Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Discuss anything you want.
Post Reply
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:20 am

Takoma1 wrote:
I wouldn't mind if I found him more entertaining, but I don't want to spend time with any character that's grating, hero or villain. Like, he's okay. But I also think that he's easily the least engaging (not likable, just interesting) character in his own movies. It was pretty striking to see how well the other characters carried their own subplots without him.
Hm.
I guess one thing is I don't particularly like Chris Pratt. Another is that I've actually read the Guardians comics, which came well before the movie, and several others in which Starlord appears, so I know him to be a douchey man-boy that a lot of people (other characters) don't like, and whose "leadership" is often casually subverted by other members of the team, who are pretty interesting characters (both Gamora and Drax are profoundly more interesting in the comics, enough so that I almost couldn't bear them in the first Guardians and have just come to accept them over time; obviously Rocket and Groot are so awesome they could not be held by back the transition to the screen). So, actually, for me, kinda douchey Chris Pratt and his kinda douchey behavior is one of the only things the movies got RIGHT, as Gamora is a pale imitation (really just broke my heart to see it), Drax went from being this grim force of nature to being the plucky comic relief, and I really didn't understand what the hell they did with Yondu, who was "a spiritual warrior" before he became a gruff, low-rent, blue space-smuggler.
So, I'm coming from a different place because the cinematic Starlord is, for me, one of the consistencies with the characters, and delivered something that a studio like DC would never dare try - besides an anthropomorphic tree and a talking raccoon with a machine gun - a lousy hero. It's exactly what he's supposed to be.

EDIT: I don't know, I'm not sure I'm making sense, I'm exhausted from work and the gym and I have a cold, my point is that while Marvel does things like put the first black superhero on the screen, put a talking raccoon with a machine-gun on-screen, put an anthropomorphic tree on a screen, turn their most serious hero into their funniest, make the centerpiece of their cinematic universe the one who is constantly fucking things up and almost getting everyone killed, have one of their heroes admit to a suicide attempt on-screen, on and on, they put one of their intentionally least-likable characters as one of their biggest cinematic characters. But hey, the movies also aren't called Starlord, they are about the characters in the group and maybe it's a really good and even intentional thing that they are stretching out more and more with the other characters. I just like that they put a stupid asshole on-screen and said, hey, if we can do a talking raccoon, we can do this too.
But no, I do not like him. I'm just perfectly content with that.
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:38 am

Whoops, wrong thread.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:39 pm

Sorry for the delay, but this was the tally for my #JanuaryOfFirsts...

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: First Reformed
The first film from any director you like: Following
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen: Wings
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Bird Box
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): (see list here) Persona (#195, rewatch)
A film from the 1900s: The Red Spectre
An action or adventure film: Guardians of the Galaxy (rewatch)
An animated film: Incredibles 2
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): The Gold Rush
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Don't Breathe
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): Glass Chin
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Wild at Heart
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Lawless
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): An Accidental Soldier
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Good Morning, Vietnam (rewatch)

Managed to see all 15 films. I would say that all of them ranged from ok/good to great.

The best from the bunch? Not counting rewatches, probably Following.

Least favorite? An Accidental Soldier, which feels a bit cheap-ish and melodramatic at times. Not a bad film, though.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:40 pm

Unfortunately, I have my categories listed on a document on my work's computer, so I won't be able to post them all until Monday. I do remember some of the categories I had decided, so I will put those ahead, in case any of you want to know.


A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A current Best Picture nominee:
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 12, 20, 200): (see list here)
A film from the 1910s:
A comedy film:
A sequel:
A film with a duo's name in the title (doesn't have to be a couple):
A film with the word "Love" in its title:
A film from an African-American director (Black History Month):
A film from China (Chinese New Year):

I'll post the others on Monday.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:31 pm

It's early, but I have some ideas for the categories thus far:

Current Best Picture nominee/IMDB list with a 2 in its rank: Roma (2018) N
Film with the number 2 in its title: 2 States (2014) N
Film with a title with C or D at its beginning: Coco (2017) N
Film from the 1910s: Frankenstein (1910) YouTube
Comedy Film: Peter Rabbit (2018) N
Sequel: Daddy's Home 2 (2017) Prime
Film with Duo's Name in the Title: Ethel and Ernest (2017)
Film whose title has the word Love in it: Love and Friendship (2016) Prime
Film directed by an African-American: Moonlight (2016) Prime
Film from China: This is Not What I Expected (2017) N
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1936
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:27 pm

A current Best Picture nominee: Roma
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Clean, Shaven
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 12, 20, 200): Dangal (#82)
A film from the 1910s: Dante's Inferno (1911)
A comedy film: Harold and Maude
A sequel: Mad Max 2
A film with a duo's name in the title (doesn't have to be a couple): The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (might be cheating but close enough)
A film with the word "Love" in its title: In the Mood for Love
A film from an African-American director (Black History Month): BlacKkKlansman
A film from China (Chinese New Year): Spring in a Small Town
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:46 pm

