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Old 01-10-2015, 01:55 PM   #14831 (permalink)
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I think one you realise the characters are supposed to be somewhat insufferable and satirical it becomes enjoyable.

Anyway I just saw Birdman and it was a revelation. One of the most thought provoking, beautifully acted, and well shot films I have EVER seen. Seriously considering going back to the cinema later for a rewatch.
I was referencing Barcelona and Last Days of Disco; I haven't seen his new one. We can agree that Metropolitan was well done. The other two just didn't stimulate me. The people on Metropolitan actually had conversations that interested me. The others were filled with surface level drivel that annoys me.

Oh my god, Birdman was amazing. I was absolutely blown away, it's easily a top all-time movie for me already. The camera work is so immersive, and its just so well done. Every character is a treasure.

I just saw Incoherent Vice too. It had it's moments but it was just that, a smattering of moments. It was so convoluted and aimless and incomprehensible that it really detracted from my enjoyment. I mean, it was well done, but it's nothing I'm clamoring to see again (like I am with Birdman).
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:09 PM   #14832 (permalink)
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Saw Night at the Museum 3 tonight. It had its moments, but meh. I felt they could have done a lot more with it.

Spoiler for SPOILER:
The goodbye scene with Robin Williams was poignant, though.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:32 AM   #14833 (permalink)
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Inherent Vice directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

There's a lot to consume with this film. There's almost so much to consume you might get confused. Good thing for me though I understood the plot coherently the whole way through, and the problem is people seem too confused with the plot, but they need to understand the main character (Doc, Jaoquin Phoenix) is a Private Investigator that has more than just one case to work on. You get all these different aspects of the character, different plot points that aren't linear to the "main" one at all. Sure, it all interweaves somehow, but Owen Wilson's character and his wife, the Golden Fang plotline, Martin Shorts character were mere exposition, yet every last bit of it never felt contrived or out of place. The look of the film, the dialogue of the era, the characters, the weed, the mystery, I ate it all up. Not to mention Joaquin Phoenix portraying the best hippie ever put to film, reminiscent of Jeff Bridges from The Big Lebowski the way he appears dazed all the time and his go-with-the-flow behavior, and cannibas consumption. From beginning to end, it had me laughing the entire time, especially Josh brolin's character as a hard-headed detective that has a love hate relationship with Doc. I couldn't recommend this film enough to anyone, I just know it'll divide half the crowd.

10/10
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:20 AM   #14834 (permalink)
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Inherent Vice directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

There's a lot to consume with this film. I just know it'll divide half the crowd.
Sounds about SOP for PTA.

Thanks for the review. I'll be checking this one out for certain.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:16 AM   #14835 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see Inherent Vice. PTA is one of the directors I always love.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #14836 (permalink)
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I watched Inherent Vice and Birdman one after the other last night, it was pretty overwhelming, two very unique, focused, and risky films.

First off, I think there's more to Inherent Vice than meets the eye. It's getting a pretty bad rep among the currently hyped lineup of potential Oscar competitors, primarily due to what seems like intentional incoherence among its handful of side stories (that I think is more simple than most viewers would think, it's just hard to follow through the dense haze of pot smoke and thick poetic dialogue). I often found myself paying so much attention to the beautiful visuals, scenery, and soundtrack that I would miss what was being said, and when I would finally get a grasp on the scene it would be too late and I'd be wondering who half the people in the room were.

But it's almost like the film tries to do this to you, like it tries to confuse you, and it gets to a point where you're just blankly staring at the screen with a dumb smile on your face, laughing at the oddest little comments or facial expressions, like you feel as stoned as the characters are. Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin are absolutely hilarious together here, all of my favorite scenes were when the two were alone together. They play polar opposite personalities with similar jobs and the friendly competition between the two is gold.

The visuals are great, the soundtrack is great, I don't think I've ever seen better stoned acting (there's no way Joaquin Phoenix was sober while acting this role), and the world they build seems very loyal to the era in which it is set, but the stories are very hard to follow among the very distracting psychedelic atmosphere.

As for Birdman, I don't want to say much, but I loved it. The camera work was excellent and unique, every cast member did a stellar job, the story was very realistic, believable, and honest (however peculiar and surreal some scenes may have been), the soundtrack was interesting and added much to the atmosphere and tension, there's really not much to fault here besides a rather ambiguous ending that seems to have turned a considerable amount of people off. But I have a hard time believing that going into Birdman with an open mind and letting it mess with your head a bit would be anything other than rewarding for fans of odd movies.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:11 PM   #14837 (permalink)
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Gort bless the Oscars leak, these limited theater releases have been killing me.
The Imitation Game, Selma, and A Most Violent Year last night.

