What's the Latest Thing You've Seen at the Cinema II

Lucy

 

This might get a bit heavy. To my mind this is a philosophical film dressed as action popcorn, I suppose the question for me is whether it is philosophical popcorn - and I suspect the answer is yes on both counts.

 

It was an entertaining piece. For those of you who missed the trailers the setup is a young woman, Lucy, who is forced to become a drugs mule and has a new narcotic surgically implanted in her abdomen, when the bag bursts she starts to expand the amount of her brain that is available to her to use. This is based on the fallacy that we only use 10% of our brain.

 

As an action film it quickly looses any tension as the only character we can empathise with is Lucy and she moves towards omniscience and, bravely I felt, equally quickly starts to do things that are unsympathetic - for which I give Besson points.

 

One of the things I have frequently discussed with the teenagers that I work with at Church is 'how can God be all knowing?', one approach to which is that 'he' exists outside of time. This is played with in this film as they use some of the final views of Anthony Flew. Flew was akin to the Richard Dawkins of his day and debated with C. S. Lewis. He amended his atheistic views towards the end of his life and adopted an Aristotelian view, that is he decided that he believed in God, but one that is disinterested in us; it was in his final book that he propounded the view that God existed outside of time. The idea of time and omniscience, and its implications, was played with in this film, and for that I salute it.

 

I felt the film's ending was suitably cryptic.

 

Overall? Yes popcorn, but it kept me engaged for the running time.

 

M

 

 

Friday afternoon went to the BFI on the South Bank to see the recently-restored (in 4K digital no less), full Armenian version of Sergei Paradjanov's The Colour of Pomegranates, a remarkable 1968 film about the great poet/troubador Sayat Nova, and one of my favourite flicks from one of my favourite directors. 

 

In many ways, despite being extraordinarily strange, it is probably the best film made anywhere in the past 50 years, and one of the very best movies of all time. It is certainly ravishingly beautiful and poetic, and the soundtrack is almost as remarkable as the moving images.

 

Yesterday [Thursday evening] 

 

Imitation Games,

 

At the Worcester Odeon. About Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park, it's rather a wonderful British style film. One I shall get on DVD in time.

 

Superb.

 

ATB from George

Originally Posted by George J:

Yesterday [Thursday evening] 

 

Imitation Games,

 

At the Worcester Odeon. About Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park, it's rather a wonderful British style film. One I shall get on DVD in time.

 

Superb.

 

ATB from George

+1 "Paddington" next.

 

http://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/3-paddington.jpg?w=1024&h=770

 

Dave

Originally Posted by dave4jazz:
Originally Posted by George J:

Yesterday [Thursday evening] 

 

Imitation Games,

 

At the Worcester Odeon. About Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park, it's rather a wonderful British style film. One I shall get on DVD in time.

 

Superb.

 

ATB from George

+1 "Paddington" next.

 

http://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/3-paddington.jpg?w=1024&h=770

 

Dave

'Please look after this slayer'

 

G

Last week I was in Palm Springs and went to the Mary Pickford Theater, deluxe interior and deluxe price total of 8 in the theater.  Happened to be in time for FURY, Brad Pitt's WW2 tank commander movie.  Great movie of growing up fast for one young man, violent and loud with a few calm scenes.  It was hollywood in it's intense drama, but all I could think of was my dad being there from Normandy on thru till the end, what he experienced I can't comprehend. Yet he rarely talked about it until retirement and historians were seeking him out. He recently passed at the ripe old age of 90 years and 10 months, a good life.

Hi Mudwolf,

 

I saw Fury when it was released, and agree it is a powerful film.

 

Friends and relatives served in WWII and none really discussed it. I suspect that this is a far truer representation of the horrors of that war.

 

I still have mixed feelings about the movie. Powerful no doubt, but I wish the ending had been more down to earth and in keeping with the rest of the film.

 

Definitely one to see, and on the big screen if possible.

 

M

We saw Interstellar in IMAX most enjoyable, if a trifle long.

 

Considering no CGI was used it has excellent special effects. A little 2001 and a bit of Prometheus.

Good cast, good story fine effort.

 

Why does it have to be so bloody loud though, "I've got a 100 speakers and multi thousands of watts of amplification and I'm going to blast you with it".

