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Messages - Groggy

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Other Films / Re: The Free State of Jones (2016)
« on: June 26, 2016, 04:06:28 PM »
Throwing garbage at the screen at random intervals is preferable to cliché. If you say so.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 26, 2016, 01:11:39 PM »
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning - 7.5/10 - Albert Finney drinks, gets Rachel Roberts pregnant, shoots an old lady with BBs, is beat up. These kitchen sink films start bleeding together after awhile: same gloomy factory towns, angry protagonists, sense of seedy despair. Fortunately, Finney is good enough to overcome most of it, being much more convincing as a working class stiff than, say, Laurence Harvey or Richard Burton. Norman Rossington has a nice supporting role.

Other Films / Re: The Free State of Jones (2016)
« on: June 26, 2016, 01:09:34 PM »
I agree that it wasn't a bad idea, but there wasn't any rhyme or reason to how Ross integrated those scenes in the story. If this had been established as a framing device, it could have worked. As is, it's just brief, random flash forwards strung carelessly into the plot.

Other Films / Re: The Free State of Jones (2016)
« on: June 26, 2016, 07:56:27 AM »
See, my actual point is that said subplot was very poorly (and pointlessly) added to the story. He could be son, great-grandson or eighth cousin twice removed and it wouldn't change a thing.

General Discussion / Re: Mistakes in Frayling's DVD Commentaries
« on: June 25, 2016, 12:14:24 PM »
Frayling states in STDWD that Jason Robards' only Western pre-OUATITW was A Big Hand for the Little Lady. Strange that he'd remember that one rather than Hour of the Gun.

Other Films / Re: The Free State of Jones (2016)
« on: June 25, 2016, 07:56:26 AM »
The movie sure did a great job making that clear. I'll change it to descendent. Thanks for the link. O0

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 25, 2016, 06:19:41 AM »
I was being polite.

Other Films / Re: The Free State of Jones (2016)
« on: June 24, 2016, 07:26:59 PM »
Sadly I was mistaken. Not bad, nothing special.

Free State of Jones (2016) is everything you'd expect from a Civil War film by the director of The Hunger Games. Gary Ross's epic is well-made but underwhelming, trading depth and insight for obvious dramatic beats.

 Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) deserts from the Confederate Army after the Battle of Second Corinth. Knight joins a band of runaway slaves and deserters for protection against Confederate Home Guard units. Eventually their resistance builds into all-out rebellion; Knight's men wage guerrilla warfare against the Confederacy and overrun Jones County, Mississippi. Once the war ends, Knight and his followers find their gains washed away by Jim Crow.

 Free State of Jones draws on a true story, which Ross milks for crowd-pleasing elements. The film opens with an epic battle relishing gory details: graphic amputations, hogs devouring entrails. One set piece involves a funeral ambush, with black-clothed widows blasting Confederate heads and Knight strangling a villain with his belt. Benoit Delhomme complements with dynamic camerawork, probing spooky mangrove swamps, burning plantation homes and nocturnal Klan raids.

 Despite the premise, Jones often feels stilted. Ross keeps characterization rote: Knight is tough and charismatic but lacks depth. His "leave me be" motive seems more selfish than righteous. His romance with a runaway slave (Gubu Mbatha-Raw) provides human interest, but a subplot involving his returned wife (Keri Russell) amounts to nothing. Eventually, the mix of guerrilla raids and Confederate atrocities grows repetitive.

 Ross dwells on Knight's fate during Reconstruction. His colleague Moses (Mahershala Ali) registers blacks to vote; Knight endures indignity from Mississippi officials who replace slavery with segregation. What might be a bittersweet coda drags on interminably, like the first act of another movie; Knight goes from hero to cranky bystander. Even worse is a flash-forward subplot showing Newton's son on trial for miscegenation, sloppily woven into the narrative.

 Matthew McConaughey commits to a demanding role, playing with fiery conviction. He dominates the film to the detriment of his costars. Gubu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali, at least, are strong enough to transcend their thin characters. Others play stock types, like Bill Tangradi's craven Confederate and Joe Chrest's lecherous slave owner. Jill Jane Clements has a fun bit as an amoral tavern owner.

Free State of Jones is a good idea indifferently executed. I'm all for Civil War movies, especially those exploding the Lost Cause myth, but Newton Knight deserves a better try than this messy, disappointing muddle. 6/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 24, 2016, 07:24:54 PM »
Free State of Jones - 6/10 - Matthew McConaughey rouses resistance and slaughters secesh in Civil War era Mississippi. Choppy and repetitive in the middle section, with a long epilogue that seems like the start of another movie. Still, killing Confederates is always a good time, and reactionaries can use it to score political points on internet forums, so it has some value.

Besides which, more Robert Shaw!

A Town Called Bastard - 1/10 - Shit.

Figures in a Landscape - 7.5/10 - Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell are chased across a desolate landscape by helicopters. Who they are, where they're going or what's happening is an exercise for the viewer. Plays like North by Northwest's crop duster scene expanded to feature length. Interesting enough, but seems like it should amount to more in the end.

The Hireling - 8/10 - Shaw is a driver who befriends depressed widow Sarah Miles, develops a relationship he misconstrues as romance. British melodrama about class barriers with a rougher edge than you'd expect. Possibly Miles' best performance, and Shaw is wonderfully restrained. Immersively gloomy photography throughout.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Terror attack in Paris
« on: June 20, 2016, 09:52:00 AM »
Yes, and it used to be that you call black people darkies and Negroes as well. Language changes, like it or not, and semantic games like these are the province of children.

But then, I'm debating this with someone who also thinks fag and tranny are fine words to throw around. Better watch out, or your imaginary PC police will haul you away to their imaginary jail. :o

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 20, 2016, 09:12:16 AM »
Custer of the West - 3/10 - Garbage Little Bighorn story fails on every front. Constantly looks cheap despite its Cinemascope photography, is less accurate than They Died With Their Boots On, has a stilted script and lousy acting, starting with the egregiously miscast Robert Shaw. Some decent action scenes but you have to wade through mountains of shit to find them.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Terror attack in Paris
« on: June 20, 2016, 09:09:01 AM »
Between "race hustler" and your frequent homophobic slurs, I'd kindly suggest you sit on a grenade.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: In Memoriam
« on: June 19, 2016, 01:54:19 PM »
Awful news, 27 is way too young for anyone. RIP

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Last Book You Read
« on: June 19, 2016, 07:13:55 AM »
I have read the Zhivago book, but not Kitty Genovese. I am currently reading John Heilpern's bio of John Osborne again

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 18, 2016, 11:29:43 AM »
The Luck of Ginger Coffey - 7/10 - Early Irvin Kershner film with Robert Shaw as an Irish immigrant to Canada struggling to find work. Downbeat and dreary, like a British kitchen sink film transplanted to Montreal, but well-written and acted.

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