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Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 147444 times)

jdc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5200 on: October 26, 2020, 01:01:48 AM »
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

I'm not really on board with SBC's schtick. For one thing, being autistic, I have a broad aversion to pranks. It is exploitative and morally wrong. I'm not sure that making bad people your target necessarily improves that. Secondly, his stuff goes with the premise that it is a candid camera sort of capturing of real reactions to his bits. But don't actually believe it is this. I think generally this is non-professional improvised acting by people who are in some measure in on the joke. Maybe I'm wrong and they really are authentic responses, but that it feels so false is a problem. And if it isn't authentic, what does it really say?

There are certainly some scenes that seem impossible to have faked because the people involved wouldn't agree to it, but don't underestimate the desire from many people to be willing to play an idiot to get on camera. Like, even the much publicized Rudy Giuliani sequence here...he's such a disaster of a person with bad judgment that I could absolutely see him agreeing to largely go along with this kind of thing, only to have regrets now.

Considering I didn't like SBC in Les Miserables either, the degree to which I did like his performance in The Trial of the Chicago 7 stands out as remarkable.

Did Giuliani need to sign a release? I wonder if being a public figure would remove that restriction as I can’t imagine why he would even knowing his bad judgement.

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Will

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5201 on: October 26, 2020, 09:18:06 PM »
BOYS STATE - This documentary is the best evidence today that the X-gen are raising their Z-gen children to believe that hyper-partisanship (not fascism, white supremacy, income inequality, or climate change) is the biggest threat to the future of the United States today. 8.

In what way does it show that? Maybe that's the documentarians' point, but it seems to me that most of the kids in this are quite enthusiastic about partisanship, no?

Every single one of the lead boys talk (sometimes multiple times) about how the country has never been this divided before (which is pointedly hilarious since they're all under 18). It became the opposite of a running joke for me. I know part of winning Boys State is to get votes from the other side, but the boys keep making comments on how hyperpartisanship has hurt modern politics today. Since a large part of one's political beliefs is due to being highly impressionable at that age, I assume the adults that surround them (especially in a Red State) bemoan the lack of bipartisanship constantly (their own version of #MAGA - an illusory world where politicians agreed with each other when in reality it's just Democrats immediately kowtowing to Republicans despite claiming their opposition, see the Iraqi War vote).

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5202 on: October 26, 2020, 09:58:30 PM »
Women in Blue

I talked in my review of I Am Greta of the serendipity of the decision to film this teen's school strike and having it become a global sensation. Here we have someone set up a few years back to look at women in the Minneapolis Police Department but in this case unfortunately it was a series of unfortunate events that now suddenly put this film in a spotlight. At the start of the film you have a woman as Mayor and a woman as Police Chief. She has as one of her missions to promote more women and more reform-minded officers in general in her effort to improve. Unfortunately, policing is a cargo ship and does not turn quickly so more police-involved shootings happen and activists want their pelt. The result is the chief's resignation and a retrenchment of men.

There's a leftist joke structure that would say conservatives support police using excessive force and liberals support using excessive force provided half of the police doing so are women and minorities, but the stat mentioned here is that women really are significantly less likely to use force. I believe there may be some benefit in more minority officers. So scoff, but these efforts can matter. Further there's just a general sense where nothing has really been tried yet but people act like everything has failed and the only choice is to abolish the police. The chief here specifically talks about how her efforts to reform are heavily limited because she doesn't have any real authority to fire bad cops. So we get a bit of a mixed message here...on the one hand the activists are essential to hopefully creating the conditions where those changes can be made, but on the other hand, their demands to do something after every incident make it hard for reforms to take root.

In riding along with women in a variety of capacities, it offers some insight into the challenge presented, both as cops but especially for women on the force. The problem with gender-biased fields is that often they are self-enforcing not because they aren't able to do the job but because the environment makes it too much to put up with. Firing bad officers won't just help in how the police interact with the public, it'll make it easier to address bad internal politics as well.

The Comeback Trail

A hack producer (Robert DeNiro) is in rather dire straits when he hits upon an insurance scam idea ala The Producers to make some money, but in a rather more grim fashion. And like The Producers, things don't go quite as expected. It is an enjoyable enough venture with probably the best cast I'll get in the festival (Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman Emile Hirsch and Zach Braff present as well). What starts as an incredibly cynical and callous film collapses into schmaltzy magic of cinema navel-gazing that would make this a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination if it were actually good instead of find. I don't know if it was an intentional note or not, but this does feature one of the worst special effects I expect I'll see in this festival, even though it likely has a significantly higher budget than most.

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5203 on: October 27, 2020, 02:01:51 AM »
BOYS STATE - This documentary is the best evidence today that the X-gen are raising their Z-gen children to believe that hyper-partisanship (not fascism, white supremacy, income inequality, or climate change) is the biggest threat to the future of the United States today. 8.

In what way does it show that? Maybe that's the documentarians' point, but it seems to me that most of the kids in this are quite enthusiastic about partisanship, no?

