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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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From the Last 25 Years


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#21 LawrenceA

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:15 PM

We Are the Best! - Funny, human, and anarchic coming-of-age film from Sweden and writer-director Lukas Moodysson. Set in the early 1980's, the story follows 13-year-old girl Bobo (Mira Barkhammar), a social outcast. She's against make-up, sports a short, ragged boy's haircut, and wears the clothes to match. Her only friend at school is the brash, mohawk-wearing Klara (Mira Grosin), who's also not the least bit interested in adhering to societal or gender norms. On a lark, they decide to form their own punk band, with Bobo on drums and Klara on bass guitar and vocals, regardless of the fact that neither have ever picked up an instrument, let alone know how to play one. After writing a song declaring their hatred for sports and their P.E. teacher, they realize that they need a guitarist to flesh out their sound, and they recruit Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), a shy, sheltered girl with no friends but real musical chops.

 

I found this very charming, humorous, and real. The performances by the three leads were never less than convincing, and they seemed like very real kids, instead of trained Hollywood "Acting" kids. The music featured is also painfully genuine, down to all of the sonic shortcomings inherent in garage-band punk rock. The story doesn't go to any seriously deep, emotional places, although things are hinted at, and a romantic subplot late in the film seems an ill fit, if perhaps necessary. Recommended.   8/10

 

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#22 LawrenceA

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:08 PM

V/H/S/2Portmanteau horror film follow-up to the successful 2012 original. There are four tales, plus a framing story that involves a pair of P.I.'s looking for a missing college student. When they search his apartment, they find a stack of unmarked VHS tapes, each of which holds one of the four stories. The first concerns a man outfitted with a cutting edge electronic eye that has the side effect of allowing him to see ghosts. The second tale has an off-road cyclist recording his ride with a head-mounted GoPro camera, just in time for a zombie outbreak. The third concerns an Indonesian cult and the fulfillment of their prophecy (this was my favorite of the lot). And the fourth story features a group of kids and teens left home alone overnight while their parents go on a trip. Unfortunately, it's the same night aliens decide to attack the house. 

 

I enjoyed the first film quite a bit, and I was looking forward to this one, as I'd read positive reviews, and some that said this was better than the first outing. I totally disagree, and found this one lacking. The framing story features either bad writing or the stupidest P.I.'s to grace the screen in quite a while. The first story went nowhere and relied on loud bang jump scares. The second story was a silly goof. The third tale, while the best, was still hampered by stupid, unbelievable behavior by the characters. And the final story was a headache-inducing strobe-light and thunderous-soundtrack sledgehammer, while also committing the cardinal sin of abusing and hurting an animal. Since my opinion of this seems to differ from a lot of horror fans, if you count yourself among that group, you may like it more than I did.   5/10

 

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#23 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:28 PM

Under the Skin - Arthouse science fiction/horror from director Jonathan Glazer. After a strange, abstract beginning, we see a man on a motorcycle. He stops and retrieves the body of a woman from a roadside ditch. He takes the body to an unknown, brightly lit location where another woman (Scarlett Johansson), completely nude, removes the clothing from the body and puts them on. She then begins driving a van around a coastal Scottish city, cruising for men, who she brings back to a house where they are "absorbed", presumably as food. She continues this activity for some time, until something inside her changes, and she goes out on her own.

 

That plot description may sound bare, and it is. There's very little plot here, and much of what is there is up to the audience to interpret. There is very little dialogue, and what there is of it is of little consequence. This movie is an audio-visual feast, with stunning, if bleak, cinemascapes, and intricate, disorienting sound design. There are some nods to films of the past, with a bit of Starman and Don't Look Now and 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, I felt a lot of the film was a bit like Kubrick mixed with David Lynch. Many people will find this pretentious, dull or obscure to the point of absurdity. But I found it fascinating, disturbing (there's a scene on a rocky beach that really unnerved me), and real work of art. Highly recommended, but only for the adventurous and those who like the unusual. This is one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die.  9/10

 

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#24 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:18 PM

