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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shade wrote:
Ken wrote:
Whether or not a mistake is intentional does nothing for or against the fact that it's a mistake, and deliberate tonal shifts must still be adroit. It is possible for a movie's style and thematic content to be unified without sacrificing cohesion.


Agree totally with this statement, but obviously I disagree with its application on Leaves of Grass.

I won't speak for Ed, but I don't concede any mistake with the tonal shifts or anything else. I realize we're arguing interpretation and that become futile eventually, but I found the film incredibly cohesive in spirit and philosophy, and I found the contrasting styles and themes intentional and correct (it seems you'd agree with the intentionality but not with the rightness of it). It's the sort of film that suffers greatly in trailer-form or in snippets, because many lines and plot elements can come across as very off apart from the whole picture. Watching it for the first time, I loved it immensely and knew that many would disagree with me. I'll stand by its greatness, but again, I understand dissenting views.


Feel free to speak for me in the future if you intend to put things so nicely. Is something a "mistake" if you intend it? It may fail spectacularly, but I don't think that makes it a mistake. The movie fell short of "masterpiece" status for me though. It's just outside my 10 or so favourite films of the year but it's certainly a bit misunderstood and deserves a wider audience.


Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:30 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Interesting philosophical question. Yes, you can do something deliberately that turns out to be the wrong thing. I would consider this to be a mistake--acting on bad information, the wrong assumption, et cetera.


Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:40 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Interesting philosophical question. Yes, you can do something deliberately that turns out to be the wrong thing. I would consider this to be a mistake--acting on bad information, the wrong assumption, et cetera.


This makes sense to me. I think if you choose to do something in a film -- whether or traditional or not -- and it doesn't work, then it was a mistake on the level of not doing what it needed to do. Now, that certainly doesn't mean that everyone has to agree that it was a mistake, but if it, you know, factually doesn't work, then it's wrong. A mistake. The definition thereof.

On the other hand, of course, nothing that works can be a mistake, right? A character walking in-and-out of the frame in an Ozu film certainly isn't a mistake. Steven Soderbergh's overlapping-edits are not a mistake. Pulp Fiction's scrambled plot isn't a mistake. On the other hand, all of those exact ideas could be used in another film and be a mistake. This is why art is wonderful and why it isn't totally subjective. Yes, there are no rules in art. But to break rules for the sake of it doesn't make anything good or interesting inherently.


Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
10 Rillington Place (1971) ***1/2

Darn fine British film about a notorious criminal case from the late 1940s. Glad I watched it before Netflix took it off Instant, now that Instant is working for me again.

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:20 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
10 Rillington Place (1971) ***1/2

Darn fine British film about a notorious criminal case from the late 1940s. Glad I watched it before Netflix took it off Instant, now that Instant is working for me again.


Richard Attenborough is creepy as hell in this film. Hard to believe it's the same guy who would play the grandfatherly millionaire in Jurassic Park and Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street.


Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:27 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Road (2009) - Viggo Mortensen plays a nameless father struggling to survive with his son in a post-apocalyptic world. A pretty brutal 110 minutes as they have minor problems surviving the elements and the search for food in what appears to be a nuclear winter, but big problems surviving rogue bands of their fellow man, who range from petty thieves to amoral cannibals. Pretty bleak stuff. 3.0 / 4.0

The Social Network (2010) - The story of the origin of Facebook as written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher. Strong performances as the drama is played out against the ensuing legal battles over intellectual property rights and corporate ownership. Special kudos to Armie Hammer who plays twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss seemlessly via technical wizardry. (Of course I was left wondering if they actually tried casting this with actual twin actors to save themselves some trouble, or if Fincher only considered one actor for the roles merely so he could stretch his technical wings a bit.) 3.5 / 4.0


Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
No Way Out ** 1/2
This got a lot of very strong reviews when it came out but I found it to be more mediocre--it has definite strengths (good use of more confined space, some nice suspense), and some weaknesses (a few cliches, Sean Young's lackluster performance). Kevin Costner plays a Navy officer who begins an affair with SoD Gene Hackman's mistress. Pretty much any plot description gives away something that happens about 40 minutes in but you're better off not knowing it before seeing it.

