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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1759774 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #9090 on: April 27, 2011, 10:26:42 AM »

Gods and Generals - 4/10 - 3rd viewing. Man, I must have changed a great deal from the 14 year old who saw this in theaters and thought it was the coolest movie ever. I read the book last summer, and while not a literary masterwork it was pretty good historical fiction - so of course the film has little or nothing to do with it. Watching it back-to-back with Gettysburg only heightened its deficiencies: really sloppy plot structure, pointless, cloying vignettes that add up to nothing, an obnoxious pro-Confederate bias, weak acting aside from Stephen Lang and Brian Mallon. Even the historical details are often wrong. I think I liked three scenes in the whole film: the Irish Brigade scene at Fredericksburg, the Union and Confederate pickets exchanging goods, and the Chancellorsville scenes. I'd say it's a movie for Civil War buffs, but I'm a huge Civil War buff and found it dull. I can only imagine what a lay viewer must think of it.

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« Reply #9091 on: April 27, 2011, 03:37:29 PM »

High Plains Drifter - 7/10 -

.... Mostly it's a film of moments rather than a compelling whole, though.

Can't disagree there.

SPOILER

I HATE any supernatural stuff in movies. (I always prefer films that "could have happened," so to speak. So I'd prefer it if Eastwood would have turned out to instead have been eg. the brother of the dead sheriff).
But the film did have some wonderful moments. Mainly, some of those parts where he just makes an absolute farce out of the whole town are absolutely hilarious!
And it is a beautiful set. The locations and production design were real good.

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« Reply #9092 on: April 27, 2011, 04:01:23 PM »

Gods and Generals - 4/10 - 3rd viewing. Man, I must have changed a great deal from the 14 year old who saw this in theaters and thought it was the coolest movie ever. I read the book last summer, and while not a literary masterwork it was pretty good historical fiction - so of course the film has little or nothing to do with it. Watching it back-to-back with Gettysburg only heightened its deficiencies: really sloppy plot structure, pointless, cloying vignettes that add up to nothing, an obnoxious pro-Confederate bias, weak acting aside from Stephen Lang and Brian Mallon. Even the historical details are often wrong. I think I liked three scenes in the whole film: the Irish Brigade scene at Fredericksburg, the Union and Confederate pickets exchanging goods, and the Chancellorsville scenes. I'd say it's a movie for Civil War buffs, but I'm a huge Civil War buff and found it dull. I can only imagine what a lay viewer must think of it.
This is the Director's Cut?

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« Reply #9093 on: April 27, 2011, 04:22:37 PM »

Is the director's cut out yet?

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« Reply #9094 on: April 27, 2011, 04:26:32 PM »

I HATE any supernatural stuff in movies. (I always prefer films that "could have happened," so to speak. So I'd prefer it if Eastwood would have turned out to instead have been eg. the brother of the dead sheriff).

I agree in principle, but with High Plains Drifter I think it's more an issue of being badly done. Aside from his entrance and exit there's nothing to indicate the Stranger is anything supernatural. Yet the film clearly wants us to think it.

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« Reply #9095 on: April 27, 2011, 06:52:30 PM »

Can't disagree there.

SPOILER

I HATE any supernatural stuff in movies. (I always prefer films that "could have happened," so to speak. So I'd prefer it if Eastwood would have turned out to instead have been eg. the brother of the dead sheriff).
But the film did have some wonderful moments. Mainly, some of those parts where he just makes an absolute farce out of the whole town are absolutely hilarious!
And it is a beautiful set. The locations and production design were real good.

"And it is a beautiful set. The locations and production design were real good."

Really, I thought that that was one of the big weaknesses of most of Eastwood's films, really low budget cheap sets. Take a look at the mining town in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, HBO's Deadwood, or even Paint Your Wagon, they are believable, Lago looks like a tourist "frontier" town too neat and clean with no activity, where was the mine & the miners.  A real mining town would look dirty & rough ramshackle, with mine headframes jutting up out of the ground, donkey engines, slag piles, stampmills, etc., etc.

The location was nice, but coming from the Pacific Northwest , a lake like in the film with a mining town would have a steamboat & dock and or levies to carry supplies, ore, equipment etc., etc.

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« Reply #9096 on: April 27, 2011, 07:39:34 PM »

"And it is a beautiful set. The locations and production design were real good."

Really, I thought that that was one of the big weaknesses of most of Eastwood's films, really low budget cheap sets. Take a look at the mining town in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, HBO's Deadwood, or even Paint Your Wagon, they are believable, Lago looks like a tourist "frontier" town too neat and clean with no activity, where was the mine & the miners.  A real mining town would look dirty & rough ramshackle, with mine headframes jutting up out of the ground, donkey engines, slag piles, stampmills, etc., etc.

The location was nice, but coming from the Pacific Northwest , a lake like in the film with a mining town would have a steamboat & dock and or levies to carry supplies, ore, equipment etc., etc.

I have not seen any of the films/episodes you mention. I haven't seen  High Plains Drifter in a while, but what I recall I mainly liked about the set is that the town really looked nice in the long shots, set against the backdrop of the beautiful landscape and the river.
 As you actually got into the town, it looked sort of charming if not entirely realistic, ie. I thought a lot of the buildings looked like they just came from the lumberyard, like  a bunch of new, unpolished wood (I don't know what the wood looked like during that era, whether it was polished) and if I recall correctly, there was no wood or brick anywhere. So kind of cute and charming in its own way, if not particularly realistic-looking.

I do agree that since the whole town's economy was supposed to be based on the mine, there should have been some scenes showing it.

Also, I think the opening sequence with Clint riding into town was shot very, very well, alternating POV of Clint and the townsfolk (seems this was influenced by, if not a direct spoof on, the companion scene in Fistful of Dollars).

