Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched (Jan 2011 - Nov 2013)  (Read 1384001 times)

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15690 on: October 29, 2012, 07:27:12 AM »
"Loser's List" was just about to start. Even though it was my first tell that this was a regular musical the presentation was still pretty montage-y and the song itself very bland. I still wasn't prepared for the much better tunes coming up. The main character's mother is the worst, but there are others. I agree that the worst section of the film is the first 10 minutes.

This got me thinking of Colma: The Musical, which now how me wondering how many more of these sub-indie musicals are out there. I'm also curious about the director. This isn't the calling card of a new indie voice, but if IMDB is to be believed it was helmed by a 62-year-old Canadian TV director. (Why is he not in your Survivor Marathon?)
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15691 on: October 29, 2012, 07:42:41 AM »
This isn't the calling card of a new indie voice, but if IMDB is to be believed it was helmed by a 62-year-old Canadian TV director. (Why is he not in your Survivor Marathon?)

All in good time. He's mostly worked in TV, albeit he has like ten things listed on Netflix. It's a very eclectic filmography though. Not sure where to go next.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15692 on: October 29, 2012, 04:04:02 PM »
Marathon Update



The Poseidon Adventure
The Poseidon isn't really a ship. lt's a hotel with a bow and a stern stuck on.

For the most part the film succeeds despite lapses, partly because veteran director Ronald Neame... does generally good work here, highlighted, for example, by the very effective cross-cutting between the partygoers and the crew right before the wave hits.  There was probably more excitement in that mayday siren and in the visual of the wave than in any single moment in Airport.  That might be the very instant that disaster films transitioned away from Drama and into the Action-Adventure genre.

Iím currently in the middle of writing a screenplay. Itís a genre murder mystery, but what can transform a story from decent to special is the ability of finding strong, believable character beats an audience can latch onto. Until today, Iíd seen no version of Poseidon, but what immediately struck me here was everyoneís commitment to finding those moments. Yes, thereís some corn here too, and I donít know why we needed the evil ship company that allowed this disaster to happen. I was sold enough on the earthquake/tidal wave. Plus this...

Equally annoying was that the other primary source of conflict wasn't the ship or the water or the explosions, but rather Nonnie, who just couldn't go on ... she just couldn't.  When she just stalled on ladder, I wanted to throw something at the tv.  Even though her fear might be a realistic obstacle in that situation, it's hardly the most interesting one.

Ronald Neame makes an incredible decision typical of the surprising skill that went into this 70s disaster movie. The boat turns upside down. We get all the stunts and effects and the passangers screaming. Itís really well-done. Then Neame has the room go quiet. In reality, the screaming would probably continue much longer until it slowly died down, but here it just stops, giving the now spooky grand ballroom and eerie feeling of calm. During the calm, a giant metal Christmas tree comes loose. It lands on its top and crashes to the ground, clearly landing on top of some poor guy. I rewound and rewatched this 3 times, something I wouldnít do now when I would just assume the guy was digital.

Gene Hackman heads the ensemble cast and this film comes in the wake of his Oscar for The French Connection. It can be seen as his paycheck/sell-out film and there are a couple of screaming monologues that seem overblown today but were probably there to give him his movie star moments. However, I donít see this as a Hackman star vehicle because everyone else from all levels of acting experience are given plenty to do.

For an ďadventureĒ Iím sure spending a lot of time talking about the script and acting. You donít see that much with modern blockbusters. Itís not like the film doesnít work as an effects blockbuster. Even in the numerous films that followed, driving the disaster formula into the ground (the reason why I never bothered to watch this before) this remains an impressive piece of adventure entertainment. That might be because the disaster focuses on great stuntwork and editing instead of effects that would look dated. Or maybe itís because the writing, directing and acting are just that good.
RATING: * * *

Further Thoughts
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 04:06:24 PM by 1SO »
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Lobby

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15693 on: October 29, 2012, 06:32:12 PM »
The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, UK, 1997)

Few comedies stand the test of time - but this one does

I always approach comedies that are older than a couple of years with caution. The risk that they'll stink is too big to be neglected. You'd better be prepared to grab your nose and run in the opposite direction. With a few exceptions, they age so fast. More than once have I revisited movies and TV series which I remember as hilarious, only to discover that they're not funny at all. On the contrary I'm often embarrassed to find them full of sexist and racist jokes, and I ask myself how I could have missed that. I guess we're more stuck in the conventions of our time than we want to admit to ourselves. It's just that we can't see them, until we get a certain distance to them in time.

Considering those experiences I hesitated for a second to get back to The Full Monty. This is a British comedy from 1997 about a bunch of unemployed guys in Sheffield. Inspired by the Chippendales, they put together a dance routine to perform for the ladies at a local club, mainly to earn a few bucks, since the situation is getting pretty desperate for some of them.

I watched it at the time it came out and I remember that I really loved it.

