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Let's talk about movies (and TV shows)... Part III

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Old
11-18-2013, 06:26 AM
  #26
MasterDecoy
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The first Hunger Games movie was brilliant.
seriously man? does brilliant mean the same thing in aussie land than it does here?

i finished downloading world's end. can't wait to watch it

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11-18-2013, 06:28 AM
  #27
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seriously man? does brilliant mean the same thing in aussie land than it does here?

i finished downloading world's end. can't wait to watch it
No it means the same thing as in North America, where the movie was very well-received by both the general audience and critics.

Good world-building, good character portrayal and development, good acting, timely socio-political metaphor, coherence throughout, and a clever climax closure. Also, points for costume design.

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11-18-2013, 06:35 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
No it means the same thing as in North America, where the movie was very well-received by both the general audience and critics.

Good world-building, good character portrayal and development, good acting, timely socio-political metaphor, coherence throughout, and a clever climax closure. Also, points for costume design.
rather than go on a rant about how everything you said you thought was good i thought was laughable, i'll just say that the costume design was indeed very cool. the only thing i liked about it really

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11-18-2013, 07:14 AM
  #29
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Anybody see ender's game yet?
anyone?

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Old
11-23-2013, 05:34 PM
  #30
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Anyone seen the shield or the wire and can post a recommendation??

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11-23-2013, 07:01 PM
  #31
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Anyone seen the shield or the wire and can post a recommendation??
Loved the Shield. Best cop TV show ever.

Not sure if it aged well the 1st 2-3 seasons might be in 4:3.

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Old
11-24-2013, 08:55 AM
  #32
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%, 199 reviews
IMDB, 8.4/10
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Ardnt, Suzanne Collins
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth

I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire tonight... what an satisfying movie. It's fun, compelling, well-crafted, a logical continuation of the first one, and ... really clever.

To recap, this is the second of the Hunger Games movies, based on a trilogy of "young adult" novels by Suzanne Collins. In some futuristic dystopia called "Panem", there is a capital city of opulence and decadence, and 12 districts of poverty where the people labour. Every year, 2 members of each of the 12 districts compete in an event called the hunger games, where they fight each other in an isolated spot This is a somewhat of an allegory for the olympics (and a lot more), where every 4 years people from all over the world watched a manufactured spectacle which keeps them happy, and indeed politicians often deliver major announcements during the olympics to avoid political backlash. Note that what Suzanne Collins captures in her novels is in fact an allegory for the oldest political strategy: "bread and circuses".

In the first movie, Katniss Everdeen (from District 12), who is played by my lady-prospect Jennifer Lawrence, managed to survive the hunger games due to a combination of luck, athleticism, charisma, and cleverness. The second movie deals with the consequences of the first -- Katniss won the games in the first movie in a manner that captured the public's attention, and that attention is frustrating the authorities. They want to destroy her image, which eventually leads to her participating in the hunger games a second time.

That's the first thing this movie does well: it's a sequel which is based on the consequences of the events of the first movie, and those are almost always the best kinds of sequels (e.g. Godfather II, The Dark Knight). The second thing it does well is that the budget was doubled, which I think went to better sets and cinematography... this movie looks a lot better than the first. I thought the first one looked nice, mind you, but this second one just looks better. The third, is through the writing. I have not read the books, but I'm sure it must have been incredibly difficult to decide what to include and what not to include. For this task, Hollywood brought out the big guns, great screenwriters: oscar winners Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Ardnt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine). The fact these two brilliant writers were hired shows that Hollywood takes the franchise seriously, an unusual situation for one with a female protagonist. The hiring does pay off in better writing: there are a huge number of characters to cover in this movie, which is necessary for the story to work, and several of them are successfully given humanity. They're not just there. I was really moved when Peeta gave Katniss his necklace, and opened it up. By the way, that scene doesn't work because "it's sweet" or because it contains a boyfriend, mother, and sister... it works because all of the characters involved and their relationships are developed. We've seen the Primrose-Katniss relationship, we've felt and seen them evolve, and thus we care to see her in a necklace. We also know that it must be incredibly painful, and simultaneously kind, of Peeta to acknowledge in a warm manner that Gale is in fact the one Katniss loves. That is powerful here... and would be emotionally flat if the Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle had not been developed.

