Recently Seen

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ace » Sat May 28, 2016 4:31 am

Hehe. Gosling was so funny in that.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Tue May 31, 2016 11:29 pm

Wiener-Dog is Todd Solondz's Au Hasard Balthazar.

Uh, not quality-wise...
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:59 pm

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:16 am

Phoenix

Such a strange film, and what subtle strangeness. It confronts the irrevocable effects of trauma with a plot that is logically absurd but symbolically sublime. Its style is so meticulous that it verges on Brechtian, the mise-en-scene creating spaces that feel deliberately staged, reinforcing the themes of reconstructive artifice and deception. Its cinematic forebears are diverse enough to encompass Vertigo, The Third Man, Eyes Without a Face, Cabaret, Sirk, Fassbinder, and Almodóvar. I had heard good things about it, but I did not expect it to carry me off the way that it did.
And that ending, which is as perfect an ending as I've ever seen.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:20 pm

More (spoiler-y) thoughts about the ending of Phoenix.
Throughout the film, Nelly lingers in the past, perpetually timid and uncertain, trying to resemble who she was before the war, hoping that her husband will finally recognize her, yet he never does; it is only at the very end, when she dispenses with that attitude and takes bold strides into her future, that he realizes who she is. She liberates herself from this desire to reclaim the past, and only then, when she is freed of her need of him, does he know her. There's a beautiful irony in that: he only knows her when she becomes herself on her own terms.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Eminence Grise » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:27 pm

Macrology wrote:More (spoiler-y) thoughts about the ending of Phoenix.
Throughout the film, Nelly lingers in the past, perpetually timid and uncertain, trying to resemble who she was before the war, hoping that her husband will finally recognize her, yet he never does; it is only at the very end, when she dispenses with that attitude and takes bold strides into her future, that he realizes who she is. She liberates herself from this desire to reclaim the past, and only then, when she is freed of her need of him, does he know her. There's a beautiful irony in that: he only knows her when she becomes herself on her own terms.
Totally.

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:38 pm

Great discussion. Thanks for the link!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Gort » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:01 am

Gantz (2010)

Pretty cool. One other Corrie has put an entry in Trends besides your friendly neighborhood Gort. Makes me interested in the manga but...cannot afford the manga. (Yeah, aware of read for free websites!)

The Japanese seem to be the only people in the world who can make battle scenes part of the plot. For every other country that has "action" scenes, the fights stop the plot and just throw stuff around on the screen for a few minutes.

Been remiss about posting little bits about the many many movies I watch. But I read what y'all are lookin' at.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Epistemophobia » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:58 am

the conjuring 2 was beautifully directed
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Trip » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:06 am

Epistemophobia wrote:the conjuring 2 was beautifully directed
wan's good

is it overlong like everyone is saying? that's putting me off a little
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Epistemophobia » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:21 pm

yeah but it's worth it
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Fist » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:14 pm

Wan's the shiiiiiiiiiiit is why
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by MadMan » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:01 pm

They could have cut a few scenes from The Conjuring 2 but overall it was scarier than the first one.
The demon nun freaked me out.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Beau » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:05 pm

I can't really like these Conjuring movies. I'm somewhat entertained by them, and Wan creates some nice atmosphere, but nearly every set-piece hinges on an impending pop-up scare. I'm always waiting for the scare, guessing when and where the monster'll pop up. The whole thing devolves into a game of hide and seek. And that's not even mentioning the stupid gun-ho Catholicism which, well, I know "it's the conventions of the genre," but Jesus Christ. It doesn't even work as parody for me.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by wigwam » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:07 am

The first one worked fine I thought but this one I was just enjoying the imagination he puts into the camera, I agree with your criticisms Beau but it's still so visually agile and great
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by MadMan » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:15 am

Honestly I ignore the religious elements. I sit back and enjoy the ride. I still think that Saw is Wan's best-although I have not seen his Insidious movies yet.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ace » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:11 am

