What movies made in the last five years are worth watching?

Discussion in 'Discussions' started by OmniaNigrum, May 27, 2012.

  1. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I just got back from seeing Ridley Scott's "The Martian", which was based on my favorite recent science fiction novel of the same title, written by Andy Weir (I wrote about it in the books thread, if you are interested). The movie, I thought, was absolutely great. I loved it. I'd say that of all of the movies released this year that I've seen, this one is the best. Maybe I'd rate "Birdman" higher, but I THINK I saw that last year. It also has to rank well on my top 10 science fiction movies of all time (maybe in the top 3 or 5 -- I think I need some perspective and to revisit some of my old favorites again before I make that determination).

    Anyway, if you've seen any of the trailers for it, they pretty well summarize what the movie is about. This is not a film with lots of twists and surprises. Nor is it a typical mindless action blockbuster. But it is still an incredibly exciting (and smart) film about the triumph of teamwork, math. science, and engineering, as well as perseverance in the face of almost unthinkable circumstances. It's 141 minutes long, but it doesn't feel like it. And all that time is used economically to tell a great story -- so go to the bathroom BEFORE you go into the theater, because you won't want to miss a minute of it.. Certainly, they had to cut some portions of the book to fit it into that length. But it still remains faithful to the feel and spirit of the original novel. Also, the cast, especially Matt Damon as Mark Watney, the astronaut stranded on Mars. But really, every performance was quite good. You will not have to have read the book to enjoy the film. But still, it's a great book, so read it anyway. I'm not going to claim that one is better than the other. Both are really excellent, and that's all I need to say on that subject.

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  2. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    More "Ant Man" (and yes, spoilers, sort of):
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  3. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    A couple of nights ago, I went to see "Crimson Peak", a gothic romance. The premise of the film is that Edith Cushing (played by Mia Wasikowska) is a prospective writer living in late 19th century Buffalo, New York, and daughter of a wealthy American industrialist, (Carter Cushing) played by Jim Beaver. British Baronet/entrepeneur and his sister, Thomas and Lucille Sharpe (played by Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain) pay Carter a visit, in order to ask him to invest in their new invention intended to mine clay in order to make bricks. Thomas meets Edith and starts wooing her. Meanwhile, Carter Cushing is suspicious of the Sharpes and has them investigated. Something is not quite right with them, and he clearly does not like the Sharpes, but he's not quite sure what it is that's 'off' with them.

    Anyway, the story is filled with stylish ghosts that live up to Guillermo del Toro's reputation that he's earned in previous films, such as Pan's Labyrinth. And the acting is fairly good, especially that of Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Jim Beaver. I'm less enthusiastic about Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam's performances, though.

    If you are at all familiar with Alfred Hitchcock's films, you will likely come to the same conclusion as I did, that too many elements of the story are lifted right out of a couple of Hitchcock's films. Hitchcock really never made a movie that had ghosts in it (at least none that I've seen nor heard of). But the ghosts in "Crimson Peak" really are not what the film is about -- in fact the movie goes out of its way to state that it is not a ghost story (by way of a meta device of Mia Wasikowska talking about a novel she is working on ("It's a story where the ghosts are a metaphor", she says). To me, that felt a bit cheesy and totally unnecessary. Furthermore, while it's clear that del Toro is copying Hitchcock, one thing he doesn't quite achieve is Hitchcock's mastery of suspense. So it feels more like a cheap knock-off than a tribute. I really enjoyed previous del Toro films, such as "Pan's Labyrinth", and "The Devil's Backbone", but this does not rise to the same quality.

    I did feel like some of the sets and scenes were beautifully filmed, but others just left me cold. I got the same feeling when watching the first Hobbit movie, and I think it has to do with the feel and look of digital vs. film. I know that digital CAN look good, but when done poorly, the sharpness of it makes it all feel more artificial, kind of like a stage, rather than actually being in a real location. This film suffers from the same problem as "The Hobbit"in that respect. You don't want to feel like you are on a set, you want to feel like you are observing real events.

    Anyway, that's how I felt about it. You may feel differently. I know that SOME critics have given it rave reviews, and I don't quite get why. Yes, the film kept my attention, but it also gave me the impression that I was watching something I had seen before, only done much better. I know that's not actually the case. But that was the feeling I got from it.

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  4. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    For about a week, more than half of the unskippable Youtube ads I saw were for that movie, and they all seemed to hype up the ghosts. Wasn't planning on seeing it either way, but it is funny to hear they supposedly weren't the point of the movie.
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  5. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    The ghosts really were cool, I'll say that. But they've always been labeling the film as a 'gothic romance', and not horror, so I don't consider that dishonest at all. The ghosts were an important plot element, but they simply were not what the movie was about. I just could have done without that "beat me over the head and treat me like I'm stupid because I didn't realize that the movie wasn't about the ghosts".
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  6. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I got to see "Steve Jobs" this afternoon, and it was a really good film. The acting, particularly from Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, was terrific, and I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar.

    The film seems to have been constructed similarly to a stage play -- there aren't a large number of locations, and the movie is divided up into 3 parts depicting 3 different events in Steve Jobs life: the presentations for the Macintosh, for the NEXT, and for the IMac. The film is more interested in what Jobs was like as a person at those times in his life, as opposed to how he presented himself. It's not always pretty, and you get to see him as a real human being, instead of the icon that most people envisioned him as.

    Anyway, here's a trailer:
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  7. Bohandas

    Bohandas Member

    So it actually talked about how much of a huge credit-hogging megalomaniacal controlling phony he was?
  8. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I'll just say that it was good film, and it's certainly not a publicity piece. It's based on a book which was based on interviews with people who knew him and worked for him -- it includes both the good and the bad.

    You have to realize that ALL biographies are seen through the filter of whoever wrote them. People are never as simple as their public image, or even of the stories that are spread about them. You should view every biopic in this way, as if they are about a fictional character, even when they aren't. Because the characters in them 'REPRESENT' real people , but they AREN'T real people. The way I look at it, it's much like the fact that a picture of a flower is not actually a flower -- there's always something that you don't see, and something the artist put in that only he could see.