What I Watched, What You Watched #166

The Vanishing / The Brain that Wouldn't DieI've already told you about most everything I watched this week. Last weekend I told you I was going to finish watching The Brain that Wouldn't Die on Hulu, and I did. In the middle of the week I wrote about my first time watching The Vanishing. I also watched The Sugarland Express for our Movie Club discussion tomorrow afternoon on top of several films in the theater, which included Skyfall, Lincoln and Hitchcock.

All in all, I had a pretty great week of movie watching, and yes, that includes Hitchcock, which is more of a fun biopic than anything else and something I think a lot of you will enjoy.

Coming up next week I will be catching Life of Pi and am debating whether I want to give Skyfall or Silver Linings Playbook another go. I may choose neither considering the theaters they are showing at here and if I'm going to see Skyfall again I think it will be in IMAX.

Other than that, I will leave you and ask what you watched this past week as well as offer up the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode where they watched The Brain that Wouldn't Die. Yes, as if the title didn't tip you off enough, it's that kind of movie.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    At Home (first viewing):

    The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – The beginning was a little shaky but as it went on it got better and better. I’ve never cared for Henry Fonda, but I thought he was very good in this. With the economic devastation on display, the film is eerily prescient in today’s world.

    3.5 / 5

    Compliance (2012) – This film may have been based on a true story, but you’d never know it from watching the film. It feels like writer/director Craig Zobel thought audiences would just take the fact that the film was based on a true story and buy into it. Sorry, but if you want us to believe what’s happening on screen, you have be able to competently direct your actors. The performances (across the board) are unconvincing. You never believe for a second that anyone would follow the prank caller’s instructions. The imposter’s voice, played by Pat Healy, never exerts any believable authority. He mumbles, stutters and offers up lame answers to the restaurant employees questions. Becky, played by Dreama Walker, never offers up much protest to the callers increasingly absurd demands. She just goes along willingly, rarely expressing much emotion. The dialogue throughout the film feels scripted and unnatural. The actors’ delivery comes off awkward and forced. The entire production felt very amateurish and poorly executed. It was kinda funny to see Max Payne (James McCaffrey) there at the end, though.

    2 / 5

    The Girl (2012) – Not terribly good, but not terribly bad either. Jones and Miller are both decent as Hitchcock and Hedren. It’s somewhat entertaining, but ultimately forgettable.

    3 / 5

    The Sugarland Express (1974) – I'll save my comments for the movie club.

    PICK OF THE WEEK: The Grapes of Wrath

    TV Shows:

    Boardwalk Empire (Season 3)
    Luther (Season 2)
    The Walking Dead (Season 3)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      P.S. Kinda off topic, but is anyone pumped for that new GTA V trailer?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Nice reviews, AS. Regarding "Compliance", I had a similar reaction. However, is it possible that's what the director was going for, in terms of trying to portray that people are actually that naive by having them follow the instructions of someone sounding unconvincing? What if they pulled the phone conversations and that's actually how the caller did sound in real life (not sure if they did)? Should the director adapt the story to make it more convincing to the viewer? Something I guess I'm undecided on.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        I have no idea what happened in real life, but as far as the film is concerned, Zobel could have easily made the employees seem naive AND had the voice actor sound commanding. In fact, the point the film is trying to make (that people will basically go along with anything without making inquiries) would have been better made if the caller sounded more authoritative. The film would then show that people are more willing to obey authority than they are their own common sense. Since the caller doesn't sound convincing at all, that thesis is completely lost. In the end, the characters just look hopelessly moronic and dimwitted. And that's not really a commentary on anything...

  • neofiles

    Hi Brad,

    Waiting for your review of Lincoln. When are you planning to post it?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    Nice watches. I've never seen "The Vanishing" and glad to hear "Hitchcock" is good.


    Seven Psychopaths (2012) - Theatre - Maybe it's just that the humor didn't click with me, but I don't understand all the praise that this movie gets. The story was average at best and none of the performances except Woody Harrelson struck me as anything special. I found myself bored at several parts throughout and waiting for it to end. 4.5 / 10

    Copycat (1995) - DVD Netflix - A decent serial killer flick with an interesting premise. I remember I used to see the commercials for this as a kid and finally decided to give it a watch. Director Jon Amiel created some suspenseful scenes and Harry Connick Jr. did well for one of his first roles 7.0 / 10

    Wreck-It Ralph (2012) - Theatre - Had a ton of fun with this one. Nostalgia aside, the characters were built up well and likable (especially Sarah Silverman's, who I didn't care for at first). This was my first animated title of 2012, but doubt I'll see one that I wind up enjoying more. The animated short beforehand titled "Paperman" was well-done. 8.0 / 10


    Psycho (1960) - Blu-ray Home - One of my favorite horror titles of all-time. Holds up incredibly well on re-watch and always feel like I see something new. I remember when visiting Universal Studios growing up they always had a making of Psycho attraction/show that I now wish I paid more attention to. 10 / 10

    Toy Story (1995) - DVD Home - Was with my family due to the Hurricane and Mom had never seen this series. I watched each of the Toy Story movies back in August and they still were equally entertaining. The first and third in this series are easily in my top 5 animated titles of all-time. 9.5 / 10

    Toy Story 3 (2010) - DVD Home - Skipped the second installment to rewatch what is my favorite in the series. The ending gets me every time. 10 / 10

