Author Topic: Watch, Absorb and Deconstruct: A Saga of Film Watching by Virtual Scot  (Read 4423 times)

VirtualScot

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LIMITLESS



The most ironic film title of all time?

Directed by Neil Burger, the director of mystery magician drama The Illusionist. And starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Limitless is the story of struggling New York writer Eddie Morra, who is offered a drug that will unlock the full potential of his brain. With a promising story, interesting concept, strong cast and drawing on inspiration from 70's Manhattan based thrillers. It was understandable that i went into this film with reasonable expectations.

But in the end i was left feeling cheated. To start with on a slightly less minor note, there are a few superfluous stylistic visual choices and camera tricks. Pointless nonsense that try's and fails to be artistic, and sticks out like a sore thumb. The best example of this being in a scene where we witness Mr Morra puking on the side walk, the camera flips upside down for a well upside down puke shot.

I shrug my shoulders and give a short sardonic laugh at what i just witnessed. Is your intent Mr Burger to try and convey the mind alternating affects of this drug? Or is it to say look at me see how arty i'am, I'm going for the latter. This aside though the direction is good and everything develops at a reasonable pace most of the time, and the editing is solid.

Cooper and De Niro do a good job as well with there roles, but are ultimately limited. It could not be more obvious through out the film they are trying to take there characters to another level, than what the writers had given to them on the script. Making it at times a bit uncomfortable to watch.

The biggest qualm however with Limitless though, is unlike such films as The Matrix and more recently Inception. Which do a fantastic job of making the impossible seem plausible. Limitless does a fantastic job of insulting your intelligence. Some of the more striking examples of this would be the supposed IQ of Mr Morra, claimed to be a 4 digit IQ. You wonder then what a person with an IQ roughly ten times that of Einstein would do.

Well it's not coming up with the next E=mc2 that's for sure. No Mr Morra concerns himself with making money partying and having sex. Noble pursuits indeed but a tad one dimensional i thinks for a man with a 4 digit IQ.

But the drug has allowed him to do one thing more intellectually orientated. To master languages with a perfect accent. How is it then an eastern European ganger consumes the pill does he still speaks broken English but with a higher vocabulary?

Overall this and many other holes, lead to the conclusion they where just throwing out half baked ideas in the vain hope they stick. And it's not as if the driving concept behind all this is bad in it self. Indeed in the right hands it would have a lot of potential to be something more intelligent and profound. Something which as the film went on i kept thinking would be done more justice by Christopher Nolan.

As for the most part i was thinking the film was talking about the consequences of drug abuse. The ending however seemed to say that drug addicts are winners. Ether way the potential is there to have made something really poignant, in the right hands. But sadly that will never happen and what we are left with is a limited Limitless.

A film with an ironic title.

               
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 02:38:38 AM by VirtualScot »

VirtualScot

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THE EAGLE




This Years Sleeper Hit?

There few periods of history that really intrigue me in film, WWI and the Roman Empire are two them. Mainly because story's don't relove around these two periods of history very often, so it's very rare to see them be realised on film. This is what initially attracted to go see The Eagle in cinema, and boy was i impressed with how well realised it was.

Staring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. Marcus (Tatum) is posted to Roman occupied southern Britain, in the hope of regaining his family's honour. After under the command of his father, the ninth legion disappeared in North Britain twenty years early. Losing the Eagle standard, Rome's most sacred symbol of honour and five thousand men. Shamed by the defeat Emperor Hadrian orders Hadrian's wall to be built, marking the the end of the known world.

After saving the life of a young Briton slave called Esca (Bell), who in thanks swears his life in a bond to Marcus. Marcus sets off with Esca beyond the wall to find the Eagle standard and restore his family's honour.

From the opening where Marcus arrives at his first post to the ending. Every detail of Roman Britain is brilliantly brought to life, and all this on a budget of twenty five million dollars.

There's no gas can powered chariots in this film (wink wink).

The only issue i had with the historical aspect, was the highlands not being as leafy as they where back then. The highlands only lost it's forests in the 18th century thanks to the Royal Navy. But this is forgiveable, and only another couple of issues pop up here and there.

Such as the action scenes do suffer from the fast is apparently more realistic idea. And the plot does get a little slow at certain points. Overall though Tatum and Bell both put in strong well rounded performances. Bell coming off better as it's safe to say he is the better actor (no offence to Mr Tatum).

There are also two small parts from Donald Sutherland and Mark Strong which are very much welcome.

Mixing full on violence with a more profound story of honour and courage. The Eagle is a solid film, and the sleeper hit of this year i think.


VirtualScot

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SOURCE CODE



Back to form for Sci-Fi?

Duncan Jones is back with his second feature length film, after his critically acclaimed debut, low budget British Sci-Fi Moon. Staring Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens with Michelle Monaghan as Christina Warren, Vera Farmiga as Colleen Goodwin, and a small part from Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Rutledge. Colter (Gyllenhaal) is tasked to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train by entering the mind of a passenger 8 minutes before the bomb detonates through a new technology called the source code.

In the hands of any other director it is clear that Source Code would have been another generic Sci-Fi, with a good concept but lacking in depth. However Duncan Jones saves us from this. Turning Source Code into something modern, moving and simply beautiful. There are a few plot holes here and there, but your cynicism soon melts away at the sheer depth of emotion. And the perfectly timed thought provoking questions that arise as the film progresses.

