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  1. #81
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Essential Killing

    Its other qualities aside, this film's premise alone will sell or repel most folks: we follow an unnamed Taliban fighter who, having killed several American soldiers in Afghanistan, is captured, 'processed', and whisked away to (I think) Poland, where he manages to escape and must elude his pursuers. The Age described it as "the action movie of the year" to which I must say: what the fuck? There's certainly action in it, but I wouldn't call it an action film. The last reel in particular wanders from that track entirely and takes a seat with the arthouse crowd.

    So... what of it? I don't know, but I have some thoughts. The film is called "Essential Killing", yet were all his kills actually essential? The lumberjack was problematic. The film seems to agree: his clothing - white until that point - runs red with blood. Yet he doesn't relish killing, indeed his physical deterioration seems to echo his spiritual anguish. But is that enough to save him? There's a white horse at the end. Or at least, that's what the film shows us. I don't think there actually was any horse. But this is a white and beautiful horse and our protagonist too is clean and freshly dressed. And then he coughs up blood, spoiling its white mane.

    This is a film about perspective, the drive to survive and what that can mean for our humanity. It doesn't give us answers, but rather is content to provoke thoughts. It's not a great film, but one could do a lot worse.

    On a final note, this film has some wonderful cinematography. There's a silent helicopter shot in particular which is breathtaking.
    Last edited by Rii; 31-07-2011 at 06:26 PM.

  2. #82
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    I went to see Arrietty last night. I deliberately chose to see a subtitled showing, because I figured there would be a smaller crowd, but unfortunately I was right: seeing the audience barely number double digits was quite saddening.

    Maybe people just decided not to go and see it because they'd already pirated it from the Japanese release a year ago, but I suspect it was the subtitles. That kind of makes sense. It wasn't just a subtitled film; it was essentially a subtitled kids' film, and you just don't take your kids to see a subtitled film.
    "Moronic cynicism is a kind of na´vetÚ. It's na´vetÚ turned inside-out. Na´vetÚ wearing a sneer." -Momus

  3. #83
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    Unbreakable;

    Awesome. Would've liked it to be left a little ambiguous at the end, the "visions" seemed a little far. Still then I'd complain an ending of a delusional man endangering himself and his family repeatedly wasn't particularly fulfilling. I actually preferred Unbreakable to The Sixth Sense.

  4. #84
    Network Hub 8-bit's Avatar
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    captien americaland person, man. it was quite good, of course I was expecting it to be awful. avengers trailer looked ok.

    confessions. some heavy stuff in there, much darker than the other two films I have seen from the director, but brilliantly done as usual.

  5. #85
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ian's Avatar
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    I watched The Town last night. Another cracker from Affleck.
    A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.

  6. #86
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    The Exorcism of Emily Rose

    There's a lot to like about this film. I'm not one to bemoan the supposed victimisation of Christians in contemporary society, but I admit it was refreshing to see a film portraying a Priest - and a Catholic one at that - in a sympathetic light.

    Unfortunately there a few things holding it back:
    - Although the courtroom material is well executed in exploring the various facets of its unique case, the rest of it is a little too by the numbers. The procedures, character beats and so on, it's all a little too familiar. Blame the genre's overexposure on television, it nonetheless detracts from the film's impact.
    - The foreboding atmosphere so well established outside the courtroom unsurprisingly fails to carry over into it, sapping the film's 'gut impact'. It's a pity, as the demonic possession stuff was surprisingly disturbing.
    - We didn't get to know Emily Rose well enough, particularly throughout the first half of the film. Her 'sacrifice' thus seems to come a little out of left field and lacks plausibility. It works for the plot and perhaps thematically, but it doesn't feel like a natural evolution of her character.
    - The endings: ROTK syndrome, made worse by the fact that the verdict scene seemed so superfluous to the story told thus far. They tried to mix it up a little, but nonetheless one can't escape the feeling that the film is just going through the motions. There's a verdict because there has to be a verdict, the film not being adventurous enough to deviate from its format.

    Ultimately this film comes in at the upper end of "retain, but not buy" on my evaluative spectrum. Although apparently there's an alternative cut available, I wonder what was changed...

    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    I went to see Arrietty last night. I deliberately chose to see a subtitled showing, because I figured there would be a smaller crowd, but unfortunately I was right: seeing the audience barely number double digits was quite saddening.

