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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1837571 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #135 on: February 26, 2007, 07:43:12 AM »

Joining the Tristram Shandy discussion: very funny movie. Did you notice all the musical jokes? The Nyman stuff from Draughtsman Contract was amusing, but I almost busted a gut when they launched into Handel's Sarabande (made infamous, or course, by Barry Lyndon). Juan's right about the dueling Pacinos at the end, though: beyond funny.

This is one where you really need the DVD, as it contains some good deleted scenes, also some interesting stuff with Stephen Fry talking to an authority on Sterne. You actually come away from it having learned something.

BTW, Tatana, if you liked this flick you might go for 24 Hour Party People as well. It's another Winterbottom film with Steve Coogan, and although it's funniest if you know something about Factory Records in the late 70s and 80s, anyone can enjoy it. Uses some to the same techniques as TS.

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« Reply #136 on: February 26, 2007, 08:29:07 AM »

BTW, Tatana, if you liked this flick you might go for 24 Hour Party People as well. It's another Winterbottom film with Steve Coogan, and although it's funniest if you know something about Factory Records in the late 70s and 80s, anyone can enjoy it. Uses some to the same techniques as TS.

It all depends on whether I can get it into my hands. But thank you for tip. Smiley

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There are two kinds of films in this world:those which stay,even when their genre is forgotten,and those which don't.
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« Reply #137 on: March 02, 2007, 03:46:39 PM »

A recent Mizoguchi retrospective in town, as well as the release on DVD of a spate of films by Mikio Naruse, has enabled me to gorge myself on “white and black” Japanese women’s pictures of the 30s and 50s. Impressions follow.

Akasen chitai [Street of Shame] (1956). Kenji Mizoguchi. The trials and tribulations of women in a mid-50s Tokyo brothel. An ensemble piece with varied characters who have this in common: they’re not responsible for what they do for a living. The culprit is circumstances: economic, social, familial. Occasional good performances, but mostly a lot of whining and preaching. 3/5

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki [When a Woman Ascends the Stairs] (1960) Mikio Naruse. In Tohoscope. The trials and tribulations of a Tokyo bar hostess. The hostess (Hideko Takamine) receives three declarations of love in the course of the film but is unable to parlay any into happiness; this offers the female viewer the chance to wallow in the heroine’s suffering; the male viewer, however, has the opportunity to work up to a declaration of his own as Takamine, a real honey, is in almost every scene. (Takamine is the Elizabeth Taylor of Japan: she began as a child star, appeared in a horse movie as a teen (Uma, 1941), and went on to a long and impressive adult career. She looked great in 1960—as did Liz).5/5

Nagareru [Flowing] (1956) Mikio Naruse. Boasting the talents of Kuniyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada, Hideko Takamine, Haruko Sugimura, Mariko Okada and others (probably the most impressive cast of Japanese actresses ever to appear in one film), this is about the trials and tribulations of women in a failing geisha house, especially those of the owner (Yamada) and her daughter (Takamine). Good performances abound but the most remarkable must be Tanaka’s as the housemaid. In fact, other characters frequently do remark on the way she handles her duties with grace and unostentatious dignity. She is the still point in the turning household, the equivalent of the enlightened ferryman at the end of Hesse’s Sidhartha. The world is flowing (much like the Sumida river we frequently see), and she’s going with it.5/5

Gion no shimai
[Sisters of the Gion] (1936). Kenji Mizoguchi.The trials and tribulations of two sisters who work as geishas in the Gion quarter of Kyoto. The chief pleasure here being the chance to see Isuzu Yamada when she was young, the film is didactic on a simple theme: women must depend on men but men are undependable. The scheming sister (Yamada) is contrasted with the idealistic sister; both pursue male patronage according to their philosophies of life and both come to grief. The diatribe against geisha, delivered by Yamada in a fit of self-loathing at the end, is a bit much. 2/5

Zangiku monogatari [Story of the Last Chrysanthemums] (1939). Kenji Mizoguchi. Suffering for one’s art takes on greater dimensions in this picture, as the humiliations a struggling kabuki actor undergoes is nothing compared to those endured by his wife. She devotes herself selflessly to her husband and his artistic development, sacrificing, in the end, even her life; the film milks the (not entirely) ironic ending with interminable cross cuts between the two characters (the wife dies at the point the husband achieves his greatest recognition). Barring the final sequence, though, the 140+ minute film skips right along, even when it plops in long excerpts from authentic kabuki productions. 4/5

