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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1766381 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #16860 on: March 13, 2017, 12:48:25 AM »

I just saw A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Here are two previous comments on it:

A Very Long Engagement - 8/10 - Cleverly mixes elements of a detective story, melodrama and war film with Jeunet's usual stylized imagery. A bit sloppy in the plot department but lots of memorable set-pieces and episodes make up for it. Audrey Tautou is a sweetheart and there's an interesting supporting cast, most notably Jodie Foster.

Jodie Foster is really good in it. As you notice it, the movie's value lies far more in separate interesting pieces than in the whole movie itself. And the fact that Gaspard Ulliel gives one of his worst performances (which says a lot) does not help.
This movie could have reached 8 or 9/10 with a little more work, as it is it's more a 5 to me. Although not a "mediocre" 5: some parts deserve 9, others deserve 1.


I found it to be mostly a crappy movie that exists to show off the fancy cinematography and production design. Some filmmaker took one too many classes on the auteur theory. I give the movie a 5.5/10

The performances are very good. But the story, ugh .... got very boring very quickly. This concept – we're shown something briefly in the beginning; later, someone goes on a quest to find out the truth, and through flashbacks we learn that there is a lot more than what we first saw in the beginning – has been done a million and one ways.

THE REST OF THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, TO THE EXTENT THAT THIS DUMBASS MOVIE CAN BE SPOILED

Of course, there never is any doubt as to whether or not she will find him alive at the end.


The way the movie works it out at the end is I guess a decent way, rather than a simple "alive" or "dead," there is a twist. But how she finds out the answer to what she has been looking for is done stupidly - it's simply the PI telling her, rather than her discovering for herself. Whatever.

I should emphasize that the performances are all very good, particularly Audrey Tatou, Marion Cotillard and Jodie Foster.

For a movie with so many good performances, it's hard to actually be this bad. But yeah, the more I saw that pretty farmhouse and the pretty countryside and the great trenches and war violence and wonderful cinematography, the more irritated I got: Some filmmaker wanted to show off his technical prowess and didn't give a crap at how dumb the plot was, or what feels like two hours of the same thing over and over again. Wonderful technical work, wonderful acting, crappy movie.

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« Reply #16861 on: March 13, 2017, 02:41:30 AM »

While I agree with your rating, I disagree with your theory: Jeunet didn't try to show off his craft, he tried to do Amelie in WW1, with a dark twist. It could have worked, but this kind of films are hard to pull off. The stupid "plot" works like a charm in Amelie. Don't be angry at the filmmakers here, salute the audaciousness.

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« Reply #16862 on: March 13, 2017, 02:51:38 AM »

While I agree with your rating, I disagree with your theory: Jeunet didn't try to show off his craft, he tried to do Amelie in WW1, with a dark twist. It could have worked, but this kind of films are hard to pull off. The stupid "plot" works like a charm in Amelie. Don't be angry at the filmmakers here, salute the audaciousness.

Great technical achievements sometimes annoy me when the movie is not up to par. It's like wearing a $10,000 tuxedo to a garage-band gig at a dive bar.

I'm not saying the filmmaker INTENDED the story to be shit. But when the story is shit, the other elemnts do irritate me. The whole epic scale of a movie that wants to be so much more than it is.


p.s. Helicopter shots (with very, very rare exceptions) should never be used in a movie. The sweeping helicopter shots through a landscape or seascape. Ugh. That is not for a live action movie. That is for an animated movie. I am referring to those nauseating (literally) spinning shots around the lighthouse. They made me dizzy and sucked anyway. In general, helicopter shots through the sea are for commercials for the Navy. Not for movies.


