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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #1451
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Watched a couple of movies from my neck of the woods recently. Last week I saw Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre, which was alright though not as good as The Man Who Wasn't There. And tonight I watched A Somewhat Gentle Man, a Swedish/Norwegian production starring Stellan Skarsgård as a small time crook who's just gotten out of jail and is conflicted between going the straight and narrow or getting back to his old tricks. It was good. A bit too quirky for quirkyness sake at times but mostly it comes across as genuine.

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7VYv3aKJY70?version=3&amp;hl=sv_SE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed>

  2. #1452
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Just saw Premium Rush with my 2 kids (21 & 16). For a movie that is one long bicycle chase scene, it was not too bad, enjoyable, but not OMG you have to go see it.

    As an expat NYer who used to cycle through Manhattan on a daily basis from 123rd down to 11th, it brought back memories. I was not a courier, I just traveled to / from work that way.

    Quibbles:

    There were a few jarring bits, like the hero going from Columbia University at 116th & Broadway to Chinatown (way downtown) via 125th street just so they could show the IRT subway going above ground. On the whole, however, they did a credible job of correctly showing the sights as the cyclists peddled by on believable routes to their destinations.

    The director tried to build suspense and orient you in time by showing you the a digital clock at the start of each flashback, but unfortunately that exposed the need for time travel as well as bicycles for the protagonists to get where they were purported to be at the times that they were purported to be there.

    One last quibble, Our Hero was supposed to be riding a fixed gear bike (or "fixie" as they called it in the movie). This is a bike which has a direct drive from the chain wheel to the back sprocket, and the back sprocket is fixed with respect to the back wheel, so there is no ability to coast as you can on most other bikes. If the bike is moving, you have to be pedaling, you have no choice, the wheels will drive the pedals as well as the pedals drive the wheels. The problem is, that type of bike is way too dangerous for some of the stunts, so they switched the fixed bike out to one which did allow the cyclist to freewheel in a couple of scenes. I doubt if anyone unfamiliar with the characteristics of a track bike (another name for a fixed) would have noticed, but having ridden one a lot on those streets, it was painfully wrong to see the stuntman coasting.

    On the plus side there were lots of good bicycle stunts & the plot was reasonable. The green screen work, while obvious, wasn't too intrusive. But I'm not certain that you would lose too much if you waited to watch it on a smaller screen via DVD. It didn't seem to take a lot of advantage of having big screen to work with, and for an action movie, that's a bit of a disappointment.

    Both my son & daughter enjoyed it, as did I, so it earned three thumbs up.

  3. #1453
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I remember the cyclists in Manhattan while I lived there, weaving in and out of cars, sometimes running red lights & going the wrong way, invariably going fast... It was a bit unnerving when I rented a moving truck and was careening it through the narrow windy streets (that could be a henke kind of game right there), and the bikes were weaving in and out in front of me.

  4. #1454
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I've been watching Nip Tuck over the last few months. Started from season 1 and am now up to season 5. On the overall whole the show is excellent with seasons 1 - 3 being the standouts and 4 being a real letdown. Time will tell on season 5.

    Slowly making my way through Star Trek Deep Space Nine also. Up to season 3.

  5. #1455
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    (that could be a henke kind of game right there)
    A moving truck sim? That does sound kinda appealing actually.
    Last edited by henke; 27th Aug 2012 at 01:07.

  6. #1456
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    "Now, say my name".

    ":...you're...Heisenberg".

    "You're goddamn right".


    The greatest opening and the most quietly tragic closing of any episode of Breaking Bad yet.

    edit: OKAY FINE THEN!
    Last edited by Renzatic; 27th Aug 2012 at 05:04.

  7. #1457
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Gahh minor Breaking Bad spoilers!!


    I've recently watch the Millenium (The Girl with/who) trilogy and quite enjoyed it. I think I'll skip the US version, I hear bad things about it.

  8. #1458
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    "Now, say my name".

    ":...you're...Heisenberg".

    "You're goddamn right".

