Author Topic: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010  (Read 36899 times)

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: Run Lola Run **
« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2010, 03:00:05 PM »
Why, what did I miss? Or does Lola simply inherit respect simply by not being mainstream? Should I have admonished myself for not liking it and found something good? Nah! :tease: It's pretentious crap that barely had enough good ideas to fill one 20 minutes segment, never mind three.

Actually, yes, non-mainstream movies do get a little more respect from me by default. That's not to say they can't be crap, too. But at least you made me want to rewatch it. My L entry for the DCO marathon is still free.

Have you even seen Sherlock Holmes? I wouldn't have thought it was your cup of tea from any angle, but there's incalculably more talent involved and I enjoyed it, even if the net result was a bit dumb. Key difference is, one film was trying to be clever and shot itself in the foot. And it wasn't Holmes.

Actually, no. ;) But I have it on my wishlist and expect something entertaining on the level of the "Iron Man" movie. I even remember posting about it in the "Must-see Movies" thread after reading an early review.
Matthias

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Run Lola Run **
« Reply #61 on: July 18, 2010, 03:28:01 PM »
Actually, yes, non-mainstream movies do get a little more respect from me by default. That's not to say they can't be crap, too. But at least you made me want to rewatch it. My L entry for the DCO marathon is still free.

Well, that's good! Look forward to seeing your comments. ;D

Actually, no. ;) But I have it on my wishlist and expect something entertaining on the level of the "Iron Man" movie. I even remember posting about it in the "Must-see Movies" thread after reading an early review.

Iron Man is exact level to pitch Sherlock Holmes at.


Offline Tom

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 5976
    • View Profile
    • Cinematic Collection Viewer
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2010, 03:46:46 PM »
I have watched "Sherlock Holmes" in the cinema and I was disappointed. Maybe I had the wrong expectations and would like it more the second time around.



Critter

  • Guest
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2010, 04:46:33 PM »
I saw Sherlock Holmes in the cinema as well, and then again on blu-ray when it was released. It got a 4/5 from me for being one of my most enjoyable times at the cinema this year.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 04:51:51 PM by Critter »

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2010, 04:49:04 PM »
Certainly the approach they took has a ceiling. The combination of mystery and blockbuster set-pieces is never going to work absolutely.

But if anyone else thought the same as Matthias...

...when followed by a four(*snicker*)-star review of "Sherlock Holmes".

... I expect the next ***** to get more than it's fair share of  :o. It isn't finished yet, but I can simply find nothing wrong with the film so far. It sets out to achieve something and does so with such confidence and skill, I do not know how it can be improved. It's already better than it needs to be and is an important entry within its particular genre.

Right, that's the barricades manned! Review will stick it's neck out later on this evening as I haven't got time to finish it now. :shutup:

Najemikon

  • Guest
2046 ****
« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2010, 10:20:23 PM »
2046
4 out of 5



'2046' continues the story of Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung - 'Hero') from Wong Kar-Wai's previous film, 'In The Mood For Love', a few years after his ephemeral affair with Maggie Cheung's Su Li-zhen. Set in late-1960's Hong Kong, Chow is now an out of work journalist and pulp fiction writer living in a cheap hotel. Bruised and battered by love, he pursues a playboy lifestyle of zero commitment and one-night stands. He develops a passion for a beautiful call girl (Zhang ZiYi - 'House Of The Flying Daggers'), enjoys a breezy summer with the hotel manager's eldest daughter (Faye Wong), and happens across the path of a professional gambler (Gong Li) who he met in Singapore some years before. In the meantime, Chow works on a science fiction novel about a mysterious hi-tech train that transports people to the year 2046 to reclaim their lost memories.

In The Mood For Love is a very special film. The title is very apt, because it takes place over one period of time, with Mr. Chow (Tony Leung) stuck in Singapore and haunted by his love for a married woman. It is a claustrophobic film, essentially trapping the two. The music and photography work together to create a tangible sense of time and place. It is a wonderful film. This sequel does have elements of the earlier film, but takes a very different approach both to the character and the narrative. Mr. Chow is now back in Hong Kong, living in a hotel. Basically the story follows him and his affairs with several different women. The way he treats them –good or bad- and the way they affect him, and draw out his memories of the affair that still haunts him.

As a writer, he deals with those memories in a science-fiction story called 2046, which happens to be the room next door to his in the hotel (if memory serves, it might have been the room in the original too) and his story plays out to us as a film within a film. The story follows a man on a train returning from sector 2046 (which no-one usually does). The train journey is very, very long and there are android women that despite himself, he falls in love with. Clearly these women are the same ones in the hotel, with whom he has a far less devoted relationship. You might find some of the links too obvious, but it does well to keep in mind, this is the characters story and there is no indication of how good a writer he is. My take is that the film recognises he is a hack and so his voiceover makes the metaphors painfully obvious, but there are more subtle things going on for us to pick at as well.

Compared with the tight focus of the original, it makes for a sprawling, disjointed plot, but still a fascinating one. In a way I was reminded of the difference between Scorcese’s Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, in how this following film is more playful, opulant and liberated. Especially in the sex scenes, which do suit the nature of the story, but I do miss the unique sense of restraint and lust in the first film. The sci-fi scenes are very strange, but due to the nature of why they are there, they do work. I was disappointed in the use of slow motion. It worked perfectly the first time, but in this sequel, they ‘stutter’, so it doesn’t run so smooth.

Tony Leung develops the Mr. Chow character very nicely from In The Mood For Love. He is now clearly repressed and chauvinistic, while his “avatar” on the train is the one trying to recapture the love affair (Leung doesn’t play both, by the way). Of the women, though they are all different and beautifully played, Zhang Ziyi stands out the most. She is stunning and this is the best role I have seen her in. She has matured a great deal since Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and her character of Bai Ling ranges from fiercely confident to fragile. Really amazing performance.

As a film in its own right, it is quite brilliant and unique. As a sequel it is fascinating. Only in direct comparison with the peerless In The Mood For Love does it falter.

Original review of In The Mood For Love

Najemikon

  • Guest
X-Men 2 *****
« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2010, 10:34:03 PM »
X-Men 2
5 out of 5



Hatred and distrust brew between human and mutantkind. An unprovoked mutant attack on the President gives General William Stryker (Brian Cox) his long-awaited opportunity to wage all-out war against the mutants. A war that would leave only one race victorious. Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry) and the other X-Men must unite with their old adversary Magneto (Ian McKellen) to prevent a devastating confrontation that could destroy everyone on the planet.

Yeah, I know. “5 Stars!”... “What’s he on?”... etc. I simply cannot find anything wrong with X-Men 2 which  is an extremely confident film, the like of which I doubt we will see again within the genre, now that the Marvel producers are in full control. It isn’t as brilliant as The Dark Knight, or as clever as Kick-Ass, but comics in their purest form are about honest entertainment and mutants throwing cars around deserve their day as much as navel-gazing wealthy Playboys or ironic satire. X-Men 2 represents why we like comics at all.

Bryan Singer’s sequel to his own X-Men improves on that film in every respect and even then, is a much better film than it needed to be. Apparently he used The Empire Strikes Back as a template and it really shows. His skill in character focused drama stops it becoming set-piece cinema. Broad and epic, full of action (the attack on the Oval Office is an incredible opening); it is a feast for the eyes and a perfect tribute to the comic in that it doesn’t pull punches. Wolverine in “berserker” mode is just astonishingly vicious. As is Magneto’s nasty but magnificent escape from the plastic prison he was left in at the end of part one.

The writing is much sharper this time around, with multiple characters and plot-lines getting a fair bite. Acting and dialogue is improved a lot too. Halle Berry as Storm is more at the forefront this time with better hair, no silly accent and no lumpy one-liners to say. Once again, heavyweights McKellen and Stewart anchor the film and their scenes are invariably brilliant, and now they are supported by Brian Cox with an excellent turn as the villain that both mutant sides must unite to defeat. He is possibly the missing link in both the other movies; an dangerous, unknown quantity with allegiance to neither Xavier nor Magneto.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is essentially still the central character and he is fantastic in the role. But X-Men 2 is most impressive for how all the plot strands are serviced, while focus is very much on the key characters who drive the plot forward and they all get a moment to shine, including new boy Alan Cummings as the unusual Nightcrawler. Cleverly the plot separates the adults from the teens (Anna Paquin as Rogue, etc) and gives them enough to do without compromising the story, which I think the first X-Men couldn’t avoid. The only random mutants are the kids escaping the astonishing assault on the mansion and in a wink to fans, even they are established characters (Kitty Pryde isn’t referenced by name, but that’s her running through walls).

Singer has fashioned an exceptional film for characters he clearly has immense love and respect for. The only thing that lets down his superb film is that it is clearly a “Part 2” and although stand-alone, it needs a good “Part 3” to complete the spell. Shame about that, eh? It’s an interesting situation that Singer found himself in. On the back of X-Men 2 being as brilliant as it is, he had the chance to direct Superman Returns, a dream project, but he let go of the X-Men franchise to do it. I thought his take on Superman was wonderful, but reception to that and X-Men 3 was so underwhelming, they kind of cancelled each other out. Also, Singer’s influence on the genre that he really got the ball rolling for was lost altogether.

