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Old 05-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #691
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I saw Silk and St Trinians

Thought Silk was way too long and very slow and a bit boring.........Michael Pitt seems to enjoy NOT being an energetic actor (just look at Last Days also).

St Trinians I thought was fantastic.....I loved Rupert Everett in this and laughed at his character........all in all a fun Summer-type movie.


makes a change from all the silly gory graphic movies that Hollywood seems to be putting out these days....thats what seems to be on for rent.
Are they stuck for ideas or what! LOL!

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Old 05-06-2008, 01:08 PM   #692
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Robert Downey Jr. was on Jay Leno last night. Said he & Favareau popped into two theaters over the weekend in L.A. (Cinerama Dome and The Bridge). I've always liked him. Will have to catch this movie soon!

Saw Baby Mama over the weekend. Didn't have high expectations - thought it would just be alright, but I did like it. Was funny. Steve Martin
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:59 PM   #693
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64

Saw Baby Mama over the weekend. Didn't have high expectations - thought it would just be alright, but I did like it. Was funny. Steve Martin
Even though we're big Tina Fey fans, my daughter went to see this very reluctantly, with a friend who dragged her to see it, because the commercials for it look so awful. She said it was better than she expected, that the dumbness of the commercials don't really reflect the overall movie.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:32 PM   #694
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:37 AM   #695
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The Fall 7.5/ 10

This film has a great look to it.
Try and see it on a big screen.
It has the actor from "pushing daisies"

he does a good job



Redbelt 8/10

I am a big David Mamet fan

this is very good, not his best

but very good from Mamet is better than good from most

Typical Mamet dialog, short, no frills sentences

and of course a plot that takes a turn or two.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:22 AM   #696
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Looking forward to both those films, deep.

Glad to see you liked them.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:23 AM   #697
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By the way, saw Speed Racer in IMAX last night.

F-ing incredible.

I'm going to think about it a bit more though before I write up a big review for it. Maybe even see it another time.

But that's my teaser for you.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #698
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Iron Man... fuck yeah!
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:57 AM   #699
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Iron Man - 7.5/10

I really enjoyed this, mostly thanks to Robert Downey Jr's dynamic, entertaining and endearing turn; I don't think the movie would have worked anywhere as well without him. I was also surprised at how much I liked Gwyneth Paltrow, I wouldn't have picked her for this kind of movie at all. The flying sequences were awesome and reminded me how badly I wanted to be able to fly when little,
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:54 PM   #700
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Speed Racer - Andy and Larry Wachowski - 2008



Speed Racer was a film 20 years in the making, a property that Joel Silver and Warner Brothers couldn't quite get off the ground for the longest time. With good reason. The original Speed Racer animated series was a low-budget, hammy, bizarre Japanese kids show with a quirky English dub... and it wasn't particularly good, a concession even the most die-hard Speed Racer fantastic would likely make. Nearly 40 years after it's initial three season run, Speed Racer found its Hollywood saviors in anime-and-comic-enthusiast filmmaking mavericks Andy and Larry Wachowski.

The brothers' last directoral effort was a combo of simultaneously filmed Matrix sequels, a set of films many fans and critic felt fell far below the lofty standards set by the original film. Four years later, an open-minded examination of the Matrix sequels could reveal a case of filmmaking far less disastrous than many would claim, particularly in the thrilling Matrix: Reloaded. They exhibit brilliant composition and virtual camera work, a keen visual design, and some of the more impressive and ambition action set pieces seen this decade. Where things begin to fall apart for The Matrix trilogy is in the verbose and wooden narrative exposition. The directors drew from their deep love and knowledge of anime features and delivered an adult-themed sci-fi adventure, very Japanese in approach and not unlike or uninspired by something like Ghost in the Shell.



In creating Speed Racer, they took their patented living anime design methodology complete with lengthy verbal exposition and speechifying in the typical anime tradition, only now it fits within the customs of the source material and compliments the aims and structure of the film where it often fell flat in the Matrix films. Speed Racer really does accomplish something that has never been quite so successfully executed in a live action film before. The Wachowski brothers said they were going to make a live action cartoon, and that’s exactly that we have here.

Speed Racer is probably the second truly groundbreaking film of 2008 (the first being Mark Pellington and Catherine Owens’ landmark stereoscopic concert film U2 3D). The first and most striking feature of the film is its unique visual design. Many critics and audiences haven’t seemed able to get past the assault of color and light that never ceases throughout its 135-minute duration. However, underneath the initially overwhelming color palate lies an exquisitely conceptualized and executed composition of digital imagery. Nearly each scene is a composite of several two-dimensional and three-dimensional animated images that move over and with one another in much the same way as traditional Japanese animated features. The results mesh better with the live action components better than one would expect, and the performances across the board capture the magic of the fantasy world and imbue the inherently shallow material with a much needed core of humanity and sincere emotion.



Emile Hirsch is tasked with a role I’d consider even more challenging than his critically praised turn in Sean Penn’s Into The Wild. Here he is demanded to be charismatic, exude a dominant physical presence, and be the heart of a sincere family tale. John Goodman and Susan Sarandon play Pops and Mom Racer, and likewise provide some of the film’s more emotional character interactions, and remain sincere without becoming hammy or saccharine. Supporting players like Matthew Fox and Roger Allam take advantage of the unique style of the film and their roles and seemingly have more fun in the process than they’ve ever had. Special note should be made to Christina Ricci who finds the perfect place next to Hirsch’s Speed as Trixie, femininely empowering but always cute and sexy, and plays her character as the perfect embodiment of a female anime lead with her huge expressive eyes and goofy haircut.

