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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1837056 times)
PowerRR
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« Reply #15375 on: October 13, 2015, 03:42:32 PM »

you're the kind of viewer who seems to only enjoy films where you can like the main character (a serious limitation).
Wrong - I need to be interested in a main character. I don't care how likable or unlikable they are.

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« Reply #15376 on: October 14, 2015, 12:23:13 PM »

The Glass Cage (1964) Director Antonio Santean written by Antonio Santean and John Hoyt, Stars Arlene Sax, John Hoyt (The Unfaithful, Brute Force, The Bribe, Trapped, Loan Shark, and The Big Combo) Bob Kelljan, and a cameo by Elisha Cook Jr. who of course has numerous Noir in his CV.

Very Noir-ish Mystery with some great experimental cinematography about two detectives trying to solve the murder of a local, what looks like Bunker Hill neighborhood business man. A nightmare sequence features the iconic Noir Bradley Building. Pleasantly surprised, the film was produced by Futuramic Productions whose only other efforts was Squad Car (1960) and Come Spy with Me (1967). Arlene Sax plays a beautiful but troubled woman living in a low rent rooming house who thinks she shot the intruder. A beatnik artist is the only witness. Sax later known as Arlene Martel, was a staple of 50s-60s TV. A 6/10 worth a watch for Sax/Martel fans. If you were alive in the 60s and watching TV she did many guest shots.

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« Reply #15377 on: October 14, 2015, 06:30:26 PM »

The Act of Killing - 8.5/10
A bit messy and unstructured in the first couple of acts, but really turns around in act 3 and its final scenes. powerful and unique. a must-see for literally everyone.

edit: this movie didn't win best documentary Oscar but something about backup singers did? what the fuck?

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« Reply #15378 on: October 15, 2015, 09:41:48 AM »

A Special Day / Una giornata particolare (1977) 1080p. Film: 7/10. Blu: 10/10. Restoration: 11/10. Loren and Mastroianni, together again for the first time! And Loren is allowed to look dowdy, and has no costume changes! The story isn't much: on a day in 1938, when everyone is out viewing a parade honoring Hitler's visit to Rome, a lonely man and woman have a brief--a very brief--encounter. The two characters aren't interesting--garden-variety victims of society--and their meeting, emotional involvement, and sundering, all in a single day, is not credible. But the look of the picture is more than interesting. First, the action takes place in an apartment complex of Fascist vintage (a great find); the rooms in this structure are appointed with great period-specific props and bric-a-brac; the camera does some neat tracking and panning. Most noteworthy, though, is the film's color scheme, which is sepia-like but with certain colors (reds and greens primarily) allowed expression. There are any number of lined-pattern designs throughout the picture, but they never collapse into moiré. The restoration got a best-of prize at Cannes; the transfer appears, to my eyes, flawless.

On the Criterion blu above you get as one of the extras:

Human Voice (2014) 1080p : 8/10.  From a famous one-act play by Cocteau, with Loren, directed by her--and Carlo Ponti's--son. This has been adapted before, most famously by Ingrid Bergman in 1966. The IMDb synopsis for the 1966 version runs thus: "A monologue of a woman talking on the phone with her longterm lover who is about to marry another girl." Actresses love the part because it's just them and a telephone and they get to trot out every emotion they're capable of portraying. I haven't seen the Bergman--I gather it's essentially a filmed play. This new take is more adventurous--we get outside of the woman's apartment in flashbacks to see Naples. Also, the Bergman runs 50 minutes; Loren's version is a very tight 25. It even offers the possibility that there is no one on the other end of the phone, that the woman lost her lover years ago, that the call is a ritual re-enacted every Thursday night by one seriously deranged individual. Ms. Loren's performance is very good; the film's editing is even better (and there's a great score).

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« Reply #15379 on: October 17, 2015, 11:53:40 PM »

Bridge of Spies (2015) - 7.5/10
Spielberg is a really good director.

In case you were wondering, DJ, he's not as good as PTA.

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« Reply #15380 on: October 18, 2015, 02:22:58 AM »

Sicario - Denis Villeneuve

Sicario is really an unusual film. Emily Blunt seems to be the protagonist, we see the events through her eyes, but in the end she hasn't achieved anything, she was only a bystander who was used, a naive child in a world filled with terrible adults. In her last scene she accepts the compromise to which she was forced a few minutes earlier under humiliating circumstances.
The real protagonist is, and the film's title acknowledges that, is Benicio del Toro, one of the terrible adults.

Apart from the directing Sicario has also a first rate cinematography (Mr Deakins) and a first rate score (Jóhann Jóhannsson).

Strong work form one of the best directors of these days. 9/10

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« Reply #15381 on: October 18, 2015, 05:13:02 AM »

Bridge of Spies (2015) - 7.5/10
Spielberg is a really good director.

In case you were wondering, DJ, he's not as good as PTA.

That's it. DJ is out of this thread too.

I think Spielberg is the best director ever and no one, including Leone, Hitchcock, PTA, Kubrick, Scorsese or even Fincher at their best could come close (Emmerich did, once. A film with Mel Gibson if I remember correctly). He's really far from doing the best films though. This is the Spielberg Paradox.

So what about the film? I was looking forward to the Coen/Spielberg mariage (as well as the lack of Williams) but the trailer made me fear for another boring Lincoln movie. Most of the reviews didn't warm me up.

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« Reply #15382 on: October 18, 2015, 05:31:56 AM »

Sicario - Denis Villeneuve

Sicario is really an unusual film. Emily Blunt seems to be the protagonist, we see the events through her eyes, but in the end she hasn't achieved anything, she was only a bystander who was used, a naive child in a world filled with terrible adults. In her last scene she accepts the compromise to which she was forced a few minutes earlier under humiliating circumstances.
The real protagonist is, and the film's title acknowledges that, is Benicio del Toro, one of the terrible adults.

Apart from the directing Sicario has also a first rate cinematography (Mr Deakins) and a first rate score (Jóhann Jóhannsson).

Strong work form one of the best directors of these days. 9/10

Now, that wasn't what I call a spoiler free review.

Saw it yesterday. It's a 7.5-8/10 to me. The first two thirds alternate between really good and really great. The opening is well done and very high-end cinema, but suffers from what Stanton addresses as good point and I say is one of my problems with the movie: there is rarely someone to root for. Like Blunt, you're nothing but a witness of events that don't really matter anyway. It's not a flaw (in a way, that's the point of the movie), but the result is something very cold that left me outside for a big chunk. Now, the real flaw is the terrible ending:

------------
SPOILER ALERT

Soooo all along the CIA's plan was to use millions of dollars in gear, planes, satellites and supersoldiers and then just send a single guy use a cop that nobody knew was there, stop a local mafia boss and then attack (still all by himself) the villa of the cartel boss? And then cover all this by saying to a FBI agent "sign this paper now or I kill you", then disappear, ignoring the fact that this kind of signature has no juridic value?
In short, the movie was great and then it became the final act of a James Bond movie.

THE END
------------

In a few films, Villeneuve became, indeed, one of the best directors we have around. Deakins did a great job here although I'm not crazy about his low contrast over exposed outdoor. Some of the best shots are in the dialogues scenes in bland offices: amazing mise-en-scène, composition and lighting. The music was a bit easy. The first ride to Mexico will be in film books for a while.

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« Reply #15383 on: October 18, 2015, 06:05:05 AM »



------------
SPOILER ALERT

Soooo all along the CIA's plan was to use millions of dollars in gear, planes, satellites and supersoldiers and then just send a single guy use a cop that nobody knew was there, stop a local mafia boss and then attack (still all by himself) the villa of the cartel boss? And then cover all this by saying to a FBI agent "sign this paper now or I kill you", then disappear, ignoring the fact that this kind of signature has no juridic value?
In short, the movie was great and then it became the final act of a James Bond movie.

THE END
------------


Ok, but I don't play the realistic card that much. The part with the Mexican policeman was the only part which made me asking, but then Del Toro maybe had another plan and changed it by using the new chance.

And Del Toro is also the one to root for. He has the fascination of being inscrutable, and keeps his inner secret over the end. And actually I also went with Blunts character, always expecting all that what then not happened, all that what such characters usual grow in in works of art.

The ending may be not that realistic, but what is more important in that scene is how Villeneuve ends the relationship between the 2 characters, and I think it is this scene which gives the film its real perspective. And from the realistic point of view she won't be the same after she has signed and after this degrading thread. And this thread will still stand after Del Toro has left. and then I think when he leaves her gun, he gave her the chance to follow him, that leaving the gun, even if empty and disassembled, was not a mistake, but done on purpose. Her last scene may imply that she will one day become a terrible adult too.

But the film's real last scene is with the victims.

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« Reply #15384 on: October 18, 2015, 06:13:55 AM »

This is all true, but:

- Neither Del Toro's character and his acting are up to the task (I usually love him, and the rest of the cast is top notch so I'm not sure what went kind of wrong here. Nothing terrible, just not perfectly in place)
- The film plays the realistic card all along. It goes a tad over the top here and there but it stays in the realistic realm exept for the James Bond ending. That's my problem. Not the fact that it's unrealistic. I'm not DJ, I'm not Titoli and I'm definitely not D&D.

In a way, I'm nitpicking but Villeneuve is a lot like Fincher: their greatness comes from the perfection of what they do. The slightest flaw destroys a lot of what they've been building with patience and precision.

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« Reply #15385 on: October 18, 2015, 06:43:20 AM »

That's it. DJ is out of this thread too.

I think Spielberg is the best director ever and no one, including Leone, Hitchcock, PTA, Kubrick, Scorsese or even Fincher at their best could come close (Emmerich did, once. A film with Mel Gibson if I remember correctly). He's really far from doing the best films though. This is the Spielberg Paradox.

So what about the film? I was looking forward to the Coen/Spielberg mariage (as well as the lack of Williams) but the trailer made me fear for another boring Lincoln movie. Most of the reviews didn't warm me up.
Like Lincoln, it's quite boring ... that's why it lost some points in my book. It's very dialogue driven, but a bit more entertaining and plot based than Lincoln. Definitely closest to Lincoln in style though. I would definitely check it out. I couldn't really sense the Coen touch in there, but I liked Newman's score.

The trailer completely disinterested me too, I just trusted the good reviews.

pta

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« Reply #15386 on: October 18, 2015, 05:35:49 PM »

The Assassin (2015) Hsiao-Hsien Hou: 10/10 - Digital photography: 10/10 - Costumes, sets, bric-a-brac: 10/10 - Sound design: 10/10 - Editing: 10/10 - Story: meh, not so much.

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« Reply #15387 on: October 20, 2015, 07:26:36 PM »

The Magician (1958) - 5/10
Ingmar and I are just never going to click.

Warrior (2011) - 3/10
The only redeemable part, other than the lead performances being all right, was that I managed to watch the whole thing.

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« Reply #15388 on: October 22, 2015, 10:01:53 AM »

Last weekend I was down to the Japan Society (across from the UN) to see a pair of restorations done on Kon Ichikawa films of the early 60s. Both were in 'scope and beautiful color on 35mm prints and looked fabulous.

Younger Brother (1960) - 7/10. A haha mono with a twist--the long-suffering mom is, in this case, a long-suffering sister (Keiko Kishi, looking 30, playing 17) who assumes the role of parent when her dysfunctional mother and father (Kinuyo Tanaka and Masayuki Mori) can't get the job done. Younger brother is a tearaway--until he gets TB! Get those hankies out, girls.

Here's what I wrote about the second film after watching it on DVD in 2007:

Quote
Yukinojo henge [An Actor's Revenge](1963). Kon Ichikawa. A kabuki actor plots and executes an elaborate revenge on the three people who destroyed his parents. This is such a weird film, because the actor is a man who specializes in female kabuki roles, and he is never out of character. So everywhere he goes he's a guy in drag, which leads to some very strange sword fights. The film is like a John Webster, if, for example, The Duchess of Malfi had been a transvestite. Color and 'scope. Must be seen to be believed. Afro Afro Afro

Watching this again from a projected print I was less enthusiastic. After the novelty of the story starts wearing off, it gets a bit dull. Still, I'd be willing to go a 7/10.

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« Reply #15389 on: October 23, 2015, 11:13:42 AM »

Kwaidan (1964) 1080p. A portmanteau of supernatural stories set in ancient Japan, adapted from the works of Lafcadio Hearn. The stories are not connected and there is no frame to tie them together. Obviously, some are better than others, so I score each part separately as follow: "The Black Hair" 7/10; "The Snow Woman" 8/10; "Hoichi the Earless" 11/10; "In a Cup of Tea" 8/10. I have owned the Criterion LD and DVD, and then the MoC DVD. This new Criterion Blu, based on a digital restoration, looks better than just about anything ever transferred to disc. It also comes with a Stephen Prince commentary (nonstop--or nearly--blather for 3 hours!), which is helpful, particularly regarding what he has to say about the sound design. Toru Takemitsu, Japan's most famous 20th Century composer, provided the film's sounds. Takemitsu scored about 100 films, I understand, and his approach, at least in the 1960s, was to dissolve the distinction between music and effects. The approach is similar to Morricone's musique concrète  experiment at the beginning of OUATITW. Except that Morricone used a rather naïve approach: the sounds match exactly the images they're paired with, so that a train screeching to a halt on metal rails sounds exactly like a train screeching to a halt on metal rails. Takemitsu was more adventurous, using, for example, the sound of breaking ice to represent a door slamming, and then deliberately presenting the sound out of sync, so that it comes immediately before or after the moment the door shuts. Sometimes he uses the sound of the shakuhachi, the Japanese flute, to represent the sound of wind, and the shakuhachi sounds nothing like natural wind noise. In "Hoichi the Earless" the title character plays a biwa (a Japanese lute), and we hear a passage from his performance. But he doesn't play his instrument in the traditional way a performer of his period would. Instead we get a 20th Century avant-garde treatment, one where the silence between notes is even more potent than the notes intoned. In other words, this is way beyond what we get for a score in most movies. It's something akin to what Kubrick might have accomplished in 2001 if, rather than stealing from great composers, he'd actually collaborated with someone like Ligeti.

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