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Old 01-10-2008, 07:35 PM   #841
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The book, if I recall, had much more detail and you heard about each murder & in detail. And how they investigated several people over the course of time. I always wondered why they couldn't search any of the property/possessions of the main suspect after he died. I'd have to see the movie again in full to recall. I think the book made it seem as if Robert (Gyllenhaal's character) was more involved in the investigation than the movie portrayed. The movie skipped along (in years) and it came off to me as being more of a hobby for him (Robert)
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:42 AM   #842
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I had a double feature treat at the cinema yesterday, mostly to escape the horrible Melbourne heat.

Enchanted - 8.5/10

An utterly adorable, charming movie which could have been horribly cloying but instead hit all the right notes and made me feel like an excited little girl in her pink-princess phase (despite the fact that I never actually went through one as a child, ). Amy Adams was absolutely pitch perfect as the animated princess transported into the real world and James Marsden was fantastic as the hilariously thick-headed prince. I kinda wrote him off after his rather bland work in X-Men films but seeing his comic turn in this and Hairspray last year was an eye-opener.

The Darjeeling Limited - 7/10

This is actually the first Wes Anderson film that I've seen - I didn't intentionally avoid his previous efforts but somehow never got around to watching one. I've got somewhat mixed feelings about the film; I felt that its self-conscious quirkiness was both endearing and irritating, and though the film had moments of genuine emotion its characters never quite attained three-dimensionality. Still, the film was never boring and I enjoyed its dry humour and idiosyncratic visual style. And India looked absolutely *glorious*, made me want to come back there again.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:42 PM   #843
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American Gangster 8/10

Based on a real story, and seeing this after reading mixed reviews ("lacks efficiency to match the classics like French connection or Scarface" / "Godfather and Scarface of this century"), I was pleasantly surprised. Directed by Ridley Scott, and sweet acting by both Denzel Washington (unlike most of his roles, he is the villain - and oh so good at it) and Russel Crowe. I just wish they'd gotten more screen time together, the last 10 minutes of the movie are pure movie chemistry - I was reminded of De Niro/Pacino in Heat.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:15 PM   #844
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The Orphanage (dir. J.A. Bayona)

I was wondering why this film was playing in so many maintstream theatres, despite the fact that it is in Spanish, and subtitled. The answer: Guillermo Del Toro, writer and director of last year's huge success Pan's Labyrinth, serves as producer here, and probably realized that this film had an equal opportunity at a crossover. I'm sure he felt a kinship with the writer of this ghost story, as it shares a streak of melancholy with his own films, most notably The Devil's Backbone. It's also similar in ways to Alejandro Amenabar's The Others, with Nicole Kidman.

The story begins as Laura (played by a fantastic Belen Rueda), her husband, and her adopted child, are busy readying their old house to receive some special needs children, who will be staying on. 30 years earlier Laura had grown up in the same house, back then used as an orphanage, and has recently returned. Laura's son Simon is a bored youngster with imaginary friends who eventually start to manifest themselves in strange ways in the household.

Early in the film Simon goes missing, and what's interesting is that while the film is giving us a good old fashioned atmospheric ghost story, it takes a turn to the scientific when paranormal investigators are called in when the police reach a dead end. You'd think this would take away from the mood that has been created, but it actually adds very much, lending a bit of Blair Witch verite-style to a small section of the film, and allowing the scares to permeate what we view as the real, rational world. It also helps that the medium who is the center of this group is played by Geraldine Chaplin, veteran of several Robert Altman films, daughter of Charlie Chaplin (!), and apparently a fluent Spanish speaker (her IMDB listing indicated this isn't her first non-English role). There's something really creepy yet believable about her presence, and it really turns everything up a notch.

That's all I'm going to give away about the plot, but let it suffice to say that it's far from conventional. It's all held together by Rueda, who really needs to convince not only her husband that she's hearing and seeing these things, but us as well. That she's also playing a woman with a missing child only adds to the psychological and emotional load her character is bearing.

There are a lot of creepy, suspenseful scenes, and really only one jumpy cheap shot. The direction isn't very stylized but has really nice framing that goes a long way in portraying the way the family unit is affected by everything that happens--it's very intimately shot.

Don't wait for this on video if you have a chance to see it in the theatre.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:00 PM   #845
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I just saw "Control."
Finally got to see this last night! Anton Corbijn did an amazing job on this film. Sam Riley and Samantha Morton were excellent as well. Joy Division was just a bit before my time and the film made me want to listen to their music further. My itunes account took a hit today. Someone in the theatre mentioned that U2's A Day Without Me was written with him in mind. Anyone else ever read or heard that?
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:41 PM   #846
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Originally posted by lazarus
The Orphanage (dir. J.A. Bayona)

I came in this thread specifically to see if anyone had seen it yet. I'm going to see it either tonight or tomorrow. It sounds great.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:46 PM   #847
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Originally posted by dmalezi


Someone in the theatre mentioned that U2's A Day Without Me was written with him in mind. Anyone else ever read or heard that?
Yes, I've read that a number of times.

