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Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 673938 times)

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3890 on: November 22, 2019, 07:55:32 PM »
I'll hit up a spoiler thread, 1SO, but I think I'm fairly close, if not a bit more positive, to you on FII.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3891 on: November 23, 2019, 01:12:32 AM »
Restrepo (2010)
★ ★ ★ - Good
This captures the state of mind of soldiers in combat better than I've ever seen. It reminds me of films about long term effects of being in prison where the way of life is far outside the norm and permanently changes how you view the world. You experience the culture of a soldier in all it's non-PC ugliness, and because these are Americans, I feel a lot more judgmental about these people who are nothing like me.

I'm not sure the film is asking me to salute the men as much as understand the difficulty of the job, which swings between death at any time and the tedium of not being able to go anywhere or do anything. I get that, but I think the mistakes made that cost the lives of civilians and children (and a cow) along with the morale-boosting speeches centered on American might have an ugliness I don't know what to do with. I'm curious if we're meant to wrestle with it, especially when Juan "Doc" Restrepo is spoken of as the best of them, but in the brief clips that bracket the film, he comes across as loud and obnoxious.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3892 on: November 23, 2019, 08:37:13 AM »
Like you said, I think the movie is trying to capture the lives of these soldiers. I know some complained about the lack of a clear message but that's what I loved about it. The film really leaves all that up to you and tries to be a silent observer.

Glad you enjoyed it.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3893 on: November 23, 2019, 04:32:33 PM »
Doctor Sleep
Since I'm not a fan of The Shining, I'm curious how others will react to the eventual return to The Overlook. Carl Lumbly does an amazing job as Dick Hallorann, but Henry Thomas and Alex Essoe as Jack and Wendy Torrance are like something out of a bad stage show, and make me question including these characters at all. Some scene and shot recreations are like the worst fan callbacks.

I am notably in the King camp, preferring the 90s mini-series adaptation to Kubrick's because story>technique. But if they were going to adapt this with call-backs to the mini-series, no one was giving them money to make it. Still, on the whole I was with this until they arrived at the Overlook, and I'm not sure the problem there is my apathy toward that movie. I agree that the Lumbly is seamless as Hallorann, but unlike you I didn't mind Essoe in her moments. Like, I knew it wasn't Shelley Duvall but she had enough of the look and manner to make me go along. Stand-in Jack didn't even get me that far.

One thing I'm curious about with this as an adaptation of the novel of Doctor Sleep is IIRC the novel of The Shining ends like the mini-series with the hotel blowing up because the boiler. So how was the hotel still around to end at here.. Anyway, I bought the reasoning to return to The Overlook but felt so completely let down with the sequence. There had to be a better way to use the prior film here. But up to that point I was probably considering this a B. I think the expanded world of shining works pretty well, avoiding the mitochlorian-type overdetermination. It does give it a bit of a vampire X-men vibe given the way shining seems to vary in presentation.

C+

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3894 on: November 23, 2019, 10:43:54 PM »
Being the only other person who's a fan of the TV Miniseries, I had a similar thought while watching that this would be smoother if it were a sequel to that and not beholden to Kubrick's film.

I accepted the hotel being in excellent condition because it's an evil hotel. It getting dirty or destroyed in any way makes as much sense as the elevator full of blood, in that it's a hotel that defies logic.

philip918

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3895 on: November 24, 2019, 02:54:36 PM »
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

A viewing for my 2010's marathon. I really enjoyed Assaya's next film, Personal Shopper, and Kristen Stewart's performance in it, so I was glad to finally make time for this. I found Clouds thoroughly engaging with very fine performances set against beautiful scenery, but ultimately I'm not sure I took much away from it. I don't think the characters and story points in the play they're rehearsing mirroring the characters and events in the film is really all that clever or nuanced. Ultimately this seemed like a simple portrait of a narcissistic actress. An All About Eve for the Marvel Age.

Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018)

An interesting viewing after the previous film. This story does with dreams what Clouds did with its play. There's much mirroring of lines, characters, and circumstances in the dream-like second half of the film. It is spectacularly shot, the hour-long single take that end the film gets all the hype, but I found the compositions in the first half the most compelling. The fragmented nature of the first half kept the protagonist at a remove, which I had trouble overcoming to really connect with his journey. Still, it's a journey I'm glad I drifted along. I feel like certain fragments and images will linger in my mind for some time to come.

