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Author Topic: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)  (Read 3279 times)

Offline lugaru

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Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« on: January 28, 2009, 03:22:25 PM »
MINE
The Wrestler: An amazing movie, it is simultaneously lowbrow and artsy at the same time. You follow a washed up wrestler and get to watch all the real danger in his mostly fake life. Also you get to see a LOT of Marisa Tomei who I am a huge fan of.

Slumdog Millionare: Fast paced mixture of joyful comedy and brutal poverty set in the slums of Mumbai. Despite the "backlash" I still thing it is one of the best movies of the year, especially in terms of pacing and cinematography. 

Dark Knight: Batman is a little silly in this one but Heath Ledgers Joker is amazing and I also love the "heist flick" style that the movie starts with.

Revolution Road: For a two hour movie about a couple that constantly fights with each other it really moves along quickly and is incredibly entertaining.

Wall-E: Absolutely enchanting and it's mixture of anti-consumerism with silent movie slapstick is brilliant.

Honorary Mentions:
Hellboy, Ironman, Forbidden Kingdom, Tropic Thunder, War Inc (perfect political movie but it came out last year), Gone Baby Gone (perfect Boston movie but came out last year)

Really want to watch:

The Visitor, Waltz with Bashir, Doubt, JCVD, Red Cliff,

Offline TheMarvell

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 05:23:23 AM »
-The Dark Knight: hands down my favorite movie of the year. Saw it about 3 times in the theater, and the only other movie I've done that with is the first Spider-Man movie.

-Iron Man: this was really a surprise hit for me. A highly enjoyable, easy to get lost in the fun, superhero movie.

-Wall-E: Cute, touching, and has a great message.

-Bolt: a huge surprise. Couple of friends dragged me to this due to boredom, and it ended up being one of the funniest movies I've seen all year.

-Gran Torino: This is Clint Eastwood's movie from start to finish, and even though it's not his best film, it's definitely a great movie.

Honorable mention: Incredible Hulk, Step Brothers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hellboy 2, Cloverfield (can't remember if this was 2008 or not though)

Biggest Disappointments: Indiana Jones, Chronicles of Narnia, The Happening, Quantum of Solace

Still want to see: Doubt, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wrestler

Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 03:44:29 PM »
After reading your post I need to add The Incredible Hulk to my honorable mentions (it was pretty good) and I just remembered that I have not yet seen Milk or Man on Wire.

Offline Mowgli

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 09:27:03 PM »
Lugaru, normally I agree with you on things. But I must respectfully disagree... strongly... about Revolutionary Road. This is all my opinion, but here's what I posted on another site about the film.

"Well, that was terrible.

Take two beautiful people, add a marriage, two beautiful kids, a good paying job, a beautiful home in the suburbs... and then b!tch about it for two solid hours. Congratulations, you have arrived at Revolutionary Road. Make no mistake, the acting was fine. I firmly believed that Kate and Leo were miserable... but that's all you get in this film. I understand the point they were trying to make. The American dream can be hollow and keep people from living to their potential. Unfortunately, the film never gets there. It's just a painting of misery as two people verbally eviscerate one another for two hours. You can't even respect the characters. They wallow and flail in self pity, cry and howl about it, but refuse to do anything to change their situation (all the while having more than ample resources to make any change they want). The only bright spot in the film is two brief appearances by the only interesting character, a mentally insane man who was classified as such because he is brutally honest. Even that can't save this film from drowning in it's own pathetic nature.

I saw this for free, and I want my money back. That's two hours of my life I won't be getting back.

On another sad note (as if the film wasn't bad enough), the online reviewers that like the film seem to think that those of us who don't like it, must not have understood it. They seem to be just as deluded as the Wheelers (the couple in the film) who think that they are far more enlightened than everyone around them. The fact is, those of us who hated it understood it very well, and that is why we thought it was so terrible.

Well, maybe the book was better."

I almost always tell people to see something and judge for themselves, but I feel like a public service announcement telling people they should avoid this one. I mean, see it if you like, but I wish someone had warned me.

As far as the year's best; my list would echo a lot of what we have heard already: Gran Torino, The Wrestler, Iron Man and The Dark Knight. I would put Wall-E and The Incredible Hulk on my honorable mention list.

