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Old 12-29-2007, 06:09 PM   #676
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A very brief review now:

Sweeney Todd - 8/10

More enjoyable than I thought it would be, I'm still not a huge Depp fan and his songs specifically failed to impress. The supporting cast was wonderful though, notable Helena Bonham Carter in probably my favorite role from her. Burton is still Burton, but it actually works with this story for a change. Yay.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:23 PM   #677
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Juno. 8/10.

I mainly ranked it that based on the performances. Ellen Page was fantastic and I've always loved Alison Janney and she definitely doesn't disappoint here ("As soon as you move out, I'm getting Weimeraners!" was just hilarious). Jennifer Garner was perfectly cast as well.

Definitely leans on the cutesy side and the dialogue is frankly ridiculous at times. But I found that it got better as the movie went on (the worst bits were right at the start in the convenience store and when she called her best friend). It got a little less Gilmore Girls and a little more human after that. A little.
Excellent review.

I rolled my eyes at the opening dialogue, but then it became something truly special...and very human. I also love the way music is incorporated, from Jason Bateman's character, right through to the end credits.

I Am Legend - 6.5/10

Saw this tonight with my sister and mother...it's still creeping my sister out an hour later! She's asking me questions about rabies, and whether the events in the movie are possible. So, just a warning: this movie could spook the hell out of people who are prone to spooking.

The upside: amazing effects...cityscapes devastated by the fallout of science gone bad. Another truly great thing is the performance put in by the German Shepherd...he steals the show!

Downside: the plot/storyline. Runs into a formulaic resolution.

Overall: Interesting, but could've been much better.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:54 AM   #678
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Originally posted by Lancemc
A very brief review now:

Sweeney Todd - 8/10

More enjoyable than I thought it would be, I'm still not a huge Depp fan and his songs specifically failed to impress. The supporting cast was wonderful though, notable Helena Bonham Carter in probably my favorite role from her. Burton is still Burton, but it actually works with this story for a change. Yay.


8 out of 10? I think you're being a bit too kind.

Though your scores tend to be on the high end anyway.

No comment on Atonement?
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:21 AM   #679
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8 out of 10? I think you're being a bit too kind.

Though your scores tend to be on the high end anyway.

No comment on Atonement?
You may be right, but I might be overrating it simply because I'm excited that Burton actually turned out a good film this time. But it is a good film, and one I did enjoy quite a bit, with a few exceptional pieces here and there. 8/10 is usually the kind of score I end up giving films like this. Solid and enjoyable ones that meet the call of duty and tend to distinguish themselves in some unique way. An R-rated film musical about a barber who slits the throats of his victims and has them baked into meat pies? And such a film that actually succeeds artistically? That might be worth an 80%, no?
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:08 AM   #680
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An R-rated film musical about a barber who slits the throats of his victims and has them baked into meat pies? And such a film that actually succeeds artistically? That might be worth an 80%, no?
After reading this, I'd give it a 9/10.
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:15 AM   #681
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Even though it was ages ago, the last film I saw was the Golden Compass.
Being a huge fan of the book Northern lights, I must admit I hated the film before I'd even seen it due to the horrific name change. I tried to go in with an open mind and to my suprise I thought aspects of the film (Nicole Kidmans character, the opening scenes in Oxford, the daemons) were very true to the books and just how I had imagined them.
But about 3/4 of the way into the film everything was suddenly changed - the order of events, the events themselves. And a very important thing which took place in the book wasn't present in the film - I don't know if they are going to put it in the next film, but it was a huge disappointment.
And I don't think removing all the references to the church was a good idea, as it's made things very confusing for an audience and will make the third film make absolutely no sense now.
Although, I did love the Kate Bush song on the end credits Made my friend sit through all the credits to listen to it.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:51 PM   #682
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The Pursuit Of Happyness

Liked it. Was waiting for his big break to finally come. What a struggle. Didn't get too much info at the end, just a couple of sentences onscreen. I did see the real Chris Gardner on Oprah way back when the movie first came out (along will Will Smith & his son). I don't think I could watch the movie twice though.

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Old 12-30-2007, 03:49 PM   #683
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Originally posted by Lancemc
Le Samourai - 10/10

I'm really picking 'em well lately. My first Melville, and I doubt I could have chosen a better introduction. This is really a landmark film of the french new wave, and pretty much sets the bar for much of the crime thriller genre of the last 40 years.

Alain Delon's commanding performance as Jef, a hired gunman with samurai-like deliberation and honor, is the driving force of this film along with Melville's pitch-perfect command over the film's complete direction. This is possibly as close to perfect as this type of story comes, and the Criterion Collection transfer I watched is absolutely stunning.
You little git, this appears to be unavailable on DVD in the UK and I've been growing ever keener to watch it for ages now. Good to see it'll probably be worth the wait though.

As the cinema has been crap lately all I've got is slightly older movies to report on:

Out of Sight
Hard to believe this is nearly ten years old now, but it is still one of the coolest films to have come out in a long time. Every viewing is a joy and demonstrates what Steven Soderbergh can achieve when he really tries to make films that are both commercial and artistic. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez set the screen alight whether in the sticky heat of Florida or the freezing alleyways of Detroit and has a contender for one of the most erotic love scenes ever. Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle and Steve Zahn offer flawless support and the timeframe jumping / colour coordinating tricks used by Soderbergh are both stylish and subtle.

