What I Watched, What You Watched: Installment #116

Jurassic Park Trilogy Blu-rayI actually ended up watching quite a few films this week, but I'm going to save any lengthy comments on them for later as I plan on reviewing each.

First was Universal's Jurassic Park Blu-ray trilogy which reminded me how much I believe the first film is "decent" and the two sequels just aren't that good. For some reason I was under the impression Lost World and Jurassic Park III were better than they ended up being, or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but they were both a little painful to watch at moments.

I watched the Blu-ray for Captain America and I'm going to stand by my C- review, this film is just too corny and, in the end, inconsequential. Is it just me or all of these The Avengers franchise films simply disposable? Don't get me wrong, they can be fun, but do they really add up to all that much?

Studios are also beginning to send out award season screeners and as much as it may be unexpected, one I received was Attack the Block, which I tossed in the player and had in the background while I was doing my little re-redesign of the homepage after taking your comments into consideration (I hope you like it by the way). I didn't watch nearly enough to said I "watched the whole thing" but that is still one of the better films of the year.

Now, for the one film I don't have to review later down the line that I watched this week...

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

I don't love this film, but it's a solid procedural and Matthew McConaughey is so perfect for this kind of role I can't help but enjoy it and continue to hope they explore the character more in a sequel, though I would like to see him tone down the douche-baggery.

Oh, and I watched Criterion's Blu-ray presentation of Dazed and Confused which hits shelves this coming Tuesday. I haven't had a chance to explore the features yet, but I can't tell you how happy I am I held off on buying the DVD version five years ago hoping they would issue a high-definition version. They have, and this film is still one of my all-time favorites. I can't tell you how many times I watched this movie while I was in college. I just love it.

But enough from me... your turn... Have at it in the comments below!

  • Noe

    "Drive" accomplished something that other movies failed to do: creating atmosphere from stunning cinematography, thus creating a character of its own within the context of the story. Ryan Gosling is not only immensely attractive but he's also packed with talent, and it's displayed in this film. Throughout the movie, he doesn't have much to say, but his eyes and facial expressions do all the talking; expressing emotion through one single look. There is one particular scene in the movie were it involves our "driver" and two other key characters in an elevator- such a flawless scene, absolute perfection. From beginning to end, I was on the edge of my seat, almost breathless. The best movie of the year, so far, and one of the best I've seen in years.

  • Winchester

    Before I get into my viewing this week (because there isn't much to list) I have to agree that The Avengers pre-films are becoming more and more disposable.

    They started off OK with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, but since Iron Man 2 they've just really started to slip. So much so that I can't help but wonder how disposable The Avengers itself will be if this is the quality of the preamble and how much worse the respective sequels for all these films might be once they don't even have to work as proxy trailers towards it anymore. Or maybe once free of having to act as precursors, they will be unburdened and can do their own thing.

    Time will tell.

    Anyways this week not a great deal to be enthused about - no cinema trips this week. There should be some this coming week.

    At home -

    Legal Eagles (1986): DVD rewatch - A muddled and overlong caper that isn't bad so much as it doesn't leave you with much to go on afterwards. Debra Winger and Robert Redford work pretty well together with the material, but Daryl Hannah is a bit wooden. Not a lot else can be said about this one.

    The Last Supper (1995): DVD, first watch - I have never seen this at all. I'm a bit mixed on it. The conciet is fine, but the execution (pardon the pun) is only so-so. I think that barring the first and last dinner guest there isn't enough conversation about the respective issues and there isn't enough of the toll the dinners take on the main cast. There's a bit, but not a whole lot. There are some intersting remarks along the way, and I think this is a film you could remake or re-release today with not a word of a change and you'd see the world is still the same re the respective sides of all the arguments in the film. Quite name-filled though cast-wise.

    Team America: World Police (2004): TV, rewatch - The first hour of this one is some of the most hilarious stretches in a film and it only loses steam once the 'plot' has to kick in and head towards some sort of resolution. The good thing is that it tends to attack everyone while trying to make it's point and I don't feel it's one-sided in it's views on what was going on at the time in which the film was made. But it does get a bit boring during the finale. I like to watch it every once in a while.

