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 Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0 
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Apex Predator wrote:
To encourage more participation and maybe spur more movie watching by yours truly, I decided to form my own list of "tasks" that can be filled by watching films.

It'll be fairly short (15 or so) and can be done in conjunction with other lists (namely, Thief's). Also, I'm trying to keep the list fairly loose on what's allowed/not allowed. Oh, and if you find a film that

8. Watch a Shakespeare film
The Ides of March are upon us. Avoid poisonous snakes and men with lean and hungry looks and catch a flick based on a Shakespeare play.


Wait, I missed this.
I really, really gotta put a plug in here for the Ian McKellan/Kristin Scott Thomas/Annette Benning/Nigel Hawthorne/Robert Downey Jr./Maggie Smith (how can you resist this cast?!) Richard III.
This was the first time I ever saw McKellan and he fuckin' owns.


Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:34 am
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Thief wrote:
Some recs...



Many thanks for the recommendations. Here's what I'm leaning towards:

1. Saw and really liked Boys Don't Cry. Didn't care for Session 9. Would recommend Hurricane Streets to those considering my list, it's what put him on the map for me. Leaning towards either 7E which he stars or Dark which he's a co-star.

2. Weirdly enough, I hadn't seen A Streetcar Named Desire. But I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild and liked Bad Lieutenant (Cage and his craziness was well used here).

2B. Loved All About Eve. Really liked On the Waterfront which has one of the best scenes without sound and Unforgiven (sure I give it crap due to it sounding/acting like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, but it is good). I try to avoid re-watches when I do these lists, but I'll make an exception for Godfather 2 which has been a long time between views.

3. I do have Noah and it would work for the 2018 list, but I found that my college is showing The Resurrection of Gavin Stone and The Passion this month. I think I have plans now.

4. I have Dick on tape and I've been meaning to see it. So it works!

5. I know that '71 is not on Prime now, but I have been seeing it around Vudu and have meant to see it. Considering I'm a growing fan of its star, it should work. Another option is The Quiet Man and for a John Wayne film, it does seem kind of unusual which makes me consider it.

6. Have seen Love and Basketball and enjoyed it. Haven't seen Hoop Dreams, but I'm kinda leaning towards either Nowitzki or the Lebron James high school documentary.

7. Is that streaming on Netflix? If so, I might have to give it a shot. I heard that its sequel is dreadful, though.

8. Saw and enjoyed 10 Things I Hate About You. I thought O was OK. But I was leaning towards (believe it or not) Get Over It! which is based on Midsummer's Night Dream. Somehow this is in the top three teen films of the 2000s? Have to see it for myself.

9. Admired and liked Au Revoir. Not sure which direction to go.

10. I saw Aladdin and thought it was pretty good. I was planning on seeing The Finest Hours, but now I'm leaning towards the big screen remake of Beauty and the Beast or the Alice in Underland sequel.

11. Probably overdue on a re-assessment on Full Metal Jacket. But there's enough possibilities that I'll know it when I see it.

12. Really liked The Others, didn't care for Winter's Bone (although both Lawrence and John Hawkes was fine). I think I'll go with either Room or Arrival.

13. I saw Pi and it was pretty darn good. I've also seen A Beautiful Mind. I might have to look at other options.

14. Sure, sure, Office Space was a good one. Haven't seen Swimming with Sharks, but seeing Spacey front and center does give me some qualms. Might have to think on this one.

15. No Country for Old Men and Texas Chainsaw Massacre were both good. Paris Texas and The Alamo would both work if I wanted earlier films. More recent ones include The Bad Batch, Bernie, and even Nowitzki (the guy does play for the Dallas Mavericks after all).


Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:35 am
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Wooley wrote:
Wait, I missed this.
I really, really gotta put a plug in here for the Ian McKellan/Kristin Scott Thomas/Annette Benning/Nigel Hawthorne/Robert Downey Jr./Maggie Smith (how can you resist this cast?!) Richard III.
This was the first time I ever saw McKellan and he fuckin' owns.


Will agree that McKellan owns. He was the best part of that Da Vinci Code film and he was my gateway into Lord of the Rings and Vicious. And let's not forget his turns in the X-Men films and Apt Pupil.

So yeah, he owns.


Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:37 am
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Good news and bad news.

First, the bad. Remember my list? Yeah, I'm not watching of those entries yet.

Now, the good. I found a title that meets several entries in my list and in Thief's.

Will let you know how it goes.


Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:08 pm
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Over half done with this film and ew, oui, what a stinker. :rotten:


Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:36 pm
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It took me quite a while, but finally finished my first film for March.

Will talk about Wedding Unplanned tomorrow and I suspect it may get certain members riled (ahem, Takoma).

If I have time, I'm going to finish Derren Brown: The Push, Life Itself, and maybe one more tomorrow.


Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:50 am
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Sadly, a bit of a swerve. But I can now add another film to both lists.

See a generic romantic comedy (Thief)
See a film where English isn't the first language (Apex)


Wedding Unplanned (2017)

You can thank/blame Thief for this one. He talked me out of seeing How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days by saying that it had some surprisingly good moments.

