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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2007 edited
     
    I saw Brick not too long ago. I know people here have said it's good and yes, I, too, will confirm it's goodness. It's interesting that the characters are mostly high school students because it doesn't ever seem to actually matter. I have this thing where I tend not to like movies about teenagers, or coming-of-age type stuff, and I knew that's not what this would be, but I was really relieved to find it wasn't even slightly that. I love the whole film noir thing it has going, and it seemed pretty fast-paced for such a thing too, which was cool.

    I also saw Children of Men recently, which I've probably enjoyed more than any other movie I've seen in a while. I thought the camerawork was beautiful, especially for something shot entirely on handheld cameras. It never seemed awkwardly unrealistic, despite being in a near-future setting, which I guess it might owe to never going into too much detail about how things became the way they were. There were very clear indications of certain events that pushed things towards the way they went (there's some stuff implicating the "war on terror" and all that, though not in the heavy-handed kind of way that, say, V for Vendetta does -- but V for Vendetta's main point was that kind of thing) but there's never anything that clearly states exactly why the world is in chaos, why women are sterile, etc. and I think it really works not to go into too much detail about those things. I could accept the idea of a future like that but I think if I had been told exactly how things were to become that way, I wouldn't have been able to help but look at what seemed unrealistic about the path.

    Anyway, Clive Owen can be hit or miss, and I really liked him in this. I really like a lot of how things were shot, as I already mentioned, and the sound and music work as well. The way the "ringing" lingers after this café is bombed in the beginning... that kind of thing. The only moment the sound work seemed awkward was at the very end when the credits came in, there's a Beatles song, and all this generally cheery sound after a extremely un-cheery movie. The ending itself seemed awkward as well, only because it's very quick, but the more I think about it, I don't think there was necessarily a better way to do it. Uh, so, SPOILERS NEXT PARAGRAPH...

    Actually, OK, if the boat never showed up, I think that could have worked as an ending as well, and maybe I only think it's better that the boat did show up because it seemed a plausible ending for the film that the boat doesn't show up, she's trapped in the little boat with her newborn and Clive Owen's slumped-over corpse, and at that point, I really didn't want that. But, I think an ending providing an epilogue where the Human Project figures out what's up with her fertility and everyone else's lack thereof, fixes everyone, saves humanity, etc. would have been too cheesy and perfect for a film this pessimistic. Even the sounds of children during the credits, which obviously hints that this sort of thing happens anyway, seemed a little too "and they all lived happily ever after" for the film. The other thing with showing what happened after the boat shows up is that Clive Owen's character had just died, it didn't seem ridiculous that he did, but the Tomorrow is supposed to be this hospital boat in disguise and I would think they would then show an attempt to revive Owen's character and if they showed that, they risk things again seeming too happy-ending if they save him or just seeming pointless and overly we're-trying-to-depress-you if they can't.

    Anyway, I loved it. From what I've heard, some people very much do not.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2007
     
    I did not read all of your post, as I do not want to be spoiled. I am still undecided about seeing Children of Men. My biggest concern is that as someone who does not wish to be pregnant, I don't really enjoy movies where it feels like Im being bashed in the head with the message that pregnancy and motherhood offer some kind of exalted, supernatural status to women. Worst example of a movie that does this: The Forgotten. I won't go into details to spoil it, but just from the previews you know it's about a woman that is searching for a lost child that may or may not exist and they use the idea of the supernatural mom to child connection being in existence extensively.

    However, I suppose that in a movie where all of humanity is pretty much sterile, a pregnant woman having exalted and supernatural powers may be integral to the plot. So, can you tell me without spoiling the film, if there is a deeper message or more going on than pregnant woman saves the world? Or if it's overtly preachy?
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2007
     
    I feel exactly the same way Sov. It wasn't going to be a good movie regardless, but I hated The Forgotten most especially because of the whole pregnancy-on-a-pedestal thing.
    In fact, "pregnancy-on-a-pedestal" pretty much sums up the attitude within society, but I will shut up now.

    I wish I could recommend some new movies for people, but we've been watching older movies from our Netflix queue and TV shows on DVD - all of which you've probably seen. We're still working through The Muppet Show, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Animaniacs, and The Tick (animated). I would love to have Scrubs though.

    Ooh, but I did see a most interesting documentary on the fig tree in Kenya. It was called "The Queen of Trees". I actually cried for a wasp.
  1.  
    I am so out of touch with any movies lately (past 1.5 years) I have no idea what is out and playing. However, I did borrow season 1 and 2 of Scrubs from a friend and whenever I get a chance I watch a few episodes. I am hooked. I watched like four episodes of disk 2 season 2 today. I so don't have the time but I couldn't look away. He also gave me season 1 of How I Met Your Mother. I kind of like that show too. I watched the first disk of that and I want to finish it but I was told that I won't get season 3 of Scrubs until I give back season 1 of How I Met Your Mother. So I just might have to give up on How I Met Your Mother until I finish all seasons of Scrubs. By the way I am placing my bets on the slutty pumpkin being the mother.
    I don't want to have kids either! It seems like small town people have more of an issue with that, ......like I must be a lesbian or something if I don't want to pop a few out. I have however, (not as an insult but more as something funny) been told I have great birthing hips ...so maybe I should rethink the whole idea. It's a shocker to most people.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2007
     
    Ah, I missed the Queen of Trees! I was supposed to tape it for my boyfriend, but I must have missed the first run and when I went to the website, it was only being shown on PBS HD here. PBS DVD are so expensive, thanks for reminding about it. It might be scheduled to rerun again soon.