But thinking about it: Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Primrose, Finnick, and a few others... that's a hell of a lot of characters with effective personalities. I didn't realise it, but in hindsight Effie in the first movie was a caricature... she wasn't one this time. Of interest, there is a scientifically competent character in the movie, Beetee played by Jeffrey Wright, who is not a steve urkel caricature. He builds a reasonable and effective device, which moves the story forward, and as plausible social skills and exists for purposes beyond comic relief. Marvel cinema and other Hollywood hacks should take note.

But really, what I enjoyed most about HG:CF I think, and this goes back to Suzanne Collins... is that it's so damn clever. There are several times where a favoured character is in a bind of some sort, and the way the situation is resolved is frequently clever. When Gale is about to get killed, Katniss stands in front of him, and this is where a lot of writers would stop. But then.. Haymitch and Peeta also get in the way, and talk, and it's a speech that only Haymitch could give given how they have developed the characters, and then the situation is resolved. Peeta's speech to district 11 was really well thought out. I liked the construction of the arena, and how it was far scarier than the first one, and how the characters figured out how it worked. I liked the dress Katniss wore, I thought that was a good trick and I got a high from it, the way she went from a wedding dress to a mocking jay dress. I then thought it was over, I had my cleverness high, and ... Peeta tops that by mentioning a baby: "boom!"

And ... I loved how Katniss came out of the arena alive. I was wondering the entire time how she was going to survive (given that she had to survive), and if her method as survival was going to be as clever as it was in the first movie or just a run-of-the-mill deus ex machina. I'm happy to say that ... her means of survival was as clever as in the first story. [SPOILER]She connects some wire to an arrow with a tree, right before lightning hits, to destroy a force field over the dome. This is just... such perfect writing. First of all it's developed throughout the movie, as she learns where the force field comes from and why it's there and how it behaves, and the way she learns of it is organic, not forced. Her manner of hitting ties several plot elements and makes it relevant. Finally, it's a potent metaphor. She defeats the hunger games by firing the authority's own poison (the lightning) right back at them, and using their own defences against them. The only reason she can escape is exactly because they had set up that force field. [/SPOILER].

There are a few flaws in the movie, which I forgive because the product is really good.
- Each of the 12 districts has 2 past winners, but we were told in the previous movie that districts 1 and 2 almost always win;
- One thing I liked about the first movie is that they never told us that the capital city was decadent, they only showed it. I was a bit let down when Katniss was told at the party that yeah, the party is wasteful. I didn't think that exposition-by-dialogue was necessary;
- The water wipes away the poison from the gas? what?;
- I don't like cliffhanger endings;

These are very minor complaints though. Overall, this was a fun movie, a well-crafted movie, with good characters, good world-building, and actual themes. Go see it. See the first one first though if you have not yet.

My grade: A-

Ongoing 2013 movie ranking list:

1) Rush
2) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2) Gravity
-- steep dropoff --
4) Oblivion
5) Man of Steel
6) Pacific Rim
7) Elysium
8) Riddick
-- another steep drop off --
9 ) Star Trek into Darkness
10) Thor 2: The Dark World


Last edited by DAChampion: 11-24-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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Old
11-24-2013, 11:57 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
No it means the same thing as in North America, where the movie was very well-received by both the general audience and critics.

Good world-building, good character portrayal and development, good acting, timely socio-political metaphor, coherence throughout, and a clever climax closure. Also, points for costume design.
Everything you watch is brilliant.

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Old
11-24-2013, 12:00 PM
  #34
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Huge man crush on Fassbender.
Best actor of our generation by far. He's a unique blend of a strong character actor with movie star charisma. I hope he either get a trophy down the line or a big box office movie where he's the lead.

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Old
11-24-2013, 12:03 PM
  #35
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1 episode left

what show is this?

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Old
11-24-2013, 02:02 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%, 199 reviews
IMDB, 8.4/10
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Ardnt, Suzanne Collins
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth

I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire tonight... what an satisfying movie. It's fun, compelling, well-crafted, a logical continuation of the first one, and ... really clever.

To recap, this is the second of the Hunger Games movies, based on a trilogy of "young adult" novels by Suzanne Collins. In some futuristic dystopia called "Panem", there is a capital city of opulence and decadence, and 12 districts of poverty where the people labour. Every year, 2 members of each of the 12 districts compete in an event called the hunger games, where they fight each other in an isolated spot This is a somewhat of an allegory for the olympics (and a lot more), where every 4 years people from all over the world watched a manufactured spectacle which keeps them happy, and indeed politicians often deliver major announcements during the olympics to avoid political backlash. Note that what Suzanne Collins captures in her novels is in fact an allegory for the oldest political strategy: "bread and circuses".