Well, considering you wanted a generic romcom and not a good one, I had to dive deeper to find a film with a generic plot.

Mission accomplished, although I don't know why.

This French romcom features an assistant (Reem Kherici) to a wedding planner who is at a costume party supposedly to find prospective clients. But instead, Juliette starts to flirt with Superman (Nicolas Duvauchelle) while wearing a Wonder Woman outfit. And they end up making outside in a covered wagon.

Before you can say piggybacking on a popular genre, we find out the planning business is struggling thanks to a viral video of a wedding that ended in disaster.

Before you can say gone viral, we find out that Superman is actually Mathias, a guy who has a longtime girlfriend.

Repeat: He has a longtime girlfriend but he didn't mention that at the party. Or before he had sex with Wonder Woman.

When Alexia (Julia Piaton) finds the card, misinterpretations and lies follow and she realizes that he wants to marry her. Or at least, that's what he's willing to agree to.

Before you can say awkward, the struggling business gets a pair of new clients and Juliette is asked to work closely with the new prospective couple.

It turns out that Juliette and Alexia have had a bit of a turbulent past as Alexia was one of the popular girls and Juliette was one of the shunned ones. Of course, Juliette also has a mother who drinks heavily and wackily invites strangers over to her place, presumably while drunk.

Is this just meant to be a one night stand/mistake or could something positive come from this? Can the two women make up for lost time and start to be friends, at least until they start to compare sexual histories? Is the piggish best friend Ben secretly wrapped around the finger of his niece? Is the thinning hair of the vainglorious Mathias at risk? Might Juliette's mother start to pull herself together?

All these questions and more will be answered in the next episode of Soap. Sorry, wrong thread.

You probably can guess most, if not all, of these answers just by going by the rulebook of standard romcoms.

I did like how they managed to make the two women at the center of the storm deal with unresolved childhood issues (yes, you get to see what both of them looked like as girls, natch).

Also, they somehow worked it out that both relationships remained intact at the end. Somehow.


But having said that, I can't necessarily swallow this premise. Considering how it feels like Mathias, although he runs around feeling guilty throughout the whole thing, more or less got away with cheating. Nor does it deal with the fact that Juliette comes across in many ways just like her heavily alcoholic mother.

It probably didn't help that a scene implies that her reaction to a birthday party may have led to her mother's drinking habit.


Film goes for a generally goofy tone, but only occasionally hits its mark. This wedding is less a disaster and more of an underwhelming ceremony that you shouldn't RSVP.

NEXT: An interesting man's story only partially told.


Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:21 am
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This next film is a bit of a swerve, mainly because I had started Derren Brown's The Push and wanted to finish it. But as per usual, Netflix doesn't want to work on my Kindle Fire and I don't know why. So instead I humbly offer:

A Film Featuring a Color (Thief)
A film set in Washington DC (Apex)


Adjust Your Color: The Truth on Petey GREENe

Petey Greene had a very colorful life. Having lost both his parents to prison for various crimes, he was raised by his grandmother. But the desire for money led him down the road to penitentiary until his tough, yet clever persona found an outlet during prison.

He would parlay his talents to radio and eventually TV, ultimately serving as a highlight in the early days of BET.

His talk show is a cross between Bill Buckley's Firing Line and The Howard Beale Show in that Petey would interview guests and still have time for rants on money, drugs, political correctness, and staying out of prison.

There's multiple anecdotes from various people whose lives Greene affected including a couple of ex-cons, several political leaders, and James Brown (no, not the singer, but the NFL broadcast host). Things get mentioned such as why Greene no-showed on Johnny Carson's show and how he looked thin and frail in his late run.

But explanations are hard to find. Although Don Cheadle makes for a fine narrator, the project feels incomplete at 53 minutes. It doesn't even explain this:

Extended sequence where he interviews Howard Stern in blackface. And yes, Robin Quivers is in the audience.


Greene makes for an interesting subject. It's just too bad that Adjust Your Color isn't quite the vehicle that he would deserve.

Next: Imagine The Game, only crappier.


Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:49 am
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No discernible entries for any lists:

Derren Brown: The Push

How far would you go? In the case of Chris Kingston, he's pushed to the edge (the British original title) by a series of situations.

He gets hired to do an app for Push, a children's charity and is invited to a launch party/auction. While there, he befriends various people including huge donor/benefactor Bernie. When Bernie dies of a heart attack after an argument, Chris is compelled to do things by hiding the body, pretending to be Bernie to do a speech, bidding on a crate he suspects the body is hidden in. But the things escalate when the body turns up missing.

As a social experiment, it's ethically questionable. Much like the Stanford Prison Experiment, it's based on a study (in this case, compliance) that could be poked apart by scientists for breaking certain laws and crossing certain lines. But it is undeniably fascinating.

