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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1761745 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #11145 on: November 27, 2012, 07:16:06 AM »

I hated the end speech too. It's spelling the film's argument out in painful, condescending fashion for the audience like Stanley Kramer on speed. Even if I agreed with Stone's POV (and I assuredly don't) it's just way too much to absorb everything he throws out, and too long to work dramatically. I far prefer Nixon.

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« Reply #11146 on: November 27, 2012, 07:59:00 AM »

I hated the end speech too. It's spelling the film's argument out in painful, condescending fashion for the audience like Stanley Kramer on speed. Even if I agreed with Stone's POV (and I assuredly don't) it's just way too much to absorb everything he throws out, and too long to work dramatically. I far prefer Nixon.

Though as I mentioned I don't know anything about the story and conspiracy theories, one thing of course that everyone has heard about are  the theories involving a Communist conspiracy. Therefore, I was very amused and not at all surprised to see the the Commie Stone attempt to turn those theories around; now, any Communist that was involved with the assassination (including Oswald) was actually an anti-Communist masquerading as a Communist  Grin


btw, my father knew one of the tape experts that was involved in the investigation and asked to analyze an audio recording of the gunfire ( a Dallas cop driving in the president's motorcade accidentally had his radio button stuck in the "record" mode, so audio of the shooting was recorded; I believe that's the tape he was was asked to analyze.
(The investigators asked this guy -- I guess as a way of "testing him" -- to estimate the distance between the cop who was transmitting the recording, and the Schoolbook Depository building; after listening to the tape, he was able to correctly identify the exact distance). Anyway, after hearing the tape, this guy told the investigators, my father, and everyone else who knew him, that the gunshots on the tape absolutely came from more than one source.... Not that it would come as a surprise to anybody today, of course; but at the time my dad first heard it from him, it was more than 40 years ago -- ie. before the Zapruder film was released to the public.

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« Reply #11147 on: November 27, 2012, 09:14:40 AM »



But that's a technical matter, which probably wouldn't be picked up by anyone but a lawyer; I don't have a problem with the way it was presented here. Substantively, I really liked that speech, that summed up why Garrison was doing all that work, and what Stone's true goals were in making the movie: not to necessarily present this or that specific conspiracy theory, but just to make a general point that the official version of events have been nothing but lies, and that we have to demand the truth from our government, if we are going to live in a just world.



Ok in a book, maybe ok in a novel, bad in a film.

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« Reply #11148 on: November 28, 2012, 07:06:40 AM »

Lawless (2012). Man, this film is gorgeous, and the blu-ray does it proud. Lawless and The Master are the two most visually striking American films of the year. (Oddly enough, the two have the best soundtracks of the year also). The Master has the better story--nonetheless, Lawless is the one I'll be re-watching more often. Gary Oldman as Floyd Banner; Jessica Chastain as Jessica Chastain; men with hats; Tom Hardy grunting; the foot-washing scene; Rakes beating the younger brother with kid gloves on; the throat cutting scene; and of course the climactic shoot-out at the covered bridge: all iconic stuff. The film gets a 9/10; the transfer, 10/10.

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« Reply #11149 on: November 28, 2012, 10:07:51 AM »

Far From The Madding Crowd (1967) 10/10

Victorian romantic melodrama starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch, and Alan Bates, playing the babe and her three suitors.
This is the film Gone With the Wind wishes it could be. There, I said it  Wink

SPOILERS

Initially, I thought the film didn't develop the Finch character enough; you never have any doubt that Finch has zero chance. But on second thought, I think that was the proper way to go: the viewer is seeing Finch in the same way Christie sees him: as some old dude, with zero chance at her.

 Only the final scene mars an otherwise perfect film. I mean, it's been pretty much predestined from the opening scene that Christie will wind up with Bates, but the way it happens is just silly. Perhaps it would have been better if the movie ended with that scene in the church cemetery, as Bates tells Christie he is going to California. (And if they had to end up together, maybe it would have been best if Christie says, right then and there, "take me with you," to get the hell away from the English country. But her suddenly agreeing to marry Bates as he is walking out, that's just plain too Hollywood).



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« Reply #11150 on: November 28, 2012, 10:22:42 AM »

The Winning Team (1952) 7/10

FOR ALL YOU BASEBALL FANS: This is a fun little biopic about the legendary baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander, who came from the Nebraska country, and battled epilepsy and alcoholism, and became one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, playing from 1911-1930. Ronald Reagan stars as Alexander (the player was named after one U.S. President and played by another  Wink) Doris Day as his wife, and Frank Lovejoy as the great 2nd baseman and manager Rogers Hornsby.

Alexander's most famous moment came in Game 7 of the 1926 World series, at Yankees Stadium, where his St. Louis Cardinals were playing the heavily-favored Yankees: Alexander had already started and won 2 games in the series, including game 6 the day before. As he was not expecting to pitch in Game 7; rumor had it that he had gotten trashed the night before. Now, in the 7th inning of Game 7 with the Cardinals leading by a run, the Yankees loaded the bases against starter Jesse Haines, who develope a blister and had to be removed. Now, manager Rogers Hornsby shocked everyone by calling Alexander in from the bullpen to face hot Yankee rookie Tony Lazzeri. On a  1-1 count, Lazzeri pulled a ball just foul down the left field line, narrowly missing a grand slam, and on the next pitch, Lazzeri struck out swinging, in one of the more famous World Series at bats ever. Alexander went on to pitch two more scoreless innings, and the Cardinals won the Series, shocking the heavily favored Yankees and the baseball world.