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
ed_metal_head wrote:
thered47 wrote:

Inglourious Bastards

What can I say that hasn't been said? It's brilliant and every scene loaded with a brand of energy you don't usually find in movie theaters these days.

I particularly liked how the Nazis are portrayed as amoral and "evil" but, surprisingly, also with flashes of humanity, particularly the scene with the captured General that the Bastards were interrogating.

An unquestionable 4 star movie.

-Jeremy


Ahh, the "for honour" scene? One of my favourite scenes in a movie that has a lot of great scenes.


Yup. The "for honor" scene. It is a truly great scene in every way.
-Jeremy


Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:07 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Since my last posting...

"Mystery Science Theater 3000": Santa Claus - no rating
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - 6/10
Winter's Bone - 9/10
The Fan (1981) - 4/10
Cavalcade - 5/10
Under the Rainbow - 3/10

It's my New Year's resolution to finish watching all the Best Picture winners I need to (which is well over 40, by my last count), and Cavalcade is step one to finishing that goal. It's also my 500th first-time viewing of the year -- too bad it had to be spent watching one grade A snoozer.


Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:50 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
A.J. Hakari wrote:
Since my last posting...

"Mystery Science Theater 3000": Santa Claus - no rating
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - 6/10
Winter's Bone - 9/10
The Fan (1981) - 4/10
Cavalcade - 5/10
Under the Rainbow - 3/10

It's my New Year's resolution to finish watching all the Best Picture winners I need to (which is well over 40, by my last count), and Cavalcade is step one to finishing that goal. It's also my 500th first-time viewing of the year -- too bad it had to be spent watching one grade A snoozer.



AJ

You are a curious creature. You rarely post apart from documenting your film watching habits?
Prey tell me why?

Rob


Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:00 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Robert Holloway wrote:
AJ

You are a curious creature. You rarely post apart from documenting your film watching habits?
Prey tell me why?

Rob


I won't go into details because I'll leave that to AJ if he so desires...but he is legendary at a different popular and long-lasting movie message board that I also frequent. He also writes fantastic reviews in a few venues. Sorry if I'm "outing" you, AJ, but your stuff deserves readership.

Point being, I think the dude is busy.


Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:41 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Yi Yi

This brilliant film by Edward Yang follows a year in the life of a family; their young son gets into trouble at school, their older daughter has problems in her relationships, the father works on a business deal while re-encountering an old flame and flirting with infidelity. And so on. While the description of the film may make it sound boring, Yi Yi is anything but; it's told with incredible humanity and exceptional warmth.

Yi Yi is subtitled A One And A Two..., which is the cue for jazz bands to strike up a jam. Jazz music flows throughout various parts of this film, and it does seem appropriate, because life is a lot like jazz. We improvise, we flow and move from one thing to another. We follow some form of structure but we bend it, much like a jazz band will play to a rhythm but improvise within it.

If you've got three hours and you like human dramas, than I highly recommend Yi Yi.

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The King's Speech *** 1/2
Two brilliant performances (and some very good work by Helena Bonham Carter) make this story of King George VI's speech impediment thoroughly engrossing. I actually didn't like some of the shot selections: too many closeups, and few extended shots that would've let Firth and Rush play off one another directly. Firth is particularly outstanding.

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Fail-Safe ***
I probably shouldn't have seen the original after the remake. Peter Fonda is very good, and Walter Matthau does what he can with a character who doesn't always make sense. The President and co. race to try to avoid a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. There are some definite weak spots that the remake removed, but this one also has some strengths that the remake couldn't quite match.

