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Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to use the smiley face as a way to disregard your opinion. I just found The Green Zone to be cliché. I usually enjoy Matt Damon, but I didn't seem him fitting into that role as American officer fighting for what's right in Iraq.

Your apology is sincere and I appreciate it. Like I said initially, I dont really view Damon as an "action hero" and I didnt see this film as being that either - so perhaps that bias wasnt there for me originally. I totally understand how that could change your opinion about a picture. For me, the most badly-cast member of this movie was Greg Kinnear.

We'll have to agree to disagree on it, although my thinking is this: Sometimes films cant be taken literally. Im not sure if you ever saw the Denzel Washington movie "john q" - it was a story with all the right motivation but with the finesse of applying crown moulding with a sledgehammer. Many hated it for this very reason: "you're speaking to us like we're children" the critics would say...but then it dawned on me: after decades of the US government telling its population that universal healthcare was one step away from communism, maybe the only way to get through to those same citizens WAS by being blatant - bordering on hokey or trite.

I think in some ways the green zone was "john q in iraq" (although certainly not to the same degree). I think the motivation was all from the right place and I think that the characters themselves were made to be 'caricatures' - in order to get the point across.

For me it was a very effective movie.

I enjoyed The Hurt Locker a lot. I don't know that it deserved any Oscars or what have you, but I felt that it was an excellent paced film about an interesting character. I would be interested to hear from you why you thought it was biased.

Well, for me the biggest problem was that it was billed as this movie that just "shows the war" and lets you make up your mind. However the result for me was the opposite. The soldiers characters were completely undeveloped, so we didnt know what they felt about the war, why they joined or what they were doing there. Meanwhile the iraqis were either background noise, or a bunch of crazies. I know that this was supposed to be "through the eyes" of the soldiers, but again, without developing them...well, you get the picture.

I truly believe that the filmmakers' intent was that by watching these sort of "anonymous" gi-joes we will acheive some deeper understanding of the war - but unfortunately end result, because neither side was developed properly, was context-free violence - which ultimately teaches nothing.

That said, I did feel there were some very good qualities about this movie. The acting (especially the lead) was terrific. Visually it was stunning. It was watchable and certainly showed me some aspects of military life I had not seen.

I think it still goes back to what the great Francois Truffaut said (paraphrasing) "there is no such thing as an objective war movie because it will invariably look exciting up on screen."

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Your apology is sincere and I appreciate it. Like I said initially, I dont really view Damon as an "action hero" and I didnt see this film as being that either - so perhaps that bias wasnt there for me originally. I totally understand how that could change your opinion about a picture. For me, the most badly-cast member of this movie was Greg Kinnear.

We'll have to agree to disagree on it, although my thinking is this: Sometimes films cant be taken literally. Im not sure if you ever saw the Denzel Washington movie "john q" - it was a story with all the right motivation but with the finesse of applying crown moulding with a sledgehammer. Many hated it for this very reason: "you're speaking to us like we're children" the critics would say...but then it dawned on me: after decades of the US government telling its population that universal healthcare was one step away from communism, maybe the only way to get through to those same citizens WAS by being blatant - bordering on hokey or trite.

I think in some ways the green zone was "john q in iraq" (although certainly not to the same degree). I think the motivation was all from the right place and I think that the characters themselves were made to be 'caricatures' - in order to get the point across.

For me it was a very effective movie.

That's a great way of putting it. I never saw the movie John Q, but after listening to you describe it as applying crown moulding with a sledgehammer I can apprecaite the comparison to The Green Zone. I guess, for me, that was part of the reason why I disliked the movie.

Well, for me the biggest problem was that it was billed as this movie that just "shows the war" and lets you make up your mind. However the result for me was the opposite. The soldiers characters were completely undeveloped, so we didnt know what they felt about the war, why they joined or what they were doing there. Meanwhile the iraqis were either background noise, or a bunch of crazies. I know that this was supposed to be "through the eyes" of the soldiers, but again, without developing them...well, you get the picture.

I truly believe that the filmmakers' intent was that by watching these sort of "anonymous" gi-joes we will acheive some deeper understanding of the war - but unfortunately end result, because neither side was developed properly, was context-free violence - which ultimately teaches nothing.

That said, I did feel there were some very good qualities about this movie. The acting (especially the lead) was terrific. Visually it was stunning. It was watchable and certainly showed me some aspects of military life I had not seen.

I think it still goes back to what the great Francois Truffaut said (paraphrasing) "there is no such thing as an objective war movie because it will invariably look exciting up on screen."

