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Old 08-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #13491 (permalink)
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Woody Allen is one of my favorite writers in film. I love his classics such as Annie Hall, Bananas, Sleepers, Manhatten, and Deconstructing Harry. I started to notice a theme however. The films I really love from Allen are the ones he stars in himself. There are now two exceptions, Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. Usually Allen swings and misses with his dramas that he doesn’t put himself in as a character, he’s that funny. This film however exceeded my expectations tremendously and it weighed heavily on the acting. Cate Blanchet gives the performance of the year, of the last couple years for an actress, and the role of her career in this film. She’s in every single scene. She steals every single scene. How is that even possible? I don’t know. Allen wrote a pretty good film about a woman (Blanchet) trying to find herself after she finds out her husband has been scamming people his entire career to make his millions. She goes from throwing parties on Park Ave to working as a receptionist. She’s also bat**** insane and this is where Blanchet really shines. Allen uses a split narrative, going from the past to the present and Blanchet excels in every facet of this fictitious life. She’s mesmerizing. Secondary characters were great too as Bobby Canavale and Sally Hawkins have great performances as well but Blanchet was just so good. It’s worth your eleven dollars.

4/5
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #13492 (permalink)
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Had a little Cronenberg double feature this weekend...



eXistenZ (1999)
Gross, weird and thought provoking in ways that only Cronenberg can pull off. It's aged amazingly well considering that it's a 14 year old movie about video games and I thought the performances were pretty great across the board.




A History of Violence (2005)
I wasn't sure what to expect since this seemed like such a different kind of movie for Cronenberg, but I thought it was great. It somehow manages to be both subtle and in-your-face and is unsettling throughout.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:25 PM   #13493 (permalink)
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You're Next

It had an interesting concept and could have been better but good grief was it missing a few things. It's hard to say what exactly it was missing but all the pieces weren't there. I liked the comedy bits that it did have but it was just a slaughterfest. Go into this movie knowing that there is going to be loads of deaths and lots of gore.



The World's End

Oh man this movie hit the spot. It was just what I needed after seeing You're Next the day before. It's also a perfect end to the Trilogy. I don't even know if they are technically calling it a trilogy but there are plenty of little easter eggs to look for from the other two movies. I laughed each time I noticed one of them.



The Broken

Don't ask. I still have no idea what I just watched. I just finished it not too long ago and I will go check out the wikipedia page to figure out the ending and what really went on.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #13494 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
Had a little Cronenberg double feature this weekend...



eXistenZ (1999)
Gross, weird and thought provoking in ways that only Cronenberg can pull off. It's aged amazingly well considering that it's a 14 year old movie about video games and I thought the performances were pretty great across the board.




A History of Violence (2005)
I wasn't sure what to expect since this seemed like such a different kind of movie for Cronenberg, but I thought it was great. It somehow manages to be both subtle and in-your-face and is unsettling throughout.
I haven't seen existenZ but it's on Netflix so I may catch it sometime but I was very disappointed with A History Of Violence, once you put the pieces together (fairly easily IMO) it just turned into a generic thriller for me.

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I should really like this. It doesn't resort to action cliches, the cinematography was really well done, as was the use of colours but it really lacked tension for me and it was too similar to The Raid in terms of working your way through an apartment block to apprehend the real villains. I will give it another watch though as it certainly wasn't what I was expecting which is always a good thing.


More tower blocks! A very decent little indie thriller with the only residents left on the top floor of a tower block pinned down by a sniper looking for revenge. There are a couple of cliched chav types who annoy the crap out of me but the action is well staged and the claustrophobic setting works too.


I really enjoyed the writer/director's debut film Shifty which only cost 100k and was excited to hear that this film had a decent budget behind it and is exec produced by Ridley Scott but it was a bit of a letdown. The director wanted to make a crime film set in London that purposefully stayed away from the usual gritty, dirty back alley look and feel that usually characterises British crime and instead give us a film that looks glossy, set amidst the more affluent parts of London. All bright lights, glass and polished steel but it didn't quite work and although Mark Strong is excellent as ever it probably needed even more money thrown at it as it did some suffer from some low budget set pieces.


A very interesting, moodily shot (B&W with a little splash of colour here and there) low budget post apocalyptic film. Assault on Precinct 13 and Night of the Living Dead are obvious influences regarding a rag tag bunch of people holed up and fighting for their lives but that doesn't detract some really great cinematography and decent acting.

