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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Very slow moving, and at times confusing (this is what happens when you compress a six-hour miniseries into a two hour window), but well worth the effort. Gary Oldman is brilliant as always; calculating coldness personified. I was only vaguely familiar with the story, so I definitely found the narrative unpredictable. The ending and resolution of the mystery does not disappoint. This isn't one of my 2011 "catch-up" titles I'll remember with much detail, but in the moment, it's solid cerebral entertainment.

I found this film almost impossible to follow (and I was trying). Once I lost track of what was happening, the film became insanely boring. I almost stopped watching it for this reason. I'd recommend TTS for people familiar with the source material only, and definitely NOT for the casual viewer.


Oh man, I've had this in my rack for months but I haven't been able to muster the patience to watch it yet - and your post has given clear anecdotal support to my worst fears about it.

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Wed May 15, 2013 9:22 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
Ken wrote:
Unke wrote:
Killers (2013)
Ashton Kutcher is a CIA agent... Katherine Heigl.

I can't believe you bothered to break the seal on this one in the first place. Some movies are like bees: they have readily-visible cues that warn you to stay away.


My excuse is that I had to iron some shirts and there was nothing else on the telly. Once I was finished with the shirts, I happily switched off the TV to clean the bathroom ...

I saw that in theaters and quite enjoyed it, it had an interesting twist that I think you would've appreciated.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
nitrium wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Very slow moving, and at times confusing (this is what happens when you compress a six-hour miniseries into a two hour window), but well worth the effort. Gary Oldman is brilliant as always; calculating coldness personified. I was only vaguely familiar with the story, so I definitely found the narrative unpredictable. The ending and resolution of the mystery does not disappoint. This isn't one of my 2011 "catch-up" titles I'll remember with much detail, but in the moment, it's solid cerebral entertainment.

I found this film almost impossible to follow (and I was trying). Once I lost track of what was happening, the film became insanely boring. I almost stopped watching it for this reason. I'd recommend TTS for people familiar with the source material only, and definitely NOT for the casual viewer.


Oh man, I've had this in my rack for months but I haven't been able to muster the patience to watch it yet - and your post has given clear anecdotal support to my worst fears about it.


Watch it! Nitrium is in the minority

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Great Gatsby - I think my thoughts on this film are going to line up pretty close to what most on this forum and elsewhere have said already. To get it out of the way right here at the beginning, I'm a great admirer of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, and I have returned to it a handful of times over the years since my first reading. So it might be that I'm naturally inclined to be critical of any attempt to adapt the novel to film. Though it admittedly didn't inspire much initial confidence in me to hear that Baz Luhrmann was going to be in charge of a big-budget 3d production. To be fair to Luhrmann, from his filmography I've only seen Moulin Rouge!, which is in the running for the most grating film I've ever sat through, and about a third of Australia, which I think I fell asleep during and never bothered to finish. That's probably not enough exposure to accurately gauge a filmmaker's general approach, but from everything I've seen Luhrmann seems like a classic "window dressing" director. He knows how to provide a knockout first impression for people just passing by, but he has no idea how to get anyone to buy anything in the store. That may have been a solid enough approach on his previous films, but because here he's adapting Fitzgerald, you know there is plenty of material in the store worth selling. Sure enough, the end result here is initial flash at the beginning and complete indifference heading out the door.

The film does follow the pattern of the novel fairly close, but it's tough to make the case that it's a successful adaptation when everything about the production, from the busy, 3D cinematography and the over-reliance on CGI visuals to the anachronistic Jay-Z soundtrack, is signaling to you that the approach is at odds with the message. Fitzgerald's novel was, among other things, a condemnation of the Jazz Age lifestyle, initially intoxicating but ultimately empty, but you get the sense that Luhrmann loves it. He loves the parties, he loves the music, he loves the shallow romance of the time, and that's something that feels apparent in every frame of his film. Buried under it all are a couple noteworthy performances (DiCaprio is an effective Gatsby, and Elizabeth Debicki makes the most of her limited screentime as Jordan Baker), but they have to wade through a lot of muck for their actions to ring true. Right when the film was first announced, I worried Luhrmann would drown Fitzgerald's text in a sea of needlessly extravagant excess, and for the most part that's what ended up happening. 4/10.

