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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1765473 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #13680 on: July 08, 2014, 09:20:36 AM »

The Raid 2: Berandal (2014) - 10/10. The putative sequel to The Raid: Redemption, this shares little with the earlier film except star Iko Uwais and a succession of martial arts routines. But what routines! Every possible variation is trotted out and wrung of every wince-inducing possibility: prison yard mud-fu, baseball bat-fu, double clawhammer-fu, double cutlass-fu, and finally, even double shotgun-fu. But the violence doesn't end there. There are knives, guns, automobiles, concrete walls, and more, all doing GBH to an army of stuntmen. You think you've seen the face-on-the-hot-grill number done before? Not until you've experienced every exquisite second of the way its performed here. You think you've seen exciting highway chases with people being thrown under vehicles moving at 80 mph before? Prepare to view the new standard. There's a plot, of course, and it's not a bad one: an undercover Indonesian police officer infiltrates an organized crime family just as that family is being manipulated into a gang war with other elements (including a Japanese gang). But the story is just an excuse for the violence. I think this must be about the most violent film ever made (a distinction it achieves in part due to its long running time: a fast-moving 150 minutes). All the violence is gratuitous, and highly enjoyable (the all-male audience I saw it with was quite vocal, loudly exclaiming every couple of minutes or so). The body count is enormous; the broken limb count is off the charts; the blood-on-the-pavement occasions are so frequent you'd think Jackson Pollack was the art director (yuk, yuk). And yet everything is done with tremendous flair. I was lukewarm on the first film; this one is balls-to-the-wall intense--not for pussies (yes, I'm looking at YOU, Leone board members). And the whole thing was written, directed, and edited by Gareth Evans. Who is this guy? I don't think I can wait for the blu, I'm gonna need to go back to the cinema for another hit on the big screen. Oh, yeah, The Raid 3 has already been announced, so there's that to look forward to.
Blu-ray in da house! And reviewed here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Raid-2-Blu-ray/102899/#Review

This is shaping up to be the film of the year.

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« Reply #13681 on: July 08, 2014, 03:36:43 PM »

Life Itself - 8.5/10
Well-paced, excellently crafted, heartfelt and genuinely great documentary. It doesn't stray too far from the norm in terms of docu-structure, other than a huge focus of it  based on interviews with Roger in his final days in the hospital. Still sticks to a safe talking head and B-Roll structure, but done with a lot of energy. The Ebert-Scorsese segment as well as outtakes between Ebert and Siskel were especially great.

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« Reply #13682 on: July 08, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »

Noah - 5/10
Pretty all right. Decently done, but not my kind of film. Also pretty cliche/run of the mill/generic for the type of film in this genre. What makes it stand out the most is more than anything it focuses on Noah as a character with moral dilemmas more so than the "building the ark" plot. The photography wavers between gorgeous and overly stylized and generic looking. Definitely my least favorite from Aronofsky, but I didn't hate it like I expected.

1. The Wrestler (10)
2. Black Swan (9)
3. Requiem for a Dream ( 8 )
4. Pi (7)
5. The Fountain (6)
6. Noah (5)

I'm sure those aren't the most accurate ratings, but looks like Darrenofsky has hit every number so far for me other than 1 2 3 and 4. Clearly I prefer his low-scale work over the flashier stuff, seems like the flashier he gets the less I like it.

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« Reply #13683 on: July 08, 2014, 09:12:07 PM »

Life Itself - 8.5/10
Well-paced, excellently crafted, heartfelt and genuinely great documentary. It doesn't stray too far from the norm in terms of docu-structure, other than a huge focus of it  based on interviews with Roger in his final days in the hospital. Still sticks to a safe talking head and B-Roll structure, but done with a lot of energy. The Ebert-Scorsese segment as well as outtakes between Ebert and Siskel were especially great.

I started reading the book a while ago, but then realized it really is about his life and not so much about movies – I really don't care what type of hamburger he used to eat and what type of sneakers he used to wear as a kid, so I put down the book after a few chapters.
what about the movie? does it focus largely on his career as a critic, or does it also devote large portions to his life as a kid, and as a sports reporter in college, etc.?

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« Reply #13684 on: July 09, 2014, 09:36:19 PM »

I started reading the book a while ago, but then realized it rally is about his life and not so much about movies – I really don't care what type of hamburger he used to eat and what type of sneakers he used to wear as a kid, so I put down the book after a few chapters.
what about the movie? does it focus largely on his career as a critic, or does it also devote large portions to his life as a kid, and as a sports reporter in college, etc.?
It's mainly about his life, but a pretty even combination of everything. Probably most focus on his career, with his influence on others (a lot with Scorsese), relationship with wife, and relationship with Gene. There's a good amount of films featured from archive footage from his show. It's a very well told life story whether you give a fuck about Ebert or not.

The Rescuers - 6.5/10
Good.

