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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1843045 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #12495 on: September 30, 2013, 11:19:34 AM »

Actually Marcel Carné ...
Right. One of those Frenchies . . .

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« Reply #12496 on: September 30, 2013, 11:22:31 AM »

Nebraska (2013) - 8/10
"An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize." A warranted Alexander Payne film - maybe even too much so. But anyway it's always refreshing to see film set outside of the big cities in the US. And the understated B&W cinematography is beautiful. 
You are lucky to have seen this already. I'm looking forward to seeing how Bruce Dern is holding up after all these years. I didn't realize this was in B&W, that makes it even more interesting . . .

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« Reply #12497 on: September 30, 2013, 08:41:30 PM »

not sure where to post this, so what the hell:

new documentary on the (sort of) guy that inspired Dog Day Afternoon http://news.yahoo.com/documentary-tells-the-real-story-of-the-man-who-inspired--dog-day-afternoon--194954301.html

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« Reply #12498 on: September 30, 2013, 10:42:05 PM »

Nice find Drink. Afro

Sanders of the River - 6/10 - The movie's racist content is hard to ignore, but the bigger problem is a choppy, almost silent movie structure. The narrative stops cold for native ceremonies and Paul Robeson singing which grows tiresome after awhile. Some nice directorial tricks (the wildlife montage midway through is really impressive) and Robeson overcomes his role's limitations, but not a patch on The Four Feathers or Gunga Din.

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« Reply #12499 on: September 30, 2013, 11:16:53 PM »

Here is the ABC News report the day after the attempted robbery that was later featured in Dog Day Afternoon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75LQKUF9wC0


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« Reply #12500 on: October 01, 2013, 02:58:02 AM »

Grand Hotel (1932) 7/10

Maybe a few minutes could have been cut, but overall it's pretty good.

Once upon a time, Joan Crawford wasn't ugly.

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« Reply #12501 on: October 01, 2013, 07:07:52 AM »

The Pianist (2002) Studio Canal Blu-ray. The film gets a 10. The Blu-ray transfer does too.

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« Reply #12502 on: October 02, 2013, 12:47:24 AM »

The Pianist is not a 10. It's academic, it brings very little to the table after 60 years of writing and filming on the topic, it's not very well shot.
I'd still give it a 8 because it's not really falwed or anything and the piano scene and the ending get me every time. So you think this is a real masterpiece?

SAVAGES 7/10
Mr Stanton was right, this is an interesting movie. The script was the best part. Stone trying to be cool and modern is also nice but most of the effects feel more like a music video from the 90's than anything else, but nice try. At least it's not shot like The Pianist Smiley
I saw it on TV in French, the dubbing was some of the worst I have ever seen so MAY BE the main actors do not play as bad as I thought.
Salma Hayek cannot play a criminal mastermind. Every scene she's in, you wonder why her people don't just rape and murder her: she has no authority.

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« Reply #12503 on: October 02, 2013, 05:15:05 AM »

I give The Pianist "only" a 6/10. No Polanski after Chinatown earns more. Except Tess maybe, which is probably a 7.

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« Reply #12504 on: October 02, 2013, 07:45:42 AM »

Savages is interesting only in the way that stuff like Prophecy and Convoy are interesting. Eg. seeing a once-great director producing overblown garbage.

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« Reply #12505 on: October 02, 2013, 09:27:24 AM »

The Pianist is not a 10. It's academic, it brings very little to the table after 60 years of writing and filming on the topic, it's not very well shot.
I'd still give it a 8 because it's not really falwed or anything and the piano scene and the ending get me every time. So you think this is a real masterpiece?
Polanski made the very defensible choice of filming The Pianist chastely. He did not want embellishments--he wanted a spare style that would let this true story come through without editorializing. There was no reason for elaborate camera movements. All he wanted was good performances, good costumes, properly prepared sets and locations that could be lit and shot simply. That's what he got. His sound design is particularly noteworthy. There is very little music beyond the diegetic performances provided by his characters. This works wonderfully: the film opens with Szpilman being interrupted in performance. For most of the film he is unable to play as he wishes. When he does finally get the chance--when the German officer asks it of him, and later at the end when we see him with a full orchestra, those pay-offs are incredible. We wouldn't really get the effect if we had been hearing a typical wall-to-wall score throughout the film. This restrained approach is characteristic of the film as a whole. It is entirely appropriate to the subject matter and achieves the director's intentions. Given his stated goals, I don't know how Polanski could have done better.

I only give 10s to three of the Polanskis: Chinatown, Tess, and this. His other work, even when good, seems slight by comparison.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010) Blu-ray - 7/10. Amusing action-adventure, heavy on the CGI. The recreated Paris of 1911 looks wonderful, the creatures in motion not so much. But given the film's overall light comic tone, that's not really a problem. I guess the best gag was that when the ancient mummies were finally resurrected, they all turned out to talk like cultivated Frenchmen. Oops, SPOILER!

