go_leafs At the Movies (CLUE- p. 16)

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:03 pm

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Yes Man (2008)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Terence Stamp
Directed by Peyton Reed

In 1997, Jim Carrey starred in a wonderful film called Liar Liar, about a lawyer who is forced to tell the truth for 24 hours. Now, in 2008, he was in Yes Man, about a banker who must say “yes� to every opportunity presented to him. Sound familiar? Although Yes Man was a decent film, it is nothing compared to Liar Liar. When a lawyer desperately wants to tell the truth, but cannot, it is funny. It provides many opportunities for Jim Carrey to go insane with his facial expressions and such. But when a man says “yes� to everything because he wants to… Where’s the tension? Jim Carrey’s comedic talents are practically not employed in this film, which is a terrible shame.
Although Yes Man is enjoyable, there is one thing that I wish the film didn’t do. Jim Carrey’s character, Carl, has an elderly woman as his neighbour. One day, she asks him to come set up some shelves for her. As a method of compensation, she proposes to give him a “sexual release�. What happens next— I just wish the film hadn’t gone this far. There was no need. When Carl refused and fled, the scene was funny. When he returned, the scene momentarily switched from funny to disgusting.
Jim Carrey makes gargantuan efforts to carry the film, and he more or less succeeds. He is supported by a solid cast, but none (with the possible exception of Terence Stamp) do nearly as good of a job as Carrey.
One more thing about Yes Man that I have mixed feelings about: Carl’s boss, Norm, is portrayed as a stereotypical, Hollywood “loser�, hosting a Harry Potter dress-up party, and later, a similar one in honour of 300. He remains a gawky, two-dimensional caricature. Only in one of his final scenes, at his 300 party, does Norm actually feel like a real character, which is a fantastic, unexpected, and pleasing surprise. However, it’s just barely worth the long wait for about 10 seconds of a good scene.
The Verdict: The film is enjoyable and entertaining, but far from memorable. A couple of flaws seriously detract from it. For a far better film with a similar premise, I recommend Liar Liar. Thumbs up.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:38 am

Jane Poirot wrote:Out of curiousity, what were the replies to that argument?
Well, it was basically ignored. Here's the most recent post:
I love saw I think they should make them even gorier, but I think if they did they might actually get banned. They are pushing the bounderies with the kind of torture they show in these movies. I suppose there's only so far they can go before the film industry say's that's it.
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Post by Jane Poirot » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:50 pm

I don't think a film can get banned for being too violent, but most can for being too sexual. That's what I find weird about censorship: Gory violence is acceptable, graphic sex is not.
Anyone who thinks Canadians are meek and mild-mannered has obviously never seen us during Question Period!

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Post by Jane Poirot » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:32 pm

go_leafs_nation wrote: Image
Simple Jack, is that you?
Anyone who thinks Canadians are meek and mild-mannered has obviously never seen us during Question Period!

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:28 pm

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Phil Silvers
Directed by Stanley Kramer

Stanley Kramer set out to make the ultimate comedy film in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. It was extremely popular despite the Kennedy assassination just days after its release.
How can I summarize it? Simple: things go “boom�. You'll see explosions, walls crashing, fireworks exploding, ladders going awry, gas stations tumbling down, airplanes malfunctioning... I am reminded of a sequence in 1941 where a Ferris Wheel is attacked by the Japanese, rolling into the water. Technically brilliant? Yes— and not even slightly funny. Kramer makes the error of assuming that every car crash, every explosion, every malfunction, etc. is going to be funny. He was wrong. At 2 hours 41 minutes, the film drags on and on and on.
The first, say, 70 minutes of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World are completely dry. There’s practically no humour in it at all. Somewhere around there, two men get into a plane with a pilot who loves to drink. From that point on, the movie is hilarious for about 20-30 minutes. After that, it’s dry again until the final hilarious sequence involving a ladder on a fire truck. The movie is devoid of humour for most of its duration—the fact is, an audience can only laugh for so long. Kramer attempts to lure audiences into the cinema (don’t forget that “epics� were on the rise, as the cinema attempted to win over TV), and forgets about comedy.
One more thing: Ethel Merman’s screeching gets REALLY annoying. The only payoff about this is in the film’s final gag.
What is fun about It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? The answer: spotting the cameos. It’s hilarious to see Jerry Lewis run over a hat. Watch for the Three Stooges appearing as firemen. Practically every comedian of the century makes a cameo, and spotting them is fun.
The Verdict: It’s worth seeing this film only to say that you saw it. Its running time makes the movie drag on and on and on. So much goes on, it’s hard to laugh at any of it. Thumbs down.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:13 pm

