Sunday, December 28, 2008

So... what did ya see this weekend?


There was so much to choose from and y'all are so quiet. Speak up!

83 comments:

Michael C. said...

I saw Sullivan's Travels at the Film Forum in Manhattan. I'm hoping to catch The Lady Eve on New Year's. A little Preston Sturges to get the year started right.

Arkaan said...

Valkyrie. I'm with the folks and my dad wanted to see it. It doesn't actively suck. You learn what you already knew: Carice van Houten is a star, plain and simple. This film would've been better if Thomas Kretschmann was in the lead (he has a minor role). And Tom Cruise's emotional vacuousness doesn't convince in a self sacrificing role.

L.P. said...

slumdog millionaire, it was good but it kinda reminded me of City of God, which was a much better film. I think Rachel Getting Married deserves to get a best pic nom over this, but I'm pretty sure Slumdog is a lock in already, right?

Arkaan said...

Yep. Though I think Slumdog is leagues ahead of City of God, I agree RGM is worthier of a nod and Slumdog is a lock for one.

paulo said...

I saw Wall-E for 1st time and I just want to say I really hope it gets a Best Picture nomination. Perfect movie.

Anonymous said...

I saw Australia. I didn't like it but I didn't expect to after reading all these reviews. There was one scene (the one with the cows running) that was intense but other than that...


Jim

Brian said...

John Ford's 3 Bad Men at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California. Tonight I hope to sneak over to a current-run theatre and watch a new movie.

Nono said...

CCOBB...I liked it a lot but for some reason can't love it. I don't know why. For some reason I felt more sympathy for Randy "The Ram" in The Wrestler than for Benjamin and Daisy.

Mason Mahoney said...

I saw Doubt. I agree with you in that PSH was miscast, and Viola Davis great. Streep is Streep is Streep I suppose. I thought she was excellent. The thing that surprised me most was Amy Adams. Maybe I was just expecting less of her, but I thought she was spot on. The globe nod makes sense to me now.

Jesper.L said...

I Saw Australia.
It was VERY good, and it didn't deserve the negative respone it got.

Kevin D. said...

I saw Doubt twice. Maybe just to try to like it more the second time. I didn't. Though I must say this much, VIVA LA STREEP!

NATHANIEL R said...

michael c the lady eve. YUMMY

arkaan i do want to see that one. love the supporting cast.

l.p. you're right. I'm still a little confused as to why none of the awards bodies outside of the INdie Spirits did any rallying for RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Its fans are pretty passionate so I'm not sure what happened. Maybe everyone knew the raod to Oscar would be tough and they'd rather use their awards to 'predict'? I'm totally confused about it but then... there are people who inexplicably think it's a terrible movie so there's that problem too. MOvies that make both "best" and "worst" lists sometimes have trouble getting any real momentum.

jesper and jim i'm glad people are seeing AUSTRALIA still but i'm a little surprised. it's barely showing anywhere (here) already. a fast fade to make room for the christmas titles I guess.

i wanted to see it again but that'll have to wait for DVD.

Ben said...

Let's see... Curious Case on Christmas and Frost/Nixon yesterday. Both solid films, but Frost/Nixon was a little better, I think.

Adam H said...

I saw Australia.I would have to agree with Jesper L about it being better than the critical response would suggest.

ZiZo said...

Well, here in Israel I saw Revolutionary Road, Frost/Nixon, Australia, Slumdog Millionaire, [•Rec], & Wall-E (For the 5th time). -(& And the Gaza Bombings)

RR as more I think about it, I love it more. I don't know why, once the movie ended, I was like "that’s it?", but its growing on me very fast, it has the best dialogues!

F/N I expected to be bored, but, I wasn't, it was actually pretty interesting (specially the non-interviewing parts).

Australia, I love Baz, I love Kidman, but I couldn't love this movie, just, like, it could’ve been a great movie, but it's just, Ok. Oh, I didn't say, me likey some Hugh too, of course, whose eyes didn't pop out in the "shower" scene.

