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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: smirnoff  (Read 5424 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2019, 10:24:01 PM »
A Late Quartet
I don't mean to sound dismissive when I say this was pleasant. Sometimes, the simple pleasure of watching old pros relax into a script that lets them pass the greatness around can form the kind of film that lodges in your heart. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken all get to do something a little different. Not challenging, but a softer side. (How I miss Hoffman, an extra layer of sadness to this film.) I wonder if we all have a movie like this.


That's a great description of the niche this film occupies... and sometimes just the kind of film you're in the mood for. Nothing too loud, nothing too taxing, but still engaging.

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For me, it's an almost identical film from the very same year called Quartet. (I know!) My Essential stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Billy Connolly, and coincidentally they also play members of a musical Quartet. (My film even has a Hoffman. The director is Dustin H.)

Speaking of Hoffman, it's kind of in that Capote/Imfamous realm of parallel productions. I would like to see Quartet one day.

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As someone in the business, I found particular interest in the 4th member of the group. Mark Ivanir is no amateur, but he has to fill out this card of acting heavyweights, and he doesn't just hold his own. He's every bit as good. I'm more familiar with Imogen Poots, 5th in the billing, and she's mostly fine though there's a key scene with Keener where she doesn't seem confident. Director Yaron Zilberman put a lot of faith in Ivanir not having to be carried, just like the big three put their faith in a relative unknown like Ivanir. It's gets a bit soap opera around the middle, with Walken being given little to do but remind you he's in the film with some sad, lonely scenes.

They're SO sad. Especially when he's at the place where they're doing exercises in chairs. It's crushing. :(

Walken also shines when he's telling the class the story about meeting a famous cellist at two different stages of his life. It's a great story, but also, just Walken's way of delivering it really sucks you in. And the story has something in it that probably strikes a chord with us film lovers who've evaluated so many films. I don't know if I completely agree with it, but the message is relateable.

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The end however, delivers some big heart. (smirnoff, much as Walken gets the big moment in the ending and it's a wonderful curtain call of a scene, I was particularly struck again by Ivanir, when he takes Hoffman's words, closes the music and chooses to play with his heart.)

So nicely handled isn't it. To describe the ending to someone it could sound corny, but it plays really well imo.

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2019, 10:46:49 PM »
To describe the ending to someone it could sound corny, but it plays really well imo.

That's the real reason why I used Spoiler tags. To read it without context, you would think the moment is unbearably sappy, but it plays so natural and heartfelt.
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smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2019, 11:41:25 PM »
RAMBO FIRST BLOOD - There is so much to love about this.  Some of my thoughts as I took a very enjoyable path down memory lane. 

The opening sequence of Rambo walking into an idyllic landscape of Somewhere, America with children running in the fields.  Peaceful.  But there is no peace for the old soldiers haunted physically and mentally of the horrors of their former lives.

Most definitely. And who better to roll up those complicated and conflicting realities and translate them into a piece of music than Jerry Goldsmith:'(

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Holidayland, Welcome to Hope!! - such a funny name for the place where this story is going to unfold.

Filmed in Hope, BC. The sign was legit too. They called it Holidayland, because anyone living in the Vancouver area who went on a camping holiday anywhere else in BC, probably ended up going through Hope. It's kind of a main portal into the Rockies and the rest of Canada. :)

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Brian Dennehy makes such a great villain in this, he is critical of Rambo and the flag on his jacket, "you’re looking for trouble around here wearing that" but is also wearing a similar kind of jacket.  It is more of a stance on homelessness, keeping out the vagrants who have no business in their quiet and boring town. 

The whole movie is like "the type of people who shouldn't be police". Dennehy most of all probably. :)

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The car/dirt bike chase is really good, racing through the dreary farmlands and mountains of Holidayland.  I wonder how much of that Stallone did on his own.

All I know for sure is they must have gone through at least 4 cop cars the way Teasle belly-flopped it into the dirt over and over. He would have given himself a concussion I think or a broken neck.  The funny thing about that chase though is how pitifully it ends. The way Teasle's car slowly goes over the bank and rolls is pretty lame given how raucous the rest of the chase is. :))

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Even after Tiesel (Dennehy) finds out Rambo is a Medal of Honor winner he still is going to go after him.  The hubris of a cop who feels invincible because he's protected by a badge and the "law" on his side. But Rambo tells him the hard, cold truth:
"In the town you’re the law, out here its me, I’ll give you a war you won’t believe."  [[I wonder how much his Grand Theft Auto stars go up every time he damages the local cops]]

One star for walking back over that bridge apparently. :)

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Another line struck me by Tiesel, "People start CINECAST!ing around with the law and all hell breaks loose" - yep, that would be correct.
I LOVE Richard Crenna especially when he tells Tiesel that they will need “a good supply of body bags!"

I do like the way Crenna's character walks the line. At one point Teasle says "I don't know which side you're on", which up to that point feels pretty true for us the audience too since he is helping to locate Rambo.

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After the weekend warriors blow up the mine and the cops radio in "That Rambo guy, he’s on the loose again" and Rambo's riding in the truck I feel like we need the Dukes of Hazzard theme music blasting, "just a good old boy never meaning no harm, driving a truck with an M60!" Lol!

:)) Full send over that cop car. The landing is super gnarly.

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The scene when he descends on the city, the end of the campaign and he throws the lighter to blow up the gas station I was wondering where’s the yippie-ki-yay mofo??

