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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1804723 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #10140 on: January 29, 2012, 02:57:04 AM »

Also once movie ends with the scene of the father killing Hoffman, I don't think the final shot of the father walking down the corridor and sunlight streaming through was appropriate. I mean, the father's life sure ain't sunnier now that Hoffman is dead. Yeah, he avenged his wife's senseless death, but his life is still just as miserable.
If you notice, the light fills the image to the point of dissolution. It's not signalling metaphorical "sunniness." It's more like he's Set The Controls For the Heart of the Sun. Maybe noodles_leone's comment is most apposite: "I think the point is that he kills himself, or, more exactly, he kills what he created. His son is not really seen as a person here but as a part of himself."

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« Reply #10141 on: January 29, 2012, 03:38:29 AM »

(If anything, a more appropriate shot would have been for the father to leave the room, and have the camera fixate on Hoffman's dead body as the final shot. Or perhaps even better, it could have panned across the city to a shot of Hawke running away or something, like getting on a Greyhound bus and fleeing somewhere ("to the asshole of the world" ? Wink) Hoffman and Hawke are the main characters here: they were in desperate situations and did something desperate and their lives have now become even more desperate. The fate of the two of them mean much more to me than the fate of the father. So eg. in the scene where the father kills Hoffman, I view it as "look at what happened to Hoffman," rather than "the father got his revenge and can now walk away in peace." The father's actions are only relevant in how they affect the main characters. What concerns us is not whether or not the father gets his revenge per se, but the effect on Hoffman/Hawke.
I'll admit not knowing Hawke's ultimate fate was a little disappointing. Here's another idea for the final scene: we see Hawke, with Marisa Tomei: they've made it to Rio. But they didn't get away with enough money and they're not living like tourists, they're experiencing the place as the bottom feeders do--as a living hell. Tomei is wondering what she's doing there. The good sex isn't worth it--in fact, Hawke now has performance problems. Tomei decides to sell him out (maybe there's a reward or something) so she can get back to the States. Hawke keeps sinking.

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« Reply #10142 on: January 29, 2012, 05:48:43 AM »

Still, I'd really like to know what fascinates you in this movie. If I didn't I would probably not bother posting a review here. If it works on a direct emotional level, you probably identify yourself with the main character?  Doing so was impossible to me: I could never understand his actions. Is he supposed to be simple minded? He knows there is a trap and goes right into it, doing even things that he doesn't need to. He never anticipates anything. I cannot understand his actions or even what he wants.

There is a Cult of Welles, of course, and if you ask me he deserves it. Someone who has done Citizen Kane at the time he did it, the way he did it and before he was 25 is my hero (even if CK is too cold to be a personal favorite of mine). I don't really really like his other films I saw (Amberson and Touch of Evil) but at least they had this "Mr.-Orson-Welles-aka-the-guy-who-changed-Cinema-for-ever" feeling. Now, with The Lady, like I said: remove the 5 last minutes, the very very few (I mean no more than 3 or 4... I actually can think of only one) cool shots before that, and I sincerely cannot see anything else than real garbage taking all the clichés from Noir and executing them very poorly without really understanding them.

Ok then, I have re-watched The Lady from Shanghai meanwhile. Don't know what's wrong with the film. It is probably the visually most extravagant film of the 40s (save maybe for Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible), and for me it works visually very well as all it looks quite stunning.
I can't say that I identify with one of the characters, probably I rarely do in any film, but the film works for me that I enjoy the visual style very directly. And the film becomes more and more bizarre the further the story goes on, and then culminates in the famous mirror sequence.  I enjoy the storytelling with its artificial dialogues and of course I enjoy the partly over the top acting. And the story, well it is too unimportant to think about the details, which means it was never really necessary for me to check if it all is logically developed or if there are big plot holes. The plot is secondary to the film's style.