Started yesterday with a comedy, Mars Attacks!, and what a delightfuly silly film that was.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:01 am

Thief wrote:Started yesterday with a comedy, Mars Attacks!, and what a delightfuly silly film that was.
I really enjoyed that back in the day.
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:22 am

I was catching up with a January leftover:

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
See an action/adventure film

As the film opens, we take a look at a bust of Lawrence in St. Paul's Cathedral as various people discuss the man it represents. A reporter trying to get the scoop can't get a clear picture.

We flashback to when he (Peter O'Toole) was a British Army Lieutenant in Cairo. Although the general objects, Mr. Dryden (Claude Rains) from the Arab Bureau sends Lawrence out to find out what Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) is doing in his rebellion against the Turks.

Once there, he rubs Sharif Ali (Omar Sharif) the wrong way, but he quickly wins the trust of Faisal particularly when he has the bold idea of attacking Aqaba on the desert side. Although he faces some criticism for this decision, he wins Ali and the other troops over. This trek eventually puts him against rival Arab leader Auda (Anthony Quinn) who had no issue letting the Turks using Aqaba in exchange for some money.

The landscapes are great, the acting is fantastic, the direction kept me interested despite the long run time.

In short, it's just about perfect. :up:
User avatar
crumbsroom
Posts: 2620
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by crumbsroom » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:58 am

Apex Predator wrote:I was catching up with a January leftover:

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
See an action/adventure film

As the film opens, we take a look at a bust of Lawrence in St. Paul's Cathedral as various people discuss the man it represents. A reporter trying to get the scoop can't get a clear picture.

We flashback to when he (Peter O'Toole) was a British Army Lieutenant in Cairo. Although the general objects, Mr. Dryden (Claude Rains) from the Arab Bureau sends Lawrence out to find out what Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) is doing in his rebellion against the Turks.

Once there, he rubs Sharif Ali (Omar Sharif) the wrong way, but he quickly wins the trust of Faisal particularly when he has the bold idea of attacking Aqaba on the desert side. Although he faces some criticism for this decision, he wins Ali and the other troops over. This trek eventually puts him against rival Arab leader Auda (Anthony Quinn) who had no issue letting the Turks using Aqaba in exchange for some money.

The landscapes are great, the acting is fantastic, the direction kept me interested despite the long run time.

In short, it's just about perfect. :up:
This movie is something that I love.
User avatar
Jinnistan
Posts: 3042
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:40 pm

Thief wrote:Started yesterday with a comedy, Mars Attacks!, and what a delightfuly silly film that was.
The film was trashed by critics on release, but it was one of those films that I saw in the theater with friends and we had a ball, slowly realizing that we were the only ones laughing. I guess people just don't like doves.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:17 pm

Jinnistan wrote: The film was trashed by critics on release, but it was one of those films that I saw in the theater with friends and we had a ball, slowly realizing that we were the only ones laughing. I guess people just don't like doves.
Ack, ack!!
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:43 pm

Thief wrote:Unfortunately, I have my categories listed on a document on my work's computer, so I won't be able to post them all until Monday. I do remember some of the categories I had decided, so I will put those ahead, in case any of you want to know.


A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A current Best Picture nominee:
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 12, 20, 200): (see list here)
A film from the 1910s:
A comedy film:
A sequel:
A film with a duo's name in the title (doesn't have to be a couple):
A film with the word "Love" in its title:
A film from an African-American director (Black History Month):
A film from China (Chinese New Year):

I'll post the others on Monday.
Ok, I've edited the OP with the current categories, but here they are anyway...

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): (see list here)
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar:
A film from the 1910s:
A film with the word "Love" in its title:
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender):
A romantic film:
A sequel:
A comedy: Mars Attacks!
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3):
A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18):
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5):
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month):
A film from John Ford (born February 1):

Suggestions welcome, as usual!
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:51 pm

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



The Gold Rush (1925)
"Man proposes, but a storm disposes"
In 1896, a group of miners discovered gold in the Klondike region, close to the Alaskan border. This triggered a massive migration of hopeful prospectors looking for fortune. However, despite their best laid plans and dreams of wealth and adventure, most of them ended up not succeeding because of nature, greed, or just plain bad luck. It is estimated that only a handful of prospectors in the area ended up becoming rich because, well, man proposes, but fate disposes; whether it's in the shape of a blizzard, a rival prospector, or anything else.

