Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 99684 times)

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2990 on: January 26, 2019, 02:06:14 AM »
I like the sentiment of your post. I didn't write about the film because I'm unable to express why I didn't connect to the people. It's not that they're hard to like. I have plenty of favorite films centered around characters that are impossible to like. I just never warmed to where I was interested in their journey, to where I thought this story was worthy of a full feature length telling. I liked the two actors. Grant in particular balances his toxic effect with energy and charm. He pulls off being appealing even though he's a complete f**k up
RATING: ★ ★ Ĺ


I also finally watched The Killing of a Sacred Deer and I kind of loved it. Certainly put it above The Favourite, possibly above all other Lanthimos. The tone is all mystery and intrigue with some of the stranger early scenes adding to the suspense and dread. The reveal scene is what I love about Lanthimos, an absurd idea, delivered with matter-of-fact seriousness. It can't possibly be true but every scene that follows backs up the absurdity. It's also a turn that will cross a moral line for some, yet Lanthimos balances it by cranking up his deadpan comedy. I wouldn't say it falls apart in the end, certainly not as much as The Lobster, but things get a bit unsteady.
RATING: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good
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smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2991 on: January 26, 2019, 05:03:32 PM »
Edmond (Stuart Gordon, 2005)        9/10

What a ride. The only reason I started grinding through Gordon's filmography was to get to Edmond. I had seen before and found it so peculiar I thought it would be interesting to explore the director's other works before revisiting it. What I've learned now that I didn't know at the time is that Edmond is an outlier. This film's peculiar quality owes little to its director. It is David Mamet's script which gives it its flavour.

This film is an unpredictable urban odyssey. Not unlike Scorsese's After Hours in some respects. Less weird, but more unhinged... and certainly more violent. It gets to be quite uncomfortable, but again, this is nothing like Gordon's other films and doesn't follow any horror conventions. This is more legitimately disturbing. And my god is it ever watchable! I was completely mesmerized by it. I do think Mamet's dialogue has that effect on me. It is very hard to anticipate what is going to be said, or at least how someone is going to say it... and that draws me in.

William H Macy has never been more exciting to watch. This, for me, surpasses Fargo in what it demands of him and he delivers.

                         



Director's Filmography
Edmond
From Beyond
Dolls
Re-Animator
Space Truckers
Robot Jox
Castle Freak
Fortress
The Pit and the Pendulum
Daughter of Darkness
Dagon

Bleacher Bums (1979)
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998)
King of the Ants (2003)
Stuck (2007)

ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2992 on: January 27, 2019, 05:02:38 AM »
Laura (1944) - Rewatch
The men in Lauraís life are unable to control their desires whether sheís alive and present or presumed dead. Otto Premingerís camera is likewise obsessed lighting and framing Gene Tierney as an object. Despite her job presenting other women as mannequins, the script allows Laura to battle through the cross-talk and begin to show us the woman she is. Perhaps the purest example of a femme fatale, even if sadness rather than manipulation is the dominant note in her personality. This zips along and nothing Dana Andrewsís unconventional investigative techniques can do will stop it.

The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Charlie Brown canít cope when he finds himself in the most complex story heís ever had. Thereís an equation somewhere that links the amount you pay for a cinema ticket to the running time of a movie. If you pay so much for a ticket, you do not want to be short-changed on the number of frames. This should not be 88 minutes long. The Peanuts universe thrives on simplicity both in terms of plot and set-pieces. This stretches the characters beyond anecdote and into narrative, losing a portion of the magic along the way.

Fyre (2019)
Influence finds its nemesis in the Bahamas. The promotion of not only lifestyle but mind-style, comes crashing from the rails in a whirlwind of logistical ineptitude and schadenfreude. Billy McFarland finds the problem with advertising the fantasy of exclusivity is too many people want to share it. Not a problem when theyíre buying tickets, much more of a problem when they all arrive. Especially if you have no sense of self or situational awareness and have had your anger surgically replaced with charm. Essentially a talking heads documentary, but with good access to the main players and their social media streams.

Mabelís Strange Predicament (1914)
All Mabel Normand wants to do is meet her prospective fiancee for an evening of high jinx in a classy hotel, but her dog intervenes. A simple canvas that permits Mabel Normand to film herself as a wide-eyed and pyjama-ed minx, and Charlie Chaplin to establish the Tramp as a womanising sot with no boundaries. Thereís nothing more to this than well-executed farce and slapstick and as such is pure fun. Like most of this material it ends in a clumsy fist-fight and the canine ex-machina disappears to no oneís obvious concern, but by then who cares?