Upstream Color - It's been nine years since Shane Carruth's mind-bending debut feature Primer, but it's clear right at the beginning of his sophomore effort that his penchant for oblique storytelling has not been lost. The film opens with a mysterious man, referred to in the credits simply as Thief, breeding worms and packaging them into swallowable capsules. These worms for some reason have the power to put anyone who ingests them into a deep trance, which is what happens to Kris (in a captivating performance by Amy Seimetz). With Kris under his spell, Thief instructs her to empty her bank account. As if this weren't enough, she also eventually finds herself at the mercy of an ominous pig farmer. A short time later, Kris meets Jeff (played by Carruth), who has gone through a similar experience himself, and the two start a relationship while attempting to find answers concerning what exactly happened to them and what connects them together.

With Primer, there was no question that what you were watching was the creation of an intelligent mind and interesting new artistic voice, but whether it was because of the budget or inexperience, the actual filmmaking didn't match the ambition in the script (at least that's how I remember it from the one time I watched it; I might have to give it another try). Apart from following the bizarrely original narrative, one of the real pleasures of Upstream Color is seeing just how much of a leap forward Carruth has made since his last film in terms of his eye for cinematic visuals. It seems like there are quite a few new filmmakers nowadays whose approaches have been compared favorably to Terrence Malick, and you can now add Carruth to the list. Like Malick, Carruth employs a fragmented style of storytelling that is more about tone than linear progression, but he has no qualms about completely shifting gears at certain points. The first third establishes a very uneasy and disquieting atmosphere, best exemplified by one sequence of almost Cronenberg-ian body horror, before becoming something of a cross between existential science fiction and off-kilter romance the rest of the way through.

What it all means is open to interpretation, but I'll try to take a stab at expressing what I took away from it. There is something unsettling about the idea that you're not in control of your life, that someone somewhere could be watching over you and pulling the strings. The film starts out about that unsettling feeling, but then ends up being something of an affirmation of individual free will, that we have the power to control our own destinies in life. That's my very simplistic initial interpretation, but I'm not going to pretend that's the be-all and end-all to my thoughts; the film encourages more viewings, and one of the higher compliments I can give is that I will gladly be returning to it. I can't say that I completely understand everything the film is striving for at the moment, but I can say that there haven't been many other films this year that have captured my attention as much as this one has. 9/10.

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Fri May 17, 2013 2:00 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
nitrium wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Very slow moving, and at times confusing (this is what happens when you compress a six-hour miniseries into a two hour window), but well worth the effort. Gary Oldman is brilliant as always; calculating coldness personified. I was only vaguely familiar with the story, so I definitely found the narrative unpredictable. The ending and resolution of the mystery does not disappoint. This isn't one of my 2011 "catch-up" titles I'll remember with much detail, but in the moment, it's solid cerebral entertainment.

I found this film almost impossible to follow (and I was trying). Once I lost track of what was happening, the film became insanely boring. I almost stopped watching it for this reason. I'd recommend TTS for people familiar with the source material only, and definitely NOT for the casual viewer.


Oh man, I've had this in my rack for months but I haven't been able to muster the patience to watch it yet - and your post has given clear anecdotal support to my worst fears about it.


You could always do what I do when I want to watch a movie but hear that it's "slow." Drink some coffee or 5-hour energy beforehand or during the movie. That'll keep you alert. Not too much if said movie is playing at a theater; you don't wanna have to take a bathroom break and miss something important.

Yeah, you could call that cheating, but so what?

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Fri May 17, 2013 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
Oh man, I've had this in my rack for months but I haven't been able to muster the patience to watch it yet - and your post has given clear anecdotal support to my worst fears about it.


Watch it! Nitrium is in the minority

If you manage (unlike me) to not lose track of the plot/characters I'm sure it is very good (by most accounts anyway). Which is why at least some familiarity with the story would be extremely helpful. TTSS is very much story driven, so if you do lose track of the story continuing to watch has very little point - I was hoping that I'd "get back into it" if I stuck with it - didn't work.


