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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1768861 times)
Jill
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« Reply #6285 on: June 25, 2009, 09:53:44 AM »

Mio in the Land of Faraway - 10/9

Adorable Swedish/Sovjet fantasy. No, really. It's cute. It was my favourite as a child. Christopher Lee plays the villain, it has no horror scenes, and the kids will love it.

Musa the Warrior 10/8

Beautifully shot, tragic wuxia, without flying. Actually, a pretty good swordplay movie with Zhang Ziyi and a lot of battles. Not as great as Hero, but worth it.

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« Reply #6286 on: June 25, 2009, 01:48:36 PM »

Thirteen Days - 8/10 - Surprisingly good. Taken as a thriller it's not great, it's a bit too complementary of the Kennedys (but what else would one expect from Hollywood?) and it's a bit dry in spots, but on the whole a very entertaining film. Great acting all across the board. My only complaint is that I got yet another smudged/scratched disc. Fuck Family Video, I say.

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« Reply #6287 on: June 25, 2009, 02:21:43 PM »

Thirteen Days - 8/10 - Surprisingly good. Taken as a thriller it's not great, it's a bit too complementary of the Kennedys (but what else would one expect from Hollywood?) and it's a bit dry in spots, but on the whole a very entertaining film. Great acting all across the board. My only complaint is that I got yet another smudged/scratched disc. Fuck Family Video, I say.

Saw this in the theatre with my parents. Don't remember liking it very much as I was never into the Cuban Missle crisis account.
It's showing on OnDemand if you want to see a good transfer Groggs.

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« Reply #6288 on: June 25, 2009, 09:37:21 PM »

Which one?

Frankenstein (1931) - 6.5/10
Not at all scary but pretty funny. I don't mean campy, I mean really honestly funny. OK, there's some camp, too...
1922 nigga

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« Reply #6289 on: June 26, 2009, 11:47:50 AM »

Brief Encounter - 8/10 - 3rd viewing.

Am watching Doctor Zhivago now too, thank you TCM. Don't know if I'm going to watch the whole thing but I usually end up doing such whenever its on.

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« Reply #6290 on: June 26, 2009, 01:40:11 PM »

I borrowed my dad's Godfather Trilogy box set last weekend.

The Godfather:  The best movie in the trilogy by far.  Great actors at the top of their game.  The story can be described as a Mafia fairytale, a fable with gangsters who say no to drugs and only kill those who have it coming.  Scorsese's Goodfellas showed how gangsters really behave (crude, thuggish) and that violence can strike at anytime, for no reason.  Coppola's mobsters say things like, "I"m a businessman, I don't like bloodshed."  Is this movie full of shit?  Sure but damn if it isn't fun.  A must have for any collection of guy movies (sorry ladies but women are disregarded in the Corleone universe).  9/10

The Godfather Part II:  The greatest sequel of all time?  Please!  An ambitious movie with some great scenes but flawed nonetheless.  Obviously, Coppola was trying to make amends for sugarcoating the Mafia lifestyle in the first Godfather.  One problem is that (like Eastwood's Unforgiven) fans of these movies want the Corleones to their kill enemies in style and don't want to feel guilty about it.  Another mistake was including the young Vito scenes.  Though Robert DeNiro does an awesome job, the uncritical, nostalgic tone of these scenes clash with the somber 1950s sequences where Michael destroys the family.  If you damn the son, you also have to damn the father since he was the one who started everything.  The acting is what saves Part II, especially noteworthy is Pacino and Cazale.  7/10

The Godfather Part III:  Okay this one is just plain bad.  Lousy dialogue, mediocre (or sometimes terrible) acting.  I don't know whats more painful:  Pacino whining about his need to be redeemed or the bizarre love story of the kissing cousins.  Keaton does well as the cynical ex-wife, Mantegna's Gotti-like mobster was interesting (with Michael as Paul Castellano), and who doesn't love Eli Wallach (whether he's playing an Italian or a Mexican).  Oh and the Atlantic City hit with helicopters and machine guns was exciting (in a John Woo kind of way).  Everything else (the confusing Vatican intrigue, the opera that seemed to last forever) sucks.  The third film is the classic case of going to the well once to often.  3.5/10

« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 05:47:09 PM by Colonel Douglas Mortimer » Logged
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« Reply #6291 on: June 26, 2009, 02:12:46 PM »

In re your comments on Godfather II, Colonel...