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« Reply #138 on: March 03, 2007, 03:49:24 AM »

Kladivo na carodejnice

Czechoslovakian film about witch hunt in the second half of 17th century, that really took place in those times... strong, b-w film from 1969. Very recommended, though it's not a film you would like to see twice, I guess. As I've read 1984 recently, some aspects of it seemed similar to me... torture makes anyone say anything...
What strikes me most about it is the fact it was made in the era of communism. It's full of religious moments (that couldn't be left out, of course.) When I think about it, maybe it was its luck, that it was made in that year. Later such film couldn't be made, because the regime became stricter. And nowadays they would probably add strong love story or something like that...

5/5, though not the best 5/5, some things in it were disturbing me a bit, especially the very begining - still I don't understand what was its meaning there. Maybe, if I read the book, I would know... but I don't want to read it.

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« Reply #139 on: March 03, 2007, 11:53:02 AM »

WIFEMISTRESS (1977)

A fine Italian film. A surreal look into the sexual awakening of an abandoned
women. Score, cinematography is near perfect. 5/5 Afro

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« Reply #140 on: March 03, 2007, 02:49:57 PM »

Major Dundee 4/5

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« Reply #141 on: March 03, 2007, 03:07:14 PM »

Firecreek an ok western with Fonda in his first bad guy role about a 3.5/5 watchable but could have been way better Jimmy Stewart was a bit miscastm a little to old for the part he played, this is a film that could use a remake.

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« Reply #142 on: March 03, 2007, 03:41:48 PM »

Gangs of New York - 7/10.  Finally got to watch this one today.  As someone who is a major Civil War buff (and also knows a fair amount about 19th Century NYC) I found the attention to detail and little factual anecdotes quite interesting.  I loved the inclusion of the various Five Points Gangs, the Old Brewery and Sportsmen's Hall (though in the film it was called "Satan's Circus" or whatever) with the dog/rat fights, the woman gangster who kept people's ears in a jar, the battling fire brigades, P.T. Barnum and Horace Greeley as cameo characters, the Irish immigrants going directly from the docks to the Union Army, the Draft Riots - all these anecdotes/events are historically accurate to some extent and they make for compelling cinema.  However, the film overall didn't impress me.  While Daniel Day-Lewis was good with a wonderful period accent, he didn't captivate me the way that I supposed he would.  Leo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz were good with a lower case "g" - they didn't deliver astonishing performances either.  I liked the relationship between Bill the Butcher and Amsterdam, even if it was cliche, and the film's interweaving of the historical and personal was done in a skillful manner. 

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« Reply #143 on: March 04, 2007, 04:35:48 PM »

All That Jazz. 5/5. Underrated masterpiece.

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« Reply #144 on: March 04, 2007, 04:36:07 PM »

All That Jazz. 5/5. Underrated masterpiece.

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« Reply #145 on: March 04, 2007, 09:40:28 PM »

Have some catching up to do with this thread:

Drunken Angel -- 5/5  Amazing 1948 Kurosawa film starring Mifune and Simura (big surprise).  The film is full of colorful and brilliant characters, coupled with awesome direction.  It's about a young Yakuza ruffian named Matsunaga (Mifune) who, after having been shot in the hand, visits a doctor (who's an alcoholic) to help him remove the bullet, who figures out that he has Tuberculosis.  Matsunaga is going to have to give up his drinking-and-partying lifestyle that he's become accustomed to.  The film focuses on the doctor-gangster relationship that is usually non-existant in crime films (the doctor is usually basically just there to fix up some guys who got shot in the previous neat-o action sequence).  This is a film NOT to be missed! CRITERION! REMASTER THIS! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER! The only NTSC version of this available is the god-awful Hong Kong bootleg that I made the mistake of buying.  The translation is the worst you will ever see.  Luckily a friend helped me out.  Afro

