Recently Seen

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Takoma1
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:07 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:19 pm
I'm not sure if my mind is changed, but that does help clear some stuff up for me. I think where I'm at right now is
I feel like there's too much of a disconnect between Hildy being upset at Walter throughout much of the film and suddenly changing her mind at the last second. I guess I just can't see the romantic depth in there which would justify her sudden change in heart.
To me it felt like the film got cold feet about them just being professional partners.

Let's be real: from what we see, Hildy
doesn't love Walter, she loves her work. And he is part of that work. I appreciate that the first thing we learn about Hildy (via Walter) is that she's really good at her job. I can believe that she would be upset about Walter letting her give up her career without a fight, and I don't really believe the idea of romantic jealousy being a part of it.

At several times we see both of their characters be incredibly self-centered in pursuit of a story. They are both ruthless, and yet they share a similar drive for truth and justice. I think that they have a really good groundwork for a strong professional partnership, but a disaster of a romantic one. I think it's a shame that the film gives in to romantic jealousy as an emotional arc for Hildy.

On the other hand, Hildy and Walter sprinting across the country and being in a friends-with-benefits situation? Why not? But I guess that doesn't really fly in 1940.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:14 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:07 am
To me it felt like the film got cold feet about them just being professional partners.

Let's be real: from what we see, Hildy
doesn't love Walter, she loves her work. And he is part of that work. I appreciate that the first thing we learn about Hildy (via Walter) is that she's really good at her job. I can believe that she would be upset about Walter letting her give up her career without a fight, and I don't really believe the idea of romantic jealousy being a part of it.

At several times we see both of their characters be incredibly self-centered in pursuit of a story. They are both ruthless, and yet they share a similar drive for truth and justice. I think that they have a really good groundwork for a strong professional partnership, but a disaster of a romantic one. I think it's a shame that the film gives in to romantic jealousy as an emotional arc for Hildy.

On the other hand, Hildy and Walter sprinting across the country and being in a friends-with-benefits situation? Why not? But I guess that doesn't really fly in 1940.
That makes sense. Thanks for your input. Initially, I was surprised at
how the two of them could still love each other considering all the shenanigans Walter pulled, but yeah, it makes more sense that they didn't and instead stayed together so they could work on the newspaper together.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:18 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:04 am
For me it's basically a grungier, weirder remake of a 60's film that I'm hesitant to name as it could be considered spoilery, for either film.
Dang! Well color me intrigued either way.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:27 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:14 am
That makes sense. Thanks for your input. Initially, I was surprised at
how the two of them could still love each other considering all the shenanigans Walter pulled, but yeah, it makes more sense that they didn't and instead stayed together so they could work on the newspaper together.
I think that the most progressive part of the film is simply its acknowledgement that Hildy is the best. And not the best "for a woman". She's just really, really good at her job. And we actually see her working hard for her stories, not just with the usual "female arsenal" of seducing men or whatever. She's willing to put herself in danger, and she is powerfully motivated to find the truth and be adventurous.

The whole
"OH thank God you actually love me!" bit at the end is garbage. At my first watch I found it off-putting (especially as it reduces Hildy to a typical "emotional woman" trope), but now I choose to just ignore it. Hildy and Walter aren't going to be married. They're going to continue to be professional partners who sometimes have great hate-sex on the way to their next story.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 am

Little Women was everything I had hoped it would be. Just a wonderful, imaginative telling of the story and the author's life. The way that the story of the novel and also the story of being a woman who wants to write overlap is really brilliant. The film is sincere, and it elevates the moments where it chooses to go meta.

Also, I saw it in the best setting possible: in the middle of a row of lady friends, all of us crying our eyes out for about the last 60 minutes of running time.

This is the first time I think I've ever heard other people crying in a theater, and it made for a different and more intimate viewing experience. When Jo tells Beth "Please, fight!" there was an audible small sob from somewhere in front of me.

It was really refreshing to watch a film that was just about people. The conflicts are all inter-personal, and yet there aren't any "bad guys"--there is empathy for every single person who appears on screen. Loved it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:43 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 am
Little Women was everything I had hoped it would be. Just a wonderful, imaginative telling of the story and the author's life. The way that the story of the novel and also the story of being a woman who wants to write overlap is really brilliant. The film is sincere, and it elevates the moments where it chooses to go meta.

Also, I saw it in the best setting possible: in the middle of a row of lady friends, all of us crying our eyes out for about the last 60 minutes of running time.

This is the first time I think I've ever heard other people crying in a theater, and it made for a different and more intimate viewing experience. When Jo tells Beth "Please, fight!" there was an audible small sob from somewhere in front of me.

It was really refreshing to watch a film that was just about people. The conflicts are all inter-personal, and yet there aren't any "bad guys"--there is empathy for every single person who appears on screen. Loved it.
I also saw that one and really enjoyed it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:40 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:43 am
I also saw that one and really enjoyed it.
I've heard basically only really good things about it from everyone I know who has seen it (older, younger, men, women, people who read the book, people who didn't read the book, etc). I was starting to worry that it wouldn't live up to the hype, and I'm so pleased at how much I loved it. At one point someone next to me moved in her seat and her fitbit or apple watch or something turned on and I saw the time and I was shocked because apparently two hours had passed and it really didn't feel like it.

The more I reflect on it the more I like it. And the casting was SO perfect. I loved Meryl Streep as Aunt March--she's such an interesting character: a woman who at once sidesteps marriage on her own, and yet feels a sort of desperation that the March girls not end up in poverty because they chose love or a career over a good match.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:48 am

I was supposed to see Little Women tonight but my sister in law cancelled so we’re all rescheduling for tomorrow evening. Pretty irked so I’m gonna watch Somewhere instead.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:28 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:07 am
To me it felt like the film got cold feet about them just being professional partners.

Let's be real: from what we see, Hildy
doesn't love Walter, she loves her work. And he is part of that work. I appreciate that the first thing we learn about Hildy (via Walter) is that she's really good at her job. I can believe that she would be upset about Walter letting her give up her career without a fight, and I don't really believe the idea of romantic jealousy being a part of it.

At several times we see both of their characters be incredibly self-centered in pursuit of a story. They are both ruthless, and yet they share a similar drive for truth and justice. I think that they have a really good groundwork for a strong professional partnership, but a disaster of a romantic one. I think it's a shame that the film gives in to romantic jealousy as an emotional arc for Hildy.

On the other hand, Hildy and Walter sprinting across the country and being in a friends-with-benefits situation? Why not? But I guess that doesn't really fly in 1940.
Yeah, that's what never worked for me about the film, and it's one I really enjoy for what it is, but the movie basically ends up relying on the notion that deep down every woman no matter what she has going wants more than anything to be in love with a man, so she basically just falls right back in his arms despite, you know, the entire movie.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:29 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:27 am
I think that the most progressive part of the film is simply its acknowledgement that Hildy is the best. And not the best "for a woman". She's just really, really good at her job. And we actually see her working hard for her stories, not just with the usual "female arsenal" of seducing men or whatever. She's willing to put herself in danger, and she is powerfully motivated to find the truth and be adventurous.

