Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 671868 times)

Beavermoose

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3430 on: April 10, 2019, 08:09:24 PM »
Hustle & Flow (Craig Brewer, 2005)         6/10

There is a brutal sort of wholesomeness to this story. Sometimes it's even downright corny. I didn't expect that. It has some really good scenes, and in those moments the movie is gritty and real and tragic. Then it swings the other way and it's got these cheesy montages that feel like they're from a film they'd make kids in high school see. The rap itself was problematic I thought. I didn't think there was anything special about it. This works at first because I thought maybe that's what the story was going for. A character who thinks they have something special, and they're surrounded by sycophants, and it was all going to build to an embarrassing conclusion. But that wasn't how it played out. I was supposed to actually believe Howard was this amazing hidden gem of an artist... but the film couldn't convince me of it. I had to force myself to accept that in the world of the movie, his music was actually sensational and had appeal that transcended musical genres even. It made for a weird experience overall.

Three Six Mafia winning best song is still one of the best Oscar moments ever.

oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3431 on: April 10, 2019, 09:45:26 PM »
[Smart Streisand professor, eating junk food to explain frumpy.
Montage of exercise, hair and clothes
Vibrant Streisand full of life and super confident.


With this memory came a few triggers, such as why are women who aren't model size shown as uninterested in their health? :D

When I saw the “health phase” montage I literally moaned out loud.  Please don’t tell me that a makeover and a skinny waist will solve all her problems?  But it turns out that it wasn’t going in that direction at all.  Nor was it that she was uninterested in her health.  Rather, it was her lack of self-confidence that was the problem, and the montage was showing that she was  confident enough to be who she wants to be, rather than relying on other’s opinions.  Still Streisand-positive, there.
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smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3432 on: April 10, 2019, 10:49:20 PM »
Interesting. It seems we read that scene and her intentions a little differently. The depths of this movie! :))

Sandy

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3433 on: April 12, 2019, 12:11:39 AM »
Yes we'll have to come back to this. :) I'll keep you posted if I further my Streisand education in the meanwhile.

Yes, please! On both of those.

When I saw the “health phase” montage I literally moaned out loud.  Please don’t tell me that a makeover and a skinny waist will solve all her problems?  But it turns out that it wasn’t going in that direction at all.  Nor was it that she was uninterested in her health.  Rather, it was her lack of self-confidence that was the problem, and the montage was showing that she was  confident enough to be who she wants to be, rather than relying on other’s opinions.  Still Streisand-positive, there.

My memory is far too faded. I don't remember these aspects at all. :))

Interesting. It seems we read that scene and her intentions a little differently. The depths of this movie! :))

haha!

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3434 on: April 12, 2019, 07:33:22 PM »

Dear Ruth (1947)
“I'm going to be married. Right away. Well, aren't you going to say anything?"
"We're glad to get rid of you.”


It did not take long for me to realize I had a Discovery on my hands. The premise sounded corny, soldier (William Holden) comes home to meet his sweetheart correspondence (Joan Caulfield) and her family (father played by Edward Arnold), but the letters actually came from the forward-thinking, underage sister. It's an idiot plot and even more so as the film throws in the woman's fiancee (Billy De Wolfe), the soldiers sister and his war buddy who used to date the sister. Too many people that need to be kept in the dark about too many things. Good thing the film is well-written, well-acted and really funny.


"He was lonely and frightened, and - and he poured his heart out to me.
"Who's going to pour it back?”

Caulfield is the lead and as usual she's the weakest link in a strong chain. I know her best from two superior Bing Crosby films, Welcome Stranger and Blue Skies. If you can imagine the step down in star power from Olivia de Havilland to sister Joan Fontaine, Caulfield would be an equal step below Fontaine. Holden plays against type as the lovesick soldier, but the real anchor and star attraction is Arnold. Best known for playing fat cats and gruff fathers, here he's constantly amused by developments. Always positive, sometimes with a sly grin, Arnold gets about 90% of the funny lines, not that he needs them. Sometimes he's just as funny moving closer to the people talking, looking thrilled with his courtside seat.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

This is the first film in a trilogy and I'll be watching the 2nd film very soon.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3435 on: April 12, 2019, 11:40:21 PM »
Dear Wife (1949)
★ ★
The cast from Dear Ruth are all back, but the writers and director are different. As I expected, this was a sequel cranked out with a lot less time to think up equally good situations or jokes. It's like a television show based on a film with a few okay moments but none of the manic magic of the original. Perhaps most disappointing is seeing Edward Arnold's character written as his usual grumpy persona.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3436 on: April 13, 2019, 04:33:37 AM »
Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

There is a certain shock in Ramin Bahrani directing a dystopic sci-fi. Here is arguably the foremost voice in American modern neorealism making a film that is as far from realism as possible. It isn't even a film that brings Bahrani's style to bear on this polar genre to provide something of interest. Instead it feels in many ways incredibly generic.

But after watching this and then reading the Wikipedia of the original novel (it having been a very long time since I read and liked it), I'm wondering if one problem is it is actually a bad story. Like, I think this telling does it no favors, but looking back the story is less about fascist control of information and more about decrying new arts like TV and cinema as vapid and enfeebling. Bradbury, of all people, was playing the Luddite in writing it. The irony that his story is the one that seems shallow among the cannon of cinema and the golden age of television is not lost on me.

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3437 on: April 14, 2019, 03:38:41 AM »
Tomorrowland (2015)
From the technological dreams of the 50s via a Disneyland themed zone to a world in which the heroes are the secret society of elite technocrats intent on hiding their ethically problematic research. It’s a mess. A troubling mess. Trying to cling to those mid-century fantasies of effortless, scientific lives in a world that’s far more complex and nuanced, the characters play out a story that seems to have been made up as they went along. This is the Disney company trying to work out what it what it is now without a satisfactory conclusion.

McQueen (2018)
A celebration of Lee Alexander McQueen’s life and career for those who love his art, love fashion and for those who don’t. Underneath, this is a conventional documentary. All the talking heads and older footage cut together to tell the subject’s story. Two things raise this above other docs of its ilk. First the skill and care in how the footage and interviews are used. Secondly the sheer cinematic qualities of McQueen’s designs and shows themselves. Some of them are breathtaking in their ambition, as vibrant on screen as they must have been to see live.

Haxan (1922)
A fever dream of persecution, oppression, torture and ever-so-repressed sexuality throughout history. A thoroughly hallucinatory experience that wants its audience to actively experience the hysteria it talks about. That sensation of a desire so strong and powerful yet one that will allow men to destroy should you ever act on it. It is constrained by the conceit of an academic lecture when at its heart it wants to be the devil waggling its tongue at you. Astonishing use of powerful and potent imagery. This film has been witch-crafted rather than directed.

Easy Street (1917)
Chaplin joins the inept forces of law and order and gaslights the local populace. The usual combination of heart-melting connection between two lovebirds and a cavalcade of slapstick. Using a row of houses as a playground, he ducks, dodges and leaps through windows like a bluebottle evading a hundred flourished swats. This also contains a sequence of Chaplin on a drug-fuelled rampage. I have no idea why that was the idea of what a shot of heroin might do for your, but there we go. Wears its law-abidingly earnest heart on its sleeve a little too openly.




The Library Music Film (2018)
The story of the men behind the wonderful world of library music. Another talking heads/old photo documentary that has at least two things to recommend it over others. First is that this is a crowd-funded effort made by people clearly utterly in love with their subject. Geeks in front of large shelves full of colour-coded sets of vinyl tearing up. It also means the film is at least 30 minutes too long given the reluctance to leave much on the cutting room floor. Secondly the soundtrack - utterly amazing, utterly unique, and every tune lovingly catalogued.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Jessica Chastain rages her way through a real-life procedural reconstruction. Yes, it has the hook of getting UBL at the end and the decisions are being made ultimately by politicians, but under the hood this is a simple story of investigating crimes to find a culprit. Less enlightening is the use of real-life terrorist atrocities both to justify the lead character’s dysfunctional mania as well as an armed colonial approach to foreign relations that would have been similar even without the terrorism.


Shorts of the Week

Morderstwo (1957) aka A Murderer
Roman Polanski directs a simple murder of a sleeping man. He’s made this killing almost too clear. A penknife plunged into a torso, straight to the heart. The shortness and directness of this is shocking. This film exists just to show this killing in stark terms. What just happened? Should we report it? The assassin does not flinch in his job. How can a human do this without qualm? The corpse resembles ‘The Death of Marat’ by Jacques-Louis David so perhaps there’s more going on here. Nevertheless, hard to take.  Link

Post Haste (1943)
Richard Massingham has forgotten something and it’s driving him dotty. A piece of unhinged, silly madness that manages to remind us to post early for Christmas in the most sinister manner imaginable. This is filled with insanity and finishes on a panning shot of creepy ludicrousness with a Christmas theme that you will be unsure how to take. It feels as if he was aiming for absurdity but missed and somehow got pre-Lynchian terror instead. Includes a demonstration of the lost art of rapid brown paper and string parcel tying.  Link

Le Retour à la raison (1923) aka Return to Reason
Man Ray uses all his techniques in a mesmerising, modernist sequence of science and sensuality. A Dadaist assembly of many of his own previous ideas from rayograms to dancing swirls of light across the torso of Kiki of Montparnasse, the overall impression is of things to come. Strange yet hopeful things. Things of importance to humanity and its progress. The strongest signature in Man Ray’s work is the specific scale of tones between light and dark uniting all the elements of this unromantic collection. Link

Junior

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3438 on: April 14, 2019, 07:23:42 AM »
Yes! Haxan is great! What you said about its desire to have fun alongside the devil is likely correct, as the devil was portrayed by the director of the film himself.
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ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3439 on: April 14, 2019, 08:29:09 AM »
Yes! Haxan is great! What you said about its desire to have fun alongside the devil is likely correct, as the devil was portrayed by the director of the film himself.

I didn't realise!  This makes a lot of sense. 

I was astonished by Haxan.  Not only is it incredibly progressive in its views on mental health and women for 1922, but the images and scenes have this hallucinatory quality that make you feel as if you're under a spell watching it.  It's also erotic and knowingly kinky without being pornographic in any sense.  This is great-grandmother of Fifty Shades of Grey, only far far better than that analogy makes it sound.

It's even disconcertingly post-modern, discussing what the actresses themselves think about the scenes they're acting out and just how real the devil may of may not be.  It further blurs the boundaries between real, fantasy and Satanic in a most disconcerting manner. 

There are lots of very good restorations of it out there - very much recommended.   Bear with it through the first fifteen minutes of lecture and hands turning the pages of books to show you the engravings.  It gets much, much better.

 

 

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