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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1763719 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #10410 on: April 15, 2012, 07:16:01 AM »

Push came to shove I might even pick The Patriot. At least it doesn't have Braveheart's ponderous pretensions of profundity, it's just a kill-the-Brits splatterfest.

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« Reply #10411 on: April 15, 2012, 07:24:39 AM »

Push came to shove I might even pick The Patriot. At least it doesn't have Braveheart's ponderous pretensions of profundity, it's just a kill-the-Brits splatterfest.

Yeah, from what I read, it wasn't all that accurate either. I recall reading someone trashing the German director Roland Emmerich for essentially transposing Nazi atrocities onto the Brits a century-and-a-half earlier. (And that's without even getting into the historical accuracy issues with the slaves).

I guess that these are all questions of scale. In other words, I am sure that in the many thousands of people involved in almost any war, there will be at least a few that commit atrocities. If so, is it right to make a movie portraying such atrocities, and can you say "I'm only portraying a few specific instances that does not necessarily reflect on the whole"; or is it wrong to portray anything that would not be a fair and accurate reflection on the whole?

Anyway, in my 16-year old blissful ignorance, I didn't entertain such questions. I just enjoyed the movie very much. The battle scenes are amazing. The acting is spectacular. And the score by John Williams is one of my all-time favorites.
(And to think that every time I saw it way back then, it was on pan-and-scan VHS tapes; I've still never actually seen the widescreen!)

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« Reply #10412 on: April 15, 2012, 07:37:32 AM »

The villain is based on Banastre Tarleton who was a pretty ruthless character. That said I don't recall him ever massacring civilians.

Any criticisms of The Patriot come down to its feverish melodrama and sloppy plotting. It shares both attributes with Braveheart, which makes me think Mel had a bigger hand in crafting The Patriot than is generally let on.

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« Reply #10413 on: April 15, 2012, 07:46:15 AM »

Gruppo di famiglia in un interno / Conversation Piece (1974) - 7/10. Against his better judgement, an American art expert/collector (Burt Lancaster) living in Rome rents his upstairs apartment to pushy rich people. All Lancaster wants is to be left in peace, but the new tenants suck him into their Eurotrash world of petty bickering. But it's OK--Lancaster realizes he's been out of touch, and although the people annoy the hell out of him, he comes to care for them, especially Helmut Berger who, apparently, is every closeted fag's wet dream. I hate late Visconti (everything after The Leopard), and on paper this film sounds like a disaster, but I found it pretty interesting. The whole thing takes place on a set and it's just a bunch of people talking for the most part, but 4 things keep it from turning into sludge: amazingly good editing--scenes end before they overstay their welcome; terrific music, in the form of Mozart and a score with a lot of cello; wonderful reproductions of 18th Century paintings that fill the nicely designed set; and occasional flashbacks (from the art guy's life) that allow for startling cameos by Dominique Sanda and Claudia Cardinale. The new Blu-ray from Raro provides both an Italian and English dub; I very much enjoyed hearing Red Burt declaiming in his native language.

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« Reply #10414 on: April 15, 2012, 07:52:28 AM »

The villain is based on Banastre Tarleton who was a pretty ruthless character. That said I don't recall him ever massacring civilians.

Any criticisms of The Patriot come down to its feverish melodrama and sloppy plotting. It shares both attributes with Braveheart, which makes me think Mel had a bigger hand in crafting The Patriot than is generally let on.

I've sometimes thought about going back and watching the movies I loved 10 years ago and seeing how I feel about them now, considering how much my views and knowledge of movies has changed since then. (I specifically don't watch any Gibson movies, so I don't plan on seeing The Patriot, but there are some others I'd  be interested in going back and seeing.)