I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire or Red Cliff, but I really want to.
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 10:23:14 PM »
I haven't seen any of the touted likely best picture nominees this year (Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, etc.), but that's pretty standard for me... I generally wait for dialogue-intensive dramas to come out on DVD and watch them at home (the local cinema experience leaves much to be desired... people talking on their cellphones, sticky floors, high ticket prices, greasy seat backs and arm rests, poorly mixed sound), and I don't really mind waiting, although I'll probably watch The Wrestler on a large format screen cinema, if only to see a giant Marisa Tomei work the stripper pole (I've had a screen crush on her ever since My Cousin Vinny helped jumpstart my puberty).

The only films I'm willing to pay full ticket prices for these days are special-effects movies... and of the three Academy nominees this year for Best Visual Effects, I'd have to give the nod to Iron Man. The Dark Knight, I feel, had some good effects undermined by some occasionally poor cinematography choices and I haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is curiously, one of the nominees.   
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Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 12:54:05 AM »
I'll probably watch The Wrestler on a large format screen cinema, if only to see a giant Marisa Tomei work the stripper pole (I've had a screen crush on her ever since My Cousin Vinny helped jumpstart my puberty). 

I havnet released my review of the movie yet but I was mentioning in it that there is something strangely taboo about watching an actress with multiple awards and recognitions spend half a movie topless. Aint complaining though...

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 02:21:10 AM »
If you have seen any of the smaller art house films she has done in recent years there is nothing taboo about it. That girl has been showing herself off in almost everything she been in lately. She got herself in shape and she looks good, and apparently she has no problem showing the world... its also nice to see her getting work again in small but more legitimate stuff.

As for the wrestler I just saw it this weekend. Its a very good character study film, and Mickey Rourke is amazing in it. I get all the praise on him. The movie itself is well done but I dont really see what all the Ooooh and Ahhh about it was. Had it not been directed by Aronofsky, I think think it probably would have gotten a little notice for Rourke and then slipped by the wayside.

Offline UnkoMan

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 03:26:23 AM »
I havnet released my review of the movie yet but I was mentioning in it that there is something strangely taboo about watching an actress with multiple awards and recognitions spend half a movie topless. Aint complaining though...

Well, just about every movie Kate Winslet is in involves her taking some of her clothes off.

Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 09:28:23 PM »
As for the wrestler I just saw it this weekend. Its a very good character study film, and Mickey Rourke is amazing in it. I get all the praise on him. The movie itself is well done but I dont really see what all the Ooooh and Ahhh about it was. Had it not been directed by Aronofsky, I think think it probably would have gotten a little notice for Rourke and then slipped by the wayside.

Yeah, I have heard that JCVD is pretty much the same movie (Washed up actor facing the camera and making a heartfelt plea for respect) but it lacks the indy cred of this movie. Then again I just dont know, since I havent seen JCVD yet. Still I think the success of this movie is how simple the directing is, it is frank and direct and honest with no real fancy tricks, but it remains artful enough to not look like some idiot with a digital camera on his shoulder filming his friends.

Offline zuludelta

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 08:54:03 AM »
Well, finally saw The Wrestler... it's a good, straightforward no-frills drama... I liked it, but mostly for Mickey Rourke's and Marisa Tomei's performances. I really appreciated the writers' and director's attempt at giving viewers a sincere look at small-circuit wrestling, and the little touches in and around the ring fights were nice (although I think a lot of it might be lost on viewers unfamiliar with pro wrestling conventions). In the end, though, it was the individual performances that stood out for me... the story and dialogue didn't really grab me so much. Still might get the inevitable DVD, though.   
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Offline Jakew

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 01:32:06 AM »
Out of the Oscar contenders, I found a lot of them to be overrated, tick-the-boxes Oscar-bait.

Slumdog Millionaire was such a pedestrian, predictable film from Danny Boyle. Like a lot of Boyle's post-Trainspotting films, it just nicked the best bits from better films (like City of God) and served them up in a palatable mash. I actually liked it, but its not Oscar material.

Bejamin Button and The Reader were also a bit of a slog.

The Dark Knight ... I can't decide whether I liked it or not. Crap dialogue, some lousy acting, overlong running time vs great action set pieces and Ledger's Joker.

The Wrestler and Milk were quite good ... both mainly because of the central performances of Rourke and Penn.

I found Milk became somewhat repetitive and preachy (one speech too many), some of the acting OTT (Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna), and the characters were all a bit flat. But Penn was great, and the story was genuinely interesting. It made me want to find out more about the gay rights movement during the 70s. I generally hate docu-dramas (the best one I've seen in recent memory was Zodiac, the worst was Hurricane), but I liked Milk.

