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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1768677 times)
PowerRR
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« Reply #16095 on: May 29, 2016, 07:38:28 AM »

My good friend, screenwriter and former board member Lewis Hawk secured 2 tickets. The little rat. Screw him.
he can go fuck himself!

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« Reply #16096 on: May 29, 2016, 01:08:55 PM »

Last night I revisited LEON, THE PROFESSIONAL.

Is this film a tribute to Leone?
If it isn't it certainly was inspired by the grand theatrics Leone created.
I'm wondering because the character's name is Leon, they bring up Clint and it has Danny in it.
Coincidence?
I even wondered if i was hearing Morricone at times.

Needless to say great film but not without some week and obvious plot points.
8

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« Reply #16097 on: May 30, 2016, 08:28:40 AM »

Stroszek (1977) - 7.5/10
I think this is one of Herzog's better narrative features - I thought it gets weaker in the third act, otherwise my score would be a bit higher.

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« Reply #16098 on: May 30, 2016, 09:08:07 AM »

Sergeant York - 7/10 - Vaguely remember seeing this years ago. The early Tennessee scenes are a melodramatic slog, but necessary to establish York's character. Excellent battle scenes. Gary Cooper does nice work, the supporting cast are a colorful assortment of types.

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« Reply #16099 on: May 30, 2016, 04:48:15 PM »

Killing Them Softly (2012) 8/10. The trials and tribulations of a hit-man, based on the George V. Higgins novel Coogan's Trade (1974) Higgins, a lawyer who was both a Massachusetts prosecutor and a defense attorney before becoming a writer, had a real understanding of mobsters and mob culture (Higgins' most famous novel is The Friends of Eddie Coyle). For some reason, Andrew Dominik transplanted the characters and milieu to Southern California--I guess so Brad Pitt wouldn't have to attempt a Boston accent. The LA presented is pretty weird--it always seems to be raining there, people spend a lot of time in parked cars and seedy bars, and desaturated colors abound. Well, a wasteland makes a good backdrop for a story about wasters.

The plot is simplicity itself: a couple of guys knock over a mob-run card game, and Pitt is brought in to find out who the guys are, run them down, and cancel their tickets. Learning their identities takes no time at all; the other part of the assignment is where things get tricky. First, there is the negotiating that has to be done with a mob intermediary played by Richard Jenkins (no relation). The Pitt-Jenkins exchanges are pretty funny: Jenkins is representing guys who can't quite decide how they want to go about things; also, they don't want to pay what the jobs are worth. Pitt, like any good negotiator, patiently guides the discussions where they have to go. Then there's another complication. It turns out Pitt knows one of the guys that has to get whacked. Jenkins can't see the problem, but Pitt explains: "You ever kill anyone? They get touchy-feely, emotional, a lot of fuss, they either plead or beg. They call for thier mothers. I like killing them softly." So, another hitman needs to be contracted: enter James Gandolfini.

When the hits finally come, each is done differently. The first is very straightforward, so Dominik stretches it out with a lot time distortion, slo-mo, CGI. The second is more elaborate, requiring a lot of set-up, so when the moment of truth arrives things are presented simply (and from the shooter's POV). The third hit is a big surprise--but only if you haven't been paying attention.

The film goes wrong when it tries to reach beyond its sub-culture and make a Big Statement about American society in general. The action is set in 2008, so there are plenty of campaign speeches to be heard on the TVs and radios the characters come across. And of course, campaign speeches are full of platitudes, the kind that stand in stark contrast to the actions we are seeing performed in the film. Had Dominik used this trick once he might have been forgiven; playing it incessantly throughout the movie really spoiled things for me. And then, at the end, Pitt makes the message even more explicit with a big speech (in essence: all the fine words count for nothing; American life is dog-eat-dog). Given the fact that the speech is self-serving, and, anyway, comes from a character who has chosen to live life as an outlaw, the speech could be dismissed as mere self-justification. But Dominik has positioned the harangue in such a way as to make it obvious that this is the Author's Message. The message is stupid enough (Gee, Dominik, if America is so bad, what are you doing here, you Kiwi sellout?); the real offense is that the director can be so artless in its expression.

When Dominik isn't posturing, merely reporting what his characters are up to, he produces great scenes, especially great scenes of dialogue. No doubt, this is where Higgins' original words are allowed to shine through. More Higgins and less Dominik is what was needed here. I wonder if Dominik is capable of learning how to better serve his sources.
Upgraded to steelbook and gave it another watch. Fine, fine film. Now that the Post-Cinema era has arrived (it's all comic books and TV from here on out) we probably won't be seeing this kind of thing much again. Stock the Culture Bunker!

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« Reply #16100 on: May 30, 2016, 05:10:00 PM »

Upgraded to steelbook and gave it another watch. Fine, fine film. Now that the Post-Cinema era has arrived (it's all comic books and TV from here on out) we probably won't be seeing this kind of thing much again. Stock the Culture Bunker!

The plot sounds a lot like Trouble Man (1972)

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« Reply #16101 on: May 30, 2016, 05:21:31 PM »

Upgraded to steelbook and gave it another watch. Fine, fine film. Now that the Post-Cinema era has arrived (it's all comic books and TV from here on out) we probably won't be seeing this kind of thing much again. Stock the Culture Bunker!

I think the genre films are slowly coming back. By the way, many experts, insiders and journalists are now talking about "the superheroes bubble". And you know what always happen when everybody talks about it bubble? It bursts.