    Maybe people just decided not to go and see it because they'd already pirated it from the Japanese release a year ago, but I suspect it was the subtitles. That kind of makes sense. It wasn't just a subtitled film; it was essentially a subtitled kids' film, and you just don't take your kids to see a subtitled film.
    Yeah, I think you were looking at a niche within a niche within a niche within a niche there. Lucky to get double digits. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Vague-rant View Post
    Unbreakable;

    Awesome. Would've liked it to be left a little ambiguous at the end, the "visions" seemed a little far. Still then I'd complain an ending of a delusional man endangering himself and his family repeatedly wasn't particularly fulfilling. I actually preferred Unbreakable to The Sixth Sense.
    Unbreakable is awesome, probably my favourite Shyamalan film too, if only because The Sixth Sense was spoiled for me before I saw it. Unbreakable cops a lot of flack for its pacing - probably from those who went to see it based on the 'superhero' tag - but I loved every minute of it.

    Ebert recently defined an 'art film' as one that relies for its effect upon the close observation of human behaviour. In that context, I think Shyamalan's thing - which always manages to shine through irrespective of the quality of the final product - is in marrying that sensibility to supernatural or otherwise unworldly circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I watched The Town last night. Another cracker from Affleck.
    Wait, so Affleck has actually been in stuff worth watching since Good Will Hunting? Clearly I'm behind the times here.
    Last edited by Rii; 05-08-2011 at 08:35 PM.

  7. #87
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I feel a bit sorry for Shyamalan, I have no idea what happened but he has definitly crashed after making 3 really quite good movies(I actually really liked Signs, its very very good on atmosphere and creepyness). The thing thats most tragic is that even at his worser movies you can still see that apark that made Shyamalan very good.

    Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2


    Finally got to see this, in 3D to. Didin't think the 3D added anything, and I think it subtracted it in a few instances since the film is quite dark visually and 3D worsens that sometimes. The film is quite dark thematically as well, also fecking brutal sometimes. The opening is very similar to part 1 where its more quiet talk but it quickly gets to more action later on, when it comes to the Fight against Hogwarts it is pretty full on. There is quite a few deaths, but I don't know if they were done really well. They were a bit to glossed over. Also bloody hell the good guys like killing people as well.

    Have to say the most brutal death had to be Snape's, oh god even though it was behind a glass it was clear what was happenning to him. Also that pensieve moment where you find out Snape's motivations absolutly stunning. It is just probably one of the best and most emotionally wrenching moments of the film, I really wish that bit was a lot longer because it was really great. Props for Alan Rickman in this film, he didn't have much screentime so a lot of his emotions was in his facial features and just the way he acted.

    I have to say the finale for me was quite good to be honest, there are some random moments that kind of come out of nowhere. The kiss between Ron and Hermione for one, its like they just randomly decided to kiss. Also I was wondering where Hagrid was and he just randomly pops up. There was some cool visual moments, and the great one was the whole "otherworld" scene. Also the 19 years later really worked for me in the film even though it really didn't in the book, I guess probably because it was mostly visual.

    Would definitly say that I was diissapointed by the 7th book but these 2 films have actually improved it a lot. Really touching that it has ended and I would love to see these 2 films one after the other.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    Wait, so Affleck has actually been in stuff worth watching since Good Will Hunting? Clearly I'm behind the times here.
    Don't know about "been in" but he seems like he could be a pretty decent Director. Gone Baby Gone and The Town were both his creations and they were both pretty good.

  9. #89
    Network Hub 8-bit's Avatar
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    I saw Bunny and the Bull the other day. the adverts said it was from one of the people who worked on The Mighty Boosh, so I was expecting it to be a like a misguided, extra long, tv episode that they try to pass off as a full movie, but it was actually pretty good. its nice to have your expectations proven wrong sometimes.

  10. #90
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    The Warlords

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok_5C...eature=related

    A Chinese film jointly produced by Hong Kong and mainland China producers, starred by well-known Andy Lau, Jet Li and Takeshi Kaneshiro (this one I always wonder if he's Taiwanese or Japanese). During the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the last feudal (by feudal we refer to the feudal class system, feudal land system was not tolerated by the Qing rulers after the first few decades of their ruling), the Taiping Rebellion, lasted from 1853 to 1864, was said to have cost over 70 million life, higher than death tolls of the Second World War. Taiping rebels were rebels who were inspired by Christianity against the corrupted Qing authority. The film is about how Qing army general Pang Qingyun, bandit turned general Zho Erhu and Jiang Wuyang became sworn blood brothers to form an army to fight for the Qing government against the seemingly unstoppable rebels. Yet, cruel political reality forced them to turn on each other, and after the victory of the Qing court over the bloody civil war, their life ended in tragedy. Most of the film, aside from the story background itself, is based on truth events. Yet for unknown reason, the producers chose to change the names of those historical figures.

