Author Topic: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition  (Read 86634 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 01:46:24 AM »
I am very proud of last year's discovery of Un homme qui dort. (I believe it was Martin who got our attention.)

I can't take credit for that.  It had been on my watchlist, but I know there were others who had seen and recommended it before me.

MartinTeller

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 01:47:46 AM »

6ixtynin9 (rewatch) - Tum (Lalita Panyopas) has just been laid off from her job at a finance bank.  She was chosen by bad luck of the draw.  Luck steps in again when a ramen noodle box is left on doorstep.  Because the "6" on her apartment door keeps falling down so it looks like a "9", the package was left there by mistake.  Inside is $25,000 in Thai baht.  And a whole mess of trouble.  Now a fight fixer (Black Phomtong) and his gang of hoods are looking for their money, and Tum gets deeper and deeper into an awful situation.  She can't even rely on her flighty friend (Tasanawalai Ongartittichai) to help her out... she's in this mess on her own, and she's in it up to her eyeballs.

I hate to just repeat my past mini-reviews, but this film is indeed reminiscent of A Simple Plan with Tarantino-esque black comedy.  There are fun stylistic flourishes like fantasy sequences and point of view shots... they make for fine additions without being overused.  The plot drives the film, an intricate web of circumstance and coincidence, fate dropping a big pile of bad mojo in Tum's lap.  It's a very fun watch, with humor being held back until the right moment to relieve the growing tension.

On my old 10-point scale (which I'm thinking of going back to, but that's a whole can of worms I don't wanna think about right now) I gave this film an 8 on my first viewing, and bumped it up to a 9 on the second.  I was right the first time.  Like I said, the movie is really enjoyable, a lively blend of neo-noir and black comedy.  But there are some imperfections.  I can't decide whether to call Panyopas's performance "wooden" or "restrained".  Throughout the film she barely registers any emotion, and the one moment when she breaks down is a welcome turn.  But we have little feeling for the character.  Does this represent a sharp moral decline for her, or did she have it in her all along?  While I can appreciate an attempt to keep a character enigmatic -- as well as a Kati Outinen style deadpan performance -- without many ethical reference points (an early scene shows her being mildly hesitant about shoplifting), we don't know what all this really means to her.  And thus the film becomes much more about the clever and surprising plotting than the character.  The ending -- which infuriated at least one IMDb reviewer -- comes off as a thematic convenience rather than a genuine resolution to her arc.  I would also say some of the Tarantino-isms are a bit too tongue-in-cheek, especially regarding the gangsters.  I don't want to give anything away, but the climax just feels like a ripoff.

Why do I gripe so much about movies I generally enjoy?  I guess I'm hedging against disagreement.  Bad habit.  This is a really compelling story, and despite (or maybe because of) her woodenness, Panyopas has a certain presence to her that makes her very watchable... again, like Outinen.  There are plenty of laughs and plenty of shocks to be had.  It's just not as great as I rated it last time.  Rating: Very Good (85)


I hope my focus on the negatives doesn't discourage anyone from seeking this out.  I think most folks here would like it.

oldkid

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2013, 10:25:18 AM »
The Green Mile is an underrated treasure.  There are certainly weak elements, but it is great storytelling.

Thanks, Martin, for your review of 6ixtyninin9.  I thought it was some sort of sex comedy.  Now I might actually watch it.

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1SO

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2013, 10:46:44 AM »
I'll read your 6ixtynin9 review soon. It's one of the first new 1999 films I hope to watch.

pixote

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 10:55:06 AM »
Here's my review of 6ixtynin9, which I liked but not enough to resurrect (or to vote for here). And here's my review of The Green Mile.

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I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2013, 10:22:22 PM »
The Boondock Saints.

I really did try to enjoy this. I swear.

What happens when you grow up on the great gangster movies of the 90s? Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, Miller's Crossing. Do you learn anything from them? Is there any good in the way they see the world? Does crime pay? These are questions a movie like The Boondock Saints could be interested in. Unfortunately it's mostly interested in trying to emulate those titans of film in all the wrong ways. We've got people on the wrong side of the law killing other people on the wrong side of the law. Factions go after one another and the police are either bumbling or insane. Two brothers and their friend turn into vigilantes for some reason (I guess because their favorite bar was gonna get shut down?) and then they start killing anybody they want to with the justification that they're just killing the bad guys. Is it revenge or vigilantism or stupidity? Hard to know, because none of them have any real character. I'm not talking moral character here, though they lack that, too, but rather fictional character. I could tell the two brothers apart because one of them is also in The Walking Dead. That's about it. There's no arc for them to travel because they aren't even close to being real human beings. They're there to pull triggers and recite religious lines. And have tattoos. Really only one person in the entire film has something resembling a character with motivations and feelings and stuff. Willem Defoe plays an absolutely nuts FBI agent. I don't know if he just gave up on the movie and started doing whatever the heck he wanted, but none of his insanity makes any sense other than that it's kind of funny to watch him be crazy. But at least it's a trait. It's fitting that the poster is just two guns held by hands with latin words on them and rosary beads wrapped around the wrists. That's all this movie is, and it doesn't even do that well. 1/10.
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AAAutin

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 10:26:17 PM »
But--But--There was a firefight!

Antares

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2013, 10:26:59 PM »
Watch , and you'll understand why it's such a horrendous film.
            
                                                           Beep! Beep!

AAAutin

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2013, 10:28:30 PM »
Can't I like both? (Admittedly, I prefer OVERNIGHT.)

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Re: Retro Filmspots Review Thread: 1999 Edition
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 10:54:38 PM »
I knew about that doc and am interested in watching it now that I've seen the movie.

I did kind of enjoy Dafoe, especially in that scene, AAA. Still, it's not what I would call a good performance. Kind of like Jon Voight in Anaconda.
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