Slumdog Millionaire... Now I understand all the fuss... And it’s totally worth of it, one of the best movies of the year. Maybe the best (after Wall-E and Waltz).

[•Rec] is really really scary, it kicks Blair Witch's ass, and any zombie movie.

Wall-E is just... love (And Eve-ah).

And Gaza... It's just painful.

Anonymous said...

Nate, I live in Greece. Australia here opened at Christmas day.


Jim

m. said...

saw ben button, loved it loved it

it is an epic love story and says a lot about life and death, the acting was fantastic, brad pitt was perfectly cast since he didn't have to emote much, the heavy lifting was left to cate who blew me away, her character's arc was the interesting storyline

taraji p henson grounded the movie with he warmth and sense of humour

i have to admit i teared up in the last half hour or so , cate was fantastic in those scenes (don't want to give any spoilers)

Ryan said...

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. Major disappointment as I worship Mendes, Winslet, DiCaprio and Newman. There’s a few strong moments, but they’ve all done FAR better work in the past.

I saw THE WRESTLER again and damn… just as powerful as the fist time. Aronofsky’s sturdy realism and intimate approach better snag him an Oscar nod- even if it’s the “lone-director” slot. The man deserves accolades alone for taming Rourke and eliciting that whopper of a performance; loved the labored gasp and wounded, twinkle in the eyes. He nails that brutal sense of post glory decline. But my favorite part was probably the parallels drawn between Ram and Cassidy (Tomei works her magic yet again). It really felt like a (slightly) lighter version of LEAVING LAS VEGAS (one of my all time favs). And to top it off, I was hit hard by the film’s depiction of familial reconciliation; Wood was scorching as the alienated daughter. In the end, this is Aronofsky’s triumph but the actors are at the top of their game and the script provided one hell of a blueprint.

My Top 5 films of 2008 are shaping up to be (in alpha order):
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS
THE CLASS
THE DARK KNIGHT
MILK
RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
THE WRESTLER

LaDeeDuh said...

'Let The Right One In', still processing it in my head, but no doubt that's a 'yea', as far as films are concerned. :)

Rebecca said...

I saw 'Milk,' and really enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting the movie, or Penn's performance, to be so joyful and vibrant. My favorite supporting player was, to my surprise, Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones. I have some minor quibbles with a few things - mostly, I thought the musical choices were not great, with an over reliance on montages featuring some upbeat pop songs from the period, and a few dramatic scenes (when Harvey comes home to find Jack's notes, and when Cleve leads a protest march to city hall) would have played better without the heavy dramatic music. But overall, really enjoyable, solid film.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I saw Benjamin Button...beautiful, but pointless. Who's with me? I've never used the word pointless to describe a film before.

Revolutionary Road...the ending packs a whollop, sure. But damn if it doesn't meander getting there. A serious lack of connectivity throughout. But great performances.

Ordinary People...where was Sutherland's Oscar nod in 1980?

changetheworld360 said...

MILK: Penn was impressive, but that was expected. Franco and Brolin were great too, but I have to agree with Rebecca, Hirsch was my favorite supporting performance. Part of it was b/c he might have had more screentime to leave a bigger impression, but I liked him more than the others. Overall it was a marvelous film.
TCCOBB: solid film, but I was a bit underwhelmed. It wasn't nearly as powerful as I thought it would be. Pitt was good, but IMO, the role is too passive and subtle for a nod. Henson was excellent and should receive a nod.

Andy Scott said...

Is 'The Class' playing anywhere in Manhattan right now? If not, will it open soon?

Amy said...

Just got back from Australia with the parents. We all really liked it. After getting super excited for it for over a year, then dampening my expectations after all the negativity, I was pleasantly surprised. I do wish Baz had included a little more Baz-ness, but overall, I had a wonderful time and would recommend it wholeheartedly. In fact, I actually like it more the more I reflect on it.

