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Movie Reviews and Oscar Season 2009
 
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:56 PM
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Default Movie Reviews and Oscar Season 2009

As most of you know, I watch a LOT of movies. That may very well be an understatement. Over the Christmas break, we watched Yes Man, Marley & Me, and Bedtime Stories in the theatre... and that doesn't even include the many movies we re-watched on TV and Blu Ray.

But nevertheless, it's my favorite time of the year, as this is when you start seeing the best movies you've never heard of being released and buzzed about for Oscar nominations. A couple weeks ago, the nominations were made for the Golden Globes, which is usually an indication of which movies and actors/actresses and directors will be nominated for Oscars (although this measure is not entirely accurate every year).

HFPA - Nominations and Winners

Of the Golden Globe and potential Oscar nominees, I have seen the following:

Frost/Nixon
The Wrestler
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
Gran Torino
Changeling
Burn After Reading
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Pineapple Express
The Dark Knight
Tropic Thunder
The Duchess

I will do a write-up for those that I've seen already, in addition to some other movies as time goes on (Oscar-worthy or not).
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:07 PM
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Dark Knigt all the way for me - every film I've seen since this year (and it's been a good year for movies) just hasn't lived up to how great Dark Knight was. Tropic Thunder I've yet to see but have heard great things about.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:46 PM
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I'm about midway through Benjamin Button. As much as I liked The Dark Knight, this one is really taking the cake for me. The Notebook meets Forrest Gump meets Big Fish. The screenwright for Forrest Gump (amongst a LOT of other great movies) also wrote this one, and the eerie similarities between the two movies is one of the slams I've read about in reviews. Regardless, this is a wonderful movie.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:38 AM
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The special effects done with Benjamin Button. My lord. I believe that Brad Pitt played every phase of Benjamin's life all the way until he was a boy. The teenage Benjamin looked like Brad Pitt of Thelma and Louise minus a few years... absolutely incredible!

The film is a narrative being read from a notebook/book to Cate Blanchett's character in what I assume to be her 'death bed' (a hospital bed in New Orleans in the wake of 2005's Hurricane Katrina). As mentioned with my comparison earlier, this is the same general concept of how The Notebook took place, dipping into the story (Brad Pitt's character's story) and out of it back to reality (daughter reading it to her mother, who was getting the 'from his perspective' of the story for the first time). The general flow of the movie was great for it to have a 2.5+ hour runtime.

The scenery of all locations, whether it was New Orleans, New York, or Paris, were spectacular. The acting by Pitt was definitely his best performance to date (I'm actually a fan of his acting). Cate Blanchett, who eerily reminds me of an ex, was wonderful as always. There was very little about the cast or the acting that I disliked.

Brandee refused to watch the movie with me, but at this time (just finished watching it), I feel that it was perhaps one of the Top 5 movies I've ever seen.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:53 AM
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The Wrestler

This movie is getting a lot of buzz from the Oscar community. Darren Aronofsky hit a proverbial gold mine when he landed long forgotten Mickey Rourke for the lead role. Rourke, widely regarded as one of the most disappointing would-be talents in Hollywood, really came out with all of the fireworks in his role.

The storyline was nothing special, to be honest. Perhaps in an art house type of way, it was a spectacular film that warrants a Best Picture award, however I just didn't really connect with it whatsoever. I think most would be in the same boat as I, although the main character, Randy "The Ram" Robinson reminded me a lot of a 1980's era Randy "The Macho Man" Savage who went on a downward spiral into oblivion (I'm not sure if that's what they were going for).

The acting, however, was absolutely special. If you are a person who can sit back and appreciate a film not for its story or direction but simply for the pleasure of watching someone's acting skills, then this is definitely a top-tier film.

Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 98% rating over 105 reviews (only 2 rotten), which ranks it up there with some of the best ratings ever. But once again, I would like to see how many of those reviews are based on Rourke's acting in the movie and the true-to-life story that he is portraying (I'm not sure how much 'acting' was required on his part to relate to the character) or on Aronofsky's work.