The whole
"OH thank God you actually love me!" bit at the end is garbage. At my first watch I found it off-putting (especially as it reduces Hildy to a typical "emotional woman" trope), but now I choose to just ignore it. Hildy and Walter aren't going to be married. They're going to continue to be professional partners who sometimes have great hate-sex on the way to their next story.
Yes, this is basically what I'm saying.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:34 am

Saw Frances Ha, finally.
I'll write it up in my thread eventually, but I have to say, it was exactly what I expected, which is why I haven't watched it til now, and while I thought there was a lot of good to take away from it, it didn't exactly blow my doors off and the ending felt totally unearned.
It was good enough, I guess, but I was really hoping I'd be wrong and it would be more than it was. Which was basically a smaller version of a Woody Allen film.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:59 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:34 am
Saw Frances Ha, finally.
I'll write it up in my thread eventually, but I have to say, it was exactly what I expected, which is why I haven't watched it til now, and while I thought there was a lot of good to take away from it, it didn't exactly blow my doors off and the ending felt totally unearned.
It was good enough, I guess, but I was really hoping I'd be wrong and it would be more than it was. Which was basically a smaller version of a Woody Allen film.
I thought that it was an incredibly accurate portrait of a post-college millenial who is reluctant to embrace the realities of adulthood. I may not have always liked the characters, but they all felt very, very real to me. I thought that the ending was earned (if maybe a bit optimistic), and reflected the intersection of adulthood and creative expression that can be so challenging for artists as they leave the sheltered setting of an academic environment.

Stylistically, I also really liked it.

I don't think it's top 10 material, per se, but I think it has its own quiet power.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:04 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 am
Little Women was everything I had hoped it would be. Just a wonderful, imaginative telling of the story and the author's life. The way that the story of the novel and also the story of being a woman who wants to write overlap is really brilliant. The film is sincere, and it elevates the moments where it chooses to go meta.

Also, I saw it in the best setting possible: in the middle of a row of lady friends, all of us crying our eyes out for about the last 60 minutes of running time.

This is the first time I think I've ever heard other people crying in a theater, and it made for a different and more intimate viewing experience. When Jo tells Beth "Please, fight!" there was an audible small sob from somewhere in front of me.

It was really refreshing to watch a film that was just about people. The conflicts are all inter-personal, and yet there aren't any "bad guys"--there is empathy for every single person who appears on screen. Loved it.
Saw it this morning and couldn't agree more. I managed to keep my sobbing silent, but I reached that point where the tears were just pouring down my face and I didn't even bother to wipe them away anymore. Like what's the point? I'm clearly not done crying yet.
It's very rare for me to watch a film twice in a month, let alone a week, but I could easily sit through this again tomorrow. The cast was perfect, and at no time did it feel like a self-important period piece, which it could have easily fallen into. Greta really knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:14 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:40 am
I've heard basically only really good things about it from everyone I know who has seen it (older, younger, men, women, people who read the book, people who didn't read the book, etc). I was starting to worry that it wouldn't live up to the hype, and I'm so pleased at how much I loved it. At one point someone next to me moved in her seat and her fitbit or apple watch or something turned on and I saw the time and I was shocked because apparently two hours had passed and it really didn't feel like it.

The more I reflect on it the more I like it. And the casting was SO perfect. I loved Meryl Streep as Aunt March--she's such an interesting character: a woman who at once sidesteps marriage on her own, and yet feels a sort of desperation that the March girls not end up in poverty because they chose love or a career over a good match.
I wasn't sure if it would live up to the hype as well, but yeah, it definitely did. It had a fantastic ensemble cast and a really compelling storyline which I was on board with throughout the entire film. I liked seeing the characters evolve and the parallels between them as the film went on. I also liked the ending quite a lot. The more I think about it, the more I can see it making my top 10 of this year.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:14 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:59 am
I thought that it was an incredibly accurate portrait of a post-college millenial who is reluctant to embrace the realities of adulthood. I may not have always liked the characters, but they all felt very, very real to me. I thought that the ending was earned (if maybe a bit optimistic), and reflected the intersection of adulthood and creative expression that can be so challenging for artists as they leave the sheltered setting of an academic environment.

Stylistically, I also really liked it.

I don't think it's top 10 material, per se, but I think it has its own quiet power.
Well, I don't disagree with most of what you say, just the ending being earned which, I just finished the film and I really thought it was an astonishing leap to take without any motivation whatsoever, everything we've learned about the character up to that point indicating that she will not do what she eventually does and then she just does because there are only 12 minutes left in the movie. The rest I agree with you, it was very real and very accurate and I thought the style was good, very very Woody Allen, but good. It's not really the kind of movie I enjoy so much as I really don't like watching incredibly painful awkwardness, but I actually know someone a lot like Frances, except that she got mostly has her life shit together. In this way, I thought the relationships were very real and reminded of people I actually know, rather than entertaining caricatures of people I know.
I mean, overall I'd say I liked the movie, and Gerwig was really just fantastic, so so real, it's just that with all the buzz about it, I expected it to be more than exactly what it appeared to be from watching half of the trailer 7 or 8 years ago (I only watched half because at that point that I said to myself, "Ok, you know what this is, looks good enough to put in the queue, but no hurry.") It's definitely a good enough movie, just nothing earth-shaking and not without one significant flaw, IMO.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:15 am

Captain Terror wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:04 am
Saw it this morning and couldn't agree more. I managed to keep my sobbing silent, but I reached that point where the tears were just pouring down my face and I didn't even bother to wipe them away anymore. Like what's the point? I'm clearly not done crying yet.
It's very rare for me to watch a film twice in a month, let alone a week, but I could easily sit through this again tomorrow. The cast was perfect, and at no time did it feel like a self-important period piece, which it could have easily fallen into. Greta really knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned.
Fuck.
I kinda wanna see this movie, but I cry in movies a LOT and I really don't wanna make a public blubbering mess of myself.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:24 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:15 am
Fuck.
I kinda wanna see this movie, but I cry in movies a LOT and I really don't wanna make a public blubbering mess of myself.
Ha! Well, like I said at one point I just stopped caring about my neighbors and let it flow. Happy parts, sad parts, whatever, I was just in a state of tears for most of it. No regrets. #YOLO
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:34 am

