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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1767649 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #11565 on: February 17, 2013, 12:46:28 PM »

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - 8/10 - Lonely freshman-with-baggage Logan Lerman makes friends with high school outcasts, including dream girl Emma Watson and flamboyant gay Ezra Miller. Stephen Chbosky adapts his own young adult novel into an unusually affecting coming of age story. Early scenes touch on familiar teen tropes: drugs, bullying, sexual awkwardness, David Bowie music, the Ft. Pitt Tunnel. (Granted, you won't see Rocky Horror performances in many high school movies.) The second half explores darker territory: Miller's closeted boyfriend disowns him, Lerman suffers a psychotic breakdown. The end revelations come as a punch in the gut. Good cast and sensitive storytelling allow Wallflowers to transcend its genre.

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« Reply #11566 on: February 18, 2013, 10:56:17 AM »

Courtesy of Hulu Plus and Criterion, a self-programmed Mikio Naruse marathon:

Ginza keshô/Ginza Cosmetics (1951) 6/10 A Ginza bar hostess (Tanaka Kinuyo) with a young son struggles to earn a living. This is a subject Naruse would better treat—and in widescreen—10 years later in When A Woman Ascends The Stairs. And what’s with the upbeat ending? Obviously, this was before Naruse entered his “mature” phase.

Tsuma/Wife (1953) 8/10 Ten years into their marriage, a wife and husband have relationship problems. This makes a good companion piece to Repast, which was more idealized and came first. In Repast Setsuko Hara was always lady-like, even in private, but in Wife Takamine Mieko isn’t afraid to show her character acting undignified.

Midareru/ Yearning (1964) 8/10 A man (Kayama Yuzo) expresses his love for his widowed sister-in-law (Takamine Hideko).

Midaregumo/ Scattered Clouds 9/10 A man (Kayama Yuzo) becomes involved with the widow (Tsukasa Yoko) of the man he killed in a car accident.

Naruse takes standard melodrama and transforms it into something higher, and he achieves this entirely by varying his cinematic style. Interestingly, he pulls essentially the same trick in the same place in both Yearning and Scattered Clouds. In Yearning, about an hour in, suddenly there's a journey by train--and it's like another film has begun. In SC the same effect is created by way of an extended taxi ride. In both cases, the director changes editing styles to cause perceived time to pass more slowly. It's not showy, it's almost imperceptible, but the viewer senses it nonetheless and it produces (if you will) a new mode of reception, one that is more contemplative. At least, that's the way it worked with me.
 
In her book on Naruse, Catherine Russell compares Scattered Clouds to the melodramas--40 years later--of Wong Kar Wai; once I'd read her make that connection, I suddenly realized that SC in several ways could be seen as a prototype for In the Mood For Love. Both pictures throw unlikely pairs together, and in both cases the coupling and the impediment to the coupling is caused by spouses who are “present in their absence.”

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« Reply #11567 on: February 18, 2013, 11:05:56 AM »

The orgy continues. Moving on to 2 adaptations of Tanizaki:

Kagi [The Key]/ Odd Obsession (1959) 8/10 Pre-Viagra, a Japanese antiquities expert (Ganjirô Nakamura) decides to restore sexual vigor through jealousy, and so manipulates his young wife(Machiko Kyo) and future son-in-law (Tatsuya Nakadai) into having an affair. As it happens, they don’t need much encouragement.  An odd story, oddly directed by Kon Ichikawa (lots of long pauses a la Pinter). The ending, while prepared for and surprising, left me unsatisfied.

Shozo, A Cat and Two Women (1956) 7/10 A man who has ousted wife #1 and is installing wife #2 (at the instigation of his scheming mother) would rather spend all his time with Lily, his cat. This is a very funny picture, mostly because, contrary to usual Japanese practice, everyone says exactly what they’re thinking (when occasionally characters relapse into polite language, the contrast provides even more hilarity). If the Japanese have a Screwball genre this would qualify. My only complaint is that it all goes on a bit long, especially considering how inevitable the ending is: Of course Shozo will end up with the one he truly loves.


And finally: A film written and directed by Keisuke Kinoshita:

Eien no hito / Immortal Love (1961) 8/10. More like immortal hate: 30 years of a family of wealthy landowners in which everyone hates each other. The “Japanese flamenco” soundtrack and commentary is truly weird but…kinda works. There’s not a single laugh in the picture, but that’s okay—Takamine Hideko and Nakadai Tatsuya turn in monumental performances as the seething central couple. But what’s with the upbeat ending? Oh, right, this is Kinoshita, not Naruse.

Man, I need a break from J-flicks, think I'll try something French....

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« Reply #11568 on: February 18, 2013, 07:42:53 PM »

Les portes de la nuit / Gates of the Night (1946) 8/10. On a winter night in Paris, between Liberation and the end of WW2, the paths of ten people cross and re-cross until fortune seals the fate of each. And in the role of La Fortune is Jean Vilar: he’s at every turning, always appearing to warn, predict, give advice, and, Casandra-like, get ignored. But he’s philosophical about it: “They’re all the same. You warn them, but they won’t listen. If you don’t warn them, when it happens, they blame fate. It’s like they enjoy having problems, tragedies, complications.” Carne and Prevert’s second-best film. With a young Yves Montand (Yves was young once? Who knew?).

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« Reply #11569 on: February 19, 2013, 04:31:17 AM »

Arrowhead - 8/10 - Western as Cold War allegory: Charlton Heston is an Army scout trying to convince stupid liberals cavalrymen that Eastern-educated Jack Palance is organizing Communists Apaches for war against settlers. Naturally they don't listen. Enjoyable Western with lots of exciting action, though elements of it are over-the-top. The end fight between Heston and Palance is a keeper.

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« Reply #11570 on: February 19, 2013, 09:05:18 AM »

Le Samourai 9/10

This is a damn good movie, but I disagree with those who call it Melville's best film; IMO that distinction goes to Le Cercle Rouge.

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« Reply #11571 on: February 19, 2013, 07:02:47 PM »

Journey Into Fear (1943) 8/10
Follow Me Quietly (1949) 6/10

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« Reply #11572 on: February 21, 2013, 09:25:21 PM »

just saw Touch of Evil (1958) for the first time -- on the Universal dvd -- found it to be very overrated. I'd give it a 5.5/10

The Welles character is great, the Marlene Dietrich character is real good in her few scenes, otherwise there is little here that I liked.

SPOILERS

Also, I found it ridiculously implausible that Quinlan's partner (played by Joseph Calleia), would be unaware of the true nature of his partner's police work. He is the guy who is closest to Quinlan, Quinlan stopped a bullet for him, he basically says he owed everything to Quinlan, and yet he is an "honest cop" who seems genuinely stunned to learn about Quinla's having planted evidence, so stunned and disgusted that he is now suddenly prepared to turn his back on Quinlan. There's no way in hell that he could have been so clueless while working with Quinlan for 20 years  Roll Eyes


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« Reply #11573 on: February 21, 2013, 10:15:51 PM »

" THAT GUY...WHO WAS IN THAT THING "
Documentary about sixteen actors who detail their ups and downs as they struggle to forge careers in Hollywood. They've played cops, lawyers, bosses, best friends, psychopaths, politicians and everything in between. Now i got to know who they are
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402200/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

today's character actors really catch hell trying to get a part.  as far as i can tell because the amount of actors out in hollywood.
i really felt for the folks of today and remember the character actors in john Wayne's little troupe
ben johnson
harry carry, jr.
hank warden / the searchers
bruce cabot
george " gabby " hayes

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« Reply #11574 on: February 22, 2013, 05:47:41 AM »

just saw Touch of Evil (1958) for the first time -- on the Universal dvd -- found it to be very overrated. I'd give it a 5.5/10

The Welles character is great, the Marlene Dietrich character is real good in her few scenes, otherwise there is little here that I liked.

SPOILERS

Also, I found it ridiculously implausible that Quinlan's partner (played by Joseph Calleia), would be unaware of the true nature of his partner's police work. He is the guy who is closest to Quinlan, Quinlan stopped a bullet for him, he basically says he owed everything to Quinlan, and yet he is an "honest cop" who seems genuinely stunned to learn about Quinla's having planted evidence, so stunned and disgusted that he is now suddenly prepared to turn his back on Quinlan. There's no way in hell that he could have been so clueless while working with Quinlan for 20 years  Roll Eyes



Many people believe what they want to believe, even if it should be obvious that things are different. In the context of the film it works.
And the story of Touch of Evil isn't important anyway. And contains at the same time some pretty unusual stuff for the 50s.

Is that the only thing in Touch of Evil worth mentioning? A film which clearly was ahead of its time, and which is a cinematic tour de force.


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« Reply #11575 on: February 22, 2013, 05:52:43 AM »

Absence of Malice (1981) 8.5/10

I really loved this movie cuz it addresses the abuses by the two groups of people I despise more than almost any other, and who are in positions that are so easily and frequently abusive of others: prosecutors and newspaper reporters.

The only thing I found that was really implausible was that during the inquest scene, when the newspaper's lawyer objects to the Assistant Attorney General pressing the reporter for her sources; the AAG tells the lawyer to fuck off, and he does. No good lawyer in the world would ever do that. And subpoena or no subpoena,  it is virtually impossible to actually force a reporter to reveal his/her sources. Sure, there have been some cases involving leaks of classified info where reporters refused to reveal their sources and were arrested (eg. the reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle who broke the BALCO steroids case by leaking the grand jury testimony and refusing to reveal the source of the leak), but those are pretty rare exceptions... It really doesn't make sense that the lawyer would allow the AAG to bully him, but hey, this is a movie, not a law school exam. The legal stuff is fine for the movie. With one exception: the federal prosecutors appointed by the President are "U.S. Attorneys," not "DA's."

Bob Balaban was really good in a supporting role

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« Reply #11576 on: February 22, 2013, 05:55:06 AM »



Is that the only thing in Touch of Evil worth mentioning? A film which clearly was ahead of its time, and which is a cinematic tour de force.



this thread is called "Rate the Last Movie You Saw," not "give a review for the last movie you saw." I'll pick a thing or two here or there to mention; I don't necessarily discuss a movie in depth.

I didn't like the movie much, even aside from that one issue of the plausibility of Quinlan's partner being so ignorant

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« Reply #11577 on: February 22, 2013, 06:17:35 AM »

I didn't like the movie much, even aside from that one issue of the plausibility of Quinlan's partner being so ignorant
The opening of ToE is justly lauded; even better is the ending, with Welles drawing upon his experience in radio to create an audio-visual fusion of amazing power. Everything in between those two set pieces I find unbearable.

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« Reply #11578 on: February 22, 2013, 06:35:26 AM »

Yeah I loved the opening shot


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« Reply #11579 on: February 22, 2013, 06:56:02 AM »

I remember thinking it an excellent film but it's been years.

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