20 Feet from Stardom - Tremendous rock documentary that covers the unheralded back up singers that have graced many of the greatest songs of the past 50 years. Though their names are rarely known or recognized, their voices are almost as well known as the stars they perform with. The film shows the ups and downs of the profession, the lack of the spotlight, the desire for personal stardom, their exploitation by unscrupulous producers, and the occasional success story. Interviewees include Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, while some of the backup singers profiled include Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, and Tata Vega. This won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.   8/10

 

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#25 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:30 PM

The Trials of Cate McCall - A courtroom drama (remember those?) starring Kate Beckinsale as Cate McCall, a troubled attorney who has recently completed rehab for alcohol and drug problems, and is forced to do pro bono  defense work as a result of a contempt charge. She's handed an appeal case, that of Lacey (Anna Anissimova), a young single mother who was found guilty of the brutal murder of a friend and sentenced to life in prison. After meeting with the defendant, and reviewing the case, she realizes that Lacey may have been railroaded by the police and the D.A.'s office. Cate decides to give the case her all as a form of redemption. Also featuring Nick Nolte, David Lyons, Mark Pellegrino, Clancy Brown, Isaiah Washington, Jay Thomas, Brendan Sexton III, Dale Dickey, Kathy Baker and James Cromwell. There are not too many surprises here, and the performances are passable. I must admit it was nice seeing another courtroom film, a genre that's been virtually killed off by TV, but this one wasn't too memorable, and it was never released theatrically here in the U.S.  6/10

 

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#26 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:30 PM

The To Do List - Raunchy comedy set in 1993 and starring Aubrey Plaza as Brandy, a recent high school graduate and valedictorian. She's an uptight control freak and perfectionist, but she's also sexually naive. She decides after meeting older lifeguard Rusty (Scott Porter) that she will have sex for the first time this summer before she goes away to college. To this end, she creates a "to do list" of various sexual activities that she wants to try out, however awkwardly. This amuses her more worldly friends (Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele), and perturbs Cameron (Johnny Simmons) the boy who secretly loves Brandy. Also featuring Rachel Bilson, Bill Hader, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Adam Pally, Clark Gregg and Connie Britton. I like Plaza in the few things I've seen her in, and she's good here. But although there were a few laughs here and there, this is mostly just really crude, with the jokes not much more than "shock" moments.   5/10

 

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#27 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:08 AM

Third Person - Dreadful multi-character drama from writer-director Paul Haggis. Michael (Liam Neeson) is a once-successful writer struggling to write something new and relevant. He's also having an extramarital affair with Anna (Olivia Wilde), who has demons of her own. Scott (Adrien Brody) is an American in Rome who meets a beautiful, desperate woman (Moran Atias) who may not be what she seems. Julia (Mila Kunis) is a troubled former actress struggling to get custody of her child from her artist ex-husband (James Franco). These three story threads meander and go nowhere, or takes ludicrous turns, and generally just overstay their welcome. Also featuring Maria Bello and Kim Basinger. Haggis appears to be trying for another Crash-style narrative, but this one fails completely, often seeming arbitrary, self-pitying, and self-indulgent. Haggis also manages to get nearly all of the film's actresses in various states of undress. Despite the cast, skip it.   4/10

 

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#28 LawrenceA

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:36 PM

Sweetwater - Western revenge tale starring January Jones as Sarah, a former prostitute who's now married to Miguel (Eduardo Noriega). The couple are trying to start a small farm, but their neighbor is making things difficult. He is the Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs), a psychotic religious cult leader and sheep farmer with a small army at his beck and call. The Prophet wants the newlyweds' farm, and he's not against killing to get what he wants. There's also a new sheriff in the nearby town, a real eccentric named Jackson (Ed Harris), and he's determined to get to the bottom of the bloody land war. Also featuring Stephen Root, country singer Jason Aldean, and Amy Madigan. This was all over the place, at times seeming like a typical western, at others seeming like a broad comedy or satire. The performances, too, are uneven, with Jones barely registering, while Isaacs and Harris seem to be in a scenery chewing contest. There are some interesting moments, but not enough to save the movie.   5/10

 

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#29 LawrenceA

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:30 PM

The Suspect - Overlong and derivative South Korean action thriller still has its moments. Gong Yoo stars as Ji Dong-cheol, a North Korean defector who was trained to be an expert killer and secret agent. He defects to the south after his wife and daughter are killed, and he works as a chauffeur while he looks for the man he holds responsible for his family's death. When Ji's employer, an important go-between in North-South negotiations, is assassinated, Ji is framed for it, so he goes on the run, with multiple factions looking to either capture or kill him. 

