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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1762345 times)
T.H.
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« Reply #9360 on: July 27, 2011, 10:06:47 PM »

I'm not into "low Key", not for a $$$ Criterion DVD, I was hoping for some "wow" factor, similar to the WOW I got when I watched "Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia", for the first time. Oh well, I wasn't that thrilled.  Azn

Yeah, it's definitely not a loud movie like Alfredo Garcia, which is a favorite of mine too. I think you would appreciate it at a later time without any expectations.

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Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
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« Reply #9361 on: July 28, 2011, 09:52:02 AM »

Obsession (1976). Brian De Palma and screenwriter Paul Schrader take elements from Vertigo and rearrange them into a new story. Those elements include: an obsessive male, the double of a female object of desire, a dream sequence, stairways, mirrors,  churches, a woman staring at a portrait, a confession letter written and destroyed, a revealing flashback, and a plot so Byzantine as to be ridiculous. Not content with these, De Palma adds material from other Hitchcocks: a key to a mysterious, locked room; a pair of scissors that come to hand in the midst of a death struggle. Then he lards the mixture further with 360 degree camera pans, diffussion effects on the lens. As an added touch, he has Bernard Herrmann do the score (which is first rate). The result is one of obvious pastiche, a bit like Gus Van Sant's odd remake of Psycho, but more interesting. I give the film a 5/10, Herrmann's work 10/10. With Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow (hmmm, who do you imagine the puppet master turns out to be?).

The new region-free BD from Arrow comes with a booklet that is largely a facsimile of Shrader's original shooting script (which was not entirely followed). I hope this is the start of a new packaging trend.

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« Reply #9362 on: July 28, 2011, 01:58:38 PM »

I think it's for Mitchum fans who want to see him play something other than his iconic persona.

There's always Ryan's Daughter. Cheesy

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« Reply #9363 on: July 28, 2011, 02:38:26 PM »

Obsession (1976). Brian De Palma and screenwriter Paul Schrader take elements from Vertigo and rearrange them into a new story. Those elements include: an obsessive male, the double of a female object of desire, a dream sequence, stairways, mirrors,  churches, a woman staring at a portrait, a confession letter written and destroyed, a revealing flashback, and a plot so Byzantine as to be ridiculous. Not content with these, De Palma adds material from other Hitchcocks: a key to a mysterious, locked room; a pair of scissors that come to hand in the midst of a death struggle. Then he lards the mixture further with 360 degree camera pans, diffussion effects on the lens. As an added touch, he has Bernard Herrmann do the score (which is first rate). The result is one of obvious pastiche, a bit like Gus Van Sant's odd remake of Psycho, but more interesting. I give the film a 5/10, Herrmann's work 10/10. With Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow (hmmm, who do you imagine the puppet master turns out to be?).

The new region-free BD from Arrow comes with a booklet that is largely a facsimile of Shrader's original shooting script (which was not entirely followed). I hope this is the start of a new packaging trend.

I imported the 80s horror comedy Vamp and I was equally impressed with Arrow's packaging - I'm a big fan of their clear slip cover and double sided BR/DVD box, meaning you have an option to choose between the front or back cover to be displayed.

I'd really like to see Arrow expand to the States and release more cult titles.

I prefer Blow Out, Dressed to Kill and Body Double to Obsession but this might be something I buy at some point.

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Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
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« Reply #9364 on: July 28, 2011, 06:13:59 PM »

The Woman in the Window 7/10
Bicycle Thieves 10/10

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« Reply #9365 on: July 29, 2011, 10:59:14 AM »

Leon Morin, Priest (1961) 10/10. During the Occupation, a woman in a small village in the French alps falls in love with her priest. Whether or not the priest ever reciprocates those feelings is left ambiguous. Jean-Pierre Melville demonstrates again that as an adaptor of other people's material (in this case, a semi-autobiographical novel by Béatrix Beck) he is second to none. Of course it helps to have the luminous cinematography of Henri Decaë, and there are a number of impressively choreographed camera moves, but Melville's greatest strength is his ability to cast well. Emmanuelle Rivet and Jean-Paul Belmondo for the leads--brilliant. At no time do you doubt that Belmondo is a priest (You Will Believe That a Hitman Can Be Pope). The excellent score features a nice bit of harmonica.

Au revior les enfants (1987) 7/10. During the Occupation, boys in a Catholic boarding school remain oblivious to the goings-on of the outside world, until the Gestapo shows up to arrest the Jewish students. An otherwise well-observed study of school life is marred by a cheap trick--the interruption of the drama by extra-dramatic (that is, historical) circumstances. Director Malle is able to bring the trick off because he can rely on his audience to supply Suitable Outrage on cue. (Thus incensed, no one is likely to notice that Malle hasn't bothered to give his story an ending). Still, a number of earlier scenes ring true: the boys in scout uniforms playing a Gallic version of Capture The Flag; the visit to the expensive restaurant on Parent's Day; the attempt to steal a kiss from the pianist (Irene Jacob) during a dull Chaplin film; the hazings; the stilt-walking; etc.

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« Reply #9366 on: July 30, 2011, 02:15:35 PM »

La Collectionneuse (1967) - 10/10. Two young men and a promiscuous girl share a summer villa. They talk a lot of rot. This, the third of Rohmer's Six Moral Tales, is probably his wittiest film. With Haydée Politoff (as "Haydée") and Daniel Pommereulle (as "Daniel") and Patrick Bauchau (as "Adrien"). All three are credited with their own dialogue.

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« Reply #9367 on: July 31, 2011, 12:37:00 PM »

Three Kings - 9/10 - 2nd viewing.