I thought the film was incredible. I was haunted by it for a few days. The actor who played Curtis was wonderful but I've already forgotten his name. I was the only person in the theatre when I saw it. I don't think that's ever happened before!
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #848
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl
The actor who played Curtis was wonderful but I've already forgotten his name.
Sam Riley, he was incredible. I really felt for Ian. Being in love with two people at the same time is extremely painful. The meaness he showed toward his wife was out of pure guilt. You could tell he loved her but couldn't let the other woman go. He was torn between them. Hit a bit too close to home for me. Been there, done that. That alone is enough to mess a person up. Adding to that alcoholism, worsening health, a new baby and rising fame, all at 23 years old, was just about all he could take I suppose. Just really tragic.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #849
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Originally posted by lazarus
The Orphanage (dir. J.A. Bayona)

Don't wait for this on video if you have a chance to see it in the theatre.
So I just go back from seeing this. It was really great! I don't get scared in scary movies and even though many reviews led me to think that this might be the nailbiter that finally makes me scared in a movie, it in fact did not do that for me but I was riveted nonetheless. I never figured out what was going to happen next, every scene was a surprise. Excellent cast, creepy house, really satisfying ghost story. Wasn't crazy about the ending but still a big two thumbs up.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:56 AM   #850
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The Namesake. I didn't think I would like it and that I would just sit back and that it would go on and on and bore me to tears, but I Was oh so wrong. There was laughter and there were tears. There are wonderful messages throughout the movie and some lovely sights of the Taj Mahal, of India and NY. I highly recommend it. It basically tells a story of the gift a father gives his son and that gift being a name. I've always told my son that a name is a gift a parent gives its child when they are born.

It's a lovely movie. I would give it 3-1/2 thumbs up or 3-1/2 stars (out of 5)
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:09 PM   #851
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I finally saw Jesus Camp. :shudder:

Very, very well done, but from my perspective, frightening.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:16 AM   #852
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Juno

Well, I finally broke down and watched this illegally on the net. Because of Michael Cera, everyone is going to be comparing this to Superbad, but it's really not quite like that. Actually, it's more like a combination of Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite, and Knocked Up. That is, you take a quirky, crude teenager, place her in the middle of nowhere, get her pregnant, and you get Juno.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't find this film nearly as funny as Superbad, and Cera's role in this film is a big step back from Evan in terms of overall personality or laughs. The jokes simply aren't as prevalent, and the characters aren't that over-the-top. But therein lies its power; it hits you on a far more personal level. Superbad attempted to tug at your heartstrings near the end with its "ZOMG I'll nevar see you again!!! *boop*" side-plot, but by then the cat was already out of the bag; any serious emotional ties had been severed 10 minutes in. Juno kicks you right in the sentimental bone repeatedly, and it connects because the protagonist herself is so relatable.

Superbad had the laughs, Juno has the plot. The plot itself isn't all that novel, and the fish-out-of-water moments are almost painful, but the story is kept grounded by the high-quality characters themselves. Also, the pacing is quality. Where Superbad went off the rails 45 minutes in and fell into a bit of a funk, Juno's slow-ish start builds steam; I was kept interested throughout the entire course of the film and actually cared about how it would end (a great sign).

The make-or-break part is the acting. Superbad felt like a slice of reality; like someone took a camera into your school's hallway and just started taking shots of random students. The acting felt completely natural, and never slowed the film down. Juno, on the other hand, feels much more cinematic, and the characters actually feel like characters. Also, Juno's personality grates a bit at times. Just the same, the acting is very, very good.

So, which film do I prefer? I think it's about even. Superbad has a ton of flaws, from poor pacing, to having virtually no plot to keep it together, but it had the laughs to keep me interested. Juno is just a fantastic story, with not a ton of laughs, but a passable amount. I think it's fair that I give it the same rating I gave Superbad.

7.5/10
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:55 AM   #853
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Originally posted by LemonMelon
Juno

Well, I finally broke down and watched this illegally on the net.
I hope you got your monies worth.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:01 AM   #854
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
Juno

Well, I finally broke down and watched this illegally on the net. Because of Michael Cera, everyone is going to be comparing this to Superbad, but it's really not quite like that. Actually, it's more like a combination of Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite, and Knocked Up. That is, you take a quirky, crude teenager, place her in the middle of nowhere, get her pregnant, and you get Juno.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't find this film nearly as funny as Superbad, and Cera's role in this film is a big step back from Evan in terms of overall personality or laughs. The jokes simply aren't as prevalent, and the characters aren't that over-the-top. But therein lies its power; it hits you on a far more personal level. Superbad attempted to tug at your heartstrings near the end with its "ZOMG I'll nevar see you again!!! *boop*" side-plot, but by then the cat was already out of the bag; any serious emotional ties had been severed 10 minutes in. Juno kicks you right in the sentimental bone repeatedly, and it connects because the protagonist herself is so relatable.

Superbad had the laughs, Juno has the plot. The plot itself isn't all that novel, and the fish-out-of-water moments are almost painful, but the story is kept grounded by the high-quality characters themselves. Also, the pacing is quality. Where Superbad went off the rails 45 minutes in and fell into a bit of a funk, Juno's slow-ish start builds steam; I was kept interested throughout the entire course of the film and actually cared about how it would end (a great sign).

The make-or-break part is the acting. Superbad felt like a slice of reality; like someone took a camera into your school's hallway and just started taking shots of random students. The acting felt completely natural, and never slowed the film down. Juno, on the other hand, feels much more cinematic, and the characters actually feel like characters. Also, Juno's personality grates a bit at times. Just the same, the acting is very, very good.

So, which film do I prefer? I think it's about even. Superbad has a ton of flaws, from poor pacing, to having virtually no plot to keep it together, but it had the laughs to keep me interested. Juno is just a fantastic story, with not a ton of laughs, but a passable amount. I think it's fair that I give it the same rating I gave Superbad.

7.5/10

Great write-up, LM, even if you seem a bit more forgiving than I do about the dialogue.

Since you mentioned Knocked Up, I'm curious how you would compare those two since they are both comedies that deal with unexpected pregnancies. I also feel like Knocked Up, while very funny, has some of the elements that you feel Superbad is missing (characters, a plot, better emotional ties).
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:05 AM   #855
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I really don't know why you would even compare Juno to Superbad. Having one actor in both movies is a weak string to hang it on, I think.

Completely different movies, completely different humor.
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