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Which Films Did You See Last Week?; 06/05/18 - 12/05/18
Topic Started: May 13 2018, 12:08:02 PM (703 Views)
sol
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Well, it's 12pm GMT, so time to take over the reigns and freak Carmel out. -_-

Which Films Did You See Last Week?

Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be SPECTACULAR if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings... but if you're like me, "real life" sometimes gets in the way, so no need to feel obliged.

This is what I saw:

Go West (1925). Faced with unemployment, a hapless city dweller travels west, only to find ranch work more difficult than he imagined in this Buster Keaton silent comedy. A heifer who Keaton bonds with is adorable and amazingly well-trained, but this sweet friendship aside, the first two thirds of Go West are surprisingly stilted. The gags are just predictable and not very funny as Keaton has trouble doing various farm chores, as he falls out of a barrel and the list goes on. There are some innovative shots early on, taken from the point-of-view of charging bulls, but it is only in the final 25 minutes that the film truly comes alive as circumstances lead to Keaton escorting a herd through a busy city, dressed in a zany costume. Add in a cute misdirection ending and Go West concludes on a very positive note, but the vast majority of the film remains quite a slog. (first viewing, online)

In Old Arizona (1928). Nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture in its day, the fuss over In Old Arizona is sort of understandable. It was, after all, the first talkie shot outdoors on location with sound effects (sizzling bacon) ably recorded. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the film and it has little going its favour aside being an industry pioneer. As one Letterboxd reviewer put it, "the characters talk so much that they can make someone regret the advent of sound" and Edmund Lowe is bland as a humourless cop trying to catch Warner Baxter's bandit. There are some fun moments as Baxter asks others what they know about him (when talking those who know him by name but not sight) and his gentlemanly holding up of carriages is sort of amusing, but the vast majority of the film is poorly developed romance and dull plotting by Lowe to nab Baxter. (first viewing, online)

Day of the Outlaw (1959). Squabbling ranchers and homesteaders put their differences aside when a gang of outlaws visit for an overnight stay in this acclaimed André De Toth western. Set during blizzard-heavy winter and shot in stark black and white, the film looks gorgeous, but as narrative it is patchy. The first twenty minutes before the outlaws arrive is a chore to sit through with endless yapping. Things improve when the outlaws appear, but mainly due to the casting of Burl Ives as their wounded leader with life-threatening injuries. Ives has a great way of simply staring everyone down and oozes charisma without even speaking. Unfortunately, he is soon sidelined as he gets operated on with the film only once again coming to life in the final twenty minutes as Ives and his men ride through the snowbound west. If not uninteresting, this is an uneven stuff for sure. (first viewing, DVD)

Il Posto (1961). Applying for a menial job with a large corporation proves daunting for a shy teenager in this acclaimed drama from Ermanno Olmi. The film benefits from a number of Kafaesque touches; what exactly the corporation does remains a mystery, and voyeuristic shots through glass doors and looking up at looming glass windows from below are used to great effect. There a quite a few comically absurd touches too, most notably when his bed wetting habits come up in an intimate interview in which he is only allowed to answer 'yes' or 'no'. The second half of the film is not quite as encapsulating as the protagonist settles into the job with all tension quickly dissipating. The film ends with one surefire memorable scene though that goes a long way towards critiquing the loss of individual identity in corporate driven society. Interesting stuff; grim yet darkly comic. (first viewing, online)

Omicron (1963). Taking over the body of a deceased factory worker, an alien conquistador struggles to control his "prehistoric" body in this comedy from Ugo Gregoretti, who helmed the excellent final segment of RoGoPaG. Some of the humour is too goofy and slapstick for its own good, but there is generally a lot of fun to be had here as Gregoretti pokes fun at how our bodies work and aspects of society that we take for granted. At its zaniest, the alien mechanically learns how to smile by copying others and the robotic ways he initially moves his arms are great. The middle section is bogged down with worker/union politics, but the final third of the film is its funniest as the alien tries to get killed (suicide is illegal on his planet). The final scene is great too; rarely has simple smoke ever seemed so eerie, and the whole project is voyeuristically shot by Carlo Di Palma. (first viewing, online)

Will Penny (1968). An ageing cowboy's desire to settle down and retire is tested through repeated run-ins with murderous preacher and his sons in this Old West drama starring Charlton Heston. It is a performance that Heston believed to be his best work and there is no reason to disagree. From his readiness to let a dying friend defame him while bragging to a woman, to the way he gradually and very reluctantly bonds with a deserted lady and her son, it is a remarkably understated and sympathetic turn from an actor best known for big spectacle roles. The overall film is not quite as strong as Heston's performance; Donald Pleasance is a little too comical to ever really seem menacing, and the way he is ultimately overcome is unlikely if memorable. The movie is nicely wrapped up with a fine, unpredictable ending though in which we truly see Heston deliver as an actor. (first viewing, DVD)

Burn! (1969). Also known as Queimada - name of the fictitious Caribbean island on which the film is set, this intriguing Gillo Pontecorvo drama revolves around how the sugar cane growing nation is politically manipulated by the British who wish to control sugar prices. At the centre of the film is Marlon Brando as a man sent to incite a peaceful revolution among the natives on the Portuguese ruled island - and who is later sought to bring the revolutionaries under control. The film is weighed down by some very heavy-handed dialogue that spells out all the manipulations and ironies afoot, but this remains fascinating to view as an indictment of interventions from western society. Brando does well as the eloquent charmer protagonist, memorable images include a crying toddler forced to walk with his hands in the air, and the film ends on a pretty haunting note. (first viewing, DVD)

Soldier Blue (1970). Surviving an Amerindian attack that wiped out the rest of his cavalry, a young gung-ho soldier treks to safety with another soldier's fiancée in this western drama. The film opens on a graphic note with a soldier unexpectedly shot through his cheek during the first seven minutes, followed by one of the bloodiest battles imaginable. The movie unfortunately soon slows down as attention diverts to the two protagonists journeying to safety. Their diametrically opposite views on Amerindians are curious, but their romance is plodding and dull. Things pick up near the end with an even more vicious attack in which the soldiers become even more savage than the Amerindians supposedly are. The film's nude and bound poster overstates the case though and makes for an uncomfortably exploitative marketing ploy. The film itself, however, is decent if uneven. (first viewing, DVD)

The Hired Hand (1971). Returning home after years on the road, a drifter agrees to live as a hired hand for the benefit of his daughter (whose mother told her he died when she was a baby) in this revisionist western, directed by and starring Peter Fonda. It is a decent idea and Fonda makes for an empathetic antihero as he wrestles with his wife's infidelity as well as the knowledge that it was his fault for being away for so long. His estrangement from his daughter is oddly shied over and while this would have been a juicy angle to flesh out, it is understandable since he never knew her well. Whatever the case, the film ends with a memorable air of uncertainty and Vilmos Zsigmond's colour photography is exquisite. The film takes a long time to warm up with lots of lethargic dissolves and limited tension, but it hits some real tangible emotional notes in between the artsy bits. (first viewing, online)

Liza (1972). Sometimes known as La Cagna and Love to Eternity, this film from the combined imaginations of Marco Ferreri and Jean-Claude Carrière circles around a woman who very naturally assumes the role of her lover's dog after she inadvertently causes the beloved pet's death. It is a fascinating and offbeat idea with a lot of intriguing power play at hand and there are some great moments as he makes love to her within seconds of making her drink out of a bowl. For all its ambition, the film is incredibly slow to warm up with little occurring plot-wise until dog dies a third of the way in. The film also loses steam towards the end, as if Ferreri and Carrière had no idea where to go once they had showed the very depths of the S&M-ish relationship between the pair. The middle section of Liza is pretty strong, but the rest of the film screams of lost potential. (first viewing, DVD)

Torso (1973). Four female college students move to a friend's country villa to flee from a serial killer who has been killing off their peers, unaware that the mystery murderer has followed them in this giallo classic. The first two thirds of Torso are a real mixed bag. There are some eerie extreme low camera angles, especially during a swamp murder, plus there are a number of memorable deaths, but there are so many protagonists that it is hard to keep track of who is who. There is also some silly and ineffective comic relief as the villagers gawk at the bodies of the four friends and their contentment to sunbathe nude. The final third of the film though is powerhouse stuff as it morphs into a survivalist tale with a genre 'final girl' locked in with the killer. A newspaper/key scene is especially tense and all the misdirection regarding the killer's identity works very well. (first viewing, online)

King Dick (1973). Sold to an unattractive witch who only wants him for carnal pleasures, an easily aroused servant runs away and joins a circus, but escaping the witch's lustful clutches proves more difficult than that in this X-rated animated comedy from Italy. The film has some truly wacky and surreal images that bring to mind Ralph Bakshi, including a snake charmer making a certain part of the protagonist's body wriggle and grow, plus some really oddball acrobatic acts. The humour is a little hit-and-miss though, with far too many double entendre jokes coming from the fact that the main character is calling "Little Dick", as well as some truly excruciating scatological humour involving a sneaky elephant. The fairytale narration also sometimes comes across as odd, but this is at least a daringly different sort of comedy with nary a boring moment to be had. (first viewing, DVD)

Seven Beauties (1975). Deserting the army during World War II, an arrogant Italian man reflects on his life and uses his past experiences to evaluate what to do when he is sent to a concentration camp in this Lina Wertmüller movie. Not a straightforward film by any stretch, Seven Beauties is a highly episodic affair and this structure, coupled with lots of tonal shifts, renders it a rather difficult film. The comedic moments are certainly overly silly, with farting corpses, loud snoring and a woman's voice squeaking when choked in the mix. The dramatic backbone of the film is pretty solid though, especially as the protagonist's plans to manipulate a female German commandant land to him being manipulated instead. Extensive green filters also effectively make the concentration camp here more otherworldly than in pretty much every other World War II film to date. (first viewing, VHS)

Heartland (1979). Recently widowed and with a young daughter to support, a headstrong middle aged woman accepts a housekeeping job at a Wyoming ranch in this gritty, down-to-earth drama set during the 1910s. The film features some striking exterior shots as director Richard Pearce does everything possible to deglamourise the Old West lifestyle, with foreboding skies and landscapes that mirror the harsh living conditions. As a narrative though, the movie only ever half-works. In a baffling plot turn, the woman and rancher marry without any romantic sparks between them either before or during their married life. The pair have zero chemistry together (romantic or not) and this entire angle distracts from the potent glimpse into grim rancher life. Conchata Ferrell gives it her all as the woman though and the actress playing her daughter very competent too. (first viewing, online)

City of the Living Dead (1980). Committing suicide while ordained, a priest inadvertently opens up the gates of hell, leading to several bizarre and supernatural occurrences in this Lucio Fulci horror movie. As per Fulci's subsequent The House by the Cemetery, not everything about the plot adds up with Fulci and his crew not even attempting to weave in pseudoscientific or mystical explanations for much of what occurs. This is a film driven forward though by magnificent set pieces and gore effects. From tears of blood, to random fireballs, to cracking mirrors, to a blizzard of maggots, the film is full of shocking imagery. A part in which a buried alive woman is near impaled at several points as she is rescued is very gripping too. If not quite as strong a film as House by the Cemetery with its fear of moving anxieties, this is still a fairly solid shocker. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc)

The Beyond (1981). Inheriting a dilapidated hotel, a young woman insists on renovating the place despite mounting deaths from those working on the building in this Lucio Fulci horror film. Often cited as the best of Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy, the film concludes on a surefire chilling note and the story comes with more exposition than the other two entries with a lengthy prologue. The Beyond has similar vices to the other two films though with a seeming randomness in terms of who dies (and how) as well as only the murkiest explanation for what is going on (especially in terms of a blind girl here). The thrills and chills are excellent here though and range from a graphic death by group spider attack, to death by spilled acid, to a shocking bit in which a seeing eye dog goes eerily quiet during an off-screen fight before the unexpected happens. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc)

StageFright (1987). Exploiting the murder of his costume designer by an escaped murderer, an ambitious director locks his cast in their theatre and makes them rehearse an updated version of their serial killer play with dire consequences here. This is a comeuppance movie of sorts as they inadvertently lock themselves in with the murderer and pay the price for trying to cash in on their colleagues' death (don't mess with the owl!). The setting is great for a horror movie, clearly an influence on Wes Craven's Scream 2, and the novelty deaths are memorable. The film doesn't quite tap into all its black comedy potential (directing the killer on how to actual kill a victim) and all of the characters are standard lifeless slasher fodder, but there is a lot of interest in how desperate they are for success, even willing to turn the other way at a colleague's death being exploited. (first viewing, online)

