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    Thread: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

    1. #1
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      New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      So I thought I'd start up a thread about current movies out there. I don't know about you but I absolutely HATE some 65 year old out of touch guy reviewing a movie I'm interested in. I'd rather hear about current movies from people with my "tastes" and hence this thread.

      When I go to the theatre, it runs me around $40 for 3 tickets, 3 drinks, and a large popcorn. So going once a week isn't an option. Even twice a month is a big dent for a person on a budget so I like to pick my movies carefully. Any help with suggestions is most welcome and on that I think we all agree!


      PLEASE NO SPOILERS! An example of a no spoiler would be "OMG XX Actor did such an awesome performance! It was raw and real and nothing like his previous films. I was totally blown away!"

      A spoiler would be "OMG XX Actor did such an awesome performance! You know that part where he was shooting up the bar and shot XY Actor right in the face!? I was totally blown away!"



      NO DEBATES! This thread is for REVIEWS and not to argue with other people. If you want to argue the merits a movie with someone, then make a new thread. Mods WILL delete people's posts if they start debating.

      ________________________________________

      The latest movies that I've seen are:

      Indiana Jones: In my opinion, done solely for money. The acting was flat and Harrison Ford seemed to look awkward and not very heroic . I know they probably want the series to live on and were setting up for that but I could have done without seeing this one in the theatre.

      Theatre rating: D Rental Rating: C


      Wall-E: I enjoyed this movie and would say its a 50/50 toss to go see it in the theatre. The movie had the cute factor working for it and since I was a lover of the Short Circuit movies, I HAD to see this immediately. I do have 2 young grandsons, 2 and 5 yr olds, but I did not bring them and I was glad. This movie seemed to aim more at the 8ish+ yr olds. Most younger kids like a lot of action, bright colors, flashing lights, etc and Wall-E was more sedate. I don't think my grandsons would have sat enthralled through this movie.

      Theatre rating: B- Rental Rating: A


      Hancock: My son whisked me away to this one because, frankly, I'd never even heard of it. LOL So I had no expectations whatsoever and knew the bare minimum about the story. For Mr. Smith's performance, I have to say excellent. To hold a movie on your own shows what you are made of in my book. The story was tried and true and even at times scary when thinking of real life applications. Even though I liked this one, I have to rate it a bit low in the theatre catagory because I think it would show just as well at home and I could have saved myself $40. LOL

      Theatre rating: C Rental rating: B+

      The Dark Knight: Oh ya, you knew I'd go there. I really don't have much to say except GO SEE THIS IN THE THEATRE! Now this is a movie that is absolutely 100% worth your time and money to see in a theatre. Unless you are a millionaire and can afford your own home theatre, there is no home system that is going to encompass the thrill of this movie at home.

      Theatre rating: A+ Rental rating: A
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      In keeping with TGM's format...

      The Mummy, Legend of the Dragon King

      My overall impression of this movie is that in comparison with the previous Mummy movies, they reduced the plotline and added in more flashy action sequences. For me, the plot just fell flat, and to give you an idea of just how flat it fell, I would probably say that the last Indiana Jones had a better plot. There was also the problem that too many elements of the story didn't seem to fit within the story itself. Rent this movie, don't see it in a theater.

      Theater rating: D- Rental rating: Cish
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      So I thought I'd start up a thread about current movies out there. I don't know about you but I absolutely HATE some 65 year old out of touch guy reviewing a movie I'm interested in. I'd rather hear about current movies from people with my "tastes" and hence this thread.
      Pfft, we can disagree all we want about what movie critics say about films. Even if I don't always agree, nothing brightens my day more than reading a 1-star review by Roger Ebert.

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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Quote Originally Posted by Ketaru View Post
      Pfft, we can disagree all we want about what movie critics say about films. Even if I don't always agree, nothing brightens my day more than reading a 1-star review by Roger Ebert.
      LOL. Epic thread revival ftw. I've never seen this thread before, I'll add it to my subscribed threads.
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      It looks like nothing ever came of this thread. Felt like posting a reply though because I've really come to admire the movies by one particular director named Songyos Sugmakanan.