But one day fifteen years had passed, just like that, and suddenly I wasn't so sure anymore. Guys performing some kind of strip dancing, wasn't that pretty dated as a gag regarded, on par with "the balloon dance"? The taboo around nakedness or men doing "un-manly" things such as dancing isn't particularly strong anymore. And with the taboo gone, what's there left to laugh about?

The question was: did I really want to find out? Did I want to revisit The Full Monty and see how it had stood the test of time? Or should I leave it alone, as a nice and beloved memory of a movie I used to love?

When I found it on Netflix earlier this week I thought about it - for about two seconds. And then I decided to go for it.

This turned out to be the right decision. The film hadn't deteriorated a bit. If anything, it was even better than I remembered!

Perfect balance
The mix between humor and drama is just so perfectly well balanced. You don't laugh at the men; you laugh with them. Or rather smile with them, because the humor is pretty low-key. But under the humor there's also a great deal of seriousness in it. Either they end up showing the "full monty" or not, they certainly dress off in front of the camera as human beings. We get to know them - and love them - with all their fragility, all their faults and weaknesses. And yes, I did tear up, more than once. And yet it never falls into the pit hole getting unbearably sentimental.

I guess you could call it a "feel good  movie" in one sense, but since it's set in a gritty British working class setting, the limit is far lower than the sky. There's no simplistic message suggesting that anyone can become anything they want in their lives if they just make an effort. This is far more down-to-Earth and therefore much more convincing and inspiring than the fairy-tales they love to tell us on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

I have a hard time finding something negative to say about the film. I guess I could hold it against it that it it's unlikely that it would pass a Bechdel test. But again - I think it's understandable and defendable considering the topic.

The Full Monty gets my full appreciation - still standing strong after fifteen years. For a comedy that's pretty awesome.

My rating: 5/5
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15694 on: October 29, 2012, 08:02:52 PM »
I'm probably overdue for another viewing of The Full Monty (it would be my third). I consider it a complete and utter success but maybe have forgotten the full degree of that success in terms of whether and where on my top 100 it might belong.

oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15695 on: October 29, 2012, 08:17:59 PM »
I've never seen The Full Monty.  Maybe it's time.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Junior

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15696 on: October 29, 2012, 08:37:01 PM »
It is tons of fun.
Check out my blog of many topics

ďIím not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!Ē

oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15697 on: October 29, 2012, 09:21:04 PM »
Natural Born Killers

Almost from the first moment, I knew that the film was in the hands of a master director.  The inventiveness of the presentation of the themes and the editing alone were enough to win me over.  The soundtrack was excellently chosen and presented and the cinematography was unique and fascinating to watch.  The main theme of media being the driving force behind real-life violence was both presented realistically and characterized in an over-the-top manner.  The acting was fantastic by the two main leads, who led us along a generally believable path of insanity.

However, this film committed one of my cardinal sins: there was not a single character I could like, appreciate or connect to.  I was watching a bunch of people who had no redeeming qualities and was played in such a way for me to dislike them even more.  Even Tommy Lee Jones, who I have never disliked before, broke his track record for me by playing a character I thoroughly despised and didn't believe in one second.  I almost didn't recognize Robert Downey Jr. he was so unfunny and trying too hard.  So while I could appreciate the talent it took to make this film, the end result was two hours of unpleasantness.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

MartinTeller

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15698 on: October 29, 2012, 11:40:27 PM »

Antareen (The Confined) - A writer (Anjan Dutt) is given the use of a crumbling old palace of a friend to work in, with no else present except the housekeeperís young grandson.  One evening the telephone rings, and on the other end is a stranger, a woman (Dimple Kapadia).  They have mysterious, abstract conversations in generalities at first, but as she continues to keep calling she gradually reveals more about her lonely life.  She becomes a muse for him, and he starts her on a path towards a newfound independence.

This is a surprisingly subpar film from Mrinal Sen.  Kapadia is pretty bad, trying way too hard to be taken seriously with her tormented stares into the distance and meaningful pauses.  Itís a very Actor-y performance with a capital A.  But itís hard to lay all the blame on her.  For one thing, her lines are overdubbed (apparently she believed she could speak Bengali fluently and was mistaken).  For another, Senís the one who told her to gaze into the camera with that laughably serious stare, and to stand in the rain with her head flung back, that clichťd metaphor of cleansing and renewal.  Dutt isnít much better, either, doing a lot of his own thoughtful gazing.

Itís hard to say what the point of all this is, with all that weighty, faux-poetic dialogue.  It feels like something a college freshman would write for theater class.  These arenít especially compelling characters (and for a writer, this guy spends most of his time reading Tagore and brooding, I donít think we ever see him put pen to paper except to write one letter) and the development of their telephonic relationship isnít all that insightful.  However, the photography is nice, and that decrepit old mansion reminds me of Jalsaghar.  Otherwise, a pretty slight and forgettable effort from Sen.  Rating: Poor (52)

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oneaprilday

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #15699 on: October 30, 2012, 01:09:36 AM »
The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, UK, 1997)

My rating: 5/5
I only just caught up with this a few days ago - loved it!