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 Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019 
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Apex Predator wrote:
Wasn't as big on Lawless as some. It had a few interesting moments here and there, but not enough of them.

And I'm already off...with a film you saw three months before under a different title?

The Haunted House (1908)
See a 1900s film

A trio of people end up in a house that starts doing things such as moving chairs and pictures changing into a scary person. Eek!

Considering its date, this was pretty well done. The effects are cool, the film kept moving, and there were a decent amount of laughs.

(To be fair, I kinda cheated in that although it was supposed to be a silent, my copy had a jazzy score that just added to things)

Not sure why the people being frightened looked kind of grotesque, but OK.

2019 film going is off to a solid start!

PS: Also, I'm ahead of Takoma already? I can't imagine that lasting, but it's nice for a few moments. :up:

I might do this one.

I've never done one of these Film Challenges before due to work and classes, but I'm done with school so I might give this a shot this month.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:01 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
An action or adventure film: Avengers: Infinity War

The best word to describe how I've felt about the majority of Marvel's output the last ten years is "exhausted". I tend to make it about 2/3 through most of the films and I just . . . stop caring. CGI characters fighting grand battles that last forever, unmemorable villains (I would seriously struggle to name more than 3 of them), overstuffed plots that somehow manage to feel surprisingly empty.

I didn't love Infinity War, but it's definitely close to the top of the heap. Thanos is a great villain--a being who does cruel, destructive things, but for what he believes is the greater good. Oddly, though, the emotional heft of Thanos pushes into contrast how shallow the emotional stakes feel for so much of the rest of the cast. I thought that the scenes with Gamora and Nebula were really strong. Likewise the opening sequence with Thor and Loki, and the later scenes with Vision and Scarlet Witch.

But the film is stuffed so full of protagonists, that ultimately they mostly feel like quip machines just waiting their turn to be part of an action setpiece. I chuckled a few times, for sure, like at Drax describing Thor as if "a pirate had a baby with an angel". But with such a sprawling cast, it all just felt disjointed to me.

My biggest disappointment, though, was that the film just seemed to lack heart. Of all the Avengers, I've always responded most strongly to Chris Evans as Captain America and the plots involving his fraught relationship with Bucky. In this film Captain America no longer feels like the moral center that he was in Civil War and instead exudes wariness and a sort of workhorse reaction to the events. My other favorites (Black Widow and Thor) also didn't really jive with me this time around. Gamora's anguished relationship with her father (and his reciprocal convoluted feelings) is the best element of the film, but it gets drowned out by both the relative brevity of the subplot and its placement in the running time.

Complain, complain. But this is the kind of story that doesn't get any purchase with me. The stakes are too big. At one point in the story neither time nor reality has any meaning. How do you tell a compelling story if nothing is real? If nothing is permanent? If nothing can be trusted? I kept seeing hints of things that were really cool (like
Drax literally falling to pieces as Mantis literally unravels)
, but those protracted fight scenes diluted those sparks of originality.

I do appreciate that the film frequently made sure to have characters remove masks and have interactions during the fight scenes. Something that's bugged me about quite a few of the recent films is that when they shift into that final 25 minute showdown, you don't see the actors' faces. The battle in Wakanda made me feel as if they were deliberately pushing back against this trend, and I really appreciated it.

I was expecting a bit more based on what I'd heard about this one. I liked it well enough, but the long runtime combined with the lack of emotional heft left me feeling a bit let down by it.

I would say a couple of things, some general and some specific.
The first would be that these really just don't seem to be your kind of films. I just rewatched this (4th viewing) recently and was stunned by it. It made me want to go back and rewatch every one of the Marvel movies (ok, not Iron Man 3 or Thor: The Dark World, but you get the point). I fucking loved this movie, and I'd watch it again right now.
But, and maybe this is the second thing, this is just not a standalone movie. Obviously, it's the culmination of the 18 films before it. And it is the realization of something that heretofore only existed in another form of media until very recently, really until this film. And, again obviously, it is only the first chapter of a two-part story (which, as we've said, is itself the final chapter of a much longer story). And so everything that happens in the film is in the context of 18 other films in addition to the story that is unfolding in this one.
For example,
when you talk about Cap not being the moral center of this film as he was in a film the title of which was his name, I simultaneously shrug that off as an uneven comparison and disagree as it felt clear from the larger context and just a couple of key moments, that he is everything he's ever been if not more in this film, the camera's just not on him all the time. His entrance into the film was really all I needed. The look on Wanda's face when he steps out of the shadows right when there is no hope for her and Vision, and you can tell that, just by his presence, now there is hope and plenty, was one of the best moments of the film to me and stated clearly what he means in this context. And in the end he is center-frame with everyone looking to him for what to do and feel. This is continued in the next film as we see in the trailer where he is again clearly the leader and the person everyone looks to. And I think we will continue to see the legacy of Steve as paragon everyone does and will aspire to for many movies to come. I did not feel at any time like he wasn't the soul of the whole enterprise, but again, that's on the back of so many other films, like, as you mention, Civil War. It wasn't his turn to be on-screen as much in this as a film that actually bore his name, but I felt his presence was certainly felt.
But on another note, and I'm rambling a bit now, to me, this film is just one emotional payoff after another, and maybe that is what you're "complaining" (as you put it) about, too many beats and not enough room to breathe? I could certainly understand that, but in a film of this nature (which has not existed until now, that I can think of), I can't imagine it being done any better. There were just so many great moments filling out the overall narrative, which is really all I expect of a comic-book movie with a scale of 44 major characters that is also trying to develop one of those characters fully (which I think they did, as I've said that I think Thanos may be the best film villain of the 21st Century so far). The emotional payoff of the relationship between Thanos and Gamora, for example, in its 3rd film, now. The relationship between Wanda and Vision and her having to be the one to kill him, man, that hurt me. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Peter realizes he's dying before it happens (because of his Sense) and turns to dusk in Tony's arms. And Thor's whole thing, where you really see that he is a god, culminating in the best entrance since... well, maybe since his last movie. Man, I could go on and on. The action stuff is just there because that's how these things are, and I actually think they're pretty well done, between this one and Black Panther especially (although the ending battle of Civil War is my favorite).
Anyway, I understand this isn't your cup of tea, and I certainly wouldn't argue our different tastes, I'm just surprised at your feelings that the movie didn't have enough of the character stuff, to me that's all it was, character moments and culminations that had been built for 18 films, with a quaint battle near the end (I also have to say that I loved that the whole battle wasn't for The Universe, it was for just that one stone, like everything the human race could do was just for that one thing, a fraction of the overall picture, and yet the battle suddenly becomes irrelevant once Thanos shows up... Darth Who?). And that being just the first half of the story.


