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Author Topic: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)  (Read 57643 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #330 on: September 03, 2012, 12:38:10 PM »
I may check those out soon, but it sounds like you're not too enthusiastic about any of them.  Last one for now...



The Last Chapter - Robert Murray (Denholm Elliott) is struggling to the finish the latest in his popular series of novels about the James Bond-esque hero, “Maxon”.  He’s interrupted by a young admirer (Susan Penhaglion) who barges into his cabin and tries to charm her way into an interview.  The conversation takes unexpected turns as the two reveal what they really think about each other.  This is a pretty interesting little commentary on misogyny and artistic integrity, with fine performances by Elliott and Penhaglion.  The “Maxon” scenes — with Elliott playing his own protagonist — are amusing fantasies, with the music clearly meant to evoke the 007 films.  The film seems to be steering towards a pat ending but nicely sidesteps it.  Rating: Very Good (82)

Jared

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #331 on: September 03, 2012, 11:32:24 PM »
Celine and Julie Go Boating

This was the number one discovery I wanted to take care of in this 1974 Retrospots project so Im glad that I finally got to it.
This movie is very much a labrinyth and Im not ashamed to say that there's a lot I probably didnt pick up on in my first viewing. Basically Celine and Julie meet by seemingly random circumstances and form a friendship where switching identities with one another is a common occurence. They all seem to be able to time/place travel using certain candies that they acquire throughout the film. This is a skill they hone throughout much of the movie to pretty interesting effect. Kind of reminded me of a Mulholland Dr., but replacing the horror and Lynchian touches with fun and whimsy (not that there isnt a serious task they have to accomplish).
Needless to say, I didnt understand all that much of it, but I did like it and would recommend checking it out prior to putting in your nominations. Personally Im kind of a geek for the alleged new Hollywood era and this is one of my favorite cinema years, so I dont see this sneaking into many categories...although it probably has a double nomination in the actress category from me. Some day Ill watch it again and probably like it more.

Potential Nominations: Best Actress x2, Best Non English Film

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #332 on: September 06, 2012, 08:11:27 PM »

The Heron and the Crane - Based on a Russian folk tale, this is the gentle fable of a crane and a heron who can’t seem to get over their pride and accept each other’s proposal of marriage.  As in his later masterpiece Tale of Tales, Norstein’s animation looks simple but is quite artful and beautiful, using multiplane techniques and mixed media.  The story is sweet and funny and charming but also heavy with melancholy.  Oh how we get in the way of our own happiness.  A lovely and poetic short, with fine music and narration as well.  There’s a Norstein “Complete Works” DVD floating around… I suspect the quality is poor, but I may have to take a chance on it.  Rating: Very Good (87)


kinda rough YouTube version here

Verite

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #333 on: September 06, 2012, 08:29:29 PM »
There’s a Norstein “Complete Works” DVD floating around… I suspect the quality is poor, but I may have to take a chance on it.  Rating: Very Good (87)


kinda rough YouTube version here

Martin, if you didn't know already, an alternative for Norsteins' filmography (for rental) is the Masters of Russian Animation DVD set (Image Entertainment).

Netflix has Heron and the Crane on DVD--Masters of Russian Animation Volume 2.  It includes all of Yuri Norstein's films except Tale of Tales which is on Volume 3 which Netflix used to have.  25 October isn't included in the four-volume set.  In addition to the Norsteins, Volume 2 has films by other Russian animators--Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Lev Atamanov, Andrei Khrjanovsky, Fyodor Khitruk, Ideya Garanina, Anatoly Petrov, and Vladimir Tarasov.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 08:32:46 PM by Verite »
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MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #334 on: September 06, 2012, 08:42:05 PM »
Yeah I got volume 3 from the library.  Nothing else on there interested me enough to buy the whole set, but a DVD of just Norstein sounds enticing.  I'll probably buy it.

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #335 on: September 06, 2012, 11:03:23 PM »

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry - Larry (Peter Fonda) is a free-spirited hot rodder and Deke (Adam Roarke) is his trusty mechanic.  Together they pull off a clever heist.  But right as they’re trying to make their getaway, Larry’s one-night stand Mary (Susan George) hops in the car to join the fun.  It’ll be wild antics and clashing personalities and fancy driving as the trio try to evade the law, especially the unorthodox cop Franklin (Vic Morrow).

Let’s get to the negatives first.  Fonda and Roarke are okay, but Susan George (most notably of Straw Dogs) is often very annoying, utilizing an obnoxious and grating American accent.  But to be fair, I’m pretty sure she’s meant to be irritating at first, and she does become more tolerable as the film progresses and the group dynamics reach an equilibrium.  More egregious is the dialogue.  The script loaded with terrible lines that are delivered as if they’re the most clever thing you ever heard.  “We got off to a bad start.  You know what it means when someone like me gets off to a bad start?  Not a goddamn thing.”  Hell yeah!  Because… wait, what?  Was that supposed some kind of badass one-liner?  There’s dozens more like that, almost all of them landing with a thud.

Crap writing aside, however, as an “on the lam” flick it’s a pretty enjoyable time.  The extended car chase in Gone in 60 Seconds may be more of a technical achievement, but with the chases here at least there’s some sense of stakes, some investment in the characters, some reason to care about the outcome.  The chases are just FUN, especially when a helicopter gets involved.  I don’t know much about car chase history, but I had to wonder if this film had some influence on Blues Brothers.  Some of the stunts were quite similar.

It’s not a great film and the characters aren’t amazingly well-drawn or anything.  Mary isn’t really that dirty and Larry isn’t really that crazy and poor Deke doesn’t even rate a mention in the title.  The dialogue is definitely groan-worthy.  But I did have a sufficiently good time watching it.  The situations are engaging and the action satisfies.  And a great ending, even if you see it coming.  Rating: Good (71)

AAAutin

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #336 on: September 06, 2012, 11:05:49 PM »
Mary isn’t really that dirty and Larry isn’t really that crazy and poor Deke doesn’t even rate a mention in the title.

This should be the entirety of your Criticker review.

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #337 on: September 06, 2012, 11:23:29 PM »
Wow are you being generous. The dialogue isn't just terrible. It's some of the worst of the genre, for the reasons you mention, and not even clever in terms of story. That alone should have put this movie below 50. Trying to come up with a film where I agree with this sort of unbalanced recommendation over terrible writing I thought of Ricochet. But Ricochet had better action, more style and no performance like Susan George. (For the record, Ricochet features Kevin Pollack and early Ice T.)  For me, the situation never engaged, I was rooting against the characters and except for the helicopter, the action was about average. Nothing even approached a level of Smokey and the Bandit or The Dukes of Hazzard.

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #338 on: September 06, 2012, 11:31:54 PM »
Sounds like the reverse of our Gone in 60 Seconds opinions.

Emiliana

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread (1974)
« Reply #339 on: September 08, 2012, 05:19:43 AM »
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Sam Peckinpah, 1974

Bennie is the personification of Tom Waits’ best songs, a down and out piano man looking to get ahead (pun!); a Bogart for the 70s.

This is fantastic. Very apt.

I can't go into very much detail about my thoughts of the film right now... It was my first Peckinpah, and from what I had heard, I had expected it to be even more violent than it was. What I keep thinking about today, on the day after seeing it, is mainly the complexities of the relationship of Bennie and Elita, which is surprising but very satisfying in a film about acquiring a severed head at the cost of many, many lives.