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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1835759 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #9540 on: October 01, 2011, 07:52:01 PM »

I guess it's time I weigh in on Moneyball -- believe it or not, I saw it with a buddy in Times Square at 12:20 AM right after leaving Lincoln Center with dj & cj...

Anyway... I know a movie can never be identical to a book. But I wish they had gone more into the statistical minutiae (the very thing that Groggy wanted less of) -- after all, that is what the book is about! Don't just tell me that On Base Average is more important than batting average -- EXPLAIN why (more than the 5 second "I don't care how they get on base")

Don't just tell me you want Hatteberg (who has "only ever played catcher") at first base over Pena, who you admit will probably be Rookie of the Year and an All-Star -- TELL ME WHY! (eg. "because Hatteberg will have a better OBA, because fielding is not that important, etc. etc. etc.).

The movie makes virtually no mention of fielding or pitching statistics.

As pure entertainment, it was great. I agree with those who have said that they could have eliminated the flashbacks to Beane's backstory as a player, and perhaps the family aspects as well. But there was nary a moment watching the movie that I was bored.

I agree that they kind of make a mockery of true baseball fans by pretending that big trades happen in 5 seconds.

I am very happy that the baseball scenes look realistic. I understand that they got former players to play, (so that they don't look like Redford in The Natural).

Great jobs by Pitt (a bit understated/restrained at times) and Hill. But the writing for Hill was overdone, IMO. I mean, the book mentions nothing about Paul DePodesta (who the Hill character is based on) being the goofiest dude in the history of baseball.

Rule No. 1 of Cinema: Don't disrespect the Audience.

Bottom line: if you thoroughly enjoyed the book as I did, you may be a tad disappointed. But if you forget about the book and just accept the movie as entertainment, you will enjoy it.

I'd rate it an 8/10

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 11:21:43 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #9541 on: October 01, 2011, 08:24:40 PM »

believe it or not, I saw it with a buddy in Times Square at 12:20 AM right after leaving Lincoln Center with dj & cj...
How's that again? You couldn't sit still at the OUATIA screening, frequently jumping over the back of your seat to go do god knows what, but afterwards you were ready to go "sit" through another film? Did you watch Moneyball standing on your head?

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« Reply #9542 on: October 02, 2011, 07:48:47 AM »

I guess it's time I way in on Moneyball -- believe it or not, I saw it with a buddy in Times Square at 12:20 AM right after leaving Lincoln Center with dj & cj...

Anyway... I know a movie can never be identical to a book. But I wish they had gone more into the statistical minutiae (the very thing that Groggy wanted less of) -- after all, that is what the book is about! Don't just tell me that On Base Average is more important than batting average -- EXPLAIN why (more than the 5 second "I don't care how they get on base")

Actually explaining that stuff might have made it more interesting.

I think I lowered my rating to a 6/10 upon further reflection.

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« Reply #9543 on: October 02, 2011, 10:42:37 AM »

Lethal Weapon 2 - 8/10 - An improvement on the original. Gibson and Glover seem more comfortable in their roles, Joe Pesci's a good addition the cast, the script's a lot funnier and there are a lot of creative action scenes. Sure, the plot is impossible to take seriously (surely diplomatic immunity doesn't extend to wiping out half the LAPD) but plausibility is at best a secondary concern in this sort of film.

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« Reply #9544 on: October 02, 2011, 11:23:33 AM »

How's that again? You couldn't sit still at the OUATIA screening, frequently jumping over the back of your seat to go do god knows what, but afterwards you were ready to go "sit" through another film? Did you watch Moneyball standing on your head?

I kept jumping out to get more popcorn -- which you kept refusing! but since cj and I were pounding that stuff (awful as it was), I kept going to get more. I believe I sat through the entire thing after the intermission Wink

at Moneyball, I probably got up to go to the pisser 3 times (I timed it to be during the least important scenes -- ie. those with Beane's daughter, and the flashbacks to his days as a player)... Otherwise I stayed put  Wink

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 06:21:50 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #9545 on: October 02, 2011, 04:21:46 PM »