The Gold Rush follows a "lone prospector" (Charles Chaplin in his Tramp persona) as he arrives at the Klondike. When a blizzard strikes, he is forced to seek shelter inside a cabin, along with a fellow prospector (Mack Swain) and a wanted criminal (Tom Murray). Trapped inside, they have to fight to survive the weather, hunger, and themselves. This sounds like a fairly serious subject matter and a serious film, but obviously, Chaplin takes it into the world of humor, with lots of his trademark physical comedy. At many times, the film feels almost like a cartoon as we see our characters blown by gusts of wind, eating a "boiled" shoe, and tumbling back and forth inside the rickety cabin as it dangles above a precipice. But Chaplin's complete control of this type of comedy is what makes it all work, and we can't help but laugh at it. The fact that all these scenes have become iconic to the point of being homaged and/or referenced in countless other shows is a testament to that.

There is a middle story, as the "lone prospector" reaches a small town, where he falls for a woman (Georgia Hale) and tries to woo her. Unfortunately, she is not very interested in him. This middle act was a bit weaker than the first one, and at times felt more like an excuse to put the Tramp through a series of gags. Chaplin makes the most of it, with some inspired moments, but overall, I wasn't very drawn to this part. It isn't until the other prospector returns and takes the Tramp back into the mountain that the film picks up again. The ending was perhaps too convenient, but charming nonetheless.

It is said that, in many ways, The Gold Rush is a reference to Chaplin's own story of "rags to riches". Chaplin, who suffered extreme poverty during his childhood and youth, managed to hit the mother lode when he discovered the stage, eventually becoming one of the biggest and most recognizable stars in Hollywood. And one has to be in awe of his work here. The man produced, wrote, directed, starred, edited, and scored most of his films, this one included. Given the time of release, I can't help but be impressed at his direction, his performance, his use of practical special effects, and overall craft.

Grade: B+
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1936
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:55 pm

Thief wrote:The Gold Rush (1925)
Your thoughts pretty much echo mine. I liked it quite a bit, but I responded best to the scenes in the cabin over the middle parts.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:26 pm

A film from the 1900s


The Red Spectre (1907)
"We all know who the Lumière Brothers were, but very few of us have heard of Segundo de Chomón."
The above quote is included in the liner notes of an exhibition focused on film director Segundo de Chomón, and it's true. When you talk about the pioneers of early filmmaking, most people will say Méliès, the Lumière Brothers, Edison, etc. Few people will ever mention Spaniard Segundo de Chomón. Why? I have no idea. After discovering his films last year, I've read a lot about him, and I've come to the conclusion that he deserves as much, if not more, recognition than those other names. De Chomón started making films as early as 1900 and continued to do so all the way to this early death in 1927.

Co-directed with Ferdinand Zecca, The Red Spectre follows a mysterious demon (or "spectre") as he hides in a cave to perform a serious of magic tricks on a group of women. Like many of Méliès' films, this film behaves more like a magician stage act as we see the trickster, levitate women, shrink them inside bottles, or simply disappear them. That is until one of the women chooses to fight back. In terms of narrative, it isn't the most innovative. There is a loose story, but everything is just an "excuse" to create this stage act. But that's more a sign of the times than a fault on the film, since that was the way most films unfolded in this early years.

What is impressive is to see the technical craft from more than 100 years ago in play. De Chomón makes impressive use of stop-motion, perspective, props, pyrotechnics, and other tricks to make this work. There are some parts where the execution feels a bit on the cheap side (like when the spectre starts wrapping the women... in foil?), but the overall end result is still pretty good. I still don't think it was as good as The House of Ghosts, but I still think it's evidence that this man needs to be mentioned alongside all those other pioneers.

Grade: B
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 2017
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:41 pm

Thief wrote: A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18):
Wouldn't Mars Attacks fit this slot also?
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:44 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Wouldn't Mars Attacks fit this slot also?
You're right. I'll keep that in mind in case another comedy comes up.

Image
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:43 pm

What I'm leaning towards:

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): 2 States (2014) Netflix (It's a Bollywood film)
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Coco (2017) Netflix
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): #201. Roma (2018) Netflix
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Roma (2018) Netflix
A film from the 1910s: Frankenstein (1910) YouTube
A film with the word "Love" in its title: Love and Friendship (2016 Prime
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender): Ethel and Ernest (2017) Curris Center
A romantic film: This is Not What I Expected (2017) Prime
A sequel: Daddy's Home 2 (2017) Prime
A comedy: Daddy's Home 2 (2017) Prime
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3): Undefeated (2011) Netflix
A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18): Dick (1999) Tape
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5): This is Not What I Expected (2017) Netflix
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Moonlight (2016) Prime
A film from John Ford (born February 1): The Horse Soldiers (1959) Prime
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:20 pm

Apex Predator wrote:What I'm leaning towards:

