Old 12-22-2012, 06:47 AM
You Only Live Twice (5/10)
The 400 Blows (8/10)
Old 12-22-2012, 10:18 AM

The idea of 3D films should all be about “context”. Does the quality enhance the film, or is simply a gimmick that doesn’t provide anything other than a more expensive movie ticket? For Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, the use of 3D in his film is certainly on the former. Pi is an exquisitely beautiful film that gives the settings a more earthly feel, but nothing that diminishes the overall context and thematic moments of the film as a whole. This film is more than a “boy has a tiger on the boat and has to survive” that the trailers have been promoting in the commercials, nor is it this year’s Avatar that some critics have proclaimed. What Ang lee has created is a deep, emotional resonant film that, while it holds the audience at arms length in certain portions of the story, still manages to be utterly engaging and solid film.

The foremost theme that Ang Lee and the screenwriters try to bring across to the viewer is the concept of faith, and the bearing it has on a young youth over the years. That young youth in the film is Pi (Suraj Sharma), a young boy who begins to follow different religions as he becomes exposed to each one throughout his years. This is the most interesting aspect to the film, as it never converts the viewer to believe in a certain religious belief. Lee wants the viewer to see the fragility and interest in young youths who become expose to something new, overwhelming, and mysterious. Lee also shows how that open-minded belief becomes deluded over the years, as Pi grows up and becomes less enthused with religious beliefs and more inclined to the basic interest of teenagers.

But, by the second half of the film rolls around, Lee brings the momentum forward when Pi becomes involved in a shipwreck and has to survive on a lifeboat with a wild Bengal tiger, a stowaway that Pi’s father (Adil Hussain), a zoo keeper, owned and was bringing to Canada. There is that fear that Lee won’t be ale to keep the interest of the viewer of Pi and a tiger on a lifeboat, but he definitely makes it work with some pretty tense scenes where Pi has to devise a plan to keep the tiger at bay, while also learning to survive on his own. Granted, there is a bit of a slog by the time the film comes to an end, but the visuals are so grand and astounding with the use of 3D that while one scene feel dawdling, the visuals still keep the viewer interested.

But, if there’s one thing that seems a bit confusing and moved to the side, it’s the idea of faith in the final moments of the film. Lee beings an unexpected layer to the story with this one unbroken take involving Sharma as the teenage Pi, and while it’s a powerful scene that brings more depth to the film, the scene also feels shoehorned in, especially with the thematic ideas of faith that are on display. This was an adaptation of a book by Yann Martel so I’m not sure how those final moments are portrayed in the book, but it feels a bit disjointed from the film as a whole.

Other than those slight missteps, the direction and actors on display are all fantastic. Newcomer Suraj Sharma is excellent as Pi, never giving the feeling that this is a young actor too big for his britches. He shows the anger, frustration, and hopelessness out at sea without breaking or sweat or coming across as amateur. This is more to be said as he’s essentially playing against a CGI Bengal tiger, who looks utterly amazing when seen in 3D.

That’s the second excellent aspect of the film, the visuals. While on a small screen at home, the film feels too CGIed, the 3D in the theater makes those visuals are a part of the world, rather than Sharma simply being in a visual landscape that feels separate to the actor. Lee is able to blend the visuals with having Sharma interact with his computer-generated surroundings, so the stakes feel more real and authentic. The scenes with him on the lifeboat in the beginning and, particularly a scene where Pi needs to escape a sinking freighter is where Lee truly nails the practicality of involving his actors with the computer-generated environment.

Overall, Life of Pi is a great film that continues to show the versatility of director Ang Lee and the projects he approaches, as well as being a warm, visually beautiful film on the concept of faith and how it is put to the test when the situation becomes dire and beyond hopeless. It also shows how 3D can be used to maximum effect, and not just something shoehorned in many blockbusters.