    The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009): Blu-ray, first watch - This one definitely came across as a TV production. I soon realised it was done by a different director to Dragon Tattoo however so I wonder if that's why. It's a real downstep from Tattoo. The plot (even in edited form as this was not the extended version I rented) was cumbersome and dull and felt derivative of a dozen other films. It also had the unfortunate effect of tipping into being too far-fetched with the identities of the villains and I just wasn't buying any of it by the time the leaden conclusion limped around. Even the revelation of what Lisbeth did that was hinted at in Tattoo wasn't hard to figure out from Tattoo anyway, so it's reveal here wasn't.................well...............a revelation. It was more confirmation. IF the US version of Tattoo is a hit and IF Sony wants to do a full US version of the trilogy then this one needs considerably more adaption work than Dragon Tattoo needed. To the point they might even be better developing a whole new story in fact, because I can't see how this as it was could be adapted into a better film with the same plot. It's just too dull to start with.

    That was all.

    In TV-land I'm two thirds of the way through Season 3 of Fringe which has been very good this season, so I will likely get that completed this week.

  • Criterion10

    Savage Messiah -- I really liked this movie. The two lead actors were both excellent and it was fun to see Helen Mirren in one of her first roles. The film mixed comedy and drama very well and is definitely one of Russell's best films. A-

    Crimes of Passion -- This film was all over the place. Kathleen Turner was very good it in and I even liked the over-the-top role that Perkins played. The lead actor, some unknown, was horrible, however. The film started off okay, but by the end I felt it started to fall apart. Some scenes were absolutely ridiculous and I'm still not sure if Russell wanted the film to be a comedy, drama, or film-noir. There were some good moments, however, particularly during the beginning of the film. C-

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

    Oh man, I forgot to mention. I also caught about 15 minutes of a movie called Youngblood starring Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze and I just happened to catch this scene, which I found hilarious. I should mention there is some NSFW language though:

    The sword fight of sorts with hockey sticks and Ed Lauter as the coach throwing air punches in the box had me rolling.

  • Rashad

    Disagree across the board. The first JP is still fantastic, and the sequels are both very good even with some scenes cheesy scenes.

  • Forrest Gump

    Antichrist- 9/10 I'm starting to like Lars Von Trier after this and Melancholia

    The Whistleblower - 7/10 Like you said Brad, this is a mediocre film.

    Broadcast News - 8/10 Okay film

    Badlands - 8/10 Nice film with great visuals

    Monster - 10/10 (rewatch) One of favorite films with one of my favorite performances by Charlize Theron and very heartbreaking.

    Paranormal Activity 3 - 6/10 Maybe I'm being to harsh on this one, but at the theater I was in people couldn't stop laughing so I really couldn't take it seriously at all.

    In A Better World - 9/10 Very good film

    Back to the Future - 10/10 (rewatch) Maybe the most rewatchable film of all time.

    A Serbian Film - 9/10 I don't think I can really recommend this one, but I believe this one is to become a cult classic.

