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Review the Last Movie You Saw

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The Warrior's Way

So awesome. It's like last year's Ninja Assassin, but with a more cohesive story, with some enjoyable performances from Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, and Danny Huston.

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Batman Forever (1995)

I have been working my way through the Batman movies on Netflix. This one was just awful. It was far too long, for starters, and the villains were over-the-top silly rather than over-the-top outrageous like those in the Burton/Keaton films. Given what I remember about Batman & Robin, I may not watch it when Netflix finally gets around to streaming it.

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I always liked Batman Forever. I was (and remain) a huge Jim Carrey fan, so that performance didn't bother me. Tommy Lee Jones sacrifices most of his story to Carrey, though, so it makes a decent performance seem worse. But I've always been a big fan of Robin, so that helped me with this one, too.

And I always liked Batman and Robin, even though the villains really do edge closer to camp. There's a good emotional resonance ringing through it, however.

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I like Jim Carrey but I think he was wrong for this part. Or, perhaps the part was just poorly written. We are supposed to believe that Dr. Edward Nygma was brilliant enough to be hired by Wayne Enterprises but that nobody noticed that he was totally and completely nuts?

Watching this movie so soon after the Burton/Keaton films with their darker tone likely also impacted my opinion. The Burton/Keaton films were believably unbelievable because the outlandish characters fit the atmosphere. It was easy to suspend disbelief regarding the Penguin's plot in Batman Returns. It was much more difficult to accept the Riddler's brain device.

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I figure it was less that he was originally nuts than his job left him horribly unfulfilled, which that supervisor of his sort of suggests. He was probably a wrong fit for the job in the first place, though, clearly, with ideas the company was never going to use. So it drove him over the edge, the same way Oswald Cobblepot went a little crazy after being raised by penguins, or Selina Kyle after being murdered. It just unleashed unhinged personas. Same with Harvey Dent, though I much prefer the version in Dark Knight, where, even if he (as the villain) wasn't the main focus, the Harvey Dent part still played nicely, making logical sense.

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I think it might have helped had the character been presented as less nutty during his introduction. Being unfulfilled with your job is one thing; Dr. Nygma was disturbingly obsessed with Bruce Wayne and Carrey played him over the type (in typical Carrey fashion) from the very beginning.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

Saw this one on the big screen (but not 3-D). It was not nearly as entertaining as the first two films in the franchise. It relied heavily on CGI and the religious themes were far more overt, especially near the very end. While it might reflect the source material it pulled me out of the story, which is never a good thing.

Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004, Direct-to-DVD)

At once both better and worse than I expected. The plot was a totally surprise and frankly not something I liked. The "brain bugs" from Starship Troopers were one thing but the bugs in this were just too much. It also failed to recapture the tone of the first film and some of the acting was atrocious. I recognized Ed Quinn (from Eureka), Kelly Carlson (from Nip/Tuck) and of course Brenda Strong from the first film (in a totally unrelated role). Maybe Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is better.

Edited by forst

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I recently rediscovered the wonders of the library. I borrowed Rocky Balboa and Terminator: Salvation and now have finally seen all the movies in both franchises. Neither of them were amazing but both were enjoyable, with Rocky Balboa getting the edge for nostalgia purposes. I also borrowed Live Free or Die Hard but it was full screen and the PG-13 version. I want to see the widescreen unrated version.

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Elektra

Based on everything I had heard or read about this film I had very low expectations and they were exceeded somewhat. The plot does not hold up at all to any sort of scrutiny. However, Jennifer Garner and Kirsten Prout carry the film between them.

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And I always liked Batman and Robin, even though the villains really do edge closer to camp. There's a good emotional resonance ringing through it, however.

"Edge closer"? IIRC, in one scene, Mr. Freeze is entertained by a group of his henchmen singing "I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow" and while he's watching them, he'swearing polarbear slippers. If you ask me, that's pretty camp (or at least really silly).