Questioning the nature of our reality, exploitation and valuing the time we have are a few of themes that come up in this film. It's hard to go into detail without ruining ones experience of this film. To sum it up i was compelled to almost lift myself out my seat as the credits rolled, and burst into rapturous applause.

Duncan Jones has now well and truly put himself on the map as one of the best directors working today. You owe it to yourself to see this film at least once.








Offline Kathy

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Source Code sounds like a good movie - I've put in on my wish list. Thanks.

Edit: It's not available on DVDP yet - is this a new movie?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 09:49:04 PM by Kathy »

VirtualScot

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Source Code sounds like a good movie - I've put in on my wish list. Thanks.

Edit: It's not available on DVDP yet - is this a new movie?

Yes just released 1st of April this year Kathy.

VirtualScot

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I see my score is going up. Ether someone is trying to pull my leg. Or you guys seem to enjoying my reviews.

I hope it's the latter and if so it's deeply appreciated.

Offline goodguy

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I was so put off by the trailer for Source Code that I even kicked his previous film Moon from my to-view list. It's getting some good reviews all around though, so my reaction might have been a bit harsh.
Matthias

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I was so put off by the trailer for Source Code that I even kicked his previous film Moon from my to-view list. It's getting some good reviews all around though, so my reaction might have been a bit harsh.

Kicking Moon? No, Matthias, serious mistake. It's the finest proper sci-fi for many a... moon (groan. sorry), especially American themed, and it's so low budget it can only be admired.

As you know, I too was put off by these Source Code trailers and I still think there's got to be a concession towards action which makes for a very different film. VirtualScot mentions plot holes, while Moon was solid as a... rock (I have no defence. That was just wrong), but Empire's review was good and the guys on Film 2011 were very impressed. And Danny Leigh is a man easily put off by brainless action. There is something in this. I don't think it can be as cheesy as the trailer suggests. At least Moon wasn't... cheesy (I'll get my coat).

VirtualScot

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I was so put off by the trailer for Source Code that I even kicked his previous film Moon from my to-view list. It's getting some good reviews all around though, so my reaction might have been a bit harsh.

Kicking Moon? No, Matthias, serious mistake. It's the finest proper sci-fi for many a... moon (groan. sorry), especially American themed, and it's so low budget it can only be admired.

As you know, I too was put off by these Source Code trailers and I still think there's got to be a concession towards action which makes for a very different film. VirtualScot mentions plot holes, while Moon was solid as a... rock (I have no defence. That was just wrong), but Empire's review was good and the guys on Film 2011 were very impressed. And Danny Leigh is a man easily put off by brainless action. There is something in this. I don't think it can be as cheesy as the trailer suggests. At least Moon wasn't... cheesy (I'll get my coat).

Robocop had a terrible trailer and even the theme from terminator was in the trailer. And it's a flawless masterpiece of American action Sci-Fi directed by a European director and loaded with violence. No matter how gory it gets though non of it seems meaningless or sensationalist, everything is relevant.

Still i feel a criminally underrated film despite it having a large audience. One of my top 20 favourites.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 02:55:45 AM by VirtualScot »

Offline Achim

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I saw Source Code in the cinema on Friday. The plot could have gone wrong in so many ways (especially the ending) but luckily didn't; unfortunately it was a bit distracting when I had to roll my eyes when the plot took a "dangerous turn" but then surprised me positively. As memtioned above, the emotions have a lot to do with this as well.

The ending had my brain in a twist a bit, nut unexpected from a movie like this :laugh:
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I was so put off by the trailer for Source Code that I even kicked his previous film Moon from my to-view list. It's getting some good reviews all around though, so my reaction might have been a bit harsh.
Your taste in movies usually goes quite against the grain in this forum. I think however, that Moon might be one of those that you could enjoy as well. In the end it's all about Sam Rockwell and his great portayal of the guy in search for who he is.

VirtualScot

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Re: Watch, Absorb and Deconstruct: A Saga of Film Watching by Virtual Scot
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2011, 04:01:16 AM »
I saw Source Code in the cinema on Friday. The plot could have gone wrong in so many ways (especially the ending) but luckily didn't; unfortunately it was a bit distracting when I had to roll my eyes when the plot took a "dangerous turn" but then surprised me positively. As memtioned above, the emotions have a lot to do with this as well.

The ending had my brain in a twist a bit, nut unexpected from a movie like this :laugh:
(click to show/hide)


I was so put off by the trailer for Source Code that I even kicked his previous film Moon from my to-view list. It's getting some good reviews all around though, so my reaction might have been a bit harsh.
Your taste in movies usually goes quite against the grain in this forum. I think however, that Moon might be one of those that you could enjoy as well. In the end it's all about Sam Rockwell and his great portayal of the guy in search for who he is.

I was completely confident in every way Jones would stay true to the precedent he set through out the film, and would not screw the audience. As for the ending.

(click to show/hide)

Offline Achim

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Re: Watch, Absorb and Deconstruct: A Saga of Film Watching by Virtual Scot
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2011, 07:01:02 AM »
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VirtualScot

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Re: Watch, Absorb and Deconstruct: A Saga of Film Watching by Virtual Scot
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 02:34:30 PM »
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