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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
ed_metal_head wrote:
calvero wrote:
Zeppelin, any chance you could put your thoughts on Andrei Rublev, Black Narcissus, The Leopard in the cinematic thread? we need to keep it alive(& I usually don't look at this thread so I don't want to miss any of your further reviews of classic films)

I'm a big fan of Powell/Pressburger, looking forward to hearing what you think of their other films.


I second that notion.

Re: Andrei Rublev. I've yet to see the movie, but I'm aware of an (in)famous scene involving a cow in the extended version. If you saw it, was it difficult to watch?


Alright, sure. But before that....

Public Enemies - Time to take the unpopular opinion; Public Enemies is a complete dramatic failure with fantastic gunfights and a beautiful death scene, but other than that almost everything that happens during its far too long running time rings false. Shot and edited like a film from the Dogme '95 movement (Think Lars Von Trier if you've never heard of it), Public Enemies is undone by trying to combine seemingly realistic camera work with movie stars like Christian Bale (Once again playing "Determined Guy") and Johnny Deep (Who is far, far too pretty to work with documentary style camera work) and an incredibly bombastic score that just highlights how artificial the whole thing feels. Still, I must give credit for one scene in particular, a gunfight that happens in the Wisconsin Woods which is easily the best single action scene made in years. My recommendation? Speak Public Enemies in theaters, watch that one scene on DVD, then watch the scenes where Dillinger walks through the police department investigating him and his death. Then you've caught all the great things Public Enemies has to offer without the shit that goes with it. An interesting experiment on paper that fails spectacularly on screen. 3/10

Re: Re: Andrei Rublev. I did see the extended version, and honestly I can't recall a scene involving a cow. I can remember a scene where a horse falls down some stairs and then is stabbed which I'm sure wasen't faked and did seem pretty brutal to me, but a cow is coming up blank. What exactly happens in the scene? I'm sure I'd remember it if it's really that bad.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:53 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Zeppelin wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Re: Andrei Rublev. I've yet to see the movie, but I'm aware of an (in)famous scene involving a cow in the extended version. If you saw it, was it difficult to watch?


Re: Re: Andrei Rublev. I did see the extended version, and honestly I can't recall a scene involving a cow. I can remember a scene where a horse falls down some stairs and then is stabbed which I'm sure wasen't faked and did seem pretty brutal to me, but a cow is coming up blank. What exactly happens in the scene? I'm sure I'd remember it if it's really that bad.


I guess I was either misinformed, or the scene is not that bad. The scene I was discussing involves a cow supposedly
[Reveal] Spoiler:
being set on fire.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:09 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
ed_metal_head wrote:
Zeppelin wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Re: Andrei Rublev. I've yet to see the movie, but I'm aware of an (in)famous scene involving a cow in the extended version. If you saw it, was it difficult to watch?


Re: Re: Andrei Rublev. I did see the extended version, and honestly I can't recall a scene involving a cow. I can remember a scene where a horse falls down some stairs and then is stabbed which I'm sure wasen't faked and did seem pretty brutal to me, but a cow is coming up blank. What exactly happens in the scene? I'm sure I'd remember it if it's really that bad.


I guess I was either misinformed, or the scene is not that bad. The scene I was discussing involves a cow supposedly
[Reveal] Spoiler:
being set on fire.


Well it is true that I've never felt very strongly for animals, so maybe I'm just being an insensitive beast. Anyway, I seem to recall a brief snapshot of
[Reveal] Spoiler:
a cow being lit
, but that may just be my imagination playing tricks on me. So no, the only animal abuse I recall is a horse being put down via spear. Has anyone else seen the film and can remember such a scene?


Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:27 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Grosse Point Blank which is as entertaining of a dark comedy/thriller as it has ever been!


Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:42 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince

Half-Blood Prince is the best looking and most emotionally resonant movie of the franchise, with some great performances from its all-star cast. It’s also the funniest of the series. The hormones raging in Hogwarts are masterfully captured by David Yates. The main actors/actresses who we have seen grow up on screen are so comfortable with one another it practically bursts off the screen.

Of course, Half-Blood Prince also sets up for the final battle in the next 2 movies wonderfully. They have cut out a few subplots that make diehards fume, but they keep seeing the movies anyway so it’s not like anyone should listen to them. Film and the written word are different and need to be handled differently, no matter what any fanboy says (and yes I have read all the books). I appreciate everything these films capture so wonderfully from the books and the fact that not a single movie in this now 6 deep movie franchise has been a failure. David Yates movies are definitely my favorite of the bunch, and I’m glad he is sticking around to finish off the series.

