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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4108474 )
dave jenkins
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« #16815 : March 02, 2017, 05:43:57 AM »

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. 1945.  A masterpiece.  The script. The acting. The cinematography.  The music.  Hollywood does not make movies like this anymore.  A story about a poor Brooklyn family and the complex and riveting moral issues that the family endures.  You HAVE to see this movie.  I rate this a 9 out of 10...
Yup.

Before Midnight (2013) - 6/10. A couple on vacation in Greece with their twin girls park the girls for an evening with friends while they go out to a hotel for a romantic evening alone. They spend the time bickering instead. Uh, so what? Why should we even care about these people? OK, some of the give and take has a vague resemblance to true male-female interaction, but a lot of the kvetching feels forced. At one point a character opens a bottle of wine and pours two glasses. The couple take up the glasses and are about to imbibe. They never drink the wine! They'd much rather argue. OK, I can see how you'd be emotional and be unable to give up on a particular complaint, but in the real world where I live it's easy to complain and sip vino at the same time. But no, if they'd started drinking they would have mellowed and there wouldn't be any argument anymore. No argument, no movie. So there's not much here. We do get to see Julie Delpy's tits, though.



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« #16816 : March 03, 2017, 06:08:13 AM »

Before Sunset (2004) - 8/10. This prequel to Before Midnight gets a lot of things right. The decision to film everything as if it were in real time--the 90 minute film is essentially one continuous conversation lasting an hour-and-a-half--was inspired. And even though the setting is Paris--a Paris through which the characters are constantly moving--never once are we shown that abomination known as the tour Eiffel. Finally, the charming Ms. Delpy is made even more winning by having her sing and then dance at the end. And for those following the Reverse Chronology scheme, our knowledge of how the characters will develop by the time of Before Midnight makes the exhibition of their earlier selves pleasingly ironic.



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« #16817 : March 03, 2017, 07:45:22 AM »

The Eiffel Tower is a steampunk masterpiece, but French filmmakers never film it. The main reason is that you can only see the tower from its crappy neighborhood... where Parisians never go.


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« #16818 : March 03, 2017, 09:43:49 AM »

It's a piece of shit; its presence keeps my aesthetic soul from visiting Paris. The only way I could conceivably go would be for a photo op and a speech: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this tower!"



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« #16819 : March 03, 2017, 09:46:10 AM »

It's a piece of shit; its presence keeps my aesthetic soul from visiting Paris. The only way I could conceivably go would be for a photo op and a speech: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this tower!"

I suppose the Space Needle Jetson's Monument better?


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« #16820 : March 03, 2017, 10:03:57 AM »

Yeah, it looks like a UFO taking off. There are places in Seattle where a hill obscures the base: the top looks just like a UFO in flight.



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« #16821 : March 04, 2017, 07:19:40 AM »

Les orgueilleux/The Proud and the Beautiful (1953) 6/10. I can't surpass the summary at IMDb, so here it is: "The first to die in an epidemic of meningitis in Vera Cruz is a French tourist. His wife Nellie [Michèle Morgan], detached and indifferent, feels little grief and realizes that her coldness is her own doom. Over the next two days, she is attracted to George [Gérard Philipe], a local drunk who does odd jobs for brothels and dances grotesquely for tourists in exchange for drinks. George has his own dark secret, a tragedy he caused that leaves him with a death wish. In assisting the local doctor to cope with the epidemic, these two emotional cripples enable each other to rediscover reasons to live and to love." Mind you, that's not a summary of the first act, that's the summary of the whole film. Just when the two lovers have declared themselves and are preparing to face their first wave of epidemic victims, we get a big "FIN" on the screen. So, fantastic set-up: where's the rest of the movie, Yves? This could have been a great film (Act 2: their love is tested; Act 3: tragic death for one or both) but the filmmakers either ran out of time, money, or author Jean-Paul Sartre never supplied an ending to begin with. Anyway, Michèle Morgan is beautiful and we get to see lots of shots of her in her underwear (she has to get inoculated, right? and it's the tropics, right?); also, the filmmakers never miss an opportunity to have her show off her legs (it's a film, right? and it was made by the French, right?).
Re-watched the Pathe blu last night. Everything in my earlier review stands.