American Factory (2019)

Remarkable in its access to the people and events it depicts, and perhaps even more remarkable for the filmmakers dedication to portraying those people and events as simply and clearly as possible. I think the film succeeds because of their restraint, even if that means there are less fireworks on screen. Thought-provoking and quietly heartbreaking.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3896 on: November 24, 2019, 10:27:49 PM »
Dolomite Is My Name

There's a saying I picked up from the Judge Hodgman Podcast, by way of reference to the Sklar Brothers that says "don't yuk someone's yum." I am certainly no innocent when it comes to bouts of snobbery, but on the other hand there are many properties where I get annoyed at the perception of cultural snobbery, see Twilight or Andrew Lloyd Webber. The basic principle is let people like what they like. I think critics can be incredibly valuable in guiding me toward or away from certain things I am likely/unlikely to enjoy. And on occasion they might enrich your enjoyment in an interpretive sense. What they can't do (or shouldn't be used to do) is tell you that something you in fact like should not be liked.

Dolomite, as brought to life by Ruby Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) is something that most people, including those involved, would likely acknowledge lacks a certain craft. But what this film, that follows the adventure Moore takes to in various capacities become the star he feels his talent merits, does is provide a testament to the power of actual enjoyment. Did I enjoy it is a much more valuable metric than is it good. Being enjoyable (in the broad sense) is far more valuable than some abstract sense of quality anyway. And I enjoyed Dolomite greatly.

Smoke

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3897 on: November 25, 2019, 11:23:53 PM »
Really enjoyed Dolomite, your review was quite a coincidence because I also saw 21 Bridges recently - my son asked to see it and the reviews were 47% positive from critics and 87% positive from the audience. So we went. It was a decent action picture, would make a nice double feature with Taking of Pelham. For action, comedy and horror you should always take those odds - if you want to see that kind of movie.

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3898 on: November 26, 2019, 06:39:41 PM »
Shane (George Stevens, 1953)

The essential story of classic Westerns is pretty simple: they're all about the conflict born from the transition between the lawless world of the frontier and the gradual settling down of civilization. The protagonist is always a man torn between both worlds: he recognizes the change going on and generally embraces it, but must come to the realization that he is a man of the old world, and can't cope with civilization. At the same time, he is essential to protect those who are able to build that new world (often women) from his like. He's a Christic figure, sarificing himself for a world that he cannot participate in. Classic westerns have this ambiguous relationship to violence in their DNA: it is both evil and necessary. As it turns out, this is a fascinating enough paradigm to have sustained a whole genre for a few decades.

Shane is a pretty straight-forward execution of that story, with perhaps a bit more sympathy for its villains than would usually be the case, simply through Emile Meyer's Ryker explaining how the homesteaders use of water is actively harming him - an open range cattle rancher. We also get the more traditional gunsliger villain (Jack Palance), who simply enjoys the thrill of the kill. Aside from that, everything I described above plays out pretty much exactly as expected (spoilers I guess): Shane tries to be peaceful but can't, and heroically stops his homesteader friend from going on a suicide mission, and then uses his frontier skills to ensure that civilization can advance. In that process, we get an exchange that could fit in basically any film of this type, between Shane and Ryker:

“You’ve lived too long. Your kind of days are over.”
“My days? What about yours, gunfighter?”
“Difference is I know it.”

One has to admire the simplicity of that line I think, summing up the whole archetype quite effectively. There are two additional elements of some interest here as well. One is Jean Arthur as the homesteader's wife, who the film clearly establishes as pining for Shane, The other is their kid, who idolizes Shane. I don't know that the film does much with either though. Perhaps the issue is that Alan Ladd just isn't that charismatic as Shane, and Jean Arthur isn't given that much to do. As for the kid... well, I'm pretty sure 75% of his dialogue consists of the word "Shane", which gets slightly annoying after a while. This dynamic between the kid and the idol feels like a hint of what Unforgiven would explore much later, but a very thinly sketched one.

Stevens is no John Ford, but he does use his Wyoming setting pretty well in some shots with the Rockies looming over the plains. The inciting incident for the climax is also pretty notable for having an almost Leonesque ramp-up to the single burst of violence, certainly the best scene of the film. However, the whole climax is shot in surprisingly poorly covered day for night cinematography, which feels pretty strange for a film I'd guess had a pretty reasonable budget for the time.

Overall, I don't know that Shane really brings enough to its uber-classic story. It has a pretty languid pace and an obvious sense of self-importance, and a bit of a charisma void at its center. It's generally well-executed and does bring some welcome nuances, but I don't know that it's quite enough for me.

5/10
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 07:28:51 PM by Teproc »
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3899 on: November 28, 2019, 10:03:05 AM »
Knives Out
★ ★ ★ - Very Good

Little to say because unless Rian Johnson royally screwed up this was going to be deep in my comfort zone. Some of the lines are not as clever as Johnson thinks they are - there's a painful donut hole metaphor that's extended until it becomes unintentionally campy - but overall it's just what me and the Mrs. wanted.

 

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