This site is supported by Nobility Studios.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Movies i've seen...

319 posts in this topic

Posted

I'll check that out, Michael. In any case, I've been on a film binge lately and have a quite a few to do some little writeups on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A few days ago i caught The Dancer Upstairs, directed by John Malkovich and based on the Maoist sendero luminoso movement in Peru. I thought Malkovich did a good job of drawing out the tension as the net closed on Ezekiel and sticking with a somewhat unsatisfying ending (to the viewer expecting everything to turn out happily ever after, that is). It was a shame that the dialogue was not in Spanish, since the heavily accented English from people of varying nationalities lacked considerably in credibility, but Javier Bardem was again immense and for much of the movie content to let his eyes and subtle expressions do all the drawing of his character needed. He has now built up such a strong catalogue of work that for me he is by far the finest actor alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I saw Batman Begins last week. It's more true to the essence of 'the dakr knight' than any other production has been thus far without being unrealistic (well, if you ignore the billionaire becoming a ninja on the streets, cleaning up a city that is run y gang lords who own the cops, gas that scares people literally to death and c supercar that can be driven first time without instruction).

What struck me initially was the attempt to recreate the death of Bruce's parents. Yes, the movie did opt for the shooting in an alley, but rather than recreate the now cliched 'Bad guy kills loved one(s) and turns out to be the main antagonist) we are given a scene in which a petty crook, barely relevant as a character in himself (though most crucial in facilitating the surrounding plot) kills Bruce's parents. What's more, this is not a rich couple who just walk down an alley and happen to get killed a la 'Batman'. There is a plausible reason for them being there. Further, the presence of the killer is portrayed as a part of what is evidently a corrupt city, unlike the other movies in which case psychos rule in the light while mob-bosses hide in the dark.

Admittedly, I felt the movie dragged on a little - perhaps because it sacrificed the style of 'Batman Returns' or because it felt a need to develop the entire origin of batman. Also, I am at a loss as to how Alfred and Bruce intend to build the batcave, in secret, while a team of builders rebuilds the manor. My suspicion is that such events will take place before the sequel.

All in all, a good film - certainly a step up from the awful comic movies that were 'Batman Forever' (honestly it's not even a good title!) with its flawed attempt at (pseudo-psychology) and 'Batman and Robin' (George Clooney you are not batman!) with nothing...just nothing to show for itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you can find a copy of it, I give my highest recommendation for the movie which won the 1985 Australian Academy Award for Best Picture: Bliss.

The movie, directed by Ray Lawrence and starring Barry Otto, Lynette Curran, and Helen Jones, is about story-telling, death, deontological good and being good; it's about advertising, honey, planting trees, patience, love, and insanity.

If I actually thought there was such a thing as "the Best Movie Ever", this one could well be it (even if Aussies do have funny accents).

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Speaking of movies starring folks with peculiar accents, I want to also recommend The Price of Milk from New Zealand.

Outstanding scenery; some of the most imaginative - almost surreal - cinematography, and excellent music (including tastes of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade as well as some Liadov and Tcherepnin) -- as well as interesting characters.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm way behind. The recent films I've seen are Flightplan, A History of Violence, Serenity, Saw II and probably quite a few others on video. Dont worry. I do have a life( or think so) and I've seen all of these with the lady. So hey, its not only my problem. :lol:

In any case, some quick observations. A History of Violence was an intriguing, if trying film because of the pace. The film centers around Viggo Morteson who is apparently mistaken for another person after a deadly efficient killing of some would be robbers of the coffe/shop diner he runs in a small town. Because Morteson saves the lives of a few people, he gains media attention and mobsters from another state come knocking--they think he's Joey, a violent mobster that has disappeared for over decade. Thats about all you need to know for part of the interest of the film is how Cronernberg keeps you on edge about what is true. Morteson does an outstanding job here--convincing as the mildmannered owner of a diner but seeming as if he might be hiding something--convincing us later that he could really be a violent psychopath in the past. But all this while neccesary for the plot, Cronenberg really is exploring the effects of violence, our fascination with it, how it is bred, and questions whether we can really get away from it. It is really the story of how a family is changed by violence. An excellent write up on the film is here at The Pinochio Theory, a recent addition to the media links at the Studi.

Serenity was a fun and humorous, science fiction adventure--good action, good plot, good acting and actually touched on the interesting subject of 'faith' (not simply in the relgious sense) and could be worth exploring. Thats about all on that. The other films don't need to be talked about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Right now I have Barton Fink, Andrei Rublev, and Baadasssss! sitting next to my TV, but I haven't had time to watch them yet.

I've recently watched Serenity and Domino, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

How as Domino? I liked the visual style shown in the previews but all the reviews say its overkill. Its "mtv-ish" but it seems interesting in a way I can't describe. Barton Fink is great stuff man--the Coen at their best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

*sigh*

My "to watch" pile is getting to be almost as large as my "to read" pile. I think the last flick I managed to watch was The Family Guy movie. Pretty funny if you like the show, don't see what the draw would be for you if you don't like it (or haven't seen it).