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« Reply #10143 on: January 29, 2012, 06:20:48 AM »

The Italian Job (2003) 7/10

If you are looking for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment, very solid action, and all the cliches, this is the movie for you  Smiley

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« Reply #10144 on: January 29, 2012, 12:24:34 PM »

Ok then, I have re-watched The Lady from Shanghai meanwhile. Don't know what's wrong with the film. It is probably the visually most extravagant film of the 40s (save maybe for Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible), and for me it works visually very well as all it looks quite stunning.
I can't say that I identify with one of the characters, probably I rarely do in any film, but the film works for me that I enjoy the visual style very directly. And the film becomes more and more bizarre the further the story goes on, and then culminates in the famous mirror sequence.  I enjoy the storytelling with its artificial dialogues and of course I enjoy the partly over the top acting. And the story, well it is too unimportant to think about the details, which means it was never really necessary for me to check if it all is logically developed or if there are big plot holes. The plot is secondary to the film's style.

Ok... We agree on your last sentence Cheesy

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« Reply #10145 on: January 29, 2012, 12:31:54 PM »

But why you are so extremely negative about most of the film?

It is not a Fidani or an Ed Wood film. Most people don't think that it can compete with Welles' best films (I do), but I have never read such a negative comment from someone who is interested in film.

5/10 would already be a pretty negative rating for a film of that fame.

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« Reply #10146 on: January 29, 2012, 01:35:06 PM »

The Best Man - 8/10 - A pretty spot-on political satire that (sadly) still has resonance today. Cliff Robertson is really superb, channeling everything loathsome about the '60s generation of politics: the charisma of Kennedy, the resentment of Nixon, the fanaticism of Goldwater. Henry Fonda's much better at the wise old liberal schtick than Spencer Tracy and there are some interesting supporting turns. Infinitely better than the Clooney thing I watched last night.

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« Reply #10147 on: January 29, 2012, 02:54:42 PM »

The Best Man - 8/10 - A pretty spot-on political satire that (sadly) still has resonance today.
Glad to hear it, as a Broadway revival is on the way. Gore Vidal could really pump this stuff out, what?

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« Reply #10148 on: January 29, 2012, 03:57:37 PM »

For all his obnoxiousness Vidal was an interesting writer back in the day. These days he's too preoccupied with his insane conspiracy theorizing to do anything productive.

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« Reply #10149 on: January 29, 2012, 04:57:45 PM »

The King's Speech (2010) 7.5/10

I fucking hate royalty, and love this movie's irreverent attitude toward it  Smiley

The acting was terrific all around.

The movie did a great job of bringing out the king's feelings of entrapment. As Roger Ebert noted, "Director Tom Hooper makes an interesting decision with his sets and visuals. The movie is largely shot in interiors, and most of those spaces are long and narrow. That's unusual in historical dramas, which emphasize sweep and majesty and so on. Here we have long corridors, a deep and narrow master control room for the BBC, rooms that seem peculiarly oblong. I suspect he may be evoking the narrow, constricting walls of Albert's throat as he struggles to get words out." (and I loved one other line by Ebert: "If the British monarchy is good for nothing else, it's superb at producing the subjects of films."  Grin Grin Grin)

One thing I did not love about the visuals was the choice of color: the tones, particularly the (few) exteriors, seem to all be very dull gray/green shades. That's another pet peeve of mine, which I'll try to explain as best I can:
I know that in all movies, the color tones are messed around with, but I never like it when you feel that overtly. I hate watching a movie and feeling, "this color is not real." Of course a director can choose what colors the picture will look like, eg. if he wants red or green or blue or whatever, he can have sets built with that color. However, once the cameras roll, I like when they capture the color exactly as it really looks, ie. if I was standing in that room where the movie was shot, would the color look the same as it does in the movie?

I know that choosing colors is an essential element of a movie, but I feel that it can often  be done in a less overtly artificial way. So if you want grays or greens, then build the sets gray or green, but when you shoot it, capture the gray or green as the set really looks. I hate watching a movie and feeling like "this color was so obviously not how the sets really looked, but manipulated in post-production." I think you can capture a mood with colors by choosing the appropriate colors, but then photographing and capturing them on screen accurately.

I am not saying The King's Speech is the only movie that does this. There are numerous good movies that do this, and it has long been a pet peeve of mine, and now I finally decided to write about it.