    Halloween (1978) - DVD Home - It's a tradition to watch this on October 31. While this is undoubtedly one of the great slasher movies, I feel I need to give it a rest, as it has become somewhat tiresome after watching it every year. Always love Carpenter's theme - could listen to it every day. 8.5 / 10

    Prometheus (2012) - Blu-ray Home - Had been itching to re-watch this since seeing in theatres back in June. Still trying to decide how much I like the movie itself vs. how much it makes me think about things and wonder where the franchise can go from here. 8.0 / 10

    Fight Club (1999) - Blu-ray Home - Only seen this once until now and was great to re-watch. Forgot how funny I found some of the subtle humor to be - "I *69'd you, I never pick up my phone". 8.5 / 10

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      Per Seven Psychopaths: "I found myself bored at several parts throughout and waiting for it to end." - I had the exact same reaction. While I don't think I disliked it as much as you, by the end I was just praying for it to end, since it became clear that nothing interesting was going to happen. And that tacked on ending during the credits made me want to hang myself. I was like "Jesus, when will this thing end!" But I did love that graveyard sequence; I don't think I've laughed that hard during any scene this year.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    While Sandy didn't take down my house nor my power, it did prevent me from going to school for the entire week. So, it was a BIG movie watch week for me.

    The Cabin in the Woods -- I don't really know why everyone made such a fuss over this one. Sure, it was okay and a nice homage to the genre, but ulitmately forgettable and nothing special. It did keep me entertained however for its short running time. B-

    The Devil's Backbone -- This was a very good, atmospheric ghost story from Guillermo Del Toro. It was entertaining and disturbing at parts, just like any good horror flick. I'll be buying the Criterion edition of this film when it comes out. B+

    Happiness -- This movie was excellent, a disturbing character ensemble of a group of people trying to find happiness in their dark lives. This is certainly a difficult film to watch at times, though it really knows how to be funny, disturbing, and all around entertaining. A

    The Lovers on the Bridge -- A great dark romance from Leos Carax whose latest films, Holy Motors, has become quite a hit this year. There are many great scenes in this film, all surrounding the historic Pont Neuf bridge in Paris. The film has some wonderful cinematography from the late Jean-Yves Escoffier. A-

    Sound of My Voice -- I was entertained by this film, though I personally would've wanted to see the story taken in a different direction rather than the typical narrative the film eventually followed. I think the film should've been more of a focus on the characters themselves and how the cult affects them, as opposed to the story that takes place in the third act. There isn't really much to this one, and I did not care for what I will call a pretentious ending. B-

    The Sugarland Express -- I'll save my thoughts on this one till tomorrow, but despite being a Spielberg naysayer and all, I was actually okay with this fairly decent, albeit unremarkable film. C+

    Don't Look Now (Rewatch) -- One of my all time favorite films. A truly scary endeavor that is ultimately more than just a horror film. Easily Nic Roeg's finest work. A+

    The Passion of Joan of Arc -- This was the first Carl Theodore Dreyer film that I saw, and I was very impressed by it. It is a symphony of beautiful, extreme close ups that create such a wonderful mood and atmosphere. The lead actress gives an incredible performance. A

    Mahler -- This Ken Russell film is on Criterion's Hulu Plus page and is rumored to be released by them at some point in the near future. I quite liked this film, one of Russell's best composer biopics filled with beautiful cinematography, great performances, and wonderful fantasy sequences filled with symbolic imagery. A

    Purple Noon -- This adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley was also available on Hulu Plus and is coming to Criterion this December. I really liked this film. Alain Delon was excellent in the lead role. My only complaint was the very end of the film. B+

    Cloud Atlas -- I was expecting to not like this one, but overall I did. It's amibitous and unique though certainly not perfect. Of the six stories, I loved the composer, New Seoul, and the nursing home ones, enjoyed Halle Berry exposing the oil company, and couldn't have cared less about the other two. The first hour or so, I was struggling to keep up with this film, annoyed at the different stories and how frequently they were jumping around. But, once it got moving, I was able to enjoy it. This is a film I would watch again, and so far one of the better films of this year (although that isn't saying much). B

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Glad I'm not the only one on board with thinking "Cabin In The Woods" is far from anything special. My parents watched it separately and my Mom called it the "worst movie she's seen in years", haha.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        I don't know, I rather liked Cabin. I thought it was original, clever and humorous throughout.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

          Seems to be pretty hit or miss with people. I appreciated the originality of the third act and the one character, Marty (Fran Kranz) had some good one-liners. In terms of story though, wasn't totally for me.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fan/ Fan

      I saw Cloud Atlas a while back, it is a very interesting film. I enjoyed all the story, especially Tom Hank's characters who is just scandalous, all the character he play made all the wrong choices, until he decided to help Halle Barry's character in the 70's, and in 2012 as the gangster/author he made the wrong choice instead of going over and talking to Halle Barry's character he decided to get even with a critic. Anyways, definitely Neo Seoul, the nursing home, and the composer story are the best. It's a film people should watch.

    • Jake17

      I didn't watch The Sugarland Express, but I've never cared for Spielberg either. I only like the Indiana Jones series, and the rest of his movies range from solid to mediocre, or even annoying. Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    Didn't get to much this week for some reason...

