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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1763920 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #11925 on: April 27, 2013, 07:33:17 AM »

Colonel Redl - 8/10 - Hungarian biopic of Alfred Redl discussed in the book thread. Very well-made, though more sympathetic than he perhaps deserves. Excellent performances by Klaus Maria Brandauer and Armin Mueller-Stahl as a vicious Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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« Reply #11926 on: April 27, 2013, 03:27:25 PM »

Mud (2013) - 9/10. Jeff Nichols' follow up to Take Shelter (which I haven't seen). This is how Nichols described the film as they were about to shoot it in the fall of 2011: Its a contemporary [story], about two fourteen year old boys who find this man hiding out on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River. They help him out. He says he killed a man in Texas and hes on the run, but hes kind of likable so they start to help him get things. Matthew McConaughey is playing the title character Mud, Reese Witherspoon is playing Juniper, his girlfriend. Tye Sheridan [the young lead] from Tree of Life, and another, a boy named Jacob Lofland that we just found in Arkansas [also star]. Its going to be a tricky film to make because all of the stunts and effects are practical. Shotgun shootouts, dirt bike scenes, snakes and water and all this craziness. The film is so well made it astounded me. There's nothing new in the plot--a standard coming-of-age story, what you could find in any current YA novel. But the film is so well-acted, the dialog so well-written, I kept wanting to salute. It also has something you don't get that much of any more--specificity of location. As the film unspooled, I really believed I was watching life in eastern Arkansas (where people address their elders by either sir or ma'am). Nichols, a native of the region, shot the film from his original story. He seems to be a very talented fellow.
 

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« Reply #11927 on: April 27, 2013, 09:25:17 PM »

Bicycle Thieves - 8/10

The Night Porter - 4/10 - I can't side with those who think Liliana Canali's film is trashy and exploitative. Mostly it's just dull, inexplicably convinced that throwing in Nazis, clunky Pawnbroker-style flashbacks and moody photography makes this boring melodrama deep and meaningful.

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« Reply #11928 on: April 28, 2013, 01:37:25 AM »

42 (2013) 7.5/10

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« Reply #11929 on: May 02, 2013, 05:59:57 AM »

George Nader plays a Canadian crook living in England, who is sprung from prison, where he was sent for conning a widow out of 55,000 pounds.

Is this the George Nader from Robot Monster?

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« Reply #11930 on: May 02, 2013, 06:01:57 AM »

Picnic at Hanging Rock - 8/10 - 3rd viewing. My main impression this time is it's very faithful to the book, aside from watering down the characters. Second observation: you know you've had a bad day when you watch this flick to un-screw your mind. Cheesy

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« Reply #11931 on: May 02, 2013, 07:06:52 AM »

Is this the George Nader from Robot Monster?

not to be confused with Ralph Nader

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« Reply #11932 on: May 02, 2013, 07:19:37 AM »

Ralph-Man desperately wants to live like the Hu-Man!

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« Reply #11933 on: May 02, 2013, 09:56:30 AM »

Picnic at Hanging Rock - 8/10 - 3rd viewing.
I've seen it a few more times than that. Some people get annoyed that the mystery goes unexplained. I think that after the initial viewing, where the viewer naturally focuses on the weird happenings, he/she gets more out of the film by watching how the unexplained phenomena alters the by-standers. The mystery itself is, if fact, less interesting than how the mystery affects others. It's a good illustration of Eliot's line that "mankind cannot bear very much reality."

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« Reply #11934 on: May 02, 2013, 10:03:04 AM »

You're right. I'd add the lingering shots of ants/lizards/etc. make much more sense if you've read the book. Weir did a great job conveying Lindsay's pantheist ponderings.

Have you seen the longer pre-director's cut by any chance? Most people think it's better.

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« Reply #11935 on: May 02, 2013, 12:24:51 PM »

Have you seen the longer pre-director's cut by any chance? Most people think it's better.
That's the way I saw it when it was originally screened in U.S. cinemas in 78-79. But after that on home video I've only ever seen it in the (director-approved) cut form, and I no longer remember what was removed. I guess there's a UK DVD that features the original cut and I've considered buying it. I keep hesitating, though, because the minute I order it I'm certain Criterion will announce their blu-ray edition.

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« Reply #11936 on: May 02, 2013, 05:11:44 PM »

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Picked this up for 1/2 price today and gave it a re-watch 9/10 ballpark currently.