Or at least it would be if Derren Brown wouldn't keep interrupting the narrative momentum by explaining what is going on. It might have worked out better if he saved all that for the end or beginning of the film. But all the starts and stops (not helped by the constant signs of xx minutes until The Push, hints that this was originally made for TV) leaves one twiddling their thumbs until the next sequence happens.

The end result has moments of intrigue, but it just doesn't move the way a 69 minute film should.

Next: A Life Well Lived


Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:24 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
No discernible entries for any lists:

Derren Brown: The Push

How far would you go? In the case of Chris Kingston, he's pushed to the edge (the British original title) by a series of situations.

He gets hired to do an app for Push, a children's charity and is invited to a launch party/auction. While there, he befriends various people including huge donor/benefactor Bernie. When Bernie dies of a heart attack after an argument, Chris is compelled to do things by hiding the body, pretending to be Bernie to do a speech, bidding on a crate he suspects the body is hidden in. But the things escalate when the body turns up missing.

As a social experiment, it's ethically questionable. Much like the Stanford Prison Experiment, it's based on a study (in this case, compliance) that could be poked apart by scientists for breaking certain laws and crossing certain lines. But it is undeniably fascinating.

Or at least it would be if Derren Brown wouldn't keep interrupting the narrative momentum by explaining what is going on. It might have worked out better if he saved all that for the end or beginning of the film. But all the starts and stops (not helped by the constant signs of xx minutes until The Push, hints that this was originally made for TV) leaves one twiddling their thumbs until the next sequence happens.

The end result has moments of intrigue, but it just doesn't move the way a 69 minute film should.

Next: A Life Well Lived


I quite like Darren Brown, and his book Trick of the Mind is one that I reread quite often. That said, the stunt TV stuff doesn't do a lot for me. The only one that I've actually watched of his is The Heist. I do like his filmed one-man shows, though. He's a really good showman and a really good magician.


Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:28 am
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You and Tak are killing it!

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Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:53 am
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Thief wrote:
You and Tak are killing it!


Not done yet!


Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:45 am
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No discernible category :roll:

Life Itself (2014)

There was a big uproar during the 2015 Academy Award nominations. Outside of the #OscarsSoWhite shebang.

Several documentaries such as Red Army and Life Itself were left out of the Best Documentary category.

Although no harm is meant to Citizenfour (an excellent choice as winner) and the other nominees, how did this not get beyond the shortlist?

Really?

We get a career retrospective of Ebert from his childhood to his early days as a college newspaper editor to getting the film critic job at the Chicago Sun-Times almost as a fluke to his combative days working with Gene Siskel.

One of the big surprises to me was revealed when we found out that

Gene Siskel hung out with the Playboy mansion for a while...no, it's that their combativeness can be traced to class issues (Siskel went to Yale while Ebert was stuck at his hometown college of the University of Illinois. Also, apparently the Tribune is more ritzy while the Sun-Times is more modest in nature).


Also, we get glimpses of Ebert the family man, the love story between him and Chaz, and his many issues in the hospital. But for most of the film, he proves to have a tough spirit.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll respect the man even if you haven't seen his reviews. See this, if you can.

Next: An infomercial? It was an infomercial?


Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:58 am
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A G-Rated Movie (Thief)

National Parks Adventure

The first of the 42 minutes that the film plays are a series of two commercials. Yeah, considering the rest is a commercial for National Parks: What a Lovely Idea!

I'm not going to hammer it though. There were some good visuals and some good music and there's even a hint of story as a father, a stepson, and a family friend go to various national parks during various school breaks.

Robert Redford narrates it (of course) and there's just enough there that it gets a marginal rec from me. I suspect you'll be more impressed if you put this on your big screen at the highest resolution.

Next: Going through my options!


Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:15 am
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I really enjoyed Life Itself. A nice balance of professional and personal insights.


Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:12 pm
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Horror made for another country/language (Thief)

Hide and Seek (2010)

Basically it's like India's answer to I Know What You Did Last Summer. After one Christmas 12 years ago ended in humiliation, punching, and a gunshot, six high school classmates end up kidnapped and in a closed mall where they have to play a game of Hide and Seek with a Santa. But in dealing with their past, it appears to be more deadly than the not so jolly man.

Pretty short for an Indian film (for those curious, there's no singing and dancing as they just play music instead), the mix of melodrama and thriller proves to go together like oil and vinegar. Not helping is the last 10-15 minutes which takes things down a familiar path.

Definitely hide from this one.


Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:54 am
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Palm D'Or Winner (Thief)
Recommendation from a Trusted Person (Thief)
Unfortunately not in the IMDB250 :(


The Conversation (1974)

In the opening minutes of The Conversation, one can note the seriousness that Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) takes his job as a surveillance expert and contrast it with Saul (John Cazale) and his more goofy tone. You find out that he's into jazz, playing along at times with a saxophone. He's otherwise very private and concerned about being bothered by other people.

But as someone who is into the improvisational tones of jazz, Harry isn't particularly fond of dealing with surprises. Such as when his client's assistant Martin (Harrison Ford) insists on collecting the evidence and paying him in person. Or when he's peppered with questions by his girlfriend Amy (Teri Garr). Or when he receives a wine bottle placed in his apartment.