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
firefly wrote:
Fail-Safe ***
I probably shouldn't have seen the original after the remake. Peter Fonda is very good, and Walter Matthau does what he can with a character who doesn't always make sense. The President and co. race to try to avoid a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. There are some definite weak spots that the remake removed, but this one also has some strengths that the remake couldn't quite match.


I'm intrigued to hear what you think the weak spots are.

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
firefly wrote:
Fail-Safe ***
I probably shouldn't have seen the original after the remake. Peter Fonda is very good, and Walter Matthau does what he can with a character who doesn't always make sense. The President and co. race to try to avoid a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. There are some definite weak spots that the remake removed, but this one also has some strengths that the remake couldn't quite match.


I'm intrigued to hear what you think the weak spots are.


The opening scenes with Matthau are a bit forced and the scene in the car is bizarre and implausible--more like an IR guy's fantasy.

Also
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Matthau goes from being a utilitarian voice of at least some level of reason to a voice of illogic fairly randomly--at least in the remake, his character is pretty much the same throughout

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Despicable Me

It's a good movie...barely

Full review coming on 1/9 at the blog

7/10


Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:36 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Let's see.

The King's Speech was good. Just good, though. I kept looking for some commentary on the meaninglessness of royalty in WWII-era UK but found, over and over, a nice story about a relationship. Firth was great (what are the odds...) and Rush was equally great. Helena Bonham Carter's Elizabeth wasn't enough of a character to get the kind of praise she's getting. I liked how the film only focused on Bertie's triumph over adversity while keeping the horrifying world events, the stuff that actually matters, as low-level background noise... could this be some of the commentary I was looking for, a way of criticising the public's adoration for The Royals? Probably not. No matter. Enjoyable movie.

Terribly Happy was good, too. It reminded me of the French thriller A Pure Formality in that they both feature characters that are waiting out their days in a place that looks just like Paradise's overstuffed loading zone. Some really great humor -- the scene where a cat gives the protagonist an unmistakable hello/goodbye was wonderful -- and plenty of nifty weirdness (the bog!) made it a worthwhile 100 minuten. Jakob Cedergren is the Swedish Ben Affleck. Uncanny. The movie goes one scene longer than it needs to go; the final card game was unnecessary and zapped a good bit of power from the last shot. Just as well as it wasn't as if the movie was just a little bit shy of perfection. So, like that Firth movie, good but not great.


Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:46 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Shade wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
AJ

You are a curious creature. You rarely post apart from documenting your film watching habits?
Prey tell me why?

Rob


I won't go into details because I'll leave that to AJ if he so desires...but he is legendary at a different popular and long-lasting movie message board that I also frequent. He also writes fantastic reviews in a few venues. Sorry if I'm "outing" you, AJ, but your stuff deserves readership.

Point being, I think the dude is busy.


Great, now I'll be up all night trying to figure out who the hell you are. :)

Mr. Shade pretty much nailed it -- I'd call it laziness, but yeah, I'm usually too tired/busy to do anything else but obsessively chronicle my viewing habits. But I'll make it another resolution to be more sociable around these here parts in the coming year! :)

As for what I've seen today...

subUrbia - 6/10

About halfway between Empire Records and Clerks. Definitely more believable and respectable than the former, yet not as adept at balancing laughs and poignancy as the latter. Does a decent enough job of exploring '90s slacker angst, but the further it goes, the more preachy and monologuy it gets, culminating with an ending that shakes its finger in the audience's face and yells, "FOR SHAME!" On the whole, not bad at all, but a second, thematically-rounded draft would have definitely helped it.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:39 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
A.J. Hakari wrote:
Stuff about movies.


I've been meaning to recommend a movie to you for ~6 months. Fade To Black with Dennis Christopher and, briefly, Mickey Rourke in one of his earliest roles. It's right in line with a lot of the stuff you see and I believe, with 75% certainty, that you'll like it. It's a horror/thriller with lots of cool classic film references. I can see other people a-bitchin' about some of its content but believe you, a fan of MST3K, would enjoy it just about as unironically as one can.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:49 am
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