Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 673952 times)

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3930 on: December 12, 2019, 06:06:36 PM »
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932)

Obviously a tremendously important film, and one that really illustrates what Pre-Code Hollywood was capable of producing, and what was lost with the censorship. It is incredibly raw material, and the ending is an all-timer.

(spoilers for this mostly real-life story)

At its best, it's also a very exciting thriller (the second escape in particular), but the script is pretty unwieldy at times, especially at the beginning. The scene after he comes home from WW1 is pretty terribly written and acted, and there are some puzzling choices made - I guess to make the protagonist more sympathetic - in the latter half of the film. I didn't know this was a true story coming in, but I assumed it was once he decided to go back because that seemed too insane to be fake... turns out, they did invent that part as he didn't chose to come back, he simply was extradited. As things stand in the film though, it just makes him look hopelessly naive in a way that really doesn't jive with what he experienced earlier, and just seems like a particularly baffling choice to make by the writers.

7/10
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 03:58:02 AM by Teproc »
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3931 on: December 12, 2019, 07:53:49 PM »
As a fan of these old movies, you're likely to think I would just accept the problems that you bring out with the film as being typical of the era, especially when the film is regarded as such a classic. However, it's more of a problem here, and there are some pre-code social drama crime films that are less guilty of these script problems. It's why I see the film's reputation as being built mostly on the strong qualities you start with. The Public Enemy is another pre-code where people are too lenient on the many bad scenes because of the few great ones.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3932 on: December 12, 2019, 08:58:44 PM »
I Lost My Body (2019)

Manages to be both melancholy and extremely suspenseful. One of my favorite films of the year.

At first I was annoyed at its inchoate artiness. Then I was gripped by the severed hand suspense film. Then I was almost entirely over the film when its lead is revealed to be a creeper.

Yeah, that last part was tough for me to get around as well.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3933 on: December 13, 2019, 08:52:21 PM »
The Farewell (Lulu Wang; 2019)
I hope you find the magic in this one. I failed to.
pixote

Having seen the film, this response makes sense. It also make sense that nobody has posted here to talk about the film. What is there to say? It's an interesting premise, and events play out in a natural way. No big dramatics, no big performances. Also, no small touches or subtle choices that can also make a film stand out. It's a nice, little film.
★ ★ ★ - Okay


I'd like to hear from philip918, who recommends the film for Best Picture. Even David Ehrlich's review seems to point to the film's unspectacular modesty in a joking manner.
Quote
don’t wanna overhype this modest little film, but it cleared my skin, did my taxes, solved Brexit, fixed the Oscars, got the Starbucks guy to stop running, convinced Weezer to retire, killed Mitch McConnell & made me really hungry.



Also... High Life
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 08:57:47 PM by 1SO »

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3934 on: December 13, 2019, 08:58:06 PM »
I really liked The Farewell, but I guess I never posted about it.

THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN

It's best to go in with nothing. I would place my entire life savings that, if they see this film, it will end up being Oldkid's, Bondo's, and Sandy's favorite movie of the year and if not, very close. 10/10, boldest independent film of the year and last several years.

Okay, so thematically, you were spot on. I think it is meaning to be earnest in depicting this effort to respond to an incident about domestic violence, but I kept seeing it as critiquing Aila as that patronizing sort of white savior type. But stylistically, this was a touchy one. I have a weakness for Dogme 95 style, and this one could practically qualify. It has a very intimate verite style. But even Dogme 95 allows editing. I imagine they are pushing for a real-time feel, and the dialogue choppiness might be truer to reality, but the gaps between almost every line of dialogue make it brutally slow. And it keeps a very mellow tone about it throughout so it can be hard to know when to actually perk up from your slow-pace trance. So yeah, that was a barrier to this being fully effective. Still a solid recommendation.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3935 on: December 13, 2019, 11:26:05 PM »
The Souvenir

Just a drab affair all around.
★ ½
I'll have to look at my list, but my gut instinct is this is the least interesting film of the year. The filmmaker believes realism requires you to be as undramatic and uncinematic as possible.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
★ ★ ★ - Okay
I wish Tom Hanks would stop portraying people we know. He's not interested in committing to an impression so he comes off as deeply miscast. Being a great actor, this just got me interested in seeing Hanks ditch all the half-hearted affectations and focus completely on the drama in the script, what little of it there is. Though, coming after Souvenir this is practically Macbeth.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 12:00:37 AM by 1SO »

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3936 on: December 14, 2019, 07:33:09 PM »
Really liked Beautiful Day more than I thought I would (and "Beautiful Day" as well), but completely agree about Hanks. Like, he does his best, but it always felt like I was looking at Tommy H (not Hilfiger), especially after that Mr. R doc last year gave you a face full of the man. Not sure it would have been 'better' significantly with a different actor, but it wouldn't have felt as jarring just looking at Hanks the whole time.

FLY is not about this anti-Souvenir sentiment, but I can let it slide because The Farewell, which I also did like a good deal, is seemingly being properly evaluated around these parts. That ending...ugh. Yucky.

