What I Watched, What You Watched: Installment #152

Easy Riders Raging BullsSo, I took a couple weeks off from the "What I Watched" column and a few of you were asking for it to return and I'm trying to figure out what to do with this space. My number one idea is to turn it into something of a Sunday conversation piece and perhaps delve into something that isn't entirely movie related or something we wouldn't necessarily ever discuss otherwise. Then again, I don't entirely know what that would be.

Discussing politics could be a bit weird, though I thought some of the points and counterpoints brought up in my post related to the Aurora shooting were interesting and worth discussing and I thought most of you did it quite well, without becoming too confrontational with those that disagreed with you. Of course, that kind of conversation can always get a bit heated.

I thought the Aurora shooting, while devastatingly sad and tragic, brought up plenty of things to discuss from gun control to wondering just what exactly children under the age of one year old were doing in a movie theater that late at night. I also wonder what kind of effect this shooting will have on midnight screenings going forward. I'd also like to see the conversation in the media turn more toward a proactive approach to the problem rather than one involving fear. So much of what I saw being discussed involved beefing security, but while I am all for someone's right to bear arms I can't help but wonder what reason there possibly could be for a civilian to own an assault rifle.

Moving away from that subject, I finally started reading what is generally considered required reading for movie buffs, Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and have finished the first two chapters and can tell you it is well worth the purchase. The first two chapters largely deal with the making of Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider as well as the formation of BBS. I've already highlighted several pieces of the text I'll surely be using in future pieces and think you should all give it a peek if you haven't done so already.

Other than that, I watched Criterion's Blu-ray edition of Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law, which I'll be reviewing this week and will hopefully get to their Blu-ray editions of Whit Stillman's Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco as well. I also have my interview with William Friedkin coming up so be on the lookout for that.

Now it's your turn, what did you watch this week? What did you read? Is there anything else you'd like to discuss and where would you like to see this Sunday article go in the future? What would you like it to be called? I'm all ears.

SIDE NOTE: I posted a new sneak peek at the upcoming redesign that's on the way on the RopeofSilicon Facebook page. If you didn't see it, click here to give it a look and while you're there be sure to "like" the site on Facebook if you haven't done so already.

  • GreatOz

    You could call it" What I Think, What You Think"...and create a forum for movie related discussion from current events to books to films. Keeping the theme about cinema throughout. I would not like to see this turn into a political debate site, as that is not why I read it. I fully understand that events like the Colorado incident will spark talk and that is fine but if I want to debate gun control, then I will find the appropriate site... Anyway off the soapbox I go...

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

      I agree with you entirely.

  • Criterion10

    It's been a while since this column has appeared. Good to see it's back.

    Harold and Maude -- I loved this movie. Funny throughout and sad at times, it was a really joy. Ruth Gordon is excellent in this role. A

    Being John Malkovich (Rewatch) -- I do like this movie, but I still have problems with the third act of the film. It changes gears from the first two acts so suddenly and feels like a completely different film. I'm not sure how I feel about it. B+

    Insomnia -- This was the only Christopher Nolan film I had not seen, and overall I liked it. It was very entertaining and was certainly an original take on a familiar genre. I know that it is a remake, but I haven't seen the original yet so I can't compare the two. A-

    Repulsion (Rewatch) -- This is one of my all time favorite films. A true, great slow burn that is both eerie and suspensful. A

    The Last Temptation of Christ -- I had never seen this film before, but I decided to blind buy it during the Criterion sale as I am a big Scorsese fan and films with religious themes often intrigue me. That being said, I was not dissapointed. Willem Defoe's performance is excellent, just as is the score by Peter Gabriel. The film is interesting and thought provoking. It's incredible to see how much controversy this caused upon it's release. A

    We Need To Talk About Kevin (Rewatch) -- One of the best films of last year. Glad that I now own it in my collection. A

    Batman Begins (Rewatch) -- I thought I'd rewatch Nolan's first two Batman films before going to see the finale at midnight. I like this film very much, although there are some notable flaws, in particular Katie Holmes' character which is very underdeveloped. B+

    The Dark Knight (Rewatch) -- A great film, though not without its flaws as well. However, as you said Brad in the podcast, what works so well in this film makes it easy to overlook the flaws. I feel that the structure is a mess and there are many logic flaws. A-

    The Dark Knight Rises -- Here's the big topic of discussion this week. I saw this at midnight at my local multiplex. I still can't believe how crowded the theater was. And overall... I liked the film very much. It was never boring and some scenes really flew by. Catwoman was great, and I thought Bane was a perfect villain. However, the film was very flawed. When I could understand Bane's voice, I thought it worked great. When I couldn't, I wanted to hit my head against a wall. Also, the first act of the film was very confusing to me. I sat there unsure of who was doing what and why. Now, ambiguity doesn't bother me, but this felt just like poor storytelling. I had some major problems with the ending that I'll avoid due to spoilers. Overall, I thought this was a more than satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, that like Nolan's other Batman films, was not without its flaws. I'm already anxious to see it again in IMAX. B+/A- (Cannot decide on final grade until I see it again)

    • Criterion10

      After coming back from a second viewing of TDKR, I can officially say that it is indeed a great film, and at the current moment my personal favorite of the trilogy. However, that is not to say it is without some flaws. Bane's voice was a little nitpick that soon went away and the lack of clarity was something that was not of major concern either. What I realized is that the real flaw of the film is the film's ending. I'm going to dive into some spoiler territory so avoid reading the rest of this post if you haven't seen the film yet.

      The twist revolving Marion Cotillard's character is the film's greatest flaw. It has no impact on the film and plays off like nothing more than a "Gotcha!" moment. Had her character actually had some development, then maybe it would have an effect. I personally would've just dropped her character entirely (along with Matthew Modine), develop a climactic final fight between Batman and Bane (unlike the way he went down), and then rework the cliched race-against-the-clock ending with the bomb. Make those few changes, and you have a truly great film on your hands...

      • G-Man


        We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. I just rewatched the film and liked it even more (now a 10/10 for me due to my pure enjoyment). Personally, I thought the ending was flawless and perfect. Thought Marion's character was developed as well enough as she should've been. Can't wait until 70mm IMAX isn't sold out (in like a week), to see for a third time. To each their own. :)

        • Criterion10

          No worries :) Debating movies with other filmgoers is one of my favorite aspects about cinema, even when I don't necessarily agree with one. However, I do agree with your sentiment about the film being a 10/10 for pure enjoyment. Grading the film with my typical critical eye, I'd probably give an 8, but boy is it one fast, exciting, and enjoyable experience.

          And yes, I can't wait for the IMAX showing as well. I'll probably wait about a week or two since I've now seen the film twice in the span of three days, but it'll sure be an experience I'm anxiously awaiting.

          • Winchester

            Interesting to see different opinions on the end because I had real problems with it.

            I agree the twist with Cotillard was clumsily delivered but I don't think it would have surprised too many people and Bane's death is a clear example of laziness just to get him out the way, but there are two things about the end that very much bothered me.

            First, I think it exposes Catwoman's presence in the film as a mere convenience to give Bruce someone to be able to be with in lieu of Rachel who was dead. So she doesn't really need to be in the film specifically as Catwoman.

            Also I felt the whole ending of the film was telegraphed by Alfred at the start and so when Batman flew out at the end I think people would have been expecting it to not be as it appeared. I mean, I think roughly speaking the ending fits the whole story...............but it didn't come as a surprise.

        • http://www.yakface.com Mr Evil

          First off, let me say, I love this site. Best movie site ou there!

          Dark Knight Spoilers here...

          I agree with all the comments. I dont know if I would say it is the best film of three, it is too hard for anything to out do the performace of the Joker and the story, but this was close. I have watched to movie twice now (no IMAX, that is on Tuesday) and the second time was better. I felt that big detraction the first time was just trying to figure out what Bane was saying rather than watching the movie. The second viewing was much better and I was able to enjoy it even more. As for the ending, the part that bothers me the most is that there is no way he would have lived. They should have just let him die.
          Yes, the story had its flaws.. the bike with the rolling wheels just didnt work for me. Personally to me, I didnt like the mixing of major cities (New York, Pittsburgh, and others) during the overhead scenes.. it just didnt match up well. Overall I loved the film though.

