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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4582080 )
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« #11775 : March 29, 2013, 02:34:55 AM »

Yep, very cool  O0


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« #11776 : March 29, 2013, 03:37:22 AM »

It will most likely equal it, but I'm not sure about beating it, GBU is actually very close to me, the first time I watched it, it was with my late grandmother [who loved very long epics], so it has sentimental value to me as well.

:) Seems unbeatable. And yep, cool grandma!


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« #11777 : March 29, 2013, 07:14:32 AM »

Le Mans (1971) 7.5/10 (TCM)

Inevitably, this movie is compared to the other famous racing movie of that era, Grand Prix (1966), with James Garner. Steve McQueen was offered the lead in that movie but turned it down; he wanted to make a racing movie his way, and 5 years later he did, with Le Mans. IMO, GP is a much better movie; I liked the cinematography much better. Also, the image quality of TCM's print of GP is far better than their print of LM.

ML takes place over a single race, while GP takes place over the course of an entire season, so in GP, there are lots of melodramatic scenes between all the racing; while LM is based much more on the racing. Still, since the racing is all that matters, I prefer GP's filming of the racing scenes.



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« #11778 : March 29, 2013, 07:27:46 PM »

The Plough and the Stars - 4/10 - Stiff, melodramatic adaptation of Sean O'Casey's play of the Easter Rising. John Ford would seem an ideal choice after The Informer but his direction is uninspired, fumbling an overlarge cast and needlessly diffuse narrative. To be fair, RKO butchered the movie, excising O'Casey's more pointed political content to focus on melodrama (Barbara Stanwyck loves rebel Preston Foster but doesn't understand why he fights, etc.). Regardless of who's to blame the movie stinks. Stanwyck is terrible, a sentence I never thought I'd utter. The Anglo-Irish actors (Barry Fitzgerald, Moroni Olsen, Una O'OConnor) do respectable work. What a waste of a good story and great director.



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« #11779 : March 30, 2013, 01:38:16 AM »

The Squid and the Whale (2005) - 7.5/10


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« #11780 : March 30, 2013, 04:41:51 AM »

Ben-Hur (1959): 4/5 stars

The Prestige (2006): 3.5/5 stars


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« #11781 : March 30, 2013, 01:58:10 PM »

Les amants de Montparnasse/ Montparnasse 19/ Modigliani of Montparnasse (1958). Gaumont blu-ray. 8/10. The dissolute painter Modigliani (Gérard Philipe) takes up with a virtuous young woman (Anouk Aimée) but she is unable to save him. I always find it odd that there was a time when films about painters were shot in black and white—the artists didn’t paint in black and white, after all. What then are we supposed to make of these monochromatic copies of famous masterpieces? Are they adequate for establishing the artists achievement? And if they aren’t how are we to decide whether all the suffering was worth it? And arent’t we being cheated of the very things that provide the interest in an otherwise uninteresting character? By way of compensation, in this case anyway, we get stunning photography of Philipe and Aimée—works of art themselves. Lino Ventura is also in the picture—hey, it’s a Jacques Becker film. Lino puts in an appearance early, then reappears around the middle of the film to explain why he’s in the picture (he’s an art dealer who plans to corner the Modigliani market at precisely the right moment), then he shows up at the end as Modigliani is dying (in at the kill to make a killing). The obvious message about the heartlessness of the art market is present, but perhaps also a sub-text can be discerned: better to be tough-as-nails Lino than pretty boy Gérard. Prescient of Becker if so, as Gérard Philip would die the following year at 36.

Van Gogh (1991). Gaumont blu-ray. 9/10. The dissolute (and apparently insane) painter Van Gogh takes up with a not-so-virtuous young woman but she is unable to save him. This 158 minute film has very little painting in it, even though we frequently see Vincent lugging his easel about the French countryside. Mostly it’s about the people Van Gogh interacted with during the last 70 days of his life. Certainly every frame of the film is a painting (never Van Goghs, though, usually in the manner of, say, Serrault). The great thing about the film is that Maurice Pialat has directed it so that no one in it knows it is Van Gogh’s last 70 days. When Van Gogh shows up after having shot himself offscreen, everybody, including the audience, is surprised. The tropes of melodrama are pretty much dispensed with here (and there is no music until the end credits). In fact, the banality of Van Gogh’s life is not only observed, it’s insisted upon. This is all to the good, but still, dropping 30 minutes from the film’s runtime would not have gone amiss.

Renoir
(2012). 35mm projection. 7/10. In 1915 a mysterious young woman (Christa Theret) appears at the estate of the celebrated painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) and offers to be his model. She quickly establishes herself as the artist’s muse, and soon Renoir can’t work without her.  Then Renoir’s son Jean (Vincent Rottiers) returns, apparently invalided out of WWI—he finds the girl pretty stimulating as well. This beautiful film, shot on locations on the Cote d’Azur, captures something of Renoir’s palette, with red predominating (in a sunlit grove, for instance, or in a girl’s hair). The hands of an art forger (Guy Ribes) are photographed sketching or painting imitations of famous works: you will believe that you’ve seen Renoir putting paint to canvas!

