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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 2113175 )
dave jenkins
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« #5055 : January 03, 2009, 09:16:49 PM »

The President's Analyst (1968) -8/10. This was on Turner last week: I'd seen parts of it before on TV, but had never watched the whole thing through from start to finish. Very funny (at least, if you're over 40). Checking out the IMDb entry, I discovered that the current TV/DVD version is missing footage. Oddly, this was footage cut before its theatrical release (probably for time) but reinserted for its first television airings in the 70s (again, for time). But when home video came along Paramount, apparently, went back to the theatrical release and that's the one we've had ever since. It seems, however, that the longer version of the film is to be preferred (it includes a crucial meeting-cute scene that introduces Coburn to the girl: this helps the plot, eliminates an awkward edit, and sounds very amusing in its own right). If you go to Ebert's contemporary review of the film
(http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19680216/REVIEWS/802160301/1023) there is actually a still of the deleted scene (don't read the review before seeing the film though: someone should tell Roger about a little thing called SPOILERS). Man, now I'd really like to see the longer cut of this very groovy film . . .



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« #5056 : January 04, 2009, 03:12:50 AM »

Secret Agent (1936) - 7.5/10
SPOILERS
I wasn't expecting much but the killing scene is one of the best scenes I've ever seen from Hitchcock. Very chilling, actually; the way you know he's the wrong man before he's killed eventhough just minutes earlier you were positive he's the right man. But the ending made me feel like cheated.

EDIT: Hitchcock's take on violence here is actually very different from his Hollywood movies. Here he makes the morality and psychological effects of killing very much the main concern whereas his Hollywood movies never bother with these subjects.   

« : January 04, 2009, 06:43:37 AM moviesceleton »

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« #5057 : January 04, 2009, 06:55:37 AM »

Quote
EDIT: Hitchcock's take on violence here is actually very different from his Hollywood movies. Here he makes the morality and psychological effects of killing very much the main concern whereas his Hollywood movies never bother with these subjects.


Not sure I would entirely agree. Psycho and Marnie jump to mind as running counter to your statement. Might even add Rope, come to think of it.

« : January 04, 2009, 06:58:07 AM Groggy »


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« #5058 : January 04, 2009, 07:03:12 AM »

And there are British films--The 39 Steps comes to mind--that treat death casually in the "Hollywood" manner.



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« #5059 : January 04, 2009, 07:09:59 AM »

Not sure I would entirely agree. Psycho and Marnie jump to mind as running counter to your statement.
Well, yeah there's Marnie alright, but I had Psycho very much in my mind when I wrote that. I don't know if you've seen Secret Agent but I didn't mean "psychology" in the sense as it appears in Psycho. In that film, in my opinion, the murders are plot devices in this mystery story. The question is "who did it?" or maybe even more "when will they find out that it was the mother?". In Secret Agent the question is "is it right to kill this man/any man?".

And there are British films--The 39 Steps comes to mind--that treat death casually in the "Hollywood" manner.
My bad. Just used "Hollywood" for "his best known movies/most of the ones I've seen". You're right about The 39 Steps. I can't say anything about his other British movies since these are the only two I've seen.


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« #5060 : January 04, 2009, 08:12:16 AM »

I'd say Rope deals with the morality of killing, albeit in a fairly oblique way.



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« #5061 : January 04, 2009, 08:31:05 AM »

I had Psycho very much in my mind when I wrote that. I don't know if you've seen Secret Agent but I didn't mean "psychology" in the sense as it appears in Psycho. In that film, in my opinion, the murders are plot devices in this mystery story. The question is "who did it?" or maybe even more "when will they find out that it was the mother?". In Secret Agent the question is "is it right to kill this man/any man?".
The two deaths in Psycho are treated very differently--the death of Marion Crane is unexpected and therefore shocking: unexpected in that AH took the time to build up her character to the point that when she is gone there remains throughout the rest of the picture a very noticeable and uncomfortable void. The death of Arbogast, on the other hand, is wholly a plot contrivance: the character never really comes to life to begin with, so his passing doesn't signify emotionally.

