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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1832279 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #13320 on: April 02, 2014, 07:14:19 AM »

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 10/10. Martin Fucking Scorsese: can you believe this fucking guy?. His 3 hour film felt like only 90 fucking minutes. Abso-fucking-lutely hilarious. I laughed my fucking ass off all the way through. It's a fucking masterpiece!
First Blu-ray viewing. Still hilarious. I spotted Jordan Belfort's cameo this time. Why doesn't Margot Robbie want to be my girlfriend?

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« Reply #13321 on: April 02, 2014, 01:56:08 PM »

Big Night (1996) 8/10

This film was introduced on TCM by famous chef Anthony Bourdain, as part of a "Salute to Food in the Movies" series on TCM. Bourdain says in his opinion thuis is the best movie about the difficulties of the  restaurant business.
At first I thought Primo was being a little unrealistically ridiculous, like in the risotto scene, but Bourdain says he first watched the film in a theater with restaurant professionals, and they all winced during the risotto scene; apparently it seems that it is indeed a constant struggle for true culinary artists, whether to "sell out" to what people want or stick to your purist beliefs.

The food scenes were great, the brothers-fighting scenes not to much (maybe cuz I didn't realize these sorts of conflicts are very real in the restaurant world) but either way, I found the beach scene was particularly excruciating to sit through - that was one really bad scene.

(Maybe I can't relate to the purism-vs.-money debate here cuz I don't care about cuisine; but it certainly seems understandable when I think about art forms (yes, people consider cuisine an art) that I do care about, like music, movies, and paintings.)

But overall, this is a wonderful movie.


DON'T READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN THE MOVIE:
And the omelette is so unmotherfuckinglybelievably awesome, everyone should see it without knowing it's coming. I am just in love with it. So simple, yet so awesome. I don't know if this was intended or not, but I couldn't take my eyes off the eggs. I barely noticed what else was going on in that scene; at least until the eggs were taken outta the pot. Maybe it's cuz of how the bright yellow contrasts with the rest of the image. But that scene, like a 5-minute unbroken shot, not a word spoken (except for the "Are you hungry? I'll do it" at the very beginning, which was really unnecessary dialogue), just wonderful. It's one of my favorite movie scenes  Smiley
Just one question: Secondo only cracks three eggs for that omelette. Even though it's being eaten with bread, three egss for three people? Seems pretty small for a people that pride themselves on eating heartily  Huh

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« Reply #13322 on: April 02, 2014, 03:03:24 PM »

Big Night (1996) 8/10
The food scenes were great, the brothers-fighting scenes not to much (maybe cuz I didn't realize these sorts of conflicts are very real in the restaurant world) but either way, I found the beach scene was particularly excruciating to sit through - that was one really bad scene.
That definitely is the worst scene in the film, for many reasons. One of those reasons is this (I haven't seen the film since '96 so my quoting from memory may not be entirely accurate): the love interest says to one of the brothers (when he starts prevaricating), "Don't do that!" (or some such). This is supposed to be set in the 50s, but the woman is mouthing 90s dialog and expressing 90s attitude. Bravo Sierra.

Absolutely nothing in this film convinces that it is actually occurring at the time it is set. I wanted to call B.S. on everything. Name dropping Louis Prima was supposed to make things seem authentic? (and about the whole Louis Prima thing--you could see how that was gonna play out from a mile away. Absolutely TV-like screenwriting).

Maybe the food-making was authentic--but how would Bourdain know? Is he some kind of authority on 50s cuisine? Yeah, some things never change, but some things do, many things, in fact. I don't doubt that Bourdain can vouch for the restaurant business in the 90s--and that's probably what's in the movie.

Anyway, if authentic food-making was the acme of cinematic excellence then Babette's Feast would be the greatest film ever made. It isn't. And neither is Big Night, which, as food-themed films go, is a real turkey (because it takes more to make a successful film about food-making then just showing the preparation of food).

I regretted watching this film in '96 (maybe it was '97) and I've never wanted to re-watch it even once in the 18 years since.

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« Reply #13323 on: April 02, 2014, 03:37:54 PM »

That definitely is the worst scene in the film, for many reasons. One of those reasons is this (I haven't seen the film since '96 so my quoting from memory may not be entirely accurate): the love interest says to one of the brothers (when he starts prevaricating), "Don't do that!" (or some such). This is supposed to be set in the 50s, but the woman is mouthing 90s dialog and expressing 90s attitude. Bravo Sierra.