I know I rambled like crazy here, sorry. Obviously, these movies are made for me.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:36 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A film from David Lynch: Duran Duran Unstaged

If you like Duran Duran enough to, say, sing along with "Hungry Like the Wolf" when it comes on the radio, you might enjoy this film.

I was very much a fan of theirs in the early 80s, and I've said recently (probably in the 80s thread) that John Taylor was probably the best (white) bass player of the decade. It might be too much for me to expect anyone else to sing along to "New Moon on Monday", so fuck all you guys.

I stopped paying attention to them since they became largely a greatest hits/cover band in the 90s and Simon Le Bon started dancing like he'd already broke something in his pelvis, but something like this might be fun nostalgia, and Lynch would help, me thinks. I don't know.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:37 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
An animated film: The Secret of NIMH

I really enjoyed this film, and realized that for years I'd avoided it because of glimpses I'd seen of it on TV when I was young that must not have come from a very good print because I remember the colors being really drab and muddy and the voices sounding oddly canned.

I actually quite like films like this--movies that are kids stories but a good step removed from the polished Disney brand. It made me think of movies like Watership Down or The Last Unicorn that have a quirkiness and an edge to them that is really different.

The film starts with the memorable line "Jonathan Brisby is dead." From there it follows the plight of Mrs. Brisby who must find a way to safely move her home and children before the field where they live is plowed by the local farmer. Along the way her mission brings her into contact with a troop of hyper-intelligent rats.

Something that I thought was really interesting about this film is the way that the "main" story (ie the rats' escape from NIMH and their "Plan") is placed tangential to Mrs. Brisby's story---needing to move her home without disturbing her son who is sick with pneumonia. This is also one of those 80s animated films where a lot of the dialogue is delivered in patient, quiet tones. I love it. It creates a feeling of quiet intimacy with the characters and serves to normalize them.

A copy of the source novel has been floating around my room for years. I'm aware that this film takes many liberties with the story, but now I'm kind of interested to read the original book.

You've never seen this?!!! Gah!!! :shock:
Really, this is one of my favorite movies. I mean, I have a lot of favorite movies, sure, but I will watch The Secret Of N.I.M.H. any moment at the drop of a hat.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:45 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I agree that narrative clarity wasn't really a problem. But by the same token, it was so obvious where everything was headed that it almost didn't matter. And even though I was watching the film, I clearly tuned out because all of a sudden I was like
"Hey! Thor got his eye back! When did that happen?!"
.

Actually, maybe the narrative clarity was a problem. Because that part really came from the fact that
all of their little side missions, with the exception of Gamora's--were just like McGuffins to buy time until the final showdown.


It's kind of a sad comment on these bloated blockbusters that a bar it has to pass is just "The narrative was understandable".

Oh, I can definitely see you enjoying it less if you tuned out during the conversations, they are what makes the movie. The conversation between Thor and Rocket, where Thor actually tears up before recovering himself, that leads to him "getting his eye back" is another of my list of 10 or so best moments of the movie and possible the whole franchise.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:47 am
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MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS POST ABOUT Avengers: Infinity War. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM, JUST SKIP OVER THIS WHOLE POST, OKAY?

Wooley wrote:
The first would be that these really just don't seem to be your kind of films.


I really like action films, and I'm not opposed to superhero films as a genre. And, again, I didn't dislike this movie.

I'd break down the Marvel films thusly:

Really Liked
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Black Panther
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America
Captain America: Winter Soldier
The Avengers
The Incredible Hulk


Liked
Infinity War
Guardians of the Galaxy
Iron Man
Thor: Ragnarok
Civil War
Ant Man


Meh
Iron Man 2
Doctor Strange


Haven't Seen
Iron Man 3
Ant Man and Wasp
The new Spiderman films
Age of Ultron


Quote:
This is just not a standalone movie. Obviously, it's the culmination of the 18 films before it. And it is the realization of something that heretofore only existed in another form of media until very recently, really until this film. And, again obviously, it is only the first chapter of a two-part story (which, as we've said, is itself the final chapter of a much longer story). And so everything that happens in the film is in the context of 18 other films in addition to the story that is unfolding in this one.


I understand the dynamic. But I also don't think that it's so horribly removed from, say, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first two of those movies are essentially building to the events in the third film, but I found each of them incredibly satisfying on their own. They all had a ton of subplots (just like Infinity War) and yet didn't feel disjoint to me the way that this one did.

Quote:
For example, when you talk about Cap not being the moral center of this film as he was in a film the title of which was his name, I simultaneously shrug that off as an uneven comparison and disagree as it felt clear from the larger context and just a couple of key moments, that he is everything he's ever been if not more in this film, the camera's just not on him all the time.


I felt in general that Infinity War lacked a moral center (or any center, really). I think that great superhero films manage to balance the external (ie the villain) with the internal (ie character conflicts). This movie was pretty much all the Avengers looking outward, not inward (with a handful of exceptions that I mentioned, but those get lost in the 150 minute running time).

Quote:
But on another note, and I'm rambling a bit now, to me, this film is just one emotional payoff after another, and maybe that is what you're "complaining" (as you put it) about, too many beats and not enough room to breathe?


Yes, and this is the problem with a film being so stuffed with protagonists. Way too much of the run time was spent on a character being introduced, then a meet-cute with whoever they are encountering. And on the flip side, way too many "payoff" moments. I've seen a lot of the films here and know the backstory of the different characters, and I'm sorry, but with only a handful of exceptions, the emotional moments fell really flat for me. Characters bring the different tones of their films, and so Gamora's agony over her relationship with her father is played out against Starlord being really flip about the death of his father (and of his mother!) and Thor being equally flip about the death of his parents and siblings.

