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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I really like High and Low though, like with every Kurosawa movie I see, I liked it less the second time. Though it arguably serves a purpose, Mifune's gruff and barky delivery stands at odds with the rest of the performances; the movie takes place in the modern era, industry and modern ideas of finance while Mifune gives a performance that echoes his runs at samurai. There are people that may like this (I ignored it the first time through as I mistakenly believed he was one of the greatest actors) but I find him to be the sole (pun) obnoxious point of an otherwise very good film.

In truth, I now find Mifune to often be the weak spot of almost every movie he's in. His style of acting, not so unusual in any Kurosawa movie and definitely fitting the style employed by so many of his peers, just doesn't fit the language to which I've been normalized. It's too broad. Having now seen a lot of Ozu, Kon Ichikawa, Kobayashi and others that were high-profile, Kurasawa's movies are generally the weakest: the weakest acting, the least subtle, the most poorly-paced and the ones most likely to have the most amount of bad ideas. Not to say he's a hack (I mean, come on) but that his stuff is much more likely to be spectacle over substance. Red Beard is the only one of his movies that I still think is great, Seven Samurai being a close second. I always enjoy his movies but they don't often have what I most value. Not anymore.

--Edit--

One of the big moments for me as a moviewatcher was right in the middle of Harold Lloyd's Safety Last when I thought "This is okay but it would take something like a miracle for me to conclude it was great." And I ended up liking it alright but not finding it great. The history of the movie is compelling, some of the images are legendary but the experience of watching it* was not really that special. It's a good diversion but not breathtaking cinema**.

*Watching it on a television while alone was something Harold Lloyd probably didn't foresee.
**Though others find it breathtaking and inventive, I can only go so far on influence and technique and brazen stunts and the rest. I now mention, for the second time, the languages we all bring to the table when we watch something. As an experience, Safety Last didn't affect me much. My appreciation of historical context or maybe just heedless joy is something that may or may not need work.

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Four Brothers

Four men reunite in Detroit after their mother is murdered and set out to find why. This film had potential, but is undone by a poor script, and an inability to settle on a tone. The film can't decide if it wants to be a gritty urban drama, a tough action film, or a revenge flick, and ultimately doesn't do any of those well. A shame, because the cast has good chemistry.

I thought it was a pretty good film myself, it's a shame it didn't have the same success as Singleton's more well known films.


Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:28 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Mark III wrote:
I really like High and Low though, like with every Kurosawa movie I see, I liked it less the second time. Though it arguably serves a purpose, Mifune's gruff and barky delivery stands at odds with the rest of the performances; the movie takes place in the modern era, industry and modern ideas of finance while Mifune gives a performance that echoes his runs at samurai. There are people that may like this (I ignored it the first time through as I mistakenly believed he was one of the greatest actors) but I find him to be the sole (pun) obnoxious point of an otherwise very good film.

In truth, I now find Mifune to often be the weak spot of almost every movie he's in. His style of acting, not so unusual in any Kurosawa movie and definitely fitting the style employed by so many of his peers, just doesn't fit the language to which I've been normalized. It's too broad. Having now seen a lot of Ozu, Kon Ichikawa, Kobayashi and others that were high-profile, Kurasawa's movies are generally the weakest: the weakest acting, the least subtle, the most poorly-paced and the ones most likely to have the most amount of bad ideas. Not to say he's a hack (I mean, come on) but that his stuff is much more likely to be spectacle over substance. Red Beard is the only one of his movies that I still think is great, Seven Samurai being a close second. I always enjoy his movies but they don't often have what I most value. Not anymore.

--Edit--

One of the big moments for me as a moviewatcher was right in the middle of Harold Lloyd's Safety Last when I thought "This is okay but it would take something like a miracle for me to conclude it was great." And I ended up liking it alright but not finding it great. The history of the movie is compelling, some of the images are legendary but the experience of watching it* was not really that special. It's a good diversion but not breathtaking cinema**.

*Watching it on a television while alone was something Harold Lloyd probably didn't foresee.
**Though others find it breathtaking and inventive, I can only go so far on influence and technique and brazen stunts and the rest. I now mention, for the second time, the languages we all bring to the table when we watch something. As an experience, Safety Last didn't affect me much. My appreciation of historical context or maybe just heedless joy is something that may or may not need work.