The Wrestler was also quite interesting, but the sub-plots with his daughter and the stripper bogged the film down. However, while Milk was an interesting little time capsule, The Wrestler was more interesting as a bit of a freakshow.

The last new movie I really, really enjoyed was In Bruges with Colin Farrell (who won a Golden Globe for his role recently). I'm not sure if that falls in 2008 or 2009.

I haven't seen Wall-E yet.

Hellboy 2 was the movie Indiania Jones and The Crystal Skull should have been.

The Happening was so amazingly awful, as was George A Romero's Diary of The Dead.

Biggest surprise was a Spanish horror film called REC, which was remade as Quarrantine. It had me in awe of what clever film-makers could achieve with a micro-budget.

Offline zuludelta

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 02:04:18 AM »
The Dark Knight ... I can't decide whether I liked it or not. Crap dialogue, some lousy acting, overlong running time vs great action set pieces and Ledger's Joker.

Thank you. I was beginning to wonder if my preferences in film have become so out-of-step with the rest of the world's, seeing as how just about everybody I know has professed an unabashed admiration for the craft in The Dark Knight. The dialogue didn't work for me either, and the film felt like it ran at least 15 minutes too long.

And as good as Ledger's performance was, I'm not sure if it's an Oscar-worthy turn. All the posthumous nominations and accolades the major award-giving bodies are heaping upon him for his role as the Joker seem a little misplaced, and even a tad forced, motivated as much by sentimentality as it is by the merits of his actual performance. Ledger's always been a good actor... I personally think that he should have won the Best Actor award in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain, I just don't think his Joker is on the same level as that performance, and is less deserving of an Oscar nomination, much less an Oscar win (although five will get you ten that he'll probably win it).
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Offline thalaw2

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2009, 02:11:24 AM »
As for the wrestler I just saw it this weekend. Its a very good character study film, and Mickey Rourke is amazing in it. I get all the praise on him. The movie itself is well done but I dont really see what all the Ooooh and Ahhh about it was. Had it not been directed by Aronofsky, I think think it probably would have gotten a little notice for Rourke and then slipped by the wayside.

Yeah, I have heard that JCVD is pretty much the same movie (Washed up actor facing the camera and making a heartfelt plea for respect) but it lacks the indy cred of this movie. Then again I just dont know, since I havent seen JCVD yet. Still I think the success of this movie is how simple the directing is, it is frank and direct and honest with no real fancy tricks, but it remains artful enough to not look like some idiot with a digital camera on his shoulder filming his friends.

JCVD was one of the best movies I saw last year.  VD is not washed up...he's still very popular in the UK.  This movie didn't seem to be made for Hollywood either as it's mostly in French and filmed in his hometown. It has an Indie feel to it.
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Offline Alaric

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 04:02:14 AM »
The Dark Knight ... I can't decide whether I liked it or not. Crap dialogue, some lousy acting, overlong running time vs great action set pieces and Ledger's Joker.

I thought Dark Knight was an absolutely amazing Joker film, but only a mediocre Batman film, personally. Kind of disappointing as a Batman movie, in fact, after Batman Begins, which ranks as one of my all-time favorite superhero movies...
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Offline House Quake

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2009, 07:02:02 AM »
My favorite movies of the year in no particular order...
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Iron Man
Hellboy II
Tropic Thunder

The biggest disappointments (movies which should have been better)...
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Speed Racer
City of Ember
Jumper
Mutant Chronicles

The biggest crap I seen...
Meet the Spartans
The Ruins
Cloverfield

Still waiting to see...
Lakeview Terrace
Gran Turino
The Spirit

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2009, 07:03:33 AM »
The last new movie I really, really enjoyed was In Bruges with Colin Farrell (who won a Golden Globe for his role recently).

I feel about this movie like you did about the Dark Knight.
It won all these awards and people were talking about how underrated it was. I hated it. I liked some of the performances, but the movie just did nothing for me. Though I will say it was better than Indiana Jones...

I think of all this years "Oscar" movies (which in itself is almost a punch line in any year anyway) almost all of them aside from an acting performance here and there were some of the most heavy handed and trite examples of output from the automatic Oscar Bait Machine (patent pending). They all just sorta screamed "LOOK AT ME I WANT AN OSCAR!!"

Clint Eastwood? Check.
Meryl Streep? Check.
Ron Howard doing an important and "accurate" (yet dramatically manipulative) film? Check.
Forest Gum...er Benjamin Button? Check.
Powerful film about a gay person? Check.
Powerful foreign film that makes you feel slightly guilty about your life until the uplifting end? Check.