For anyone who's interested, here is the box score from Game 7 http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=192610100NYA

This is a fun little picture about baseball in the early days of the 20th century, although at times the baseball stuff gets a bit sloppy (some stuff will only bother a real baseball fan, other stuff might bother any movie fan; you'll have to decide for yourself  Wink)


---- Both the Yankees and Cardinals are shown with numbers on their uniforms; in fact, neither team wore numbers on their uniforms in the '26 World Series. (The Yankees would become the first team to permanently wear uniform numbers, but not until 1929).

---- Though all of Alexander's appearances in the '26 Series were in Yankee Stadium -- the opposing team's ballpark -- the crowd is repeatedly shown cheering after all his big outs!  That is utterly ridiculous. If anything, the crowd should in fact be shown in stunned silence.

---- After the final strikeout, the catcher is shown throwing to first base; in fact, the catcher only throws the ball "around the horn," after a strikeout that occurs in middle of an inning, not after the strikeout that ends the game! And there is another big goof there, depicting the game as ending on a strikeout: in fact, the '26 Series had a much more interesting ending: with 2 outs, Babe Ruth was walked, and with Bob Meusel at bat, Ruth tried stealing 2nd and was thrown out, ending the Series! Wtf would you depict the game ending on a strikeout, when in fact the reality was a much more awesome ending -- to this day, the only Series ever ended by a caught stealing!

---- Thankfully, Reagan was athletic, and he gives a reasonable imitation of the motions of a major league pitcher, although it is quite obvious that his pitches are at least 20 miles per hour slower than that of a major leaguer! Maybe they should have used a real big league pitcher as a body double, one who could actually pitch 90-95 miles per hour.



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« Reply #11151 on: November 28, 2012, 11:25:56 AM »

It's "Madding" Crowd. Not "Maddening."

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« Reply #11152 on: November 28, 2012, 11:36:49 AM »

It's "Madding" Crowd. Not "Maddening."

Duly noted and amended  Afro

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« Reply #11153 on: November 28, 2012, 12:51:46 PM »

Far From The Madding Crowd (1967) 10/10

Victorian romantic melodrama starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch, and Alan Bates, playing the babe and her three suitors.
This is the film Gone With the Wind wishes it could be. There, I said it  Wink

SPOILERS

Initially, I thought the film didn't develop the Finch character enough; you never have any doubt that Finch has zero chance. But on second thought, I think that was the proper way to go: the viewer is seeing Finch in the same way Christie sees him: as some old dude, with zero chance at her.

 Only the final scene mars an otherwise perfect film. I mean, it's been pretty much predestined from the opening scene that Christie will wind up with Bates, but the way it happens is just silly. Perhaps it would have been better if the movie ended with that scene in the church cemetery, as Bates tells Christie he is going to California. (And if they had to end up together, maybe it would have been best if Christie says, right then and there, "take me with you," to get the hell away from the English country. But her suddenly agreeing to marry Bates as he is walking out, that's just plain too Hollywood).
The movie pretty much follows the book. The producers would have had to have a very good reason for departing from Hardy's story, and that reason would have been that the books's ending isn't very good. In fact, there's nothing wrong with it. In the film, the ending is prepared for in the first 5 minutes. Bates goes to propose to Christie, and then the world's second-longest digression kicks in. The Digression having run its course, the original story resumes (and concludes).

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« Reply #11154 on: November 28, 2012, 01:01:48 PM »

The movie pretty much follows the book. The producers would have had to have a very good reason for departing from Hardy's story, and that reason would have been that the books's ending isn't very good. In fact, there's nothing wrong with it. In the film, the ending is prepared for in the first 5 minutes. Bates goes to propose to Christie, and then the world's second-longest digression kicks in. The Digression having run its course, the original story resumes (and concludes).

I don't have a problem with Christie ending up with Bates; as you mentioned, we know it will happen after the first 5 minutes. I just don't like the way it's done in the movie. That moment where Bates says (paraphrasing) "I'll stay on one condition, that whenever I look up you'll be there, and whenever you look up I'll be there...." is the one moment in the 3 hours that I cringed. Until that moment, this is a great movie.

If the book does it that way, then shame on the book. I haven't read the book (heck, I haven't read shit, if it's not about baseball), I'm not necessarily saying the movie is wrong or right for following the book. I'm just stating the fact that that scene at the end is the only moment in the movie where I fucking cringed.

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« Reply #11155 on: November 28, 2012, 02:04:57 PM »

I don't have a problem with Christie ending up with Bates; as you mentioned, we know it will happen after the first 5 minutes. I just don't like the way it's done in the movie. That moment where Bates says (paraphrasing) "I'll stay on one condition, that whenever I look up you'll be there, and whenever you look up I'll be there...." is the one moment in the 3 hours that I cringed. Until that moment, this is a great movie.

