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The Movie Thread
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Thy Brilliance



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
Evil Dead (the new one) for the second time. So awesome! Edge of your seat, gore to the max, and it skips the humiliation of the victims that is so common in modern horror. Forget the sex shaming and skip right to the face peeling. Yes, I enjoyed myself.


Was it better than the old one?

Did Bruce Campbell make a cameo?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man of Steel! I'm not spoilering this because I don't consider this to be TOO spoilery. This is my take on the film moreso than the plot or the story itself.

Michael Shannon stole the show for me. I shall always remember this movie as Zod of Steel. It's seriously worth the price of admission just for his performance. Yes, he gnaws the scenery with aplomb and spits the splinters delightfully into your face, leaving you wanting more.
There are certain cliche elements to his character. He seems obviously patterned on the stock character of an ambitious Roman general vying to become the next Caesar. He can easily be dismissed as just another autocratic military coup leader if you don't pay attention.
But a character like that wouldn't get to me the way Shannon's Zod did. The whole time Superman's fighting him at the end, trying to reason with him, I just want to spike his brain with all the ways that won't work because reason doesn't motivate Zod. Morality doesn't motivate Zod. Even the pursuit of happiness doesn't motivate Zod.
He doesn't merely want power as a glorious conqueror. He doesn't want wealth at all. He's not simply a tin-pot dictator, despite appearances to the contrary. He doesn't do what he does because of some desire for un/deserved rewards and personal benefit. He does it because it never even enters his mind that he can be anything other than what he is, doing what he does as long as there's even the tiniest, blackest, bloodiest fragment of hope for preserving Krypton. Only when that is irrevocably taken away does Zod find a new focus, one as petty as can be expected from a man who never entertained the notion of anything other than duty but suddenly finds duty put beyond his grasp. All the civilized trappings that came with his station in life were stripped away with the last chance for his civilization. The real tragedy is that he's exactly what Krypton made him to be, and nothing more. This makes him the ideal foil for Kal-El.
Michael Shannon as Zod is all the reason you need to see this movie.

A few more notes:
Kevin Costner gave a surprisingly stirring performance as Jonathan Kent. It's his expressions and mannerisms that really brought the character to life for me. He's decidedly not trying to recreate Glenn Ford's kindly but generic Old Farmer rendition. He's a younger but less comfortable type of father, driven by an ever-present and sometimes overriding concern for his adopted son, both in terms of how the world would treat his son if they knew the truth and how his son will treat the world regardless. You can tell that this Pa Kent's life as a parent has been anything but easy. This isn't some kind of Leave It To Beaver existence where the worst that can happen is that Clark pulls a super-powered prank.
Of course that kind of performance really wouldn't work if young Clark wasn't having so much trouble getting by with all his physiology getting in the way. From the outside perspective it's clear that he's being treated as "that troubled kid with the broken brain," which adds a new and necessary dimension to the Kent family onscreen. They have problems that many parents of special needs children can relate to immediately. He's the polar opposite of Jeff East's young Clark in the 1978 movie, whose biggest problem is trying not to show off too much. His powers don't make him seem exceptionally gifted and enviable, they make him seem mentally ill and an easy target for the other kids to bully.
This kind of depiction also gives new vitality to the character of Martha Kent. Martha isn't just some spunky old farm lady for the sake of having a spunky old farm lady, she's got all the strength of character it takes to raise a boy like Clark and maintain her utterly tenacious dignity. Or the family's for that matter. A lesser person wouldn't be able to pull off the parenting she obviously does. She has an outlook and determination that's so common among parents of children with disabilities; nobody is going to make her son feel less than human, or stand in his way because he's different. He's going to have every chance he needs to succeed in the end. She's a fighter on that most interpersonal and important of levels, she has the right stuff to take on the world partly despite and partly because of Clark's problems. This Ma Kent is the kind of mom who can turn an amazing challenge into amazing success as she guides, supports, and inspires her son through his debilitating issues until he can finally find his place in the world.
It's my opinion that this tight-knit family dynamic is a genuine achievement for the film, and easily overshadows any criticisms people might have of cinematographic Snyderisms and fight scenes.

I liked the Kryptonian opening, but couldn't help getting uneasy about how eerily similar it felt to Ewan McGregor doing his Obi Wan thing in the Movies That Shall Not Be Named.

