What I Watched

What I Watched, What You Watched #167

Nothing like a little Adam Sandler... right?

Happy GilmoreI am in Los Angeles this weekend for a wedding so I am going to be brief this morning with my What I Watched thoughts, however here in the hotel we actually watched the entirety of Happy Gilmore and the first 20 or so minutes of Knight and Day, a film I still feel is better than most made it out to be, the opening minutes in particular are quite solid.

I also watched Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy in preparation for tomorrow afternoon's Movie Club discussion, but that's about it.

I did, however, want to add that while flying into Los Angeles two nights ago, looking out the window so many movies came to mind, both Drive and Heat due to just the number of lights across the horizon and then Collateral as Staples Center came into view.

I also couldn't help but think of Zodiac, which isn't a Los Angeles-set feature, but as the plane banked and we were looking down at the street and the cars, I kept thinking of that overhead effects shot from Zodiac. It was always a weird scene to me as, for whatever reason, the way the car turns the corner never felt natural to me.

If you don't remember the scene, you can watch it in the effects featurette below, it comes up at the 5:40 mark. I love the scene, but for some reason it just doesn't look right.

Now with my rambling out of the way... what did you watch?

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

    At the Theater (first viewing):

    Skyfall – Alas! There is light at the end of the tunnel; the dark and dreadful tunnel that 2012 has been. All year long I’ve been anticipating film after film, from Savages to The Dark Knight Rises, and they’ve all come up dry. So may I start off by saying thank you Sam Mendes. Thank you for making a great film. Yes, a great film, in 2012…. I have trouble believing it myself. Many have referred to Skyfall as the best Bond film ever. I don’t like to make such declarative statements, but I will say that if it’s not the best Bond film ever, it’s definitely in the top 3. No question about it. Where to begin? Well, what I was most impressed with was the cinematography. My goodness, Roger Deakins has just delivered a master class in how to light a scene. From a breathtaking Shanghai sequence to a country estate shootout to a helicopter blasting Boom Boom before an assault, the images are a sight to behold. One fantastic high-rise fight sequence plays out all in one unbroken master shot. It’s just fantastic. Skyfall is easily the most stylish of the Bond films and I can’t wait to watch this on blu ray. The visuals are magnificent and if Deakins doesn’t win the Academy Award, there will be no justice. On to the performances: Daniel Craig delivers what is by far his best performance as Bond. Javier Bardem is no slouch himself, giving an Oscar-worthy performance as the villain simply known as “Silva.” Silva is unquestionably one of the most interesting and dynamic Bond villains. The performance is restrained and Bardem never goes over-the-top. Dench is terrific as always and, thankfully, she has a much larger role in Skyfall than in any of the previous Bond films. It’s such a pleasure to see the dignified Ralph Fiennes joining the cast as well. Mendes’ direction is spot on, but if I had a criticism of the film, it would fall to the issue of momentum. There are many great moments in Skyfall, but Mendes and Editor Stuart Baird do have some trouble sustaining momentum from beginning to end. At times the film drags slightly, but it never takes long to get back on track. The only other criticisms I have are the opening sequence (which felt a bit pedestrian and uninspired) and the occasionally over-the-top score. Apart from that, Skyfall is a triumph and is, as of this moment, the best film of the year.

    Nothing gives me more pleasure than to say….. 4 / 5

    Cloud Atlas – Initially, I wasn’t planning on seeing this in the theater but my mother said it was “amazing” and so I decided to go ahead and see it anyway. While my mother can be hyperbolic, the film was extremely impressive and I’m glad I saw it. The themes at play are very interesting, but what stood out to me the most was how well all of the different stories cut together. All of the narratives flow together seamlessly and coherently. This film is easily the frontrunner for Best Editing (at least in my mind) and the visual effects are fantastic. I completely agree with Brad on his point about budget. If this film cost $100 million to make, no film should cost more than $100 million. The cinematography is terrific and all of the performances are excellent and I’d love to see Jim Broadbent get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Cloud Atlas is an important film with huge ambitions and it’s pretty depressing to see that it tanked at the box office. Intelligence is dead. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s on the fence about seeing it. It’s a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen.

    3.5 / 5

    At Home (first viewing):

    Luther (Season 1) - I never reviewed this when I watched it a month ago so I’ll just do it now. It’s a terrific serial killer show anchored by a very good lead performance. I’d seen Idris Elba in some supporting roles in films like American Gangster, RocknRolla, Thor and Prometheus but I wasn’t aware of his considerable talents. He’s great on the show and I look forward to seeing him in some lead roles in other films. The writing is smart and it’s consistently entertaining. Recommended.

    3.5 / 5

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

      If you like Idris Elba and the show seems down your alley, I would definitely check out The Wire.

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

        I watched the first episode and hated it. Then, a year later, I decided to force myself to watch the whole first season and halfway through the 2nd episode, I couldn't take it anymore.

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

          To each their own I guess. :)

          • sela

            AS just sucks at movie and TV watching.

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

              ..... well fuck you too.

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

          I guess we can agree on Skyfall. I just got back and think you're spot on with your analysis. Great write-up.

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

      AS, it appears we have found a film this year that you have actually liked. ;)

      I too loved Skyfall, and I was glad to finally see a film this year that I can now say I really liked. So far, it may be my favorite film of the year.

      And I think I felt similarly about Cloud Atlas. It's definitely flawed, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

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

        I know you're joking, but I have liked many films this year (The Deep Blue Sea, Magic Mike, Killer Joe, Cloud Atlas, The Master) but Skyfall is the first GREAT film I've seen all year. Killing Them Softly & Django still await.....

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

          Well, I think that we can also agree there. I liked The Master, Cloud Atlas, Argo, and many others, though none of them really won my heart over. I can say that right now, Skyfall was able to do that.

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

          First I'd like to say that I agree with you completely on Skyfall and that you should also anticipate Holy Motors. That film is genius.

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

            Holy Motors isn't really my thing.

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

              You should definitely give it a chance down the line. Surprised the hell out of me.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      Glad to hear you liked Skyfall, and I agree about Javier Bardem's performance. I think his introductory scene, even just that introductory shot of him, is one of the best things I've seen all year.

    • m1

      I'm also glad to see you enjoyed Skyfall, but you didn't mention the Bond girls. What did you think of them?

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

        I mean, what is there to say really? They played their roles perfectly fine. But M, of course, is the real "Bond girl."

