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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1759440 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #14760 on: February 14, 2015, 03:30:14 PM »

I can go on a nice rant on this subject but Bret Easton Ellis says it better than I can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRkWbAGB3DU&t=1m52s
Wow, I had never before had any interest in Mad Men, but after hearing Bret's rave, I can't get to it fast enough.

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« Reply #14761 on: February 14, 2015, 04:32:39 PM »

What he says about the best movies is true about the best tv shows. I can watch some episodes of Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks or The Persuaders over and over. Also, the "personal visual style" from Breaking Bad or True Detective is exactly as good as the one you can find in the best films.

agreed  Afro

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« Reply #14762 on: February 14, 2015, 05:05:19 PM »

What he says about the best movies is true about the best tv shows. I can watch some episodes of Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks or The Persuaders over and over. Also, the "personal visual style" from Breaking Bad or True Detective is exactly as good as the one you can find in the best films.

I couldn't possibly disagree any more. There is nothing in television that can ever dream of touching the best movies. Even the best TV shows don't take any mental effort to watch, which to me says everything about the format.

And the overwhelming majority of stories can be told better in 2-3 hours than 40-50.

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« Reply #14763 on: February 14, 2015, 05:19:29 PM »

Never been into TV except for TCM and sports. There are only so many hours in the day and work to be done .... I guess I just always had enough movies to watch and never needed to look for TV shows.
I do worry about what will happen if the time ever does come that I've seen almost all good movies. When you first start watching classic movies, life is good, cuz you have all the great movies there to watch one after the other. Now that I've seen almost all the famous ones (and I generally don't like re-watching movies  more than once every one or two years) it is harder to find great movies. I often sit through lots of shitty movies on TCM till I find an 8/10. I can relate to how RR feels, even if I haven't (yet) turned to TV.

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« Reply #14764 on: February 15, 2015, 12:25:55 AM »

WOOOAWWW now, didn't think anyone would even notice my TV vs. Movies comment.

It's hard to compare a 60 hour work vs. a 2-4 hour work. I honestly believe that Breaking Bad as a whole is probably better than any movie. But then take my favorite movies: anything by Leone or PTA. Deer Hunter. Cinema Paradiso. Paris Texas. After Hours. Dazed and Confused (that's probably more or less my top 10). That kind of genius usually isn't emulated by TV, ever (besides with Breaking Bad).

But then when I think about the past few years, the best movies vs. the best TV...

Yeah, there's The Master, Wolf of Wall Street, The Tree of Life, Boyhood. Those are all masterpieces that are retardedly better than anything on TV. But to get to those, I had to watch: Men Women and Children, Fault in Our Stars, The Great Gatsby....uhg. There's just so much shit to get through to find the true masterpieces.

Not that all TV is good (I'm looking at you, Two Broke Girls). But it's a lot easier to filter out the bad TV compared to the bad movies. Not only that, but you can usually spot a good show within the first few episodes. You're then set for several seasons. Why watch 40+ supposedly "great films" of 2014, when the only ones I find truly great are Boyhood, Inherent Vice, Nightcrawler, American Sniper, and Whiplash? It's much easier to turn to Fargo, True Detective, or Better Call Saul. Or why not devote 50 hours to previous TV shows I haven't watched yet - Sopranos? Deadwood? I can almost guarantee that both those shows are more worth my time than whatever dull indie movies critics are raving about, or the 6 new Marvel films next summer.

Yes, the best movies are better than the best TV (generally). But when it comes to hours in a day, there's a lot more work in finding better movies after a certain point of movie-watching. It's a hell of a lot easier and faster to go through a few pilots and find one that's clearly superior to most movies. Then stick with it. Much more rewarding.

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« Reply #14765 on: February 15, 2015, 02:26:11 AM »

These modern TV series are much better than TV was in the last century (but there was still some excellent stuff too like The Rockford Files and of course Twin Peaks, which precedes the newer shows), but then most, if not all of these series have their own problems, and that mostly means they go on too long. There are mere fill episodes, and they often have a problem to find a fitting end. The end of Breaking Bad is not good enough to make BB one of the greatest series, but it is a very good one. I prefer Mad Men and The Sopranos over BB, even if just now the 6th season of MM seems also to suffer from some of the aforementioned problems.

But film is the director's medium, while the TV series is mostly a writer's medium, so in the end film still has a greater intensity and does things which TV series don't do. In a 2 hours film it is easier to make unique experimental stuff than in a 67 seasons series.
The most impressive and satisfying TV series so far were done by film directors, and they have a manageable amount of episodes. These are Heimat (1984) by Edgar Reitz, and Twin Peaks (1990) by David Lynch (and Mark Frost)

I enjoyed several TV series in the last years, even some which have a lot of narrative problems, but I also enjoyed a lot of films. If I had to opt for one, I chose film.

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« Reply #14766 on: February 15, 2015, 02:32:13 AM »

Now, what it is with True Detective. It has a unique style and atmosphere, and pretty intensive acting. But then the story was not that great, and it was heavy on dialogues, and the incidents became repetitive, and olny the 2 leads were fleshed out characters, but they did not change much after the first 2 episodes.
There was this impressive tracking shot action scene at the end of episode 4, but it was about secondary characters and had not much relevenace for the main plot.