Bob Le Flambeur -- 4/5 Very good Melville noir, famous for Le Samourai and Le Cercle Rouge, from the 50s.  Bob is a fascinating character, an ex-heistman (is that a word) who is now an aging gambler.  However, he's been on a losing streak.  He and his apprentice are going to pull off an epic casino job. Very good if your interested in Noir, particularly French ones, it ranks up there with classics like Touchez Pas Aus Grisbi.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 4/5 -- This movie is funny, no matter how you dice it.  It just goes for what's funny (except the extremely disturbing hotel wrestling scene with Azemat.... ugh....).  But it's so damn quotable: "Great success."  "You have obviously never met a man with a funny retardation."  "HIGH FIVE!"

Under the Flag of the Rising Sun 5/5 -- This is an amazing movie, directed in the 70's by Kinji Fukasaku (Tora! Tora! Tora!, Battle Royale, The Yakuza Papers); it is both moving and extremely stylized.  The war scenes range from bitterly tragic to utterly psychedelic.  It's about a Japanese woman, whose husband was executed for desertion during WWII.  However, she has reason to believe that there are many flaws in Japan's war records, and she visits the surviving members of his platoon for the real details of how he died.  Then, in horiffic Rashomon-style flashbacks, the four surviving soldiers tell their stories.  Do NOT miss this one.  I'll be watching Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor and Humanity (part I of The Yakuza Papers) very soon.

Scandal -- 4.5/5 Very intriguing though obscure film by Kurosawa starring Mifune and Simura (big surprise).  It's about an artist (Mifune) and a famous singer who are wrongfully accused of having an affair due to a photograph that was taken in the right place at the right time.  He decides to take action and sue the magazine who published this false article, and takes the help of a pathetic lawyer (Simura) whose angelic daughter has Tuberculosis.  It's as powerful today as it was then because to this DAY celebrities lives are being over-exposed in such a way.  It's disgusting, really.





Yep, this was a good last couple weeks when it came to movies.

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« Reply #146 on: March 05, 2007, 08:57:58 AM »

Madame de . . . (1953) Max Ophuls. A woman pawns a pair of earrings, a wedding gift from her husband, and they keep coming back to her. Each time the earrings gain significance, until by the end of the film they are literally religious icons. This is a film in which the tragic lovers end up dying for Love—but not necessarily for love of each other. Ophuls, famous for his moving camera, actually gets it to waltz with his characters here. Plot, performances, mise-en-scene: all first-rate. Surely, this is Ophul’s masterpiece. 5/5

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« Reply #147 on: March 05, 2007, 04:06:47 PM »

I loved this...and I don't think comedians get adequate respect from critics.  Sean Cohen or whatever his name is a MASTER at comedy.  He engineered scenario after scenario that were so hilariously awkward that I could hardly bare watching.  I would like to see some sort of behind the scenes bit to see which parts were staged and which weren't. The Pam Anderson bagging for instance obviously was pre-arranged.

Yeah, Pam and Sacha Cohen had been friends for a long time, but those two were the only ones in on it, everyone elses reaction is for real. 



I know because of this guide to the "story behind each scene."

http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2006/11/10/guide_to_borat/index.html

"I see that moustache and say, 'Oh no, here comes a gat-dang Muslim, what kinda bombs he got strappin'?' "

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« Reply #148 on: March 05, 2007, 08:47:12 PM »

Nighthawks (1981)  3/5

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« Reply #149 on: March 08, 2007, 11:10:45 AM »

throne of blood
a samurai kills his way to become lord of a castle. in doing this he fulfills a prophecy that can only end in more bloodshed.

pretty old, but solid stuff from kurosawa. great performances by all parts.




hard eight
a guy down on his luck is offered help from a stranger to win some money at casinos.

solid acting and a really down to earth story doesnt save this movie. it got too boring.




jesus camp
documentary about evangelical christian kids going to a summer camp catered to their beliefs.

wow, more fucked up ideological christians brainwashing kids in america. funny and scary at the same time.




punch drunk love
a guy spending most of his money on pudding with a frequent flier miles promotion, ends up in trouble with a sexphone company while trying to court his new girlfriend.

not bad for a romantic comedy. perhaps a bit cryptic at times.


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