    Silver Linings Playbook: Saw this for a second time and it holds up amazingly. Easily in my top five of this year. Really love the directing. A+

    The Sugarland Express: I'll save it and just say... A-

    VHS: Easily the best horror movie this year. Really loved this one. The filmmakers made segments that actually felt like they revered sub-genres they were commenting on. Some really good stuff here. Probably something I respect more than something that is of pristine quality. B+

    Brave: Oh god help me. This movie is harmless enough while watching but gosh does it really grate after you've seen it. There is no emotional through line. No thematic relevance. Thinly conceived themes. Cardboard characters. Completely disposable filmmaking. It's really a shame because under the shittiness of Merida there is a really interesting and strong character. I had fun while watching it but it really misses the mark. D+

  • Winchester

    This week.

    At cinemas:

    Skyfall (2012): I'm getting the preliminary feel I'm likely to be a little bit less enthusiastic on this one than probably everyone else will be and I don't want to say too much as many will not have seen it yet. I'll try to avoid specific plot details or points and go with general thoughts and observations. I do think it's solid and entertaining and it does wash away the aftertaste of 'Quantum of Solace'. But I think I allowed myself to be sucked into the advertising more than I should have because the trailers promise more than the film delivers. Overall, the plot is not innovative in and of itself and many turns should be no big surprise, and I'm undecided on the obvious attempts to open up Bond and his history. The past itself and the decisions of the past is a great recurring motif and actually rather core through the film as almost everyone is in some way dealing with or reacting to the past, while the film also purposefully tries to assert Bond's future as well. But having admitted that he drew influence from Nolan it's frustrating that Mendes hasn't really innovated anything (or I should say, the writers haven't) beyond a dash of thievery. The first two thirds of the film feel a dash sloppy in places and slightly formulaic. Attempts to portray Bond's issues are relatively superficial but not unenjoyable either. It therefore takes a little bit for the plot to kick in. Berenice Marlohe does her duty effectively enough but is ultimately forgettable, and when it comes to Bardem - well, my mate put it best when we came out. He said 'I can't decide if he acted really well, or really badly'. Frankly neither can I. He's made a couple of conscious choices in playing the part and maybe it will work better for some than others. I didn't find him too memorable though. Naomie Harris has little chemistry with Craig, though Craig himself is fine. The main relationship here is between M and Bond and I felt this aspect of the film had the most work done on it. Dench and Craig however, DO have chemistry and work very well. Dench has more to do here than ever before and rises fully. The rest of the cast is OK. Ben Wishaw's Q was a little stiff and personality free though. Myself, I preferred the final third of the film primarily because of the utterly gorgeous cinematography by Roger Deakins and his use of light in the setting of this part of the film. Visually the film is beautiful throughout but this portion (and Macau) is where he excelled for me. The action is well split through the film but one or two moments are quite superflous and just there for a bit of a bigger bang. However, one well done sequence by Mendes uses glass, reflections, shadows and light to great effect. Overall, while I don't think it was as good as some reviews suggest it is the best of the Craig Bond's so far as key characters do get some work done on them and it's the best in several years. Is it one of the best ever? I'll need a bit more time to decide that. Anyway, hopefully I haven't involved any plot specific points and stayed general enough that no spoilers have been included. Reading it back, I don't think there are. If I did, perhaps Brad can edit out anything he feels is better taken out. Oscar wise, I would think Deakins should be in with a shot but almost anything else is unlikely. Dench maybe in a very slim way, but I don't see it happening.

    At Home -

    To Catch A Thief (1955): Blu ray, first watch - while I haven't seen all Hitch's films this is the first one I would call personally boring and quite uninvolving. I just never once got engaged with this one. It looked great on Blu ray though.

    The Apartment (1960): Dvd, rewatch - such a pleasure to watch this tragi-comedy. I don't watch it too often but love it when I do. Performances, script, direction and everything combine perfectly.

    Stargate (1994): TV airing, first watch - I had never actually seen this fully. It's not stellar stuff but as a fun adventure it was perfectly decent. Not a lot else to say about it really.

    The Iron Giant (1999): TV airing, rewatch - Maybe one of the most under-rated (at least in box office performance) animated movie of the last decade or so. Brad Bird has never to date made a bad film and his first animated film here has lovely animation, a strong story and just feels perfectly layered for adults and kids to be able to enjoy. A great Sunday afternoon watch.

    Gangs of New York (2002): Blu ray, rewatch - But first on Blu ray. I do really like this one but I still feel that Scorcese's passion project is a film that just had far too big a scope for even him to be able to keep a tight leash on. But, amazing production design and photography make this a joy on the eyes sometimes. I also this time went through the extras and Scorcese commentary. Which were very good.

    Red Eye (2005): Dvd, rewatch - It's a B movie but it's fun for all it's absurdity. Rachel McAdams performance keeps it afloat as she just proves so believable amidst the hokum. It's silly, but it just gets away with it.

    Green Zone (2010): TV airing, first watch - A bit of a miss this one. The politics of the film pose no issue for me, but the whole thing really isn't saying much that anyone paying attention at the time didn't really know about WMD's. Take that out and you have a messy actioner that doesn't really offer much satisfaction.

    Bad Teacher (2011): Blu ray, rewatch - Hey, I find it funny now and again. I don't think there's a whole lot to dwell on here though.

    African Cats (2011): Blu ray, first watch - Fantastic location photography and scenery make this a really nice one watch nature drama, but it's Disney so the Disneyfication of some 'story' elements is a bit.........you know. Disney. I watched it more for the photography really.