In the first movie, Katniss Everdeen (from District 12), who is played by my lady-prospect Jennifer Lawrence, managed to survive the hunger games due to a combination of luck, athleticism, charisma, and cleverness. The second movie deals with the consequences of the first -- Katniss won the games in the first movie in a manner that captured the public's attention, and that attention is frustrating the authorities. They want to destroy her image, which eventually leads to her participating in the hunger games a second time.

That's the first thing this movie does well: it's a sequel which is based on the consequences of the events of the first movie, and those are almost always the best kinds of sequels (e.g. Godfather II, The Dark Knight). The second thing it does well is that the budget was doubled, which I think went to better sets and cinematography... this movie looks a lot better than the first. I thought the first one looked nice, mind you, but this second one just looks better. The third, is through the writing. I have not read the books, but I'm sure it must have been incredibly difficult to decide what to include and what not to include. For this task, Hollywood brought out the big guns, great screenwriters: oscar winners Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Ardnt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine). The fact these two brilliant writers were hired shows that Hollywood takes the franchise seriously, an unusual situation for one with a female protagonist. The hiring does pay off in better writing: there are a huge number of characters to cover in this movie, which is necessary for the story to work, and several of them are successfully given humanity. They're not just there. I was really moved when Peeta gave Katniss his necklace, and opened it up. By the way, that scene doesn't work because "it's sweet" or because it contains a boyfriend, mother, and sister... it works because all of the characters involved and their relationships are developed. We've seen the Primrose-Katniss relationship, we've felt and seen them evolve, and thus we care to see her in a necklace. We also know that it must be incredibly painful, and simultaneously kind, of Peeta to acknowledge in a warm manner that Gale is in fact the one Katniss loves. That is powerful here... and would be emotionally flat if the Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle had not been developed.

But thinking about it: Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Primrose, Finnick, and a few others... that's a hell of a lot of characters with effective personalities. I didn't realise it, but in hindsight Effie in the first movie was a caricature... she wasn't one this time. Of interest, there is a scientifically competent character in the movie, Beetee played by Jeffrey Wright, who is not a steve urkel caricature. He builds a reasonable and effective device, which moves the story forward, and as plausible social skills and exists for purposes beyond comic relief. Marvel cinema and other Hollywood hacks should take note.

But really, what I enjoyed most about HG:CF I think, and this goes back to Suzanne Collins... is that it's so damn clever. There are several times where a favoured character is in a bind of some sort, and the way the situation is resolved is frequently clever. When Gale is about to get killed, Katniss stands in front of him, and this is where a lot of writers would stop. But then.. Haymitch and Peeta also get in the way, and talk, and it's a speech that only Haymitch could give given how they have developed the characters, and then the situation is resolved. Peeta's speech to district 11 was really well thought out. I liked the construction of the arena, and how it was far scarier than the first one, and how the characters figured out how it worked. I liked the dress Katniss wore, I thought that was a good trick and I got a high from it, the way she went from a wedding dress to a mocking jay dress. I then thought it was over, I had my cleverness high, and ... Peeta tops that by mentioning a baby: "boom!"

And ... I loved how Katniss came out of the arena alive. I was wondering the entire time how she was going to survive (given that she had to survive), and if her method as survival was going to be as clever as it was in the first movie or just a run-of-the-mill deus ex machina. I'm happy to say that ... her means of survival was as clever as in the first story. [SPOILER]She connects some wire to an arrow with a tree, right before lightning hits, to destroy a force field over the dome. This is just... such perfect writing. First of all it's developed throughout the movie, as she learns where the force field comes from and why it's there and how it behaves, and the way she learns of it is organic, not forced. Her manner of hitting ties several plot elements and makes it relevant. Finally, it's a potent metaphor. She defeats the hunger games by firing the authority's own poison (the lightning) right back at them, and using their own defences against them. The only reason she can escape is exactly because they had set up that force field. [/SPOILER].

There are a few flaws in the movie, which I forgive because the product is really good.
- Each of the 12 districts has 2 past winners, but we were told in the previous movie that districts 1 and 2 almost always win;
- One thing I liked about the first movie is that they never told us that the capital city was decadent, they only showed it. I was a bit let down when Katniss was told at the party that yeah, the party is wasteful. I didn't think that exposition-by-dialogue was necessary;
- The water wipes away the poison from the gas? what?;
- I don't like cliffhanger endings;

These are very minor complaints though. Overall, this was a fun movie, a well-crafted movie, with good characters, good world-building, and actual themes. Go see it. See the first one first though if you have not yet.

