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Old 03-19-2010, 11:27 PM   #5571 (permalink)
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My weeks in movies:

Basically, my dad was all over documentaries suddenly so we watched Food Inc and the Cove, which were both pretty entertaining and enlightening to an extent. I enjoyed them. But, breaking from the documentary trend we watched this:



which was absolutely brilliant. It was perfectly written and directed, and one of those feel-good comedies that also manages to be sad and not get corny. I really loved it, there wasn't really a bad element.... even the soundtrack was fantastic.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:58 PM   #5572 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by storymilo View Post
My weeks in movies:

Basically, my dad was all over documentaries suddenly so we watched Food Inc and the Cove, which were both pretty entertaining and enlightening to an extent. I enjoyed them. But, breaking from the documentary trend we watched this:



which was absolutely brilliant. It was perfectly written and directed, and one of those feel-good comedies that also manages to be sad and not get corny. I really loved it, there wasn't really a bad element.... even the soundtrack was fantastic.
I love this film. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:43 AM   #5573 (permalink)
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^I also quite like Wes Anderson's films, though my favourites are probably Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The recent Fantastic Mr. Fox was also good!

You should check these titles out if you haven't, storymilo.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:14 AM   #5574 (permalink)
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I had mixed feelings about this movie, so much so that I'm gonna give it two distinct reviews and ratings.

As a Lewis Carroll adaptation

*

As a Tim Burton film

**1/2
how about rating the film as a work in its own right, instead of compared to some nebulous ideals?

i think it's clear from the beginning that it's not an adaptation of any kind, and you sort of admit this in the end. the film was most certainly inspired by Carroll's work, but aside from drawing broad character profiles and certain story elements, the film is really a beast of its own.

as for comparing it to Burton's other works - well, i suppose artists are allowed to change their style, right?

just like Burton's revisit of Willy Wonka, or even the new Batman films, this movie took a look at an old story and put it into a modern framework.

the whole film walked a very thin line between being utterly goofy and absolutely diabolical. the tension was present in the sets, the characters, and the plot. it was a very tense and disturbing film, and personally, i really enjoyed it.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:36 PM   #5575 (permalink)
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Why was it a very diabolical tense and disturbing film?
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:24 PM   #5576 (permalink)
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how about rating the film as a work in its own right, instead of compared to some nebulous ideals?

i think it's clear from the beginning that it's not an adaptation of any kind, and you sort of admit this in the end. the film was most certainly inspired by Carroll's work, but aside from drawing broad character profiles and certain story elements, the film is really a beast of its own.

as for comparing it to Burton's other works - well, i suppose artists are allowed to change their style, right?

just like Burton's revisit of Willy Wonka, or even the new Batman films, this movie took a look at an old story and put it into a modern framework.

the whole film walked a very thin line between being utterly goofy and absolutely diabolical. the tension was present in the sets, the characters, and the plot. it was a very tense and disturbing film, and personally, i really enjoyed it.
You make a lot of points that I have already addressed. I guess by judging it as a stand alone film without giving much thought to the pedegree of either Carroll or Burton I would give it a ***.

A good film, but my expectations were too high, though that's because I'm a huge fan of both Tim Burton and the Wonderland mythos, a pairing like that is something I treated like a once in a lifetime event, I just feel like there was a lot of potential that wasn't lived up to. Burton seemed like the obvious choice for an Alice in Wonderland. But I think that's the problem, he was the obvious choice, not the best choice.

I think Terry Gilliam would have made something just as impressive in the visual department but while staying more true to Carroll's literary style since the stuff he did with Monty Python was already very Carroll inspired.

Michael Gondry would have also been a great choice for an Alice movie but no way would Disney bank a lot of money on that guy.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:32 PM   #5577 (permalink)
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^I also quite like Wes Anderson's films, though my favourites are probably Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The recent Fantastic Mr. Fox was also good!

You should check these titles out if you haven't, storymilo.
i really enjoyed Fantastic Mr Fox also. one of the funniest children's movies i have seen.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:13 AM   #5578 (permalink)
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So... yeah... [Rec] is a tough movie to follow up and I can proudly proclaim that [Rec 2] does not do the original justice. In fact the only scene that made me jump was the infected little kid running along the ceiling, but even at that point all restraint had been tossed out a window. There's going to be some major spoilers going on so if you're at all interested in this series (which you should definitely try if you're into horror) then avert your gaze.