The Death of Stalin (2017). "I've had nightmares that make more sense than this". Chaos ensues when Joseph Stalin unexpectedly dies leaving no clear successor in this consistently funny comedy from In the Loop director Armando Iannucci. The film has several laugh-out-loud moments as the pettiness of his squabbling leadership team slowly surfaces with hysterical bits including their sucking up to Stalin's daughter and an argument about where they are standing during Stalin's solemn funeral. Fun as the film is to watch, it is nevertheless compromised by the fact that all concerned talk like 21st century Brits. As such, the film never truly captures the flavour of 1950s Russia and therefore everything it tries to say about Stalinism falls flat. Still, this is entertaining while it lasts with witty dialogue left, right and centre and top performances all round. (first viewing, cinema)
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Perception de Ambiguity
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Chung Kuo - Cina / China (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1972) 2+/10

Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, 2001) 8-/10

Anon (Andrew Niccol, 2018) 6+/10

Game Night (John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, 2018) 6/10

Red Sparrow (Francis Lawrence, 2018) 2/10

Visa de censure n°X (Pierre Clémenti, 1967) 8+/10

Praejusios dienos atminimui / In Memory of a Day Gone By (Šarūnas Bartas, 1990) 5/10

Das Boot (ein Fernsehfilm in 6 Teilen von Wolfgang Petersen nach dem Roman von Lothar-Günther Buchheim, 1985, in dieser Fassung jedoch erstmals 1987 ausgestrahlt (theatrical cut released 1981)) (3rd+ viewing, 2nd viewing of mini-series version) 9/10

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011) (2nd viewing) 6/10 (from 8)

Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957) (3rd viewing) 9/10

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombtrack (Kubrick, 1964) (4th viewing) 9/10

Gutes Leben – Ohne Konsum? (Reportage im Auftrag des Westdeutschen Rundfunks (Patrick Stijfhals?), 2017)



Shorts

Reproductions (w&b hein / Birgit Hein & Wilhelm Hein, 1968) 7/10

625 (w&b hein / Birgit Hein & Wilhelm Hein, 1969) 8+/10

Portraits (w&b hein / Birgit Hein & Wilhelm Hein, 1970) 6/10

Materialfilme (w&b hein / Birgit Hein & Wilhelm Hein, 1976) 7/10
Materialfilm I 6+/10
Materialfilm II 7+/10

Re-entry (Jordan Belson, 1964) 7/10

A Coy Decoy (Robert Clampett, 1941) 3/10



music videos

directed by Anton Corbijn
Herbert Grönemeyer: Marie (1991) 5/10
Nirvana: Heart Shaped Box (1993) (umpteenth viewing) 6/10
Johnny Cash: Delia's Gone (1994) (umpteenth viewing) 7/10
Red Hot Chili Peppers: My Friends, Version 1 (1995) 6/10
Herbert Grönemeyer: Fanatisch (1998) 6+/10
Herbert Grönemeyer: Bleibt alles anders (1998) (3rd+ viewing) 7/10
Herbert Grönemeyer: Mensch (2002) (2nd+ viewing) 6/10
Herbert Grönemeyer: Zum Meer (2003) 6+/10

directed by Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton
Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Zephyr Song (2002) (2nd+ viewing) 3/10
Red Hot Chili Peppers: By the Way (2002) (umpteenth viewing) 6/10
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Otherside (2000) (umpteenth viewing) 6/10

Madonna: Human Nature (1995) 5/10

Madonna: Nothing Really Matters (1999) 5/10

Madonna: Music (Jonas Åkerlund, 2000) (umpteenth viewing) 5/10

Madonna: Don't Tell Me (2000) (2nd+ viewing) 5/10

Madonna: Hollywood (2003) (umpteenth viewing) 5/10

Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Starring Lady Gaga (2017) 6/10

Lady Gaga: Joanne - Piano Version (Haus of Gaga & friends, 2018) 3/10

P.O.D.: Alive (2001) (umpteenth viewing) 6/10

P.O.D.: Lost in Forever (2012) 4/10

Fergie: M.I.L.F. $ (2016) 6/10

Nicki Minaj: Barbie Tingz (2018)

Nicki Minaj: Chun-Li (2018)

Babymetal: Distortion (2018)



RiffTrax & Mystery Science Theater 3000

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017) (partly in 3D) 4/10

High School Musical (Kenny Ortega, 2006) 1/10

Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, 2010) 5/10



Series

Roseanne: "Go Cubs" (2018) 6-/10



Other

Paths of Glory - Criterion audio commentary [partly]



Notable Online Media

[top 2:]
AWAKENED MAN - THIS SPEECH WILL CHANGE YOU - Russell Brand
poopity scoop ( Kanye West - Lift Yourself ) edit [by prodigy] [10+x]
[rest:]
Silent Running [DAUMENKINO/FLIP BOOK]
How the Modern World Makes Us Mentally Ill
Extended Interview: Jordan Peterson Discusses How The World Shapes His Views | NBC Nightly News
Tyler the Creator Funniest moments
THE MUFFIN SONG (asdfmovie feat. Schmoyoho)
Kanye hits one poopy-di scoop and the crowd goes crazy
Cannes ’68: Cinema in Revolt
[Cannes 2018 stuff; highlight being Godard giving a press conference via a fucking telephone, naturellement]


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essence cut for density
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confession cut for Catholicism
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Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, May 13 2018, 03:05:36 PM.
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Good_Will_Harding
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Go West is cute and The Death of Stalin is one of my favorites from this year so far.

Pretty beat from working extra hours this week (not complaining though - the job I have now is still roughly a million times better than where I was working a year ago), so all y'all get this week is titles and ratings, since I spent most of my time not at work just hanging around and trying to cram in as many flicks as I could.

National Velvet (1944) - 7

The Killers (1946) - 8

Hiroshima (1953) - 7

Advise and Consent (1962) - 9

Who's that Knocking at My Door? (1967) - 7

Flashdance (1983) - 7

Krull (1983) - 6

Sans soleil (1983) - 8

Lean on Pete (2017) - 7

Repeat viewings:

Double Indemnity (1944) - 10

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) - 9

Scarlet Street (1945) - 9

Been on a bit of a film-noir kick lately, it would seem. Only just realized it now, though my extremely successful re-watch of the Wilder film is what prompted my going back to the other two repeat viewings.
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Carmel1379
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Can't drop my plate this time, I need this breakfast to cure my hangover. soz sol. I know that just blows your mind.

Go West - 6
Il posto - 6+


PdA:

Anon - It's Niccol, so I should definitely get to it sometime.

Das Boot - Not seen the mini-series version, might schedule it for October.

Cube - 2001's unrestored screening in Cannes today made you eager?

w&b hein - New fav director duo?

High School Musical - And I like nothing better than making fun of Jews! And ripping on black people, though some people think it's rude, but you gotta do what you wanna do!


GWH:

Sans soleil - 10
Double Indemnity - Would like to rewatch it too.
Scarlet Street - Ditto.


Carmel:

Face/Off (1997, John Woo) 8
I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave. Gets increasingly tenser and funnier. Great stuff.

Bruits d'images aux fenêtres d'osmin (1984, Jakobois) (short) 6

Our Century (1983, Artavazd Peleshian) 6

asdfmovie 1-10 (2008-2017, TomSka) (rewatches) + The Muffin Song (2018)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, Taika Waititi) 6
Indeed like ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’, it’s something fairly fresh and anew entertaining to happen to the superhero genre.

Avengers: Infinity World (2018, Anthony & Joe Russo) 3
Part of me wants to care about the greater narrative, objects, locations, character connections, ambitions, and powers. Part of me wants to admire the cosmic grandiosity of these movies - the existence of few strong individuals which conflict over the value of existence of whole planets populated by masses of weak worthless powerless idiots. Part of me wants to be entertained and enveloped by intrinsically mythologically-potent and action-based events. But none of those partial wishes come true to any satisfying extent with this execution. I’m bored by the devotion to facile regurgitated plot, by the loathsome music, by the pathetic attempts to make the viewer laugh, and everything else. So fuck it.

South Park:
Spontaneous Combustion (7/10)
The Biggest Douche in the Universe (rewatch) (9/10)

Golgo 13: The Professional (1983, Osamu Dezaki) 8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFNEgdwjEhs. Thanks PdA.

台風クラブ / Typhoon Club (1985, Shinji Sōmai) 6

Le tout nouveau testament (2015, Jaco Van Dormael) 7+
Amélie 2.0 indeed. And Brussels <333 (finally in a great film).

Cruising (1980, William Friedkin) 6
Starts interestingly and certainly deserves props for having the balls to take the gay S&M and leather niches as its foreground. It’s consistent, but wavers and wears itself out, providing quite a shallow anticlimactic resolution to the sought killer. However in the last 5 minutes it comes back powerfully and ambiguously, with a possible “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster” / “live long enough to see yourself become the villain” (due to the descent into blimey depths) subtext, that was quite cool and thematically valid.

The Hunger (1983, Tony Scott) 9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKRJfIPiJGY. Thanks PdA.
Edited by Carmel1379, May 13 2018, 01:56:44 PM.
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sol
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PdA:

Yep, Game Night is a pretty decent film. The part in which the friends are oblivious to everything is the funniest, but there are a lot of dark laughs as things turn more serious. Perhaps too many plot twists and turns, but I enjoyed watching the film all the same. Great score by Cliff Martinez too.

Sure, the Kubricks are great, though the acclaim for Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, four roles or not, baffles me (both Sterling Hayden and George C. Scott are far funnier). Didn't like Das Boot enough as a movie to seek out the miniseries, but I know that it has a solid fanbase.

Good_Will_Harding:

Yeah, bits and pieces of Go West are certainly cute, but I was disappointed at how unfunny most of the film was compared to Keaton's feature films at their peak. Only the part where the cows visited the city had me laughing out loud, but then again, I tend to prefer Keaton's shorts to his features. One Week remains the funniest thing that I have ever seen from him and The Haunted House isn't half-bad either.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Death of Stalin since Iannucci's In the Loop really underwhelmed me. I guess the deliberately anachronistic nature of Stalin simply gelled very well with me. It felt a lot like a Monty Python historical movie, what with all the characters swearing and cracking wise like people today rather than back then.

Yours:

I like the Scorsese film and Leave Her to Heaven a lot less than you, though it has been a number of years. I'm with you all the way on Double Indemnity; especially interesting to see Fred McMurray as a noir protagonist before he became a Disney mainstay, and Edward G. Robinson has never been better. I also liked National Velvet enough at the time - though not enough to seek out International Velvet despite having one of the greatest directors of all time at its helm. And Advise & Consent was a really solid drama with Charles Laughton in excellent form.

Carmel:

Your rating for Go West seems fair. Il Posto perhaps a little low, though the second half of the film disappointed me a bit after the great build-up. Some many absurdist, Kafkaesque touches as he applies for a mysterious job at a mysterious organisation with even more mysterious initiation hurdles. The actual job itself turned out to be pretty ordinary and more menial than I expected, though I still love that final shot. This is only the second Olmi film that I have seen. I should see more.

Yours:

Didn't like Face/Off much at the time. Cruising was okay from memory, certainly better than I had been led to expect, though I recall reading somewhere that it was heavily edited down from its original cut, which might be interesting to see some day. The Hunger was pretty cool too, though Le tout nouveau testament is my favourite of your viewing this week. Great idea, some magnificent sets (absurdly large walls of filing cabinets, unless I'm misremembering) and the young actress who plays god's daughter is divine.
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Onderhond
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01. 4.0* - The American Astronaut (2001)
Unique and disorienting lo-fi sci-fi musical. The American Astronaut is a film that defies easy description, but managed to drag me in right away. The raw, country/rock vibe is not exactly a favorite of mine and not quite fit for a sci-fi film, but in some strange way that even makes it better.

02. 3.5* - The Pinkie [Samayou Koyubi] (2014)
Fun and quirky first film of Takeba. With only 60 minutes on the clock, the film wastes no time at all. The plot is pretty absurd, the comedy all over the place. It's an excessively Japanese film, weird and incomparable, but funny and entertaining from start to finish.

03. 3.5* - Jailbreak (2017)
Very nice action flick, with a minimal amount bullshit. Just one big battle between police and inmates, with increasingly tough contestants standing in the way of our heroes. The fight sequences are top notch, which is all that really matters. Good fun.