    That was all this week.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      "Take that out and you have a messy actioner that doesn't really offer much satisfaction." - Ooh, I disagree. I think if you take the politics out of it (which seems to be the main bone of contention) you have a great and satisfying action/thriller that sails above most of the competition. For me, Greengrass in one of the best action directors out there and I really love his shaky cam style. There's a heightened sense of realism to it that I really appreciate.

      • Winchester

        Oh, I don't mind his shaky cam either. I think he hugely improved the Bourne films on that front once he took over from Liman. However, I just don't think the film comes together very well as a whole piece. The action is present, but it never quite drew me into it. Mileage varies, obviously though.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Need to remember to read your Skyfall review after watching it next week.

    • m1

      I thought Green Zone was okay, but not great. It was mostly Matt Damon's performance that made it worth the watch. Bad Teacher is terrible, but like with Green Zone, it's boosted a bit by its lead performance.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fan/ Fan

      I love Gangs of New York it's my favorite film. I think Scorsese handled Gangs of New York very well actually. It has alot to say and does it very well.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/kubrickfan/ kubrickfan

    High Tension: This was actually a decent horror film. Certainly lots of high tension throughout topped off with an interesting twist that got my friends and I talking about it afterwards. B-

    Hot Shots! Part Deux: As usual, the sequel is not as good as the first, but still made me laugh out loud plenty of times. The laughs seem to decrease in the last half of the movie, but enjoyable nonetheless. B

    John Carter: I wasn't too crazy about this one. I watched the Blu-ray which looked terrific and really highlighted the grand visuals of the film, but ultimately I found it could have benefited from trimming in regards to the length while the story never really interested all that much, until the final ten minutes. C

    Top Secret!: Another hit from the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker trio. It's packed with laughs and has some great musical numbers as well. Val Kilmer does a great job on his debut film and I'm looking forward to watching it again! B+

    TV Shows:
    Battlestar Galactica (Season 4)
    Walking Dead (Season 3)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

    At Home:

    DVD Collection:

    Saw The Bourne Trilogy ONCE again, I just can't get enough of them. I LOVE these movies. Ranking them in Order: Ultimatum (10/10), Supremacy (9.5/10) & Identity (8/10).

    Halloween Franchise 1-10 (I don't have 3 & thankfully not 6, never will have either of them): Ranking them in order:

    Carpenter's Halloween
    Carpenter's Halloween II
    Zombie's 1
    Zombie's 2

    The Exorcist (5th viewing): Still, the scariest movie mentally of all-time to me. Still, a masterpiece. Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn & Jason Millar give terrifc performances. The special effects are terrific, music, editing, sound, awesome writing & brilliant makeup (I still don't understand how this category did not get nominated from the Oscars) on Linda Blair's face. One of the greatest if not the greatest scary movie of all-time. Masterpiece. 10/10.

    I will see Wreck-It Ralph later on tonight, will give my thoughts after I see it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      I watched "Halloween 6" for the first time a few weeks back and deplored it in every way imaginable. Didn't think I would dislike a Halloween movie more than Zombie's sequel, but that one takes the cake. I've seen all except Resurrection now.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

        6 just makes me sick to my stomach, saw it a long time ago and it was a disgrace to the franchise. Reason why I didn't buy it. Resurrection all day over that crap of a movie.

    • Chris138

      I thought John Carpenter only directed the first Halloween?

      All of the Halloween sequels, with the exception of 4, are pretty dreadful to me. The 4th one is alright, but nothing great. The rest that I've seen are just messy and boring.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

        Damn it you're right, he wrote it. All these years I thought Carpenter directed the 2nd one. Feel embarrassed since i'm a huge fan of the franchise.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

        I thought H20 was always underrated, second best sequel after original 2nd one.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

      Got back from Wreck-It Ralph 20 minutes ago.

      Wreck-It Ralph: One of the most enjoyable & adorable animated flicks i've seen. First off, this could have easily been a Pixar film. It had that feel to it, storytelling, characters & short before the movie "Paperman", which was one of the best animated shorts i've seen. I loved the hell out of that short. Terrfic vocal performances from the actors. John C. Reilly is excellent as Ralph. Jane Lynch is great as Sgt. Calhoun. Alan Tudyk is awesome as King Candy. Jack McBrayer is one of biggest highlights here, giving an enjoyable & hilarious vocal performance as Fix-It Felix.

      The best actor of the lot belongs to Sarah Silverman who gives one of her best if not the best performance of her movie career. I'm a fan of Silverman's (weirdly), I weirdly like hearing every single crazy thing that pops out of her mind that also comes out of her mouth. She has that "Kewpie dolly" personality and puts it all on the line with the character Venelope. Just a very adorable, very cute & lovable character voiced brilliantly by Silverman. I've always wanted the Oscars to have a animated vocal performance category, had they done that, I would immediately just give the Oscar to Sarah, period.

      Wreck-It Ralph is hands down, adorable, funny, action-packed, entertaining & well-made. I'm a video gamer (of course, PS1, PS2, PS3, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube & Gameboy), I used to play arcade but not anymore. Brings out nostalgia & all gamers will easily get pleased (like me) with this. This is a just a good, old-fashion hopefully Oscar-winning animated movie. 10/10.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

        Glad you enjoyed it. As I think about it more and more, the more I want to rewatch this. Thinking this will be a definite blu-ray purchase.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

          Yea immediately after watching the movie, I already thought to myself "I'm buying this first day it comes on DVD/Blu-Ray".