Anyway, Killing Them Softly is very cool and your review is quite spot on.
Have you seen it CJ?

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« Reply #16102 on: May 30, 2016, 07:06:01 PM »

La main du diable / Carnival of Sinners (1943) - 7/10. Pierre Fresnay sells his soul to the devil (a small man in black with a bowler hat) to become a successful artist. In the transaction he acquires a talisman: the amputated hand of a 15th Century monk. If he dies in possession he's going to hell; to save himself he can sell the hand but must do so at a loss, and he only paid a centime for it . . . Thus Tourneur pčre crafts a tale of dread at almost the same time Tourneur fils was making Cat People. Available at hulu to stream for free for the rest of the week: http://www.hulu.com/watch/348216?playlist_id=3915&asset_scope=movies

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« Reply #16103 on: May 30, 2016, 07:16:27 PM »

Pierre Fresnay sells his soul to the devil

Indeed, he worked for Continental Films

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« Reply #16104 on: May 30, 2016, 11:15:33 PM »

Just saw Immortal Beloved (1994) again now.  I'd previously seen it once, about 15 years ago.

Now, after reading a biography of Beethoven, by John Suchet, which I discussed here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7648.msg182837#msg182837 I have been interested in seeing the movie again, even though I know the movie is probably complete bullshit historically. As I mentioned in that post, I have not heard of any Beethoven scholar arguing that that Beethoven's sister-in-law is the Immortal Beloved.

Suchet does briefly mention that the fact that Beethoven hated his sister-in-law so much may make one wonder if perhaps something had gone on between the two of them, and he mentions that after Beethoven won the custody battle for his nephew, he encouraged the boy to call him "Father." But he goes through a number of the theories and arguments that have been made presenting various candidates for the Immortal Beloved, and he never mentions a single word about anyone saying that the sister-in-law is a candidate for being the mysterious Immortal Beloved.

This movie has little historical truth. But it's an enjoyable movie with great music  Smiley Smiley Smiley

BTW, here is a fabulous version of Beethoven's 9th Symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQ32q2k8Uo

Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, at Royal Albert Hall, July 27th 2012. BBC Proms.

Anna Samuil - soprano
Waltraud Meier - mezzo-soprano
Michael König - tenor
René Pape - bass
National Youth Choir of Great Britain

A few more words on this movie:

The music is incredible. Of course, Beethoven composed great music. But these are fabulous versions of the timeless music, with Sir George Solti cundicting the London Symphony Orchestra.Great stuff. It was seeing this movie as a 15-year old that made me first interested to go and listen to Beethoven recordings, and to this day I am a crazy fan - how can you not be? So I am thankful for this movie.

Valeria Golino and Isabella Rosselini are terrrific - although I don't think they both should have been cast as they look so much alike! (Thankfully, Golino has a little birth mark on her face - that's how I could tell them apart!) The guy who played Schindler is also really good. But I did not like the girl who played Johanna.
Gary Oldman is amazing as Beethoven - Oldman knew how to play the piano, and he is indeed actually playing it, at least in some scenes. In the scene where the public finally learns that Beethoven is deaf - when he is playing piano and conducting the first movement of the 5th piano concerto, known as the "Emperor Concerto," one of my favorite of all Beethoven's music - you can tell that Oldman is really playing (although I am sure the music you hear was later dubbed) but there's no bullshit there: that's really Oldman hitting the keys properly, playing one of the greatest piano pieces ever written.

One silly bit of nonsense, when Johanna says, "I forgave him because of the Ode to Joy." I just thought that line was so dumb.

Anyway, forget the historical bullshit. I enjoy this movie so much.

8.5/10

That scene where the Golino character learns he is deaf, when he puts his ear to the piano - so great. Heartbreaking.


Here is a great version of the Emperor Concerto, with Daniel Barenboim playing the piano

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7EcERd6E0ws

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« Reply #16105 on: May 31, 2016, 10:49:08 AM »

Uncle Kruger - 7/10 - Nazi propaganda epic starring Emil Jannings as Boer leader Paul Kruger. Denounces the British for invading foreign countries, murdering civilians and creating concentration camps. Irony is lost on no one.

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« Reply #16106 on: May 31, 2016, 05:12:40 PM »

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga - 7/10
Really good Werner doc, not one of his best though.

Hook - 7.75
Surprisingly fun, underrated Spielberg adventure movie. I've now seen every feature he's directed that seems to exist (can't find Savage or Firelight). I think Catch Me If You Can is his best film, The Terminal his worst.

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« Reply #16107 on: June 01, 2016, 06:32:58 AM »

Titanic (1943) - 5/10 - Herbert Selpin's Nazi-approved take on the Titanic tragedy is a snooze. Endless Brit bashing mixed with assorted melodramatic plot strands. The sinking scenes are well-done but don't come until two-thirds of the way through. James Cameron obviously saw it as several scenes are copied almost verbatim.

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« Reply #16108 on: June 01, 2016, 07:56:12 AM »

James Cameron obviously saw it as several scenes are copied almost verbatim.

Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls ...

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« Reply #16109 on: June 01, 2016, 09:51:04 AM »

Kings of the Road/ Im Lauf der Zeit (1976). First there's the crapping scene. Then there's the puking scene. Much later there's the masturbation scene. These German comedies are a riot! And its all filmed by Robby Müller in glorious b&w (using a Zeiss 28 and ORWO stock). Man, does Robby know how to shoot day-for-night, or what? Locations: 10/10. Film: 10/10. Restoration and Transfer: 11/10.

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