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RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 12:45:33 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4010
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Out of interest, to those of you who have seen Silver Linings Playbook; was your experience watching it slightly soured by folk belly-laughing at scenes that clearly weren't meant to be funny? SPOILER specifically the scenes involving Tiffany storming out of the cafe & Pat searching for his wedding video.

Perhaps it's just be, but the lack of understanding many people have regarding mental illness really depresses me (no pun intended).

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Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 241
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 5:01:17 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
18-Star Wars: Episode VI Special Edition (Marquand & Lucas' Dumbass Ideas, 1983)

It's still the best of the lot, but the special edition makes some fucking awful changes. That song in Jabba's Palace is irritating inane bullshit, complete with CGI characters that blend horribly with the practical effects going on around them. It's the nadir of the original three special edition films, and it's testament to the quality of the rest of it that the film didn't slip further down my list.

Now some forumite will come and tell me that the song sequence is brilliant because reasons and the prequels were the best because computers.

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Post #: 242
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:31:52 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet


As compelling as reasons and computers are, you are correct.

*VERY MINOR SPOILERS*
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)
– At last! I’ve been waiting all my life for a film about a character who’s a bit like me. And now it’s here. Because Bradley Cooper’s bruised, bipolar protagonist really fucking hates Stevie Wonder’s Ma Cherie Amour. Just like me! And that’s not the only reason to celebrate, since Russell’s original, screwball-y film of two lost, damaged souls connecting, is the best film I’ve seen at the cinema this year.

Cooper is a psychiatric patient released after eight months in a hospital, following an explosive episode brought on by his wife’s infidelity. Invited to dinner by his best friend, he meets a bereaved depressive (Jennifer Lawrence) who offers him a deal: she can get a message to his estranged wife, if he helps her compete in a dance contest. Its rom-com framework may appear conventional, but the film consistently surprises. It’s true that most depictions of mental illness ring false, because a realistic work would usually be really fucking boring, but this is a film that manages to entertain without trivialising its characters or their problems. While angling on the humour of their situation, spotlighting the obsessiveness and lack of social skills that are often a symptom or by-product of mental illness, it takes the subject seriously, an admirably honest approach in a genre often beset by duplicity. Simply put, it’s nice to see these kinds of characters – and specifically these characters – on a movie screen. And like Tom McCarthy or Alexander Payne, Russell can entertain while making you think, and feel, a welcome trick on a Friday night, when the temptation can be to immerse oneself in froth.

Cooper, who was just unbearable in The Hangover (a film I loathe), is nothing short of a revelation and his chemistry with Lawrence – one of the best actresses working today – is really beautiful. There’s also a nice performance from De Niro, his best in years, as Cooper’s father, who may be trying to build bridges with his son – or may just be using him as a good-luck charm to win money betting on football. His sequences seem distracting early on, taking us away from a beautiful burgeoning friendship, but the film’s apparently disparate elements slot together perfectly as it progresses, leading to a wonderfully satisfying finale. I loved it to pieces. (4)

Mostly Martha (Sandra Nettelback, 2001) – When the Catherine Zeta-Jones romcom, No Reservations, was on telly recently, I sought advice from the internet as to whether I should watch it. Almost without exception, everybody in the world told me to avoid it like the plague (or Spice-World), but to track down the German-language original immediately. So I did. Martha (Martina Gedeck) is a lonely, workaholic chef whose solitary existence is transformed forever by the arrival of her niece (Maxime Foerste), whose mother – Martha’s sister – has died in an accident. At the same time, Martha's job as head honcho in the kitchen appears threatened by the arrival of a charming Italian cook (Sergio Castellitto). What I most enjoyed about the film was how its happy moments were so well earned, and its down-time so true to its story, a lesson most American rom-coms could do with learning about 30 years ago. Really it’s a well-observed human drama, with flashes of welcome levity, that isn’t afraid of the emotional messiness that’s a part of real-life, or the mistakes, grudges or fuzzy reconciliations that go with it. The film has some minor shortcomings in that its score leans towards cheese (complete with light jazz sax) and its cinematography is too glossy and clean for the material, but Gedeck is stunning in the lead, and the story really sucks you in, as well as making you terrifically hungry. (4)