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

      I'm glad you enjoyed Cloud Atlas(my personal favorite of 2012). I agreed with you on everything you wrote but I must ask why the film is a 3 1/2 instead of a 4? It seems like you really liked it.

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

        I really enjoyed it but I didn't think it was great. 4 means GREAT in my book.

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

          Oh alright. I was just wondering. Thanks.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mason%20Williamson/ Mason Williamson

      *Skyfall Spoilers*

      I've gotta say say, with regards to 'Skyfall', I also really enjoyed it, particularly the cinematography and the character development on the parts of both Bond and M, but was I the only one bothered by the fact the the entire second act was a rip-off of The Dark Knight? I mean, I don't like to be the guy who compares everything to that film, but here it was impossible for me to look past. It started with the Shanghai sequence, which was a much more impressive-looking version of The Dark Knight's Hong Kong sequence, then the fact that Silva was releasing five names per week, just as The Joker would kill five people a week, then the whole "he wanted to get captured so he could hurt us from the inside thing" - even little details like Bardem's smile and the manner in which he sits during his imprisonment reminded me of the joker, and moments like M's discovery of the "Think on your sins" message reminded me of the mayor reading "Up" in TDK. Some of those points are stretching, but for me, every plot turn from the end of act one to the beginning of act three had already been done before. Perhaps others could look past this because it IS so well done, but it was a pretty big distraction for me that knocked the film down a little.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mason%20Williamson/ Mason Williamson

        Scratch that "am I the only one?" I see others are complaining about the same thing - just thought it was worth bringing up here.

      • Winchester

        I think that's why I was more reserved and felt the marketing promised more than Skyfall delivered.

        All the 'secrets' and backstory are actually pretty conventional for the genre and nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, they weren't when The Dark Knight did them either but that's just an aside. The film's biggest strengths given it's conventionality on that front is aspects like the cinematography (definitely worth an Oscar nomination) and the choreography of sequences like Shanghai. Also the performances of Dench and Craig.

        I'm absolutely not going to get behind thoughts an Oscar nomination for Bardem though, but I don't think he would be a serious contender anyway. He's just not that complex or involving. He drives the story of M, sure, but he's not worth an Oscar here.

        • Chris138

          I gotta agree with the last part. I loved the film and thought the performances were good across the board, but I'm not buying the Oscar hype for Bardem. If anybody were to get any acting nod I would choose Judi Dench.

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

      AS, I'm glad you enjoyed Skyfall. One thing I will say however is that I found Daniel Craig very much to be the weak link in the film. His acting, especially when on screen with Javier Bardem was noticeably poor.

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

    You can never go wrong with some Happy Gilmore. Hopefully you're enjoying L.A.

    Not much for me this week, although I'll say that I watched the first 30 minutes of Tropic Thunder again in addition to below. Love me some Tom Cruise as Les Grossman.

    First watches:

    Summer School (1987) - Netflix Streaming - I've heard this movie called a classic 80s comedy by many and I could see where it comes from, but I didn't think there was anything particularly special beyond maybe some cool gore effects. Worth a watch if you don't have much going on and this was on TV. 5.0 / 10

    Wrong Turn (2003) - Netflix Blu-ray - Think I need a break from the slasher genre (and I'm going to take one). I found this movie pretty boring with weak suspense and uninteresting characters. 4.0 / 10

    Think Like A Man (2012) - Netflix Blu-ray - Had so much fun with this. Funny jokes with good acting and a nicely told story. You can never go wrong with this combo and I was extremely impressed. Surprise movie of the year for me. I also enjoyed "Friends With Benefits" from the same writers last year. 8.5 / 10

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

    in theater

    Argo: Ben Affleck makes a movie better than his first two ( movies i also appreciate) with a great cast en a great tension all over the movie, it is difficoult to contain that into a movie but he did it. Production looks top notch and Score from Desplat is great as well..the ending was a bit too much for me a but a very good film. one of the best of this year i think.

    8.5/10

    for it's oscar chances, i don't see it winning.

    at home:

    Contagion (rewatch): Soderbergh makes a good movie that shows what could have happened if the H1N1 virus would be bigger than it was, looked very realistic and has a good cast 7/10

    Training day: Stays good, Denzel is amazing. 8.5/10

    American Gangster : Just really like the performances and the story, i moste of the times like these up and coming movies with gangsters in it, isn't a movie you should watch for Depth or to learn something about yourself, but this man really did the things and it shows something about american history from that age and the vietnam war. i just feel the movie could be like 20 minutes shorter than it was, and after watching training day Denzelf has given a better performance. Crowe's performance gets bettere every time i watch this movie. watched it like 4 times now, and doesn't get's old. Ridley Scott made a good gangster/cop movie with a good Denzel and Crowe 8.5.10

  • http://www.rabidpictures.com Yaz

    Saw Skyfall. Enjoyed it quite a bit but I feel it's being over-hyped a bit. Shot beautiful no doubt, but lacking a bit in story for me. A bit too self-aware a film for my taste personally, and I didn't find the villain to be that riveting, either - however probably one of the more remembered ones of recent times.

    Still, cinematography aside, it didn't blow me away. I was expecting a bit more. Solid opening though. Thanks again Internet!

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

    IN THEATRES:
    Skyfall- Yes, this is a terrific bond film. After the disappointing Quantum Of Solace, bond is finally back where he should be. Intensely entertaining, and terrific in every other aspect, this film is terrific. 9.5/10

    AT HOME:
    Ratcatcher- While it lags at times, and isn't wholly interesting, the film holds some shots of such great power that I might even make comparisons to Tarkovsky. 7.5/10

    Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison- I saw this as part of my John Huston blog, and I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like it was trying to The African Queen, which it was not. 7/10

    Darling- I was disappointed by this one. It lagged in the middle and I never really felt anything for the characters. 7/10

    Lilja 4-Ever- Very depressing, disturbing and slightly shocking. The real horror comes from the words "based on a true story". 9/10

    Casino Royale- In my Bond haze after Skyfall, I saw this again, for the 4th or 5th time. Still the best Bond film in my opinion, and it still entertains even after multiple watches. 10/10

    Overall, I had an average weekend, and I can't wait to see Lincoln next week.

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

      I've been meaning to see Ratcatcher for quite sometime. It's currently sitting in my queue on Hulu.

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

    Prometheus - 8/10

    Great visuals, some great moments.