24 Hour Party People
Along with A Cock and Bull Story, this serves to show that Steve Coogan and Michael Winterbottom really should team up more. Like the aforementioned literary adaptation they attempted later on, this account of Tony Wilson and Factory Records during the rise and fall of the 'Madchester' scene repeatedly breaks the fourth wall and plays around with style and form constantly. Even the film stock changes depending on the tone of the scene. (Note to Emilio Estevez re: Bobby - this is how you insert stock footage into a reenactment scene.) Always fun and with a brilliant soundtrack (Joy Division and Happy Mondays lead the way), this captures the buzz and excitement of the time brilliantly. Wther it comes off as smug or exhilerating is down to the viewer, but is definitely one to check out regardless if you are a fan of the music. Top cast too.

Breaking the Waves
Having previously only seen Lars Von Triers' Dogville (outstanding) and Manderlay (time to shake things up before Washington) it was interesting to go back and see a similar style being developed in the first of another trilogy. Emily Watson delivers a braveau performence in her debut role that typically for Von Trier requires an enormous amount of dedication and commitment. This is true for the viewer as well, as this chaptered film is both lengthy and emotionally draining (think Requiem for a Dream if you haven't seen any of his other works). The camera work is very intimate and showcases some wonderful Scottish scenery. But this is Watson's film all the way and if you aren't feeling even a wee bit emotional come the final shot then you haven't a heart to break.

Howl's Moving Castle
When I first saw this at the cinema two years ago (I was the only person in there - all the kids on holiday were watching Nanny McPhee for some reason) I left feeling that Miyazaki allowed himself to gently meander through the first half before realising that he still had all this damn plot to cram in. Watching it again with a full knowledge of the plot meant I didn't get as lost as last time, but the pacing is still wildly uneven. I love the languid nature of the first half as Miyazaki takes us through another wonderful world he's created, but when the shit hits the fan it feels like being rudely pulled into a 400m sprint midway through a relaxing stroll in the park. Other than that it's still hard to fault overall, the main criticism being that it borrows a little too much from his previous Ghibli films whilst not quite hitting their peaks. One to watch.
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:57 PM   #684
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Sweeney Todd

Um. Hm. Well, that was grim. And gruesome. Not quite sure how much I liked it. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it like I was hoping.

I guess I like my musicals a little more cheery. Like the preview for Mamma Mia I saw. Now there's something that's likely to have a lot less blood. And peppier tunes.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:08 PM   #685
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Out of Sight
Hard to believe this is nearly ten years old now, but it is still one of the coolest films to have come out in a long time. Every viewing is a joy and demonstrates what Steven Soderbergh can achieve when he really tries to make films that are both commercial and artistic. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez set the screen alight whether in the sticky heat of Florida or the freezing alleyways of Detroit and has a contender for one of the most erotic love scenes ever. Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle and Steve Zahn offer flawless support and the timeframe jumping / colour coordinating tricks used by Soderbergh are both stylish and subtle.

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Old 12-30-2007, 04:25 PM   #686
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Out of Sight is a fantastic movie and as an added bonus, a nice reminder of a time when JLo didn't make me gag.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:30 PM   #687
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And peppier tunes.
I loved the music of Sweeney Todd! I'm totally going to buy the soundtrack.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:33 PM   #688
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Out of Sight is a fantastic movie and as an added bonus, a nice reminder of a time when JLo didn't make me gag.
Hard to believe that it's even her, you know? My oh my how things have changed.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #689
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I've noticed a bit of a problem with the system of ratings I've been using this past year, so for the remainder of the year and especially for 2008 I'll be putting up this revised rating system to better gauge the quality of the films I see. I'll soon be revising all the scores for my 2007 films to match this slightly altered system here, and all scores from this point out will be based on this system. The idea is to provide a broader spectrum for the high end films. I currently have 3 films from the year with a score of 10/10, which simply doesn't speak of the subtle difference in quality among the absolute best film of the year. So here we go:

10 - Masterpiece : This is the type of film that surpasses all lower qualification. A true landmark of the art of cinema. A film that functions on its own set of rules and raises the bar for the medium.

9.0/9.5 - Exceptional : Films that exceed excellence. These are films that absolutely everyone should see, because they are truly noteworthy works of filmmaking that demonstrate exquisite levels of artistic accomplishment.

8.0/8.5 - Excellent : Works that showcase outstanding craft and artistry. These films set to achieve a high goal of art or entertainment and succeed in nearly all respects.

7.0/7.5 - Great : Works that showcase very good levels of craft and/or artistry. These films set to achieve a high goal of art or entertainment and succeed in many respects.

6.0/6.5 - Good : Films that demonstrate better than average achievements of art or entertainment. These films may set to achieve certain goals and fail, but contain more positive qualities than negative ones.

5.0/5.5 - Fair : Films that exhibit some kind of favorable quality, that may range from pure entertainment value or an ambitious artistic goal, but fail to succeed as a truly good film.

4.0/4.5 - Mediocre : Films that most audiences should generally avoid, these are bland unfit works that typically showcase neither notably positive nor exceedingly negative qualities.

3.0/3.5 - Poor : Films that fail in nearly all respects, and are wholly unworthy of recommendation.

2.0/2.5 - Awful : Films that achieve surprising levels of negative quality, they typically devoid of any artistic or entertainment value.

0.5/1.0/1.5 - Abysmal : a·bys·mal –adjective
2. extremely or hopelessly bad or severe: abysmal ignorance; abysmal poverty.

0.0 - Impossible : Practically no film could ever be this bad, because it would single-handedly make the medium of film itself despicable .
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:36 PM   #690
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I loved the music of Sweeney Todd! I'm totally going to buy the soundtrack.
I went in not knowing any of the songs other than "No One's Going to Harm You," or whatever it's called. While they suited the story very well, I guess I'm just not a big Sondheim fan.
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