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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4582075 )
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« #11805 : April 06, 2013, 08:03:02 PM »

Jezebel - 8/10 - Like Gone With the Wind but much darker and better. William Wyler explores the absurd, arcane honor codes of the Deep South, where a woman can be damned for wearing the wrong color dress or men settle arguments with pistols instead of words. All while yellow fever knocks at the door. Later scenes especially have a deep gothic edge (New Orleans under martial law, with tumbrel carts of fever victims clogging the streets), with Bette Davis's wonderful performance carrying the film.



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« #11806 : April 07, 2013, 02:02:01 AM »

Fatal Attraction (1987) 9/10 (blu-ray)


SPOILER ALERT

In a nutshell, this movie is great, until it pisses away the last scene.

Okay, let's back up a bit:

I really like how the movie made me ask myself, between the Douglas and Close characters, which one is really the "good" and which is really the "bad"?

The married Douglas has an affair with the single Close; though she is no angel, he is definitely the one that is more wrong, for he is the married one. Then, after a fling lasting one weekend, she starts crying about wanting a serious relationship, and tries to kill herself. Now she is definitely in the wrong.
But then she finds out she is pregnant, and he wants nothing whatsoever to do with his kid; all he offers is to pay for and be there for her through an abortion; when she refuses the abortion offer, he decides to ditch her. (I'm not gonna get into the abortion debate here; the point is -- and I think that pro-lifers can agree on this as well as pro-choicers -- that when a man impregnates a woman, he cannot discharge his responsibilities simply by offering to pay for the abortion. If she refuses the abortion, I think everyone, no matter your opinion on abortion, should agree he should be there for her all the way through).
Now she wants him in her life, cuz he is gonna be the father of her child. And she is right! Sure, she does turn out to be crazy, but he is 100% wrong for ditching her once he knows she is pregnant. Then of course, once she kills the rabbit and kidnaps the kid, we know she is completely wrong.

But the point is that, although the movie is presenting him as the "good" guy (who merely made a brief mistake of an affair but otherwise is a the good guy), and she is the bad one, IMO it's a lot more complicated than that, at least until the third act, when she goes way off the deep end.

But what bothers me is that -- although, as mentioned above, IMO there really isn't no "good guy" and "bad guy" -- it seemed to me that the movie really does seem to present Douglas as the good guy. That he just made this one mistake and feels bad about it and that's it, but otherwise he is the good guy. That once he offered to pay for and be there with Close through the abortion, he had fulfilled his duty; that once she refused the abortion, he did nothing wrong by trying to just move on with his own family life and forget Close as if nothing happened. IMO, while Close is of course very wrong, Douglas is just as bad (until the very end when Close goes nuts on his family), and I had no more sympathy for Douglas than I had for Close.

Which brings us to that final scene. A story like this should not have a "happy ending"; IMO, though we know Close was gonna die, Douglas should have also died, or perhaps his own wife, the only really good party in this whole story: his actions have serious consequences for other people. Instead, the movie -- which, as discussed above, does figure Douglas to be the good guy -- gives us the happy ending; Close gets killed, Douglas and family live happily ever after. And in case you doubt for a moment that the movie believes this is a happy ending, the camera holds on the family photo as the closing shot. So, the beautiful family is back together and all will be well. And they lived happily ever after  ::)

(While watching a movie like this, of course I was thinking "how is it gonna end?" and running through possibilities and hoping they wouldn't louse it up, which of course, they did. For a moment I thought it would be best if there was no real resolution. Like the cops can't find Close and the phone keeps ringing and the movie fades out and we know that this is going to be an ongoing terror for the family -- at least that would make it clear that Douglas is not really deserving of having a happy resolution to this all, [even if his family is]. p.s. IMO any person that would take back a spouse that cheated on them even once is a loser, but that's her business).

So, while I hated the ending and didn't like that the movie seemed to assume the position that Douglas is a "good guy" this was a really terrific movie otherwise.

btw, did this movie remind anyone of Play Misty for Me? I am sure that movie influenced Fatal Attraction.

