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Joel Mayward

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Everything posted by Joel Mayward

  1. Having seen the film this past weekend, this is a fantastic analysis of that final conversation. Mavis's story has no arc, only a stagnant flatline with a few blips here and there revealing signs of life. If this was unintentional by the filmmakers, it's poor storytelling. If it was an intentional portrayal of the prolonged adolescence many are experiencing in our culture, then it's brilliant satire.
  2. Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Reservoir Dogs. Really, almost anything by Tarantino. His movies feel like technically well-made YouTube mashups. He gets praised for his dialogue and scripts, and I just don't see why waxing eloquently about a Big Mac is considered good writing. Raging Bull. I love much of what Scorcese has done over the years, but I really struggle appreciating characters who constantly abuse and scream at each other.
  3. The packages are not directly from Haymitch (Harrelson's character), but rather earned sponsorships from Capitol folks. There is a particular scene where Haymitch is watching Katniss on the screen after her leg injury. The following scene shows him talking with a number of Capitol folks, clearly selling them on the idea of Katniss. He's her advocate, lobbying for sponsorships. The reason no other packages are shown might be due to the focus of the film being on Katniss and her struggles; every other character is clearly secondary to her narrative arc. While the film doesn't explain this well, in the the book, sponsorships are most often given from the tribute's home district. The impoverished District 12 can't afford food for themselves, let alone a package for their tributes. SPOILER: We see the boy from District 11 exactly one time in the arena as he avenges Rue's death, even though he is one of the final four survivors near the end. And Cato, the large antagonist from District 1, likely received numerous packages, as assumed by the amount of supplies and weaponry he carried around, even after the large supply cache was destroyed by Katniss, as well as the wealthiness of his own District. END SPOILER. Hopefully that adds some clarity that may have been lacking in the film. Having read the book, I wondered how much my mind would fill in the blanks and holes that were left out of the film, such as the fact that the winning tribute's entire District receives extra rations of food for the next year. If someone wasn't familiar with the books at all, I wonder how the movie would fare in their perspective.
  4. My review, from the perspective of someone in vocational youth ministry.
  5. This implies the film was more than that to begin with. Nah, it's just that I've never seen a film's trailer actually embrace its own vacuity. They don't even attempt to show a narrative or actual characters here; every scene is only meant to reveal how big the explosions will be.
  6. Wow. The entire film has been reduced to a series of huge explosions peppered with cliche action-film dialogue. Rihanna's "boom" sums it up pretty well. I'm a youth pastor, and I can imagine sixth-grade boys drooling over this.
  7. The first SXSW review I've found: Justin Chang at Variety, who calls it a "pleasantly unremarkable coming-of-ager," but that, "on the plus side, the film also abstains from any overt message-mongering; if it has a lesson to impart, it's that spiritual transformation begins from a place of inward-looking humility, of owning one's own shortcomings before decrying anyone else's." I viewed a pre-screening of the film last October and was pleasantly surprised (though not blown away), so I'm definitely intrigued to see what Steve Taylor and company have accomplished with the final film.
  8. Brunsting's comparison with Fincher's Seven is intriguing, as that is one of my favorite thrillers. (Would Seven be considered horror? That question might be for another topic thread.) I'm typically not one for viewing horror films in theaters--maybe I'm too neurotic to have strangers notice me jump in my seat--but I saw The Exorcism of Emily Rose in theaters and loved it. So I might have to give Sinister a try in October.
  9. A SXSW review from indiewire. They give it a "B."
  10. I think a lot of blockbuster action films would fall under this category. A few come to mind... The Dark Knight Rises Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Die Hard The Matrix films The Bourne films Aliens None would be quite as exhilarating viewed from an iPad or laptop. Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams was probably far better in its 3D big-screen version. I only saw it on Netflix Instant.
  11. Joel Mayward

    Buck

    Finally saw this after seeing it on so many top 2011 lists. I'm not particularly fond of horse films--one of my least pleasant childhood memories involves being thrown from a horse and breaking my arm--but I found myself fascinated by Buck. I've just about finished Edwin Friedman's leadership book, "A Failure of Nerve," and there are many correlations between Friedman's ideas and Buck's natural leadership. His leadership is one of presence, but not power. Great documentary that should spur on plenty of post-viewing conversations.
  12. Joel Mayward

    The Grey

    Stay until after the closing credits on this one. The final shot works well as an ending in itself--despite being ambiguous--but the FINAL final shot allows the ambiguity to remain while offering a bit of hope in a fairly grim film. This film is better than you might expect (if what you expect is Taken with wolves).
  13. I'll add mine to the mix. It's a top 20. 1. The Tree of Life 2. Drive 3. Take Shelter 4. Hugo 5. Midnight in Paris 6. Super 8 7. Of Gods and Men 8. Cold Weather 9. Cave of Forgotten Dreams 10. Attack the Block 11. Moneyball 12. Incendies 13. Jane Eyre 14. Certified Copy 15. 50/50 16. The Descendants 17. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 18. Win Win 19. Bridesmaids 20. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol And as an honorable mention: "Winnie the Pooh" was my son's first film seen in theaters, beginning what I hope will become a life-long passion for the cinema. And it's a wonderful little film, too. You can read more detailed reasons for the choices here.
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