Quote:
The emotional payoff of the relationship between Thanos and Gamora, for example, in its 3rd film, now. The relationship between Wanda and Vision and her having to be the one to kill him, man, that hurt me. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Peter realizes he's dying before it happens (because of his Sense) and turns to dusk in Tony's arms.


The first two things I totally agree on, and they were much needed emotional anchors. But I literally did not care one bit when Peter died. Like, not at all. Because the narrative has escalated to the point where there's no such thing as reality, linear time, or cause-and-effect. Am I really supposed to believe that Peter is dead? Please. Especially after we are given maybe the second best scene in the film (Scarlet Witch destroying Vision) and then Thanos is just like *shrug* and undoes it. There were no real consequences in this film, and it made it hard for me to care. I'll actually be impressed if any of the characters who "died" stay dead, because it seems unlikely.

Quote:
I'm just surprised at your feelings that the movie didn't have enough of the character stuff, to me that's all it was, character moments and culminations that had been built for 18 films, with a quaint battle near the end


If I told you that I had ten songs I loved, and then played you 4/5 of each song one at a time, but then played you the last 1/5 of each song in a random order and in 5-second clips each, would that be satisfying? Narrative needs room to breathe and to build its momentum. I know that for you, you hold those other movies in your mind in a way that this film is a natural extension of them, but that's just not how I felt watching it.

I'm sure that seeing this film in a theater with an excited, engaged crowd would have upped my enjoyment, but as it was I was not overly impressed.

Also, whoever wrote the subplot for the Hulk should be fired. Like, pronto.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:21 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Also, whoever wrote the subplot for the Hulk should be fired. Like, pronto.


Preach! I liked the movie, but Hulk fans were robbed. I'm expecting LOTS of Hulk in this next one or some heads are gonna roll.

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 am
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A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Aliens Ate My Homework

When I saw this title on Netflix, I was like *GASP*. When I was in elementary school, Aliens Ate My Homework (by Bruce Coville) was one of my favorite books. I can still perfectly picture the cover of the book, and recall vividly a scene in which the aliens accidentally shoot a hole in the main character's ear, he freaks out, and they make him a fake skin patch to cover the whole so his parents won't think he pierced his ear.

Anyway. Is this a good adaptation of the book? Mmmm . . . no. It isn't awful by any means, but it lazily condenses the events of the book, and it's filled with "kid movie" humor that is grating
(and borderline inappropriate at times).

It's been too long since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure that the film entirely added the character of Elspeth, the main character's know-it-all cousin. Together the two of them try to assist a miniature collection of aliens who crash land in Eric's room, hot on the trail of an intergalactic criminal.

I will give the film credit for the look of the aliens. They look JUST like I imagined them from reading the text, especially Madame Pong. I will also give the film credit for the portrayal of Eric's little siblings, who are actually fun and cute and not "precocious" in the way that a lot of films show little kids.

But on the whole this was just pretty mediocre. Without the nostalgia for the story, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it at all. And I question a lot of the "humor", which ventures into the inappropriate. A talking plant that says it's "working its asparagus off", or the main character holding his paper mache volcano at his groin as it fires off white foam. Like, who gave that shot a thumbs up? Bruce Coville himself plays the school's principal, and it's weird to me that he was okay with this adaptation of his work.

Unless you're like me and you read the books as a kid, this is a definite skip.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:39 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS POST ABOUT Avengers: Infinity War. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM, JUST SKIP OVER THIS WHOLE POST, OKAY?



I really like action films, and I'm not opposed to superhero films as a genre. And, again, I didn't dislike this movie.

I'd break down the Marvel films thusly:

Really Liked
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Black Panther
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America
Captain America: Winter Soldier
The Avengers
The Incredible Hulk


Liked
Infinity War
Guardians of the Galaxy
Iron Man
Thor: Ragnarok
Civil War
Ant Man


Meh
Iron Man 2
Doctor Strange


Haven't Seen
Iron Man 3
Ant Man and Wasp
The new Spiderman films
Age of Ultron




I understand the dynamic. But I also don't think that it's so horribly removed from, say, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first two of those movies are essentially building to the events in the third film, but I found each of them incredibly satisfying on their own. They all had a ton of subplots (just like Infinity War) and yet didn't feel disjoint to me the way that this one did.



I felt in general that Infinity War lacked a moral center (or any center, really). I think that great superhero films manage to balance the external (ie the villain) with the internal (ie character conflicts). This movie was pretty much all the Avengers looking outward, not inward (with a handful of exceptions that I mentioned, but those get lost in the 150 minute running time).



Yes, and this is the problem with a film being so stuffed with protagonists. Way too much of the run time was spent on a character being introduced, then a meet-cute with whoever they are encountering. And on the flip side, way too many "payoff" moments. I've seen a lot of the films here and know the backstory of the different characters, and I'm sorry, but with only a handful of exceptions, the emotional moments fell really flat for me. Characters bring the different tones of their films, and so Gamora's agony over her relationship with her father is played out against Starlord being really flip about the death of his father (and of his mother!) and Thor being equally flip about the death of his parents and siblings.



The first two things I totally agree on, and they were much needed emotional anchors. But I literally did not care one bit when Peter died. Like, not at all. Because the narrative has escalated to the point where there's no such thing as reality, linear time, or cause-and-effect. Am I really supposed to believe that Peter is dead? Please. Especially after we are given maybe the second best scene in the film (Scarlet Witch destroying Vision) and then Thanos is just like *shrug* and undoes it. There were no real consequences in this film, and it made it hard for me to care. I'll actually be impressed if any of the characters who "died" stay dead, because it seems unlikely.



If I told you that I had ten songs I loved, and then played you 4/5 of each song one at a time, but then played you the last 1/5 of each song in a random order and in 5-second clips each, would that be satisfying? Narrative needs room to breathe and to build its momentum. I know that for you, you hold those other movies in your mind in a way that this film is a natural extension of them, but that's just not how I felt watching it.

I'm sure that seeing this film in a theater with an excited, engaged crowd would have upped my enjoyment, but as it was I was not overly impressed.

Also, whoever wrote the subplot for the Hulk should be fired. Like, pronto.