    My netflix has been backed up with TV series too, I have been catching up on The L word and discovered the awesomeness that is Carnivale. I went through a real big movie rut and then recently saw Pan's Labyrinth and Borat. There's so many good movies out lately, I've been making a special effort to get out the theater. It helps that my boyfriend can get his student employees to get discount student tickets for us.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2007 edited
     
    I watched seasons 1-3 of Scrubs faster than I've ever watched anything else. Basically I watched them about as fast as I possibly could. My roommate (well, ex roomie now) had the first two seasons, so I didn't even have to take up the valuable neftlix queue slots. Then, in a move that I assure you was purely altruistic, I gave him season 3 for his birthday. Then we watched it. Heh.

    Is the Tick (animated) out on DVD? I love that show. I might have to invest.

    I've already poured out my love for Brick several times on the blog, so I won't bore you here. Heh.

    I've also talked briefly about Children of Men. I disliked it, though not for any of the technical filmmaking reasons. The story, characters, etc... annoyed me, and I felt it didn't really make any sense (for reasons I'll get into in the spoilers below). The "pregnancy on a pedistal" thing is there, but not quite that bad and it doesn't bother me much (I respect and might even go along with the decision to not have kids, but at the same time, I can see that there's probably a biological imperative to procreate).

    Spoilers
    For one, I don't much enjoy movies that have such a dim view of humanity. And honestly, if you're going to do that sort of thing, you should get it right. Don't end the movie with two minutes of faux-hope. 1984 sets the standard for dystopias, and this comes nowhere near as close. 1984 at least follows through on it's dystopia. If CoM was a real dystopia, they'd have killed the baby. But that would be depressing and well, just wrong. 1984 was perfect. You really got the idea when they strapped his face in the cage. I have no issue with ending a movie with hope, but if you're going to do that, you can't be so pessimistic throughout the movie. Give us real hope, don't be so pessimistic that we don't trust anyone or anything, even the stupid human project boat thingy.

    One other thing that really, really bothered me? Towards the beginning of the film, Clive Owen and Michael Caine are listening to Radiohead and talking about stuff, and Clive Owen basically says that the world had gone to shit even before the infertility problem. I must admit, I was intrigued. That statement told me that there would be more to the story than just a freakin baby, which we all know from the commercials is coming. That's such an obvious source of hope that I was pleasantly surprised that they weren't going that route. Or so I thought. As it turns out, the stupid baby is what's supposed to give us hope, and, what's more, it gives Clive Owen hope, even though he's already clearly stated that it doesn't. Contradiction! Mixed with the above complaint about not following through on their pessimism, this makes the movie seem like an indecisive piece of crap. Ok, so that might be a bit of a nitpick, but yeah, I didn't like the movie.
    /Spoilers

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2007
     
    Oh yeah, welcome to Kaedrin, Sov! Glad to have ya:)

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2007 edited
     
    Within the last two or three months, I've found myself absolutely hooked on Scrubs. I'd seen an episode or two in the last few years, and thought nothing of it...then they started showing episodes in syndication, starting right when I got home from work, and within a week, I was hooked. I now own Seasons 1-4 on DVD. It's weird, because I don't usually care in the least about sitcoms, but I love that show...it's such a wonderful mix of absurd, escapism with amusing sitcom sappiness...and John C. McGinley, also of Office Space (of course) as Dr. Cox is fantastic. Great show.

    I saw The Forgotten in the theaters and found it, well ,pretty forgettable. The whole pregnancy-on-a-pedestal didn't really hit me, but then, I'm not a woman...and thinking about it, a whole lot of stuff tends to do that.

    I have a friend that absolutely loves Red Dwarf...she showed me a season or two, but I couldn't quite get myself hooked.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2007
     
    Oh, yes. The Animated Tick is definitely out on DVD. It's most of season 1, minus one episode. All in a convenient... uh... box.

    The Tick vs. Season 1.
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2007
     
    We also have the live action show of The Tick. It's hilarious as well, mostly because I love Patrick Warburton. And Barry Sonnenfeld, the executive producer, is really good at doing commentary. I rarely enjoy commentary on DVDs.

    The L Word is something I was interested in watching, but with so many potential shows to watch, I have to be choosy. I don't have cable, so I'd have to buy it or rent it.