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

    *Jason Miller not Millar.

  • Torryz

    At home- Marley (doc on Bob Marley) This has to be my favorite documentary of the year. I like Marley's music but didn't know much about him. Anyone remotely interested in him or like to watch documentaries should check this out. A

  • Chris138

    Nothing but re-watches of mostly classic horror movies for me this week. This is really the only time of year I can really get in the mood to watch this genre, so I take full advantage of it when the time comes.

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - One of the few old, low budget horror films that still holds up as being just as unpleasant as the title promises. It does an incredible job of creating a sense of dread throughout the film's running time, and the scene where Leatherface is introduced by killing the victim and then slamming the door shut is still one of the most chilling moments in any movie I've ever seen. 4/5

    The Return of the Living Dead - One of my favorite zombie comedies that was one of those movies I used to watch a lot in high school. The soundtrack is great, especially when you get to hear "Partytime" by 45 Grave as the zombies rise from their graves. The whole thing just feels like you're taking a trip back to 1985, and it's just purely entertaining from start to finish. 3.5/5

    Halloween (1978) - This is still the best of the Halloween movies. By today's standards a lot of things seem cliche since this movie inspired so many imitators and spin-offs, not to mention a genuinely terrible remake by Rob Zombie. But what I think still keeps this movie effective is its simplicity and lack of blood and gore. You can tell that Carpenter was very much influenced by Alfred Hitchcock with this, especially Psycho. 4.5/5

    Zombieland - Another one of my favorite zombie comedies that has immense replay value. Woody Harrelson is by far the highlight of the film and he gives one of his funniest and most entertaining performances in recent years. Jesse Eisenberg reminds me a lot of Michael Cera here, but for this kind of role it works. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are also good, and Bill Murray's cameo is still hilarious. I know there was talk of a sequel but I get a feeling it wouldn't be as good, kind of like the Hangover sequels... which were always a bad idea to begin with. 4.5/5

    Rosemary's Baby - I picked up the Criterion edition of this film since I hadn't seen it in many years, but I remember liking it. After watching it this time I can say I absolutely loved it and think it's better than both The Omen and The Exorcist, as far as demonic possession movies from the late 60s to 1970s go. Mia Farrow is great in the lead role and John Cassavetes is equally solid. There are some genuinely creepy and unsettling moments in the film, and the most astonishing thing is the fact that Roman Polanski was able to pull it off at all. The pacing of the film definitely takes its time, but it's well worth it in the end. 5/5

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    It wasn't a great week at the movies for me. I didn't lose power from the hurricane, but I did have some flooding problems that kept me from watching movies. I almost saw Flight, but something went wrong with the projection and wouldn't play. On the bright side, they did give me a free movie pass and I was able to watch The Sugarland Express, so I guess this week wasn't a total bust.

    The Shawshank Redemption - I've seen this movie many times and it still holds up very well. I think it's a great movie with great performances. I don't have a lot to say about it, but it's still a very good movie.

  • Matt

    Due to Hurricane Sandy, I had power out until Thursday which ruined most of my film watching plans. I was supposed to go see "Wreck-it-Ralph" and "Flight" this weekend but my nieghborhood's movie theater is still closed, so I'll have to wait and try to see them next weekend, along with "Skyfall." Anyway, using a generator and portable DVD player, I did get to re-watch a lot and over the weekend saw two new films at home once the power came back on:

    Amadeus: My first time seeing this film and it's wonderful. Thanks to brilliant direction and an incredible cast, I was entertained the whole way through. This is one of those cases where you barely even feel the running time and it all flies by quickly due to how entertaining it is. The film is also quite beautiful. I look forward to getting it on Bluray eventually. A

    Magic Mike: Another pleasant surprise! I really thought I was going to detest this film, and even with the positive reviews I was a bit apprehensive, but it was a complete blast from beginning to end. Soderbergh is a really talented director, and I love the way he handled this story line. Channing Tatum also gave a surprisingly strong performance, and the soundtrack was amazing. The rest of the cast was decent, with the exception of Cody Horn. I really hated her performance in this film, she had a huge lack of emotion and it nearly ruined some of the scenes in the film. She might have potential in another role, but I just didn't buy her in this movie. Still, this is one of the best of the year and a movie I look forward to watching again. A-

    Rosemary's Baby (re-watch): One of my very favorite horror films, this is a movie that I can always turn on and get completely absorbed in. Helped make my Halloween in the dark a bit more bearable. A

    Chasing Amy (re-watch): My personal favorite Kevin Smith film. The screenplay is intelligent, fairly dramatic, insightful and hilarious. Joey Lauren Adams gives a wonderful performance, and I really like Jason Lee here too. A-

    Stranger Than Fiction (re-watch): A pleasant little movie that I really enjoy. It's flawed and wraps itself up a bit too neatly at the end, but I still think it's an entertaining movie with a great cast. B+

    The Artist (re-watch): A decent movie that I think's a bit too overpraised by many. This was my second viewing and I was pretty bored by some sequences and most of the enjoyment, I feel, didn't carry over this time. But, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo both gave great performances and some sequences in the film are well done. B