Now that i think about it, I remember my list: My faves at that time were The Patriot as #1, followed by, in no particular order, the Die Hard and Austin Powers trilogies, Shrek 1, Saving Private Ryan, American History X, and Almost Famous. Now that I think about it, those were some damn good movies, actually  Smiley (oh, and I must have seen There's Something About Mary 10 times in high school; Cameron Diaz haunted my early adolescence  Wink)

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« Reply #10415 on: April 15, 2012, 12:12:36 PM »

The Last of the Mohicans - 8/10 - 2nd viewing. This one was better than I remembered. Granted I was half-asleep the first time I saw it but this time I enjoyed the deliberately-paced plot, well-sketched characters and sumptuous period detail a lot. Despite its scope and impressive action scenes it's a straight adventure film and works wonderfully as such. Cast is good with Wes Studi standing out.

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« Reply #10416 on: April 15, 2012, 12:45:39 PM »

Get Carter (1971) 7/10

The brutality was wonderful. As was Caine. But I am sick and tired of movies that introduce you to ten guys in the beginning, and then expect you to remember each of their names and who they are as they disappear and return an hour later in the film as suspects or whatever. I just enjoyed watching Caine act, and had no clue who the fuck else was who or what. I mean, seriously, this is a revenge and brutality movie. No need for such complex shit.


Anyway, Newcastle looked nice. As did Caine's black trench coat  Wink

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« Reply #10417 on: April 16, 2012, 08:55:59 AM »

Pollack (2000) - 8/10. 2nd viewing. You will believe that Ed Harris IS Jackson Pollack. And not just because of the physical resemblance: when Harris pours paint on canvas he looks like he's really making something (Ed did all his own stunts). As bio pics go, this is pretty good, partly because Pollack was such a strange guy, but largely because painting, a visual medium, photographs well, and Pollack's paintings are of particular visual interest. There's also a very definite progression in Pollack's body of work, so, independant of the painter's biographical details, the paintings themselves tell a story. Pollack the man gets a bit hard to take after a while, but the paintings just keep getting more interesting. And if you stick through to the last act, you get to see Jennifer Connelly as a bonus. This film would make a great double-bill with Crumb (1994).

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« Reply #10418 on: April 16, 2012, 09:39:39 AM »

Mildred Pierce (1945) 8.5/10

A very good noir.

Joan Crawford is very good. A well-deserved Oscar. And indeed, as per the earlier discussion, she does look good here.
 

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« Reply #10419 on: April 16, 2012, 01:41:38 PM »

Blood Work (2002) 7.5/10

I enjoyed the story. But a few of the characters were ridiculous.

Firstly, the cop played by Paul Rodriguez, as the obligatory annoying-cop-who-just-doesn't-get-it in so many police movies. And there is absolutely no way in hell that a cardiologist (played by Angelica Huston) would actually dump a patient just because she thinks he is endangering his health. Other than the scenes with Huston and Rodriguez, I enjoyed the movie. (Oh, and the romance between Eastwood and the much younger Wanda de Jesus is...  well, just about what you'd expect from Hollywood).

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« Reply #10420 on: April 17, 2012, 12:25:02 AM »

Red Rock West (1993) 7/10

The plot is wonderful, but it is very annoying how the story is held together by people repeatedly doing things that are absolutely implausible. Some examples:

(SPOILER ALERT)

A) Cage leaving the cash in his car as he goes into the hospital

B) No fucking way that Hopper, a professional hit-man, would actually pick up Cage off the road, bring him into town, and buy him a drink.

C) When Cage and Boyle are on the run -- in her Jeep, which her husband is no doubt looking for -- they go to the very next town, a mere 40 miles away. And instead of just getting gas and getting the hell outta there, she wants to stop for a drink. Are you kidding me?
And if that's not enough, they check into a hotel on the side of the highway. With her car no doubt visible to all passersby. The very next town from Red Rock. Are you serious???

D) Once Hopper has the 4 of them in the car at gunpoint, no reason he wouldn't finish off Cage and Boyle immediately; their being there only complicates things for him

E) In the cemetery, the sherrif suggests Hopper let Cage and Byle go. Are you kidding me?

I know I know, you can respond "well, otherwise, the movie can't happen." That is a very easy and very unsatisfying answer.

----------

-- Cage is really good here, and this movie works well largely because of him. And Hopper is terrific as well.

-- The score is terrible.

