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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1760717 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #16305 on: September 12, 2016, 08:13:20 AM »

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (2015) 7/10. Entertaining but surprisingly light on new revelations, in spite of the fact that recently unearthed footage and audio have been included. Did you know they started filming Le Mans without a script? Yeah, there was no script. You know what the biggest problem was? There was no script! Did I mention that there was no script? Also, did you realize that, just 10 months before, Steve almost went to the party where everyone was killed by the Manson family?

So, there's a bit of padding here. On the other hand, I appreciated hearing from the driver who lost his leg on the film, and from Chad McQueen, the actor's son. I've seen Chad on other documentaries having to do with his dad, but here we get a sense of how important Le Mans is to him personally. He was present for much of the production, and he learned his love of auto racing from his dad, a mixed blessing.

The doc tries to make the case that Le Mans is some kind of special film in Steve's oeuvre, but I'm not buying. It wasn't any kind of turning point. He made good films before, he made good films after. Le Mans wasn't sufficiently appreciated in its day, and now has gained something of a cult following, and that's all very nice, but Steve will be remembered most for other films, other performances. I guess the best thing I can say about this doc is that at the end it left me wanting to re-watch Le Mans, so it's a success in those terms.

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« Reply #16306 on: September 12, 2016, 02:54:07 PM »

Liens secrets (1997) aka This World, Then The Fireworks The French DVD is an infinitely better transfer than the US VHS, and Billy Zane dubbed in French is a whole lot better that the English version, he can really grate on you. Now if we can only have someone else dub him in English.  Evil

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« Reply #16307 on: September 12, 2016, 03:40:45 PM »

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (2015) 7/10. Entertaining but surprisingly light on new revelations, in spite of the fact that recently unearthed footage and audio have been included. Did you know they started filming Le Mans without a script? Yeah, there was no script. You know what the biggest problem was? There was no script! Did I mention that there was no script? Also, did you realize that, just 10 months before, Steve almost went to the party where everyone was killed by the Manson family?

So, there's a bit of padding here. On the other hand, I appreciated hearing from the driver who lost his leg on the film, and from Chad McQueen, the actor's son. I've seen Chad on other documentaries having to do with his dad, but here we get a sense of how important Le Mans is to him personally. He was present for much of the production, and he learned his love of auto racing from his dad, a mixed blessing.

The doc tries to make the case that Le Mans is some kind of special film in Steve's oeuvre, but I'm not buying. It wasn't any kind of turning point. He made good films before, he made good films after. Le Mans wasn't sufficiently appreciated in its day, and now has gained something of a cult following, and that's all very nice, but Steve will be remembered most for other films, other performances. I guess the best thing I can say about this doc is that at the end it left me wanting to re-watch Le Mans, so it's a success in those terms.

I far preferred Grand Prix (1966) to Le Mans. I saw both on TV a while ago; Grand Prix definitely had great image quality and Le Mans' was poor; that may have affected my opinion. But I really liked GP, LM was nuthin special.

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« Reply #16308 on: September 12, 2016, 06:31:24 PM »

Senna (2010) is now the gold standard for racing films anyway.

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« Reply #16309 on: September 12, 2016, 08:44:08 PM »

Senna (2010) is now the gold standard for racing films anyway.


The gold standard for documentary films in general.

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« Reply #16310 on: September 13, 2016, 11:37:23 AM »

Roald Dahl turns 100 today, so . . . .

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 6/10. The producers scored a coup by casting Gene Wilder in the title role, but then made a film where he is absent for the first 44 minutes of screen time. Those 44 minutes--of a 100 minute film--are entirely wasted. When Wilder is on screen interesting things happen (mostly having to do with odd line readings), but those aren't enough to save a movie with too little plot, too little conflict, and poor SFX. The songs aren't very good, either. And don't get me started on the Oompa Loompas.

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« Reply #16311 on: September 14, 2016, 07:52:32 AM »

The Immortal Story (1968) 8/10. Mr. Clay (Orson Welles) doesn't like fiction, he prefers stories founded on historical truth. So when he finds out that a tale told him as a young man--a tale told and retold by sailors everywhere--never happened he decides to make it true by having it enacted before him. Mr. Clay is very rich, with a God complex. He hires a prostitute (Jeanne Moreau) and a sailor (a Terrence Stamp wannabe) to perform, and they do. But they have their own stories, backstories, and those stories can't help filtering into the proceedings and altering things just a bit.

