Now Playing At a Theater Near You

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  puddingcup on Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:47 pm

I was surprised by how many kids, like 7/8 years old, were there. This is not a musical for kids!

I'm not familiar with the musical at all. My kid, who's turning 8, saw the film a few days ago with her friend and the friend's mother. From the description online it seemed ok - I was just worried that the witchy scenes might be a tiny bit scary. Now I'm worried. What about it is inappropriate for kids?


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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  laddical on Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:01 am

There are a lot of mature themes buried in the show. They're not all immediately obvious, and many of them are way undercooked/absent in the movie, but there's sexuality/losing one's virginity, parent-adult child relationships, parents dealing with the death of a child, children dealing with the death of parents, adultery, the moral dilemma of letting one person suffer for the benefit of everyone else, the reality of "happily ever after", revenge, etc. It's very heavy stuff buried under metaphor and frothy lyrics for the first act and then thrown right in your face in the second. Unfortunately for the film, much of the second act stuff was shortened/dropped completely.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Poubelle on Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:10 am

I saw a video of the original musical at a friend's house--multiple times!--when I was 6 or 7. Basically, the entire second act went over my head except for the giant running around. And the giant was somewhat scary, but no worse than, say, Maleficent turning into a dragon or Snow White screaming her way through the woods at night.

Years later, I went to see my college's production of Into the Woods, partially because I had some pretty fond memories of that video. The second act kind of blew my mind. I had no idea or memory about all that other stuff. (Like, I could recall that things got messy and weren't so happy, but anything more specific than "everyone freaks out about the giant"? Nope.)

I wouldn't deliberately show it to a little kid, but I wouldn't worry too much, either. I haven't seen the movie, but if it's less blatant than the stage version, I think an 8-year-old can handle it. I would bet a big part of the logic of sanitizing the adaptation was precisely because they expected families with kids to go see it.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Grainne Mhaol on Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:34 pm

My friend dragged me to see Annie and it was even worse than I expected. I thought it would be a bland retreading, but I didn't expect to actively despise it. It was so toothless that it made the original seem like a biting social satire by comparison. The creators were obviously so afraid of offending anyone that they couldn't bear to make Annie poor. Yeah, she's unhappy and neglected, but she's fed, clothed and distractingly well-coiffed, which makes her transition to ward of a billionaire less stark. She comes across as a touch self-absorbed and whiny.

Half the original music was absent, and the new stuff was serviceable at best. The Autotuned singing was hard to stomach, and the attempts to bring the original songs up to date just heighten how anachronistic the whole exercise is.

Quvenzhané Wallis makes for a charming lead, but even she couldn't infuse it with any life. I could go on about it, but it would just put me in an even worse mood.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  eventide82 on Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:16 am

We finally managed to get to the theatres to see Mockingjay, and I really enjoyed it! I found the book enjoyable, but frustrating because it seemed like Katniss was away from so much of the action and decision making, but in film format it actually worked well. Julianne Moore as Coin was great casting, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman was wonderful, which made me sad. I can't wait for the final installment.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Binky on Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:05 pm

I saw The Imitation Game, which was really good. Benedict Cumberbatch did a decent job, but I have to admit that due to his presence I kept expect the mild-mannered gay British dude to go meglomaniac and try to take over the world. The kid playing young Alan Turing did an excellent job, as well.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Coneycat on Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:12 am

Went to The Imitation Game last night and really enjoyed it. It's certainly not a feel-good movie on any level but very absorbing, and now I may have to add a bunch of books about Bletchley Park to my collection. They can go on the shelf next to the ones about Bentley Priory. All the performances were great-- Cumberbatch was really good as Turing, as was Alex Lawther as Young Alan. I particularly enjoyed Charles Dance as a terrifying (of course he was terrifying) naval officer harbouring many doubts about Turing's abilities. I will say, the initial conversation between the two characters created an impression the tone of the story wasn't going to be quite as bleak as it ended up being, but given the course of Turing's life it makes sense to get darker as you go.

Keira Knightley's character, Joan Clarke, could sustain a movie of her own, although since this isn't her story she's very much a supporting character here, and Knightley is very good in the role. It turns out, though, Clarke is more prominently featured in a number of books about Bletchley Park. To the library!

Yeah, my plan this winter is to see All the British Films, and this was a nice start.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  eventide82 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:29 pm

I found Keira Knightley to be good in the role, but I didn't find her to be anything spectacular. I don't think the role warranted her best supporting actress nomination. But then I don't find her to be amazing in anything I see her in. I don't actively dislike her, I just find her to be a little...benign, I suppose?