Good points. When I picked up a copy of The Hurt Locker to watch and I had almost no idea of what the emphasis was going to be on. I had heard the hype, but not really read up on what the film's major focus was. I enjoyed it purely as a movie about one, slightly crazy, bomb disposal soldier. I loved his character for all his faults and flaws! As far as the movie being a commentary of any sort, I can only imagine the commentary would be, "It's dangerous being a solider in Iraq and some of these guys are not mentally stable for whatever reason." Which is a fair approach to take about a film, but I don't really see the movie as being any sort of unbiased approaced the war in Iraq. It doesn't have nearly a broad enough scope to label itself as that, and for any film critic to argue that it is an unbiased look at the war in Iraq would be grasping at straws, IMO.

I am looking forward to seeing the documentary Restrepo by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington. It follows a American Platoon in Afghanistan and may be close to an unbiased look at the war there. It's not Iraq (like the previous two films), but it will obviously touch on the Middle Eastern war front.

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I don't really see the movie as being any sort of unbiased approaced the war in Iraq. It doesn't have nearly a broad enough scope to label itself as that, and for any film critic to argue that it is an unbiased look at the war in Iraq would be grasping at straws, IMO.

You raise an interesting point, JR. Maybe my issue with the film (which I still ranked fairly high, mind you) is the way that the media seems to be painting it as unbiased. After all, the writer (mark boal) has always had very strong opinions of the war and the mistreatment of troops and the director Kathryn Bigelow has also been extremely vocal on her feelings about war & warfare.

It will be interesting to rewatch the movie in a year or 2 and see how I feel about it.

I am looking forward to seeing the documentary Restrepo by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington. It follows a American Platoon in Afghanistan and may be close to an unbiased look at the war there. It's not Iraq (like the previous two films), but it will obviously touch on the Middle Eastern war front.

I havent seen this either but it does sound good. The fact that they did the documentary over a full year should give some excellent insight, vs. the couple of days we often see in a war documentary.

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The Illusionist: 7/10

I found it a little predictable.

I knew throughout the movie Sophie was never really dead

.

Still a good movie, and I thought Edward Norton was great.

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Inception ummm 8.5/10

*Spoiler

Very good movie. Everyone was hyping it up so much that when I saw it, it wasn't what I was expecting. The ideas in the movie were crazy (in a good way), and the concepts of inception were very well thought out. But the motive behind why it all happened wasn't so good imo. I thought that it could have revolved more around Cobb's story instead of the Fisher thing (which didn't seem that neccessary imo). Very good movie tho, really makes you think.... is he still dreaming???

do you really wanna know?

since its been out for some time ill add a spoiler of my own...

If you ever watch it again and I suggest you do ... look and you will notice that in reality when he isnt dreaming he has no wedding ring on ... but in his dream state he always has a wedding ring on and the director makes it a point to show his hands ... Also after watching it again and discussing it with some people ... if you think about it, the whole inception idea seems like an actual inception set up to get Cobb to forget about his wife and be able to move on with life and back to reality ... its like he felt so guilty about what he did to his wife that he couldnt let go right ... so the team was actually set up from the start to run the inception on Cobb to get him to kill/forget the idea of his wife so he could come back to reality and his kids ... dun dun dunnnnnnnnn

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do you really wanna know?

since its been out for some time ill add a spoiler of my own...

If you ever watch it again and I suggest you do ... look and you will notice that in reality when he isnt dreaming he has no wedding ring on ... but in his dream state he always has a wedding ring on and the director makes it a point to show his hands ... Also after watching it again and discussing it with some people ... if you think about it, the whole inception idea seems like an actual inception set up to get Cobb to forget about his wife and be able to move on with life and back to reality ... its like he felt so guilty about what he did to his wife that he couldnt let go right ... so the team was actually set up from the start to run the inception on Cobb to get him to kill/forget the idea of his wife so he could come back to reality and his kids ... dun dun dunnnnnnnnn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g9WjcGdxuM

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do you really wanna know?

since its been out for some time ill add a spoiler of my own...

If you ever watch it again and I suggest you do ... look and you will notice that in reality when he isnt dreaming he has no wedding ring on ... but in his dream state he always has a wedding ring on and the director makes it a point to show his hands ... Also after watching it again and discussing it with some people ... if you think about it, the whole inception idea seems like an actual inception set up to get Cobb to forget about his wife and be able to move on with life and back to reality ... its like he felt so guilty about what he did to his wife that he couldnt let go right ... so the team was actually set up from the start to run the inception on Cobb to get him to kill/forget the idea of his wife so he could come back to reality and his kids ... dun dun dunnnnnnnnn

Dammmnnnnnnn yooouuuuu! :P I really enjoyed it as being as straight up as the main storyline was. At the end I was definitively on the side of, "The spin-top was teetering and about to fall over meaning he was back to the real world and was going to have a happy existence with his children. Happily. Ever. After! :angry::D " I can't get too into the fan theories however cool they might be. I enjoyed watching it for what it was, although Nolan obviously enjoys the twisty parts.

