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4815162342

Crunching the Numbers: Year 3

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    Another year, another review thread by me.I'm just starting to read stuff so for the first time like ever I will solicit people's review requests for a film they made. These reviews will be posted in advance of any special reviews I do on my own or my countdown list of the best of the year.So go, 1 request each.

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    All right, so this is how things will work. Aside from the films people requested I will also have a few pre-list awards recognizing the achievements or implosions of a few special films. Some of the films people requested are actually award recipients, so they'll just be reviewed when the award is presented.

    Here are the 5 awards I will be giving out:

    The Premature E Award

    The David Lynch Award

    The Throw Spaghetti at the Wall Award

    The Most Shameless Self-Promoting Film of All Time Award

    The Unintentional (Or Was It?) Prequel Award

    The fun begins soon

    Edited by 4815162342
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    Waterbottle's Request: Blue Heart

    To Reach For the Stars, One Must Be Ready to Be Burned

    Blue Heart is the second most most interesting film of the year, though the top two are interesting in different ways. For Blue Heart, what is most interesting about it is its presentation. First, it tells a political drama story through the lens of animation, through the lens of Genndy Tartakovsky animation to be exact. If the studio wanted to catch people off-guard with that combo it certainly worked, and the combo worked too. Second, it splices live-action footage into the animated world in a number of key segments. This splicing and contrast I felt worked very well in staging the poignancy of the scenes they happened in. Now, it's really odd that they went animated instead of live-action for a political drama but Tartakovsky, as is his style, gives the animation a vibrancy and kinetic energy that infuses the sedentary style of drama with kick and punch to make it stick harder in the minds of the audience. Now the story is pretty straightforward and competently done, with a political race, jockeying for first, a guy who can't keep his zipper up, and so on. Perhaps I wish the story had taken the chance to go a bit more daring or a bit more active than the tried-and-tested route. But nevertheless, this is definitely one of the best animated films of the year, let alone one of the best films of the first half of the year.

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    Since the award name has already got quite the reaction, let's present that award right now!

    THE THROW SPAGHETTI AT THE WALL AWARD

    This award is presented to the film that throws whatever it can out there to try and make something worthwhile stick and coagulate.

    The award goes to....

    Thane of the Flies

    Macbeth...and Lord of the Flies...together....in the same film....in space. First, read Creator's review since that already does a great job of summing things up and analyzing lots of the tangents and nooks and crannies of the film. Now on to my own observations:

    The combo is certainly one that people wouldn't think of putting together and sometimes it works pretty masterfully as you have characters from Macbeth paired off with characters from Lord of the Flies and we see how the similarities of the characters creates cunning plans of doom or empathetic bonds of hope, or how their differences lead to conflict and drama and more. But with witches and physical Fly Lords appearing all over the place taunting people and manipulating things more overtly it gets pretty heavy-handed at times. The cast is quite astounding, a lot of Brit and Aussie and American greats tossed into the pot and stirred together for some stirring scenes of dialogue and character shine. But the mix is a bit too overcooked and the film never quite recovers fully from the jarring opening as we see two unrelated sets of fictional characters awakening on a spaceship. Why are they in space? I guess because the witches and Fly Lords are doing it for the Epic Evil LOLs.

    This film made me realize something: Kenneth Branagh needs to make (in real life) that killer Macbeth or King Lear film we know he can make. He's struck UBER GOLD with Henry V and Hamlet, now he needs to tackle his next big gun. That was an observation of real life, if someone tries that in this game it'll likely be met with Mjolnir, on loan from Branagh's Thor.

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    I remember one year when I didn't do every week I had some award for:"Film I thought for sure I hate but ended up liking it"It went to some family film or chick flick I think :lol:

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    Riczhang's Request: The Coming Storm

    Ambition Makes Enemies of Those Dearest, Overshadowing The True Foes

    The Coming Storm is a film that tries to take a Shakespearean tale of brotherly ambition, place within the confines of a sword-and-sandal epic, and then throw in 21st century sensibilities of special effects and action sequences. I'd say 90% of what it tries to do sticks incredibly well. The other 10% we can get to later, but first with the great stuff. The film centers around the relationship between Crown Prince Albert and the King, two brothers trying to lead their nation of Carpatha to victory in a desparate struggled against the Aruedians. Complicating this struggle is the fact that Albert is plotting left and right to murder his brother and take command of the kingdom, on the grounds that he thinks the king is screwing the pooch on the war and the administration, and also because he got tricked into it by his dead wife's manipulations. Paul Bettany is pretty damn great in the lead role, displaying confidence, arrogance, hesitation, and even empathy when required as he tries to save his country while at the same time trying to upend its entire political structure. The climatic setpiece with the Naval Battle of Tynesdale is thrilling and makes the use of modern-day special effects to augment an otherwise old-school faux-historical epic. It might be the best film of its month, not sure though, we'll have to wait and see.

    A couple quibbles. First, the 3-minute cameo by Demi Moore was out of the blue and hit the wife betrayal point a little too on the nose. Linchowski could have told Albert this for largely the same effect and could have given that character a bit more to chew on. Second, the Aruedians are kinda bland as the outside antagonists, just some fanatical monotheists trying to conquer another nation, the film could have given them some more depth other than lots of mustache-twirling. As it stands they're really just background noise in the main story of Albert vs. King. And finally, apparently Demian Bichir plays a medieval James Bond, able to sneak into the most private of royal rooms to nonchalantly rifle through personal documents and happens to find stuff incriminating Albert. A bit too convenient and almost plot-throwing.

    Edited by 4815162342
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