    Amazing Spider-Man - 7/10

    The plot and villain were awful but I thought the first half was great. Better take on the character than the Raimi films IMO

    Magnolia - 10/10

    Can't believe it took me this long to watch this. PTA is the best. Classic.

  • Winchester

    No cinema trips this week so all home viewing.

    All Quiet on The Western Front (1930): TV airing, first watch - Because in the UK this is the Armistice Day Memorial there have been some WW1 themed films on this week and I wanted to catch this in particular. I enjoyed it although I got distracted in places by other things but overall this early cinematic attempt to deconstruct the glory of War for those actually fighting it was well done. From the opening sequence of the schoolteacher enthusiastically 'encouraging' young men to sign up to the counterpoint when one of the few survivors of the class returns and is shouted down when telling the truth back at them it stayed impactful. I was surprised it actually was filmed using German characters however and I would be tempted to rewatch it again. Relatively impressive visually for an 82 year old film as well.

    The Edge of The World (1937): TV viewing, first watch - Micheal Powell's first film is a fiction but almost also semi documentary like in it's exploration of a changing world via the depopulation of the small Outer Islands of Scotland around the turn of the Century as exemplified by the real life case of the Scottish Island of St Kilda (it can be Googled were anyone interested) which ultimately had to be abandoned when the population could no longer survive their ending a very unique way of life. Central here is the value of the young. As the young people in the film want to see the bigger world, their desire to depart has an impact on those who would be left as the loss of healthy young people could be damaging. I imagine that metaphor still affects rural communities even today giving the film a certain timelessness about changing times. Great location work as well.

    The Electric Horseman (1979): TV airing, first watch - A decent enough Jane Fonda (with awesome Bouffant) and Robert Redford (with awesome Bouffant) modern day Western by Sidney Pollack also swiping Big Business as Redford's sellout former rodeo star finds conscience after seeing the Company's 'star' horse is being treated as badly as he is by said company. Cue a ride to freedom with Fonda's journalist in pursuit. It was actually quite OK with some lovely photography as well.

    The Hunt For Red October (1990): Blu ray, rewatch - One of my absolute favourite films when I was a kid after being mad on the book. It hasn't gone down in my favouritism either like some other films of that period have done. Good Blu Ray transfer as well for the most part.

    Backdraft (1991): Blu ray, rewatch - But first on Blu Ray. Another good transfer of another early favourite of mine. A solid and thrilling arson plot plays out between Kurt Russell's and William Baldwin's brothers in Chicago. One of Ron Howard's better films is even more impressive because this was made before CGI. Those huge explosions and fires were almost entirely real and the cast and crew were in there. It would be heavily CGI nowadays and probably less stunning.

    X-Men (2000): TV airing, rewatch - Hadn't watched it for a while, was on TV. A pretty good superhero origin still and better than a few which have come since. The plot is pretty thin since it was busy introducing everyone but it made me interested again in Singer directing the First Class sequel as he really has a handle on this universe no one else involved in these films has shown they have.

    The Devil Wears Prada (2006): Blu Ray, rewatch - I confess, I really like this even if the coming of age story is older than the hills because it's energentic, superbly cast and a delicious bit of fun. Always enjoyable but not much to dissect.

    Meek's Cutoff (2011): TV airing, first watch - There's not much to dissect here on the other hand for very different reasons even though it apparently acts like it does. I reread Brad's review and he's right. Even though very loosely based on a real 1845 event this is part of a film, but nowhere near a whole one. It starts, nothing really happens and then it ends. As abruptly and pointlessly as that. Good luck if someone found meaning in this because I couldn't care to try though I could trot out a few possibilities. Indie cinema at it's self indulgent worst - and I liked Reichart's 'Wendy & Lucy'.

    War Horse (2011): Blu ray, first watch - I'm starting right away. This is not a bad film. I trashed the marketing and trailers on this a year ago like everyone else because it marketed itself (and still actually is) as Oscar Bait. But then I watched it and maybe it was the weight of the more vocal anti-Spielberg element here that made me wonder if that was the root of the bashing it took. This is Spielberg taking a children's book and channeling the old Masters like David Lean, John Ford and even Victor Fleming and making an unashamedly old-fashioned piece of epic entertainment. Using the horse's journey and using it to remind us of the inate humanity in individuals that remains even amisdt the devastation of war it's beautifully shot (No Man's Land is starkly, hauntingly one of the most beautiful looking sequences in the film) and perfectly solid. Sure, it has some stumbles and it takes off better once we get to the War but I cannot call this bad film-making. If others disagree, fair enough. I didn't feel within the old fashioned intentions it was trying to manipulate my emotions anymore than 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' except that film thought it was cleverer than it was. Both can be said to be about the survival of humanity and hope and the best of humankind against the worst, but War Horse takes a simpler sweeping paintbrush approach over the other film. I enjoyed it.

    Prometheus (2012): Blu Ray, rewatch - A quick rewatch. It's been talked to death but I like it and I think like several Ridley Scott films it gets smoother on more viewings. I won't say more as it's all been said here the last few weeks.

    In TV Land the last couple weeks I've also been watching season 1 of 'Cheers' (1982-1983) on TV as a channel I get is planning to show the whole run over the next few months on a Mon-Fri double bill and I have only ever seen later seasons as I was too young when it began. It's really damn good and it's focus on characters and quality humour has really made it stand up well after 30 years. A lot of current sitcoms could learn a helluva lot from that approach. Nearly at the end of the season and about to start season 2 this week.

    That was all this week.

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

      Good watches. I like your writeups, Winchester. Out of sheer curiosity, when you say "TV Viewing" - are you watching it on regular TV (edited for content and with commercial) or on channels like HBO, Showtime (unedited and uninterrupted).

      • Winchester

        Cheers, sometimes I think I write too much. Anyway, I guess it would be the UK equivalent of regular TV. Mostly with commercials and sometimes you can tell it's been edited for content (especially if I have seen it prior).

        I get a channel called Film4 which plays films only (some British cinema it was responsible for co-financing as well) 7 days a week for hours a day. That's where most of my TV viewing comes from. Though I also have several others that air movies along with a regular programming mix.

