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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4901354 )
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« #20685 : February 25, 2023, 04:08:23 PM »

Obsessionsaka Bezeten - Het gat in de muur (1969) Amsterdam Transitional Noir.

Directed by Pim de la Parra. Written by Pim de la Parra, Martin Scorsese, Wim Verstappen  and based on a story by Pim de la Parra. Cinematography was by Frans Bromet and Hubertus Hagen. Music was by Bernard Herrmann.

The film Stars Alexandra Stewart as Marina, Dieter Geissler as Nils Janssen, Tom van Beek as Joseph Edward Petrucci, Donald Jones as Otto Fabian, Elisabeth Versluys as Ingrid, Marijke Boonstra as Stella Olsen.

Its like Rear Window meets Psycho. The film is about an addictive, compulsive, obsession that leads in a very convoluted way to oblivion. Dieter Geissler as Nils Janssen is adequate in the part. He just doesn't standout personality wise. He's like your typical dentist. Alexandra Stewart as Marina is more commanding on screen and very believable, however again the rest of the cast are just not fleshed out enough as characters and are reduced to just being plug in bad guys or these zombie like prostitutes in training. It also looks as if the original ending might have been bleaker. There's a sort of tacked on epilogue taking place at a cemetery at the end of the film now.

Its got enough Visual style to give you that Noir fix plus a Bernard Herrmann score to complement the atmosphere. Worth at least a look. Screen caps are from a F-share TV streamer. 6-6.5/10. A new Blu-ray could up the rating to a 6.5 -7 /10.


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« #20686 : February 26, 2023, 05:42:48 PM »

Blind Beast (1969) - One of the greatest bizarro late night cult movies ever made. It's also a great hostage movie, and it probably doesn't get enough credit for its descent into total madness - and it's starts off crazy from the start, and talk about set design. There aren't many movies that have pop art elements that are also viewed as arthouse-y, and nobody did this type of movie better than the Japanese. Masumura's best work imo. A+

In the Mouth of Madness (1994) - Prime Carpenter's last stand, though it could have used prime Carpenter the composer since the soundtrack doesn't live up to his lofty standards. While more could have been done with the clever premise, and it should have started off more of a detective story, it's a well crafted movie that is better than I remembered. B


The transfer of the Arrow Blind Beast bluray is a little disappointing, but it's a very dark movie lacking detail. But certainly a lot better than my DVD.

« : February 26, 2023, 09:12:02 PM T.H. »


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« #20687 : February 26, 2023, 05:46:18 PM »

Decision to Leave (2020) - 8/10. This is visually and narratively dense and I had trouble following all the details of the plot. Probably everything will become clear on a re-watch or two. The story is basically about a black widow and the detective investigating her. Did she kill her husband(s) or didn't she? Is she playing the cop, or is she in love? How far should one go for love? What is love? What is the ending of this film? It's all a mystery, I guess. I'm looking forward to seeing it again (bring on the blu-ray!).
Third viewing and now I finally really get it: It's Basic Instinct meets In the Mood for Love. Yet funny. A lot of the humor is visual. That wallpaper gag: one of the best!

Raising my score to a "10." 2020's film of the year (which, of course, means no Oscar noms).



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« #20688 : February 27, 2023, 06:39:21 AM »

"The Highwaymen" - story of the two former Texas Rangers who ended the reign of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934.  I rate it 6/10.

I believe it was made for NetFlix; Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson.  Film did a great job of showing effects of the Depression on regular folks too without shoving it down your throat.

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« #20689 : March 01, 2023, 01:28:45 AM »

The Fablemans (Sammy Fablemans, 2022) - 6-8/10
Very messy, dense, kinda dumb, very generous, creative and (really) fun on first watch. I'm eager to know how I will feel like with multiple rewatches. Michelle Williams, her performance and the ay Steven asked her (and many, many other characters) to keep crying the whole movie long is the worst part of the movie. The Coen like scenes are the best ones. I wish we had spent more time with young Sammy on his amateur film sets, which is where Steven had a masterpiece on his hands. This movie is a great argument for those who think that if the "obsessions" of a filmmaker might be what make them an auteur, it is rarely if ever what makes them an artist, and it is often what stops them from making great art. Think how much better Spielberg's filmography would be if he had not let his parents' divorce being painted over everything, from mean aliens to the Shoah?

