Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper  (Read 1439 times)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #100 on: January 09, 2018, 08:24:50 AM »
That is beyond anything I could have cooked up! And thanks, oldkid. :)
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #101 on: January 12, 2018, 08:20:08 PM »
I am back at home now and now able to reply to these reviews.

Tsubaki Sanjûrô (Akira Kurosawa, 1962)

In Yôjinbô, I felt Kurosawa was, in a sense, the wrong director for this kind of material. Too humanistic and serious for a character as out of the realm of normal humanity as Sanjuro/The Man With No Name. Kurosawa just can't do mindless thrills, and Yojinbo suffers as a film for it, somewhat. In the sequel, Kurosawa goes for a more grounded story, and I find it suits him much better. Mifune's Sanjuro is an actual character this time, and I found the scenes between him and the chancellor's wife to be te film's best, because she's the only character in the whole film that feels like a match for him. He's even more impossibly competent and savvy as in Yojinbo, to the point that it gets somewhat silly, and the fights are still not quite there: they don't have the rawness (or grace) of Seven Samurai... they feel more like gunfights for how quick they are, which might be something that only comes to mind because of the Leone trilogy but there it is. We do get a blood spurt here, which is appropriately shocking but doesn't look very convincing.

I also found the whole situation more engaging that the one in Yojinbo. I guess I like having good guys to root for, and I prefer Mifune as a reluctant and disdainful mentor than as a cynical observer with a hidden heart of gold ? Whatever the case may be, I cared more about the outcome here than about whatever it was they were fighting for in the first one. It doesn't have anything as iconic as the western-style shots of Sanjuro facing whole clans in the town, but Kurosawa is still Kurosawa, and the way he uses single rooms and actors moving around each other to signify power (among other things) is reminiscent of what he'd do later in High and Low.

A small thing I loved: the guy they capture who gets convinced by hearing them talk, and stays a captive willingly, much to the good guys's befuddlement. Him getting back into his closet after giving them some advice was a laugh-out-oud moment for me.

7/10

It has been a while since I have watched either Yojimbo or Sanjuro. However the intensity and minimalism of the final fight lifts this film up. The small things Kurosawa inserts into his films give them a human/humane quality and allow for a bit more connection even when a character can appear imbibed with super powers.

Thank you for watching the film.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #102 on: January 12, 2018, 08:22:46 PM »
The Castle  (Rob Stitch  1997)  :D /10
Says a lot about Australian cinema that this might be the most normal Australian film I've seen. Despite the weird premise and constant absurdity the characters are really sweetly sympathetic and while I don't think there was any truly great comedic moment it's one of the most consistently funny movies I've seen in a while. A nice mix of humour with the characters and situations and visuals, always with a consistent tone that is never too energetic but never has a dull moment either. I'm not really one to have a movie I go back to time and again, but this feels like that kind of movie, where you can just pop it in, enjoy a laugh, think a little about what it has to say and have a good time, it's not dumb humour but not demanding either. I had a really good time.

Yes The Castle is not a genius comedy moment film, just a beautiful collection of moments and some great quotes that bring so much additional meaning. Here in Australia, "it's the vibe" is a well used quote, as are a couple of others from the film. For me the way Darryl treats his wife and family changed the way I behave. I would not have thought of complimenting most meals (I forget occasionally) my wife makes, or thanking her for doing various household chores, had I not seen his example. The Castle is a warm hug of a movie, which is why it is in my Top 100.

Thank you for watching the movie.

P.S. I like the use of emoticon ratings.  :D

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #103 on: January 13, 2018, 10:33:50 AM »
The Proposition