I'm out of time, but I should mention now that every single performance in this movie was absolutely perfect  :)

« : April 07, 2013, 09:44:38 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #11807 : April 07, 2013, 04:21:52 AM »

The Shining (1980) - 3/5 stars


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« #11808 : April 07, 2013, 09:10:52 AM »

Trance (2013) 8/10. The latest Danny Boyle--about an art auctioneer (James McAvoy) who conspires with gangsters (led by Vincent Cassel) to boost a $27 million Goya--is a non-stop rollercoaster ride of fun. Things go wrong when McAvoy gets hit on the head and can't remember what he did with the painting. Enter a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to unlock the secret . . . one of many, as it turns out. Who is this woman, who seems to know more than she's letting on? What other information is McAvoy hiding? And how duplicitous is Cassel? It's fun finding out. The film is structured in an interesting way: because hypnotherapy uses implanted situations to get at the truth (at least, according to the way it's presented here), and we see things generally from McAvoy's perspective, we soon wander into unreliable narrator territory. Are we seeing McAvoy's fantasies or memories, or a combination of both? And how much of it really IS his P.O.V? This is potentially confusing, but Boyle does an excellent job guiding the viewer through the major plot points. I'm not sure if all the details cohere (eg. how did the car keys get into the wardrobe?), but the main shape of the story was easy to follow. Add to this the impressive visuals (neo-noir? make that Day-Glo Noir!) and a soundtrack that is never dull and you have an impressive piece of entertainment. The down-side is that, as with all films based on connundrums, once you know the solutions to the mysteries there isn't much point in going back for a re-watch. But the ride is fun while it lasts.

The Last Detail (1973) 9/10 DCP Restoration. I generally hate Hal Ashby films, but this one I not only tolerate, I really enjoy. Must have something to do with the original novel and Robert Towne's screenplay. Anyway, how many films can you name that make fun of Nichiren Buddhism? Then there's Nicholson's performance, the great 70s atmosphere, the photography of Michael Chapman. True, the image seems a little soft here--this is nothing like the restoration done on Taxi Driver, but I'm guessing there's only so much one can do with the original elements--but this is probably what audiences saw at the time. Hard to believe that there was once a year when Hollywood could release this, Badlands, The Long Goodbye, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle, all within the space of a few months. We'll never see a year like that again.



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« #11809 : April 08, 2013, 01:23:51 AM »

Dead Man Walking (1995) 8/10 (blu-ray)

The performances by Sarandon and Penn are incredible. That's all I can say before I give my


SPOILER ALERT

--- I think that when you're trying to make a point against capital punishment, it's not useful to bring in questions about the possible innocence of the inmate. In other words, if you oppose the death penalty in principle, it should make no difference if the inmate is Hitler himself, or if he is someone dubiously convicted on tainted evidence. Arguments against the death penalty should not be confused with arguments against the laws of evidence and criminal procedure; if you believe it is wrong to execute anyone for any reason, then that holds true even for a mass murderer who is clearly guilty.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking for the most of the movie -- until we find out, somewhere in the last 20 minutes or so, that the character is indeed guilty. I'm glad they made him guilty at the end -- that allows us to focus on the death penalty issue without any distractions over questions of guilt/innocence; but I wish there hadn't been any question all along; for this movie is clearly about the death penalty all along, and I think you can focus on that question much more directly and clearly when there is no issue as to guilt/innocence.


--- I don't want to get too much into the religious stuff; I am not Catholic and therefore am not concerned with the religious opinions of the Catholic nun, but all I will say is this: the Sarandon character has a personal opinion that the death penalty is wrong -- which she has every right to -- and is twisting religion selectively for her personal belief.



p.s. No, I did not feel any sympathy for the murderer/rapist/Nazi getting the death penalty. I only wish they would have chopped him apart limb by limb.

I love how people get philosophical opposition to the death penalty when their own number comes up. Just like in In Cold Blood , when the Robert Blake character gets all this philosophical shit about how capital punishment is wrong... when he is about to be hung.

p.p.s. The Blake character's partner-in-crime in In Cold Blood was played by Scott Wilson, who plays the prison chaplain in Dead Man Walking.  :)

Finally, I don't care what your opinion of capital punishment, I was thoroughly disgusted by Sarandon touching Penn, kissing him, saying "I love you," etc. I can understand that she believes it's wrong to ever kill someone, and that she wants to get him to repent to God before he dies, but the fact that she would feel genuine affection for him is absolutely disgusting. I don't know if that's the movie resorting to Hollywood-emotional shmaltzy stuff, or if that's from the actual book the movie is based on, but it's disgusting. You should be able to oppose the death penalty and spiritually counsel a murderer without feeling genuine affection for him. And then the father of the murdered boy goes to the murderer's funeral? COME ON. Maybe he should have said "I love you" also  ::)


Anyway, it was a good movie  :)

« : April 08, 2013, 01:58:45 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #11810 : April 08, 2013, 04:25:17 AM »

Anyway, it was a good movie  :)
And yet you spent 500 words detailing how it isn't--words I found persuasive.



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« #11811 : April 08, 2013, 02:00:15 PM »

And yet you spent 500 words detailing how it isn't--words I found persuasive.

