The Official Review Thread of 2012

dws1982
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Given the source material, and the talent involved, I think that a convincing case could be made for Anna Karenina as the worst movie ever made.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:40 pm

My Chicago critic friend hates interviewing people for articles. Hates it. Totally out of his comfort zone interviewing celebrities. Has awful stories about Steve McQueen strung out and being a dick.

He could not say enough kind words about Terence Davies. He said he was the most wonderful interview he's ever had and the only one he's glad he did. He said that he's funny, warm, hilarious, and bitchy. He is both comfortable with his sexuality and comfortable taking about (how shall we say?) the interesting choice he's made with his life regarding sexual activity.

I have another friend who works in the camera department who met him once randomly in the UK just in passing, and Davies has remembered him every time they've crossed paths since. He sounds like an incredible man.
"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 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:30 pm

Sabin wrote:The Deep Blue Sea (Terrence Davies)

Terence Davies' next project is an adaptation of Richard McCann's brilliant collection of linked stories Mother of Sorrows (retitled Sorrows, I believe, for the film). McCann is one of my mentors in grad school and there's a possibility I might appear in one of the scenes—a 1980s gay club scene set in Washington D.C.'s Dupont Circle.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:36 pm

Now that ZDT is opening wider, I can begin to have conversations about it on the Board.

***

The Deep Blue Sea (Terrence Davies)

Very much enjoyed this film. I don't know much about the play itself but I can't help but feel it was elevated by Davies. While the dramatic beats were all in the service of a very powerful expression of depression, longing, and times gone by forever, at times here and there they also felt a bit stagey and uninspired. Rachel Weisz is a performer who is incredibly difficult to cast for reasons I can't really articulate. Often she just appears to be playing a part and comes across as smug, her nadir being The Shape of Things. Her best performances harness her inherent immaturity, as in The Brothers Bloom and here where she plays a woman who wants so bad. Just as good and possibly better are Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beane who feel completely at home in Davies' stylistic world and a theatrical classicism.
"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 anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:57 am

ZERO DARK THIRTY
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Strong, James Gandolfini, Chris Pratt, Stephen Dillane, Reda Kateb, Harold Perrineau.
Dir: Kathryn Bigelow.

This is an interesting conundrum of a film for me. On the one hand, it's extremely well-made and very well-acted. Jessica Chastain is magnificent and she's backed up by a great supporting cast especially Jennifer Ehle (who, IMO, injects a lot of relatable human flavor to the proceedings). The last 40 minutes alone is simply bravura filmmaking (including the unfortunately Oscar-ignored cinematography of Greig Fraser), that only a first-rate director like Kathryn Bigelow can do. On the other hand, the film just feels a tad too clinical despite all that. As for the pro-torture criticism, I don't see it. The film does not really take a clear moral stance either way but it does depict the brutality of it. I don't think the filmmakers should be crucified for it. I think it has moments of greatness but overall, I'm sorry if I'm damning it with faint praise, it's only a very good film not a GREAT one.

Grade: B.

LIFE OF PI
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Kahn, Rafe Spall, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Ayush Tandon, Gerard Depardieu.
Dir: Ang Lee.

I've read and loved the book but I thought a film version would be a challenging task. It's not a perfect adaptation but it's about as close to perfect as one can get with the transfer from one medium to another. Director Ang Lee has made what really is an ambitious art film about faith and the big questions of life (like the existence of God and the meaning of it all) with a mostly unknown cast with big-budget CGI and 3D and the result is quite moving, thought-provoking and visually spectacular and exciting. The use of the 3D is among the most artful and effective that I have ever seen.

Grade: A-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby mlrg » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:37 am

Amour – 10/10

A masterpiece. Haneke directs this with true craftsmanship. The symbolism used in this film is probably the greatest use of this technique I have ever seen. Both Riva and Trintignat are stunning, but Trintignat gives the performance of the year.

Flight – 5/10

Entertaining but full of clichés and way overlong. Denzel gives a good performance and will be nominated for best actor.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Reza » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:43 am

dws1982 wrote:
Reza wrote:This film is nothing but a 1980s John Hughes retread. Don't know why the book has attained cult status.

It appeals to a very specific demographic, and it's much better and more honest than most other books that appeal to that demographic. If you aren't part of that demographic--and never have been--you won't get much out of it. I'd take the movie over anything John Hughes (except for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, which isn't the type of John Hughes movie you're talking about), mainly because the lead actor is better than the Broderick/Estevez/Stoltz types you saw in John Hughes films. Plus, Chbosky's film is infinitely more cinematic.


I have kids that age so I know what the film was saying. And frankly I've been there too, even if it was far too many years ago. Some issues remain the same. I know this film dealt with those issues with more maturity but the gist of it was the same as in the Ringwald, Stoltz, Broderick, Masterson films of yore. Hey, even the James Dean film touched upon it, with variations, eons ago.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby dws1982 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:07 pm

Reza wrote:This film is nothing but a 1980s John Hughes retread. Don't know why the book has attained cult status.