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

    The Innkeepers -- For some reason, I actually didn't mind this film, even though it isn't particularly good. Maybe it's because it was nice to see a slow-burn horror film, as opposed to all of the torture porn that's been coming out lately. But, it still isn't particularly well written, acted, etc. nor all that original. C+

    A History of Violence -- While I did like this film, I can't help but think this one is rather overrated. I felt as if so much more could have been done with the story, further exploring different themes pertaining to the characters. It was still enjoyable though. Performances were great all around, and I loved William Hurt's character. I would've loved to have seen even more of him. B

    Rosemary's Baby (rewatch) -- One of my all time favorite movies. This is the type of horror that you unfortunately don't see anymore. Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon are both excellent, as is Polanski's wonderful direction. A+

    Skyfall -- I can officially add Skyfall to the few list of movies that I had to sit in the front row during. Well, third row to be honest, but it felt like the front row. Despite showing up about half an hour early to my local, independent theater, which usually never fills up and doesn't even get crowded until about ten minutes before the movie starts, myself and my friends still got terrible seats. I was still able to enjoy the movie, however.

    It's great to see that Bond is back after the terrible Quantum of Solace. This is certainly one of the most stylishly made Bond films yet, filled with incredible cinematography from Roger Deakins, a great score from Thomas Newman, and pitch-perfect direction from Sam Mendes. Mendes' direction for me was the highlight of the film. He does a great job directing action sequences, knowing how to make it exciting without solely blowing things up constantly. He is excellent at building tension. You could say that Mendes never falls into any of Nolan's pits of poorly staged action sequences. My personal favorite sequence in the film for me was the entirety of what took place in Shanghai. Simply remarkable filmmaking. Even the opening credit sequence was great, accompained by that wonderful Adele theme song that has to be one of the best Bond songs ever.

    If I had to nitpick the film, I would say that the middle portion was too inspired by The Dark Knight and the ending too inspired by Straw Dogs. (Brad, I think you made both of these comparisons in your review.) But still, these are very minor nitpicks, and really didn't bother me all that much. This is a truly great Bond film, probably my favorite film so far this year, and one that I am excited to see again. B+/A- (I'll decide on 2nd viewing)

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

      A History of Violence is one of my favorite films. I actually thought it was underrated. Though I would like to see more of William Hurt character but the 10 mins. or so he was there was perfect and he owned those scene with Viggo. I do like the film more than you, but glad others liking it too. :)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

    Didn't have time to put together a post last Sunday, so this is from the past two weeks.

    In Theaters:

    The Master (4th viewing): First time seeing it in 70mm, and what a gorgeous picture. This is far and away my favorite film of the year so far, I think there's just so much going on beneath the surface that makes it endlessly rewatchable. We have the father-son dynamic (between Dodd and Freddie as well as between Lancaster and Val), the commentary on American life post-World War Two, the role of women in society at the time, a study of master-disciple relationships, an examination of how religions come to be and what drives people towards religion. But I think there is more than enough story just on the surface. (Minor Spoilers Ahead) In many ways I look at The Master as a love story, not between Dodd and Freddie, but between Freddie and Doris. The way I see the film is that Freddie knows he's not right, and he knows that if he went back to Doris now he wouldn't be good for her. That's his motivation for joining The Cause, as well as his other pursuits between 1945 and 1950, he'll do anything he can to make himself good enough to be deserving of Doris. And when he finally believes he has accomplished that, she's moved on, and his reaction to this news is very telling. One of the criticisms of The Master is that none of the characters change, and I disagree. Freddie still has that animalistic rage inside of him, but by the end of the picture I think he understands it, and more importantly, understands how to control it. I could go on about this film for hours, but I'll leave it at this for now. Three of the best performances of the year, a beautiful film. (A+)

    Skyfall (3rd viewing): A film that surprisingly gets even better upon rewatching, something unusual for the Bond series. But then again, this is an unusual entry into the Bond canon, in the best way possible. I'm really tempted to call this the best Bond film, it's undoubtedly the best made film, but for now I think I'd still place it just behind Goldfinger and ahead of Casino Royale. (A)

    At Home:

    The Elephant Man (rewatch): Certainly one of my favorite David Lynch films, and I love that Lynch never treats John Merrick as a freak, which would have been very easy to do. There's so much humanity in this picture, in no small part due to the great performances from John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. (A)

    Dune: A truly terrible film. I had no emotional investment in the characters, the plot made no sense, the "love story" was conveyed through a montage, the ending was incredibly rushed, and Sting wears a blue thong. Really nothing redeemable about this picture. (D)

    Blue Velvet (rewatch): One of my favorite films, and one that gets better on each viewing, though I find it hard to articulate exactly what it is about the film that makes me love it. I guess a big part of it is that I come from a town not dissimilar to Lumberton, so on a personal level I always appreciate Lynch's films that knock down that idealistic image of suburban life that many films try to construe. Great performances, great use of surreal imagery, and a great twist on both the film noir genre and the conventional narrative. (A+)

    Twin Peaks Season 2: Loved the show until the reveal of Laura Palmer's killer, which seemed like such a narrative cop out at that point in the series. And ever since we've moved onto post-Laura episodes, it's getting really tough to keep watching. I'm pushing through it because I've heard the series finale (actually directed by Lynch) is excellent, but these final 7 episodes are going to be tough. Laura Palmer episodes: A-, post-Laura episodes: C.

    Fargo (rewatch): I actually hadn't seen this film in about four years, and remembered being underwhelmed the first time I saw it. This time, though I still feel the story is very minor, I loved the hell out of the characters. As good as Frances McDormand is, for me William H. Macy is the real standout in the cast, and the scene between Marge and Mike at the Radisson is just classic Coen Brothers humor. (A)

    Intolerable Cruelty: I think there's about half a good film in here. George Clooney is as reliable as ever, but the film really suffers when he's not on screen. (C)

    The Hudsucker Proxy: Really enjoyed this film, though I have to admit I was let down by the ending. While there was this sense of hyperreality throughout the film, I felt that the final narrative twist was one step too far, and it took me out of the movie. However, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh are outstanding in the film, and Paul Newman is always a delight to watch. (A-)

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

      I see you're a Lynch fan. He's one of my favorite directors. Blue Velvet is his masterpiece, followed closely by Mulholland Dr. and Eraserhead.

      I love Twin Peaks, though I will say that some of the early episodes that follow the reveal of Laura's killer do drag. Have you been introduced to a character named Windom Earle yet? Once his character becomes involved, the show picks up its pace again. And yes, I personally love the finale.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

        For me I would but Mulholland Dr. first (one of my top 10 favorite films), followed by Blue Velvet and Elephant Man. I wasn't as big on Eraserhead, though I feel it's almost unfair to rank that film after only one viewing.

