Author Topic: Top 100 Club: 1SO  (Read 38904 times)

Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #150 on: March 15, 2019, 04:23:50 PM »
Thank you Antares and 1SO for the recommendation. It's a good, solid Western for sure!

Glad you liked it Sandy. Sadly, it's Murphy's best role, and he gives it his all, unlike most of the other films he made. Another decent western he was in, as a supporting character, is The Unforgiven. Seeing as how you just did Eastwood's film with the similar name, you should check that one out too.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #151 on: March 15, 2019, 06:19:40 PM »
The Man from Nowhere (2010)



The Man from Nowhere is one of many revenge films from South Korea to mix stylish direction and extreme violence into a tight action film. While it contains some of the downfalls of the genre (the woman in the refrigerator trope being most prominent), The Man from Nowhere is exemplary in demonstrating the genre at its best and most effective.

Tae-sik Cha (Bin Won) is a pawnshop owner who keeps to himself as much as possible but is constantly being nagged by So-me Jeong (Kim Sae-ron), a young girl who trades him odds and ends and supplies him with new music. One day she and her mother are kidnapped by drug lords looking for the heroine stolen by the mother. Tae-sik should end up as collateral damage for the drug lords, but he quickly stands on his own as a threat and begins hunting down members of the organization in order to save So-me.

The story sets up yet another example of the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time throwing a wrench into the schemes of evil and most of the film is enjoying the satisfaction of evil being undone like a stack of dominoes falling over one by one, but also shows how the villains are able to channel some of Tae-sik’s own revenge into furthering their own plans.

And not all of this is done at the hands of Tae-sik. One of the running themes is that the criminal world has a tendency to turn upon and eat itself. Corruption and disloyalty within the organization becomes the subplot that gives a chance for the various villains to have their own power plays and motivations that make watching the whole system unravel at both ends fascinating. Tae-sik may be a wrench in the machine of the criminal organization, but some of the gears find a way to adapt and evolve to the situation which makes the plotting of the film inspired.

Tonally, the film plays broad. There are lots of dark, intense moments mixed with this almost cartoonish sense of villainy that gives way into truly menacing and cruel moments of evil as the film progresses. Evil wears many masks throughout the film and each one is memorable and distinct. Tae-sik’s backstory and his relationship with So-me is also given a melodramatic flair which could have been too much in another film, but brings a much-needed human element to a story where so many characters are incapable of being empathetic.

The Man from Nowhere packs a lot into its two hour runtime with the various power plays, characters involved, and memorable action scenes. There’s barely a frame wasted in the film and each moment builds towards bringing the film to a moment that may come across as too melodramatic for some, but is also surprisingly emotional for a genre often steeped in such an assault on the senses that by the end the audience is left emotionally dead. The Man from Nowhere is one of the finest examples of the genre and a masterful demonstration of economic and effective filmmaking.
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1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #152 on: March 15, 2019, 09:00:10 PM »
That's it. This came out after the wave of South Korean thriller died down, but it's one of the best. Comparable to John Wick or Man on Fire, but the difference between them in terms of performance, tone and style is so vast that I don't think it would be fair to compare them. Sorry, America.

I like this the way most people like M:I Fallout and for most of the same reasons. What this lacks is Tom Cruise, but it's on par or better in every other way.

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #153 on: March 15, 2019, 09:10:07 PM »
Thank you Antares and 1SO for the recommendation. It's a good, solid Western for sure!

Glad you liked it Sandy. Sadly, it's Murphy's best role, and he gives it his all, unlike most of the other films he made. Another decent western he was in, as a supporting character, is The Unforgiven. Seeing as how you just did Eastwood's film with the similar name, you should check that one out too.

I've seen about 10 of Audie Murphy's westerns - the supposed cream of the crop - and can only recommend two more. In Ride Clear of Diablo Murphy is dunked on by Dan Duryea, but Seven Ways From Sundown is a western find.