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheBioscopist/ TheBioscopist

    This week I just watched The Master 70mm, in London - for my Birthday. Cant say I saw the difference between 70mm and 35mm apart from the close-up shots. Apart from that, the film was my favourite film of the year - hands down. I'm struggling to work out how I'll review it without spoiling any of the plot points, but then again there is so much depth to the story, I don't think a full synopsis of the plot would ruin it. The performances from Hoffman and Phoenix are the best I've seen since There Will Be Blood. Looking back at a past reader's theory regarding Dodd's Homosexuality - I completely agree. Freddie definitely loves his friend/master for helping him confront his traumas, so he will be forever grateful, but he knows his masters love for him, will manifest itself into sadistic frustration and suffocate him.....so he has to leave.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Elijah/ Elijah

    Seven Psychopaths: I thought it was pretty damn entertaining throughout and there are some hilarious scenes (graveyard scene is priceless). I actually liked how the film meandered from one scene to the next, gave it a sort of existential feel. Regardless it's refreshing to see an original take on writer's block/cinematic deconstruction. 8.5/10

    Branded: Atrocious. Anyone looking for the cinematic equivalent of a trainwreck needs to step on up and view this monstrosity in all its glory. The film attempts to show how mindlessly we all follow corporations but comes off as an on-the-surface piece of trash. Actually glad I saw this film because now everything else this year seems that much better in comparison. It is gloriously bad. 1/10

    Wreck-It Ralph: This is the most fun I've had all year at the theater, I'd recommend it to anyone that wants to feel good about themselves once a film's over. Not the best critique but it really summarizes how joyful the viewing experience is. I can barely muster up any negative criticism, it's my favorite of the year so far. 9.75/10

    Killer Joe: I've seen the play years before and this was an excellent adaptation of the material. The subject matter is definitely polarizing so I can understand your view Brad, but the film zoomed by and I found myself just as engrossed as I was before. The dialogue is devilishly juicy and the characters are grotesque, it's a love it or hate it ordeal and I'm totally in the former category. 9/10

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

    Sandy messed up my whole movie watching week, especially my plan to watch my recently purchased "Trick 'r Treat" on blu ray. That movie is to halloween as "It's a Wonderful Life" is to Christmas. Not in terms of quality but there is a seasonally correct time to watch these movies and watching it in November just won't feel right so it looks like I might not even unwrap it until next october rolls around. Anyway...

    In theaters:

    Wreck-It Ralph: Some good stuff. Visually it was brilliant with a lot of creativity and sight gags. I did think the first third of the movie was a little too clever for its own good, throwing out video game references just to seem retro and cool, but once Ralph found himself in Sugar Rush, the movie really smoothed out. I was also surprised how much I liked Silverman's character as normally her voice is enough to irk me, but it sort of worked in this character's favor. My favorite animated movie in a weak year for animation. B-

    At home:

    sex, lies, and videotape (1989): Really liked it. A

    From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): The first half of this movie was Tarantino-lite. It felt almost like someone was trying to imitate Tarantino's dialogue with mixed results. I was hoping that once the vampires showed up, it would step into high gear, but that's when the movie completely fell apart. Plot holes and logic gaps galore, I really began to hate this movie. It went from lesser Tarantino (still OK) to lesser horror (trash). D

    The Blair Witch Project (1999, rewatch): WIth no power, I could only watch movies on my laptop and a found footage movie seemed like a good fit. Good enough, the endings still unsettling and it sticks to the rules of its gimmick better than most. B

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): It's well directed and the subject matter is unsettling as hell, but this was so poorly written and acted that I never not aware of the fact I was watching a movie and was therefor never really scared. I was bored at times, disgusted at others and very rarely felt any enjoyment or fulfillment. C-

    Magic Mike (2012): My favorite drama of the year so far. The cast brings it and its Soderbergh's best in years. I don't have a whole lot to add that people haven't said here in the past couple weeks, other than Channing Tatum has officially won me over as a fan. A-

    Other than that, I'll be watching Sugarland Express tonight to talk about tommorow.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Glad to see I'm not the only one who wasn't blown away by the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Have heard from several people that it's much better the second time you watch it, but struggling to motivate myself to do so.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

    I've been focusing more on my script lately but I have managed to squeeze several movies including my so far favorite of this year.

    Kick Ass- A fun, entertaining, and surprisingly powerful superhero film that ranks among some of my favorite action films o . It is a little self indulgent and a bit of a copy cat of other films, but you can't deny you had a good time by the time the credits roll. 8/10- B

    Cloud Atlas- A pure masterpiece. Ambitious, nostalgic, epic, beautiful, and just thrilling to watch. The actors all embody their roles perfectly, the direction is stylish and unique, the story is laid out neatly and the pacing is perfect, the cinematography is jaw-dropping in several scenes, the soundtrack is magical and unforgettable, and this film is seemingly re-watchable to no end. Everything was done wonderfully. The power of the film sticks with you long after the credits roll. I loved this film and so far it is my favorite film of 2012 and one of my favorite films overall. One of the best to come in years. See it now. 10/10- A

    The Tree of Life- The best film of 2011. Very powerful, beautiful, and flawed. A must see for film fans. 9.5/10- A

    Jackie Brown- Another Tarantino gem. Highly underrated, witty, and in a way, it's the least Tarantino styled film he has directed yet. But it's a fantastic film and I loved every minute of it. 9/10- A-

    Sex Lies and Videotape- A lovely little movie with great acting, stale direction, wonderful script, and subtle cinematography. Has its pacing flaws, but still nice. I would definitely rewatch it though. 8.5/10- B+

