.

    But the film is about artifice so it's hard to tell if the messy bits were supposed to be insincere/all over the place because the characters are insincere and all over the place or if movie was just badly put together but is getting away with it because it's a movie about artifice.
  7.  (11239.13)
    @ TF - it's defnitely about artifice and I agree it makes it tricky to judge but I think it's also about 'the con' as a form and tries to accomplish that in its own sense as well - by that I mean that I think it plants these themes of artifice and America and betraying-good-people-just-to-survive [the mayor character, not the FBI guy] and doesn't let you stop thinking about them for days afterward so as to make you associate them with the nature of American life. Whether or not that nature rings true to contemporary America isn't for me to answer [but one of our Whitechappellin-USA-cousins] but I like that it gets you thinking like that about America's history and political history. For me, it says more about the workings of the system
    [the FBI guy's boss being 'hungry', said FBI guy being deluded and coked up and a dick, etc]
    than it does its characters who are all just trying to get by the best way they know how.
  8.  (11239.14)
    The UK doesn't get HER until mid-February...
  9.  (11239.15)
    Finally caught a couple of highly praised films.

    A TOUCH OF SIN (Yes, the reference to the classic A TOUCH OF ZEN is deliberate) is a film from Mainland China that offers four vignettes about the morally corrupting influence of capitalism in that country. From the corruption of selling former state industries to the corruption of entitlement to rape women, the film captured how capitalism' ills have pushed people to violence against others or even against self. In a way, this is a moody downbeat film whose charms are best appreciated in a theater where the insulation is sufficient to prevent sound leakage from the noisy karaoke night happening next door. I can now speak of this problem from experience.

    THE SQUARE referred to in Jehane Noujaim's new documentary happens to be Tahrir Square. This incredible film follows half a dozen people involved in the protests to create a street-level view of the successes and political reverses that occurred in the wake of Mubarak's departure. Among the more interesting characters are an Egyptian actor who returns to Egypt to be the English voice for the revolutionaries and a Muslim Brotherhood member caught between party loyalty and sympathy for the revolutionary cause. If you're not in a city where the film is theatrically screening, you can still watch it via Netflix.
  10.  (11239.16)
    New "Maleficent" trailer.

    Nnnngh. Please let that army fight be a FAILED attempt at getting to her early in the movie and not the inevitable blockbuster-trope climax of the movie. This is looking like more of a personally focused movie, outside of that obligatory army battle.
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2014 edited
  11.  (11239.18)
    @twentythoughts: based on the story synopsis, I think that epic fantasy battle sequence actually takes place before Aurora is even born.
  12.  (11239.19)
    Jesus. World's fastest douche.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2014
    Quicksilver quite often is a bit of a douche in the comics, so that's not far wrong.