Jane Poirot wrote:If you're looking for a comedy that doesn't rely on toilet/crude humour to make it hilarious, I would strongly recommend The Odd Couple or The Producers (I have only seen the musical re-make). Not a single fart or toilet joke (the latter DOES have risque humour in a few parts, but it doesn't get to the point where it distracts from the much funnier plot at hand, and it has only one toilet joke but that's it) and they still manage to leave me in stitches.
Of course, you also need to have a certain TYPE of humour in order to enjoy The Producers , which leaves me scared of what goes on in the writer's head during his spare time (let's just say no sane person could possibly come up with a plot like THAT). It may or may not be your cup of tea. You would probably enjoy The Odd Couple more.
I just saw the original version of The Producers, and I found it 100 times more hilarious than the remake. (The fact that it wasn't a musical also helped.)
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:04 pm

Sometime tomorrow, I'll be disappearing indefinately. Although I am mainly going down to my grandma's for the weekend (it's her birthday), since it's summertime, my mom hopes to stay longer than that. I'm currently unsure of how things will play out. This will be the first of a bunch of disappearances.

Incidentally, there's a whole bunch of movies that I've seen and somehow couldn't review. Somehow, my words didn't really seem to be of much use. For instance, I've attempted (but been unable to complete) to review several Hitchcock films.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
At the Scene of the Crime

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:38 pm

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg
Directed by Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier

I was fortunate enough that my local theatre was not showing Ice Age 3 in 3-D. It is a technology that I thoroughly despise, and it is one of the most distracting gimmicks ever created for film. I was able to enjoy Ice Age 3 without getting relentlessly pummelled by 3-D (although, to be honest, I am slightly interested how 3-D was pulled off here).
Hopefully, Ice Age 3 will be the final instalment in the series. After the extremely disappointing Ice Age 2, I was expecting next to nothing from this movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, which is the best of the series.
Ice Age 3 finally solves the problem of the “Scrat� sequences. As much fun as the original was, the scenes involving Scrat felt random, awkwardly placed, and irrelevant. Scrat now has a role more tied in with the plot, and enhanced thanks to the introduction of a romantic interest/rival. Not only do these sequences remain hilarious, they feel more like part of the movie.
One of the great things about this movie is all the references. Ice Age 3 gloriously lampoons so many genres and films. It spoofs romance films wonderfully: when Scrat and Scratte kiss for the first time, lava shoots up behind them, bringing to mind the classic image of waves crashing high as lovers embrace. The interactions between the two bring countless romantic comedies to mind. Jurassic Park is often spoofed, such as one shot near the beginning that reminds one of the “raptors in the kitchen� scene. The familiar group of animals meet an insane survivalist, Buck (gloriously voiced by Simon Pegg), whose role not only serves the story, but also spoofs “stranded-in-the-middle-of-nowhere� movies. Pegg comes across as hilarious; Buck made me laugh the most. (Yes, I actually laughed during this movie.) There’s even a fantastic spoof of action films, where the hero so often must decide whether he must cut the blue wire or the red.
The Verdict: Ice Age 3 is a pleasant surprise. The first film was fun, but not particularly memorable. The second was a disappointment. Ice Age 3 is the best movie in the series, and the funniest. Although geared for kids, I too enjoyed it. It was loads of fun. I give it two (enthusiastic) thumbs up.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
At the Scene of the Crime

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Post by Jane Poirot » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:10 pm

I have one question: Does Scrat finally get the darn acorn? I know it's played for laughs, but I always felt so sorry for that poor guy. :(
Anyone who thinks Canadians are meek and mild-mannered has obviously never seen us during Question Period!

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:47 pm

Jane Poirot wrote:I have one question: Does Scrat finally get the darn acorn? I know it's played for laughs, but I always felt so sorry for that poor guy. :(
Maybe he does... maybe he doesn't... Maybe he does only to briefly lose it... Maybe it is stolen by King Arthur... I don't feel like spoiling this particular point.