<rant>Also, I know why they chose the color schemes and overall design motifs for Krypton. They wanted to show a dead-end culture at the very last gasp of its line, depleted of everything diverse and beautiful in their quest to keep the engines running, with corpse-like armored soldiers waiting in the wings, the only glory left to it embodied in past monuments of dun grey stone and metal. Basically, an open tomb of a world. Fully inhabited ruins that just haven't yet crumbled. But that doesn't change the fact that this approach is so overdone in superhero movies by this point. Everything is over-rendered and intricately detailed, yet dark and desaturated and featureless despite. It's not as bad as in Green Lantern, where apparently the space police conduct all their business in what are effectively space caves on planets that never don't have storms. But taken in aggregate, it's another missed opportunity to escape from the hyper-stylized, over-sculpted, and perpetually under-lit design philosophy that's taken over so many comic book film treatments.
It even extends to the costumes. Everything is glossy and stained in dark shades. You can't have any colors that aren't muted through charcoal dust, or costumes that aren't made of intricately quilted leather and painfully detailed molded plastic. The only exceptions I can think of off-hand are Captain America's costume in The Avengers. I must say that the final battle in both Avengers and Zod of Steel were thankfully set in cities that weren't constructed from black PVC pipe, and done in broad daylight.</rant>
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TIAB



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were a couple of points that really soured my experience of Man of Steel. I'm able to suspend belief regarding Kryptonians breaking the laws of physics because that's just as old as the the source material and well established and essential to the character of Superman. When said laws are broken by a human, particularly one central to the plot, that's the point when my brain takes a pair of scissors to my disbelief suspenders and says, "We're done here."

Quote:
Specifically, how does one fall away from a black hole?

Also, I get that Pa Kent is struggling and imperfect as a parent, that's fine. But the life lessons he gave boil down to essentially, "It's not OK to risk revealing your secret to save a bus full of kids, but it's totally okay to sacrifice your life to save a dog."
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pa Kent was sacrificing himself to preserve Clark's secret. That's the lesson.

As for the black hole, it seemed like all the Kryptonian "gravity" effects only applied to things other than people. Cars and debris started floating up, but people didn't. I assume the same thing happened with the black hole.
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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Impress your date with an arty rom-com Reply with quote

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing is really good. Some of the best Shakespeare on film I've seen, and certainly superior to the Kenneth Branagh version. Good performances from all the leads bring out the humor and emotion in the text, which only seems stilted for the first minute or so before you get into the Shakespearean swing of things. And Nathan Fillion is an impressive Dogberry. It's even got a cool jazzy soundtrack written by Whedon himself. His "Sigh no more" would be a natural in the hands of Norah Jones.

Shot in velvety black and white - so the Technicolor credit at the end was a little humorous.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: Impress your date with an arty rom-com Reply with quote

Usagi Miyamoto wrote:
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing is really good. Some of the best Shakespeare on film I've seen, and certainly superior to the Kenneth Branagh version.



You say that like it didn't have Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves, Brian Blessed and Denzel Washington. Among others.

Oh shit and Michael Keaton!


Why the hell didn't Joss Whedon cast himself as Benedick? He is a brilliant actor!
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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Branagh had a legitimate hit with Henry V, but I can't say the same for any of the Shakespeare movies that he's done since. It's like he wasn't even directing Much Ado About Nothing - all the actors are playing in different movies. Emma Thompson can do no wrong in my book, but here's Branagh at his smarmiest, Keanu at his twitchiest, Denzel at his most serious, and Keaton is busy channeling Beetlejuice. It's all over the map. Whedon's version is all of a piece, and the mood is always as plain as day.

So much fun. Some cameraman got a workout following Benedick's calisthenics. And where the camera lingers when Claudio says "I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope" is worth the price of admission by itself.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to see The Boxtrolls when it comes out next year!

http://youtu.be/MMCSXHEFtx8
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
I have to see The Boxtrolls when it comes out next year!

http://youtu.be/MMCSXHEFtx8

Quote:

This video contains content from Universal Pictures, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that.


WTF? Since when do I live in Germany?
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't know wheels....when _did_ you sneak out? anything you want to tell us now, before it hits the news?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there is one thing I have to confess. Might as well do it here.

mouse, I've always loved you...r avatar.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that DOMA is struck down, it's only a matter of time before I marry it.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well....that kind of explains its expression......
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Martian Kyo



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't explain why, but I actually enjoyed man of steel.

The fight scenes were over the top, and fun.

The rest of the movie was ok, really good casting.
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Arc Tempest



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pacific Rim. Iz good. Want soundtrack.
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