Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:08 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15690 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 695, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701 ... 785  Next
Last Movie You Watched 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2012
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
In The Story of Qiu Ju, village elder Wang kicks Qiu Ju's (Li Gong's) husband Qinglai in the testicles during an argument over whether Qinglai can build a shed to process his chilis. (The chilis are currently adorning the outside of his house.) Wang is actually correct about the shed, by the way: Qinglai has been allocated land for growing crops and can't build a structure on it. However, in the heat of the argument, Qinglai remarks that Wang grows only hens. Apparently Wang grows chickens, but he interprets this remark to mean he can only father daughters, of which he has four (despite China's one-child policy), hence the ball-busting assault.

Qinglai recuperates without incident, but the pregnant Qiu Ju is outraged by the assault on the family jewels, since, if she loses this baby, she could have lost the chance to try again. So she tries getting justice from local officials, who keep awarding her husband medical expenses and lost wages and maybe a little for the insult. However, what she really wants is an apology, which she isn't going to get because Wang doesn't want to lose face. He also insults her the first time he gives her the money, so she doesn't want to lose face either.

Thus she goes to official after official, and encounters the Chinese legal system as well, to the point where it seems to me she's pursuing her case more out of pride than seeking justice. After the third award, from the district director, with an extra 50 yuan, Wang just hands Qinglai the money without insult, Qinglai is willing to let things go, and that in my opinion should be it, but Qiu Ju disagrees, continues to pursue her case, and I'm losing sympathy with her.

This is a highly regarded film which received many award nominations, but I found pretty dull, and not funny like a lot of critics do. Gong Li is made to look dowdy, which is a major achievement. I was more interested in her long-suffering sister-in-law Meizi (Liuchun Yang), who quietly accompanies Qiu Ju on her journeys. What does Meizi think of all this? We never find out. Meizi keeps her own counsel.

Director is Zhang Yimou. This is the film between Raise the Red Lantern, which I still haven't seen, and To Live, which I like a lot more. (6 of 10)

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:42 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2012
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a pleasant, bittersweet, somewhat overdone version of James Thurber's story about a mild-mannered clerk who loses himself in his fantasies, "zoning out" as he puts it, and sometimes missing the real action. He's trying to contact coworker Cheryl (nicely played by Kristen Wiig) through a dating website despite encountering her at work every day and her liking him anyway.

In this incarnation, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is in charge of negative assets at Life magazine, which means he is in charge of processing photographs. However Life is about to fold as a print magazine and there is going to be serious downsizing, and Cheryl and Walter are in danger of losing their jobs. This is particularly likely for Walter, because a famed photographer has sent him a roll of film with picture 25 missing and informs the magazine that the photograph is perfect for the last cover. Since the photographer is travelling the world and out of phone contact, Walter decides to follow him in person, in the process having adventures of the kind he normally dreamed of.

The movie is bit of a mess, but full of stunning sequences, including a fantasy involving Kristen Wiig singing, another involving an active volcano, and a lovely one when he finally encounters the photographer (Sean Penn). It becomes obvious what happened to the photograph, but is still a revelation when we find out what it is. I could easily see this film getting nominations for cinematography. It also has the best credit sequences of the year.

I really liked the understated chemistry between Stiller and Wiig. It suits them very well. (7 of 10; as I said, it's a bit of a mess, but it's recommended.)

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:18 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:22 am
Posts: 413
Location: Chennai, India
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
[Deleted Post]

_________________
Balajithots - Last Updated 21-Jan - Frozen (2013)
This list... is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf.


Last edited by Balaji Sivaraman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:19 pm
Profile WWW
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:22 am
Posts: 413
Location: Chennai, India
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
[Deleted Post]

_________________
Balajithots - Last Updated 21-Jan - Frozen (2013)
This list... is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf.


Last edited by Balaji Sivaraman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:54 pm
Profile WWW
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Her (2013) ****

Her is a love story unlike any I've seen, but it's also a lot more than that. It's about the evolution of two characters. One, a human, becomes more aware of the effects he has on others, and becomes a better man for it. The other, his operating system and lover (after a fashion) begins the story as a computer and eventually achieves a higher level of consciousness. What an interesting movie this is! And that's to say nothing of the expertly handled light sci-fi settings, the perfect score, the acting by Phoenix and (especially) Johansson, and the feelings it evoked.

See it when you can

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:40 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:43 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Her (2013) ****

Her is a love story unlike any I've seen, but it's also a lot more than that. It's about the evolution of two characters. One, a human, becomes more aware of the effects he has on others, and becomes a better man for it. The other, his operating system and lover (after a fashion) begins the story as a computer and eventually achieves a higher level of consciousness. What an interesting movie this is! And that's to say nothing of the expertly handled light sci-fi settings, the perfect score, the acting by Phoenix and (especially) Johansson, and the feelings it evoked.

See it when you can


Awesome. Can not wait for this.