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« Reply #9097 on: April 28, 2011, 05:04:40 AM »

The Scarf (1951) Directed by Ewald André Dupont, with John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, James Barton, Ezra Thompson, Emlyn Williams and Lloyd Gough.

Ireland escapes from a metal hospital where he's been confined for killing a girl friend, but he doesn't remember doing it. Desert Rat turkey farmer Thompson takes him in, skeptical at first but eventually believing his story. A hitchhiking McCambridge (who actually doesn't look too bad in this film) gets picked up by Ireland on his way to town. A scarf she's wearing triggers a memory in Ireland and sends him of a search for his best friend Williams, who had witnessed the murder and who's testimony sent Ireland to the mental hospital. Prison psychiatrist Gough,  Thompson, and McCambridge eventually trick Williams into revealing his complicity.

Cheap and not very stylish Noir, and McCambridge's singing waitress outfit is atrocious. 6/10

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« Reply #9098 on: April 28, 2011, 06:14:05 AM »

The Scarf (1951) Directed by Ewald André Dupont, with John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, James Barton, Ezra Thompson, Emlyn Williams and Lloyd Gough.
Cheap and not very stylish Noir, and McCambridge's singing waitress outfit is atrocious. 6/10
True, but some of the dialogue has a certain something. I was caught off-guard a couple times by the things characters (especially the Turkey farmer) sometimes said.

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« Reply #9099 on: April 29, 2011, 04:00:10 PM »

The Conspirator - 8/10 - Well, if you can accept the very conventional trial movie structure of the film, it's really compelling and well-done. Sure, some of the interstitial scenes are melodramatic (could have done without McAvoy's romantic troubles in particular) and some viewers might view the "Constitution is sacred!" message as Stanley Kramer-lite. On the whole though, a solid piece of work, with very compelling trial scenes and an interesting story well-told: there are enough cinematic elements (montage, flashbacks) to prevent it from seeming like a filmed play and despite its inevitability the ending is really well-done. A few historical elements are suspect but nothing bad enough to bitch about. If there are contemporary parallels in the treatment of Mary Surratt they aren't insisted upon, and seem fair enough within the film's context. James McAvoy is just okay though at least his accent works. The supporting cast is more interesting: I'm predicting a Best Supporting Actress nod for Robin Wright, there are meaty roles for Kevin Kline, Danny Huston and Stephen Root and Tom Wilkinson is always welcome. Someone like Jenkins might be more critical but what else is new?

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« Reply #9100 on: April 30, 2011, 05:49:05 AM »

The Phenix City Story (1955) Directed by Phil Karlson, with John McIntire, as Albert L. Patterson, Richard Kiley as John Patterson,
Kathryn Grant as Ellie Rhodes, Edward Andrews as Rhett Tanner crime boss.

A  sort of semi documentary with a ten minute intro of a series of interviews with the actual participants. Basically an Alabama border town town is run by a crime syndicate that's grown fat on prostitution and crooked gambling, directed at soldiers from Fort Benning across the river in Georgia, all the vice is concentrated on 14th Street. Crusaders against the Good ol' Boys.

"Touch of Evil" which covers the practically same territory, I like much better, you get a better feel of the sleazy side of corruption in the Wells film since it becomes more personalized through Janet Leigh's character. John McIntire is always good and Richard Kiley also. If this would have developed a bit more of the corruption angle to juxtapose the crusaders it would have strengthened the story still I'll give this a 7/10

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« Reply #9101 on: April 30, 2011, 10:28:22 PM »

Black Book - 9/10 - Basically Inglourious Basterds if Tarantino had focused on plot and character development rather than self-indulgent film references. The story has some really clever twists and turns that Hitchcock would envy, and there's enough sex, violence, well-drawn characters and moral ambiguity to keep almost anyone happy. Carice Van Houten is lovely and gives a fine performance. It's amusing to see four actors from Valkyrie (plus another, Sebastian Koch, who played Stauffenberg in a German film) in the cast.

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« Reply #9102 on: May 01, 2011, 06:41:46 AM »

The Wrong Man (1956) - 8/10 : Terrific performances by Henry Fonda (of course!), Vera Miles, and Anthony Quayle

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« Reply #9103 on: May 01, 2011, 10:28:01 AM »

The Double Hour (2009) - 3/10. Another turkey from Italy. First it's a dull love story, then a dull heist picture. Then it takes a left turn into Jacob's Ladder territory. It finally end up being a pale imitation of Resnais's Providence, but with crime elements. I guess if you haven't seen a film in the last 40 years you might find it entertaining . . . I found it tedious.

Hanna (2011) - 8/10. Basically Big Daddy and Hit Girl are back, this time operating within the world of international intrigue. Eric Bana is the proud father, and the enchanting Saoirse Ronan is Papa's Little Killing Machine. Cate Blanchett, sporting yet another one of her accents, is the wicked witch (there are Grimm Fairytale references throughout). The film has a high body count, but also a lot of humor, and the action scenes are shot with a great deal of panache. Ports of call include Finland, Morocco, Spain and Germany, but the story is really set in a magic kingdom where the Evil Shakycam has been vanquished (well, mostly). And the soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers is (heh) killer. Hey, Joe Wright finally did good!

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« Reply #9104 on: May 01, 2011, 11:15:49 AM »

The Double Hour (2009) - 3/10. Another turkey from Italy. First it's a dull love story, then a dull heist picture. Then it takes a left turn into Jacob's Ladder territory. It finally end up being a pale imitation of Resnais's Providence, but with crime elements. I guess if you haven't seen a film in the last 40 years you might find it entertaining . . . I found it tedious.

I didn't see it but I found it dull as well.

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