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Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Grab your giant bucket of popcorn, your bag of jujubees and Raisinettes and join me in the upper balcony for a discussion of the world's best (and worst) flicks.

For starters -- someone tell me if Milk is worth seeing.

2/28/2009 #1
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Very worth seeing. As I said in my own forum, already, it is an amazing movie, and a lovely one; Milk, played by Sean Penn, comes over as a charismatic nice guy (a little nicer than he is described in the Wikipedia article, but wekll, that's artistic freedom, for you), who starts his political career out of his private situation; and I especially loved the way private issues and political movement, counter-culture and the threats of the establishment against that culture mix in this movie. It is easy to forget today tat the level of personal freedom and civil rights we have reached in our society is by no means self-evident, but has been won by hard and dangerous fights with many victims on the way-side. This movie brings that to mind, again; and on top of that, it is fun to watch.

Totally recommended. :)

2/28/2009 #2
hixto

I agree with Aislynn. Sean Penn gives a great performance of a complicated individual. I saw a review saying how good the use of archival footage is in this film and it's very interesting to see how it captures the time and place and blends so well with the movie footage.

2/28/2009 #3
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I guess I'll have to make a point of seeing it. Of course, I'm old enough to remember when Harvey Milk and the San Francisco mayor were shot -- and the subsequent infamous 'twinkie defense'.

3/1/2009 #4
hixto

Well, Watchmen was a bit of a disappointment. It was faithful to the graphic novel, and the actors were good, but it had no oomph, no "ah ha" moment. Maybe it's because I knew what was coming. *shrug* The director is the same guy who did 300. I think I prefer 300.

3/7/2009 #5
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Well, Watchmen was a bit of a disappointment. It was faithful to the graphic novel, and the actors were good, but it had no oomph, no "ah ha" moment.

Oh, I don't know, I liked it.

I saw it Saturday night, and dubbed in German, but it was still remarkable. The story line is very dark, and has some cynical and fatalistic implications, but this version of how the world would have turned out if "Superheroes" had partaken in the politics of the USA during the Vietnam war is chilling. And I loved the idea of seeing superheroes portrayed as ordinary people (aside from their abilities), with weaknesses and failures, like love and loss, insecurities, and even impotence, was indeed a fresh approach.

I thought the movie was very recommendable! Then again, I did not know the graphic novel when I saw it.

As for 300 - bleurgh. I loved the graphic novel, but hated the movie! :( Specifically because of all this wife-back-home-interaction-with-the-traitor action, and also because of the voice over elements, that brought in a lot of plus ideology that was not there in the graphic novel in tzhe first place. :(

And I saw the trailer of Wolverine - Origins when I was in the theater for Watchmen.

*melts* Want. To. See. Now!!!! Too bad it won't come out until may, down here. :(

3/9/2009 #6
Clodia

Been to see Wolverine this evening. Want a review? :)

5/6/2009 #7
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

But of course! :)

5/6/2009 #8
hixto

I expected to see Rowena here reviewing Wolverine. Where is she? lol

I saw it last weekend and I liked it. I've liked all the X-Men movies. Hugh Jackman rocks those sideburns. I was also pleasantly surprised by Liev Schriber who I expected to suck but did a passable job here.

5/6/2009 #9
Silver-hair Angel

I want to see the latest X-Men. Last movie I saw in theatres was A Haunting In Connecticut.

5/6/2009 #10
Clodia

Well now, let me see. Apart from the "plot", which was practically nonexistent, it was immensely entertaining!

Points gained for: a very stylish opening (pity it didn't last about three times as long), explosions (plentiful), action (likewise), special magicky magicky (Gambit, sadly underused), a mildly unexpected double-crossing (this being the one I didn't see coming twenty minutes in advance, though if I'd ever read the comics, it should probably have been visible from several miles off), thoroughly unexpected civilian deaths (shows moral fibre on the part of the scriptwriters), Logan's brother Victor (especially the bit when he saw Logan's new adamantium claws (star-metal! very magicky!) and said "Oh, shiny"). Oh, and large amounts of Hugh Jackman with not a great deal on, if that's your thing. They know what their target audience is and they targeted it.