Captain Terror wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:04 am
Saw it this morning and couldn't agree more. I managed to keep my sobbing silent, but I reached that point where the tears were just pouring down my face and I didn't even bother to wipe them away anymore. Like what's the point? I'm clearly not done crying yet.
It's very rare for me to watch a film twice in a month, let alone a week, but I could easily sit through this again tomorrow. The cast was perfect, and at no time did it feel like a self-important period piece, which it could have easily fallen into. Greta really knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, when I realized that both people next to me were wiping away tears (starting from the beach scene with Beth onward) I was just like "OH well!" and stopped trying.
Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:15 am
Fuck.
I kinda wanna see this movie, but I cry in movies a LOT and I really don't wanna make a public blubbering mess of myself.
I don't know how much Gerwig was considering her poor audience member, but after a really intense like 40 minutes toward the end, you get a respite and some really nice sequences. It was like tears of sadness turned into tears of joy, which then just turned into a big smile on my face. By the time the lights came up, we were all smiles. Also: everyone else will be crying. If you're watching Little Women with someone and they aren't crying run. That person is a cyborg.
Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:14 am
Well, I don't disagree with most of what you say, just the ending being earned which, I just finished the film and I really thought it was an astonishing leap to take without any motivation whatsoever, everything we've learned about the character up to that point indicating that she will not do what she eventually does and then she just does because there are only 12 minutes left in the movie.
I kind of disagree. I think that throughout the whole film there are times that you can feel that the way she is approaching life is neither okay nor sustainable. She ignores the social cues (like at the awkward dinner conversation) because she does not want to face having to change her life. But then comes the Paris trip. To me, that is the turning point in the film.
Frances has a very naive notion of what it means to be an adult. She has taken the wrong lessons in terms of what it means to be charming. What should be adorable spontaneity is actually impulsive behavior that comes with consequences. She has trapped herself by basing her life on something she cannot probably achieve and has been coasting in denial, kicking the can down the road.

I think that after Paris she has a wake-up call. She hits a wall, so to speak, and has to go through a painful re-evaluation of her own life.
I have a close friend who isn't an artist but is a zookeeper. Her passion is for animals. And yet it is really hard to "climb the ranks" when it comes to zookeeping. I have watched her struggle to reconcile being an independent adult with the difficulty of finding paying work that incorporates her love of animals. She did hit a turning point a few years ago (also as she hit her mid/late 20s). And while she didn't find the same satisfactory compromise that Frances does in the film, that life shift did happen pretty quickly.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:49 am

Book of Eli was . . . kind of dumb.

It's like everything is okay (or at times good) but it's all built on the foundation of the script which is self-serious garbage.

I was especially irked at the end when
it was supposed to be some twist that he was blind and the bible was braile. I thought that was obvious from about 15 minutes into the film.

And then, whups, he's dead now for no reason.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:05 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:49 am
Book of Eli was . . . kind of dumb.

It's like everything is okay (or at times good) but it's all built on the foundation of the script which is self-serious garbage.

I was especially irked at the end when
it was supposed to be some twist that he was blind and the bible was braile. I thought that was obvious from about 15 minutes into the film.

And then, whups, he's dead now for no reason.
It’s definitely dumb but the cast is great, the Hughes brothers had wonderful style and it was the only big budget post-apocalyptic action film for a long time (I guess Resident Evil Extinction was around that time but it was hot garbage). In a pre-Fury Road world, that silhouette one shot fight scene with a chainsaw and the long take house shoot out were the best apocalypse action in the game.

Unless I’m forgetting something big but Book of Eli scratched a shallow itch that had felt long neglected when I saw it. It’s probably the Hughes brothers’ worst film they made together (it’s better than Broken City and I haven’t seen Alpha) but I don’t think they made a bad one.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:07 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:34 am
I kind of disagree. I think that throughout the whole film there are times that you can feel that the way she is approaching life is neither okay nor sustainable. She ignores the social cues (like at the awkward dinner conversation) because she does not want to face having to change her life. But then comes the Paris trip. To me, that is the turning point in the film.
Frances has a very naive notion of what it means to be an adult. She has taken the wrong lessons in terms of what it means to be charming. What should be adorable spontaneity is actually impulsive behavior that comes with consequences. She has trapped herself by basing her life on something she cannot probably achieve and has been coasting in denial, kicking the can down the road.

I think that after Paris she has a wake-up call. She hits a wall, so to speak, and has to go through a painful re-evaluation of her own life.
I have a close friend who isn't an artist but is a zookeeper. Her passion is for animals. And yet it is really hard to "climb the ranks" when it comes to zookeeping. I have watched her struggle to reconcile being an independent adult with the difficulty of finding paying work that incorporates her love of animals. She did hit a turning point a few years ago (also as she hit her mid/late 20s). And while she didn't find the same satisfactory compromise that Frances does in the film, that life shift did happen pretty quickly.
Well, I would agree with you if
the trip to Paris appeared to be the catalyst of anything, but it doesn't at all, the movie goes on for a while after that with her actually continuing on a downward trend and nothing really seems to be changing at all and then she just suddenly is in these new circumstances that show that she, completely out of the blue, finally fucking got it and got her shit together and even achieves significant things without seemingly any catalyst at all. She's living in a dorm, post-Paris, working as an RA and wishing she was in the dance class and Sophie gets drunk and tells spends the night but then leaves again (which was obviously coming) and then in the very next scene Frances has her shit already together working for the dance instructor and there's one scene of her seemingly choreographing an entire group of people and then boom its her big show, her life is great and the movie is over. There's no wall. There is no catalytic event or moment or series of events of moments, she's as much of a fuckup as she has been at any point in the movie and Paris is a ways in the rearview mirror and it seems like its gonna be one of those movies where the protagonist doesn't learn anything and doesn't change (like Blue Jasmine) and then, suddenly, with no roadsigns or anything, everything just resolves in the last 10 minutes. I don't know when it was earned, I literally just finished the movie like an hour or so ago, it's really fresh in my mind, and I don't think I missed anything.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:06 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:05 am
It’s definitely dumb but the cast is great, the Hughes brothers had wonderful style and it was the only big budget post-apocalyptic action film for a long time (I guess Resident Evil Extinction was around that time but it was hot garbage). In a pre-Fury Road world, that silhouette one shot fight scene with a chainsaw and the long take house shoot out were the best apocalypse action in the game.

Unless I’m forgetting something big but Book of Eli scratched a shallow itch that had felt long neglected when I saw it. It’s probably the Hughes brothers’ worst film they made together (it’s better than Broken City and I haven’t seen Alpha) but I don’t think they made a bad one.
It had really good elements (the cast, the style), but it was all in service of a narrative that I found hollow. I mean, the film is two solid hours long. Why? So that we can be like
*GASP* "It's the BIBLE?!?!?!"
.