The Decoy Bride (Sheree Folkson, 2011) – A sassy Scotswoman (Kelly MacDonald) returns to the Isle of Man the Hebrides after getting her heart broken, where fate casts her into the life of a ridiculous twitching caricature (David Tennant) – an author and all-time phony who’s about to wed a big-jawed American movie star. This rehash of I Know Where I’m Going! – via Leap Year – doesn’t really deserve to share a sentence with either, as it doesn’t occupy the same realm as P&P’s transcendent romance, nor plumb the depths of that recent, insultingly lazy slab of shite. Any charm it does have rests on the superhuman efforts of MacDonald – whose appealing performance weathers all manner of ridiculous developments – and the lovely Isle of Man locales. As with almost any British production that tries to include some Americans, chunks of it are rather embarrassing (ex pony-smacker Sally Phillips, who co-wrote this one, bizarrely forces herself to play a supporting part with an unstintingly terrible US accent), and this would doubtless have worked better had the leading man approximated the behaviour of a human being – even if his sentimental sequence with the bagpipes is rather sweet. Thanks to MacDonald, though, it turns out alright, her comic timing, periodic underplaying and attractive fieriness breathing life into a story that’s been told too many times. (2.5)

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Post #: 243
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:42:28 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Great reviews, rick.

SLP has been one of those films that I haven't stopped thinking about since I saw it. It's really, really, really good.


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Post #: 244
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:44:42 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

Great reviews, rick.

SLP has been one of those films that I haven't stopped thinking about since I saw it. It's really, really, really good.

Thanks. Yeah, I just won't shut up about it. Let's go see it again!

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Blog: DJANGO! DUMBO! DESPICABLE ME 2! Plus: other stuff.

"Nothin's really been right since Sam the Lion died."

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Post #: 245
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:48:18 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Yes, let's. I'll buy popcorn!

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 246
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:50:23 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
Ugh. You eat popcorn in the cinema?

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 247
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:51:58 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
I don't actually, but I'm hoping if I buy him some, rick might put out.

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ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
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Post #: 248
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:55:36 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
Ah. In which case I withdraw the comments.

Also - friendly tip. Try olives

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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 249
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:57:24 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

I don't actually, but I'm hoping if I buy him some, rick might put out.

Yes! Pokey-bum wanks all round!

_____________________________

*Wendy Hiller fanboy*

Blog: DJANGO! DUMBO! DESPICABLE ME 2! Plus: other stuff.

"Nothin's really been right since Sam the Lion died."

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 250
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:58:01 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Also - friendly tip. Try olives

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmolives.


_____________________________

*Wendy Hiller fanboy*

Blog: DJANGO! DUMBO! DESPICABLE ME 2! Plus: other stuff.

"Nothin's really been right since Sam the Lion died."

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 251
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 1/12/2012 11:58:11 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.


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quote:

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Post #: 252
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 1:13:03 AM   
KnightofZyryab


Posts: 5841
Joined: 26/12/2005
End of Watch

William Friedkin heaped praise on this film calling it 'maybe the best cop movie ever made', and I can understand why. As far as cop movies go, End of Watch is a fantastically entertaining 2 hours with a sharp script, extremely visceral action and two outstanding performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two patrol cops who get embroiled in the violent struggle with a Mexican drug cartel in L.A. It's filmed to give the maximum impression of realism, using POV and documentary style camera angles which double up as a narrative device as Gyllenhaal's Brian Taylor records their daily watch, and also works to show the cockiness and bravado of two cops who initially don't treat their work that seriously. But as the film progresses they both realise the danger of their profession and the possibility of either man dying in the field as they uncover the increasingly disturbing and macabre activities the Mexican gangs are into - after saving three children in a house fire neither man feels a hero, just more mortal than before. What elevates End of Watch above other cop movies is the excellent character development of Taylor and Zavala and an incredibly naturalistic partnership between Gyllenhaal and Pena. Whether they're bantering about Mexican versus White culture (some of the funniest exchanges I've heard at the cinema all year), discussing Taylor's love life, or covering each other in a gunfight, their rapport is engaging and instantly believable. Even if the film appears to wander at points, Gyllenhaal and Pena both turn out powerful performances which would be Oscar worthy in the right kind of film. It does appear to run out of steam towards the end, where I thought it would be slightly less predictable - I thought they would expand on the subplot where Taylor and Zavala are warned by shady government ops not to interfere with the cartel investigations - but nevertheless the film works on the strength of the dynamic between the two men.