Incidentally, I also caught a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail in IA3. When Buck, the insane survivalist, begins to talk of a monster larger than the T-Rex (a shame it wasn't called Moby Dinosaur), he calls it Burt. Manny then replies he was expecting an intimidating name like "Tim" (the magician, anyone?).
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:53 pm

I've tried reviewing Martin Scorsese's The Departed five times now. It's not working out. The bottom line is this: I loved it, consider it a great movie, and think Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon give their best performance to date in film. Jack Nicholson is a major reason why this film works, and it keeps you in suspense. This is a revolutionary crime film, one of the best ever made.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
At the Scene of the Crime

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:05 pm

Fun fact: Every Sunday during the shooting of The Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont would watch GoodFellas. In his own words, he did it "for the sheer inspiration of it".
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:25 pm

Quick mini-rant:
I've been accused, more than once, of over-analysing movies. This is, in a way, true. However, I don't sit down in a theatre with paper and pen in hand, taking down notes. After I see a movie, I can basically remember most of it (some segments shot-by-shot). If I enjoy a movie, I try to figure out why it was successful when I sit down to write a review. (For instance: why is the humour in a war comedy successful in Good Morning, Vietnam, but not 1941?) However, if I hate a movie, usually, the review process starts while the movie plays. This might explain why my negative reviews are often really in-depth critical.
Above all, the one thing I expect from a movie is to be entertained. I can appreciate a "classic"'s achievement technically, but I won't give it much more of a positive review if it fails to entertain me.

A side note: I was reading Richard Roeper's 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed. It's a fun read, but I'd have loved it more if he expanded a little more on his points. Why does he consider Minority Report one of the greatest movies of all-time, for instance? He only says that if AFI's list was updated, it should be on it- in list form, of course. When he does expand, such as his critique of Rebel Without a Cause (an overrated movie he says, which I agree with), it is more fun to read.

One last thing: In The Shawshank Redemption (MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD-- STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT), Brooks' suicide is one of the most beautiful sad scenes in movie history. Do yourself a favour and watch just that. The voice-over isn't intrusive, it flows with what's going on. The music that plays is heart-breaking. Watch as Frank Darabont plays with the audience. Brooks opens his razor. "He'll slit his wrists!". Nope, false alarm. He goes up on the table; it wobbles. "He's going to fall from it! An accidental death!" He looks at whatever he did (we don't know yet), with a melancholy look of satisfaction. Then he starts to really "wobble". It looks as if he's purposely trying to fall off. Then, the table collapses, but his feet remain there. The camera then shows what he did: he wrote "Brooks was here". It then zooms out to show his dead body hanging. I don't know if it's just me, but that scene is one of the best ever, for me at least.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
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Post by MissScarletDidntDoIt » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:30 pm

That was a really sad scene... I wouldn't consider it one of the best movie scenes, but it was really well done...
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Post by Jane Poirot » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:55 pm

go_leafs_nation wrote: A side note: I was reading Richard Roeper's 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed. It's a fun read, but I'd have loved it more if he expanded a little more on his points. Why does he consider Minority Report one of the greatest movies of all-time, for instance? He only says that if AFI's list was updated, it should be on it- in list form, of course. When he does expand, such as his critique of Rebel Without a Cause (an overrated movie he says, which I agree with), it is more fun to read.
I own that book, and I'm gaining respect for the man. He's a pretty good guy even if I don't agree 100%. One of my favourite lists is the list of movies that will never play on an airplane for obvious reasons.
Also, yeah, it is a rather heartbreaking scene even though I didn't see the end part of it coming until it happened at the last second.
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:23 pm

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Cape Fear (1991)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis
Directed by Martin Scorsese

