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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4158905 )
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« #3360 : May 12, 2008, 12:48:53 PM »

Iron Man - 4/5

Not a great movie, but for what is, it sure was fun.

I agree. I'd have to say and agree with others that it is the best superhero movie so far.

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« #3361 : May 12, 2008, 03:18:16 PM »

A Few Good Men - 8/10 - Starts off really slow but kicks into really high-gear in the last hour. Great cast, Cruise and Moore are above-average, and Jack Nicholson, J.T. Walsh and Kevin Bacon provide great supporting turns.



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« #3362 : May 12, 2008, 03:55:39 PM »

It suffers from being conceived as a play. I know it's called The Apartment, but we spend too much time on that set.

How would The Apartment benefit from more scope? I think stage adaptations, or movies with characteristics of such, have their place in film just like everything else. Not every movie needs to be "big" or fully realized in some outlandish scenery. The Apt. is a humble movie, with a humble main character set in a humble environment. It fits and most importantly, it works.

Am I the only one who loves this movie?



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« #3363 : May 12, 2008, 04:47:27 PM »

City Lights -- 7/10

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« #3364 : May 12, 2008, 04:49:36 PM »

City Lights -- 7/10
lol, hahaha, ur gay

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« #3365 : May 12, 2008, 05:22:36 PM »

DJ and TB, either of you seen Carpenter's Dark Star?
I did many many many years ago, and have only a dim memory of it. My impression is that it is entertaining but essentially juvenilia.



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« #3366 : May 12, 2008, 06:19:23 PM »

How would The Apartment benefit from more scope? I think stage adaptations, or movies with characteristics of such, have their place in film just like everything else. Not every movie needs to be "big" or fully realized in some outlandish scenery. The Apt. is a humble movie, with a humble main character set in a humble environment. It fits and most importantly, it works.
I'm not sure "more scope" is necessarily required, just greater visual variety. It's interesting to compare this with AH's Rear Window. In that film the characters leave their apartment even less, but the film never feels set-bound as a result. The trick is that the camera spends most of the time looking out, not within. Of course, this only works for a film called Rear Window, other solutions have to be devised for other drama-films.

I enjoy films of plays simply because there are plays and performances I will never be able to see otherwise. But whenever a filmmaker makes a film that is not an adaptation of a play, but a new work devised to seem like a play, I always feel an opportunity has been lost. Cinema should be cinematic, no other medium can do what film does best. Filmed drama is still drama (i.e. people talking) and is antithetical to cinema, in a certain sense, which originated in silence. I want to see stories told in images, not words.

The other problem is that the theater has its own conventions, and it is almost impossible to shake free of them once you adopt a drama template for your film. In The Apartment, to cite one example, you've got the Jewish doctor and his wife who live down the hall. They provide commentary, comedy relief, and very important contributions to the plot at key moments. This is possible only due to their proximity--that is, they are just "off stage," ready to walk on when cued. In a play they would be wonderful characters, but on film they come of as cliches. Are they still entertaining? Yes, but only in the way that a lot TV sitcoms are entertaining. I would like the cinema to aspire to more.

The Apartment is done about as well as that kind of film can be done, but would it have been possible to make it even better by making it less like a play? I believe so. Which is why I concur with an assessment that gives the film 7 out of 10 points.



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« #3367 : May 12, 2008, 11:07:57 PM »

I'm not sure "more scope" is necessarily required, just greater visual variety. It's interesting to compare this with AH's Rear Window. In that film the characters leave their apartment even less, but the film never feels set-bound as a result. The trick is that the camera spends most of the time looking out, not within. Of course, this only works for a film called Rear Window, other solutions have to be devised for other drama-films.

I enjoy films of plays simply because there are plays and performances I will never be able to see otherwise. But whenever a filmmaker makes a film that is not an adaptation of a play, but a new work devised to seem like a play, I always feel an opportunity has been lost. Cinema should be cinematic, no other medium can do what film does best. Filmed drama is still drama (i.e. people talking) and is antithetical to cinema, in a certain sense, which originated in silence. I want to see stories told in images, not words.

The other problem is that the theater has its own conventions, and it is almost impossible to shake free of them once you adopt a drama template for your film. In The Apartment, to cite one example, you've got the Jewish doctor and his wife who live down the hall. They provide commentary, comedy relief, and very important contributions to the plot at key moments. This is possible only due to their proximity--that is, they are just "off stage," ready to walk on when cued. In a play they would be wonderful characters, but on film they come of as cliches. Are they still entertaining? Yes, but only in the way that a lot TV sitcoms are entertaining. I would like the cinema to aspire to more.

The Apartment is done about as well as that kind of film can be done, but would it have been possible to make it even better by making it less like a play? I believe so. Which is why I concur with an assessment that gives the film 7 out of 10 points.