Visually the film is sumptuous. Where the film falls down is in the depiction of character (also in the wretched score by  Alexandre Desplat—why, why do they continue to use that hack?). Renoir pere is pretty interesting—eccentric old coots usually are. Renoir fils, though, is mind-numbingly bland. This is the man who would go on to direct The Grand Illusion?  The director, Gilles Bourdos, was at the screening I attended, and during the Q&A afterwards he admitted that he wasn’t as interested in the Renoirs as in the woman they (at least, artistically) shared, the woman who was the subject of the late paintings of Pierre-Auguste and who subsequently acted in Jean’s early films. I had a true A-ha! moment when he said that. That goes a long way toward explaining why Jean was so underdeveloped.  Still, it doesn’t explain why the part of the girl is so badly written—she’s a compendium of clichés (there’s even a scene where she displays her non-conformity by breaking precious crockery: shocking!).  Ms. Theret, who is quite lovely (and who was also at the screening, but disappointingly, without red hair) is a capable actress who only wants for a good part. Here's hoping she finds one soon. Meanwhile, for its visuals, Renoir is still worth seeing.

« : March 30, 2013, 02:01:47 PM dave jenkins »


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« #11782 : March 30, 2013, 03:28:08 PM »

I sense a theme.



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« #11783 : March 30, 2013, 04:03:00 PM »

You ARE a bright one, what?



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« #11784 : March 30, 2013, 10:20:27 PM »

Being in between jobs allowed me four movies today. A Groggy record or pretty close.

Salvatore Giuliano - 9/10 - Excellent film depicting Sicilian patriot/partisan/bandit Salvatore Giuliano's reign of terror (noble struggle?) in the late '40s. Its stark docudrama quality presages The Battle of Algiers, but Francesco Rosi proves better at studied objectivity than Pontecorvo. The question isn't whether Giuliano is a good guy (he's clearly more Al Capone than Robin Hood) but whether he answered to a higher authority. Indeed, the movie becomes most interesting in its second half, as convictions of Giuliano's surviving lieutenants dredge up evidence of police/Mafia complicity in his followers' massacre of Communists, and Giuliano's own demise. Featuring Frank Wolff as Giuliano's treacherous lieutenant.

Father Brown - 7/10 - Alec Guinness plays G.K. Chesterton's priest-detective, on the trail of master thief Peter Finch. Slight but fun comic thriller, with Guinness having a ball playing a holy nebbish.

The Cockleshell Heroes - 7/10 - Reckless Royal Marine commando Jose Ferrer (also director) joins stiff-necked Trevor Howard, assorted cheeky blokes to sabotage German shipping in Northern France. Typical "how I won the war" commando heroics with good action and nice color photography.

The Ghost and the Darkness - 4/10 - Two giant egos hunt man-eating lions in British East Africa. Starts out okay: gorgeous African scenery, robust Jerry Goldsmith score, tolerable Val Kilmer, a few decent attack scenes. But everything derails with the entrance of Michael Douglas, a swaggering, half-crazed, scenery-chewing nutcase. Also, he plays a hunter. This character is monstrously ill-conceived: introduced paraphrasing Dirty Harry, he's posited as an unstoppable badass when he's really a pathetic, greasy load. Douglas is emblematic of William Goldman's asinine script, mixing the worst of '30s serial mentality (Tom Wilkinson's railroad boss literally tells Kilmer he enjoys torturing his employees) and modern PC posturing (John Kani's modern Man Friday, cracking jokes with Kilmer and Douglas like a frat brother). Recommended for fans of mediocre Jaws retreads.

« : March 30, 2013, 10:22:16 PM Groggy »


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« #11785 : March 31, 2013, 05:55:25 AM »

Deliverance (1972) 8.5/10 (blu ray)


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« #11786 : April 01, 2013, 04:17:25 AM »

The French Connection (1971) - 4/5 stars

The French Connection II (1975) - 4.5/5 stars


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« #11787 : April 03, 2013, 12:51:08 AM »

The Place Beyond The Pines 4/10

Pointless story, bad dialogues, good acting, interesting camerawork. I have no problem with swishing main characters as many time as you want in a movie, but this is something that has to be done right (see: Psycho). It is very, very badly done here, utterly uninvolving. The lost youth theme is not treated (they're just lost and dumb, with no reason). Also, I'm not a  fan of this kind of subject: I don't believe that identity is mainly shaped by genetics. That's some dangerous ideology if you ask me.
Gosling is playing exactly his Drive character, but he's more of a loser.

« : April 03, 2013, 12:52:20 AM noodles_leone »

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« #11788 : April 03, 2013, 03:22:46 AM »

The King Of Comedy (1983) - 3/5 stars



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« #11789 : April 03, 2013, 05:16:28 AM »

The Place Beyond The Pines 4/10

Pointless story, bad dialogues, good acting, interesting camerawork. I have no problem with swishing main characters as many time as you want in a movie, but this is something that has to be done right (see: Psycho). It is very, very badly done here, utterly uninvolving. The lost youth theme is not treated (they're just lost and dumb, with no reason). Also, I'm not a  fan of this kind of subject: I don't believe that identity is mainly shaped by genetics. That's some dangerous ideology if you ask me.
Gosling is playing exactly his Drive character, but he's more of a loser.
Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I've been kind of avoiding this one--and now I'll continue to do so.



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