Ok, your list gives this interesting context. Of course I mean no offense (I think you already know that by now, but I also know how black and white can be with unintended inflection and/or meaning), but reading your first post it really just seemed like these kind of movies were not for you. Like, how does one like super-hero movies if one finds big action-scenes exhausting. But I get where you're coming from a little better now.
Like I said, maybe these movies were just made for me. I found Infinity War on par with either of the first two LotR movies (actually maybe a little better than The Two Towers, a little behind The Fellowship). The movie I would compare it two would be The Two Towers because, like Infinity War, it already had a roster of established characters on multiple narrative threads, leading to another film.
Regarding the emotional stuff, I can understand some of that feeling, but I guess I was feeling what the characters were feeling rather than what an audience-member was feeling, which I feel is good filmmaking.
As Peter realizes he is dying and is sort of almost begging for his life and then gathers himself at the last moment as he slips away, I mean, Jesus, what does that fear feel like?
That really got, not just me obviously if you read the internet, but millions of people.
Ha! I like your example with the songs.
But look, there's no point in me arguing individual moments of the film with you, it didn't move you and that's what matters. It moved me because they were successful at making me care so much about these characters over all these movies. Although I fuckin' hate Tony. Fuck Tony. Which I guess is also kinda the point. But I digress.
I wonder if seeing it again someday you would like it more. Maybe after Age Of Ultron or something. That movie's funny because it stumbled initially but it actually keeps getting better the more subsequent films they release that make Ultron really come together (as well as watching some deleted scenes that were critical to the narrative that that jackass that got fired made Whedon cut from the film).
Anyway, cheers as always, here's to The Secret Of N.I.M.H.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:11 am
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Captain Terror wrote:

Preach! I liked the movie, but Hulk fans were robbed. I'm expecting LOTS of Hulk in this next one or some heads are gonna roll.

There will be. Since this is my jam, I've followed pretty closely what is known and what is highly suspected for the next film, you'll get your Hulk. This is Kill Bill, Vol.1.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:13 am
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More spoilery MCU talk!

Wooley wrote:
Ok, your list gives this interesting context. Of course I mean no offense (I think you already know that by now, but I also know how black and white can be with unintended inflection and/or meaning), but reading your first post it really just seemed like these kind of movies were not for you. Like, how does one like super-hero movies if one finds big action-scenes exhausting. But I get where you're coming from a little better now.


I like action scenes, but only when (1) the action is coherent and (2) the scene retains a sense of the characters. For example, I hated the final action scene in Wonder Woman. It turned into a total CGI-fest. And that's been my gripe with a lot of the Marvel films. Some moments are just painful (like a really, really obviously CGI Black Panther in the final showdown). In a good action sequence, the action (the style of it, the consequences) should feed off of the character work that has come before it. As the Marvel action scenes go on and on and on, they lose their sense of humanity.

Quote:
But look, there's no point in me arguing individual moments of the film with you, it didn't move you and that's what matters. It moved me because they were successful at making me care so much about these characters over all these movies. Although I fuckin' hate Tony. Fuck Tony. Which I guess is also kinda the point. But I digress.


Part of my frustration was that some parts were really moving and effective. Gamora and Nebula. Gamora and Thanos. Scarlet Witch and Vision. There was emotional heft to those scenes. And what I found so frustrating was that those moments were diluted by a lot of content that I found redundant and unnecessary. The film was trying to tell too many stories and I feel like it ultimately gave short shrift to most of them. Like that early scene with Tony and Pepper should have landed on the cutting room floor.

I hadn't realized that I hadn't seen Age of Ultron. I kept being like "Who is this Vision guy?". So I will check it out at some point.

But even with more background on the characters, my criticism is still about the way that the film cut between the different stories and just how many "big moments" it tried to cram into its running time.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:00 am
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A film set in Alaska: Coldwood

I will give almost anything a chance. Every now and then there is a hidden gem on Amazon that defies a low IMDb rating.

This one . . . not so much.

It isn't awful by any means, but it is underwhelming. The plot follows a young woman named Ashley, who travels to Alaska to work with her shady uncle, a man who (Frighteners-like) cons people into believing that he is banishing ghosts from their homes. But when it comes to a certain property in the woods, Ashley and her uncle might be up against the real thing.

The acting isn't bad, and the setting is beautiful. But the film moves very slowly and leaves a lot of its subplots hanging. There's the local guy who flirts with Ashley . . . nothing. There's Ashley's habit of self-harm, which leads to . . . nothing. It takes over half of the movie for Ashley and her uncle to even arrive at the mysterious cabin in the woods.

The film also seems a bit too enamored of shady uncle Clive. We spend way too much runtime watching him seduce a local woman (who is way too good looking for him, sorry), and then her telling him how AMAZING the sex was), to the point where I started to wonder if the guy playing Clive was maybe the writer or director of the film.

There is one horror sequence, and it is okay, but the film ultimately feels pretty insubstantial.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:15 am
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I'm scrolling up and down like a banshee, hoping not to spot an MCU spoiler :D

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:39 am
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Thief wrote:
I'm scrolling up and down like a banshee, hoping not to spot an MCU spoiler :D


I just went back and spoiler-texted my long posts.

My problem is I'm a really quick reader, so even quickly scrolling my eyes sometimes pick out a key phrase and it's like, NOOOOO!


Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:51 am
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Thief wrote:
I'm scrolling up and down like a banshee, hoping not to spot an MCU spoiler :D

Sorry, I'll go back and spoiler-tag mine too, I thought that ship had kinda sailed.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:58 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
More spoilery MCU talk!

I like action scenes, but only when (1) the action is coherent and (2) the scene retains a sense of the characters. For example, I hated the final action scene in Wonder Woman. It turned into a total CGI-fest. And that's been my gripe with a lot of the Marvel films. Some moments are just painful (like a really, really obviously CGI Black Panther in the final showdown). In a good action sequence, the action (the style of it, the consequences) should feed off of the character work that has come before it. As the Marvel action scenes go on and on and on, they lose their sense of humanity.