Every single one of the lead boys talk (sometimes multiple times) about how the country has never been this divided before (which is pointedly hilarious since they're all under 18). It became the opposite of a running joke for me. I know part of winning Boys State is to get votes from the other side, but the boys keep making comments on how hyperpartisanship has hurt modern politics today. Since a large part of one's political beliefs is due to being highly impressionable at that age, I assume the adults that surround them (especially in a Red State) bemoan the lack of bipartisanship constantly (their own version of #MAGA - an illusory world where politicians agreed with each other when in reality it's just Democrats immediately kowtowing to Republicans despite claiming their opposition, see the Iraqi War vote).

Ok, but wouldn't you say the way everyone, or most of them act is explicitely embracing partisanship?
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MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5204 on: October 27, 2020, 02:11:39 PM »
An Elephant Sitting Still is the bleakest film I've seen since The Turin Horse... not surprising then that director Hu Bo was mentored by Bela Tarr himself. Also not surprising that Hu Bo committed suicide just before the film's premiere. This is clearly the work of someone who sees the world -- or at least this desolate part of it -- as a brutal, tragic, joyless place. Characters are shot largely from the back and with extremely shallow focus, emphasizing their separation from the grey world around them. Rage and cruelty bubbles under every scene, and almost every background conversation you can hear is a confrontation in progress.

And yet as depressing as the film is, it does not feel like miserablism for its own sake and there is the occasional faint, faint glimmer of hope. It's not nihilist, it's humanist. The impression the film leaves you with is not "life sucks" but rather "I wish I could help these people". The film is compelling for its entire length, at least for fans of "slow cinema" like myself. Performances are very natural and the score is outstanding. This is very likely headed for my tops list. I've realized I am somehow drawn to bleak films... when searching my list for "feel good" films for et's marathon, I found that most of my favorites had some element of "feel bad". Not sure what that's about. Rating: Great (95)
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etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5205 on: October 28, 2020, 01:12:48 AM »
I need to watch An Elephant Sitting Still again at some point. I'm definitely favorable, but I also felt like I saw the same sort of tracking from behind shot a little too much. I don't tend to notice such things, so that I did made it a little bothersome. I think the film shows crazy promise that obviously won't ever be fulfilled. Sometimes I see the world like a Hu Bo and An Elephant Sitting Still, but I'm glad I have just enough not to come to his ultimate solution for the misery. The ending is great, though.
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5206 on: October 28, 2020, 09:27:36 PM »
Patrick

A somewhat aimless (possibly autistic) man nearing middle aged still lives by his elderly parents on their nudist camp, perhaps not amounting to much, but useful enough fixing things to at least provide some benefit to his parents and those who rent lots in the summers. Near the beginning of the film he loses both his hammer, part of a set of hammers (I did not realize one needed seven hammers of different sizes), and his father. From there the film does interesting work making Patrick's dogged quest to find his hammer a metaphor for dealing with the more substantial loss. Aside from the kookiness that some might find inherent in being set at a nudist camp, complete with plentiful nudity, there are definitely some things played for dark humor here including a fight that might upstage the one from the first Borat film (though not as intentionally provocative).

In a film with no recognizable names, Jermaine Clement makes a goofy cameo playing a potentially jerky/arrogant famous musician...which seems a type he likes. His girlfriend, played by Hannah Hoekstra (the only other name I recognized, though the new Charlie's Angels is the only one I've seen from her), is a manic pixie dream girl of sorts whose isolation from her boyfriend makes her drawn to the loner Patrick to act as a bit of an inspiration.

I do like the film's central metaphor, but this is a kind of meh work overall.

etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5207 on: October 28, 2020, 11:00:40 PM »
Borat: Subsequent Movie Film

The first one is in my Top 100. Watching Sacha Baron Cohen torch most of that which I disdain about America greatly pleases me. There are some duds, so it's not as high-concentrated of a batch of evil-style cultural criticism, but it is damn funny, and hits its mark, 'specially when he gets with the good ol' boys. It actually could qualify as a feel-good film, imo. But I won't say more, I'm worried I'll spoil it.
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Antares

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5208 on: October 29, 2020, 01:24:15 PM »
Borat: Subsequent Movie Film

I've never seen the original, and then with all the brouhaha over Giuliani's "moment", both my wife and I were interested. I just got a 30 day trial of Amazon Prime, and not knowing how to navigate it yet, watched the trailer for his first film by mistake. After about a minute, I realized my mistake, but wondered why anyone would want to watch it in the first place. It looked like a protracted and painfully unfunny ripoff of The Festrunk Brothers from SNL's glory years of the late 70's. After watching the trailer for the new film, my sentiments seemed right on the money and we opted out of watching it.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5209 on: October 29, 2020, 01:31:41 PM »
Well, comedy is subjective, but the hardest I've ever laughed in a theater was during Borat. The sequel had quite a few good laughs too. To each his own.
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