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Old 01-06-2008, 07:03 PM   #826
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:09 PM   #827
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl
Last night I watched A Mighty Heart on DVD. I had avoided it because the subject is so disturbing to me but I'm glad I saw it. I was impressed with Angelina Jolie, and kept thinking about the movie the rest of the night. It seemed to be an honest portrayal of the events without resorting to the usual kinds of emotional manipulation.
I really liked this movie, and I didn't expect to. I'm not a fan of true stories being turned into movies so soon after the event. I always feel like we need some time to go by and get a bit of a different look at it, something more than the obvious reaction. But she was really fabulous and three-dimensional and I was very pleasantly surprised.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:31 PM   #828
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Atonement ~ its been a long time since I've struggled this much when rating a movie. On the one hand, I enjoyed the experience of watching the narrative. It never lost my interest.

On the other hand, I felt the director climbed too far up his own ass. I don't think it hurt the movie, but I don't know that it helped it either.

The beach sequence leading up to the french movie was marvelous.


Plus the movie feature the greatest pick-up line in the history of cinema.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:35 PM   #829
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I'm curious how you felt the director climbed up his own ass. I've felt that way about movies before, but not really at all during Atonement. Care to elaborate?
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:43 PM   #830
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Sure, I thought some of his more subtle shots were brilliant (I'm thinking of the shot of Pirate girls character climbing out of the fountain in the background while his hand is awkwardly thumbing the broken vase piece) and some of his more mechanical shots came off well (when the 18 year old Briony is revealed for the first time), but there were several times where his shots didn't seem to serve the story (after Robbie's army friend lies him down to sleep we get a 15 second shot of him under a blanket looking at the post card with a match - its a great shot. It's heart breaking, but it seemed a bit too much at that point.).
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:48 PM   #831
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That being said, the "Come back. Come back to me" refrain was absolutely nailed. Brilliant.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:52 PM   #832
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Reviews such as this are the reason I usually wait until AFTER seeing the movie to check them out.

Quote:
The trailer for Atonement had me giddy with excitement I thought I was going to be in for a truly epic love story that spanned time, distance, war, betrayal, but what I got was this anemic, pretentious, non-epic turd.
Full Review
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Michelle Alexandria
Eclipse Magazine

Douche.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:19 AM   #833
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Blue Velvet - 7.5/10

Baby wants to fuck! Baby wants to fuck Blue Velvet!
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #834
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I don't know what's more disturbing, Dalton charmed by "Come back to me" or Lance blurting "Baby wants to fuck".
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:23 AM   #835
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I've got a tender heart
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #836
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Just finished a HD leak of Zodiac: Director's Cut. I'd seen the first release and loved it, so I wasn't expecting anything other for the DC. There are a few additions, but overall, I didn't notice too much change.

8.5/10
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:34 PM   #837
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Great Debaters-maybe 8 or 9 out of 10 for what it's about and the fact that it's based on a true story and how inspiring it is as a film. Fantastic acting, especially by those who play the Wiley College students. Got better as it went along, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Worth it even just to see the all too brief interaction between Denzel and Forest Whitaker, they are it as far as I'm concerned.

Here's the Roger Ebert review

By Roger Ebert

"The Great Debaters" is about an underdog debate team that wins a national championship, and some critics have complained that it follows the formula of all sports movies by leading up, through great adversity, to a victory at the end. So it does. How many sports movies, or movies about underdogs competing in any way, have you seen that end in defeat? It is human nature to seek inspiration in victory, and this is a film that is affirming and inspiring and re-creates the stories of a remarkable team and its coach.

The team is from little Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, a black institution in the Jim Crow South of the 1930s. The school's English professor, Melvin Tolson (Denzel Washington), is a taskmaster who demands the highest standards from his debate team, and they're rewarded with a national championship. That's what the "sports movie" is about, but the movie is about so much more, and in ways that do not follow formulas.