Look at that -- I can enjoy a movie even if I seriously disagree with some of its points

(btw, I suppose I could ask if Robbins/Sarandon/Penn have as much affection and concern for the humanity of, say, an evil Republican senator or president as they do for a murderer [I remember when Penn wished that those cynical about his relief efforts in Haiti would "die screaming from rectal cancer" http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6270238n ] -- but I won't go there  ;) )

« : April 08, 2013, 02:06:00 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #11812 : April 09, 2013, 05:06:29 AM »

The People Against O'Hara (1951) what I saw of it looked good (Alton's cinematography) but I fell asleep,  will have to rewatch.


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« #11813 : April 09, 2013, 06:35:48 PM »

Seven Men from Now - 9/10 - 2nd viewing.



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« #11814 : April 10, 2013, 12:54:28 PM »

Le quai des brumes - Port of Shadows (1938)

Storyline IMDb
Jean, a deserter who arrives at night in Le Havre, looking to leave the country. He lucks into civilian clothes, a little bit of money, a passport, and a dog, and he also meets Nelly, a 17-year-old who's grown up too fast. She's the object of lust of men: including a boyfriend Maurice, her putative protector Zabel, and Lucien, a local hood. Jean falls for her, faces down Lucien, and gives her courage to stand on her own feet. A ship is leaving for Venezuela; can at least one of them be on it, or is that just a dream?  9/10


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« #11815 : April 10, 2013, 01:42:29 PM »

Le quai des brumes - Port of Shadows (1938)

Storyline IMDb
Jean, a deserter who arrives at night in Le Havre, looking to leave the country. He lucks into civilian clothes, a little bit of money, a passport, and a dog, and he also meets Nelly, a 17-year-old who's grown up too fast. She's the object of lust of men: including a boyfriend Maurice, her putative protector Zabel, and Lucien, a local hood. Jean falls for her, faces down Lucien, and gives her courage to stand on her own feet. A ship is leaving for Venezuela; can at least one of them be on it, or is that just a dream?  9/10

This gets a 10/10; but for the ending, it is a perfect movie (but I guess that sort of ending is required for the Poetic Realism school)
 http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg164348#msg164348

there is something insanely beautiful about Michele Morgan and the way she is photographed.

And Panama's pub, is that an insanely awesome place or what?


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« #11816 : April 10, 2013, 07:27:46 PM »

This gets a 10/10; but for the ending, it is a perfect movie (but I guess that sort of ending is required for the Poetic Realism school)
 http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg164348#msg164348

there is something insanely beautiful about Michele Morgan and the way she is photographed.

And Panama's pub, is that an insanely awesome place or what?

Le quai des brumes (Port of Shadows – France 1938): Poetic Realism
BY TONY D'AMBRA – OCTOBER 25, 2009

The fog of angst seeps from the faces of two doomed lovers in the dank gloom of Le Havre. Jean is on the run and Nelly is trapped in a psychic prison as real as the physical constraints on her existence. Happiness is something that may exist but neither knows it.

They meet by chance one night in a broken-down bar on the waterfront amongst the detritus of an ephemeral humanity. Panama’s is a haven for the down-and-out named for the hat of the publican, an old shaman with a rusted soul as deep as the canal he visited in his youth. Father confessor of a convent for lost souls. He keeps his counsel, asks no questions, and strums his guitar.

And everywhere the fog and the harbor with rusting hulks at anchor ever-waiting transport for deliverance. The two lovers stroll as tentative friends with a hope as forlorn as it is sublime, when a bright clarity intrudes, a hood with a malice as sharp as his clothes and his shave, and as evil as his cowardice.

A night of bliss follows. Jean and Nelly find love at a sea-side carnival and that elusive union we all seek – in a rented room. They keep missing pernicious Fate a drunken vagabond. The glory of a new dawn is soon shattered. They each leave alone. Fate occupies the sheets of last night’s passion, and they are lost.

“Kiss me. We don’t have much time.”






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« #11817 : April 10, 2013, 07:52:03 PM »

Woman On The Beach, The (1947) a triangle involving a Coast Guardsman (Robert Ryman), a blind painter (Charlesd Bickford) and his wife (Joan Bennett) 6/10

Born To Be Bad (1950) Joan Fontaine fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Zachary Scott . The only one who sees through her facade is Robert Ryan, a rugged writer who loves her anyway.  6.5/10


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« #11818 : April 10, 2013, 09:53:19 PM »


Born To Be Bad (1950) Joan Fontaine fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Zachary Scott . The only one who sees through her facade is Robert Ryan, a rugged writer who loves her anyway.  6.5/10

Fontaine is really good here (as always). I'd go a little higher on this one, I'd give it a 7/10

« : April 26, 2013, 04:38:05 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #11819 : April 11, 2013, 02:41:10 AM »

Fracture (2007) 8.5/10

« : April 11, 2013, 03:42:40 PM drinkanddestroy »

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
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