------------

-- Cage getting that stack of bills at the end, and keeping it? That totally clashes with the character he has been all along. Seems like an attempt as getting SOME SORT of a slightly happy ending. Very lame. If he had ridden out of town, broke as when he arrived, that would have been much better.

The plot is real good, though, as detailed above too many things weren't handled properly. While this movie had even better potential -- and the first half is much better than the second, this was still enjoyable

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« Reply #10421 on: April 17, 2012, 03:58:14 AM »

Red Rock West, I didn't like this one very much either for pretty much the same reasons, the best John Dahl film I've seen so far is The Last Seduction. I'd have to revisit Kill Me Again, again.  Azn

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« Reply #10422 on: April 18, 2012, 03:19:23 PM »

Psycho (1960) 10/10

My first viewing of this movie.

I saw the 1998 re-make in theaters (I was in 9th grade, and some classmate mentioned that it was supposed to be "sooooo scary!") and didn't love it all that much. I then found out it was (virtually) a shot-for-shot re-make of a 1960 movie, and never felt any urgency to see the original, figuring that eventually I would, someday. Well that day is today. And a great day it is! A wonderful movie. Anthony Perkins is much more of an innocent-looking guy, as opposed to Vince Vaughn who (if memory serves me correct from 1998) seemed much more openly psychotic.


As for the scene with psychiatrist yammering on and on at the end, I wonder if it was really necessary. Reading Roger Ebert's review on this movie in his "Great Movies" section, I see he believes that as well. Here is what Ebert says about it:



For thoughtful viewers, however, an equal surprise is still waiting. That is the mystery of why Hitchcock marred the ending of a masterpiece with a sequence that is grotesquely out of place. After the murders have been solved, there is an inexplicable scene during which a long-winded psychiatrist (Simon Oakland) lectures the assembled survivors on the causes of Norman's psychopathic behavior. This is an anticlimax taken almost to the point of parody.

If I were bold enough to reedit Hitchcock's film, I would include only the doctor's first explanation of Norman's dual personality: "Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over, probably for all time." Then I would cut out everything else the psychiatrist says, and cut to the shots of Norman wrapped in the blanket while his mother's voice speaks ("It's sad when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son..."). Those edits, I submit, would have made "Psycho" very nearly perfect. I have never encountered a single convincing defense of the psychiatric blather; Truffaut tactfully avoids it in his famous interview
.



I suppose maybe it was important to let us know that Norman had actually killed his mom and her lover, as opposed to what the police had always believed was a murder-suicide. But that speech by the shrink does seem (at least mostly) unnecessary.

Finally, I don't know why, after showing Norman in jail, they cut to the shot of the car being lifted from the swamp, before THE END flashed on the screen. Was that really necessary to see? I mean, we know they are going to remove the car; that shot is useless. Wouldn't have been much creepier if the movie had ended with that shot of Norman's face?

I've never liked when tense moments (eg. while Janet Leigh is driving with the cop behind her) are punctuated with the repeated boom-boom on the soundtrack. That sort of thing always annoyed me.  I don't need to be told when a moment is supposed to be tense, and it doesn't add anything. Just annoys me.

Anyway, what can I say about this movie except that it's reputation as a masterpiece is well-deserved  Afro Afro

p.s. I am watching the Collector's edition dvd (rented from Netflix), and it has a a really wonderful "Making of Psycho" piece in the Special Features, that goes for 94 minutes. I am in middle of watching it now, and it is terrific. they have so many people who were involved with the movie (eg. the screenwriter, the assistant director, Hitch's daughter who has a small role, Janet Leigh, Hitch's personal assistant, etc.). If you love this movie, and get your hands on the Collector's Edition dvd, be sure to check this out  Smiley

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« Reply #10423 on: April 18, 2012, 07:05:57 PM »

Thor - 7/10

I didn't except more than a lighthearted, funny CGI parade with some humour, but Loki brought in quality drama. I love that actor. He should be playing Shakespeare.

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« Reply #10424 on: April 18, 2012, 07:20:02 PM »

Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood - 10/10 - Brimming with the insightful social satire that you've come to expect from the Leprechaun label. See Warwick Davis kill ghetto punks with a bong!

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