My grade: A-

Ongoing 2013 movie ranking list:

1) Rush
2) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2) Gravity
-- steep dropoff --
4) Oblivion
5) Man of Steel
6) Pacific Rim
7) Elysium
8) Riddick
-- another steep drop off --
9 ) Star Trek into Darkness
10) Thor 2: The Dark World
Your reviews are sometimes better than the movies you're reviewing.

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Old
11-24-2013, 03:08 PM
  #37
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No it means the same thing as in North America, where the movie was very well-received by both the general audience and critics.

Good world-building, good character portrayal and development, good acting, timely socio-political metaphor, coherence throughout, and a clever climax closure. Also, points for costume design.
I was simply not able to watch more than 15 minutes of that movie, and I tried several times. Let me explain:

The movie is called hunger games. Hunger in like: people should be starving, ridiculously poor and kept in a state of permanent slavery. So poor that they even tolerate these ridiculous games where children are killing each other. Districit 12 is known from having people frequently die of starvation.

Now, from that very interesting premise, please explain to me why everybody looks healthy, white teeth, clean hair and all? Katniss certainly doesn't look like she's almost dying of starvation!

All in all, I was simply unable to watch that movie because what I saw on the screen couldn't possibly match the whole premise of the movie. All these guys are doing desperate things, but they certainly don't look desperate. Does. not. compute.

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Old
11-24-2013, 05:26 PM
  #38
DAChampion
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Everything you watch is brilliant.
Not really.

Did you miss my review of Thor 2? Pacific Rim?

Thor 2:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=860
Pacific Rim
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=589



Other than that, if it seems that way it's because I've made a deliberate effort to catch up on good material lately: The Fighter, Pan's Labyrinth were both very good both in my opinion and in general opinion, as are gravity and rush.


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11-24-2013, 05:32 PM
  #39
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I was simply not able to watch more than 15 minutes of that movie, and I tried several times. Let me explain:

The movie is called hunger games. Hunger in like: people should be starving, ridiculously poor and kept in a state of permanent slavery. So poor that they even tolerate these ridiculous games where children are killing each other. Districit 12 is known from having people frequently die of starvation.

Now, from that very interesting premise, please explain to me why everybody looks healthy, white teeth, clean hair and all? Katniss certainly doesn't look like she's almost dying of starvation!

All in all, I was simply unable to watch that movie because what I saw on the screen couldn't possibly match the whole premise of the movie. All these guys are doing desperate things, but they certainly don't look desperate. Does. not. compute.
The average North American eats 3,000 calories a day, maybe 4,0000. However, they could probably survive on 1,000 calories a day. They'd be bored, but they would survive, people did so throughout human history. In this case, all the characters from the poor districts are quite thin, except for Haymitch who is more pudgy, but he is in fact rich.

Katniss augments her diet by illegal hunting. This is shown in the movie.

Many of the people in the city are specifically fat, but that's the point.

People would also have whiter rather than yellower teeth if they ate less.

I think you were looking for excuses to complain.

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11-24-2013, 05:55 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
The average North American eats 3,000 calories a day, maybe 4,0000. However, they could probably survive on 1,000 calories a day. They'd be bored, but they would survive, people did so throughout human history. In this case, all the characters from the poor districts are quite thin, except for Haymitch who is more pudgy, but he is in fact rich.

Katniss augments her diet by illegal hunting. This is shown in the movie.

Many of the people in the city are specifically fat, but that's the point.

People would also have whiter rather than yellower teeth if they ate less.

I think you were looking for excuses to complain.
Poor peolple have horrible teeth, simply because they never went to see a dentist...

The guys in Hunger games simply don't look poor and/or starving at all. They all look perfectly fine, healthy etc. and that simply does not compute with regard to the movie's premise.

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Old
11-24-2013, 06:00 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
Poor peolple have horrible teeth, simply because they never went to see a dentist...

The guys in Hunger games simply don't look poor and/or starving at all. They all look perfectly fine, healthy etc. and that simply does not compute with regard to the movie's premise.
You could read the books and imagine the characters all with terrible teeth, and being thick as a toothpick.

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Old
11-24-2013, 06:03 PM
  #42
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You could read the books and imagine the characters all with terrible teeth, and being thick as a toothpick.
Ha ha! That's a very good point, actually.