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): 2 States (2014) Netflix (It's a Bollywood film)
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Coco (2017) Netflix
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): #201. Roma (2018) Netflix
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Roma (2018) Netflix
A film from the 1910s: Frankenstein (1910) YouTube
A film with the word "Love" in its title: Love and Friendship (2016 Prime
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender): Ethel and Ernest (2017) Curris Center
A romantic film: This is Not What I Expected (2017) Prime
A sequel: Daddy's Home 2 (2017) Prime
A comedy: Daddy's Home 2 (2017) Prime
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3): Undefeated (2011) Netflix
A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18): Dick (1999) Tape
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5): This is Not What I Expected (2017) Netflix
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Moonlight (2016) Prime
A film from John Ford (born February 1): The Horse Soldiers (1959) Prime
I will also try to sneak Roma in one of those categories (IMDb, Best Picture nominee), but other than that (and BlacKkKlansman, which I already saw, or Black Panther, which I will eventually see as I continue with the MCU) I have no real interest in watching any of the other nominees.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1936
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:30 pm

A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Clean, Shaven
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): Dangal (#82)
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Roma
A film from the 1910s: Dante's Inferno (1911)
A film with the word "Love" in its title:
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender): Harold and Maude
A romantic film: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
A sequel: Mad Max 2
A comedy: What We Do in the Shadows
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5): Spring in a Small Town
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Killer of Sheep
A film from John Ford (born February 1): The Quiet Man
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:43 pm

Thief wrote: I will also try to sneak Roma in one of those categories (IMDb, Best Picture nominee), but other than that (and BlacKkKlansman, which I already saw, or Black Panther, which I will eventually see as I continue with the MCU) I have no real interest in watching any of the other nominees.
How I rate my urgency in seeing the 2018 nominees:

ASAP:
Roma---For some reason, I see this one winning it.

Sooner rather than Later:
Black Panther---Had to restrain myself from seeing this one (I've been putting off Moonlight for just about a year now)
Black Klansman---Story sounds intriguing and I've heard very good things about this one.

Probably within 6-12 months:
Green Book----Been with Mahershala Ali since Free State of Jones (yes, I know he's on Moonlight), but um, isn't this just Driving Miss Daisy with the races reversed?
A Star is Born---Heard great things about Gaga here and Shallow is fine, but I fear this may be too old fashioned for my taste.
Favourite---This may surprise some, but I've found myself getting into Victoria some. So perhaps this might be up my alley?

Eh, I'll just wait for TV:
Bohemian Rhapsody---I can't tell whether it is a jukebox musical or a biopic involving Queen music. Plus, there's the whole Bryan Singer thing and I'm not sure about how accurate the plot was (got burnt by The Imitation Game).
Vice---Is this better than W? Did we need a biopic of Dick Cheney?
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:11 am

Apex Predator wrote:
How I rate my urgency in seeing the 2018 nominees:

Sooner rather than Later:
Black Panther---Had to restrain myself from seeing this one (I've been putting off Moonlight for just about a year now)
Black Klansman---Story sounds intriguing and I've heard very good things about this one.
Why are you restraining yourself from watching Black Panther?
And BlacKkKlansman is really good.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 2017
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:45 am

A comedy:
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3):

Horsefeathers (1932, Marx Bros)
Three Little Pigskins (1934, Three Stooges)
No Census, No Feeling (1940, Three Stooges)

In what has become a yearly tradition of being too angry/disappointed/jealous to watch other teams play in the Super Bowl, we decided instead to watch our favorite football-related comedies. That's life as a Saints fan. :P

I've seen all 3 of these a million times. My favorite element of these things is the cartoon logic involved. For example, if the guy with the ball runs through the end zone and out of the stadium, the defense continues chasing him down the street for some reason. Or a play is not whistled dead just because the running back (while carrying the ball) is chasing a dog down the field. Or there's no penalties called when the lead blocker is throwing banana peels at the defenders' feet. Also, leather helmets are way funnier than modern helmets.

So anyway, the real Super Bowl ended in a snooze-worthy 13-3 score. Meanwhile, Harpo won his game by scoring 4 touchdowns on one play. I'm comfortable with my choice.
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:01 pm

Wooley wrote: Why are you restraining yourself from watching Black Panther?
And BlacKkKlansman is really good.
Mainly because I've been overdue in seeing Moonlight for over a year now.

Well that, and I'm not sure how much of the other Marvel movies I need to see before giving this one a shot.

If our theater was re-releasing Black Klansman or even A Star is Born, I'd probably would have made time to see it last Sunday.

But nah, we just got Green Book and The Mule instead.
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:11 pm

Captain Terror wrote:A comedy:
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3):

Horsefeathers (1932, Marx Bros)
Three Little Pigskins (1934, Three Stooges)
No Census, No Feeling (1940, Three Stooges)

In what has become a yearly tradition of being too angry/disappointed/jealous to watch other teams play in the Super Bowl, we decided instead to watch our favorite football-related comedies. That's life as a Saints fan. :P

I've seen all 3 of these a million times. My favorite element of these things is the cartoon logic involved. For example, if the guy with the ball runs through the end zone and out of the stadium, the defense continues chasing him down the street for some reason. Or a play is not whistled dead just because the running back (while carrying the ball) is chasing a dog down the field. Or there's no penalties called when the lead blocker is throwing banana peels at the defenders' feet. Also, leather helmets are way funnier than modern helmets.

So anyway, the real Super Bowl ended in a snooze-worthy 13-3 score. Meanwhile, Harpo won his game by scoring 4 touchdowns on one play. I'm comfortable with my choice.
I was really bothered by how the NFC Championship game ended and decided not to participate in the Super Bowl shindig this time. Will agree that Harpo's performance was the real MVP (and would have been in real life as well).
User avatar
Charles
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Charles » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:41 pm

I don't know what movies to watch these days so I'll try to start using this list as a guide.

Here's those I have planned:

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Two days one night
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Cleo from 5 to 7
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 12, 20, 200): Andrei Rublev
A film from the 1910s: I'll have to look for something there, I have no clue
A comedy film: Waitress
A sequel: 5 headed shark attack? I'm at a loss for a sequel
A film with a duo's name in the title (doesn't have to be a couple): Beauty and the Beast, 1946
A film with the word "Love" in its title: The Human Condition 1: No Greater Love
A film from an African-American director (Black History Month): For Colored Girls
A film from China (Chinese New Year): Raise the Red Lantern

No idea what to watch for oscar nominations at all.
User avatar
Charles
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Charles » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:43 pm

I haven't seen Mars Attack in a long while, but I remember how everyone in my family loved it and it was really surprising to see the critical reception for it many years later. Those aliens scared me to death when I was a kid.
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:33 pm

Charles wrote:I don't know what movies to watch these days so I'll try to start using this list as a guide.

Here's those I have planned:

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Two days one night
A comedy film: Waitress
Yes!

Two Days One Night is pretty darned good. It does its themes of faith and hope with way more subtlety than every "Christian" film I've seen. Plus, a great turn from Marion Cottillard.

Waitress is quirky and a bit all over the map at times, but it has a good snarky sensibility with some sweetness in the middle. A bit of a shame that it didn't lead to more things for Keri Russell outside of Mission Impossible 3.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 2017
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:45 pm

Thief wrote:A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31)
A film set in Alaska



The Gold Rush (1925)
Grade: B+
Is this your first Chaplin?
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:07 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Is this your first Chaplin?
Fourth. I've seen The Great Dictator, The Kid, and The Circus.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Slentert
Posts: 1089
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:23 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:15 am

Apex Predator wrote:Waitress is quirky and a bit all over the map at times, but it has a good snarky sensibility with some sweetness in the middle. A bit of a shame that it didn't lead to more things for Keri Russell outside of Mission Impossible 3.
I mean, she's pretty great on The Americans.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:37 am

Slentert wrote: I mean, she's pretty great on The Americans.
Was about to say that.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:56 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Mainly because I've been overdue in seeing Moonlight for over a year now.
Ok, I don't understand how these two things are connected.

I would say you can probably watch Black Panther without having seen any of the others. The character (and a subordinate character) is introduced in an earlier film but I don't think it's necessary to have seen it, and there is little if any crossover to other Marvel films that you would need for BP.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 2017
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:54 pm

Thief wrote:
Fourth. I've seen The Great Dictator, The Kid, and The Circus.
OK, I was just gonna mention that Gold Rush was my first Chaplin many years ago and I was not so impressed at first but it has grown on me over the ensuing years.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:50 pm

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title


First Reformed (2017)
"Courage is the solution to despair, reason provides no answers. I can't know what the future will bring; we have to choose despite uncertainty. Wisdom is holding two contradictory truths in our mind, simultaneously, Hope and despair. A life without despair is a life without hope. Holding these two ideas in our head is life itself."
Life is a unique journey. From the joys of childhood discovery to teenage angst, from the apathy of young adults to the frustrations and regrets of middle age. Most of us are born and raised in an environment of hope; that adults know what they are doing, that our parents won't fail us, that life is amazing, and ultimately, that everything is awesome. But in many cases, our paths in life lead us to impending doom and despair; people and institutions will undoubtedly fail us, the world is messed up, and there is no hope in humanity but the inevitable death.