All that's missing is Tom Hanks.

This was a year that I think had lots of promise and had a lot of entertaining films... but for the life of me Im hard pressed to pick any that just had me going "wow" that was an amazing movie. I think Iron Man really surprised me the most. Just because it was so much better than it should have been.

Offline detourne_me

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2009, 10:06:20 AM »
Just watched Grand Torino.  I have to say that it was probably the best movie I've seen since 3:10 to Yuma.  The Wrestler comes a VERRRY close second, but the themes of redemption, heroism, and family in Gran Torino resonate with me at a higher level than the Wrestler.
I've yet to see Milk, and I have absolutely no interest in watching revolutionary road or the reader.

Burn After Reading was quite excellent, I'm surprised it was shunned, but I guess Brad Pitt has had a busy year, and I'm not quite sure if The Cohen's can receive a single oscar.

Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2009, 02:19:47 PM »
Burn after reading was in fact really good but I think it only has two audiences, the people who think the CIA are composed by a group of alchoholic clowns (me and everyone who has read Legacy of Ashes) and people who love black comedies (me again).

Watched two more amazing movies this weekend:

Son of Rambo: Probably the most touching and funny movie about childhood to come out in a while. A kid from a super religious family (who is not even allowed to watch TV) and the school bully bond over a bootleg copy of Rambo First Blood. Then they decide to try to make a movie together and lets just say it is really funny and really touching.                                     

Man on Wire: The best crime movie I've ever seen, in that it is a crime to hook a wire between the twin towers and perform a highwire act for nearly an hour. As somebody who watches a ton of documentaries this has to be one of the best ones I've ever seen and the subject is incredibly animated and fun. Also the wire artist himself is a cartoon of a man, a total superhero with a gigantic personality and ego.

Sukiyaki Western Django: I actually watched it a few weeks ago but I wanted to mention it as a Takashi Miike and Quentin Tarantino take on spagetti westerns. It... is... really not that good. I mean it has some great moments but in that "mafia" I think Robert Rodriguez could of done better and honestly I'm really getting tired of movies that take place in a strange alternate universe between movies... you know what I mean if you have seen kill bill or grindhouse. Sometimes the results are good but this Sukiyaki literally mentions the movies it copies like some that dorky friend who goes "you looking at me? You looking at me? You looking at me? You know, like Paccino from Taxi driver. You looking at me? Taxi driver is great!".

Offline steamteck

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2009, 02:57:31 PM »
The Dark Knight ... I can't decide whether I liked it or not. Crap dialogue, some lousy acting, overlong running time vs great action set pieces and Ledger's Joker.

Thank you. I was beginning to wonder if my preferences in film have become so out-of-step with the rest of the world's, seeing as how just about everybody I know has professed an unabashed admiration for the craft in The Dark Knight. The dialogue didn't work for me either, and the film felt like it ran at least 15 minutes too long.


Dark Knight was OK but not great to me and I loved Batman Begins. Frankly I felt Iron Man blew Dark Knight out of the water. In fact to me Dark Knight was the least of the big four superhero movies around that time . In my mind inferior to both Hellboy and Hulk despite its fine cast. That I found Ledger's Joker basically adequate but not more may have had something to do with it. At least he was better than Jack Nicholson.Major Villains often have a tough time getting decent screen treatment.

Offline thanoson

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2009, 07:07:34 PM »
Finally, more people agree that Dark Knight was just ok. I felt it was a great Die Hard film. Bruce Willis could have played the part without the suit.
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Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 10:39:22 PM »
That's the thing about The Dark Knight. I think I liked it because it didn't try and be a super hero movie. It was Heat with some guys in costumes. While I think they could have done more with the detective angle, I did like that they tried to make a more grounded crime film without all the superhero trappings... Superman needs that stuff. I think Batman succeeds better when it takes a more realistic "guy in a suit doing what the police cant" approach.

I do agree it needed to trim about 20 minutes and was not as entertaining as Iron man.

On that level Im surprised no one has mentioned Punisher War Zone  :D

Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2009, 02:28:39 PM »
Oh, I'm actually going to see Punisher War Zone because I love the character. I'll do it in the privacy of my home when my girlfriend is not around though, since I really cant justify watching the movie. "Actually honey, it is based on a true story!"