Part of my frustration was that some parts were really moving and effective. Gamora and Nebula. Gamora and Thanos. Scarlet Witch and Vision. There was emotional heft to those scenes. And what I found so frustrating was that those moments were diluted by a lot of content that I found redundant and unnecessary. The film was trying to tell too many stories and I feel like it ultimately gave short shrift to most of them. Like that early scene with Tony and Pepper should have landed on the cutting room floor.

I hadn't realized that I hadn't seen Age of Ultron. I kept being like "Who is this Vision guy?". So I will check it out at some point.

But even with more background on the characters, my criticism is still about the way that the film cut between the different stories and just how many "big moments" it tried to cram into its running time.

I agree the final action scene in WW was really disappointing and was the weak-point in that film. I didn't feel the that way about the final battle in IW because the battle itself had so many little (and big, Thor) personal moments, which is why I tend to like Marvel's battles. But I get it and do not debate that it feels muddled and pointless to you. And
the CGI Black Panther was not awesome but didn't ruin that whole fight for me either, as there had to be a battle between those two and in the scope of the film it had to be grand, and I still thought the back and forth between T'Challa and Eric was powerful, especially at the end of the battle. I can't think of many more human moments in a fight in an action movie than T'Challa taking the dying Eric up to look out over his homeland and Eric telling T'Challa to bury him in the ocean like his ancestors who jumped off the slave ships and drowned because they knew death was better than bondage.

And yeah, I really do hear you, they didn't pull it off for you, they did for me, although, again, the fact that I've seen it 4 times and it is so up my alley really helps.
By the way, HALF of the Tony and Pepper scene DID end up on the cutting room floor. I wouldn't have necessarily minded if the whole thing did, but it is how they brought Tony into the movie and it also is going to play into Endgame.
PS - Age Of Ultron does actually make a lot more sense out of Civil War, Black Panther, and Infinity War. I'm not saying it's gonna improve your experience, but several things will be clearer. But you're not gonna love the third act of that one I 'spect.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:12 am
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Wooley wrote:
Sorry, I'll go back and spoiler-tag mine too, I thought that ship had kinda sailed.


It's ok. I'm still in the middle of Phase 2, but with social media, some spoilers are unavoidable. I've picked up some stuff here and there, but I think I've been very lucky to avoid most crucial stuff. Anyway, I have no problem scrolling up and down, as long as posts are labeled so I can figure out what to read and what not.

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:19 am
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Wooley wrote:
I agree the final action scene in WW was really disappointing and was the weak-point in that film. I didn't feel the that way about the final battle in IW because the battle itself had so many little (and big, Thor) personal moments, which is why I tend to like Marvel's battles.


As I noted in my original review, I felt like the final battle in Infinity War was a step up from several of the other "final battle" sequences because it took some moments to breathe (and to have characters up close, without masks).


Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:24 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

As I noted in my original review, I felt like the final battle in Infinity War was a step up from several of the other "final battle" sequences because it took some moments to breathe (and to have characters up close, without masks).

True.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:47 am
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Thief wrote:

It's ok. I'm still in the middle of Phase 2, but with social media, some spoilers are unavoidable. I've picked up some stuff here and there, but I think I've been very lucky to avoid most crucial stuff. Anyway, I have no problem scrolling up and down, as long as posts are labeled so I can figure out what to read and what not.

Yeah, but I was really specific, I shoulda tagged that.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:47 am
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Wooley wrote:
Yeah, but I was really specific, I shoulda tagged that.


Ah well, I didn't catch anything, so it's ok.

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:49 am
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It's okay guys.

As long as Thief didn't read the part about how the whole MCU is Diane's fever-dream. You know, Diane from Cheers?

I, for one, was shocked.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:32 am
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Ant Man and Wasp is decent. I liked the set up more than the result.

Weak villain; I did like how they made the stepfather to be pretty good guy; heists were fun but not enough of them.


Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:14 pm
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A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime: Hell’s House

Turns out that the Lawless that's free on Prime is not the gangster one. Oh, well.

Hell's House is a drama that follows a teenage boy named Jimmy. After Jimmy's mother is killed in a car accident, Jimmy is sent to the city to live with his aunt and uncle. He meets a bootlegger named Matt (and Matt's girlfriend, Peggy, who is played by Bette Davis!), who soon takes a liking to him and offers him a job answering the phone in his headquarters. Soon after starting this job, Jimmy is caught in a raid, and is shocked when no one comes to speak on his behalf. When he refuses to say who hired him, Jimmy is sent to a reform school that cruelly exploits the boys there for hard labor. Jimmy's best friend in the school is dying essentially of the labor and neglect, and Jimmy becomes determined to save him.

This is the kind of film that is sincere but doesn't always land well, especially in the first half. For example, some odd timing in the editing suggests that Jimmy's mother must have had to sprint pretty hard to get to the road in time to be run down. Likewise a lot of the "city banter" sounds borderline parody at time ("Hey darling, why don't you pour me a pipe of that new hot music!").

The strongest element of the film is the relationship between Jimmy and his friend at the reform school. What's sad is the fact that "prison for profit", especially involving children and teenagers, is still an issue in our legal system. The teens in the "school" are referred to by number rather than by name. It's interesting that the film is so on the side of the bootlegger and so down on "the system".

The movie looks cheap, but it definitely picks up in its second half.


Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:46 am
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Now, now. Pressure Off shows that Duran Duran can still go.


Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:39 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Now, now. Pressure Off shows that Duran Duran can still go.


That song was my "morning song" probably for a month.

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Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:51 am
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In the spirit of "duality" of this film, this is a dual review...

A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31)


Persona (1966)

Quote:
"I think I could turn myself into you. If I made a real effort. I mean inside. You could turn yourself into me just like that. Although your soul would much be too big. It would stick out everywhere!"


It's been two weeks since I first saw this film, and I've been going back and forth with it all the while, still puzzling over it. Did I like it or not? Was this or that literal or symbolic? Should I watch it again or not? Two weeks and I probably still can't tell left from right. Yesterday, I finally gave up and watched it again. It's not everyday that I do that, rewatch a film within a short amount of time. Other films that prompted me to do that were Memento, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, and THX-1138. In my opinion, all meritorious cases, all times where the rewatch helped everything pull into focus. Not necessarily to understand it, but to appreciate it more.

