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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1807503 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #10650 on: July 01, 2012, 12:53:33 PM »

Sunday, Bloody Sunday - 8/10 - "Free spirit" Murray Head gets into a love triangle with doctor Peter Finch and career woman Glenda Jackson, satisfying none of them. It avoids most expected cliches of this kind of plot, succeeding through its closely-observed protagonists and subdued drama. Plenty of Schlesinger auteur touches, including a creative nightmare, bizarrely Bohemian children and none-too-subtle phallic imagery. Finch is superb and Jackson's good but Head is a dull cipher. Interesting supporting cast: Tony Britton, Peggy Ashcroft, Maurice Denham, Jon Finch, even a young Daniel Day-Lewis.

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« Reply #10651 on: July 01, 2012, 01:45:37 PM »

La Strada (1954, released in America in 1956) 8/10


Great performance by Quinn (though the dubbing is pretty bad).

But I take great exception to the idea the movie tries to present that Quinn is some tragic figure, a redeemable character despite himself. This guy is nothing but a brutish thug, who completely destroys the life of an innocent, dim-witted girl. (After somehow getting her sister killed, who knows how that happened). He buys her from her mother, just like a slave (her mother may be the second most despicable person in the story), and treats her like one, forcing her to travel around with him and assist him in his act, beating her, forcing her to sleep with him, etc. And he tries stealing from the monastery after the nuns allow him to stay there for the night. And refuses to allow her to leave when she tries escaping (But the biggest crime he commits, when he kills the Fool, it is not done intentionally. Karma is a bitch). Then, he abandons the girl when she is no longer useful to him, leaving this now insane poor thing to the elements, where she may well die -- but wait, after all this time spent with her, at the moment he is abandoning her in the cold, he shows a shred of humanity and covers her with a few extra blankets! and he leaves her her beloved trumpet! and 5 years later, when he finds out that she went crazy and died, he can't handle the regret. And somehow we are supposed to feel like he is a tragic figure. A guy who is, despite all his brutishness, supposed to, at the end of the day, arouse some sympathy. There's something deep down there that is human after all -- so he is not 100% evil, just mostly evil, like all humans are Complex, but this point is always emphasized with the person in a movie whom we are supposed to care about. Well, I don't care if he does show some shred of humanity at the end. Covering the girl with a blanket at the moment he is basically leaving her to die, sorry, that does not arouse my sympathies for him in any way. Doesn't make me feel 1% differently about him than I felt at the moment he was beating her or forcing her to sleep with him. I can certainly agree with ideas about human complexity, not everyone is 100% good or 100% bad, but there is complexity and there is complexity. If the point is that hey, he isn't literally 100% bad, well whoop-dee-doo, I knew that already. Few people are. It's a good movie, and Quinn in particular delivers a great performance, but the idea that we are supposed to somehow feel something for him as a tragic figure is pretty ridiculous, Fellini  Roll Eyes

I always had the impression that the movie is about Guiletta Massina character not Quinn.

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« Reply #10652 on: July 01, 2012, 02:00:31 PM »

Funny Face (1957) - 7/10. An old goat (Fred Astaire) wants to nail some fresh talent (Audrey Hepburn) so takes her to Paris for a photo shoot. They sing, they dance, they pulse in Technicolor. The new DCP restoration looks amazing (surely better than the original theatrical prints), prompting the obvious question: where's the Blu-ray?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) - 8/10. Philip Kaufman adapts Milan Kundera's book--part novel, part essay--about people living through the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia. As he showed in The Right Stuff, no one incorporates historical footage into new material better than Kaufman, and here he (with the help of Sven Nykvist and Walter Murch) makes it look like his actors were right there with the actual tanks. Although Kaufman jettisoned all the non-dramatic stuff, and filmed mostly in France with English-speaking non-Czech actors (drawing instead from French, Polish, Scandinavian, and American stables), Kundera appears to have put his blessing on the production. According to Kaufman, Kundera helped him choose all the Janacek that's loaded onto the soundtrack. The music provides both setting and direction: after Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Tereza (a rosy-cheeked Juliette Binoche) reject Geneva (too insubstantial) and then Prague (too Sovietized), they internally exile themselves to the Czech countryside. Suddenly we realize that Janacek's music (with its reliance on folk motifs) has been pointing the way all along. Our hero and heroine exit dancing.

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« Reply #10653 on: July 01, 2012, 02:25:27 PM »

I always had the impression that the movie is about Guiletta Massina character not Quinn.

some source on wikipedia says that of all the imaginary beings that he had brought to the screen, Fellini felt closest to the three principals of La Strada, "especially Zampano." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_strada#Personal_significance

Ebert certainly finds Zampano to be a sympathetic character. here is his review http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19940401/REVIEWS/404010303/1023

Here is a choice paragraph:

Life has made him a brute and an outcast, with one dumb trick (breaking a chain by expanding his chest muscles), and a memorized line of patter that was perhaps supplied to him by a circus owner years before. His tragedy is that he loves Gelsomina and does not know it, and that is the central tragedy for many of Fellini's characters: They are always turning away from the warmth and safety of those who understand them, to seek restlessly in the barren world.

