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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5117423 )
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« #12165 : June 21, 2013, 11:49:40 AM »

To the Wonder - Terrence Malick

There must be 2 Terrence Malicks in this world. To the Wonder felt like a not that talented director had tried to copy the innovative style of Tree of Life.
To make sure that my mind hadn't tricked me I re-watched The Tree of Life the other day, and when I had some reservations towards Tree of Life, well, now most of them are gone. The Tree of Life is a stunning pleasure in every respect and it blew me away.
But To the Wonder achieves these qualities only here and there. What looks great on the paper is the concept of telling what goes wrong in a relationship not by showing the actual conflicts realistically, but only in a hyperbolic way by a poetic flow of images which try to catch the raptures in the aftermath of the disputes. But I never cared much for the couple and their problems, and especially Affleck had not much too offer (maybe on purpose). The best part was the short and concentrated interlude with Rachel McAdams.
So To the Wonder has its moments, but is (after the first watch) not a cinematic wonder. 6/10

But The Tree of Life is now for me one of the movie wonders of this century. 10/10


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« #12166 : June 21, 2013, 02:05:52 PM »

So To the Wonder has its moments, but is (after the first watch) not a cinematic wonder. 6/10

But The Tree of Life is now for me one of the movie wonders of this century. 10/10
Another perspective:
Hanan Townshend's wonderful To The Wonder score: 10/10
Alexandre Desplat's dull, derivative, dung-encrusted Tree of Life score: 0/10.

And with late Malick, the score is everything (well--80%, anyway).



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« #12167 : June 21, 2013, 02:45:38 PM »

The Tattered Dress (1957) - 7/10. Apparently based on the same trial from which Anatomy of a Murder is derived, here the story receives a more conventional Hollywood treatment. Instead of being set in some jerk-water Wisconsin town, this is set in a Palm-Springs-like resort ("Desert Valley"). Instead of an army officer accused of murdering his wife's bartender-boyfriend, we have a wealthy dimwit in the same situation. And instead of Lee Remick as the flirty wife, we're given a very slutty Elaine Stewart. But the most significant difference: instead of folksy Jimmy Stewart for the defense, we get Jeff Chandler as an amoral, high-priced, criminal lawyer flown in for the event. But wait--the crime, investigation, and trial are all quickly dealt with in the first 30 minutes. That's just a prelude to the film's real concern: the life-and-death contest between Chandler and the local law, friendly-seeming-but-utterly-corrupt Jack Carson (in what must be his greatest role). The murdered man was the lawman's friend, and when his killer walks the sheriff decides to exact an elaborate revenge on the one who sprang him. So the criminal lawyer--irony of ironies--ends up defending himself in a second trial. Oh, the humanity! As per usual, authentic courtroom procedures are modified to enhance the dramatic elements. Well, those elements are certainly enhanced: I enjoyed everything except the deus ex machina ending.



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« #12168 : June 21, 2013, 05:26:14 PM »

And with late Malick, the score is everything (well--80%, anyway).

So it's a good thing he got Preisner's Lacrimsoa and Smetana's Die Moldau in Tree Of Life so that the movie couldn't be rated under 5/10.
Here is a list of non original songs used in The Tree Of Life:
http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/music_list_all_37_songs_features_in_terrence_malicks_the_tree_of_life?page=2#blogPostHeaderPanel

These are not 37 masterpieces but this is no 0/10. Desplat didn't do a good job on this, but his music is barely noticable in the movie, which is not the case of most of the 37 songs listed here (I went out of the theater singing Lacrimosa both times).

« : June 21, 2013, 05:32:23 PM noodles_leone »

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« #12169 : June 21, 2013, 06:04:03 PM »

I went out of the theater desperate to scrape CGI dinosaur images off the bottom of my cerebellum, but I'll admit you have a point there. Is Desplat's contribution really less than half of the film? Then I will amend my view.