*Spoilery*

Knocked Out Loaded: We don't have a history of immigrants like you have, or Australia for that matter. They all were immigrants. Most immigrants to Australia were convicts, right?
Sandy: Perhaps, or a great many. The bushrangers were escaped convicts, or thieves who didn't want to be part of civilized society.
Knocked Out Loaded: The three Burns Brothers must have been convicts?
Sandy: I think so, or the oldest one and then the younger ones followed suit.
Knocked Out Loaded: Funny then, how ordinary people had to live among felons. I wonder how all that was organized.
Sandy: Lawless in many ways I bet. I wondered that too, did they send them to prisons in Australia, or just let them off the boat?
Knocked Out Loaded: I have no idea!
Sandy: I should read up on that, curious about how it all played out.
Knocked Out Loaded: We can pass the question to our Australian contingent.
Sandy: Very good! I hope they read this and will reply.
Knocked Out Loaded: so.... do you think this was a Western? It usually is counted as one.
Sandy: It's a Western in my book. I don't have strong criteria: horses, old-timey, dust, guns. How about you?
Knocked Out Loaded: I never got any Western vibes, really. This was much more profound in many ways, like Shakespeare on acid.
Sandy: That about sums it up! You also mentioned earlier that is was a mood piece, existential.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, that would be a good way to describe it.
Sandy: I’ve seen Shakespeare done as a Western. This is a Shakespearean Australian bushranger Western. :D
Knocked Out Loaded:  This could be set anywhere.
Sandy: A tale of lawmen and revenge.
Knocked Out Loaded: in Sicily, in Japan....
Sandy: It could be a gangster flick, or Shogun.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, it deals with these eternal questions, revenge, bloodlines.... and it becomes stupid in a way. It is a very male world. As a woman, how do you relate to all this?
Sandy: It is not something I understand, personally. The brutality and thirst for power.
Knocked Out Loaded: Not me either, that is why I think it is a stupid world view… It also deals with those patriarchal structures, the oldest knows the best.
Sandy: And he dictates his wishes, making them law. It was a brave move for the other brother to walk away. I wasn’t sure what the oldest brother was trying to accomplish, his overall goal. Does insanity even allow for an overall goal?

How?' said the sun that melted the ground
and 'Why?' said the river that refused to run

and 'Where?' said the thunder without a sound
'Here' said the rider and took up his gun

'No' said the stars to the moon in the sky
'No' said the trees that started to moan

'No' said the dust that blunted its eyes
'Yes' said the rider as white as a bone
  -- "The Rider" by Nick Cave

Sandy: …We’ve talked about how Captain Stanley and his wife didn't belong in this world, yet he didn't belong in England either. He may have represented a transitional place and hoped his wife could fit in. She was pretty strong, really, living in that dusty place, trying to grow roses. I never heard her complain.



Knocked Out Loaded: She persisted for her husband's sake. But basically, they both were out of place, too progressive, too modern. Ahead of their time in a way.
Sandy: Too ethical as well.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, you are right. I think that we have the good and the evil face to face here and even if the middle brother stepped up, I am not sure the good won.
Sandy: But the better stopped the worse, perhaps.
Knocked Out Loaded: This is simplified, but it boils down to, we got to a little less evil point maybe, but the evil persists.
Sandy: In agreement, never ending struggle, and not always a foreseeable positive.
Knocked Out Loaded: And it is hard to see how the couple should continue.
Sandy: Do you think he will live? His injuries are severe.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, but with severe scars mentally.
Sandy: This place has broken both of them.
Knocked Out Loaded: The movie feels like part of an eternal story, but I can't come up with anything that reminds me of it.
Sandy:  Maybe Biblical. But, I can’t think of a brother’s story quite like this though.
Knocked Out Loaded: I liked the movie some, but I don't think it will stay for long. The characters never got under my skin, it was more like watching tin soldiers or something.
Sandy: Ah, perhaps that was Nick Cave’s point after all. “On the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away.”  The pointlessness of this stupid world view.
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #104 on: January 14, 2018, 07:25:49 AM »
Thank you for editing, Sandy! :)
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #105 on: January 17, 2018, 04:52:04 AM »
Bad Boy Bubby

Bubby is 35 and has spent his whole life in a one bedroom apartment with his mother.  He is told that the outside world is full of poison gas and his mother wears a gas mask as she walks out the door, telling him to "stay still!".  His mother cooks milk over bread, cleans him and uses him for her sexual urges.   This all changes when his biological father returns, not knowing he has a son.  He finds Bubby's talent for imitation amusing at first and then disgusting and Bubby's parents abuse him.  Bubby reacts and his Oedipal cycle is complete.