Old 12-22-2012, 10:28 AM
Struck By Lightning - 2/10
High Society - 3/10
Old 12-22-2012, 02:46 PM

There is a beating heart in Andrew Stanton’s John Carter, more so than last year’s completely lifeless and mediocre Cowboys and Aliens. There are characters to root for, an old fashioned adventure that has scale, nefarious villains, and even a princess! Unfortunately, the film’s plot just feels too confident to throw all this hapless exposition of the science fiction world of Mars that the brooding hero finds himself that it all feels strenuous and cluttered, leading to a film where the audience better pay attention if they want to know what is going on with the story.

Now, a complex story filled with different characters, clans, and kingdoms has the chance to be engaging to the viewer, and director Stanton truly believes in his audience to follow the plot that has been developed, based off old science fiction novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. But, for a story that has all this whimsical beauty and charm to appeal to the adults and children, Carter just doesn’t have that balanced storytelling. There are different kingdoms and alien races to take all in, as well as another alien race who is the overarching villain in all of this. That doesn’t seem like too much, but the plot just makes it so damn complex that the average movie goer could miss an exchange that keeps them in the loop of what is going on.

Thankfully, Stanton, a director of classic Pixar films such as Wall-E and Finding Nemo, knows that these films need to have some charm and memorable characters. There are fully CGi characters that steal the show, from the Willem Dafoe’-voiced alien Tars Tarkas, to a lovable dog-like alien called Woola. Stanton uses the visual effects to an excellent degree, keeping them immersed in the Mars landscape that he creates on the big screen. There’s also Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, who steals this movie as the affable, confident, princess of Mars. Everything about her as a character just so, completely works in the story. Her plight is probably more engaging than main character John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who comes across more as a stock action hero than someone who truly makes a mark on the film.

What is the problem with Kitsch’s Carter, you may ask? Well, the main problem is that Kitsch doesn’t really bring much to the character, only that he is gruff and somewhat charming. He doesn’t come across as engaging to everything around him, especially when there are creatures and Collin’s Dejah that bring more life to the film’s story. The same can also be said to Mark Strong and Dominic West, who play villains that have no edge to them, only there because there are bad guys in this film, and they can fill the slots as needed. It’s pretty much the supporting cast’s show to steal, while the well-known actors are just playing the part with no real enthusiasm.

John Carter is not a complete mess, and there is a world that feels alive and wonderful. Unfortunately, that world is encumbered with a script that has too much on his plate and leads that really have nothing memorable to contribute with their parts. The only time the film comes alive is with the motion-captured CGI creatures and a Lynn Collins’s beautiful princess that comes across as no damsel in distress.

Old 12-22-2012, 02:55 PM


I bet the upcoming remake nobody wil buy it by a dollar.
Old 12-22-2012, 04:24 PM

This Is 40(2012)-7/10
Old 12-22-2012, 04:47 PM
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (6/10)

Last edited by Hucksta G; 12-22-2012 at 11:49 PM..
Old 12-22-2012, 07:04 PM

Planet of the Vampires 7/10
Old 12-22-2012, 08:26 PM

Old 12-22-2012, 09:30 PM
If I Were Free with Irene Dunne - Two miserable married people fall in love and must deal with the consequences of their illicit relationship. Dunne was alright but her costar was wooden. The story didn't have much depth either. 5/10

You Belong to Me with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda - The story of a rich playboy falling in love with a doctor. Fonda's character gets insanely jealous of every man his wife takes care off which was a bit of a turnoff. It was just overdone. Stanwyck however was wonderful as always. 6/10
Old 12-22-2012, 10:19 PM
last one before work

Old 12-22-2012, 11:49 PM
Perks of Being a Wallflower (8/10)
Old 12-23-2012, 12:09 AM

Beverly Hills Cop III - ***
Beverly Hills Cop II - ***
Deep Impact - ***
Old 12-23-2012, 02:20 AM
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

The obvious sequel to the surprisingly decent first film but does this follow suit with good looks and swift chills?. No, no it doesn't, I'm not gonna beat around the bush this is your complete and utter obligatory pointless sequel that has lost all of the originals plus points...almost.

Plot is suppose to follow 'Silent Hill 3' but I can't say either way as I've never played the games. So I guess I can't really moan about it as it may be faithful, that still doesn't excuse it being rubbish though. Basically the cult that wreaked havoc for 'Sharon' in the first film are somehow still around and after her ass to drag back to Silent Hill for more satanic like rituals...as you do.