_________________
Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel, and from here on out I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:43 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Prisoners (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392214/
Expertly told, slickly crafted and utterly compelling thriller about the effect of child abduction (preciously little is shown of the abduction or the captivity) on the parents. The atmosphere was very reminiscent of Winter's Bone or TV's The Killing (i.e. bleak), and you can't help but get caught up in the desperation of not knowing where your child is, if they are even still alive, or who took them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the relentless (and increasingly frustrated) cop trying to find the two girls while Hugh Jackman plays the father who is apparently willing to go to any length to get answers. I found the contrivances and coincidences far too numerous to overlook, with everything tying together much too neatly. Indeed, the whole thing felt like a missed opportunity to me: how much better could this story have been if:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Keller had been WRONG about Alex, i.e. that he had literally nothing to do with the abduction and had spent a week torturing a true innocent. The subsequent exploration of Keller's feeling of guilt in the final act imo could have made for very powerful cinema, lifting the film to a whole new level.

It's good, but not great.
7.5/10.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:43 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:43 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
What about the unique idea of the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
kidnappers kidnapping children to wage a war against God? Exposing the evil inside of good men.
That's what elevated Prisoners in my mind.

_________________
Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel, and from here on out I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:47 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Prisoners (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392214/
Expertly told, slickly crafted and utterly compelling thriller about the effect of child abduction (preciously little is shown of the abduction or the captivity) on the parents. The atmosphere was very reminiscent of Winter's Bone or TV's The Killing (i.e. bleak), and you can't help but get caught up in the desperation of not knowing where your child is, if they are even still alive, or who took them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the relentless (and increasingly frustrated) cop trying to find the two girls while Hugh Jackman plays the father who is apparently willing to go to any length to get answers. I found the contrivances and coincidences far too numerous to overlook, with everything tying together much too neatly. Indeed, the whole thing felt like a missed opportunity to me: how much better could this story have been if:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Keller had been WRONG about Alex, i.e. that he had literally nothing to do with the abduction and had spent a week torturing a true innocent. The subsequent exploration of Keller's feeling of guilt in the final act imo could have made for very powerful cinema, lifting the film to a whole new level.

It's good, but not great.
7.5/10.


Ahhhh yes, but to me the movie is stronger because of what you dislike.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Torture is terrible. What Keller does is still terrible, even though Alex did have something to do with it. If you really think the death penalty is morally wrong, you have to find it wrong even with someone who is guilty of murder, not just someone who was framed. The same with torture

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:50 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gedmud wrote:
What about the unique idea of the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
kidnappers kidnapping children to wage a war against God? Exposing the evil inside of good men.
That's what elevated Prisoners in my mind.

Yes, but that particular idea was not explored whatsoever. It was merely mentioned in (I think) literally a single line. If the film had actually spent any real time on the motivations/philosophy of the perpetrators I can see your point. That was however NOT what this movie was about. Prisoners imo was a a film trying (but ultimately failing) to get out of the confines of standard Hollywood conventions.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:56 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:43 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
You're right, it was only mentioned in one line. But the implications of that line stayed with me. That's what I was thinking about when the movie was over. It might not have broken away far enough in your opinion, but it wasn't a conventional hollywood thriller. Prisoners gave the audience some credit. It dropped some heavy themes that you could explore on your own if you wanted to. It wasn't just a "daughter gets kidnapped, father beats up everyone until he finds her" thriller.

_________________
Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel, and from here on out I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:02 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Gedmud wrote:
What about the unique idea of the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
kidnappers kidnapping children to wage a war against God? Exposing the evil inside of good men.
That's what elevated Prisoners in my mind.

Yes, but that particular idea was not explored whatsoever. It was merely mentioned in (I think) literally a single line. If the film had actually spent any real time on the motivations/philosophy of the perpetrators I can see your point. That was however NOT what this movie was about. Prisoners imo was a a film trying (but ultimately failing) to get out of the confines of standard Hollywood conventions.


Ahhh yes, that Hollywood convention about asking audiences to strongly question the morality of a movie's ostensible hero, a grieving father torturing a hapless retarded man in order to find his children. That old bugaboo.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:04 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:35 pm
Posts: 646
Location: Puerto Rico
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Prisoners (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392214/
Expertly told, slickly crafted and utterly compelling thriller about the effect of child abduction (preciously little is shown of the abduction or the captivity) on the parents. The atmosphere was very reminiscent of Winter's Bone or TV's The Killing (i.e. bleak), and you can't help but get caught up in the desperation of not knowing where your child is, if they are even still alive, or who took them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the relentless (and increasingly frustrated) cop trying to find the two girls while Hugh Jackman plays the father who is apparently willing to go to any length to get answers. I found the contrivances and coincidences far too numerous to overlook, with everything tying together much too neatly. Indeed, the whole thing felt like a missed opportunity to me: how much better could this story have been if:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Keller had been WRONG about Alex, i.e. that he had literally nothing to do with the abduction and had spent a week torturing a true innocent. The subsequent exploration of Keller's feeling of guilt in the final act imo could have made for very powerful cinema, lifting the film to a whole new level.