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« Reply #16863 on: March 13, 2017, 04:46:06 AM »

Purple Noon (1960) directed by René Clément - Highsmith's Tom Ripley, murder and mayhem in Rome and Naples, with Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, and Marie Laforêt, good film 8/10

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« Reply #16864 on: March 13, 2017, 04:56:02 AM »

p.s. Helicopter shots (with very, very rare exceptions) should never be used in a movie. The seeeping helicopter shots through a landscape or seascape. Ugh. That is not for a live action movie. That is for an animated movie. I am referring to those nauseating (literally) spinning shots around the lighthouse. They made me dizzy and sucked anyway. In general, helicopter shots through the sea are for commercials for the Navy. Not for movies.

Weird rule. I may see where you're coming from (overuse), but still, weird rule.

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« Reply #16865 on: March 13, 2017, 05:13:35 AM »

Weird rule. I may see where you're coming from (overuse), but still, weird rule.

Helicopter shots of landscapes/seascapes feel to me like a travelogue.

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« Reply #16866 on: March 13, 2017, 08:33:20 AM »

Helicopter shots in the 50s were exciting. Today, they are so cliché as to be beyond endurance. I agree with Drink on this one: they should be junked.

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« Reply #16867 on: March 13, 2017, 08:57:02 AM »

As a general rule, meaningless generic wide shots should be avoided. The key words here are meaningless and generic. The fact that they're shot from a crane, a helicopter or a good old tripod has nothing to do with anything. Hell, most "helicopter shots" in films nowadays are 100% CGI, 0% helicopter.

So yeah, still a weird rule. Mine is better.

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« Reply #16868 on: March 13, 2017, 01:08:46 PM »

Weird rule. I may see where you're coming from (overuse), but still, weird rule.

I'm with n_l on this.

Great technical achievements sometimes annoy me when the movie is not up to par. It's like wearing a $10,000 tuxedo to a garage-band gig at a dive bar.

True, but I'm more annoyed by technically inept films with a great plot because they could have been so much more. In fact I'll tolerate some plot-holes and poor acting if I can marvel at some great camerawork/editing instead.

p.s. Helicopter shots (with very, very rare exceptions) should never be used in a movie.

I'm assuming something like the cut to the helicopter shot in the Attica scene from Dog Day Afternoon would be one of those exceptions?

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« Reply #16869 on: March 13, 2017, 04:56:33 PM »


I'm assuming something like the cut to the helicopter shot in the Attica scene from Dog Day Afternoon would be one of those exceptions?
I can't speak for Drink, but what I'm talking about has to do with going forward. What people did in 1975--when helicopter shots were still only 20 years old--doesn't have a lot to do with creativity in 2017. (And when I use the term "helicopter shot" I'm not talking about how the shot was achieved, only what it looks like.) Every cliché was once an innovation. But nothing stays fresh forever.

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« Reply #16870 on: March 14, 2017, 02:24:04 AM »

Of course cinematography is mainly about being fresh.

I'm a bit arguing for the sake of arguing here since, once again, I see where you guys are coming from. Still, I always react to such broad general rules about what movies should/shouldn't be/look/feel/smell like since, you know, cinema history is written by those who break them.

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« Reply #16871 on: March 14, 2017, 08:50:04 AM »

I am talking SPECIFICALLY about landscape/seascape shots - the helicopter flying through the desert or through the sea

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« Reply #16872 on: March 15, 2017, 04:16:26 AM »

EDISON, THE MAN (1940) 6.5/10

Run-of-the-mill biopic of the greatest inventor the world has ever known.

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« Reply #16873 on: March 15, 2017, 07:11:46 AM »

Our Man in Havana (1959) - 6/10. Great photography (Oswald Morris) but otherwise: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. You know you're doing something wrong when you get a non-funny performance out of Ernie Kovacs.

Mississippi Mermaid (1969) - 6/10. Nothing sells amour fou like the presence of Catherine Deneuve; and Belmondo is credible as the hopelessly smitten one. What isn't credible is the ending, which trades noir certainties for a jejune happy ending.

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« Reply #16874 on: March 15, 2017, 08:18:53 AM »

I DVR'd "Blindman" last night, now on Encore Western channel, starring Tony Anthony and Ringo Starr.  Have never heard of it.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindman

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