      A lot of people have this mistaken assumption that foreign movies are always artsy and heavy-handed. From an American perspective, all three of these films are foreign because Songyos Sugmakanan is Thai. Far from being artsy, they are all actually very pop oriented and hardly "too foreign" to understand.

      Naturally, you won't catch any of them in theaters. 2 of 3 of them you probably won't even find at your local FYE. But I wouldn't be breaking the "new" rule of the post if I didn't think they were good enough to at least spread the word about. I provide a link for where you can buy them on DVD however, all of which have English subtitles.

      Fan Chan ("My Girl")- Songyos Sugmakanan was 1 of 6 directors helming Fan Chan and it was the highest grossing domestic film in 2003. Of the three films I have listed here, it's probably the best place to start.

      Jeab has just received a wedding invitation from an old friend he has not seen for 20 years. He begins to reminisce about what it was like growing up in the 1980's and recalls he used to be best friends with a girl named Noi Nah. However, he soon begins to want more than just pretending to play house with Noi Nah and her friends, and begins reaching out to the neighborhood gang of boys lead by Jack. In trying to become part of Jack's gang, we find out why Jeab lost touch with Noi Nah for the past 20 years.

      Nostalgia is laid on thick in Fan Chan, driven by 1980's Thai music. The trials and tribulations of being 9 years old seem frivolous to us today, but back then, the test of being able to ride a bike with no hands, or scraping our knees in the dirt while playing soccer, they were things we treated with utmost sincerity. That's the sort of feeling Fan Chan inspires.

      Fan Chan at YesAsia.com Region Free with English/Chinese subtitles.

      Dorm- This was the first film I saw directed by Songyos Sugmakanan. For good reason- this is the only one with a Region 1 release because of America's fascination with Asian Horror. Horror is a very loose classification of Dorm though. A better description would be a Coming-of-Age Ghost Story.

      Chatree has just been inexplicably sent to boarding school in the middle of the semester in 7th grade. The dorm that he stays in is run by the cold headmistress Ms. Pranee. On his first night at his new school, several students begin to tell him about the school's "history", involving tales of a pregnant girl who killed herself, a dead dorm master who walks the halls at night, a boy who drowned himself in the new closed pool, and a bathroom that is haunted when the dogs on the school ground begin to howl in unison. The students are actually out to make a fool of Chatree though and begin to make his life difficult until a boy named Vichien begins to help him become more accustomed to boarding school life. But Vichien himself is not all that he seems.

      Dorm is billed as a Horror movie for the purpose of genre classification. But the tone of the movie is less about the scares and more about the dreariness and melancholy of Chatree's situation. He has been uprooted by his father for reasons that are slowly revealed as the story unfolds. It's a coming-of-age ghost story that mostly focuses on Chatree's strained relationship with his father, his classmates, his friend Vichien, and the headmistress Ms. Pranee.

      [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Dorm-Chalee-Trairat/dp/B000NA21RM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1252113007&sr=1-1"]Dorm at Amazon.com[/ame] Region 1 with English/Spanish subtitles. I don't know what Amazon does, but for some reason, the link appears as a picture like posting a YouTube link.

      Pid Term Yai Hua Jai Wah Woon ("Hormones")- Loosely inspired by the format of feel-good Christmas movie Love, Actually, Hormones follows 4 separate, unrelated stories of high school and college students on summer break. While inspired by Love, Actually, Songyos Sugmakanan pointed out that Asian cultures don't always approach love in the same way that Western culture does.

      - Two friends in Chiangmai, Pu and Mai, are always competing with each other, from who can finish an exam first to who can win the phone number of a girl. This time, a former schoolmate of theirs, Nana, has returned for the vacation. They begin to compete for her number and their game of one-upmanship escalates until it threatens all 3 of their friendships with each other.
      - Oh Lek, a fangirl of a Taiwanese idol named Titee, has just learned that Titee will be touring around Thailand and she is determined to be able to connect more with his music. Oh Lek enrolls in a summer course to learn Mandarin.
      - Joe is a hopelessly romantic film geek in love with his friend, Cee. He begins to devise various ways to woo her, including imitating an iconic scene from Love, Actually. Cee does not want their relationship to move beyond friendship however and rejects all of his advances. With her birthday approaching, Joe makes one last all-or-nothing attempt to get her attention.
      - Hern and Nual have been a couple for several years. When Nual has to leave for the summer for her internship at a radio station, Hern decides to take the train to meet her over the summer. On the train, he meets a sexy Japanese tourist and contemplates cheating on Nual. The tourist, by the way, is played by a former Japanese porn star trying to start a career in mainstream films.