04. 3.5* - Game Night (2018)
Game Night plays like a comical version of Fincher's The Game. Surprisingly enough, the comedy is actually successful. Some funny/creepy characters, couple of nice twists (expected, but always with an extra twist) and while pretty violent, never mean-spirited. A nice surprise.

05. 3.5* - Downrange (2017)
Downrange is a horror film that would've been more popular 10 years ago. Very simple setup, but quite brutal and in your face, something that's sadly gone out of fashion these past couple of years. Kitamura is a solid director, the ending is appropriate and it's a fun ride, but not all that special.

06. 3.0* - SPEC. The Movie [Gekijouban SPEC: Ten] (2012)
Typical Tsutsumi project. The TV roots of this film are painfully clear, the first hour isn't all that interesting because of it. But then the film goes into overdrive and what follows is almost impossible to describe. It feels pretty cheap and loose, but it's also a lot of fun.

07. 3.0* - The Cave (2005)
Works well as an adventure film, but as a creature flick The Cave doesn't quite cut it. The setting is spectacular and provides ample opportunity for some underground drama and action, sadly the monsters are cheap and feel like faile Giger knock-offs. Luckily the good outweighs the bad.

08. 3.0* - Foreboding [Yocho: Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha] (2017)
Weird follow-up to Before We Vanish. It's not a sequel, not a prequel, almost a remake but not quite. Kurosawa delivers an alternate version of his previous alien film, one that shows more similarities than differences, but still works as a seperate film. The film itself is decent, but overly long.

09. 3.0* - Holy Hell (2016)
Interesting doc about a lovely commune that slowly devolves into a veritable cult. While these docs tend to be very black and white, Holy Hell documents the change in dynamics that leads to the cult status. It's a shame we don't hear the leader himself that much, but otherwise a worthy doc.

10. 3.0* - Kaidan - Horror Classics [Ayashiki Bungô Kaidan] (2010)
Decent anthology, sadly without stand-out entries. Kaidan stories aren't very scary or gory, so don't expect any modern horror action. Tsukamoto and Koreeda deliver the best entries, Lee's one is decent, the only subpar short is coming from Ochiai. Ironically, the only true horror director present.

11. 2.5* - Flight (2012)
A film that starts with a lot of action, but quickly settles down to become an addication drama with a little courtroom thrown in for good measure. Washington and Reilly do good work, but Zemeckis isn't subtle enough to make a drama like this really stand out. Borderline acceptable.

12. 1.5* - The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
Poor animation film, poorly animated. Less annoying than most of its full-on American counterparts, but mainly because it contains less attempts at comedy. That's about as good as it gets. The film seems to think it's a lot smarter than it is, the story is plain and predictable.

13. 1.5* - The Net (1995)
Pretty cheesy 90s cyber thriller. It broadened the debate about identity theft back then, but it offers little more than a bit of doom and gloom driving an ill-directed, somewhat boring thriller story. Bullock is a complete miscast, the rest of the cast isn't much better.

14. 1.5* - Meow (2017)
Meow is aimed squarely at kids, but even then it offers very little value. The CG is unacceptable, the acting way over the top and the drama downright annoying. Instead of making a sweet, pleasant and carefree film, the bright and sugary colors can't hide all the kitsch underneath.

15. 1.0* - Crocodile [Black Mirror] (2017)
Another failure. Apparently someone on the writer's theme is really scared about people hacking our brains, because that's what half the episodes seem to be about. Badly directed, badly acting, boring like most of the other episodes.

16. 0.5* - Roxanne (1987)
Horrendous Steve Martin vehicle. Both Martin and Hannah are terrible, there is no chemistry between the two of them and their romance is laughable. Something that cannot be said about the comedy. For a film this light-hearted and summery, it's a miraculously impossible to sit through.
Edited by Onderhond, May 13 2018, 02:16:11 PM.
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Carmel1379
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sol
May 13 2018, 02:13:10 PM
Carmel:

Your rating for Go West seems fair. Il Posto perhaps a little low, though the second half of the film disappointed me a bit after the great build-up. Some many absurdist, Kafkaesque touches as he applies for a mysterious job at a mysterious organisation with even more mysterious initiation hurdles. The actual job itself turned out to be pretty ordinary and more menial than I expected, though I still love that final shot. This is only the second Olmi film that I have seen. I should see more.

Yours:

Didn't like Face/Off much at the time. Cruising was okay from memory, certainly better than I had been led to expect, though I recall reading somewhere that it was heavily edited down from its original cut, which might be interesting to see some day. The Hunger was pretty cool too, though Le tout nouveau testament is my favourite of your viewing this week. Great idea, some magnificent sets (absurdly large walls of filing cabinets, unless I'm misremembering) and the young actress who plays god's daughter is divine.
I saw 'Il posto' a year ago, but I don't remember it very well. Obviously the set-up of a young male wandering and stumbling in a strange, disorientating urban world of metal, beton, and bureaucracy, should be palatable to me; "Kafkaesque" is immensely appealing. Might consider a rewatch then, thanks.

Yeah, god's office had numerous filing cabinets, but what was more magnificent for me were the outdoors, because for the first time I could actually recognise all the locations in a movie, seeing places I have personal connections to and memories from, now on screen. And yeah, the girl was absolutely lovely.
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morrison-dylan-fan
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Hi all,I hope everyone is having a good weekend,and on Sol's Stalin comments,Iannucci has said he had the cast put on various regional British accents to represent the various regional Russian accents-with Iannucci saying that the amount of terrible fake Russian accents in films is what led to him not asking the cast to put them on.

Along with the movies in the Italian & Grindhouse challenge,I've also seen:

Posted Image



Drishyam (2015) 6

Re-making Jeethu Joseph's 2013 Malayalam film Drishyam, director Nishikant Kamat & cinematographer Avinash Arun gather round the Salgaonkar's with artful group shots that capture the sharp intake of breath over they each take over telling the correct lies. Digging up the family secrets, Kamat and Arun dip the film in deep red lights and long shadows that steam up a gritty atmosphere over the battle of wits between Vijay and Meera Deshmukh. Holding tightly on to his family, Ajay Devgn gives a great performance as Vijay, whose roar of aggression when family is threatened is threaded by Devgn with a calculating calmness.

Swaggering in as her officers beat up suspects, Tabu gives a Inspector General Meera Deshmukh, who is attacked by Tabu with a brute attitude that gives the psychological and physical violence Deshmukh dishes out a sting that leaves her male officers hiding in the corner. Taking inspiration from Keigo Higashino's book The Devotion of Suspect X, the screenplay by Upendra Sidhaye spends the first half layering the bonds between the Salgaonkar's and thrillingly placing them on their slippery attempts to build alibi's for the murder. Making the lies of the family tight,Sidhaye takes the mystery to a dead-end,which leads to horrible wrong turns as Vijay trips himself to revealing all with poorly-written exposition being shoved into the dialogue and dimming the wickedly macabre twist ending, as the last shovel of dirt is placed on the family plot.


Edited by morrison-dylan-fan, May 13 2018, 03:51:17 PM.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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Carmel1379
May 13 2018, 01:52:24 PM
PdA:

Anon - It's Niccol, so I should definitely get to it sometime.

Das Boot - Not seen the mini-series version, might schedule it for October.

Cube - 2001's unrestored screening in Cannes today made you eager?

w&b hein - New fav director duo?

High School Musical - And I like nothing better than making fun of Jews! And ripping on black people, though some people think it's rude, but you gotta do what you wanna do!

Carmel:

Face/Off (1997, John Woo) 8
I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave. Gets increasingly tenser and funnier. Great stuff.

Bruits d'images aux fenêtres d'osmin (1984, Jakobois) (short) 6

Our Century (1983, Artavazd Peleshian) 6

asdfmovie 1-10 (2008-2017, TomSka) (rewatches) + The Muffin Song (2018)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, Taika Waititi) 6
Indeed like ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’, it’s something fairly fresh and anew entertaining to happen to the superhero genre.

Avengers: Infinity World (2018, Anthony & Joe Russo) 3
Part of me wants to care about the greater narrative, objects, locations, character connections, ambitions, and powers. Part of me wants to admire the cosmic grandiosity of these movies - the existence of few strong individuals which conflict over the value of existence of whole planets populated by masses of weak worthless powerless idiots. Part of me wants to be entertained and enveloped by intrinsically mythologically-potent and action-based events. But none of those partial wishes come true to any satisfying extent with this execution. I’m bored by the devotion to facile regurgitated plot, by the loathsome music, by the pathetic attempts to make the viewer laugh, and everything else. So fuck it.

South Park:
Spontaneous Combustion (7/10)
The Biggest Douche in the Universe (rewatch) (9/10)

Golgo 13: The Professional (1983, Osamu Dezaki) 8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFNEgdwjEhs. Thanks PdA.

台風クラブ / Typhoon Club (1985, Shinji Sōmai) 6

Le tout nouveau testament (2015, Jaco Van Dormael) 7+
Amélie 2.0 indeed. And Brussels <333 (finally in a great film).

Cruising (1980, William Friedkin) 6
Starts interestingly and certainly deserves props for having the balls to take the gay S&M and leather niches as its foreground. It’s consistent, but wavers and wears itself out, providing quite a shallow anticlimactic resolution to the sought killer. However in the last 5 minutes it comes back powerfully and ambiguously, with a possible “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster” / “live long enough to see yourself become the villain” (due to the descent into blimey depths) subtext, that was quite cool and thematically valid.

The Hunger (1983, Tony Scott) 9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKRJfIPiJGY. Thanks PdA.
Anon - I think you should like it well enough, too. It's quite in line with Netflix' other recent cyberpunk-y output. And it's somehow visually hyperstimulating/ADD-safe with its "digitized reality" in the many POV shots (one of your current interests) and walls of texts popping up on screen (though I wonder if you can even make out the words watching it on even a big TV screen, and you have to pause the film anyway if you want to read most of it) and yet a relatively quiet, slow-paced film. Part of it is probably that it's a bit of a one-trick pony, with one interesting idea and milking it for the whole film, which makes it repetitive while remaining to be interesting enough throughout, at least as far as I was concerned.

Cube - It was watching/listening to CineFix' "Dr. Strangelove - What's the Difference?" video that gave me an appetite to watch it again. And with this and 'Das Boot' I kind of was in a war film mood, and also there was this, so I really just go where popular media takes me.

w&b hein - They would have to be up there.

Face/Off - I guess now I should ask if my recent posting of that phrase gave you another reason to see this film (not that I even remembered it being used in 'Face/Off')?

Typhoon Club (1985) - I put that one on my watchlist recently, interestingly enough.

Golgo & Hunger - You're welcome, bud. Posted Image
Were spirits involved in the watching of 'The Hunger'?
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, May 13 2018, 04:03:46 PM.
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Carmel1379
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Perception de Ambiguity
May 13 2018, 04:01:46 PM
Anon - I think you should like it well enough, too. It's quite in line with Netflix' other recent cyberpunk-y output. And it's somehow visually hyperstimulating/ADD-safe with its "digitized reality" in the many POV shots (one of your current interests) and walls of texts popping up on screen (though I wonder if you can even make out the words watching it on even a big TV screen, and you have to pause the film anyway if you want to read most of it) and yet a relatively quiet, slow-paced film. Part of it is probably that it's a bit of a one-trick pony, with one interesting idea and milking it for the whole film, which makes it repetitive while remaining to be interesting enough throughout, at least as far as I was concerned.

Cube - It was watching/listening to CineFix' "Dr. Strangelove - What's the Difference?" video that gave me an appetite to watch it again. And with this and 'Das Boot' I kind of was in a war film mood, and also there was this, so I really just go where popular media takes me.

w&b hein - They would have to be up there.

Face/Off - I guess now I should ask if my recent posting of that phrase gave you another reason to see this film (not that I even remembered it being used in 'Face/Off')?

Typhoon Club (1985) - I put that one on my watchlist recently, interestingly enough.

Golgo & Hunger - You're welcome, bud. Posted Image
Were spirits involved in the watching of 'The Hunger'?
It looks like 'Anon' got a proper theatrical release in the UK and won't be coming up on Netflix anytime soon, guess I'll have to wait a bit. If it's even half as good as Niccol's previous sci-fi movie 'In Time', I should be happy enough, that one was also pretty much just based on exclusively one concept too and I was entertained throughout. I think I like Amanda Seyfried more with dark hair too.