There's fun dumb-action, but this is a film that takes itself so seriously that I had a hard time enjoying it.
Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:07 am
Well, I would agree with you if
the trip to Paris appeared to be the catalyst of anything, but it doesn't at all, the movie goes on for a while after that with her actually continuing on a downward trend and nothing really seems to be changing at all and then she just suddenly is in these new circumstances that show that she, completely out of the blue, finally fucking got it and got her shit together and even achieves significant things without seemingly any catalyst at all. She's living in a dorm, post-Paris, working as an RA and wishing she was in the dance class and Sophie gets drunk and tells spends the night but then leaves again (which was obviously coming) and then in the very next scene Frances has her shit already together working for the dance instructor and there's one scene of her seemingly choreographing an entire group of people and then boom its her big show, her life is great and the movie is over. There's no wall. There is no catalytic event or moment or series of events of moments, she's as much of a fuckup as she has been at any point in the movie and Paris is a ways in the rearview mirror and it seems like its gonna be one of those movies where the protagonist doesn't learn anything and doesn't change (like Blue Jasmine) and then, suddenly, with no roadsigns or anything, everything just resolves in the last 10 minutes. I don't know when it was earned, I literally just finished the movie like an hour or so ago, it's really fresh in my mind, and I don't think I missed anything.
I think that Paris is a catalyst.
It's the point where Frances begins to actually see the way that her life is going downhill. No, it isn't some magical wake-up moment, but it is when she begins to see the path that she is on. The lies that she tells to Sophie (and later Colleen) spell out what she wants from life. But then she goes back home and begins to appreciate that she's not 22 anymore. She isn't a college student. There is a distance between her and that phase of her life. None of the other (much younger) workers find her cool or interesting. But it's the closest thing she can get to the last time that she was popular and optimistic and successful.

But then in the scene where Sophie is drunk in the dorm room, Frances realizes what a dumb game they have both been playing. That her lies about touring or about getting a different job serve no purpose. She's been projecting a false image of success but at the same time doing nothing to move herself toward that vision. If anything, she is regressing--literally back to school and surrounded by people who might not be that much younger, but who are in a completely different phase of life. This is where Frances really does change. Sophie's stories of being miserable in Japan but putting on a smiling face are just a different version of what Frances has been doing. And what's the point?

So Frances accepts the bookkeeping job. And free of the need for clout, she is able to find a way to express her creativity in a way that makes her happy. In the final act, Frances finally stops looking backward for happiness and instead dares to look forward in an honest way.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:05 am

I saw the restoration of Satantango on the big screen. Charming! *humble brag*

Takeaways:

I've always been ambivalent about Tarr while weirdly liking this film, but I may have turned the corner into just giving him the benefit of the doubt. That extra detail does that to people.

The curator showed the container it came in, which made it look like radioactive material.

I love that it establishes from the get-go that the film will move at cow-speed. Must be among one of the greatest opening shots.

Irimias does have some Hungarian charisma.

The doctor is the least healthy person in the community. He also has the best noises.

The cat business is still the most uncomfortable part.

When the accordion is recorded in-scene, it's vastly better than the titular accordion with the drunken cast make-work dancing and Schmidt walking around with bread on his head to a flat, pre-recorded, insufferably repetitive melody. What I'm assuming is supposed to be the actual Satantango (which isn't even a tango), is basically a Family Guy joke predicated on drawing shit out way too long.

Deciding pee breaks may not be important but feels like it at the time.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:19 am

If I really wanted to play devil's advocate when it comes to 1917, I could focus on a few, minor-level issues that kept it from reaching true greatness for me, such as the way its central, single take premise leads to a few setpieces that are somewhat predictably timed to deliver the periodic jolt to the senses, or the way the overly smooth cinematography could've benefited from some more chaotic, "as it happens"-style camerawork (I know it's become a bit of a War movie cliche over the past few decades, but that's because it's effective, dangit), and because of that, I do feel that the film would've been at least slightly better if it had just utilized a few long takes for the big setpieces, ala Children Of Men, while going with a more traditional filmmaking approach otherwise.

However, that being said, those issues become mostly irrelevant in light of what the mega-extended take conceit brings to the film, which is the sensorily immersive way it conveys to us the utterly draining experience of war, and the fundamental heroism required to merely survive it, with the camera dutifully following the central grunts through miles of disorientingly similar, maze-like trenches, muddy, corpse-filled no man's lands, and hollow, bombed-out husks of buildings, making us feel every single trudging footstep of their journey through this manmade Hell throughout the 2 hour runtime, almost never able to use the "blinking" of edits in order to look away from the onscreen horrors (because if the characters can't, why should we?). And such technical aspects end up enhancing the film's best quality, which is its deep, underlying sense of humanity, as Mendes takes the time to slow things down when needed for the quieter, intimate moments, patiently lingering on the sights of young enlistees slowly, agonizingly bleeding to death, women huddling with hungry infants in dim, dank basements in the hopes of somehow surviving, or when, after our last surviving protagonist has finally achieved his unfathomably arduous task, he takes a moment to enjoy a (surely temporary) moment of serenity underneath a tree, taking a previously-unseen photo of his wife and children out of his Army coat, and turning it around to reveal a simple, handwritten request, one that so many soldiers were unable to fulfill: "Come back".
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:56 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:06 am

I think that Paris is a catalyst.
But then in the scene where Sophie is drunk in the dorm room, Frances realizes what a dumb game they have both been playing. That her lies about touring or about getting a different job serve no purpose. She's been projecting a false image of success but at the same time doing nothing to move herself toward that vision. If anything, she is regressing--literally back to school and surrounded by people who might not be that much younger, but who are in a completely different phase of life. This is where Frances really does change. Sophie's stories of being miserable in Japan but putting on a smiling face are just a different version of what Frances has been doing. And what's the point?

So Frances accepts the bookkeeping job. And free of the need for clout, she is able to find a way to express her creativity in a way that makes her happy. In the final act, Frances finally stops looking backward for happiness and instead dares to look forward in an honest way.
If any of that was actually shown, I would agree, but it's not. Yes all the things you say about what she is is true, but no sign whatsoever that
she actually realizes it or is changing or even sees that she should is ever on screen. She's really kinda, as you say, regressed even further. Then she just suddenly in the very next scene has already changed and we are really looking at her already through the process and succeeding and happy with no work by the character or the filmmakers ever seen by the audience.
That was frustrating.

Edit: Just to be sure I wasn't crazy, I just went back and watched the last 20 minutes of the movie.
There's nothing between Paris and the sudden complete turnaround that indicates that the two are linked in any way and the previous scene, like hard-cut to her suddenly working, dressed like an adult, gettin shit done, is her waking up to Sophie's note, which, like most of the movie contains nothing earth-shattering just, "call me, there are no charges", she chases after Sophie again, seeming to show that she is still totally dependent on her friendship, and then we go to the hard-cut to life already totally changed. From that moment til the credits roll is exactly 5 1/2 minutes. There's just nothing on-screen that earns the ending. It's just a thing that happens, almost independent of the previous hour and twenty minutes and makes everything better.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:04 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:56 pm
If any of that was actually shown, I would agree, but it's not. Yes all the things you say about what she is is true, but no sign whatsoever that
she actually realizes it or is changing or even sees that she should is ever on screen. She's really kinda, as you say, regressed even further. Then she just suddenly in the very next scene has already changed and we are really looking at her already through the process and succeeding and happy with no work by the character or the filmmakers ever seen by the audience.
That was frustrating.
I would argue that it is on screen, but it's just not an explicit moment.
Going to Paris is an impulsive action, and one that Frances is still (literally) paying for much later.