      Normally, I'm annoyed by films like Hormones. I'm just not a fan of teenage romantic comedies. Perhaps there is something to what the director claims though, since I actually found the characters in this film a lot easier to relate to than American romantic comedies. Like Love, Actually, the cast is an all-star ensemble (...in Thailand anyway), so the images are always lovely to look at (and might I re-iterate, one of the actresses is a former Japanese porn star). Of the three films I listed, this is definitely the most lighthearted of the three, and that's keeping in mind that Fan Chan is a film about childhood.

      Hormones at SensAsian.com Region Free with English/Chinese subtitles. However, make sure your DVD player can play PAL format video (or watch on your computer).

      I really like Songyos Sugmakanan's work. His latest film is a 1 of 5 short stories in a collection of horror short stories called 5phrang ("5 Crossroads"), also titled Phobia 2. He directs a zombie thriller section of it. Unfortunately, I can't recommend it yet since I haven't seen it yet, and likely won't for a year since it's still in theaters in Thailand. But I just thought others here may enjoy some of his movies.

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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Just saw Zombie Land & Law Abiding Citizen;

      ZL - Not as funny as I thought it be in all honesty. It was still a pretty good movie, and Bill Murray's cameo was easily the best part in the entire movie (you'll see for yourselves why ^^) but nothing to write home about.

      LAC - F'ing AMAZING movie. Best thriller in a while, was almost like a twisted combination of the Bourne & SAW movies. If you love police dramas and/or suspense, this is the movie to see this year. Surprisingly, despite my above comment it wasn't all that gory; there's a good chunk of blood in one scene but it was like "OMG THAT'S SO GROSS!" or painful to watch in anyway. In short, go see it already.
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Thanks for reviving this thread guys! Totally forgot it was even here. lol

      SURROGATES:

      I'm a SciFi nut so this movie was right up my alley. While I loved the message of the story at times, I hated it also. It's pretty cut and dry and you know what the outcome is going to be. I'd say this is a rental because there weren't any super special effects that would make it a must see in a theatre. Bruce's acting was a bit flat imo but scifi shinies would distract me so maybe it wasn't that bad. lol But ya definitely a rental.

      Theatre rating: C
      Rental Rating: C+
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Thanks for reviving this thread.

      9

      I think I may have gone into this movie with higher expectations than I should have. The story is pretty much the same survive/rescue/happy ending as you have seen in other animated movies. It definitely has it's sad moments and I don't think I would recommend it for children younger than 10. It has some interesting elements but not enough to keep you glued to your seat.

      Theatre Rating: D+
      Rental Rating: C
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      I agree with Soly.

      9

      I was very dissappointed because I probably expected too much. However, you'd probably LOVE it if you were a rabid Tim Burton fan.

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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      I disagree.

      9

      A genuinely good movie. Nothing particularly spectacular, but I think it gets most of its flak from people who went in expecting all the wrong things. Though, a few scenes did leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, with one scene in particular becoming more creepy once I thought about it some the day after (but again, don't expect too much of that).

      All-in-all, a quite good choice for movie night, provided nobody's really expecting a mind-shattering experience. It was not really bad at all, even though it wasn't outstanding, either. Maybe the promotions were just building up all the wrong kind of hype.

      Theater: B
      Rental: B
      Last edited by Yellow Mage; 10-29-2009 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Didn't I see this movie more than a month ago?
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      This Is It

      Ok, first off you have to be a huge fan of Michael's in order to see this. It's all about the concert he was practicing for and thats it. So if you aren't a fan, it holds absolutely nothing for you. With that said, I am a fan. I grew up hearing his early stuff with the Jackson 5 (and The Osmonds) because my sister, who I shared a room with, would blast the stuff in the morning when she'd get up for school. (She got up an hour and a half before me too, the bitch!) So it grew on me and I became a fan. One of my first albums was his first album (which I recently lost in a flood) and I played the hell out of it. The movie had a lot of familiar songs with only a couple of the "oldies" thrown in so the music should be quite familiar. I cried 3 times............but boy the lady a few seats down cried through the entire movie! lol I'm just glad they didn't play my favorite song because I would have sobbed like a baby.