« : June 21, 2013, 06:26:42 PM dave jenkins »


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« #12170 : June 22, 2013, 04:55:10 AM »

The Tattered Dress (1957) - 7/10. Apparently based on the same trial from which Anatomy of a Murder is derived, here the story receives a more conventional Hollywood treatment. Instead of being set in some jerk-water Wisconsin town, this is set in a Palm-Springs-like resort ("Desert Valley"). Instead of an army officer accused of murdering his wife's bartender-boyfriend, we have a wealthy dimwit in the same situation. And instead of Lee Remick as the flirty wife, we're given a very slutty Elaine Stewart. But the most significant difference: instead of folksy Jimmy Stewart for the defense, we get Jeff Chandler as an amoral, high-priced, criminal lawyer flown in for the event. But wait--the crime, investigation, and trial are all quickly dealt with in the first 30 minutes. That's just a prelude to the film's real concern: the life-and-death contest between Chandler and the local law, friendly-seeming-but-utterly-corrupt Jack Carson (in what must be his greatest role). The murdered man was the lawman's friend, and when his killer walks the sheriff decides to exact an elaborate revenge on the one who sprang him. So the criminal lawyer--irony of ironies--ends up defending himself in a second trial. Oh, the humanity! As per usual, authentic courtroom procedures are modified to enhance the dramatic elements. Well, those elements are certainly enhanced: I enjoyed everything except the deus ex machina ending.

How did you see this?


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« #12171 : June 22, 2013, 11:50:26 AM »

The score of both Malick films should be more counterpointing, should have included some more brutish music. It's all a bit too nice, too harmonic. On the other hand while watching Tree of life the 2nd time I made my peace with its score, but did not like the one of To the Wonder.

The dinosaurs did some great acting. How could they ever die out with such talented guys amongst them?


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« #12172 : June 22, 2013, 03:12:28 PM »

How did you see this?
There's a version available on youtube. I say "version" because the Cinemascope film is cropped. This being a courtroom drama, though, the cropping doesn't hurt it too much.



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« #12173 : June 22, 2013, 03:30:59 PM »


Fill the Void (2012) High 7/10
Jane Austen meets Hasidic Tel Aviv (it may be overstated, but it's true). Easily misinterpreted as anti-feminist, but open enough to call that into question. All that Jewy stuff is pretty interesting, kept me going. Admittedly, didn't see the first 10 minutes but it didn't seem to matter, got the jist. Really liked the ending. Fuck me, right? Pretty good.
I've seen this now too, and I concur, pretty good. I'd go an "8" maybe. Yeah, Jane Austen, but also the omiai kekkon comedies of Ozu came to mind. I'm using the term "comedy" only to refer to the fact that it has a happy ending--this film has few chuckles and is often rather grim. The ending is predictable but--as in Austen and Ozu--the getting there provides the interest. Still, I was a little annoyed by the look of the film: a very soft image throughout (were they using diffusion filters on every scene?). Also, the tight framing gave the piece a touch of claustrophobia, but that was probably intentional. As anthropology, though, the film works quite well--the best look inside Jewish culture since the Coen's A Serious Man.

« : June 22, 2013, 03:33:18 PM dave jenkins »


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« #12174 : June 22, 2013, 07:32:24 PM »

Rider on the Rain (1970) "Le passager de la pluie" I haven't seen this since I saw it on Times Square in 1971, forgot how great it was and Marlène Jobert is a real cutie. The 905 Entertainment DVD is a lousy print though.

« : June 22, 2013, 07:44:36 PM cigar joe »

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« #12175 : June 22, 2013, 07:37:29 PM »

Much Ado About Nothing (2013) - 8/10 - Joss Whedon's low budget, modern-dress Shakespeare, starring a slew of Buffy/Angel/Avengers alums. It's off-beat and self-aware in patented Whedon fashion; he gives the actors free rein to mug to their hearts content (Alexis Denisof and Clark Gregg are the best/worst offenders), with lots of hilarious modernisms (Dogberry and his constables sporting Maverick shades! Don John's arrest filmed by a TMZ-style tabloid!) which emphasize Shakespeare's silly plot. The previous sentence could easily be a criticism but it worked for me. The actors have chemistry and the staging and delivery crackles with wit. If nothing else it lacks the obnoxious stunt casting of Branaugh's version.