Incredibly, this is the one complete Welles film I'd never seen before, but now that it's available from Criterion I was able to indulge. It's a very credible adaptation of a Karen Blixen tale. Willy Kurant, who "lensed" this, achieved some very nice frames (although others aren't so good). It's only 58 minutes long, but it's a winner. I wish Welles had made other Blixen adaptations (he apparently wanted to).

This was originally made for French television (there's a French language version). Taken with "The Fountain of Youth", a story made for TV in the U.S., it is clear that Welles could have done a lot of good TV if he'd only been given the chance. Pity.

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« Reply #16312 on: September 14, 2016, 08:28:08 AM »

The Immortal Story (1968) 8/10. Mr. Clay (Orson Welles) doesn't like fiction, he prefers stories founded on historical truth. So when he finds out that a tale told him as a young man--a tale told and retold by sailors everywhere--never happened he decides to make it true by having it enacted before him. Mr. Clay is very rich, with a God complex. He hires a prostitute (Jeanne Moreau) and a sailor (a Terrence Stamp wannabe) to perform, and they do. But they have their own stories, backstories, and those stories can't help filtering into the proceedings and altering things just a bit.

Incredibly, this is the one complete Welles film I'd never seen before, but now that it's available from Criterion I was able to indulge. It's a very credible adaptation of a Karen Blixen tale. Willy Kurant, who "lensed" this, achieved some very nice frames (although others aren't so good). It's only 58 minutes long, but it's a winner. I wish Welles had made other Blixen adaptations (he apparently wanted to).

This was originally made for French television (there's a French language version). Taken with "The Fountain of Youth", a story made for TV in the U.S., it is clear that Welles could have done a lot of good TV if he'd only been given the chance. Pity.


I thought this movie was awful.

Hope the Criterion looked good. I saw it on TCM and the image looked terrible.

I don't see what you could like about this movie - you are always into plot; this movie has none of that. I remember annoying, extremely loud noise by crickets. Yeah, it has Jeanna Moreau. The Welles character is annoying.

Btw, Welles wanted to make this in b/w. He said that all the great movie performances are in b/w. But he wasn't allowed to.

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« Reply #16313 on: September 14, 2016, 08:30:27 AM »

it is clear that Welles could have done a lot of good TV if he'd only been given the chance. Pity.

He got plenty of time on tv. Wine ads  Evil

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« Reply #16314 on: September 14, 2016, 11:55:11 AM »

The wine ads were not "good TV." Maybe the magic acts on Merv qualified, though.

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« Reply #16315 on: September 14, 2016, 12:04:13 PM »

Hope the Criterion looked good. I saw it on TCM and the image looked terrible.

I don't see what you could like about this movie - you are always into plot; this movie has none of that.
How wrong you are. This film has nothing but plot (and atmosphere). It's a Blixen story!

The Criterion looks very good, at least, when it can. Some of the shots weren't done correctly it seems. But the ones that were correctly photographed (the majority) look great. Kurant used some very nice lighting effects, with proper motivation (i.e. backlighting with credible sources).

The only thing I'd criticize is Welles acting; he seems to be constipated the whole time. Also his phony beard and nose (I hate it when he uses nose that don't match the color of the rest of his face).

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« Reply #16316 on: September 15, 2016, 05:37:09 AM »

American Buffalo (1996) - 6/10. Two men, a junk store owner (Dennis Franz) and his parasite friend (Dustin Hoffman), talk about pulling a B&E for a valuable coin collection. They talk for 90 minutes. It's a David Mamet swear-out, adapted from his play. Dusty has the flashier role, Franz the better performance. The TT Blu has immaculate skin tones. Thomas Neuman's music, which is used sparingly, is great.

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« Reply #16317 on: September 15, 2016, 08:28:05 AM »

HAH... I've seen every Welles movie before DJ it seems. Thought immortal story was one of his worst. Trial his best.

Sully - 8/10

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« Reply #16318 on: September 15, 2016, 10:16:30 AM »

Thought immortal story was one of his worst. Trial his best.
Another philistine heard from.

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« Reply #16319 on: September 15, 2016, 06:43:51 PM »

Another philistine heard from.
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Hitchcock / Truffaut (2015) - 8/10
Walks the line of being a Hitchcock blowjob piece/biopic, but instead is a very solid analysis of his craft by very smart people - Scorsese, Fincher, Linklater, and more. Made me realize I still haven't seen more than 400 Blows from Truffaut. Nor have I read the book. Ordering now.

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