But as Harry focuses on the recorded conversation and trying to put the pieces together, he starts to think back to when a previous assignment led to the deaths of three people. He starts to debate whether to go through as intended and take a nice paycheck or try to do something about it.

This isn't a film for the frantic expecting constant action or those with low attention spans. It must be paid attention to at all times. But the rewards grow for sitting down and watching this.

You get:
Great Performances from actors big and small
A tense thriller (I freaked out when I heard a floor buffer at one point. A floor buffer.)
Good conversations on privacy and doing the right thing.
Some colorful sequences (Surveillance convention and after-party)

Thanks for the recommendation, Takoma!

Next: Trying to finish two other titles!


Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:22 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Palm D'Or Winner (Thief)
Recommendation from a Trusted Person (Thief)
Unfortunately not in the IMDB250 :(


The Conversation (1974)

In the opening minutes of The Conversation, one can note the seriousness that Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) takes his job as a surveillance expert and contrast it with Saul (John Cazale) and his more goofy tone. You find out that he's into jazz, playing along at times with a saxophone. He's otherwise very private and concerned about being bothered by other people.

But as someone who is into the improvisational tones of jazz, Harry isn't particularly fond of dealing with surprises. Such as when his client's assistant Martin (Harrison Ford) insists on collecting the evidence and paying him in person. Or when he's peppered with questions by his girlfriend Amy (Teri Garr). Or when he receives a wine bottle placed in his apartment.

But as Harry focuses on the recorded conversation and trying to put the pieces together, he starts to think back to when a previous assignment led to the deaths of three people. He starts to debate whether to go through as intended and take a nice paycheck or try to do something about it.

This isn't a film for the frantic expecting constant action or those with low attention spans. It must be paid attention to at all times. But the rewards grow for sitting down and watching this.

You get:
Great Performances from actors big and small
A tense thriller (I freaked out when I heard a floor buffer at one point. A floor buffer.)
Good conversations on privacy and doing the right thing.
Some colorful sequences (Surveillance convention and after-party)

Thanks for the recommendation, Takoma!

Next: Trying to finish two other titles!


Awesome. I really love The Conversation. I feel like every time it goes back to that recorded part in the park you have a different understanding of it, and by the end it's something completely different than what you started with.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:31 am
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Alas, my Kindle Fire had one of its massive download errors and having to start from scratch (although it saved where I was).

Next 5:
Nasty Rabbit (aka Spies a Go Go) (aka Why Arch Hall is nowhere near close to Elvis Part 3 or 4)
The Hungry (Indian answer to Titus Andronicus)
'71 (Yeah for two days off in a row)
A Long Way Off (yeah, crosses out the religious film thing and yet another 2014 film?)
The Clearstream Affair (French tax scandal of 2001 gets a 2015 film)


Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:16 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
'71 (Yeah for two days off in a row)


I was hoping to love, but instead just liked this one. I don't want to go into more detail until you watch it.


Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:21 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I was hoping to love, but instead just liked this one. I don't want to go into more detail until you watch it.


I thought it was pretty good, although I didn't love/adore it. But I thought it was well directed, very tense and tightly executed.

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Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:38 am
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Thief wrote:

I thought it was pretty good, although I didn't love/adore it. But I thought it was well directed, very tense and tightly executed.


Agreed. I think that there was just something lacking in the character-development department. Jack O'Connell is so talented and he was so good in Starred Up that I felt like the movie underutilized him.

I thought that the most intense, involving part was the
bombing of the bar and the immediate aftermath, the way that the movie captured the disorientation and horror, the woman picking up the dead/dying boy--it was so well done and gripping--
and the movie never quite hit that same high note again.


Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:50 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Agreed. I think that there was just something lacking in the character-development department. Jack O'Connell is so talented and he was so good in [b]Starred Up[/b] that I felt like the movie underutilized him.

I thought that the most intense, involving part was the
bombing of the bar and the immediate aftermath, the way that the movie captured the disorientation and horror, the woman picking up the dead/dying boy--it was so well done and gripping--
and the movie never quite hit that same high note again.


You got that right. Although you know who else was good in Starred Up? Ben Mendelson.

One thing that kinda bugged me about that film was the lack of closed captions. It's one thing for that to occur with a film that came out 50-60 years ago, but it's different when it's for a film that's only a few years old AND has very specific accents that may cause you to miss key moments if you don't understand what they're saying.

So has anyone seen Unbroken (The Jolie film)? Is it worth pursuing?


Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:49 am
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Reviews of Nasty Rabbit (aka Spies a-Go-Go) and The Hungry forthcoming!


Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:53 am
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Film made in the 1960s (Thief)
B-Movie (Thief)


Nasty Rabbit (aka Spies a Go-Go)

Bottom Line: Once you get past the opening moments of the film, the bad movie has its charms.