Jimmy Stewart's character in RW is a man who is well traveled and adventured who is locked up due to a leg injury and pries into his neighbor's lives to quench that thirst for excitement. Lemmon's character in The Apt. is a bearucrat, a byproduct of paperwork. His desires are the Stewart character's biggest fears, a home, family, office job, etc. He works overtime, goes home after the last cheating husband leaves and repeats the process. The dramatic problems occur within his mundane lifestyle, so I don't see how this story could become more expressionistic. Your reasoning is certainly solid, but I don't think it's necessarily fair to Wilder. His writing skills were certainly stronger than his aesthetics, although I think his visuals are underappreciated.

In RW, the visuals need to take precedent over the story due to its respective dramatic conflicts. The viewer doesn't know whether or not the neighbor is a murderer upon first viewing. In the Apt., the situation is laid out for us and Wilder's writing and the actor's performances set the table. It's a comedy and the camera needs to keep still to capture the action in many instances. Sure, you can make the point that Wilder could have framed certain sequences in a more interesting fashion, (which I would agree with to a certain extent) but again, he gives his actors the ball and they don't drop it imo.

I don't have an issue with the neighbors, then again, my favorite character in RW is the nurse. They are a bit ordinary, somewhat cliched, but they're supposed to be common, blue collar people thrown into the main character's hectic situations. I wouldn't compare these characters to the likes of the Schneiders, Newmans, Boners and Gibblers of the world, that's a bit harsh.

I don't think every film needs strong imagery. Sometimes the camera needs to take a backseat, especially with stage adaptations and comedies. The writing and acting make up for what is lost in terms of cinematography. With that said, there is a really nice visual sequence in the Apt., when the Lemmon character is introduced to the viewer as a normal sized fish in an endless sea in his office setting. Had there been more of these moments, I'm sure Wilder would have handled the situation as well as this, but that situation doesn't present itself.

DJ, what are your favorite stage adaptations?



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« #3368 : May 12, 2008, 11:56:19 PM »

Shakespeare, mostly. Then there are a host of British films of English plays: Brief Encounter, Blithe Spirit, Major Barbara, The Importance of Being Earnest. And of course there are Hitchcock's adaptations of English plays, principally Rope and Dial M. The one really great American adaptation of an American play is probably The Heiress, which Wyler adapted from Washington Square (which was a novel first, but also a play). And I'd be remiss if I didn't note that very great adaptation of that very weak drama called Everybody Comes to Rick's . . .

Getting back to The Apartment vs. Rear Window, here is the acid test: you could take Wilder's film as written and produce it for the stage (apparently, Wilder intended to do just that if he couldn't get financing for the movie); RW could not be so adapted without extensive rewriting, it's just too cinematic.



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« #3369 : May 13, 2008, 04:51:05 AM »

Tuco, you are quite obviously not the only who loves The Apartment since it's routinely listed as one of the greatest comedies/films of all time.

I don't mind filmed adaptations of plays myself. Several of my favorite films would fall under that category - A Man for All Seasons, Brief Encounter, 12 Angry Men, Casablanca, Rope. The lack of cinematicness is not my issue. I just didn't find it very funny or believable. I like the main characters (Lemmon and Maclaine) but that's about it. And all the stuff about suicide etc. in the second half really takes the wind out of the film. Just not my cup of tea. I did enjoy it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again.



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« #3370 : May 13, 2008, 07:36:00 AM »

With that said, there is a really nice visual sequence in the Apt., when the Lemmon character is introduced to the viewer as a normal sized fish in an endless sea in his office setting.
You're right, that scene was visually very interesting O0

L'Affut (On Guard) (1992) - 7.5/10
Even kinda stupid at times but it does have emotion.


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« #3371 : May 13, 2008, 12:55:30 PM »

The Piano Teacher (2001) - 6.5/10
The first hour was great but the ending makes no sense :-\ Okay, maybe on emotional level it does, but it still isn't satisfying.


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« #3372 : May 13, 2008, 03:04:00 PM »

To Catch a Thief - 6/10 - Pretty standard, unremarkable Hitchcock with gorgeous cinematography, a luminous Grace Kelly and charming Cary Grant. Storywise, nothing particularly original or interesting.



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« #3373 : May 13, 2008, 04:57:22 PM »

To Catch a Thief - 6/10 - Pretty standard, unremarkable Hitchcock with gorgeous cinematography, a luminous Grace Kelly and charming Cary Grant. Storywise, nothing particularly original or interesting.
The John Michael Hayes dialogue elevates the whole to above-standard Hitchcock ("Avez vou bourbon?"). Give it a "7", Grogs, and I'll let you go home early.



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« #3374 : May 13, 2008, 05:47:14 PM »

Gattaca- 8/10

Star Wars Episode 3- 9/10

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