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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 3621492 )
noodles_leone
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« #19440 : December 09, 2020, 01:47:41 PM »

The Third Man (1949) 7.5/10
It always looks beautiful, but I wouldn?t say it?s flawlessly directed. Still, there are hints of genius filmmaking  here and there. Great portrayal of postwar Vienna. It?s funny how better the movie becomes as soon as Welles is first seen.


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« #19441 : December 12, 2020, 03:52:09 PM »

In the Mood for Love (2000) - 10/10. Reportedly, they spent hours each day on Maggie's hair and eyebrows. It was worth it.

Chungking Express (1994) - 6/10. Love the stuff with Brigitte Lin, everything else is fluff. Faye Wong is impossible. Tony Leung talking to a stuffed animal? Give me a break.

My Blueberry Nights (2007) - 6/10. Eatery as a locus for intersecting lives: check. A narrative device involving keys: check. A cop in relation to two women: check. A woman who leaves for a year and comes back: check and double-check. OK, we've got Chungking Blueberry Express here. Wong tells very simple stories but can't get details right: there is no frosting on blueberry pie, so why does Norah Jones keep getting frosting on her lips when she eats it? A cop who beats up a guy and later pulls a gun on his ex-wife would lose his job first and go to jail next, so why is David Strathairn free to drive drunk? Happily, when we get to Reno the gambling story works (and Natalie Portman really sells it). Well, one out of three ain't bad.



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« #19442 : December 12, 2020, 03:55:00 PM »

I've been striking gold with some films I love this weekend (and some that I not so love) as I stay inside with a minor cold (or perhaps COVID??? waiting a test back)

Batman Returns (1992) - 8/10
Armageddon (1998) - 5/10
Small Axe: Mangrove (2020) - 8.5/10
Small Axe: Lovers Rock (2020) - 9/10
A Christmas Carol (2009) - 4.5/10
Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959) - 9/10
A Brighter Summer Day (1991) - 9/10

the summer day theme is coincidental

Chungking Express (1994) - 6/10
::)

« : December 12, 2020, 03:56:29 PM PowerRR »
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« #19443 : December 12, 2020, 04:57:49 PM »

The first half of Chungking is way better than the second half.



Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #19444 : December 12, 2020, 08:42:12 PM »

The first half of Chungking is way better than the second half.
Yup.



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« #19445 : December 12, 2020, 08:48:52 PM »

Ashes of Time Redux (1994/2008) - 10/10. Rewatching this last night it suddenly occurred to me: this is my favorite WKW. You don't have to worry about the plot, all you have to do is allow the images to wash over you. Those colors!
This is the one where an orange-and-teal bias is correct. I enjoy this more every time I watch it.



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« #19446 : December 15, 2020, 09:52:04 AM »

2046 (2004) - 4/10. The eye candy is nice, but at best this is an exercise in empty formalism and at worst WKW's descent into self parody. Mrs. Jenkins, who has been at my side for most of these recent viewings, declared at the end, "No more Wong Kar Wai." Yeah, he really gave the game away on this one.

« : December 15, 2020, 02:00:34 PM dave jenkins »


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« #19447 : December 15, 2020, 02:30:29 PM »

Quote
The Grandmaster (2013) - 6/10. Blu-ray. Ip Man gets Wong Kar-Wai'ed. The style-to-story ratio in this must run about 100:1 and, although the images are ravishing and a treat to watch at first, the whole thing becomes very wearing as it goes along. This is partly because the fight scenes all have a sameness about them--there are two kinds of fight scenes, interior and exterior. The interior scenes are always dark. The exterior scenes are always dark too, because they are set at night, usually when it's raining or, for variety, snowing. One thing I enjoy about Ashes of Time Redux is the bold colors, but here the colors get drained every time there's a fight (I'm guessing its easier to cut shots together that way). Occasionally there are striking colors, in between fights, but a lot of the film comes off as monochromatic (kung-fu noir!). The worst thing, though, is that much of the storytelling is relegated to intertitles, as if this were a silent film. The story isn't all that interesting anyway (and we've already seen other versions of it), but matters are made worse by our having to constantly stop and read about what has or is about to happen.
I was way too harsh in this evaluation from 7 years ago. My biggest problem with the film then seems to have been with the storytelling, which I no longer feel is worth worrying about. Who goes to WKW for the story? Instead, there are wonderful set pieces to enjoy, and they are many. There's humor, too--the cigarette lighting scene is a scream. Of course, this is WKW's most Leone-esque film, which he explicitly acknowledges with the use of Morricone's music. Initially I thought the references cheapened the film, but now I've changed my mind. I actually think WKW has been very clever, blending Leone's concerns with his own. Most of SL's film are buddy movies, where women are mostly irrelevant. With WKW of course you usually get one or more love stories. The Grandmaster has a series of showdowns, the most significant being the one between Ip Man and Gong Er, where they simultaneously joust and fall in love. Making the hero's buddy a girl adds a kick that SL never tried, one he certainly would not have countenanced. But that's precisely why WKW's contribution is valuable--he has added something new to cinema that only he could have brought off. I really like this film now and am radically re-scoring it: 10/10.

P.S. I'm talking about the longer, HK cut. I've never seen the U.S. cut.