        Nope, haven't gotten Windom Earle yet, I'm still stuck in the soap opera of vegetable Leo and superhero Nadine, it's pretty rough. But that's good to know, I'm definitely going to try and finish the series up soon, as I've got Fire Walk With Me coming in the mail this week.

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

          Yeah, I remember those soap opera episodes being pretty dreadful. Fire Walk With Me is one that seems to divide people, but I quite like it.

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

      Been trying to see Elephant Man for a little while but it's always "Very Long Wait" on Netflix and really expensive on Amazon. Must be OOP. One day hopefully.

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

    Ides of March: A very engaging political thriller. Great cast and clever dialogue. (B)

    The Devil's Advocate: It's hard to pick out the best performance of the three leads, they were all terrific. Surprisingly, the film doesn't lose its interest in the 144 minute running time and also has some cool symbolic imagery throughout. (B+)

    Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (rewatch): After my tenth time watching this, it still hasn't lost its flair. This classic looks very crisp on Blu-ray. (A+)

    Skyfall: A very different, but nonetheless enjoyable Bond film. Mendes, who's never directed an action film before, delivered some very exciting action sequences. Roger Deakins also gave us some absolutely beautiful images to look at. I'm glad they didn't stick with the most basic Bond formula, but instead changed it around so it felt fresh. Cannot wait for Bond 24. (B+)

    Battlestar Galactica: The Plan: Decent look at the beginning of the series from the Cylon's perspective, yet it still left me wanting more. (B-)

    TV shows:
    Quantum Leap (Season 1)
    Walking Dead (Season 3)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      Ides of March was one of my favorite films from last year. Clooney is quickly turning into one of my favorite directors and I can't wait to see what he does with The Monuments Men.

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

        Yeah, I've heard about Monuments Men. Have you seen Good Night, and Good Luck? If so, what did you think of that?

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

          I have, but not for a long time, it's one I should probably revisit actually. But from what I remember I think it's a very solid film, if not a bit formulaic. I actually really enjoy Clooney's first film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

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

            Cool! I'll have to check them both out sometime.

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

      I remember it was interesting to see a young Charlize Theron in Devil's Advocate. It's been a while since I've given it a watch, but remember enjoying the movie.

  • m1

    I watched a lot these past two weeks!

    Pan's Labyrinth (2006) (rewatch)-I finally watched this again, this time in my Spanish class. It is a great, unique, emotionally exhausting movie that holds up much better than I expected. And it is hilarious to watch everyone's reactions of those who had not seen the movie before to all the scary creatures. 10/10

    The Cabin in the Woods (2012)-Fun and really scary but I highly doubt that people who don't like the horror genre will like this movie. 7.5/10

    The King's Speech (2010) (rewatch)-Fantastic as usual. It's funny, fascinating, and brilliantly acted. Hopefully Hooper will be able to strike gold again with Les Miserables. 10/10

    Failure to Launch (2006)-I'll just say that I'm so happy McConaughey is back to making good movies because this movie is crap. Zooey Deschanel was the only funny actor in this. 3/10

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)-Charming but really light. As far as Oscar noms go, I think Dench and Wilkinson were the best of the cast and would be most deserving of nominations. 7/10

    Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)-Not perfect by any means but it is much better than the Robin Hood movie that Ridley Scott did a few years ago. The visuals are fantastic and the film moves at a nice pace. All the actors were fine. 6/10

    Skyfall (2012)-Terrific in every way. The cinematography is gorgeous. The opening scene is intense. Both Bond girls are fantastic. Judi Dench, Daniel Craig, and Javier Bardem have some great scenes together. This movie is going to get great word of mouth; it's so much better than Quantum of Solace and maybe even Casino Royale. 9/10

    My Sister's Keeper (2009)-A case when the movie wasn't bad, but the book was way better. 6/10

    Prometheus (2012)-Now this is an interesting one because from a story perspective, it is a complete mess. That being said, Scott nails the atmosphere and the actors are terrific. The visuals are breathtaking. It's just that the movie is too similar to Alien and it drags a great deal. A decent movie, but I don't think there's enough in it for me to watch it again. 6/10

  • Chris138

    Howard the Duck - I've heard Mark Kermode talk about this movie before and after reading so much about how it tanked with audiences and the box office during its release, I was curious to see if the movie really was just as bad as it's been made out to be. After watching it I can say that I do not think it's as bad as its reputation would lead you to believe. Is it a great movie? No, not by any stretch of the imagination (although George Lucas apparently claimed that in 20 years it would be considered a masterpiece, which is hilarious). Some of the jokes are pretty tasteless and awkward, and toward the end when the plot with the monsters come into focus becomes tiresome, but otherwise most of the movie was oddly entertaining. 3/5

    Skyfall - One of the few movies I have seen this year that have made me want to see it again afterward. The experience of this film was unique because it hardly felt like a Bond film at all (with the exception of the opening and closing scenes). The last time I felt that way watching a movie was The Dark Knight, which hardly felt like a superhero movie to me. Admittedly, there are some parts in the middle that felt like they were dragging a little bit, but the beginning and end are absolutely superb and the film looks magnificent. It's easily the darkest James Bond movie to ever grace the screen, and I am looking forward to what will come next. 4.5/5

    Rust and Bone - Another very strong film with two terrific performances at its center, especially from Marion Cotillard. The scene in which she first realizes that her legs are gone is probably the most devastating one I have seen in any movie so far this year. It's pretty brutal at times, which can make it difficult to watch, but the love story between the two main characters is rather moving in a strange sort of way. I really liked this and A Prophet, and I'm excited to see what Jacques Audiard has up his sleeve in the near future. I also hope Cotillard garners an Oscar nomination here. 4.5/5

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

    At theaters:

    Skyfall - This is easily my favorite Bond movie with Daniel Craig. I thought it was great. The action, performances, and cinematography were all top-notch. My favorite action sequence was definitely the opening. Adele's song worked well in the opening credits and may be the best Bond song. I also loved the references to the older movies and thought they were well placed. Javier Bardem was a different villain than I expected, but in a good way. He played it much more straight than I thought he would. My big surprise was how much I likes as Naomie Harris. I thought the Bond girl, can't remember her name now, was okay, but I didn't think much of her. Overall, it's a great movie with great direction from Sam Mendes who I hope will come back to direct another. I can't wait to see where they go from here.