There are, for example, Tolson's secret lives. Wearing overalls and work boots, he ventures out incognito as an organizer for a national sharecropper's union. He's a dangerous radical, local whites believe: probably a communist. But he's organizing both poor whites and blacks, whose servitude is equal.

He keeps his politics out of the classroom, however, where he conceals a different kind of secret: He is one of America's leading poets. Although the movie barely touches on it, Tolson published long poems in such magazines as the Atlantic Monthly and in 1947 was actually named poet laureate of Liberia. Ironic, that his role as a debate coach would win him greater fame today.

He holds grueling auditions and selects four team members: Henry Lowe (Nate Parker), who drinks and fools around but is formidably intelligent; Hamilton Burgess (Jermaine Williams), a superb debater; James Farmer Jr. (Denzel Whitaker), a precocious 14-year-old who is their researcher, and Samantha Booke (Jurnee Smollett), the substitute, and the only female debater they've heard of. Tolson drills them, disciplines them, counsels them and leads them to a string of victories that culminates a victory over Harvard, the national champion.

We get a good sense of the nurturing black community that has produced these students, in particular James Farmer Sr. (Forest Whitaker), a preacher. (Young Denzel Whitaker, as his son, is no relation, and not named after Washington). James Jr. would go on to found the Congress of Racial Equality.

Tolson drives his team on long road trips to out-of-town debates, and one night traveling late, they have the defining emotional experience of the film: They happen upon a scene where a white mob has just lynched a black man and set his body afire. They barely escape with their own lives. And daily life for them is fraught with racist peril; especially for Tolson, who has been singled out by the local sheriff as a rabble-rouser. These experiences inform their debates as much as formal research.

The movie is not really about how this team defeats the national champions. It is more about how its members, its coach, its school and community believe that an education is their best way out of the morass of racism and discrimination. They would find it unthinkable that decades in the future, serious black students would be criticized by jealous contemporaries for "acting white." They are black, proud, single-minded, focused, and they express all this most dramatically in their debating.

The debates themselves have one peculiarity: The Wiley team somehow draws the "good" side of every question. Since debaters are supposed to defend whatever position they draw, it might have been intriguing to see them defend something they disbelieve, even despise. Still, I suppose I understand why that isn't done here; it would have interrupted the flow. And the flow becomes a mighty flood in a powerful and impassioned story. This is one of the year's best films.

NOTE: In fact, the real Wiley team did beat the national champions, but from USC, not Harvard. Co-writer Robert Eisele explains, "In that era, there was much at stake when a black college debated any white school, particularly one with the stature of Harvard. We used Harvard to demonstrate the heights they achieved."
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:17 PM   #838
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dalton
Atonement ~ its been a long time since I've struggled this much when rating a movie. On the one hand, I enjoyed the experience of watching the narrative. It never lost my interest.
Did you like the book?

I really did not.
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:33 AM   #839
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Originally posted by onebloodonelife
Just finished a HD leak of Zodiac: Director's Cut. I'd seen the first release and loved it, so I wasn't expecting anything other for the DC. There are a few additions, but overall, I didn't notice too much change.

8.5/10
Any additions of note? I had read the book prior to seeing the movie, and since we had rented it, I managed to see it in doses, like 30 minutes here, 45 there,... before I had to return it
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #840
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Originally posted by Lila64


Any additions of note? I had read the book prior to seeing the movie, and since we had rented it, I managed to see it in doses, like 30 minutes here, 45 there,... before I had to return it
The biggest addition I noticed was before they fast forwarded ahead 4 years, there was a black screen with TV and radio audio clips of major news stories in the background. Other than that, I'd have to watch them back to back to tell.

It is a super long movie, which I didn't mind, but it helps to have the entire 2 and a half hours to watch continuously.

What did you think of the book? I read it several years ago, when I was maybe 12 or 13. I remember it being engrossing and very interesting back then.
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