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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #15510 on: December 21, 2015, 07:54:20 PM »

Dj and I are at Film Forum to see Hungarian movie SON OF SAUL. Wevhad margueritas  at Chipotle ( with free E.Coli!) Report to follow  Wink

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« Reply #15511 on: December 21, 2015, 07:57:13 PM »

Beasts of No Nation (2015) - 3.5/10
Leone board community! Attention! I have made a grand discovery. I have in fact found a way to scientifically slow the pace of time. If you watch Beasts of No Nation on Netflix, 2 hours and 17 minues will instantly convert into what seems to be 8 years. But fear not. This is a powerful film. Yes - it is, because it's about child soldiers. It's also harrowing, there is so much senseless murder! Need I mention it is also thought-provoking? How daring it is to show such dark violence within an unnamed country. Kids being molested, people being burned, murdered, raped, children smoking cigarettes!!! Wow. Such a deep movie. Cary Joji Fukun-asian-something sure is something else! I bet a 19-year-old state college girl could write a really enlightening mid-term about this one some day.


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« Reply #15512 on: December 22, 2015, 12:53:02 AM »

It's at least a 5/10 film. Just take a look at the first shot and you know you're watching something made by talented guys.

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« Reply #15513 on: December 22, 2015, 01:58:56 AM »

Most of the films on this list aren't great. As you know I don't love French films.

I don't think it's worth you ever check out "La Vérité si je Mens 2" since it's all about the way they speak French. The other ones you don't know should be ok.

I'm actually surprised you've finally asked me about my favorite French films since you already said my opinions about French films were shitty  Tongue


I said something like that, but of course I did not really meant that.

Only ok is not enough reason to search for films I wasn't interested yet. So the best French films of the last 20 years are hmm ... only ok ... that's of course the most effective way to bash French films. Wink


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« Reply #15514 on: December 22, 2015, 02:39:42 AM »

I said something like that, but of course I did not really meant that.

Only ok is not enough reason to search for films I wasn't interested yet. So the best French films of the last 20 years are hmm ... only ok ... that's of course the most effective way to bash French films. Wink

Nope I meant "should TRANSLATE ok", because you never know with comedies in foreign languages. All the ones I listed are between 7 and 8.5/10, which is between "good" and "really, really good" to me. The list of "only OK" films is a bit longer Smiley But yeah it's still a sad list for a country that usually produces 200 features a year.

By the way if any of you guys have Netflix, you can check out an independant film made by friends of mine: Dealer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz8VIn_GzY0
Dan Bronchinson (who's both the producer and the main actor) was the Hangman in my Rapaces short movie (https://vimeo.com/21536593) and Bruno Henry (who plays the bad guy) was in my Zombies web series.

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« Reply #15515 on: December 22, 2015, 04:34:48 AM »

It's at least a 5/10 film. Just take a look at the first shot and you know you're watching something made by talented guys.
Beasts of No Nation?

It looks nice. There's talent. But that talent reaaaallly wanted to make something "important", it failed, and the entire movie is instead lifeless, redundant, boring, and worst of all a try-hard.

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« Reply #15516 on: December 22, 2015, 07:52:27 AM »

Beasts of No Nation?

It looks nice. There's talent. But that talent reaaaallly wanted to make something "important", it failed, and the entire movie is instead lifeless, redundant, boring, and worst of all a try-hard.

I agree. But we'll probably differ on this: I'll always take an ok try hard like Beasts of No Nation over 50 marvelized Star Trek/Wars.

SPOILER

They should have ended the movie right after they murder the captain: they go back and disappear in the jungle. That should have made a much more impactful and interesting ending that 30 minutes of them in the mud followed by 20 minutes in the school.

To me, the "over important try hard" thing is also partly redeemed by the beginning (everything that happens before the war is really cool and full of life/ideas, I was really disappointed to get something so "regular" after that) and the fact that the directors struggled with a 6 millions budget to fulfill a vision that needed a 30 millions bucks. I'm not sure who's to blame for that mismatch (Netflix, the production or Fukunaga) but in the end it still has a scope that transcends its low budget. I know no one cares about the budget and that's not how you're supposed to judge a movie, but that's still a reality I take into account, movies don't just spawn out of the blue.

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« Reply #15517 on: December 22, 2015, 09:48:00 AM »

What better way to spend Christmas Vacation than with cinema trips to Manhattan? Yesterday I got off with a nice start at the Angelika, where I saw:
Youth (2015) - 7/10. Beautifully photographed, masterfully edited, the writing is, however, pedestrian. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel are buddies of long standing relaxing at an alpine spa in Switzerland. A host of crazy characters come and go and move about the principals. The dialog is full of movie-making profundities ("All we have are our emotions," one character opines). It's as if Paulo What's-his-name wanted to adapt The Magic Mountain, except for kids. And the most obvious plot points make their appearance--an Indian mystic who can't levitate is finally seen levitating, a retired music conductor who adamantly refuses to conduct his most famous piece is finally seen conducting said piece. Worse, the entire ending is lifted from Three Colours: Bleu and it isn't improved upon: in Kieslowski's film the music at the end sends everything into orbit; the coda at the end of Youth isn't bad, but it isn't Preisner either. So the whole thing is a bunch of better films referenced and assembled. Still, I was mightily entertained, because Caine and Keitel work so well together. It's like visiting a couple of old friends. And I do mean old--not only are these characters too old to fuck, they're too old to pee.