    The greatest opening and the most quietly tragic closing of any episode of Breaking Bad yet.
    Oy. Oy. Oy.

  9. #1459
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    I've recently watch the Millenium (The Girl with/who) trilogy and quite enjoyed it. I think I'll skip the US version, I hear bad things about it.
    I thought the US version was pretty good - as good as the Swedish version, as far as I'm concerned - but I'm not a big fan of the material. Dragon Tattoo was okay, but the second film strikes me as a complete narrative mess with silly plot twists. Apparently the third in the series is better, but I'm not holding my breath.

  10. #1460
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    I've recently watch the Millenium (The Girl with/who) trilogy and quite enjoyed it. I think I'll skip the US version, I hear bad things about it.
    Where have you heard that? Apart from the tedious fucks who'll insist that the original is far superior no matter what, and in my experience a lot of these people don't really watch much foreign cinema at all and are simply jumping at the chance to appear 'cultured', the general consensus has been that it's more of less as good as the original with slightly different strengths and weaknesses. Unnecessary perhaps but bad? Not at all.

    Anyway, the local film festival has rolled around my way so I've had the opportunity to see a lot of great stuff lately. In the last couple of days I've seen Beasts Of The Southern Wild, I Wish, In Darkness and The Cabin in the Woods, and they've all been good to great with I Wish (a gentle and funny Japanese film about childhood) being my favourite thus far. Still to see: The Hunt, Barbara, The Imposter, Amour, Searching for Sugar Man, Sightseers, Holy Motors. Good times!

  11. #1461
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I've only seen the US version (on my air trip over the Pacific) and I thought it was respectable... Not my favorite genre either but I had fun with it. It had a lot of material to get through for a movie, but that's an issue all novel-adaptations have.

    If I'd have my choice maybe I'd have watched the Swedish version just on principle (it'll be truer to life there than a Hollywood movie could be), and not feel the need to watch the American one. But now I don't feel any need to see that version since I've watched the US one.

    I was happy a Hollywood movie was set in a foreign country and every character was native to it though. There can't be enough of them to remind us there's the rest of the world out there and there really can be stories that don't involve a single American anywhere. I wish they'd do that for stories set in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia & Africa too.

  12. #1462
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    If I'd have my choice maybe I'd have watched the Swedish version just on principle (it'll be truer to life there than a Hollywood movie could be), and not feel the need to watch the American one. But now I don't feel any need to see that version since I've watched the US one.
    Perhaps it's because I'm into theatre that I don't have a problem with the concept of remakes as such. Many if not most of them are crap, but that's not because they're remakes, it's because they're remade without a single original idea or motivation beyond making money. Beyond that, I actually like seeing different takes on the same material - just as I like watching different productions of the same play. I enjoyed both the original Solaris and Soderberg's result a lot, for instance.

    Having said that, Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo doesn't have all that much to offer once you've seen the Swedish version. It's worth it for the directorial and acting craft, perhaps, but it's not like the film offers anything that's very different from the Swedish version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Dust View Post
    I Wish (a gentle and funny Japanese film about childhood)
    That sounds good! Have you seen Danny Boyle's Millions, another gentle, funny film about childhood? Not all that many people seem to know it, but it's one of my favourite movies.

  13. #1463
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Yeah I'd agree with you as far as that point goes. I like seeing different takes on the same story too, or even just seeing how different scenes get treated in translation, something I especially like with novels. Or I like seeing how Japan subtitles US movies sometimes when I lived there, or comparing the US & Japanese versions of The Ring.

    You hit on why I didn't care that much about this story though... It just wasn't the kind of novel I cared enough about for that.

    On that note though, I started reading the translation notes to Kafka's The Castle recently and got totally sucked into how German and English bring it to life in different ways. His writing is so evocative as it is, but different languages bring it out in different ways, and finding the perfect translation for a passage is a kind of special art in itself I really appreciate. Hard to explain without actually getting into examples though.