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« Reply #9368 on: July 31, 2011, 01:04:22 PM »

Sarah's Key (2010) - 6/10. Warmed over Sophie's Choice, but with a Gallic setting. French perfidy during the Occupation? Check. Unmitigated human suffering in the camps? Yep. Post-holocaust survivor's guilt? That's a bingo! Nothing new here, although there's always pleasure in watching Kristin Scott Thomas at work. Here she plays a contemporary journalist unearthing the story of a Jewish girl and her key from long ago (the two stories, the journalist's and the girl's, are intercut, told in parallel). Ms. Scott Thomas, whose character is an American living in Paris, gets to demonstrate her command of both French and an American accent (I detect a flaw here, though: the character is supposedly from Brooklyn, and people from Brooklyn don't have American accents). For Kristin Scott Thomas fans only (i.e. Groggy).

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« Reply #9369 on: July 31, 2011, 03:29:05 PM »

Cartesius (1973) I don't understand what happened with Rossellini after Louis XIV. All those movies about history are boring as hell as they are all based on dialogues and little on images. This is about a philosopher and most of dialogues is about his theories: which, I'm sure are too obvious for experts and uninteresting and tiring for the rest of the audience. One wonders what a film like this can have on a small written biography of the man. The answer is: nothing (or little more). Actually one follows better the movie reading the subtitles as he has a better chance of following the reasonings. 3\10

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #9370 on: August 01, 2011, 11:26:10 AM »

Essential Killing (2010) - The film is very light on explanations, and director Jerzy Skolimowski has said he left things ambiguous so that viewers could make up their own minds about things, so here goes.

The first thing we see is terrain that could be Afghanistan or Nevada [but turns out to be, in fact, a location in Israel] and some uniformed Americans on the ground and a chopper in the air. They seem to be looking for something. Then the 3 men are in this ravine and there's a long-haired, bearded guy hiding in a crevice holding an RPG leveled right at them. The guy with the RPG is Vincent Gallo! I guess this is where Vince went to hide out after the reception to The Brown Bunny. We never find out who the 3 Americans are (irate investors? outraged Academy voters?) because Vince just blows them away. Then he runs out of his hiding place into the open to give the helicopter and its crew a better chance to catch him, which they do. They take him to some kind of interrogation center where Vince is beaten and waterboarded, something I've been waiting to see for years. I was hoping they'd keep at it until they got him to agree to return to making films like Buffalo '66, but no such luck. They bundle him off to some airbase in Europe.

Then, while he and other prisoners are being convoyed through a wintry European landscape (Poland?), a road accident allows Vince to escape. He tries to surrender at one point, but his captors are so stupid he ends up taking one of their own weapons and killing them. He takes their vehicle, too--he doesn't know where he's going, but he drives until he runs out of gas. Then he hoofs it, but those pesky Americans are looking for him, so he gets chased by guys with dogs and more choppers. There's no way he can escape, but he does (it helps to have a sympathetic film crew, I guess). Eventually he's running and living off the land: he eats ants, bark (what, the catering truck can't keep up?). He crawls into a manger to sleep. When he sleeps or is knocked out he sees images--not, unbelievably, of Chloe Sevigny, but of minarets and women in burqas (I hope these aren't ideas for a future film, Vince).

In the morning he's awakened by grazing reindeer. Is he in Scandinavia? Talk about Away In A Manger! Vince moves on. He comes across some loggers and ends up killing one with a chainsaw (the irony!). He finds some berries to eat, but maybe they aren't such a good idea, he seems to start hallucinating afterwards. He finds a nursing mother in the middle of nowhere and, at gunpoint, robs her of some of her milk (!). He finds a sympathetic farm woman, who is conveniently deaf and so has no phone etc., who cleans him up and gives him food and sends him on his way on a white horse. Later, Vince and the horse discover Spring.

Of course, other viewers may see the film differently. Anyway, I liked seeing Vince eat bugs, so it gets a 4/10 for that.

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« Reply #9371 on: August 01, 2011, 01:55:17 PM »

Year One (1974) Anothe clunker from Rossellini. I wonder how a stranger not graduated in italian contemporary history (or even an italian not interested in the same period) is supposed to follow the long speeches explaining what you can more easily get from any textbook. It's the same problem with all those R.'s "didactic" movies but here there were chances to make a more dramatic plot while R. chooses an unelaborated visually way of shooting, with long takes. There's a good reenactement of Via Rasella's massacre  as "heard" from an empty Via del Tritone.  4\10

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« Reply #9372 on: August 02, 2011, 08:23:23 AM »

The Hunt for Red October (1990) A good start and some thrilling moments toward the finale but for long stretches quite boring. 5\10

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« Reply #9373 on: August 02, 2011, 11:52:55 AM »

Hiroshima mon amour (1959) - 10/10. A Frenchwoman (Emmanuelle Riva) in Hiroshima to perform in a movie, meets and spends 24 hours with a Japanese man (Eiji Okada). She tells him her life story. This film, a masterpiece of editing, enabled Alain Resnais to forever change the grammar of flashbacks. The chilled-out score by Giovanni Fusco nicely contrasts with the hot images on the screen.

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« Reply #9374 on: August 02, 2011, 02:55:33 PM »

One, Two, Three (1961) Wilder's best comedy? A good contender probably, with Fortune Cookie. It is all based on the frenetic rhythm of the action and of Cagney's performance. They were smart at Coke (and Pepsi: the final freeze makes you ROFL) to give permission to make a satire about them. I don't like Bucholz contribution so I give it 8\10.

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