Author Topic: Write about the last movie you watched (2006-2010)  (Read 3690413 times)

CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26280 on: January 28, 2010, 02:55:28 PM »
Watchmen:  The Director's Cut

Like Kingdom of Heaven, making this film longer doesn't make it better.  There are flashes of incredible and amazing but ultimately I still feel that I'd rather read the comic than sit through this film.  Rorschach is still the best thing about the book and the film.  Whenever Jackie Earle Haley is on screen, with or without mask, its riveting.  The rest of the flick is a snoozefest.  Sure, the opening credit sequence is pretty outstanding, and much of the photography is gorgeous, but I just can't get into the film, and yes I did like the book.

All my negativity still doesn't or at least shouldn't take away from the fact that Snyder does an admirable job of adapting this for the screen.  I just believe that the book can't be done proper justice on the screen.  Unless they maybe would have made it a 12 part Miniseries on HBO.

Grade B-

I forgot to mention that I do believe that it should at least be nominated for Best Costume Design, if not win.  The costumes are incredible.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 02:58:16 PM by CSSCHNEIDER »
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worm@work

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26281 on: January 28, 2010, 02:58:08 PM »

24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)

So all the Jia films I've watched concern themselves with the cost of China's economic boom. Where we see economic boom and progress, Jia's films focus on what they replaced - the upheaval, dislocation and the broken lives. They highlight not the construction of the new but the thoughtless demolition of what was. In Platform, we see a theater troupe coping with the consequences of Western cultural influence. In Still Life, we see the dislocation of masses of people to make way for the Three Gorges dam. Here we see a once-bustling factory that provided employment to thousands of workers being razed to the ground to make way for a sparkling new luxury apartment complex.

On the surface, 24 City feels like a conventional, talking heads documentary. I love the opening shots where the camera moves around the factory floor capturing the final days of production in Factory 420. We see burning ingots of steel being pounded into shape. It's a living, breathing, active factory in these shots and that just makes it even more chilling when we later see the floor emptied of all the machines and being stripped for materials. The bulk of the film is interviews with a handful of workers at the factory. But unlike typical documentaries, there is something incredibly formal and controlled about the way the film is composed and shot. The interviews are intermingled with these beautifully framed tracking shots of the factory buildings and the machinery as well as silent portraits of anonymous workers who simply pose for the camera without saying anything. They seem so graceful and dignified and in the few seconds where we linger on their faces, we can see that there are hundreds of stories akin to the ones we hear that will probably forever remain untold. The stories we do hear are extremely personal ones - about being separated from family members, about sacrifices made in exchange for employment, about the lack of job security and one thing that comes across loud and clear is how these buildings that are being demolished constituted these peoples' entire world. I was already very much caught up in the film when one of the interviewees suddenly made me question my impression of the film thus far. That's when I came to realize that the film is interweaving documentary with fiction somewhat seamlessly and that in itself communicates something beyond what the stories from the interviews are conveying. There's a sense that even the documentary segments are stories that are in some sense "constructed" by the narrator. There are vicissitudes of memory at play and perhaps Jia wants to acknowledge that truth itself is imprecise and unstable. One of my favorite things about the film is just how restrained both the film itself and the individual interviewees are. The protagonists' stories are never played for sentimental value and the camera never lingers on the images of destruction longer than necessary. Really like the score too (I think it's just one piece that plays repeatedly throughout the film) and those digital images are stunning.

pix, please tell me this is going to be eligible for the Filmspots next year.

Grade: A-

sdedalus

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26282 on: January 28, 2010, 03:33:49 PM »
Great review, I really liked it as well.  I think you and I are the only ones who'll vote for it, though.

I think it should be eligible in the Documentary category.
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edgar00

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26283 on: January 28, 2010, 03:37:06 PM »
Dr. Strangelove (1963, Stanley Kubrick)
B+

Nothing in the movie makes me laugh out loud, but where the movie attracts me is how the characters and situations is so darn entertainning to watch. This despite the fact that the movie depicts the end of the world and the stupidity of humanity in leading ourselves to the end of the world. Kubrick is right in a sense. We're so silly and moronic on the big topics that it is in fact comical.

It was the third or fourth time I watched the movie (I try to keep it fresh in my memory once every couple years) and yet I always forget how much little screen time the character of Dr. Strangelove is awarded. My favourite scenes are those between Sterling Hayden and the British Peter Sellers character. What Hayden says and the reactions, both verbal and physical, from Peter Sellers are great.

All in all, a good time. And brisk too. The movie is barely 90 minutes.

I love the efficiency of this - in my memory this film is 2 and half hours long!

It was over before I realized it.
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edgar00

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26284 on: January 28, 2010, 03:43:44 PM »

24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)


Grade: A-

I remember very much enjoying Still Life. Since last year during the holidays when I saw the film, I haven't looked for any other Jia movie. I'll make sure to see this one at some point. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26285 on: January 28, 2010, 03:46:22 PM »

24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)


Grade: A-

I remember very much enjoying Still Life. Since last year during the holidays when I saw the film, I haven't looked for any other Jia movie. I'll make sure to see this one at some point. Thanks for the review.

Make sure you see Platform then Unknown Pleasures as well.
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edgar00

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26286 on: January 28, 2010, 03:52:27 PM »

24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)


Grade: A-

I remember very much enjoying Still Life. Since last year during the holidays when I saw the film, I haven't looked for any other Jia movie. I'll make sure to see this one at some point. Thanks for the review.

Make sure you see Platform then Unknown Pleasures as well.

The latter is available at my library.
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worm@work

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26287 on: January 28, 2010, 03:54:31 PM »

24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)


Grade: A-

I remember very much enjoying Still Life. Since last year during the holidays when I saw the film, I haven't looked for any other Jia movie. I'll make sure to see this one at some point. Thanks for the review.

Make sure you see Platform then Unknown Pleasures as well.

And Xiao Wu (Pickpocket) and The World too! They're all really good.

edgar00

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26288 on: January 28, 2010, 04:00:15 PM »
The library, which has an extensive collection of movies, only has 2 Jia films. Still Life and Unknown Pleasures.
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joem18b

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #26289 on: January 28, 2010, 04:34:17 PM »
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

21 questions I asked myself during this movie:

1. Who's going to get shot? Every man in the movie is wearing a gun. There are no bad guys, no violence, no threats of violence. Sure, they're down there in lawless Peru, but nowhere do guns figure in the action. Yet it's inconceivable that they'll get through the movie without somebody shooting somebody. A: Somebody got shot.

2. Say, this being a '30s movie, will the characters in it begin a lot of sentences with "Say"? A: Say, yes!

3. Why do I like black-and-white movies? I remember thinking, during, for example, Dead Man, and Manhattan, and this movie, how glad I was that they weren't in color. Color would have diminished them. But I don't watch color movies wishing that they were in black-and-white. What gives? A: I don't know, but I do know that cigarette smoke is much cooler, and much more dramatic, in black-and-white.

4. How wrong can Hawks go with the one black guy he puts in the movie? A: Very wrong. This being 1939, Charles R. Moore must have drifted over from Gone With the Wind, where he was playing Butterfly McQueen's brother.

5. A plane full of nitro and a flock of condors below - what to do? A: Drop the nitro on them. "That ought to move 'em!"

6. That boat coming into port - familiar? A: I just watched King Kong. Those '30s movies were great with the boats in the harbor mist.

7. How have line readings changed since the '30s? Turning on English subtitles calls attention to line readings and one current vogue has the actor pausing before ending a sentence. Think Michael Emerson in Lost: "You're going to have to kill me... John." A: Next '30s movie, I'll pay attention to this.

8. Kid Dabb says, "I've been doing this 22 years." Is that a big deal? A: Not when you're my age.

9. You know somebody is going to get killed. Can you guess who? A: I couldn't. It had nothing to do with the guns.

10. McPherson lands a plane on a short runway that ends at a cliff. Why is this familiar to me? A: Similar to landing in Los Alamos on a DC3. Except that the runway in Los Alamos is not on Barranca Mesa, but one mesa over from there (the movie is set in Barranca).

11. Can it be that for once a crashed plane on fire won't blow up? A: Wow. It's not blowing up. It's just burning, not bl... Oops, there it goes.

12. Does Jean Arthur have twice the normal number of teeth? A: I need to go back, pause the movie, and count them.

13. Who wrote this? I wondered, because of the bananas in the Andes. Peru joined the banana market only recently. I'm thinking that the writer assumed that any country south of Mexico is a banana republic. But wait, the NYT reviewer back in 1939 thought that the movie was set in Equador, which does export bananas. Peru or Equador, which is it? A: Howard Hawks himself wrote the story. The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library has a copy of "Plane From Barranca." Maybe I should call up there, and ask the librarian to take the book off the shelf and read the first few pages of it to me, to see if Hawks specifies a country.

14. Is Dimitri Tiomkin going to drive me crazy again, like he did in The Fall of the Roman Empire? A: No. His score is absolutely unobtrusive.

15. Does Grant say "Judy, Judy, Judy..."? A: No.

16. The movie was filmed in Hollywood but what about those tropical airplane sequences (not with the obvious little model, but the other ones)? A: Don't know how they were done, but the picture was nominated for the first-ever Special Effects Oscar. Didn't win it, and neither did GWTW or The Wizard of Oz. The Rains Came won it; now I want to see those rains; must have been really something.

17. Pilot wears a white shirt and tie, leather jacket, and snap-brim fedora - cool or not cool? A: Hayworth went for it. Whereas Cary Grant's Panama was just plain silly.

18. Jean Arthur or Rita Hayworth? Arthur is the romantic lead and Cary Grant tells her that she and Hayworth, his former girlfriend or ex, I forget which, are very much alike. Perhaps so, but there are a couple of big differences, which are obvious from the start. A: I'll take Arthur. Maybe Grant could handle Hayworth, but I couldn't.

19. Is Arthur quite a bit shorter than Grant, or not? A: She = 5' 3"  He = 6' 1.5" The difference is only apparent every so often. Richard Barthelmess, on the other hand, looked shorter than Arthur and he = 5' 8".

20. Kid and Bat, the deadly adversaries - are they going to end up in a deadly situation that recapitulates their antagonistic backstory? A: Three guesses, and the first two don't count (that expression was fresh in the '30s; now, 23,800,000 Google hits.) A line in the movie that I was surprised to hear: "I've always preferred a bath to a shower." Somehow I don't picture a lot of showers in the '30s.

21. Are these guys all supposed to be angels, because they're pilots flying dangerous missions? Is that the message of the movie, encapsulated in its title? A: Yes. They are manly men, by God, and Howard Hawks wants you to know it.