So she returns to the college, but moment by moment discovers you can't go home again. The shot of Frances in the backseat of the car drives home the pathetic nature of it all, and you can hear that in her voice as she directs Patch to drop her off at her dorm.

Then comes the conversation with Sophie, where Frances realizes that Sophie has been putting on a false front as well. When Sophie tells Frances that they've always been competitive, that comes as a surprise to Frances, and you can see her mentally recalculating things a bit. The two indulge in one last mutual fantasy (moving back to New York, having neighboring apartments in Brooklyn), but in the morning Sophie just leaves her a note. As Frances chases after them like a child whose parents are leaving, she looks down at her own bare feet. It's ridiculous. And for the first time, Frances seems to realize that it's ridiculous in a way that needs to be changed. I buy this moment as a moment that Frances decides that she can't be this half-baked version of herself anymore.

I don't think that the film is really "about" Frances getting her life together, per se. I think that it's more of an exploration of the transition from young adulthood, and the way that some people flounder when the structures that were previously around them no longer exist. It's about how hard it is to let go of the idea of your own potential, and how clinging to a past self can keep you from moving forward.
Edit: Just to be sure I wasn't crazy, I just went back and watched the last 20 minutes of the movie.
There's nothing between Paris and the sudden complete turnaround that indicates that the two are linked in any way and the previous scene, like hard-cut to her suddenly working, dressed like an adult, gettin shit done, is her waking up to Sophie's note, which, like most of the movie contains nothing earth-shattering just, "call me, there are no charges", she chases after Sophie again, seeming to show that she is still totally dependent on her friendship, and then we go to the hard-cut to life already totally changed. From that moment til the credits roll is exactly 5 1/2 minutes. There's just nothing on-screen that earns the ending. It's just a thing that happens, almost independent of the previous hour and twenty minutes and makes everything better.
I don't think that many life changes are "earned". I think that sometimes something wears at you and wears at you and one day you just make a change. You don't have to hit rock bottom, you don't have to have some profound sudden realization, you just know that things need to be different.

I think that
after being left by Sophie (with its very one-night-stand vibe), Frances realizes how silly it is that she's been putting on this act for herself and others. In fact, I think that everything from Sophie's behavior to her own admissions about their friendship are what finally allow Frances to snap out of it. She looks at her bare feet, and the reason they are bare is because Sophie made her take off her socks in her own bed. I think that in this moment of looking at her feet, she realizes the unhealthy dynamic in their friendship.

I think that taking the job at the dance studio just has a ripple effect. She's actually earning a steady income, so she can afford a place to live. No longer afraid of failure, she's freed creatively to begin choreographing again (and I think it's really significant that we don't see her dance at the end) and find joy in that self-expression. I also think it's significant that Frances and Sophie are kept separate in the final sequence at the dance show. Sophie was the last true enabler that Frances had. So when Frances becomes disillusioned with her friend, it's the last piece that needs to click into place to push her toward a more mature decision.
It's a film that makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, and one that mirrors the experience of a lot of "creatives" I knew in college.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:53 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:04 am

It's a film that makes a lot of intuitive sense to me
Frances Ha spoilers below:


This is what I appreciate about Frances Ha. It gives enough information for the audience to instinctively understand what is happening to her internally. We are all well versed enough in the language of these sorts of films that it doesn't feel necessary for us to actually see the steps she takes or witness the work she puts into turning her life around. It instead chooses to be a film about the moments that lead up to the point where the light turns on in her head. That's it. That is what it is interested in. The final scenes are just an epilogue to show us she eventually lands on her feet. While it obviously wouldn't be out of place to show what actually happens to her during this moment of transition, most films would even give us some kind of musically choreographed montage to let us know this leg work is happening, do we really have to be shown every part of what is already an overly trotted out trope of a story? If we already know how it would basically play out, why should we be frustrated that they choose not to put it in? I'm positive we can fill in all hose blanks ourselves. Hell, I didn't even notice they didn't show any of these things until I just read the above exchange, and I've watched it a couple of times already.

Frankly, I would love for even more films to cut out as much of this narrative clutter as they feel they are free to. More often than not, the need to follow these sorts of story beats is what bogs films down and keeps them from really being allowed to breathe, or simply just explore moments off to the side of the routine narrative.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 am

I really liked the second half of Little Women and consider it a much stronger effort than Ladybird, even if it’s more uneven. Gerwig has grown a lot formally and her composition has grown much more complex.

The first half felt a slog. It may be because I watched it while exhausted but I struggled to give it my full attention until a pivotal change that punctuates the halfway point.

Also, Chalamet just rubs me the wrong way. I find him an unpleasant presence that never quite feels organic to me. My wife adamantly disagrees. I’m fearful for how this will impact Dune.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:27 am

Personally, I would've liked a montage of Gerwig pulling a sleigh and fighting a robot. Not in Little Women, I mean. That would've been a little much.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:48 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 am

The second half felt a slog.
Balderdash!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:59 am

1917 is pretty, pretty good. Better than Nolankirk? I dunno, maybe, who cares.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:30 am

I also saw 1917 and thought it was pretty fantastic. I agree with DaMU when he said that it may be an anti-war film. Instead of the action coming off as exciting, there was a strong senseless feel to it, in which much of it had me raging at the characters onscreen for their actions. Even some other scenes had me experiencing more fear for the characters lives than getting the impression that the film was thrilling entertainment. It has some truly suspenseful and jaw-dropping moments (I kind of wish I didn't see the trailer since it showed a couple of them) and some excellent cinematography. I think I like it more than Dunkirk.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:17 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:04 am
I would argue that it is on screen, but it's just not an explicit moment.
Going to Paris is an impulsive action, and one that Frances is still (literally) paying for much later.

So she returns to the college, but moment by moment discovers you can't go home again. The shot of Frances in the backseat of the car drives home the pathetic nature of it all, and you can hear that in her voice as she directs Patch to drop her off at her dorm.

Then comes the conversation with Sophie, where Frances realizes that Sophie has been putting on a false front as well. When Sophie tells Frances that they've always been competitive, that comes as a surprise to Frances, and you can see her mentally recalculating things a bit. The two indulge in one last mutual fantasy (moving back to New York, having neighboring apartments in Brooklyn), but in the morning Sophie just leaves her a note. As Frances chases after them like a child whose parents are leaving, she looks down at her own bare feet. It's ridiculous. And for the first time, Frances seems to realize that it's ridiculous in a way that needs to be changed. I buy this moment as a moment that Frances decides that she can't be this half-baked version of herself anymore.

I don't think that the film is really "about" Frances getting her life together, per se. I think that it's more of an exploration of the transition from young adulthood, and the way that some people flounder when the structures that were previously around them no longer exist. It's about how hard it is to let go of the idea of your own potential, and how clinging to a past self can keep you from moving forward.


I don't think that many life changes are "earned". I think that sometimes something wears at you and wears at you and one day you just make a change. You don't have to hit rock bottom, you don't have to have some profound sudden realization, you just know that things need to be different.

I think that
after being left by Sophie (with its very one-night-stand vibe), Frances realizes how silly it is that she's been putting on this act for herself and others. In fact, I think that everything from Sophie's behavior to her own admissions about their friendship are what finally allow Frances to snap out of it. She looks at her bare feet, and the reason they are bare is because Sophie made her take off her socks in her own bed. I think that in this moment of looking at her feet, she realizes the unhealthy dynamic in their friendship.

I think that taking the job at the dance studio just has a ripple effect. She's actually earning a steady income, so she can afford a place to live. No longer afraid of failure, she's freed creatively to begin choreographing again (and I think it's really significant that we don't see her dance at the end) and find joy in that self-expression. I also think it's significant that Frances and Sophie are kept separate in the final sequence at the dance show. Sophie was the last true enabler that Frances had. So when Frances becomes disillusioned with her friend, it's the last piece that needs to click into place to push her toward a more mature decision.
It's a film that makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, and one that mirrors the experience of a lot of "creatives" I knew in college.
Well, we can go 'round in circles like this forever, I'd continue to say all of that is read into the movie by the viewer and not actually on-screen, you'll say it is or it doesn't need to be, I'll say it's not or it does, etc., etc., I don't think we're gonna find the common ground on this one. But, for what it's worth, I still liked it a good bit, I just thought it was notably flawed.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:42 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:48 am
Balderdash!
Meant to type first half. I was quite tired, you see. The second half won me over.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:29 pm

Scarface - 9/10 - This must have caused quite a stir back when it was released in 1932. I have to admit that I didn't know much about it including that the '83 Brian De Palma version was directly based on it. It's unlike any other Howard Hawks movie I've ever seen. I mean, he's responsible for countless classics but this gangster film's unparalleled violence (for it's time) along with it's moments of dark humor had to have been revolutionary for it's day. There are a number of neat editing tricks that may or may not have been used before (I'm not sure) but add to the sense that this was and will continue to be a seminal film. Paul Muni does his usual emoting-like-a-motherf*cker to great effect plus now I know where that George Raft flipping a coin thing came from. And bonus points awarded for the scene with Boris Karloff bowling.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:49 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 am
Also, Chalamet just rubs me the wrong way. I find him an unpleasant presence that never quite feels organic to me. My wife adamantly disagrees. I’m fearful for how this will impact Dune.
This is the first I've seen of him and I agree. He just felt bland to me. But everyone else thinks he's super sexy hot so, *shrug*. His vibe sort of worked when they were in the younger years, but unlike all the other characters, he didn't feel like he had aged or changed at all.
Wooley wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:17 pm
Well, we can go 'round in circles like this forever, I'd continue to say all of that is read into the movie by the viewer and not actually on-screen, you'll say it is or it doesn't need to be, I'll say it's not or it does, etc., etc., I don't think we're gonna find the common ground on this one. But, for what it's worth, I still liked it a good bit, I just thought it was notably flawed.
I'll agree with you that her actual moment of transformation and the process of her getting her life together is not explicitly seen on screen.

But I will disagree with you that it should have been, or that its absence is in some way a flaw. I don't think I would have been that interested in the transition that happens.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:35 am

Domino (2019) - If I didn't already know this was directed by Brian De Palma, I doubt I would have guessed it from the movie itself. Its direction has the mostly anonymous competence of a well made network TV show, but rarely shows the panache or stylistic control of the director's other work. The closest thing to an exception is the climax, which involves a bullfighting arena and a dronecam and a "Bolero"-like bit of scoring, but even that brief bout of stylishness and voyeurism motif feels like the work of a De Palma fan trying to spice up a network TV gig rather than the real deal. The social-media-tinged Islamic terrorism plot feels bizarrely dated (which might just be a symptom of the world we live in) but also anemic, as the movie approaches with no real attitude or even zeal for mining it for plot interest, picking the blandest possible vantage point to the action when a much more interesting and engagingly-acted character is right there.
You have a guy getting revenge on an ISIS cell who kills his father in Libya, when trying to flee a crime scene, mortally wounding a cop who was secretly having an affair with another cop, and rather than picking any of those characters (who I presented in order of natural choice for main character), you pick that cop's partner who has no interesting qualities? Goddamn, movie.
Yeah, no. :rotten: for this movie.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:31 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:49 pm
I'll agree with you that her actual moment of transformation and the process of her getting her life together is not explicitly seen on screen.

But I will disagree with you that it should have been, or that its absence is in some way a flaw. I don't think I would have been that interested in the transition that happens.
I understand. And maybe I will come to see the movie differently on repeat viewings. But having watched it 1 and 1/3 times after going back to watch the last 25 minutes to have this discussion with you, I am still stuck on the word "unearned". I didn't need to see a lot but some clue, any clue that she actually was starting to get what a total fuckup she was or that there was a path to a better life beyond being a seemingly pathological liar with no sense of self-awareness or realism about the world around her and how it works, I think, was necessary if you were going to resolve the film, in the last 5 1/2 minutes, the way Baumbach and Gerwig did.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:22 pm

Ricochet is a riff on Cape Fear that gave me the strange sensation that comes with thinking "this is fun" and "this is ridiculous" at the same time. Like Shakedown, it's in a genre of thrillers that seem like they were directed by Sidney Lumet at one moment and Savage Steve Holland the next. It kicks off with cop Nick Styles (Denzel Washington) arresting supercriminal Earl Talbot Blake, a villain who John Lithgow plays with the same kind of manic intensity found in his Cliffhanger and Buckaroo Banzai roles. While in prison, Talbot concocts an elaborate revenge scheme, which he unravels on now-district attorney Stiles after fleeing prison in naturally bloody fashion. That strange sensation I mentioned intensified during this part of the movie, mostly because of how Talbot's scheme strains credulity, such as in the scene where he records Stiles saying exactly what he needs him to say in order to incriminate him. Luckily, Washington and Lithgow know what kind of movie they're in because they're serious when they need to be - Stiles’ descent into a crazy, broken man as a result of Talbot's wrath is genuinely moving - and the actors know exactly when to wink at the audience to remind us how silly the whole affair is. Director Russell Mulcahy is right there with them, as evidenced by a finale involving towers and cables not far removed from the one in his own Highlander. While hardly the best and not exactly the most memorable movie of it's kind - it's on par if not a little better than Shakedown - but how many other movies feature Denzel Washington playing basketball with Ice-T, Kevin Pollack doing his classic Captain Kirk impression and John Lithgow fighting Jesse Ventura to the death while wearing phone books as armor?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:51 pm

Torgo wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:22 pm
... and John Lithgow fighting Jesse Ventura to the death while wearing phone books as armor?
I'm glad you mentioned this. That "gladiator school" scene was my favorite of the movie.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:56 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:31 am
I didn't need to see a lot but some clue, any clue that she actually was starting to get what a total fuckup she was or that there was a path to a better life beyond being a seemingly pathological liar with no sense of self-awareness or realism about the world around her and how it works, I think, was necessary if you were going to resolve the film, in the last 5 1/2 minutes, the way Baumbach and Gerwig did.
I think that the expression on her face as she's sitting in the back seat of Patch's car says a lot.