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« #16822 : March 05, 2017, 05:41:04 AM »

Le septième juré / The 7th Juror (1962) 1080p - 7/10.  Bernard Blier, in the role of his career, plays a meek pharmacist who, one Sunday afternoon down by the lake, strangles a girl he fancies. Fortunately, the girl had been heard arguing with her boyfriend a short time before--said boyfriend is therefore taken into custody. At the trial, Blier, having been made one of the jurors, does his best to confound the prosecution's case (in the French system jurors can question witnesses directly, so Blier, who knows the crime scene better than anyone, easily causes doubt to be cast on all the testimonies). The boyfriend is acquitted, yet no one is satisfied, least of all Blier himself, who finally decides to confess to the crime. But no one will believe him.

This is an interesting premise, and for much of the film my attention was riveted. But as it turns out that the Blier character is an essentially moral individual--the murder was an aberration--the whole thing becomes a contest between the man with a conscience and his corrupt society. The corrupt society, which had ulterior reasons for wanting to convict the boyfriend, of course wins in the end, but the author thereby scores the (not very interesting) point he wished to make about elitist rotters. A better film/source novel was possible, at least for those of us who have seen An Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. After the boyfriend's acquittal, when the town wants to know who the real killer is, Blier should have planted evidence to surreptitiously build a case against himself instead of confessing. This would have eventually spurred the prosecution to indict him and seek his confession, which he may or may not have withheld (whatever works better dramatically). At the point of conviction, though, Blier would be saved when another strangulation murder occurs--the anti-establishment vet, a character in the original plot, has acted to save his friend. The two murders are never solved, there are more murders, whatever, choose the cynical ending you like best. That would have made the film's second half much more compelling.

A remake of this French film was made as an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour ("The Star Juror") in 1963, which I have not seen. The title The 7th Juror (which may or may not refer to the same property) is being used for a project in production now, so maybe a new English language remake is coming.
A re-watch last night of the Pathe blu raised my estimation of this film (now an 8/10). The murder is done to Vivaldi--a very good match, as it happens. Also the actress playing Duval's wife is excellent. She's in the background for most of the piece, then finds her inner titoli and asserts herself at the end. And the metaphoric qualities of the film have been made apparent to me: Fascist France has won the war.



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« #16823 : March 05, 2017, 10:34:04 AM »

Trader Horn. 1931.  A good movie for its time.  The actual locations is what made this film a classic.  Its worth viewing and having in your collection as a classic.  I saw this on Turner Classics.   3 out of 5...

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« #16824 : March 05, 2017, 03:03:11 PM »

Trader Horn. 1931.  A good movie for its time.  The actual locations is what made this film a classic.  Its worth viewing and having in your collection as a classic.  I saw this on Turner Classics.   3 out of 5...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCwuMHJ6bNM

A more  interesting version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS51NIAz0RA


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« #16825 : March 05, 2017, 03:34:02 PM »

I actually saw Trader Horny in a theater in Saranac Lake,  ;D


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« #16826 : March 05, 2017, 07:21:25 PM »

Watch on the Rhine (1943) 5/10


Despite being a very good movie, How Green Was My Valley is also infamous for winning Best Picture Oscar over Citizen Kane.
Despite being a very good actor whom I like very much, I think of Paul Lukas in the same way, as the idiots at the Academy gave him the Oscar for Best Actor in Watch on the Rhine over Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. I have been wanting to see WotR for a long time, and now that I finally saw it, it's a bunch of crap. And no, Lukas did not deserve Best Actor over Bogie in Casablanca - one of the greatest performances in movie history. (And, of course, when Bogie finally did win his Best Actor Oscar, it was for The African Queen, over Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire – another laughably ridiculous choice by the Academy  ::)


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« #16827 : March 06, 2017, 11:27:51 AM »

Porgi l'altra guancia (1974) - 6.5/10


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« #16828 : March 06, 2017, 03:58:36 PM »

Bronson (2008): Tom Hardy plays Britain's most notorious & violent prisoner Michael Peterson (who renamed himself Charles Bronson) in a heavily stylized 'bio'-pic by Nicolas Winding Refn. Hardy is mesmerizing, and scary. Good shit. 8/10


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« #16829 : March 06, 2017, 07:45:00 PM »

Haven't watched many movies lately as I've been moving and working a lot. but, you can never go wrong with Kurosawa

Scandal - 7.5/10
Great characters, well-told story.

Realized just now I've almost seen every Kurosawa movie, which I had no idea I was that close. Only missing first few and some random scattered ones (The Idiot, Maddadayo, Lower Depths for example).

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