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Imminent viewings : The Place Beyond the Pines

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Post #: 253
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 9:52:07 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black)

A superb start to the festive season; an energetic sprint through the film noir genre, but given an uber-contemporary gloss as Robert Downey Jr's petty criminal-turned-actor teams up with Val Kilmer's gay private detective to investigate the death of a young girl. It's sharp, playful, witty and the chemistry between Downey and Kilmer is fantastic - a shame it died at the box office, I'd have happily watched a sequel. (4.5)


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 254
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 11:55:29 AM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
86-Spring in a Small Town (Fei, 1948) 8/10

A slight but fairly touching romance, which is shot great and acted really well, but never got my heartstrings a-tugging.

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"We are not safe! A dark menace rises to the east! Duckies go quack! Cows go moo! I want ice cream. Verily, will you two hobbits join my quest?"

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 255
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 3:12:02 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Bad 25 (Spike Lee)

It inevitably strays into haigiography at times, and it is littered with some typically Lee out there assertions (people started hating Michael Jackson because he bought the Beatles catalogue, because he was black, he wasn't that crazy afterall) and it does go on a bit - in the lengthy running time, Spike could have had a go at doing the whole Jackson story rather than narrowing the focus to just the Bad album, which possibly would have been more interesting to see how he would have dealt with some of the stuff, but regardless, its an interesting and enjoyable documentary. There are loads of good revelations for fans - who the hell Annie from Smooth Criminal was, what the hell Cha'mone is, etc, the footage of him dancing is still incredible, and the talking heads range from Martin Scorsese to Kanye West (Spike Lee didn't kill him and let him finish). The depth of analysis given to the whole period is extraordinary, and this is Jackson's halycon days really, even if Thriller is the better record. Obviously nothing to controversial is touched on - this is the first Jackson album with his notably whiter skin, and yet the only references made are to how black he is, like in his soul. Still for someone of my age- I'm a year older than Bad, so he was inescapble for me as a child, but I missed first hand the mania to some degree - it is an entertaining throwback. The best revelation however is that Jackson was meant to be meeting Chris Brown at the Staples centre when he died - small mercies, eh?

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Post #: 256
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 3:37:32 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb
I'm a year older than Bad


Fucking kids.

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Post #: 257
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 3:50:58 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

86-Spring in a Small Town (Fei, 1948) 8/10

A slight but fairly touching romance, which is shot great and acted really well, but never got my heartstrings a-tugging.


One of my favourite films - I'd have said a devastating portrayal of the marriage than a slight romance though.

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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 258
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 4:55:38 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

86-Spring in a Small Town (Fei, 1948) 8/10

A slight but fairly touching romance, which is shot great and acted really well, but never got my heartstrings a-tugging.


One of my favourite films - I'd have said a devastating portrayal of the marriage than a slight romance though.


I did see that element to it, but it wasn't dealt with as much as the relationship between the wife and the visitor, so it never reached "devastating" levels for me.
On a "films Elab loves" note,

32-Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock, 1943) 9/10
is a damn fine film, easily one of Hitchcock's best. Cotten's performance is brilliant, and he gets more menacing as the film goes on. My only complaint is that the ending seems a little rushed, but that doesn't stop it from being a top-tier thriller.

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Post #: 259
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 9:58:22 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
45-Scrooged (Donner, 1988) 9/10

First Christmas film of the year, and also one of the best. Murray is awesome, it's hilarious throughout and it has the scariest Ghost of Christmas Future in any adaptation.

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Post #: 260
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 10:00:07 PM   
Rinc


Posts: 12841
Joined: 2/10/2005
From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt
The Hours (2002)
AIDs! Lesbians! Period dress! Literature! Mental illness! Famous person being depicted! Meryl Streep! Surprise Oscar nominations pouring out of its ears!

Shit.