CineFix' "What's the Difference?" - Great, now, even without seeing (or wanting to see) the video in that series, I want to rewatch 'Oldboy'.

Face/Off - Yes, when I googled the phrase I was reminded this film existed and that day I had an appetite for some Nicolas Cage, so it happened. I wasn't too much into two of Woo's Hong Kong output, but this American one totally won me over. Maybe I should finally watch the first three 'Mission: Impossible' movies now.

Typhoon Club - Not sure if you'll get much out of it, but it's fairly Ozu-ian in its approach, so maybe.

Best gif ever.

The Hunger - The spirts of my former lovers, trapped in decaying bodies, in dark coffins made of rotting wood.

Yes, but I was invited to go to an outdoors public viewing of Eurovision (which I completely don't care about), so that's where the drinking got really heavy. I know, I'm sure I would've enjoyed 'The Hunger' even more than I did if I watched it later in the night and didn't go to that stupid Eurovision event (and instead went to a non-existent night club where they played Bauhaus visited by vampires), but I can't change the past now, and actually having seen 'The Hunger', I was later talking to various people with a kind of heightened consciousness induced by the film, with a seemingly more refined aesthetic and brooding sense, if that makes any sense. Or maybe it was just the alcohol. Anyway, here's 10 screenshots from the first 2 minutes for your enjoyment: tumblr poast link
Edited by Carmel1379, May 13 2018, 06:07:15 PM.
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viktor-vaudevillain
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Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) - 7

J'ai pas sommeil / I Can't Sleep (Claire Denis, 1994) - 8

Still Life (Zhangke Jia, 2006) - 8+ theatrical (though quite shitty pixelated digital copy)
Fantastic masterpiece, would probably have rated it higher if it wasn't for the shit copy they showed at the (otherwise reliable) cinematheque.

Conte d'automne (Éric Rohmer, 1998) - 7+

Ballet mecánique (Fernand Leger, 1924) - 5+

+

Eurovision Song Contest 2018 - this is an insane show.......
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clemmetarey
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@sol
I was gonna write that I don't remember much from Go West, but it turns out I haven't seen it. I must be mixing it with one of his shorts.
Il Posto (1961) : I liked it, especially the last scene.
City of the Living Dead (1980) and The Beyond (1981) I really enjoyed, but I don't remember much from them. I really have to check out more Fulci.

@PdA
We agree on the ratings of Paths of Glory and Dr Strangelove.


@GWH
I enjoyed Sans soleil (1983), although not as much as you did judging by your rating.
Double Indemnity (1944) is an amazing film I should rewatch as well.
Scarlet Street (1945) was fine, but I prefered Renoir's version.

@Carmel
Face/Off is a fun watch, saved by its two main actors.
I saw Le tout nouveau testament in theaters back when it got release. I loved god's character, his daughter a bit less sadly.


Mine
Popiól i diament (Andrzej Wajda, 1958) 06/05/18
Set in Poland in the last days of World War II, two men are sent to kill a high official of the party. A love story gets in and might complicate things. Even though war is technically over, everything isn’t back in order for Poland. The country is destroyed (there’s a beautiful scene in a crypt depicting that) and needs new leaders. But the two forces that fought side to side yesterday fight against each other now. The similarities between the two main groups are easy to see. They have the same discussions, about war, old times, their ex comrades who died. We get to see a country trying to get back on its feet, but is unsure on how to do it. Good film, but I preferred Wajda’s previous work Kanal. 6/10


Kasaba (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 1997) 07/05/18
Ceylan’s first film lets us have a glimpse of a family living in a rural Turkish town. The nature is, obviously, very present and some parts of the film shows the relation humans have with her, and especially with animals. Humans are killing them, disrupting them (we see cats locked outside by a snowy weather, birds locked inside). The rest of the film is made of scenes that go on for too long in my opinion. The dialogues are not that interesting, the characters are very stereotypical (the intellectual that started from the bottom, the lazy dreamer who wants to escape and go away). And sadly it isn’t back up by good cinematography or performances. 5/10


Tou ze (Ann Hui, 2011) 08/05/18
After serving all her life the same family, a maid (Deannie Yip) suffers a stroke and decide to go to an old people’s home. The film focuses on the relation between her and one of the sons of the family (Andy Lau), who she took care of since he was born. We see him trying to adapt to his new life alone, despise frequent visit to his ex-maid. We can’t help but to feel sympathy for the other pensioners, who seems to be living on their own world. The film deals with loss in a very smooth manner, showing that even though death is unescapable, being aware of its coming helps the people around adapt to their life without her. Being able to share memories and spending time with that person is, in my opinion, better than a sudden loss. Sadly, this conception might be egocentric, since as we see her health deteriorates and operations are needed. 6/10


An Englishman Abroad (John Schlesinger, 1983) 08/05/18
This TV movie tells the true story of the meeting between an actress (Coral Browne, playing herself in this film) and Guy Burgess, an English spy hiding in Moscow. They met in her dressing room, and he invites her for lunch the following day. I don’t really know what to make of it, the dialogues were not very engaging, even though betrayal could be an interesting subject. I really couldn’t care less about what was going on. I guess knowing more about this story would have helped me appreciate it better, maybe. 4/10


The War Game (Peter Watkins, 1965) 09/05/18
A docudrama exploring the possibility of a nuclear attack on Britain. We see the preparations of the civilians, images of the direct impact of the bomb and the consequences of such an attack. The calm voice over shocking images was a great idea; he gave more of a cold, documentary, approach. But at the same time we witness civilians destroyed, physically and psychologically. Hunger, lack of medicine and infrastructures eventually put the town into chaos. Throughout the films they are small interventions of civilians, policeman, and military answering questions from the maker of this documentary, explaining what they’re doing. We also see interventions by experts and bishops who seems disconnected from what is happening. A very well made anti-war/nuclear film, which would go very well with When the Wind Blows (1986). 6/10

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Perception de Ambiguity
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Carmel1379
May 13 2018, 06:02:24 PM
Perception de Ambiguity
May 13 2018, 04:01:46 PM
Anon - I think you should like it well enough, too. It's quite in line with Netflix' other recent cyberpunk-y output. And it's somehow visually hyperstimulating/ADD-safe with its "digitized reality" in the many POV shots (one of your current interests) and walls of texts popping up on screen (though I wonder if you can even make out the words watching it on even a big TV screen, and you have to pause the film anyway if you want to read most of it) and yet a relatively quiet, slow-paced film. Part of it is probably that it's a bit of a one-trick pony, with one interesting idea and milking it for the whole film, which makes it repetitive while remaining to be interesting enough throughout, at least as far as I was concerned.

Cube - It was watching/listening to CineFix' "Dr. Strangelove - What's the Difference?" video that gave me an appetite to watch it again. And with this and 'Das Boot' I kind of was in a war film mood, and also there was this, so I really just go where popular media takes me.

w&b hein - They would have to be up there.

Face/Off - I guess now I should ask if my recent posting of that phrase gave you another reason to see this film (not that I even remembered it being used in 'Face/Off')?

Typhoon Club (1985) - I put that one on my watchlist recently, interestingly enough.

Golgo & Hunger - You're welcome, bud. Posted Image
Were spirits involved in the watching of 'The Hunger'?
It looks like 'Anon' got a proper theatrical release in the UK and won't be coming up on Netflix anytime soon, guess I'll have to wait a bit. If it's even half as good as Niccol's previous sci-fi movie 'In Time', I should be happy enough, that one was also pretty much just based on exclusively one concept too and I was entertained throughout. I think I like Amanda Seyfried more with dark hair too.

CineFix' "What's the Difference?" - Great, now, even without seeing (or wanting to see) the video in that series, I want to rewatch 'Oldboy'.

Face/Off - Yes, when I googled the phrase I was reminded this film existed and that day I had an appetite for some Nicolas Cage, so it happened. I wasn't too much into two of Woo's Hong Kong output, but this American one totally won me over. Maybe I should finally watch the first three 'Mission: Impossible' movies now.

Typhoon Club - Not sure if you'll get much out of it, but it's fairly Ozu-ian in its approach, so maybe.

Best gif ever.

The Hunger - The spirts of my former lovers, trapped in decaying bodies, in dark coffins made of rotting wood.

Yes, but I was invited to go to an outdoors public viewing of Eurovision (which I completely don't care about), so that's where the drinking got really heavy. I know, I'm sure I would've enjoyed 'The Hunger' even more than I did if I watched it later in the night and didn't go to that stupid Eurovision event (and instead went to a non-existent night club where they played Bauhaus visited by vampires), but I can't change the past now, and actually having seen 'The Hunger', I was later talking to various people with a kind of heightened consciousness induced by the film, with a seemingly more refined aesthetic and brooding sense, if that makes any sense. Or maybe it was just the alcohol. Anyway, here's 10 screenshots from the first 2 minutes for your enjoyment: tumblr poast link
I didn't really feel any of his Hong Kong movies either the one time I saw them. I was really into "M:I-2" the bunch of times I saw it, though. I noticed the seams, if you will, a bit more the last time I saw it, but I would still say it's pretty dope, at least as a series of cool action sequences, much like an (extremely good) James Bond movie. Broken Arrow is worth seeing too if you are in 90's action movies mood.

Typhoon Club - I'd say I'm generally not too much into Ozu-ian movies at the moment, but we'll find out.

EuroVision, eh? I had zilch idea that this took place yesterday. Shows you how much of a hermit I am. Overall dreadful, bien sûr, but there are usually one or two catchy diddies (like the ones by those Abba folks, I don't know if you have heard of them), so I often expose myself to the show on the periphery to see if along the way there might be a song that catches my attention. Any reccs from this year?

You felt like a boss in a darkly chique world, sure, I get it. ;) I asked because I wouldn't have guessed you to be 9-level enamored with 'The Hunger' and I know all-too well the powers of the spirits when watching a film while having reached that sweet spot.
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, May 13 2018, 10:39:44 PM.
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Carmel1379
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Perception de Ambiguity
May 13 2018, 10:25:36 PM
I didn't really feel any of his Hong Kong movies either the one time I saw them. I was really into "M:I-2" the bunch of times I saw it, though. I noticed the seams, if you will, a bit more the last time I saw it, but I would still say it's pretty dope, at least as a series of cool action sequences, much like an (extremely good) James Bond movie. Broken Arrow is worth seeing too if you are in 90's action movies mood.

Typhoon Club - I'd say I'm generally not too much into Ozu-ian movies at the moment, but we'll find out.

EuroVision, eh? I had zilch idea that this took place yesterday. Shows you how much of a hermit I am. Overall dreadful, bien sûr, but there are usually one or two catchy diddies (like the ones by those Abba folks, I don't know if you have heard of them), so I often expose myself to the show on the periphery to see if along the way there might be a song that catches my attention. Any reccs from this year?

You felt like a boss in a darkly chique world, sure, I get it. ;) I asked because I wouldn't have guessed you to be 9-level enamored with 'The Hunger' and I know all-too well the powers of the spirits when watching a film while having reached that sweet spot.
M:I & M:I-2 - I imagine it's sort of a cultural imperative to have seen these, especially what action cinema concerns. I've seen Brad Bird's 4th and enjoyed it quite well for what it was.

Typhoon Club - Yeah, I don't know how to phrase it too well, but you'll see.

Abba? Don't think I have. What's your favourite song of theirs?

EV18 - I was actually reminded of you because Austria was winning for a large portion of the show, until Israel overtook them in the end. Not sure if it's too good winning an Eurovision contest though, since that would mean your nation would have to host next and the costs are apparently too high for it to be worth it.

I don't remember the songs too well, maybe Viktor can chip in on this. Actually Denmark's wasn't too bad. Hungary's was the heaviest. And I'll just link UK's for the stage invader.

But from last year I can definitely recommend Belgium's. It's mellow and has some nice tweaks and chord progressions as it goes on. (And of course Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah goes without saying, what a tune.)