« : March 01, 2023, 03:36:58 AM noodles_leone »

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« #20690 : March 01, 2023, 07:01:00 PM »

The Fablemans (Sammy Fablemans, 2022) - 6-8/10
Think how much better Spielberg's filmography would be if he had not let his parents' divorce being painted over everything, from mean aliens to the Shoah?
That's not really where his work is grounded. The Spielberg project is all about the discovery that childhood is an illusion (an illusion that can be dispelled by a divorce, sure, but that's just one excuse. If there had never been a divorce SS would still have had to find an inciting incident to account for the end of his innocence). But the real world offers little Stevie no comfort, so it's best to use cinema to recreate the illusions of childhood whenever possible. Which is why Stevie is always making movies for kids. And he makes good ones, but he doesn't have much to offer adults.

As a filmmaker for children he only has one flaw, his need to explain, which usually takes the form of the Big Speech somewhere in each of his films. Schindler's List is ruined by the protagonist's mawkish I-should-have-sold-my-car-to-buy-another-life speech at the end. In The Fabelmans things are nearly undone by the I-see-what-you-did-there speech the bully makes at the prom. We're supposed to believe that a high school student of average intelligence not only reads Stevie's achievement correctly but is also both able and WILLING to articulate the fact to the filmmaker? How convenient. Stevie at that point is getting dangerously close to Rupert Pupkin territory it seems to me. Happily, John Ford is waiting in the wings to correct course (as in, It's All About Craftsmanship).

Interestingly, SS's one perfect film, Jaws, uses the Big Speech in exactly the right way. Robert Shaw, of course, delivers the USS Indianapolis monologue to give everybody the proper spine-tingling moment before we all rush out to take on Moby Dick. After that there's not a dry pair of BVDs in the house.

Stevie would like us all to believe that filmmaking for him is a way to order the world, but it's really about manipulating space and time to convince himself that the fantasies he makes for others are actually true. He is his own best audience. Most of the rest of us, though, have had to grow up, which means we need something more substantial when we go out to the cinema. I liked The Fabelmans, but it's no Decision To Leave.



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« #20691 : March 01, 2023, 11:18:34 PM »

I fully agree.
(except for the comment about DTL since I still have to see that one, but i've seen it was available on one of the streaming services I have access to)

« : March 02, 2023, 12:07:49 AM noodles_leone »

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« #20692 : March 02, 2023, 12:09:35 AM »

"The Highwaymen" - story of the two former Texas Rangers who ended the reign of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934.  I rate it 6/10.

I believe it was made for NetFlix; Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson.  Film did a great job of showing effects of the Depression on regular folks too without shoving it down your throat.

I remember trying it when it was first released and couldn't watch more than 30min as it's the typicial Netflix "content". There wasn't much to criticize in what I saw though.


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« #20693 : March 02, 2023, 02:38:04 AM »

(except for the comment about DTL since I still have to see that one, but i've seen it was available on one of the streaming services I have access to)
See it three times. It's the new Bleu, requiring multiple viewings. I still remember the shock on first viewing Kieslowski's masterpiece and seeing all the dissolves to black that did NOT signal a scene change. Wow, you can fuck with the grammar! DTL provides me with that kind of experience.



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« #20694 : March 03, 2023, 08:16:03 AM »

First fruits from the Jacques Becker retro at Film Forum . . .

Les aventures d'Arsene Lupin (1957) - 8/10. Three episodes and an epilog concerning the gentleman thief (Robert Lamoureux). In the first, Lupin boosts priceless oils from under the noses of hosts and guests at a swank party; in the second, Lupin makes off with jewels in a hotel (hmmm, I've seen that bureau-against-the-wall gag somewhere before); finally, Kaiser Wilhelm II calls in Lupin to test the invulnerability of a new hiding place (but Lupin has other plans). Although separate, the three episodes build and there are characters from the first who return in the second and third (and then in the epilog). This film is full of wit and invention, and a Technicolor marvel. It is completely unknown in the U.S.--for last night's screening they had to bring in a guy from the French consulate to generate subtitles for simultaneous projection. The image was immaculate, however. Surely this has been restored, so there must be a Blu in the offing. If so, I will purchase it, with or without subtitles.
The blu-ray is here (with subs)! Thank you, Kino. Hey, and you get two bonus films as well, creating something of an Arsene Lupin trilogy.