Cape Fear is a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. Surprisingly enough, it is one of the rare times that a remake is better than the original! Robert De Niro is a huge reason for this. He plays psychotic killer Max Cady, who is out to get Sam Bowden (Nolte), who was his corrupt defence attorney when Cady was convicted of rape. De Niro is clearly Nolte’s superior, physically speaking (a huge problem in the original, where the villain was physically inferior to the hero). He melts into the role, and becomes unforgettably menacing. He sports tattoos all over his body, mainly of ominous, threatening quotes from Scripture. Honestly, how many things are scarier than a bad guy quoting Scripture?
Another thing that is improved upon is that the characters are oh so much more flawed than in the original film. Gregory Peck in the original had a picture-perfect family. He was the perfect husband with a loving wife and an obedient daughter. Times have changed. This daughter, Danielle (Lewis) is attracted by Cady, despite how dangerous he is. She is no innocent. The father may or may not be having an affair with a clerk, but he has had affairs in the past. In short, the family is no longer perfect. They are miserable, and I love it!
Cady has been betrayed and seeks vengeance. Is he sympathetic? Far from it. His scenes are consistently terrifying, such as in a disturbing sequence where he poses as Danielle’s drama teacher. He goes on to nearly seduce her, even after she has figured out who he is. However, he never feels like a caricature of a villain; his scheme for revenge is also quite terrifying.
This movie feels so much like a Hitchcock film. Look at the unusual opening titles by a frequent Hitchcock collaborator, Saul Bass, accompanied by music written by the legendary Bernard Herrmann (although conducted by Elmer Bernstein). Herrmann’s music plays a significant role in creating tension. Scorsese’s directorial choices were heavily influenced by Hitchcock, and you can tell. Although it is a Martin Scorsese picture, the thrills it delivers are Hitchcockian in proportion. Want proof? Look at how a mere teddy bear can look evil. I was on the edge of my seat half the time.
Of course, Cape Fear at times shows that it is a remake. The final river sequence, for instance, takes place during a storm, while the waters were calm in the original film. Is this a good or bad move? You decide for yourself.
The Verdict: Cape Fear may be a remake, but it feels very little like one. It stands as a movie of its own, and not a mere shadow of the original thriller. Martin Scorsese’s direction is brilliant, and Robert De Niro gives an unforgettable performance. This is a fantastic movie— not Scorsese’s best, but great nonetheless. Two thumbs up.
Note: Robert DeNiro was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Unfortunately for him, this was the same year as The Silence of the Lambs.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:01 pm

Something I noticed: I once said that I was no fan of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Although I still can't stand Affleck (with a handful of performances as the only exceptions), I've noticed that I've grown more fond of Damon, whom I've begun to consider a really good actor, not just a name.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
At the Scene of the Crime

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Apparently, Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds has a twist ending... I wonder how that's possible, seeing as it's based on history...
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:50 am

Jane Poirot wrote:I personally do not know who to believe; on the one hand, as you stated, Father Flynn does strike me as the sort of jolly man (never mind priest) whom you would see in school everyday, someone who just wants what's best for his students and tries to help everyone; on the other, if he really had nothing to hide, why would he dodge around Sister Aloysius' accusations and not give a simple, straight answer, and why did he resign after she claimed to have known what he supposedly did at his previous parish? But then again, he dodged around a bit at first because he didn't want to get the boy in trouble for going against a rule, and maybe he was simply tired of being badgered about it at the end, and figured he may as well resign now before the accusations got any uglier. Or maybe he was just a really charismatic man who tried to play up the game for as long as he could and did something despicable at the last parish that he never wanted anyone to know about? Normally, such a premise would fuel my imagination for a fanfic, but I'm so torn between deciding whether he was innocent or guilty, I could never do justice in coming anywhere close to the truth. Maybe he's guilty of something he did at the last place he was at, just not child molestation.
Having seen Doubt once more, I'm convinced more than ever that Father Flynn was innocent. One of the most often used arguments is that Flynn grabbed William London's hand, and he pulled away. But after William faked being ill and was dismissed from school for the day, what did we see him do? He lit a cigarette. What if Father Flynn caught him smoking? That would explain him pulling away from Flynn. Later, when he (for instance, in the gym class) pulls back from Flynn, it isn't from disgust, but from embarassment or suspicion that Flynn might reveal his secret.
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~Ellery Queen
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Post by Jane Poirot » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:01 pm

One movie you HAVE to review is The Shining . I just saw it, and I'll say this: I'm glad I didn't watch it last night right before bedtime or else I would've had a hard time getting to sleep. :shock:
Anyone who thinks Canadians are meek and mild-mannered has obviously never seen us during Question Period!

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