Interstellar (2014)
Christopher Nolan lays the physics on a bit too thickly. A film celebrated more for its production than it is as a film. Somewhere inside the wonder of the universe draped in its magnificently inescapable equations, the frail story got lost and forgotten. The muscularity of its veneration of hard physics over the fundamentals of the process of science is intimidating, boorish and unrefined. Like all Christopher Nolanís films, itís marvellously constructed. The craft can be appreciated even if the design is lacking.

Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
Kirk Douglas embarks on a one-man mission in search of a Western to star in. Earnest, sorrowful, stark and concerned with the margins of society. Proto-New Hollywood aesthetics and character, the focus is on mood and acting. This is an elegy to the cowboy. Endeavouring to ride off into the night if not the sunset, the modern world intrudes. It tramples over the romance of a time and place free of laws and fences. Inevitably, the film is overly compassionate about its subject and contaminated by uncritical nostalgia.

Aces High (1976)
Malcolm McDowell is the drunken blue-eyed poster child of aerial dogfighting. Rarely have upper lips been this stiff. The sole selling points are biplane combat and wartime nationalism. This film consists of miniatures crashing into forests before bursting into fireballs, matte planes chasing other matte planes across the sky, and close-ups of machine-gun barrels. Itís never clear exactly whatís going on or indeed why. Thereís an attempt at the tragedy of war, but it doesnít hit home. Any criticism of the futility of WWI is lost in a hail of bullets.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Burt Reynolds dispels nihilism from the American road movie and boosts the sales of Trans Ams. Simultaneously venerates Southern US car culture and asserts that smuggling beer and clam chowder, of uncertain but illegal origin, is a victimless crime. US law enforcement reverts from the Aviator-clad, fascistic psycho stereotype to its primitive Keystone Cop era. The chemistry between Burt Reynolds and Sally Field is the magic that cements the car-based action set-pieces together. Laid back fun with few consequences.

Catwalk: Tales from the Catshow Circuit (2018)
Bobby and Oh La La have the world of Canadian catshows in their claws. Itís an odd criticism of a documentary entirely focused on catshows, but there arenít enough cats in this film. Fast-edited into the margins, instead we get long interviews with their owners. We learn that cat ladies are people too and very little else. The competitive structure of this was played up, but was of little consequence. The audience is left to dub-in the inner monologue of the cats on their own. Perhaps thatíll be on one of the commentary tracks on the Blu-Ray release?

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2993 on: January 27, 2019, 05:13:48 AM »
What do you mean with this sentence about Interstellar: "The muscularity of its veneration of hard physics over the fundamentals of the process of science is intimidating, boorish and unrefined." ?

Because I'm not sure I fully understand the distinction you are making (physics vs scientific method ?) nor the way in which those adjectives apply to the film's approach to science.
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ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2994 on: January 27, 2019, 07:59:04 AM »
What do you mean with this sentence about Interstellar: "The muscularity of its veneration of hard physics over the fundamentals of the process of science is intimidating, boorish and unrefined." ?

Because I'm not sure I fully understand the distinction you are making (physics vs scientific method ?) nor the way in which those adjectives apply to the film's approach to science.

That's exactly the distinction I'm making.  It wants to put the theorems and ideas of astrophysics on the screen so hard if fills the script with exposition.  And yet it doesn't understand how science works.  How those theorems come into existence.  What experiment means.

It's like a courtroom drama explaining why the defendent is guilty without the process of the defence and prosecution putting their cases. 

It paints with a truth without building up your trust in that truth.

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2995 on: January 27, 2019, 08:16:31 AM »
Are you saying it should spend more time demonstrating ? That seems contradictory with your complaint about exposition, which is why I'm confused.

I don't remember Interstellar being too bad in terms of exposition... well not, until the last part anyway.
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ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2996 on: January 27, 2019, 01:15:34 PM »
Are you saying it should spend more time demonstrating ? That seems contradictory with your complaint about exposition, which is why I'm confused.

I don't remember Interstellar being too bad in terms of exposition... well not, until the last part anyway.

Show rather than tell, sure. Nearly always a good idea.  I'd prefer less time demonstrating.  Trust people to get lost in the world and science.  Maybe they'll become confused, some will work it out, some will enjoy getting lost in the fog, but that's not quite what I'm getting at.

My quibble is more that it asserts its truth.  It doesn't have space for nuance or questioning or doubt.  It reminds me of my problems with Inception.  It smashes this world onto the screen.  Tells you how it is.  If at any point during the exposition you're saying 'But...' or 'What if...' or 'Now wait a minute...'  Tough.

If you're willing to enter the film's reality without qualms, then that's fine.  If you're not, then it's more brutal experience.  I lost connection with the world that was being built because I felt the film didn't really want to address my questions. 