9-level enamored with 'The Hunger' - ^^

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Edited by Carmel1379, May 13 2018, 11:54:39 PM.
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sol
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Onderhond:

Yeah, as mentioned upthread, I liked Game Night quite a bit myself. Great creepy characters indeed - especially the cop neighbour played by that Matt Damon lookalike actor. Denzel Washington in amazing in Flight (career best performance if you ask me) but yeah, the overall film is not quite as good as he is, though I found it surprisingly durable to revision. And while I didn't hate Roxanne like you, it certainly underwhelmed me given all the positives I had heard about it over the years. Martin being cheered on as he rambles off a string of insults for himself was funny; watching him fail to drink out of a wine glass - definitely not.

morrison-dylan-fan:

Interesting to hear re: the accents in The Death of Stalin, and I guess that makes sense; a poor accent can be even more distracting than no accent at all. It was more just accents though; all the phraseology and terminology the character use is very twenty-first century. In any case, I had become accustomed to these idiosyncrasies by the end of the film and it certainly did not affect me enjoying Iannucci's probe into politics behind the scenes. I did, however, feel that the film was trying to say something about the evils of Stalinism too, and it was only this aspect that was lost to me as I never truly believed that I was in 1950s Russia.

Yours:

Not seen

viktor-vaudevillain:

I was kind of worried how Get Out would stand up to revision knowing all the twists and turns to come, but I liked it even more the second time round. Nice to see the positive score.

clemmetarey:

I have a pretty good idea of which Buster Keaton feature films I have seen, but yeah, his shorts tend to get mixed up in my mind. I assume you aren't mixing Keaton's Go West silent with the silent comedy starring a group of monkeys?

Yeah, that final scene in Il Posto rocks as he gets a glimpse at what he might look like 40 years down the track. Perfect note to end on.

Heheh, it has been less than two weeks since I saw the Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy (I reviewed House by the Cemetery on last week's thread) and already they are starting to blur and merge together in my mind. All three films are more about amazing gore set pieces and thrilling bits and pieces than cohesive wholes... but as a big horror fan, I enjoyed them all a lot. I need to see more Fulci horror movies. It seems to be the genre that he excels the most at.

Yours:

It has been ages since I have seen The War Game, but it does not exactly wow me either. Privilege is easily my favourite of the three Peter Watkins films that I have seen.
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Onderhond
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sol
May 14 2018, 10:29:57 AM
Onderhond:

Yeah, as mentioned upthread, I liked Game Night quite a bit myself. Great creepy characters indeed - especially the cop neighbour played by that Matt Damon lookalike actor. Denzel Washington in amazing in Flight (career best performance if you ask me) but yeah, the overall film is not quite as good as he is, though I found it surprisingly durable to revision. And while I didn't hate Roxanne like you, it certainly underwhelmed me given all the positives I had heard about it over the years. Martin being cheered on as he rambles off a string of insults for himself was funny; watching him fail to drink out of a wine glass - definitely not.]
The cop was great alright. I read here and there that people wanted him to have a bigger role, but I think his character worked exactly because he wasn't all that present. Too much of him and it would've gotten old real quick.

As for Roxanne, I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the whole 80s vibe (yeah, I've had a bad 10 years and I'm really glad the whole 80s thing is slowly fading again), add to that Steve Martin and some unsightly woman (or at least, I think she was a woman) and the result was really hard to sit through.
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GruesomeTwosome
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Hi, sol. Only seen The Death of Stalin, from yours. I liked it OK but didn't love it, the humor was hit-or-miss for me and the tone was kind of scattershot. Simon Russell Beale was a highlight, turning in a simultaneously terrifying and darkly hilarious performance. I kind of got used to the actors using their own accents instead of Russian ones, it came to be part of the humor.


My viewings last week:

Tully (2018, Jason Reitman) - 7/10. Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody team up here for the third time, and while I personally think their earlier collaborations Juno and Young Adult were clearly superior, Tully is still an interesting and more mature continuation on their prior films. And thematically it follows up quite neatly from those two films - Juno about a teen girl dealing with life's stresses, Young Adult about a young(ish) unmarried woman dealing with the same, and now Tully centered on a 40-ish pregnant, married mother named Marlo (Charlize Theron) struggling to keep up with the two kids she already has and a stagnant relationship with her husband. Once the new baby is born, her rich brother figures she needs some extra help and hires a "night nanny" to care for the baby so Marlo can get some much needed rest. The free-spirited, mid-20s night nanny brings out a rejuvenated Marlo as this develops into an entertaining dramedy, until it takes a sharp left turn in the last act. I didn't see it coming as it happened, but looking back at it now I don't think Reitman and Cody's "rug-pulling" really worked. I really liked what came before, though.

Heat (1995, Michael Mann) - 8/10. It's pretty bizarre how I never saw this film until now, considering that I think of myself as something of a Michael Mann fan and Heat is likely seen as his most "iconic"/widely seen/highly praised film...and going into this, I had seen every Mann feature except for this one and Public Enemies. Well, I just saw Heat and I wanna talk about it now! Actually I don't have too much to say about it, other than it really is pure, unadulterated Michael Mann in all his Mann-ness: male cops and professional criminals whose personal lives are a mess, a strong focus on masculinity, viewed both romantically and fatalistically, and oh yeah...intense, realistic gunfight action, which no one really does better than Mann. Heat is a bit overlong though, and at times my level of interest waned but it ends strongly.


Edited by GruesomeTwosome, May 14 2018, 03:29:42 PM.
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GruesomeTwosome
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Other people's stuff:

PdA: Sorry to see the rating for Fincher's Dragon Tattoo go down, that's one of my faves from him. Agreed on the Paths of Glory rating, though I'm not nearly as high on Dr. Strangelove (but a re-watch of that one is probably in order since I first saw it back in high school). So, Andrew Niccol has yet another high-concept sci-fi film, eh? Good to know, it sounds alright.

Good_Will_Harding: Yea, Double Indemnity is pretty great. I still need to see Sans Soleil, been on my watchlist a long time. Lean on Pete looks like a good one, I want to see it in the cinema but the closest showing is well over an hour away from me.

Carmel: Yea, Face/Off is tons of fun. More super-encouraging news about the new Avengers, lol. I'll see the fuckin' thing but I won't expect much. Sounds about right regarding Cruising, it's a pretty cool setting in regards to time period and the subculture that's explored but otherwise it didn't do much for me.

Onderhond: I actually liked Zemeckis' Flight quite a bit, I found it to be a rather compelling drama if a bit didactic at times. I know I've seen The Net, it was when I was a kid so I have little memory of it except knowing that it's one of those early thrillers depicting the Internet. Wonder how silly it looks now, alongside the other 1995 Internet thriller, Hackers, lol. These movies were made at a time where much of the general public still didn't know what the fuck the Internet was all about so they could get away with all sorts of inane tech (pseudo)jargon and whatnot.


Haven't seen anything from the other posters.




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sol
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GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Hi, sol. Only seen The Death of Stalin, from yours. I liked it OK but didn't love it, the humor was hit-or-miss for me and the tone was kind of scattershot. Simon Russell Beale was a highlight, turning in a simultaneously terrifying and darkly hilarious performance. I kind of got used to the actors using their own accents instead of Russian ones, it came to be part of the humor.
Oh, I certainly got used to the British accents in The Death of Stalin, which kind of made the film like Life of Brian. It was just incredibly hard to take the film seriously when it tried to show the ugly underbelly of Russian politics. The tone was a bit weird with all that serious stuff, but I was laughing consistently throughout - and actually more than most other people in the small theatre that I saw it in. Yes, Simon Beale was great, though I have a hard time choosing a favourite. I think Jason Isaacs did wonders with his small role, while I have liked Jeffrey Tambour ever since And Justice for All, Steve Buscemi was effective and almost unrecognisable, while Michael Palin was unrecognisable. And hey, there's the Monty Python link.

Yours:

You are were not alone. I also consider myself to be Michael Mann fan without having yet seen Heat. tehe My favourites of his though are his more offbeat efforts, i.e. The Keep, Manhunter, etc., though I also liked The Insider a lot. I have, however, seen Public Enemies, which is worth watching for Marion Cotillard's performance, but the shot-on-video format is very noticeable and was a little too distracting for me to truly get into the film.

I'm undecided on whether to see Tully. I liked Young Adult more than Juno, however, my favourite Jason Reitman films are his non-Diablo Cody ones - Thank You for Smoking and Up in the Air - and the premise of Tully does not appeal to me in the least. Some possible rug-pulling intrigues me though. I was pretty bowled over by the unexpected plot turn with Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air.
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Onderhond
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GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 02:39:05 PM
Onderhond: I actually liked Zemeckis' Flight quite a bit, I found it to be a rather compelling drama if a bit didactic at times. I know I've seen The Net, it was when I was a kid so I have little memory of it except knowing that it's one of those early thrillers depicting the Internet. Wonder how silly it looks now, alongside the other 1995 Internet thriller, Hackers, lol. These movies were made at a time where much of the general public still didn't know what the fuck the Internet was all about so they could get away with all sorts of inane tech (pseudo)jargon and whatnot.

I liked the action bits at the start of Flight, that's what Hollywood is good at and where money really makes a difference. The drama was a bit too sentimental and heavy-handed for me, even though both Reilly and Washington did their best. Just not a big fan of Zemeckis trying to do serious stuff.

As for The Net … yeah, cheesy thriller stuff based on some dated tech doom. That was it's only saving grace back then, all that remains now are the cheesy bits. Best avoid unless you want to see how badly it dated in those 20+ years since release.
Edited by Onderhond, May 14 2018, 03:19:07 PM.
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clemmetarey
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sol
May 14 2018, 10:29:57 AM
clemmetarey:

I have a pretty good idea of which Buster Keaton feature films I have seen, but yeah, his shorts tend to get mixed up in my mind. I assume you aren't mixing Keaton's Go West silent with the silent comedy starring a group of monkeys?

Yeah, that final scene in Il Posto rocks as he gets a glimpse at what he might look like 40 years down the track. Perfect note to end on.

Heheh, it has been less than two weeks since I saw the Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy (I reviewed House by the Cemetery on last week's thread) and already they are starting to blur and merge together in my mind. All three films are more about amazing gore set pieces and thrilling bits and pieces than cohesive wholes... but as a big horror fan, I enjoyed them all a lot. I need to see more Fulci horror movies. It seems to be the genre that he excels the most at.

Yours:

It has been ages since I have seen The War Game, but it does not exactly wow me either. Privilege is easily my favourite of the three Peter Watkins films that I have seen.
I got it, I was thinking of Out West (1918).

The War Game is the only Watkins I've seen, but he's one of those directors I've planned working on at some point.
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joachimt
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Bit late to the party. Haven't read anything in this thread so far. :(

Nine watches for me:

Pirosmani (8/10)
I'll admit I won't remember the story very long, but it has great compositions with beautiful colors.
Réalité AKA Reality (8/10)
Best watch of the week. Was hesitating to hit the fav-button and rate it even higher. Maybe I would have if I got the point of it all. :lol:
Complete absurdity.
The Place Beyond the Pines (8/10)
You guys recommended this to me to watch with my wife, but she didn't like it. ^_^
Kill List (7/10)
Really liked the non-Hollywood style of this.
Le grand voyage AKA The Great Journey (7/10)
Wo zhe yang guo le yi sheng AKA Kuei-mei, a Woman (7/10)
Woman in Gold (7/10)
Langer licht AKA Northern Light (6/10)
Palwolui Keuriseumaseu AKA Christmas in August (5/10)
Waiting for OldAle to call me an ignorant fool :whistling:
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Onderhond
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joachimt
May 14 2018, 05:02:43 PM
Réalité AKA Reality (8/10)
Best watch of the week. Was hesitating to hit the fav-button and rate it even higher. Maybe I would have if I got the point of it all. :lol:
Complete absurdity.
What happened, is it part of some kind of challenge? Not really the most famous film, nor very ICM-friendly imo, but I've seen this one pass by a couple of times.

Edit: oh, I see it actually made it into some official lists :)
Edited by Onderhond, May 14 2018, 05:23:54 PM.
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Carmel1379
May 13 2018, 01:52:24 PM
Carmel:

Face/Off (1997, John Woo) 8
I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave. Gets increasingly tenser and funnier. Great stuff.
One of the first movies I ever bought (on VHS) when I was just getting into movies. Watched it 5 or 6 times within a year I think. Travolta and Cage made an excellent pair.
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72allinncallme
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joachimt
May 14 2018, 05:02:43 PM
The Place Beyond the Pines (8/10)
You guys recommended this to me to watch with my wife, but she didn't like it. ^_^
Sorry about that, glad you did though :thumbsup:



Onderhond
regarding Réalité
What happened, is it part of some kind of challenge? Not really the most famous film, nor very ICM-friendly imo, but I've seen this one pass by a couple of times.

