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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1762487 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #8760 on: January 15, 2011, 11:28:24 PM »

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days - 9/10 - The Brits could learn a thing or two from Germany when it comes to period dramas. Very talky, but interesting, well-acted talk, so you don't mind, and there's a real sense of drama, urgency and poignance to the whole show. Claus Von Stauffenberg and his crew of indecisive equivocators has nothing on the simple decency of Sophie Scholl, a German college student executed for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Julia Jentsch and Gerald Alexander Held are both superb and the film is gripping from beginning to end. If nothing else, it shows there's still plenty of fascinating cinematic material to wring out of the Third Reich, if only filmmakers know where to look.

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« Reply #8761 on: January 16, 2011, 11:51:47 PM »

The Crucible - 8/10 - Good adaptation of a good play; it's no A Man for All Seasons but still a pretty good drama of conscience. It's more than cinematic enough, and most of the film's flaws are present in the source material. The acting is excellent: Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen are in fine form, but Winona Ryder is especially impressive. And what a perverse stroke of genius to cast Paul Scofield as the chief witch hunter! Highly recommended.

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« Reply #8762 on: January 17, 2011, 09:14:14 PM »

True Grit (2010) - 9/10 - 2nd viewing. I just couldn't work up anything like enthusiasm for The Fighter. I also bought the book today.

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« Reply #8763 on: January 18, 2011, 05:35:53 AM »

I also bought the book today.
Glad to hear it.

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« Reply #8764 on: January 18, 2011, 11:29:08 PM »

A Kiss Before Dying (1956)  I read the novel more than a decade ago and found it excellent. The movie isn't  as good, but it it is a solid thriller which builds up tension well once Wagner's criminal schemes start taking substance. I don't remember a single close-up in the movie but the direction is sufficient. Still I think in the hands of a master crafter this could have been a classic, the plot has just such a compelling force (in spite of a couple of weaker points, like how Leith and Wagner get acquainted and how Leith at first seems to take a liking to Hunter to veer suddenly towards Wagner again). Wagner is good, Woodward is Great, Hunter miscast, Leith does her homework. OST: just look at the names. Wonderful colours. 8\10

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« Reply #8765 on: January 19, 2011, 05:34:10 PM »

Watched Stardust after reading. 8/10

I liked it for adding a bit more action and a Boss Battle. The book ended rather flat...

Also, Robert De Niro dancing cancan in drag = PRICELESS.

Septimus is hot. I loooove baddies with Snape-like looks.

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« Reply #8766 on: January 20, 2011, 07:32:30 PM »

It's odd that you continue to pretend to like cinema. You don't understand it, and you seem adamant about never wanting to. It's your loss, of course, but your attitude strikes me as very strange.

That was uncalled for unless there's something I'm missing for not being here. If he called you a fag or something, disregard the comment.

As far as the movie, I understand the themes but Kies. (not looking up his name lol)  is a mechanical filmmaker and the trilogy suffers a bit from its lack of liberation - sort of like a Coen movie, too wound up. I enjoyed each part of that trilogy to varying degrees but they faded pretty quickly from the memory. I haven't bothered to see anything else of his so my opinion of him may change; but I really don't find (sometimes) cold, calculating, conceptual Kubrick-esque filmmaking to be all that interesting for the most part, unless it's in space.

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« Reply #8767 on: January 20, 2011, 11:12:43 PM »

The Madness of King George - 8/10 - What puts this above the average period piece is that there's actual drama and urgency to the story. The King isn't overcoming a speech impediment or boning some pretty chambermaid, but his insanity and the inherent political and personal turmoil makes for gripping viewing. Besides the personal level, we get to see just how cruel and quackish (?) 18th Century medicine was; if the King of England was getting this sort of treatment, what chance did the ordinary man have? And the political side of things is treated far better than the usual superficial manner. The script is really smart with some biting and clever humor. Excellent acting all around, though Helen Mirren is poorly used. Anyway, good show.

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« Reply #8768 on: January 21, 2011, 07:49:31 PM »

The Baader-Meinhof Complex - 9/10 - 2nd viewing.