I got the impression that it could have been told easily in half of the length, or even more that a 2 hours movie would have been perfect.

I enjoyed it, but it was not great. 8/10

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« Reply #14767 on: February 15, 2015, 02:53:27 AM »

I couldn't possibly disagree any more. There is nothing in television that can ever dream of touching the best movies. Even the best TV shows don't take any mental effort to watch, which to me says everything about the format.

I think you've not watched the best TV shows, because yes, some do take mental effort. Breaking Bad has more depth than 90% of the films you've seen this year, including a lot of 8 to 9/10. It's filled with telling visual metaphors, mirroring elements (half burned faces, people making faces that are similar to greek masks, lost items appearing in the foreground 5 seasons later...), references to itself, foreign cultures or whatever that take really serious mental effort to discover and analyse. People wrote books about it.

I'm often quoting BB because it's the bet TV show ever, but TV each year, new good shows are being released and push forward the boundaries of the medium. But it has been the same for years with shows like The Soprano or The Wire. You may love or hate them but you cannot assert that they require less mental effort than a good movie. Because they don't.

And the overwhelming majority of stories can be told better in 2-3 hours than 40-50.

It depends. 40 hours of content takes character development and evolution in a world even 4 hours movies cannot even dream of. TV shows' format lie smewhere between movies and novels. It's just something else.
I guarantee you that the evolution of Walter White over 5 seasons is something that could never have happened in a movie (not with so much power). Now, are why 40h? Why not 20? I have to admit that most of the case, 3 seasons are enough and they're just doing more seasons for more money (just like nowadays serious films have to last 2 to 3 hours while most of them would be much better in 90 minutes).

I prefer the cinema feel to the infamous "made for TV" feel. The thing is that many TV shows nowadays have the cinema feel I love.


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« Reply #14768 on: February 15, 2015, 03:08:04 AM »

but then most, if not all of these series have their own problems, and that mostly means they go on too long. There are mere fill episodes, and they often have a problem to find a fitting end.

Agreed. That's the biggest challenge of TV nowadays. I disagree about Breaking Bad (it does need 2 seasons less, but the ending is absolutely perfect, and I mean "forget it Jack it's Chinatown" perfect).

But film is the director's medium, while the TV series is mostly a writer's medium, so in the end film still has a greater intensity and does things which TV series don't do.

It isn't true anymore. Writers aren't happy about that, by the way.

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« Reply #14769 on: February 15, 2015, 03:18:33 AM »


I prefer the cinema feel to the infamous "made for TV" feel. The thing is that many TV shows nowadays have the cinema feel I love.


This ^

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« Reply #14770 on: February 15, 2015, 03:34:53 AM »

Agreed. That's the biggest challenge of TV nowadays. I disagree about Breaking Bad (it does need 2 seasons less, but the ending is absolutely perfect, and I mean "forget it Jack it's Chinatown" perfect).

It isn't true anymore. Writers aren't happy about that, by the way.

No, it's true.
The director's change often from episode to episode, without that this affects the overall style. They are all very well directed, in cinema style, while in the past the TV directing was normally far simpler than in cinema, but the writers/creators are the ones which control the stuff. Mostly there are even a bunch of other writers while the creators only writes (and sometimes directs) the key episodes. That was already the case in Twin Peaks.
True Detective is here so far the exception with only one writer and one director, and director Fukunaga came from cinema. True Detective is maybe a director's series, as here the style seems more important than the writing.

But then Ture Detective consists only of one season with 8 episodes. It feels more like an overlong movie than a long running TV series, where you can "live" with the characters for some years, where you can watch them becoming older and changing their life.

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« Reply #14771 on: February 15, 2015, 03:37:28 AM »

Hit Me (1996) Director: Steven Shainberg, Writers: Denis Johnson, Jim Thompson (novel) Stars: Elias Koteas, Laure Marsac, Jay Leggett, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall.

Been on a Jim Thompson adaptation kick recently, this film captures his small time fucked up loser desperation universe perfectly, check it out. I got a it of a Blue Velvet vibe from it. Got it from Netflix DVD 8/10

From IMDb

Flawed... but worth a look
27 August 2010 | by Murder Slim (MurderSlimPress@aol.com) (United Kingdom)

Based on Jim Thompson's 'A Swell Looking Babe', 'Hit Me' is about a bellhop - Sonny - getting involved in a scheme to steal $500,000 from high-end, illegal poker players. The swell looking babe is a French girl, Monique, and Sonny thinks his share of the money will allow him to start a new life with her. That isn't going to come easily. Monique is unreliable, hooked up with the criminals, and has suicidal tendencies. The path of love never does run smooth, does it? As in the book, Sonny is an interesting character, fuelled by three elements - his love of Monique, his hatred of his job, and his refusal to accept help to care for his disabled brother, Leroy. Sonny is over his head in it all, and once the heist goes pear-shaped, he's frantically scraping around to try a make it clear.