The Unforgiven, Murphy is really good but I went in for a Western and it's a pretty heavy drama that happens to be set in the west. Really strong cast, but the opposite of light or fun.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #154 on: March 16, 2019, 04:43:35 PM »
Colossus: The Forbidden Project


It's odd how there seems to have been no stepping stone to get to this point. To go from total military autonomy to handing over control of your nuclear arsenal to a machine, strikes me as a big leap. While the film depicts a futuristic society, with video-phones and weird architecture, there are no other signs of robotic automation having been adopted into people's lives yet. No self-driving cars, people still mix their own drinks, humans still transcribe speech manually (with typewriters). And militarily there is no mention of previous smaller-scale projects to prove the concept. It appears that this machine is the first of it's kind, and purpose built for the job of making decisions about how, where and when to use the country's nuclear weapons. Realistically I think you would need a population who has grown comfortable with letting a computer make decisions for them for this kind of a project to ever go forward, and this would be the last thing to be outsourced not the first.

Putting that aside, if nuclear decision making were the first use of AI this is probably about how it would go. A total disaster, with everyone caught off guard by the machine's rationale and brutal logic. I mean if you haven't experimented with AI ever, and you just kind of dive in without thinking it through, then yea I guess you could be forgiven for not expecting it to behave like this. It would require a kind of mass naivete that is hard to believe though, even in an era where most people would never have used a computer before. People are wary of change. They're wary of new tech. The unanimous embrace of a totally new technology shown in this film is not recognizably human. And when things start to go sideways, even then they do not seem especially concerned. It takes the whole film before it seems to truly dawn on anyone just how serious the situation is. The system even drops a nuke on a Russian city, following through on it's threat to hand over control or else, and still the reaction is muted.

The other challenge of the film is understanding what this particular AI is and is not capable of. The crude method by which it communicates with humans is at odds with it's supposed intelligence. The rules around what it could and could not perceive were never clear to me. At times characters would speak to each other as if the AI could not overhear them... and then in other scenes characters would go out of their way to meet in a remote location because they are concerned about being overheard. It also is said that the machine is monitoring all the various communication frequencies in a manner Edward Snowden blew the whistle on. The specifics are unclear though. So it's hard to understand quite what they're up against, and judge the quality of their responses. Depending on what this AI is capable of, the attempts to disconnect it are either a pipe dream or a realistic solution. It's hard to say without a definite understanding of the AI itself and it's limitations. I felt I had better understanding of HAL for example in 2001.

The aforementioned calmness of the characters in the face of this crisis undermines the drama. At times the film almost becomes a comedy, as we see Dr. Forbin adapting to his life which now follows the rigid schedule laid down by the machine which he developed. He is permitted to see his mistress 4 times a week. He must exercise 1 hour a day. His meals are chosen for him. It's kind of a "what have I gotten myself into" montage... and the tone is weirdly light.

I wish the film had started where it finished. With the machine broadcasting its manifesto to the entire planet. Where does it go from there, I would love to know.

Overall, there are some fun moments, and sometimes you laugh at the film's expense, which is fine too. A blast from the past. But as a sci-fi, it didn't really cut the mustard for me. Also, that first 15 minutes is rough. It feels like every character is speaking at the same time, the whole time.

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #155 on: March 16, 2019, 07:13:39 PM »
Didn't recognize my own movie. The image you used is more future cool than the one I posted to brace you.

What do you see as the step between military autonomy and machine control? This is something that was explored in WarGames where the missiles were under computer control but when man was a necessary step in between they more often than not couldn't authorize a nuclear strike and when the machine could launch without man, humans were searching for a backdoor override. Seems like one of those things like pregnancy where you either are or you're not. Often scientific breakthroughs are tested with military applications first, so that made sense to me. (Either that or NASA, which I would find very boring.)

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if nuclear decision making were the first use of AI this is probably about how it would go. A total disaster, with everyone caught off guard by the machine's rationale and brutal logic.
One of my favorite things about the film. And I like everyone's reaction, which I see as more cerebral than emotional. They realize this is a thinking problem and trying to browbeat the system or point fingers isn't going to do any good.

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At times the film almost becomes a comedy, as we see Dr. Forbin adapting to his life which now follows the rigid schedule laid down by the machine which he developed. He is permitted to see his mistress 4 times a week. He must exercise 1 hour a day. His meals are chosen for him. It's kind of a "what have I gotten myself into" montage... and the tone is weirdly light.
Something else I loved. This becomes the new normal. Like a prison, everything is pre-decided, but unlike a prison the guard believes this is how a human should live.