 

This is extremely similar in style and tone to the Bourne movies, with lots of shaky-cam cinematography, a convoluted plot with lots of groups and shifting allegiances, and more than a handful of close-quarters hand-to-hand combat scenes. Gong Yoo makes for a respectable action hero, although he's really only called on to look determined and say little. This is rather forgettable, but there are worse diversions for action fans.   7/10

 

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#30 LawrenceA

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:11 PM

Superman: Unbound - Animated superhero movie features Superman facing off against Brainiac, an alien menace operating out of a giant skull-shaped starship. He sends legions of robotic soldiers to decimate a major city on each planet he visits, culling the population, and then using a shrink ray to reduce the city and its remaining citizenry to a size small enough to fit into a glass jar. These shrunken cities are kept deep in the heart of his ship, where Brainiac uses them to amass all of the knowledge and power of every planet in the universe. He had previously captured the Kryptonian city of Kandor, hometown of Superman's niece Supergirl, and now Brainiac has his sight set on Earth. Featuring the voices of Matt Bomer, Stana Katic, John Noble, Molly Quinn, Diedrich Bader, Jason Beghe, Will Yun Lee, Stephen Root, and Frances Conroy. Brainiac is Superman's second biggest villain in the comics, only behind Lex Luthor. And yet the live-action film producers have yet to use him in any of the 7 films thus far made. He would seem to be tailor-made for a modern blockbuster. He's had numerous iterations in the comics since his debut in 1958, including this version, which appeared in 2008. I still found him more interesting than many of the Luthor stories, but this one is also a bit too similar to the Borg from Star Trek, and I found the story a bit too dull and derivative.    6/10

 

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#31 LawrenceA

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:41 AM

The Spectacular Now - Winning teen romantic drama based on the novel by Tim Tharp. Sutter (Miles Teller) is a high school senior. He's funny, charming, the life of the party. And he's also developing a real alcohol problem. His girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) dumps him, and after a night of drunken forgetfulness, he wakes up the next morning to meet-cute with Amy (Shailene Woodley), a quiet, thoughtful girl. Sutter begins dating her, over the objections of his friends and hers, but she may just be what he needs to grow up. Also featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bob Odenkirk, Andre Royo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler. Teller is very good, and he makes for a compelling romantic lead despite his unconventional looks. This should be enjoyed by romantics both young and old.   7/10

 

 

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#32 LawrenceA

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:14 PM

Special ID - Chinese action-comedy that leans much more toward the action side of things. Donnie Yen stars as Dragon, a street gang member who really always wanted to be a cop. To that end he has been working as an informant, but when things get too hot, putting his mother in danger, Dragon goes to another city where he works full-time as an undercover probationary police man. His target is Sunny (Andy On), a violent new crime boss. Dragon is also teamed with two-fisted female cop Fang (Jing Tian). 

 

Donnie is the greatest martial arts actor on the scene, after the legendary Jackie Chan and Jet Li have both aged into older roles. Donnie himself, though, at age 50 when this was made, is no spring chicken anymore, and he seemed a bit too old for this role. Jing Tian gets nearly as many action scenes as Donnie, and she's very good. Andy On also made for a decent villain. There are a couple of good fight scenes, and one good car chase sequence, but this isn't top-shelf Donnie Yen.   6/10

 

 