Many people have commented on how gorgeous the cinematography is in this movie, and I have to agree. The camera shots of Hogwarts and the set pieces are absolutely stunning and the movements of the camera between the characters in the dramatic scenes highlight that these actors are truly giving it everything they have. Jim Broadbent is especially fantastic as Professor Slughorn. He captures the offbeat goofiness of the character while still maintaining a human element in the more pivotal and dramatic scenes. Alan Rickman has considerable screen time too and makes the most of it. I know opinions have swayed on Michael Gambon’s portrayal of Dumbledore, but I think he is great. He’s much fiercer than Richard Harris was as well as commanding. I couldn’t imagine Harris doing hardly any of the stuff that happens in the film (or OotP for that matter). Rupert Grint is definitely grown into more of a comedic actor too and thankfully it suits Ron well. Daniel Radcliffe is definitely the best of the main three, giving a touching performance. Emma Watson captured the heartbreak and jealousy of Hermione quite well too. As for the rest of the cast, just do a roll call. The most important thing is that all these performers have considerable chemistry.

Is Half-Blood Prince my favorite movie in the series? I’m not quite sure yet. I’ll need to see it again (my opinion of OotP changed quite a bit after repeat viewings), but I can say with certainty that this is the BEST Harry Potter film yet. I sure can’t wait for the last 2 films in the series to come out.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:18 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
T r o i s couleurs: B l e u

It would be the easiest thing in the world to call Blue a great film. That it isn't may lie with the viewer rather than the movie itself.

Possible spoilers follow.

Is there a better actress than Juliette Binoche to carry a ghost story? Be it the ghost of a dead husband, a dead daughter, a possibly fraudulent legacy of the dead husband -- Binoche can make a dead stare read for a thousand miles. She's amazing. That she's plagued by ghosts and does her best to rid herself of everything -- memory, artifacts -- feels meaningless when she's so compelled to actively rid herself of the ghosts. The search for "nothing" is virtually endless when she's the widow of one of France's most beloved composers. She's as public as she knows she is.

Rather than go over the raw details of the movie I want to take a look at what kept the movie from greatness. This is only my view and I'm open to persuasion from anyone willing to call up their memories of Blue. The problem for me was the angle of her husband's fraudulence -- it's entirely possible that Julie is the composer of everything that made her husband a national treasure. The film hints at this possibility but it never gets deep enough into Julie's head for us to feel anything, one way or the other, about all the tantalizing little details we've been peppered with. It's such an outsider's perspective (by necessity) that the movie loses its emotional thread toward the end and becomes a story of closure. I believe this is a mistake although I understand why Kieslowski may have made it. Because the film is Julie's story we're given only her side -- her commitment to erasure -- and, as such, small developments toward the end (her charity toward her husband's mistress) feel like a rush toward definitive meaning. Those opening notes of the movie, where ambiguity and confusion are all the viewer has to go on, deserve a deepening mystery.

I write this with full knowledge thatn without White and Red, Blue doesn't have it's entire meaning developed. But it should stand alone all the same. It does, to a point. I felt a little bit disappointed with the film -- I would have given anything for endless ambiguity and subtlety. To have the rug pulled out from under me when the film explains and explains feels like a cheat.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:47 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
T r o i s couleurs: B l e u

Possible spoilers follow.

Rather than go over the raw details of the movie I want to take a look at what kept the movie from greatness. This is only my view and I'm open to persuasion from anyone willing to call up their memories of Blue.


Alrighty then.

Quote:
The problem for me was the angle of her husband's fraudulence -- it's entirely possible that Julie is the composer of everything that made her husband a national treasure. The film hints at this possibility but it never gets deep enough into Julie's head for us to feel anything, one way or the other, about all the tantalizing little details we've been peppered with.


From my perspective, it doesn't much matter whether she is the composer of everything her husband supposedly wrote, or that she merely helped him substantially. Either will serve the story.

Quote:
It's such an outsider's perspective (by necessity) that the movie loses its emotional thread toward the end and becomes a story of closure. I believe this is a mistake although I understand why Kieslowski may have made it. Because the film is Julie's story we're given only her side -- her commitment to erasure -- and, as such, small developments toward the end (her charity toward her husband's mistress) feel like a rush toward definitive meaning. Those opening notes of the movie, where ambiguity and confusion are all the viewer has to go on, deserve a deepening mystery.