Sorry it didn't work, but I think a lot of 70s science fiction is a crap shoot for this reason. Some people love Silent Running and some love Logan's Run. This is more like The Andromeda Strain, but that's one where I think the humans are zapped of all personality. Colossus hits the sweet spot for me, plus I enjoy the vague similarities to The Terminator and it being lesser-known than all of the other titles I mentioned makes it one I like to talk about.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #156 on: March 16, 2019, 10:53:14 PM »
Didn't recognize my own movie. The image you used is more future cool than the one I posted to brace you.
I was prepared for the look. I wasn't prepared for the score! Lotta bongo and other kooky percussion. The musical interaction with the scenes sometimes bordered on Loony Toons. It gives quite an odd flavour to the film. I suspect you enjoy that flavour as it goes with some of the other oddities I mentioned.

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What do you see as the step between military autonomy and machine control?
I was thinking AI directed troop movement or automated naval patrols... or some other application where the stakes aren't so high.

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One of my favorite things about the film. And I like everyone's reaction, which I see as more cerebral than emotional. They realize this is a thinking problem and trying to browbeat the system or point fingers isn't going to do any good.
That's fair. I would still expect to see more strain in their faces though. Everyone is very Spock-like.

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Sorry it didn't work, but I think a lot of 70s science fiction is a crap shoot for this reason. Some people love Silent Running and some love Logan's Run. This is more like The Andromeda Strain, but that's one where I think the humans are zapped of all personality. Colossus hits the sweet spot for me, plus I enjoy the vague similarities to The Terminator and it being lesser-known than all of the other titles I mentioned makes it one I like to talk about.

70's sci-fi is pretty big blind spot for me... precisely because of how much of a crap shoot it looks like. I haven't seen any of the titles you mentioned. I also haven't seen Soylent Green and many others. I saw Capricorn One iirc, and didn't enjoy it. They all seem a bit corny tbh. I think I would get more out of the story from the books or novelizations, that way I wouldn't have to see the 70's-ness of it.

Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #157 on: March 17, 2019, 03:12:03 PM »
I haven't seen any of the titles you mentioned.

Definitely check out The Andromeda Strain, one of my favorites. And if you haven't seen it yet, THX 1138 by Lucas. Just don't expect light sabers and wookies. It's 110% cerebral. Another good 70's sci-fi is The Demon Seed with Julie Christie.
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #158 on: March 17, 2019, 04:48:01 PM »
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Let's set aside that this film told from my perspective would be about five minutes long. My view of apocalypse is "Quietus? Oh hell yeah."

I feel like this film is caught between two styles. The production values are poor, which makes it not really succeed as a harrowing visual telling of the aftermath of global nuclear war as seen through the eyes of Sheffield in the English midlands. Some of the key scenes of destruction make it look more like a Peter Greenaway or Stan Brakhage short than a coherent film sequence. And a lot of the heavy lifting is left to intertitles that update us on where we are in the timeline and what the current effects are, an excess of telling. But on the other hand, the film doesn't successfully build up the characters to make it a compelling personal emotional drama. I feel like in filmmaking, you can't convey chaos through chaotic storytelling, much like films where the cast seems to be having a lot of fun doesn't translate to the audience having a lot of fun.

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #159 on: March 17, 2019, 09:52:17 PM »
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I feel like this film is caught between two styles. The production values are poor, which makes it not really succeed as a harrowing visual telling of the aftermath of global nuclear war as seen through the eyes of Sheffield in the English midlands. Some of the key scenes of destruction make it look more like a Peter Greenaway or Stan Brakhage short than a coherent film sequence. And a lot of the heavy lifting is left to intertitles that update us on where we are in the timeline and what the current effects are, an excess of telling.
I knew this would be a big hurdle for many. I even thought it would bother me more on a 2nd viewing, but the poor production value seems like a deliberate choice, reminding me of 28 Days Later and Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday also starts with some character scenes that suggest a typical personal drama and then it goes through the moment to moment of the event. Here, the film improves greatly once it ditches that and gets into a very impersonal diary of what happens following nuclear destruction. The footage is occasionally striking, but deliberately unsensational as if the only surviving document of an event nobody will be alive to watch.

 

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