Points lost for: the incredible incoherence of the "plot". (Plot! ahahahaha!) Taken individually, all the segments were nice and shiny and full of explosions; the logical connectors were... missing. I particularly appreciated a truly magicky cut scene towards the beginning that took Logan directly from someone else shouting the phrase "You can't just walk away!" to six years later in Canada (which I kept expecting to be full of ancient ruins, thanks to too much Stargate SG1). And this is not to mention the bit right at the start when Logan and his brother as boys ran away from home in their nightclothes with men and dogs chasing them and without food, or money, or shoes....

Anyway, having realised at that point that dislocating my brain was the way forwards, I enjoyed it tremendously. There are some other features I'd love to single out for pointing-and-laughing, but they might give away "plot" (ahahaha) points so I won't.

In short, great fun: incredibly silly. Explosions!

NB1. Also, do NOT look at THIS: if you don't want to see spoilers. But if you don't care or you're not going or you've already been, or whatever, it's a concise and entertaining summary of the "plot".

NB2. Also also, do NOT go to Wikipedia in search of explanations, because you will only end up trapped in an endless labyrinth of links for HOURS.

5/7/2009 . Edited 5/7/2009 #11
Rowena DeVandal

I was also pleasantly surprised by Liev Schriber who I expected to suck but did a passable job here.

Passable job? Passable job??? Dude, that was the Sabretooth we always should have had! Schreiber made Tyler Mane look like a tree sloth on valium!

Yes, I've seen the Wolverine movie. Twice. And I'm gonna go again Sunday as my Mother's Day prezzie. :)

First off, if you are a hardcore Marvel/X-Men canon nazi, avoid this movie at all costs! If you are able to enjoy a movie based on its own merits, you'll be all right.

They do play fast and loose with canon here, especially by making Victor Creed and Logan brothers. Ok, so the original Origin comic for Wolverine left that a very large grey area, as we are never 100% certain who his father is anyway, and we also don't know if the person everyone assumes turns out to be Sabretooth really is or not. They also gloss over the entire Weapon X story arc, condensing what was essentially months of comic-time into about seven minutes of screen time. Very disappointed in that.

But I digress.

Other canon that they did a number on is Deadpool. He's probably my 3rd favorite Marvel character of all time, so I was a touch disappointed with the way they handled him. However, Ryan Reynolds was PERFECT for the role and I seriously hope he gets his own Deadpool spinoff because of this.

Now, on to the meat of the movie, and I don't just mean Hugh Jackman naked. ;)

The story starts with a very young Logan (called "James Logan" here instead of his actual name, James Howlett) back in the mid-19th century. A very traumatic event occurs and his mutation manifests for the first time. He does indeed run off into the night wearing only his pajamas and a robe (though they probably called it a "dressing gown" in those days) with his brother Victor. Next is a very interesting and well-done vignette of different war scenes: the U.S. Civil War, WW I and II, finally ending in Vietnam. Well, we all know that the most Wolvelicious one is not very good with authority and his brother isn't much better, so they land themselves in a bit of trouble. This lands them in front of a firing squad, which as we all know, they survive. It is after this that William Stryker (a Major at that point) recruits them for a "special team". Now we get to bring in the rest of guys, namely Deadpool (pre-fucked up face), Frank Dukes aka Blob (pre-weight gain), John Wraith aka Kestrel (played remarkably well by Will.I.Am, though very underused), Agent Zero and Bolt. It is this first scene with all of them where we get to see just how much Logan hates to fly. :)

At any rate, wackiness ensues and Logan decides that Stryker can pretty much shove his "special team" where the sun don't shine. The story fast forwards to six years later, where Logan is living peacefully in a cabin on top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies with the very lovely Silver Fox. But, as we all know, peace never lasts long for Logan and Stryker shows up again. More wackiness ensues, complete with a very good fight scene between Logan and Creed, which eventually lands Logan in the now-infamous adamantium bonding tank. Immediately following that is MY favorite part of the movie, also known as "Ten Minute of Naked Wolverine". Ah, it just don't get any better than that! And kudos to Hugh Jackman for not using a body double. In fact, thank all the gods above that he didn't use a body double! ;)