I can totally see your point. I'm not sure I have a firm counter-argument, but I would posit this: I see a definitive, and natural, transition point in the discovery and reaction to her late husband's mistress. She wasn't just being kind to her, I think. I the discovery of the mistress, when combined with the revelations about Julie's having written at least some of the music that gave her husband his reputation, freed her in a way.

In particular, I think Julie's ultimate reaction to the mistress (and, by extension, her late husband's unborn child) produces a subtle but profound change in Julie's sense of what she has lost, and what her conscience will allow her to do in order to survive.

Quote:
I write this with full knowledge thatn without White and Red, Blue doesn't have it's entire meaning developed. But it should stand alone all the same. It does, to a point. I felt a little bit disappointed with the film -- I would have given anything for endless ambiguity and subtlety. To have the rug pulled out from under me when the film explains and explains feels like a cheat.


Again, I won't argue that it isn't a cheat, but it didn't feel like a cheat to me, I suppose because I don't feel like the rug was pulled. I think the story settles on her reaction to the mistress, and what comes after feels organic to me.

fwiw


Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:11 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
About Blue. The quotes are from Tuco.

Quote:
From my perspective, it doesn't much matter whether she is the composer of everything her husband supposedly wrote, or that she merely helped him substantially. Either will serve the story.


On this I agree. The only thing that matters in the end is a lack of resolution. The film paid off by not resolving the mystery of Julie's participation (or the extent thereof) and faltered slightly when it returned to the point on a few occasions. It's not a fatal error.

Quote:
I see a definitive, and natural, transition point in the discovery and reaction to her late husband's mistress. She wasn't just being kind to her, I think. I the discovery of the mistress, when combined with the revelations about Julie's having written at least some of the music that gave her husband his reputation, freed her in a way.


If only I could believe that she had been liberated. We're given this wonderful scene with her mother ("Was I afraid of mice as a child?" "No, it was Julie who was afraid.") that made me believe nobody was really seeing Julie for all her qualities. When the mistress recounts some of Julie's qualities back to her I believed it was a continuation of this theme -- the mistress lists the qualities Julie's husband said she had. It didn't strike me as confirmation of anything but her husband's devotion. She's still invisible to a degree.

Quote:
In particular, I think Julie's ultimate reaction to the mistress (and, by extension, her late husband's unborn child) produces a subtle but profound change in Julie's sense of what she has lost, and what her conscience will allow her to do in order to survive.


You're right. The little things that build up to this (the prostitute downstairs cleaning up a borrowed cat's mess, Julie visiting the prostitute at work) confirm that I missed this when I first struck out on my quasi-review.

I'm really looking forward to watching White (I haven't seen it since high school) and seeing some of the themes from Blue intertwine and resolve. Expectations are dangerously high.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re-watched one of my favorite films tonight, "Into the Wild".

No matter how many times I watch it, the scene with Hal Holbrook in the truck, coupled with the very ending, gets me every time. Just flat out one of the best movies I've ever seen, the cinematography is breathtaking.

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Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
majoraphasia wrote:
I'm really looking forward to watching White (I haven't seen it since high school) and seeing some of the themes from Blue intertwine and resolve. Expectations are dangerously high.


Hooboy. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm expecting disappointment.

IMO, White is the weakest link when viewed as a part of the thematic whole of the trilogy.

That said, I also think it stands alone better than the other two do. I think Red and Blue are better films, but it's easier to watch White without knowing much about the other two.

There are a few interesting things, so I'll be anxious to know what you think. I feel oddly protective about White (it has Julie Delpy, after all, and I think the acting in it is very underrated), so I'm also dreading your reaction as well . . .


Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:27 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
T r z y kolory: B i a l y
or Trois couleurs: Blanc

Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers

Vengeance is such an alarming concept that I've more or less wrested it from my mind in order to make room for political opinions and other talking points. The idea that the man who broke into your house and murdered your loved ones deserves to die is something that I can't believe for being trapped at the word deserves. In Kieslowski's brilliant and eccentric White, Karol Karol is trapped by circumstances of language into creating a brilliant life for himself for the sole purpose of avenging his... what? A divorce? A lack a show of love from his ex-wife?