Then it was a hop, skip and a jump over to Film Forum, where Drink joined me to see:
Son of Saul (2015) - 8/10. The conceit of this film is to put us in Auschwitz for 36 hours, with the Sonderkommando, the Jews who assisted the Nazis with the Final Solution (before becoming victims themselves). The focus is squarely on one character, Saul, and I mean that literally. The camera, hand-held, is always with him, in front or behind; occasionally we see things from his point of view. Academy aspect ratio is used to limit peripheral vision, and backgrounds are often blurry. The effect is to keep attention on a character who has been de-sensitized to the horrors around him. There is a story arc that is better not mentioned--reviews that talk about it do the film a disservice, since discovering the story is part of what makes the film interesting. Drink pointed out to me that some of the images in the film are taken from actual photographs; I appreciated the fact that the color scheme closely matched that of the color photography found in the Nazi-era glossy, Signal. The film is effective, but it is also somewhat grueling.

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« Reply #15518 on: December 22, 2015, 10:00:51 AM »

I agree. But we'll probably differ on this: I'll always take an ok try hard like Beasts of No Nation over 50 marvelized Star Trek/Wars.

Fallacy of the excluded middle.

Why choose between artsy failures and mind-numbing commercial fare? Why not simply choose to watch the other possibility, great works of art? But the answer is obvious: noodles_leone cares fuck-all for cinema; he's only really interested in photography.

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« Reply #15519 on: December 22, 2015, 03:06:29 PM »

Fallacy of the excluded middle.

Why choose between artsy failures and mind-numbing commercial fare? Why not simply choose to watch the other possibility, great works of art? But the answer is obvious: noodles_leone cares fuck-all for cinema; he's only really interested in photography.

 Grin

I was when I was a teenager. I grew up. Beast of no Nations has the same high quality photography from the beginning to the end, I'm really talking about ideas and life that come from the screenplay. You should really check out the opening (and forget about the terrible voice over), you'll get what I mean. Star Wars has some great photography here and there, but all in all a bad cinematography. Also, I'm only choosing between artsy failure and mind-numbing commercial fare just as a continuous conversation with RR (our latest discussion was about Star Wars). You're not that old, you can follow us. In the end, I will not buy either DVD/BD because BOTH failed, in the end. Star Wars could have been the adventure movie of the decade, and Beast of no Nation could have kickstarted the golden age of artsy made for "TV" movies.

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« Reply #15520 on: December 22, 2015, 07:20:07 PM »

Dj:
One important correction: it is inacccurate to say that the the Sonderkommando assisted the Nazis in the Final Solution. You are confusing Sondercommandos with the kapos. The kapos were some really evil people - The Nazis took some of the most brutal prisoners, both Jews and others,  and put them in charge of the prisoners. The kapos got better treatment/privileges, and they enforced the law in the concentration camps and ghettos. It is- impossible to know  what is in a man's heart: maybe some really weren't bad prople but felt forced , they could claim they had to do it, but there were kapos that were very sadistic and brutal. A few, very few, were even tried for war crimes. Again, hard to prove anytiing, they could say they were forced. But they committed some terrible atrocitied in enforcing the Nazis' edicts.
The Sonderkommando had nothing to do with that - the sonderkommando, or "special detail" was a group of prisoners, again, Jews and probably non-Jewish political prisoners as well -  that were forced to "clean up" after the gas chambers did their deadly work: clean out the bodies, wash the blood and filth away, and load the bodies into the crematorium. Watch the Filip Muller interview in SHOAH. In the history of the world, there has never been a more awful job than to be forced to be Sonderkommanndo. Nobody did the work enthusiastically. It was basically, do it or instant death. (The Sonderkommando may have had kapos in charge of them , but in that regard they were no different than all other groups of prisoners).
Muller, the Sonderkommando interviewed in SHOAH, relates that one of his fellow Sonderkommados once tried to warn a Jewish woman of their fate: the Nazis threw him into the crematorium ALIVE as a punishment and warning to the others. These were people forced by the worst barbarians in the history of the world to do the worst job in the history of the world, being forces to clean out the gas chambers and burn the bodies of their fellow prisoners. Watch the Filip Muller sections of SHOAH. I literally could not sleep normally for two weeks after seeing that.
Eventually, almost all Sonderkommando were killed. I beleive that less than 20 survived the war. Many fought back at risk to their lives, eg. by secretly photographing the 'events' and by a famous sabotage incident in which they succeeded in killing a few Nazis - they even threw one Nazi into the crematorium alive. These people - not to be confused with their kapo bosses, many of whom were brutal, evil people - are deserving of the most sincere sympathy.
P.s. Look on wikipedia page for Auschwitz. You will see secret pic taken of burning bodies in the fields that the movie recreates. But those pics i was referring to are black and white.

