Old 12-25-2012, 08:27 PM

Best film of the year!

Old 12-25-2012, 11:15 PM

The Snowman(1982)
Old 12-26-2012, 12:55 AM

The Muppet Christmas Carol(1992)-7/10
Old 12-26-2012, 12:57 AM
Drive Angry (7/10)
Judge Dredd (3/10)

Last edited by Hucksta G; 12-26-2012 at 01:23 AM..
Old 12-26-2012, 02:44 AM

Holiday Inn(1942)-8/10
Old 12-26-2012, 02:55 AM



Last edited by Canto; 12-26-2012 at 06:45 AM..
Old 12-26-2012, 06:48 AM


Ang Lee's one of my favorite directors who has rarely steered me wrong (such as "Woodstock", "meh"). What I find somewhat mind-boggling is his uncanny ability to capture the essence of Americana through his American films in ways few American directors are able to do. Hailing from Taiwan, it's not easy for directors from his region to make a solid transition to U.S. made features. Somehow, you see his American films and you might never guess he grew up in Asia. Mr. Lee takes yet ANOTHER turn telling the tale of a young boy/man from India and all there is to understand from the perspective of a tri-religious Indian man.
Pi follows Hinduism, Islam and Catholicism. That in itself seems too much of a contradiction for any devout follower of a set religion, but the short conversations to be had about what faith and religion actually is in his eyes is beautifully portrayed in only a few brief scenes while the adult Pi talks with the Canadian author who wants to hear his tale.
I'm not one to be particularly fond of "preachy" flicks, which push a particular ideal on the audience with an overabundance of maudlin histrionics. That's why "Life of Pi", for me, touched me in ways that I can't describe rightly with words. It was quite an emotional experience for me, because it's not about the TRUTH of anything, but about the journey and how the audience perceives the story that is most important.
With that said, "Life of Pi" has a fantastic - in any sense of the word - backdrop that is steeped in not just the perspective of a boy with deep thoughts and a foolishly optimistic - perhaps dramatic and uninformed - understanding of his universe, but the reality of any person stuck in any kind of solitary confinement will do strange things to memory and sanity.
The questions of what happens while in a lifeboat for several months were forgotten as I became entranced with the world of visceral gleaming jellyfish, a floating island, or survival against stray zoo creatures as floating flotsam in the aftermath of a sunken vessel. There are things that he sees which are unreal, yet that unreality is so surreal you want nothing more than to believe every word of it.
The cinematography is constantly bathed in a sheen of color, heightened by an appropriate CGI sea world, juxtaposed with the harshness of the sea and trying to get along with a feral tiger. This is one of those times where the effects used and the slightly unrealistic setting of his world is exactly what is needed to support the story. It never quite looks like "real life", especially the parts with Pi on the boat, where it almost feels like he's on a stage but just realistic enough to still convince. I don't know how I can accept it as both a fantasy world setting AND a real-world setting (within the movie world) at the same time.

At every turn Pi has to come to grips with understanding not just his unusual theological disposition but also take to respecting his father's wishes to keep a rational mind as he delves deeper into the mysterious. The lessons learned from life, family, faith and ingenuity culminate in his struggle for survival. These are heavy themes for any filmmaker to tackle, perhaps even more difficult to do WELL than a novelist, since a book can have no time limit. Film can only do this within roughly two hours.

If religion and philosophy are not your bag of tea, then it still works on a more "entertaining" level. I was never bored with the pace, the music accompanied without being overwhelming and the sheer beauty of every shot is enough to overload the eye senses with sweet morsels of candy-filled delight.
More than once a tear wanted to erupt from my eyes, and I wanted so much to take this tale at face value, but the memories of a man alone at sea obviously plays tricks on him (or her). Therefore, it's with the point of view of someone who is on the verge of losing their grip on sanity, challenged at every turn by his unwavering belief in a higher power that elevates his story to a more fantastic realm. Is it 100% true? Probably not, but there has to be an element within that hallucinatory reality which still stands out and rings true.