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No spoilers please:

Invisiotext:
[ color=#F1F1F1 ]text[ /color ]

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Post #: 261
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 10:01:09 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.


Julianne Moore was great in it though. The rest of the film is awful.

(in reply to Rinc)
Post #: 262
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 10:02:55 PM   
Rinc


Posts: 12841
Joined: 2/10/2005
From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt
Yeah she's good but every minute Streep and Kdman are on screen I just kept thinking 'LOTS OF ACTORS ACTING'

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No spoilers please:

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[ color=#F1F1F1 ]text[ /color ]

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Post #: 263
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 10:27:31 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Harris as well. Uncharacteristically awful work from him.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 264
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 2/12/2012 11:10:24 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6951
Joined: 24/11/2005
This current conversation about The Hours is all wrong. Its one of the best films of the past decade. Masterclass in acting by everyone involved.

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Post #: 265
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 3/12/2012 8:30:47 AM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

45-Scrooged (Donner, 1988) 9/10

First Christmas film of the year, and also one of the best. Murray is awesome, it's hilarious throughout and it has the scariest Ghost of Christmas Future in any adaptation.


I caught a bit of this last night on the tellybox - it's great. The bit where the down-and-outs mistake Murray for Richard Burton is inspired.

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Post #: 266
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 3/12/2012 11:32:17 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
About A Boy (Paul and Chris Weitz)

Sweet where it could have been saccharine, light of touch where it could have been heavy handed and genuinely very funny with Hugh Grant's best (only?) performance. It captures the awkwardness of a lonely childhood perfectly as well as the vacousness of an adult life cocooned away from actually feeling anything. (4.5)

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Post #: 267
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 3/12/2012 11:35:01 AM   
MovieAddict247


Posts: 3751
Joined: 5/6/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

About A Boy (Paul and Chris Weitz)

Sweet where it could have been saccharine, light of touch where it could have been heavy handed and genuinely very funny with Hugh Grant's best (only?) performance. It captures the awkwardness of a lonely childhood perfectly as well as the vacousness of an adult life cocooned away from actually feeling anything. (4.5)


Nice review - I always forget how good a film it is. Grant's also fab in Pirates! and Love Actually.

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Post #: 268
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 3/12/2012 11:36:00 AM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
Nice review. I like Hugh Grant, though he doesn't always stretch himself. Maurice is well worth seeing if you haven't. But you're right, About a Boy is really good. Nice songs too.

*MINOR SPOILERS*
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Chris Lord and Phil Miller, 2009)
-
 
Manny: "You are going to need a co-pilot."
Sam: "You are a pilot, too?"
Manny: "Yes. I am also a particle physicist."
Sam: "Really?"
Manny: "No, that was a joke. I am also a comedian."
 
The best non-Pixar animation to come out of America last decade is just as delicious second time around: a barrage of brilliant jokes (and oversized foodstuffs), bouncing off an appealing romance and a touching father-son subplot, as inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) makes it rain food, unfortunately endangering the world. Its characters are superbly drawn, its action sequences are masterfully conceived and just about every gag is judged to perfection, several nailing the quiet absurdities of 21st century life in a way that few films master. It doesn't need non-sequiturs (the fall-back for any failing animation), because it's got something better: sensational comic timing and the most spectacular set of running gags I can remember. It's also admirably fearless - it isn't afraid to get soppy, or post-modern, or really and genuinely weird - but sharp and streamlined too. Everything serves the story. Even the bit where a monkey called Steve, who's wearing a thought-translator, pulls out the heart of a malevolent gummy bear and eats it. (4)

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(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 269
RE: Top Films Watched End of November and December 2012 - 3/12/2012 11:42:22 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14582
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Ta.

Yeah, Grant is a frustrating actor - pretty lazy, but occasionally shows glimpses of how good he could be. I really think he brings a lot to the character of Will and it's pretty underappreciated. There's a great bit where he 'fesses up to Rachel Weisz about how he isn't really Marcus's dad and there's a great bit of facial acting/realisation from him about how much of his life is a waste. And, yes, the soundtrack is ace.


Also, I've never seen Cloudy With... but that quote made me laugh out loud.

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ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
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Post #: 270
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