    At Home:

    The King of Comedy - Saw this Friday and I'll save my thoughts for tomorrow. I'm really curious to see what others thought of it.

    Rock of Ages - Not a very good musical. The story was uninteresting, the performances (aside from Tom Cruise) were average, and some of the song choices didn't make any sense. At least Tom Cruise was great in it.

    King Kong (2005 remake) - I really like this movie, even though it is a little long. It's a great remake of King Kong and, personally, it's Peter Jackson's best movie.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      Agree with you on King Kong, in its own way I think it's just as good as Lord of the Rings, and Naomi Watts gives a great performance in the film. Very under-appreciated in my opinion.

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

        I actually prefer King Kong over Lord of the Rings. I guess that franchise just never does much for me. I definitely agree with you on Watts though. She was great and the fact that she had to play off something that wasn't even there makes her performance even more impressive.

        • Winchester

          I'll plus 1 personally being a bigger fan of Jackson's King Kong than Rings trilogy.

          While I could still list some problems (mostly around things on Skull Island rather than before it) with the film I really overall enjoy it much more. and as soon as they arrive in that gorgeous reconstruction of 30's New York it's just eye candy of the best kind on top.

          And Watts is terrific alongside Serkis in selling the bond between Anne and Kong. Absolutely terrific.

  • Matt

    Only three films this week, but they were all great:

    In theaters:

    Skyfall: I have to admit, this was my first ever Bond movie. I was never really introduced to Bond growing up, and the films never seemed like something I'd be interested in anyway. But, "Skyfall" caught my interest due to Sam Mendes's presence and the fact that the reviews were so positive and I enjoyed it considerably. The action was exciting, the film was absolutely gorgeous and the performances were all strong, specifically from Bardem. I know he's not going to, but I'd love it if Bardem was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Also really liked Naomie Harris in this too. The film was definitely somewhat by the numbers in terms of it's story, but it was too much fun to really notice. I hope Mendes returns for the next one, and I'll have to catch up on the other Bond films at some point. A-

    Wreck-it-Ralph: I liked this film a lot, even though I don't love it like others. This was certainly the best animated films of the year (I'm still recovering from "The Lorax", which may be my least favorite film of the year at the moment). From a visual standpoint, the film is fantastic and I was really impressed with the way the animators created so many different environments. Also, I really enjoyed the voice work. Sarah Silverman brought so much life and energy into her character, while the rest of the cast certainly did a great job. That being said, I felt like the first third of the film rushes itself through all this background information on the rules of their world and what they can and cannot do in different games, and it just feels like a bit too much at times. I'd rather see them take their time and find a more natural way to put this information in their. Once the film entered the Sugar Rush level, and it all slowed down a bit, I got a lot more emotionally invested and really started to like it. The emotional beats the film hits really works, and the film was genuinely funny. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially kids or families, but I just wish I cared for it a little bit more. Oh, and the Paperman short is amazing. B+

    At Home:

    Harold and Maude: I could see why this film has so many supporters. It's a wonderful comedy that I was instantly won over by. The performances are all great, and the film is hysterical, inventive and surprisingly emotional. Also, I loved the soundtrack. I look forward to picking up the Criterion blu-ray eventually. A

  • Ron Oneal Fresh

    At home

    Sunshine (2007)

    Act I & Act II were excellent. Act III was a DISASTER.

    The Warriors (1979)

    Classic. Saw it for the umpteenth time, maybe b/c I'm a New Yorker and recognize those places and train station platforms but it will never get old.

    Barry Lydon(1975): Great film, I took me awhile to adjust to how raw & minimalistic it looked visually — not what I'm used to from a Kubrick film but I understand why it was shot that way. Every performance was good, even Ryan O'Neal.

    Clockers (1995): An OK film ... Nothing much to say about it Keitel is very good, performances good all around, direction is good. Just doesn't stick w/ me for some reason.

    We Own The Night (2007): I couldn't get through it, it such a dull movie ... Phoenix is trying but there not much there, Mark Wahlberg an actor I never liked gives his usual generic performance, Robert Duvall doesn't even seem like hes trying much at all. Perhaps b/c of the script. It's just dull, I can't emphasize that enough.

    Jack Falls (2011): Crime movie that has almost a comic book feel, sorta like Sin City
    but not really. I cant say it was even good, only that I wasn't bored. Probably will never watch it again.

    Unthinkable (2010): I enjoy a good terrorist vs the government movie. The torture shown was pretty graphic. This film is not for the faint of heart.

    The Ghost Writer (2010): You can go to the imdb message board to see the litany of logic issues this film has. It's endless.

    Amazing Spiderman (2012): How anybody can call this anything other than a mess is beyond me. Wow. I don't pay attention or even notice technical problems but there were some glaring issues with editing. Add in unexplained character motivation, blatant product placement, Superhuman moments happening to unknowing characters never being addressed or shrugged off as nothing by those characters and you have this crapola.

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

    This week wasn't a movie filled week for me unlike last week.

    But here is what I watched -

    At home

    Cast Away - My Rating - 8/10 - Learnt some survival skills from this one.

    The Terminal - My Rating - 7/10 - It's been a while since I watched this one and Cast Away put together with Terminal just reminded me of how great Tom Hanks is as an actor.

    At the movies

    Skyfall - My Rating - 8.5/10 or 9/10. Can't make up my mind. Either way the finale was just plain awesome and the cinematography is a 10/10. It got me excited for the next Bond movie. Hopefully it will be on track and release in 2014.

  • Good Grief

    At home...

    The Sound of my Voice - I thoroughly enjoyed this and I didn't really expect to. I enjoyed the ending to this far more than the dismal "Safety Not Guaranteed," though I feel they're actually quite similar.
    Dark, mysterious and highly dramatic, this is definitely a film that's been overlooked this year. The performances was particularly impressive and for a particularly quiet film the plot kept me interested.

    Grade: B

    Savages - Good god, what an absolute shambles of a film. It could have been a tight, 90 minute action-thriller but, instead, was a confused mess that went on for far too long.
    The voice over was tedious (why would she not just shut up!?) and the mish-mash of double crossing and absolutely ridiculous character decisions drove me crazy.
    To sum up, this film did NOT give me wargasms.

    Grade: D

    Executioners of Shaolin - Lau Kar Leung's original Pai Mei film. I watched it a few years ago but couldn't really recall it properly. Turns out I really like it. The choreography is choppy in places but the training sequences and emphasis on heroism makes it a pretty grand kung fu film. I actually prefer the remake ("Fist of the White Lotus") but this version stands by itself rather well.