I think that it's a film where most of the things that happen internally with her character just are not said at all. It's all there in Gerwig's body language and facial expressions. There is an ease to the way that she moves when she is happy and comfortable with herself. She begins the movie more in this mode because she's still kind of oblivious to the fact that her behaviors are not charming in a 27 year old. But as it goes on you can just see it in her face. I also watched the last part of the film (starting from her oversleeping in Paris), and it really stuck out to me this time. All of the changes to her character are there in her face and her body, but not so much in her words.

Also, her lies were told out of pride and she never really burned any bridges. It's not hard at all to imagine that she could have just called the old studio and said, "Hey, is that job still open?" And they would have replied, "Sure!".

EDIT: At first, I was just basing my responses on reading the script online, and I kind of saw where you were coming from. But then I actually rewatched it and I felt like everything unspoken was there as plain as day in the physical and facially expressive performance by Gerwig.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:56 pm

Also, her lies were told out of pride and she never really burned any bridges. It's not hard at all to imagine that she could have just called the old studio and said, "Hey, is that job still open?" And they would have replied, "Sure!".
Frances Ha spoilers:

I think this gets right to why I also don't see what really needed to be earned in her 'reformation'. It wasn't like she was some unsolvable problem child. She was basically a regular twenty something fuck up, maybe a little behind the learning curve of some of her friends. Basically every one I knew in their mid twenties was a variation on her, and those who got their shit together, didn't need a transformative moment to suddenly decide they'd make an effort in life. Frances was neither a hopeless case, nor did she rise to some insanely admirable place in life. We can simply assume she adjusted her behavior, as most people eventually do without any needing there being some biblical sized Aha moment to go along with it. They got where they were going by a series of small revelations. Then, as you say maybe they just picked up a phone and made a call to someone. Problem solved, person 'fixed'.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:33 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:51 pm
I'm glad you mentioned this. That "gladiator school" scene was my favorite of the movie.
Not the most...conventional path to the Minnesota governor's seat. :D
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:45 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 pm
I think this gets right to why I also don't see what really needed to be earned in her 'reformation'. It wasn't like she was some unsolvable problem child. She was basically a regular twenty something fuck up, maybe a little behind the learning curve of some of her friends. Basically every one I knew in their mid twenties was a variation on her, and those who got their shit together, didn't need a transformative moment to suddenly decide they'd make an effort in life. Frances was neither a hopeless case, nor did she rise to some insanely admirable place in life.
Right.

I saw a lot of myself in this character. I was offered a job at the college where I graduated, and so ended up staying in that town after graduation. When that job was over (the job was for a semester while the regular person was on sabbatical), I was enjoying living in the town, I still had some friends around, and so I stayed for the year, getting a job in an elementary school. So I liked work, I liked the town, and I liked being around friends. But then a year later I was still in the same job. The friends I had who were sophomores were graduating. Because I was making a really concerted effort to NOT be that person who hangs around a college campus, I didn't have much of a social life (it was a really small town with not much else going on aside from campus events). I just wasn't moving forward. And I could feel that I had this hesitation about moving into the next phase of my life. I was really good at being a student, I enjoyed my part time job (when I wasn't working at the school I was clerking at the video store), rent was super cheap, etc.

But eventually I was going to be some 28 year old just hanging around my old college town. Too much of my self-esteem was starting to be dependent on things I had done, not things I was doing. So one day I was just like, "Time to google some graduate programs!". And I did. Moved. Got a degree. Moved. Got a job.

There was no "come to Jesus" moment. Just a steady decline in how happy I was with myself and a growing realization that I was coasting on who I used to be and not really living in the moment. And when I did decide to make a change (investing a lot of my savings in two different teaching degrees, moving halfway across the country), it didn't actually feel like a big moment. Just something I should have done before and something that felt right.
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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:46 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:56 pm
I think that the expression on her face as she's sitting in the back seat of Patch's car says a lot.

I think that it's a film where most of the things that happen internally with her character just are not said at all. It's all there in Gerwig's body language and facial expressions. There is an ease to the way that she moves when she is happy and comfortable with herself. She begins the movie more in this mode because she's still kind of oblivious to the fact that her behaviors are not charming in a 27 year old. But as it goes on you can just see it in her face. I also watched the last part of the film (starting from her oversleeping in Paris), and it really stuck out to me this time. All of the changes to her character are there in her face and her body, but not so much in her words.

Also, her lies were told out of pride and she never really burned any bridges. It's not hard at all to imagine that she could have just called the old studio and said, "Hey, is that job still open?" And they would have replied, "Sure!".

EDIT: At first, I was just basing my responses on reading the script online, and I kind of saw where you were coming from. But then I actually rewatched it and I felt like everything unspoken was there as plain as day in the physical and facially expressive performance by Gerwig.
Well, she didn't really "oversleep in Paris", she had jet-lag. I chuckled about it because the last time I flew to Paris I also woke up at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the next day and missed lunch with my friends before they took the train to Brussels and I did not see them again.

And you're right, it's not hard to imagine that happening, but you do have to just imagine it because one moment she's looking at her feet and the next she's been employed there for some time and everything is already right in the world. The very next scene, right after the cut. If she underwent some personal growth, Baumbach and Gerwig certainly didn't want the audience to see it.