          Brad - As with you, I agree with your comments about the Aroura shootings and the press. This is the biggest reason I do not watch the news and listen to the press. When you see the way the press can drive public opinion and it is always negative, it is a shame. After the initial story breaks, yes it is a horrible story, then we need to find a way to mend this and move forward. To keep talking about it in a negative light will not help anyone more forward. This is just getting out of hand.

          Those are just my thoughts.

  • G-Man

    I personally really like this column. :( Hope it stays.

    Theaters (First-Watch):

    The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Um, fuck yes! Loved this movie and can't wait to watch it again. What a fantastic ending to what is probably my personal favorite trilogy of all-time. Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway had huge shoes to fill in the villain roles, but really did a nice job. Bane was just plain scary and this was the best performance from Bale thus far. Christopher Nolan is a God amongst filmmakers. Could go on and on, but will spare everyone from pure fanboyism. 9.5/10

    Ted (2012) - Laughed my ass off in this one. Will certainly be picking up on blu ray. Glad I avoided the red band trailers. 8/10

    Home (First-Watch):

    Total Recall (1990) - A nice sci-fi flick that I liked, but didn't love. Special effects were nice and held up decently. Thinking the reboot has potential to be alright, although I'm not super excited for it. 7/10

    • G-Man

      On a side note, got in the theater at 10:00 for the 12:01 showing of TDKR and it was already jammed. Luckily still able to snag a good spot since my group was small. A highlight of waiting though was the "3D sucks" chant the audience got into.

      • Criterion10

        Your audience must have been a very smart one based on that example LOL. We showed up at 8:00 for the movie and there was already a line. Since there was 8 of us, we work in shifts. 4 waited on line for an hour, while the other 4 of us walked around the mall. We did this until 10, when the line got too long and they were starting to let us in soon.

  • Winchester

    I have a relative lot to summarise because what normally happens is that I note what I've been watching and make some rough notes and I had been keeping said list until I knew what was happening with the list. So, bear in mind this is what I've been watching since 1st July.

    At Cinemas -

    The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): I really didn't like this all that much. Felt it was very slapped together and generic. It was one of those times that despite all the onscreen action I was very bored. I would probably have been harder on it two weeks ago but I'm sorta passed that now. It's just a sloppy film overall.

    The Dark Knight Rises (2012): I put my main comments within the review thread. It is the weakest of the three and I really do agree Nolan didn't put 100% into it. But, I FINALLY felt some emotion in a Nolan film thanks to Micheal Caine's work as Alfred. The rest is a mess of themes thrown in with no payoff and while it DOES provide a conclusion to the story I still feel it's Nolan's poorest work for a while overall.

    At Home -

    Fantasia (1940): DVD, first watch - Yep, I know it probably sounds insane that this is the first time I have watched it but it's the truth. It was not at all what I expected. Structurally or in terms of content. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed every section but overall this was very nice to spend a couple of hours with. I liked in particular The Sorcerer's Apprentice section, the section with the formation of the Earth and the Night on Bald Mountain and the Ave Maria almost benedictory ending. I also listened to the very informative and engaging commentary by a Disney Historian whose name I forget which contextualised some of the content and intentions of the film. I would rewatch it again given the chance.

    Double Indemnity (1940): Blu-ray, rewatch - But first on remastered Blu-ray which I treated myself to. A good remaster and transfer of a classic film that I do think is as good as it's place in film history gives it since it essentially invented the Film Noir genre in 40s cinema and it's damn good!

    The Ladykillers (1955): TV airing, first watch - Absolutely superb Ealing comedy that I had never seen in full before. Simply a joy from start to finish and I already have it on my rental list so I can watch it again.

    Victim (1961): DVD, first watch - Controversial in the UK when released as it took place well before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country. It's story of a lawyer (Dirk Bogarde) investigating a blackmail plot affecting himself and some gay associates was quite enjoyable as a drama/thriller but since I was watching it well after the law was changed probably the sensationalistic aspects have been dulled.

    Ghostbusters (1984): Blu-ray, rewatch - First on Blu-ray which I only rented to see how the transfer was. It may be heresy but this is another one of those 80s films that I enjoy, but just don't love or think is that special. It's fine. I just don't get more than that from it.

