Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched (Jan 2011 - Nov 2013)  (Read 1340859 times)

Melvil

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #810 on: January 18, 2011, 11:27:14 PM »
Dogtooth

It's amazing how fascinated I am by the premise of this movie. I've discussed the topic more often than makes sense! :) If you don't know the premise, you should really watch it blind. It's really fun to discover as you watch.

It's a pretty strange movie. The line between humor and drama is very blurred, but I found it quite effective at being both deeply disturbing and quite funny. Beyond the basics, I'm not sure it has much to say about the perverse social experiment it portrays, but it remains interesting enough to sustain the film.

Rabbit Hole

A rather nice, if not wholly original, drama about grief. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart both give great performances, although something about Kidman bothered me from time to time. The subject is perhaps a little too bluntly addressed at times, but for the most part it's well written. I really admired that the characters were able to be portrayed under the weight of such intense emotion - and the conflicts that created - without losing their sympathy. It doesn't avoid going big when it wants to, but there is an intelligent restraint to it that keeps it from going down (most of) the obvious roads.

Bondo

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #811 on: January 18, 2011, 11:52:16 PM »
Animal Kingdom

There are a number of great first shots, none of which I can think of right now, but Animal Kingdom is one of them. Even though it is the first shot of the film, I don't even really want to spoil it. But there is just something that gets you settled in and then quickly unsettles you and it just does such a fantastic job launching the film's mood.

You've got a young kid J and he's thrown closer to his grandmother and uncles who are involved in armed robbery and drugs and such criminal activity and are facing some police pressure. J is a decent enough kid it seems but kind of weak willed and we regret as he gets twisted into their sordid affairs. What follows is a fulfilling, occasionally surprising, crime thriller.

Now, I should say that the ensemble cast here is tremendous, but I'd say the one that deserves special recognition is Ben Mendelsohn as Pope. It is just such a menacing character without ever needing to shout. He does it all in looks. He has a good chance of getting some supporting actor attention from me. The character of J is kind of flat, not calling much of a performance out of our lead actor here, but I wonder if that plainness is what allows us to connect with him so much. It is like what they say about the character of Bella in Twilight. She starts as such a blah character so that the reader is more able to meld into the story.

I feel like part of what the film is doing is J looking for a father figure. He's pulled in equal parts by Pope's colder, commanding presence and the cop Leckie (Guy Pearce) who offers a more nurturing, understanding presence. We get to see J react to both and the general situation in many ways becoming a man, and his own man.

One complaint I would have, a complaint that in many ways is the result of the film having its intended effect, is that one character that dies fairly early in the story went just too suddenly. He had enough time to really reel me in and make me want to go along with him for the whole film and then suddenly before I knew it, he's not in the film anymore. It is one of those things where I both recognize the strength of the decision but also long for the film where I could have the time with the character that I wanted.

Anyway, glad to have finally caught up with this after all the talk. It slides into the bottom part of my top 10 on the year.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #812 on: January 19, 2011, 01:00:41 AM »
The Kids are All Right  (2010)
Annette Bening deserves an Oscar for this performance...
Why does she deserve an Oscar?  Certainly she's worthy of acclaim, but what puts her above Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Lesley Manville, Tilda Swinton, Noomi Rapace, Kim Hye-ja and Julianne Moore?  I don't see it.

That is why I said an Oscar not the Oscar. Those other performances may or may not be better, but Bening's performance is just so good, that I think it deserves an Oscar.

FifthCityMuse

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #813 on: January 19, 2011, 02:13:28 AM »
Boy - Taika Waititi, 2010

This has a lot of love in this part of the world, and it's easy to see why, but I'll take The Return (2003) any day. Sure, this has some good humour ("Don't get into that Nazi shit" may just make my Filmspot ballot), but it felt so rote, like I could've told you at any second what was going to happen next, and it's so conceptually thin on the ground. The last ten minutes were kinda nice, and kinda added a little weight to the whole, but not quite enough. I can't comment on any cultural specificity in the presentation, although the NZ friends I have who pushed me to watch it clearly relate to something.

Grade: C

MartinTeller

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #814 on: January 19, 2011, 03:31:03 AM »
The Kids are All Right  (2010)
Annette Bening deserves an Oscar for this performance...
Why does she deserve an Oscar?  Certainly she's worthy of acclaim, but what puts her above Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Lesley Manville, Tilda Swinton, Noomi Rapace, Kim Hye-ja and Julianne Moore?  I don't see it.

That is why I said an Oscar not the Oscar. Those other performances may or may not be better, but Bening's performance is just so good, that I think it deserves an Oscar.


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smirnoff

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #815 on: January 19, 2011, 05:44:26 AM »
Rabbit Hole

A rather nice, if not wholly original, drama about grief. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart both give great performances, although something about Kidman bothered me from time to time. The subject is perhaps a little too bluntly addressed at times, but for the most part it's well written. I really admired that the characters were able to be portrayed under the weight of such intense emotion - and the conflicts that created - without losing their sympathy. It doesn't avoid going big when it wants to, but there is an intelligent restraint to it that keeps it from going down (most of) the obvious roads.

Any filmspot potential? Like, say, best scene (comedic):)

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1SO

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #817 on: January 19, 2011, 10:05:47 AM »
Revenge of a Kabuki Actor

Before watching this I learned it's MartinTeller's favorite film of all time.  During the film, I agreed that while I had problems this is the kind of unique experience that deserves to be somebody's #1.  It is a beautiful and unique snowflake.  While I hoped for possibly a Woman in the Dunes experience, Kabuki Actor for all its entertaining elements left me cold.  As a revenge tale that plays like Long Day's Journey Into Night, the conversations were all too stagy.  And by that I mean there's too much talk without going deeper into the themes.  And by that I mean Ozu has more interesting dialogue scenes and his frames are even more static.  It's an interesting film, and I urge people not to take this write up as discouragement.  I just get more from the theatricality of Kwaidan or the geisha revenge in Kitano's Zatoichi.
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FroHam X

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #818 on: January 19, 2011, 10:08:27 AM »
Weren't you watching that movie while talking to a bunch of us on chat? ;)
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MartinTeller

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #819 on: January 19, 2011, 10:35:20 AM »
Revenge of a Kabuki Actor

Before watching this I learned it's MartinTeller's favorite film of all time.

To be honest, my list needs a lot of rejiggering, and will certainly be rejiggered by the time the next top 100 poll comes around.  Kabuki is one of three movies that I've rated 100 on Criticker (the other two being Time of the Gypsies and Scenes from a Marriage) and Criticker puts them alphabetical.  So it became my #1.  Truth is, I like the other two more than Actor.  Plus, I have 12 films rated at 99, most of which could also be my #1.  A lot of my ratings are kind of gut reactions, and didn't take comparative value into account.  For example, I watched The Conformist once and gave it a 99, even though it isn't nearly as beloved to me as any other movie in that range.  I need to watch it again and properly establish its placement.  I suspect when I redo my list, Actor will come in somewhere around #15-20.

Isn't it insane how we fret over this stuff?

As for your complaints, I love the stylized staginess of it... it's a movie about the theater!  I consider it a tribute to both the screen and the stage.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 11:17:35 AM by MartinTeller »
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