Edit: oh, I see it actually made it into some official lists :)

I have watch-listed several of Dupieux films after watching Réalité, my favorite watch last month. Looking forward to them all :)
Edited by 72allinncallme, May 14 2018, 05:46:07 PM.
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Carmel1379
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GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Heat (1995, Michael Mann) - 8/10. It's pretty bizarre how I never saw this film until now, considering that I think of myself as something of a Michael Mann fan and Heat is likely seen as his most "iconic"/widely seen/highly praised film...and going into this, I had seen every Mann feature except for this one and Public Enemies. Well, I just saw Heat and I wanna talk about it now! Actually I don't have too much to say about it, other than it really is pure, unadulterated Michael Mann in all his Mann-ness: male cops and professional criminals whose personal lives are a mess, a strong focus on masculinity, viewed both romantically and fatalistically, and oh yeah...intense, realistic gunfight action, which no one really does better than Mann. Heat is a bit overlong though, and at times my level of interest waned but it ends strongly.
Makes me want to rewatch it (and talk about it too!), I remember very little from it. I just might tonight. Looks like slowly 90s action cinema might be becoming a theme for me, considering how much I loved 'Face/Off'.

I have 5 unseen Mann's, but 'Public Enemies' is not among them. It has a bad reputation, but I actually did like it a fair bit at the time, I even saw it more than once. But wow, apparently it's 2h20min. Didn't feel that way, and neither did my trio of Mann favourites (Collateral, Miami Vice, Blackhat), which are longer than two hours too, but for me were very fleeting films thanks to how absorbing they were. From what I remember 'Public Enemies' has a similar type of disorientating camera style, quick editing, equally strong cast, and unique feel to it (due to being shot in digital). Maybe you'll be compelled to see it just to finish his filmography.
Edited by Carmel1379, May 14 2018, 07:12:00 PM.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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Carmel1379
May 13 2018, 11:46:41 PM
Abba? Don't think I have. What's your favourite song of theirs?

EV18 - I was actually reminded of you because Austria was winning for a large portion of the show, until Israel overtook them in the end. Not sure if it's too good winning an Eurovision contest though, since that would mean your nation would have to host next and the costs are apparently too high for it to be worth it.

I don't remember the songs too well, maybe Viktor can chip in on this. Actually Denmark's wasn't too bad. Hungary's was the heaviest. And I'll just link UK's for the stage invader.

But from last year I can definitely recommend Belgium's. It's mellow and has some nice tweaks and chord progressions as it goes on. (And of course Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah goes without saying, what a tune.)
Abba? Don't think I have. What's your favourite song of theirs? -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAzESJ62irI
Did I get it right? Don't know about favorite Abba song, really. I never made the effort to thoroughly check out their catalogue but I'm down with them whenever a song of theirs pops up somewhere, which is often.

Not a fan of those EuroVision songs. Listening to the recap Cyprus ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DRsfNObKIQ ) and Estonia ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImawXdXIGd8 ) stuck out for me.

That Belgium one isn't too awful, but she is no Lena, IMHO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqZprvpWlcE
I think the most recent one that I actively liked was also one for Germany (not a Babymetal video, though the silhouette at the beginning might suggest otherwise):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Z7pKopP9s

Others that I remember:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kGpDEvtbQ
and somehow I like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXw4Q5jbNqQ

And of course that glorious moment when Alf Poier, the Wittgenstein of Austrian stand-up comedians, got to represent Austria with a song that was at the same time the most ridiculous children's song and the heaviest song of the evening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSvqIkvM8Q
Here is his Nietzsche song, by the way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onsz8-Rykt8
It shouldn't be too surprising just from hearing those two songs, if I tell you that the one time that I saw the guy in person was in the crowd at a Rammstein concert.
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, May 14 2018, 10:12:44 PM.
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1859
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Didn't see much again:

The Party (1968) and MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. (2018) and 10 episodes of Metalocalypse

I didn't have my usual internet connection this week, it was restored only today, so even though I had PlayTime on my drive I postponed Tati trip, cause I wanna watch all 3 films I planned within short time. And i feel like starting from fish fountain, so.

House in Mon Oncle made me think of The Party, which uses technology in a similar way. So I rewatched this one.

The Party. I have a soft spot for this film. It's lovely. Petter Sellers plays Hrundi V. Bakshi who is kind of a stereotypical indian guy and doesn't find it easy to get around in this world without causing much havoc, comedy centers around that. He initiates the explosion on the set he's working on as an actor, when camera isn't rolling yet, and then he ends up being invited to a party to house of a producer of that film, hehe. As he arrives, there we go.
Some gags are good, some not, but what I like the most about it is the whole progress from not having anybody to talk to and being awkward as fuck to eventually enjoying the whole thing.

I love the subplot of drunken waiter and drunken blonde, waiter should have his own category at oscars for the best drunken performance, for real.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. - it was a screening with q&a with MIA afterwards, I hardly ever participate in that kind of thing, so big event for me!
I enjoyed it a lot. I like MIA so it was kind of naturally interesting for me, I like the personal feel, the energy and lack of talking heads.

Metalocalypse - I saw maybe a minute of the first episode few weeks ago and didn't like it, but lately my friend referenced it in a conversation, and I decided to give it another try. I'm in the middle of first season, and so far I dig it.
Edited by 1859, May 14 2018, 10:26:45 PM.
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Carmel1379
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Perception de Ambiguity
May 14 2018, 10:08:09 PM
Abba? Don't think I have. What's your favourite song of theirs? -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAzESJ62irI
Did I get it right? Don't know about favorite Abba song, really. I never made the effort to thoroughly check out their catalogue but I'm down with them whenever a song of theirs pops up somewhere, which is often.

Not a fan of those EuroVision songs. Listening to the recap Cyprus ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DRsfNObKIQ ) and Estonia ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImawXdXIGd8 ) stuck out for me.

That Belgium one isn't too awful, but she is no Lena, IMHO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqZprvpWlcE
I think the most recent one that I actively liked was also one for Germany (not a Babymetal video, though the silhouette at the beginning might suggest otherwise):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Z7pKopP9s

Others that I remember:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kGpDEvtbQ
and somehow I like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXw4Q5jbNqQ

And of course that glorious moment when Alf Poier, the Wittgenstein of Austrian stand-up comedians, got to represent Austria with a song that was at the same time the most ridiculous children's song and the heaviest song of the evening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSvqIkvM8Q
Here is his Nietzsche song, by the way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onsz8-Rykt8
It shouldn't be too surprising just from hearing those two songs, if I tell you that the one time that I saw the guy in person was in the crowd at a Rammstein concert.
The Cyprus one was very close to winning too; not a fan though. But I actually faintly remember the Estonian one, it's not too bad.

I'm generally quite attracted by the accent of female Germans singing in English (so a shame they got a bloke this year), so naturally I like both Lena's and Jamie-Lee Kriewitz's performances (but I dig the songs musically too). Especially the latter - I could see myself actively supporting that one as well. Her age has something to do with it too.

Alf Poier - That's just ace. Made my evening, thanks.
Edited by Carmel1379, May 14 2018, 11:18:04 PM.
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GruesomeTwosome
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Carmel1379
May 14 2018, 05:57:46 PM
GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Heat (1995, Michael Mann) - 8/10. It's pretty bizarre how I never saw this film until now, considering that I think of myself as something of a Michael Mann fan and Heat is likely seen as his most "iconic"/widely seen/highly praised film...and going into this, I had seen every Mann feature except for this one and Public Enemies. Well, I just saw Heat and I wanna talk about it now! Actually I don't have too much to say about it, other than it really is pure, unadulterated Michael Mann in all his Mann-ness: male cops and professional criminals whose personal lives are a mess, a strong focus on masculinity, viewed both romantically and fatalistically, and oh yeah...intense, realistic gunfight action, which no one really does better than Mann. Heat is a bit overlong though, and at times my level of interest waned but it ends strongly.
Makes me want to rewatch it (and talk about it too!), I remember very little from it. I just might tonight. Looks like slowly 90s action cinema might be becoming a theme for me, considering how much I loved 'Face/Off'.

I have 5 unseen Mann's, but 'Public Enemies' is not among them. It has a bad reputation, but I actually did like it a fair bit at the time, I even saw it more than once. But wow, apparently it's 2h20min. Didn't feel that way, and neither did my trio of Mann favourites (Collateral, Miami Vice, Blackhat), which are longer than two hours too, but for me were very fleeting films thanks to how absorbing they were. From what I remember 'Public Enemies' has a similar type of disorientating camera style, quick editing, equally strong cast, and unique feel to it (due to being shot in digital). Maybe you'll be compelled to see it just to finish his filmography.
Yeah I think I'll now make Public Enemies a higher priority, for completion's sake and maybe it just might be another maligned Mann film that I end up liking (I'm also a fan of his Miami Vice movie, one of his more divisive films). Blackhat didn't do it for me, really. Collateral and Miami Vice are my overall faves from him; Thief and now Heat are up there, too.
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Carmel1379
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GruesomeTwosome
May 15 2018, 02:42:44 AM
Carmel1379
May 14 2018, 05:57:46 PM
GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Heat (1995, Michael Mann) - 8/10. It's pretty bizarre how I never saw this film until now, considering that I think of myself as something of a Michael Mann fan and Heat is likely seen as his most "iconic"/widely seen/highly praised film...and going into this, I had seen every Mann feature except for this one and Public Enemies. Well, I just saw Heat and I wanna talk about it now! Actually I don't have too much to say about it, other than it really is pure, unadulterated Michael Mann in all his Mann-ness: male cops and professional criminals whose personal lives are a mess, a strong focus on masculinity, viewed both romantically and fatalistically, and oh yeah...intense, realistic gunfight action, which no one really does better than Mann. Heat is a bit overlong though, and at times my level of interest waned but it ends strongly.
Makes me want to rewatch it (and talk about it too!), I remember very little from it. I just might tonight. Looks like slowly 90s action cinema might be becoming a theme for me, considering how much I loved 'Face/Off'.

I have 5 unseen Mann's, but 'Public Enemies' is not among them. It has a bad reputation, but I actually did like it a fair bit at the time, I even saw it more than once. But wow, apparently it's 2h20min. Didn't feel that way, and neither did my trio of Mann favourites (Collateral, Miami Vice, Blackhat), which are longer than two hours too, but for me were very fleeting films thanks to how absorbing they were. From what I remember 'Public Enemies' has a similar type of disorientating camera style, quick editing, equally strong cast, and unique feel to it (due to being shot in digital). Maybe you'll be compelled to see it just to finish his filmography.
Yeah I think I'll now make Public Enemies a higher priority, for completion's sake and maybe it just might be another maligned Mann film that I end up liking (I'm also a fan of his Miami Vice movie, one of his more divisive films). Blackhat didn't do it for me, really. Collateral and Miami Vice are my overall faves from him; Thief and now Heat are up there, too.
I just rewatched 'Heat' and damn, what an amazing and gripping film. There's so much I forgot about it. One of the more fruitful rewatches of the year for me so far, so cheers. It'll keep me occupied for days. Also makes me want to rewatch the three other Mann films I love - I'm already thinking of doing a marathon this summer.

'Public Enemies' is just a remake of 'Heat' btw, with Christian Bale as Al Pacino and Johnny Depp as Robert de Niro. It's essentially the same dynamics, with us rooting a little for the likeable sad-looking villain who robs and clutches to an impossible romance, and then the gutsy cop that just won't give up and will do everything to catch him. Of course given that it's set in the 1930s, the sense of a dark, urban, modern labyrinth is diminished. The execution overall is messier, less tight and much less effective than 'Heat', but I'm sure you'll enjoy it in places. It's got a pretty good soundtrack too.
Edited by Carmel1379, May 15 2018, 04:07:39 AM.
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sol
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joachimt:

Haven't seen any of yours this week, but nice to know that you're reading these threads even if you don't always have something to add. :thumbsup:

1859:

I have seen The Party a couple of times over the years and like it a lot too. You're right that the film channels the spirit of Mon Oncle with its ostentatious and newfangled yet ultimately impractical sets. And of course there's Birdie Num Num.
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GruesomeTwosome
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Carmel1379
May 15 2018, 03:17:45 AM
GruesomeTwosome
May 15 2018, 02:42:44 AM
Carmel1379
May 14 2018, 05:57:46 PM
GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Heat (1995, Michael Mann) - 8/10. It's pretty bizarre how I never saw this film until now, considering that I think of myself as something of a Michael Mann fan and Heat is likely seen as his most "iconic"/widely seen/highly praised film...and going into this, I had seen every Mann feature except for this one and Public Enemies. Well, I just saw Heat and I wanna talk about it now! Actually I don't have too much to say about it, other than it really is pure, unadulterated Michael Mann in all his Mann-ness: male cops and professional criminals whose personal lives are a mess, a strong focus on masculinity, viewed both romantically and fatalistically, and oh yeah...intense, realistic gunfight action, which no one really does better than Mann. Heat is a bit overlong though, and at times my level of interest waned but it ends strongly.
Makes me want to rewatch it (and talk about it too!), I remember very little from it. I just might tonight. Looks like slowly 90s action cinema might be becoming a theme for me, considering how much I loved 'Face/Off'.