Finding Dory :heart: Hank. :heart: Idris Elba and Mcnulty.
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The Hunt For Red October (McTiernan, '90)

Post by Stu » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:05 pm

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Forty years I've been at sea. At war, at sea. A war with no battles, no monuments... only casualties.
It's disappointingly rare to find a thriller that qualifies as truly intelligent, one that walks that tightrope between respecting viewers' intelligence, while still being visceral enough to give you that feeling of excitement surging up and down your spine. However, in my opinion, John McTiernan's Hunt For Red October is just such a film, a submarine thriller that really, uh... thrills, but in a way that I felt my IQ going up as I watched, not down. October achieves this by immersing us deep in the world of political intrigue and military fetishization Tom Clancy created with his novel, as almost every character is either an intelligence agent, a backstabbing politician, or member of the armed forces, spouting highly technical military lingo and hatching a scheme to outsmart the other side at every turn. Obviously, the spector of nuclear holocaust always looms heavy whenever discussing the Cold War, but rarely has that threat felt as tangible in cinema as it has here, with many murky, majestic shots of hulking submarines gradually looming towards the camera, and a score that goes heavy on the melodramatic Russian choir singing, giving the whole affair this alien, apocalyptic mood that isn't easily shaken once it's over.

Plot-wise, McTiernan juggles the multiple story threads with swift efficiency, showing us what's proceeding on every front quickly and clearly, and maintaining a tight attention to detail with continuous updates us on the general state of affairs, in smart moments a sloppier filmmaker would inevitably neglect. It keeps a constant balance between keeping up with the plot while also not leaving the audience behind in its wake, and on the visual front, there's a strong sense of visual clarity and weight from the reliance on kinetic long takes and zoom-ins, aided tremendously by Jan De Bont's fluid, classy cinemtography, which helps emphasize important details, and also keeps choppy editing at bay; as the various subs ascend or descend, the camera tilts alongside them in a sort of a Dutch angle, which, along with the ever-present background noise of the pounding engines, really gets across the great power and terror inherent in these underwater machines. Overall, this is one extremely tight, intense thriller (the initial torpedo evasion scene and climatic battle are miniature masterpieces of action & suspense), and is, as far as I'm concerned, McTiernan's finest hour; at the risk of going all Gene Shalit on y'all, this is one hunt you'll want to join, ASAP.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:17 pm

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Trip » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:43 pm

calling Izzy...

seen The Phenom yet? real good
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Izzy Black » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:30 am

Trip wrote:calling Izzy...

seen The Phenom yet? real good
Not yet, trailer looks nice and he rarely disappoints, so I want to see it for sure.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:15 am

Morning Patrol

Telephones and water signify something in this film, but it's a mystery to me.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ace » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:48 am

Yeah Conjuring 2 was good. Great atmosphere and direction. Wan really knows the whole show and tell trope well.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:18 am

Re-watched Close-Up with a friend in memory of AK. A great film, and such a sublime ending.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Beau » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:36 pm

I had a lot of fun with Cloud Atlas.

I know the consensus even among its fans is that, at the very least, it's a "beautiful mess," but I didn't find it particularly messy. It gets corny and sanctimonious at the end, yeah. But the spectacle of it all earns its New-Agey bits.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:37 am

Just watched Inglourious Basterds for the 2nd time (and the 1st since the year it came out), and this recent viewing reconfirmed my initial disappointment with it; it has some positive aspects for sure, but overall, I still feel it's a letdown, and that it lacks the most important traits that made Tarantino's good films, well, good. First off, on the positives, I have to admit that I appreciate Robert Richardon's often memorable, stylish cinemtography, QT's refreshing historical accuracy when it comes to presenting his dialogue in various foreign languages (and the manner in which the use of those languages often become plot points), as well as the occasional moments of tension or character depth he includes.

The problem is, even the moments of tension, which Tarantino can do so well when he wants to, still sometimes become submerged in a sea of bloated, self-indulgent, and overlong scenes; I know the colorful conversation in Tarantino's films is one of his biggest claims to fame, but the talking here too often serves no apparent purpose other than for Quentin to over-indulge us with something we were expecting anyway. It often just serves itself, rather than the film, and what's effective in the moment often becomes diffused by the surrounding bloat, with the overall work leaving no real sustained effect other than consistent frusturation.

As for my point about the character work, I've found that the element that keeps me going back to certain Tarantino movies the most was always the compelling character development and depth in them: Jules's arc in Pulp Fiction, the over-the-hill romance between Max & Jackie in Jackie Brown, the love/hate relationship with Bill & The Bride in Kill Bill... great, great material. The character writing in Basterds, however, can't hold a candle to any of that, as Quentin either fundamentally doesn't understand, or doesn't care about what made him a good director, putting his faith instead in an unfocused, obnoxiously flashy directorical style, indulging in some of his worst tendencies. Yeah, the character motivations generally make sense, and there is the occasional moment where an unexpected bit of humanity shines through, but too many of the people here are rather one-dimensional caricatures, and are too often just treated as a means to an end, as a way to make the plot happen, which doesn't even unfold very smoothly, due to the aforementioned bloat, as well as the random tangents Tarantino often becomes lost in.

For example (SPOILERS!), the moment I appreciated the most here was when, after Shoshanna unexpectedly comes face-to-face with the SS officer responsible for her family's murder, she suddenly exhales a sharp cry, the flood of old emotions overwhelming her in the moment. Problem is, this moment comes at the tail end of another plot-stalling scene of endless dialogue, and nothing else near as compelling or satisfying is done with Shoshanna's arc for the rest of the film, as she then goes down a flat, predictable path of vengeance, so even the good material here is contaminated by the disappointing. Inglourious Basterds isn't a bad movie per se, and can at least be described as being interesting, but alas, an interesting failure is still ultimately a failure in the end. Shame.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Colonel Kurz » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:33 pm

Star Trek Beyond

Really hope that "jumping from moving vehicles to catch people flying in mid air" becomes Justin Lin's trademark for years to come.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Gort » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:43 am

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

This is to Star Wars what The Shaggy Dog is to The Wolfman.
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:46 am

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:09 pm

Gort wrote:Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

This is to Star Wars what The Shaggy Dog is to The Wolfman.
While it was overly derivative of the original trilogy's story & characters, I still found it generally entertaining, in part for how well it tapped into the cinematic mystique surrounding The Force, the best any SW movie has done in over 30 years, I would argue.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Gort » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:30 am

Stu wrote:While it was overly derivative of the original trilogy's story & characters, I still found it generally entertaining, in part for how well it tapped into the cinematic mystique surrounding The Force, the best any SW movie has done in over 30 years, I would argue.
I'm glad you liked it! Hundreds of millions did. I managed to not fall asleep. :D

I found it to be totally devoid of any annoying characters and too full of cute humans and creatures of all types. Even the rathtars were cute. In other words, it was a Walt Disney film. Even C3PO was not annoying. He was always so freaking annoying in all the other films. I never thought I'd miss Jar Jar Binks (or at least someone like Binks). Of course they all still exist in the other 6 films. But I found in the film what I saw in the trailer: A huge pile of "they didn't make this movie for me." :D :D

The film did move me emotionally when Leia Organa showed up for the first time. That scene with Han and Leia was a real human moment in the middle of all the Disney. :-/
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:50 pm

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Trip » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:44 am

logan lerman <3
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Beau » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:50 pm

I was bored with the last Ghostbusters when it tried to be epic.

I really liked it when it was just four girls messing around.

