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The Movie Review Thread
« on: June 23, 2009, 12:11:09 AM »

Offline MattG12

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I am a regular reader of movie reviews by Roger Ebert and the many posters on IMDB. I used to spend a lot of time posting on IMDB but ever since I started posting on CelticsBlog... well IMDB just isn't diverse enough for me. Judging by my frequent visits to the "Movie Line Trivia" thread there are many other CelticsBlog posters who enjoy movies just as much as I do. I am an avid DVD collector. It is a hobby I started last year around
this time and I now have 93 DVDs. That number does not include Television Series Box Sets and Sports Documentaries such as "A Nation Rewarded". I am very proud of my collection considering it is so young. My dream is to make enough money in the future that I can have one of those nifty home theaters with a full wall full of DVDs (Or maybe 2).

There are many great minds on this blog and I would be very interested to hear opinions on movies that I like, don't like, or perhaps haven't even heard of. As many of you know I also enjoy making lists. So I will give a small "review" of each of my 5 favorite movies of 2008 just to begin the "Movie Review Thread". And I put review in quotation marks because I will not exactly review the plot but instead tell why I liked the movies. I don't like to give things away. Feel free to PM me for reviews that include spoilers...

MattG12's Top Movies of 2008 (From What I've Seen)

1. In Bruges - 4 Stars
Colin Farrell. When I hear the name I cringe. I feel he is one of the most overrated actors in the history of film. Luckily in the movie "In Bruges" Colin did not have to do a lot of acting. He did not have to change his accent which he never seems to be able to hide in other roles. He did not have to seem intelligent, he did not have to watch his language. This film was made for Colin Farrell. Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes played their roles tremendously as I expected them to. I believe this was the first real "dark comedy" I had ever seen and I am now in love with the genre. I don't want to go to much into the plot of the movie but the director and cinematographer accomplished an amazing feat by turning such a drab town into a circus. I believe this movie should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the year.

2. Slumdog Millionaire - 4 Stars
I understand why this film did end up winning Best Picture of the year. I'm sure most people who will end up reading this thread has already seen this movie. It was excellent, however, had this movie been released in 2007 I don't believe it would have even been nominated. Don't get me wrong, it was a great movie but very, very overrated.

3. Gran Torino - 3.5 Stars
Clint Eastwood is sensational in this movie and I believe he is the only actor who could pull this off, right now (There are many actors who could pull it off but are currently far too young to play the part). Some supporting characters have less than sensational acting skills (Not saying I could do any better), but Clint Eastwood is so good in this movie that they don't need to be good at all.

4. Doubt - 3.5 Stars
In my opinion Colin Farrell is to actor as Meryl Streep is to actress. I just don't see it, and I'm not saying I'm right. However, this film is a perfect fit for her as well. Amy Adams is perfect in her role, I don't know a lot about her work so I don't know if that was to be expected. Last but not least, Philip Seymour Hoffman was outstanding. This guy is one of my favorite actors, he steals movies and it is amazing to watch. The pace was very slow, but for some reason I loved it.

5. Burn After Reading - 3.5 Stars
Where was this? This movie was hiding during all of the award ceremonies. I compare it to "In Bruges", another dark comedy with naive characters. Like "In Bruges" the movie relies on excellent dialogue one minute and complete silence the next. The movie starts slow, as it must to introduce a huge cast, and suddenly it speeds up and then it's over. Things that don't make you laugh in the beginning will make you laugh at the end when everything comes together. Excellent film.

Honorable Mentions:
Revolutionary Road - 3.5 Stars
The Reader - 3 Stars
Milk - 3.5 Stars
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - 4 Stars (a 4 star comedy doesn't beat a 3.5 star drama IMO)
The Dark Knight - 3 Stars
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 3 Stars

(Recently seen)
The Wrestler - 3 Stars
Changeling - 4 Stars
Frost/Nixon - 4 Stars
Notorious - 3 Stars

Enjoy the thread everybody. Hopefully it will be a popular one!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 04:22:37 PM by MattG12 »

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 01:13:51 AM »

Offline Reggie's Ghost

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So do you want our recs? Or just discuss those movies you put out here?  And is your rating system 1-4? 1-5?  You have a movie you describe as "overrated" as 4, and a movie you call "excellent" a 3.5, I'm not sure I get the system.  However I love the thread idea, am an avid film watcher and a professional filmmaker, and love talking about movies with people.  TP for getting this started, I'll be sure to check in...