It appeals to a very specific demographic, and it's much better and more honest than most other books that appeal to that demographic. If you aren't part of that demographic--and never have been--you won't get much out of it. I'd take the movie over anything John Hughes (except for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, which isn't the type of John Hughes movie you're talking about), mainly because the lead actor is better than the Broderick/Estevez/Stoltz types you saw in John Hughes films. Plus, Chbosky's film is infinitely more cinematic.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby criddic3 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:47 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Oh, and Marco, I'm surprised you didn't mention that of course they conveniently make the gay man die halfway through the film so that he can never truly get what he wants.


I didn't only because Uri had referred to it before. But yes, that was another terrible cliche - as indeed was Dev Patel's stereotypically weak and confused Indian boy. One could write a dissertation based on this movie...


I'd like to defend Dev Patel's performance here. I think there can be this kind of sweet and honest young guy trying to make something of himself in spite of his mother's put-downs in India, or anywhere. That he's a little flighty is another matter (I think it's just Patel's personal style of acting, which is admittedly endearing in some ways), but I don't think the character is necessarily as offensive as you make it out to be.

My main problem with the movie is that it's way too slight to be considered for major awards, unless one wants to honor veteran actors who could do these roles in their sleep no matter how silly the script was.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:34 pm

I don't know. The gay character reunites with the man whose life he thought he'd ruined, discovers that it wasn't as bad as he feared and he dies knowing that his actions didn't destroy another human being. I'd say that's a more selfless act than anyone else in the film.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:28 pm

flipp525 wrote:Oh, and Marco, I'm surprised you didn't mention that of course they conveniently make the gay man die halfway through the film so that he can never truly get what he wants.


I didn't only because Uri had referred to it before. But yes, that was another terrible cliche - as indeed was Dev Patel's stereotypically weak and confused Indian boy. One could write a dissertation based on this movie...

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby Reza » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:25 pm

dws1982 wrote:A few thoughts about The Perks of Being a Wallflower...

Chbosky both embraces and subverts a lot of the cliches of your "traditional" high school film. The tone is odd for a high school film (although this isn't one that many high schoolers would like), veering--unexpectedly, at times--from high school comedy to a regular, fairly light family drama, to an absolutely heartbreaking tragedy. It's not always successful, and it's clear that Chbosky's strongest suit is as a storyteller, but for the most part he gets the job done visually. If he gets a little hyperactive visually towards the end, I can forgive that because he does get some sequences just right, especially the almost unbearable awkwardness of the situation where Logan Lerman's character breaks up with his girlfriend (his first) at the worst possible moment. These characters are about 8-10 years older than me, but I recognized a lot of the world up there on the screen. I may not have ever gone to drag performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with my friends, but I recognized the group dynamic--those lazy conversations, the way the group can change suddenly depending who's mad at each other. Not much about the movie would work without Logan Lerman in the lead role. It's an ensemble piece, and the entire ensemble is very good, but it asks a lot of its leading man, and he delivers completely. He perfectly captures all of the roller-coaster emotions that teenagers tend to go through; you can see him change the way he carries himself as he gradually gains confidence and becomes more comfortable with himself and around his friends, but you can still see how close he is to having it all fall apart. At the end, when he starts to fall apart emotionally, it hits hard. Ezra Miller and Emma Watson both got a (minor) critics award for their work here. Lerman should've gotten one as well.


This film is nothing but a 1980s John Hughes retread. Don't know why the book has attained cult status.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby flipp525 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:05 pm

God, one of the things I'm hoping for the most on nomination morning is for Maggie Smith not to get nominated for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. What a fucking waste of a nomination that would be over someone like Ann Dowd for whom the category was originally intended to honor. Even Penelope Wilton in the same film deserves one more.

Oh, and Marco, I'm surprised you didn't mention that of course they conveniently make the gay man die halfway through the film so that he can never truly get what he wants. Dev Patel acted like a crazed stereotype, hopping around like he had no idea what he was doing. He played like an Indian "Uncle Tom" character. It was absurd. And his subplot was straight-up Slumdog Millionaire redux.

One nomination I think this film does deserve though is Best Cinematography; it's exquisitely photographed.

Big Magilla wrote:To quote screenwriter Ol Parker:

“I was surprised by the bad reviews. It seemed to me so well made and so well meaning. You really have to have a hard heart not to like it. But audiences love it, and that’s what counts.”

So? Audiences are frequently idiots.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:01 pm

There are far too many films in competition for Best Picture, I would be shocked, alarmed and frustrated if the film were nominated.
Wesley Lovell

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2012

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:47 pm

Yes, I have a heart of stone...


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