Didn't 'Sharon' kill off all the cult folk in the first film? didn't she also merge with the bad half of herself...'Alessa' and close that chapter also?. Yep that's what I thought yet somehow we are back to square one again in this sequel.

The cult manage to nab her dad (Bean is back with his dodgy US accent) so she is forced back to Silent Hill to rescue him. All this does is equal a lot of your typical standard horror fair as a blonde runs around screaming loads as she bumps into all manner of unique looking monsters. Almost an excuse just to show off new monsters really.

The monsters are very good looking and original in design I won't deny but there is no point to them. The intro of 'Pyramid Head' back into the fray is also pointless as again there is no reason for him to be there, he's just there because he's the most famous monster in the franchise. The visuals are still pretty crisp and full of blood n gore but that can't hide the sheer waste of time this film is. Pyramid also saves 'Heather/Sharon' on two occasions, not sure whether he meant to or not though, so is he a savior for good now?.

The cast is fine and continuity is upheld nicely as we do see Mitchell again (briefly), as I said Bean is back. Carrie-Anne Moss is the new main baddie here and basically does what the previous character tried in the first film, all over again (groan!). The best bit about her is when she changes into her monster alternate (so not a real person then?) which looks suspiciously like a character from 'Hellraiser' hehe but its a cool design. Malcolm McDowell is in there too for a small cameo, could have been anyone, made no difference, just a big name to grab more attention methinks.

It just feels desperately and awkwardly pieced together to squeeze out a money spinning sequel. If the film is faithful to the game then kudos, I don't know, as a newbie it just feels rehashed to me. Most of the same monsters are back and the ending just sets up yet more cash in sequels making you sense a 'Resident Evil' style run. At least it does look good and they have kept the adult theme unlike the other franchise I just mentioned.
Old 12-23-2012, 03:53 AM
On the Road

This failed to grip me as much as I hoped it would, or at least in the same way Into the Wild did - another twin, or cousin depends on how you look at it. However one fact remains - a fact. Cinematography is luscious.

Old 12-23-2012, 04:41 AM
Home Alone on blu-ray: 9/10 One of my favorite comedies and Christmas movies, i saw this movie 6 times when i was 9 when it came out and loved it, such a charming Hughes production.

Home Alone 2 on blu-ray: 9/10 Almost better than the original or just as good, i saw this movie 4 times when it came out at 11.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on blu-ray: 10/10 Another one of my favorite holiday comedies and Hughes movies, i saw it 4 times when i was 9 and it's a hilarious movie plus you can't go wrong with that hot redheaded clerk chick who was also in Clark's fantasy.

Black Christmas (1974): 10/10 One of the creepiest and most brilliant horror thrillers i've ever seen since i rented it when i was 7 and one of Bob Clark's best movies.

Gremlins on blu-ray: 10/10 One of my favorite Christmas movies and favorite horror movies, i saw this in it's 85 re-issue when i was 4 3 times and thought it was awesome and still a fantastic movie for the holidays.

Oliver and Company: 9/10 Who remembers this movie? i did and it's one of my all time favorite Disney movies. I remembered when i was 7 when it first came out as i saw it 4 times in theaters even after Christmas day and i had some of the merchandise even the Mcdonalds stuff and i still own the CD soundtrack which has a couple of good songs by Billy Joel and Huey Lewis, i remembered being pissed it never showed up on video the next year or the next 6 years but did got the movie for Christmas on video at 15, i watch it every holiday season as an odd tradition. Fun and hilarious movie with a solid cast and nice animation.

Jingle All The Way: 8/10 one of my guilty pleasures and fave Christmas movies since i was 15 when i visited my cousin in Mesa/Phoenix and saw it 3 times in theaters, Arnold was hilarious in this movie.

Batman Returns: 10/10 One of my favorite Batman movies/comic book movies since i saw it 6 times in theaters when it came out and it nicely paved way to the animated show, it's also a good Christmas movie no doubt and Michelle Pfeifer looks great in that outfit.
Old 12-23-2012, 06:46 AM
Compliance (9/10)
Killer Joe (9/10)
Silent House (7/10)
Old 12-23-2012, 06:59 AM

Old 12-23-2012, 09:53 AM
The Day (2011)

Low budget flick with a good heart but it felt like a post-apocalytic remake of NOTLD with cannibals instead.