But I agree, the film was very absorbing, and I'm so interested to learn more about Bletchley Park.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  vwlphb on Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:52 am

Ugh. I saw American Sniper. I have Thoughts. I'm going to throw them all behind a spoiler cut to be safe. (I haven't read any of the reviews, so I might be reiterating what they say.)
Thoughts. :


  • Frankly, I expected better from Eastwood, who directed the parallel Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. This is a man who understands there are two sides to every war, and in those paired movies made us examine our reactions to seeing the war from both sides, seeing events where characters we get to know from one film or the other are killed. By watching both together, you're not going to go "HELL YEAH!" every time a Japanese person is killed. There was none of that here. In fact by the end I was honestly confused by the point of the movie, other than to celebrate SEAL Sniper Jesus. (I feel badly that he died, it is definitely tragic that he spent four tours of duty in Iraq then was killed at home in such a senseless way. But seeing these end credits showing the massive displays and mourning at his actual funeral after seeing Selma, which ended with a powerful song over images of the actual events showing the many contributors instead of the apotheosis of one man, made these end credits feel a little gross. Also after showing so much violence and killing, it was pretty chickenshit to not show his death. That at least would have been shocking, and the only time killing someone by an american wouldn't be shown in a positive light.)

  • Speaking of the bad guys, they had about as much depth as a game of Call of Duty, and the audience reacted the same as they would watching or playing that game. My theater was packed, and you could hear people going "Yeah!" when Iraqis were shot. The only scene that got even close to real characterization in the Iraqis was the family towards the beginning where the kid gets killed with the drill. Even with that, there's no depth because Kyle and his team don't seem to give a shit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they're the only Iraqis we see that aren't directly involved in the insurgency? According to this movie, Kyle never shot someone he thought was holding a weapon but wasn't, never shot anyone until they were actively on the edge of killing American soldiers, and there was never collateral damage. It's all black and white, there's no ambiguity. Also I would have liked to learn more about the enemy sniper, who was a gold medal winner who comes to fight the war. It seems like there could be a story there, or a parallel to how he is seen by the Iraqis the way that Kyle is seen by the Americans, to make the audience think. Instead he was the generic boss baddie who had to die before the movie could end.

  • Not to say that the "good guys" got any more depth. Honestly I only remember four of the SEAL members, and only one (nick)name: there was Biggles, who was fatish in training then died, there was Kyle's spotter who asked questions about Kyle's faith in god then died, there was the black guy, and there was the other sniper (who may have died?). Oh, and a translator for a few scenes. You can tell the movie didn't give a shit about them either, because there's no afterward about what happened to any of them - or his brother - like there usually are in biopics like this.

  • I know this is the fault of it being a movie, but every scene you knew something was going to happen. There was no tension of waiting (especially for a sniper), no drudge and stress that wears you down in a war. There was a scene, so a bad guy was going to be found and killed. The story arc with the bad sniper was also super convenient. "I have killed my opponent at last, so now I can lay down my arms."


I will say Bradley Cooper gives a very subtle performance of a man falling apart but pushing on, and the emotional toll of killing, but I think it was too subtle and not supported enough by the rest of the film for (I'm guessing) a large percentage of the audience. An example:
spoilered example:
I saw it in a packed theater, and several actually tried to get a round of applause going when he kills the bad sniper. Thankfully it didn't take. But there were more than a few "Yeah!"s at many of the kills.

And for something completely different, did anyone see Paddington? All the previews looked terrible but it got 98% good reviews. I don't know what to believe.

ETA: Am I wrong, or in American Sniper did they totally use a doll for the scenes with his daughter as an infant? If not, that is the stiffest and stillest baby I have ever seen. Also they were very careful not to show her face.


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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  laddical on Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:19 am

No, there's a lot of chatter around the 'net about the doll they used for the baby.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Grainne Mhaol on Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:51 am

Saw Foxcatcher, and boy was it bleak. I had been spoiled about the ending to some extent, but the slow-burning pace made it incredibly shocking nonetheless. Steve Carell gives an incredibly creepy, yet very realistic performance as this sad, disturbed, insular, character, but Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are also great. They are very convincing as brothers with opposing personalities. Tatum's character could have been better drawn for me, but you get glimpses of a volatile, driven athlete who feels hard done by and sees all his dreams disappear in service of a crazy man's fantasies of glory.

The colour palette was monochrome and the cinematography was restrained with very little camera movement. I liked that the acting was quiet and subdued as it felt very realistic and heightened the shock of the ending. A very chilling and deeply sad story.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  katesti on Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:18 pm

I have the same question about Paddington! If it really is as sweet as the reviews are making it sound, the trailers are doing it NO favors.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  sagitare on Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:34 pm

I saw Paddington this weekend and thought it was lovely and delightful. The trailer horrified me, to be honest, but all the reviews I read last week were glowing (and most of them started off with a variation of "Yeah, I wasn't expecting it to be good either..."). Many reviews singled out Ben Winshaw's vocal performance in particular, and he's really terrific. There's a wonderful softness and kindness in Paddington's voice that really sets a lot of the tone of the whole movie. But that's also matched by the human characters, especially the Browns. And while there are those chase/action-y type of scenes like the bathtub thing in the trailer (which, I will say, fit and flowed much better when it's seen in the context of the movie), they don't go crazy over-the-top and, most importantly, they know when to *stop* (as does the movie itself - it's a perfect hour and a half, so the story doesn't feel padded at all).