    No Country for Old Men- I've seen this like twenty times and it leaves me breathless every time. One of my favorites films ever. In my opinion, this is the Coen's best and most powerful. I love this to no end although the story has its flaws. 10/10- A

    Apocalypto- One of my favorite action movies ever. Powerful and beautifully shot and scored. the acting is very convincing. The direction is fantastic and the action is gripping. There's no other film like this out there so go out and see this highly underrated gem. 9.5/10- A

    PS- If some of you can help me, I plan on seeing a movie with my mother late this month and I'm having trouble deciding which one. I'm thinking either Skyfall, Life of Pi, or Silver Linings Playbook. Thank you!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

    Sorry for all the grammar mistakes. I was in a rush typing this.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RandallPMcMurphy/ Randall P McMurphy

    I bought Rosemary's Baby but didn't have time to see it maybe next week and I'll be watching Sugarland Express tonight.

    The Battle of Algiers - 8/10 Nice documentary feeling and i loved the way it didn't lean on any side of the battle, it was also cool to find out the music played in Inglorious Basterds came from this film.

    Leon: The Professional (rewatch) - 9/10 It didn't really hold up to repeat viewings but its still very good.

    House (1977) - 6/10 Waste of time

    Shaun of the Dead (rewatch) 10/10 One of my favorite films, I've seen it many times and I still love it. I can relate to Shaun very much in the way he cares a lot for his best friend.

    Zodiac (rewatch) - 10/10 After watching this a second time I realized now how good it is, its just a really fast film not made for the modern audience where even a moment of checking your cellphone can mean a lot because of the way pieces of information are given so fast.

    Skyfall - 6/10 I ended up really disappointed with this one, the only good things I saw in it were Javier Bardem's introduction scene and the cinematography but apart from that there wasn't very much I liked and they could've cut so many scenes out of it. I hated M and Q in this one so much that I wished they weren't even in the film.

    American Beauty (rewatch) - 10/10 Right after Skyfall I had to watch a good Sam Mendes film to remember how good he can be. After seeing it this time I realized Sam Mendes is kind of aiming to be the new Kubrick, it reminded me very much of Lolita and Jarhead is kind of a film made out of the first half of Full Metal Jacket, only both show much more emotion than Kubrick films. I love this film a lot, if a film were made about my life I guess this would be it.

    Jules et Jim 7/10

    God Bless America 8/10 This movie ripped off so many others like: Taxi Driver, Natural Born Killers, Office Space, Falling Down, American Dreamz, and American Beauty, not only in theme but in dialogue too, but I still kind of liked it anyway. Its a very dark film that left me with no feelings at the end, but thinking about modern society and worried me about the future.

    Y Tu Mama Tambien (rewatch) 10/10 I can't stop watching this film it just seems to have everything I look for in a movie.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Timothy/ Timothy

    Flight- It had a good opening, and the plane crash was just terrific. Then it just became overtly melodramatic, and you kept looking at your watch, and waiting for it to end. 6.5/10

    AT HOME:
    Let The Right One In- Easily one of my favourite horror films of all time, it gets you in a grip and doesn't let you go. It relies on atmosphere more than anything else, and it doesn't disappoint. 10/10

    The Blob- It isn't scary. It isn't funny. It was just boring, and even the presence of Steve McQueen couldn't raise it up from mediocre. 5.5/10

    The Exorcist- I've been saving this for a long time, and I was worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype. I didn't find it scary, but I did find it hugely entertaing. 9.5/10

    The Invisible Man- This was a HUGE disappointment. It was cringe-inducing, at least for me. After a while, it was just disappointing. 5.5/10

    Plan 9 From Outer Space- Very funny, in some parts. I could have watched a montage, and spared myself the utter boredom of the rest of the film. 1.5/10

    The Uninvited- I love a good haunted house film. The Haunting and The Innocents are two of my favourite films, so this was just another disappointment. Ray Milland was good, but it felt like he was in another film. 7/10

    Three Colors: Red- Many say it is the best of the trilogy, and I agree. It is not my favourite however, but it is still a great film to watch. 9.5/10

    The Big Chill- Enjoyable, and it was very entertaining, but I felt like there was something lacking afterwards. 7.5/10

    That's all, overall it was a disappointing weekend, with three standouts. I hope that next weekend brings some better movies.

    • Jake17

      I recently watched Plan 9 and found it so unintentionally funny! I'll admit it drags in parts, but I think it's a nice movie to laugh at once, and then just forget about it.

  • Jake17

    Light viewing this week. All of them are first watch.
    Psycho - I really, really enjoyed this movie. Norman Bates is one of the most fascinating characters I've seen in any movie. It should be required viewing for all movie fans. 10/10
    The Untouchables - Yet another wonderful movie, De Palma does such a great job directing here and it certainly helps that Sean Connery gives a wonderful performance, as does Kevin Costner. My only complaint is that it doesn't do a great job developing Capone as a character, and I didn't much care for De Niro's performance as the infamous mobster. Still, a wonderful movie. 9.5/10
    Zodiac - My feelings about this movie are very mixed. It's so emotionally detached, and while it sometimes helps here, it also occasionally works against the movie, making it feel like a big budget Criminal Minds movie. But it does steadily build to a great third act, and it helps that the lead actors all give great performances, especially Jake Gyllenhaal. 7.5/10
    Lost In Translation - Wow. I really don't know what to say, other than this is possibly my favorite movie of all time. Sofia Coppola directs this movie wonderfully. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen give amazing performances. The cinematography is beautiful, and Tokyo makes such an amazing setting for the movie. Very funny, touchingly poignant, and profoundly deep. 10/10
    I didn't watch much TV this week, but I hope to finish either Buffy Season 3 or Mad Men Season 1 on Netflix in the next week or so.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RandallPMcMurphy/ Randall P McMurphy

      I don't think Zodiac is emotionally detached at all, some emotions in it are Zodiac obsession with killing and Jake Gyllenhaal's character's obsession with finding the Zodiac, Jake Gyllenhaal's wife's patience towards her husband along with many others. Fincher doesn't deal with the typical emotions we see all the time, his characters have deeper thoughts than that.