The skin is different than Kieslowski's Blue but the skeleton remains much the same. This time the story focuses on Karol but the ghost of his ex-wife is the true focus of the film. Karol's personal hell isn't the death of loved ones but the inability to appreciate language -- he speaks Polish, his wife speaks French, he wants love to be illustrated with his idea of how it should be done, she can't understand what that means. Through intricately plotted means (this entry into the trilogy is more generous with story and character than Blue... more on that in a bit) Karol relocates from France to Poland (stowed in a suitcase, no less) and initiates a series of events that will lead to his faking his own death and Dominique, the ex-wife, being held responsible.

Kieslowski uses the themes of being seen/not seen and being understood/labeled incoherent that he established in Blue to spin a complicated story of unnecessary vengeance sought against Karol's idea of his wife. Only too late does he understand that there is a enormous valley of discrepancy between his version of Dominique and the reality of her person. Thanks in no small part to Blue, White deepens the meaning of the aforementioned Juliette Binoche film while taking the more subtle themes of human longing and the desperation for freedom and appropriating them in a way that can only be called genius. In the end, when Dominique is imprisoned for a murder that hadn't even happened and Karol watches her from outside her cell are we allowed to see that Karol doesn't purchase into vengeance. Neither does Dominique. Neither does Kieslowski. Or the viewer. It took actions too circuitous for rationality and repercussions too severe for words to arrive at the conclusion that the language everyone in the movie speaks is the same. All these people had to do was bother listening. Tragic!

It's a wonderful movie and, by continuing and broadening the trilogy in an unexpected (and comedic) way, it raises the preceding Blue to the same heights as White.


Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:38 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Fantastic. After one viewing, I'd consider this my second or third favorite Hitchcock film (I've seen about 15). Joseph Cotton gives a masterful performance as the villain. It's a small-town noir concerned with big city values vs. small town American values, loss of innocence, and materialism. The film is richly textured, and the influence of German Expressionism is apparent. I'm a huge noir fan and this, along with The Third Man, show Cotten's ability to transform within the genre. Hitchcock's direction here is a perfect example of why he's the best ever. The dialogue is equally fantastic. I don't know if I can praise this film enough to do it justice. Obviously, it's recommended and a 4/4.


Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:48 am
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gran Torino.

I enjoyed it. Clint Eastwood is his usual reliable self. The story itself was a bit formulaic (fish out of water befriended by the "different" folks, overcomes prejudice, humor ensues... age vs youth, sacrifice for the good of another, etc). Reminded me a lot of Sling Blade (not that that's a bad thing).


Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:11 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Croupier - a movie in which Dr. Elizabeth Corday prances around without her knickers. As for the other merits of the film: This might just be Clive Owen's best performance. 7/10.

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989). I knew nothing about this movie before putting it on but I assumed that it was about a cook, a thief, his wife and her lover. Two hours later I was pleased to be correct: the movie was in fact about a cook, a thief, his wife and her lover.

Then I decided to surf the tubes of the interweb to read more about this movie and found out it's actually not about a cook, a thief, his wife and her lover. Well it is...but not really. It's actually an attack on the Margaret Thatcher led conservative government...or maybe not. Some think that it is about the greed of an entrepreneurial class that takes over perfectly efficient companies and steals their assets.

Me thinks the film is powerful enough without having to bring any sort of allegory into it. 7/10.


PeachyPete wrote:
Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Fantastic. After one viewing, I'd consider this my second or third favorite Hitchcock film (I've seen about 15). Joseph Cotton gives a masterful performance as the villain. It's a small-town noir concerned with big city values vs. small town American values, loss of innocence, and materialism. The film is richly textured, and the influence of German Expressionism is apparent. I'm a huge noir fan and this, along with The Third Man, show Cotten's ability to transform within the genre. Hitchcock's direction here is a perfect example of why he's the best ever. The dialogue is equally fantastic. I don't know if I can praise this film enough to do it justice. Obviously, it's recommended and a 4/4.


I liked it a lot, but never thought it was great. You might be chuffed to know that it was Hitchcock's personal favourite [source: Robert Holloway].


Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:39 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Grave of the Fireflies
~Still heartbreaking.

Night and Fog
~I almost thought the narration was unnecessary (or at least should have been in German), but as far as important films go, what more can you say about Night and Fog? And who can forget some of its more stark imagery?