« : December 15, 2020, 02:37:42 PM dave jenkins »


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« #19448 : December 17, 2020, 04:02:18 PM »

My Dinner With Andre (1981) - 7/10. It's been a long time, but a re-watch was in order so that I might introduce the film to Mrs. J. This time I realized where things go wrong--Wally wisely orders the potato soup, but fumbles by opting for the small-portioned quail. All is not lost yet, however, because there's always dessert. But Wally then unaccountably orders only an espresso and an amaretto! Oaf!



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« #19449 : December 19, 2020, 10:14:00 PM »

2046 (2004) - 4/10. The eye candy is nice, but at best this is an exercise in empty formalism and at worst WKW's descent into self parody. Mrs. Jenkins, who has been at my side for most of these recent viewings, declared at the end, "No more Wong Kar Wai." Yeah, he really gave the game away on this one.
While I haven't seen this in a long time, I think you're right, if maybe a little harsh. Or maybe not even that harsh.

I also think Power is probably right about Happy Together.


« : December 19, 2020, 11:02:34 PM T.H. »


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #19450 : December 20, 2020, 11:51:54 AM »

Solaris (1972) - 3/10. Yeah, yeah, Tarkovsky, Tarkovsky, Tarkovsky. Let's say, rather, Turkey, Turkey, Turkey, and let it go at that. The most hackneyed plot in science-fiction, and in this case, it takes forever to unspool. And then there are all the tedious Scenes From an Intergalactic Marriage. Finally, at the end, the big reveal is that all the hero ever wanted was acceptance from his father . . . and now the planet is going to simulate that for him? He gave up infinite pussy for that? More fiction than science in this one.  Plus very low-fi SFX. Some good nature photography, though. And a nice cameo by the horse.



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« #19451 : December 20, 2020, 09:40:27 PM »

Faisons un reve/ Let's Make a Dream (1936) - 9/10. Sacha Guitry and Raimu, together again for the first time. Man could Guitry jaw. And it's all his own material. He was the Orson Welles of film comedy, before there was an Orson Welles of film anything. (Welles must have felt a connection because he later stole the intro to Story of a Cheat for his trailer for Citizen Kane). Eighth viewing, and I think I laughed harder than any time before. Who knew the French could be funny?



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« #19452 : December 21, 2020, 07:53:17 PM »



Ohayo / Good Morning (1959) - 8/10. Contains more fart jokes than any film I know. Ostensibly a story about 2 boys who go on a "speaking strike" until their parents come across with a new TV, this is really an amusing ensemble piece about how gossip circulates in a small community. About halfway through the film two characters in a bar are chatting, when suddenly they look over at another stool and see--T. Sugawara! Man, that guy sure gets around.
It was always a mystery to me where his film was supposed to be set. There was the constant sound of trains and there was a scene with a wide river. I was thinking maybe somewhere near the Tamagawa. But where? Happily, with this new blu you can read the station marker in one of the last scenes of the film: Hatchonawate. Man, glad I cleared that up!



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« #19453 : December 23, 2020, 07:52:54 AM »

I Come With the Rain (2008) - 7/10. So I was at Roppongi Hills waiting for a friend--did I mention I'm in Tokyo this month?--and since he was going to be a couple hours, I decided to take in a movie. The Toho Cinemas were playing the usual crap, but they also had this. I didn't know anything about the film, but it was in English, had an Asian cast (plus Josh Hairnet) and a HK setting. I'm a sucker for a HK setting, so I paid my 18 dollars, collected my 7 dollar beer, and went in. Turns out this is an action-art film. Which means that along with the haunted ex-cop on a missing persons case, the soulless HK gangster who obsesses over his drug-addicted woman, and the workaholic HK cop who is dedicated to bringing the gangster to justice, you also get ponderous shots of people and objects interestingly framed. It kind of works, even though the artsy-fartsy stuff gets in the way of the story. This is partly because the story is so cliched that we don't really need it explained, and partly because the story is so cliched we need something else to occupy our attention. Tedium is also avoided by the generous use of flashbacks. Well, this is a film with a unique visual style, and I was never bored. The bizarre soundtrack is by Radiohead.
Was this ever released in the U.S.? I'd forgotten about it until I came across a UK blu of it which looks pretty good. My comments from 11 years ago stand.



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« #19454 : December 24, 2020, 12:17:14 PM »

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) - 8/10. It's Christmastime, and MGM transports us to that wonderful land of mystery and enchantment, Budapest, Hollywood, where all the munchkins speak perfect American standard. Frank Morgan returns as the Wizard, with Margaret Sullavan tackling the role of Dorothy. Her show-stopper, the D.H. Lawrence-inspired "Under the Rainbow", energizes the proceedings. James Stewart, as the Tin Woodsman, is almost as effective while performing "If I Only Had a Pair". Toto here is played by Pepi, and after a promotion, transforms into a jackass, getting his own Toto Jr. to kick around. Yes, there's also a Wicked Witch, but he dissolves before the end of the second act. Then there's just enough time for the girls and boys to prepare for their annual end-of-the-year show. Finally the Wizard emerges from behind the curtain and opens the cash register. Best box office since '28! Bonuses for all the Flying Monkeys! Commodify the Eschaton! There's no place like Home and Garden!

« : December 29, 2020, 08:30:42 AM dave jenkins »


"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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