The Official Review Thread of 2012

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:45 pm

OscarGuy wrote:You should never ding an actor or actress because of poor casting. If it's not their fault they were cast at the wrong age, then they should not be penalized. That's my opinion on the matter. Sally Field was too old to play Mary Todd Lincoln, but she still did a brilliant job at it.

It's someone's fault if they're not believable in the part. Sally Field was believable. Jennifer Lawrence wasn't, but to me it was the fault of the screenplay that called for more of a suspension of disbelief than I was willing to give it.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby flipp525 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:32 pm

I thought that Sally Field was phenomenal as Mary Todd Lincoln. Her being too old for the part didn't bother me in the slightest (just as Elizabeth Taylor being too young for Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is pretty much inconsequential to the success of her performance.)

For some reason though, I wonder what someone like Rachel Weisz would've done with MTL. She would've been my second choice for the role.

But, you know me, I apparently can't add, so it's not like I can even tell if actors are too young or too old for their parts.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Greg » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:07 pm

Perhaps Lincoln would have gotten that Makeup nomination if they could have made Sally Field look like she was in her forties.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:44 pm

You should never ding an actor or actress because of poor casting. If it's not their fault they were cast at the wrong age, then they should not be penalized. That's my opinion on the matter. Sally Field was too old to play Mary Todd Lincoln, but she still did a brilliant job at it.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:29 am

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, John Ortiz.
Dir: David O. Russell.

I liked this film. It's a good film. But I didn't LOVE it and I don't think it's a particularly GREAT film. First off the first two acts are a tonal mess. The balance between the dead serious themes and the comedy are all over place, only held together by the terrific performances of Bradley Cooper, who gives his career-best performance and Robert De Niro who gives his best performance in a long, long, long, long time. Jacki Weaver is terrific but wasted in an underwritten role (she makes the best of it though). And now let's go to Jennifer Lawrence: I think she gives a great performance, she hits all the right notes but unfortunately, she is AT LEAST five years too young for the role. I wasn't buying she was this widow with a possible sex addiction. Despite the fact that they clearly tried to age her up a bit, it felt way too dress-up for me. It hurts to write this about her because I really do love her as an actress and like most of the male population, I want her to be my girlfriend but I gotta play the critic. Sorry. But that said, the last half hour is where the film actually comes together and I was won over. Not enough to significantly increase my rating of the film though.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:46 am

ANNA KARENINA
Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew MacFadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson.
Dir: Joe Wright.

Director Joe Wright's very unique adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel is, for me, very much a mixed result. But there's too much in there to admire and I can't help but feel this is a definitely a work of a talented filmmaker. Framing the story as a theatrical performance makes for a very interesting, experimental take on the story but I think it would have worked better if they had committed to it a lot more instead cutting into sequences that's a straight-forward, conventional adaptation. It's almost distracting. But what holds it together are the performances of Keira Knightley and Jude Law and they're finely supported by Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson. Aaron Taylor-Johnson though is a bit miscast.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:44 am

LINCOLN
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes, Joseph Cross, David Costabile, Jared Harris, Michael Stuhbarg, Gulliver McGrath, Lee Pace, Gloria Reuben.
Dir: Steven Spielberg.

Calling this simply self-important "Oscar bait" is kind of doing it a disservice. The film about Lincoln's struggle to pass the 13th amendment of the U.S. constitution that abolishes slavery may sound like a history lesson but director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner manages to make a talky historical period piece into a rather gripping, rousing and even moving and thrilling drama. Spielberg's direction and Kushner's writing is a magical combination. And what puts this over-the-top is the terrific central performance of Daniel Day-Lewis who simply wows as Lincoln. If that's not enough, Spielberg populated the cast with an all-star ensemble of character actors who manages to make an impression not make simply just the Daniel Day-Lewis show. This is top-flight Spielberg for sure.

Grade: A-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:32 pm

/Looper/ (Rian Johnson)

I'm a little bugged by how much time is spent on the farm. The first half of the film is so crackerjack and quick. I like the notion of ballasting the second half of the film is something as resonant as the future of everything that goes wrong from this point in the future and really something like that can only take place at the midpoint of the film. Put it later on and it'll feel tacked. I think the biggest problem is that Rian Johnson does an insufficient job bonding the intensity of Older Self vs. Younger Self...and that's what a Looper is. Someone who Closes the Loop. Nobody wants to Close the Loop and this goes unexplored. Which is to say that the awesome, almost rock star/angry youth sensibilities of young Joe and his friends goes unchallenged as the film goes along. Almost unmentioned. Almost like Rian Johnson was channelling the Western model attitude so much that he forgot he was making his own thing.