Fri May 17, 2013 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
The Great Gatsby - I think my thoughts on this film are going to line up pretty close to what most on this forum and elsewhere have said already. To get it out of the way right here at the beginning, I'm a great admirer of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, and I have returned to it a handful of times over the years since my first reading. So it might be that I'm naturally inclined to be critical of any attempt to adapt the novel to film. Though it admittedly didn't inspire much initial confidence in me to hear that Baz Luhrmann was going to be in charge of a big-budget 3d production. To be fair to Luhrmann, from his filmography I've only seen Moulin Rouge!, which is in the running for the most grating film I've ever sat through, and about a third of Australia, which I think I fell asleep during and never bothered to finish. That's probably not enough exposure to accurately gauge a filmmaker's general approach, but from everything I've seen Luhrmann seems like a classic "window dressing" director. He knows how to provide a knockout first impression for people just passing by, but he has no idea how to get anyone to buy anything in the store. That may have been a solid enough approach on his previous films, but because here he's adapting Fitzgerald, you know there is plenty of material in the store worth selling. Sure enough, the end result here is initial flash at the beginning and complete indifference heading out the door.

The film does follow the pattern of the novel fairly close, but it's tough to make the case that it's a successful adaptation when everything about the production, from the busy, 3D cinematography and the over-reliance on CGI visuals to the anachronistic Jay-Z soundtrack, is signaling to you that the approach is at odds with the message. Fitzgerald's novel was, among other things, a condemnation of the Jazz Age lifestyle, initially intoxicating but ultimately empty, but you get the sense that Luhrmann loves it. He loves the parties, he loves the music, he loves the shallow romance of the time, and that's something that feels apparent in every frame of his film. Buried under it all are a couple noteworthy performances (DiCaprio is an effective Gatsby, and Elizabeth Debicki makes the most of her limited screentime as Jordan Baker), but they have to wade through a lot of muck for their actions to ring true. Right when the film was first announced, I worried Luhrmann would drown Fitzgerald's text in a sea of needlessly extravagant excess, and for the most part that's what ended up happening. 4/10.

Upstream Color - It's been nine years since Shane Carruth's mind-bending debut feature Primer, but it's clear right at the beginning of his sophomore effort that his penchant for oblique storytelling has not been lost. The film opens with a mysterious man, referred to in the credits simply as Thief, breeding worms and packaging them into swallowable capsules. These worms for some reason have the power to put anyone who ingests them into a deep trance, which is what happens to Kris (in a captivating performance by Amy Seimetz). With Kris under his spell, Thief instructs her to empty her bank account. As if this weren't enough, she also eventually finds herself at the mercy of an ominous pig farmer. A short time later, Kris meets Jeff (played by Carruth), who has gone through a similar experience himself, and the two start a relationship while attempting to find answers concerning what exactly happened to them and what connects them together.

With Primer, there was no question that what you were watching was the creation of an intelligent mind and interesting new artistic voice, but whether it was because of the budget or inexperience, the actual filmmaking didn't match the ambition in the script (at least that's how I remember it from the one time I watched it; I might have to give it another try). Apart from following the bizarrely original narrative, one of the real pleasures of Upstream Color is seeing just how much of a leap forward Carruth has made since his last film in terms of his eye for cinematic visuals. It seems like there are quite a few new filmmakers nowadays whose approaches have been compared favorably to Terrence Malick, and you can now add Carruth to the list. Like Malick, Carruth employs a fragmented style of storytelling that is more about tone than linear progression, but he has no qualms about completely shifting gears at certain points. The first third establishes a very uneasy and disquieting atmosphere, best exemplified by one sequence of almost Cronenberg-ian body horror, before becoming something of a cross between existential science fiction and off-kilter romance the rest of the way through.

What it all means is open to interpretation, but I'll try to take a stab at expressing what I took away from it. There is something unsettling about the idea that you're not in control of your life, that someone somewhere could be watching over you and pulling the strings. The film starts out about that unsettling feeling, but then ends up being something of an affirmation of individual free will, that we have the power to control our own destinies in life. That's my very simplistic initial interpretation, but I'm not going to pretend that's the be-all and end-all to my thoughts; the film encourages more viewings, and one of the higher compliments I can give is that I will gladly be returning to it. I can't say that I completely understand everything the film is striving for at the moment, but I can say that there haven't been many other films this year that have captured my attention as much as this one has. 9/10.

I politely disagree about Gatsby, but completely understand why you felt the way you did. Also, I'm glad someone whose opinion I respect has both heard of and seen Upstream Color. Your enthusiasm has encouraged me to make it a priority. Good on you, sir.