    Total Recall (1990): Blu-ray, rewatch - But again first on Blu-ray. Not a bad transfer. I watched it because the remake is coming out soon. It's pretty solid for an old summer style sci-fi actioner.

    The Fugitive (1993): TV airing - Now THIS is how a good, solid blockbuster used to look. Well constructed, led by Harrison Ford in his prime facing off against Oscar winning Tommy Lee Jones and filled with tense and yet plausible enough action sequences as an actual plot unfolds. Sure, the pharmaceutical mumbo jumbo is a means to an end but this is still a fine example of a 90s blockbuster.

    Mysterious Skin (2004): DVD, first watch - I'm not that familiar with Gregg Araki but I was blown away by the beauty and tragedy in this tale of two boys both abused by the same man sexually whose lives have gone in very different directions. Absolutely gut-wrenchingly moving by the finale and heart-breaking and yet hopeful and very well directed and acted by all. I think this was one of Joseph Gordon Levitt's early roles before going into bigger films. One of the best (if not the best) film I saw in this period.

    Batman Begins (2005): Blu-ray, rewatch - Part of my general The Dark Knight Rises prep. Still the most coherent of the three films and the most enjoyable for me.

    Savage Grace (2007): DVD, first watch - A fairly unsavoury and dull film about the relationship between Barbara Bakelund and her son which may or may not have been incestous before he killed her. It's impossible to know if anything presented here was true in that vein as all are now dead, but either way I couldn't care about anything or anyone in this film.

    The Dark Knight (2008): Blu-ray, rewatch - I've never been as laudatory towards this film as others generally are. It's messy, it's rambling and it's not kept in enough control by Nolan. It's very good, true, but it's a film that has not held up on repeat viewings from when I saw it at first.

    Love Ranch (2010): DVD, first watch - Boring drama based on slightly true events. Woman gets screwed properly for the first time in ages and decides she now knows 'love' and decides to throw away everything for said man. That kinda rubbish.

    Kick-Ass (2010): Blu-ray, first watch - Very good and funny superhero flick. I had just never got around to before. But a blast of un-PC fun!

    Sanctum (2011): Blu-ray, first watch - Atrocious. As bad as the word of mouth told me it would be.

    Hugo (2011): DVD, rewatch - I'm not sure I enjoyed this as much as I did in theatres back in December or January. Gorgeous visuals and production design but it does take a while to go anywhere storywise. I like all the little vignettes about the station dwellers that almost play out like little silent films, adding to the whole Valentine to cinema that Scorcese has made.

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011): Blu-ray, rewatch. Ok, it's not great but frankly I still enjoyed it more than Spider-Man.

    The Woman in Black (2012): DVD, rewatch - I definitely enjoyed this a lot less than at cinemas. I found it quite boring this time around and nothing to get very excited about.

    In TV land I finished off season 1 of 'Boardwalk Empire' (2010) which I just can't get to love, and also watched season 1 of 'Happy Endings' as it was mentioned here and I was spurred to catch it.

    That was all for the month so far.

    I'm also reading Yann Martel's 'Life of Pi' just now as prep for the film. Not very far into it yet though.

    I can't think of anything else yet for discussion but I have no doubt others will.

    • G-Man

      Nice to see The Fugitive. I own the DVD and haven't watched in quite some time. Feel like I always forget this when discussing my favorite action films from the 90s, but it's definitely up there.

    • AS

      I'm happy to see someone else who wasn't blown away by TDKR! Although, I'm not sure that my criticisms mirror your own. I do disagree with you, however, when it comes to the other two films. I think Begins is by far the weakest of the 3 (mostly due to some really poor performances and way too many cheesy moments) and I think the worst part of TDK is the first hour. Eventually, it builds and builds and gets better and better. I thought TDKR was just stale, generic and boring throughout. My primary issue with the film is that if it wasn't for the credits, you'd never know it was a Nolan film. It has every cliche that every other superhero film has. I honestly thought Nolan was better than that.

      • Winchester

        @AS - I think it can legitimately be said that BB is not without it's problems either, but I don't have a problem with the performances as such. Like I said, personally I find it the most coherent of the three in terms of it's story internally. And on a lesser level of simple enjoyment, I guess I find it the most rewatchable generally. But for someone of Nolan's supposed stature I find there's actually a lot of silliness in some of the plot aspects of all the films anyway, and some logic lapses along the way. It's not quite contained to TDKR.