Ebert also cites Pauline Kael as saying that the Fools is the embodiment of Mind, Zampano the Body and Gelsomina the Soul.

I certainly took the movie's indication to be that at the end, Zampano is meant to be somewhat sympathetic.

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« Reply #10654 on: July 01, 2012, 02:29:12 PM »

Funny Face (1957) - 7/10. An old goat (Fred Astaire) wants to nail some fresh talent (Audrey Hepburn) so takes her to Paris for a photo shoot. They sing, they dance, they pulse in Technicolor. The new DCP restoration looks amazing (surely better than the original theatrical prints), prompting the obvious question: where's the Blu-ray?

Never liked that one. I will agree it's pretty to look at, and I love Audrey's dance in the nightclub.

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« Reply #10655 on: July 01, 2012, 03:27:51 PM »

Never liked that one. I will agree it's pretty to look at, and I love Audrey's dance in the nightclub.
It's no Bandwagon or Singin In The Rain, that's for sure. It isn't very witty and the songs are only so-so and there are no extended extravaganzas like The Girl Hunt or Gotta Dance sequences. It does have Audrey, though, and as you suggest, the nightclub dance has its charm (the darkroom routine is kinda clever, too). But the colors really pop. Not enough for you? Me neither--hence the "7."

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« Reply #10656 on: July 01, 2012, 03:50:17 PM »

I'd give it a 6/10. Kay Thompson was the highlight for me.

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« Reply #10657 on: July 01, 2012, 06:22:45 PM »

The other Jewish Gangster movie from '84

The Cotton Club (1984) 7/10 Director: Francis Ford Coppola, Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Lonette McKee, Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Nicolas Cage, Fred Gwynne, Maurice Hines,    Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane

Its not great but its entertaining, picked it up used at an FYE

A nice review from IMDb:

OK Movie with too much going on and too messy, 27 July 2005

Author: marbleann from Houston

I saw this movie when it first came out and I thought it was a mess. Now years later while I have the luxury of sitting in my house watching the various showings on cable, I like a better. Why because this movie is IMO 3 different movies going on at once. I Now I am able to concentrate on one aspect of the movie more then the whole.

I will start with movie #1... The Cotton club, the nightclub where everything converges and what is the common denominator that brings ALL of the characters together. It is almost set up like a Plantation in Mississippi. The white gangster own the place and the black people work there and have no say about anything that goes on. Black people were not even able to go to the club as a customer. All of the women who worked there were light skin almost passing for white. In the movie they do show how the set up was but the place was not as large as it was in the movie and on a side bar. Larry Fishburn who plays a numbers runner (the same role he played in a later movie, Hoodlum) shows interest in a brown skin singer performer in the club and her mother is very upset because she is the first "dark skin" woman working at the club. I liked that they added that in. I know this because my neighbor use to play with Louis Armstrong that the women in question is in fact Louis Amstrongs future wife. A little tidbit. I like the music and the performances which took place in the club. To me this was the most enjoying part of the movie. I feel a movie just about the Club without all the other foolishness it would be very interesting in the right hands. Which brings me to movie 2

The gangsters or the white people. Owey Madden was a thug and a very nasty man. In this movie Bob Hoskin (who was very good) and Fred Gwynn who I loved played like they were Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. In the right hands we would of seen the real Madden. Remember this is the man who kept black people out of his club. And did battle with other NY gangsters. Then we have Dutch Schultz. I wonder why we did not see more of Lucky Luciano because it was those 2 who were causing havoc in NYC during the 20's with Luciano winning. I think James Remer did the best portrayal of Schulz. Years later Tim Roth played him in the movie Hoodlum and he was good, but Remer was scarier. And according to all reports he was a psychopath. Then we have the George Raft (Dixie Dwyer) character played by Richard Gere If people are not familiar with the actor George Raft it was known he hung around the mob and had big time mob connections..who actually got him a job in movies. Richard Gere even mentions at one time that he use to be a dancer. I am sure that is reference and acknowledgment of George Raft, who was a dancer before he went to Hollywood. George Raft was actually a pretty good actor. Gere even looks like him. I feel that is the real reason they cast him in this movie. Look at this movie as Gere playing Raft and not playing Dixie Dwyer and the part works.