Day For Night
~Maybe it's because I'm a filmmaker at heart, but this might be my favorite Truffaut film - and I love The 400 Blows.

Moon
~I liked it in kind of the same way I liked Sunshine. Its level of interesting perhaps exceeds its level of filmmaking, but the filmmaking is also very competent. Sam Rockwell is an amazing man and Kevin Spacey has an amazing voice. Thanks for the film, Bowie's son.

Brüno
~I've said my piece in its thread. I don't think it quite deserves the backlash it has received, but it's definitely no Borat.

Cheri
~This is my candidate for least favorite film of the year. Maybe it was the selfishness of the main guy or the incredibly high corset of Kathy Bates, but I had a hard time finding anything redeeming about Cheri. Was it a commentary on social class? If so, it was muddled. Was it an easy breezy comedy? No, I never once laughed. Night and Fog had more laughs than Cheri. Did at least have a good ending? *chuckle* I don't think I've ever disagreed with James on a film to this degree.

The Philadelphia Story
~It's funny. Who doesn't like a drunk Jimmy Stewart?

The Battle of Algiers
~I loved it. This is probably one of the most unbiased films I've ever seen about a battle I've never really heard much about. (I'm only nineteen, remember!) Morricone's score actually made the film exciting, which is a strange compliment for a pseudo-documentary. If I have one complaint, it's with the dubbing, but I'm not sure whose fault that is. In any case, The Battle of Algiers deserves all the accolades it's been given and it's surprisingly relevant even today.


Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:33 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I'm glad I haven't read the books, because my fiance would not stop quibbling about what was added and what was left out. This is the most humorous installment, but also the messiest. The lack of focus didn't really bother me much...Prisoner of Azkaban had a similar feel, but PoA is also my favorite in the saga.

On a side note, the trailer for the next Twilight movie was atrocious...probably the worst trailer for a movie I have ever seen in my life.


Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:52 pm
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pedro wrote:

The Battle of Algiers
~I loved it. This is probably one of the most unbiased films I've ever seen about a battle I've never really heard much about. (I'm only nineteen, remember!) Morricone's score actually made the film exciting, which is a strange compliment for a pseudo-documentary. If I have one complaint, it's with the dubbing, but I'm not sure whose fault that is. In any case, The Battle of Algiers deserves all the accolades it's been given and it's surprisingly relevant even today.


Hey, Pedro. Long time listener and first time caller. I've seen the film several times and eventually started wondering about how unbiased it really is. The movie seems to treat the Algierians with greater delicacy (note the musical swells during some of the aftermath) than the French. I think the movie has some sympathies with the "terrorist" tactics and, counterintuively, this is what makes the movie so incredible. I've been on the (far) left of the political spectrum for a long time and The Battle of Algiers is emotionally resonant because it's so uncompromisingly, yet subtlely, biased toward a side that rarely gets treated with any equanimity.

But, to compound the problem, I'm biased. The thread of the mass murder depicted in Algiers is something that should absolutely be of universal interest. I believe we've since seen many acts of disgusting vengeance that parallel the actions of Algiers and, although the film doesn't go so far as to posit solutions, I'm sure that the intentions of the filmmakers were not purely documentarian. They were filming an essay.

Please, before anyone responds to this, realize that my intentions are only to make clear my views on the film. I don't want this to spiral out of control into a war of idealogies.


Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Boogie Nights (**1/2 out of ****) - Story concerning the life of an aspiring porn star (Mark Wahlberg) and the director (Burt Reynolds) who sucked him into the adult entertainment industry. At times, this is a hard, concentrated look on the careless, reckless lifestyle these kinds of people lived. Other times, the film's hammering of drug addiction and lack of morality becomes almost overkill, to the point that a 150 minute running span seems quite demanding. Wahlberg is terrific in the lead role, with good support coming from Reynolds and Don Cheadle, however, I felt some characters were poorly developed (William H. Macy's, for example), and as good as Wahlberg is, I didn't care as much about the character as the director wanted me to.

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Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Last Laugh (1924). Not one of my favorite silent films; no joy in it whatsoever. F.W. Murnau's direction, however, is masterful throughout. I can easily see why he is considered by some to the best of all silent directors.


Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Batman Returns(1992): The film stars good, but the film's tone goes from dark to pitch black. and another thing, what was Christopher Walken doing in this film, he's a great actor, but his character really serves no purpose. 2 1/2 stars out of 4


Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:00 pm
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