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Added by Bml93 on 1 Nov 2013 11:31
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Bml93's Film Diary for 2013: November

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People who added this item 1132 Average listal rating (692 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
@ DVD

Jennifer Lawrence delivers an exceptional and courageous lead performance in this atmospheric and bleak drama. But it's ultimately a performance that deserved a much better film. Winter's Bone may have certain things going for it, and I think the musical score is beautiful, but it's just to dull.

It's just never compelling or interesting. There's not much in it that engages me, and seeing as it's as bleak as it is, it sort of becomes a very depressing watch. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but there really weren't enough in it to justify that.
5/10


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@ DVD

Not surprised that this film was made in Japan. It's a bizarre, over-the-top splatterfest that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. It's ridiculously gory and crazy. Everything is in your face. It's certainly not for everyone.

And this time it wasn't for me. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for cartoonish violence, slightly racism and unfunny humour.
3/10


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@ Blu-ray

Schindler's List is a powerful, emotional and heartbreaking film to watch. One that is so tough to sit through, that it can only be watched with once in a while. Driven by great performances and terrific filmmaking all around, Spielberg manages to capture not only the horror of the holocaust, but also the sheer act of kindness and humanity that this terror brought into someone.

It's difficult film to watch, and equally difficult film to talk about. It demands a lot from the viewer, as they're just so many emotions in this film. But Schindler's List is a great example of what you can do with cinema. It's art.
10/10


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People who added this item 522 Average listal rating (310 ratings) 3.8 IMDB Rating 4.3
Movie 43 (2013)
@ Netflix

Words can't describe how awful this film is.
1/10


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People who added this item 300 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.1
Maniac (2012)
@ Blu-ray

Never seen the original, but there were a lot of intriguing and good things in this horror remake. The most obvious thing is that basically the whole film is shot from Elijah Wood's POV. Which is a nice little gimmick that's handled perfectly, and creates suspense in a whole different way. The first 40 minutes of this film is exceptionally well-done.

But the film starts to struggle when it tries to go into the maniac's past, trying to provide some sort of explanation for why he's doing the things he's doing. It feels unnecessary and drags me out of the films. Particularly as those scenes feels just like an excuse to show some graphic sex. I do also believe that things turns overly comical towards the end, and that it doesn't match up with the overall tone the beginning of the film had.
6/10


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People who added this item 1758 Average listal rating (1070 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
@ Cinema

From my review:

"I liked 2012's The Hunger Games. It was an entertaining and well-made film, but it also managed to be thought-provoking with some spot-on social commentary. The sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is everything the last film was, but improved even more. Which is a significant achievement, considering how good The Hunger Games was and seeing as Catching Fire is an improvement, it makes this film one of the best films from 2013 so far. It's an extremely entertaining, thrilling and thought-provoking blockbuster!

Catching Fire does in many ways follow the same structure as the previous film. There's the lead up to the games and then the games themselves. But thankfully there's been enough change in the story, to avoid the film being a rehash of the last film. Yes, the film has the lead characters sent into yet another deadly game, which can only end with one survivor, but luckily, director Francis Lawrence manages to steer the focus away from creating a simple bloodbath. Because even if the "main attraction" of the series are the actual games and the deaths that occur from those games, Lawrence manages to tone down the violence a bit. It's certainly violent for a film with the audience it has, but not anywhere near as being as violent as the last film. The reason for that is quite simple, but equally genius. Because this film is about the after match of the previous game and how it gave everyone hope. It's definitely darker and more grim, but behind all that, this is a film about the rise of hope. About giving a repressed people one thing to hold on, one thing to fight for. The previous film was about introducing us to everywhere, and showing us of cruel this world is. Catching Fire is still cruel, but it does also show us that shed of light. It's actually quite intriguing, and the actual themes of these films are certainly interesting to discuss."

Read the rest here: Superior sequel
9/10


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People who added this item 3053 Average listal rating (2032 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
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@ Blu-ray

This is one of the most spectacular and entertaining blockbusters from the year 2011! It 's main strengths lies in how it shows the beginning of Magento and Professor X, who are both brilliantly played by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Particularly Fassbender is awesome, and some of the scenes he is in is some of the most stand out scenes from 2011. (Bar scene.)

This is one of the best prequels that has come out so far. It does impressively many things right. It stays true to the characters and the mythology that's been laid out previously. It brings in it's own fresh ideas, it does have an engaging and engrossing plot, with a perfectly cold bastard as the villain. Who is done brilliantly by the underrated Kevin Bacon, and the score is awesome.
8/10


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@ Blu-ray

The continuity in these films may really cause one to scratch ones head sore. Anyway, it's mostly entertaining. But more in a schlocky way than anything else. The special effects are, for instance, quite often laughably bad. And it's rather amusing to see how much they completely messed up Deadpool.