Not one for quips this Rambo is he.

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Have a coke and a smile with the military guy hiding in the DRUGS sign, another homage to the sad eulogy of the survivors of war.

I for sure didn't notice this!

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Rambo gets the win and even the state police are the ones who bring Rambo in.  Tiesel lives, but totally emasculated.

The ending song sounds like a Lee Greenwood tune, I was waiting for the shot of General Schwartzkopf and the first Desert War.

Terrible they felt the need to go with a pop version of Goldsmith's theme.

Happy you took the time to time for this one and it was worthwhile! :)



I actually went on to watch Rambo (2008) again as well. Is it truly top 100 worthy? Well... I certainly have it ranked too high at 44 I'll say that. I'm letting it stand for the franchise generally though so I'm okay with it being somewhere on the list for now. I've seen it like 5 times though... Always trying to repeat the madness of that first experience.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 01:58:02 AM by smirnoff »

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2019, 12:37:25 AM »
A Late Quartet



"After this, what is left for us to write?" - Schubert, on hearing Beethoven's Op.131.

Plenty! After decades of weaving a precise tapestry, the alteration and removal of one of the threads, unravels the whole, careful composition. The tightly woven pattern may have appeared to be perfection, but on close examination all is not as it seems. Though beautiful, the work of art had become a museum piece, full of unrealized creative hopes and dreams. After assessing, then reconstructing, the new piece carries a reimagined newness. Yes, there is plenty still to come.


(Now I can go and read what has been written on this thread about the movie. :) )

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2019, 10:58:22 PM »
So happy to see this film getting more views. :) Thanks for squeezing it in!

Any particular moments sticking with you still now?

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2019, 11:55:16 PM »
So happy to see this film getting more views. :) Thanks for squeezing it in!

Any particular moments sticking with you still now?


I'm here enjoying the exchanges between you, Bondo and 1SO. You three bring out the highlights and details that make this movie something special. Bondo's statement, "...the stellar cast, largely of people who have tended to play supporting rather than lead parts, is honed to equally add up to a greater whole" is so insightful. I tend to gravitate toward character actors, so this ensemble is a real treat. 1SO asked if we all had a movie like this (a softer side) and Another Year came to mind. It also is a quiet, yet pointed and sometimes volatile, ensemble piece.

The moments that stick with me now are:

The time Robert makes coffee for Juliette. It speaks of their shared lives and also gives hints of disconnect. Then how Juliette makes breakfast for him and the big disconnect follows.

I too was touched by those sad scenes of Peter. Losing mobility and independence is a very real and scary prospect. Peter, sitting there, not wanting to participate, made me tear up. When I visited my mom last year, we would do mobility and breathing exercises together and I spent the whole time trying to be positive and she did too. Watching the scenes in the movie felt a bit meta.

The other thing that my mind lingers on is Alexandra gunnysacking her mom with a lifetime of pent up frustrations... and then seeing her watch a documentary about her mom and how her mom grew up with a surrogate family, since her own mom died in childbirth. A reminder that no childhood is perfect and mothers can never live up to the expectations placed on them. Another meta moment for me. :)


I can see why you have returned to this film on occasion. It's full of poignant moments, which deserve revisiting. You spoke about a few of the moments (Walken's reminiscing is pure gold). Do you have some other favorites?

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2019, 01:11:14 AM »
It's pretty well covered... though I may latch on to a different moment next viewing. Sometimes it takes a few passes and suddenly a scene stands out that never struck you before. :)) Plus I'll keep an eye out for that making coffee scene with I can't recall. :)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2019, 07:12:10 PM »
It's pretty well covered... though I may latch on to a different moment next viewing. Sometimes it takes a few passes and suddenly a scene stands out that never struck you before. :)) Plus I'll keep an eye out for that making coffee scene with I can't recall. :)

It's French Press coffee! :)




Now on to future, frozen Rambo...

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2019, 08:30:22 PM »
Demolition Man



"What would it be like if I were freeŚnot enslaved by my conditioning."   - Brave New World.


I don't want to eat a rat burger, but I do want to sit in a greasy spoon and have the freedom of choice to eat a T-bone steak, or a jumbo rack of BBQ ribs, so lets keep the free thinkers, the readers, the swearers, the fluid exchangers and jello wearers out of the underground, okay?

This is one of the last holdouts of 90's era Bullock films for me to get to and she's just as charming as ever, albeit in a naiver way (if that's possible). She's fun as a fangirl, who gets her ideas of the past from movies and pop culture. Don't we all, though? As for the future, this movie is pretty prophetic, technology wise, which is impressive. The action still holds up well, since it looks cutting edge for the time. I'm guessing, because except the Rocky films, I don't have any Stallone action film knowledge to compare it to.

Happy to finally see this and put all the little pieces together of the film that I've come across over the years. :)

« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:35:17 PM by Sandy »

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2019, 09:40:38 PM »
Allow me to formally convey my presence.

This is one of the last holdouts of 90's era Bullock films for me

"Send a maniac to catch a maniac." Or in this case, send a Sandy to catch a Sandy. :)



So among the 90's Bullock movies, where does this one place in terms of love scenes?



I wish we got to see more people's living rooms in this film to see if they all have sunken sex arenas in the middle of them. I mean... she's got couches. So what else is this little arena used for? If true, it's still less weird than the Taco Bell thing.

Also, any three seashells theories?

 

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