Edited by jennifer_rocket
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do you really wanna know?

since its been out for some time ill add a spoiler of my own...

If you ever watch it again and I suggest you do ... look and you will notice that in reality when he isnt dreaming he has no wedding ring on ... but in his dream state he always has a wedding ring on and the director makes it a point to show his hands ... Also after watching it again and discussing it with some people ... if you think about it, the whole inception idea seems like an actual inception set up to get Cobb to forget about his wife and be able to move on with life and back to reality ... its like he felt so guilty about what he did to his wife that he couldnt let go right ... so the team was actually set up from the start to run the inception on Cobb to get him to kill/forget the idea of his wife so he could come back to reality and his kids ... dun dun dunnnnnnnnn

[*** more spoilers :P *** ]

I'm not sure I follow. I hadn't noticed the ring when I watched it (it's admittedly a nice touch) but I'm not sure that this theory makes sense for two reasons:

#1: Most of the team didn't know anything about Cobb or his wife. I guess it's possible that his sidekick guy (sorry, I'm bad with names :P) set everything up and told the other members, but how'd he recruit the billionaire? I doubt he hired his own plane ;). Unless you're saying that the whole billionaire thing was part of a dream, too, but then why wouldn't Cobb have the wedding ring on in those scenes?

#2: He didn't really need to be convinced to go see his kids. He wasn't staying away from them because he was hurt by the memory of his wife, he was staying away because the police were after him. Now again, maybe it's possible that the whole being wanted by the police thing was in one of his dreams as well, but just like in #1 that would imply that the whole movie was a dream (and again why wouldn't he always have the ring on?).

To be honest, I still think that this movie was just as straightforward as it seemed :P. I hadn't noticed the wedding ring thing, though, which is cool. Out of curiousity, did he have it on in the last scene? :)

Although I suppose it might not matter... by that time he had gotten past his wife's death, so maybe he wouldn't have it on in any reality at that point.

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MORE INCEPTION SPOILERS - DON'T READ THIS POST IF YOU INTEND TO WATCH THE MOVIE

I watched Inception three times now and the wedding ring is indeed a fairly obvious indicator of what's going on. As RSD already pointed out, Cobb's hand is often in the center of the camera and it's fairly easy to spot the ring if you're actually looking for it. I didn't notice it the first time I watched the movie, but started to catch on early the second time.

On top of my head, I remember the following scenes where Cobb wasn't wearing his ring:

  • the train scene after they wake up following their first failed mission ever
  • the entire Mombasa scenario where Cobb intends to find a forger (Eames)
  • on board the airplane before entering Fischer's dream
  • final scene back home

I also remember the following scenes where Cobb was actually wearing his ring:

  • during their first mission before getting caught by Saito
  • Ariadne's introduction to shared dreams
  • during the entire inception

This list is by no means exclusive but knowing Christopher Nolan's movies, he most definitely had some thing in mind. It just can't be random coincidence, we're talking about the director of Memento here. As for how to interpret the whole thing, I have to disagree with RSD. I don't think Cobb was the real target of their inception scheme, he was part of the plan to get into Fischer's head. It's as simple as that IMO. This would also explain why the 'open ending' isn't really an open ending. Cobb doesn't need to wait until his talisman stops spinning, I believe he just knows where he is and what's going on.

Just my 2 cents of course, and it's without a doubt the best movie of the year for me ;)

Edited by ChiLla
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MORE INCEPTION SPOILERS - DON'T READ THIS POST IF YOU INTEND TO WATCH THE MOVIE

I watched Inception three times now and the wedding ring is indeed a fairly obvious indicator of what's going on. As RSD already pointed out, Cobb's hand is often in the center of the camera and it's fairly easy to spot the ring if you're actually looking for it. I didn't notice it the first time I watched the movie, but started to catch on early the second time.

On top of my head, I remember the following scenes where Cobb wasn't wearing his ring:

  • the train scene after they wake up following their first failed mission ever
  • the entire Mombasa scenario where Cobb intends to find a forger (Eames)
  • on board the airplane before entering Fischer's dream
  • final scene back home

I also remember the following scenes where Cobb was actually wearing his ring:

  • during their first mission before getting caught by Saito
  • Ariadne's introduction to shared dreams
  • during the entire inception

This list is by no means exclusive but knowing Christopher Nolan's movies, he most definitely had some thing in mind. It just can't be random coincidence, we're talking about the director of Memento here. As for how to interpret the whole thing, I have to disagree with RSD. I don't think Cobb was the real target of their inception scheme, he was part of the plan to get into Fischer's head. It's as simple as that IMO. This would also explain why the 'open ending' isn't really an open ending. Cobb doesn't need to wait until his talisman stops spinning, I believe he just knows where he is and what's going on.