But that's there to echo what Bates had said at the beginning of the film. I don't recall if that's a change from the book or not, but if it was a change it's a good one: how else would most audience members remember that first conversation from 3 hours before? It's clearly a mnemonic device, and whether it was the creation of Hardy or his adapter Frederick Raphael, it is certainly warranted.

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« Reply #11156 on: November 28, 2012, 07:01:42 PM »

But that's there to echo what Bates had said at the beginning of the film. I don't recall if that's a change from the book or not, but if it was a change it's a good one: how else would most audience members remember that first conversation from 3 hours before? It's clearly a mnemonic device, and whether it was the creation of Hardy or his adapter Frederick Raphael, it is certainly warranted.

my problem is not that bit of dialogue per se; my problem is that that bit of dialogue alone is not enough to warrant Christie going off with Bates at the end.

She's had her chance at him many, many times in the past, and refused. She never loved the guy. It's certainly possible that she could fall in love with him at some future point, but we never see them falling in love, never see any courting. If they are going to be together at the end, there should have been a scene showing us how they fall in love.  And I just don't feel Christie having any love for Bates, and I just don't feel that him leaving and saying that one line of dialogue to her should be enough for her to want to marry him.

I suppose that being stuck "far from the madding crowd," and there being basically only 3 men in her life, now that one is dead and the other is in prison, maybe she just goes for Bates cuz she knows it's all she has left and will never do any better. But there movie doesn't do justice to the notion that she now loves him.

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« Reply #11157 on: November 28, 2012, 07:09:20 PM »

Mystic River (2003) 10/10 (blu ray, first time viewing of the movie).

This may well be the greatest movie of the millenium and the greatest movie Eastwood ever directed. Has a movie ever done a better job of portraying grief?

I don't know if the final parade scene was necessary; or the very minor subplot with Bacon's wife (I guess that's an attempt to show how he was also somehow emotionally affected by that day as a child). But otherwise, this movie is about as perfect as it gets. And the blu ray looks beautiful.


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« Reply #11158 on: November 28, 2012, 08:27:43 PM »

The Winning Team (1952) 7/10

FOR ALL YOU BASEBALL FANS: This is a fun little biopic about the legendary baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander, who came from the Nebraska country, and battled epilepsy and alcoholism, and became one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, playing from 1911-1930. Ronald Reagan stars as Alexander (the player was named after one U.S. President and played by another  Wink) Doris Day as his wife, and Frank Lovejoy as the great 2nd baseman and manager Rogers Hornsby.

Alexander's most famous moment came in Game 7 of the 1926 World series, at Yankees Stadium, where his St. Louis Cardinals were playing the heavily-favored Yankees: Alexander had already started and won 2 games in the series, including game 6 the day before. As he was not expecting to pitch in Game 7; rumor had it that he had gotten trashed the night before. Now, in the 7th inning of Game 7 with the Cardinals leading by a run, the Yankees loaded the bases against starter Jesse Haines, who develope a blister and had to be removed. Now, manager Rogers Hornsby shocked everyone by calling Alexander in from the bullpen to face hot Yankee rookie Tony Lazzeri. On a  1-1 count, Lazzeri pulled a ball just foul down the left field line, narrowly missing a grand slam, and on the next pitch, Lazzeri struck out swinging, in one of the more famous World Series at bats ever. Alexander went on to pitch two more scoreless innings, and the Cardinals won the Series, shocking the heavily favored Yankees and the baseball world.


According to Jimmy Breslin's bio of Damon Runyon, Alexander wasn't even at the stadium for the start of the game, but on a barstool at a speakeasy called Billy Lahiff's on W. 46th Street with (maybe) Toots Shor behind the bar.  When the Cards started thinking about using him, a call was made and Alex went up to the Bronx.  Breslin never lets facts get in the way of a good story, so take it for what it's worth.

The movie made a baseball-crazy nine-year-old cheer when Reagan won his first term as governor.  I got over that rather quickly.

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« Reply #11159 on: November 29, 2012, 06:30:07 AM »


She's had her chance at him many, many times in the past, and refused. She never loved the guy. It's certainly possible that she could fall in love with him at some future point, but we never see them falling in love, never see any courting. If they are going to be together at the end, there should have been a scene showing us how they fall in love. 
Uh . . . yuck.

The whole point of the story is that Christie's initial expectations of love are unrealistic. Therefore, she rejects Bates's offer. Therefore, she plays head games with Peter Finch. Therefore, she has her disastrous fling with Terrence Stamp.

Meanwhile, Bates stays near her, watching out for her interests. His love is silent, but it expresses itself through many deeds. The audience notices--how can Christie not? We don't need to be shown something we can infer. At some point, Christie changes--that change is interior and not demonstrated. Nonetheless, we know it happens. All that remains is a declaration of love from Bates. It comes at the exact moment when she is ready to hear it.

Courting? Nothing says love more than hard work and slavish devotion. Jacob worked 14 years for Rachel (including the seven he put in first to marry her older sister Leah). We don't need to see a scene showing when Jacob and Rachel fell in love--the 14 years is enough.

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