    Paris, Texas - 8/10 Kind of slow, but okay film

  • The Bear jew

    Ok, first of all Jurassic Park it's not only one of the 90's masterpiece as a movie in general, but also one of the greatest films of all time, without comment on the unique special effects that changed the course of film making forever.
    Second The Lost World is the perfect sequel that can ever happened to the first film. I really can't say why this piece of art is so underrated in people's minds? It's great adventure movie with some pure genius moments like the one where the laboratory is hanging on the cliff pushed by the two T-rexes or the moment in the high grass with the velociraptors and etc. There is a lot of Spielberg style shots combine with the perfect Kaminski lightning, also very good script full with very intelligent dialogs and deep characters. Very strong actors performances - Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard, Julianne Moore and definitely this is Vince Vaughn's finest! Superb score by John Williams and at least, but not last very realistic 3-D FX's and animatronics like in the first one. Not to mention the humor and the entertaining moments like the San Diego sequence! The Lost world is a great film no matter from what angle you want to look it, so i really get pissed off when i hear something like "a little painful to watch at moments". WTF statement is that? Especially when we are talking about a perfect film here! Ok, probably here's the moment where i should tell about the only concern that i always have when i'm about to put the film in my DVD - Dr. Malcolm's character. I don't know why, but Jeff Goldblum's character and performance is so different and uncomfortable to watch compared with the comic bad-ass little geekie scientist dude in the in the first movie. The trauma he had suffered in the events that occurred in Jurassic Park are the only apologies for him in the sequel and Koepp and Steven took it, but it's still not very truthful for me. But lets not make a tragedy out of it, especially when the film is so well done in EVERY other aspect. About the third one, unfortunately i have to agree, it's bad as it gets!!! You can tell the difference between master like Spielberg and some mediocre director like Johnston, judging by the final chapter of the great trilogy. Jurassic Park is the most important film for me, because i saw it when i was 6 years old and i was mesmerized forever by the dinosaurs who are roaring from the screen in front of me. Also the storytelling, the colors, the actors and the sound! Something inside me just breaks and i become a film buff forever. And the interesting thing is that this wasn't the first film i saw neither on the big screen nor at all. I already loved watching films, but i needed something to unlock my heart and give me starting point and that thing it happened to be Jurassic Park!!! Instantly Spielberg became my first favorite director and i will always love him as an artist and entertainer.
    Bottom line - 18 years after i saw the masterpiece in the movie house i'm graduating now from Bulgarian school for film arts in major of TV and film directing. So i will always take a soft spot on my heart for Steven Spielberg and Jurassic Park, they made me wanna be then (even sub consequentially), what i still wanna be now - a film director, picture maker!

  • Travis

    Reefer Madness: The Musical-(rewatch) I still crack up each time I watch this. Alan Cumming is equal parts funny and creepy in this satire of the 1930's exploitation film, and the song and dance numbers are performed with such a serious attitude by the actors, they could rival almost any big budget musical. 8/10. Tangled-I finally got around to watching this after about 9 months of my own hype, which backfired on me. I enjoyed it, but it didn't live up to the expectations I set for it. 6.8/10

  • http://moviekid-zach.blogspot.com Film Wizard

    So I've been at the Philly Film Festival all weekend, so I saw three movies:

    The Artist: one of this years best films

    Anonymous: intriguing and cool, though a bit confusing when it jumped through time

    Jeff, who lives at home: funny and poignant, solid performance from Jason Segal

  • creighton.

    The Thing (2011) 4/10

    Paranormal Activity 3 5/10

    Trespass 5/10

    The Skin I Live In 5/10

    Star Wars: A New Hope (rewatch) 7/10

    Blood Simple. (rewatch) 7/10

    Melancholia 8/10

    Carlos 8/10

  • Liathach

    The Lives of Others A Stasi agent gets drawn into the lives of the people he is spying on. This is the best film I've seen all year and deserves all the praise and prizes it got. It has a big theme - how a totalitarian regime corrupts the personal as well as the political - it's very tense and the performances are brilliant. It's worth watching the interviews with the cast just to see how Ulrich Muhe, who plays the Stasi agent, is acting with his whole body and completely transforms himself. It remains a mystery why the director, after this triumph, went on to make The Tourist - but I suppose he's not the only European director to get lost in Hollywood.

  • mfan

    Elliptacle to the Jurassic Park discussion: I happened to rewatch An American Wherewolf in London ('83). I Don't recommend it, but one reason it did well when released was that the change-into-a-Werewolf effects were cutting edge at the time. The effects haven't held up over time, though. I could see that the director, John Landis, was good. He showed off his actors to their best advantage, and was able to make the drama interesting.

