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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4589353 )
dave jenkins
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« #19980 : September 30, 2021, 01:05:39 PM »

The Card Counter (2021) - 3/10. Amateur filmmaking at its finest. Mr. Schrader needs to find something else to do with the rest of his life.



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« #19981 : September 30, 2021, 01:46:29 PM »

Noodles, how can you not see how the movie makes Mank out to be a tragic hero and some sort of Hollywood martyr for his support of Sinclair? The film strongly implies that the result of an election causes a six year downward spiral, when the reality is that there is zero evidence that Mank supported Sinclair, and if anything, he supported his opponent or was completely indifferent to the election. Not only that, but the movie lies about how the results of a gubernatorial election was the catalyst for one of the most important movies ever made.

All the male Hollywood players all range from dull careerists to being relatively evil, with maybe Hearst as the lone exception -- who would have been a much more compelling character if he was given more screen time. Let's face it, this is pap, and is a Sam Mendes script that happened to be directed by one of the few modern masters.



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« #19982 : September 30, 2021, 02:45:40 PM »

Noodles, how can you not see how the movie makes Mank out to be a tragic hero and some sort of Hollywood martyr for his support of Sinclair? The film strongly implies that the result of an election causes a six year downward spiral, when the reality is that there is zero evidence that Mank supported Sinclair, and if anything, he supported his opponent or was completely indifferent to the election. Not only that, but the movie lies about how the results of a gubernatorial election was the catalyst for one of the most important movies ever made.

All the male Hollywood players all range from dull careerists to being relatively evil, with maybe Hearst as the lone exception -- who would have been a much more compelling character if he was given more screen time. Let's face it, this is pap, and is a Sam Mendes script that happened to be directed by one of the few modern masters.

I strongly suggest you watch it again. It isn't an easy movie to grasp for many reasons (including flaws). I saw it twice (and in-between I read everything - and I mean everything - there was to read about it by the people who made it but that's because I'm crazy). Here are a few things that really help my point and shows that maybe I'm not just a fanboy:

- Nobody in the movie cares about Mank's views on Sinclair... let alone hold it against him. So I don't see how Mank is a martyr here. He burns the bridges AFTER everything about Sinclair is over. And even then nobody really cares until he writes CK.
- I'm saying it again: Mank loses almost every one to one argument. And when he doesn't, he loses the return game (when people from his past come to the ranch, for instance)
- Mank's big speech at Hearst's Castle in the end: first, please note that eventhough it looks like he won this one, he imediatly loses when he's alone with Hearst. More importantly, yes he's talking about Hearst and Citizen Kane here... but isn't he especially talking about himself and explaining to the audience what Mank, the movie, is actually about? (spoiler alert: he totally is telling the story of his life, although he'll learn it in the next scene, when Hearst calmy, coldly walks him out - which happens to be one my favorite Fincher scenes ever)
- It's a movie about someone who thought he could be against the system while living in the system and who discovers he's actually part of the system and part of the problem. He thought his punk attitude was enough to make him if not clean, at least neutral. Of course it wasn't, at all, so he does something about it.

Now, how much of that is true in real life? Once again I really don't care. I don't have anything to argue here, I'm ok with you saying that it's an issue, I just note that I really don't care about that. The gubernatorial elections are used as an effective although quite clich? symbole and the movie works and deeply speaks to me... but once again, not the movie you guys are talking about.


(that being said, yes, Hearst would have made a terrific character with more screentime. Yet again... I'm sure someone will make a cool movie about him some day)

« : September 30, 2021, 02:47:21 PM noodles_leone »

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« #19983 : September 30, 2021, 04:53:35 PM »

The filmmakers clearly view Mank as a martyr and a flawed hero that has been beaten down by the world he inhabits. You can say it was more of self-martyrdom on Mank's part in how an election result was the moment where he could no longer function in his professional and personal circles.

I'm not denying that Hearst wins the exchange, but that doesn't change anything I've said. Virtually everyone around Mank are more pragmatic than him, which plays into the filmmakers hero worship of Mank's rebelliousness and (his eventual) inability to function in all aspects of society. The filmmakers literally make him a hero by stating he saved an entire village of people. It's pretty strongly implied that Mank cares too much, and the constant fighting against the system will eventually be his downfall.