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« Reply #11937 on: May 03, 2013, 05:56:39 AM »

The Grandmaster (2013) - 6/10. Blu-ray. Ip man gets Wong Kar-Wai'ed. The style-to-story ratio in this must run about 100:1 and, although the images are ravishing and a treat to watch at first, the whole thing becomes very wearing as it goes along. This is partly because the fight scenes all have a sameness about them--there are two kinds of fight scenes, interior and exterior. The interior scenes are always dark. The exterior scenes are always dark too, because they are set at night, usually when it's raining or, for variety, snowing. One thing I enjoy about Ashes of Time Redux is the bold colors, but here the colors get drained every time there's a fight (I'm guessing its easier to cut shots together that way). Occasionally there are striking colors, in between fights, but a lot of the film comes off as monochromatic (kung-fu noir!). The worst thing, though, is that much of the storytelling is relegated to intertitles, as if this were a silent film. The story isn't all that interesting anyway (and we've already seen other versions of it), but matters are made worse by our having to constantly stop and read about what has or is about to happen.

Iron Man 3 (2013) - 5/10. IMAX 3-D. The 3-D is worthless; the IMAX, as ever, is great; the CGI, as ever, sucks; the one-liners and sight gags are better than OK; the story is dull. You know you've got a lackluster Iron Man sequel when the Stan Lee cameo is so lame. Also, there are too many things we've seen before, and which were better done the first time. Another Gwyneth-in-peril situation? Really? And you know how the patented Marvel double-conflict is usually used, with one conflict without and one within? In Iron Man 2 Tony Stark had to take on the villains while at the same time worrying about his nuclear heart that was poisoning him. In this one, Tony Stark has to take on the villains while at the same time worrying about . . . anxiety attacks? Did I mention that this film has a new character, a cute kid? The film will probably do well, though: the audience I saw it with laughed all the way through. If you do go to this turkey, don't bother to wait through the end credits for the teaser: it's just another gag. The only thing we learn about the future is that "Tony Stark Will Be Back" (but not Iron Man?). But I'm past caring anyway.

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« Reply #11938 on: May 04, 2013, 09:20:57 AM »

Cast a Giant Shadow - 5/10 - Long, deadeningly-literal minded biopic of Mickey Marcus, an American officer who joins the Israeli Defense Force in the late '40s. Kirk Douglas gives a respectable performance, while Melville Shavelson proves a surprisingly good action director. Too bad about the script, a melange of wooden exposition, mush-mouthed platitudes and cipher characters that bores you to sleep. Lots of irritating cameos: John Wayne acts like he's wasting his time, Yul Brynner is an angry grouch and Frank Sinatra gets maybe thirty seconds of screen time. On the plus side, there's the voluptuous Senta Berger and Angie Dickinson as Kirk's love interests, and good character actors like Topol, James Donald and Michael Hordern in supporting roles.

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« Reply #11939 on: May 04, 2013, 12:06:24 PM »

Pain & Gain (2013) - 7/10. In 1994, three bodybuilders in Miami go on a darkly funny crime spree. The actual not-so-funny events are related here: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/1999-12-23/news/pain-gain/

True Crime stories usually take themselves very seriously--and fair enough, they deal with serious subjects. But the conceit of this film is to, as it were, imagine a World's Stupidest Crimimals TV show and then supply this, the movie tie-in. The concept works, although not at first. The movie starts out as an almost generic guy's comedy with lots of gross-out humor and scenes establishing the fact that the leads (Mark Wahlberg et al) are bumblers. There's a bit too much nodding and winking at the audience here--we're supposed to know we're supposed to laugh at these guys, sure, but director Michael Bay (!) does way too much underlining (now there's a shock). Wahlberg does a lot of unnecessary overacting, as well. (Why does he think he needs to "play" stupid, anyway? All he has to do is be himself to put over the role). But suddenly, somewhere in the middle of the film, things start to click, around the time a retired PI (Ed Harris) shows up as a nemesis. Harris is the one adult in the film, and his presence provides some much needed contrast by which to better enjoy the absurdity of all that's unfolding. Also, the stupidity of the gang's actions begin to compound. You keep waiting for them to get caught, but Dade County PD seem to be asleep at the precinct. The Gang That Couldn't Think Straight goes from one mistake to the next, always making things worse, convinced that if they keep shoveling they can dig themselves out of the hole they're in.  After getting away with torture and robbery, it isn't long before they've upped their game with a couple murders. And still they won't quit. I was laughing pretty hard by the end (mind, all the victims in the film are made unlikeable, so there were few qualms raised to keep me from enjoying the mayham). The film finishes with a where-are-they-now section, and then a very good main credits sequence that intercuts images of the actors with photos of the actual players.

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