Back to the Bat I really liked that it was a crime movie since that is the direction I prefer batman to go in. I feel that there are multiple batman "worlds" that he inhabits... a world of ninja assassins, a world of colorful psychopaths, a world of organized crime and the justice league cosmic world. My favorite batman is the crime fighter, the guy who knows about forensics and surveilance and law. And the batman in this movie is totally superheroic with his insane sci-fi devices, but it is grounded in that he faces pretty normal foes. My main complaints were the running time, the lowsy transition from a great Dent to a mediocre Twoface (Aaron Eckhart is one of my favorite actors), the boring Batman and frankly the joker makeup just did not work for me, even though the costume and character where great.

Offline konbiz

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2009, 07:40:29 PM »
Hey I haven't posted in a long time, though I thought now would be a good time. (I always stay reading the boards, atleast once a day)
Anyway...

Milk- I liked alot, though not Oscar worthy for best movie, since it seems the amazing story seemed to overshadow the directing (which
       wasn't bad, but not profound either)

B. Button- I liked alot, though long, it's very hard to take in everything since each era seems to contrast the last (spoiler: he gets younger)
               Also some really brilliant shots and great acting, but the only way I see this winning is if the academy feels guilty for not giving             him one for Se7en or Fight Club. Kind of like the Scorsese Departed thing.

Revolutionary Road- Seeing on Friday.

Slumdog- Seeing next week.

The Wrestler- Seeing next week.

Burn After Reading- I thought this was an awesome movie, very very dark, though in a colourful setting (If that makes sense). I think it was just too wierd for some people for it to get nominated for anything really)

Frost/Nixon- I actually really enjoyed this movie, it made me see my own mortality much more than B. Button did. Excellent   performances, I recommend it if you haven't seen it already.


I can't recall anymore, but if I do I'll post.

Sidenote: I actually didn't mind the Dark Knight that much, though I thought the ending with the sonar was used to indulge more in special effects than anything else, and it was almost a contradiction of his training in Batman Begins (with the hallucinogen)

Offline The Hitman

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2009, 07:49:10 PM »
Forest Gum...er Benjamin Button? Check.

Exactly. Finally, someone agrees with me.

Forest Gump and Benjamin Button are the same movie. They just replaced "mental handicap" with "gets old backwards." I was inclined to say that Button ripped off Gump, but remembered that B. Button was an F. Scott Fizgerald shory story first.

Offline lugaru

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2009, 08:09:01 PM »

Exactly. Finally, someone agrees with me.


You mean other than The Daily Show, Colbert Report, multiple critics and the entire internet?

I'm not trying to be rude of course, I thought the same thing too, only my description was "He is like Forrest Gump only he was nowhere interesting or important and never met anyone cool... his greatest achievement is banging the wife of a nameless natzi spy".

Offline The Hitman

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2009, 08:41:56 PM »
Exactly. Finally, someone agrees with me.
... You mean other than The Daily Show, Colbert Report, multiple critics and the entire internet?

I'm not trying to be rude of course...

No worries. Guess I should have explained that a bit. I meant that most of my friends raved about that movie.

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2009, 09:00:14 PM »
Well from What I hear it was based on the F Scott Fitzgerald story in pretty much name only... The whole love story across his lifetime seems to be taken (or at least follows very closely whether intentional or not) from another similar book about a man aging backwards. The Confessions Of Max Tivoli

... And  the screenplay was written by the guy who wrote the screenplay for Forrest Gump.

Offline Jakew

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2009, 11:28:34 PM »
Forest Gum...er Benjamin Button? Check.

Exactly. Finally, someone agrees with me.

Forest Gump and Benjamin Button are the same movie. They just replaced "mental handicap" with "gets old backwards." I was inclined to say that Button ripped off Gump, but remembered that B. Button was an F. Scott Fizgerald shory story first.

Scriptwriter Eric Roth wrote the screenplay for both Forrest Gump and Benjamin Button ... which may also account for some of the familiarity.

Offline thalaw2

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2009, 06:13:33 AM »
Just saw Underworld 3.  George Lucas needs to take note, because that's how you write a prequel. It's an intense movie even though you already know what the ending will be (assuming you've been following the series).  I think I'll go and rewatch the first DVD.   
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Offline steamteck

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Re: Years best movies (and what you havent seen)
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2009, 12:20:38 PM »
Yep, I thought it was pretty successful. Not one of the years best movies maybe but very good prequel. Didn't defecate all over the original  material. These days that's a big deal.