After a few more altercations and some very cool, very large explosions, Logan hooks back up with Kestrel, who now owns a gym and is trying to get Dukes (now very much in his Blob form) back into shape. It is at this time that we learn what Stryker was really using his "special team" for, and boy is Logan pissed! We also get an introduction to a young Cyclops during this bit, but I ain't telling you where or how! :) So Logan gets the info he wants out of Blob after a very funny fight scene, then takes off down south to Cajun Country to find the one person that can take him where he needs to go.

Gambit (played by Taylor Kitsch and yes, very underused) is initially not down with Logan's offer, but eventually comes around. The rest, I'm not gonna tell you because if you haven't seen it, it's one of the best parts of the movie, with some of the best fight scenes, and a surprise cameo at the end!

I liked this movie immensely, enough that I'll see it again! It's not as good as X:2, which I think had the best plot of them all, but it's a great deal of fun. As long as you're not expecting it to follow canon to the letter, you'll probably like it too. :)

5/7/2009 #12
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Yes, I've seen the Wolverine movie. Twice. And I'm gonna go again Sunday as my Mother's Day prezzie. :)

I have seen it today, and whoa! - did I ever adore it! I will probably not go see it again until it is out on DVD, as I am not as much of a hardcore X-men fan, but whenever that DVD is out, I *will* buy it. And watch the movie several times over. I loved it to pieces! And i am going to get the movie score, too. :)

First off, if you are a hardcore Marvel/X-Men canon nazi, avoid this movie at all costs! If you are able to enjoy a movie based on its own merits, you'll be all right.

They do play fast and loose with canon here, especially by making Victor Creed and Logan brothers. Ok, so the original Origin comic for Wolverine left that a very large grey area, as we are never 100% certain who his father is anyway, and we also don't know if the person everyone assumes turns out to be Sabretooth really is or not. They also gloss over the entire Weapon X story arc, condensing what was essentially months of comic-time into about seven minutes of screen time. Very disappointed in that.

Hang canon!* I love the idea of Logan and Victor/ Sabretooth being brothers and bound in a love/hate relationship of rivalry and still of caring to each other. It makes that part of the story so much deeper and spoke to me. It also made sense to me.

As for the weapon X story arc - well, as I know very little of the comics to begin with, I enjoyed those seven minutes very much. :)

*well, and to placate Ro, who may feel about X-men canon as I feel about LOTR, I am one of those people who always found that the movieverse Moria fighting scenes and the Elves marching to Helm's Deep in the second movie of LOTR were even better that the solution in the book, although they had absolutely northing to do with bookverse canon. :)

I was also pleasantly surprised by Liev Schriber who I expected to suck but did a passable job here.

Passable job? Passable job??? Dude, that was the Sabretooth we always should have had! Schreiber made Tyler Mane look like a tree sloth on valium!

Sabretooth was powerful in this movie. He was also believable in his motivations. Sabretooth in the first X-men movie was a case for a yawn. At least to me.

I liked this movie immensely, enough that I'll see it again! It's not as good as X:2, which I think had the best plot of them all, but it's a great deal of fun. As long as you're not expecting it to follow canon to the letter, you'll probably like it too. :)

Well, I am a Wolverine fan, so I enjoyed it even more than X-men 2. But I hope we will see more of this story, and especially I could use a few more movie scenes with Gambit. Looks like an interesting mutant to me. :)

5/9/2009 . Edited 5/9/2009 #13
hixto

Passable job? Passable job??? Dude, that was the Sabretooth we always should have had! Schreiber made Tyler Mane look like a tree sloth on valium!

ROFL! You're right about the other guy. He was not a great Sabretooth. And am I wrong or didn't they kill him in the first movie? They couldn't have killed him with anything they did to him in the first movie if the stuff in this one won't kill him. So I wonder where he went.