Elias Kotsas does a decent job playing Sonny. He looks a lot like Robert De Niro and effectively gets across one of De Niro's big skills

playing desperate psychosis. At times this can veer into comedy, and

it's unclear whether this is always intentional. Kotsas acts emotions very physically - mock-humping the air before he goes into Monique's room and pepping himself up by jumping through four different positions before meeting the main poker player.

As in Thompson's novels, 'Hit Me' presents a world where no character can be trusted. Even the "good guy" - Sonny - is as shady and money grabbing as the rest, at one stage happily considering becoming a cocaine dealer. It's film noir taken to its limits... not in terms of visual style but in terms of characterisation.

Stacked up against the beautiful economy of Mamet's 'Heist' or Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs', 'Hit Me' does drag a little and doesn't have quite enough twists and turns to merit lasting over two hours. And, whilst shot cleanly and effectively, it lacks cinematic impact. However, there's a nice undercurrent of philosophising over the nature of survival and, whether you're a Thompson fan or not, you could do worse than checking out this interesting little movie.

quite interesting, great performance by elias koteas



And this one...

Author: duffmckagan from indiana
25 February 2003

This movie kind of took me by surprise. I thought it was going to be another semi boring heist flick, but it wasn't. I think it had some genuinely interesting points to make about one's own desperation and greed.

The movie tells the story of a lonely and frustrated bellhop (koteas)who stumbles into a plan to rob a group of wealthy card sharks who are going to take part in an illegal poker game. A slew of mistakes and fumbles occur which leads to an unfortunate (in my opnion) ending.

Koteas gives a very edgy performance and makes the movie all by himself. The rest of the cast also does their part too, in particular the actor who plays koteas's childlike brother, quite a convincing portrayal.

I give "Hit Me" 9 out of 10

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« Reply #14772 on: February 15, 2015, 03:42:16 AM »

Agreed. That's the biggest challenge of TV nowadays. I disagree about Breaking Bad (it does need 2 seasons less, but the ending is absolutely perfect, and I mean "forget it Jack it's Chinatown" perfect).


It was a good ending, but not a great one. Too much the expected ending. Which the one of Chinatown wasn't (while the Chinatown screenplay had the expected ending)


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« Reply #14773 on: February 15, 2015, 04:02:36 AM »

No, it's true.
The director's change often from episode to episode, without that this affects the overall style. They are all very well directed, in cinema style, while in the past the TV directing was normally far simpler than in cinema, but the writers/creators are the ones which control the stuff. Mostly there are even a bunch of other writers while the creators only writes (and sometimes directs) the key episodes. That was already the case in Twin Peaks.
True Detective is here so far the exception with only one writer and one director, and director Fukunaga came from cinema. True Detective is maybe a director's series, as here the style seems more important than the writing.
But then Ture Detective consists only of one season with 8 episodes. It feels more like an overlong movie than a long running TV series, where you can "live" with the characters for some years, where you can watch them becoming older and changing their life.

TD is an exception. But:

- Broadwalk Empire was created by Martin Scorsese and the whole show is directed just like he directed the pilot
- House of Cards' direction strictly follows the steps of David Fincher (season 2 lost it a bit)
- Baz Lurhman has just signed a full season for Netflix
- Breaking Bad had several directors BUT a single cinematographer (actually, two cinematographers: they switched after the first season, which is when the show strengthened its visual signature) and strict rules. Furthermore, the showrunner is an INCREDIBLE director. Breaking Bad has as much of a personal style than The Tree Of Life (and features much more style/visual effects/experimentations).
- The war shows produced by Spielberg have a lot to do with his own style
- The Knick is 100% directed by Soderberg
- the new season of Twin Peaks will be fully directed by Lynch. The two previous ones weren't, but they had his own visual signature the whole time.
- Speaking of Mr Lynch: while he was shooting Mullholand Drive, he didn't even know if it was going to be a TV show or a movie. Talk about blurred lines.

And the list goes on and on... Michael Mann and others:

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls055041225/

Please also note that even when good directors don't create a show but only work on a couple of episodes such as Rian Johnson with Breaking Bad, Steven Spielberg with Colombo and probably William Friedkin in True Detective, they usually do a piece of art that belongs to the show but their signature is super easy to spot. That opening shot from the Colombo episode by Spielberg is incredible.

Also, just an example of the kind of visual experimentation that don't work in movies but do in 30-40 hours:

http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130903001048/breakingbad/images/b/b4/Breakingbad-colors.jpg

« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:06:35 AM by noodles_leone » Logged


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« Reply #14774 on: February 15, 2015, 04:18:34 AM »

Now, what it is with True Detective. It has a unique style and atmosphere, and pretty intensive acting. But then the story was not that great, and it was heavy on dialogues, and the incidents became repetitive, and olny the 2 leads were fleshed out characters, but they did not change much after the first 2 episodes.
There was this impressive tracking shot action scene at the end of episode 4, but it was about secondary characters and had not much relevenace for the main plot.

I got the impression that it could have been told easily in half of the length, or even more that a 2 hours movie would have been perfect.

I enjoyed it, but it was not great. 8/10

A 2 hours movie may have been the masterpiece it came close to be on TV, I agree.

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