The opening minutes feature a series of spies all watching, observing, gathering around the same place. There are spies from Germany, Israel, Mexico, Japan, and the UK all keeping a close eye on a Russian spy who has a radio transmitter in one hand, a cage containing a bunny wearing a necklace on the other.

The Mexican and Japanese spies, I do want to point out, offer some very cheap stereotypes. One wears thick rimmed glasses while the other wears a sombrero.

The Russian spy's mission is clear. Take the bunny to the Continental Divide, release him to the wild, and watch the American population die off. Death will happen if he fails.

To become more inconspicuous, everyone goes to a dude ranch with a nice, if confused, leader, his younger daughter, and a cowboy (Richard Kiel!).

The ranch is also going to be where a hot pop quartet is going to perform tonight. Oh, and the lead singer (Arch Hall, Jr.) is an American spy.

Although hilarity does not ensue, I would be lying if I didn't admit to laughing a bit at times. It at least realizes that this isn't supposed to be taken seriously and wants us to do little more than laugh.

It's not the worst film I've seen this month and it might not be even the second worst.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:10 am
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See a Shakespeare film (Thief/Apex)
See a film based on a play (Thief)


The Hungry (based on Shake's Titus Andronicus)

Bottom Line: Boring first half gives way to a decent second half as the tension builds, but damage already done.

The Hungry begins slowly as Tulsi (Tisca Chopra) is helping older son Ankur get dressed up. He's going to a meeting where he is to stand in for his uncle. But as a night in a club goes slowly wrong, Ankur is killed and made to look like he killed himself.

Years later, Tulsi is ready to marry Arun, the son of family patriarch Tathagat (Naseeruddin Shah). Although surviving son Chirag (Antonio Aakeel) is shocked that she would consider this, she's hiding a secret for him. Tulsi is seeking revenge against his family for what they did to her and her son.

The first half of the film moves like molasses. But things start to pick up in the second half as the film turns more into Game of Thrones without the dragons.

But the damage is done. Despite some nice looking scenes of opulent life in India and some good performances by the two leads, it took too long to get going and you don't care the way you're supposed to.

It's a shame too as one of the final shots would have been devastating had there been a better film behind it.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:24 am
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Thief has put out his April list and here's my updated look at what I plan on seeing:

(Titles in Blue indicate what I've seen already)

An Italian language film: Welcome Mr. President
A Best Picture winner from before 1970: It Happened One Night
A film about homosexuality or alternate lifestyles: Moonlight
A film starring someone you dislike: Mystic River
A sequel: Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival (although I do want to see Godfather 2 again)
A film about filmmaking: Mia Madre (wanted to do a film that actually covered a film and not one about a filmmaker, if that made sense. Hugo is a good fallback plan)
A silent film: Phantom of the Opera (1925) or Metropolis
A film based on a play: Moonlight (Thanks, Takoma for pointing this out)
A film with no CGI or special effects: Welcome Mr. President
A G-rated film: Benji
A film in a country you've never visited: Pecking Order (New Zealand)
A film featured in the Criterion Collection: It Happened One Night
An experimental film: Decided on The Neon Demon (Don't let me down, Refn)
A docu-drama: Polytechnique?
A fantasy film: Valerian and the City of 1,000 Planets
A film with a character's name as the title: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
An Iranian film: The Salesman
A film you remember from your childhood: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
A coming-of-age story: Moonlight
A film under 90 minutes long: Take Me to the River
A film by Ingmar Bergman: Will keep my eyes open, but not promising.
A film with a female protagonist: Room
A film famous for its twist/ending: Dunno about being famous, but Wish Upon is calling me.
A film with less than five major characters: Good Day for a Hanging (4)
A Bollywood film: Om Shanti Om


Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:09 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
A film under 90 minutes long: Take Me to the River
A film by Ingmar Bergman: Will keep my eyes open, but not promising.


I had strong feelings about Take Me to the River, but it's all highly spoilerific!

What streaming services do you have in terms of trying to find a Bergman film?


Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:49 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I had strong feelings about Take Me to the River, but it's all highly spoilerific!

Strongly good or strongly bad? (I've seen it btw)

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Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:16 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I had strong feelings about Take Me to the River, but it's all highly spoilerific!

What streaming services do you have in terms of trying to find a Bergman film?


Just Prime and Netflix (would have no problem looking on YouTube or Dailymotion/Vimeo). But I don't have/can't afford FilmStruck.

You do know that i'm referring to the 2016 film with the gay teen and the little girl with the dress, right?


Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:20 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Strongly good or strongly bad? (I've seen it btw)


Kind of both. There were things I really liked and things I thought could have been explained better. I was very uncomfortable with the implication that the
father was teaching his young daughter a sex game and the family is just going to brush it off. It just felt off to me and a bit beyond "families sometimes keep secrets!". Especially with that last shot of them listening to music in the car.


Apex Predator wrote:

Just Prime and Netflix (would have no problem looking on YouTube or Dailymotion/Vimeo). But I don't have/can't afford FilmStruck.

You do know that i'm referring to the 2016 film with the gay teen and the little girl with the dress, right?


