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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1834412 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #11865 on: April 18, 2013, 10:37:32 AM »

To The Wonder (2013) 7/10. No characters, little plot, lots of spectacular photography, tons and tons of voice-over, some great music. Is this a movie? At the very least it’s a celebration of Olga Kurylenko, who is endlessly fascinating. Bring on the blu-ray!

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« Reply #11866 on: April 18, 2013, 09:06:33 PM »

My appreciation for Malick has considerably waned in the last couple years. I don't even think I'll see it in the theaters, and I'm surprised you liked it DJ. I thought Tree of Life was comically pretentious, yet oddly captivating, should I see this?


Jurassic Park (2D screening)

This has its flaws - the Wayne Knight subplot/the reason for the power going out is a bit silly, the kids save the day climax doesn't need explaining and I forgot how much Goldblum is wasted in the last half - but it's a great cinematic experience. The sound is amazing, as are the visuals and the score is one of Williams' best. The special effects have held up very nice mostly in part to Spielberg not going all in on CGI. Had this been made five years later, I'm sure everything would have been done on the computer. We're lucky that CGI was in its infancy in '92.

JP is a great blend of Harryhausen, Hitchcock, Westworld (obvious connection), action adventure and (animal) slasher. This is incredibly paced, it's one of the few movies I wouldn't mind being a little longer - which is quite the statement considering it's a 127 minute movie starring a T-Rex and a pack of Raptors.

I wish Samuel L Jackson and Bob Peck's characters were given great screen deaths, oh well. I think that's just the horror fan in me talking.

If I had to give it a number, 9/10 - so much better than I remembered. Even Carl Everett can't deny this one.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 09:08:58 PM by T.H. » Logged


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« Reply #11867 on: April 19, 2013, 05:01:15 AM »

The Enforcer (1951) very entertaining. 8/10

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« Reply #11868 on: April 19, 2013, 05:58:14 AM »

The worst that can be said about Jurassic Park is that it's a slavish reworking of Jaws. It's still a great popcorn flick.

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« Reply #11869 on: April 19, 2013, 03:34:44 PM »

The worst that can be said about Jurassic Park is that it's a slavish reworking of Jaws. It's still a great popcorn flick.
I always thought it was a slavish re-working of Westworld, so maybe Jaws ripped off Westworld as well.

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« Reply #11870 on: April 19, 2013, 03:35:54 PM »

Jaws is more Them! meets Moby Dick plus Enemy of the People. Westworld informs JP'S theme park setting but the story structure and characters are pretty clearly Jaws derivative.

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« Reply #11871 on: April 19, 2013, 03:36:51 PM »

My appreciation for Malick has considerably waned in the last couple years. I don't even think I'll see it in the theaters, and I'm surprised you liked it DJ. I thought Tree of Life was comically pretentious, yet oddly captivating, should I see this?
Nah, just buy the soundtrack album, put it on your personal music player, and find a really good-looking French woman to stalk.

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« Reply #11872 on: April 19, 2013, 03:38:12 PM »

Jaws is more Them! meets Moby Dick plus Enemy of the People. Westworld informs JP'S theme park setting but the story structure and characters are pretty clearly Jaws derivative.
They techs who die in the control room are straight from Westworld.

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« Reply #11873 on: April 19, 2013, 03:40:41 PM »

But they don't die in the control room.

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« Reply #11874 on: April 19, 2013, 03:50:16 PM »

Hannah Arendt (2013) A German American Jewish intellectual (Barbara Sukowa) goes to Israel to cover the Eichmann trial, then returns to NYC to write a series of articles for The New Yorker that prove controversial. A bio pic with the usual bio pic problems, this one has the added difficulty of being about a subject that doesn’t readily lend itself to dramatic treatment. With stories about poets, painters, or musicians, there are end products that can be displayed—namely poems, paintings, performances. But how do you show an intellectual coming up with her ideas? Especially potentially complicated and profound ideas? And how do you convey those ideas dramatically?

Once the controversy erupts (the issue is over Arendt’s perceived suggestion that Jewish leadership helped facilitate the holocaust) there is plenty of drama: death threats, professional challenges, snubbing by friends and colleagues. Prior to that the film attempts to derive interest from Arendt’s personal life—Margarethe von Trotta, the director, does the best she can here, but it’s rather dull going. One successful element, though, has to do with Arendt’s relationship with Martin Heidegger, the infamous philosopher who went over to the Nazis. Before the war, Arendt was both his student and lover, and in flashbacks we see scenes of a younger Arendt (Friederike Becht) with her professor. In a final flashback (which could be an imagined event) we see an older Arendt (Sukowa again), post-war, finding Heidegger and asking him to reconcile his conduct with his beliefs. The matter is left hanging as the flashback ends.