But Liev Schriber, while he's a very good actor, just doesn't have the "chops", no pun intended, to pull off those comic book dialogue lines. ("You never call, you never write") He didn't seem to grasp the sense of irony one has to have to deliver lines like that. Now the FX of him running and leaping and kicking ass were great. (taking out the Nazi bunker was a particular favorite) And he and Hugh Jackman did have chemistry together.

They do play fast and loose with canon here, especially by making Victor Creed and Logan brothers.

I wasn't sure I was going to like that at first but it worked out great for the plot here.

Gambit is not a favorite of mine. The guy who played him was all right but nothing to write home about. IMO Agent Zero and Deadpool, before he was Deadpool, had the coolest action scenes, aside from Wolverine himself.

I know jack about X-Men canon since I quit reading it before it got all these characters and convoluted plots, so the movies are great by me. I missed Ian McKellan in this outing but I guess Magneto can't be in all of them. *sigh*

I also agree that the second movie is still the best. If only they'd have continued in that vein.

5/9/2009 #14
Clodia

*confession*

I loved Victor. I thought he was one of the best things about that film. It may have been the case that I was quietly cheering him on in his villainy, especially when Really!Shiny!Explosions! looked likely to result.

(As a film-goer, I am incredibly easy to please.)

5/10/2009 #15
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Crossposted from my own forum, because I am too lazy to compose a new post, here: ;)

So, finally I went to see Star Trek, yesterday, to cheer me up a bit if possible. Awesome movie, and a good restart of the franchise. I do believe I will buy it on DVD once it is out, and watch it many times over. I hope they make a new series of it (it was that good).

However, if anybody had written a fanfic with that plot, they would have been crucified by the Trekkies for being unrealistic and stretching probability beyond belief.

So, without giving away too much of the plot, the story introduces an alternated timeline, an d this time there is probably no going back into the future and making it all right again, which is good, in my book. I hate stories that are ending on a complete time circle, making everything in between as if it never happened (well, there are a few good ones that work, but most of the time, stories like that are rather unsatisfying to me.

However, that alternated timeline also means aall bets are off, and the franchise can truly start again. We see the entire crew of the later Enterprise, on their first errand as Kadets, saving the world as usual; probably the most concentrated assembly of specialists and huigh-potential youth in the whole Federation, dumped together on one ship, and doing their thing. Everybody gets to be a crucial part of the outcome - even young Pavel Checkow gets to be inexpendable for the final success. And young kirk and Spock are just breathtaking together, though this time, the makers of the movie have taken care to make very sure that nobody will think Spock or Kirk are gay or involved with each other. At all. So, we have a true Alternative Reality plot, and tzhe chance to see thin gs unfold similar but different.

The thing that hooked me from the start is that there are many references to canon (book-canon and movie-canon, here) that have been inserted into the plot in some sly manner; so, the outcome of the famous/infamous Kobayashi Maru test of Kirk has other consequences than it had in the first timeline, and we meet Scotty in a similar way.

The thing I thought odd and had trouble to accept was that in this alternate reality, the technique of Star Fleet was far more advanced than it had been in the original series. But well, that was to be expected.

All in all, it is a well-working restart for the franchise, and I hope to see more of this renewed version of Star Trek. It is indeed IMHO the best thing they could have done to revive the whole thing. --

5/11/2009 #16
Aislynn Crowdaughter

On the other hand, and with a day more of reflection, that idea of "forget anything you ever knew about canon" always leaves an odd taste in my mouth. An AU is okay if it has the 'real' (canonical) reality to feed off and play off to, as in the Original Series "Mirror Universe", as well as in the idea of alternative timelines and universes still responding to each other; normally, every AU gets its momentum precisely because we *know* the "original" reality, and so are eager to find out which of our expectations are met, and which things will be different, and why.

But resetting the whole canon so that the Star Trek Universe we know and have come to love never happened, because the future that is to come yet will unfold differently, now?

With a day more of reflection, I am not sure if I feel completely comfortable with that, anymore.