1. In Bruges - 4 Stars
Colin Farrell. When I hear the name I cringe. I feel he is one of the most overrated actors in the history of film. Luckily in the movie "In Bruges" Colin did not have to do a lot of acting. He did not have to change his accent which he never seems to be able to hide in other roles. He did not have to seem intelligent, he did not have to watch his language. This film was made for Colin Farrell. Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes played their roles tremendously as I expected them to. I believe this was the first real "dark comedy" I had ever seen and I am now in love with the genre. I don't want to go to much into the plot of the movie but the director and cinematographer accomplished an amazing feat by turning such a drab town into a circus. I believe this movie should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the year.

Colin Farrell is a talentless hack 99% of the time, but check out "Tigerland" if you'd like to see him rock a role as a soldier preparing to be shipped out to Vietnam, and he has an extremely good Texas accent the whole film.  He can pull good stuff out of his butt under certain circumstances.  Not that I'm recommending the film, but he really carries it...

4. Doubt - 3.5 Stars
In my opinion Colin Farrell is to actor as Meryl Streep is to actress. I just don't see it, and I'm not saying I'm right. However, this film is a perfect fit for her as well. Amy Adams is perfect in her role, I don't know a lot about her work so I don't know if that was to be expected. Last but not least, Philip Seymour Hoffman was outstanding. This guy is one of my favorite actors, he steals movies and it is amazing to watch. The pace was very slow, but for some reason I loved it.

Really, you don't see Meryl Streep at all?  Really?  Have you seen her some of her greatest stuff?  I mean she's one of the most legendary, acclaimed actresses of all time.  She's not some Julia Roberts type that is limited to certain roles.  Right off the bat, "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Sofie's Choice," "The Bridges of Madison County," hell she's even magnificent in "Adaptation." 

Agree to disagree on that one I guess  ;D

5. Burn After Reading - 3.5 Stars
Where was this? This movie was hiding during all of the award ceremonies. I compare it to "In Bruges", another dark comedy with naive characters. Like "In Bruges" the movie relies on excellent dialogue one minute and complete silence the next. The movie starts slow, as it must to introduce a huge cast, and suddenly it speeds up and then it's over. Things that don't make you laugh in the beginning will make you laugh at the end when everything comes together. Excellent film.

Haven't seen it, but it was directed by the best contemporary filmmakers alive, Coen Brothers are flat out money in the bank...

Honorable Mentions:
Revolutionary Road - 3.5 Stars
The Reader - 3 Stars
Milk - 3.5 Stars
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - 4 Stars (a 4 star comedy doesn't beat a 3.5 star drama IMO)
The Dark Knight - 3 Stars
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 3 Stars

Thanks for mentioning FSM and rating it a 4. Not that I would give it a 4 out of 4, but I was dragged kicking and screaming to that film, ended up loving it. Just so much better than anyone will ever believe until they watch it cause it has awful curb appeal.

A 4 star comedy is worth twice as much as 4 star dramas IMO, if you look at anyone's "Top 100" movies of all time, it will be 90% dramas. In my mind a great comedy is literally an endangered species, I like lightening but I like it in a bottle more...

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 02:16:20 AM »

Offline MattG12

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So do you want our recs? Or just discuss those movies you put out here?  And is your rating system 1-4? 1-5?  You have a movie you describe as "overrated" as 4, and a movie you call "excellent" a 3.5, I'm not sure I get the system.  However I love the thread idea, am an avid film watcher and a professional filmmaker, and love talking about movies with people.  TP for getting this started, I'll be sure to check in...

I want this thread to be whatever everybody else wants it to be. You can comment on the movies I've listed, or review your own movies, come up with a list of your favorites for a certain category or just all around favorites, or all around least favorites. There are a lot of threads on here for specific movies, but I did not see a general thread to just have random movie discussion. I like single threads with broad subjects rather than multiples threads that limit you to talk about one thing. I believe the conversation is more plentiful and informative with a broad subject.

As far as the rating system that is just a tool I use (It is 1-4).

When I said Slumdog Millionaire was overrated what I meant was if you were to compare it to the amazing film class of 2007 (There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, Into The Wild, The Assassination of Jesse James, Atonement) I believe it falls behind each of those films. In my opinion Slumdog Millionaire was the second best film of 2008. I don't dislike the film in any way, I just believe it was over hyped. Perhaps over hyped is a better way to put it than overrated. When I call Burn After Reading "excellent" that too has to do with hype. That movie flew under the radar and some people may have missed it and they should know that they are missing out on an excellent film. I don't feel that I need to say Slumdog Millionaire is excellent because most people have seen it and also think it was excellent, which it was.

