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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1841528 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #13125 on: February 07, 2014, 06:46:47 AM »

Maximilian Schell week continues, this time with a rewatch of The Odessa File. Last time I reported positively, and asked, rhetorically, What's not to like? Groggy churlishly answered:
The convoluted, meandering story? The poorly drawn characters? As someone who's read the novel there are a few changes that irked me, especially the addition of certain action scenes. That's not even mentioning the terrible score.
I don't mind the score, but as regards the story, I'm starting to come around to Groggy's view.

The film starts to go wrong with the print shop scene. Before that, everything in the story works. It’s not the print shop scene itself that is the problem (although the unmotivated exterior lighting annoys me; come to think of it, the motivated interior lighting annoys me too: why would the assassin sit waiting for his victim in a shop with all the lights on? Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait in the dark? As it is, Voight is able to get the drop on the guy by looking into the shop and see that the guy waiting for him. But we’ll let that pass.) The big problem is what the scene does to the film’s plot. At the end of the scene Voight’s cover is blown, but he’s got the file. In terms of dramatic interest, this guts the movie. With the file, he’s got the upper hand. In fact, the film is pretty much over at that point. But even worse:  the whole join-ODESSA-and-see-the-world idea, the backbone of the movie, is over. This is a huge mistake. We need to see Voight getting even deeper into ODESSA, rubbing shoulders with all the main actors in it, maybe even going to Egypt as (somehow) part of the team overseeing the installation of the missile guidance system.

Let’s back up and see what could be done with the story. I’d start making changes at the moment the guy from Vienna calls the man in Bayreuth who has accepted Voight into ODESSA to ask about the phone call from Munich station. In the film as we have it now, it is implied that Bayreuth man admits to Vienna guy that he’s made an error, and so Vienna guy sends the assassin to the print shop to intercept Voight. It would be more interesting, though, if Bayreuth man dummies up to Vienna. He would see that he’d fucked up, of course, but he wouldn’t necessarily want to share that info with the rest of his organization. He’d be in a situation very similar to the one Claude Rains and his mom faced in Notorious when they realized they’d let a spy into their household. They decided, you’ll remember, to take care of the problem themselves, lest they themselves pay a price for their incompetence.  Bayreuth man would make a similar calculation. He, with his assistant, would try to intercept Voight—maybe before he even gets to the print shop. Not being professional assassins, though, they wouldn’t be up to the task—the younger, more resourceful man would win out.

Voight would then go to the print shop and get his new documents. Maybe he’d meet someone there that would further help him on his way (“New man, and a non-com? Hey, we have an opening for an enforcer on our trip to Egypt. Want to come?”). At any rate, he needs to keep circulating. Also, Mossad needs to come back in at some point. A lot is made at the beginning about the missiles—Peter Jeffries is tasked with making sure the rockets never fly. Next we see him and his team training Voight, but Voight’s appearance was, for them, happenstance. Obviously, he’s a great opportunity to exploit, but he can’t be their only plan. They must have something else in the works (what if Voight fails?). There has to be redundancy in their planning. So, later, when Voight makes it to the final round, there can be a reveal of the Israeli agent who has been working beside him the whole time (maybe the guy he met in the print shop; maybe the seemingly suspicious enforcer who’s been giving Voight a hard time; maybe Maximilian Schell’s sexy girlfriend (Jackie Bisset?)?). Anyway, all the principals end up at the launch pad for the final confrontation. The Mossad agent gets taken out; now it’s up to Voight! He grapples with Schell: “This is for the 6 million AND my father!” Schell falls in front of the departing rocket: “But Luke, I AM your father!” Ka-BOOM. Oh, the humanity.

Anyway, the plot could have used some tuning up. Maybe they’ll do a remake.