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Fri May 17, 2013 9:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
The Great Gatsby - I think my thoughts on this film are going to line up pretty close to what most on this forum and elsewhere have said already. To get it out of the way right here at the beginning, I'm a great admirer of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, and I have returned to it a handful of times over the years since my first reading. So it might be that I'm naturally inclined to be critical of any attempt to adapt the novel to film. Though it admittedly didn't inspire much initial confidence in me to hear that Baz Luhrmann was going to be in charge of a big-budget 3d production. To be fair to Luhrmann, from his filmography I've only seen Moulin Rouge!, which is in the running for the most grating film I've ever sat through, and about a third of Australia, which I think I fell asleep during and never bothered to finish. That's probably not enough exposure to accurately gauge a filmmaker's general approach, but from everything I've seen Luhrmann seems like a classic "window dressing" director. He knows how to provide a knockout first impression for people just passing by, but he has no idea how to get anyone to buy anything in the store. That may have been a solid enough approach on his previous films, but because here he's adapting Fitzgerald, you know there is plenty of material in the store worth selling. Sure enough, the end result here is initial flash at the beginning and complete indifference heading out the door.

The film does follow the pattern of the novel fairly close, but it's tough to make the case that it's a successful adaptation when everything about the production, from the busy, 3D cinematography and the over-reliance on CGI visuals to the anachronistic Jay-Z soundtrack, is signaling to you that the approach is at odds with the message. Fitzgerald's novel was, among other things, a condemnation of the Jazz Age lifestyle, initially intoxicating but ultimately empty, but you get the sense that Luhrmann loves it. He loves the parties, he loves the music, he loves the shallow romance of the time, and that's something that feels apparent in every frame of his film. Buried under it all are a couple noteworthy performances (DiCaprio is an effective Gatsby, and Elizabeth Debicki makes the most of her limited screentime as Jordan Baker), but they have to wade through a lot of muck for their actions to ring true. Right when the film was first announced, I worried Luhrmann would drown Fitzgerald's text in a sea of needlessly extravagant excess, and for the most part that's what ended up happening. 4/10.

Upstream Color - It's been nine years since Shane Carruth's mind-bending debut feature Primer, but it's clear right at the beginning of his sophomore effort that his penchant for oblique storytelling has not been lost. The film opens with a mysterious man, referred to in the credits simply as Thief, breeding worms and packaging them into swallowable capsules. These worms for some reason have the power to put anyone who ingests them into a deep trance, which is what happens to Kris (in a captivating performance by Amy Seimetz). With Kris under his spell, Thief instructs her to empty her bank account. As if this weren't enough, she also eventually finds herself at the mercy of an ominous pig farmer. A short time later, Kris meets Jeff (played by Carruth), who has gone through a similar experience himself, and the two start a relationship while attempting to find answers concerning what exactly happened to them and what connects them together.

With Primer, there was no question that what you were watching was the creation of an intelligent mind and interesting new artistic voice, but whether it was because of the budget or inexperience, the actual filmmaking didn't match the ambition in the script (at least that's how I remember it from the one time I watched it; I might have to give it another try). Apart from following the bizarrely original narrative, one of the real pleasures of Upstream Color is seeing just how much of a leap forward Carruth has made since his last film in terms of his eye for cinematic visuals. It seems like there are quite a few new filmmakers nowadays whose approaches have been compared favorably to Terrence Malick, and you can now add Carruth to the list. Like Malick, Carruth employs a fragmented style of storytelling that is more about tone than linear progression, but he has no qualms about completely shifting gears at certain points. The first third establishes a very uneasy and disquieting atmosphere, best exemplified by one sequence of almost Cronenberg-ian body horror, before becoming something of a cross between existential science fiction and off-kilter romance the rest of the way through.

What it all means is open to interpretation, but I'll try to take a stab at expressing what I took away from it. There is something unsettling about the idea that you're not in control of your life, that someone somewhere could be watching over you and pulling the strings. The film starts out about that unsettling feeling, but then ends up being something of an affirmation of individual free will, that we have the power to control our own destinies in life. That's my very simplistic initial interpretation, but I'm not going to pretend that's the be-all and end-all to my thoughts; the film encourages more viewings, and one of the higher compliments I can give is that I will gladly be returning to it. I can't say that I completely understand everything the film is striving for at the moment, but I can say that there haven't been many other films this year that have captured my attention as much as this one has. 9/10.


