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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1765004 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #13770 on: July 26, 2014, 11:36:00 AM »

A Most Wanted Man (2014) - 7/10.  Much in this is commendable: the Hamburg locations, the photography and editing, the John le Carr้ plot. But there's also a huge flaw. Except for a single Chechen (played by a Russian) and some Arabs (played by swarthy fellows), the characters are all German, and the filmmakers have decided to make the film in English with American actors taking the lead roles. That might have been okay if the actors could pull off convincing German accents (many of the supporting players, including the lovely Nina Hoss, do just that, because they're Germans who naturally speak accented English). But, for all their abilities as actors, Philip Seymour Hoffmann, Willem Dafoe, and Rachel McAdams cannot sound like krauts. Hoffmann assumes a kind of deep-throated guttural voice which is interesting and would work well in another role, but he isn't remotely persuasive as a German (his habit of using American idioms doesn't help, either). I'm not sure if Dafoe and McAdams were trying to do accents; Dafoe, maybe (his voice sounds strange) but McAdams wasn't trying or wasn't trying often enough. Does it matter? It kinda does, because it's part of the convention associated with using English as a substitute for local speech. Also, there's one more significant character who is American (Robin Wright); she has several scenes with Hoffmann, and there needs to be clear differences in vocal expression between the characters (and Hoffmann simply talking lower than usual doesn't cut it). The film, unlike (I understand) the book, focuses on Hoffmann's character, so it's really important for the audience to believe he's German. The illusion never works (Christoph Waltz, much closer to the character's age, would have been better casting). It's a shame, too, because this film, although talky, kept me riveted for the most part, and even pulled off a couple of twists I didn't see coming. Maybe the German dub of this film would be worth a 10.

Hey, I picked up on one of Anton Corbijn's inside jokes! During the obligatory visit to a Hamburg disco, the music being played was D.A.F's "Der Mussolini." This hit from 1981 seems improbable in a post-9/11 setting. Then I recalled that the initials of the band are an abbreviation of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundshaft, the very theme of the film--which is treated, of course, ironically. Ha! I'm so retro-hip, it's scary!

Lucy (2014) - 5/10. Total BS, but amusing BS until it begins taking its BS premise too seriously, and then it becomes totally boring BS.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 11:49:41 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #13771 on: July 27, 2014, 09:39:05 AM »

L'assassino (1961) - 8/10. Elio Petri's first feature stars Marcello Mastroianni as a scoundrel who may or may not have murdered his lover, an older woman who had been bankrolling both his lifestyle and his antiques shop. While the police try to sweat a confession out of him, their questions trigger a series of flashbacks that provide us with details of Mastroianni's life up until--but not including--the crime. So it's An Investigation of a Citizen NOT Above Suspicion, interspersed with an interesting character study. For most of the film we don't know whether the character is guilty or not, so an interesting dichotomy emerges. On the one hand, if Mastroianni is guilty, the hardball tactics of the police seem justified. If he's innocent, however, an injustice is being perpetrated. Petri doesn't spoil things with his ending. The digitally restored widescreen black and white photography is absolutely splendid, and is shown to advantage on the new Blu from Arrow (Region B).

« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 09:44:43 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #13772 on: July 27, 2014, 07:14:20 PM »

The Scalphunters - 6/10 - Mediocre.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - 7/10 - Above-average.

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« Reply #13773 on: July 28, 2014, 07:56:02 AM »

The Scalphunters - 6/10 - Mediocre.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - 7/10 - Above-average.
Your volubility takes my breath away.

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« Reply #13774 on: July 28, 2014, 08:16:17 AM »

Grog, don't you know that a rating is only the starting point of the conversation?

I'm paraphrasing D&D quoting DJ, who himself may even not be the guy who came up with the original sentence.

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« Reply #13775 on: July 28, 2014, 09:19:24 AM »

A rating may only be the starting point of the conversation, but who says Groggy wants to have a whole conversation? Maybe he just wants to start it. This thread IS called RATE the Last Movie You Saw.
Tongue   

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« Reply #13776 on: July 28, 2014, 09:45:28 AM »

A rating may only be the starting point of the conversation, but who says Groggy wants to have a whole conversation?
Groggy used to be the lifeblood of this board; lately, not so much. I, for one, am terribly disappointed.

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« Reply #13777 on: July 28, 2014, 05:17:12 PM »

Your volubility takes my breath away.