Anyways, I'm glad you enjoy the thread and will be very interested in your opinions in the future. TP right back to you!

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 10:25:13 AM »

Offline celticmaestro

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I love movies, I love reviewing them. TP for you Matt (although aren't we in 2009? ;))

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 12:00:51 PM »

Offline MattG12

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I love movies, I love reviewing them. TP for you Matt (although aren't we in 2009? ;))

lol, I'll do a Top 5 Movies of 2009 post in 2010... I need to see all the movies first. I haven't even seen Frost/Nixon, The Wrestler, Changeling, and some other supposedly good movies of 2008. Who knows, I might end up liking The Wrestler more than Burn After Reading. I was eager to start the topic though.

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 06:02:15 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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I am watching Bruno. I don't know how long I will last. There are a lot of male private parts, and also a lot of laughs. Worse though its almost too awkward..not as mean as Borat yet though.

Its um...pretty bad though. Not really my thing.

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Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 06:52:43 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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...and I couldn't finish Bruno. too awkward.

"You've gotta respect a 15-percent 3-point shooter. A guy
like that is always lethal." - Evan 'The God' Turner

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 08:08:18 PM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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I haven't seen many of the 2008 movies that you've rated, but the 2 I have seen I'll agree on 1 and disagree on the other.  Slumdog was a good, not great, movie and I agree it benefitted from a weaker set of nominees than in some years past.  The acting was good and the girl was beautiful -- those pieces in themselves drew me in.  The plot was contrived and not as intriguing as I had expected given the hype. I'd give it no more than a 3 -- but in the ballpark of your assessment.

The movie I disagree with is Gran Torino. I thought it was one of the poorest written and acted movies I've seen in a long time.  There was not a single believable scene in the film.  The main character's children, grandchildren, neighbors, pals were poorly played characatures -- nothing rang true to me in any of the relationships or interactions. I am a fan of Eastwood, though I have never admired his versatility as an actor - rather, he plays a stoic, minimally verbal, tough guy very well in most of his westerns and in the Dirty Harry series.  When he has too much dialogue to deliver, and too much depth, he tends to fail as an actor as he did in this venture.  This movie was predictable from beginning to end with the exception of the penultimate scene in which he confronted the 'gang'.  The scene delivered a surprise but hardly one that was gratifying or believable; rather, it was almost to say, 'let's try to trick the audience with this cleve twist' -- the twist however was not very clever and not very tricky.  Although the acting was just awful all around, it was not as bad as the writing which left me shaking my head after each scene.  Nothing seemed genuine, likely, believable, real.  The film had me feeling no connection to the characters, so there was no emotion felt when the movie made its feeble attempts to make me feel.  A terrible movie and a disappointment.  It was Karate Kid with absolutely no heart or soul.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 08:35:10 PM by Neurotic Guy »

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2009, 09:15:28 PM »

Offline Chief

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Matt, I'm with you on your rating system. 1-4 is the way to go, but I'd leave out the .5's, unless you can define what each means.

Something like this:

1-awful-skip all together
2.ok-wait for dvd
3.good
4.great



Once you are labeled 'the best' you want to stay up there, and you can't do it by loafing around.
 
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Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 01:12:56 AM »

Offline RayRay4MVP

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I Love You Beth Cooper (2009) by Reggies Ghost

The film itself was up and down in my mind, there were parts I thought were really excellent cinema (the speech at the beginning, and the story of how Rich Munsch decided to develop his wet towel martial arts skills are two great examples). Much of it, however, I thought was just stuck in the mud trying to capture the electricity of the countless identical films that have come before it. It was entertaining, it had a beginning middle and end, I didn't ask for my money back, but a pretty mediocre product in many ways IMO. Paul Rust was able to carry the role ok, but seriously why is she into him? He just never was able to transcend the geeky stiff character he was set to play. In other words, he ain't no Ed Norton. Another person who SERIOUSLY struggled was Lauren Storm, who was set up by a terribly written character, she wasn't doing herself any favors. Pretty much everyone else did what they could, but the film overall was not written well, and that is an insurmountable obstacle.

Forward the TPs to Reggies Ghost!




Courtesy of Reggies Ghost. Thank you!

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2009, 08:39:18 PM »

Offline celticinorlando

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Funny People:

Let me say I love the raunchy comedies (The Hangover, Borat, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, American Pies) but after about 30 minutes and almost 50 F bombs into this movie I was just about done. It was the most vulger movie I have ever seen. Not just the F word being used in EVERY scene but the down right nasty talk (esp the scene with Andy Dick). I mean the whole movie was a long penis and balls joke.

The plot as interesting....famous actor (Sandler) finds out he has cancer and is going to die. He decides to evaluate his life and try to right the wrongs in his life. He hire Seth Rogan to be his assistant and to right jokes for his stand up act. Rogan actually was the best part of the movie. Sandler finds out he isn't sick anymore and soon reverts back to who he was. Sandler's biggest regret is losing the one woman he loved. The movie drives toward them getting back together but then ends that idea quickly.

I understand that the life of a comedian and his sets are rated XXX most of the time but in my mind Aptow went overboard with the crude humor and language. Honestly, it would have been just or funnier without it. I felt after the first two movies he did it worked. But in this one it didn't.
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Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 04:56:52 PM »

Offline Schupac

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Inglorious Basterds:  3 stars

The film is very "tarantino" which to me, has become a bad thing.  The same director who once created ground-breaking hollywood films has now taken to simply directing odes to screen violence and camp.  This is more of the same.  Typical for a Tarantino film, it's well shot and has a great soundtrack, and excellent (though long winded) dialogue.  But the phrase "Typical for a Tarantino film" sums it up exactly.  Nothing new is introduced here, it's like Kill Bill in Nazi Germany, but with no fight choreography and less compelling characters.

The main villain in the film does, however carry this a full star IMO.  He nails the role, which is sinister but humorous.  Worth watching if you like violent, stylized films.  It was in my opinion too stupid to be a good movie, and too good to be a stupid action movie.  And what's worse than being average?

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 02:21:12 AM »

Offline MattG12

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Paranormal Activity: 3.5 Stars

It is 2:10, I am extremely tired, but the though of sleep hasn't even crossed my mind. This is the first time I have been scared after watching a movie since the first time I saw "Session 9" when I was about 10 or so. Paranormal Activity is the scariest movie I have ever seen. I loved it. I'm extremely happy and I have been humbled since just last week I was discussing with my girlfriend that scary movies don't scare me.

I really don't know what to say about the movie itself. I wish I hadn't seen the trailers but considering the fact that I am so interested in films it would be pretty hard for me to have not seen it.

There were so many moments where I experienced dread, thinking something was going to happen, and nothing did. There were also so many moments where I was comfortable, thinking nothing was going to happen, and then all of a sudden, something did. I don't want to go into detail because I really think everybody should see this movie, and it should be seen in the theater.

I'll answer any questions anybody has, but I'm not really in the mood to write a good review, I'm way too tired and just trying to keep myself occupied.

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 06:30:30 AM »

Offline Las Vegas Asian

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Paranormal Activity: 3.5 Stars

It is 2:10, I am extremely tired, but the though of sleep hasn't even crossed my mind. This is the first time I have been scared after watching a movie since the first time I saw "Session 9" when I was about 10 or so. Paranormal Activity is the scariest movie I have ever seen. I loved it. I'm extremely happy and I have been humbled since just last week I was discussing with my girlfriend that scary movies don't scare me.

I really don't know what to say about the movie itself. I wish I hadn't seen the trailers but considering the fact that I am so interested in films it would be pretty hard for me to have not seen it.

There were so many moments where I experienced dread, thinking something was going to happen, and nothing did. There were also so many moments where I was comfortable, thinking nothing was going to happen, and then all of a sudden, something did. I don't want to go into detail because I really think everybody should see this movie, and it should be seen in the theater.

I'll answer any questions anybody has, but I'm not really in the mood to write a good review, I'm way too tired and just trying to keep myself occupied.

TP and ditto to everything you said about being freaked out from this movie. What makes this so scary is the psychological effect it has on you long after its over. (Why does the door to the attic have to be in our master bedroom!) I do agree that I wish I hadn't seen the trailer, it kind of spoils an otherwise terrifying ending. 

Re: The Movie Review Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 06:57:50 AM »

Offline NextCeltic34

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Co-sign the last 2 posts. Watch that movie.