Liked reading your Gatsby write-up, though I think I liked the movie a bit more than you did. Also, I liked Upstream Color quite a bit too. Malick by way of Cronenberg is never going to be boring or staid. Jack Burns sent me this article. It goes into a lot of questions I had, and was very interesting.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... _film.html

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4

I can’t say this film feels original. Heck most mob films have similar arcs and events, and The Long Good Friday is really no different in that regard. However, the setup is slightly different, and the tone evoked here feels much more sincere than other efforts such as Lock Stock and Snatch. For one London mob boss (Bob Hoskins) everything is perfect. Hoskin’s character is about to make a deal that will cement his stature and power. Yet, surprise, things don’t go as planned. The Long Good Friday gives us a gangster who is shit out of luck. He’s trying to hold everything together, but he can’t. The world he occupies is different— there are bigger entities that want him out of the picture. The Long Good Friday finds its strength in examining a gangster who is loosing his grasp. This examination gives off plenty of memorable scenes throughout the film ranging from intense interrogations to quiet moments of confusion. Overall, this film is pretty great and harnesses a good deal of emotion and grit that work in an extremely satisfying manner.


Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) 3/4

I just want to say, Haters are going to hate. I, one the other hand, will not hate here. This film was a blast, through and through. Yes, it has it’s set of issues that stem from character decisions and arguably week development on part of its villain—but all in all Into Darkness is an incredibly fun experience. While this sequel may not have the fresh feel of its predecessor, it builds on the groundwork that it laid. Abrams has constructed characters that the viewer can care about, and understand—for the most part this was the center of the reboot: setting up characters in order to be able to go on journeys with them in the future. With that said I think Into Darkness succeeds. This journey may feel a bit weak at times, it may not go where no other films have gone before, but it never fails to entertain.

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Fri May 17, 2013 11:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Moneyball

I like baseball and several baseball movies, but for some reason I hadn't got around to seeing this until now. I haven't seen The Natural either yet just because I'm allergic to Robert Redford - but I'd probably like it if I tried it. Although the focus of the movie is as much about the system as it is the ballgame, I thought it was pretty fascinating and very well acted. The only thing that seemed weird is that it felt like a bunch of snippets or soundbites pieced together to give an idea of the story instead of a complete story. Thought the acting was first rate all around. Its a bit hard to feel sorry for highly paid players, but it was a big downer (speaking in terms of effect on me - not the quality of the film) watching players get traded like commodities or demoted while the GM tried to shape a team (and the team's manager). 8/10


Sat May 18, 2013 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4

I can’t say this film feels original. Heck most mob films have similar arcs and events, and The Long Good Friday is really no different in that regard. However, the setup is slightly different, and the tone evoked here feels much more sincere than other efforts such as Lock Stock and Snatch. For one London mob boss (Bob Hoskins) everything is perfect. Hoskin’s character is about to make a deal that will cement his stature and power. Yet, surprise, things don’t go as planned. The Long Good Friday gives us a gangster who is shit out of luck. He’s trying to hold everything together, but he can’t. The world he occupies is different— there are bigger entities that want him out of the picture. The Long Good Friday finds its strength in examining a gangster who is loosing his grasp. This examination gives off plenty of memorable scenes throughout the film ranging from intense interrogations to quiet moments of confusion. Overall, this film is pretty great and harnesses a good deal of emotion and grit that work in an extremely satisfying manner.


This is a kickass movie. Very, very underrated and definitely needs to be seen by more people.

Now, some viewings of mine:

Bernie

A Richard Linklater film about the nicest guy in a small Texas town who kills the town's biggest asshole. What follows is like nothing I'd ever seen; I didn't know this was a true story going into it, but wasn't terribly surprised. Bernie is the kind of tale you really can't make up. Part documentary, part fiction, and darkly funny, Bernie is worth a watch (it's on Netflix Instant).

Modify

If you're into tattoos, genital piercing, scarification, suspensions and even more extreme forms of body modification, this is your film. Modify is a documentary about the body-modding community, and features notable figures in the community such as Fakir Musafar, Stalking Cat, and The Lizardman. It's a very interesting look at a subculture that is usually derided. Worth a watch...if you've got a strong stomach.