    I'm hooked on Heroes, but it's not really a good show. At this point, I'm hooked only by the desire for resolution. I don't really give a flip about any of the characters, except Hiro. If they could have the show just about Hiro played by Masi Oka (and even James Kyson Lee, who plays Ando), then I would be happy.

    And my husband and I also watch The Class on ABC. The gags are too much alike at times, but it can still crack me up. No one does it better than Scrubs though.
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2007 edited
     
    Well, the pregnancy in Children of Men is held as pretty important but it's because it's supposed to be the first pregnancy in 18 years. I didn't get the impression it was putting pregnancy on a pedestal so much as it was putting that particular pregnancy on a pedestal. I don't know if it might bother you in the same way as a general pregnancy-on-a-pedestal type thing. There's the impression that a big part of everyone's problems is that no one can procreate but I got the feeling that wasn't so much about any everyone-should-have-children kinda thing as it was a constant reminder that, if things continue their current route (of which sterility wasn't the only cause of the world going to shit), the human species would eventually cease to be. There's some things now and then about 'life without any children in the world,' that sort of thing, that I suppose could be promoting the idea that pregnancy/procreation is an integral part of any life but, like I said, it's hard to really tell in this situation because you're dealing with a setting where there isn't any procreation. I haven't seen the Forgotten so I can't really compare the two. I can understand not wanting that kind of thing shoved in your face and I would imagine it's much more obnoxious for a woman than for me.

    In other movie-related happenings, I watched A Very Long Engagement the other day, which I liked. There's a lot of similarities in style between it and Amelie as far as how the story is told and shot (which is no shocker considering it's the same director, lead actress, and a few others) but it's not this overly happy thing like Amelie was (which I don't mean in a bad way, I love Amelie). It's not great but it's good and worth watching, I think. I saw Pan's Labyrinth not too long ago too and really liked it.

    I've seen a fair amount of the L Word, which people tend to think is weird because I'm a guy, and I did like a lot of the first couple seasons. I don't usually watch TV shows regularly. (I only ended up seeing any of the L Word because some friends of mine were going crazy about it for a while.) I haven't seen any of this season but I thought last season was so horrible that I don't really feel like giving it a chance unless someone can really strongly recommend it (and even then I'll probably forget about it like I do with every TV show).

    I've seen a few episodes of Heroes because a co-worker of mine is obsessed with it. Hiro's definitely the best character. In fact, I'd say I too don't really give a flip about any of the others.

    Scrubs is good (again, I've enjoyed a lot of it but don't watch it regularly because I'm like that with TV shows). It's actually filmed only a couple blocks from me. They have their sets and offices all in this old medical building that's not used for any actual medical stuff anymore. Kills two birds with one stone.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2007
     
    Thank you for the elaboration, Dyre. I think I am going to put it on the Netflix list instead of seeing it in the theater. Since Brick has come highly recommended from every person I know who has seen it, I went ahead and ordered it online today.

    I probably watch way more TV than everyone else. I grew up in a house where it was always on, so I tend to have it on in the background alot. Also, I really do enjoy the amount of character development can happen with the depth and breadth of a television series. Not enough shows use that to the full advantage. I'm quickly losing interest in Heroes, but if I were 14 again I would totally have a poster of Masi Oka up in my locker. I think the waitress character was also intriguing (was it played by the same girl who does all the Scary Movies?).

    When the L word came out, it was an event with my friends. We all watched the first season together. Second season, I still watched it with my roomate. I have only started watching the 3rd season recently. I think the only thing I really can't stand at all is the damn theme song. And how it was repeated in 40 bajillion different versions in every episode in the second season. At least when I order it on DVD, I can fast forward through the torture.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2007 edited
     
    TV shows on DVD make us hate their theme songs...I am pretty serious about this. Even a crappy theme song on a great show is OK if it's on TV...you only hear it once a week. But when it's on DVD, if you're like me, you watch seasons at a time, and a bad theme song wears on you immediately. Two recent examples are "Scrubs" and "Numbers"...both good shows, with not horribly annoying theme songs...but thanks to owning them on DVD and watching entire seasons crammed into the space of a week or two, I never want to hear them again.

    Although, some theme songs are just bad not matter what...anyone else watch the premier episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and think, wow, that's just bad..?
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2007
     
    I finally watched Brick!

    I have to agree with all about its excellence. I was actually expecting something that would be a bit more cartoonishly noir, but it was much more subtle than that. It was also unexpectedly funny in some parts. Especially The Pin's oblivious mom and her rooster decor.

    And Joseph Gordon Levitt just keeps looking more and more like Heath Ledger to me.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2007
     
    Oh, god. The mother was fantastic.

    I loved that she wasn't just oblivious, but at the end of that scene, she comes across as intentionally so- like, she knows how weird the situation is, but doesn't want to know any more than she already does. It was like the mob boss's mother. Also, when Tug leaves with the pitcher, and has to bring it back. Heh. Great.