Absolutely nothing in this film convinces that it is actually occurring at the time it is set. I wanted to call B.S. on everything. Name dropping Louis Prima was supposed to make things seem authentic? (and about the whole Louis Prima thing--you could see how that was gonna play out from a mile away. Absolutely TV-like screenwriting).

Maybe the food-making was authentic--but how would Bourdain know? Is he some kind of authority on 50s cuisine? Yeah, some things never change, but some things do, many things, in fact. I don't doubt that Bourdain can vouch for the restaurant business in the 90s--and that's probably what's in the movie.

Anyway, if authentic food-making was the acme of cinematic excellence then Babette's Feast would be the greatest film ever made. It isn't. And neither is Big Night, which, as food-themed films go, is a real turkey (because it takes more to make a successful film about food-making then just showing the preparation of food).

I regretted watching this film in '96 (maybe it was '97) and I've never wanted to re-watch it even once in the 18 years since.

--- I am sorry if I was unclear, but Bourdain didn't say this was accurate '50's Italian cuisine - what he said it was that in his opinion it was the best movie depicting the difficulties of running a restaurant - an industry in which, according to Bourdain, about 9 of 10 businesses fail in the first year - including many run by spectacular chefs who don't have the ability or desire to be successful businessmen. The difficulties of the restaurant business, the conflict between ideals of culinary excellence and economic realities - that is what Bourdain was talking about.


--- I certainly never said or implied that "authentic food-making was the acme of cinematic excellence." Yes, I said I liked the food scenes, but that's just cuz they were done well, I greatly enjoyed watching them; it's not 'because the food-making was authentic.' Heck, I don't even care much about cuisine. If authentic food-making alone interested me, I am sure I can just watch some food channel on cable to see that. I just liked the food scenes here. Not just the food preparation, but the dinner scene as well, I loved that.

--- RE: the authenticity of the time period: I don't really have much opinion on that one way or the other.
I understand why they set it in the 50's rather than the 90's: probably because the first half of the century saw a heavy immigration of Italians to America; whereas by the 90's, there weren't nearly as many Italian immigrants of the age of Primo/Secondo; so having immigrant Italians of that age fit more in the '50's. Maybe. I don't know.

BTW: RE: 50's reference, it wasn't just Louis Prima: Don't forget Bogie  Wink

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« Reply #13324 on: April 02, 2014, 08:27:53 PM »

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse - 9/10

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« Reply #13325 on: April 03, 2014, 09:09:46 AM »

--- I am sorry if I was unclear, but Bourdain didn't say this was accurate '50's Italian cuisine - what he said it was that in his opinion it was the best movie depicting the difficulties of running a restaurant - an industry in which, according to Bourdain, about 9 of 10 businesses fail in the first year - including many run by spectacular chefs who don't have the ability or desire to be successful businessmen. The difficulties of the restaurant business, the conflict between ideals of culinary excellence and economic realities - that is what Bourdain was talking about.
But the film isn't about the day-in-and-day-out grind of running a restaurant--it's about the Big Night. Is that what restaurateurs routinely do, gamble everything on a single meal? The cuss you say! What the film is depicting is NOT what routinely happens, but is, in fact, a tired literary conceit (the big game, the big gundown, the big night, etc.)

The film has an idiotic TV plot; the characters are uninteresting; the time period is not adequately represented; the food-making and food eating scenes are passable. This is not an 8/10 film.

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« Reply #13326 on: April 03, 2014, 09:24:57 AM »

La Grande Belleza / The Great Beauty (2013) 8/10. Many will no doubt call the film--especially the party scenes--Fellini-esque, but the movie this most reminded me of was Wings of Desire. In that film, angels spend much of the time observing the city of Berlin and those who inhabit it. In the present film, the watcher is no angel, rather a sybarite brilliantly played by Toni Servillo. Rome is his beat, its people his obsession. Ostensibly a journalist, Jep, as he's called, is famous for a short novel he wrote 40 years ago; everyone wonders why he never wrote another, but it's obvious: watching the city and its people is a much more interesting occupation. Apparently, he has money (his balcony overlooks the Coliseum) so he is free to do what he likes, which is to mingle. Somedays he meets people for a meal; other days he hosts parties. He knows everybody. Unlike the watchers in Wender's film, who were on the outside looking in, Jep is an insider. There is no need to break through into reality; Jep is already there. This would seem to obviate conflict and eviscerate the narrative (what IS the story about, anyway?), but I never noticed--I was too taken with the phantasmagoria that is Rome. Jep is our guide through the Eternal City, which is presented in amazing tracking shots and with a judicious use of CGI (for example, that balcony overlooking the Coliseum).