Just my 2 cents of course, and it's without a doubt the best movie of the year for me ;)

actually, i got a question. Cobb said that the spiny thing was his wife's and he stole it from her. So how can HE use it??? Remember when Ariadne was shown the dice by the sidkick guy, didn't he say something about not being able to be used by other people???

and I agree with you about the ending. But to add on to it, Cobb doesn care if he's in reality or dream anymore, because he accepted that that moment was reality.... that's what i think.

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actually, i got a question. Cobb said that the spiny thing was his wife's and he stole it from her. So how can HE use it??? Remember when Ariadne was shown the dice by the sidkick guy, didn't he say something about not being able to be used by other people???

and I agree with you about the ending. But to add on to it, Cobb doesn care if he's in reality or dream anymore, because he accepted that that moment was reality.... that's what i think.

I only saw the movie once (so don't take my word as Gospel :P) but I think that they weren't supposed to let someone else hold their little trinket because they didn't want anyone else to know exactly how it felt, what it weighed, etc. That way nobody else could be the 'architect' of a fake one, and if they were holding it and it felt just right they would know they were in reality.

Once the wife bit the dust, Cobb could use her spinny top since there was no longer any danger of her faking the top in a dream.

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Just got home from teh Drive in and we saw Predators 6 out of 10 the action scenes were ok but far too much swearing that really didn't need to be there. and the new Stallone movie which was a 7 out of 10 and it started kinda slow but the action was good and had a great cast even if arnie was only in it for like 3 minutes.

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The Bounty Hunter - 6/10 - was ok, and Jen Aniston looked fine, but mostly pretty standard fare. Well made & produced, but still fluff.

The Ghost Writer - 9.5/10 - and near flawless film. The production & direction was spectacular - the cast terrific...one of the best films Ive seen in a long time. If you like hitchcock-type thrillers, run to rent this. It spends the whole film with the threat of danger, not the gimmicks and pedestrian use of violence we see in so many modern so-called thrillers. When done properly (like this) its so much more effective.

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Some real disappointments here.

The Other Guys - 5/10. More disappointing Will Ferrell comedy. The dude is running out of time. Mark Wahlberg can't even act comedy.

Greenberg - 6/10. Ben Stiller attempts to take on a more serious role that perhaps details his movie career. The film is about a 40-something year old during a mid-life crisis. Stops doing "anything" and house-sits for his brother in California for a month. Meets a girl... Nothing really happens.

The Green Zone - 6.5/10. I cannot take Matt Damon as a Chief Miller in Iraq seriously. Too much of a known commodity to play action roles other than Jason Bourne. The movie was interesting, but the story took some unbelieveable turns that must have exaggerated the actual crisis in Iraq at the time.

I thought "The Other Guys" was fantastic! I hadn't seen a Will Ferrell comedy that good in years. I actually laughed out loud in the theatre constantly (the last 20 minutes or so weren't very comedic though), something which I don't always do with funny movies.

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[*** more spoilers :P *** ]

I'm not sure I follow. I hadn't noticed the ring when I watched it (it's admittedly a nice touch) but I'm not sure that this theory makes sense for two reasons:

#1: Most of the team didn't know anything about Cobb or his wife. I guess it's possible that his sidekick guy (sorry, I'm bad with names :P) set everything up and told the other members, but how'd he recruit the billionaire? I doubt he hired his own plane ;). Unless you're saying that the whole billionaire thing was part of a dream, too, but then why wouldn't Cobb have the wedding ring on in those scenes?

#2: He didn't really need to be convinced to go see his kids. He wasn't staying away from them because he was hurt by the memory of his wife, he was staying away because the police were after him. Now again, maybe it's possible that the whole being wanted by the police thing was in one of his dreams as well, but just like in #1 that would imply that the whole movie was a dream (and again why wouldn't he always have the ring on?).

To be honest, I still think that this movie was just as straightforward as it seemed :P. I hadn't noticed the wedding ring thing, though, which is cool. Out of curiousity, did he have it on in the last scene? :)

Although I suppose it might not matter... by that time he had gotten past his wife's death, so maybe he wouldn't have it on in any reality at that point.

in the last scene he did not and if you ever watch it again at the end of the movie when the scene cuts off you actually hear the top toppling over ... but it is his wifes and we were told they are supposed to use their own ... so we dont ever really know what his is i think his might have been his kids but he had to use his wifes because he "couldnt" go back to see them... the theory behind the inception for him is that while the rest of the team, other than the one guy with him at the start, don't know anything about his wife the girl does ... but the girl is also introduced to him by his father in law who tells him that he needs to come "back" home and he responds with "you know i cant" ... the theory from what i was told is that the father in law has something to do with we never see him being informed about what the actual inception is but he shows up at the airport ... i mean its a deeper aspect to the movie which we probably wont find out unless its asked about/some special part of the dvd with commentary exposes it ... either way its an interesting idea when you watch it a second time ...

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