Practically every surround sound set up I've heard seems  to think that the way sound effects work is to make them LOUD. Result is some of the dialogue is lost because the back ground music isn't any more.

Hi BigH,

 

I have to give Nolan points for vision and ambition. My personal issue with the film is causality. He went to that universe because later in that timeline he gave himself the map reference - I always feel that if you allow that sort of reasoning then ANYTHING is possible.

 

I would definitely recommend seeing it, and on the biggest screen possible.

 

M

Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. In 2D, fortunately. Disappointing end to the Hobbit trilogy.

 

Minor spoilers below

 

 

I was expecting the padding, the large scale but goofy battle sequences (endlessly...), the emotional goodbyes (overall quite well done I must say) and departures from / additions to the book (not too many...) but I also expected great visuals. What we got was endless armies of exactly the same orcs fighting legions of exactly the same elves and thousands of exactly the same dwarves. Same helmets, same armour, same shields, same movement, drab environments - like a cheap video game rather than a big budget film. And Smaug surely deserved a more dramatic end.

 

EJ

Having watched the first two 'Hobbit' films nothing (including an Orc army) could possibly convince me to watch the third. Insofar as Orcs were made in mockery of Elves and Trolls in mockery of Ents I can only suppose that Jackson's evisceration of Tolkien's work is also a mockery. Dire beyond words and Tolkien would turn in his grave. 

The Hobbit

 

Deeply disappointing. Where was the heart? It was all at too large a scale and I felt it simply missed the emotional beats. Like watching a computer game. Yet again 'people' doing things that are impossible.

 

<Spoiler> Even Thorin's death was botched </Spolier>.

 

I have to say that Martin Freeman's actory ticks are starting to irritate.

 

Overall, this series has been, for me, an enormous wasted opportunity.

 

Shame.

 

M

Interstellar was a brilliant surprise. Thought TARS and CASE to be an absolute riot, a very refreshing take on the HAL idea.

 

Coop: Humour: 75%

TARS: 75%. Initiating self destruct in T minus...

Coop: Make that 65%

TARS: 65%.  Knock, knock..

Coop: Careful - want to go to 55%?

 

EJ

John Wick. After years and years, Keanu Reeves finally shows decent range as he's out to get revenge. There is a heartbreaking moment early in the film, which adds urgency to what follows, but it stayed with me for days. What follows reminds a bit of Payback and Taken, but is sharper, funnier and better than either.

 

EJ

In two days i have moved from a 3d critic in a 3d addict. Saw yesterday the Hobbit in 3D and loved it, gives so much additional enjoyment in 3d.

And today I saw exodus which was even more impressive from a 3d perspective, while loosing on storyline as compared to the Hobbit.

Originally Posted by Mr Underhill:

The Hobbit

 

Deeply disappointing. Where was the heart? It was all at too large a scale and I felt it simply missed the emotional beats. Like watching a computer game. Yet again 'people' doing things that are impossible.

 

<Spoiler> Even Thorin's death was botched </Spolier>.

 

I have to say that Martin Freeman's actory ticks are starting to irritate.

 

Overall, this series has been, for me, an enormous wasted opportunity.

 

Shame.

 

M

+1  Other than being a cash cow for studio, taking a skinny book and turning it into 3 bloated films without the dialogue and emotion of the 3 LOTR's was a waste...

Originally Posted by Mr Underhill:

Bert

 

Is Exodus worth seeing?

 

M

Yes I would say so. While the typical movie ingredients might not be on the very highest level as you would hope. The 3d experience in this movie is so overwhelming, one really has the feeling you are back in that time and walking yourself in the famous sites. I was fascinated throughout the film by that aspect.

American Sniper

 

Directed by Clint Eastwood {May be one of his best efforts to date]

 

From director Clint Eastwood comes "American Sniper," starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to this true American hero than his skill with a rifle. U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname "Legend." However, his reputation is          also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, becoming emblematic of the SEAL creed to "leave no man behind." But upon returning home, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind. (C) Warner Bros

Originally Posted by dave4jazz:

http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article2315047.ece/alternates/s615/%C2%A3%C2%A3%C2%A3-Eddie-Redmayne.jpg

The Theory of Everything

 

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

 

Potential award winning performances by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

 

Dave

Just seen this. Brilliant performance from Eddie Redmayne. He seems to look so much like Hawking too.