Regarding exposition, Christopher Nolan likes to play with the relative passage of time between people in different parts of his universes.  It's a concept we're not expecting from a linear narrative, so in both Interstellar and Inception it's something he has to explain several times so the audience can keep up with him.  I feel that in Interstellar, about 50% of Michael Caine's lines are exposition.  Same for David Gyasi.  He did it better in Dunkirk, through the simple act of captions and showing the same event occuring in the different timelines.



tinyholidays

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2997 on: January 27, 2019, 01:27:19 PM »
Lightning round reviews of FYC movies that I've seen:

Annihilation:  I've woken up a few times with the score in my head. Not as scary/freaky as everyone said it was. Has Natalie Portman ever emoted?

Avengers: Infinity War:  Actually a lot of fun. Somehow, I enjoy seeing Marvel movies now. Cannot imagine watching it again.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs:  Laughed in the first section, but my opinion soured as the movie went on. Am now convinced that the Coens don't care about exploring the perspectives of anyone other than morally compromised white men. Most old Hollywood era westerns have a more thoughtful take on First Nations peoples. This movie has retroactively damaged my thoughts on the rest of the Coen oeuvre.

Black Panther:  Pretty boring.

BlackkKlansman:  Touches of greatness. I found the ending upsetting but the right capstone. Would voluntarily pay twice as much to see any given movie if it would guarantee not making me look at or listen to Alec Baldwin.

Blockers:  Fun. I laughed. Geraldine Viswanathan is a breakout star. John Cena acts like the audience is trying to read his expressions from across a football field.

Chappaquiddick:  Well enough made, but I'm not sure what the takeaway is supposed to be other than that rich people can buy their way out of anything.

Crazy Rich Asians:  Probably ruined it for myself by reading the books right before seeing it. Not that the books are a literary revelation.

Eighth Grade:  Tonal perfection. A shame that it's rated R and won't reach as many kids.

Faces Places:  Varda grows the heart. Was there anyone else in it?

The Favourite:  Laughed hard, had a good time, not sure if there's much happening beneath the surface. Some redemption for Lanthimos after Killing of a Sacred Deer. Thrilled for Olivia Colman. Could watch Emma Stone get shoved into ditches all day.

First Man:  A good movie to watch with people who remember seeing the moon landing on tv. I cannot fathom how it was in any way controversial. The mechanical scenes were fun.

Game Night:  Went in with high expectations and thought it was too on the nose.

Green Book:  Another good movie for parents, although even my mom picked up that it has the lightest of light touches about race.

Incredibles 2:  Aside from Jack Jack, I didn't enjoy anything about this. The Incredibles is the pinnacle of Pixar's libertarian perspective. Why does it seem like this is the first time Mr. Incredible has ever been alone with his children?

Isle of Dogs:  Embarrassing.

Leave No Trace:  Solidified Granik as one of my favorite working filmmakers. Much more lowkey than Winter's Bone, but equally interested in women and people at the edges of society (both geographically and culturally). I loved it.

Mary Poppins Returns:  Even more embarrassing than Isle of Dogs. There's a video going around about the making of the bathtub scene that looks better than the film itself. All these Disney live-action films have a horrible patina overlaying them.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout:  Enjoyed watching it, will never see it again.

Princess Cyd:  Always glad for more accepting coming of age stories.

The Sisters Brothers:  A book that I adored. The film doesn't quite reach its peaks, but I thought it was beautifully shot.

Solo: A Star Wars Story:  Feels like a fever dream at this point. I remember thinking it was ludicrous.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:  So much fun. Very glad I was able to see it in the theater before being put on rest. About 20% too long.

A Star Is Born:  And the award goes to... Bradley Cooper's voice modulator. This movie might actually be actively harmful to some of its viewers. Hard to believe it was made by a sober person, but it was.

Support the Girls:  The sort of slice of life thing that makes you think "yeah, that was pretty good!" and then never really think about again.

You Were Never Really Here:  Maybe I overhyped myself for this one. I think choosing this story for a film made me confused. In the credits I saw that it was based on a novel by Jonathan Ames and felt even more suspicious. It's presented like it's saying something, but I wonder if it just ends up being more white girl sex trafficking entertainment.

And that's where I'm at with 2018 so far.

philip918

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2998 on: January 27, 2019, 01:37:27 PM »
Ninotchcka (1939)

Saw a review here recently and it popped up on Twitter and Letterboxd, so since Garbo was trending I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, Garbo, nor the film did much for me. The film slowly builds in fits and starts to a strong middle section where Garbo's Ninotchka loosens up and romances Leon. Her best moments are when she's drunk on champagne, blending her over-the-top Bolshevik stoicism with passion and whimsy. Sadly, the film downshifts in the last act and sputters out.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2999 on: January 27, 2019, 02:24:12 PM »
Princess Cyd:  Always glad for more accepting coming of age stories.

Not too late for this cabal.