As humans, we deal with it in many ways; whether it's acceptance, apathy, faith or despair. We accept that things are the way they are and just get on with our lives, or we just don't care about the state of the world one way or the other, and also get on with our lives. We torture ourselves with thoughts of impending doom and dread for the future, or we keep the faith in something. Faith that the good people outnumber the bad ones, or that things will get better, faith that there is something beyond death, or that an otherworldly spiritual being is in control.

First Reformed deals with some of those questions and doubts, even if it doesn't necessarily answer all of the questions it poses. The film, written and directed by Paul Schrader, follows Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a somewhat introverted and conflicted minister at a small Protestant church in New York. When Mary, a young and pregnant churgoer (Amanda Seyfried) approaches him to counsel her troubled husband, an environmental activist, about the state of the world, Toller is forced to face his own insecurities and doubts. The above quote comes from a rather crucial conversation between Toller and the husband. And although Toller is trying to offer some solace to the man, he might as well be speaking to himself.

Toller, who is excellently portrayed by Ethan Hawke, is suffering himself from a crisis of faith. This has to do with a number of situations, most notably the guilt for the death of his adult son in the Iraq War for which he feels responsible, as well as a potential illness he might be suffering, but that he's not attending to. The grief and despair from both situations has pushed Toller into alcoholism. But his crisis also comes from more existential doubts about loneliness and abandonment (from people around him? from God?), and his overall purpose and role in the world. All these feelings and doubts are only heightened by his conversation with Mary's husband, Michael. The latter is being consumed by despair as he witnesses the state the world is in - because of pollution, corporate corruption, and climate change - and doesn't feel like bringing a child into the world. Toller, a burdened man already, picks up Michael's burden as he tries to do something about these issues.

First Reformed might not be a perfect film, but what it does well, it does *extremely* well. Schrader's script manages to be thought-provoking as he takes the story into interesting and unexpected places. His direction is similar, choosing a traditional steady approach to most of his shots with very concise framing. However, he is not afraid to break out of the conventional mold to push the envelope, which he does spectacularly in the last act. This is the part where I think the film might end up alienating some people, but you have to admire Schrader for his boldness in how to present his themes and close his story. The anchor of it all is Hawke, who gives an amazing display of gravitas and restraint in his performance. I admit I haven't seen any of the other nominees, but the fact that Hawke wasn't nominated for an Oscar is just baffling.

There are numerous themes floating around First Reformed. One can say it's a story about pollution, not only of the world, but of the body and the spirit. But it's also about how we perceive our purpose in this world and what we do about it. But at the heart of it all, it's a story about grief and how we deal with it; whether it's with hope or despair. There's something that can be considered maddening about it, in the way that Schrader subverts some tropes, building up to some things, but refusing to give the audience what they think they want. But I think that's part of the appeal of it. Even when all hope is gone, and we have our eyes set on the path of despair, we still hold both ideas in our head. All it takes for us is to look the other way to change our course.

Grade: A
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25440
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:29 pm

Still really want to see that :(
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:21 pm

Wooley wrote: Ok, I don't understand how these two things are connected.

I would say you can probably watch Black Panther without having seen any of the others. The character (and a subordinate character) is introduced in an earlier film but I don't think it's necessary to have seen it, and there is little if any crossover to other Marvel films that you would need for BP.
It was the whole trying to decide between two films that fit the same category.

I may have found a way to fix it so I can watch both. But the catch is that I can't download Black Panther so I'd have to watch it somewhere for a couple of hours.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 2883
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:19 am

I keep trying to watch Wings, but I'm just not feeling it. So I'm going to go on and watch some February stuff and come back to it.

Some suggestions for others (most of these are on Prime and some may be on Hulu):

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): The Second Mother
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Carnival of Souls, Catch Me Daddy, Citizen X, Curtains, Dakota Skye, Dark Water, Daybreakers, Dead Ringers, Demon, Django Kill If You Love Shoot
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): It's a Wonderful Life (#24)
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: I'm going to watch Roma. Black Panther was fine, and I think it's on Netflix.
A film from the 1910s: Um, the only one on Prime I have rated is Birth of a Nation. I'm intrigued by the description of Stella Maris.
A film with the word "Love" in its title: The Loved Ones, The Love Witch
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender): Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (I was a bit mixed on it, but know others quite like it)
A romantic film: Beyond the Lights
A sequel: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Bride of Re-Animator
A comedy: Logan Lucky, Some Like it Hot, The Burbs, Pride
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3): Ugh, not my area of interest. Maybe the documentary Head Games?
A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18): All the President's Men?
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5): Fulltime Killer
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month): 4 Little Girls (heartbreaking, but amazing), For Colored Girls (I was pretty mixed on this one, and my opinion has dropped a bit since I first watched it)
A film from John Ford (born February 1): All of his features on Amazon look like they are racist or full of horse deaths, so I might go with his documentary footage of Midway, especially after learning about it in the film Five Came Back
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:37 am

Takoma1 wrote:I keep trying to watch Wings, but I'm just not feeling it. So I'm going to go on and watch some February stuff and come back to it.

