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Summer Movies - 2012


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#1 miliosr

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:28 AM

Well, Summer movie season is upon us so I thought I would start a topic devoted to the subject.

I went to see The Avengers yesterday, which is based on the long-running Marvel comic book of the same name. The premise of The Avengers is that six of Earth's mightiest heroes -- Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) , Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) -- join forces to battle Thor's evil brother Loki and to thwart his plan for world domination.

As a kid in the late-70s/early-80s, The Avengers was my favorite comic book and I never dreamed that the day would come where a Hollywood studio could actually film this and not have it look stupid. But that day has come and The Avengers is a smashing success. Written and directed by Joss 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Whedon, the movie is one of the best -- if not the best -- superhero movies ever made. The actions sequences are terrific but they are all geared to the light touch so the slam-bang action never becomes oppressive. Best of all is the interplay between the six leads (plus Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.) The verbal bickering between the leads as they try to come together as a team is a highlight.

The theater I saw it in was packed and and the audience was vocal throughout the movie. Interestingly, every conceivable age demographic was there. Highly recommeded and, if you go, make sure you stick around for the two additional scenes during the closing credits. (The second scene is hysterical.)

#2 sandik

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:05 AM

I'm glad to hear a good review of this, since I we likely see it with my son. I had hopes for John Carter, earlier in the year (I read all the books when I was a teen) but the reviews were so dismal that I'm waiting for the DVD

#3 miliosr

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

I guess I'm the only one who goes to the movies during the Summer and then writes about going . . .

In any event, I've seen two movies since my last post. My local Sundance cinema has run a "classic movies" series all Summer, which allowed me to see the restored version of Cabaret. Restored and rereleased to coincide with the film's 40th anniversary, Cabaret looked fantastic on the big screen. Watching it on DVD or watching excerpts on YouTube does not come anywhere close to capturing the movie's power, particularly in the musical numbers. Liza Minnelli's star turn in "Mein Herr" rivals anything her mother committed to celluloid, and "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" and "If You Could See Her" both pack an emotional wallop even though you know the sucker punches are coming in advance.

The cast in Cabaret is still superlative, especially Minnelli and Joey Grey as the sinister Emcee. If there's a flaw to the movie, it's the notion (expressed by many others, including Christopher Isherwood) that a very large suspension of disbelief is needed to believe that performers of the caliber of Minnelli and Grey would be ekeing out a living in a seedy cabaret like the Kit Kat Club.

It's a testament to the movie's enduring power that, as the credits rolled, no one in the theater I was in clapped, said a word or got up from their seat. Everyone just sat there in stunned silence.

Grade: A+


Today, I went to see the lastest in the 'Bourne' series of movies -- Bourne Legacy. After starring in the first three movies, Matt Damon took a break from this one. Jeremy Renner (my favorite movie star of the moment) fills in capably as another rogue agent.

The movie took forever to get going but, once the pace picked up, the movie carried on at a chipper pace to the very end. The highlight was a chase scene through the streets of Manila which was great fun.

This isn't remotely art of any kind but it is a relaxing piece of Summer fluff best appreciated with a cold drink in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other.

Grade: B+

#4 dirac

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:29 PM

I just haven't seen many. I did see The Dark Knight Rises and of course Magic Mike but didn't get around to posting. Wild horses would not drag me to To Rome with Love. The Bourne series is a reliable place to go for an action fix. Nice to hear that Renner did well. He's interesting to watch.

Minnelli is certainly fabiulous in "Mein Herr," although I wouldn't rank it with Mom's best. Isherwood's Sally has no talent at all, so it really wouldn't be possible to put on any kind of musical that's faithful to Isherwood's conception (his Sally also has sharper edges than would ever be permitted to Ms. Harris or Ms. Minnelli). I find Issyvoo and Sally as lovers much weirder, myself.

I've never seen Cabaret on a big screen and would love to. I did see it again on cable recently and it's one of those movies that gets better over time.

#5 bart

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:20 PM

My local Sundance cinema has run a "classic movies" series all Summer, which allowed me to see the restored version of Cabaret. Restored and rereleased to coincide with the film's 40th anniversary, Cabaret looked fantastic on the big screen. Watching it on DVD or watching excerpts on YouTube does not come anywhere close to capturing the movie's power, particularly in the musical numbers. Liza Minnelli's star turn in "Mein Herr" rivals anything her mother committed to celluloid, and "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" and "If You Could See Her" both pack an emotional wallop even though you know the sucker punches are coming in advance.

The cast in Cabaret is still superlative, especially Minnelli and Joey Grey as the sinister Emcee. If there's a flaw to the movie, it's the notion (expressed by many others, including Christopher Isherwood) that a very large suspension of disbelief is needed to believe that performers of the caliber of Minnelli and Grey would be ekeing out a living in a seedy cabaret like the Kit Kat Club.

It's a testament to the movie's enduring power that, as the credits rolled, no one in the theater I was in clapped, said a word or got up from their seat. Everyone just sat there in stunned silence.