    Contrarily, I saw the first half of the terrible, terrible movie, Furry Vengeance. The director, Roger Kumble, was just awful. The establishing opening sequence started the movie off poorly, and it went downhill from there. Bad directorial choices, actors that looked bad, and horrible production value continuity. Thank God he doesn't seem to have anything in developement. I only mention it because it shows that the people calling for resignations at CBS Films might have a point. They chose a dirctor who had a good outing when making Cruel Intentions, but it seems like that movie was only good because it was a remake. All of this directors original work has been panned by critics, and giving him another chance showed poor judgment. Also, Brendon Frasier is over. He wouldn't even lose the 20 pound he looked like he needed to in order to help look a little bit more like a movie star. Maybe that's why he is trying to move behind the camera.

    On the plus side, I saw A Shine of Rainbows, starring Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Soldier, The Devil's Advocate), and she looks **** good for a woman in her 40's. She reminds me of Thalia.

  • C138

    The Thin Red Line (1964) - Not a bad movie but certainly nowhere near as good as Malick's version. Some of it came off as really cheesy and overdone, and the terrain looked a bit more like the desert you'd see in Arizona and not Guadalcanal. Still, considering the time it was made, it's alright. 3/5

    The Bride of Frankenstein - A pretty good old horror movie, although to be honest I've never seen the first Frankenstein film so I can't really compare the two. I've been told that this one is better, though. 3.5/5

    Witchfinder General - Arguably the most pleasant surprise of the week, I got to catch this on the big screen. I really liked it a lot, and Vincent Price was terrific in a rare non-hammy evil role. It's a movie I can see myself revisiting every year during October/November. 4/5

    Schizopolis - A movie that starts off decently and then loses steam as it goes along. There are some pretty hilarious parts, but overall the joke started to get tired around the hour mark. 3/5

    The Magician - The biggest disappointment of the week for me. I like the other movies I've seen by Ingmar Bergman but I couldn't really get into this movie at all. I just wasn't into the story and didn't particularly find any of the characters all that interesting. Oh well. 2.5/5

    The Hospital - A good movie with a great performance by George C. Scott, easily one of the best of his career. His balance of anger, sadness and hilarity is balanced to perfection, even though the movie itself takes a 'what the fuck' turn in the last 30 minutes. 3.5/5

    Kwaidan - Four atmospheric and moody tales based on ancient Japanese ghost stories. An interesting film that is a little long, but still kept my attention throughout. Makes for a good horror movie to watch around Halloween. 3.5/5

    Philadelphia - I finally got around to watching the DVD of this I've had for a couple of years. Another example of a good movie elevated by the two great performances of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Aside from the film having some flaws and not all the characters are quite as well developed, it's a sad and moving story. 4/5


    The Thin Red Line (1998) - I just ended up popping this one in after seeing the original 1964 version. Not much else to say that I haven't already, but I love this movie. 5/5

  • MajorFilmFan

    127 Hours- I was leery to watch this movie, mainly because of the amputation scene. But, now that I have, all I can sa is "Holy Shit!!!!!". I dug the surreal, alternative vibe of the soundtrack, and the visuals are some of the strangest I've ever seen, and that's a good thing. In the world of remakes, reboots and sequels, it's nice to see something THIS fresh and original. James Franco is REMARKABLE here, which is good, because this basically a one man show. In my eyes, this is a film that EVERYONE needs to see at least once in their life. 10/10

    The Three Musketeers- Yes, this is cliche, campy, utterly predictable, at times laughably bad, but somehow, this is an utterly impressive and thuroighly entertaining film. Mila Jovavich is sexy as hell, but, at times, she came across as being more like Rachel McAdams in "Sherlock Holmes" (which is a movie I loved). I loved Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richileau, and I think Juno Temple has a real future ahead of her. Luke Evans SERIOUSLY needs to find some GOOD material. Yeesh. Am I the ONLY person who finds this guy seriously obnoxious? But, Logan Lerman is surprisingly good here, especially coming off that massive dissapointment "The Lightning Thief". The action scenes here are surprisingly slick and pretty kickass. But the REAL star here is the 3D. This is simply pure, mindless fun, and if you can accept that, you'll probably have a damn good time with this movie. 9.5/10

  • Travis

    A bad week, as I re-watched two films, they were both much worse than I remembered.