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« Reply #13685 on: July 10, 2014, 02:43:12 AM »

It's mainly about his life, but a pretty even combination of everything. Probably most focus on his career, with his influence on others (a lot with Scorsese), relationship with wife, and relationship with Gene. There's a good amount of films featured from archive footage from his show. It's a very well told life story whether you give a fuck about Ebert or not.

Yeah, I'm gonna give it a try at some point

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« Reply #13686 on: July 11, 2014, 03:44:01 AM »

Margot at the Wedding (2007) - 6/10
I really really like The Squid and the Whale and Frances Ha but I find this Baumbach film to be something of a miss. I can certainly relate to all sorts of idiots and douchebags but in this film every character is one notch too strange. They feel like characters, not like people. And yet I wasn't once irritated or bored by the film. It just floated by me, giving some occasional laughs. The cinematography by Harris Savides is great though, with warm and natural beauty reminiscent of the 70s.

Zodiac (2007) - 7/10
Something of a disappointment. I was mostly interested in the story in a puzzle solving way, not really caring for the "characters", save a handful of scenes. These include (spoilers!?): the two first murders, the sequence with the woman and her baby, Jake Gyllenhaal visiting the basement and maybe one or two other scenes. I didn't find the arcs of Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr or Mark Ruffalo very interesting. The mystery in itself is interesting but I can't help thinking that the book must be more interesting than the film. Restrained by the overwhelming amount of facts he has to deliver, Fincher doesn't get to show his best abilities (although naturally some untalented hack would have turned the same script into a total bore). The times and dates and the countless establishing shots make the visual storytelling underwhelming and a bit like a tv-docudrama. And I found the cinematography (again by Savides) rather dull too.

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« Reply #13687 on: July 11, 2014, 07:09:57 AM »

Boyhood (2014) - 9/10. An impressive achievement, and highly entertaining. The story at times relies a little heavily on clichés (not one drunken step-father, but two; not one scene with a drunken step-father laying down the law, but two) and outright fantasy (the kid only ever dates teen models, it seems), but given the fact the film was shot over 12 years, a few weeks at a time, it's amazing how well the whole thing coheres. In the Q&A afterwards, Linklater explained that he had the macro-story worked out in advance, but the micro-aspects had to be done on the fly. Interestingly, each year they edited the footage they'd shot and added it to the previous work, then at the end took another pass at the entire film (it would be interesting to see the "rough cut" to compare with the finished product). The editing of this film is where a lot of its strength lies. The transitions from year to year are subtle, and you have to pay attention to the changing background situation (as well as the amount of aging visible in the actors and what they've done to their hair) to figure out where you are (although at times we get specific cultural landmarks: Harry Potter, Lady Gaga, etc.). There are wonderful performances, too. Obviously the lead (Ellar Coltrane) has to be good (but how could Linklater know he would be?), but equally impressive, as the sister, is Linklater's daughter, Lorelei (but how could Linklater know this bit of nepotism would work out?). No pick-ups were possible once the work for each year was in the can. No re-casting could be done once the project started. Linklater must be the luckiest director in history. However, choosing Patricia Arquette as the put-upon single mom raising two kids wasn't luck, but astute casting. Arquette has frequently been good, but here she's worthy of an Oscar. Ethan Hawke does his usual Ethan Hawke thing. And the 166 minutes just fly by.

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« Reply #13688 on: July 11, 2014, 09:39:25 AM »

Zodiac (2007) - 7/10
Something of a disappointment. I was mostly interested in the story in a puzzle solving way, not really caring for the "characters", save a handful of scenes. These include (spoilers!?): the two first murders, the sequence with the woman and her baby, Jake Gyllenhaal visiting the basement and maybe one or two other scenes. I didn't find the arcs of Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr or Mark Ruffalo very interesting. The mystery in itself is interesting but I can't help thinking that the book must be more interesting than the film. Restrained by the overwhelming amount of facts he has to deliver, Fincher doesn't get to show his best abilities (although naturally some untalented hack would have turned the same script into a total bore). The times and dates and the countless establishing shots make the visual storytelling underwhelming and a bit like a tv-docudrama. And I found the cinematography (again by Savides) rather dull too.

Works better as an almost abstract movie about signs. The film isn't just the investigation, it's a ballet of nonsensiqual clues and paradoxal leads. The police and journalists are struggling with a language that only the Zodiac and Gyllenhaal speak. They're the only characters who barely age, by the way, as if they were eveolving into another dimension. To me, it's a 9/10 that gets better with each viewing. I can understand it doesn't resonate this way for other viewers though.

However, I strongly disagree with what you say about the visual storytelling: I cannot think of 20 movies with a better visual storytelling than this one. Telling the truth, if I had only a few minutes to think about it, I probably couldn't find 10: Zodiac is technically speaking one of the greatest masterpiece I have ever seen. It's not shinny and flashy like Fight Club, but it's far better: perfect, ultra-modern and only serving the story (and not the director's showreel) like The Social Network. This film is one of my 3 biggest inspirations from the 2000's.