Speaking of which, the movie's portrayal of Mr. Freeze was one of the reasons why Batman and Robin is such a terrible movie. I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the 90's Batman cartoon by Bruce Timm & Paul Dini and how it re-invented the character of Mr. Freeze, transforming him from a one-note gimmick villain to a genuinely tragic character who evoked the sympathies of both the audience and the characters in the show. Now, "B & R" kept Freeze's backstory and raison d'etre but all the emotional resonance is essentially undermined by scenes like the one I mentioned above.

Oh, and if you've got to have Arnold as Mr. Freeze, at least have him play the character in a similar way to how he played The T-800; as a cold, seemingly emotionless being who rarely speaks and when he does, it's short and to the point, not as a bad saturday morning cartoon villain who spouts cringe-inducing lines like:

"Ice to meet you!" or "Do you know what killed the dinosaurs? The ice-age!"

Seriously.

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I have been trying to watch one or two movies every weekend, either borrowed from the library or streamed from Netflix. Here are the movies I have seen over the past few months:

Flash of Genius - Well acted and enjoyable.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Not as good as the first movie but still a fun romp.

The Fifth Element - Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich were fantastic. Jovovich's made up language was hilarious.

The Devil Wears Prada - Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt were all great.

Dr. No - The first Bond flick. Much slower than I expected and Ursula Andress had a much smaller role than I thought. Plus, her voice was dubbed.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - The reviews I read online made this sound terrible. It was really fun. I might try to see the third film when it comes out.

Vacancy - Kate Beckinsale could not save this terrible slasher thriller.

The Time Traveler's Wife - Decent acting but a bad plot.

From Russia With Love - The second Bond. Better than the first but still slow to get going and a little long.

The Island - Again, reviews made this sound worse than it was. It probably was a bit too long but I liked it.

Varsity Blues - I have wanted to see this since it came out in 1999. I thought it was rated PG-13 so imagine my surprise when there was a lengthy scene at a strip club. Good but nothing special.

Snow Angels - Another movie Kate Beckinsale could not save. Depressing and slow.

Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement - Not as good as the first one.

Goldfinger - The third Bond. Better than the first three and not nearly as slow.

S1m0ne - Very enjoyable if a bit long.

Thunderball - Fourth Bond. Not quite as good as Goldfinger but very good. Domino Vitali (played by the lovely Claudine Auger) is probably my favorite Bond girl thus far.

Easy A - Emma Stone was fantastic. Unfortunately, some of the dialogue was just too perfect and too witty and the main character's relationship with her parents was too unbelievable and pulled me out of the story several times.

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The Black Cat (1934)

Granted, this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name. However, it's an excellent horror-movie that features two of the genre's most legendary actors; Bela Lugosi & Boris Karloff in their prime. The entire movie takes place in the house built by architect Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff) on the exact place were Poelzig's squadron got massacred in the war. In fact, their massacre was due to Poelzig selling them out to the Russians in order to save his own hide. Now, fifteen years later, the only survivor: Dr Vitus Verdegast (Lugosi) has shown up on Poelzig's doorstep in order to exact his revenge.

The Black Cat is a superbly well-crafted movie imbued with a tense sinister atmosphere, Lugosi and Karloff plays off each other expertly with Karloff being especially good as the subtle, sinister villain. The movie also involves such themes as a devil-worshiping cult, the titular black cat and what must be a contender for the most gruesome death in cinematic history (the fact that we are spared the grisly details doesn't help matters). Highly recommended.

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John Carter

I didn't have much for expectations going in, but I came out loving it, and became a new fan.

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Since my last post in this thread (way back in in April of 2011), I watched the following movies on DVD/Netflix/Amazon:

You Only Live Twice [bond #5]

On Her Majesty's Secret Service [bond #6]

Diamonds Are Forever [bond #7]

Live and Let Die [bond #8]

The Man with the Golden Gun [bond #9]

The Spy Who Loved Me [bond #10]

Moonraker [bond #11]

For Your Eyes Only [bond #12]

Octopussy [bond #13]

A View to a Kill [bond #14]

The Living Daylights [bond #15]

Licence to Kill [bond #16]

GoldenEye [bond #17]

Tomorrow Never Dies [bond #18]

The World Is Not Enough [bond #19]

Honestly, I can remember very little about any of these. I had seen Moonraker and GoldenEye before. Despite having seen and enjoyed hundreds of movies from the 1960s, I really did not enjoy many of the early movies in the franchise (Goldfinger was an exception). I did really like Pierce Brosnan's first three entries; his fourth is the only Bond movie I have seen in theaters. At some point I hope to see Daniel Craig's movies.