    The theme of the film can be summarized by a statement of Zho Erhu as the reason why poor people should join the military, "Since we are to be the bandit, we should be the greatest!"

    There are three version of this film I am aware of: Hong Kong and Taiwan version, mainland China version, and western version. I strong recommend Hong Kong and Taiwan version. It's very common that English subs is inserted in a Hong Kong film.
    Last edited by squirrel; 12-08-2011 at 04:57 PM.

  11. #91
    Network Hub 8-bit's Avatar
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    Planet of the apes marathon yesterday, in order from bestest to worstest.

    planet of the apes
    conquest
    escape
    beneath
    battle

    the thing that interests me the most about these films is that they were big blockbuster movies, you could even say family movies, but every single one of them has a downer ending. everyone either ends up dead or is doomed to repeat the same events that lead to the second film. its just not the sort of thing studios would even dare to put in the big movies these days, and even though the quality falls after the first they should still be applauded for having the guts to go through with it. how many family films can you name where the world is completely destroyed and everyone dies?

    the films do have a lot of plot holes between them, like how Cornelius and Zira were going to go on trial after the first film, but appear safe and almost friendly with Dr. Zaius in the second. the way that Cornelius quotes ape scripture in the third film, telling of the origin of the apes as if it were common knowledge. this is obviously completely inaccurate since the information was a supposed to be a sort of state secret, even after the first film he shouldn't have known that in such detail.

    then there is the fourth film, and since that needed Caesar to lead the revolution, events that could only happen hundreds of years in the future (as Cornelius tells us) are brought forward to be twenty years after the third. ignoring how ridiculous it is to think that apes evolved to the point of speech within twenty years, we are asked to believe that america has become some sort of fascist state with high level tech in that time, just because cats and dogs died out? well as long as you turn your brain off its still good, but still, people don't check scripts?

  12. #92
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    La Femme Nikita

    I first saw this in French class at school and it's interesting which bits I remembered from that first viewing and which I didn't. Well, 'damning of my younger self' would be another way of putting it. I remembered the gang shootout, the pen thing, and the Streyr (which has to be one of the most awesome rifles ever, and not just because the Australian Army uses it) in the bathroom. What I hadn't remembered was, well, everything that makes this film worth watching.

    This is not a complicated film, nor a deep one. The plotting is implausible where not outright ridiculous. And yet it works, and what makes it work are the characters who could almost be real people. They're archetypal, but not archetypes. Nikita herself is obviously the star here, being revealed to us in all her myriad facets over the course of the film, but the supporting cast is well textured also. Even Victor, poured from the 'ruthless professional' mold, seems delightfully human in his single-mindedness; most of us have probably met someone like him before, minus the gun.

    It strikes me that Luc Besson's later film Leon: The Professional is very similar to Nikita, not merely in its subject matter but also in that both films are elevated above other, superficially similar films by the care given to their characters.


    Senna

    This is another film I saw for personal, historical reasons. I'm not a Formula One fan, yet I remember sitting as a child in front of the TV marvelling at Senna's ridiculous talent in the wet. Of course we all know what happened next and it's been about that long since I paid the sport any mind. So when this doco came around my interest was piqued both on account of its subject matter, and the largely stellar reception it has received to date. So what of it?

    Well... it does the job. Honestly, I'm not sure where all the praise is coming from here. It's unadventurous, overly long, skimps on detail in parts and overly indulges its commentators halting and directionless musings in others. When We Were Kings this is not. On the plus side the inclusion of Prost adds much to the production, and I'm pleased that they didn't push the easy and undoubtedly tempting Senna/Hero vs. Prost/Villain narrative.

    I found the film engaging enough, but that was almost entirely down to its subject matter. The execution, OTOH, could've been that of a TV production. I don't know where all the love for this film is coming from, except for the obvious: because it's Senna.

    For some reason I now feel the urge to play Codies' F1 2011.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vague-rant View Post
    Don't know about "been in" but he seems like he could be a pretty decent Director.
    Oh, right. Well don't I look stupid now?
    Last edited by Rii; 28-08-2011 at 08:25 PM.