Thankfully it was more of the latter than the former.
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Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, '94)

Post by Stu » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:44 am

Image

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men...
Pulp Fiction is another one of those movies that had a huge impact on me when I first started to watch movies more "seriously", possibly moreso than anything else I watched during that formative period; sometimes, I would just let it play in the background, as a sort of cinematic soundtrack in my bedroom, even. Because of this constant playing, I burned myself out on the prospect of watching it again for a long time, and just recently got around to seeing it again for the first time in over a decade, with older, hopefully fresher eyes, pretty far removed in time from that original period of euphoria surrounding the experience. Fortunately, it's still mostly held up strong all these years later, and while I did notice more flaws with it this time, and unfortunately, wouldn't be able to include it anymore on a theoretical short list of personal favorites anymore, I still feel that it's a really, really good movie in the end.

First off, while the copious amount of dialogue here now occasionally feels more self-indulgent than I initially thought, it's still definitely not as bloated as Tarantino's gotten in some of his subsequent films, and though the whole "pawn shop" sequence almost feels like a self-parody of the excesses QT's built his career on, it ultimately isn't enough to overshadow the film's heart, and recurring theme of redemption. And, while we're on the subject of flaws, you could delete the character of Marvin and "The Bonnie Situation" plot from the film entirely and not lose a thing, but whatever.

Anyway, one of the facets of Pulp that has gotten better over the years is how strong the fundamental character relationships in it are; whether it be the clashing attitudes and philosophies of Jules & Vincent, the unlikely beauty-and-the-beast dynamic of Butch & Fabienne, or even the unpredictable Bonnie-and-Clyde bond of supporting characters "Pumpkin & Honey Bunny", Fiction is constantly wringing compelling cinema out of its various relationships, even when the characters are just talking, and nothing's "happening" in the plotting sense of the word. Tarantino consistently resists the urge to rush things along here, letting the seemingly irrelevant small talk play out in a rather relaxed fashion, which makes the characters feel like real people and not just plot devices or caricatures, and imagining Pulp without all that chatter is simply an impossibility.

Besides all of that, I also just have to admire the one-of-a-kind vibe PF has, y'know? It weaves this twisted, out-of-order, complex web of the LA underworld, where every single lowlife is "colorful" (to say the least), and there's always an awesome soul, surf rock, or other awesomely eclectic tune playing in the background, a soundtrack that's no less stylish than the direction itself. Speaking of which, Tarantino's dynamic storytelling here almost always knows exactly when to ramp up the energy level and when to just let things play out, the atmosphere carries the best sort of dark, comic tension that Tarantino has become famous for (before he started descending into self-parody), and the whole affair just has this uniquely stylish, meta level of self-awareness that kept me going back to it again and again all those years ago, resulting in what is deservedly one of the most iconic movies of the 90's. Who could ask for anything more?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:08 am

High Plains Drifter

What a psychotic, Boschian nightmare of a Western. That was much weirder than I ever could have anticipated. And of course I loved it.

And Stu: Great write-up about Pulp Fiction. That's one of the few films from my early years of burgeoning cinephilia that still stands out as unique, but for reasons that are very difficult to pin down. As you said, the languid pace and character dynamics have a lot to do with that. Not only does the plot occur out of order, but any semblance of a linear plot is persistently side-tracked by arbitrary or unforeseeable incidents. It's a film that drifts and veers. Jackie Brown, probably my second favorite Tarantino, has a similarly staggered rhythm. It's a shame that Tarantino has lost that dynamic sense of pacing; his films are usually quite tightly made, but they're altogether more predictable, and he builds things to a head rather than sweeping the rug out from underneath us.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:19 am

Image

Image

Image

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Die Hard (McTiernan, '88)

Post by Stu » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:37 am

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Yippee-ki-yay motherfucker.
I've always felt that Die Hard is held back slightly by a couple of noteworthy flaws, but it's a testament to the skill of the people involved that it still manages to overcome its problems, and end up as a thrilling icon of modern Action movies in the end. To get my complaints out of the way first, one thing I've never liked about it is its sometimes broad writing, and often incredibly stock, generic characters; I could forgive the film for having one, maybe two of them, but when you've got the inexplicably stupid, stubborn chief of police we've seen in every cop movie since Dirty Harry, the muscling-in Feds who literally say "not anymore you're not [in charge]", the goofy black teenage sidekick who gets to help out with the big boy stuff at the very end, and many other examples all in the same film, it gets to be a bit much, don't you think? I also agree somewhat with Ebert when he complained about how the pacing here is sometimes interrupted by unnecessary tangents, the chief offender being Carl Winslow's "tragic" backstory about why he isn't a beat cop anymore, complete with obligatory sad acoustic guitar on the soundtrack, a moment that completely murders the pacing, and adds nothing to the story.