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#33 LawrenceA

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:11 PM

Snowpiercer - Ambitious but ultimately disappointing dystopian sci-fi from director Bong Joon-ho, based on a French graphic novel. In an effort to combat global warming, the nations of the world disperse a chemical into the atmosphere, but all it does is plunge the entire Earth into perpetual winter, freezing most of humanity to death. The only known survivors live on the Snowpiercer, an extremely lengthy high-tech train built by eccentric billionaire Wilford (Ed Harris). The train always moves, never stopping to refuel, growing its own food and recycling its own water, and it travels on its own special track that circumnavigates the globe once every year. As the film begins, it has been 17 years since the world froze, and life on the train is at a breaking point. It has become a microcosm of the old world, with the haves living in luxury in the front of the train, and the have-nots living in misery and squalor in the rear cars. One of these have-nots is Curtis (Chris Evans), who is planning a revolt against the guards and to take over the front of the train to bring equality and a decent standard of living to all. But like all revolutions, once this one gets going, things get more complicated than expected. Also featuring Song Kang-ho Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, Ewen Bremner, Vlad Ivanov, Alison Pill and John Hurt.

 

I was looking forward to this one, but it ended up being less than hoped for. The basic premise is a bit silly, and the symbolism is anything but subtle. There are some stand-out moments stylistically, with some interestingly framed shots and set-pieces. But other aspects were lacking, such as plot points that you could see coming from a mile away, others that made no sense, and some terrible performances by a few of the cast, particularly Tilda Swinton. Your mileage may vary with this one, though, as plenty of people have given it glowing reviews, and Swinton was nominated (and won) a slew of awards for this.   6/10

 

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#34 LawrenceA

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:49 PM

A Single Shot - Backwoods crime drama stars Sam Rockwell as John Moon, a man down on his luck: he lost his job, his ranch, and then his wife left him, taking their baby son. Moon is out deer hunting when he accidentally shoots and kills a young woman hiding in the woods. She's carrying a bag full of cash, so he hides her body, and then the money, until he knows it's safe to use it. Soon he begins getting threatening phone calls, and worse, and he starts to grow paranoid over who is behind it and who may know what he's done. Also featuring Jeffrey Wright, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs, Ophelia Lovibond, Joe Anderson, Ted Levine, and William H. Macy. I wanted to like this more than I did, as I like the cast, and the scenario seemed promising. But between the garbled accents, the drab production design and the mostly unlikable characters, I was left disappointed.   6/10

 

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#35 LawrenceA

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 06:16 PM

No problem at all, CinemaInternational. I made this thread for everyone to post in, even though few do. As you may have noticed, I've been watching films from 2013 for the last few weeks (each of my posts is about a movie I just watched), and I've watched several from your list. Even though I had over 150 titles in my stack of movies to watch, there are a few I didn't manage to scrape up, including your #1 pick, About Time. I'll have to see about getting a hold of it. My pick as of now for favorite film of 2013 is 12 Years a Slave, which is the only film since 2010 that I've given a 10/10 rating.


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#36 CinemaInternational

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:47 PM

Lawrence, I hope I am not hijacking your thread, but I just wanted to talk about the films from 2013, since it had some of the best films this decade. 2013 was a year in which I didn't much go to the theatres; I was in a moody teenage phase that has since ended (as has my adolescence). Most of these films I caught up with in 2015 or 2016, there being 28 in total (includes one film listed as 2012 on IMDb). Over half of these can truly be called wonderful. I am going to rank them from worst to best.

28. Inside Llewyn Davis -- I am usually a Coen Brothers fan, but this film just felt hollow and pretentious. I do like the song "Please Mr. Kennedy" though.

27. Ain't Them Bodies Saints -- A beautiful looking film, but not very memorable. Malick could have done wonders with this possibly.

26. The World's End -- A letdown from the makers of the hilarious British comedy Hot Fuzz. The film gets off to a sprightly start, and, even in the second half, Rosamund Pike is a delight, but the film snaps under the weight of its shift to sci-fi, and the ending leaves a very bitter taste behind.

25. Closed Circuit -- Not a memorable film, but very solidly done and well acted all around.

24. Dallas Buyers Club -- Rather overrated by the Academy, but a very well acted showcase for its three lead performers.

23. Monsters University -- Good, clean fun. Doesn't add up to a whole lot, but its bouncy family fun, and its nice to see some well-liked Pixar characters again.