  14. #1464
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Kafka... I should definitely re-read him (and read some of the writings I haven't read yet). Last time I read any Kafka was when I was at grammar school, when I was 17 or 18. I liked him back then but chances are I'd get much more out of him at this point. The same goes for what I read during my first 1-2 years of studying - but there's so little time as it is. Meh. Why can't I get early retirement at my current monthly salary?

    On a different note: we're almost done with The Prisoner, and while I still think it's pretty flawed unless you make major allowances for its age I'm enjoying it more than I did at first. The last few episodes suggest, though, that the show's makers got tired of the straight formula and started to play with it - which, as far as I'm concerned, they could've done earlier already.

    Some things watched recently:
    - The Unbearable Lightness of Being: took me a while to get into it, but after half an hour or so I liked it a lot. It's difficult not to think that Tomas should've dumped Tereza for the Lena Olin character. Growl!
    - Juggernaut: can't say how much of this is nostalgia, but I still enjoy this very British film about bombs on a cruise ship a lot. It's nothing momentous but has a nicely dry sense of humour and a great cast.
    - Take Shelter: not sure about the ending, but I like Shannon a lot in this. He can be a bit too much in other parts, at least for my tastes (he does intense and insane well), but he tones it down here and ends up more effective IMO.

  15. #1465
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    That sounds good! Have you seen Danny Boyle's Millions, another gentle, funny film about childhood? Not all that many people seem to know it, but it's one of my favourite movies.
    Yeah, I have and I like it but I wouldn't think of them as being that similar. You'd probably like I Wish though and I'd also recommend Still Walking (by the same director) and Yi Yi (one of my favourite films of the last 10 or so years) if you're looking for similar low-key, yet highly resonant, family dramas.

  16. #1466
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Why didn't you say the film was by Koreeda? I *love* After Life (and found Nobody Knows very depressing, though in a good way)! Definitely putting I Wish on my list; shame that Amazon doesn't yet seem to have it on offer. I've got Still Walking at home, together with a pile of Criterions not yet watched, but one of these days I'll get around to it. Thanks for the tip!

  17. #1467
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    As for myself, last night I watched Primer again, mostly to see if it's something I could show my students. I can't really show anything "risque", but I only have so many movies on my harddrive, and I know it's at least clean. (Short answer: it's not a good pick. Not because of the content, but it's hard enough following the English for them, to add the plot would be too much). But I'm finally catching on to the plot more with repeat viewings.

    A few things I noticed this time...

    1. I think the part about the guy that brought the shotgun to the party is an important subplot that was largely left out (in other timelines), and we just see some of the fallout. I think in some timeline or another the girlfriend gets shot, and that's what led her father to investigate and get into the machines and screw himself up -- the only part we see. They couldn't go back far enough in time to stop him, until of course Aaron finds the failsafe machine and brings back a machine-double, and the movie goes from there.

    2. I still didn't quite catch the significance of the fountain scene while they were looking for the cat, though (I think their doubles were also in the background?) Also the guys lying on the ground when the father comes back to his home.

    3. I think a future Aaron is there at the beginning of the movie when he flips the switch for the original discovery. The movie gives a few clues. AFAIU, Abe did not build the failsafe box this far back, so we either have to imagine he built another one this early (I doubt that too)... But the more interesting interpretation IMO is that this may actually be a still more future Aaron#2 whose timeline we never saw, but who figured out a way to get back in time without the failsafe box, or maybe just with the few experiments they'd already done to that point, and he went back even to the very inception to iron out a few details and played along as the original Aaron#1, until things didn't go right and we got the actual movie we saw, with a third Aaron double using the failsafe box & drugging A#2 to still play for Abe, and we don't know what happened to the real A#1. Interesting to speculate on anyway.
    Last edited by demagogue; 27th Aug 2012 at 08:18.

  18. #1468
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Dragon Tattoo was okay, but the second film strikes me as a complete narrative mess with silly plot twists. Apparently the third in the series is better, but I'm not holding my breath.
    Yes it is better. My order of preference is 1>3>2. It's almost like 2 is a filler that is setting up 3. And of course 1 stands up on it's own.