Bob and Janszoon will definitely appreciate this one.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:10 PM   #13495 (permalink)
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I haven't seen existenZ but it's on Netflix so I may catch it sometime but I was very disappointed with A History Of Violence, once you put the pieces together (fairly easily IMO) it just turned into a generic thriller for me.
I didn't really see A History of Violence as a thriller or a movie where I was trying to figure out a puzzle. I saw is as simply as a moody character study with a lot of great performances.

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A very interesting, moodily shot (B&W with a little splash of colour here and there) low budget post apocalyptic film. Assault on Precinct 13 and Night of the Living Dead are obvious influences regarding a rag tag bunch of people holed up and fighting for their lives but that doesn't detract some really great cinematography and decent acting.

Bob and Janszoon will definitely appreciate this one.
I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:23 PM   #13496 (permalink)
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I didn't really see A History of Violence as a thriller or a movie where I was trying to figure out a puzzle. I saw is as simply as a moody character study with a lot of great performances.


I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!
The acting was superb in A History but it just didn't click with me.

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The first 20 mins are abominably slow but it is worth staying with.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:01 AM   #13497 (permalink)
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I should really like this. It doesn't resort to action cliches, the cinematography was really well done, as was the use of colours but it really lacked tension for me and it was too similar to The Raid in terms of working your way through an apartment block to apprehend the real villains. I will give it another watch though as it certainly wasn't what I was expecting which is always a good thing.
I definitely wouldn't call it a brilliant movie, but I still really loved it. I think you had to see it in 3-D in the theaters though. The scenes where people are on that drug are obviously 3-D schtick, but they're still highly engrossing.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:27 AM   #13498 (permalink)
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After hearing how great it was, I have to say I was a bit let down. It still had its moments (I lost it when the bookcase fell on him the second time), but it just wasn't as good as I expected it to be. It's a tough movie to rate, but I'd probably give it a 6/10.
Ahh, I love Evil Dead. But I definitely think that in order to fully appreciate it, you have to try to get into the context of it. You know, remember that this was released in 1981 and that the movie itself was basically made by kids. I think the director, Sam Raimi, was 19 when they started on this.

I consider it a great achievement

The next movie (eventually) picks up where the first one ended and is more of a horror comedy. It's also a lot of fun.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:10 AM   #13499 (permalink)
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My Amityville Horror (2012)

A documentary made about the oldest of the Lutz children who comes forward to detail his experience while living in the 112 Ocean Ave. house for 28 days before fleeing with the rest of his family after a series of paranormal experiences... kind of.

While there is some anecdotal evidence given by Danny Lutz about the paranormal events that supposedly occurred, the film is far more about the psychological effects that the fame of the book and movie franchise brought to him, as well as his own unresolved feelings of anger towards his stepfather George Lutz. Spoiler alert, they're not good, he's a very messed up individual, or at least he plays one quite well.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #13500 (permalink)
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The Turin Horse

This was one of the toughest films I’ve ever had to watch. There are a lot films that have fallen into that category such as Requiem for a Dream or basically anything from Lars Von Trier but this is a different monster altogether. Hungarian auteur director Bela Tarr apparently claims this is his last film and if it is I can’t imagine what kind of future he is striding too. This film is one of the most existential, bleak, and dark films I’ve ever seen. It is certainly the most demanding on the viewers endurance as there really isn’t much dialogue besides a brilliant monologue in the middle basically shouting how dark and bleak human existence is. There are only 30 shots in the entire film which has a run time of 154 minutes. 30 shots! Each one of these shots showcases the grueling day to day routine of a farmer and his daughter as she dresses him every morning, tends to the horse, fetches water, and cooks their meal of two boiled potatoes. Tarr’s film is a test of your patience just as life is a test of the patience of his farmer and daughter characters. It is a visual embodiment of Friedrich Nietzsche and his writings. Aesthetically the film is flawless. It’s portrayed in black and white perfectly as we are constantly shown a transition of a dark farmhouse with an open field with the wind blowing and dirt flying everywhere. As I said, there are only 30 shots in the film so the camera is constantly moving around its subject as the scene unfolds not blinking an eye. As the film wears on you start to feel the dread and blackness that the characters feel and some of the more haunting images I’ve ever seen come out without really exposing themselves too much. It’s that powerful of a film. If you want a challenging film that rewards the viewer for their patience by delivering a one of a kind experience then check out this film. It’s as important as it is grueling and unrelenting in its reality towards humanity.

5/5
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