Other movies:

Tremors - still very good the 2nd or 3rd time

Tremors 2: Aftershock - not a bad sequel

Starship Troopers 3: Mauraders - a terrible, terrible threequel

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection - probably the worst entry in the franchise

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins - surprisingly good

Mars Attacks! - holds up well

Roxie Hart - not sure what to think about this one; I adore Ginger Rogers but it was really slow to get going

Dinner for Schmucks - I do not think I "got" this one

Sherlock Holmes (2009) - a fun ride

Unstoppable - had never heard of this, watched it because it was on TV and enjoyed it

Outsourced - enjoyable but not as funny as the failed NBC sitcom

The Breakfast Club - almost as good the second time around

7 Brides for 7 Brothers - just as good the 3rd time around

Wet Hot American Summer - awful

Brigadoon - not as good the 2nd time around

The A-Team [FIRST HOUR ONLY] - the DVD went kaput halfway through and I have not had a chance to see it all the way through

Office Space - good but not amazing

Fragments (aka Winged Creatures) - watched only because of Kate Beckinsale; not very good

Faces in the Crowd - watched only because of Milla Jovovich; decent but a terrible ending

Starship Troopers - probably my 8th or 9th viewing, still a great popcorn movie

Almost Famous - knew very little about this, thought it was good

Garden State - thought it was depressing but well done

Live Free or Die Hard - enjoyable

An Education - very good

Bridesmaids - not as funny as everything I read indicated but good

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And I always liked Batman and Robin, even though the villains really do edge closer to camp. There's a good emotional resonance ringing through it, however.

"Edge closer"? IIRC, in one scene, Mr. Freeze is entertained by a group of his henchmen singing "I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow" and while he's watching them, he'swearing polarbear slippers. If you ask me, that's pretty camp (or at least really silly).

Speaking of which, the movie's portrayal of Mr. Freeze was one of the reasons why Batman and Robin is such a terrible movie. I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the 90's Batman cartoon by Bruce Timm & Paul Dini and how it re-invented the character of Mr. Freeze, transforming him from a one-note gimmick villain to a genuinely tragic character who evoked the sympathies of both the audience and the characters in the show. Now, "B & R" kept Freeze's backstory and raison d'etre but all the emotional resonance is essentially undermined by scenes like the one I mentioned above.

Oh, and if you've got to have Arnold as Mr. Freeze, at least have him play the character in a similar way to how he played The T-800; as a cold, seemingly emotionless being who rarely speaks and when he does, it's short and to the point, not as a bad saturday morning cartoon villain who spouts cringe-inducing lines like:

"Ice to meet you!" or "Do you know what killed the dinosaurs? The ice-age!"

Seriously.

A little late, and Mabuse will probably never read this, but...the Batman villains had a clear pattern established from the first Burton movie to be over-the-top. Jack Nicholson was accused of hamming it up. Danny DeVito definitely hammed it up. Michelle Pfeiffer hammed it up. Christoper Walken hammed it up! And so yeah, Jim Carrey was going to ham it up. Tommy Lee Jones was going to ham it up. Uma Thurman hammed it up. And yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger hammed it up.

Joel Schumacher gets such a bad rap, but the only thing he did that was substantially different from Tim Burton was include Robin, plus change the mood from gothic to make it more contemporary. If there was a drastic difference, it was because Val Kilmer was not Michael Keaton, and neither was George Clooney. I actually prefer Kilmer to Keaton, and Clooney to Kilmer. If either of them had gotten a second appearance, both would have done better than Keaton his second time around. He was the weakest link in Batman Returns.

But, then we got Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Aaron Eckhart, and yes, Heath Ledger. And now we know the best way to do Batman.