I started to falter slightly with the final act, not quite thinking things would come together. I was expecting all these carefully weighted themes and concepts would lose any sense of mystery. I was expecting to see what happens with so many other movies that want to you think - they would be afraid the audience couldn't keep up and so everything is explained with forced exposition and through cheesy, ham-fisted sentimentality. Thankfully, the final ten minutes tops off beautifully with a question posed to the listener (the audience and/or the writer listening to Pi's tale)... at first, it seems quite elementary. Of COURSE you want to answer one way, but if so, what of the other? Depending on how you answer, what does that say about YOU; your faith, or your pragmatism?
This, to me, is what makes "Life of Pi" so fascinating. It's not afraid to be all that it is; nothing more, nothing less, but with the possibility of each viewer giving more or less depending on what each person wants. Take it at face value and you can most likely leave quite satisfied. Look deeper, and there are so many other layers beneath, and you only have to think as far as you wish to go before backing off and merely enjoying the sights and sounds in the wonderful world of Pi.

I can't believe Ang Lee tells an Indian tale with French, Canadian, Indian, and Japanese principal cast members with a Chinese crew, in India and other parts of the world and pulls off such a complexly rich and poignant movie that works as entertainment or as an introspective meditation on the universe and the human spirit. Bravo, sir. One of my favorite movies of 2012.


Last edited by KcMsterpce; 12-26-2012 at 11:55 AM..
Old 12-26-2012, 02:47 PM
Silver Linings Playbook - 3 stars

My Review
Old 12-26-2012, 05:48 PM
Medicine Man

Criticism for this and ratings are off - this was a fine, warm film. McTiernan is a master.

Old 12-26-2012, 07:58 PM
The Apparition - A horror film with no scares. I wonder why this bombed. Ashley Greene looked great but her acting was really flat. That seems to be a recurring problem for her. There just wasn't much story or acting talent in this film at all. 2/10
Old 12-26-2012, 08:14 PM

Old 12-26-2012, 09:29 PM
The Borgias: The First Season

“What would Rome be without a good plot?” Indeed, Your Eminence. Indeed. Jeremy Irons is the ferocious tip of an unyielding political spear as Pope Alexander VI, a nasty but charming piece of work who ostensibly serves as the first “godfather” of crime in Italy, or so the tagline goes. And he’s brilliant in a role that’s exactly suited to the man’s strengths as an actor coming from classic theatre – a robust personality that calls for subtlety and strong displays of emotional will, and Irons is game for both sides of the Pope’s performance here. The supporting players are all strong, but this is Irons’s show to command for as long as Rodrigo Borgia sits the papal throne in TV Land. The series teeters more toward the melodramatic than I would’ve liked on occasion, but even with the odd corny line, the actors sell it and ultimately make it feel sincere (I’m thinking of the romantic subplot between Francois Arnaud’s Cesare Borgia and a married noblewoman in particular). Holliday Grainger is given perhaps the most [historically] interesting character in Lucrezia Borgia, a notoriously poisonous political operator in Renaissance society... But that's later, of course. Here she’s an innocent teenager who hasn’t been tainted by her family’s corrupt machinations, and to see her develop from a paragon of purity to a slightly more devious character who shows the potential of a real femme fatale to be reckoned with is something that excites me for future storylines on the show. And despite uncomfortably playful hints, I am curious if they’d actually pull the trigger on the suspected incestuous relationship between her and Cesare in upcoming seasons, though, given that type of thing has already been done on similar shows like Rome and Game of Thrones.

-> 8/10
Old 12-26-2012, 09:49 PM
Django Unchained - 9/10

TDKR - 8.5/10
Old 12-26-2012, 10:40 PM
Rust and Bone

Raw and honest, no bullshit cinema.