        @G-Man - I should perhaps try to find it to add to the collection as well. I really enjoyed it.

        • AS

          It's definitely not contained to TDKR, but TDK has less silliness than the other 2 films. There are some moments that really get to me like the underground chase scene with the cutaways to the SWAT drivers going "oh boy, that can't be good." Sooo cheesy and below the Nolan name... well, not anymore. After TDKR, nothing would surprise me.

  • http://nktkomarov.livejournal.com/ Nick

    I've read Easy Riders this past spring and while I found it extremely informative, I thought Biskind never quite knew what he wanted to focus on. As a result, we get production stories, relationship stories, some film criticism, a whole lot of hard-to-remember names and anecdotes concerning the celebrities that are oftentimes bordering on yellow journalism, all rolled into one. It's detailed and never boring for a film buff, but it's also regularly all over the place. Probably the last straw, for me, was when Biskind decided to let his personal opinion get in the way and, among other things, showed his clear negative bias towards Lucas & Spielberg (who apparently ruined the American New Wave with their blockbusters), and claimed that Apocalypse Now was "not a masterpiece". It was just like, man, just figure out what you really want to tell and delve into it. I hope you'll offer your opinion on the whole thing when you finish it, Brad, since no matter what it's one of the biggest film-themed documentary books, and there's a lot to chew on there. Both in terms of content and in terms of how it's presented.

  • AS

    I'm not sure about the politics idea. That usually only inspires embittered arguments with endless responses that go on for days. I know, I've been there. I have my opinions, you have yours, and nobody's going to change anyone's mind so what's the point? It always just devolves into a dick measuring contest.

    Anyway, I do think this would be good place to have random discussions about movie related topics. A place where people can chat about what they've seen, some movie related news they found interesting this week and so forth. Although, I suppose it doesn't have to be limited to movies. The trick will be getting people to actually respond to other people's posts so that a conversation can take place.

    So, here's what I watched since the last post:

    At home (first viewing):

    The Hours (2002) - The best word to describe this film would be meh. There are some very good performances and an above average score from Philip Glass but I just didn't see the point this film was trying to make. 3/5

    Margaret (2011) - I guess I'm a bit perplexed as to why critics were so adamant on championing this film. The performances are fine and it's an interesting look at a post-9/11 New York, but at 2hr. and 30 mins. it's beyond self-indulgent. The story just doesn't justify the running time and by the 2hr. mark it just becomes tedious. 3/5

    Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) - This is an extremely entertaining and interesting look at a profoundly motivated filmmaker. I don't think anyone loves making movies more than Roger Corman. He loves them so much he doesn't even care if they're good or not. I'd say the interview with Jack Nicholson is the highlight in this documentary. I highly recommend this for anyone whose really interested in filmmaking. 3.5/5

    The Basketball Diaries (1995) - This film suffers from the same cliches that virtually every "coming of age" film suffers from. It's formulaic and, at times, downright cheesy (the masturbation sequence on the roof is beyond laughable). 2.5/5

    The Vanishing (1988) - Whenever the "most disturbing movies ever made" are talked about, this film usually finds a place on the list. So naturally I decided to watch it and I can't figure out what people are going on about. I don't see how anyone whose seen the film Buried (2010) could possibly find this "scary" or "haunting." It's well made though. 3/5

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - I finally decided to catch up with this classic, and, well, ehh. I'm no fan of musicals but I can appreciate one that's done well and this certainly wasn't. The homoerotic overtones were just bizarre and had no real purpose other than to be "different." This film is very undeserving of its cult status. 2/5

    At the theater (first viewing):

    To Rome with Love - It seems critics pick and choose when they're going to accept a new Woody Allen film because the 45% on RT is inexplicable. Is it one of his best films? Certainly not, but rotten? Even The Three Stooges scored higher than that and you're not going to tell me that TTS is better than the latest Woody Allen film, sorry. It's a very enjoyable watch with very funny moments and solid performances. The film is at its best when Allen plays off Judy Davis. That's pure comic gold. 3/5

    Moonrise Kingdom - I can only express bewilderment at the vomit of praise this film has received. It's not a bad film, but GREAT! I think not. In fact, it's my least favorite of Wes Anderson's after Bottle Rocket. I'm not really sure what to say about this, other than stating that I found absolutely nothing compelling about the story or the characters. I guess this film just resonated with other people differently. 3/5

    The Dark Knight Rises - Well, I've already written extensively about my tremendous disappointment with this film. 3/5

    I'd like to close this out by sharing my thoughts on the whole "Imax experience." I've seen 3 feature films in Imax in my life: The Dark Knight, Inception (which wasn't shot on Imax) and The Dark Knight Rises. And I've had the same experience with all of them. Now, from what I understand, Imax is the highest resolution available and is 10 times better than a 1080p blu ray disc. My experience watching TDKR (1/3 of which was shot on Imax) and Inception (0% was shot on Imax) was identical (in the theater, that is). I've got a pretty good eye and as I was watching TDKR, the detail and clarity of the image was nowhere near as good as watching a blu ray on my 1080p LCD. Now, I should say that the Imax theater I watched these films at was, in fact, FULL Imax. 75 foot screen, 70 millimeter projector. It's actually the ONLY "true" Imax theater in Connecticut. Now, I can see a HUGE difference on my HDTV. Whenever I watch TDK, the transition from the Imax shots to the 35 millimeter shots is almost staggering. The clarity is nothing short of breathtaking. So I've deduced that it is pretty much worthless to spend extra money on an Imax ticket, when the detail of the image is almost identical to a regular theater. On blu ray, however, the difference is amazing.

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

      "Some movie related news they found interesting this week and so forth"

      Maybe that's the key, bringing back some of the week's top stories or maybe something to look at a little closer, while also talking about what we saw. Just trying to spur on a fun weekend conversation. Appreciate the idea.

      • AS

        Any time.

  • Drew

    - The Dark Knight Rises (3/4) Although it didn't have the psychological complexity, gritty realism, or emotional effect of the first two installments, the trilogy does go out with an action packed bang that gives the series a thorough completion.
    - To Rome With Love (3/4) I enjoyed all 4 of the vignettes and found the characters to be likable and funny, so overall it made for a nice, enjoyable movie. Great to see Woody back on the screen as well.
    - Friends With Kids (3/4) An amusing comedy about 21st century parenting in it’s many shapes and forms.
    - Casa de Mi Padre (2.5/4) Sure the joke gets tiresome quick, even with the short running time, but when Will Farrell is in his element, it never gets old.
    - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2.5/4) I usually love Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, but they didn't seem to have enough chemistry together in this one for me to really care this time.
    - Being Flynn (2/4) An empty, soulless film, not because it gives a bleak portrayal of a strained father-son relationship, but simply because the film gives no emotional punch, weather depressing or uplifting.

  • Andrew

    At Home:

    The Last Temptation of Christ – Picked this up at B&N, and have to say this film was an absolute revelation for me, and one of the most thought provoking films I’ve seen in years. Dafoe and Keitel both give near career best performances as Jesus and Judas, respectively, and I have to say I found this film as spiritually moving as any Biblical or church experience I’ve had. It really is a tragedy that the film was subject to so much unfair scrutiny and criticism on first release, because I believe this is truly Martin Scorsese’s most underrated masterpiece. (9.5/10)

    After Hours – A fine movie, but I just found it a little lacking in substance. That being said, it is a lot of fun watching Scorsese’s only true foray into comedy. (6/10)

    Charade – Another Criterion purchase. While I enjoyed the films constant twists and turns, in the end I felt these twists created so many logical fallacies with what we’ve previously seen that they end up hurting the film. Cary Grant is as excellent as always, I felt there was something a little off with Audrey Hepburn’s performance. There was nothing specifically wrong with it, I just felt at times there was quite a bit of overacting, which for me reduced my enjoyment of the film. (6.5/10)

    Raging Bull (Rewatch) – What else is there to say? An absolute classic. While not my favorite Scorsese film, it’s probably his best, both from a technical and a storytelling perspective, and De Niro’s La Motta is one of the great performances of all time. (10/10)