The last movie is the Harlem story. The Larry Fishburne character was a real person. He was lifetime criminal who spent most of his life in jail. He was not the voice of righteousness we see in the movie or the movie Hoodlum. What was interesting was the scene when he and the woman who was running the numbers racket in Harlem were offered a deal. I like they put that in the movie, that was true. The woman who was the real boss of the numbers racket came from the West Indies and started the whole thing on her own. A very tough cookie who went to jail because she would not give in to the mob. The mob was politically connected and they put her in jail for a long time. I like the the Hines bothers in the movie. They were feuding in real life and this movie was a way they starting talking again. They actually showed that in the movie. Also the Vonnetta McGee character was interesting. I am a very light skin black women who could pas for white. WHICH I WOULD NEVER DO. But I don't know about living back in the early part of the century. The scene when she and Sandman goes to the hotel and the clerk tries to deny them a room actually happened to me and a boyfriend of mine years ago. So that scene really hit me. I would of liked if they explored Harlem life more, but the movie had too much going on already.

Nicholas Cage...nephew of Cappolla was good playing the violent brother of the Richard Gere character. I would like to have seen him in more parts like that instead of the garbage he has been wasting himself in the last few years. Diane Lane was the miscast. She was playing a real character too, but she came nowhere near the woman she was playing, Texas Guinon(I think that was her last name) A big boozy tough blonde. To me that is the major miscast of the movie. I like her though, but not in this movie. This is a movie I feel has to be seen around 5 times to get the whole feeling of it. A good movie but just too messy and too much.

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« Reply #10658 on: July 01, 2012, 07:02:35 PM »

The Artist
I really fucking like this movie, one of the better Best Picture winners in the past several years. It has its flaws, mainly that its way too redundant (I get it...he's going downhill) and has too many montages. But overall, a very fun homage to the silent film era. Even the overuse of cliches, exagerrated Hollywood ideals, and blatant symbols works for me stylistically, which is surprising.

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« Reply #10659 on: July 01, 2012, 07:22:53 PM »

The Artist
But overall, a very fun homage to the silent film era.
What if you don't give 2 fucks about the silent film era? An homage to manure is just more manure.

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« Reply #10660 on: July 01, 2012, 07:39:38 PM »

The Samurai Trilogy [Miyamoto Musashi Trilogy] (1954-1956) 10/10. First Blu-ray viewing. Sugoi!!! These screen caps only hint at how good this looks: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Samurai-Trilogy-Blu-ray/40561/#Screenshots

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« Reply #10661 on: July 01, 2012, 08:53:37 PM »

Far from Heaven - 7/10 - An interesting experiment, using the lush style and mannerisms of a '50s melodrama to explore topics (homosexuality, interracial romance) that could only be hinted at then. Its sincerity is refreshing in our era of endless snark, but the movie can't help seeming artificial at times. Julianne Moore does an excellent Jane Wyman impression; Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert are one-note types. Elmer Bernstein's retro score is a high point.

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« Reply #10662 on: July 01, 2012, 11:58:42 PM »

The Roaring Twenties (1939) 9.5/10 (Second viewing)

This is the one Cagney gangster character that we really feel for.

And there is something very touching about the Gladys George character -- the older woman who runs a nightclub and has been around, cares deeply about Cagney (though they'd never get married), is stuck singing in lousy bars once Prohibition ends, when she is more than a tad over the hill...
Although she is the opposite of the good girl played by Priscilla Lane, there is something very touching about her.


Frayling has pointed out how, (as OUATIA was meant as Leone's homage to the gangster film), Noodles' desire for Deborah is very similar to Cagney's for Priscilla Lane in The Roaring Twenties
 

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« Reply #10663 on: July 02, 2012, 03:45:06 AM »

Little Caesar (1939) 6/10 (second viewing)

Though this is an important film cuz it was it the first real famous (sound) gangster film, IMO this one is nowhere near as good as The Public Enemy or some of the others. Firstly, as I've mentioned before, IMO Robinson -- while a great actor -- wasn't great as a gangster.
And that "tough guy talk," present throughout the movie from all the gangster characters, is awfully annoying. Sure, it's an element of every gangster movie, but it seems that it is multiplied a hundredfold in this one; the gangsters talk as if they are in a cartoon. And it gets very grating. And many of the characters are ridiculous, like the gang member who served as the driver and got Yellow and then started crying to his mommy.
I felt this way the first time I saw the movie, and I feel the same way after this second viewing.

I guess that if you're a fan of the gangster genre, it's worthwhile to see once just for the sake of the history, but I don't plan on ever watching this one again.

It's a shame because it's basically a solid screenplay, if they only eliminated a few ridiculous characters/scenarios, and had the actors speak normally. But it's difficult to enjoy a film when your skin crawls every time one of the actors opens his mouth.
This movie should not be mentioned in the same sentence as The Public Enemy, Angels With Dirty Faces, Dead End, and The Roaring Twenties.

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« Reply #10664 on: July 02, 2012, 07:34:31 AM »

Little Caesar (1939) 6/10 (second viewing)

the gangsters talk as if they are in a cartoon.
Well, the film was made for children.

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