Old 12-27-2012, 01:00 AM
From the beginning of Christmas break until Christmas:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 8/10
This Is 40 - 7/10
Django Unchained - 10/10
Moonrise Kingdom - 9/10
Jingle All The Way - 6/10
Home Alone - 8/10
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - 8/10
A Christmas Carol (1951) - 8/10
Jack Frost - 5/10
Miracle on 34th Street (1994) - 7/10
Gremlins - 8/10
Bad Santa - 10/10
Scrooged - 6/10
The Santa Clause - 7/10
Elf - 8/10
It's a Wonderful Life - 9/10
A Christmas Story - 10/10
Christmas Vacation - 8/10
Old 12-27-2012, 01:59 AM

Old 12-27-2012, 07:00 AM

Old 12-27-2012, 12:29 PM

Jack Reacher

The Ultimate BadAss (UBA) is nothing new, they've been around for ages. Most recently I've enjoyed Christopher Chance played by Mark Valley in Human Target, and Timothy Olyphant is about to embark on season 4 UBA-ery in Justified. There's something fun about Steven Seagal types; the archetypical "Super Hero" that seems not to care but actually somewhere inside has either a heart of gold and/or the ultimate sense of what is RIGHT and GOOD behind the gruff Devil-May-Care attitude. Too bad Seagal has no charisma to back up the UBA.
If UBA is your idea of a good time, then it's not much of a stretch to say you will feel right at home with "Jack Reacher".

The opening scene was executed rather artfully, with a sniper's eye view through the scope of the would-be assassin. This quiet introduction even manages to build a little tension as he looks at his potential targets and you may think, "who will it be?"
Soon, evidence mounts strongly to a sole individual. A former Army sniper. The seemingly open and shut case leads to the quick arrest of the main suspect, and after that is when things really get going.
Or do they?
At some point, I was asking myself why everyone seemed to be almost a little bored with their lives and the goings-ons of their predicament. It's one thing to understand that Jack Reacher is hard to connect with, always keeping his distance. What makes these guys interesting often relies on the environment/situation they are stuck in, and most ESPECIALLY with the side characters. A great evil villain goes a long way in making The UBA fun to follow. Werner Herzog took a wonderful turn in front of the camera for a change as the Big Baddie hiding behind the shadows (literally).
Perhaps my favorite is a special guest appearance by the old Marine near the last half of the flick. Haven't seen him in a while, and he brought it.
Sadly, no one else is all that much fun. Rosamund Pike was rather dreadful as the hotshot lawyer trying to defend Mr. Barr, the main suspect. She lacked conviction. Perhaps she was stressed and strung out on Xanax, that could be the reason. As a romantic interest it was almost a joke but thankfully the movie doesn't try so hard to emphasize the potential romance.
Cruise was serviceable, but nowhere near as enthralling as Vincent in Collateral, where he just plain blew me away. If those two went head to head I would grudgingly place my bets on Vincent.

As a story, the mystery doesn't need too much to be solved. There are plenty of moments where Reacher lives up to his name and adds "two" and "Z" to equal "this means that", one of those annoying ploys to make the audience accept that he's a genius even though almost no one could actually put these two seemingly unrelated banalities into proof of something more than what it appears.
I can go with that, since this is about the UBA. What does get to me is when a shit-hot lawyer can't keep up and connect the dots with the freaking OBVIOUS ("You're saying he was framed?"), making her even less interesting to give a shit about.
Give even a little bit of thought about all these silly clues and details to the "mystery" and you will be able to punch holes big enough through the plot to drive a Camaro through. I don't think it's all that important in a movie like this; as long as it does enough to make you not think how much popcorn you're eating. I wasn't thinking much about my popcorn while watching and just trying to go along with the ride.

The real reason for UBA action entertainment isn't typically about the mystery, of course, but the action. This is where J.R. meets its biggest flaw. There isn't really enough ACTION. However, those times when it does arrive it is worth paying attention to. I like the more practical approach to filming and stunt work, with wonderfully established medium to long-distance framing without quick-cutting and the headache inducing A.D.D. epileptic victims' nightmares you get from most action movies these days. It was more "old-school" and worked great for this kind of movie. I especially enjoyed the car chase and am pissed off that the best part of the movie (the end of the chase) was ruined for me through trailers. Those bastards.
Also fun was the final showdown between J.R. and the main henchman. I wish it was longer and a little more visceral. It has nothing on Lethal Weapon and it feels a little like that was what they were going for.
However, the Final Fight the ONLY thing I wish more time was spent on. It would have been a much tighter viewing experience if 20 minutes were cut from the 2-hour run time and if people would just be more excited about what they were saying.