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« Reply #13689 on: July 11, 2014, 12:04:15 PM »

However, I strongly disagree with what you say about the visual storytelling: I cannot think of 20 movies with a better visual storytelling than this one. Telling the truth, if I had only a few minutes to think about it, I probably couldn't find 10: Zodiac is technically speaking one of the greatest masterpiece I have ever seen. It's not shinny and flashy like Fight Club, but it's far better: perfect, ultra-modern and only serving the story (and not the director's showreel) like The Social Network. This film is one of my 3 biggest inspirations from the 2000's.
Boy, howdy!

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« Reply #13690 on: July 11, 2014, 01:55:03 PM »

Zodiac is easily my pick for the best movie of the 21st century. It would make a great b-side to JFK, if you have 8 hours to kill.

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« Reply #13691 on: July 11, 2014, 06:04:08 PM »

For best 21st century movie, my pick is Mystic River. #2 is The Aviator.

I gave Zodiac an 8/10, thought Ruffalo added nothing to the movie; we discussed it a little here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg166335#msg166335

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« Reply #13692 on: July 12, 2014, 06:03:12 AM »

However, I strongly disagree with what you say about the visual storytelling: I cannot think of 20 movies with a better visual storytelling than this one. Telling the truth, if I had only a few minutes to think about it, I probably couldn't find 10: Zodiac is technically speaking one of the greatest masterpiece I have ever seen. It's not shinny and flashy like Fight Club, but it's far better: perfect, ultra-modern and only serving the story (and not the director's showreel) like The Social Network. This film is one of my 3 biggest inspirations from the 2000's.
I must say I watched Zodiac on a rather small screen. The film isn't heavy on close ups at all, so I guess a big screen would do it better justice.

Sure Fincher's storytelling is mature and wise and for the most part lacking any childish camera tricks (as it should be, given he's one of the most respected directors of his generation). I respect that. But the thing is that the story is not very cinematic. It's a tv story. It's talk, talk, talk. Mostly nothing goes on between the characters except changing "information". Scenes are not about the characters, they are about information, the mystery, the plot. And when scenes are about the information the characters exchange and not about the characters, the director is kind of stuck with talking heads delivering plot points. A talentless director would probably try to make that "interesting" with all sorts of camera tricks. Fincher's approach, however, is very matter of fact. And I respect that, but it also makes it rather apparent that this is a tv story.

Sure, they try to enter some interaction between the characters (because they know they should - because they are professionals at storytelling): the crackers and what not. But to me that just looks fake, superficial and by-the-book.

So basically my problem with the film is that the story is not very cinematic. Fincher "serves the story" but the story at hand is not very visual and thus the film becomes visually underwhelming.

My only real problem with his choices are the time and place -texts that we get every five minutes and the establishing shots (of the city and the buildings where scenes take place). Of course they serve a purpose but to me they scream "television storytelling!" I'm a bit surprised they didn't find a way to tell the same things in a little bit more cinematic way.

But as the 7/10 rating suggests, I rather liked the film. I just won't be re-watching it any time soon. Unless somebody manages to persuade me that I'm missing something gigantic here.

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« Reply #13693 on: July 12, 2014, 10:00:32 AM »

I Love Trouble (1947) - 7/10. 35mm. A real PI film, with Franchot Tone hired by a rich guy to delve into the guy's new wife's mysterious past. Adapted from Roy Huggins first novel (The Double Take), it's pretty much imitation Chandler (plot-wise it owes quite a bit to Farewell, My Lovely)--and all the better for it. Everybody's cracking wise, especially Tone, and the one-liners never stop coming (the capacity crowd at MoMA last night laughed all through the screening). Add to this the fact that (seemingly) every contract girl on the Columbia lot got a spot in the picture, however brief, and you have 1947's most entertaining film (and '47 was the high-water mark for Hollywood film production). Heavies include John Ireland, Don Curtis, and (if you don't blink) Raymond Burr. The talent is led by Janet Blair, Adele Jergens, and Janis Carter.

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« Reply #13694 on: July 12, 2014, 10:31:03 AM »

I Love Trouble (1947) - 7/10. 35mm. A real PI film, with Franchot Tone hired by a rich guy to delve into the guy's new wife's mysterious past. Adapted from Roy Huggins first novel (The Double Take), it's pretty much imitation Chandler (plot-wise it owes quite a bit to Farewell, My Lovely)--and all the better for it. Everybody's cracking wise, especially Tone, and the one-liners never stop coming (the capacity crowd at MoMA last night laughed all through the screening). Add to this the fact that (seemingly) every contract girl on the Columbia lot got a spot in the picture, however brief, and you have 1947's most entertaining film (and '47 was the high-water mark for Hollywood film production). Heavies include John Ireland, Don Curtis, and (if you don't blink) Raymond Burr. The talent is led by Janet Blair, Adele Jergens, and Janis Carter.

sounds good Afro

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