    Be Kind Rewind (Re-Watch) - Great cast, promising start, Gondry, but the film has no idea what it wants to be, is a complete mess because of the screenplay, direction (both Gondry). D+

    Balls of Fury (Re-Watch) - I did not remember this being so awful. Dan Fogler, George Lopez should have been a big enough red flag to avoid it, but stupidly I watched it anyway. James Hong, Walken, Maggie Q were good enough that I was able to finish the film, but the screenplay (I enjoy Thomas Lennon the actor, but he really needs to stop writing), the two already mentioned leads are awful. F

  • ckybltz

    Checked out Red State and Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.

    Thought Red State was simply ok...it had some impressive atmosphere, and the acting overall was good, and it was actually pretty downright creep. It just didnt amount to much at all. The actions of the characters made no sense(though, I suppose, maybe that was part of the point...regardless, it was annoying).

    Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, on the other hand, was awesome. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I laughed a lot, and even got a few "OH MAN!" moments out of the horror and gore. Hopefully the sequel pans out, because I'd love to see these characters again.

  • tombeet

    Quite a good week for me, as I watched:

    Tokyo Story (1953) {1st watch} 5/5
    A masterpiece. It's quiet, beautiful and extremely thoughtful.

    Children of Men (2006) {re-watch} 4/4.5
    It holds up really well, even in second time I watched it. I think the reason the story works, aside from technically brilliant, is the film hints many other issues (political, illegal immigrant) which primary not the main issue of the film, but helps to set us into a possible "bleak future". It's a work of art.

    Waltz with Bashir (2008) {re-watch} 4/4.5
    This film is a rare film. On a surface it's an animation, war, auto-biography, documentary film, it also has musical sequence and surreal elements, yet it works effectively. This time I watched it, I found the music really breathe a new life to the movie.

    Interstella 5555 (2003) {1st watch} 3.5/3.5
    Quite a tour de force. Gorgeous music and interesting anime.
    Enjoyed it all the way through.

    The Lion King 3D (1994) {re-watch} 4/4
    Watched this film in cinema last week. It's still enjoyable and fills with catchy musics, but I still found the storyline is weak.

    Ran (1985) {1st watch} 5/5
    Beautiful epic. I begin to think that this is one of the best Akira had made.

    Monster House (2006) {re-watch} 3.5/3.5
    Funny and enjoyable.

    Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) {1st watch} 3/3
    I really enjoyed the climax of this film (where all the men crazily fight towards each other), but absolutely hated the graduation speech (such a cliche. Yes, your heartfelt speech, although not really what you wanna say in the first place, can SOLVE ANY PROBLEM). Maybe I missed something before, but Hanna turns out to be their daughter came from nowhere to me, I think they need to back it up beforehand. But the acting are great overall, especially the chemistry between Carell and Moore, and Marisa Tomei's performance (BRAVO to her! She can still shine just such a small role like this one).

    The Tree of Life (2011) {re-watch} 5/5
    A new masterpiece. I found it even better than the first time I watched it. And I do think the storyline and how it structure are well place, not randomly put like many criticize (in fact I can make the outline structure out of it and it make sense to me); but by saying that I still don't know the purpose of the last part. The best movie of this year for me.

    Synecdoche, New York (2008) {1st watch} 4/4.5
    Wow, this is a weird movie. Kaufman can truly does every beyond our imagination. The story rarely makes any sense, but it's deep and sensational. Ii requires more than 1 viewing, so I will see how I feel about it second time around.

  • http://them0vieblog.com Darren

    Caught Tintin last night. There's barely a story and barely any characters, but there are some wonderful setpieces, a fantastic director's eye and a sense of fun that Spielberg hasn't really replicated since Jurassic Park. It's Indiana Jones, for kids, with all that goes with that.

  • http://www.dpstreaming.fr walid mouzouri

    Thanks for such a knowledgeable post. Film streaming - musique - Film en streaming - musique rai