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« Reply #8769 on: January 22, 2011, 01:50:10 PM »

The Killing Fields - 6/10 - It's got an interesting story and good acting, and one does appreciate the film's focusing on a native Cambodian protagonist, but in terms of execution it's a pretty run-of-the-mill epic/historical drama. The Nintendo-sounding score didn't help either.

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« Reply #8770 on: January 22, 2011, 11:25:29 PM »

The Sea Hawk - 7/10 - 2nd viewing.

Try and Get Me! (aka The Sound of Fury) - 8/10 - Hmm, this obscure, not available on DVD film is lurking in the deep recesses of Netflix Instant Watch! It's basically a more realistic version of Fritz Lang's Fury, a heavily-fictionalized depiction of the 1933 Brooke Hart murder and lynching of his killers in San Jose. Lots of anger at economic destitution and society's indifference to social ills; it's hard to come up for a starker attack on society than a lynch mob. There's a good amount of heavy-handed preaching, especially towards the end, but it's dramatically sound and reaches a shocking denouement. Claustrophobic direction by Cy Endfield (Zulu) helps a lot and the cast is superb, especially Lloyd Bridges.

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« Reply #8771 on: January 24, 2011, 12:12:48 AM »

Army of Crime - 9/10 - It seems like Europeans are making all the worthwhile WWII movies these days. If any criticism's to be made, it's that the film follows the structure of your standard Resistance film pretty closely. The complex portrait of Occupied France, where a great many Frenchmen willingly collaborate or are too cowardly to resist the Nazis, is a brave take on a sticky subject few films care to address. All the more interesting is the movie's focus on a band of Communists, Jews and immigrants whom the Nazis and Vichyites successfully portray as anti-French Bolsheviks. Stellar despite its minor flaws.

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« Reply #8772 on: January 24, 2011, 06:56:46 AM »

The last film I saw was the 1954 Father Brown AKA The Detective... and I don't know how to rate it, because...
It balances dangerously on an edge between perfectly understanding Chesterton and not understanding him at all, and I'm not sure which to choose. It has moments of sheer Chestertonity, and, on the other hand, the whole chase after Flambeau and picking clues is something Father Brown actually never did in the stories...
Anyway, even though he does not really look like my idea of him, Alec Guiness is a wonderful Father Brown, and I'm surprised that I was surprised... Have you seen it, Groggy?

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« Reply #8773 on: January 24, 2011, 08:23:32 AM »

No, I have not.

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« Reply #8774 on: January 24, 2011, 10:37:37 AM »

Army of Crime - 9/10 - It seems like Europeans are making all the worthwhile WWII movies these days. If any criticism's to be made, it's that the film follows the structure of your standard Resistance film pretty closely. The complex portrait of Occupied France, where a great many Frenchmen willingly collaborate or are too cowardly to resist the Nazis, is a brave take on a sticky subject few films care to address. All the more interesting is the movie's focus on a band of Communists, Jews and immigrants whom the Nazis and Vichyites successfully portray as anti-French Bolsheviks. Stellar despite its minor flaws.
I just watched this too, but was very disappointed. The subject matter is really interesting, but the direction just seems flat to me. None of the characters seem particularly interesting, either, and when they have conversations they never say anything that isn't obvious or trite. Suspense is almost nonexistant in a film that should have you on the edge of your seat most of the time. An example is the scene with the missing grenade pin--after the group loses its nerve about tossing a "pineapple" into a crowded bordello, they can't find the pin they need to make it safe again. Now they've got a live grenade they don't know what to with. Tarantino would have seen the potential in the situation and milked of every last drop of humor and suspense. But in this case the group just goes back to the leader's apartment to get a sewing needle. I'm sure this is what actually happened, but it doesn't make for very good cinema. I think the problem was that the director didn't want to depart much from actual events. This was confirmed to me when I watched the director's interview that accompanies the film on the new R1 disc. He holds all these real-life characters in such high esteem that he was apparently unwilling to add anything not in the record (except for sex). Well, that way, you end up with pretty lifeless characters, just principles and noble sentiments that happen to have arms and legs. I really wanted to like this film, too, but coming as it does after far superior Resistance films--Flame and Citron from Denmark, and Black Book from Holland--it appears very lackluster (in spite of the beautiful photography). Best I can do: 6/10.

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