A lot of things are left hanging in the film, but that is perhaps to its credit. Usually in bio pics the drama drives the themes, but here the drama remains secondary to Arendt’s ideas. And they are not the kinds of ideas that can be proven or disproven in a feature film. (For example, Arendt coined the expression “the banality of evil”, applied it to Eichmann, then built an elaborate explanation around the concept to account for Nazism. But Arendt seems to have taken Eichmann at face value. How do we know that his public presentation of himself wasn’t just a ploy? Or even a coping mechanism? The matter could be debated ad infinitum). So there can be no big scene where the heroine is martyred—she wasn’t, not even metaphorically—or where her ideas are vindicated—they weren't, her thoughts are still debated. Arendt can be neither a Galileo or a Sir Thomas More.

The audience, then, is left to decide the issues (or not) entirely on its own, without the verdict of history. But how can we even know whether the ideas in the film adequately represent those of the historical Hannah Arendt?  Unless we’re familiar with those original New Yorker articles—and I’m not—we can’t. So my evaluation of the film must be suspended pending further research. Still, the film IS thought-provoking, and in a work about ideas that is no bad thing. I came away from the film stimulated and wanting to learn more about the subject.

The Man In The Glass Booth (1975) 8/10.  Jewish entrepreneur Arthur Goldman (Maximillian Schell) rules his financial empire from a 5th Avenue penthouse and talks a blue streak. His rants, which include everything from baseball and the importance of a Vicuna coat to the murder of his family in a Nazi camp, are tinged with manic humor and paranoia. The paranoia seems justified when Israeli agents suddenly burst in and reveal that Goldman is not really Goldman, in fact Col. Dorf, a wanted Nazi. Spirited back to Israel, he is given an Eichmann-like trial, glass booth and all. Unlike Eichmann, though, Goldman/Dorf wants to wear his old uniform and heckle witnesses who come into court, as if to egg the prosecution on. But as the trial proceeds, Goldman’s/Dorf’s identity is placed in still further doubt. Who IS this wack-job? Schell gives the performance of a lifetime in this adaptation of Robert Shaw’s (!) play about survivor’s  guilt.

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« Reply #11875 on: April 19, 2013, 03:57:09 PM »

That Arendt film sounds interesting, but I can't imagine it's getting released anywhere nearby.

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« Reply #11876 on: April 19, 2013, 04:00:43 PM »

I think that's why home video was invented.

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« Reply #11877 on: April 19, 2013, 04:21:45 PM »

Nah, just buy the soundtrack album, put it on your personal music player, and find a really good-looking French woman to stalk.

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« Reply #11878 on: April 19, 2013, 05:00:53 PM »

A Delicate Balance - 4/10 - Am I the only one who can't stand Edward Albee? There's no drama in his plays as every character starts out nasty and stays that way. Is it the dialogue? Well, for me Albee sits snugly on the overripe self-indulgence shelf next to James Goldman. Balance isn't as shrill as Virginia Woolf, but misses that movie's saving graces: Burton and Taylor's chemistry and especially Mike Nichols' direction. Tony Richardson makes no effort to do anything but film the actors, a deadly approach for any movie - especially this one. Paul Scofield is fine and Lee Remick tolerable, but Katharine Hepburn gives a typically grating late-career performance and Kate Reid is so hammy the Quran forbids watching her.

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« Reply #11879 on: April 19, 2013, 05:50:49 PM »

A Delicate Balance - 4/10 - Am I the only one who can't stand Edward Albee? There's no drama in his plays as every character starts out nasty and stays that way. Is it the dialogue? Well, for me Albee sits snugly on the overripe self-indulgence shelf next to James Goldman. Balance isn't as shrill as Virginia Woolf, but misses that movie's saving graces: Burton and Taylor's chemistry and especially Mike Nichols' direction. Tony Richardson makes no effort to do anything but film the actors, a deadly approach for any movie - especially this one. Paul Scofield is fine and Lee Remick tolerable, but Katharine Hepburn gives a typically grating late-career performance and Kate Reid is so hammy the Quran forbids watching her.
I know I've seen this, but I don't remember anything about it.

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