High and Low is the film by Kurosawa that I've liked best, but I agree with you about Mifune and I agree even more about Kurosawa. I respect him as a craftsman, but I've never been able to love Seven Samurai or Yojimbo or Rashomon or Ran. I hear Ikiru's great...but then I heard all his other stuff was great too

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Four Brothers

Four men reunite in Detroit after their mother is murdered and set out to find why. This film had potential, but is undone by a poor script, and an inability to settle on a tone. The film can't decide if it wants to be a gritty urban drama, a tough action film, or a revenge flick, and ultimately doesn't do any of those well. A shame, because the cast has good chemistry.

I thought it was a pretty good film myself, it's a shame it didn't have the same success as Singleton's more well known films.


The cast is good. Chewitel Ejiofor is excellent, and so is Andre Benjamin. But the script is very sloppy. It's never really explained why the corrupt cop is of any importance to the story, and furthermore, it's not really clear why the mother was murdered in the first place. I pieced it together, but Singleton isn't Michelangelo Antonioni doing Blowup, where a mystery is set up but never answered. This isn't that kind of film. Had the script gone through a rewrite, Four Brothers could have been better. A shame, because as I said, it's a well-cast film.

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Four Brothers

Four men reunite in Detroit after their mother is murdered and set out to find why. This film had potential, but is undone by a poor script, and an inability to settle on a tone. The film can't decide if it wants to be a gritty urban drama, a tough action film, or a revenge flick, and ultimately doesn't do any of those well. A shame, because the cast has good chemistry.

I thought it was a pretty good film myself, it's a shame it didn't have the same success as Singleton's more well known films.


The cast is good. Chewitel Ejiofor is excellent, and so is Andre Benjamin. But the script is very sloppy. It's never really explained why the corrupt cop is of any importance to the story, and furthermore, it's not really clear why the mother was murdered in the first place. I pieced it together, but Singleton isn't Michelangelo Antonioni doing Blowup, where a mystery is set up but never answered. This isn't that kind of film. Had the script gone through a rewrite, Four Brothers could have been better. A shame, because as I said, it's a well-cast film.
I'll admit that stuff could've been better explained, but for me the acting and story were good enough for me to overlook it.


Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
High and Low (1963)

Like Audition in the Five Countries thread, here is another film with a masterful shift in storytelling. I was thrown off a bit when it (almost) completely dropped both the lead and the chamber drama of the first act, filled with moral dilemmas and claustrophobic tension. But the police procedural built from that with such attention to details that the film remained gripping throughout. And Kurosawa takes the film's title literally, changing location from the privileged glass house, to chaotic investigation through the city, and finally to the seedy bar and alley full of drug addicts, and it provides for some chilling, powerful images that resonate with social commentary. Of the four Kurosawa films I've watched (Rashomon, Ikiru, The Hidden Fortress), this may be the one I'm impressed most with his visual flair. 10/10


You probably know already considering the timing of you watching this, but for anybody else interested, The Dissolve has been running several terrific articles this week about the film.

http://thedissolve.com/features/movie-o ... h-and-low/
http://thedissolve.com/features/movie-o ... and-shoes/
http://thedissolve.com/features/movie-o ... apanese-s/

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unbreakable

There's a lot to like here. Particularly how the superhero's "powers" are relatively subtle, not over the top (except maybe the psychic abilities). Unlike some others, I think the twist makes sense and fits in well with what comes before. I could have done without the title cards as I think the film should have ended with David just walking out of Mr. Glass's gallery, leaving it to the viewers imagination as to what comes next.

3 out of 4 stars.
-Jeremy

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Yep. I don't read much of the site outsides of their terrific reviews and lists, but seeing the staff, especially Mike D'Angelo, discussing a film I have makes me decide to watch it. Just finished the first article and it's such a good write-up of the film.

I should probably get around to the other four Kurosawa films I've owned for a long time: Seven Samurai, Ran, Thrones of Blood, and Stray Dog. I haven't heard much of how the latter two are.


Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:

High and Low is the film by Kurosawa that I've liked best, but I agree with you about Mifune and I agree even more about Kurosawa. I respect him as a craftsman, but I've never been able to love Seven Samurai or Yojimbo or Rashomon or Ran. I hear Ikiru's great...but then I heard all his other stuff was great too


It was after watching The Bad Sleep Well that I decided to forego watching Ran again, watching Ikiru start to finish. It's been over a year since I sold a lot of my DVD collection and selling Ran, High and Low and the Sanjuro/Yojimbo was one of the easier decisions. Kept all the Bergman, though. You never know when you'll need the Bergman.

The easiest decision? Selling the entire series Heroes. Never watched a second of any season past the first. That was an impulse purchase that should never, ever have been made.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:14 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Heroes is awful. Season 1 barely keeps it together, and season 2 doesn't just fall apart, but does so while shooting at the disintegrating parts with a grenade launcher that's put together wrong and held backwards.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:44 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Heroes is awful. Season 1 barely keeps it together, and season 2 doesn't just fall apart, but does so while shooting at the disintegrating parts with a grenade launcher that's put together wrong and held backwards.

I disagree, I think it's a pretty good show overall, as for the akwardness of season 2, blame the writer's strike for that one.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I couldn't even finish season 1. It wasn't actively bad or anything, but it's the second TV series I watch, and after 24, Heroes just seemed sluggish and uninteresting in comparison.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I liked season 1 of Heroes. I actually haven't seen any of season 2. I saw a few episodes of season 3. Liked what I saw. I think I saw like 2 episodes of season 4. One I liked, one I didn't.

One of these days I want the show from first to last season. Probably soon too since it's available to stream instantly on netflix.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I couldn't even finish season 1. It wasn't actively bad or anything, but it's the second TV series I watch, and after 24, Heroes just seemed sluggish and uninteresting in comparison.


Funny that you compared it to 24. Isn't the creator of Heroes also the creator and showrunner of Kiefer's post 24 show, Touch?


Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:13 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Yeah and that went dead after two seasons, with the rating already plummeting during the first one. Viewers caught on.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:28 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Eh, I only saw a couple of episodes but I liked what I saw. I thought Kiefer was excellent in a role that was very different from Jack Bauer. And he had great chemistry with his kid. I actually found that relationship to be incredibly moving and well done. But I only saw like the first two or three episodes. It sounded like the show became wildly convoluted and silly with some kind of conspiracy that I remember reading about and Kiefer and his kid had to go on the run or something. Huh? :?:


Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I couldn't even finish season 1. It wasn't actively bad or anything, but it's the second TV series I watch, and after 24, Heroes just seemed sluggish and uninteresting in comparison.

The big trouble with Heroes for me was that it took a bunch of tropes that had already been pounded into the ground and regurgitated them with no imagination whatsoever, with an added layer of portentousness that never really paid off.

The only bright spot of the whole thing that kept me involved was the Japanese guy with time travel powers. He was the only character who stood out against the general sense of misery that infused the show.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:42 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I haven't seen it, but I've always heard that Heroes first season is pretty good, and even borderline great... but that it plummets so horribly after that, that it's not even worth it.

As for Touch, I saw the first season and thought it was decent. Nothing spectacular, a bit in the bland-ish side, but still with some interesting stuff and good performances from Kiefer and the kid. Haven't caught up with season 2, but my wife did, and she liked it more than the first one.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I agree with Ken, to a point

I only watched Series 1; there were some moments to be had, but it hovered between mediocre and insulting for the most part.

Watching Series 2 was out the question. I'd compare it with Lost, quality wise. Same issues - 2nd or 3rd rate acting, and just basically speaking, like it was written by a 13 year old

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
peng wrote:
I couldn't even finish season 1. It wasn't actively bad or anything, but it's the second TV series I watch, and after 24, Heroes just seemed sluggish and uninteresting in comparison.

The big trouble with Heroes for me was that it took a bunch of tropes that had already been pounded into the ground and regurgitated them with no imagination whatsoever, with an added layer of portentousness that never really paid off.

The only bright spot of the whole thing that kept me involved was the Japanese guy with time travel powers. He was the only character who stood out against the general sense of misery that infused the show.


I liked "Heroes" quite a lbit, but I have only seen the first season. Anybody who has more than a passing interest in superhero fiction will recognise that it isn't exactly original, to put it politely, but I haven't seen a better TV series about superheroes yet.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:26 pm
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