Author Topic: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors  (Read 33214 times)

verbALs

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #280 on: October 27, 2011, 02:44:07 AM »
I much prefer Dirty HarrySerpico is just so bland and self-righteous.

I can't really argue with that.  Yes, he is rather bland (not boring, but bland).  Self-righteous, certainly, but only as a side effort of sticking to what he believes in.  But Harry is too much of a prick for me to enjoy watching... and self-righteous in his own way, too.
I am not used to watching Lumet films and having anything but a positive reaction (even Deadly Affair was solid if unspectacular). Serpico is played in such a downbeat way throughout it feels like Lumet takes story of corruption in his city and seems afraid of a screaming out of control rage that would derail the film. I gave it a B+ but most of that is for Pacino at his weirdest.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

MartinTeller

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #281 on: October 27, 2011, 09:24:06 PM »
The Ghost Writer - A well-crafted thriller but rather humdrum in content, culminating in an unexciting twist.  The movie is clearly the work of a skilled filmmaker who knows how to bring all the elements together, it just feels so routine and forgettable.  Polanski seems desperate to shoehorn in a few political jabs, and having a main character camp out in America to avoid facing criminal charges in Europe is at best thumbing his nose, and at worst obnoxiously hypocritical.  The lead performances from MacGregor, Wilde and Brosnan are mostly quite solid, but there are a few WTF casting choices in the ancillary cast (Kim Cattrall?  JIM BELUSHI?).  Nice Herrmann-esque score by Alexandre Desplat, but like the rest of it, I doubt I'll be thinking about it tomorrow.  Rating: Fair
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verbALs

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #282 on: October 28, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »
I thought it was an incoherent mess. I started reading the source material because, let's face it, it seems like an interesting theme; and that wasn't any better. Even the "surprise" ending is "so what?". I hated them using someone as good as Tom Wilkinson as a pop-up guest to give the spluttering whole a little gas. I was glad I didn't have to pay to see it, otherwise i would have been really annoyed at sitting through it. Empty like you say, I didn't forget it immediately because it was so irritating.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

MartinTeller

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #283 on: October 28, 2011, 11:55:31 PM »
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Messy and muddled, but in a loose, playful way.  It's an enjoyable romp, especially considering the circumstances.  It was fortunate for the production that the tragic loss of Heath Ledger could be solved with a gimmicky casting decision that entirely suits the story.  It does tamper with the emotional core of the film, but as far as a solution goes, it's pretty clever.  It's the other cast members who I was more taken with, anyway.  Plummer's character is wildly uneven, but Tom Waits is a delight, Lily Cole is charming (and utterly fetching), Andrew Garfield is... well, he's okay, and it's great to see someone use Verne Troyer as more than a mere prop.  Some of the spectacle on display is stunning, but also the most problematic area of the film.  Gilliam's predilection for visual overload can be headache-inducing, and far too often the frame is far too busy with dizzying set design and flashy camera moves.  Restraint is not his strong suit... sometimes in his favor, but sometimes not.  Despite the flaws (and really, Gilliam without flaws wouldn't be Gilliam) I had a fun time with this movie.  Rating: Good
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Bondo

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #284 on: October 29, 2011, 08:09:40 AM »
Yeah, I found the film very endearing, with a nice little morality tale at the center of the plot.

MartinTeller

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #285 on: October 31, 2011, 04:37:45 PM »
I'm going to call this done.  I don't really want to see Ghosts of the Abyss, and I'll get to Midnight in Paris and We Need to Talk About Kevin when they come out on DVD.

Best of the marathon:

1. The Tree of Life potential top 100
2. Secrets & Lies potential top 100
3. The Son
4. The Loveless Best Surprise Award
5. Wings of Hope
6. A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
7. 24 City
8. Fight of the Red Balloon
9. One Week
10. High Heels/Tape (tie)


Worst of the marathon:

1. The Limits of Control
2. Fear and Desire
3. Red State
4. Irma la Douce
5. The Tulse Luper Suitcases Biggest Disappointment Award
6. The Devil's Backbone
7. La Chinoise
8. Sunshine
9. The Colossus of Rhodes
10. Macbeth


This marathon turned out pretty much how I expected, with almost everything falling into the "eh it's okay" to "good but not great" range.  Most of the stuff I really liked were movies I was going to watch anyway.  As I said in the "Movies Watched in 2011" thread, this will be my last personal marathon until I come up with a really good idea.  One thing I'd like to do is explore more films from Africa, Central/South America and the Middle East, but I don't know if I'd want to do that as a marathon.
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oldkid

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #286 on: November 11, 2011, 12:29:27 AM »
That was a great run and very educational for me.  I love most of your highest praised ones, which makes me want to see Secrets and Lies (already in my queue) and The Loveless.  But I am disappointed at your negative reaction to Sunshine and The Devil's Backbone.  Ah well, so it goes.

Thanks for all your work.  It's great to have your perspective and to introduce me to new film.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

MartinTeller

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #287 on: November 11, 2011, 09:34:05 AM »
But I am disappointed at your negative reaction to Sunshine and The Devil's Backbone. 

Neither was a total miss.  Devil's Backbone was just mediocre, and Sunshine would have been quite good if not for its atrocious third act.
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oldkid

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Re: Martin takes on the Filmspotting Top 100 Directors
« Reply #288 on: November 11, 2011, 10:39:22 AM »
Ah.  Well, I belong to the camp of thinking the third act wasn't too bad.  Certainly the film switched from a hard science SF to a fantasy SF, but I thought it was all building to a good climax. 

"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky