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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1835050 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15210 on: July 20, 2015, 11:31:16 AM »

Mr. Holmes (2015) 9/10. Late in life, a Sherlock Holmes on the brink of senility "solves" three intertwined cases. It is 1947 and Holmes is in his 90s. Watson is out of the picture and the great detective is retired, living in the country and tending to his apiary. His housekeeper and her son are his only companions. Holmes has recently returned from Japan, where he went in search of something called prickly ash, an alternative restorative to royal jelly. He needs this to improve his faculties for one last task he wishes to undertake before he dies: to write a correction to the false account Watson gave of Holmes's final case. Unhappily, Holmes is having a hard time remembering just exactly what happened, but with the help of the housekeeper's son, he recovers the story step by step (which we see, of course, in flashback). Meanwhile, he must also produce a solution to a problem that arose on the Japan trip. And then there are the mysterious deaths of the bees in the hive . . . Montage wonderfully shuttles us between the three cases, and we are forever jumping about in time. Plotting and dialog are excellent; the photography is beyond splendid; the Carter Burwell score is OK. Particularly outstanding is the acting, with Ian McKellen as Holmes and an amazing child actor as the boy (precocious but not cute precocious, a kid who, if he really existed, wouldn't require immediate strangulation). I was completely caught up in the film, but now that I know the solutions to all three problems there is little chance of my re-watching it. That is, until my own memory starts to go . . . .

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« Reply #15211 on: July 22, 2015, 01:16:40 AM »

The Grifters (1990)  - 5 to 6/10

I don't know, just couldn't get into it.

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« Reply #15212 on: July 23, 2015, 02:36:50 PM »

The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962) - 6.5/10
I prefer Dryer's version. I like Bresson's three previous films, though.

Les diaboliques (1955) - 6.5/10
Overrated. Can't see what's the big deal. The twists came as surprises and all in all the script is the strongest part of the film. But the directing (blocking, camera angles, acting) is mostly run of the mill, save a few scenes.

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« Reply #15213 on: July 23, 2015, 04:29:48 PM »

I liked the first half of DIABOLIQUE (when it seemed it would be a drama.) The second half (when it turned into a thriller) wasn't nearly as good. Bathtub scene is memorable, though.

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« Reply #15214 on: July 24, 2015, 07:18:52 AM »

Two from the "Mexico at Midnight" exhibition at MoMA (hey, that alliterates!) Both were projected digitally, and a note indicated the transfers were from nitrate prints. Both looked fabulous in b&w.

En la Palma de tu Mano/ In the Palm of Your Hand (1951) - 7/10. A phony psychic (some guy with a mustache) tries to shake down a rich widow (Leticia Palma) and she attempts to turn the tables on him. Their maneuverings get a guy killed. Then the two spiral downward together. There's a charming lightness at the beginning of this film that disappears once the murder occurs. Then noir fatalism takes over and it isn't as much fun anymore. Also, the fortune-telling background goes out the window, Mustache Man could be just any shlub. The predictable ending is contrived mostly by the police withholding routine info for no reason at all.

La Otra / The Other One (1946) - 8/10. A destitute woman (Dolores del Rio) murders her wealthy twin (also Dolores del Rio) and assumes her identity. Then her real troubles begin. This was remade with Bette Davis as Dead Ringer (1964) and I've seen the basic plot used other places. Lots of expressionist lighting makes this a visually impressive film.

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« Reply #15215 on: July 24, 2015, 12:21:12 PM »

Find Me Guilty (2006) - 6.5/10

I couldn't buy this as a comedy.

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« Reply #15216 on: July 24, 2015, 02:54:10 PM »

Ant-Man (2015) IMAX 3D - 8/10. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Includes the greatest Thomas the Tank Engine gag evah!

Is that 8/10 like an Avenger or Iron Man movie or is it a real 8/10? Because I was gonna skip this betrayal (if Wright had directed it as he was supposed to, I'd have seen it 20 times).

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« Reply #15217 on: July 25, 2015, 08:20:08 AM »

I was gonna skip this betrayal (if Wright had directed it as he was supposed to, I'd have seen it 20 times).
You won't like the corner-cutting direction. But the film IS funny.

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« Reply #15218 on: July 25, 2015, 09:24:57 AM »

Two more from "Mexico at Midnight".

La noche avanza / Night Falls
(1952) - 7/10. This is from MoMA's write-up of the title:
Quote
Directed by Roberto Gavaldón. With Pedro Armendáriz, Anita Blanch, Rebeca Iturbide. This Gavaldón classic suggests that what the boxing world is to the American film noir, the high-speed game of pelota (jai alai to American tourists) is to its Mexican cousin. Pedro Armendáriz, Mexico’s great romantic lead, plays against type as an arrogant pelotari who seduces and discards women at will, until he becomes the target of a cunning revenge plot.
I hesitate to call this a noir, though, since the hero is due a comeuppance he eventually receives. It's more a simple morality tale with noir trappings. Very entertaining, all the same.

The Kneeling Goddess (1947) - 5/10. Holy nitrate, Batman! The digitally projected image I saw of this was incandescent. The silver screen is back! Unhappily, the story here is made of lead. It starts out well, with the introduction of María Félix, who was, apparently, the Ava Gardner of Mexico. She is having an affair with Mustache Man (OK, I guess the actor's name is Arturo de Córdova), who is married. The pair, separately, think better of the situation and break up for a time, but are brought back together by a sculpture, The Kneeling Goddess. Maria, of course, is the model, and when Mustache sees the statue he's just got to have it for his fountain in the back yard. His obsessive contemplation of it, however, begins to unnerve his wife. Soon there is all the fun a love triangle can contain, and then a mysterious death. The question is then one of did-he-do-it-or-not? Everything up to this point is handled well, but then the main characters go to Panama, and the whole production goes south with it. The carefully arranged ambience of all the preceding action is jettisoned, and the film never again regains the proper tone. Worse, the statue whose name gives the movie its title is forgotten, and only makes a final appearance at the very end. So much for iconography. By the end I'd given up caring about any of the characters, but man, they sure did look good. Oh, this is only a noir if Hitchcock's Rebecca is also one.

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« Reply #15219 on: July 26, 2015, 09:28:17 AM »

Honeymoon 6/10
A horror movie that looks like a real movie? They still do these? Strong performances and real direction. Once again, it looks like a real movie! The ending feels unfortunately rushed and unsatisfying.
Spot on review: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/honeymoon-2014

BoJack Horseman, season 1 8/10
I was turned off by the visuals that's why I never tried this although images of the show were pretty much everywhere on the Internet. I was wrong. This is the saddest comedy piece I have seen since A Serious Man, and yes, it's a great compliment.
It's South Park meets Arrested Development meets Californication.
Opening credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3r2IXuSN1g

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« Reply #15220 on: July 26, 2015, 09:31:30 AM »

One last from the "Mexico at Midnight" show, less visually intense this time, as this didn't seem to be from a restoration. In fact, visual quality fluctuated from scene to scene, making me suspect that this presentation was cobbled together from a variety of prints.

Crepúsculo / Twilight (1945) - 7/10. Mr. Mustache rides again! This time he's a brain surgeon with shaky hands--a month ago during an operation on his best friend his hand slipped and the man died. Mustache has a bad conscience: he was banging the guy's wife (Gloria Marín). Worse, on the night the cuckold got hit by a falling tree, Mustache knows the man was planning to kill him and maybe his cheating wife as well. The thing is, since he knew this at the time of the operation, Mustache can't dismiss the idea that the knowledge caused him to botch the operation. Holy Hippocratic Oath, Batman! Cue flashback. We see how matters played out during the months leading up to the operation. See, there was this sculpture, and Mustache discovered that the model for it was an old flame . . . and when he came back from Europe he had to have the statue installed in his home. Holy deja vu, Batman! Don't these Mexicans have more than one plot? Anyway, this is straight-up melodrama, it's about as noir as my left nut.

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« Reply #15221 on: July 27, 2015, 12:20:46 PM »

Touchez pas au grisbi (1954) - 9/10

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« Reply #15222 on: August 01, 2015, 11:32:30 PM »

Slither (1973) 8/10. Not to be confused with a creature feature, this is the GBU remake that starred Jimmy Caan, Peter Boyle and Sally Kellerman (the Good, the Ugly, and the Batshit Insane, respectively). There were also two very creepy vans. Man, what good films they made in the 70s. Not like the crap they make now.

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« Reply #15223 on: August 02, 2015, 10:38:39 AM »

Split Second (1953) 7.5/10

Dick Powell's first film as director; he did not act in it.

I will try to discuss this film a bit when I have more time.


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« Reply #15224 on: August 04, 2015, 03:55:08 AM »

BoJack Horseman, season 2 - 8/10
Still very good and much more professional than the first season. The pacing was much better and reviewers unanimously liked it a lot better. Still, it kind of lacks (a little biy) the heart that was found in season 1.
All in all it's a win for Netflix' first animated series: it's the first one that gets me excited since South Park (1997).

I just bought Nightcrawler on Google Play so that should be my next viewing.

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