Comic book movies have recently come of age. The Dark Knight is now probably hands down the finest example; Watchmen the most ambitious; Kick Ass the most perceptive and irreverent. Meanwhile, the less complicated Iron Man films are just having fun. But considering both Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are wealthy nut-cases, and both formative directors Singer and Raimi losing their grip, super-freaks are no longer represented properly in the genre.

X-Men 2 was considered the pinnacle of the genre before Batman Begins came out, so by that rationale, it can still lay claim to being the finest, pure fantasy, comic book movie. It seems like I’m clutching at straws, but this is important (well... you know what I mean!). Comic book fans buy the stories week in, week out, for lavish fun that can be taken seriously within the stories own logic. Super-powers are inherently silly, but are the obvious hook that we started reading such comics for at all. The Marvel films embrace that and we should celebrate this Marvellous film because I think the genre is going to suffer for the production line approach the company is taking to its future entries.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 08:21:30 AM by Jon »

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #67 on: July 19, 2010, 02:32:43 AM »
From memory, I think I was one of the only people who like X Men 1 better than X Men 2. :bag: However I haven't watched the second in a very long time, so my memory of it is very hazy.

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6911
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #68 on: July 19, 2010, 02:37:19 AM »
I really enjoyed this one too.  I liked the first one, but X-Men 2 did so well at continuing what had been started with the first movie. 
And Nightcrawler teleporting is just cool.

Oh Jon...you called Magneto Morpheus..think it was in your 3rd paragraph.

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7171
  • Country: 00
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2010, 03:06:14 AM »
Jon, I was under the impression the main reference of the number 2046 is the year; I thought the film took playce in that year or references at the least...? (2046 being the last year before Hong Kong finally looses it special status and gets 100% Chinese control.)


Oh Jon...you called Magneto Morpheus..think it was in your 3rd paragraph.
Phew, I thought it was just me. Actually, it's in his second and third paragraphs.

Maybe Morpheus is magneto's real-life name...? :headscratch:

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6911
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2010, 03:13:38 AM »
Quote from:
Phew, I thought it was just me. Actually, it's in his second and third paragraphs.

Maybe Morpheus is magneto's real-life name...? :headscratch:
[/quote

Oops..I forgot to go back and double check.
Nope...his name is Eric Lehnsherr.

Though I'm thinking there is a comic book character called Morpheus...can't remember for sure though.

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7171
  • Country: 00
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2010, 03:21:01 AM »
Well, here is a list of Morpheus' appearances[[url]. :D

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2010, 08:29:46 AM »
From memory, I think I was one of the only people who like X Men 1 better than X Men 2. :bag: However I haven't watched the second in a very long time, so my memory of it is very hazy.

I'd have another look, Sophie. X-Men is great, but it has Toad in it and Storm delivers one of the worst lines of dialogue I have ever heard! As a whole, I do really like it and it's the film that started the recent surge in superhero flicks, but X-Men 2 is just magnificent.

Well, here is a list of Morpheus' appearances[[url]. :D

Thanks guys! He no longer appears in mine. Strange, I got it right in the first paragraph. :bag: Not his real name, Achim, you were over thinking it and giving me too much credit! :-[

Jon, I was under the impression the main reference of the number 2046 is the year; I thought the film took playce in that year or references at the least...? (2046 being the last year before Hong Kong finally looses it special status and gets 100% Chinese control.)

I thought it was 2046 the year at first too, but then if you think about it, it must be much further in the future (trains that go right round the world?). 2046 is definitely referred to as a place that people go to and rarely return from, and at one point, the Japanese man on the train has the very cold period through sectors "1268" and "1269". I think they're the right numbers, but they reference the Christmas periods in real life that Chow is spending on his own ("Dec 68") represented as a place in the future.

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2010, 10:41:32 AM »
I'd have another look, Sophie. X-Men is great, but it has Toad in it and Storm delivers one of the worst lines of dialogue I have ever heard! As a whole, I do really like it and it's the film that started the recent surge in superhero flicks, but X-Men 2 is just magnificent.

Oh yes, now that you mention it I really didn't like Toad. My favourite character is Jean anyway. Which Storm line are you reffering to?

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6911
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2010, 10:45:19 AM »
Probably the one that has something to do with a toad being hit by lightening.  I can't remember it exactly, but it was rather stupid.  Happens later in the movie.