Originally Posted by bishopla:

American Sniper

 

Directed by Clint Eastwood {May be one of his best efforts to date]

 

From director Clint Eastwood comes "American Sniper," starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to this true American hero than his skill with a rifle. U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname "Legend." However, his reputation is          also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, becoming emblematic of the SEAL creed to "leave no man behind." But upon returning home, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind. (C) Warner Bros

I will see it despite the reservations I have about sniping. It is interesting how the concept changed and today they are perceived as heroes. Many of the captured snipers in WW II were executed on the spot (by both sides) because that was considered a dirty way of fighting.

 

Chris Kyle was shot and killed by a disturbed Marine veteran on a shooting range a few years ago.

Originally Posted by Haim Ronen:

Chris Kyle was shot and killed by a disturbed Marine veteran on a shooting range a few years ago.

SPOILER ALERT!!!  

 

I'm a big Clint fan and plan to see this one in the theater. Interesting link regarding the authenticity of the film's storyline http://www.historyvshollywood....aces/american-sniper

 

Surprising how much the actors resemble the people they portrayed.

I thought this film was OK - but merely OK. The central performances are extremely impressive, but at its heart I just thought this is another "triumphing over the odds"-type movie, the kind of thing that the relentlessly middlebrow Oscar voters love (so expect to see it hoover up the gongs come March).

 

I couldn't help thinking that behind this rather shallow, airbrushed film there's a more interesting, nuanced and complex story to be told, but the makers hadn't got the balls to tell it. Quite entertaining and stirring, but I thought it was a bit of a wasted opportunity. It's still infinitely better than the godawful A Beautiful Mind though. That was really was puke-inducing.

 

I rarely post here but wanted to add a comment.

 

re 'Theory of Everything'. Much as we enjoyed the movie it has to be seen as 'Janes Story' as her book was the source material. I did feel at times she was being painted as rather a martyr although neither she nor SH are portrayed as faultless. This viewpoint irritated me at times-but it was interesting to see the arc of their relationship set against his wider achievements. SH is a notoriously spiky and contrary figure-I did not see him being portrayed as either a victim or hero. His illness I believe he views as an inconvenience and never defines him. Redmaynes' performance will win the Oscar I will wager.

 

As for 'Birdman'; just loved it. precisely the sort of arty movie aimed at me maybe! Great performers riffing off each other, a bold and innovative visual style too. Edward Norton priceless-a favourite of mine. I know it will irritate some (maybe it is less than the sum of its parts) but I thought it was great.

 

Bruce

I am soon going to see this.

 

Woman's Hour on Radio Four had a fascinating interview on thin this [with Mrs. H], and I guessed that this might be the story. Mrs. H's take ...

 

But it should not get in the way of enjoyment. All films have a perspective.

 

When I see it, then I will know ...

 

But I expect this film to be as illuminating as was Imitation Game of Alan Turing ...

 

ATB from George

Jupiter Ascending

 

Time to review a quality film.

 

Yes, this has been generally lambasted, so I thought best I go see it. The Wachowski's have had a rough ride since The Matrix, and one I feel they genuinely deserve. I did enjoy Cloud Atlas, but that aside have found all their output execrable. On that scale the is merely poor. In fact I think it is truly a curate's egg, good in parts. The production values here are stratospherically high, as they should be for the money it cost. Much of the imagery is stunning, and the real shame is that there is a really great pulp science fiction story in here somewhere struggling to get out.

 

The film opens with our titular protagonist's back story. This, like much else in the film, feels like truly wasted effort. I suspect that had this movie paid off and led to a series then there may have been some point to many of the sequences presented, but within the context of this film there is just endless padding. The story is simple beyond belief, and the episodic sequences, as Jupiter meets her genetic twins' children, are strangely repetitive: Meet awful person; hero enters against high odds fights to her side; after much screaming and swooning Jupiter is rescued.

 

I like this sort of thing played straight, which it is here. There are a lot of standard tropes in this film which add up to some interesting detail, but this is against a startlingly boring front story; and yet .....with a little bit more effort this could have been bloody good. Not deep or meaningful, but a Star Wars for the 21st Century.

 

Glad I saw this on the big screen, but not a film I could recommend to anyone.

 

M

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