SPOILERS

So yeah... possession, kind of a creepy way to end the first one, but it worked. The second one starts up with a SWAT team going into the building with a Priest, hardly as defenseless as two firemen, a hot news anchor, and cameraman, so already the scare factor is downplayed. Then it just gets absurdly unbelievable as this priest is interrogating demons, who can now speak all of a sudden (couldn't in the last film) and pretty much everything about the last movie is explained within the first thirty minutes. The writer seemed to realize flaw as well and decided to cram in some stupid subplot about three dumbass teenagers who infiltrate the quarantined apartment building and add absolutely fuck all to the main plot.

Hot TV anchor from the first film comes back and then through a series of really weird events it's reveled that she's now possessed by the main demon thing (which kind of resembles a giant worm). She can mimic voices and uses that ability to let her get out of the apartment complex(something only the Priest was authorized to do) which means there's going to be a 3rd movie to throw the matchbook on the already salted corpse that is this franchise.

It's funny, but this movie really reminded me of the game Condemned: Blood Shot, in that the first installment is incredibly atmospheric and genuinely frightening and ends leaving many unanswered questions, which only exacerbates the creepiness. For people not knowledgeable with this reference, here's a quick summary: Homeless/drug addicts go crazy and start attacking everything, serial killer, some kind of paranormal involvement. The first game never delves into why the lower class all went kill crazy but then the sequel comes out and a lot of the main questions get answered on the first god damn level! Everything that was creepy about the first one gets predictable and boring and ends leaving way for a third installment.

I mean it's a little perplexing thinking about the similarities between the two series, here's a few examples:

First Installments

1a) [REC] ends with little to no explanation at what happened other than it was some kind of virus that had something to do with the church and maybe possession.
1b) Condemned: Criminal Orgins ends with absolutely no explanation as to what caused the derangement amongst the transients with only a few scattered clues and some weird paranormal thing.

2a) [REC] starred a news reporter, camera man, and fireman who's best weapon was an axe. For the most part it involved a lot of running away, and occasionally using on of the secondary characters as cannon fodder. It wasn't something where the characters were prepared to go into, and because of that it makes it so much scarier because once you start projecting yourself into that world you realize how useless you'd be in that situation as well.

2b) Condemned: Criminal Orgins had practically no guns in the game, and when you did get one you only had a very limited amount of ammunition and when you ran out, you were out. This meant you had to get up close and personal with the psychotic bums and smash their heads in ye olde Glasgow style. Again, the displacement of characters and their training made it a particularly scary experience because while you were playing an SCU agent, you weren't exactly the kind of person to be exploring condemned buildings and fighting off the lower class with a lead pipe. You felt very out of place, and that anxiety really helped add to the creepiness factor.

Second Installment

1a) [REC 2] pretty much explains that the antagonists are possessed and their job is to retrieve a blood sample from the main possessed girl in the first film.

1b) Condemned 2 tells you that someone installed these weird sound wave devices that somehow triggered the violent tendencies of people below a certain demographic.

2a) [REC 2]'s protagonist consists of a specialized SWAT style team and a Priest. They are all armed and have plenty of light, guns, and fancy equipment to help them fight off the like 12 infected inhabitants.

2b) Guns become far more prominent in Condemned 2 with shootouts occurring frequently during the last few levels. Not only that, but your character, Ethan Thomas, doesn't feel out of place in his environment because he IS a bum now. Creepiness factor pretty much dies straight away when the game turns into a bum fights video.

I suppose the point I'm laboriously trying to make is that sequels usually suck. The first film was so perfect and ended on a note that left you scared and contemplating what it all meant and that desire to go back and see if you missed any clues. The sequel just holds your hand in the most patronizing of ways and turned what was an interesting concept into a cash cow who's utters are going to be squeezed till their black.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:34 PM   #5579 (permalink)
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^I also quite like Wes Anderson's films, though my favourites are probably Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The recent Fantastic Mr. Fox was also good!

You should check these titles out if you haven't, storymilo.
Thanks, I will I've seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, and I've been wanting to watch Life Aquatic for a while now.

Another movie I really enjoyed by him was The Darjeeling Limited... and Bottle Rocket was pretty good too. The Royal Tenenbaums takes the cake though.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #5580 (permalink)
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I saw 'Up in the Air' last night.

I wish I hadn't.
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