We root for Bubby because he is such a complete innocent, but the Freudian world he lives in is so ugly, so soul-rending, that Bubby continues to do the most evil actions in response to it. This is like Being There, as Dave suggested, but also the recent film Bugsby Bear draws quite a bit from Bubby, both of which have child-men set loose on the world.  But while those two films are charming, Bubby takes delight in a Lynchian ugliness of the world which beset our Ulysses with calamities, only he has not a whit of inner craftiness.

Of four films about child-men (Bubby, Being There, Bugsby, and Lars and the Real World), I might rank them by their level of support or attack of the innocents at the center of the films.  Lars is the most supportive, an ideal community, while Bubby is the most cynical.  None of these portrayals feel realistic.  Perhaps Bugsby Bear feels more realistic because people are entranced by his uniqueness, but drops him like a hot potato when it is difficult.  In Bad Boy Bubby, people aren't just thoughtless, but mean.  Not all people, but most seem mean and some are nice.  Not only is that not the world I live in, but it is not a world I wish to live in.  I think that Bubby is the smartest of the four films, but in the end I am left with a hopelessness in which one has to survive past horrible parenting, random violence, spite and one's own personal overreactions in order to have luck shine on us and we can live a happy life.

3.5/5

Bad Boy Bubby is my favourite recommend, which given it is a dark film is not necessarily a nice recommend. I am not sure that der Heer's vision is Lynchian. It is a somewhat ugly world Bubby goes out into, but does not have the noir weirdness to it. Perhaps that does mean it lacks a craftiness that Lynch brings, but that is fine with me.

Yes Bubby's is a bleak world, but there are glimmers of light (for a different bleak view of humanity try Lichter aka Distant Lights (2003), but I do not remember any glimmers of light in that one).

Thank you for watching the movie.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2018, 05:00:24 AM »
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover

Obviously this movie, released in 1989, is not about 2017. And yet it feels so relevant to the year that just ended. It begins before the movie even starts, as the Miramax logo comes on the screen. It is difficult to watch films with that logo only months after the revelations about Harvey Weinstein broke. When the movie begins, the relevance only strengthens. Here we have a Weinsteinian character on screen. Ugly to look at, difficult to listen to, gross to watch, and impossible to deal with, Michael Gambon's Albert is a disgusting jerk. When Georgina, his wife played by Helen Mirren, sneaks off to have a steamy affair with Alan Howard's George in a decadent restaurant, the silence is more desirable than the passion. These three, with the obsequious but helpful cook played by Richard Bohringer hovering around the edges, kind of spiral around each other for most of the movie.

There are a few differences from day to day (almost everything takes place within the restaurant and its immediate surroundings, at least until close to the end) and that makes for a slightly repetitive viewing experience. The differences are indeed important, though, as each dinner highlights a different side of Albert's unpalatable behavior. Initially he's quite happy just poking fun Georgina (Georgie to him and nobody else). But as she spends more time "in the bathroom" and less time demonstrating her obviously superior taste and table manners, Albert gets worse. He starts to lose control of his already unrestrained body and he shows more facets of his nauseating character, from disrupting other guests' dinner to physically abusing Georgina. But he's the owner of the restaurant, you see, and a gangster at that. When you're famous, when you own the place and you're rich, they let you do it.

Yes, not only is Albert a Weinsteinian figure, he's also very, very Trumpian. And again, it's not that Peter Greenaway had a time machine and saw into our future to make a movie warning us about these specific men. But it does seem clear that a certain kind of man who uses his power and wealth and influence to dominate others is Greenaway's target. If the movie were only a document of the terrible appetites these men indulge in, it would be a fine but trying film to endure. Luckily there's a little taste of comeuppance at the end that gives the film a very 2018 vibe. If 2016 was the year that we were introduced to the possibility of how terrible things could be and 2017 was a race to see how bad it could get, let's hope that 2018 is the year that people get their just deserts. Let's hope that 2018 is the year when Georgina-types continue to stand up to Albert-types and serve their revenge with the kind of panache that Greenaway uses in staging the final scene in here.