This movie disappointed me from a 'movie experience' perspective. I don't think I would have been a happy camper had I caught it in the theatre. Aside from an aging Marisa Tomei being topless a few times as a stripper in the club (she still has a rockin' body, but her face shows her age), there wasn't much to really catch my attention. I've been a fan of Aronofsky since his major debut film, Pi, but he has yet to really grow out of the indie-only artsy film (as seen with The Wrestler's 'thought-provoking' ending). I sure hope he doesn't end up like M. Night Shyamalan, although he has now had two straight movies that have disappointed me after a rather strong initial interest (I was really looking forward to The Fountain, based on the supposed storyline and my praise for Aronofsky with Pi and Requiem).
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The special effects done with Benjamin Button. My lord. I believe that Brad Pitt played every phase of Benjamin's life all the way until he was a boy. The teenage Benjamin looked like Brad Pitt of Thelma and Louise minus a few years... absolutely incredible!

The film is a narrative being read from a notebook/book to Cate Blanchett's character in what I assume to be her 'death bed' (a hospital bed in New Orleans in the wake of 2005's Hurricane Katrina). As mentioned with my comparison earlier, this is the same general concept of how The Notebook took place, dipping into the story (Brad Pitt's character's story) and out of it back to reality (daughter reading it to her mother, who was getting the 'from his perspective' of the story for the first time). The general flow of the movie was great for it to have a 2.5+ hour runtime.

The scenery of all locations, whether it was New Orleans, New York, or Paris, were spectacular. The acting by Pitt was definitely his best performance to date (I'm actually a fan of his acting). Cate Blanchett, who eerily reminds me of an ex, was wonderful as always. There was very little about the cast or the acting that I disliked.

Brandee refused to watch the movie with me, but at this time (just finished watching it), I feel that it was perhaps one of the Top 5 movies I've ever seen.

I'm also a fan of Pitt's and would like to see this movie, although I doubt anyone in my family will want to go with me. Why didn't Brandee want to see it?
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
The Wrestler

This movie is getting a lot of buzz from the Oscar community. Darren Aronofsky hit a proverbial gold mine when he landed long forgotten Mickey Rourke for the lead role. Rourke, widely regarded as one of the most disappointing would-be talents in Hollywood, really came out with all of the fireworks in his role.

The storyline was nothing special, to be honest. Perhaps in an art house type of way, it was a spectacular film that warrants a Best Picture award, however I just didn't really connect with it whatsoever. I think most would be in the same boat as I, although the main character, Randy "The Ram" Robinson reminded me a lot of a 1980's era Randy "The Macho Man" Savage who went on a downward spiral into oblivion (I'm not sure if that's what they were going for).

The acting, however, was absolutely special. If you are a person who can sit back and appreciate a film not for its story or direction but simply for the pleasure of watching someone's acting skills, then this is definitely a top-tier film.

Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 98% rating over 105 reviews (only 2 rotten), which ranks it up there with some of the best ratings ever. But once again, I would like to see how many of those reviews are based on Rourke's acting in the movie and the true-to-life story that he is portraying (I'm not sure how much 'acting' was required on his part to relate to the character) or on Aronofsky's work.

This movie disappointed me from a 'movie experience' perspective. I don't think I would have been a happy camper had I caught it in the theatre. Aside from an aging Marisa Tomei being topless a few times as a stripper in the club (she still has a rockin' body, but her face shows her age), there wasn't much to really catch my attention. I've been a fan of Aronofsky since his major debut film, Pi, but he has yet to really grow out of the indie-only artsy film (as seen with The Wrestler's 'thought-provoking' ending). I sure hope he doesn't end up like M. Night Shyamalan, although he has now had two straight movies that have disappointed me after a rather strong initial interest (I was really looking forward to The Fountain, based on the supposed storyline and my praise for Aronofsky with Pi and Requiem).
Nice write up. I'm not a fan of Mickey Rourke's, so won't be seeing this one. Glad you liked it, though.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Why didn't Brandee want to see it?
Probably because she's blind (have you seen Otto compared to her) and movies are boring when you can only hear them!
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joolie View Post
Why didn't Brandee want to see it?
She doesn't like these kind of movies. She prefers Tyler Perry or SATC girls to actual dramas and epic films. Her best friend also mentioned that it was a horrible movie that was too long, although this friend does not have the best taste when it comes to great movies. I like artsy films in addition to the box office blockbuster, so when a great epic film is released (not Australia), I'm down like donkey kong to see it.

P.S. - Not funny, Si.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post

P.S. - Not funny, Si.
By now you should know Si's strange (=British) humor
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:20 PM
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Yeah, I do. What his wifey sees in him has me speechless. I can see the baby saying 'that ain't my dad' in about 10 years
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
By now you should know Si's strange (=British) humor
That's cool man, I'm everyone's favourite today!!!