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« Reply #12506 on: October 02, 2013, 09:56:48 AM »

Savages is interesting only in the way that stuff like Prophecy and Convoy are interesting. Eg. seeing a once-great director producing overblown garbage.

I won't argue, because I totally understand why most people think that way when watching Savages. I thought the same while watching Alexander. Still, I learned many (filmmaking related) things with Savages.

This restrained approach is characteristic of the film as a whole.


I'm never a fan of the restrained approach, although it's not debatable: you say it works perfectly with the topic, i yell "LAAAAZYYYY", and the truth is somewhere in the middle. But I know I don't like it.
The use of music, however, is wonderful. It would have been a 6/10 without it.
Still, I'm pretty sure in 30 years it won't be shown anywhere else than in schools, because it's overly politicaly correct and just say the same basic stuff that have been said as soon as the war ended. The book told them better IMO, especially in the aftermath of the insurection. There were some great survival scenes there that were not filmed. The Pianist should have been more like what they did during the insurrection: raw, real, with little details such as the way some guys fall during the fights. Most of the scenes lack this quality and leans a bit toward the docudrama.

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« Reply #12507 on: October 02, 2013, 10:42:18 AM »

I'm never a fan of the restrained approach, although it's not debatable: you say it works perfectly with the topic, i yell "LAAAAZYYYY", and the truth is somewhere in the middle. But I know I don't like it.
The use of music, however, is wonderful. It would have been a 6/10 without it.
Still, I'm pretty sure in 30 years it won't be shown anywhere else than in schools, because it's overly politicaly correct and just say the same basic stuff that have been said as soon as the war ended. The book told them better IMO, especially in the aftermath of the insurection. There were some great survival scenes there that were not filmed. The Pianist should have been more like what they did during the insurrection: raw, real, with little details such as the way some guys fall during the fights. Most of the scenes lack this quality and leans a bit toward the docudrama.
Politics is the background, not the subject. It's Szpilman's story. He wasn't a fighter, didn't have a cause, survived through a series of accidents. His story is not inspiring (compared to others). He did more observing than doing (hence, as you put, the sense of leaning toward docudrama). But Szpilman's story is unique. As such, it may mean something to some, nothing to others. It obviously meant something to Polanski (he identifies with Szpilman to a certain extent). I don't think it will be shown in schools: Szpilman is not an everyman who can be related to by all.  As such, I'm glad Polanski doesn't spend the film pushing Szpilman on us. He allows us to take him in and make up our minds about him. Obviously, not everyone is going to find him memorable. But it would have been a mistake to try to make him something he wasn't. It's instructive to compare this film with Schindler's List, a p-o-s which does nothing but lie in every frame.

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« Reply #12508 on: October 02, 2013, 11:11:30 AM »

I read and liked the book (that is not a 10/10 either)  before the movie was made. It brought what you're saying to the table. The movie also did, but less.

It's instructive to compare this film with Schindler's List, a p-o-s which does nothing but lie in every frame.

... and still easily deserves 12/10.
"p-o-s" or not, it did more in its opening weekend to push humanity forward (by touching millions of people with an hollywoodian but sincere story of redemption of a selfish human being like you and me that is still inspiring wanabe Mother Theresa all around the world. Wether you hate or love the movie it IS saving lives right now) and cinema (by being one of the highest technical landmark we ever saw on a big screen) than the Pianist will in 100 years.

Lies are not always bad in moviemaking; as a general rule, we could even say that most movies should lie (and we could also note that a work of art that is not lying could be a masterpiece, may be, but it does not exist. Language is a lie by itself). Now, it's good that The Pianist goes the other way but when rating a movie, the ambition AND the execution have to be taken into account. There is a tight rope between cinema vérité and docudrama... and boring filmmaking isn't the easiest way to fall on the right side. "Shooting simply" is not a flaw, shooting boringly is. No Country For Old Men is shot simply AND wonderfully. The Pianist (appart from every single scene involving a piano and many fight scenes) is shot "easy'.

Last but not least, the "non lying" Pianist shows you that "music can make even Nazis good people" because the officer does not kill him. Which is a lie: this officer helped and saved many jews during the whole war. Music had nothing to do with it, he was a real life hero and not the regular nazi touched by music the movie shows. If you're going to tell a single lie in a 2.5 hours movie, it's always better not to tarnish the reputation of a hero who died in the soviets camps.

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« Reply #12509 on: October 02, 2013, 11:21:06 AM »

I haven't read Szpilman's book, but from what you (and others) have said, Polanski did justice to his subject. I HAVE read the book Schindler's List is based on, and so I know Spielberg's film is phoney from first to last. I agree that lying in the service of art can sometimes be permissible, but only when the lying makes the art better, AND/OR the lying doesn't traduce the historical record. The utter abomination that is Schindler's List fails on both counts.

N.B. One of the few Spielberg films I can stand is Empire of the Sun, which seems to do justice to J. G. Ballard's experiences.

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