In my opinion, you're conflating what you've read about this movie with what's actually on screen. Barton Fink is a much more complex and analyzable movie dealing with a similar setting. A film that throws in a subplot about a secretary's husband missing in action is hardly something a subtle movie would incorporate. Especially when it's mostly tossed aside until the end of the movie.



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« #19984 : October 01, 2021, 12:37:41 AM »

The filmmakers clearly view Mank as a martyr and a flawed hero that has been beaten down by the world he inhabits.

That's how Mank sees himself at the begining of the movie, then the whole movie explains you that no, this isn't what is happening.
What actually slowly kills Mank is the lack of adequation between who he thinks is is and what he actually does. Which I like a lot because I've met soooo many people who are like that. As soon as they realise this is the actual issue, and then act about it (either by changing who they think they are or acting differently) they're usually better, which is what happens with Mank.

I'm not denying that Hearst wins the exchange, but that doesn't change anything I've said. Virtually everyone around Mank are more pragmatic than him,

That changes mostly what DJ said. People around Mank aren't stupid. They're mostly smarter than him because they all know what is happening while he's spending an entire movie getting the picture.

which plays into the filmmakers hero worship of Mank's rebelliousness  and (his eventual) inability to function in all aspects of society.

I wouldn't say worship at all. May be in Fincher's father original screenplay, and you can spot things here and there that still play it this way. But it isn't what is on screen. What is on screen is a guy who used to be the hero he thought he was (saving villages and stuff) and who now creates meaningless content and fake news for big companies. That is actually what happens in the non ranch scenes. That and the fact that he's doing drunk monologues everywhere which, it turns out, is the reason why the people he hates keep him around. We could go scene by scene, this is what happens and is at play scene after scene.

The filmmakers literally make him a hero by stating he saved an entire village of people.

Yeah, he used to be a good guy and now isn't anymore. Just like Hearst and Kane.

It's pretty strongly implied that Mank cares too much,

Probably but what isn't implied but clearly shown is that eventhough he cares he's actually part of the problem. And people die because of what he does (the director of the fake interviews).

and the constant fighting against the system will eventually be his downfall.

Really? The downfall happens when he stops playing his part in the system.


In my opinion, you're conflating what you've read about this movie with what's actually on screen.

I'd say I used what I read to be sure about what the movie isn't.

Barton Fink is a much more complex and analyzable movie dealing with a similar setting.

I like Barton Fink too. My issue with it is that I have trouble seeing it as anything else than something about people who try to make art. I may be missing something about it though, I haven't put too much thought in it. What I like about Mank is that what it's saying about someone who writes movies could be applied to everybody. It's universal.

A film that throws in a subplot about a secretary's husband missing in action is hardly something a subtle movie would incorporate. Especially when it's mostly tossed aside until the end of the movie.

I fully agree. One of the many flaws of Mank. I think I'd have tossed away the secretary character and everything about her, eventhough the actress is great.



« : October 01, 2021, 12:49:18 AM noodles_leone »

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« #19985 : October 01, 2021, 06:22:29 AM »

On another note, I recently had Netflix N Chill night with Miss Baltimore, so I showed her FAFDM - and she loved it! Then  I decided to mix things up with a melodrama; halfway through she says, "Let's watch another Western!" So I showed her GBU. As I expected, the first part moved a bit slow for someone not used to the Leone pace, but as it picked up, she really enjoyed it, now she is a Leone fan!!!!!


We just watched FOD -- during the part where Eastwood punched out Marisol and brought her to the Baxters, Miss Baltimore gasps, "OMG, this is so dramatic!" which I found hilarious because dramatic plots are the last thing Leone is about. Anyway, she loves FOD most in the trilogy (she keeps mentioning how GBU didn't have much story ... as if FOD really has more ;D) ... anyway, she is hooked. Now I can't get her to watch a non-Leone movie ... we'll see if she likes the c'era una volta trilogy ...