The highlight of the set is the sequel, Signed, Arsene Lupin (1959), which, although in B&W, is an improvement over the first film. Set after the end of the Great War, Lupin (Robert Lamoureux redux) gets caught up in a series of painting heists; the paintings, when combined, give directions to a missing treasure. A rival gang run by Alida Valli dupes Lupin into aiding them at first, and then they betray him. Lupin does not lose his cool, however, and through talent and persistence eventually comes out on top. The plot, while complicated, is never hard to follow. Everything ticks along nicely, and there are a number of surprising turns. Yves Robert directed.

The final film is a turkey: Arsene Lupin vs. Arsene Lupin (1962). Lupin at the beginning of the film is dead, and his two sons (by different mothers) compete to determine who will inherit the master's mantle. Could have been good, I suppose, but it's too New Wavy: undercranked cameras, at times; smart-ass intertitles between scenes; Jean-Claude Brialy and Jean-Pierre Cassel as the two annoying young men. I couldn't finish it. Molinaro directed.

Only the first film is in color. AR progresses as follows: 1.37:1 for the first film; 1.66:1 for the second; 2.35:1 for the last.



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« #20695 : March 06, 2023, 06:19:16 PM »

Ran (1985) - 6/10. That attack on the castle in the middle is great (and putting music only under the scene without the FX track was inspired), but the second half of the film just drags and drags. The image on the current blu is a bit soft, but it probably looked that way in 35mm too. Happily, the restoration didn't screw up the colors (and Eclair was involved!). There's a new UHD out now and I'd love to view it but I don't have the equipment. I bought it anyway--it comes in a really striking steelbook!



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« #20696 : March 07, 2023, 08:38:33 AM »

Yeah, for his last few films Kurosawa was into his ?I?m an artist who likes static imagery? phase. It?s a shame, because he was so good with the cinematic medium for most of his career. Don?t even get me started on ?Dreams?.

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« #20697 : March 07, 2023, 11:25:11 AM »

Yeah, for his last few films Kurosawa was into his ?I?m an artist who likes static imagery? phase. It?s a shame, because he was so good with the cinematic medium for most of his career. Don?t even get me started on ?Dreams?.

The opening chase isn't static though.
And the battles are incredible.


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« #20698 : March 07, 2023, 11:46:47 AM »

https://35mm.online/en/kolekcje/collections is the place to go for vintage Polish films that have been restored. Many of them have English subtitles. And they are free to stream. I just watched the following:

Goodbye to the Past (1960) - 7/10. https://35mm.online/en/vod/feature-films/goodbye-to-the-past An actress returns to her hometown for her grandfather's funeral, meets some people, has a one-night stand, then leaves for good. A little sentimental, but not too bad, and the female lead (Irena Orska) is a charmer. Zbigniew Cybulski has a hilarious cameo that only he could bring off. Directed with verve by the great Wojciech Jerzy Has.



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« #20699 : March 07, 2023, 02:32:59 PM »

Czlowiek na torze ( aka Man on the Tracks)  (1957) Commie Railroad Noir - directed Andrzej Munk (Eroica (1958)). The film was written by Andrzej Munk and Jerzy Stefan Stawinski and based on Jerzy Stefan Stawinski's story.

The film functions as a mystery as the railroad official try to figure out the facts of the incident. The film also is a fascinating study of life and social changes behind the iron curtain, along with being a nice eye opener into the lives of railway workers and their important and very specific functions. The films flashback structure will remind you of Rashomon, its American remake The Outrage, Citizen Kane, and many, many Classic Film Noir.

A Masterpiece 10/10

Watch (in Polish with English subtitles) a good print here - https://rarefilmm.com/2019/11/czlowiek-na-torze-1957/
The new standard for this film is here: https://35mm.online/en/vod/feature-films/man-on-the-tracks



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