NATHANIEL R said...

andy -THE CLASS was here last week. Not sure if it's still here in nyc. (it was doing its qualifying run but if it's already closed it's supposedly reopening in late January

mrripley said...

i saw milk.

Nick M. said...

"The Class" is unfortunately not playing in NYC anymore. Nat's right--it just played for one week at Lincoln Plaza for one week to qualify for the Oscars. I saw it, and loved it, last Tuesday, but when I went to check the times for this week (I planned to give tickets to the film to a friend who teaches in a very similar setting in Brooklyn for Christmas), I realized they were pulling some Academy bullshit.

Nick M. said...

Oh, and I saw Frost/Nixon Friday night. I find it bizarre that the film has the audacity to momentarily indict David Frost's character for being too hung up on "banal anecdotes" instead of focusing on incisive political commentary, when the film exudes these fluffy qualities: it's a slick, glossy production of History for Dummies. I can passively accept the film for its serviceability--just don't get me started on Rebecca Hall's character.

Nonetheless, I can't wait for Couric/Palin, coming to a theater near you in 2039.

Jordan said...

Frost/Nixon
It was a very good film but it's just nothing that really made an impression on me.
Gran Torino
Besides Clint, the acting was very weak and there were quite a few script problems...but I thought the ending was powerful.
I think I'm seeing Wall-e again because I'm pretty sure I'm getting it for Hannukah! (!!)

Casey Fiore said...

i saw ben button the 26th. A+ movie of the year. brilliant. dont have enough great things to say about it

Slumdog today. also great. i liked it a lot more than you did Nathaniel. solid A. very Danny Boyle-ish.

by the way. just thought id throw it out there. Freida Pinto. one of the most beautiful women I've seen in my life

Peter Chan said...

Did anyone else who saw 'Ben Button' and read the original Fitzgerald short story as devastated as I was about how far the adaptation veered off from the source? But outside of that, I thought it was "poetic" but a little boring.

Glenn said...

I saw Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I really liked. I also saw The Day the Earth Stood Still because we had free tickets and it was that or Twilight and, well, the quality of the visual effects won out I'm afraid. It was terrible, but I'm sure Twilight was too.

I also watched The House Bunny in which Anna Faris gives the best female performance of the year. No joke. Meryl Streep WISHES she could do comedy like that. :)

Kyle said...

The Class looks like a fairly interesting story, but it also looks very poorly shot.

Saw TCCOBB this weekend, I liked it better when it was called Forrest Gump. Eric Roth borrowed far too many of his own ideas for the screenplay. The more I think about the film, the more I dislike it.
Until I see The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire and The Dark Knight are my top two films of the year.

Alex said...

I just saw the Wrestler for the second time and it was fantastic all over again.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Portugal and here most of the movies in the USA now only arrive in January...

So I'm expecting. This week saw «Amália: The Movie», I don't know if you know the famous portuguese singer of the «fado», Amália Rodrigues?

For me, the actress who plays Amália is WAY better than Marion Cotillard as Piaf.

Check it out (I couldn't find a translation):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ab35otLtF8


Jorge

JorgeRodrigues said...

I went to see Australia and I really thoroughly enjoyed it...

I don't know if they corrected something before premiering the film in Europe but I can't understand the many negative reviews it had...

I would give it a B+...

StinkyLulu said...

I basically hated Benjamin Button.

Bernardo S said...

Australia and Bolt in Theatres
WALL·E (2nd time), Dear Wendy and Scenes from a Marriage on DVD

Wheew! I watched a lot!

Daniel Armour said...

I saw Revolutionary Road today. It was decent but it could have been better. I felt that the Wheelers whole hate for Suburbia wasn't properly set up. I mean the film starts off with them hating their way of life and trying to break out but it should've showed them suffering through it first. Also, after the umpteenth arguement scene, the film starts to get pretty repetitive.

The greatest assest of this film was Michael Shannon's performance and to be honest, a film about his character would have been much more interesting.

Keelay! said...