    Grade: B-

    I'm off to watch "Skyfall" in an hour or so...

    • Jake17

      I've heard the only reason to see Savages is for Salma Hayek. It's too bad because it looked very good, but all I've heard is hate.

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

    I'll save the best for last... :)

    Wreck-It Ralph: The best animated movie I've seen this year and that's really not saying a whole lot but don't mistake. This movie is a winner but it's not a slam dunk. It has huge pacing issues. The beginning and end are A caliber material but the middle is C+/B- caliber. The comedy was pretty clever and the voice acting was pretty good it's just that the story wasn't anything special. Also, the villain was really two-dimensional. I did like the movie though. Just not a whole lot. B

    Sound of My Voice: Unintentionally funny. It really didn't amount to anything either. The acting was pretty lackluster except for Brit Marling who is the saving grace of the movie. Now ask yourself...Why do I choose to be lame? Do you like being lame?

    On The Road: Before a certain film...this was the best "made" movie I'd seen all year. But this doesn't make it a good movie. The performances vary. Sam Riley as Sal Paradise was non-starting. Garrett Hedlund though was fantastic as Dean Moriarty. Kristen Stewart was pretty good too but I didn't have the same reaction everybody else seemed to be having from her. She was good. Not great. I did watch the original cut so maybe with the new cut, the pacing and story issues are fixed. Saying that, the film is a big deal for adapting Kerouac's un-adaptable. It worked to a point. C+

    Skyfall: Here it is. This is filmmaking. Fucking Roger Deakins. Fucking Sam Mendes. Fucking Judi Dench. Fucking Javier Bardem. And fucking Daniel Craig. Classier than any movie I've seen in a while, Skyfall is a revelation in that Sam Mendes created some of the most iconic moments in the history of Bond. Those opening credits were amazing and I really hope that Adele doesn't get snubbed because the song works so well. The Shanghai sequence was so amazing. My jaw dropped during the struggle Bond had with the shooter. Javier Bardem is the best Bond villain but that's really not saying much because Bond villains have always been too theatrical and while Silva was theatrical, there was a method to his madness. Him having a close relation to MI6 was what made him feel like a real threat. Judi Dench is THE Bond girl of the film. She's the beating heart of Bond's being. I will say though, the story is a little wandering in the first act I feel. With a second viewing this might be remedied, but I just feel that the pacing was a little sporadic. Once Silva enters though, it's of masterpiece quality. The most impeccably crafted film I've seen all year. A-

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

    Bad Lieutenant: The Port of New Orleans (A) - rewatched - This is my favorite film by Werner Herzog and it has my favorite performance by Nicolas Cage. Cage is perfect as the crooked and junkie Lieutenant Terrence McDonagh doing anything for his next high, he has so many things going on he can barely keep up, so he in a bind here. His tactics are not orthodox he bends the law doing pretty much what he wants when he wants because he is the law. To pay his debts he blackmails and cut deals with criminals, but that why I like his character so much he think he is helping himself by doing this, but instead he is actually digging a bigger hole for himself, burying himself with corruption. McDonagh is hunch over throughout the film from an injury he got by doing the right thing early on in the story, hence his pain and his constant use of drugs to sustain it which does not help when you already on the wrong path. He is a lunatic already and drugs only further his madness. And Cage adds so much flavor to his character because he is a complex individual he is trying to be a good cop, but at the same time he isn’t. But what I love about his character is just the madness, as he is totting a .357 magnum, which is a very large and powerful handgun to begin with, not a standard handgun for a police officer, and it is right beside his belt buckle stuck in his pants, no holster by the way, just stuck in there, showing it to everyone, walking around with it in stores not caring if anyone sees, and it’s throughout this film. Just him, his .357 magnum, and his arched back, this man is clearly a lunatic, I mean, he has problems, a chip on his shoulder-- I just love his character and what Cage did with it was brilliant. I just gotta say if Cage was to do small films like this instead of collecting a paycheck, because he is a fantastic actor, he can act it’s not like he can’t, it’d be great and he’s fantastic which is evident in this film. Cage performance never felt over the top, as he controlled it very well. Also it has one the best storyteller at the helm, Werner Herzog, he’s mostly known for his documentary, but he should also get back and make more feature films. Herzog and Cage are fantastic together, it seem like they were meant to work together. Herzog might have found his new Klaus Kinski, just my opinion. This has to be one of the best crooked cop films out there and it deserves a watch.

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

    I just saw Holy Motors....

    What the fuck did I just see?

    I am speechless. I loved the vignette with Eva Mendes. It was batshit insane.

    However, throughout the whole movie I was very distracted trying to know what has happening at each vignette.

    I don't know if I loved it or hate it, but it was VERY interesting and Denis Lavant was a TOUR DE FORCE. He was incredible transforming in every scene in a different character.

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

      Did you at least make the connection that all the vignettes are about the movie industry? I mean the whole movie is about the film industry. Think on it.

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

        That was pretty obvious, but is a very interesting film. Enjoyed it.

        Stayed indoors this weekend and watched

        Once upon a time in the west
        Barton fink
        Throw momma from the train

        Which are some of my favorites

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

        Yes, the part with the kind of CGI made it very clear.

        I did understand the connection but I had a difficult time trying to know who was Oscar playing in every vignette. The scene with Kylie was very good too.

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

          Oscar is an actor. Each one of these "appointments" are his roles. It's a comment on the state of the film industry. How everything is a business and there's no magic left albeit, it's all still quite realistic magic. It hit me hard.

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

    Skyfall: Easily the best Bond movie I have seen

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

    At Home:

    Safety Not Guaranteed (2012, Netflix, DVD) - Aubrey Plaza is great on her first leading role, i'm a big fan of Aubrey's. She's funny, beautiful and extremely talented. I love her comedic timing, delivery & that classic deadpan-style comedy. Kind of disappointed she didn't get a role where she could use them but she still got a good role here, serious where she could show some good range which she has. She was great, her new movie coming out next year "The To Do List" looks good. Looks like she got a good comedic role where she could use her comedic talent in that one judging from the trailers. Mark Duplass is terrific her, liked his chemistry with Aubrey in this. Jake M. Johnson provided most of the film's laughs, pretty funny guy. Yeah, it's a decent flick, worth a watch. 6.5/10

  • tombeet

    A special week for me as I attended to the film festival in my hometown and checked out many acclaimed films this year.