So much fun though. I'd watch it again now.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:42 am

W/r/t auditing, okay.

The connection didn't work for me like I wanted it to. Both actors shade their characters for sure but Paul Thomas Anderson doesn't use one to challenge the other. The window/wall scene? How does it blur the line between mentor and acolyte? I know you haven't seen it in a while but to me it just felt like a scene Paul Thomas Anderson wanted to shoot.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby flipp525 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:01 am

Sabin wrote:You mean "processing"?

Where does that bond go after that one scene?

No, I meant to say "auditing". I used the Scientology term instead of "processing".

It's been awhile since I saw the film, but I felt like there was very much a connection established between the two men in that scene that haunted the rest of the film. The window/wall scene also felt like a moment where the lines between mentor and acolyte blurred in an interesting way.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:03 pm

You mean "processing"?

Where does that bond go after that one scene?
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby flipp525 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:36 pm

Sabin wrote:Sonic Youth nails it. The reason The Master doesn’t really work is because Paul Thomas Anderson fails to create a dynamic bond between Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd. instead.

The much talked about "auditing" session really pokes a hole in this assertion.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:47 pm

/The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)/

Sonic Youth nails it. The reason The Master doesn’t really work is because Paul Thomas Anderson fails to create a dynamic bond between Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd. Peppered throughout the film, Lancaster will mention that they knew each other in a past life and they must figure it out. By the end of the film, Lancaster tells him how they met. Dreams and beliefs are theoretically the marrow in The Master’s bones, but because Paul Thomas Anderson refuses to explore The Cause one way or another what am I to make of this revelation? Lancaster is said to be a charlatan by some and seemingly the second volume of his manifesto dramatically contradicts the foundation of his religion but there is zero consequence of this revelation. Were he to re-inspire the faith of his flock would the film be any different?

What Paul Thomas Anderson did so spectacularly in There Will Be Blood is present us with a questionable identification character in Daniel Plainview. We keep searching his face for answers and a clue as to where this story is going. The Master has no identification character. We almost have one in Freddie Quell but the minute we enter his flashbacks to the girl he left behind, that’s gone. There are almost no questions left to ask of Freddie. In that moment, Freddie and Lancaster are bonded, a bond that continues onward unchallenged towards what exactly? Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of The Master is that from a surface/detail perspective it insists upon its immediately canonic importance on a shot to shot basis. And yet, has there been a more laissez-faire “masterpiece” in recent memory? To sum up The Master:

“A deeply-troubled WWII veteran crosses paths with a possibly charlatan cult leader and they part ways.”

Those surface/details? Intoxicating. Paul Thomas Anderson is including twenty minutes of deleted scenes on his DVD/Blu-Ray and I’d love to see an Extended Cut of the film instead.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:04 am

FLIGHT
Cast: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo, Tamara Tunie, Brian Geraghty, Nadine Velazquez, James Badge Dale.
Dir: Robert Zemeckis.

After years of toiling in mo-cap animated features, Robert Zemeckis returns to directing real people in this drama about an alcoholic pilot who manages to save a lot of people from a plane crash. First off, the first half-hour or so of this film is quite great. The crash scene is quite suspenseful and extremely well-done and it ends on a relatively good note. In the middle though, it gets highly problematic and flawed and it's buoyed only by the excellent performances.

Grade: B-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby criddic3 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:26 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:
The Girl being made for TV would have been shot on a much smaller budget then Hitchcock and it does look it but it more then makes up for that with much better performances and a more engaging story, that of Hitchcock and his relationship with Hedron.


I've heard about this movie. Lots of film critics gave it negative reviews because they felt it's a cheap hatchet job and portrays Hitchcock as a sexual predator based solely on the allegations of ONE leading lady who only up until recently was reverential of Hitch.


I caught this on cable a while ago. I agree with the critics who called it a hatchet job. The acting is fine, but somehow I doubt the man was really that cruel and self-absorbed. I've seen and read interviews with people he worked with and people who knew him over the years, who say he was a actually a nice guy. The Girl makes him out to be a perverted psycho obsessed with Tippi Hedren. They also made Hedren out to be a very strange person, putting up with so much just to prove that she could. Maybe it is how events unfolded, but it's a lot to swallow. Hitchcock may not be a perfect movie, but I think it may be more accurate in showing the director as slightly obsessive about his leading ladies, as well as a man with a dark sense of humor, but not really a malicious man. Maybe I prefer the more positive vision, but either way The Girl isn't particularly good outside of the acting.
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