It's good, but not great.
7.5/10.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
But technically he WAS torturing an innocent person. That's part of the point the film is trying to make. Alex was as much of a victim as Joy or Anna. Even more. A mentally unstable child, taken from his family, and manipulated into doing God knows what for the sake of his "mother's" "war on God". His confession in the parking "They weren't crying when I left them" as well as his overall obliviousness to everything tells us that he really wasn't aware of what he was doing. In line with the film's subtext, Alex was a prisoner long before Keller literally made him one. That's actually one of the parts that resonated more with me.

_________________
"Get busy living, or get busy dying"

Visit my site: Thief12 profile


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:09 pm
Profile WWW
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Ahhhh yes, but to me the movie is stronger because of what you dislike.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Torture is terrible. What Keller does is still terrible, even though Alex did have something to do with it. If you really think the death penalty is morally wrong, you have to find it wrong even with someone who is guilty of murder, not just someone who was framed. The same with torture

I disagree with you here. The death penalty is abhorrent because it a) offers no chance of redemption and, b) more importantly, is GUARANTEED to end the lives of innocents on occasion. What ratio of innocents being executed would one deem "acceptable" to insure the execution of the guilty? Torturing (or executing) someone who IS guilty is generally seen as being "acceptable" (according to polls) to the majority of people. However, getting it wrong is NEVER acceptable to anyone (unless you're some sort of psychopath) - forming the Catch 22. Prisoners could and imo should have explored this. Didn't.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:10 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Ahhhh yes, but to me the movie is stronger because of what you dislike.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Torture is terrible. What Keller does is still terrible, even though Alex did have something to do with it. If you really think the death penalty is morally wrong, you have to find it wrong even with someone who is guilty of murder, not just someone who was framed. The same with torture

I disagree with you here. The death penalty is abhorrent because it a) offers no chance of redemption and, b) more importantly, is GUARANTEED to end the lives of innocents on occasion. What ratio of innocents being executed would one deem "acceptable" to insure the execution of the guilty? Torturing (or executing) someone who IS guilty is generally seen as being "acceptable" (according to polls) to the majority of people. However, getting it wrong is NEVER acceptable to anyone (unless you're some sort of psychopath) - forming the Catch 22. Prisoners could and imo should have explored this. Didn't.


Well then we disagree morally. Torture is wrong on its face. Torturing a guilty person is abhorrent to me too.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:12 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Ahhh yes, that Hollywood convention about asking audiences to strongly question the morality of a movie's ostensible hero, a grieving father torturing a hapless retarded man in order to find his children. That old bugaboo.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Hapless? He DID know where they were and what happened to them. He even rubbed Keller's face in it with his "they only started crying after I left them" line. You are wrong about this imo - this film clearly wants to somehow justify what Keller does by deliberately making the "victim" guilty.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:17 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Ahhh yes, that Hollywood convention about asking audiences to strongly question the morality of a movie's ostensible hero, a grieving father torturing a hapless retarded man in order to find his children. That old bugaboo.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Hapless? He DID know where they were and what happened to them. He even rubbed Keller's face in it with his "they only started crying after I left them" line. You are wrong about this imo - this film clearly wants to somehow justify what Keller does by deliberately making the "victim" guilty.


I just fundamentally disagree. I think the movie takes steps to make it clear that he is, forgive my lack of political correctness, retarded. He is "simple" as they used to say.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:22 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Well then we disagree morally. Torture is wrong on its face. Torturing a guilty person is abhorrent to me too.

If you feel this way I can see how Prisoners' themes might indeed have worked for you. Unfortunately, I suspect that it played like that for only a very small minority of other like-minded individuals. BTW, you must have just LOVED Zero Dark Thirty, am I right? ;-).


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:32 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3357
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Gedmud wrote:
What about the unique idea of the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
kidnappers kidnapping children to wage a war against God? Exposing the evil inside of good men.
That's what elevated Prisoners in my mind.

Yes, but that particular idea was not explored whatsoever. It was merely mentioned in (I think) literally a single line. If the film had actually spent any real time on the motivations/philosophy of the perpetrators I can see your point. That was however NOT what this movie was about. Prisoners imo was a a film trying (but ultimately failing) to get out of the confines of standard Hollywood conventions.


Ahhh yes, that Hollywood convention about asking audiences to strongly question the morality of a movie's ostensible hero, a grieving father torturing a hapless retarded man in order to find his children. That old bugaboo.

Saw Prisoners myself and thought it was merely average, it had some good performances and a few interesting scenes, though for me it didn't really elevate itself above other thrillers much. There were a too many plot holes and I can't say the themes really resonated with me as much as most others.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:41 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7269
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Well then we disagree morally. Torture is wrong on its face. Torturing a guilty person is abhorrent to me too.

If you feel this way I can see how Prisoners' themes might indeed have worked for you. Unfortunately, I suspect that it played like that for only a very small minority of other like-minded individuals. BTW, you must have just LOVED Zero Dark Thirty, am I right? ;-).


Yep. **** film. Best of last year or second best. I forget

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:43 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15690 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 695, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701 ... 785  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], Sexual Chocolate, Shade2 and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr