Author Topic: The Completist Marathon  (Read 4337 times)

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2015, 02:25:51 AM »
Yeah, well I have a hate-hate relationship with rape scenes, and this one was especially creepy because of the plugging into the emotions.  What was the girl feeling?  From the look on her face, the experience horrified her more than a usual rape, knowing the pleasure that the rapist had in humiliating and violating her.  Yeah, so another level of awfulness to me.

As far as the dialogue goes, it was less that it was spot on but that there were many times that it just didn't make any sense.  Max is telling Lenny to "relax" to "get some sleep" and then immediately tells him to be looking behind himself because he's in danger.  Looks like the rewrites were going in a different direction than the original script to me.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Bondo

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2015, 02:54:38 AM »
I felt the film leaned too much on noir tendencies and not enough on sci-fi.

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 10:44:46 AM »
Steven Spielberg: Duel

Dennis Weaver (who I still remember from 70's McCloud), is driving from Orange County to Bakersfield for a business trip, and is caught in a long-term drama of road rage.  That's the simple storyline, and it may not sound like much, but Spielberg pulls a lot of tricks to make it interesting.  A five minute introduction of driving down highways, which is reminiscent of that section of Solaris, but the camera angles are much more interesting, close to the road.  The film is dialogue-light, emphasizing a show-don't-tell approach to storytelling.  There is a mystery as to who the assailant is, although that is probably made too much of in the cafe scene. 

It is a fun ride and worth the time.  I can see some stuff that will develop into who Spielberg will eventually become as a director, but the climax seemed a bit standard (although I suppose not for a TV movie).  In the end, I recommend it, but not heartily. 3/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 11:39:09 AM »
David Lynch-- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

I struggled with Twin Peaks: The Series.  At times it was quirky and funny and clever and nightmarish.  And at times it was just boring, as TV shows from the 80s and 90s often went.  And when it delved deeply into the mystical and visionary it was simply confusing.  Confusing, of course, is the norm for a Lynch-driven creative effort. But boring?

I didn't need to worry about that in this two hour film.  It is a prequel to the show, but we need to have the background of the show to understand it.  It is almost just a series of scenes, almost all centered around Laura Palmer who is murdered when the TV show begins, delving more and more into the nightmare horror that was Laura Palmer's life and death.  We obtain even more revelations that weren't given in the TV show, and the plot begins to make sense with some thought.

But this film is less about plot and more about atmosphere.  Twin Peaks is less about a place and more about a state of mind, a way of looking at reality.  There are dream states that are shared between people thousands of miles and years away.  There are FBI agents that have an intricate and creepy code that they use to communicate essential information.  There is a facade of normalcy that can quickly be stripped away to find the truly ugly horrors that await young people.  It is a fever dream, flashing from one odd scene to the next, and yet we can make some semblance of understanding-- all of which makes us cringe.

It is a powerful piece of filmmaking, but it is difficult to recommend since it relies so much on the TV series which I found spotty at best.  A horror film dependent on an early 90s TV show is a big commitment.

3.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 01:53:25 PM »
Richard Linklater--Me and Orson Welles

Orson Welles is 21 years old and is on Broadway, presenting a radical interpretation of Shakespeareís Julius Caesar with the title role acting as Mussolini.  On the spur of the moment, he decides to hire a teenage boy in a supporting role.  That boy is entered into the emotional and funny drama of Broadway theatre under the genius turmoil of Orson Welles.

This film is two things: a coming of age film and a spotlight on the greatness and weakness of Orson Welles.  Itís a quiet film.  Nothing earthshattering or life-defying happens here.  But in the conversations about theatre and fidelity and fame and purpose, behind the knowing looks and the power plays,  there is a wisdom that often comes in Linklaterís films.  He didnít write this script, but each actor is perfect for the part, and we are receiving knowledge about celebrity and how faithfulness is a one way street in real life. 

It is interesting comparing the approach to theatre in this film to that of Birdman.  Birdman is showy and intense and we donít know what will happen next, but Orson Welles is more realistic, although not as gritty.  In Birdman, the camera flies through the theatre and the surroundings, giving it a surreal sense.  Orson Welles is more grounded, both physically and giving a sense of real history and what really happens in a theatre.  Birdman is magic realism, and implies grandiose ideas, but Me and Orson Welles provides real ideas and not just the semblance of it.

Me and Orson Welles might be easy to dismiss as fluff, but when I think about the historical Orson Welles, or about theatre, I will think about this film.  4/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2015, 01:57:27 PM »
Kathryn Bigelow--K19: The Widowmaker

Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson head to head on a Soviet nuclear sub!  Intense action!  World-wide consequences!  Itís Hunt for Red October, Mutiny on the Bounty and Crimson Tide all wrapped into one!

Well, thatís what I thought.  Until I heard everyone talking.  EveryoneÖ everyone! had the fakest of Russian accents, and Harrison Ford was the worst of them all.  I was deeply concerned that this scene might very well be replayed in this action thriller:



Not only was his accent horrible, it restricted his acting and disappeared at will.  I said everyone, but it isnít true.  Liam Neeson only had a hint of a Russian accent, and he kept it subdued.

Aside from everyone talking, this was a great action thriller.  In the moments when the intensity amped up, it really works and itís easy to get involved in the film.  I wish there were more of them.  Another thing I really appreciated was that every plot point was realistic given the situation of the first Soviet nuclear sub, in a serious emergency.  There are serious questions of morality and loyalty and the answers arenít easy, and the common answers arenít necessarily the right ones. 

I donít believe that Harrison Ford was the right choice for the role of the intense captain who pushes everyone to the limit.  Ford isnít great as the hero who keeps his hand close to the chest.  Heís better at the exuberant, angry man who misspeaks.  This role depends less on speech and more on facial expression and meaningful silence.  Ford didnít do a great job at this.   Iím not saying he phoned it in.  He put in the effort and it didnít work out.  In that context,  Neeson didnít do well as the second string, because he didnít have much to work with.

Overall, the film worked, but it wasnít a revelation.  Iíd honestly rather watch Crimson Tide again. 3.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

smirnoff

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2015, 08:40:46 PM »
It's an interesting story. I can definitely see why someone thought it would be worth trying to put to film.

I wonder, how much is Bigelow to blame for those performances? Or the casting?

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2015, 11:38:22 PM »
I can't really tell.  But the more I look at Bigelow's pre-Hurt Locker films, the less I care for the performances (yes that includes Point Break).  Perhaps she was one to allow an actor to do what he will do, as long as they fit the big picture.  If I was going to guess, I would say that she is really specific in the action scenes because she wants a particular kind of intensity.  Finally, she wanted that kind of intensity in every part of the film, which is what she gets in HL and Zero.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

verbALs

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2015, 01:49:29 AM »
I just watched HL. Character wise it's a mess. I mean a real after thought because she tries to get away with just having him go maverick. American Sniper completely wiped the floor with the HL and he's pretty 2 D in that. ZDT is horrible as far as character is concerned really forgetable. It took till A Most Violent Year for me to even recognise Chastain can act well.

So slam Bigelow because she has other concerns but don't portray some recent awakening. She's fairly consistent.

Yeah but Gary Busey. Angela Bassett. Adrian Pasdar...... :o
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

oldkid

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Re: The Completist Marathon
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2015, 12:13:29 PM »
I completely disagree with you, verbals.  I think Chastain is fantastic in Zero and the HL is a great character study by what a person does rather than what he says.  And, more to the point, both films build in intensity without losing anything in the acting or casting.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky