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Film criticism and recommendation

Enter here to talk about books, art, literature, film, TV and anything else to do with popular culture.
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Dave B
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Film criticism and recommendation

#1 Postby Dave B » January 1st, 2013, 10:28 pm

Having given up on "War of the Worlds" (the Tom Cruise version) after half an hour more because of its portrayal of the dysfunctional version of American Family Life than for its (still not very good) overall cinematographic quality I wonder is there are any films actually worth watching.

I am basically a sci-fi fan (David Lynch's "Dune", "The Fifth Element", "Star Wars" etc.) also but enjoy well made films such as "The Calendar Girls" and "The Exotic Marigold Hotel" as well as anything Shakespearean that is set in the correct period.

Does anyone have any recommendations? The story, production, direction and cinematography are more important to me than the special effects. Time to broaden my horizons maybe!
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geolab
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#2 Postby geolab » January 2nd, 2013, 1:56 am

I'm into scifi too, but there aren't many new films out there.... so.....

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil - Not scifi but a very funny twist on 'Cabin in the woods' massacre movies.

Iron Sky is better than expected.

The Guard (2009) is excellent.

Kick Ass (2010)

Sling Blade (1996) if you haven't seen it.

Source Code (2011) is great time travel (sort of) scifi.

The Girl Next Door (2007) is a bit nasty. So is Down Terrace (2009) - black comedy?

Foreign Films not to miss:

Special Forces (2011)

Sin Nombre (2009)

The Chaser (2008)

Samaritan Girl (2004)

Kung Fu Hustle (Very Funny)

The Assault (2010)

OldBoy or Old Boy (2003)

The Raid (2011)

Bedevilled (2010)
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thundril
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#3 Postby thundril » January 2nd, 2013, 2:50 am

The Orphanage.
Volver.
Lord of War.

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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#4 Postby Dave B » January 2nd, 2013, 9:26 am

Thanks chaps, I have not heard of half of those!
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Tetenterre
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#5 Postby Tetenterre » January 2nd, 2013, 4:11 pm

If you like sci-fi:
Silent Running
Dark Star
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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#6 Postby Dave B » January 2nd, 2013, 5:01 pm

Tetenterre wrote:If you like sci-fi:
Silent Running
Dark Star


Silent running didn't do a lot for me, watched it years ago. By coincidence I ordered Dark Star yesterday! Now that was a real cult movie made on a shoe string (mostly in a garage if I remember correctly) that was great - looking forward to it.

What I don't get is the tendency for American based films to show the dysfunctions in their family and social make-up - or is life really like that over there? Whatever, it detracts from the story far too much IMHO, that is what finally put me off War of the Worlds.

My favourites have probably been:
2001: A Space Odyssey (+ others in that series)
Star Wars (mainly original trilogy)
Dune (David Lynch - good cinematography even if it did not follow the book well)
Independence Day
Close Encounters
Avatar (sort of)
Fifth Element
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Compassionist
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#7 Postby Compassionist » January 2nd, 2013, 7:22 pm

You have probably watched these but they are amongst my favourites:
Blade Runner
The Matrix Trilogy
Inception
Dark City
Paycheck
Minority Report
Total Recall

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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#8 Postby Dave B » January 2nd, 2013, 7:24 pm

Should have had Blade Runner in my list - probably forgotten others as well.

Thanks Comp.
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Tetenterre
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#9 Postby Tetenterre » January 3rd, 2013, 11:51 am

Dave B wrote:Dune (David Lynch - good cinematography even if it did not follow the book well)
I liked bits of it, but really disliked the way the "baddies" (e.g. the Baron and Feyd) were portrayed as pantomime villains.

Other stuff you might (or might not) enjoy:
Watchmen
V for Vendetta
Sin City
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Ken H
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#10 Postby Ken H » January 3rd, 2013, 3:28 pm

Not sure what you meant by a 'disfunctional family' in films, but I think a well-functioning family would not have much appeal in a sci-fi movie. :wink:

Some good ones listed previously, so here are some others I found interesting:

The Riddick films: Pitch Black and the Chronicles of Riddick
Quatermass and the Pit (A good oldie)
Aliens (Best of the Alien series)
Screamers (based on P.K. Dick's Second Variety) Not well received, but has an interesting premise.
Serenity
Spaceballs
The Time Machine
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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#11 Postby Dave B » January 3rd, 2013, 4:19 pm

Spaceballs was brilliant!

Yeah, you are right re: "normal" families & social behaviour not being a good pull for the audience - but then I wonder about the difference between audiences on both sides of the Pond. Which are the films aimed at and is the change in British behaviour (over the past 30 years or so) a reaction to the imported films/TV progs I wonder? There just seems to be so much screaming and tantrums!!! Not to mention doing stupid things - but then acting sensibly just ain't good theatre. Perhaps being single and of a certain age I am out of touch with family life?
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getreal
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#12 Postby getreal » January 5th, 2013, 12:20 am

Have you seen Moon, Dave? Great wee British low budget film. Won lots of awards. The director's dad is kinda cool, too :wink:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_(film)
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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#13 Postby Dave B » January 5th, 2013, 9:57 am

getreal wrote:Have you seen Moon, Dave? Great wee British low budget film. Won lots of awards. The director's dad is kinda cool, too :wink:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_(film)

New one on me, getreal - thanks I will look out for it.

I found it too easy not to bother to look when I found so much of the studio output, er, less than pleasing to what I like to think of as my artistic sensitivities. Don't like the loud, "In yer face," stuff.
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lewist
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#14 Postby lewist » January 5th, 2013, 2:20 pm

It's not released in the UK yet, Dave but when it's available, Lincoln is outstandingly good. I saw it the other day here in NC.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Alan H
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#15 Postby Alan H » January 5th, 2013, 3:05 pm

lewist wrote:It's not released in the UK yet, Dave but when it's available, Lincoln is outstandingly good. I saw it the other day here in NC.
Good. Athena and I want to see it.

BTW, how's the weather in NC?
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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#16 Postby Dave B » January 5th, 2013, 5:40 pm

I thought of selling my copy of War of the Worlds on Amazon, but there are 295 copies available at £0.01 already.

Looks the the BHF charity shop gets another donation.
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lewist
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#17 Postby lewist » January 6th, 2013, 2:07 am

Alan H wrote:BTW, how's the weather in NC?
Quite variable. Sun today but with a nip in the air. Quite pleasant.

We have also seen The Hobbit (a disappointment for one expecting to see a film of the book) and Les Miserables (OK).


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Dave B
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#18 Postby Dave B » January 6th, 2013, 8:36 pm

Oh well, more moans!

I would not bother with the film "The Objective" (from the same crew as "The Blair Witch Project"), starts off OKish but does not improve and there is no ending at all really. Even special effects not special.

Another one for the charity shop it seems.
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Ken H
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#19 Postby Ken H » January 7th, 2013, 12:02 am

I quite liked The Hobbit. I thought it matched up well with the films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, by splitting it up into three films, they had to embellish the story a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing the other two.

The film was distributed in six different combinations of 2D/3D/High Frame Rate/Regular Frame Rate/IMAX. I saw it in regular frame rate 3D. The 3D effects were quite natural with few pop-outs aimed at the audience. I think it enhanced the movie and sort of drew one into the story. It didn't seem as long as its 2:48 run time.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' - Isaac Asimov

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Ken H
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Re: Film criticism and recommendation

#20 Postby Ken H » January 7th, 2013, 12:03 am

(quoted myself again!)
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' - Isaac Asimov


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