The Collection (2012)

Good sequel but more action-oriented than the original , The Collection is less cringe-worthy this time around. Gotta love the ending tho !


Dredd (2012)

Aesthetically well-done , this movie is plagued by an empty script and a very very simple storyline. Too bad because Karl Urban delivers 1000 times more than Sly ever did in the main role. I'd rather rewatch The Raid.

Old 12-23-2012, 02:27 PM
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

This is the fourth Awards Season flick I've seen this year and the third that I'd give a near perfect score to, 2012 is rounding off as a great year in all respects it seems. When I heard about this being a serious drama focussed around mental illness that also happens to be "the feel good film of the year" of course I was wary about it going into the theatre, but (similar to last year's The Descendants) even if it does bear some of those dramedy clichés it's also just a brilliantly acted and wonderfully made film, capable of being both funny and moving when it needs to be.
Old 12-23-2012, 03:10 PM
Seven Psychopaths (9/10)
Old 12-23-2012, 03:28 PM
Doomsday Book 7/10

Up & Down 7/10

Black Sunday 6/10
Old 12-23-2012, 07:50 PM
Blonde Venus with Marlene Dietrich - Dietrich is very good as a woman who is caught having an affair and goes on the run to keep her husband from taking her son away. The ending was a little hokey but the story leading up to that point was entertaining. 7/10
Old 12-23-2012, 08:59 PM
Concorde Affair 7/10

An italian action thriller about a corporation conspiring to destroy Concorde planes and a reporter and a crash survivor stewardess are the only ones who can stop more accidents. Not a perfect film but very entertaining.
Old 12-23-2012, 10:36 PM

Second post.

Watched "I Am Love" today by Luca Guadagnino. Beautiful performance by Tilda Swinton.
Old 12-23-2012, 10:43 PM
over the last while (excluding some movies that weren't very impressive)

The Color Wheel - 8/10
The Game - 7/10
The Sapphires - 7/10
Spirited Away - 9/10
Django Unchained - 7/10
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 7/10
Premium Rush 6.5/10
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning 7/10
Flight 6.5/10
Two Gates of Sleep 7.5/10
Old 12-23-2012, 11:09 PM
Here is my review of Peter Ramsey's Rise of the Guardians.

Here is my review of Robert Zemeckis's Flight.

Also there's:

The Bridge on the River Kwai [David Lean | 1957] 4 stars
The Campaign [Jay Roach | 2012] 3 stars
Old 12-24-2012, 06:27 AM
watched last night

Old 12-24-2012, 07:56 AM
Black Rain - ***

Not Ridley's best, but still pretty decent.

Killing Streets - **

Meh. Some bad acting. Kind of dull. Not very good.


Fun With Dick and Jane - ***
Old 12-24-2012, 09:10 AM

Old 12-24-2012, 11:34 AM

Old 12-24-2012, 01:12 PM

Not as bad as I imagined or heard.


Last edited by Roy Batty; 12-24-2012 at 01:33 PM..
Old 12-24-2012, 07:57 PM

Old 12-24-2012, 10:48 PM

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001)-10/10
Old 12-25-2012, 11:56 AM

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers(2002)-10/10
Old 12-25-2012, 02:59 PM

Old 12-25-2012, 04:34 PM

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003)-10/10
Old 12-25-2012, 05:20 PM



I regret not seeing this when it played at the theaters. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Everything you would want in a great movie

Sherlock Holmes (re-watched)


getting ready to watch the sequel, which I still haven't seen
Old 12-25-2012, 06:38 PM
few days ago
The Hobbit

Old 12-25-2012, 07:32 PM
A Christmas Story - I love Ralphie. Especially when he kicks the crap out of that bully. 9/10

Scrooged - I hadn't seen this in a long time. Bill Murray was fantastic and Carol Kane was funny and crazy as hell. 9/10
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