Hitchcock could treat death deeply or lightly, according to his needs. Another great scene in his late work is the murder of the enemy agent in Torn Curtain. It is so excruciatingly long that it raises the very concern you are interested in: "is it right to kill this man/any man?"



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« #5062 : January 04, 2009, 10:06:49 AM »

Dead Ringers (1988) - 7.5/10
The subtitles were all fucked up so that they were like a minute ahead of the picture so I had to depend on what I could understand by listening. So I missed a deal of the dialogue.


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« #5063 : January 04, 2009, 12:30:13 PM »

I did think of the Torn Curtain scene but the movie pretty much drops it after it's over so I'm not sure how valid an example that is.



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« #5064 : January 04, 2009, 02:21:00 PM »

Huh? The scene is my example, not the movie.



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« #5065 : January 04, 2009, 07:56:42 PM »

The Incredible Hulk (2008) 7/10

Much better than Ang Lee's Hulk, and I know some fans of that will defend it to death. But I felt it was one of the best comic book films in recent years. I even liked it better than Iron Man and I loved Iron Man.

Iron Man I also give 7/10, for outstanding peformance by Robert Downy Jr, I felt too much of the film was Stark tinkering with the suit, but well done. Better than Spider-Man 3, and most recent Marvel adaptations and the lackluster Superman Returns.

I just wish I saw both of these films when they came out in May and June.

And I recently watched The Dark Knight again, I give that a 9/10. Full points would be a bit much.


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« #5066 : January 04, 2009, 08:31:30 PM »

Pitfall (1948) - 5/10. Great performances by Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott and Raymond Burr (doing a great Laird Cregar impression) can't save this rather routine morality tale. A man in a mid-life crises learns that by straying he can get spanked, and lose his family in the bargain. Huh. Also, that if you run afoul of bad elements, it's always advisable to call the cops. How 'bout that? That second bit of wisdom was on my mind for much of the last half of the film, but just for good measure a police captain showed up near the end and reiterate it for Powell and the audience. You learn something every day. I learned that this movie is rather dull.



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« #5067 : January 04, 2009, 09:37:53 PM »

Angel Face (1952) Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons as the wealthy femme fatal, Otto Preminger directs, 8/10


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« #5068 : January 04, 2009, 09:48:05 PM »

John Adams: Unnecessary War - 9/10 - Probably doesn't count as a movie so feel free to heckle me Jinkies, but at 80 minutes it's pushing pretty close. This is my second viewing of the series (episode 6 of 7) and this is probably the best episode aside from the phenomenal Independence episode. A lot of people seem let down by this episode (which deals with Adams' presidency) but even though it skims over quite a bit by necessity it has a lot of dramatic flare and sparks. This episode features some of the best scenes of the series, including Abigail reciting tabloid news articles to her husband (much funnier than words can describe), Adams' showdown with a perhaps overly malicious Alexander Hamilton (Rufus Sewell), the more satisfying scene where he dismisses his worthless cabinet members for being Hamilton's toadies, and when he confronts and disowns his wastrel son Charles. Paul Giamatti's performance as Adams grows more impressive with each viewing, he's never more sympathetic than here, where Adams is isolated from friends, family and allies by his office and an impossible situation with France. Laura Linney doesn't have much to do in this episode unfortunately, a rarity for the series. And the ubiquitous Schubert piece from Barry Lyndon makes an appearance; is it a law that all period films must use it? (Not that I'm complaining.) Come to think of it, Handel's Sarabande turned up in the episode with King George... Hmm.

« : January 04, 2009, 09:51:19 PM Groggy »


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« #5069 : January 05, 2009, 02:55:20 AM »

Jarhead (2005) - 6+/10
Rips FMJ off quite a lot. Oh, but that musta been those "homages"... Nice imagery but sometimes too "nice-looking". And I liked the soundtrack. Overall it's basically good but brings little new to the genre.


"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
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