Minnelli is certainly fabiulous in "Mein Herr," although I wouldn't rank it with Mom's best. [ ... ] I've never seen Cabaret on a big screen and would love to. I did see it again on cable recently and it's one of those movies that gets better over time.

I haven't seen Caberet in a theater in years, either, though I've also seen it on television a few times over the years. There's a small-screen coziness about watching from your sofa, which may sentimentalize the performances more than they really were.

My favorite rendition of the score is the Natasha Richardson/ Alan Cumming Broadway version. The singing is neither slick nor beautiful but seems to fit the harsh, down-at-the-heels milieu.

Has anyone seen the video of the British stage performance, with Jane Horrocks and Alan Cumming? It dates from the 90s, I believe. (Horrock was remarkable in Little Voice and plays the very strange Bubbles in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.) I'd love too know what her Sally Bowles was like -- nothing similar to Richardson's or Minelli's, I bet.

Wild horses would not drag me to To Rome with Love.

Me neither. Not after sitting through Midnight in Paris.

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:17 AM

Edited: Double post.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:24 AM

[ (Horrock was remarkable in Little Voice and plays the very strange Bubbles in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.)


Ah, Miss Bubbles the secretary..yes! She was hilarious! Posted Image


Has anybody seen the latest Streep's..?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s22_Mvikl8

#8 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:09 AM

I will probably get around to Hope Springs just to see Jones and Streep together. The movie seems to be something of a departure from the light Ephron and Meyers comedies Streep has been doing. Would be curious to hear from anyone who has seen it.

#9 Rosa

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:50 AM

The only summer movie I've seen is Brave. Stunning animation and music. I liked it about as much as Ratatouille, which is pretty low in my personal ranking of Pixar's films.

#10 canbelto

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:57 AM

I saw Avengers, Brave, Dictator, Ted, Dark Knight Rises, and The Campaign. My favorite movie was actually Ted. I'm not usually into the frat-house type comedies but I thought this one had enough sweetness and heart to make it work. I laughed, I even cried.

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:00 AM

I saw "Dictator". Posted Image

#12 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

It'll be interesting to see what Baron Cohen's next move is. I saw "Bruno" when it hit cable and it had some good moments but overall was badly misjudged. I didn't see anything written about "Dictator" that made me want to go.

#13 miliosr

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

Went to see Farewell, My Queen today (w/ Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette and Lea Seydoux as Sidonie).

The movie takes place over a three-day period immediately after the Storming of the Bastille. Sidonie, a servant whose job it is to read to the Queen (and who has a crush on her), is caught up in the travails of the court as it collapses in the face of the Revolution. She is faced with the decision to "jump ship" like many others at court or to remain loyal to the Queen.

One of the pleasures of this film is that isn't a grand costume drama (even though there are many grand costumes on display.) The movie is really more of a character study -- of a servant girl who is infatuated with her mistress, of a Queen who is completely out-of-touch with reality as it exists outside of Versailles, of a palace full of courtiers and servants who have to make very cold-blooded assessments about remaining loyal to the Royal Family or saving themselves.

Nothing earth-shattering here but it does contain some nice performances from Kruger (who was so bad in Troy), Seydoux and what seems like a small galaxy of French character actors.

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:20 PM

Went to see Farewell, My Queen today (w/ Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette and Lea Seydoux as Sidonie).

The movie takes place over a three-day period immediately after the Storming of the Bastille. Sidonie, a servant who job it is to read to the Queen (and who has a crush on her), is caught up in the travails of the court as it collapses in the face of the Revolution. She is faced with the decision to "jump ship" like many others at court or to remain loyal to the Queen.

One of the pleasures of this film is that isn't a grand costume drama (even though there are many grand costumes on display.) The movie is really more of a character study -- of a servant girl who is infatuated with her mistress, of a Queen who is completely out-of-touch with reality as it exists outside of Versailles, of a palace full of courtiers and servants who have to make very cold-blooded assessments about remaing loyal to the Royal Family or saving themselves.

Nothing earth-shattering here but it does contain some nice performances from Kruger (who was so bad in Troy), Seydoux and what seems like a small galaxy of French character actors.


I also saw "Les adieux à la reine". Marie Antoinette really comes as a supporting role, being the director's emphasis more in the way Mademoiselle Laborde-(Lea Seydoux)-watches and reacts, within her silent role as the Queen's reader, to all the drama and intrigues that take place inside the little city of Versailles and also a little scoop into the-(supposed)-lesbian relationship of Marie with Gabrielle de Polignac-(Virginie Ledoyen)- and the latter ultimate escape to Switzerland disguised as a chambermaid . A very entertaining film indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOQfyExCVQk

#15 miliosr

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:06 PM

Marie Antoinette really comes as a supporting role

Yes, Marie-Antoinette is very much a supporting role in this.

Speaking of Marie-Antoniette, there's a nice little detail in the movie where Diane Kruger (as M-A) stands near a famous, real-life portrait (or a high-grade facsimile, in any event) of the real Marie-Antoinette.


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