Some suggestions for others (most of these are on Prime and some may be on Hulu):

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): The Second Mother
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Carnival of Souls, Catch Me Daddy, Citizen X, Curtains, Dakota Skye, Dark Water, Daybreakers, Dead Ringers, Demon, Django Kill If You Love Shoot
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 20, 32, 42): It's a Wonderful Life (#24)
A film currently nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: I'm going to watch Roma. Black Panther was fine, and I think it's on Netflix.
A film from the 1910s: Um, the only one on Prime I have rated is Birth of a Nation. I'm intrigued by the description of Stella Maris.
A film with the word "Love" in its title: The Loved Ones, The Love Witch
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title (any gender): Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (I was a bit mixed on it, but know others quite like it)
A romantic film: Beyond the Lights
A sequel: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Bride of Re-Animator
A comedy: Logan Lucky, Some Like it Hot, The Burbs, Pride
A film that features football prominently (Super Bowl, February 3): Ugh, not my area of interest. Maybe the documentary Head Games?
A film that features the President of the USA as a prominent character (President's Day, February 18): All the President's Men?
A film from China (Chinese New Year, February 5): Fulltime Killer
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month): 4 Little Girls (heartbreaking, but amazing), For Colored Girls (I was pretty mixed on this one, and my opinion has dropped a bit since I first watched it)
A film from John Ford (born February 1): All of his features on Amazon look like they are racist or full of horse deaths, so I might go with his documentary footage of Midway, especially after learning about it in the film Five Came Back
I'll add DePalma's Dressed to Kill as a suggestion for the "letter D" category. It's on Prime.

I'm not very interested in most of the current BP nominees, but I'll try to check Roma for the "IMDb ranking" one, and maybe The Favourite for the "Best Picture nominee" one. I already saw BlacKkKlansman, and I'm really not that drawn to Vice, Green Book, or Bohemian Rhapsody.

I'm considering Birth of a Nation for the 1910 one. Feel like it's a film that I have to check off my list. I think it's on YouTube.

I've already seen a couple ones that I can shift on different categories, if the need arises.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:20 am

Apex Predator wrote:
It was the whole trying to decide between two films that fit the same category.

I may have found a way to fix it so I can watch both. But the catch is that I can't download Black Panther so I'd have to watch it somewhere for a couple of hours.
Alright, I don't want to play dumb here, but beyond having largely black casts, how are those two movies even remotely in the same category?
Also BP is on Netflix, if ya have it.
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:21 am

Takoma1 wrote:I keep trying to watch Wings, but I'm just not feeling it. So I'm going to go on and watch some February stuff and come back to it.
Dude, thank you for that. I'm having the same problem and thought maybe I was just an idiot.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 2883
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:34 am

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Second Chance

I've been on a real low-budget kick lately. It's always something that results in a lot of disappointing viewings, but sometimes I'm just really in the mood for actors whose faces I don't know and the thrill of stumbling on something totally unknown (like The Hatred which you should ALL WATCH RIGHT NOW). Ahem.

Second Chance is a film about a man, Oscar, who is involved in a home invasion gone wrong (we do not learn the specifics until the very end). A young woman, Heather, who survived the incident is now living a precarious life. She's the girlfriend of a drug dealer, addicted herself, and seemingly headed for worse and worse circumstances. Oscar decides to rescue Heather from her life, setting off some potentially deadly consequences. There's a side plot about Oscar trying to reestablish a relationship with his estranged teenage son.

I felt like this film had some interesting ideas about redemption, guilt, and atonement. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite get its pacing right. We spend a lot of time with Oscar sort of hanging around and watching Heather, while she tries to figure out what he's up to and keep her violent boyfriend from becoming jealous or suspicious about the strange man talking to her. The scenes with the best emotional tension are those involving Heather and Oscar on their own, but these are too little too late. And for way too much of the running time, the movie never seems to totally decide if Oscar is a decent guy who made a mistake, or a buffoon who kind of compounds his own crime while trying to fix it.

The most effective scenes in the film are its most unpleasant. In one particularly rough sequence (well-acted, but hard to watch), Heather's boyfriend forces her to perform oral sex on one of his friends. The whole sequence feels depressingly plausible, as the boyfriend's are clearly uncomfortable with the violence and Heather's crying, but not uncomfortable enough to actually stop him from sexually abusing her. A later sequence in the film that shows what happened during the home invasion is also pretty harrowing.