Anyway, like I said, I thought it was good. I've read every word you've said, and as I said, went back and watched the last 25-30 minutes to double check, and I am no more convinced now than when the movie ended the first time that the denouement (which, can there be a denouement in a film with no climax?) was not earned in the film. Such is life.
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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:50 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 pm
I think this gets right to why I also don't see what really needed to be earned in her 'reformation'. It wasn't like she was some unsolvable problem child. She was basically a regular twenty something fuck up, maybe a little behind the learning curve of some of her friends. Basically every one I knew in their mid twenties was a variation on her, and those who got their shit together, didn't need a transformative moment to suddenly decide they'd make an effort in life. Frances was neither a hopeless case, nor did she rise to some insanely admirable place in life. We can simply assume she adjusted her behavior, as most people eventually do without any needing there being some biblical sized Aha moment to go along with it. They got where they were going by a series of small revelations. Then, as you say maybe they just picked up a phone and made a call to someone. Problem solved, person 'fixed'.
Well, I guess I would say that I felt the movie went almost overboard convincing me as the viewer that she WAS a hopeless case as every time she has an opportunity to better herself or to commit to absolutely anything, all the way up until she suddenly already has and her entire life is inexplicably firing on all cylinders, the movie never lets up on how low she is willing to sink to avoid DOING ANYTHING that would be good for herself all the way up til it suddenly flips into, "Oh now wait, she did. You don't need to see any of it. At all. But trust us, she actually just spontaneously got ALL of her shit together and her whole life on and idealized track. The camera was off. Sorry."
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:14 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:46 pm
Anyway, like I said, I thought it was good. I've read every word you've said, and as I said, went back and watched the last 25-30 minutes to double check, and I am no more convinced now than when the movie ended the first time that the denouement (which, can there be a denouement in a film with no climax?) was not earned in the film. Such is life.
There is a climax to the film--the conversation with Sophie and her departure the next morning--but it's just not presented with the usual dramatic beats. There's no screaming match. Frances doesn't have some breakdown as she realizes her life has become a wreck (because her life isn't a wreck, it's just kind of pathetic).

You're bothered by the film not showing the steps between "barefoot and pathetic" and "gainfully employed", but all of the steps for the end were already there for the taking: we see her get offered the job (job is ready and waiting, check), we hear that Frances used to do choreography (alternative method of creative expression, check), her former roommate already knows her well and likes her (potential healthy romantic relationship, check).

A big part of what I like about the film is that it's not about Frances having to earn or fight for those things (a job, a boyfriend, a fulfilling method of creative expression). They are there for the taking (just like grad school was always going to be an easy get for me). She just had to take the leap and embrace living in a different way and thinking of herself in a different way. All Frances had to do was decide. It sounds simple, but I think it can be really daunting for a lot of people. I think that when she looks down at her feet, she decides. It's the hardest thing she does in the whole film, and I think that we do see it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:14 pm
There is a climax to the film--the conversation with Sophie and her departure the next morning--but it's just not presented with the usual dramatic beats. There's no screaming match. Frances doesn't have some breakdown as she realizes her life has become a wreck (because her life isn't a wreck, it's just kind of pathetic).

You're bothered by the film not showing the steps between "barefoot and pathetic" and "gainfully employed", but all of the steps for the end were already there for the taking: we see her get offered the job (job is ready and waiting, check), we hear that Frances used to do choreography (alternative method of creative expression, check), her former roommate already knows her well and likes her (potential healthy romantic relationship, check).

A big part of what I like about the film is that it's not about Frances having to earn or fight for those things (a job, a boyfriend, a fulfilling method of creative expression). They are there for the taking (just like grad school was always going to be an easy get for me). She just had to take the leap and embrace living in a different way and thinking of herself in a different way. All Frances had to do was decide. It sounds simple, but I think it can be really daunting for a lot of people. I think that when she looks down at her feet, she decides. It's the hardest thing she does in the whole film, and I think that we do see it.
I'm really not bothered at all. I feel like you're trying to justify what I didn't like about the film by making it sound like I somehow didn't get it because I expect a more traditional narrative form and I didn't get it. I got it. They made choices. I didn't need a montage of her getting her life together, although I got a montage of her life suddenly already being together, I just felt like without some sense achievement in there of maturity or self-awareness, things she has actually seemingly seen as terrifying, to be fled from, just having her suddenly have her life completely together and yay, she's good, roll credits, that the resolution didn't feel earned. That's it. I agree that she doesn't have to earn or fight for things, that's why she was such a frustrating character for the whole film and why she became to me an unlikable character, which had me genuinely bummed out because I wanted to like her and root for her but she is not only her own worst enemy, she's not very good for anyone else either and she gets worse as the movie goes along to the point of seeming just a hopeless case and then we cut to all-better-now, in fact, better than you might have expected.
Like I said, several times, it's fine, I fully understand the choice they made to totally downplay any sense of climax or for that matter any sense of the character actually being on a journey at all, that's fine, the movie is good, but that beat stumbles for me.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:25 pm

1917 - 8/10

Technically impressive and handsome production, this war film isn't so sappy as Private Ryan (though not with a lack of trying in some instances) and secures a more emotional connection than Dunkirk, mostly through the central performance of George MacKay. It adds virtually nothing of dramatic significance to the genre outside of its admittedly gorgeous series of panoramas. It will probably win the Oscar for BP this year, and will probably be one of the more accomplished BP winners of the decade. I'm not sure if that's a high compliment to the Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Permeation - 3/10

Christ with the croup, what kind of creative vacuum have I stepped into here? Very indie film (premiered in Portland) which is a remarkable example of how today even a modestly priced digital camera can make the emptiest art-house fungus look like truffle tagliatelle. Also like The Tenant (theme of the month), it's some schlub in a dank little room with another imaginary woman and sinister airs. It attempts to squeeze this into full-Lynch mode, minus all of Lynch's sensual grace. Instead, it broods and bitches about the darkness and art and not knowing what to art about. I don't like the term "pretentious", so instead I'll say that it's full of portentous dialogue you can expect from a 20 year old inexperienced poseur on the terrifying verge of realizing he should have been an accountant instead.
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Takoma1
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:28 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 pm
I agree that she doesn't have to earn or fight for things, that's why she was such a frustrating character for the whole film and why she became to me an unlikable character, which had me genuinely bummed out because I wanted to like her and root for her but she is not only her own worst enemy, she's not very good for anyone else either and she gets worse as the movie goes along to the point of seeming just a hopeless case and then we cut to all-better-now, in fact, better than you might have expected.
She is frustrating, but she also feels very real to me.

She makes all of her decisions out of fear (of how she will look to others and what she will have to admit to herself). She's acting out of a sort of self-defense/willful delusion. And then finally it's too much.

I think that there's a difference between being stupid/incompetent and being immature. Frances is charming in her own way, and she's clearly not a malicious or intentionally hurtful person. I never felt like she was hopeless. I think that most people--especially in their 20s--are their own worst enemy. She didn't need to become a better person, she just needed to redirect her energy and look forwards instead of backwards.

The film is mostly interested in the ways in which Frances attempts to prolong her "post college" glow, even as her peers are moving into a different phase of life. About how, by trying to stay the same person, she becomes someone who is out of the loop.

I'm trying to imagine a scene or two that would come between the moment outside the dorm and the "happy montage" at the end, and I can't think of anything that would actually add value to the film.

But, hey, I know that this film is not universally loved and that many people are just annoyed by Frances.
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