    The King of Comedy (Rewatch) – Another underappreciated gem from Martin Scorsese. This is possibly De Niro’s most underrated performance (discounting perhaps Once Upon a Time in America), and watching this film immediately following Raging Bull accentuates that, as Rupert Pupkin couldn’t be further from Jake La Motta. My only issue with this film is the performance of Sandra Bernhard, which could have benefitted from a little more nuance. (8/10)

    In Theatres:

    The Dark Knight Rises – Without getting into too many details, I found the first hour a bit of a mess, too many character introductions resulted in a lot more jumpiness in the story than I would have liked, and there were definitely some unnecessary moments. However, the last hour and twenty minutes or so of the film was absolutely incredible, both in terms of the action/story as well as the epic scale of the production. I’d be hard pressed to name another film from the past few years that has as big a scope as this film. One last point of note for me was Michael Caine, who was tremendous in the few scenes he had, providing an emotional core to the film I felt was lacking in Begins and TDK. While TDK is probably a stronger, tighter film, TDKR is currently my favorite of the trilogy. (9/10)

    Moonrise Kingdom – I was underwhelmed by this film. Perhaps because of all the hype, but I found this film somewhat forgettable. That being said, Bill Murray and Ed Norton were standouts for me, and I think the film works very well as a whimsical story of youth love and adventure. There just wasn’t quite enough in it for me to warrant repeat viewings. (6.5/10)

  • http://cineenuruguay.blogspot.com Driver

    At cinemas:

    The Dictator: I went in with low expectations because I had seen a lot of trailers and thought those could ruin the movie for me. It turned out to be quite a surprise, I laughed a lot and without counting "Borat", I thought this was Sacha Baron Choen´s best work. There were some jokes that fell flat but overall it was a good funny movie. The speech at the end is great. 7/10

    Madagascar 3: Another sorprise at the theater this week. I dont love the first Madagascar, and I hate the second one but this one is pretty good. Its funny, crazy at times and the animation is perfect. Its probabbly one of the best animated films so far this year. 7/10

  • http://thebioscopist.com The Bioscopist

    Other than TDKR and Magic Mike, I re-watched Boogie Nights. It felt like a natural pick after sharing some common ground with Magic Mike.

  • m1

    I don't remember everything I saw from the past couple of weeks so I'm just going to mention what I can.

    The Descendants (2011)(rewatch)-I haven't seen all of the Oscar movies from last year but I can't imagine anything topping this movie. It's Payne's best work apart from Sideways and probably Clooney's best as well. Shailene Woodley is a find and I hope she can find a career once that supposedly awful ABC Family show ends. 10/10

    War Horse (2011)-A sentimental, beautifully shot war epic that isn't as gritty as The Hurt Locker or Saving Private Ryan. Still a good movie. 7/10

    The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)-A decent reboot, but it's too similar to the Raimi trilogy to have a great reason to exist. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were the highlights. 6.5/10

    American Beauty (1999)-This was a Best Picture winner that I really wanted to see and was finally able to. It's a funny, witty, satirical, emotional movie about suburban life that has one of the best final scenes ever. 9.5/10

    Fight Club (1999)-Had never seen this before but heard a lot about it. The first hour is an awful piece of filmmaking that is all about style instead of substance but after that it becomes a fun, scary, surprising movie. I still don't think it's anything great, but it's the rare movie that gets better as it goes along. Norton, Pitt, and Bonham Carter deliver each of their best work in this. 6/10

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)-The perfect example of a movie that takes a great story and turns it to garbage. The scenes with the boy and Tom Hanks are great but everything else is a dull, meandering mess and the ending is a huge cop-out. Bullock's performance is the only noteworthy thing in the movie by far. 4/10

    The Dark Knight Rises (2012)-A very nice conclusion to a memorable trilogy. Yes, it's messy, but it's also ambitious, exciting, and nicely paced. Cotillard and Freeman don't have much to do, but Caine, Hardy, and Bale are all great, and Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt give the best performances in the movie. Compared to The Avengers, it's inferior but comes close. Compared to TDK and Batman Begins, it's above BB but below TDK. 8/10

  • Lukas Mix

    Great book, Brad.
    I hope you will write a review as soon as you are finished.