If you take the films from a moral perspective, you are correct in your assertion. I think though that one is supposed to look at the film through its own morality. Vito does what he does out of necessity; he is driven from Sicily by the murder of his family. He loses his menial job due to Fannuchi's heavy-handed influence peddling. Thus, Vito turns to crime out of necessity, but decides that he might as well be a boss if he has to be a criminal (especially after discovering what a bluffing wimp Fannuchi is). He establishes his reputation not only by killing Fannuchi, but by doing favors for friends and family, which makes him loved as well as respected by his associates. Michael on the other hand is driven purely by lust for power and control over his empire; he has little need to kill Fredo or even Roth, who is all but dead by the end of the movie anyway. Not only that, but he either drives away or humiliates and subjugates his family and followers to his will. Therein lies the difference; Vito is a moral man within his own code, but Michael's only interest is personal power and he discards even his father's morality.

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« Reply #6292 on: June 27, 2009, 12:28:03 AM »

Fair enough Groggy but then doesn't that undermine the moral point that Coppola was obviously trying to make?  If the problem is Michael's pride and lust for power and not the Corleone clan's poisonous worldview (its never personal, its only business) then it seems that Coppola's story is self-defeating.  After all Vito had choices, too.  He didn't have to become a criminal, many immigrants did not and gave their children a better future through legal hard work and sacrifice.  Vito's so-called morals are lies, he's every bit as proud and power hungry as his son.  Does he murder Fanuchi for his family or for himself?  Isn't Vito's decision to return to Sicily and avenge his family no different than his son's decision to kill Roth and Fredo?  The old Don is harmless like Roth but Vito's pride just cannot let go.

I suppose that who I am really going after is Coppola.  Again why damn the son but not the father?  It seems that Coppola's problem with Michael is his decadent lifestyle as opposed to Vito's humbler origins.  That Michael is a rich man who drives down the streets of Cuba, cut off from the poor and their suffering, but Vito lives on those streets and helps the people like he's Zorro or Robin Hood.  Isn't this the kind of brainless Marxism that you criticized in your DYS review (and I agreed with you).  Just some ideas for you to chew on.   Smiley

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« Reply #6293 on: June 27, 2009, 06:26:24 AM »

Hmm, I always thought the point of the flashback structure in Godfather 2 was to reinforce the parallels between father and son, not to demonstrate a contrast.

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« Reply #6294 on: June 27, 2009, 08:20:25 AM »

Fair enough Groggy but then doesn't that undermine the moral point that Coppola was obviously trying to make?  If the problem is Michael's pride and lust for power and not the Corleone clan's poisonous worldview (its never personal, its only business) then it seems that Coppola's story is self-defeating.  After all Vito had choices, too.  He didn't have to become a criminal, many immigrants did not and gave their children a better future through legal hard work and sacrifice.  Vito's so-called morals are lies, he's every bit as proud and power hungry as his son.  Does he murder Fanuchi for his family or for himself?  Isn't Vito's decision to return to Sicily and avenge his family no different than his son's decision to kill Roth and Fredo?  The old Don is harmless like Roth but Vito's pride just cannot let go.

The purpose I suppose is that Vito. Vito has his job ruined by Fannuchi; who knows if he can find other work? Other immigrants may have those opportunities of course, but it doesn't appear Vito does. I don't think it's Marxism to suggest that the unemployed and out-of-luck become criminals. Vito merely went beyond the ambition of most street punks (like, say, Noodles and Co.) and rose to the top.

Now, Vito does have a choice and he makes it willingly. Fair enough, but does the film present him with an alternative? Again, taking it from an objective viewpoint I see a criticism of his actions as pretty obvious. I wouldn't see Vito as an admirable character in real life, of course. But again, from within the film's universe, I see it as perfectly reasonable. If you object to the terms on which the film advances, as you seem to be, then I don't suppose I could persuade you otherwise.