  13. #93
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    I saw Senna quite recently and I really enjoyed it.
    Of course I am merely a youngling so wasn't aware of it when it all happened so i was hearing most of it for the first time. I thought it was pretty great though, great old footage of races and behind the scenes stuff and presenting formula 1 and Senna and the other drivers in a way i'd never seen before. Plus he seemed like a pretty awesome dude.

  14. #94
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable View Post
    I thought it was pretty great though, great old footage of races and behind the scenes stuff and presenting formula 1 and Senna and the other drivers in a way i'd never seen before.
    I guess maybe I'm missing something in not having followed Formula 1 to really appreciate the contrast between the face of modern F1 and what the film shows us.

    Plus he seemed like a pretty awesome dude.
    I actually wish they'd gone into more detail re: Senna the man. We didn't learn a lot about him outside Formula 1. Hell I think the film gave me a better handle on Prost the man than it did Senna.
    Last edited by Rii; 30-08-2011 at 11:50 AM.

  15. #95
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    I saw inception for the first time. My theory is that Cobb went into a permanent dream state after the death of his wife, and the totem toppling represents his refusal to accept his new reality. He then creates this elaborate ‘one last job’ fantasy to forgive himself.

    Oh, spoilers.

  16. #96
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Had a bit of a nazism film double bill it seems.

    American History X - Really interesting character study I have to say this is, I really felt that Edward Nortan was a smart kid just kind of perverted into something hateful and how his brother was becoming like him. Doesn't hit lightly and when you finally figure out why they turned out this way and how there getting their life back it becomes quite heartfelt and really quite lovely. The ending though...I don't know...I wouldn't have minded the happy ending but they had to end it shockingly like that. I don't really get what its trying to say.

    Downfall - This definitly doesn't pull any punches by depicting the last days of Hitler and the third reich and Germany. Its quite sad sometimes, a little comical, a little tragic, and quite dark. Hitler is played really well I have to say, I don't know if I should say this but I kind of felt a little tinge of sadness about him about his dreams being taken away from him and him totally losing like that. It is shown he is quite kind sometimes, but also shown that he can be quite horrible and evil as well. Hitler is actually very interesting characters. The other characters are quite interesting as well, and it does kind of show you that maybe people were a little caught up in Hitler's rheteric and just couldn't think of surrendering. Lots and lots of suicides at the last half hour. Pretty damn good film, definitly recommended.

    Also I really wish there was more films about the nazi side, and Hitler in general. Interesting subject.

    Super 8 - Pure Steven Speilburg even though it wasn't directed by him. Pretty good story about a group of boys and 1 girl making a flm together and finding about a big conspiricy happenning around them. Its very very good when It is focusing on the kids and it becomes like a great Speilburg films. It kind of goes a little downhill whenever the kids father is on screen following the conspiricy, you could totally take away his character and it kind of wouldn't make a difference. I really like this film and it definitly touches a lot of the emotionalness of it. Except for the kids father, his make up with the kid is a little hollow because he acts like a dick throughout the whole entire movie and it doesn't seem like his character really changes.

  17. #97
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    Well, what with it being the summer hols and all, I've watched the following in recent weeks:

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Kids loved it (first introduction for them all to the Python world, even though one of them is named Monty!).

    Labou - pish-poor treasure-hunting film for kids. Cross between The Goonies and Flight of the Navigator, without the charm and fun of either.

  18. #98
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    American History X Really interesting character study I have to say this is [....] The ending though...I don't know...I wouldn't have minded the happy ending but they had to end it shockingly like that. I don't really get what its trying to say.
    I have to say I've never really thought of the film as a character study, more as a definitive work on the personal and social effects of hatred and violence, applicable even beyond racism per se. As such I thought the ending was fitting, a commentary on the enormity of the barriers to change. "And they lived happily ever after" by comparison would've fallen flat, and been kinda dishonest. I think it comes down to our difference in perspective about what the film is.

    Downfall - This definitly doesn't pull any punches by depicting the last days of Hitler and the third reich and Germany. Its quite sad sometimes, a little comical, a little tragic, and quite dark. [....] Lots and lots of suicides at the last half hour. Pretty damn good film, definitly recommended.

    Also I really wish there was more films about the nazi side, and Hitler in general. Interesting subject.
    Yes. I'm glad that we're finally seeing more films of this nature. That scene with Magda Goebbels and her children was chilling.
    Last edited by Rii; 29-08-2011 at 08:16 PM.

  19. #99
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    Have either of you seen Cross of Iron?

  20. #100
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I haven't, no.

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