For a Few Dollars More has a great plot, partnership between the two; I can see why some European cultures/countries favored this film.

GBU is really a terrific anti-war film with added interplay among the three.  Once looks upon it with those eyes, takes on a whole different aura.

Slowness of GBU and Once/West?  Leone was making his films for the Italian culture, Italian audience.  More style than slowness, and the style definitely grows on some.

When I first saw Once/America, the phone ringing drove me nuts.  Once I understood that was reference to Noodles calling police to rat out Max, and the guilt he carried for decades over that, became real to me.

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« #19986 : October 01, 2021, 07:45:17 AM »

L'Immortelle (1963) - 5/10. Robbe-Grillet's first feature is just Marienbad 2, with Francoise Brion this time, and in Istanbul. Beautifully lit, shot, edited, but . . . why?



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« #19987 : October 01, 2021, 01:32:45 PM »

^^ I disagree about Mank no longer being a good guy. Fincher and co clearly blame the people and world around him for his troubles, or strongly imply that. The result of the election clearly broke him, and I find that to be ridiculous and that is more in line with something written by Paul Haggis. A character can be protrayed as very flawed while also being viewed as a hero. We will have to agree to disagree because I'm not going to move an inch on this, and if anything, I found this movie to be too simple.




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« #19988 : October 01, 2021, 01:59:27 PM »

Titane (2021) - 6/10. Someone has seen too many Cronenberg movies.

Alexia, an erotic dancer and serial killer, is in love with cars. So much so, she actually fucks them. One night something knocks really hard on Alexia's door., frightening her half to death. Alexia has just stepped out of the shower, so she's completely naked. Nonetheless, she opens the door and walks outside. A Cadillac with its lights on is waiting--apparently, "he" was the knocker. Alexia climbs inside and pretty soon we see the car shaking up and down. Geddit?

Later, Alexia's killing spree is hampered by the fact that she's pregnant. What with morning sickness and an expanding belly and all, it's getting harder and harder to drive that knitting needle through the sides of peoples' skulls.

Alexia decides to self-administer an abortion. The abortion, we soon learn, fails. And oddly, when she hemorrhages, instead of squirting blood, she excretes a dark liquid similar to motor oil. I'm guessing even PowerRR can guess where this is going.

But that's for later. In the meantime, Alexia has a whole house full of guests to kill, and then there's a fire to light, and then, to disguise her looks, there's that broken nose she needs to self-administer (that scene was even more painful to watch then the abortion).

After that, the film really gets weird.

I'm guessing this film, in French, isn't going to be for everyone. I probably wouldn't have seen it myself except it was playing at my local 15-screen cineplex.

Sorry about the spoilers.

« : October 02, 2021, 04:55:43 AM dave jenkins »


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« #19989 : October 02, 2021, 04:36:30 AM »

^^ I disagree about Mank no longer being a good guy. Fincher and co clearly blame the people and world around him for his troubles, or strongly imply that. The result of the election clearly broke him, and I find that to be ridiculous and that is more in line with something written by Paul Haggis. A character can be protrayed as very flawed while also being viewed as a hero. We will have to agree to disagree because I'm not going to move an inch on this, and if anything, I found this movie to be too simple.

Very well, let?s agree to disagree. Where you?re wrong is that you seem to think Fincher is a political filmmaker when he never was and never will be (which is his biggest weakness): he makes movies about individuals and how they fit in the system. Not movies about the system. Hence Fight Club (and pretty much all of his movies and tv shows, with mayyybe the exception of Gone Girl).

I?ll throw you a bone and say that maybe his father tried to do something different with the early drafts of the screenplay, and the resulting screenplay (but what is actually on screen, not much) has some remains of that. Hence your mistake. Still, the movie doesn?t deal with what you?re saying and sene after scene deals with Mank?s slow realization (which happens to have a lot to do with Fincher?s own biography).