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« Reply #15521 on: December 22, 2015, 09:20:15 PM »

I agree. But we'll probably differ on this: I'll always take an ok try hard like Beasts of No Nation over 50 marvelized Star Trek/Wars.

SPOILER

They should have ended the movie right after they murder the captain: they go back and disappear in the jungle. That should have made a much more impactful and interesting ending that 30 minutes of them in the mud followed by 20 minutes in the school.

To me, the "over important try hard" thing is also partly redeemed by the beginning (everything that happens before the war is really cool and full of life/ideas, I was really disappointed to get something so "regular" after that) and the fact that the directors struggled with a 6 millions budget to fulfill a vision that needed a 30 millions bucks. I'm not sure who's to blame for that mismatch (Netflix, the production or Fukunaga) but in the end it still has a scope that transcends its low budget. I know no one cares about the budget and that's not how you're supposed to judge a movie, but that's still a reality I take into account, movies don't just spawn out of the blue.
To be completely honest I think I almost completely stopped paying attention for the last 45 minutes so I don't have much of an idea of what you're talking about. Fuck that movie.

3.5 does seem harsh, but I gave Phantom Menace a 4.5. For the rest of my life, if someone were to ask me "would you rather watch Phantom Menace or Beasts of No Nation?" I'd answer Phantom without hesitation.

I don't know. I just fucking hated Beasts.



Macbeth (2015)
- 7.5/10
Aside from Slow West, I think I could watch Fassbender eat soup for 3 hours and still be entertained. This is no Throne of Blood, but it's at least tied with if not better than Welles' Macbeth. Speaking of try-hards, this is a hardcore Shakespeare adaptation. There's no punches pulled, the dialogue more or less read straight from the play. The visuals are gorgeous, the editing is some of the year's best and most inventive, and performances from both Cotillard and Fassbender are pretty much career-topping up to this point. I'll never watch it again. But, absolutely worth the viewing if you're prepared for some heavy shit. On the better half of films this year.

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« Reply #15522 on: December 26, 2015, 11:52:23 AM »

City Heat (1984) What a mess, I fell asleep, I'll give it another go before I send it back in it's netflix envelope.

Ok gave it another shot, (this is the third time I've seen this, the first was probably back in 1984) this final go round I watched it awake and in the right frame of mind. It's a fricking comedy, go into it with that in perspective and it's still not that great but I did get a few chuckles. Now I wonder what it may have been like if Blake Edwards would have not quit as director. It's a spoof of Film Noir and Dirty Harry. I don't remember the publicity campaign for it, how was it marketed?  I don't think I was expecting a comedy the first time I saw it. Another beef who did the casting of the women? If you would have had some hot hollywood starlet eye candy in the roles of the secretary Addy and Burt's gal Caroline it may have somewhat redeemed itself with some sex, but no we get Jane Alexander and Madeline Kahn, who cast this?  If you had Theresa Russell, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Debra Winger, Teri Garr all actresses that showed some skin during that time period, I would give it another half point. I'll give it a 6/10

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« Reply #15523 on: December 27, 2015, 12:22:37 AM »

The Hateful Eight - 8.5/10 (light structural spoilers but no plot points given away)
The lights dim, and Morricone's horrifying main theme plays before the beautifully flickering 70mm projection begins. We're not first introduced to characters, but instead snow-capped landscapes in ballsy looooong takes supported by an A- Morricone score, uncharacteristic of Tarantino's usual pop-rock style (it's no Leone but better than / similar to The Untouchables / The Thing). The first 45 - 60 minutes is a glorious eye-candy treat of cinema and Richardson's cinematography, which is by far the best a Tarantino flick has looked since the mid-90's. By the time we're locked into the "play-as-a-film" set for the remainder of the 3+ hour runtime, the audience is familiarized with the characters who really matter. Up until the intermission, tension builds slowly and methodically through long sets of dialogue. This pre-intermission stretch of dialogue in the cabin is where the movie loses points - this material isn't the most re-watchable stuff. Just as the intermission occurs, The Hateful Eight goes full Tarantino: blood, violence, 70's cinema throwbacks, flashbacks, \timeline shifts. By the end of the film, the movie feels epic without ever really leaving its one set. It's like watching Reservoir Dogs while playing Clue with friends, and maybe a hint of Once Upon a Time in the West. The use of 70mm really shines in the opening chapters, as well as occasionally detailed close-ups. The extra-wide framing is more even effective with blocking 5 characters on screen in a cabin at once than even the vast landscapes. Generally, The Master made better use of 70mm with both set-pieces and details of close-ups.

So, generally:

Music: Excellent. Morricone could be a character in the movie.

Photography: The snow-filled vistas conquer, the close-ups are great, and the extra-wide framing of characters is intriguing. Somehow, some scenes still look digital like IB and Django though.

Characters & Performances: Good but not Tarantino's best.

Maturity: It's one of Quentin's most subdued movies alongside Jackie Brown.

Among other Tarantino's: Probably right in the middle. It's excellent but I can't imagine watching it more than 2 or 3 times.

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« Reply #15524 on: December 27, 2015, 04:34:07 AM »

Thanks for the review Afro

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