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I have seen five movies in theaters over the past six weeks: The Hunger Games, The Lorax, American Reunion, Chimpanzee, and The Avengers. I enjoyed them all, even Chimpanzee which was surprisingly good. The Avengers was easily the best of the bunch. I have now seen six movies in theaters this year and at this rate, I might be able to finally top the 13 movies I saw in theaters during 2000. The closest I have come was nine in 2005 (not counting movies I saw more than once).

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Because I'm lazy that way, I'll just cut and paste my Avengers review from the 2012 Movies thread...

I saw it and enjoyed it. It seemed a bit long at times, and I didn't love it the way my 15-year-old son did, but I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Some parts worked better than others. The other-realm aspects seemed somewhat jarring to me. I get that there needed to be some sort of world-wide threat to get all these head strong people to work together, and probably a beyond-Earth aspect in order to draw in Thor, but it didn't really work for me. I thought Loki was one of the weaker points of Thor, and he really didn't impress me as a villain any more in The Avengers. There were definitely some nice moments between our heroes alter-egos.

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

I had almost no idea what this was about and was pleasently surprised to find it a very enjoyable, if slightly predictable, movie. Bradley Cooper is one of the best actors in the business these days and Jennifer Lawrence continues to impress.

Les Miserables (2012)

Nobody told me this is a sung-through musical. No dialogue! It was dreadful. Plodding and painful most of the time, with a handful of incredible musical numbers and some decent action scenes. I am told the stage play is far more emotional and raw. I have never seen it nor have I read the book. And after seeing this, I have no desire to do so.

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Les Miserables (2012)

Nobody told me this is a sung-through musical. No dialogue! It was dreadful. Plodding and painful most of the time, with a handful of incredible musical numbers and some decent action scenes. I am told the stage play is far more emotional and raw. I have never seen it nor have I read the book. And after seeing this, I have no desire to do so.

I can imagine it'd be quite a shock. I've never read the book, but I've seen the stage production. I enjoyed it well enough, but I knew what I was getting into. It would have benefited from an intermission, like there is on the stage, but if singing isn't your thing, well, it was never going to work for you. That being said, I have no desire to see it again.

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I enjoy movie musicals (Singin' in the Rain, Moulin Rouge) and recall enjoying Evita, which apparently is another sung-through musical without dialogue. So I thought I would like Les Miserables. I had no problem with it being depressing, so subject matter was not the problem. It was the constant barrage of sung lines that simply should not have been sung.

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The Great Gatsby (2013)

I have never read the book so I had no expectations. It was a good movie with some good acting and the contemporary music was not as weird as I thought it would be. I was a little confused about some things that the book might explain so I think I will read it at some point this year.

The Dancing Co-ed (1939)

I first watched this back in 2005 and really loved it. Seeing it again it was just as good. A nice, old timey romantic comedy.

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Species (1995)

Species II (1998)

Oh, these were awful, awful movies. Terrible plots, passable acting, bizarre special effects. Lots of nudity, though. I think I can safely say I will not be watching Species III anytime soon.

Super Troopers (2001)

I saw this years ago and remembered it being funny so I watched it the other night on Netflix. It was hilarious. Sometimes you just want to watch a low-brow comedy about high way cops and their shenanigans.

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Frozen (2013)

Saw this last weekend and loved it. The music was incredible, the animation was incredible and the story was really good, too. I really want to see it again in theaters if I can find the time. I liked the character of Olaf but wonder if the movie could have stood on its own without him. There was a decent amount of humor before Olaf was introduced.

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The LEGO Movie (2014, in theater)

I loved LEGO bricks when I was a kid and still occasionally play with them as an adult. I thought the movie was really well done with the exception of the "twist" at the end (highlight for spoilers): the live action scenes were unnecessary and really pulled me out of the movie.

Veronica Mars (2014, in theater)

As a huge fan of the series I was hoping this would be great and it was. There were some parts that were a little bit too much but thankfully I rewatched all three seasons prior to seeing the movie so I was able to catch most of the callbacks and jokes. This was definitely not for casual moviegoers unfamiliar with the TV show.

The Hangover Part III (2013, on demand)

It was enjoyable enough but very tired.

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