Another example is Traffic.  I know they wanted to have each of the 4 stories in different colors so that the viewer can easily follow each of them, but the blue/gray colors of the Michael Douglas scenes seemed so artificial.

There are ways that color can be manipulated very well. For example, in OUATIA, the childhood scenes have brown tones, to evoke the old sepia-toned photographs of that era, but that is done very well and in a manner that does not seem artificial. I don't know exactly how it was done, whether Leone relied primarily on building sets with those colors, or perhaps by messing around with it much less and more subtly.  But through all the dozens of times I have watched the movie, never did I feel "this color is so fake," as I did eg. in the De Niro scenes in The Godfather Part II.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 09:46:31 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #10150 on: January 29, 2012, 11:50:44 PM »

Try and Get Me! (aka The Sound of Fury) - 8/10 - Hmm, this obscure, not available on DVD film is lurking in the deep recesses of Netflix Instant Watch! It's basically a more realistic version of Fritz Lang's Fury, a heavily-fictionalized depiction of the 1933 Brooke Hart murder and lynching of his killers in San Jose. Lots of anger at economic destitution and society's indifference to social ills; it's hard to come up for a starker attack on society than a lynch mob. There's a good amount of heavy-handed preaching, especially towards the end, but it's dramatically sound and reaches a shocking denouement. Claustrophobic direction by Cy Endfield (Zulu) helps a lot and the cast is superb, especially Lloyd Bridges.

So the search engine doesn't fail me this time.

I completely agree. The only thing I would add is that the Math professor character is completely unnecessary, but you pretty much alluded to that. Stanley Kramer had to be jealous of this one. I don't know if he ever made something as raw - I can't think of anything that can compare.

I was really impressed by the location work, especially seeing Frank Lovejoy being passed around like he was in a rock band.

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« Reply #10151 on: January 30, 2012, 02:07:47 AM »

just wanted to add a note RE: the score of The King's Speech: playing the Allegretto from Beethoven's 7th over the king's speech at the end was simply splendid. (Really, is there ever a bad time to play Beethoven?  Wink )

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« Reply #10152 on: January 30, 2012, 05:45:00 AM »

The direction in The King's Speech irritated me to no end. Tom Hooper is one of the most obnoxiously ostentateous directors out there; just because you can tilt a camera doesn't mean you should. (See also John Adams.) Otherwise it was a good film.

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« Reply #10153 on: January 30, 2012, 12:04:33 PM »

The direction in The King's Speech irritated me to no end. Tom Hooper is one of the most obnoxiously ostentateous directors out there; just because you can tilt a camera doesn't mean you should. (See also John Adams.) Otherwise it was a good film.

Are you referring to the fact that during the therapy sessions, he often framed Firth in the corner of the screen? Wasn't that as a means of showing the king's insecurities, or something like that?

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This discussion of camera angles reminds me of something I once heard Billy Wilder say; but rather than transcribe it, I'll just provide the link here: watch this video from 4:04 - 5:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=953TcU5JgiM&feature=related


What do you think of Wilder's opinion RE: camera shots/angles? I find it interesting, cuz there were obviously many other great directors whose views on this issue were precisely the opposite of Wilder's, (including Leone, who employed a self-conscious use of the camera in his films [I believe I borrowed that term from Frayling]).

I'd be interested to hear what y'all think of this? Do you prefer one method over the other? Or do you appreciate both viewpoints, and are content with the belief that there is more than one way to do things great?

p.s. this video is on the special features dvd of Ace in the Hole. If you are a Wilder fan -- whether or not you are a fan of Ace in the Hole --  I highly recommend that you watch Disc Two of Ace in the Hole, ie. the separate disc of special features; I rented it on Netflix. It has some awesome stuff on Wilder  Afro
 

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« Reply #10154 on: January 30, 2012, 01:36:28 PM »

Are you referring to the fact that during the therapy sessions, he often framed Firth in the corner of the screen? Wasn't that as a means of showing the king's insecurities, or something like that?

The intent is so obvious Hooper might as well hit you on the head with a shovel. It's not clever, it's merely annoying.

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