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Sat May 18, 2013 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4

I can’t say this film feels original. Heck most mob films have similar arcs and events, and The Long Good Friday is really no different in that regard. However, the setup is slightly different, and the tone evoked here feels much more sincere than other efforts such as Lock Stock and Snatch. For one London mob boss (Bob Hoskins) everything is perfect. Hoskin’s character is about to make a deal that will cement his stature and power. Yet, surprise, things don’t go as planned. The Long Good Friday gives us a gangster who is shit out of luck. He’s trying to hold everything together, but he can’t. The world he occupies is different— there are bigger entities that want him out of the picture. The Long Good Friday finds its strength in examining a gangster who is loosing his grasp. This examination gives off plenty of memorable scenes throughout the film ranging from intense interrogations to quiet moments of confusion. Overall, this film is pretty great and harnesses a good deal of emotion and grit that work in an extremely satisfying manner.



You say the movie is (or feels) unoriginal, but I can't name a gangster movie that shares "arcs and events" with The Long Good Friday -- can you?

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Red White & Blue (2010)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1465505/
What starts out as a seemingly slow moving character study of a woman who sleeps with dozens of men, transforms into a brutal revenge thriller once the reason of the woman's sexual promiscuity is revealed. This is a gritty almost exploitation (there are scenes of torture, and numerous sex scenes), low-budget indie production, with highly dubious dialogue, acting and editing. Still, it's surprisingly watchable, if you are so inclined.
6/10.

Starlet (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2035630/
A porn star (Jane) forms an unlikely friendship with an elderly woman (Sadie) after buying a thermos flask full of money at her garage sale. A modern day Harold and Maude this is not (and imo is not really trying to be, but was clearly inspired by it). That said, the character interaction/story (thin as it is) was engaging and the the acting from the no-name actors (including the supporting cast) sufficiently good that the film never drags. There is a gratuitous hardcore sex-scene showing us what Jane does for "work" which may bother some people.
7/10.


Last edited by nitrium on Sat May 18, 2013 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat May 18, 2013 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4

I can’t say this film feels original. Heck most mob films have similar arcs and events, and The Long Good Friday is really no different in that regard. However, the setup is slightly different, and the tone evoked here feels much more sincere than other efforts such as Lock Stock and Snatch. For one London mob boss (Bob Hoskins) everything is perfect. Hoskin’s character is about to make a deal that will cement his stature and power. Yet, surprise, things don’t go as planned. The Long Good Friday gives us a gangster who is shit out of luck. He’s trying to hold everything together, but he can’t. The world he occupies is different— there are bigger entities that want him out of the picture. The Long Good Friday finds its strength in examining a gangster who is loosing his grasp. This examination gives off plenty of memorable scenes throughout the film ranging from intense interrogations to quiet moments of confusion. Overall, this film is pretty great and harnesses a good deal of emotion and grit that work in an extremely satisfying manner.



You say the movie is (or feels) unoriginal, but I can't name a gangster movie that shares "arcs and events" with The Long Good Friday -- can you?


A gangster looses the prosperous life he once had, and returns to a place that is familiar but clearly changed. This happens in Depalma's Carlito's Way( granted that film came out much later than The Long Good Friday)Of course Al Pacino is coming home from jail, Hoskin however is coming hole from a short time away. Both Characters return to a place they thought they knew, but no longer do.

Hoskin is trying to find out who has betrayed him. This happens in the Godfather Part II.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The film ends with the ultimate ( presumed ) demise of Hoskins character, and his mob. We see mobsters taking out other mobsters for their own personal causes, the same is done here in a sense just replacing said mob with a more political entity.

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Sat May 18, 2013 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4

I can’t say this film feels original. Heck most mob films have similar arcs and events, and The Long Good Friday is really no different in that regard. However, the setup is slightly different, and the tone evoked here feels much more sincere than other efforts such as Lock Stock and Snatch. For one London mob boss (Bob Hoskins) everything is perfect. Hoskin’s character is about to make a deal that will cement his stature and power. Yet, surprise, things don’t go as planned. The Long Good Friday gives us a gangster who is shit out of luck. He’s trying to hold everything together, but he can’t. The world he occupies is different— there are bigger entities that want him out of the picture. The Long Good Friday finds its strength in examining a gangster who is loosing his grasp. This examination gives off plenty of memorable scenes throughout the film ranging from intense interrogations to quiet moments of confusion. Overall, this film is pretty great and harnesses a good deal of emotion and grit that work in an extremely satisfying manner.



You say the movie is (or feels) unoriginal, but I can't name a gangster movie that shares "arcs and events" with The Long Good Friday -- can you?