In the end, I had more fun watching J.R. than I didn't. I'm a sucker for the UBA theme and so it had me at "hello I'm an Ultimate BadAss". Maybe Tom Cruise as the 250-pound musclebound man from the books is a bit of a Reach[er], but meh - almost anyone can be this kind of protagonist. Cruise was serviceable, but I think a dude with a harder edge - more gruff and more bitingly sarcastic - could have been better. With an overlong pace, not enough action and a lame female lead, Jack Reacher was slightly shortchanged of its full potential. But it's still alright, and I do recommend it more than not. Especially for fans of old-school action (however little there is) and UBA films.

Score: 6/10

Last edited by KcMsterpce; 12-27-2012 at 12:48 PM..
Old 12-27-2012, 03:51 PM

Django Unchained(2012)-9/10
Old 12-27-2012, 04:23 PM
Electric Dreams - 8/10
Danger Zone - 6/10
Old 12-27-2012, 04:40 PM
The Hobbit

Loved the LOTR movies and was wary of the Hobbit. For one , it was stuck in development hell for a couple of years and two , a children's book prequel to LOTR turned into a full "adult" trilogy.

Glad it turned out great ... not perfect. 8.5/10

PS. I want that asian poster in my living room. Asia makes everything better !
Old 12-27-2012, 09:45 PM


overall a pretty funny movie

"I was like shit 9/11. I have to get high" haha
Old 12-27-2012, 09:54 PM
Premium Rush - The one thing that bothered me in this was when they would show all the possible paths that Joseph Gordon-Levitt could take on his bike and how he would get hit. It really took me out of the action. Other than that this was pretty good with a decent story and Levitt and Michael Shannon were really good in their roles. 6/10

House at the End of the Street - Elisabeth Shue was a good choice to play the mother of Jennifer Lawrence. They do sort of look alike. There weren't a whole lot of scares in this though and the payoff was pretty weak. 4/10
Old 12-27-2012, 10:27 PM
Originally Posted by smacaskill View Post
Elisabeth Shue was a good choice to play the mother of Jennifer Lawrence. They do sort of look alike.
a real lookalike would've been Renee Zellweger
Old 12-28-2012, 01:16 AM

Old 12-28-2012, 01:51 PM

There are two types of film in the cinematic medium. Ones that most cinephiles enjoy in regards to way the directors try to subvert and improve the medium in more ways than one, and the other films are simple, pure entertainment that audiences everywhere can enjoy. In the middle of these converging types is director Quentin Tarantino, who simply just wants to dabble in both those stews to see what kind of recipe that audiences from all walks of cinema enjoyment can be enthralled and entertained.

This was the idea that came across to me when Inglorious Basterds came out, and quasi-exploitation flick about a Lieutenant leading a squadron of Jewish soldiers to take out the Nazi regime. There was a message of subverting the concept on how cinema could be looked at and enjoyed, while also making a quality and awesome film about vengeance, World War Two, as well as a suspenseful action flick. Those ideas seemed to still be intact with Tarantino as he takes on the genre of the Western films. Rather than making an simple idea of a film based off a Sam Peckinpah or Sergio Leone film, Tarantino instead the small bits that worked in those films and instead takes on the themes of slavery, packaging those ideals in a old school action film that is more stream lined than Tarantino’s other efforts, but still every bit as concise, fantastically acted, and just a plain old good time at the cinema.

There are simply no boundaries that Tarantino is willing to cross in regards to his companion piece to Basterds, involving a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) freed by a German bounty hunter/dentist Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) to find and eliminate his former owners, whom separated Django from his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Tarantino takes themes of previous films like the exploitation themes in Basterds, coupled with the revenge motif of his Kill Bill films, and finally doing a more classic take of a love story involving Django and Broomhilda. The third part was probably the surprisingly effective piece of Tarantino’s film. Don’t get me wrong, the other two themes worked immensely to the film’s credit as well, but the romance was the pure heart and soul of Django’s story.

The thing about romance in films is that if the director can get the audience invested with the couple on screen, then what is the point of even making the film. That’s the magic that people want to see, the reason why certain romance films are big box office hits. Tarantino supplies this romance at the bare minimum of exposition, but it works like gangbusters any time the film approaches that romance angle. There’s always that need that you want Django to reunite with his wife, that eager suspense to see that catharsis to play out. Washington isn’t on screen for mot of the film, but she brings enough to the character that the stakes of their relationship feel important and are utmost viable for the plot. That’s just great moviemaking right there, and Tarantino is more than up to the challenge for that aspect of his film.

As for Tarantino’s take on revenge and another look at exploitation flicks, he’s on the ball like he was with Basterds. Nearly every scene is ripe with awesome dialogue scenes, whether they are used for comedic relief or to tighten the suspense for just a little while longer. As well as Tarantino fans know, he’s also definitely not politically correct when it comes to the usage of the N word, and for a film set in the south, two years before the Civil War, you can bet that Tarantino will use that word like it is going out of style. But, the word never deters from what the film is trying to achieve. It’s simply a part of the universe that Tarantino is making on screen, not something to jolt the viewers at how subversive he can be. Plus, the comeuppance that Django gets to deal with makes every usage of the word by different characters

Yes, Tarantino is firing on all cylinders behind the camera, with awesome editing, cinematography, and a soundtrack, like almost all of Tarantino films that will blow your mind. But, the thing that Tarantino knows how to use well is an actor, and he certainly picks a great lot of Django. Jamie Foxx plays the character arc of Django beautifully, going from meek slave to a gunslinger with a purpose effortlessly. On sequcne involving Django asking Schultz about a story simply evokes so much out of Django as a character in the beginning, and who he becomes at the end. But, while Foxx is great, Waltz seems pretty apt to steal the show as Dr. King Schultz. The energy, glee, and likability that Waltz brings to Schultz are unparalleled, given his Oscar-winning villainous turn as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds. He is the ultimate charismatic badass with the heart of gold, and the perfect companion for Django.

As for the rest of the cast, let’s just say Leonardo Dicaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are right on the same wave length as Waltz in terms of bringing the goods. Dicpario’s Calvin Candie, a slave owner who specializes in slave fights, oozes sleaziness with such utmost glee that you know Dicaprio is lapping up every piece of dialogue that Tarantino has him utter. One such sequence involving Calvin delivering a monologue on the possibility of slave rebellion is a personal standout. But, the real dark horse in this film is Samuel L. Jackson as Calvin’s head slave Stephen. Any time Dicaprio and Jackson are together on screen, their back-and-forth exchanges are simply delightful. But, that’s not the only reason Jackson’s Stephen works so well, as the character of Stephen slowly reveals layers that makes the character so utterly compelling from the moment he appears on screen.

There is something special any time Quentin Tarantino brings a film to the big screen, whether it be a lesser or grand effort. Django Uncahined simply cements this aspect of Tarantino, in that the man just wants to see great cinema on the big screen and for any type of moviegoer to come to his film and enjoy their time in the theater. This was truly a film that was audience pleasing all around, if you’re up for a bit of some old western ultra violence, romance, and a bit of a Slavery exploitation flick.