      The audience really got into too. There was clapping and singing and cheering....and yes crying as I said above. A standing ovation at the end too. It really was an experience.....it was like going to his concert but cheaper! lol It was almost like going to a funeral too. You knew he was gone but couldn't believe it and when the end came you realized it was true.

      I will say this though, at times it felt like exploitation. Especially when most of us sat through the credits because there were bits through it and then again at the very end after the credits. But it just seemed like too much at times and you'd understand if you sat through it. But being a fan, it was a hell of a ride.

      Theatre Rating (for fans only): A
      Rental Rating (for fans): Don't be a cheap bitch, BUY IT!
      Rental Rating (for everyone): If you enjoyed his music at all B, if you didn't don't bother
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Quote Originally Posted by TheGrandMom View Post
      One of my first albums was his first album (which I recently lost in a flood) and I played the hell out of it.
      SOB... the value of that thing now (and I don't strictly mean just monetary)

      Larry King had several guests on the other night talking about it (friends and family of Michael) and it sounded like a great movie. You know what's funny though TGM? I'm 23 (born in 86) but I pretty much got into MJ the same way you did; older sibling (brother in my case) blasting his music. Sure I got to the party late, but the hell if I was ever leaving I gotta go make time to see it now...

      sorry I know this isn't a "review" but I just wanted to comment on it that's all (not looking to "debate" it either )
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Another Thai movie I kind of liked...I apologize if the intent of this thread was to only share about movies that are in theaters to influence movie going decisions. But I at least hope my opinions about the Songyos Sugmakanan movies above influenced somebody to at least check out one of them, particular Fan Chan which I cannot endorse enough.

      Mah Nakorn ("Citizen Dog")- Unlike the pop oriented movies above, this is a Thai Indie directed by Wisit Sasanatieng. Heavy on visual treat, the movie vaguely recalls Amelie, a French movie that gained some American acclaim earlier in the 2000s.

      Pod, a country bumpkin, is planning to start a career in Bangkok, though he is unsure what he would like to do with his life. His grandmother warns him that, if he finds a career in Bangkok, he will grow a tail. He initially finds work on a sardine assembly line, but quits after a deadpan traumatic incident (which sounds contradictory, but it is actually a pretty accurate description of what happens). He then becomes a member of security in an office building where he meets a maid named Jin. Pod is smitten with Jin and tries to get closer to her. Jin forever has her face buried in a white book that literally fell out of the sky one day. She is convinced the book has the answers she needs, despite being unable to read it because it is in Italian. Things are looking good for Pod and Jin...until Jin decides to join an environmental crusade to rid the world of plastic.

      Though recalling Amelie, Citizen Dog is less about being magical and whimsical and is more of a fierce social commentary on hectic urban life. It is a world where a 8 year old girls can dress like a hooker and smoke cigarettes like a chimney. And their teddy bears smoke just as much as they do. Nobody has a name tag. Instead, everybody wears a tag that lists their job function: "Security" or "Maid" for instance. Moped riders not wearing a helmet are ironically killed in a forecast of down-pouring helmets.

      Citizen Dog is high on wackiness, but at times low on story. The story is mostly simplistic and, at times, gets lost in the saturated colors and gimmicks that I can only describe as visual non-sequiturs. Though the thing I disliked most about the movie is Saengthong Gate-Uthong, the "actress" portraying Jin ("actress" is a word I can only loosely apply to her). It can be tough to tell in a movie that is deliberately being inane, especially if we don't actually understand the language the characters are speaking. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure what I was watching was genuinely bad acting.