Yeah, I know which Take Me to the River. I felt like the plot description didn't quite match what I actually got from the film. The theme with the boy being gay and the "family secrets revealed!" theme didn't mesh very well, in my opinion.

If you're willing to spend $3, of course, there are Bergman movies for rent. If you live near a library they might have something of his on DVD. It's a shame so few of his movies are available for free!

EDIT: Here is a review I wrote of Take Me to the River. I would say it contains moderate spoilers.

A young man visiting relatives in rural Nebraska goes into a barn to play a game with a 9 year old cousin. She emerges screaming from the barn with a blood-stained dress and, to put it mildly, things go downhill from there.

The strongest element of this film is also the element that makes it the most frustrating as a viewer--namely this is a movie that commits completely to holding the point of view of the main character, Ryder. There are undercurrents of emotion and resentment roiling beneath the setting of a folksy family reunion, in particular some very strained and strange dynamics between Ryder's mother and her brother (the father of the 9 year old girl). Ryder is totally lost at sea because not only is he on unfamiliar ground (a gay, California city boy out in the country), but his parents and especially his mother behave in a seemingly irrational manner as events continue to escalate.

By the middle of the movie I was thinking "Will someone just PLEASE explain what is going on here?!?!?!". On the one hand, I appreciate that this is exactly how Ryder himself must feel. But on the other hand, I got anxious and frustrated waiting for the film to reveal the background context needed to understand what was happening--to the point that it was hard to sit through scene after scene of coded conversations and meaningful looks.

I thought that the acting was very strong across the board, including the children.

Aside from feeling like the limited point-of-view was a double-edged sword, my only other criticism is that there were certain character actions that were just way too illogical or dumb. For example,
despite the fact that he was all but accused of molesting his cousin, Ryder several times allows himself to be alone with other young girls without any other adults even in earshot. I just didn't believe it. Why if you had been accused (and also implicitly threatened) would you ever allow yourself to be in a position again where there were no witnesses to your behavior?
There were a few character decisions (necessary to move the plot along) that didn't feel like real character choices--and they stand out because for the most part the acting and writing does come across as very realistic.

Generally speaking this is one I'd recommend, especially if you can watch it for free on a streaming service as I did.


Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:42 am
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I started my first film of the month.

I needed a silly comedy and this might work a bit like Dave.


Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:26 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I was very uncomfortable with the implication that the
father was teaching his young daughter a sex game and the family is just going to brush it off. It just felt off to me and a bit beyond "families sometimes keep secrets!". Especially with that last shot of them listening to music in the car.

OK, it's been a couple of years since I've seen it so I don't really remember that aspect.
I agree that the performances were good. I'd seen the young girl on Louis CK's show (as his daughter) and she strikes me as having some potential.
Also agree that it mostly felt realistic. I can't compare my situation to that of a gay teen, but I've definitely been made to feel like a square peg among certain branches of the family tree, so that stuff rang true for me. Thought it was really good besides a few minor quibbles, including some of the spoilery stuff you've mentioned.

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Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:23 pm
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OK, it's been a couple of years since I've seen it so I don't really remember that aspect.


The second time that the teen ends up at the
brother's house, the brother has the little girl walk him home. (AGAIN--WHY WOULD YOU LET YOURSELF BE ALONE WITH THIS GIRL?!?!?!?!). And before they leave the brother calls the girl over and whispers something in her ear and she either nods or says "Okay".

Then they get into the river and she gets up on his back and starts masturbating/grinding on him.

Then when they all have the final confrontation at the house, the brother is like "Yeah, how does it feel to have a boy being accused of wrongdoing when the sex games were the girl's idea?"--referencing that he and the sister got busted playing sex games when they were kids and he got most of the trouble for it.

So in the end when the vibe was mostly the family being like "Phew! Glad we got out of there!" I had really mixed feelings. They are leaving behind at least one girl (in a household of several girls) who is being abused.

Also, and something I didn't mention before, the amount of blood on that girl's dress is a LOT of blood to be coming from a girl her age/size. If it was meant to be her period, that's pretty weird--yes, sometimes you can start bleeding unexpectedly, but not that quantity and not if you've been up and moving around beforehand. So then the other option is that she is bleeding from some genital trauma, and, again, that is a lot of blood. Even if she was doing her weird grinding thing on him, I don't see how that would injure her so severely. I get the director's desire for ambiguity, but that part needed explaining. It doesn't make sense to me.


Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:51 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
The second time that the teen ends up at the
brother's house, the brother has the little girl walk him home. (AGAIN--WHY WOULD YOU LET YOURSELF BE ALONE WITH THIS GIRL?!?!?!?!). And before they leave the brother calls the girl over and whispers something in her ear and she either nods or says "Okay".

Then they get into the river and she gets up on his back and starts masturbating/grinding on him.


Yeah, that I definitely remember.
Although my brain had combined the barn scene and the river scene into one memory. So yeah, the river scene should not have happened if any of the adults had a brain. I do remember being uncomfortable with that decision.