« : June 22, 2013, 09:25:37 PM Groggy »


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« #12176 : June 23, 2013, 03:40:16 AM »

1. If Winter Comes (1947) 7.5/10

With Walter Pidgeon, Deborah Kerr, and a very young Janet Leigh in a supporting role.

2. Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1959) 6/10

The title will tell you exactly what this is - a hilariously crappy cheap B-caper movie. I see this title coming up on TCM, and how can I possibly turn down a movie with an awesome title like this? Featuring Mamie Van Doren, Gerald Mohr, and Lee Van Cleef in all his menacing tough guy glory, playing a gangster who breaks out of prison just three months before his parole hearing because he hears that his wife (played by Van Doren) is messing around with other guys, while they are plotting a robbery of an armored car.
Van Doren is smoking hot, but has zero acting talent.
This is one of the cheap ass caper films where the entire thing is narrated beginning to end, you wonder why the hell the actors are even needed - everything that happens is told to you by the narrator, it's like the filmmakers are unaware that the point of a movie is to see things happen, not be told.
But if you like those hilariously ridiculous crime movies, with the tough guy dialogue and busty blonde with no talent, this is the sort of movie for you.
Here is a frightful recent photo of Van Doren http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mamie_Van_Doren_LF.jpg
I hear the 80-year old is spending her time these days running a website and blog where she sells autographs and posts nude photos of herself.


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« #12177 : June 23, 2013, 01:46:35 PM »

Much Ado About Nothing (2013) - 8/10 - Joss Whedon's low budget, modern-dress Shakespeare, starring a slew of Buffy/Angel/Avengers alums. It's off-beat and self-aware in patented Whedon fashion; he gives the actors free rein to mug to their hearts content (Alexis Denisof and Clark Gregg are the best/worst offenders), with lots of hilarious modernisms (Dogberry and his constables sporting Maverick shades! Don John's arrest filmed by a TMZ-style tabloid!) which emphasize Shakespeare's silly plot. The previous sentence could easily be a criticism but it worked for me. The actors have chemistry and the staging and delivery crackles with wit. If nothing else it lacks the obnoxious stunt casting of Branaugh's version.
Watched this today, but less enthusiastically. I thought it started well, and everything was working until the plot turned sinister, then it was impossible to take any of it seriously. Hey, these are just L.A. actors hanging out at Whedon's house, nobody's in any danger of really getting killed or anything. And then there was Dogberry and his crew: they're supposed to be the funniest thing in the play, but their comic timing was off. We should be able to note every word Dogberry gets wrong, but the delivery was so low I could barely make things out. Oh well, I do agree this is better than Branaugh's version (though Whedon is guilty of at least one case of stunt casting as well).



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« #12178 : June 23, 2013, 02:07:43 PM »

The Conversation - 9/10 - 3rd viewing, second in a week.

Silence of the Lambs - 7/10 - One of those films that's become so iconic it's hard to judge on its own terms. Everything from Cracker to The X-Files to Se7en borrows liberally from its central premise, with varying degrees of success, not to mention endless Hannibal parodies. What surprised me is how restrained the violence is, especially compared to Se7en; the real focus is on characters and faux-realistic FBI procedure, not gore. Jodie Foster does excellent work and Ted Levine makes a creepy villain, but I really couldn't stand Anthony Hopkins. Hard to see why he won an Oscar for this and not performances that required more than a silly hiss and affected line delivery. And yeah, we get some plot twists that are a bit hard to take. I enjoyed seeing our Carnegie Museums in one scene. O0

« : June 23, 2013, 02:09:04 PM Groggy »


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« #12179 : June 24, 2013, 09:00:42 AM »

Beauty and the Beast - 8/10

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