      [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-Dog-Pen-ek-Ratanaruang/dp/B000SQLBSG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1256947490&sr=8-1"]Citizen Dog at Amazon.com[/ame]
      Region Free, English/Chinese Subtitles

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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Its perfectly fine Ketaru. Not everyone has the same tastes in movies so a variety is nice. I know I have some foreign movies that I have watched and really enjoyed.
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      Re: New Movie Reviews **NO SPOILERS**

      Quote Originally Posted by TheGrandMom View Post
      Its perfectly fine Ketaru. Not everyone has the same tastes in movies so a variety is nice. I know I have some foreign movies that I have watched and really enjoyed.
      If you've seen any that you think others would enjoy, you should mention them. A trip to the theaters costs you as much as $40. Buying a DVD online might be as a little as $15...or you might have Netflix. I don't, but a lot of people recommend it so I've seriously considered it.

      As per one of my latest entries to the "What song are you listening to right now?" post, I finished watching a horror movie today. Felt it was appropriate to save it for today, since it's Halloween.

      4 Phrang (4bia)- Rather than being a standard movie, 4bia is a collection of 4 short stories. Horror movies are not always known for having well-crafted stories. Of course, there are exceptions. But 4bia sidesteps that completely. Four very basic plots serve to thrill for the duration of a normal feature length film. Although each story stands on its own, there are some hints throughout each that form a timeline of events that are subtly connected throughout all four. Note, I am not listing the movies as they chronological happen, but in the order that they are presented to us.

      "Happiness"- Pin is confined to her apartment by a broken leg from a taxi accident 3 months earlier. Behind on her rent and bills, she spends her days looking for a job online and is beginning to feel loneliness overwhelm her. One day, she starts receiving text messages from a mysterious man who expresses interest in getting to know her. Although at first friendly, the text messages begin to become cryptic and threatening.

      "Tit for Tat"- A neighborhood gang harasses and assaults a boy after he exposes them for bringing weed to school. In revenge, the boy places a curse on set of photos and places them in a book. When anybody should glance at the book, they are doomed to die and to haunt those around them as the undead. Pink, the only member of the gang that felt remorse for the gang's treatment of the boy, is the last surviving member.

      "In the Middle"- Four guys are out on a camping trip in the jungles of Chiangmai. One night, they begin talking up the subject of horror movies, poking fun at cliches, and the subject is diverted to how they would haunt each other if one of them were to die. Tragedy strikes the next day and one member of the group is swept away by a raging river. He makes it back to the camp that night. The others slowly realize he is not Ok and, in fact, may not even be among the living.

      "Last Fright"- Pim is a flight attendant, escorting the Princess of an unknown South Asian country. The Princess has requested to be escorted by the exact same crew that served her on a previous trip. The reasons of which are revealed on the flight, putting Pim in an awkward situation. The Princess later dies of a food allergy she had while on the flight and her body is to be immediately flown back to her home country. The problem: Pim is the only flight attendant on call, and the only passenger is the body of the Princess.

      I am not a fan of Horror movies so it is difficult for me to really form a complete opinion about them (most of them anyway. I liked Dorm a lot, but its status as a Horror is questionable). I found most of 4bia chilling, though I enjoyed "In the Middle" the most, largely because it also incorporated a lot of comedy, most of which takes stabs as typical Horror conventions. Like most critics of the film, the portion that I felt was the least effective was "Tit for Tat" because of its shaky use of the camera. Much of "Tit for Tat" is more head-ache inducing than scary because of jerky camera movements, though I applaud "Tit for Tat" for, shall we say, resolving its story the way that it did. I did not expect Pink to resort to what she did at all. Its use of computer animation is less than stellar, though. "Last Fright" was the most frightening of the 4 stories, followed by "Happiness", then "In the Middle", and finally "Tit for Tat".

      Unfortunately, "Tit for Tat" makes that mistaken assumption that too many Horror movies make- that watching a pointless character die every 15 minutes (or in this case, every 5 minutes) is supposed to be scary on film.

      [ame="http://www.amazon.com/4bia-Phobia-Thai-Movie-2008/dp/B0027G38DQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1257017877&sr=8-1"]4bia sold by Amazon.com Marketplace[/ame]
      Amazon.com itself does not sell 4bia. I personally bought from the seller, Movie Man International.
      English/Chinese subtitles
      Region Free
      A decent amount of extras, including deleted scenes, the trailer, and the music video for "Glua", which I posted in the What song are you listening to right now? thread.
      Last edited by Ketaru; 10-31-2009 at 02:28 PM.

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