« : October 02, 2021, 04:40:12 AM noodles_leone »

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« #19990 : October 02, 2021, 04:59:35 AM »

We will have to agree to disagree because I'm not going to move an inch on this, and if anything, I found this movie to be too simple.
Why are you trying to reason with Noodles? He was lost to us a long time ago.



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« #19991 : October 02, 2021, 05:08:14 AM »

Because on Mank he was able to make some good points, he wasn?t discussing the press release but the actual movie.


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« #19992 : October 02, 2021, 05:15:30 AM »

Titane (2021) - 6/10. Someone has seen too many Cronenberg movies.

Alexia, an erotic dancer and serial killer, is in love with cars. So much so, she actually fucks them. One night something knocks really hard on Alexia's door., frightening her half to death. Alexia has just stepped out of the shower, so she's completely naked. Nonetheless, she opens the door and walks outside. A Cadillac with its lights on is waiting--apparently, "he" was the knocker. Alexia climbs inside and pretty soon we see the car shaking up and down. Geddit?

Later, Alexia's killing spree is hampered by the fact that she's pregnant. What with morning sickness and an expanding belly and all, it's getting harder and harder to drive that knitting needle through the sides of peoples' skulls.

Alexia decides to self-administer an abortion. The abortion, we soon learn, fails. And oddly, when she hemorrhages, instead of squirting blood, she excretes a dark liquid similar to motor oil. I'm guessing even PowerRR can guess where this is going.

But that's for later. In the meantime, Alexia has a whole house full of guests to kill, and then there's a fire to light, and then, to disguise her looks, there's that broken nose she needs to self-administer (that scene was even more painful to watch then the abortion).

After that, the film really gets weird.

I'm guessing this film, in French, isn't going to be for everyone. I probably wouldn't have seen it myself except it was playing at my local 15-screen cineplex.

Sorry about the spoilers.

This one has like 3 high concept movies and tries to make them fit into a single movie. The result is a very rushed film, that leads to radical storytelling and filmmaking. Hence the interest. But it also means the movie doesn?t have the time to dig any of the interesting stuff it stumbles upon. The most telling example (but the whole movie is like that) is the complex relationship between  the girl and her adoptive father: its nature takes 180 degrees turns every scene. Which quickly ?uninvolves? the audience and traps the film into superficiality. In the end, it approaches a lot of topics and deals with none. What is left is the feeling to have seen a YouTube compilation of all the intense moments from the 5 seasons of Breaking Bad, but not what ties everything together and especially not the context of those intense scenes. I think I agree with your rating.

« : October 02, 2021, 05:16:45 AM noodles_leone »

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« #19993 : October 02, 2021, 09:19:33 AM »

It just leans on Cronenberg too much. Those three movies you allude to are The Brood, Crash, and M. Butterfly. The M. Butterfly material is especially pronounced in the second half of the film. I thought M. Butterfly was a failure, but I could have saved the picture if Cronenberg had invited me to the story conferences. You just can't believe that John Lone could dupe Jeremy Irons for as long as he did. There needed to be a scene where it is intimated that Irons is participating in the relationship through a process of self-deception. Say, maybe a scene where Lone feels the need to reveal his secret to Irons but Irons stops him to allow the illusion to be sustained. I think the director of Titane, when revisiting this material, took the right approach; it becomes clear after a while that Vincent Lindon isn't fooled by the woman pretending to be a man, but he needs the relationship so much that he is willing to overlook everything. In that sense, Titane improves on the Cronenberg model.

But otherwise, yeah, shoving three film plots into one film can't really work. Perhaps that's something that only becomes apparent after the viewing is over and we are reflecting on it. During the film itself, though, I was pretty engaged (although the ending was telegraphed from a very early point).



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« #19994 : October 02, 2021, 06:45:23 PM »

Cartes sur table [Cards on the Table] / Attack of the Robots (1966) - 3/10. Lame Bond parody, with superspy Eddie Constantine going up against villains Francoise Brion and Fernando  Ray. The baddies have the ability to transform humans into killer robots, weapons they don't use very well. Ricardo Palacios, the Tucumcari saloon keeper in FAFDM, has a recurring bit as a pain in the ass. For rabid Constantine fans only.



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