22. Frozen -- This felt like the best Disney animated film in a long time on first watch, but it has dulled a bit on rewatch. The animation is stunning, voice work good (with one exception), with one standout song, and some fine bursts of emotion.

21. Begin Again -- It really starts off on the wrong notes, but after the first 15 or 20 minutes, the film becomes very wistful, entertaining, and romantic.

20. Frances Ha -- Quirky, offbeat indie with a wonderful Greta Gerwig performance, crisp black-and-white cinematography, and a good script. Nice use too of David Bowie's "Modern Love"

19. The Lunchbox -- An import from India, the film is low-key and charming with two ideal leads.

18. Belle -- An intrinsically interesting film about the British lady, daughter of a titled Englishman and a Jamacian women, who brought an end to slavery in England. Beautifully mounted and acted by all concerned.

17. Captain Phillips -- Tough, gripping thriller that is riviting from beginning to end. Tom Hanks is at his best, and Barkhad Abdi plays the head hijacker with some impressive complexity.

16. The Immigrant -- Period detail is immaculate in this film about a Polish woman who was lad into prostitution in Turn of the Century New York. Marion Cotilliard is perfect, with a scene in a church's confessional a stunning highpoint.

15. Ida-- Simplicity is the name of the game here. This Polish import takes its time with an emotional tale, is is handled extremely well throughout.

14. 12 Years a Slave -- An important film,but unflinching in its depiction of cruelty. It's the type of film I am not sure I am up to going through a second time. In its austete way, its perfect. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o are heartbreaking

13. Blue Jasmine -- Yet another wonderful Woody Allen film, the film owes a lot to A Streetcar Named Desire, and like that film, this film offers a showcase female part which Cate Blanchett takes on with great relish. She's wonderful, and Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay more than hold their own against her.

12. Short Term 12-- A simple, unadorned, heartfelt film that feels completely real and authentic. Brie Larson excels in the lead.

11. Saving Mr. Banks -- In yet another fine 2013 leading actress performance, Emma Thompson embodies the prickly yet vulnerable P.L. Travers to a tee. The whole film is elegantly put together, very moving, and beautifully perforned by an ensemble cast. Thomas Newman's lyrical score is another asset.

10. Enough Said -- Smart, funny, mature comedy-drama that is true to life and completely winning. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and James Gandolfini make a wonderful pair.

9. The Way, Way Back -- Another offbeat comedy-drama, this one too has a lot of heart, a fine ensemple cast, and charm to spare. The film feels like a warm hug.

8. Gravity -- A tour de force for Sandra Bullock. She effortlessly carries this film for most of its runtime and infuses it with urgency and emotional power. The film is so realistic it made me feel like I was gasping for air.

7. Her -- On paper, this must have appeared odd, but the combined talents of Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jonze, Scarlett Johansson, and Amy Adamas has created a beautiful and aching film that is beautifully poignant.

6. Labor Day -- Many people savaged this film, but I was deeply moved by it. The film may be set in 1987, but it has the same emotions as that of a golden age film. I fell for it completely.

5. The Wind Rises -- Elegant, profound, moving animated film from Japan that rates as one of the best animated achievements of the last 25 years.

4. American Hustle -- Blunt and sassy, American Hustle bristles with late 70s flavor. In many ways it feels like a film that could have been made back then. And its deliciously funny. Grand fun.

3. Philomena -- In a year of fine performances by actresses, Judi Dench's performance here was the best. She illuminates the screen, and the film around here is beautiful too and extremely touching.

2. Nebraska -- Rarely has a film captured the spirit of the Midwest so well. Nebraka is simple and true, funny and moving, wonderfully written and acted by everyone. A gem.