It's so far the worst X-Men film, and it's severely suffering from focusing too much on Wolverine. Not giving any room for more interesting mutants to shine for a second or two. Gambit could've been interesting if given more time, but he's ultimately left out as well. But despite all the trash in this film, I'll have to admit that I was mostly entertained.
5/10


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People who added this item 629 Average listal rating (419 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 4.9
After Earth (2013)
@ Blu-ray

This latest M. Night Shyamalan film unfortunately not a return back to form for Shyamalan, and instead yet another disappointment from the man who helmed The Sixth Sense. His very sentimental sci-fi exploration into the human instinct of survival and fear is in many ways a complete disaster. Because in Shyamalan's attempt to create something meaningful, he completely forgets the real ingredients behind making, at least, a passable film. He doesn't entertain.

Instead we're left with a film that's criminally dull. The pacing is plodded. The action is lackluster and the acting is wooden, with the dialogue very often being cringe-worthy. The special effects are decent, but considering that we're living in 2013, that's not enough.
2/10


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People who added this item 5110 Average listal rating (3423 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
Re-watched

@ Blu-ray

X-Men: The Last Stand is what you get when you try to be too big and ambitious. It's certainly entertaining with all its explosions and such, but horrible and illogical creative choices in the screenplay really damages this film. Killing off Charles Xavier. Removing Mystique. Killing Scott. Reviving Jean and turning the film into a huge feast of explosions and special effects.

The end result is therefore a film that will surely entertain you occasionally, but it's also very likely to cause to remove some of your hair in pure anger at the stupidity of the people involved in making this film.
5/10


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People who added this item 4743 Average listal rating (3174 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
X-Men 2 (2003)
Re-watched

@ Blu-ray

This might sound incredibly simple, but X2 is better than the first X-Men simply because it's bigger and more ambitious. It does follow the last film quite similarly when it comes to the structure, and it's therefore also very straight-forward. But seeing as the threat feels much bigger this time, it's quite simply better.

It's also good to see that they manage to avoid focusing too much or too little on the various mutants. Instead focusing on the whole theme of mutants against humans. Which is a nice little subject.
8/10


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People who added this item 6621 Average listal rating (4411 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Re-watched

@ Blu-ray

It's a very straight-forward superhero film, but it's competently made, and thus entertaining. I'm happy to see that it doesn't delve into too much of an origin story on any of the characters, making room for a more action orientated film that's more about exploring the whole universe as a whole, rather than exploring each separate individual.

It's not a perfect film, though. It suffers a lot from the fact that whenever Magneto or Mystique is absent from the screen, my interest seems to slightly fade a little. This is probably due to the fact that the other mutants doesn't have powers that are as remotely interesting as theirs.
7/10


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People who added this item 315 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.8
@ Blu-ray

The police investigating thriller elements of Sea of Love may be quite familiar, but that doesn't matter at all. This film is lifted to true heights thanks to some terrific performances from Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin, and not to mention their excellent chemistry between each other.

This makes Sea of Love a quite interesting film, with some really great erotic tones to it, as well as some moments of tension that works really well. Despite the setting being familiar, this is a really good film.
8/10


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People who added this item 1826 Average listal rating (1221 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Gravity (2013)
@ Cinema 3D

Gravity may boast a simple premise, but that's all right if the premise is well-executed. And Gravity is beautifully executed. This is a tense technical and visual spectacle that holds your breath throughout its entire length. Lead on by glorious special effects, as well as tight directing and two fine performances, Gravity is one of the best films in its genre.

It might be a bit too short, I certainly went thinking "is it over already?", but that might be more of a strength rather than a flaw. Because it does say that I wanted more. That I was enjoying myself so much that I wanted to see more. But still, this is one of the rare theatrical experiences that comes out once every year and probably the best use of 3D I've seen so far. Expect this to arrive on many top 10 lists at the end of the year.
9/10


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People who added this item 769 Average listal rating (367 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
@ Blu-ray

Went for another Woody Allen film. This one I really didn't care for. The typical Woody Allen trademarks that I've become aware of are absolutely present here, but unlike some of his other films, Everyone Says I Love You failed to get my attention and interest. So instead of this being a fun and entertaining feature film, it quickly turned into an exercise. An exercise in how many times its possible to look at the clock during roughly 100 minutes.