I saw Doubt, Revolutionary Road and Let the Right One In.

So, the ensemble in Doubt was very good, but I really think Philip Seymour Hoffman should be left out of the Supporting Actor race. I thoroughly enjoyed other performances more.

Leo and Kate both deserve noms and I actually REALLY liked the film.

Let the Right One In was very interesting. Makes me happy it's picking up some Best Foreign Film awards.

Curtis said...

I saw "Revolutionary Road" and "Doubt". What was up with "Doubt"? It felt dry as a bone. RR had its moments struggling to find its footing but about thirty minutes in it was flying by. Great performances in both films. An extra special mention to my nemesis Amy Adams, who I liked so much more than Viola Davis.

Shawn said...

I saw Slumdog Millionaire... again. Just had to bring my family to see how wonderful it was.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see Benjamin Button.

JorgeRodrigues said...

One thing I would like to ask to Nat:

«Let the Right One In» can't be considered for the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature as the film picked by Sweden was «Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moment» isn't it?

Agustin said...

off topic
i don't generally agree with the reviews but check this visual cinematic reviews
(if you don't yet know them)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualmoviereviews/

on topic
most of the oscary films get here in january/february so i'm still waiting
in fact, no country for old men was released over here a week after it won best picture, &$%("!!
so i saw Zelig which was great, Tropa de Elite great also and Dead Poets society which i never managed to see, a bit odd considering my love for peter weir, not his best. It got me thinking, all of these great actors, where are they now? Ethan Hawke is the only one with realtive success, but the rest ended up on tv or lost. a shame really

GreyDog said...

Slumdog. I just don't get all the attention. It was OK, but so contrived and predictable. I knew what the last question would be 1/4 into the movie. That said, my partner (and the crowded theater overall) loved it. Not my cup of tea.

NATHANIEL R said...

Jorge -- you're right. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is only eligible for regular Oscar categories (since it was released) but Sweden's entry for Foreign Film is actually the costume drama EVERLASTING MOMENTS. Probably a savvy choice (i need to watch this screener) since the ACADEMY likes the director and they probably wouldn't go for the teenage vampire film anyway

Chris Na Taraja said...

No movies, and I might have to protest hollywood this year!!! I mean, every year I am desparate to see all the great movies that will be up for awards. I hate that.

So i am protesting this year....luckily the year ends in a few days. Maybe I'll feel different in January.

Deborah said...

Benjamin Button was sold out, so we saw Frost/Nixon, which was very fine indeed.

Also got deeply into the special features of my The Commitments DVD.

James Colon said...

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Slow, laborious film which had few redeeming characteristics. It's beautiful to look at, but so many of the characters are so vapid that it's hard to really feel anything when the whole thing is finished.

Fox said...

Doubt (yuk!) and Bedtime Stories (not so bad).

I hope to lasso at least three more before the new year.

gabrieloak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gabrieloak said...

So far I have seen The Tale of Despereaux, a pleasant surprise with lovely animation and voice work; Synecdoche, New York which I didn't like as much I was thought I would, though I admired some of the performances, particularly Samantha Morton; and Moscow, Belgium, a little gem about a woman in her 40s who has to decide whether to welcome back her estranged husband or choose passion with a hunky truck driver. Guess who she chooses? I plan to see Revolutionary Road, Secret of the Grain and Last Chance Harvey in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

Saw Wall-E (finally) and really liked it

Saw CCOBB and Loved it

would recommend both of them especially the latter.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Nothing but the Truth?
And does anyone really love Frost/Nixon because no one really seems to rave about it. Just wondering.

rosengje said...

I saw Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, and Milk. Loved all three of them, but had a strange experience at the Slumdog screening. I had about ten walkouts during the film's first half. Despite the R rating, people had a lot of trouble with the violence, and one particularly egregious couple sitting next to me kept making loud comments about how "this wasn't the movie they signed up for" and the like. Those who stayed seemed very enthusiastic, but I worry that similar reactions might become a problem.

Anonymous said...