5/11/2009 . Edited 5/11/2009 #17
White Eyebrow

Yes I think Star Trek will divide the fandom. The purists will unboubtedly hate it. I consider myself a purist, but I actually liked it. There were things that pissed me off to be sure, but from a business standpoint, I understand why they did certain things. I'll reserve final judgement until I see the sequel (which will be a true test.)

On the casting:

Kirk - good pick. I like that he got his ass kicked throughout the film. I also liked the fact that they carried over his bestiality fetish - yes Kirk that green chick is hot, but she's not human ergo bestiality. (Who am I kidding, I'd tap it too. :p)

Spock - is it me or does he talk with a lisp? It seems that they're going in a different direction with this incarnation by exploring his human side. It was a nice nod to the original series in that they explained why he turned down a position at the Vulcan science academy; it was cool to see their explanation for that.

Uhura - hell yes.

Sulu - OMG, it's Harold. Gonna take me a while to get used to him.

McCoy - I was waiting for the trademark, "dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a..."

6/23/2009 . Edited 6/23/2009 #18
hixto

I don't know about the purists hating it. Everyone I've talked to, all three of them lol, liked it plenty. Even with all the plot holes and errors it delivered on one thing remarkably well, and that was the characterizations. Everyone got to do a little something we all know them for. Kirk got to be heroic, Spock got to let down his emotional guard, McCoy got to be irascible, etc. I just thought it was a super fun popcorn movie and it does make me want to see where Abrams takes the franchise.

Kirk - good pick. I like that he got his ass kicked throughout the film. I also liked the fact that they carried over his bestiality fetish - yes Kirk that green chick is hot, but she's not human ergo bestiality. (Who am I kidding, I'd tap it too. :p)

I agree, he struck just the right balance of arrogance and charm. The green chick made me howl with laughter, I wasn't expecting that. Seeing her in the red uniform made me wonder if they have drama classes at the academy and if maybe she snagged that coveted role in Wicked.

Spock - is it me or does he talk with a lisp? It seems that they're going in a different direction with this incarnation by exploring his human side. It was a nice nod to the original series in that they explained why he turned down a position at the Vulcan science academy; it was cool to see their explanation for that.

Yeah, there's something about his voice. It's not deep like Leonard Nimoy's and took some getting used to. I like his "emotions simmering beneath the surface" schitick, and he and Kirk played off each other well.

Uhura - hell yes.

LOL

Sulu - OMG, it's Harold. Gonna take me a while to get used to him.

I could have sworn I saw Kal Penn in the background of one of the scenes. I liked his collapsible, futuristic samauri sword.

McCoy - I was waiting for the trademark, "dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a..."

To Karl Urban I say Hell yes! He really nailed McCoy. I didn't much like McCoy in the old series but I think I'm going to really like him now. He did do the trademark line but it only left me wanting more.

That kid who plays Chekov is cute as a button, and I liked that he got to do something besides die or get brainwashed.

I was not even going to see this movie. It had been hyped so much I wasn't interested, but a friend talked me into it and it was a lot of fun.

This same friend was ruminating on how they have never done a Star Trek plot in any of the movies, all the movies are about battles and not exploring. I hadn't thought about it but he's right. I'd like to see them change that in future sequels.

6/23/2009 #19
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

That kid who plays Chekov is cute as a button, and I liked that he got to do something besides die or get brainwashed.

But did he scream? ;)

6/23/2009 #20
hixto

No, he didn't even have to (get to?) scream. Not in this one. lol

I'm sure that will be a feature in the coming films.

6/23/2009 #21
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I just spent the last two hours watching Borat.

O_o

I really hope Kazhakstan has a good sense of humor.

6/26/2009 #22
hixto

I really hope Kazhakstan has a good sense of humor.

In fact they did not. They vigorously protested the movie and I think it may have been banned there.