Persona follows Alma (Bibi Andersson), a young nurse assigned to take care of Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullman), an actress that for some reason has stopped speaking. Not finding anything wrong with her, physically or mentally, the hospital sends Vogler to a cottage under the care of Alma, where the two become closer and closer each day. This is my third Ingmar Bergman film, and if one thing in it is clear, is that the film is one of those cases where you're meant to understand, as much as you're meant to "feel" the film. I know it sounds cliché and corny, but that's how I feel about it. The emotions conveyed by the characters and the imagery is undeniable, to the point that you feel a burden, even if you can't explain *what* burden.

Through its narrative and its visuals, the film explores multiple themes like duality and individuality, public image and privacy, motherhood and gender roles, guilt and forgiveness, religion and atheism, and heck, even vampires. One can say that all those themes and symbolisms are jumbled together, and yet it all feels harmoniously cohesive. Among all those themes, the religious one was probably the one that resonated with me most. The guilt of the confession, the regrets from time long past, and the silence of "God" (Vogler) against the constant conversation/prayer of the "believer" (Alma). How Alma fights against that "silence" and how she craves to hear something from "God", even if it's "nothing", and how the reassurances (or lack of) she gets from that make her change.

Most of the weight of how those themes are transmitted falls on the talent of both Andersson and Ullman, who are pretty much alone through all the film. Ullman has the challenge of performing without talking and she manages to convey that mystery within Vogler. But to me, the real treat was Andersson who, IMO, carries the film with her performance. Her portrayal of Alma goes through a rollercoaster of emotions: naivete, idealism, insecurity, fear, trust, betrayal, bitterness, regret, guilt, love, confidence, acceptance... it is all there. Don't ask me how, but it is, and it's pretty impressive.

Bergman makes a point to signal these abrupt changes in the story and the behavior of the characters; from its bizarre opening montage to a particular "split" towards the middle of the film, while still having it flow seamlessly from one act to the other, from one theme to the other. It also helps that he uses a variety of filming techniques to achieve this unique and weird macro/micro mixture of styles: from long shots to close ups, from tracking shots to fixed shots. It's a beautifully shot film with great cinematography and use of light/shadows. Sound seems to also play a key role to everything, as Bergman uses it in an intrusive yet subtle way (what does the constant dripping means?).

I could probably write more paragraphs about each theme and I probably wouldn't be any closer to understanding much of what's happening. Still puzzled over it, still going back and forth, still wondering what these or that meant. After two watches, it feels like I walk away with nothing, and yet a part of me feels changed.

Grade: A+

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Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:09 am
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Yeah, Persona is pretty amazing.

A film about boxing: Prayer Before Dawn

This film was . . . intense.

I must have confused the plot summary of this film with another one, because for some reason I thought I'd read the word "uplifting" regarding the story.

Ha.

The film follows a man named Billy Moore (a pretty stunning performance from Joe Cole), a boxer who moves to Thailand and quickly gets involved with drugs and is arrested and sent to prison for possession of stolen goods and firearms. The prison conditions are appalling. Surrounded by violence and falling back into drugs as consolation, Billy takes some comfort in beginning to fight in boxing matches as a way to get more freedom.

To be honest, I probably owe this film a rewatch, but it won't be any time soon. The performances are good, and the tension is sustained almost the whole runtime. At times the film declines to provide subtitles for the characters speaking Thai, so we are put in the same position as Moore--not understanding what the characters want and whether or not he is in immediate danger.

Around a third of the way into the film I had to start sort of half-watching. It was just too intense for me. There are violent beatings, a gang-rape, physical and emotional abuse, and just a teetering sense of unpredictability. The violence comes from the other prisoners and from the guards. Under the pressure of his situation, Moore hangs on the edge of self-destructive behaviors like drug use and instigating fights with the guards and fellow prisoners.

I would recommend this film, if only for the pretty astonishing true story that it portrays. The actual Billy Moore actually shows up in the film playing his own father. It was a moment that gave me goosebumps and it was just really powerful. Overall it was a bit too violent and stressful for me at this time, but it's a really well-made film and worth a watch.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:48 am
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I don't even know where I'd begin to start ranking Bergman movies, but Persona would need to be a top 5. Which basically means one of the best movies ever (along with whatever rounds out his top 15)


Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:12 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
I don't even know where I'd begin to start ranking Bergman movies, but Persona would need to be a top 5. Which basically means one of the best movies ever (along with whatever rounds out his top 15)


It's weird for me because I really wasn't that crazy about The Seventh Seal. Last year I saw Smiles of a Summer Night, which was okay, and now this.

Any others you would recommend?

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Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:09 pm
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It's weird for me because I really wasn't that crazy about The Seventh Seal. Last year I saw Smiles of a Summer Night, which was okay, and now this.

Any others you would recommend?


I really like The Seventh Seal.

My other Bergman favorites are The Silence, Wild Strawberries, The Magician, Through a Glass Darkly, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander.

I think that The Silence is the one that makes me think the most of Persona in terms of emotional response. The Magician is rarely one that's listed by other people as a favorite, but there's something about it (and a climactic scene in an attic) that I really respond to.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:18 pm
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Thief wrote:

It's weird for me because I really wasn't that crazy about The Seventh Seal. Last year I saw Smiles of a Summer Night, which was okay, and now this.

Any others you would recommend?


While I love almost all of them, Seventh Seal has never been anywhere near the top, and I've only grown to appreciate it more on rewatches. His other sacred cow, Wild Strawberries, is never really been my cup of tea either.

I'll second The Silence. Fanny and Alexander is my favorite. Virgin Spring, Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, Through a Glass Darkly. All great. It's hard to contain myself.

And Scenes of a Marriage, while maybe something to save until later in your Bergman experience, is about the most horrifyingly unblinking look at the failure of a human relationship. I, of course, love it.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:29 pm
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I'll also throw in Winter Light, which is pretty bleak but honestly so.

I probably need to revisit Virgin Spring. I watched it pretty shortly (by coincidence!) after seeing [b]Last House on the Left/b], and my feelings about both films have become inextricably intertwined.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:37 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
I probably need to revisit Virgin Spring. I watched it pretty shortly (by coincidence!) after seeing [b]Last House on the Left/b], and my feelings about both films have become inextricably intertwined.