1. About Time -- I'm a little scared in saying how much this movie means to me. In one's life, somebody only rarely runs into a film that just seemingly speaks to them almost directly, and feels perfect to the eye of the beholder. About Time has some plot holes, but it doesn't matter. This film touched my soul deeply, and, seeing so much of myself in the main character, I formed a deep emotional feeling for it. The film just sits outside of my all time top 10 of over 2,300 films I have seen, ranging from the 20s to the present. It is sweet, gentle, funny, romantic, depply moving, and written and cast perfectly. I can't ask for anything more.
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#37 LawrenceA

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:26 PM

Short Term 12 - Excellent indie drama about a children's group home. Brie Larson stars as Grace, one of the workers at the title facility. It's her responsibility, along with a handful of others, to look after the residents, all of whom are children from abusive homes or have a history of juvenile delinquency or mental illness. Grace is romantically involved with one of her fellow employees, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), and she's just learned that she is pregnant. She's also dealing with two difficult residents: Marcus (Keith Stanfield) who is turning 18 and must be removed from the home, although he doesn't want to go; and Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a new arrival with a major chip on her shoulder. Also featuring Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz, and Melora Walters. I thought the performances were terrific all around, without a false note. The story may hold a few group home story cliches, but it resists sentimentality and emotional manipulation. The film was made by writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton, based on his 2008 short film. Recommended.   8/10

 

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#38 LawrenceA

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:14 PM

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Ben Stiller directs and stars in this version of the James Thurber story. Stiller plays Walter Mitty, employed by Life magazine to archive photographic negatives. Mitty is prone to elaborate daydreams where he is a hero, a great lover, or some other larger-than-life figure. He secretly pines for co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), but everything gets turned upside down when the company is bought out and the employees are told that the magazine's print edition is being discontinued and that nearly everyone is getting fired. Management wants to use a new picture from star field photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) for the final issue, but the negative has been misplaced, so Walter decides to travel the world in search of O'Connell, along the way learning to live life instead of dreaming it away. Also featuring Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt and Shirley MacLaine. This has little resemblance to the old film version. The message here (live your life to the fullest) is kind of tired and trite. Mitty's lifestyle change would be nice as long as you could afford it and didn't have family depending on you. The cast is serviceable, even if no one is really given much to do other than Stiller. A lot of the landscape cinematography is nice, but the soundtrack utilizes a lot of alt-rock and pop, making it seem like a TV commercial. On that subject, the film also has a lot of egregious product placement, the worst of which is the recurring presence of Papa John's pizza.   6/10

 

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#39 LawrenceA

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 12:38 AM

Saving Mr. Banks - The true story of how, in the early 1960's, producer Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tried to convince author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to allow him to make a film based on her books about magical nanny Mary Poppins. Travers is against the idea, and is horrified at the idea of her character being "Disney-fied", but she is in desperate need of money. Disney flies her out from her London home to Los Angeles, so that she can work with the proposed film's writers and songsmiths so that the film will meet her approval. This is interspersed with Travers reminisces on her childhood in rural Australia and her relationship with her alcoholic father (Colin Farrell). Also featuring Paul Giamatti, Ruth Wilson, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Kathy Baker, and Rachel Griffiths. I found this fairly enjoyable. I thought Thompson was good, as usual, and I was very impressed with Farrell, an actor who seems to be getting better with age. Hanks seemed somewhat wasted as Disney, but he gets a good, long monologue scene near the end that shines. Despite the obvious pedigree and Oscar-bait story and period settings, this only managed a single nomination, for Thomas Newman's score.    7/10

 

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#40 LawrenceA

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:07 PM

Saving General Yang - Chinese historical action/drama from director Ronny Yu. General Yang (Adam Cheng) is abducted by the Khitan forces, and it is to bait a trap for the entire Yang family and their retainers owing to a past grievance. Yang's seven sons journey out with a small contingent to rescue their father, knowing full well that they will likely not return. Also featuring Ekin Cheng, Bo Yu, Vic Chou, Chen Li, Raymond Lam, Chun Wu, Xinbo Fu, Ady An, and Fan Xu. I didn't care much for this, although I could tell some effort was put into it. There is a lot of shoddy CGI used for the big battle scenes, and the abundance of characters were a bit difficult to keep track of. There are also a lot of bad wigs and glue-on beards, a mainstay of 60's and 70's Hong Kong flicks, but they look incongruous in the 21st century. I liked seeing Adam Cheng though, an actor with a career going back nearly 50 years.   5/10

 

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