The Imitation Game, as expected, was fantastic. Benedict Cumberbatch does an excellent job. The rest of the cast all felt rather supplementary and unimportant but after all it is a biopic about Alan Turing and his accomplishments. The pacing was excellent and never felt like it was dragging, the soundtrack and cinematography were fitting, and I was pleased to see that the film is primarily about Alan Turing's legacy and accomplishments rather than his sexuality / persecution (which is rightfully a significant part of the film, but not the sole focus). Excellent movie, not my favorite of the year, but well worth the watch.

Selma was a good movie, but yet another PG-13 movie about a very non-PG-13 series of events. It's difficult for a film about such serious subject matter to make a lasting impact without being raw and unfiltered, especially outside of its target audience. But that being said, obviously many people were deeply moved by it, evident by its universal acclaim since release. Hard to criticize movies like this without coming across as insensitive to the very real events that they highlight. It's well made but I imagine it will fade from memory quite quickly. The events of the 60's civil rights movement are very memorable, Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and accomplishments are very memorable, this film was not.

Unfortunately, it was 1 AM and I fell asleep about 75% into this, but A Most Violent Year struck me as the most compelling film of the night from what I did see, even if crime dramas are admittedly my ultimate weakness. Oscar Isaac is amazing in this, he plays an ambitious immigrant trying to gain some footing in the early 80's oil industry but finds his business impossible to manage during one of New York City's most historically violent years, his performance is very real. It's ultra-realistic but oddly dreamy, subtly stylized and beautifully shot, very well acted, and a very well soundtracked movie that feels a lot like it was shot in the same universe as Drive (even more so because of its shared cast). I'm pretty damn excited to finish it tonight, I might even start over from the beginning.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:44 PM   #14838 (permalink)
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I was home sick today so I went on a movie watching binge.



This was a gorgeous story of an elderly recluse with a dark secret, just looking for redemption. The film is thick with a mystery that runs as deep as the lines in Robert DuVall's face. The slow pace and quiet atmosphere really lends to the creeping feelings of loneliness and shame that our main character cultivate. Incidentally, Bill Murray is wonderful as the somewhat-sketchy funeral home owner with a past. Great movie. Also, super great soundtrack- lot's of old timey jazz and folk.



And speaking of hermits, this dude moved to an isolated spot in Wyoming, in the Wind River mountains, in order to live with a wild herd of mule deer and document their complex relationships and startling emotional depth. Oh, and he did it for almost seven years. The way this man develops what, if not friendship, is at least some sort of primal mammalian connection with deer is just incredible. I was surprised at how emotional it was, as what started as a science experiment slowly turned into a family- or in this case, a herd. It's just under an hour and up on Netflix, you pretty much don't have a reason to avoid watching it.



I needed a palate cleanser (and wanted to stop using my brain so much to concentrate on GOOD movies) so I flipped on this cheeseball John Candy rom-com and flipped off my thoughts. Candy plays a 38 year old police officer who still lives with his overbearing Irish-American mother. He falls in love with Ally Sheedy, a young woman with social anxiety who works in a funeral home putting the makeup on cadavers. It was funny in a very 90's way, and I have a lot of nostalgia for John Candy, so my childhood love of his movies really helped this along. Plus, Ally Sheedy. Yowza. She could play the hot, awkward type like no other.


So there you have it. Old guys who live alone and funeral home workers. Those were my themes today.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:09 PM   #14839 (permalink)
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The Imitation Game

It was interesting, but it was just a standard biopic. I really wished it was done better, as Turing was a fascinating guy. The characters were just there to move the plot along. My favorite part was the interaction between Turing and Tywin, but I don't really see anything that would push this film to "above average".
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:33 PM   #14840 (permalink)
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The Babadook

Excellent psychological horror from Australia. It's hard to believe that it's Jennifer Kent's first film, because it's probably the best contemporary horror movie I've seen in years. There's no jump scares, no gore, and no shrill, over-loud score - just a sense of creeping dread mixed with moments of sheer primal terror. Not only a brilliant scary movie, but a brilliant meditation on depression, single-motherhood, and confronting one's own demons. I never thought I'd be so ****ing creeped out by a pop-up book.
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