I imagine that would be an almost insurmountable handicap against The Virgin Spring.

That terrible stupid movie just can't help ruining everything.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:46 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
Yeah, Persona is pretty amazing.

A film about boxing: Prayer Before Dawn

This film was . . . intense.

I must have confused the plot summary of this film with another one, because for some reason I thought I'd read the word "uplifting" regarding the story.

Ha.

The film follows a man named Billy Moore (a pretty stunning performance from Joe Cole), a boxer who moves to Thailand and quickly gets involved with drugs and is arrested and sent to prison for possession of stolen goods and firearms. The prison conditions are appalling. Surrounded by violence and falling back into drugs as consolation, Billy takes some comfort in beginning to fight in boxing matches as a way to get more freedom.

To be honest, I probably owe this film a rewatch, but it won't be any time soon. The performances are good, and the tension is sustained almost the whole runtime. At times the film declines to provide subtitles for the characters speaking Thai, so we are put in the same position as Moore--not understanding what the characters want and whether or not he is in immediate danger.

Around a third of the way into the film I had to start sort of half-watching. It was just too intense for me. There are violent beatings, a gang-rape, physical and emotional abuse, and just a teetering sense of unpredictability. The violence comes from the other prisoners and from the guards. Under the pressure of his situation, Moore hangs on the edge of self-destructive behaviors like drug use and instigating fights with the guards and fellow prisoners.

I would recommend this film, if only for the pretty astonishing true story that it portrays. The actual Billy Moore actually shows up in the film playing his own father. It was a moment that gave me goosebumps and it was just really powerful. Overall it was a bit too violent and stressful for me at this time, but it's a really well-made film and worth a watch.

Yeah, this movie is really intense. I even highlighted Joe Cole's performance in my Year in Review-post. Only, it's too long. It would've been perfect if it were just 90 minutes, now it gets a bit repetitive after a while.


Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:44 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
I really like The Seventh Seal.

My other Bergman favorites are The Silence, Wild Strawberries, The Magician, Through a Glass Darkly, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander.

I think that The Silence is the one that makes me think the most of Persona in terms of emotional response. The Magician is rarely one that's listed by other people as a favorite, but there's something about it (and a climactic scene in an attic) that I really respond to.


crumbsroom wrote:
While I love almost all of them, Seventh Seal has never been anywhere near the top, and I've only grown to appreciate it more on rewatches. His other sacred cow, Wild Strawberries, is never really been my cup of tea either.

I'll second The Silence. Fanny and Alexander is my favorite. Virgin Spring, Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, Through a Glass Darkly. All great. It's hard to contain myself.

And Scenes of a Marriage, while maybe something to save until later in your Bergman experience, is about the most horrifyingly unblinking look at the failure of a human relationship. I, of course, love it.


Takoma1 wrote:
I'll also throw in Winter Light, which is pretty bleak but honestly so.

I probably need to revisit Virgin Spring. I watched it pretty shortly (by coincidence!) after seeing [b]Last House on the Left/b], and my feelings about both films have become inextricably intertwined.


Thanks for the feedback. When I was reading about Persona, I saw The Silence mentioned quite a bit.

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Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:53 pm
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Thief wrote:
In the spirit of "duality" of this film, this is a dual review...

A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31)


Persona (1966)



It's been two weeks since I first saw this film, and I've been going back and forth with it all the while, still puzzling over it. Did I like it or not? Was this or that literal or symbolic? Should I watch it again or not? Two weeks and I probably still can't tell left from right. Yesterday, I finally gave up and watched it again. It's not everyday that I do that, rewatch a film within a short amount of time. Other films that prompted me to do that were Memento, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, and THX-1138. In my opinion, all meritorious cases, all times where the rewatch helped everything pull into focus. Not necessarily to understand it, but to appreciate it more.

Persona follows Alma (Bibi Andersson), a young nurse assigned to take care of Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullman), an actress that for some reason has stopped speaking. Not finding anything wrong with her, physically or mentally, the hospital sends Vogler to a cottage under the care of Alma, where the two become closer and closer each day. This is my third Ingmar Bergman film, and if one thing in it is clear, is that the film is one of those cases where you're meant to understand, as much as you're meant to "feel" the film. I know it sounds cliché and corny, but that's how I feel about it. The emotions conveyed by the characters and the imagery is undeniable, to the point that you feel a burden, even if you can't explain *what* burden.

Through its narrative and its visuals, the film explores multiple themes like duality and individuality, public image and privacy, motherhood and gender roles, guilt and forgiveness, religion and atheism, and heck, even vampires. One can say that all those themes and symbolisms are jumbled together, and yet it all feels harmoniously cohesive. Among all those themes, the religious one was probably the one that resonated with me most. The guilt of the confession, the regrets from time long past, and the silence of "God" (Vogler) against the constant conversation/prayer of the "believer" (Alma). How Alma fights against that "silence" and how she craves to hear something from "God", even if it's "nothing", and how the reassurances (or lack of) she gets from that make her change.

Most of the weight of how those themes are transmitted falls on the talent of both Andersson and Ullman, who are pretty much alone through all the film. Ullman has the challenge of performing without talking and she manages to convey that mystery within Vogler. But to me, the real treat was Andersson who, IMO, carries the film with her performance. Her portrayal of Alma goes through a rollercoaster of emotions: naivete, idealism, insecurity, fear, trust, betrayal, bitterness, regret, guilt, love, confidence, acceptance... it is all there. Don't ask me how, but it is, and it's pretty impressive.

Bergman makes a point to signal these abrupt changes in the story and the behavior of the characters; from its bizarre opening montage to a particular "split" towards the middle of the film, while still having it flow seamlessly from one act to the other, from one theme to the other. It also helps that he uses a variety of filming techniques to achieve this unique and weird macro/micro mixture of styles: from long shots to close ups, from tracking shots to fixed shots. It's a beautifully shot film with great cinematography and use of light/shadows. Sound seems to also play a key role to everything, as Bergman uses it in an intrusive yet subtle way (what does the constant dripping means?).