However, like I said earlier, it says a lot for Die Hard that it still managed to become such an influential action classic, despite these flaws. What it gets right is its overall sense of character and personality, as John McClane genuinely feels like a reluctant, wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time everyman, similar to how you'd imagine a real street cop would react in the same situation. And of course, he's matched by the late, great Alan Rickman in his first(!) and possibly best onscreen role, as the iconic Han Gruber, a sophisticated, urbane, and utterly ruthless German mercenary. The film wrings great mileage out of their dualing performances, Willis as the sclub-y, smartass New York cop trying to triumph over a well-armed piece of "Eurotrash", and Rickman as an educated elite struggling to wipe out a class-less American Neandrathal who's apparently convinced that he's Rambo.

Besides that strong central dynamic, Hard genuinely succeeds in being a thinking man's action movie, with its storytelling placing a greater emphasis on building tension and suspense than you'd normally expect from a movie of this genre; Nakatomi Plaza serves well as a claustrophobic, high-tech Alamo under siege, and at times, it feels less like an action movie, and more like a giant game of chess, with a motherfuckin' forty-floor skyscraper serving as the board. Pretty much every character here is constantly strategizing and maneuvering in order to achieve their individual goals, and McClane and Gruber themselves often duel over the radio with plenty of insults and straight-up psychological warfare, alongside the actual warfare that they're waging. And, speaking of the action, Die Hard has plenty of it; firefights, neck-snappings, destroying armored SWAT vehicles with rockets, bare-knuckled fistfights to the death, shooting through a window while hanging off a building while at the same time the roof blows up and a helicopter explodes and crashes hundreds of feet to the ground... it would seem ludicrous if it wasn't as well-made as it is. Flaws aside, Die Hard still more than provides the "forty stories of adventure" promised on its poster, and then some; yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers!
Final Score: 8.5
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Gort » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:06 am

Stu, just another example of how "fatal" flaws don't always totally ruin a movie!

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has had another descendant in The Jungle Book (2016). Jon Favreau's "reimagining" is every bit as wonderfully mounted and executed as Wolfgang Reitherman's 1967 animated version. As I write this I've only watched the first 27 minutes of the new film (but all the extras on the Bluray disc, of course) and I look forward to sitting through the rest of it. This is definitely worth a rewatch or two just to soak up the production detail.

Sky Captain didn't take Kerry Conran very far in movieland. But the techniques Conran and his teams developed have only grown in importance as they have morphed, and, now, merged with mo-cap technology as a way to create a living storyboard for a film such as the new Jungle Book.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
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Ace
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ace » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:25 pm

Kubo and the Two Strings <3
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by snapper » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:07 am

Saw my first film in 4 months the other day which was The VVitch vvhich was good
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Oats » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:16 pm

I am not so high on Park Chan-wook usually, but The Handmaiden is pretty rad.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:07 pm

Captain Oats wrote:I am not so high on Park Chan-wook usually, but The Handmaiden is pretty rad.
What about Oldboy?
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Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (Herzog, '72)