Here are some pertinent paragraphs from the GFII review I wrote a few weeks back:

Quote
Vito Andolini’s success story is a wonderfully subversive version of the American Dream. With his family massacred by a Mafia chieftain in Sicily, Vito finds things no better in America; Little Italy is dominated by extortionist Fanucci, a seemingly dangerous figure pulling a bluff on his fellow immigrants. Vito’s attempts to make an honest living as a grocer are ruined by Fanucci, and plunges into a life of crime out of necessity – with his growing family, even temporary unemployment is a dangerous proposition. Vito’s ambitious nature leads him not into a life of petty crime, but straight to the top, almost immediately forming the foundation of America’s largest crime syndicate. Vito is still a criminal, but his ambitions are borne out of necessity and the best of motives, in this case supporting his family; in the crooked world he inhabits, he is indeed an admirable figure.

When we first met Michael, he was a cheery, idealistic WWII vet, accepting his father’s business but wanting nothing to do with it, but circumstances beyond his control forced him to follow in Vito's footsteps. The ending of the original showed how Michael had transformed into a cold-blood criminal, but Part II makes clear the full breadth of the transformation and the attendant personal tragedy. Unlike Vito, Michael becomes a domineering, power-hungry bully who blackmails, bullies and humiliates his family and underlings into submission, and shows his enemies no quarter. His murders of the weak Fredo and terminally ill Roth serve no practical purpose; they are simply cold-blooded power plays, carried out simply because Michael can get away with them. He genuinely believes that his actions are in the best interest of the family, even as Kay, Fredo and Connie drift away from him; but in the end, Michael views the “Family” as the organization rather than the actual blood ties. The film’s postscript, a flashback to younger Michael confronting Tom and Sonny (James Caan) over their “plans” for his future, suggests that Michael’s current problems are a toxic combination of his natural character and the demands of Mafia life. Michael was always the loner, the individual, the ambitious one, and put in a position of absolute, illicit power, these seeds germinated into something evil and destructive.

As for the murder of the Sicilian Don (Cicco, I think?), I think that's a fair enough point.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 08:22:31 AM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #6295 on: June 27, 2009, 12:47:16 PM »

1922 nigga

 Grin Grin

13 Tzamati- Pretty cool movie. Dont see the trailer though if your gonne see this.

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Colonel Günther Ruiz
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« Reply #6296 on: June 27, 2009, 07:25:57 PM »

Groggy:  Thats an interesting analysis of Michael.  Once again it seems to me that Coppola just likes Vito more than Michael.  Vito is an old world gentleman and Coppola prefers that to Michael's colder, more American demeanor.  One is the owner of a mom-and-pop store, the other is the CEO of a large corporation.  I had no problem with the first movie because I saw it as a fairy tale but the second film is supposed to be more realistic, except for the young Vito parts.

Maybe the Vito scenes in Part II are so nostalgic and uncritical because they're all from Michael's point of view (like the opium dream theory in OUATIA).  As Michael's world crumbles he longs for the simpler times of his father.  Was Vito's era really so magical?  Of course not but by the end Michael has nothing left but power and his illusions.  Just a thought.

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« Reply #6297 on: June 27, 2009, 08:16:59 PM »

Body of Lies (2008) 3/6

I found it to be somewhat boring and far less clever than it wanted to be. the last half of the movie is even less believable than the first.

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« Reply #6298 on: June 28, 2009, 08:11:15 AM »

Quote
Maybe the Vito scenes in Part II are so nostalgic and uncritical because they're all from Michael's point of view (like the opium dream theory in OUATIA).  As Michael's world crumbles he longs for the simpler times of his father.  Was Vito's era really so magical?  Of course not but by the end Michael has nothing left but power and his illusions.  Just a thought.

That's an interesting interperetation. I think to make it simple, Vito views "the family" as, well, a family, while Michael views the family as the organization. I think the first movie also makes the point that Vito doesn't want to get into drug rackets. This, granted, seems even more dubious when we know he's running prostitution, but again within the gangster universe Coppola presents he's certainly a better man than Barzini or Tattaglia or Solozzo. Presumably Michael has no such qualms about the family business.

I do like Godfather III on its own merits (I'd give it a 6 or 7 if I was generous) but it's not in the same league as the first two.

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« Reply #6299 on: June 28, 2009, 03:06:55 PM »

Dreamgirls - 6/10 - Another mediocre, bland musical helped by a few good songs and a great cast. Jennifer Hudson is one helluva singer, but her character rather annoying; easily more impressive are Beyonce, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. I don't know why I keep watching these films that I know I won't particularly enjoy. There's a part of my brain that I fucking need to learn to ignore.

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