Old 12-28-2012, 02:29 PM

Pleasantly Surprised
Old 12-28-2012, 02:54 PM

Cirque du Soleil: World's Away(2012)-6/10
Old 12-28-2012, 04:07 PM

Rating: 9/10
Old 12-28-2012, 07:13 PM
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson, 2012)

Well that was thrilling. As the opening title came up I felt all fuzzy inside, imagining that this is how fans who were around for the original Star Wars films must have felt when they sat down to watch The Phantom Menace for the first time (I know it's different but still). Luckily, this was a better film than Episode I of that epic sci-fi saga, and one that leaves you eager for the sequels to arrive next holiday season. The Hobbit initially had me worried that it would be a weaker, more PG version of Lord of the Rings and even though it is, there is still plenty of exciting set pieces, interesting and amusing characters, gorgeous visuals and an engaging journey to embark on - making it superior to most blockbusters. On the downside, plenty of this could have been cut, but I'm thinking that Jackson wants to release what would be his extended editions as theatrical cuts, so the three film thing might be necessary after all. For the next part in the story, I'm hoping for a little more character development for the dwarves that aren't Thorin, as Jackson has assembled a great ensemble here too. Particular highlights for me were Sylvester McCoy and the great Andy Serkis, who only shows up for one scene but boy is it one heck of a single-scene performance, one of the best in recent cinema. Loved going back to Middle Earth, can't wait for yet another return trip next year.
Old 12-28-2012, 07:20 PM
The Maverick Queen with Barbara Stanwyck - The story of a woman in the Old West and her dealings with Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and the rest of the Hole in the Wall gang. The story itself wasn't great but the performances made this a decent film. The ending was a bit of a surprise too. 6/10

Slightly Single in L.A. - A mediocre romcom was made bearable by Lacey Chabert's performance. 5/10
Old 12-28-2012, 07:46 PM

Old 12-29-2012, 12:05 AM
Pieta - 6/10
Night on Earth - 8/10
Old 12-29-2012, 01:00 AM

Lola Versus(2012)-5/10
Old 12-29-2012, 03:23 PM

Les Misérables(2012)-8/10
Old 12-29-2012, 03:23 PM
The World of Drunken Master 7/10

A must see for fans of Jackie Chan's Drunken Master and 70's old school kung fu movies.
Old 12-29-2012, 06:01 PM


I've been waiting for this for 5 years, finally... Not like I expected anything less, but Fricke solidifies his stance as one of the greatest cinematographers - who's never shot a feature length film - in the world. His human depth combined with his masterful craft is truly profound. I've seen Baraka a dozen or more times and I'll be doing the same with this film as well as showing it to everyone I know.
Old 12-29-2012, 07:05 PM

I came in with high expectations, but the film wasn't as an emotional roller coaster as I was led to believe.

Old 12-29-2012, 08:02 PM
Total Recall (’12)

Such delicious irony that the first words you see onscreen are “Original Film”. Obviously, this is a Total Retread, only without the priceless Arnold moments, the eye-popping Mars death spasms, and any of the other bloody excess that Verhoeven brought to the table. It was a unique futuristic vision that was entirely his, while here Wiseman doesn’t do much but rip liberally from Blade Runner, The Matrix and Minority Report to fill out his aesthetic palette. Which means a lot of shiny metal, icy neon lens flares and some nifty robo gadgets. Colin Farrell doesn’t have Arnold’s immense screen presence, but the role is perhaps better served with his everyman quality. The whole idea is that Quaid is your run of the mill working stiff, so to suddenly throw him into a political revolution where all this crazy shit happens to him gives Wiseman’s version a noticeable tension that Verhoeven’s couldn’t. I mean, we all knew Arnold was gonna annihilate everybody, right? Farrell is no superhero, and that fact works in Wiseman’s favor. But it’s the action sequences that I’ll remember most about this formulaic reboot, and not so much the weightier ideas of fantasy vs. reality that even the original did a better job at toying with amid buckets of blood. Kate Beckinsale as Lori was the only improvement over an original element (Sharon Stone), delivering a femme fatale with an actual motivation and cunning to boot. And yeah, any time you have Bryan Cranston appearing, I'd say it’s a good day at the movies. Conceptually, this was a bad idea for a remake in the first place, but it could've been worse.

-> 6/10
Old 12-29-2012, 08:55 PM
Cloud Atlas

two for two today.

moving, and profound... need some time to digest it all but I didn't find it at all pseudointellectual or messy as some call it.

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