I have 5 unseen Mann's, but 'Public Enemies' is not among them. It has a bad reputation, but I actually did like it a fair bit at the time, I even saw it more than once. But wow, apparently it's 2h20min. Didn't feel that way, and neither did my trio of Mann favourites (Collateral, Miami Vice, Blackhat), which are longer than two hours too, but for me were very fleeting films thanks to how absorbing they were. From what I remember 'Public Enemies' has a similar type of disorientating camera style, quick editing, equally strong cast, and unique feel to it (due to being shot in digital). Maybe you'll be compelled to see it just to finish his filmography.
Yeah I think I'll now make Public Enemies a higher priority, for completion's sake and maybe it just might be another maligned Mann film that I end up liking (I'm also a fan of his Miami Vice movie, one of his more divisive films). Blackhat didn't do it for me, really. Collateral and Miami Vice are my overall faves from him; Thief and now Heat are up there, too.
I just rewatched 'Heat' and damn, what an amazing and gripping film. There's so much I forgot about it. One of the more fruitful rewatches of the year for me so far, so cheers. It'll keep me occupied for days. Also makes me want to rewatch the three other Mann films I love - I'm already thinking of doing a marathon this summer.

'Public Enemies' is just a remake of 'Heat' btw, with Christian Bale as Al Pacino and Johnny Depp as Robert de Niro. It's essentially the same dynamics, with us rooting a little for the likeable sad-looking villain who robs and clutches to an impossible romance, and then the gutsy cop that just won't give up and will do everything to catch him. Of course given that it's set in the 1930s, the sense of a dark, urban, modern labyrinth is diminished. The execution overall is messier, less tight and much less effective than 'Heat', but I'm sure you'll enjoy it in places. It's got a pretty good soundtrack too.
Awesome! Enjoy the Mann. :cheers:

Ah, so Public Enemies is a 1930s Heat, eh? Interesting, haha. The primary complaints I've heard about it are regarding that digital photography, I suppose people found that to look "off" or out of place for a 1930s period film. In any case, you've definitely ramped up my interest in seeking it out. Looks like Elliott Goldenthal does the score for this one and he did Heat, so no wonder the music is a plus. And it has Marion Cotillard, which is always good for me...looking forward to it now. :thumbsup:
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GruesomeTwosome
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sol
May 14 2018, 02:54:54 PM
GruesomeTwosome
May 14 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Hi, sol. Only seen The Death of Stalin, from yours. I liked it OK but didn't love it, the humor was hit-or-miss for me and the tone was kind of scattershot. Simon Russell Beale was a highlight, turning in a simultaneously terrifying and darkly hilarious performance. I kind of got used to the actors using their own accents instead of Russian ones, it came to be part of the humor.
Oh, I certainly got used to the British accents in The Death of Stalin, which kind of made the film like Life of Brian. It was just incredibly hard to take the film seriously when it tried to show the ugly underbelly of Russian politics. The tone was a bit weird with all that serious stuff, but I was laughing consistently throughout - and actually more than most other people in the small theatre that I saw it in. Yes, Simon Beale was great, though I have a hard time choosing a favourite. I think Jason Isaacs did wonders with his small role, while I have liked Jeffrey Tambour ever since And Justice for All, Steve Buscemi was effective and almost unrecognisable, while Michael Palin was unrecognisable. And hey, there's the Monty Python link.

Yours:

You are were not alone. I also consider myself to be Michael Mann fan without having yet seen Heat. tehe My favourites of his though are his more offbeat efforts, i.e. The Keep, Manhunter, etc., though I also liked The Insider a lot. I have, however, seen Public Enemies, which is worth watching for Marion Cotillard's performance, but the shot-on-video format is very noticeable and was a little too distracting for me to truly get into the film.

I'm undecided on whether to see Tully. I liked Young Adult more than Juno, however, my favourite Jason Reitman films are his non-Diablo Cody ones - Thank You for Smoking and Up in the Air - and the premise of Tully does not appeal to me in the least. Some possible rug-pulling intrigues me though. I was pretty bowled over by the unexpected plot turn with Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air.
Sounds like Tully might be up your alley, I'd say this is more in a similar spirit to Young Adult. In regards to the rug-pulling, Tully's "twist" requires a considerably larger leap of faith from the viewer than that Vera Farmiga surprise in Up in the Air. I'm not still not quite sure if I made that leap, but it's interesting to think about (saying anymore, or anything specific, would venture into spoiler territory! :) ).
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OldAle1
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This movie ROCKED
This movie SUCKED


Deputy Marshall (William Berke, 1949)

I've enjoyed a lot of the poverty-row Lippert productions that I've seen, especially their noir efforts, but this alas doesn't come up to snuff. A terribly mediocre land-grab story - bad guys trying to bilk land out of ranchers 'cuz a railroad's coming through - is not enlivened by a cast of boring guys who all look kind of similar and could well be interchangeable, led by Jon Hall, a 3rd tier lead best known for his films with Maria Montez, as the title character. Lots of scenes of Hall and his allies riding to one place only to find out something bad happened where they were last, riding back, solving the problem, going somewhere else, new problem, repeat, ad infinitum. Clem Bevans as the crusty old Doc/undertaker/dentist/JP, etc, is the only thing that enlivens this at all.

Hundra (Matt Cimber, 1983)

Above-average barbarian flick from the Golden Age of the Barbarian Flick, though "above average" isn't saying much when it comes to this stuff. Still this has it's moments and the concept - essentially an attempt to amalgamate a feminist approach to this material with straight-up exploitation - is at least interesting even if it doesn't entirely work. Laurene Landon is the title character, a blonde warrior-woman, the lead huntress and fighter in an all-female tribe that uses men purely for procreation, and the film is basically her revenge saga after the village is wiped out to a woman while she is out hunting (this is no spoiler, it's the first scene). She ends up in a town with an evil misogynist priest who runs things, tries to get other women to help her, has lots of fights, etc. Now there's a fair bit of nudity and a bit of blood-letting to be sure, but this really does try to tell a story in which women try to lead their own, free lives in a society that doesn't want to let them, and it gives us an alternative to the usual macho barbarianism that seems rather fresh. Landon isn't much of an actress, but at 5'9" and fairly buff she's pretty believable as an awesome warrior and some of the action sequences, especially the second one right after the village massacre, are much better than what you usually find in such low-budget fare. Ennio Morricone did the music also which should be mentioned, and there's a love scene where the tune eerily echoes a moment in Once Upon a Time in America which came out the next year.

The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1983) (re-watch)

OK, this one took me back. I last saw this on the big screen at the Fine Arts Theater in Chicago when it was new - and at that time the FA was one of the biggest screens in the city and it was an awesome experience, probably the first "epic" of any kind that I saw in the cinema, apart from the superhero and sci-fi blockbusters that were already dominating summers. I'm one of those people whose nostalgia probably often blinds me to flaws in old favorites - or to be more charitable to myself, I've always had good taste :P and so rarely am disappointed in favorites from my youth. Well, this was an exception. I didn't end up disliking it exactly, but it sure didn't hold up. Oh the flying scenes are great, some of the acting is pretty good - I always love Fred Ward, and Sam Shepherd is excellent here - but the dialogue, oh my god could it be any cornier and more "Hollywood"? The whole thing feels like it's trying to be a rah-rah wasn't life in the 50s great and beating them damn Russkies was the greatest achievement of mankind. And it's so overtly macho, with essentially no criticism of this behavior. I don't know if the blame lies with book writer Tom Wolfe (RIP) or with only credited screenwriter, director Kaufman, but this never felt particularly real to me and that's a real problem. Tom Conti's music is appropriately bombastic and kind of enjoyable until it gets to be too much.

Great Day in the Morning (Jacques Tourneur, 1956)

Overall very good beginning-of-Civil War-era film with southerner Robert Stack trying to navigate both the politics and the passions (he's got blonde Northerner Virginia Mayo and brunette Ruth Roman both interested) of small-town Denver, Colorado, matching wits with saloon/casino/hotel owner Raymond Burr and Mayo's possible boyfriend Alex Niccol, who may be more than he seems to be... This is a nice little film that in the end seems mostly about honor; both Stack and Burr are in it only for themselves, with Burr at least pretending to care about the Union while Stack seems ambivalent, and their character arcs are what make this a little more than your average film of this type. There's also a young boy who Stack becomes a father figure to, with some complications. I don't entirely buy the ending of the film, but it's rather in keeping with this honor-above-politics film so it might make sense in the world of the film if not the world of the real USA in 1861.

The Gold Diggers (Sally Potter, 1983)

Is this a cult film? Well, it should be. At any rate I'm including it, and I'd imagine most of the (very few) who have seen it would agree that this is as weird as just about any narrative - or semi-narrative - film out there. Potter's first feature got some comparisons to Eraserhead when it came out, and certainly it's clear that like Lynch she has a very painterly view, and is attracted to textures and symbols as much as to "plot". And it's in pretty stunning black-and-white, another point of comparison, but there probably aren't too many more that can be made. The "plot" such as it is concerns two women - an apparent aristocrat (Julie Christie) and a French woman (Colette Laffont) who comes along on a horse and saves her from her fate. But again, plot isn't much of what's going on in this mixture of musical (the title is no accident), fantasy, feminist empowerment, satire on capitalism, silent comedy (think a certain Chaplin film that also starts with "Gold") and so much more that it will take many more viewings to get it all. And it will be worth it I think; an astonishing riot of image and sound, fun times and pointed social criticism, and easily the best film of the month so far and my favorite from this director, who I always admire but rarely love. Her medium-length Thriller which preceded this by four years and also stars Laffont is probably the most similar film in her ouevre and would have to be my second-favorite, now; the two would make a great double feature and I suspect each would be improved by and made a bit more intelligible such proximate viewing.

Gold
Gold Diggers
Gold Rush
Diggers
Dig

Avengers: Infinity War (some douche, 2018)

Yeah go find my detailed and quite subtle commentary on this in the last-film-seen thread if you want

Posse From Hell (Herbert Coleman, 1961)

An exciting opening, as a bunch of escaped convicts hold a saloon hostage after killing a few people and mortally wounding the sheriff; escaping from town, the group (which includes future star Lee Van Cleef) is soon tracked by the man who was to be the new deputy, Banner Cole (Audie Murphy) and a small posse that includes tenderfoot Seymour Kern (John Saxon). Most of the film involves the chase, with both the posse and the bandit group slowly whittled down by shootouts or desertions. Zohra Lampert plays a woman taken by the outlaws as hostage and clearly raped repeatedly (this being 1961 you have to infer it, but it's more obvious than in most films of the time), and much of what makes this film a cut above most b-westerns of the time is the way in which the cold, hard Murphy softens - but just gradually - under the influences of both Lampert and Saxon, who while not used to the western life has more guts and personal morality than most of the other posse riders. The find of this challenge so far for me; I usually like Murphy's westerns but few are as good as this and probably No Name on the Bullet is the only film that might exceed it.

Jungle Jim (William Berke, 1948)
The Lost Tribe (William Berke, 1949)

I guess this turned out to be William Berke week for me, what with the crappy western listed above and these two terribly mediocre first entries in the Jungle Jim series, starring the most famous movie Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller, in a role where he gets to wear clothes except for the 2-3 obligatory swimming sequences in each film, as well as proving that his best acting involved not speaking very much. I do like some of his Tarzans, and quite a few other low-budget exotic adventure films from the golden age, but these poverty-row cheapies ended up below the minimum entertainment value I require and so I stopped at just the two - I think TCM showed all 13 in a row! It's great when you love a series but when it's not so good...anyway the first of these also has George Reeves (Superman) on hand as a greedy journalist trying to steal a secret stash of treasure from a secret native city; the second has another guy whose name was less familiar on hand as a greedy something-something trying to steal a secret stash of treasure from a secret native city. Jungle Jim saves the day both times, what a shock! The second was marginally better in part because of slightly better sets and effects.

