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14 Nov 2014, 1:32 am

The Sand Pebbles (1966) .. second time i see it .. not as great as i remembered it.


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14 Nov 2014, 7:44 am

watching pacific rim. :)


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14 Nov 2014, 10:14 am

"Interstellar" by Chris Nolan - I rarely bother to go to theatres to watch movies. This expereince kinda sums up why. It was disapointing on many fronts.

BEWARE: PLOT SPOILERS NEAR THE END OF THIS RANT (I'll warn you when they're coming up)

I wanted to see this film in IMAX since it had been shot in that format and I wanted to see the best possible presentation. I'm sure there are other theatres that are doing a better job, but at this one, the first reel was horribly scratched, there was frquent dust on a protective glass near the film plane and the projection lamp was not bright enough for the size of the screen.

One of the big selling points for shooting on film versus digital is the better dynamic range from deep blacks to bright highlights. But if the presentation uses an under powered lamp, you lose a great deal of dynamic range. A well adjusted, modern television will provide greater dynamic range than this particular presnetation.

Shooting in a large format like IMAX does provide finer grain and higher resolution but I'm not sure there is any story telling advantage for this type of film. Very fine detail helps when you have slow moving, content dense images. This requires shooting on a tripod, but in "Interstellar" the DP often shot hand held. (The motion of the camera will cause bluring in the frame which eliminates resolution.)

I don't feel the film was a better experience because of the format it was presented in. I've long felt that if you can't tell a good story with a cheap video camera, shooting on the best film equipment available isn't going to help you.

And that gets us to the story itself. The film is entertaining. It kept my attention throughout. But it didn't excite me. It didn't make me care about what the characters were experiencing. I was mildly curious about how the story would play out, but I'd have been just as happy if it had gone an entirely different direction.

To some extent my annoyance with the story is a personal preference. I like "hard science fiction" i like the science to be believeable. I appreciated some aspects of the hard science in this film, but there was too much metaphysics for my tastes. The central theme of the film is that love trascends time and space. There is a fundemental problem with this idea. It suggests that love is a fundemental force in the universe. It isn't. It is an evolved emotion that ensures that animals in groups protect one another and thereby increase the secies' chances of survival. It is not a force that can connect a parent to their child across light years and eons.

I guess it just bugs me because the film has been hyped to have some really good science in it and yet it proposes utterly dopey non-scientific concepts as the central idea. Had it made the claim that it was about mystical concepts then I wouldn't feel so betrayed by the film makers when they started telling a story that has little grounding in the reality we actually experience.

Moving on to the film making technique, I feel that Nolan has done far better work in the basic story telling of most of his previous films. This one had cliched character motivations and arcs (the daughter who is angry that her father is going away, the rogue scientist who's agenda is to destroy the current mission) okay, I understand that sometimes you need to set up a simple conflict so you can get on with the meat of the story, but the daugter's anger is central to the story... At least try to elevate this conflict to something more complex and interesting.

There are huge plot holes. The main character is taken on as the pilot for the mission simply because he shows up at the NASA base. The idea of having to train for the mission is glossed over so quickly that it feels like the film makers were trying to point it out . This dragged me out of the story and made me annoyed.

Next is a spoiler, so don't read the following if you don't want to know...

The main character falls into a black hole. I was expecting spagehtification. Instead I got "they must have done something so we can suvive". This is no different from the idiotic ending of "The Abyss" where, when one character comments that they didn't get the bends upon coming to the surface, another character says "They must have done something to us". Stupid!

Some people have said that the ending is supposed to be all in the main character's mind as he falls into the black hole. I could buy that interpretation if that's where the film ended. But it keeps going. He gets out of the black hole (how is convientently never addressed.) and sets off to go have a relationship with Anne Hathaway's character who has never expressed any romantic interest in him.

Also one of the key concepts to saving the earth in this film is they need to get some data from inside the black hole back to earth where it can be used to get a larger space ship through a worm hole. While the film shows how this is done within the "reality" of the story, it doesn't seem right considering what is understood about black holes. And anyway, before the character realized how to communicate information from inside the black hole to the outside universe, they are already proposing sending in a robot to do this job. But why would they bother since they would have to know that once inside the black hole, the robot would never be able to communicate with them.

Okay, maybe this is more commentary than anyone needs on this subject, but I found the experience of watching this film disappointing on many fronts. I expected better of Chris Nolan. It's this sort of thing that makes me think it is better to just wait until a film hits netflix.


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14 Nov 2014, 6:36 pm

These Girls


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KyleTheGhost
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15 Nov 2014, 5:57 am

Rewatched Gravity.


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15 Nov 2014, 11:59 am

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Five years after the first movie, Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and a mysterious Dragon Rider who turns out to be his long-lost mother. They find themselves at the center of a battle against a hostile dragon hunter.


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15 Nov 2014, 1:23 pm

I loved the first dragon movie, putting off watching the second one. I finished "filth" it was an intense movie really liked the main character. a lot of dark/edgy writing, I love the main characters quips and jokes. then ending came out of no where, had no idea that was going to happen.



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15 Nov 2014, 4:22 pm

Cursed


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16 Nov 2014, 6:01 pm

Mirror Image (2012)


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16 Nov 2014, 10:43 pm

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MilkTea
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17 Nov 2014, 5:13 am

Big Hero 6
I've been waiting for this movie, and it didn't disappoint me, the animation/music/characters are really good.



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17 Nov 2014, 6:10 pm

Resident Evil: Retribution


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17 Nov 2014, 6:50 pm

The Sea Hawk

Errol Flynn plays a buccaneer who is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the infamous Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A cowardly farmer is dumped by his girlfriend and he soon begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town. Soon her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, arrives.


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17 Nov 2014, 9:30 pm

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softlyspeaks41
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18 Nov 2014, 12:49 am

I saw "Big Hero 6" too and thought it was fantastic..cute, funny, heartfelt, adventurous, a little sad in spots..overall a pleasant watching experience.



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18 Nov 2014, 2:56 pm

The Equalizer