James Colon,

I really like your reviews. Very well written! But that Button review was a mistake! Sasha Stone will hunt you down! :p



Jim

David S. said...

Slumdog Millionaire. It was just ok. I really, really don't understand the hype.

adam k. said...

I saw Ben Button today and also rewatched WALL•E with the fam on Christmas Day. Still love WALL•E more than anything else this year, even if the human parts keep it from being a solid A.

Button was very good, but I keep having nagging issues with it in retrospect. The length and the Cate-in-latex framing actually didn't bother me. It didn't feel overly long or too slowly paced. It was more the seeming arbitrariness of the "rules" of Ben's backward aging, particularly the end. It was distracting, and seemed gimmicky, and kept me from being as moved as I would've liked. Also some technical issues with the digital photography. I also wanted more Tilda Swinton, god bless her. I did tear up a bit during that young Pitt montage at the end, though. That was my favorite part.

adam k. said...

Definitely liked Button better than Slumdog, though. I'm with David S; I just don't get the praise.

Roberta Lipp said...

Like Deborah (well, because I was with Deborah) I saw Frost/Nixon because Button was sold out, and I couldn't have been more blown away. Between that and Milk the week before, I felt pretty content.

Tonight I went to a little DVD showing (a friend who gets the screeners 'cause she's on one of the voting boards or something) of Button. Loved it mostly, absolutely beautiful, a bit too long and some sequences were a little dull to me. But I do agree with what TKNKIA said upthread; pointless.

Iggy said...

/little rant on/

Last weekend, ok, just yesterday I received one of those family visits for the holidays. They brought with them a dvd copy of WALL-E. It wasn't a Christmas gift (!), they were lending it to me because "you've got to see this movie". Then you smile while you're thinking "I see you maybe twice a year, but you still think you know my tastes...fine". So, when they left I planned to see this so talked about movie (I have issues with animated movies after years of baby-sitting).

Well, it was an illegal copy. Yes, it was a DVD, but after 5 minutes running I heard a voice, a female voice explaining the movie to her son!!!! I couldn't believe it so I had to run it again to check it out. And yes, you could even understand the name of the son, and the son talking himself. I don't know much about piracy, though I can understand that someone who tapes a movie in a theatre, logically gets the surrounding sounds and movements. But how is that technically possible with a DVD? Do you have to record the sound (your voice) on purpose? If so, what purpose? I just don't get, and I don't get why someone buys (in the streets) something like that. And especially after those relatives have seen it, why the hell do they think I'd like to see a movie in that condition?

So, right now, I think I will never see WALL-E ;).

Sorry for the rant, but I feel people never talk about their experiences with piracy as if it didn't exist. And as it was my first time finding out this kind of awkward piracy exists, I thought it was somehow relevant.

/rant off/

J.L said...

I have watched
1. Slumdog Millionaire
A very good movie but i just couldn't understand the greatness about it.

2. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
A Very good movie and i thought Cruz was great as Maria Elena.

3. Frost/Nixon
Well it was good, but there was nothing else. Actually pretty boring in some points

4. Wall-E
I LIKED it.

jimmy said...

i watched "Gone Baby Gone" last night on cable. sorry to be a year behind. OMG - wow - amy ryan. why aren't critics not jumping up & down about her. she's the doofy human resources person in the "Office" - what amazing range.

did she have a real shot at winning last feb?

Kamikaze Camel said...

I just watched this year's Best Documentary winner Taxi to the Dark Side. Very good.

NATHANIEL R said...

jimmy everyone had a shot at winning supporting actress last year which is why it was so unusually exciting. Amy Ryan led the critics awards and everyone else split everything else ;)

iggy there's a lot of piracy out there yes. And a LOT of it is bad like that with sound distractions and what not. I don't suggest piracy to anyone (illegal) but I also think Hollywood is pretty stupid about it. Why do people pay $5 for a shitty copy of a current release? I'm sure there's more than one reason but with $12.50 tickets in Manhattan (i swear the price goes up twice a year and payraises definitely don't happen that often for people) and multiply that by family members and popcorn and whatnot that cost another $10-$20 you have a very expensive night out.

movies are too expensive and even when theaters find ways to theoretically lower the cost (i.e. now they make money off of commercials before the movie which they didn't use to make money off of) they don't cut prices but raise them.

