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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5045880 )
dave jenkins
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« #13890 : September 06, 2014, 12:49:43 PM »

The Trip to Italy (2014) - 7/10. I enjoyed the immensely funny The Trip from 2010, Steve Coogan's and Rob Brydon's gastronomic tour--with jokes- of the English North, so I was happy to sign on for this excursion to sunnier climes and cuisine. The duo are a bit less funny this time--they trot out a lot of the old routines, the Pacino impersonations, the Michael Caine ones, the Sean Connery, the Brando, the DeNiro. Worse, things tend to get a bit soapy as we go along (Steve is worried that he isn't spending enough time with his son, Rob is torn over whether to pursue an affair or stay true to his wife--aaauuuggghhhh!). Still, the food looks fabulous, as do the sights. It's actually a very good tourist promotion video, although I note that what makes the places look particularly appealing is the lack of contact with real Italians (only waiters and hotel staff have any lines). On balance, though, the film has enough scenery and humorous moments to keep things entertaining.



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« #13891 : September 06, 2014, 07:38:54 PM »

Good Morning Vietnam - 8/10 - Some questionable plot twists in the second half, but manages to be funny and heartfelt in equal measure. Robin Williams gets a role playing to his dual strengths as actor and comedian; I don't think I've enjoyed him more anywhere else. Nice supporting cast, especially Bruno Kirby Jr. appealing to his Silent Majority of polka fans.



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« #13892 : September 07, 2014, 08:43:25 AM »

Room at the Top - 7/10 - Working class lad Laurence Harvey comes to the big city dreaming of girls and success. He hooks up with Simone Signoret but marries soppy Heather Sears, daughter of Donald Wolfit's business maven, to advance his career. Typical morality play but Jack Clayton's direction is a striking mix of dinginess and expressionist close-ups. Good cast, though Harvey's roughly as convincing a Yorkshireman as he is a Texan.

« : September 07, 2014, 08:44:27 AM Groggy »


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« #13893 : September 07, 2014, 05:30:08 PM »

Heart of Glass  [Herz aus Glas] (1976) In a late-18th-century Bavarian town there is a single industry, a glassblowing factory that produces a brilliant red ruby glass. The master glass blower has died, taking the secret of the red glass with him. The local Baron/factory owner becomes obsessed with the ruby glass and its secret ingredient. He soon descends into madness along with, apparently, the rest of the townspeople. Can the secret ingredient be . . . blood?

The main character is actually Hias, a seer and shepherd from the hills, who predicts the destruction of the factory in a fire. (According to Wikipedia: "Hias" is based on the legendary Bavarian prophet Mühlhiasl, a Nostrodamus-like figure.) In fact, the plot-- written by director Herzog, based partly on a story by Herbert Achternbusch--is almost secondary to the film, an armature upon which Herzog can hang his images and the music of Popul Vuh and the gnomic utterances of the seer.
 
The images in this film astound: the interior shots are lit like Rembrandts, but all the outdoor work is reminiscent of the German Romantic landscape paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. Herzog’s DP, the brilliant Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein--himself the son of a painter-- really knew what he was doing. The Bfi, transferring this in 1080p, have kept faith with him. Film: 10/10. Transfer: 10/10.



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« #13894 : September 08, 2014, 03:14:48 PM »

The Third Man (1949), English, German, Russian spoken no subs, a great international noir if there ever was one. 10/10


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« #13895 : September 08, 2014, 06:07:41 PM »

I'm Still Here (2010) - 3/10
Pretty terrible hoax film. A tone confused movie and an equally ton confused performance from Joaquin Phoenix. There's some interesting bits and observations on the expectation of celebrity by fans and media, but generally it's a mess. There's the feeling that it wants to be a satirical comedy, yet nothing in it is really that funny. On top of that, too many scenes are so dramatic and serious that it just doesn't work with the hoax aspect, especially when the whole film has a feel of a really unfunny comedy. Phoenix's performance isn't necessarily bad, in fact it's pretty amazing - back when he pulled the initial stunt on Letterman, he had me and several other convinced that he might have actually went a little loony. Unfortunately, the confusion of tones in the movie directly translates to his performance (he is essentially the movie). Phoenix doesn't seem to even know who his own character is, but perhaps that's the point he and Casey Affleck wanted to make. By the end, the comedy-drama-mockumentary confusion ends in a very failed attempt at being poetic. All in all, these thoughts alone are spending too much time thinking about the movie - it's not funny, it's not a good drama, it's just junk. An interesting, failed experiment.

The multitude of flaccid wieners, overuse of "fuck", and the pooping on Joaquin while he's sleeping scenes seem to cause the most controversy, but those are far from the worst aspects.

« : September 08, 2014, 06:08:46 PM PowerRR »
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« #13896 : September 09, 2014, 09:38:15 AM »

Repo Man (1984) - 8.5/10
Good.

Fantasma (2006) - 0/10
Lol. No. I think I was a bit harsh on I'm Still Here after all... I would say this is the worst film of all time, if I even considered it a film.

« : September 09, 2014, 04:10:15 PM PowerRR »
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« #13897 : September 10, 2014, 09:54:07 AM »

Juggernaut (1974) 7/10. It's Speed on a boat! (Wait, wasn't Speed 2: Cruise Control also Speed on a boat? My head is starting to hurt.) But what a cast: Harris, Sharif, Hopkins, Holm, Hemmings, even Roy Kinnear and Freddie Jones! Lots of EOD suspense. Now that's entertainment. And in 1080p, with everyone exhibiting the proper flesh tones. Yeah, baby!



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« #13898 : September 11, 2014, 01:09:44 AM »

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 10/10 (first viewing; TCM)

so many great performances; but in a cast that includes Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Richard Widmark, Marlene Deitrich, and others, it is Maximillian Schell that steals the show. He is simply mesmerizing. Yeah, you could say it's easier to be so great in the bad-guy role, like Schell's defense attorney, cuz lets you do much more acting than the straight good guy like the prosecutor Richard Widmark. But Schell was amazing. Spencer Tracy was also particularly good, but again, you can say that Schell as the bad guy was given room to be even more interesting. And Lancaster was made all the more powerful by the fact that he was silent for most of the movie; heck, he barely even movies; when he finally speaks it is so much more chilling.
Schell won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor - despite being fifth-billed!


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« #13899 : September 12, 2014, 02:45:53 AM »

Hearts and Minds (1974) - 8/10

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« #13900 : September 12, 2014, 04:54:11 AM »

10 Rillington Place - 9/10 - 2nd viewing.

Compulsion - 7/10 - Very close rendering of the Leopold and Loeb case, which makes you wonder why they bothered changing names. Were they that worried about Nathan Leopold suing? Fairly entertaining, and from a style standpoint one of Fleischer's best. The structure's a bit loopy though: the film starts after our L&L surrogates have committed the murder. Orson Welles belatedly arrives to ramble about capital punishment, throwing the balance out of whack. Bradford Dillman is a creep, Dean Stockford a whiner, E.G. Marshall another unflappable lawyer.

« : September 12, 2014, 04:57:48 AM Groggy »


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« #13901 : September 12, 2014, 01:34:13 PM »

Frances Ha - 7/10

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2347569/

I guess you can say the film is "70's Woody Allen meets the Nouvelle Vague in a movie about nowadays' kidults". While the abrupt third act doesn't help, it's a good and refreshing flick that doesn't look like anything else. Still never comes close to 70's Woody Allen dialogues or the audace you can find in early Nouvelle Vague films.

« : September 12, 2014, 01:35:31 PM noodles_leone »

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« #13902 : September 12, 2014, 10:03:05 PM »

80 Blocks from Tiffany's

The South Bronx looked like hell to live in back in 70's. Here's the trailer.

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« #13903 : September 13, 2014, 01:02:53 PM »

Love Streams (1984) - 10/10. 1080p transfer: 10/10. For years I believed Cassavetes' best film was The Killing of a Chinese Bookie(1976), but last night I watched the Criterion Blu of this and clearly Love Streams is the man's masterpiece. And it was produced by Cannon Films! Most reviews provide major spoilers--even Cassavetes himself, on the eve of release, published a piece in the NY Times giving important things away. But it's best to know nothing about the film before going in. So I'm not saying another word.



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« #13904 : September 13, 2014, 05:21:40 PM »

Sils Maria - 7.5/10

My favorite Assayas (don't give this assertion too much weight, I have seen very few of them).
The film is about subjectivity: every character has a different way of seeing the play they're working on, and of course, there are parallels with the the real characters. Those parallels range from (sometimes painfully) obvious to pretty clever. But the greatest thing is the casting. Stewart is amazingly good in it. The rest if the cast is toop notch, which is far less surprising. Fun fact: an actress who almost was in one of my shorts but couldn't because of a planning conflict plays a part in it.

« : September 14, 2014, 03:52:35 AM noodles_leone »

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