Coogan's Bluff - 6/10 - A dryrun for Dirty Harry with a lot of kinks to work out. There's something of a plot involving Clint chasing an escaped convict through New York City, but too much of the film is centered around goofy fish out of water jokes, with Arizona Cowboy Clint alternatively bemused and disgusted by New York bureaucrats, street people, hippies and low-level thugs.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 04:24:08 PM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #9546 on: October 02, 2011, 06:20:22 PM »

Coogan's Bluff - 6/10 - A dryrun for Dirty Harry with a lot of kinks to work out. There's something of a plot involving Clint chasing an escaped convict through New York City, but too much of the film is centered around goofy fish out of water jokes, with Arizona Cowboy Clint alternatively bemused and disgusted by New York bureaucrats, street people, hippies and low-level thugs.

a couple of years ago, I was flipping channels and came across AMC, and I see this movie called Coogan's Bluff on. It was already in middle of the movie, so I looked up on Wikipedia the plot summary up till the point where I was at. (ie. I read the plot summary only until it got to the scene where the movie was up to, and then I started watching). Of course, I was still not 100% clear as to the characters and some plot points. And now I will never be able to watch it normally and judge it fairly. So from that moment, I have decided  that if I ever turn to a classic movie channel and the movie has begun at all (ie. anywhere past the opening credits), I will not watch it, but wait for it to come around next time (or put it on my Netflix queue). (I only broke that once: last year I was watching TCM, and The Far Country was on. I knew it had started only a few minutes before, so I did the same thing -- ie. reading the first few lines of plot on Wikipedia before watching the movie from where it was up to on TCM. Was a terrific movie of course, but there were a couple of elements about the villain that i was still a bit lost with, cuz apparently lots of the backstory between Jimmy Stewart and the villain is established very early on. Bottom line: Watching parts of a movie that i have never seen before is never beneficial).

Anyway, enough rambling about my personal experiences. Regarding Coogan's Bluff, I'd say it is more of a reprise of a Western (specifically Fistful of Dollars), as opposed to a preview of Dirty Harry. Sure, Coogan is also a cop who uses unconventional methods, but I think the Fistful of Dollars comparisons are much deeper

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« Reply #9547 on: October 02, 2011, 07:10:50 PM »

The movie's intentionally playing off of Clint's MWNN persona but it's worldview and style are definitely Dirty Harry-esque (not surprising considering who the director and star are). The most interesting thing about it is that, so far as I can tell, no one is actually killed.

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« Reply #9548 on: October 02, 2011, 09:45:22 PM »

I knew it had started only a few minutes before, so I did the same thing -- ie. reading the first few lines of plot on Wikipedia before watching the movie from where it was up to on TCM.
Just watch the movie and figure out the missed plot points as you go along. Are you really trying to get me to believe you can't do that?

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« Reply #9549 on: October 02, 2011, 10:19:48 PM »

Just watch the movie and figure out the missed plot points as you go along. Are you really trying to get me to believe you can't do that?

I don't find it fun when I am lost  Smiley

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« Reply #9550 on: October 05, 2011, 04:00:38 PM »

The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) (first viewing)

So I finally got around to seeing Leone's first credit film as a director. I am not going to give it a rating, which I hate doing anyway, and no matter how badly Dust Devil eats his heart out, cuz this is the first "sword & sandal" epic I have ever seen; I have no interest in the genre and have nothing to rate it against, and I only saw this film cuz as a Leone fan, I figured i had to watch it sometime.

In a nutshell: I was very pleasantly surprised.

When I have zero interest in a genre, I avoid it, PERIOD. But I watched this film  cuz of Leone, and I actually found myself enjoying it, particularly in the last 45 minutes or so.

If you are looking for early signs of Leone's style, you won't really see much of it here, but there are a few interesting previews of moments from Leone Westerns, (eg. the horse chases through the canyons; the pattern on Calhoun's tunic looks similar to the pattern on a certain cape; you see a lone dog running as something big is about to happen...)

Immediately after watching the film, I watched it again, with Frayling's commentary. It is another great commentary by Frayling -- I am a HUGE fan of his.

Frayling does not pretend that this movie is anything it isn't, and he continually points out plot elements and casting that he thinks do not work. But he is wonderful in putting this film in context of Leone's career, and in context of the general direction of Hollywood and Cinecitta in the s&s genre -- describing the actors (a few of 'em showed up in Leone's Westerns) and people involved in making the movie, comparing with other s&s films, and discussing how it all leads up to the Western. Frayling does incredible research as always.




« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 12:45:14 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #9551 on: October 06, 2011, 07:13:25 AM »

The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) (first viewing)
If you are looking for early signs of Leone's style, you won't really see much of it here
Au contraire! http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5111.45

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« Reply #9552 on: October 07, 2011, 06:44:32 AM »

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) 7.3/10

The film moves quickly, and is a fun watch, though not much happens. I can hardly remember a film that is as much all-talk as this one is. I mean, here we have all these actors you love to watch -- Tracy, Borgnine, Brennan, Marvin, Ryan -- and they are just sitting around talking all the time. I guess that's to maximize the sense of impending danger that this film tries to portray.

I liked the production design, the town set was nice.


The film is a modern-day take on the Western (as described well by Dana Polan, who does the commentary) and it is interesting to that end. We have all these actors (and John Sturges directing) that are associated with the Western. This setting and plot could totally be a Western, if you just take out the cars, move the date 75 years back, and perhaps change "Japanese and WWII" to "Indians and the Indian wars."

But one thing I did not like was Robert Ryan's speech about the West being conquered. This is 1945. None of the younger guys ever knew what the Wild West was. (That speech was almost as dumb as the modern-day cowboy plot in Lonely Are the Brave
). The audience  is smart enough to see that this is a modern-day take on the Western. Ryan's speech sounds totally contrived (I try to avoid that "c-word" cuz it is the most overused word on these boards, but it's true).

Worth a Netflix rental

« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 06:56:09 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #9553 on: October 07, 2011, 07:14:51 AM »

I didn't like that film because it hung on a stupid conceit. Why didn't Tracy just mention why he was there in the first place? This is the perfect example of what Roger Ebert calls the Idiot Plot: the whole story wouldn't have taken place if Tracy had been marginally more direct about his intentions. Contrived" is the perfect word for this movie.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 07:16:18 AM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #9554 on: October 07, 2011, 10:34:27 AM »

I didn't like that film because it hung on a stupid conceit. Why didn't Tracy just mention why he was there in the first place? This is the perfect example of what Roger Ebert calls the Idiot Plot: the whole story wouldn't have taken place if Tracy had been marginally more direct about his intentions. Contrived" is the perfect word for this movie.

I understand and agree with you on this point in general. A perfect example of that is Sergeant Rutledge, a film which (though I enjoyed for its visuals, acting, and production design) had a ridiculous story. How many times did they ask Woody Strode to explain himself, and he simply refused, saying something like "this is a white girl issue" or something like that. I must have shouted at the screen a million and one times "THEY ASKED YOU TO SAY WHAT HAPPENED -- JUST SAY IT AND YOU MAY GO FREE!!"

But in the case of Bad Day at Black Rock, it's different. As explained very well by the commentator: Tracy had no reason to be suspicious. If someone would have asked him, in the beginning, in a non-suspicious manner, what he is there for, he would have told them. In fact, he did initially say "I need to get to Adobe Flats (or whatever the place was called).
But as soon as he gets off the train, the whole town acts wary and suspicious of him. He does nothing wrong, but everyone is treating him like he is a criminal. He asks simple questions like "can i rent a car" or "can I get a hotel room," and he has no idea why they are treating him as they are. So it's only natural that he figures out that there is something wrong going on here, and that he would decide to be less than forthcoming with his story.

So while I generally agree with the criticism of the "Idiot Plot," I think that in this movie, Tracy had a good reason to be wary and not explain his intentions. The town was its own worst enemy here. If they would have acted as if nothing was wrong, Tracy would have just gone out there, seen the guy was dead, and they could have made up any one of a million stories, and he wouldn't have known anything. But their treating him with suspicion was actually the cause of their downfall.

A better criticism would be why they would suddenly now be afraid, after 4 years, that the stranger getting off the train was an investigator. Perhaps it would have been better if it was only a few months rather than 4 years. I know that they had to say 4 years to a) span the time between Pearl Harbor and the end of the war; and b) to show how the town has deteriorated and become all paranoid in that time (which perhaps take a long time to happen). But I think the town's suspicion of Tracy may have been more believable if less time had passed

« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 10:36:08 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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