A gangster looses the prosperous life he once had, and returns to a place that is familiar but clearly changed. This happens in Depalma's Carlito's Way( granted that film came out much later than The Long Good Friday)Of course Al Pacino is coming home from jail, Hoskin however is coming hole from a short time away. Both Characters return to a place they thought they knew, but no longer do.

Hoskin is trying to find out who has betrayed him. This happens in the Godfather Part II.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The film ends with the ultimate ( presumed ) demise of Hoskins character, and his mob. We see mobsters taking out other mobsters for their own personal causes, the same is done here in a sense just replacing said mob with a more political entity.


First of all, as you even allude to, both films come out after The Long Good Friday. But even still, I don't think your criticism is valid. Carlito's Way features a reformed mobster going back to his old stomping grounds and trying to stay out of trouble. Nothing at all like Bob Hoskins' swaggering attempts to make it big. And "trying to find out who betrayed him" is super vague -- you might as well say The Long Good Friday is too reminiscent of Sin City.

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Sat May 18, 2013 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
nitrium wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Very slow moving, and at times confusing (this is what happens when you compress a six-hour miniseries into a two hour window), but well worth the effort. Gary Oldman is brilliant as always; calculating coldness personified. I was only vaguely familiar with the story, so I definitely found the narrative unpredictable. The ending and resolution of the mystery does not disappoint. This isn't one of my 2011 "catch-up" titles I'll remember with much detail, but in the moment, it's solid cerebral entertainment.

I found this film almost impossible to follow (and I was trying). Once I lost track of what was happening, the film became insanely boring. I almost stopped watching it for this reason. I'd recommend TTS for people familiar with the source material only, and definitely NOT for the casual viewer.


Oh man, I've had this in my rack for months but I haven't been able to muster the patience to watch it yet - and your post has given clear anecdotal support to my worst fears about it.


I understand the concerns, but it's only "weaknesses" are a "complicated" plot and a slow pace. Other than that, it's a pretty good film.

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Sat May 18, 2013 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
First of all, as you even allude to, both films come out after The Long Good Friday. But even still, I don't think your criticism is valid. Carlito's Way features a reformed mobster going back to his old stomping grounds and trying to stay out of trouble. Nothing at all like Bob Hoskins' swaggering attempts to make it big. And "trying to find out who betrayed him" is super vague -- you might as well say The Long Good Friday is too reminiscent of Sin City.


I think my points are understandable. This isn't philosophy class James, so I don't think arguing validity is going to be all that constructive. I'm not saying the rooster crows therefore the sun comes up, I'm just voicing my thoughts. Pacino and Hoskin's characters are both in a place that they seem to have figured out. Both feel comfortable in this place and are wanting to try something new in their lives. Pacino is trying to stay on the straight and narrow, Hoskins is trying to cozy up to the Americans to build his casino empire. Both are trying to secure a form of wealth, even though their means to an end so to speak are different. Things don't go as planned (as usual). A botched job causes them to be thrusted in a world they don't want any part of. Hoskins wants peace. Pacino wants to stay clean.

The Long Good Friday borrows from other films that I have seen previously, in that respect it seems unoriginal (familiar would have been a better word on my part) from my own personal perspective. It's kinda like if you watch A Fistful of Dollars before Yojimbo. It's perfectly fine to say the film feels familiar, and uses similar elements--even though Yojimbo came before A Fistful of Dollars. That's what I'm saying here. Notice I didn't say the film wasn't original, I just said it didn't feel original. It's very biased on my part, but it comes from my past film experience.

Yes, the aspect of finding the traitor was put across vaguely, but it is a similar plot thread in gangster films--almost a convention per se. It's used in the The Long Good Friday, and its used in other gangster films as well. Vague, but true. Still really loved this film.

