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Congratulations
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The Martian

I thought it was fantastic, and I'd give it a solid nine out of ten. It was visually stunning with a great storyline, and the 3D was the best I've seen.

I did think that there was a mild lack of suspense overall, and some of the science got a bit hokey towards the end. But this was a great movie, and I really enjoyed it.

Sicario

This was also a great movie. Brolin, Blunt, and Del Toro are all on point. The director included a couple unnecessary night vision clips (think HEAT) and the action stalls a bit in the middle, but otherwise it's a great flick.
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wilsmith
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The Martian - Smile i've taken to calling it Blastaway. I can agree with the above statements with one variation. Like Interstallar, modern science-based survival dramas can only surprise you so much with their plots so there's a reliance on character development and casting. They did a good job of it until they hit a certain point.

Since i haven't seen Apollo 13 Gravity is my benchmark of semi-realistic space drama, and Moon is my favorite dramatic space exploration film. This is The Martian is near that level of quality.

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Congratulations
Sea Post King


You should definitely catch Apollo 13. It's an awesome movie.

Ithaca

This is Meg Ryan's directorial debut, and I caught its world premiere, so she was there. I thought this Stateside WWII movie was good, but not great. Alex Neustaedter did an excellent job as the male lead, and the film was beautifully shot, but the story was a slow burn and felt like it sagged a bit in the middle. Sam Shepard and Hamish Linklater played off of each other very well, and I was surprised to see Tom Hanks show up in a small part. I got to chat briefly with Meg Ryan after the screening, so that was cool.

Carol

Cate Blanchette and Rooney Mara both glow in this 1950s period romance drama. Blanchette's character is troubled, with layers of issues that only get more complicated when Mara's character catches her eye. The older woman gives chase, and the two weave their way around each other through a beautiful mix of clothes, cars, and furniture from the era. My only quibble is that the movie runs a bit long, but it's absolutely worth the time.


I Saw the Light

Tom Hiddleston nails his role as country singer Hank Williams Sr. in this strong biopic. He sings, screams, sweats, and struggles through this depiction of Williams' short, tortured life and climb to fame. Lizzie Olsen looks amazing playing his wife Anna, who does her best to hold her own against Williams as he repeatedly lets his demons take over. She's rock solid in her role, too. Dante Spinotti's cinematography is typically fantastic, so the movie is visually beautiful. He and director Mark Abraham were both at the screening for Q&A and gave some interesting insights into the production (they insisted on using real backup musicians, and how Olsen had to intentionally dial down her singing skills). This is an excellent movie.

Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan carries this story of a young Irish immigrant as she tries to establish herself in 1950s Brooklyn. She's grown up from her Lovely Bones days into a lovely young woman and, being Irish in real life, is perfect for this part. There's lots of humor and fun as her character goes to dances, works in a department store, and tries to find her place. Then life events force a trip home, and she has to decide between her two worlds. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ronan gets another Oscar nod for this role. She's fantastic, and the movie's great.

Anomalisa

Charlie Kaufman takes "out there" to new extremes in this all stop-motion feature length dramedy that uses puppets to tell the story of motivational speaker and author Michael Stone on a trip to a business conference. The film includes dozens of speaking roles, but only three voice actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh. They're all puppets, but there's drinking, profanity, and even adult action in the movie as Stone tries to deal with his loneliness and depression. I enjoyed this film, especially the sound effects, so I wasn't surprised to read that it started out as a spoken play.
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Last edited by Congratulations on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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freakinalex
Lost at Forum


Chasing Amy

I've seen this dozens of times before, but my girlfriend hadn't seen it, so I wanted them to watch it with me. They really enjoyed it and felt it had a lot of good insight for a movie about a lesbian written by a straight man.

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Congratulations
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Spectre

The opening sequence was excellent, classic James Bond, with an action sequence set in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead. Things went downhill from there. I thought this movie was way better than Skyfall, but that's not saying much. It ran way long, and included lots of downtime along with more extensions of the Bond backstory, which I couldn't care less about. He's supposed to be a badass super agent, not a tortured soul.

Safety Not Guaranteed

I really enjoyed this movie, with its themes of regret and tilted perceptions of the past, and it didn't hurt that I'm on an Aubrey Plaza kick right now. The pacing and storyline seemed fresh and original, and Aubrey carried things along with her usual dry wit and darting eyes. I would have changed the ending if it was my movie, but that wasn't enough to spoil the whole thing.
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Last edited by Congratulations on Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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wilsmith
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The Last Budapest Hotel - Very Happy Even without the Wes Anderson hallmarks the plot could have constituted a very entertaining film. Adding his signature style didn't hurt it though.
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johnip
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Grand, wasn't it? I found it quite enjoyable.
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johnip
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Guess the last one I watched was Fury from the 30's. Toto was in it!
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wilsmith
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johnip wrote:
Grand, wasn't it? I found it quite enjoyable.