But Speed Racer is an action film first and foremost, and many people are going to come to the theaters looking for thrilling race sequences and dazzling visual spectacle. The Wachowskis clearly understand how to pace and structure an action film. Speed Racer features about six action set pieces, the first and last being prize races where Speed excises some personal struggles through the actions in his car. The central set piece is an extended rally race through three different climates and landscapes featuring some of the film’s more outlandish “stunts” and grand visual statements. Several martial arts oriented conflicts highlight the Wachowskis’ proven aptitude towards stylized hand-to-hand combat, only now infused with a new refreshing lightheartedness that audiences likely weren’t aware Andy and Larry possessed. The finale of the film, a dazzling Grand Prix race in a city center with mind-bogglingly intricate visual design, builds upon the momentum of the rest of the movie exploding into a wholly surreal deconstruction of the film’s color and graphic palate after the climax of the race.

In setting the pace of motion of the film, the creators utilized a fairly radical and potentially off-putting narrative technique. Any particular moment or indication in one scene can trigger a tangentially related flashback, flash-forward or flash-lateral/vertical/wherever you could possibly imagine. These transitions in time or space are usually accomplished by a horizontal wipe across the frame of a characters face or other bridging object. The very first race of the film alone carries the narrative space over an entire lifetime of character defining moments, simultaneously building an essentially straightforward back story and delivering an episodic action piece with its own emotional and narrative climax and resolution. It can be a confusing and difficult 15 minutes to open a film with, but if the viewer can buy into the Wachowskis’ vision and methods, the foundation of the following two hours is set in a beautiful, elegant, and often surprising new way.



Said swipes and transitions inhabit even the most innocuous of scenes, such as a quiet conversation between Royalton and a potential business partner; profiles and faces wiping from side to side as the dialogue ensues distorting the continuity of the space and perspective in which this otherwise mundane scene would play. This remarkably forward-moving and forward-thinking editing ideology is pervasive of every aspect of the filmmaking, and lends the piece a unique rhythm that never stops moving and never stops ramping the amplitude of its visual and kinetic energy.

What is likely to prove the most influential innovation here is the extensive use of the virtual camera, taking full advantage of the digital medium, allowing for high-energy motion shots through the cinematic space the likes of which have remained unseen till now. The races are thus filmed in completely new and surprising ways that are initially startling and awkward upon first viewing, but quickly become more familiar and elegant as the film progresses. In one particularly technically inspiring scene where Speed and Trixie are racing one behind the other along a mountain Cliffside, the camera whips with breakneck speed forward and backward from one character face to another as they exchange quips. A typical edit of this scene would simply cut from one shot of the character to the other, but what the Wachowskis accomplish is far more kinetic, exciting, in keeping with the spirit of the original anime, and likely trendsetting. The combined effect of these techniques consequently both tightens and expands the space of the cinema world, the camera serving as an omniscient effervescent carrier for the viewer, and the transitional methods layering the time and space of the film in a sort of Z-depth where a wipe from side to side merely washes one dimension out of the way revealing the one below it.



Ultimately, Speed Racer is just exactly what it is, a Hollywood adaptation of a cheesy cartoon from the sixties. So far it looks as though the film will go down in the books as a near complete commercial and critical disappointment, but such is the niche appeal of the source material and the approach of two visionary filmmakers on the cutting edge of the industry. Speed Racer is a fun family film with levels of humour that should appeal to a variety of demographics and a surprisingly poignant and successful emotional core. Where Speed Racer succeeds in strides in its bold groundbreaking technique and design that genuinely pushes the envelope and expands the cinematic language, an ambition that few modern blockbuster filmmakers rarely attempt let alone accomplish. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but few films this brave rarely are. However, it is likely just about as great a feature film as anyone could ever have hoped to make from “Mach GoGoGo” (yes, that’s Speed Racer to North American crowds.)
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:11 PM   #701
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I realized I completely forgot to mention Michael Giacchino's absolutely fantastic score for the film, that incorporates a lot of really original fantastic work with a brilliant deconstruction of the famous Speed Racer musical theme, and a bit of play with diegetic sound herre and there inside the score.

Really inspiring stuff all around, absolutely fantastic composer as we all know, and he really pushed the envelope here.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #702
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Did you write that up, Lance? Well done.

The visuals look really intriguing, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that there's any sort of plot or emotional interplay that would a) be any good; b) make the movie anything more than a visual marvel.

And yes, this is just based on the little I know of Speed Racer. The mere concept of the movie did not interest me in the least. But my interest is piqued at least on a visual level.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:56 PM   #703
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I did write that, thank you.

And I'll address your points really briefly again:

Decent plot. It's not particularly substantial, but it doesn't need to be. The original show is remarkably shallow and breezy, and the movie is pretty much the same way, except the characters are all really likable, and it has a great family message at its center that surprisingly keeps away from being too hammy or eye-rolling. The plot involved Speed being signed by an evil corporation who fixes all the major racers for stock and what not. Then Speed Racer tried to overcome all odds to win on his own legit terms and bust the criminal conspiracy. But it's the family thing, and a genuinely moving relationship between Speed and his "lost" brother Rex that give it good motivation and weight.

Like I said, it's not a heavy drama or anything, but it's more there than you'd anticipate. It can be easy to lose in the visual barrage from time to time though.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:14 PM   #704
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Great write-up, Lance.

Do you see any other summer films, apart from The Dark Knight, topping this one for you?
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:21 PM   #705
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Hellboy II, The Dark Knight, and The X-File all have the potential I think, but I wouldn't be entirely too surprised if none of them did.
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