    I heard the US remake misses loads of stuff out in order to focus and coolify other stuff. Meh. I'll see it some day.

  19. #1469
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    I heard the US remake misses loads of stuff out in order to focus and coolify other stuff. Meh. I'll see it some day.
    It felt more focused, in a good way; if I remember correctly, in the Swedish version I thought every now and then that there were gaps and shortcuts in the storytelling that weakened the overall story. Less so in the US version, although it's by no means a huge difference. I don't think Fincher's version went for surface coolness. There were some sloppy details, though, e.g. Craig's here-one-minute-gone-the-next accent, for instance. I liked the film better than, say, Panic Room or The Game, but it's definitely not a must-see.

  20. #1470
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Watched Take Shelter the other day - too slow by far, and I like a movie with an atmosphere of creeping dread. Shannon is good but they try to milk certain aspects of the situation for every bit of drama and it can end up feeling a bit manufactured. I mean, we get all this build up with the daughter's treatment with the numbing inevitability of him losing his job (and hence insurance), when that's not even the big issue at hand. The closing shot can be taken many ways (it's all a metaphor anyway) but it was an "interesting" way to finish.

    Also saw Wanderlust which was watchable but greatest gag goes to Aniston pitching a depressing nature doc to HBO and when they pass she asks if the penguins showed their tits for no reason and the polar bears were on meth would they take it. Heheh.

  21. #1471
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Just saw Cargo. It's a Swiss sci-fi with good production values, cast, cinematography and plot.

    Overall it's pretty enjoyable, and decidedly Euro somehow. But it suffers because the overall idea has been done in one way or another in other films too many times before. I'm kind of wondering how it got the green light given that fact. It's not a bad film but if it had come out 14 years ago it would have been great.

  22. #1472
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    Overall it's pretty enjoyable, and decidedly Euro somehow. But it suffers because the overall idea has been done in one way or another in other films too many times before. I'm kind of wondering how it got the green light given that fact. It's not a bad film but if it had come out 14 years ago it would have been great.
    I imagine it got given the green light because of the state of the Swiss film industry - every now and then money's put into showing the world that, hey, we can make competent mainstream films here as well! The problem being, of course, that it's not enough to do competent mainstream if you don't have other selling points that would make it attractive to an international (or even just German!) audience.

  23. #1473
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    A friend came over last night and we were trying to rig film audio through VST effects. We couldn't get it working so instead watched Hard Boiled speeded up ten times faster and died laughing.

    Next up was Waterworld. It turns out that that film can't even be improved by watching it thirty five times faster than normal.

  24. #1474
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Breaking Bad

    I'm sure we all thought we'd see Walt's downfall come during his rise to power, falling short of obtaining the power and respect he's craved his whole life. Tragic, and a fitting conclusion to what, to me, felt like the show has been building up to it's entire run.

    But this is Breaking Bad. It's never once gone the way anyone expected. Instead of Walt's victory being snatched from him at the last second, his eventual and obvious downfall will come long after his complete and utter success.

    He's become bored of being the best meth cook in the world, sees the manufacture of the product that's made him rich beyond his wildest dreams as yet another daily grind. He obviously doesn't find any joy in being the head of an empire. It's too much like work. No glory.

    So he quits. His kids come home. Things are looking surprisingly good between he and Skyler. There's tension there, but also hope. Life might actually turn out okay for him. He could very well be one of the fortunate few who gets to have their cake and eat it, too. He may keep his marriage, his kids, and the roughly three shipping pallets worth of bills hidden away in a self-storage container.

    Then Hank goes to the bathroom...


    ...and I have to wait another damn year to see exactly how bad things are going to get.

  25. #1475
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements

    Prime Suspect

    I just finished watching the whole Prime Suspect opus, the British one with Helen Mirren from back in the 1990's. Excellent acting. Gritty realism. So much so that I wanted a bath after each episode. Not exactly an upper as watching them all, one after another, you really see the slow destruction of Jane Tennison, the Helen Mirren character.

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