Post by Stu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:51 pm

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If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees... then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the wrath of God. The earth I pass will see me and tremble.
Aguirre, The Wrath Of God is nominally a period piece, focusing on a 16th-century expedition by Spanish conquistadors into the Amazon rainforest, but for a "historical" film, it isn't particularly, er, historical, as Werner Herzog himself admitted that the story is mostly fabricated, and it isn't really interested in educating us about the story of the real Aguirre, since the historical figures it does feature are mostly used in fictitious ways. Instead, Werner Herzog uses history as his jumping-off point for a surreal, crazed fever dream of a film, portraying the inherent madness of power through the savage lens of the Amazon jungle, resulting in what is easily one of the best films I've ever seen. Its "plot" (if it can be called that) focuses on the titular character's coup of a Spanish expedition, and his failed journey into the Amazon to establish an empire to rival even Spain, but this really isn't a film driven by story details, but rather, mood; the Amazon serves as a "set" far more memorable than any soundstage, with its thick foilage, heavy humidity, and constant chirping of various unidentified animals and insects creating an atmosphere that is subtly, quietly hostile to the arrogance of the "civilized" colonists to think they could conquer it.

It's an atmosphere that Herzog takes full advantage of, getting up close and personal with the rainforest with his unsteady, handheld camera in a guerrilla-documentary fashion, as arrows and spears, fired by unseen native tribes, continually fly at the expedition at random, and various traps and ambushes serve to steadily dwindle their numbers as their raft wears its way down the Amazon. Some might consider Aguirre's portrayal of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon as mostly hostile, cannibalistic "savages" to be rather cliched, or even offensive, but it's obvious to me that this was never meant to be a realistic portrayal of South America, but rather, a cautionary tale of the madness that comes with any kind of lust for power; after all, most of the European settlers behave just as savagely as the "savages" do, if not more so, and its period and setting are ultimately irrelevant except so far as they enhance the film's central themes.

It isn't meant to reflect reality at all, but rather, represent a vision of Herzog's, and the schizophrenic, stream-of-consciousness pacing of Aguirre serves to further enhance its surreal mood, as the story doesn't unfold with a lot of traditional structure or momentum (a jungle adventure like Indiana Jones, this is not), but rather, Herzog takes his time in letting everything just play out slowly, as if in a dream, seducing us into a cinematic trance, and creating an example of fragmented storytelling at its best. The film's insanity doesn't wear on you in an over the top way, but a in a slow, gentle manner, as crazy things (talking severed heads for the win) just sort of randomly... happen, and sometimes, nothing happens, like a beautiful, slow-motion, minute-long closeup of river rapids just clashing together, a moment that adds so much more to the film than any traditional plot exposition could've hoped to. The film lurches from episode to episode much like Klaus Kinski's Aguirre himself, an undeniably powerful, memorable central performance. His wild, unkempt blonde mane and deep blue eyes convey so much paranoia and madness, while his performance is still charismatic and human enough at times to make you believe that an entire group of men would willingly (at first) follow such a man to their death. Following Aguirre the film, on the other hand, will not lead you to death, but rather, something much, much better; pure, cinematic greatness.
Final Score: 10
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Melancholia » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:41 am

Ang Babeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) is sadly a lower tier (even lazy) Lav Diaz (but still superior than a lot of movies out there). Beautiful performances from the 3 main cast and that dance scene 1.5 hours in was enchanting. But like his Hele early this year, it was a bit thin layered, with little insights in the many discussions covered in 4 hours. Possibly his most accessible work, it was an easy and engaging watch all the way through. For the first time, no walkouts in our local cinema!

Mubi also has a year long Lav Diaz retrospective! http://thefancarpet.com/movie_news/mubi ... -lav-diaz/
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Beau » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:03 pm

Strong year for Argentine cinema.

Incident Light is what y'all are likelier to like, but The Distinguished Citizen is very interesting and meta while Gilda is a surprisingly delicate biopic that avoids every trap its subject matter sets up for it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by eri nitta » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:36 am

Beau wrote:Strong year for Argentine cinema.