I thought it was pretty funny though. :-)

6/26/2009 #23
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

It seems like many people don't have a good sense of humor. I spent about half an hour googling last night and reading about all the lawsuits filed, despite the ironclad and extensive releases everyone had to sign. It seems that with a very few exceptions, no one was in on the joke. The funniest of which was the frat boys, suing because they had signed their releases while drunk. No shit, Sherlock! LOL

I thought it was pretty funny though. :-)

I was laughing like crazy in a couple of places, the nude wrestling and chase scene in particular. I loved the reactions of the people in the elevator, and the guy who played his producer (a real actor) gets points for the courage to do an extended nude scene. He's even got that fellow who did the naked chase scene in Sidewise beat.

6/27/2009 #24
hixto

It seems like many people don't have a good sense of humor. I spent about half an hour googling last night and reading about all the lawsuits filed, despite the ironclad and extensive releases everyone had to sign. It seems that with a very few exceptions, no one was in on the joke. The funniest of which was the frat boys, suing because they had signed their releases while drunk. No shit, Sherlock! LOL

He really ticked off the ambassador of Uzbekistan while filming a bit at the White House gates too. It's funny that the people who made some of the comments in that movie then brought more negative attention to themselves with lawsuits. They must have really worked hard on the releases, no one won their suits.

I was laughing like crazy in a couple of places, the nude wrestling and chase scene in particular. I loved the reactions of the people in the elevator, and the guy who played his producer (a real actor) gets points for the courage to do an extended nude scene. He's even got that fellow who did the naked chase scene in Sidewise beat.

Oh, me too. When he was singing at that rodeo I thought I'd die.

I'm looking forward to Bruno. Some of the previews for that have me laughing like crazy too.

6/27/2009 #25
Aislynn Crowdaughter

This is not about a movie, but about a television series: ROME, by Milius, which is currently aired with the second season in German television. Has anybody seen it? If so, what do you think?

I admit, it has been a long time since I studied ancient history at college; maybe, "studied" is even too big a word, as it was only a part of my studies in the first few semesters, and later I specialized on modern history and middle ages. So, my knowledge of the decline, the last years and the fall of the Roman republic, and of the rise of Caesar Octavianus who was called "Augustus", later, is limited, at best. Still... the series is a tad too focussed on the juicy scandal things, for my taste. It is extremely hard to keep tabs of all the protagonists, if you do not really know what happened to them, already (for me, it has been too long since I read up on it, and so, I had some problems to keep tabs). And in addition, the background is hardly explained or shown well. I don't know, but I fear I do not like it very much.

Movies like Kubrick's "Spartacus", Sam Zimbalist's "Quo Vadis" and recently, Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" were not exactly examples of historical accuracy, either, but even so I liked them more than this kind of bloody Roman soap opera in which it is pretty hard to get any clue what's really going on. I know the series has won quite a few awards, but still - has anybody else an uneasy feeling about it?

Or maybe I am simply too used to good, old-fashioned, historical documentation series like tzhe BBC used to do them. -____-

7/12/2009 . Edited 7/12/2009 #26
hixto

I don't get HBO so I don't get to see shows like Rome first run. My brother really liked it, and I considered buying it based on his rec, but it was too expensive. I think the draw of that show was the "juicy scandal" parts. The sex, the violence, all the the things people equate with ancient Rome. I know he wasn't watching it for the history. :-)

7/12/2009 #27
Clodia

If that's the BBC series, I saw an episode once and decided that it wasn't Pompey as I think of him. Also I would have made far too much noise.

So I haven't seen it. :D

7/12/2009 #28
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Or maybe I am simply too used to good, old-fashioned, historical documentation series like tzhe BBC used to do them. -____-

You mean, like I, Claudius? ;)

7/13/2009 #29
Aislynn Crowdaughter

You mean, like I, Claudius? ;)

That was a BBC documentation? What about "Caligula", then? ;P

EDIT: I stand corrected - I see it was indeed a BBC movie! I did not know that. Still, I did like the movie, as well as the book, BTW.

Caligula, the movie version of 1979, on the other hand, was pretty bad (and mainly porn instead of history, I fear). I did not like it at all. -_____-

EDIT the second: here is a good analysis of the mini series "I, Claudius" as well as the porn flick "Caligula" in regard to the sources:

7/13/2009 . Edited 7/13/2009 #30
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