I could probably write more paragraphs about each theme and I probably wouldn't be any closer to understanding much of what's happening. Still puzzled over it, still going back and forth, still wondering what these or that meant. After two watches, it feels like I walk away with nothing, and yet a part of me feels changed.

Grade: A+

One of my all time favorites. Glad you also loved it.

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Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:07 am
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Yo, I watched The House Of Ghosts, aka The Haunted House (1908) based on local recs.
Dug it.
Did anyone else notice The Unnamable showed up?

Image

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Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:32 am
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Oh, that's just Max. Making house calls.

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Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:27 am
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An hour into Apocalypse Now. It's been kind of surreal so far.

Surreal and very good. :up:

Tonight, I'll get caught up on Shallow Ground.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:31 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
An hour into Apocalypse Now. It's been kind of surreal so far.

Surreal and very good. :up:

Tonight, I'll get caught up on Shallow Ground.


First time?? Man, that film is so good. I'm even considering a rewatch for my Vietnam film.

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Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:51 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Tonight, I'll get caught up on Shallow Ground.


The Danny Boyle Shallow Ground?


Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:18 am
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A film about the Vietnam War: Night Wars

For about 20 minutes, I was actually kind of into this film. Or, at least, respecting the way that it was seemingly working around a limited budget to create something interesting and scary.

The film follows to Vietnam veterans, Trent and Jim, who begin to have vivid dreams about both a fellow soldier they had to leave behind in a POW camp and being tortured at the hands of a sadistic fellow soldier, McGregor. As the two men continue to have these disturbing dreams, injuries suffered in the dreams carry over into the real world, and they begin to fall in and out of the dreams without being asleep. Soon, the dreams begin to make themselves felt in the waking world.

After a lackluster beginning, I was actually kind of digging some of the tricks used by the filmmakers to generate mood. Specifically, there was some editing (a man turns around and a slick cut suddenly gives him a skull for a face, or a part where a man gasping back to life is pretty perfectly matched to a different man waking from a dream) that was pretty neat, especially as the film showed the men transitioning between waking and dreaming. The men discover that they can bring weapons into their dreams and decide to go on the offensive. Intriguingly, the film seems to suggest that they might be able to "pull back" their fellow soldier from the dream, and at the same time might risk McGregor making his way back as well.

This is obviously in the mold of Nightmare on Elm Street. And as the film wears on, though, there just isn't much meat on the bones of this one. It turns into a ridiculous series of scene where the men lay in bed in combat gear, firing loaded weapons into their walls as they dream. At one point something happens (something pretty disturbing and violent) involving one of the men's wives, and the film treats it with a shrug. The end is both confusing and anti-climactic.

This film has an interesting premise, and I wish it had done more to explore the guilt the men feel and also tighten up the internal logic of the dreams.

Ultimately, this is an example of wasted potential, though it's not without some neat moments.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:44 am
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Thief wrote:

First time?? Man, that film is so good. I'm even considering a rewatch for my Vietnam film.


It is.

And Takoma, yes, it's the Danny Boyle one. Also first time watch.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:49 am
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A film from the 1900s: Railway Tragedy, Haunted Hotel

Considering how short these films are, I decided to check out two of them.

You guys have done a good job of running down Haunted Hotel. It was fun and a great final shot.

Railway Tragedy is a 5-minute short following a man who commits a violent mugging of a woman on a train. The man stalks the woman from the moment she gets out of a carriage outside of the train station. The man opportunistically robs the woman and then violently attacks her when she confronts him about the missing money.

The attack in this short film was surprising in its violence and just the frightening situation. The woman is alone in the car with the man, and his escalation to physical violence is sudden and unexpected. It's pretty amazing how much suspense and plot is packed into just 5 minutes. It was interesting to see a film from this era that was a straight ahead crime-drama, as most of what I've seen from the 1900s has been comedy or horror.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:02 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

It is.

And Takoma, yes, it's the Danny Boyle one. Also first time watch.


I'm not as big a fan of this one as many people, but it does have one element that I think is pretty neat.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am
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Ok, just saw First Reformed and WTF?!

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Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:53 am
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Curious to see what the element to this you liked, Takoma.

See a first film from a director you liked
Shallow Grave (1994)

As Shallow Grave opens, Juliet (Kerry Fox), David (Christopher Eccleston), and Alex (Ewan McGregor) are interviewing people to find a fourth for their cushy apartment. Not with any serious intent, just to mess with them.

They can afford to be snarky. Juliet works at a tony hospital as a doctor, David is an accountant (!), and Alex is a reporter who got a free apartment as part of his contract.

Finally, Juliet finds an inspired choice in an author who calls himself Hugo (Keith Allen). Eventually, the three decide to give him a key.

When he doesn't answer, they check up only to realize that he's dead of a drug overdose. While searching around, they find a big suitcase full of money.

Do they go with their first instincts and call the cops? Or do they try to keep the money? And what will they do with Hugo?

The title might be a hint


I'm not opposed to films with unlikable characters. I'm opposed to bad films with unlikable characters.

And for the most part, this was pretty good. It takes some interesting turns, particularly when it shows the effects of the crime on the trio. Some pretty good laughs and it manages to generally pull off the landing in the third act. Did like how they allowed Juliet to have thoughts/feelings beyond the which guy should I choose which might have plagued similar films. Also, dug Ken Stott's cop character who keeps showing up in the second/third act of the film.

Problems? The film tries to be a bit clever for its own good with its visual tricks. The casual violence against Juliet did seem excessive at times. I wish they had done a better job of explaining the connection

Between Hugo and the two men who were attacking others trying to find out where he was


But overall, I found it a solid film.


Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:38 am
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Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Apex Predator wrote:
Curious to see what the element to this you liked, Takoma.


I appreciated, especially for an early film, some of the way that the shifting relationships were shown. I liked, for example, that
you see the bruising around her mouth after he has grabbed and held her.


Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:11 am
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Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

I think I have viewed enough of some of these to add a few films.
Quoting for posterity
Quote:
A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title:
The first film from any director you like:
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings):
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): (see list here)
A film from the 1900s:
An action or adventure film:
An animated film:
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3):
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4):
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17):
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20):
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25):
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26):
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27):


Also discord chat.
https://discord.gg/emfRpuE


Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:17 am
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