The movie also looks amazing. Full of giant sets lovingly and colorfully lit with costumes to match not only the former but the latter as well, Greenaway shoots his stunning tableaux with these impressive shots that pan from one end of the restaurant to the next. It makes the movie feel both huge and claustrophobic at the same time. The sets are gigantic but they're so constrained within the tightly controlled frame that everything vacillates between hyperreal and obviously heightened from moment to moment. The combination of design and direction makes the movie into a fantasy and a nightmare at the same time. It's a technique that suits the story and characters perfectly. They too are over-the-top and obviously grounded in reality. How Greenaway achieved such careful construction without choking the life out of the movie is almost unfathomable. But it did happen, and I'm glad for it. A definite top 100 entry for 2018.

A+

I have nothing to add, except to say Greenaway has a way to further extend the visual of a film to add to the photo realism. He is not bound by the conventional: film, colour grade and present; he looks at the film and goes beyond that conventionality.

My first "recommend" that will go into someone's top 100 :).

Thank you for watching the movie.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #107 on: January 17, 2018, 05:02:27 AM »
Quote
P.S. I would pick the first (leftmost) of the posters (I should lose my film geek badge for not knowing who she is).

:D  That's Rita Hayworth. I haven't seen Gilda, so my film geek badge may be revoked too!

I have not seen Gilda either.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #108 on: January 17, 2018, 05:10:16 AM »
Better late than never, right?

Sorcerer - It's been 12 years since I saw The Wages of Fear but based on what I can remember, I'm giving this the same score. They both have the same strength -- beautifully constructed tension -- and the same weakness -- too heavily front-loaded with backstory. Although there's a slightly different weighting here. In this case, I found the backstory more compelling than WoF's, while it seemed like the tense bits were not quite as cleverly done. I say this with the caveat that my memories are pretty fuzzy.

And really, I shouldn't be making comparisons anyway. Does Sorcerer stand up as a good movie, regardless of what came before it? Yes, it does. I do wish there was less buildup, not because it isn't interesting (for the most part, it is... the Bruno Cremer part felt like it could lose a few minutes) but because I wanted time for maybe one or two more hairy scenarios for our protagonists to conquer.

Scheider is great, like he always is, and the other performances were all at least adequate. As a big Tangerine Dream fan, I enjoyed the score and at the same time was pleased that it wasn't overused. Some of the tensest moments were those without music. And the jungle location really gave the whole thing a Herzogian vibe, a man vs. nature undercurrent reminiscent of Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. I really liked how the ending was handled, too.

My wife came in and watched the last 20-25 minutes with me and she was riveted. Rating: Very Good (83)

The movie is sweat inducing. I agree with your Herzogian vibe comment (although when I saw it I had not seen any Herzog). I think the risk with dropping some of the back story and adding more hairy scenarios is that the hairy scenarios may get a bit repetitive, there has to be times when the hairy scenarios go bad, but that can only happen so many times.

Thank you for watching the movie.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #109 on: January 17, 2018, 05:13:33 AM »
Catching up too.

Die Hard



Trying to write about something that is already in everyone else's nearly 30 year old collective conscience is rather silly, don't you think? I might as well have just discovered Santa Claus and then tell you all about the generous gift giver. Ho, ho, hum...bug. But write I must, so here goes.

"The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway. There's never been such a day in Beverly Hills, LA. But it's December the 24th and I'm longing to be up north."

And what a day it has been. Papers float down like snowflakes, the flash of red and blue lights are aglow and the crackling fire on the rooftop create a fond nostalgia for films of the past, or is it the future? For isn't Die Hard the watershed for the "one against all odds" action flick? Rousing cheers abound as Saint NickClane picks off one Burgermeister Meisterburger after another and not even Deputy Chief of Police Dwayne "Old Man Potter" Robinson can discourage him. With the help of Sgt. Elf Powell, NickClane cuts through the red tape ribbon and bypasses the ever present protocol to make his rounds. And in the end, Hans GrinchGruber's wonderful awful idea is no match for his foe, because with a cowboy's tip of a hat and a wrist, GrinchGruber's heart explodes on impact. Not even KarlKrampus' attempt to dampen the festivities, can stop the joy, for it came just the same, with reconciliation and hugs with old friends and new. Fahoo fores dahoo dores!

"And that's what Christmas is all about."

A lovely review. Would you consider Die Hard a "Christmas movie"? (I do)

And as always, thank you for watching the movie.