Lone Wolf McQuade (Steve Carver, 1983) (re-watch)

A modern western-cop story with Chuck Norris as the Texas Ranger out to avenge his partner's death, keep his own family safe, and of course beat up and then kill the bad guys headed by David Carradine who are smuggling US Army weapons to terrorists. Filmed in Texas with a fair amount of local flavor and a solid supporting cast including Leon Isaac Kennedy and Robert Beltran as Norris' eventual, very young partners, Barbara Carrera and stalwart L.Q. Jones, the guy you got when Sam Elliott wasn't available. While Chuck is his usual void of charisma and acting talent, and this is quite predictable and needlessly cataclysmic at the end, it's still pretty easily among Chuck's best few films, and pending a re-watch of Code of Silence I'd say it probably is the best. Take that for what it's worth.

Una pistola per Ringo / A Pistol for Ringo (Duccio Tessari, 1965)

The first of the two "Ringo" films from 1965 with this director and star Giuliano Gemma, and roughly on the same quality level as the "sequel" (not really) Il ritorno di Ringo. In this one Ringo's an easy-going kinda-bad-guy in jail for something relatively minor, but given a release to go after the REALLY bad bandits holed up in a well-fortified ranch who have knocked over the bank and killed a bunch of folks. This is easier-going than the second film but feels like it moves a little better and the action sequences are maybe slightly more fun, but as I said, on much the same level overall. Morricone's score isn't one of his most memorable.

À nos amours / To Our Loves (Maurice Pialat, 1983)

First off, I never really thought of Sandrine Bonnaire as a sex symbol, and given the kinds of films she's mostly done since this, her debut apart from a couple of brief bit parts, I'm guessing she or her agent/manager/etc probably never really thought that way either. But it's hard not to wonder whether she could have gone such a route after watching this very sexy and carnal performance at the age of 16, as she plays the fickle and sex-obsessed 16-year-old daughter in a very unstable household, including a father (played by the director) who ditches the family early on. This was my first Pialat film, surprisingly given that I've seen a fair amount of French cinema from most eras, and I didn't know that he was frequently compared to Cassavetes; I guess it makes sense in some ways though this strikes me as more sensual and materialistic than anything from Cassavetes. But still, the feeling of spontaneity and the emotional outbursts that punctuate the story, those are familiar in his American counterpart for sure. While I loved Pialat and Bonnaire, I'm a little less enthused about some of the other performances which seemed at times a little strained or over the top, but overall I certainly was engaged, if not yet able to entirely understand why this has such a reputation. More Pialat and Bonnaire on the horizon I suspect.

Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

I'm a glutton for punishment. Or maybe, seeing as how I was on the opposite side of the fence from most re: Avengers Infinitely Stupid, I just thought I'd take the chance that this also proved to be different (i.e. good in this case) from what I'd heard? Or maybe I just wanted to see dozens of shots of Margot Robbie's ass? Anyway, Margot Robbie and her ass, and Will Smith and his wit are the only saving graces - and barely that - in this trainwreck. The guys at RedLetterMedia do a pretty good deconstruction of a lot of what's wrong here, though they seem to think the second half is significantly better than the first and I'm not sure I'd agree there. I will say that the way the characters are introduced is as poorly managed as I've ever seen in a superhero film, and I hope Viola Davis got a big enough paycheck that she can now say no to any sequels or any other crap like this that comes to her desk.

Hadashi no Gen / Barefoot Gen (Mori Masaki, 1983)

Adolescent Gen and his younger brother, older sister, father and pregnant mother lead a poor and struggling, but somewhat hopeful existence in 1945 Japan. Father knows the war can't continue much longer, and while the family has to scrape by for food, something always seems to come along to keep them going - carp from a secret pool caught by the boys, rice donated by a kind neighbor. Unfortunately, the town they live in is Hiroshima, and it's August... this is a pretty harrowing and devastating piece of work that immediately brought to mind Takahata's more famous Hotaru no haka from a few years later. To me this earlier, lower-budget and less polished work is even more harrowing and powerful and it's nice to see the even-handed way in which the war is presented - both parents at different points express their disgust with the war-mongering Japanese government, but it's hard to justify what happens to the civilians of Hiroshima, regardless of who started what. A tough watch, and another in an ever-growing mental list of Movies All Leaders Should Watch (but which probably wouldn't matter to them in the least anyway).
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OldAle1
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And my smart thoughts on the dumb and incorrect thoughts everybody else has -

&sol - remember liking Go West more than you did but it probably wasn't one of my favorite Keatons; with you on IOA; I know I loved Day of the Outlaw when I saw it in the cinema 20 years ago but damned if I can remember it now - it's a high priority re-watch as I've grown to really like DeToth's westerns (and noirs). Liked Will Penny and Torso, loved The Hired Hand and The Death of Stalin which I commented on in last week's thread

&PdA - Game Night, Red Sparrow +, Das Boot, Belson, Clampett ++, Kubricks +++

&GWH - The Killers, pretty sweet; Sans Soleil a favorite; Who's That Knocking I saw, but ???; Krull is fun, that's about right rating; your re-watches are all cool though I guess I don't like Double Indemnity quite as much as a lot of noiristos

&Carmel-by-the-Sea - Face/Off was awesome when I saw it new, kinda crappy when I re-watched it 3 years ago; I think I liked The Hunger but maybe not; fuck superheroes

&Onderhond - didn't much like American Astronaut, for whatever reason the weirdness wasn't enough; liked Game Night; liked Roxanne quite a lot at the time but after 30 years who knows; liked Flight more than you did, didn't much like The Net

&m-d-f - not seen and likely never will

&viktor - same on Get Out; probably liked the Rohmer more but needs a re-view; saw the Denis but little memory

&clem - loved both the Wajda and Watkins films, particularly the latter though it's not the director's best IMO

&Grue - some interest in Tully but likely will pass on it in the cinema; I also skipped Heat when new though I can't say I was a "fan" of the director at that point; pretty visually spectacular as most of Mann's work is (see my comment on The Keep above) and better characterizations than usual - probably his best film, it's only competition is Thief

&joachim - Place Beyond the Pines, yeah, I'm about there; Palwolui Keuriseumaseu, I don't know what to say - I probably saw it around 11-12 years ago and though I thought I had written and saved something about it, can't find it now. I have a strong taste for Korean-style melodrama for one thing, loved both of the leads and
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maxwelldeux
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OldAle1
May 16 2018, 06:13:02 PM
Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

I'm a glutton for punishment. Or maybe, seeing as how I was on the opposite side of the fence from most re: Avengers Infinitely Stupid, I just thought I'd take the chance that this also proved to be different (i.e. good in this case) from what I'd heard? Or maybe I just wanted to see dozens of shots of Margot Robbie's ass? Anyway, Margot Robbie and her ass, and Will Smith and his wit are the only saving graces - and barely that - in this trainwreck. The guys at RedLetterMedia do a pretty good deconstruction of a lot of what's wrong here, though they seem to think the second half is significantly better than the first and I'm not sure I'd agree there. I will say that the way the characters are introduced is as poorly managed as I've ever seen in a superhero film, and I hope Viola Davis got a big enough paycheck that she can now say no to any sequels or any other crap like this that comes to her desk.
Suicide Squad is the only one I've seen of yours, and I share your disappointment. The night I turned it on, I was in a state where sobriety was but a distant memory and thought "It can't be THAT bad, right? Might even be kinda fun this high." For the first bit (~1/3), I'm kinda digging it, thinking they're setting up some cool aspects they'll return to later, then it just turned. I can't remember details (perhaps obviously), but I remember thinking "Why did they do that?" and "That was dumb." and "WTF?!?" and "Probably the worst of their infinite options..." a bunch during the movie. I ended up turning it off right at the climax because I was too bored to finish it that night, and the sober light of the next day did NOT improve things. I think I settled on a 3/10 because I liked the interplay between Harley Quinn and The Joker at the beginning, but that's about it.
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OldAle1
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maxwelldeux
May 16 2018, 10:05:03 PM
OldAle1
May 16 2018, 06:13:02 PM
Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

I'm a glutton for punishment. Or maybe, seeing as how I was on the opposite side of the fence from most re: Avengers Infinitely Stupid, I just thought I'd take the chance that this also proved to be different (i.e. good in this case) from what I'd heard? Or maybe I just wanted to see dozens of shots of Margot Robbie's ass? Anyway, Margot Robbie and her ass, and Will Smith and his wit are the only saving graces - and barely that - in this trainwreck. The guys at RedLetterMedia do a pretty good deconstruction of a lot of what's wrong here, though they seem to think the second half is significantly better than the first and I'm not sure I'd agree there. I will say that the way the characters are introduced is as poorly managed as I've ever seen in a superhero film, and I hope Viola Davis got a big enough paycheck that she can now say no to any sequels or any other crap like this that comes to her desk.
Suicide Squad is the only one I've seen of yours, and I share your disappointment. The night I turned it on, I was in a state where sobriety was but a distant memory and thought "It can't be THAT bad, right? Might even be kinda fun this high." For the first bit (~1/3), I'm kinda digging it, thinking they're setting up some cool aspects they'll return to later, then it just turned. I can't remember details (perhaps obviously), but I remember thinking "Why did they do that?" and "That was dumb." and "WTF?!?" and "Probably the worst of their infinite options..." a bunch during the movie. I ended up turning it off right at the climax because I was too bored to finish it that night, and the sober light of the next day did NOT improve things. I think I settled on a 3/10 because I liked the interplay between Harley Quinn and The Joker at the beginning, but that's about it.
Yeah, I didn't like the Joker stuff at all really, thought Leto was pretty bad in this role, though how much of that is him and how much of it is the writer/director I don't know. I'm actually at a loss to understand how this film made so much money and actually has a not-horrible score on IMDb, given that I've never read anything positive about it from anyone. Oh, wait, those were critics and film buffs. After all, Transformers... but then it's hard to predict just which terrible films will find an audience, because there are just as many films out there that flopped after really terrible reviews. Sucker Punch (which I also rated a 2) comes to mind as a comparison in many ways, not the least of them being Zack Snyder's involvement, and that was a huge flop. The two films also have very similar RT scores - so why did SS do so well?

On the upside, it's nice to know that despite the massive increase in market research over the decades, the suits still can't predict every hit and flop.
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GruesomeTwosome
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OldAle1
May 16 2018, 08:09:29 PM
&Grue - some interest in Tully but likely will pass on it in the cinema; I also skipped Heat when new though I can't say I was a "fan" of the director at that point; pretty visually spectacular as most of Mann's work is (see my comment on The Keep above) and better characterizations than usual - probably his best film, it's only competition is Thief



Looks like you didn't include your comments on The Keep in your post in this thread - thanks to the trusty Search function I did find your thoughts on it in that Cult/Drive-in/Grindhouse challenge thread. :) I have a very similar view of it - it's a fuckin' mess, likely thanks to a lot of awkward editing after the studio chopped it up (apparently the cut that Mann originally gave them was 3.5 hours long). I watched it two years back as part of the October horror challenge (back in the FG days), on iTunes digital HD though it still kinda looked DVD-quality, which was fine enough though. But yeah, it looks great, the Tangerine Dream score is excellent and overall it is very atmospheric and mysterious, if borderline incomprehensible. I recall the first good look of the demonic entity within the keep being a great moment: shrouded in a large plume of smoke as he moves in, just his glowing red head and eyes visible amidst the smoke, quite creepy. Speaking of the awkward cuts between scenes, I also remember a rather out-of-nowhere sex scene with Scott Glenn and the main female character; I was just thinking, "Wait, how the hell did this happen?" Haha. Definitely the weirdest Michael Mann movie in all respects, an interesting "curio" indeed.
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OldAle1
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Oh yeah, that sex scene - wtf? Much of the second half of the film is like that though, and given that none of Mann's other films is even close to as narratively bizarre or messy I'm sure it's the studio tampering that's mostly to blame. In a sense it reminds me of Lynch's Dune - probably never a great film but mostly an interesting one despite the mess it became. Although at least with the Lynch film there are all kinds of longer unauthorized cuts out there, I think I have one actually and I should probably watch that soon.

Interesting failures are just about always more enticing than competence that's by-the-numbers.
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