Quote:
Yeah, I do. What his wifey sees in him has me speechless.
15 inches would have anyone speechless mate.

Quote:
I can see the baby saying 'that ain't my dad' in about 10 years
Mr. E keeps saying it's his - I don't know what to tell you. If it comes out black I'm gonna be pissed.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:48 PM
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LOL!
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:04 PM
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If it comes black I'm going to fly across the pond and will help get you drunk.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:21 PM
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Has anyone seen Eagle Eye? I have heard it's pretty good, and with a lack of anything else I wanted to spend my Best Buy gift card on, I bought it.

I like Shia LaBeauf (or however that's spelled). Transformers is pretty fun to watch (especially when he's in his room with Megan Fox looking for the glasses and his mom asks him if he was in there masturbating....priceless).

Any reviews on Eagle Eye?
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:30 PM
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If you liked Transformers, then you'll like Eagle Eye, I suppose. I had high hopes on the movie after first seeing the previews, but I was disappointed in the story arc, to be honest. The plot 'twist' was rather silly and predicatable, if you ask me. I preferred Enemy of the State and I, Robot to Eagle Eye (you will see the similarities once you watch it and I think you'll agree with me).
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:32 PM
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predictable movies ... my favorite. I NEVER pick up on what is happening
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:33 PM
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I did like I, Robot, but never saw Enemy of the State.

As long as Eagle Eye is entertaining (hell, Transformers took a *few* liberties, but was still entertaining), then I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

The last movie I actually bought for myself was Invincible. I could watch that _every_ day. Mmmmmmark Wahlberg.....mmmmm.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
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predictable movies ... my favorite. I NEVER pick up on what is happening
That's why we like you.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:35 PM
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... what if he wore a shirt for the entire movie ... would you feel the same way?
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:39 PM
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Hell yes. I liked him in Shooter, too.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:46 PM
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hahaha ... i had never heard of this movie until like a month ago. I enjoyed it too.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
predictable movies ... my favorite. I NEVER pick up on what is happening
That's what your wife said too
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:32 PM
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Watched Eagle Eye today and must say I really liked it. It was a little scary to think about something like that actually happening.

I was NOT impressed with the 7100i BlackBerry those poor people had to use while locked in the box on the cargo plane. With all that technology, couldn't they have picked something a little newer?? Even my 10yr old daughter caught that.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:27 PM
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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

It takes a special breed of person to truly appreciate and enjoy a Woody Allen film. Long regarded as one of Hollywood's true geniuses behind the camera and carrying the ability to pay A-List actors dirt cheap for the sole purpose of working with him.

The cast in VCB can carry its own weight, starring Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem (whom I always mix up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan - seriously, Google both of them ...so freaky!).

The movie and story are decent, but like I said before, you must be a Woody Allen fan. I, for one, am not (looking over the many, many films he's directed and written, I cannot really find one that stood out as enjoyable). The ending, in true Woody fashion, leaves you with your thoughts and no satisfaction (for the movie or the characters or otherwise).

Mr. E would like this one, as I'm sure he's a Woody Allen fan (this is not a Jewish references, of course).
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:47 PM
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Watched Hancock today. Now that was funny. There wasn't much true acting by Will Smith (IMO), but a lot of funny gags. My husband was rolling with laughter, so I'm sure we'll be owning soon.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:28 AM
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big fan of Slumdog Millionaire, enjoyed every minute.

seeing Benjamin Button this weekend and from otto's review im looking forward to it. Also saw Valkyrie (good) and 7 pounds (average).
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:25 PM
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Seven Pounds was umm... I had different expectations from it. I had read reviews that said the meaning of the title was being kept a mystery until the movie was shown, but they promised a great ending. And to be honest, they kept true to their word. It's just having the patience to get through the first hour and 40 minutes of the movie took a lot of work, especially when it kept jumping around the way it did. Now granted, I understand that's what makes a movie such a great thing - having the reveal towards the end thus presenting the viewer with that 'A-HA!' moment... however, with Seven Pounds, it made NO sense throughout the bulk of the movie and the ending, while a great show of humanity, was, in no way, what anyone expected nor wanted to see.

To have such great expectations, it got panned by the critical media (only a 28 on RT).

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:13 PM
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saw Gran Torino rather than Ben Button an it was very good. Actually funny.
I would recommend it, Clint was his normal self but the humor comes from how racist he is in it, very funny.
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