Incident Light is what y'all are likelier to like, but The Distinguished Citizen is very interesting and meta while Gilda is a surprisingly delicate biopic that avoids every trap its subject matter sets up for it.
How is Gastón Solnicki's Kékszakállú? I'm hearing good things but not really paying attention
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Unforgiven (Eastwood, '92)

Post by Stu » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:42 am

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It's a hell of a thing, killing a man; you take away all he has, and all he's ever gonna have.


Unforgiven is haunted by many things; as a film, its haunted by the memory of a more virtuous Old West that never really existed, its main character, William Munny, is haunted by the memories of his late wife, by the atrocities he committed as a young outlaw, and by the fears that he'll finally get what he deserves in the afterlife, and one could argue Clint Eastwood himself was haunted as a director, by the iconic shadow one of his old mentors still cast over the genre (to whose memory the film is dedicated to). However, while Munny never truly escapes the multitude of demons haunting him, the man who portrays him did, earning the film a richly-deserved Best Picture Oscar, and an enduring status as an undisputed modern classic.

From the first five minutes alone, it's immediately obvious that Unforgiven is no traditional Western, when a scene of intercourse is interupted by a cowboy slashing a prostitute's face for laughing at his lack of endowment. When the local sheriff, "Little Bill" Daggett, gives the man and his friend a relatively light punishment, the women of the brothel conspire to offer a $1,000 "Wanted Dead" award on the two men, a catalyst that causes the notorious outlaw Will Munny to come out of "retirement". However, it's obvious from the very first moment we see him that Munny is no Man With No Name-style badass. Rather, he's an exhausted, muddy old man struggling to wrangle his pigs, half of whom are sick anyway, into the pen of his small, meager farm. This demythologization of the outlaw continues throughout the entirety of Unforgiven, as Munny gets pistol-whipped half to death at one point, nearly dies from a fever, and, most importantly, is constantly tortured by the memories of the past horrors he committed.

This demythologization extends to the tone and conventions of the larger Western genre as well, as the prostitutes are treated more like property or livestock than human beings, the "action" scenes are realistically bloody and confused, with no exciting quick draw duels in sight, and law enforcement isn't shown to be any more moral than the outlaws it opposes. Gene Hackman delivers a chillingly memorable performance as "Little" Bill, who, at first, seems like a reasonable, pragmatic man, but as the film goes on, he shows himself to be a brutal sadist, mercilessly beating anyone who threatens the "tranquility" of his town (one time to death, even), often enjoying himself as he does so.

He's a man trying to achieve a good end through evil means, a moral ambiguity that extends to Munny as well, as it's obvious that he wouldn't have taken the job if he didn't have a family to support, he expresses constant, legitimate remorse over his past sins, and when he shoots one of the bountyheads in his gut (the one who had nothing to do the initial mutilation, it must be noted), Munny ceases firing when he hears the man's cries, and demands that his friends bring him a canteen of water, to ease the pain of a slow death. Unforgiven's absolute refusal to provide any easy answers or moral conclusions is what makes it so incredibly, undeniably powerful, and elevates into a grand cinematic eulogy for Eastwood's work in Westerns, and for the Western in general, really. The whole affair has this timeless, mythical quality to it, no more so than in its masterful final shot, as William visits his wife's grave at sunset for one last time, the lone, sorrowful acoustic guitar of "Claudia's Theme" (written by Eastwood himself!) begins to play, and the film's bookending text tells us:

Some years later, Mrs. Feathers made the arduous journey to Hodgeman County to visit the final resting place of her only daughter. William Munny had long since disappeared with the children... some said to San Francisco, where it was rumored he attempted a living in dry goods. And there was nothing on the grave to explain to Mrs. Feathers why her only daughter had married a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously violent and vicious disposition.
Final Score: 10
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ace » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:33 am

I just saw this a few weeks ago. I really appreciated how it wasnt an "action" western.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:38 am

Ace wrote:I just saw this a few weeks ago. I really appreciated how it wasnt an "action" western.
Don't get me wrong, I love something like The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (which is also one of my favorite movies as well), but as far as more dramatic Westerns go, Unforgiven really can't be beat.
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