  • Travis

    So many films...
    Blade Runner-I was not impressed. At least not plot wise. However, I was not a fan of the novel, and no matter how different they are, I just couldn't get into the plot. However, the symbols and visuals were incredible, and my start for the trilogy of Batman movies was ready (I could literally see It n Batman Begins) 7/10
    Metropolis-fairly basic, but stunning visually. 8/10
    Heat-I found the story basic, but the scenes and cinematography were great. 8/10
    Doctor Zhivago-Partially the inspiration for The Dark Knight Rises, I was blown away-this was beautiful, well acted, and all around a great film. 10/10
    Batman (1966) and Batman and Robin (1997)-I watched them for Catwoman and Bane. I CANNOT review these, they are too campy-either on purpose or by accident. At best, maybe 5/10 and 1/10, respectively
    The Dark Knight Trilogy-I saw the "IMAX" trilogy, in it's glory, at the midnight premiere. I was amazed after seeing Batman Begins (which I thought was the weakest) that that was Nolan's worst film, because that is impressive. The Dark Knight was as usual, except in IMAX it was even more amazing. And when the third one finally came on, it met all my expectations (which were lowered to know it would not beat TDK), but I still was disappointed until the finale, which was my favorite done part of the entire trilogy. In order, Batman Begins-8/10, The Dark Knight Rises-8.5/10, The Dark Knight-10/10
    Troll 2-This is a masterpiece of so bad it's good. I can't review it honestly.
    Finally, as part of a bad movie marathon, I watched the Twilight Saga. It got progressively worse and worse, leading to the incredibly bad Breaking Dawn. However, I must point out (at pain to myself, as your comments were my favorite part of the entire past year of ROS reporting), but Jason Rathbone did, in fact, have 2 lines earlier on in the movie (during the Bachelor Party and chair carrying scene), so his total is more than "Possibly" and "We're outnumbered." However, those two are still much more memorable, and I will do my best to live a lie to make Brad's superior version the truth

  • Timothy

    I think it's a wonderful idea to turn this column into something more.
    The Dark Knight Rises- I saw it twice, and although the second time wasn't as exciting, the film still packed quite a punch. 9.5/10

    AT HOME:
    Sabotage- Not great Hitchcock, but good Hitchcock. 7/10

    The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog- The first true Hitchcock masterpiece. 9/10

    Shock Corridor- Although slow and dull in some parts, the exciting climax makes the experience worthwhile. 8/10

    In literature, I have been reading Faulkner's Light in August, which is slow to start but worthwhile.

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    Always enjoyed seeing what movies everyone's been watching. I've been catching up on some Oscar nominated movies, and also Star Wars which I only finally saw all of in the last week:

    Back to the Future (1985) First time watching. Was pretty cool, would have been amazing back in the day. A-

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Epic ending. Too bad about that horrible 'Noooo' B+

    The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Loved it, almost perfect movie and currently my #1 of 2012. A

    Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) - Solid, didn't mind it at all. B+

    The King is Dead (2012) - An aussie movie that wasn't quite for me. C+

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)- I don't know why everyone hated it, I loved the racing scenes. Jar-Jar Binks didn't annoy me. B+

    Milk (2008) - What a moving movie, I was really impressed at how real it felt. True story too. A-

    Winter's Bone (2010) - It was solid, great acting. Didn't like it that much though. B-

    A Serious Man (2009) - Really didn't enjoy this, bored me to death actually. C

    The Prestige (2006) - I recently called it my favourite movie ever so had to give it a rewatch after I bought the Blu-Ray. Pretty content to call it my #1 of all time. LOVED IT. A+

  • http://www.yakface.com Mr Evil

    What I watched -

    TDKR - Second viewing - Absolutely shocked that a film would be completely sold out at a 9:45 AM showing. Yes AM not PM.. reviews aside, I like it better seeing this a second time, still a B+

    Three Stooges - First viewing - Thought it was ok, some real funny moments, but too far spread out. Did not live up to the hype of what I was told. I gave it a C

    Lockout - First Viewing - I thought it was a decent movie, typical action flick, good comedy thrown in. The opening special effects were horrid, but after that, the movie was good. I gave it a B-

  • Will

    I didn't read it this week, but true movie buffs will enjoy "If Chins Could Kill" by Bruce Campbell. Awesome behind the scenes look at the industry and the struggles b movie actors face