Takoma1 wrote:
So in the end when the vibe was mostly the family being like "Phew! Glad we got out of there!" I had really mixed feelings. They are leaving behind at least one girl (in a household of several girls) who is being abused.

It was the
"family being ok with it" part that I specifically didn't remember, but this rings a bell. There was a weird "all's well that ends well" element to the end. I remember the teen pauses before a family photo, with sex-games guy posing with 4 or 5 kids and you're kind of left thinking "So you're just leaving?" I'm going to interpret that last shot in the car to mean that they'll call the authorities when they get home, just for my own piece of mind. :)

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:22 am
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I'll copy and paste my recommendations from Thief's thread:

An Italian language film: The Conformist
A Best Picture winner from before 1970: Rebecca
A film about homosexuality or alternate lifestyles: Stranger by the Lake
A film starring someone you dislike: Punch-Drunk Love (Adam Sandler)
A sequel: Cube Zero (I feel like it's average, but I still think it's worth watching)
A film about filmmaking: American Movie
A silent film: L'Inferno (1911) (this is available on Youtube)
A film based on a play: 12 Angry Men (the 1997 remake)
A G-rated film: Mary Poppins
A film in a country you've never visited: Through a Glass Darkly
A film featured in the Criterion Collection: The Browning Version
An experimental film: Holy Motors
A docu-drama: Threads (1984)
A fantasy film: A Ghost Story
A film with a character's name as the title: Laura (1944)
An Iranian film: The House is Black
A coming-of-age story: Moonlight
A film under 90 minutes long: Koyaanisqatsi
A film by Ingmar Bergman: You've probably already seen it, but I'll recommend Persona. If not though, I'll say Through a Glass Darkly again.
A film with a female protagonist: Red Desert
A film famous for its twist/ending: Twelve Monkeys/The Usual Suspects/Oldboy/Memento
A film with less than five major characters: All is Lost (one character)

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:03 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I'll copy and paste my recommendations from Thief's thread:

An Italian language film: The Conformist
A Best Picture winner from before 1970: Rebecca
A film about homosexuality or alternate lifestyles: Stranger by the Lake
A film starring someone you dislike: Punch-Drunk Love (Adam Sandler)
A sequel: Cube Zero (I feel like it's average, but I still think it's worth watching)
A film about filmmaking: American Movie
A silent film: L'Inferno (1911) (this is available on Youtube)
A film based on a play: 12 Angry Men (the 1997 remake)
A G-rated film: Mary Poppins
A film in a country you've never visited: Through a Glass Darkly
A film featured in the Criterion Collection: The Browning Version
An experimental film: Holy Motors
A docu-drama: Threads (1984)
A fantasy film: A Ghost Story
A film with a character's name as the title: Laura (1944)
An Iranian film: The House is Black
A coming-of-age story: Moonlight
A film under 90 minutes long: Koyaanisqatsi
A film by Ingmar Bergman: You've probably already seen it, but I'll recommend Persona. If not though, I'll say Through a Glass Darkly again.
A film with a female protagonist: Red Desert
A film famous for its twist/ending: Twelve Monkeys/The Usual Suspects/Oldboy/Memento
A film with less than five major characters: All is Lost (one character)


I don't hate Sandler as much as I find his comedies a waste of time. Idiot fool lucks himself into hot woman, acts like idiot long enough to run her off, musical number where he realizes he done wrong, wins her back due to reveal of lesson.

I don't know why I hadn't seen Stranger By the Lake yet. Maybe I still will.

Now why would I see the remake of a film I hadn't seen yet? Dunno.

You're the second/third person that's recommended me Holy Motors and now it's on the list. Not for this month, but for future reference.

So is A Ghost Story one that came out just last year? Hmm.

In case you hadn't heard, I want to be publicly shamed if I hadn't finished Moonlight by the end of this month. I've put it off for way too long.

I've seen a whopping zero of Ingmar Bergman's films so far. Maybe that number changes this month? We'll see.

Laura is a great film noir and it also doubles as a film based on a play (much like Moonlight was based on one).

Sadly, I've seen most, if not all, major movies based on twists. So I'll have to dig into one that's not so obvious. Also, didn't Cube Zero have a reveal towards the end?

Most of my films have been chosen for the month, but I do thank you for your input. I'll have to add a few of these to my watchlists for the future months.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:32 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
I started my first film of the month.

I needed a silly comedy and this might work a bit like Dave.


Will review Welcome Mr. President tomorrow.

Imagine Dave being done by Roberto Benigni or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and becomes President, only he's played by Kevin James?


Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:34 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Imagine Dave being done by Roberto Benigni or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and becomes President, only he's played by Kevin James?


I'd prefer not to imagine anything of the sort.

It's amazing how much the words "Kevin James" are enough to destroy the hope in any sentence.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:00 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
It's amazing how much the words "Kevin James" are enough to destroy the hope in any sentence.