You're right, my mind was elsewhere apparently. Fell asleep on Jupiter Ascending last night. Gonna try and finish it during my lunch break today. The dye job on Channing Tatum is distractingly tacky.

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inorbit
Laughing Citizen


The wife finally got me to watch Donnie Darko-

mind's still slightly misshapen where it was bent.
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wilsmith
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Ahhhh, well have i got movie for you:

Predestination Smile Ethan Hawke is poster child for Noir styled Sci-fi drama. He doesn't have to carry the heavy lifting alone. Undivided attention reaps rewards here.

Jupiter Ascending - Cool i can see why it was divisive. Two grating effects/wardrobe choices were particularly distracting, but as far as sci-fi fairy tales go it hit all the right beats.

Chappie - Very Happy i knew Blomkamp would be going in full throttle for heart strings, and that he did, relentlessly. The inhumanity we are capable of should leave us feeling empathically vulnerable and wounded. In essence the Pinocchio story or the Velveteen Rabbit have been retold time again with variations in perspective and consequence regarding the narrative, but the core is fundamentally the same. Parenthood and person-hood, and understanding & honoring their importance is the crux of being human and humane.

Ex Machina.Love well done.

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Last edited by wilsmith on Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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freakinalex
Lost at Forum


Paper Towns

Finally got around to watching this one. I enjoyed it, but they changed so many things from the book, and some of the changes kind of undermine the theme that John Green was going for, re: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.

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bigideas
Vintage Newbie


You gave Ex Machina a 10/10?

MST3K: The Painted Hills
Halloween Harvey's Festival of Fear:
The Devil Bat
The Terror
Little Shop of Horrors (original)
Dumb & Dumber To
Johnny Dangerously
The Usual Suspects
The Gift
Jurassic World
The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?
Fire in the Sky
Dark Water
Out of Sight
From Hell
Joe's Apartment
Nirvana MTV Unplugged

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wilsmith
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I really enjoyed it. Not saying it's perfect, i just really appreciated the premise and execution. Considering Her, Chappie, AI, War Games, Short Circuit, Bladerunner, this one dealt with the subject in a way that appealed to my cinematic and dramatic sensibilities.

Terminator Genisys - Confused Well, it was what i expected. Not as bad as it could have been, but not good. Then again, i can't watch T2 anymore because it feels so campy in comparison to the original, which holds up as a classic horror movie.

Jurassic World Embarassed I honestly watched this just so I could watch the How It Should Have Ended. Plus I was visiting my mom's and it was watch she had on the TV, and that's how we bond, questionable blockbusters.

Focus - Smile Not bad, not brilliant, as to be expected. Margot Robbie does a mean Emma Stone impression.

Black Dynamite - Very Happy Caught part of this on regular TV and knew I would have to come back and watch the rest later. It's like A Fist Full of Yen from the Kentucky Fried Movie mixed with Undercover Brother, but with acerbic irreverence turned up to 10. It's basically a really good Chappelle Show sketch that goes one for 82 minutes. Brutal, silly, satire.

Divergent - Smile I went in with low expectations, and came away with not feeling like I wasted my times. It's always rough when movies struggle to make you care about characters that people familiar with the source material are already invested in. The drama doesn't resonate as well for the unindoctrinated (which is my preferred condition when viewing). Ashley Judd always exudes empathy, and this made up for the deficit in most of the staff.

Insurgent - Smile Watching this immediately after Divergent was showcased the contrast that comes from setting movies days apart, but completing them years apart, while trying to maintain some level of continuity and realism. The gap in empathy expanded, but now there are even fewer familiar characters to invest in. The pacing was faster, and in essence it was an altogether different film in premise and execution. When the film did broach elements of Divergent, it felt out of place. I can only assume the series will continue, and like The Hunger Games Series, will the shift in setting and tone that accompanies with it allow for more cinematic and narrative potential or muddy the waters and lead to a sloppy mess of a film?

Also, Shailene Woodley's voice is bugging me cause I can't figure out who she sounds like. Is it Mae Whitman? Is it Jennifer Lawrence? I was leaning towards Nicole Sullivan from Mad TV actually... Maybe I'm overlooking someone.


Europa Report Smile Surpassed my expectations, which were optimistic but unsure going in. This is a Science Drama, more so than Science Fiction, even though it's fictional.

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bigideas
Vintage Newbie


Focus actually pleasantly surprised me. I was looking into getting the soundtrack.

Daft Punk Unchained
House Arrest (1996)
San Andreas
Ghoulies II
Blue Chips
Nirvana Live at Reading
Mad Max: Fury Road

Will probably definitely see The Force Awakens this weekend and then I will have my sights on The Hateful Eight.

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