The thing when it comes to musicals, is that they're either hit or miss for me. If I don't like the songs or the musical numbers, then I'm drawn out of the film. And when you're not into the film, it's difficult to connect with the characters, no matter how well-written they actually are. That's the problem here. I liked none of the music here. Everything was a complete misfire.
2/10


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People who added this item 598 Average listal rating (300 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
Hesher (2010)
@ DVD

Hesher's only redeeming quality is some fine acting from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His performance is excellent, and therefore, it's a shame that neither his character or any of the material in this film is taken anywhere. This film did absolutely nothing.

It's just a bunch of really annoying characters doing really stupid and annoying things throughout the entire film, without there ever being any form of real change in character. Just a really forced one in the final minute of the film. Dull.
3/10


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People who added this item 453 Average listal rating (292 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
@ DVD

Harrison Ford could arguably be a bit too much of an American hero to convincingly portray a Russian Captain, but his performance his nonetheless good. Liam Neeson is also good in this well-crafted film, that's probably a bit too long for its own good.

It's a bit dramaturgically flat during the first hour or so, when nothing really interesting happen. But once the radiation kicks loose, Kathryn Bigelow manages to handle tension quite well.
6/10


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People who added this item 899 Average listal rating (485 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.6
SEASON 1

@ Blu-ray

Hannibal is a great TV series. If you're able to accept that Anthony Hopkins is not portraying Hannibal, then you're going to really enjoy Mads Mikkelsen's performance. Which is nothing but outstanding. But the first season of Hannibal is really more about Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, rather than Hannibal himself. Delving into his psyche is basically the core of Hannibal.

It's well-written, well-acted and well-produced overall. It's dark, grotesque and a lot of fun, as well as being quite interesting. My only complaint is that I would wish for a bit more continuity from episode to episode, as there are moments when some things just seems to be completely forgotten in the next episode.
8/10


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@ DVD

Cute, charming and amusing in small dozes. I've not had any sort of relationship with this yellow, honey-loving bear when I was a little child, so I had no nostalgia or anything to lean towards. But for a few moments here and there, I were enjoying myself.

But over an hour with this turned out to be a bit too much for me. It grew to be quite tiring pretty quickly, with only a few certain moments raising my attention, before it kept dropping again.
5/10


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People who added this item 1374 Average listal rating (831 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Shame (2011)
@ Blu-ray

Shame is in many ways a depressing and thought-provoking film, with a courageous, brave and stellar performance from Michael Fassbender to portray the emotions the film seek out to show. But Shame is also a frustrating film. It's frustrating in the way that I expected more from it.

The thing is, despite it having so many good things in it, there were very few things in it that I found to be very good. The problem is that quite a lot of scenes ends up dragging far beyond their own welcome. Reducing the power and impact those scenes initially gave. And that's a thing that kept frustrating me throughout the entire film.
6/10


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People who added this item 343 Average listal rating (238 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
@ Blu-ray

Small Time Crooks tells a very simple story with a very simple plot, and an equally simple conclusion. But it's not the plot this film has its strengths. This is a good film because Woody Allen managed to create hilariously eccentric characters, who never stops being amusing.

The characters are great. The dialogue is witty and funny, the performances are good, with everyone of them having great comedic timing. Making sure that every line in this film feel genuinely funny. I haven't seen a lot of Woody Allen films, but I'm surprised to see how overlooked this one is. I thought it was very funny.
8/10


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People who added this item 748 Average listal rating (508 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.7
@ Cinema

When I left the cinema after seeing The Purge, there were three things that popped into my head. The first thing was that this film felt extremely short and undeveloped. The second thing was that this was a nice premise, and the third thing was that the potential of the premise got completely squandered.

The premise is squandered by silly character decisions, a traditional "basic" thriller plot, and horror elements that doesn't work. The film is basically lacking fuel. Or inspiration.
3/10


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People who added this item 1660 Average listal rating (992 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
@ Cinema 3D

The second Thor is about just as good as the first film. So if the first film fell in taste, then this sequel is probably going to be enjoyable as well. It's a fast-paced, entertaining film with enough spectacle and humour to keep you glued to your seat for two hours. It's solid Marvel.

It's naturally not flawless, though. The villain is completely forgettable, ranking in my opinions as one of the least memorable bad guys in superhero-film ever. The film also shamefully lacks balls when it comes to some major character decisions. By not killing Loki after all.
7/10


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Let's see how many (or few) films I end up seeing this month.

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Bml93's Film Journals (33 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 5 years, 11 months ago



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