"With a cure for cancer seemingly on the brink, Kevin James proves to be an unlikely hero to all of humanity with his miracle elixer"

Nope, still not interested.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:06 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Now why would I see the remake of a film I hadn't seen yet? Dunno.

So is A Ghost Story one that came out just last year? Hmm.

I've seen a whopping zero of Ingmar Bergman's films so far. Maybe that number changes this month? We'll see.

Sadly, I've seen most, if not all, major movies based on twists. So I'll have to dig into one that's not so obvious. Also, didn't Cube Zero have a reveal towards the end?

Most of my films have been chosen for the month, but I do thank you for your input. I'll have to add a few of these to my watchlists for the future months.

Wait a minute. You haven't seen 12 Angry Men yet? What the fuck?!?!

A Ghost Story was released last year.

I've seen 4 of Bergman's films. My favorite of his is Persona. I also loved Wild Strawberries and Through a Glass Darkly. I was disappointed by The Seventh Seal, but I've loved everything else he's done.

I was trying to think of a movie with a plot twist that isn't famous. It was hard for me, because most of the ones I can think of are all widely seen. However, Cube Zero does have a plot twist at the end. It wouldn't be at the top of my recommendation list, but I still think it's a good film.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:51 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I've seen 4 of Bergman's films. My favorite of his is Persona. I also loved Wild Strawberries and Through a Glass Darkly. I was disappointed by The Seventh Seal, but I've loved everything else he's done.I've seen 4 of Bergman's films. My favorite of his is Persona. I also loved Wild Strawberries and Through a Glass Darkly. I was disappointed by The Seventh Seal, but I've loved everything else he's done.


Bergman is one of my favourite directors, and the Seventh Seal used to be one of my least favourite of his. It has improved on rewatches. I still wouldn't put it in his top 10, but I've grown to sort of love it.

That being said, Wild Strawberries does nothing for me.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:56 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Bergman is one of my favourite directors, and the Seventh Seal used to be one of my least favourite of his. It has improved on rewatches. I still wouldn't put it in his top 10, but I've grown to sort of love it.

That being said, Wild Strawberries does nothing for me.

My issue with the film was that the movie focused more attention on the other characters rather than Antonius. The expedition Antonius went through in the film let us know about his questions on life, death, and God. However, I wish that the film informed us a bit more about himself as an individual and how he approaches life. That's not to say that I didn't care at all about him. In fact, his questions opened the film up to some great dialogue. However, that quest did not show us how he approached life on a daily basis. The only scenes which showed a bit of it were the way too brief scenes of him sharing strawberries and milk with Jof, Mia, and her baby. There should've been more scenes like that. Jöns, Antonius's squire, was a character who was more fully realized. I knew a lot more about him as an individual. As a result, I cared about his fate a lot more. Out of curiosity, is this why you initially didn't care for the film or was it for a different reason?

2 other questions: What's your favorite of his films? Also, why does Wild Strawberries do nothing for you.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:07 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

Bergman is one of my favourite directors, and the Seventh Seal used to be one of my least favourite of his. It has improved on rewatches. I still wouldn't put it in his top 10, but I've grown to sort of love it.

That being said, Wild Strawberries does nothing for me.


Really? Interesting. I think it has some really powerful moments, especially in terms of framing the sense of someone leaving the world, and the awareness of those who have their whole lives ahead of them.

I love pretty much everything I've seen from Bergman. I think my favorites are The Seventh Seal, The Magician (that scene in the attic is one of my favorite things in his movies, period), The Silence, Cries and Whispers, Winter Light and Fanny and Alexander. I need to revisit both Persona and Through a Glass Darkly, as I haven't seen them for years.

Even "lesser" films like The Devil's Eye still have moments, like the very sexy kiss or some of the humor.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:07 pm
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Either Fanny and Alexander or Scenes From a Marriage are my favourites. I love almost everything he's done though. The Silence, Persona, Autumn Sonata, Cries and Whispers, Hour of the Wolf. Thank you, Ingmar.

I haven't seen it for awhile, so I am going to see if I've got it in me tonight to rewatch Wild Strawberries. I am super tired though, so this might not be the best idea.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:22 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
Scenes From a Marriage

The movie or the mini-series?

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:24 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
The movie or the mini-series?


It's about four hours long, so I assume the miniseries.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 pm
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I like Seventh Seal, but I'm taken out of the movie whenever Von Sydow mentions Elsinore Castle. Thanks, Bob & Doug!

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:35 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
Either Fanny and Alexander or Scenes From a Marriage are my favourites. I love almost everything he's done though. The Silence, Persona, Autumn Sonata, Cries and Whispers, Hour of the Wolf. Thank you, Ingmar.

I haven't seen it for awhile, so I am going to see if I've got it in me tonight to rewatch Wild Strawberries. I am super tired though, so this might not be the best idea.


I love the film, but if I were tired I'd make it through the opening dream sequence and then I'd be out like a light.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:37 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

I love the film, but if I were tired I'd make it through the opening dream sequence and then I'd be out like a light.


Made it through the dream sequence. Fingers crossed.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:42 pm
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