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Old
11-24-2013, 06:19 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
Poor peolple have horrible teeth, simply because they never went to see a dentist...

The guys in Hunger games simply don't look poor and/or starving at all. They all look perfectly fine, healthy etc. and that simply does not compute with regard to the movie's premise.
Poor people tend to have horrible teeth because poor people in North America eat a disproportionately processed diet.

Did you see a lot of chocolate bars and coca cola in the movie?

You also don't know that there are no dentists anywhere, or that water is not fluoridated, etc.

In this case, you are applying some misconceptions of the world onto the movie world. Happens. The characters in the hunger games movies look more or less like what Palestinians look like in photos, other than that they're white.


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11-24-2013, 07:32 PM
  #44
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what show is this?
Eastbound & Down
Dark and juvenile sometime but very funny show. 4 great short seasons.

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11-24-2013, 07:35 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Poor people tend to have horrible teeth because poor people in North America eat a disproportionately processed diet.

Did you see a lot of chocolate bars and coca cola in the movie?

You also don't know that there are no dentists anywhere, or that water is not fluoridated, etc.

In this case, you are applying some misconceptions of the world onto the movie world. Happens.
Ha ha! Good one! They are dirt poor, with some of their population dying of starvation, but... they can afford to put fluorine in the water supply!

And it was only an example. My point remains: they are supposed to be living in a state of extreme poverty, but they all look healthy and well fed.

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11-24-2013, 07:38 PM
  #46
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Anyone seen the shield or the wire and can post a recommendation??
Ok the shield is terrible imo.

The wire on the other hand is the most intelligent and eye opening tv show ever created. It sheds so much light on police and crime on this continent its almost more realistic than reality itself. I think i may decide to re-watch just to immerse myself into the most well crafted piece of entertainement hbo will or has ever done.

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11-24-2013, 07:46 PM
  #47
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Ha ha! Good one! They are dirt poor, with some of their population dying of starvation, but... they can afford to put fluorine in the water supply!
The cost of fluoridating water in the US is $1.00 per person per year. You're saying they can't afford that?
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm



Quote:
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And it was only an example. My point remains: they are supposed to be living in a state of extreme poverty, but they all look healthy and well fed.
They don't. They're all very thin, they don't wear nice clothes, they don't live in nice homes, Katniss has to hunt to supplement her diet, etc.

********

What this comes down to is that you didn't like the movie (which is fine), but you are incapable of articulating why so you converge of nonsensical explanations like "poor people can never have white teeth".

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11-24-2013, 07:49 PM
  #48
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Thanks to Netflix (advertiser here, hehehe, shameless plug), I just returned to Dexter season 4 yesterday, after the hockey game and while my wife was sleeping. I realized why I loved this series from the get go (except for season 3, with this politician stuff, that bored me). Just love the asian geek and his repertoire of remarks. Grew tired of Dexter's wife (although I would do her any day of the week). But the actors' play is stupendous. I love John Lithgow. And Hall plays his character brilliantly.

Noticed that he was an executive producer of the show too. Must have made mucho cash there. Brilliant move.

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11-24-2013, 07:57 PM
  #49
overlords
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Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
Thanks to Netflix (advertiser here, hehehe, shameless plug), I just returned to Dexter season 4 yesterday, after the hockey game and while my wife was sleeping. I realized why I loved this series from the get go (except for season 3, with this politician stuff, that bored me). Just love the asian geek and his repertoire of remarks. Grew tired of Dexter's wife (although I would do her any day of the week). But the actors' play is stupendous. I love John Lithgow. And Hall plays his character brilliantly.

Noticed that he was an executive producer of the show too. Must have made mucho cash there. Brilliant move.
That was the last one I watched. John Lithgow was great in it. Next season got boring real quick for me.

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11-24-2013, 08:21 PM
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Ha ha! Good one! They are dirt poor, with some of their population dying of starvation, but... they can afford to put fluorine in the water supply!

And it was only an example. My point remains: they are supposed to be living in a state of extreme poverty, but they all look healthy and well fed.
When was the last time we saw astronauts and scientists as attractive as George Clooney and Sandra Bullock? Never that's when but amazingly that was the most realistic part of Gravity.

You have to dig deep in the movie bin to find realism, and when you do you usually pull up something darker that Hunger Games. Hollywood turns out escapism not realism although I pine for the latter sometimes.

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