The soundtrack is a treasury of pieces by David Lang, Vladimir Martynov, Part, Preisner, Tavener, Bizet, Gorecki, plus a slew of pop songs.
First Criterion Blu-ray viewing. It looks exactly as it did in the cinema. The interviews with Sorrentino and Toni Servillo are entertaining. There is also a deleted scene, and a montage of things that were cut from the film, and both are interesting.

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« Reply #13327 on: April 03, 2014, 05:10:20 PM »

A Foreign Field - 8/10 - Lovely TV movie about a troupe of aged WWII vets (and some family members) revisiting Normandy. Alternately warm and moving, though the cast should be incentive enough to see it: Alec Guinness, Lauren Bacall, Leo McKern, John Randolph, Jeanne Moreau, Edward Hermann, Geraldine Chaplin. On Netflix instant watch.

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« Reply #13328 on: April 04, 2014, 05:39:58 AM »

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) Director: Carl Franklin, Writers: Walter Mosley (book), Carl Franklin (screenplay), Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals. Great film, a good Neo Noir/PI genesis flick (Easy Rawlins), finally got around to seeing it last night. The recreation of 48 LA was very believable, and the story was interesting. All actors involved were excellent I gave it an 8/10. If it had just turned up the sleaze factor a notch, added a little gratuitous nudity, delved more into the jazz scene, and toned down the shiny "new penny" look of all the automobiles it would have been a 10/10. 

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« Reply #13329 on: April 04, 2014, 06:43:24 AM »

Liebelei (1933) - 7/10. Famous early Ophuls, from an Arthur Schnitzler play, in German. In many ways, it's a dry run for Madame de . . .: it has military men riding horses, elegant balls at which characters waltz, and a duel. It played last night at MoMA, in a beat-up print with many missing frames that was nonetheless worth seeing. Interestingly, before the film they showed a fragment of the 1927 silent version (not by Ophuls), a fragment which included the duel and aftermath. The '27 version stages the duel very stylishly, and I was keen to see what Ophuls would make of the scene. In fact, he doesn't show it; he films everything leading up to the duel, but not the duel itself. We, and some characters, only hear it, an odd choice that I found a bit frustrating. Anyway, you can really tell who directed the film (although Ophuls did not receive credit at the time): for a 1933 film, the camera really moves.

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« Reply #13330 on: April 04, 2014, 12:59:29 PM »

Only 7/10 for Liebelei?

I give it a 9/10. One of Ophüls' best, one of his masterpieces.

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« Reply #13331 on: April 04, 2014, 01:43:14 PM »

Performance (1970) - 7/10. First Blu-ray viewing. Heck, first viewing, period. For years I've avoided this film, imagining it was nothing more than a Mick Jagger vanity piece. It's actually a British gangster film (nobody told me!), so when I learned that I got hold of the Blu-ray pronto. Wow. The big revelation here is not merely that Jagger can act, but that James Fox can pull off a credible cockney. I only ever thought he could play toffs! This fact is more of a mind-blower than all the druggy effects presented in the movie's second half. The editing in this film is interesting--I guess they re-did it about three times. The end result is something very unlike other pictures of the period. By the way, the better title for this film would be "Transference."

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« Reply #13332 on: April 04, 2014, 03:26:31 PM »

Only 7/10 for Liebelei?

I give it a 9/10. One of Ophüls' best, one of his masterpieces.

a masterpiece only gets a 9/10?

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« Reply #13333 on: April 04, 2014, 03:59:35 PM »

From the fragment I saw, it looks like '27 is the better film.

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« Reply #13334 on: April 05, 2014, 02:21:18 AM »

a masterpiece only gets a 9/10?

Hmm, well, yes, it seems so. But I don't give a 9 that often. And a Stanton 4 is probably equal to a D&D 7.

But you are right, the term masterpiece should be restricted to 10/10 films to avoid an inflationary use of it.

Liebelei is one due for a re-watch. Maybe it is a 10er ...

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