Will

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3937 on: December 14, 2019, 10:29:56 PM »

Okay, so thematically, you were spot on. I think it is meaning to be earnest in depicting this effort to respond to an incident about domestic violence, but I kept seeing it as critiquing Aila as that patronizing sort of white savior type. But stylistically, this was a touchy one. I have a weakness for Dogme 95 style, and this one could practically qualify. It has a very intimate verite style. But even Dogme 95 allows editing. I imagine they are pushing for a real-time feel, and the dialogue choppiness might be truer to reality, but the gaps between almost every line of dialogue make it brutally slow. And it keeps a very mellow tone about it throughout so it can be hard to know when to actually perk up from your slow-pace trance. So yeah, that was a barrier to this being fully effective. Still a solid recommendation.

To the spoiler, I think it does both perfectly.

I doubt there would be fast dialogue back and forth in that kind of situation so it works for me. It just feels so real. Glad you liked it!

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3938 on: December 14, 2019, 10:34:50 PM »
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Let's get the Ed Wood comparisons out of the way. Yes, it has some of the same tone and energy, but I found this a bit more uplifting because it very much addresses how black audiences were given films to enjoy. Yes, the film pulls no punches that these blaxploitation films were not great technical achievements, but they made audiences enjoy themselves and helped capture some of the cultural angst of the time. Eddie Murphy is back in top form and it's fun to just watch him riff from moment to moment. An easy recommendation and a movie about movies that feels celebratory without worshiping its subject matter.

Ready or Not (2019)

This has been a rough year for horror so I feel like this was one of the few notable horror films this year. Samara Weaving makes this film and I'm eager to watch more of her work. The dark humor plays great and the pacing is just right. Every moment feels just right and the whole thing builds to that last great line. The only problem is that this film came out the same year as Knives Out which feels like a more nuanced and much funnier take-down of rich white people. I'd still give it a strong recommend for horror fans and it might make my favorites of the year.

Will

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3939 on: December 14, 2019, 10:39:33 PM »
Here's my review of THE SOUVENIR (5/10):

I swear, give this script to Greta Gerwig and/or Whit Stillman for two-three rewrites and this would become the film school satire that individual scenes heavily suggest it could be.

What a strange movie! I haven’t read so many reviews, but of the raves that I have read, I can tell the satisfaction that I received from the film is quite different than most.

I have read many reviews from friends who say that they can’t believe that Julie would fall for such an insufferably pretentious jerk-off but to make such a statement betrays the very identity of our leading lady. Julie is ridiculously insecure, extremely sheltered, and a drama queen in the way only privilege from wealth can buy. We see these first two attributes quite early on when she pitches a vague outline of her film (seen both in-person and on-paper) that suggests an experience that she, as a citizen of the upper middle class, is largely appropriating (as so many rich kids do in film school in pursuit of being taken seriously as artists). This makes her perfect bait for Anthony, an (at times) hilariously opinionated man, because insecure people seek the security that comes with firm opinions. It doesn’t matter if the opinion is flattering (that might actually hurt the chances of this man), it just matters how confident he is in stating it. That kind of confidence with the added bonus of being a first love for Julie is pure hook, line, and sinker. As someone who has fallen for that schtick many times, I bought it wholesale.

Anthony keeps her hooked through a few devious ploys that I suspect some may find entirely romantic. His first gift to her, a set of lingerie, has a double edge to it. On the surface, it’s sexy and sweet, on the other, he is dressing her in the image that he desires before what may be their first real sexual encounter. His opinions are literally shaping her to be what he wants her to be. This is a toxic relationship.

But does Joanna Hogg think of it as a toxic relationship? Jury is out on that one which may be an underlying reason why some friends have such a problem with the story. Though I think Julie is wrong in her cultural appropriation of the working class, the scraps we see of the new film she pursues after abandoning her original idea doesn’t seem to be inspiring either. In what is possibly the worst of Hogg’s decisions, Julie is shown telling Anthony on the phone that his opinions of her were correct, as if to say that there is redeeming correlation to the abuse that she suffered. The film school graduate in me says no, your film looks like a dozen other rich kid try-hards, both of you know nothing about how to create good art, none of your conversations are about self-examination which may be indicative to why Hogg’s serious tone feels so incongruent with the film. If this is purely autobiographical then she may be too sincere for her own good as I did not feel any sense of loss for the tragedy that puts an end to this relationship. Despite the complications that they are given, the two characters are still shallow rich white kids, clinging to each other for the drama of their romance.

This is my first Joanna Hogg film and, despite my problems with this film, it won’t be my last. I find her mise-en-scene to be genuinely perplexing, a mixture of throw-it-at-the-wall-see-what-sticks school of thought with random spurts of inspiration by the melodrama masters like Sirk or Fassbinder. I wouldn’t be surprised if she storyboarded only half of the script and decided the rest of the shots on location. Despite my reservations with the script, this is still a pretty intense character study that surprised me with every new detail. In retrospect, Martin Scorsese’s producing credit makes complete sense.

https://letterboxd.com/ws_evans/film/the-souvenir/

 

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