    Broken (2012) 3.5/5
    A strong and good-heart film with some solid performances, especially from newcomer Eloise Laurence (she holds up really well here). Some aspect of the plot may seems force in order to move the plot forward (*spoiler* the mentally disturbed boy came back home right at moment his neighbor's girls being outside and the girls verbally insults him, which led to tragic end). I also think the ending could've been better. But apart from that it's a engaging, emotional, rich movie and I enjoyed it all the way through.

    Beyond the Hills (2012) 4.5/5
    My immediate reaction after watching this film was it's a great film, but not as great as 4 Months. Now to think about it I would say this film is as great as his debut film, or come very close to. The acting seems so naturalistic that it doesn't seem they acting at all, and it gives too much power to the film. The last 20 minutes of the film, at first seems out of place, tied extremely well together with the rest of the film. The only complain is this film is overlong (I think trim it down to 120 min mark would be great)

    Smashed (2012) 3.5/5
    Mary Elizabeth Winsted gave an outstanding performance here. The film, while I think inconsistent in tone, hold up partly because of these performances. It's still a decent film to see about alcoholism issues with such serious and funny way.

    The Hunt (2012) 4/5
    Thomas Vinterberg certainly understand the movie and know pretty well how to approach it. It's a story about a man who has to cope of the consequences as much as it's about friendship. The cinematography is top-notch. I'm glad I saw this one.

    Amour (2012) 4.5/5
    This is one of the most accessible Haneke films (but still quite bleak and disturbing). I,m a fan of his works and basically watched all of his films (except the remake Funny Games, why would I want to go through the same experience again?), so watching this was like a treat. I would say the film is not a typical Haneke film, it is still haunting and sad (I think that's why I say it's not his typical films, while his other works are often left viewers cold, this one leaves so much emotional). A great addition to his already-impressive filmography.

    The Imposter (2012) 3.5/5
    Twisted, engaging and some parts are actually quite funny. This documentary functions like a thriller film, and the fact that this story is real makes it even more fascinating.

    Like Someone In Love (2012) 3/5
    As much as I love Abbas Kiarostami, I think he hits the wrong note here. The first 30 minutes was actually really good and emotional, but then everything starts to fall apart until the abrupt ending. Although I think the film is a failed attempt, I still think kiarostami has complete control over his film here and I'll be willing to give this one another chance in the future.

    Rust and Bone (2012) 4.5/5
    This is a masterpiece on its own. The film was so good that many times during the film I wonder if it can continues to hold up that well until the end. I'm not disappointed. The lead are top at their game here and the chemistry between them are incredible. It's really a shame that it did not get nominated for Best Foreign Oscar (I think it's about time the Academy starts to consider the Foreign Language category's rules)

    The Loneliest Planet (2012) 4/5
    Slow-pacing, ambitious little film. I'm actually quite even more impressed to find out this film is actually an adaption. That Julia Loktev make it entirely in her own version is nothing short of extraordinary. This is a movie not for everyone, but I would happy to recommend it for those who interested in watching something different.

    The Master (2012) 4.5/5
    I honestly think this is one of the best film released this year so far. PTA is at his best here and I wonder if he will ever topped it. It's a masterpiece.

    The Sessions (2012) 3.5/5
    A warm-heart, sometimes funny and very touching film. The chemistry between 2 leads are very engaging. William H Macy even steals every scenes he was in.

    Will watch The King of Comedy today and I'm really in the mood for film noirs this week.

  • Cory

    J. Edgar (rental), yeah, not Eastwood's best but it's completely engaging. Maybe that's because I love American History on film but I was with the film. Sadly, the make up clearly hurts the film from top to bottom. It just takes you out while you're engaging with the film. 2/4.

    Skyfall (theatre), the finale to the "Bond Begins" arc started in Casino Royale. A very, very good picture with killer performances and a perfect ending. Still, one can't escape the fact that this film takes story/character points from 3 out of the 4 Brosnan films and mixes it with some heavy doses of Nolan's Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises.

    But, there is no mistake that after 3 films, Craig's the definitive Bond. 3.5/4.

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

    Haven't participated in quite a few months due to lack of time to write up. Despite this I love this column and read it regularly for recommendations.

    Argo - I enjoyed going into this movie not knowing a thing about it having managed the rare feat of managing to skip all marketing except posters. Found it really interesting more than anything else. I did have a slight problem with the ending which felt very much like artistic licence rather than a true story. I usually wouldn't have an issue with this but as the movie was shot so perfectly it almost felt like watching a documentary and when the ending felt so exagerated it did take away from the film. The only other issue I had was Ben Affleck's performance which was weak. Other than that, a highly entertaining movie that I hope does well at the Oscars. B

    Eyes Wide Shut (rewatch) - I have only seen this once when it first came out. I dismissed it quickly back then as I was young and didn't really understand most of what was going on. I'm glad i gave this another shot after alot of talk about this in the comments section on RoS. I found it enthralling with an incredible score and some great performances. The ending I felt was a little anti-climatic though and I'd love to hear some theories on it which would make it an excellent film for the movie club. B

    King of Comedy (rewatch) - will discuss this more on the movie club page but I'd slightly downgrade this from a B+ (from initial watching a couple years ago) to a B.

    Flirting with Disaster - Another one I watched in preparation for the movie club. Will save it for then. C+

  • Jake17

    A very light week of watching. But first, I'm gonna agree with Brad and say I thought Knight and Day was a really fun, under appreciated movie. I haven't watched it recently, but it's a nice popcorn flick. I'd give it an 8/10
    The Social Network(first watch): This is such a wonderful movie. Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield give great performances(in fact, I would have picked Eisenberg over Colin Firth in The King's Speech for Best Actor in 2010). The directing is absolutely masterful, and there's no doubt that Fincher was robbed by Tom Hooper in 2010. I don't really care for the casting of Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, but that's really a minor nitpick. 10/10
    Mad Men Season 1(first watch): This was well written and VERY addicting. Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and Vincent Kartheiser give great performances. The cinematography is the best I've ever seen on TV. 9/10
    I also watch some more Buffy, and I'll be done with Season 3 before the end of the week. I also watched the first episode of Sherlock, which was fantastic. Didn't get to see Skyfall yet, I'll probably see it tomorrow or Wednesday.