I mean, I had no interest in seeing it regardless (and definitely not after that trailer) but the reviews were so good that I thought it'd be just a fun thing to see on a weekend. And it was! I'd definitely recommend it!
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  katesti on Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:52 pm

That's kind of delightful to hear! My daughter is turning four next month and we're talking about taking her to her first movie in the theater. My husband was DREADING the possibility of Paddington being the only option, so it's nice to hear that it's not as terrible as all that. Really, I wish Book of Life was still around, but it's not going to be.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Cutebutpsycho on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:43 am

I'm amazed by this news, because the trailers for Paddington really put me and my daughter off, but we're huge fans of the books and the whole thing just seemed way too loud and over-the-top for a book that, while slaptsticky, is a quieter kind of slapstick.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  sagitare on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:12 am

Not having read any of the books, I will say that there is definitely an overall quietness to the movie (again, I think Winshaw's performance really sets the stage for that - Paddington is always so very sweet and calm and hopeful). The slapstick-y parts may not be of the same tone as in the books but I didn't think they overstayed their welcome, and to be honest, there were way fewer of them than I would have thought initially after that trailer. I mean, when I think back to the movie it's the sweetness and the softness that immediately comes to mind and puts a smile on my face. The kids in the theatre were really into it, for sure (I heard one little lad proclaim it to be AWESOME to his dad as they walked out).

(So hopefully I haven't oversold it for katesi and Cutebutpsycho! I hope you and your families aren't disappointed by it if you see it!)
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  BrightEyes on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:25 am

I saw Unbroken yesterday. I don't know why it has a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I thought it was good and the acting, especially, was great. Miyavi was creepy as hell as "The Bird" and I thought Jack O'Connell was great going from distraught to joking to defiant, etc. I kept getting distracted, though, because he looked SO MUCH like Cillian Murphy.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  mayram on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:44 am

BrightEyes wrote:I saw Unbroken yesterday. I don't know why it has a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I thought it was good and the acting, especially, was great. Miyavi was creepy as hell as "The Bird" and I thought Jack O'Connell was great going from distraught to joking to defiant, etc. I kept getting distracted, though, because he looked SO MUCH like Cillian Murphy.

I thought the acting was good, but the movie itself just underwhelmed me. In trailer form, it looked amazing, but over the space of 2 hours, it left me a little cold. I think it deserved its cinematography Oscar nod because it was beautifully shot, but I'm okay with it being left out of the other categories.

I didn't think it was bad by any stretch, but it's not a movie that's going to stick with me.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Gillian on Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:37 pm

I wasn't as impressed with The Imitation Game as I was expecting to be, but God, did it break my heart.

I'm thrilled to hear that Paddington is good!  I'm supposed to take my niece to see it, and I was kind of dreading it.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  eventide82 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:31 pm

I saw Boyhood last Friday night and it was good. I don't know that I loved it they way everyone else seems to, and while the concept of shooting the film over 12 years was a brilliant idea, I found it a little slow in the latter parts of the film. Ethan Hawke was really great, I thought, and Patricia Arquette was good too, thought I find her to be a little wooden in everything she does.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  mrinsouciance on Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:55 pm

We saw Whiplash today and HOLY crap, J.K. Simmons! That was effing amazing. I'm watching him being insanely cruel and emotionally sadistic and I'm thinking "No, not Juno's dad!" I can see why he's getting so much attention for this role.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  eventide82 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:46 pm

I'm going to see that this week, hopefully, and every review I see or hear is saying what you're saying, mri, so I'm really looking forward to it.
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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Cynara on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:10 am

I wasn't really sure what to expect out of Inherent Vice, and tbh in the end I'm not sure what I got, but it was...interesting. I mean, I'm not sure what they were going for, but the Thomas Pynchon-stoner noir-Elmore Leonard-Tarantino lite mishmash almost works, except that it's weirdly slow and feels seven hours long. But the costumes, sets, and lighting are great, and the performances are fantastic. Phoenix totally deserves his Oscar nod, and the weird-ass bromance he has with Brolin's character is awesome. (Side note: I love Josh Brolin. Any movie he's in, I know it's at least going to be weird enough to hold my interest. I mean, I wanted a decontamination shower for my soul at the end of Oldboy, but it was compelling, to say the least, and he was great in it.)

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  vwlphb on Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:40 am

I saw Whiplash last night, and man did that hit close to home for me. I've had both a professor and a manager who are just like that, who justify their emotionally abusive behavior as "pushing you to do better." They absolutely lash out at you when you call them on it, and if you succeed in spite of them, they are happy to claim that success as their own. I thought the best and most telling scene was the first one with his class, where nobody would lift their eyes.

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Re: Now Playing At a Theater Near You

Post  Coneycat on Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:06 am

I saw Paddington over the weekend, and it was every bit as cute as I hoped it would be. The actress who plays Mrs. Brown was especially sweet, and I just realized the daughter reminded me a little of a junior Jennifer Grey, especially in the beginning when she was sulking. Also, I don't know if Nicole Kidman has laid off the Botox, but her face looked MUCH more natural than I've seen her in years and she seemed to be having a blast. There was one moment when Paddington is reminded of home when I puddled up a bit, but otherwise it was pretty much all smiles all the time.

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