What's tricky about this movie is that the scenes described above are emotionally effective, and they are not filmed in an exploitative fashion, but because the story surrounding them isn't written or paced all that well, they feel seedier than they probably actually are. The actress who plays Heather is pretty good (though she's mainly called on to cry and wail and scream), and it's a shame that about 60% of her character arc happens in literally the last 10 minutes of the film.

This one wasn't bad by any means. I'm not sure I could strongly recommend it, but it falls on the more positive side of the recent low-budget binge I've been on.
User avatar
Charles
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Charles » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:39 pm

Takoma1 wrote:The Hatred
The Nazi babysitters The Hatred? You loved it?
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 2017
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:57 pm

Charles wrote:
The Nazi babysitters The Hatred? You loved it?
No, the little-girl-vs-Civil-War-soldiers The Hatred.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 2883
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:26 pm

Charles wrote:
The Nazi babysitters The Hatred? You loved it?
Like Captain Terror says, I'm talking about this film, the 59 minute film on Amazon Prime about the girl who brings a dead Civil War soldier back to life with the power of her thirst for revenge.

Almost every other time I've mentioned it, I've clarified that I'm not talking about the feature-length film that you're referencing, but I just failed to do it this time.
User avatar
Charles
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Charles » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:58 pm

I see. A shame that these services axe their library for the Canadian version, it sounds intriguing. You don't see many movies under one hour.
User avatar
Apex Predator
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:03 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:11 am

Wooley wrote: Alright, I don't want to play dumb here, but beyond having largely black casts, how are those two movies even remotely in the same category?
Also BP is on Netflix, if ya have it.
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month)

That was the category I was referring to in Thief's February list. Both are films directed by African Americans and have a cast largely consisting of African Americans. I get they're not remotely the same type of film otherwise.

Yes, I have both Netflix and Prime. I'll likely have to watch BP on the weekend or weekday afternoon to make this work. I was able to download Moonlight on Prime. And Roma will take care of the IMDb one.

Problem solved.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 2883
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:51 am

A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Death Watch

This one wasn't really gripping me at first, but by the end I was a total convert.

The film (made in 1980) is set in some near-distant future where sickness and death have been pretty well eradicated and/or removed from common sight. A television producer decides to stage a show called "Death Watch", a reality show in which cameras will follow someone who is terminally ill. Roddy (Harvey Keitel) is the cameraman, literally. The network pays for him to have his eyes surgically replaced/altered so that they function as cameras. His task is to follow Katherine (Romy Schneider), a writer who has just been told by her doctor that she is dying. Katherine's illness makes her something of a celebrity, and in her desire to escape she ends up on the run with Roddy, unaware that he is filming her every vulnerable and humiliating moment. As Katherine gets sicker and sicker, both she and Roddy end up doing a lot of soul searching.

Again, this one didn't do much for me in its first 20 minutes. But as the plot progresses the film raises interesting questions about the way that our society engages in "tragedy porn" (one woman says she likes watching the show because it makes her cry), and the degree to which it's worth creating "art" at the expense of someone else's wellbeing. There are also two very surprising plot moments (not twists, per se, just where the story went) that really took the film in an unexpected--and more shocking/intense--direction. The acting is good from both leads, and in the third act Max von Sydow shows up as Katherine's ex-husband and his presence alone kind of alters the tone of the film.

While the film's idea of future technology is not quite on the mark, I do think that this film raises some really interesting questions about what it means to live in a society where filming people without their knowledge is incredibly easy and where people don't think twice to publish embarrassing, upsetting, violent, cruel, or exploitative content starring people they have filmed on their phones or whatever. The network executive justifies his cruel experiment with some dimestore psychology, but it's clear how the film feels about the right to privacy and the importance of not giving into the base instinct to rubberneck at the tragedy of others. In one of the film's first scenes, Roddy and the executive watch Katherine in her doctor's office, behind a one-way mirror--their unabashed spying on this woman in an intimate moment that she believes is private is quietly horrifying, especially as we become aware that the doctor is complicit in the exploitation of her situation.

I would recommend this film. I think that it doesn't make the best possible use of its two hour runtime, but it's a movie that gets stronger as it goes along, and in the second half it felt like I was adding a star to my rating every 15 minutes or so.
User avatar
Wooley
Posts: 3211
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:25 am

Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:27 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
A film directed by an African-American or with an African-American cast (Black History Month)

That was the category I was referring to in Thief's February list. Both are films directed by African Americans and have a cast largely consisting of African Americans. I get they're not remotely the same type of film otherwise.

Yes, I have both Netflix and Prime. I'll likely have to watch BP on the weekend or weekday afternoon to make this work. I was able to download Moonlight on Prime. And Roma will take care of the IMDb one.

Problem solved.
Oh, duh, sorry, I don't know how I missed that. But I would just recommend watching both.
Post Reply