      • Jake17

        I'd argue that the Zodiac's obsession IS emotionally detached, but I agree with the rest of what you said, I just found the second half of the movie much more tense and intriguing than the first half. It's a movie I'd love to watch again because I'm sure it's much better with multiple viewings.

  • http://www.theoriolereport.com Bob Phelan

    Think Like A Man - 6.5/10

    Funny when it tried to be, didn't try enough.

    Silent House - 3/10

    Great actress in a terrible movie. Interesting concept.

    Snow White and the Huntsman - 7.5/10

    Better than I expected. Looked good visually and Chris Hemsworth was solid.

    Take This Waltz - 5.5/10

    Eh. It was ok. Forgettable.

  • Lewis

    The Stunt Man (1980)..didn't see what all the hoopla was for this film back then, having copped several Oscar noms. I never really got into this offbeat picture as fully as I expected to. Peter O'Toole to a point becomes annoying as an obsessed director of a WW1 pic. Poor Steve Railsback stumbles onto the set on the run from the cops and becomes the clueless stunt man.

    Flight...interesting disaster pic that turns into a somber character study of a alcoholic and drug addict. Denzel Washington will most likely get nominated for this one.

    Cloud Atlas...I thought the scope and ambition got the better of this story. A handful of actors play various roles through different time periods, trying to relate a universal message that each of our lives are interconnected. That's what I got. It's entertaining in spurts and some of the visuals are interesting.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fan/ Fan

    Django (B+) - rewatched - Rough week for me, I won’t write a long review. I watched the original Django, the film that spawned 50 sequels. One of the inspiration for the upcoming film Django Unchained. It is a very entertaining film, running 90 mins. it’s rather quick. There are a lot of memorable scenes. Franco Nero is great as the first Django. It’s a great tale of revenge and love.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    At home:

    Battle Royale: My rating: 8/10

    I heard you guys talking about Battle Royale vs. Hunger Games in one of your recent podcast. Made me curious to watch Battle Royale and luckily Netflix had it. It was a very good movie and no wonder it was the most controversial movie.

    V for Vendetta: My rating: 8/10

    Can't believe I had never watched this movie before. We need more thrillers like these today. Great acting by Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman. It's been only 2 days but I feel like watching it again now.

    Training Day: My Rating: 7/10

    As a new Denzel movie was coming out I was in the mood to watch another Denzel movie. Picked Training day and I must say, it felt weird watching Denzel curse so much in this movie. His performance gets a 10/10 from me. Overall good movie.

    Face/Off: My rating: 7/10

    Good movie. Watched it last night and it was pretty much what I expected.

    At the movies:

    Flight: My Rating: 7/10

    This movie was not what I expected it to be. Nonetheless, it was a good one. Too much alcohol involved in the movie. And some of the drug scenes (especially towards the end) were unnecessary. I was going to give it a 6/10 but the plane crash scene was really good so pumped it up to a 7.

    This upcoming week, definitely going to watch Skyfall on saturday!

  • MajorFilmFan

    Flight- This film is flawed, most definatly. But, to me, the fact that Zemeckis could go nearly 10 years without making a live action film, and come back and make a film as unique as this, and as powerful is nothing short of remarkable. Washington is fantastic, as is Kelly Riley. I really enjoyed their chemistry, and the heart that that element of the stroyline brought to the film. Take that out, and Whitaker is a utterly unlikable character in my opinion. By adding his friendship with Nicole into it, you get a much more well rounded character. This movie is a real gut punch at times, at times heartwarming and sweet, at times (particuarly when John Goodman is onscreen) hilarious. My ONLY issue is the ending. This sin't a HAPPY movie, and it doesn't deserve a happy ending. A-

    Wreck It Ralph- My God, did I LOVE this movie. The animation is colorful, the storyline is fresh, funny, heartfelt, and original, and the voice acting, especially from Riley, who I feel, gives the best, or, if ANYTHING, most likable performance of his career. I also really liked Sarah Silverman, who FINALLY finds a outlet for her very childlike personality and mannerisms, which I happen to love. McBrayer and Lynch are very good, but Silverman and Riley are the core of the story, so their performances can make or break the movie. It's also nice to see Alan Tudyk play such a fun, over the top character. This movie ties with Pixar's 'UP' as my second favorite animate movie (The Lion King is my favorite). And the animated short 'Paperman' is also one of the best animated shorts I've ever seen .Absolutly wonderful, and a DEFIANTE Oscar winner for Best Animated Short. One of my FAVORITE Movies of 2012. A+

  • John W

    I watched Lars Von Trier's Antichrist and I must say that movie was more disturbing to me than "A Serbian Film".