Not sure either movie merits in-depth discussion. I was amused by Dawn's evil chimp being named Koba, a great in-joke.

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« Reply #13778 on: July 28, 2014, 06:54:13 PM »

good bad and ugly

loooong, the voices dont match with the mouth, the song plays too much, the desert scene is soooo boring and it took them forever to shoot eachother at the end. 0/10

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« Reply #13779 on: July 28, 2014, 06:59:43 PM »

Quote
the song plays too much

Right?

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« Reply #13780 on: July 28, 2014, 11:46:09 PM »

and don't forget that the idiot blondie says "in this world, there's two kinds of people" when he should say " ... there are two kinds of people." even the mexican dude knows to say "are"

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« Reply #13781 on: July 29, 2014, 03:43:30 PM »

Into the Abyss - 8.5/10
Gotta love Werner

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« Reply #13782 on: July 31, 2014, 03:52:11 AM »

Killer Joe - 6/10
Second viewing. It's not a real movie: half of the scenes are terrible, cheap and look to be written and directed by students. The other half features incredible writing, mainly top-notch acting and ok to good directing.
It's probably Friedkin's most Lynchean film.

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« Reply #13783 on: July 31, 2014, 05:17:55 AM »

A Life of Her Own (1950) 5.5./10


In a supporting role, I liked Barry Sullivan a lot in this movie.

RE: another supporting player,  Ann Dvorak: She had what could have been a good supporting role, but she simply didn't deliver. That sort of character – which you've probably seen a hundred times in movies – is a favorite of mine, if done properly: the self-destructive woman, usually a little over the hill, some variation of this: the down-and-out girl, either a whore or an actress or, in this case, a model; past her prime,  now boozing, stuck on a feller who doesn't treat her right, trying to perhaps recapture her past, drinking too much... etc. The way that part was written was such that a good performance could have made this a really good character. (I'm thinking Mary Astor in Act of Violence, playing an over-the-hill boozing whore with a heart of gold. With a similar performance, she could have been wonderful in this part.) But Ann Dvorak is so ... ordinary. Provides nothing special. And when a writer serves you up a pitch right down the middle and you fail to hit it outta the ballpark (or for you Europeans: when you have a game-winning penalty-kick opportunity all lined up for you and you miss  Wink ) I HATE you.


Now, to the lead actress, the subject of the movie, Lana Turner: Turner may have had the looks, but she did not have the acting chops to match. I'm not saying I think she was awful, but she simply wasn't very good. Her acting sorta seems forced, you never feel like it's natural, when watching a character played by Turner, you don't feel like you are watching a regular character; you feel like you are watching Turner playing the character. (It is possible, underline possible, that she was good in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Peyton Place (1957) - two very good movies for which I don't have strong memories of her performances, though I believe she was playing somewhat older women in both movies. But generally,) I don't like her as an actress. I wouldn't say she was usually awful, but I really don't think she brought anything positive, acting-wise. In other words, IMO she is the kinda person whose movie-star status was only warranted for her looks and not for her acting.


The scene I most hate Turner in – and in this scene I do think she was BAD –  is in The Postman Always Rings Twice: it's the scene where the District Attorney has tricked Jon Garfield into turning against Turner and signing a paper detailing her guilt; now Turner  is furious, and starts screaming how she is going to turn on Garfield and sign a confession detailing his guilt – she is going to bring him down with her; she is furious and screaming. And that scene is an awful, awful performance, soooo forced.
In fact, in general, Turner's acting was IMO a negative for  TPART. Yeah, she is really pretty and you can see why the Garfield character falls for her, but unfortunately, while Garfield delivers a very good performance, Turner does not. She simply never feels real. Whatever she says, like that she loves Garfield or whatever, she is just saying; you never feel that it is true. You can feel Garfield's obsession for her; you never feel anything from her. E.g. Compare her performance to that of Clara Calamai's in Ossessionne, and it's no contest. Turner merely says she loves her lover; with Calamai, you truly feel her obsession with her lover.... As terrific as TPART is, IMO Turner's performance is the one major drawback. Come to think of it, maybe I should actually cut and paste this to the TPART thread  Wink

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« Reply #13784 on: July 31, 2014, 05:30:17 AM »

Ghosts of Mississippi - 6/10 - Standard liberal message movie focusing on the retrial of Medgar Evers' assassin. Good acting, indifferent drama.

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