Chris Na Taraja said...

Actually I was filled with the holiday sprit and spurred on by many sales, and ended up buying more dvds than I would like to admit. Some of these movies i"m ashamed to post here.

The Golden Compass was only $5...come on! I did get Elezebeth for $8 too, so it balances out.

MRRIPLEY said...

NAT DID YOU LIKE KEIRA IN THE DUCHESS WAS SHE NOM WORTHY.

Button Holed said...

FINALLY! Saw Rachel Getting Married this weekend. Wow! What was I waiting for?

Kamila said...

"Marley & Me"

"Bolt"

"Imagine Me & You"

"Kissing Jessica Stein"

"An Unfinished Life"

Rick said...

Saw Doubt... really liked it...
I went to a Catholic school in the 60's just like the one in the movie, so maybe I could identify with it more..
Streep, to me, was dead on.. she could have been the Principal I had.. she deserves oscar... rest of the cast was very good.. PSH was the least effective .. I think Adams did a very good job as the young, innocent nun

NATHANIEL R said...

Kamila wow. you were busy

lylee said...

Saw "Benjamin Button." Still making up my mind about it. Is it possible to be haunted by a film without being particularly emotionally moved by it? It must be, cause that's my general reaction to BB.

Nono said...

Yeah Nat, I'd lie to now too what u thought of The Duchess. How was Keira?

I finalla saw Wall-E...wow! wow! wow! I'm getting ready to watch Burn After Reading tonight and hopefully In Bruges tomorrow.

Nono said...

like*

Nono said...

know* :-(

RC said...

I saw MILK, which I really liked, and WALL-E, which I really didn't like.

The first half hour of WALL-E was ok, but after the walking i-pod enters the picture, it goes rapidly downhill. At the end, I just didn't care much what was going on.

I hope to see (at least) Gran Torrino, Revolutionary Road and The Road before the season is over.

Flosh said...

Saw Benjamin Button. Basically loved every second of it. Am mystified by the haters, but isn't that always the case?

Cluster Funk said...

I saw TCCOBB, too, and found myself quite moved by it. However, the inexplicable, confounding "parameters" of Benjamin's backwards aging also bothered me. But wow, did Cate sell it!

Jake Mooney said...

I went and saw Benjamin for the second time. Loved it a little more. My two favourites this year (BB and Synechdoche) are both films people have wildly disparate opinions of and are both obsessed with their main characters mortality. Which is new territory for me, being 25 years old and free of both disease and offspring (the two things whose introduction most commonly precedes thoughts of mortality). I like what Benj. has to say about growing older, like it a hell of a lot more than the octogenarian action hero schtick John-McCain-Oops-I-mean-Clint-Eastwood has been pulling in Grand Turino.

Kaifu said...

In theatres I saw:

Synedoche, NY - Meh. M-E-H MEH.

The Sparrow - it was OK; Mad Detective was much better.

The Wrestler - An extradinary movie neatly disguised as a formulaic movie.

theskyisthelimit said...

I went to see Valkyrie and I was surprised that it wasn't bad at all. A lot of people seem to have a bad opinion on this movie even if they have yet to see it and my suspicion is that it is because Tom Cruise is the main star. I actually like the movie and Cruise isn't at all bad. I am actually tired of the accent issue.

I also watched Milk and it was good. Sean Penn and James Franco are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Revolutionary Road and I loved it. Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet delivered outstanding performances. They should not be robbed of an Academy Award nomination. They both deserve it.

NATHANIEL R said...

nono and mrripley I thought Keira was very good in THE DUCHESS, yes. But the movie just had so little energy. Shame.