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Sat May 18, 2013 9:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

I generally like JJ Abrams work, but I was fairly on the fence on this one. He brought some familiar signatures (lens flares) and left others at home (did not have the opening scene actually come from the middle of the movie and then end the opening with "9 days earlier" or something), but I wasn't overly impressed. Some of the action pieces are good, and the costumes, sets designs and special effects are all top rate. The main characters of Spock, Kirk and Bones are given enough to do, and I guess Scotty once again fills in for comic relief, but Chekov and Sulu aren't given a whole lot to do. I guess what really rubbed me the wrong way is the central conceit of this franchise, which is we are supposed to be witnessing an alternate timeline of the Enterprise characters in this new "post 9/11-Vulcan has been blowed up" setting. If that's the case...fine...embrace it.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why instead are we getting Khan? And not only Khan...but Khan about 4 or 5 years before Kirk encountered him in the original timeline? And if that's not bad enough, Abrams and Co. go about copying elements and actions from "Wrath of Khan" (some subtle, some blatant) that some would call homage and others a rip-off. I mean...could you call this movie a loose remake of Star Trek II? I dunno. But with the "blank slate" the producers gave themselves with the last movie, I don't know why they saw the need to recycle old Trek instead of mining new ideas. (Another nitpick....Kirk and Bones knowing about tribbles years before they encountered them in the original timeline.

I guess the movie looks great and kept my attention, but there were a few bits stretched for dramatic tension where I guessed what was going to happen next a mile off. I wanted to like it more, but at the end of the day I settled on a 2.5 / 4.0 (which for me is a tepid recommendation).


Sat May 18, 2013 10:12 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
The Long Good Friday (1980) 3.5/4


I love just about everything about this film. Bob Hoskins is brilliant, the theme music is classic, and it features one of the more hilarious shower scenes in movie history. ;)

Pedro wrote:
I politely disagree about Gatsby, but completely understand why you felt the way you did. Also, I'm glad someone whose opinion I respect has both heard of and seen Upstream Color. Your enthusiasm has encouraged me to make it a priority. Good on you, sir.


JamesKunz wrote:
Liked reading your Gatsby write-up, though I think I liked the movie a bit more than you did. Also, I liked Upstream Color quite a bit too. Malick by way of Cronenberg is never going to be boring or staid. Jack Burns sent me this article. It goes into a lot of questions I had, and was very interesting.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... _film.html


Reading what I wrote about Gatsby again, I might have been a little too hard on it. Luhrmann's style irritates me, but my feeling about it is more indifference than displeasure.

Thanks for the link, Kunz. Reading through that makes me want to watch the film again, as it's clear quite a bit went over my head. And yeah Pedro, I highly recommend checking it out. I think there have been three people who have seen it so far on the forum, and the reactions have all been positive.

One more film from the last week:

Gate Of Hell - Teinosuke Kinugasa's Palme d'Or and Oscar winning film from 1953 also holds the distinction of being the first Japanese color film to be released outside of Japan. Martin Scorcese has called it "one of the ten most beautiful color films ever made," and right from the beginning it's easy to see why he would make that kind of statement. The film takes full advantage of the Eastmancolor film stock, with not a scene that going by that doesn't feature settings and costumes of extravagant color (the film also won the Oscar for Best Costume Design). It certainly gives the film its own striking and distinctive look, a far cry from the works of the Japanese masters Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu, all of whom were filming in black-and-white during this time period.

There is more to the film than just the eye-catching use of color, but one of the minor disappointments of the film is that its narrative is a fairly ordinary one. It revolves around the warrior Morito (Kazuo Hasegawa) and his obsession with the married Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyô, instantly recognizable from her roles in Rashomon, Ugetsu, and Floating Weeds. When asked to choose a reward for showing bravery to the Emperor during a period of rebellion, Morito asks for Lady Kesa, and while the Emperor is unable to fulfill the request directly, he does devise scenarios to draw the two of them together. This sets up a chain of events that inevitably leads to tragedy. Not exactly an original concept, but the film adds a small wrinkle with the ambiguous motivations of Lady Kesa. For one, it's not entirely clear for most of the film if she is at all receptive to Morito's advances, which is a changeup from the usual way these kind of films play out, with the star-crossed lovers rebelling against the society rules of the time. Here, Lady Kesa finds herself in something of a no-win scenario; she doesn't reciprocate Morito's advances, but there is almost nothing she can do to stop him from taking drastic actions. All of this is handled solidly, with strong acting and direction, but for a Best Foreign Film winner it feels surprisingly ordinary. It's remembered best for its color cinematography, and that's what will more than likely end up sticking with me. 7/10.

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Sat May 18, 2013 10:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
I love just about everything about this film. Bob Hoskins is brilliant, the theme music is classic, and it features one of the more hilarious shower scenes in movie history. ;)


Oh I loved the film. Solid performances and score for sure!

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Sat May 18, 2013 10:18 pm
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