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« Reply #13126 on: February 08, 2014, 03:22:46 AM »

THE WORLD'S END - 8/10

Second viewing. First BD viewing. First film I've watched in 4 weeks.
First 2 thirds: 9/10
Next 30%: 5/10 (from the forest to the World's End)
Next 2%: 9/10
Last scene: 10/10

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« Reply #13127 on: February 08, 2014, 07:25:24 PM »

Hard Eight (1996) - 9/10. Philip Baker Hall is da man. Reno, NV is da place (looking great on Super 35mm). And amazonPrime members can stream the film for free here: http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Eight-Philip-Baker-Hall/dp/B004EBHZXQ/ref=sr_1_2_vod_hd?ie=UTF8&qid=1391911348&sr=8-2&keywords=hard+8

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« Reply #13128 on: February 09, 2014, 07:52:47 AM »

Sunshine (1999) - 8/10 - The Szabo film not that sci-fi flick.

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« Reply #13129 on: February 09, 2014, 09:41:10 AM »

While listening to the soundtrack of The World's End, I just felt stupid for not understanding the climax of the movie. It's a 8.5/10.

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« Reply #13130 on: February 09, 2014, 12:41:40 PM »

Most funny films I watched in the last years are Michel Hazanavicius' OSS 117 films with Jean Dujardin as the blundering king of any possible faux-pas, the agent who loved himself.

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« Reply #13131 on: February 09, 2014, 01:12:49 PM »

They're good! I like the 2nd one better (Rio Ne Répond Plus), but I cannot stand watching it: the editing kills the jokes. Dujardin is at his best (which means he's really really good) and many jokes are very funny. However, the editor always chose to spend 2 secondes of close up on the face of each person in the room to see their reaction to every single joke. It kills it completely. Seriously, they only needed like a day of editing and they would have had a great comedy.

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« Reply #13132 on: February 09, 2014, 03:57:19 PM »

Stalag 17 (1953) 10/10 second viewing..... this one courtesy of TCM's 31 Days of Oscar  Afro

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« Reply #13133 on: February 11, 2014, 05:14:21 AM »

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 8.5/10
The fastest three hours of film I've ever seen. Some instant classic scenes and overall interesting dive into this crazy world of fraud and excess. But something is missing. Not a masterpiece in my book, but I'm sure I'll watch it again at some point.

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« Reply #13134 on: February 11, 2014, 05:25:47 AM »

Cigarettes & Coffee (1993) - 8/10
I guess I missed some things because of the crappy sound on the VHS rip and the lack of subtitles. But a very good short film. PTA's natural sense for rhythm and the flow of the story are already apparent, as is his gift for writing dialogue and characters too.

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« Reply #13135 on: February 11, 2014, 06:03:49 AM »

Maximilian Schell weekmonth continues with this corkersnoozer from J. Lee Thompson:

St. Ives (1976) 4/10. This film's got everything . . . everything but a plot, that is. Bronson does his Bronson thing, of course, but there doesn't really seem the need. Schell is badly wasted. Even the presence of Jackie Bisset isn't enough to save this turkey. And talk about cheap looking. Except for the fact that its in widescreen and there's some cussing, it looks like a 70s TV show shot at Universal. Where did the production cash on this one go, up someone's nose?

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« Reply #13136 on: February 13, 2014, 11:31:05 PM »

Just saw Marty's THE AGE OF INNOCENCE. This gets a max of 7.5/10, which, btw, is the same rating I gave the 1934 movie of the same name, based on the same book. (Just one reason is that I didn't like the narration here, which tells you what should be implied. I probably woulda rated it higher if I hadn't seen the first one and known all that was gonna happen.) The best I can say about this movie is that it is pretty to look at.

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« Reply #13137 on: February 13, 2014, 11:57:22 PM »

Has anyone else seen the 1934 movie THE AGE OF INNOCENCE?

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« Reply #13138 on: February 14, 2014, 03:56:29 AM »

Has anyone else seen the 1934 movie THE AGE OF INNOCENCE?

Not that I remember.

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« Reply #13139 on: February 14, 2014, 05:11:59 AM »

Nope.

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