I've had The Corporation recommended to me a number of times, I just haven't sat down to watch it yet. :oops: Anyone here seen/heard of it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Family Guy is greatness. In any case, I just remembered I also saw the film Elephant which was 'inspired' by the Columbine massacre where two students went on a shooting spree at their school and subsequently committed suicide. The film chronicles the day of two teenage boys who end up attacking their fellow students with machine guns. The film is experimental, utilizing a lot of "tracking shots" ( shots that trail behind the actors) an throughout the film. I said this about the movie elsewhere:

I don't think it was handled well at all. Sometimes experiments just don't work and this was one case--the tracking shots got old and irritating fast. I suppose it an interesting film for film buffs to try and find something more to talk about about but its visceral impact is about nil. I understand the intent with the lack of music, (except for a haunting piano melody) but music done correctly can sometimes convey a type of feeling( the mundane nature of the lives Sant was trying to capture) better than filming it just like it would seem. I suppose its an odd criticism but I think the film would have actually benefitted from more of a score(minimalist but still). This a problem I have generally with 'realism' in films--realist directors sometimes forget that a piece of music, style of directing, etc. can convey 'ordinary experience' or atleast, the meaning we attach to ordinary experience better than just filming experience as it would appear. I think this film suffered precisely because it felt like a camera was just watching a ordinary day spiral out of control rather than making the audience feel as if it was part of that day by making the camera and score more engaging. The film did manage to achieve a certain feeling of uneasiness because of the way it was shot but it was an uneasiness that took you of of the film rather than one that truly impacted you-- even if the film does not want to provide answers but be a voyeur to a terrible incident, the film itself does not have to appear pointless and this is what it seems. We're too detached from the experience to really engage it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Domino was okay. It wasn't as good as I hoped. The fact that it had Keira Knightly in it helped.

I just watched Baadasssss!, though and it was excellent. The movie was written, directed, and starred Mario Van Peebles. It was about Van Peebles father, Melvin, and his struggles in making the movie Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Sweet was probably the first "blaxplotation" film. It was made in a time where minorities in movies were quite often stereotyped and were never given lead roles. Sweet broke those stereotypes by having a black, male lead who was being chased by some crooked white cops. Perhaps because Baadasssss! was made by his son, the relationship between father and son played a prominent role in the film. It also reminds us that films aren't just mindless entertainment, but can have impact on the society and culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Mario Van Peebles is one of the worst actors alive but I'm interested. Anyhow, I just saw Jarhead. I'll spoil the film a little by saying this but no matter, I suggest if you're expecting a 'war film' with plenty of battles and combat be warned. This film contains almost no action but thats the point. The protaganists in the film have trained in harsh conditions for a war that never happens, and is done away with airplanes and bombs. What, then is what to do in the desert heat while ever waiting for the mother of all battles to take place? Well, go insane, play some footballmasterbate and come home with a certain ambivalence toward the ole affair. Nevertheless, a film I thoroughly enhoyed. Mendes manages to create some beautiful and powerful imagery in the film such as the soliders at one point, at night time in the film covered in oil being illuminated by flames. Quite suggestive imagery though the film never asserts anything, only chronicles the life of a marine who seems to not take much from the experience. I think its significant that the film opens with the main character reading Albert Camus's the Stranger but I'll gather my thoughts and say something another time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Did you watch Andrei Rublev, Rusty? I saw it a few years ago, and while I don't remember much of the film, I do remember that it's not so much a film as a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Did you watch Andrei Rublev[/i'], Rusty? I saw it a few years ago, and while I don't remember much of the film, I do remember that it's not so much a film as a challenge.
No, I didn't watch it. It was three hours long and I new I would have to be in the right mood to watch it and that time just never came. So I had to bring it back before it was overdue. Someday I'll get to it, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I re-watched The Straight Story, a (based on reality) movie about Alvin Straight, a 73 year old man who drives his riding lawn mower over 200 miles from Iowa to Wisconsin to see his brother who recently had a stroke and whom he hasn't spoken to in over 10 years. The story is as much about the journey as it is about the destination, however. Like Alvin's lawnmower, the movie moves slowly, but that only strengthens the movie, as it gives us time to meet people along the way - something that wouldn't happen travelling through the countryside at 55mph.

It is perhaps the least bizarre movie David Lynch has ever made. Although, if you think about it, driving a lawn mower 250 miles is much more bizarre than the plot to Lost Highway, where a man learns that his wife is having an affair and is accused of murdering her.

On a personal note, my grandparents live close to where Alvin started his journey and as a kid my parents took many of the same roads as Alvin did when we went to visit them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I watched Murderball last night. "Murderball" is the popular name for wheelchair rugby. The movie follows the 2004 US Paraplegic Wheelchair Rugby Team as they train for and compete in the games. While the US-Canada rivalry makes for an interesting story line (former U.S. star quad rugby player has a falling out with the U.S. team and then becomes the Canadian team coach out for revenge) and the action sequences of armored-up wheelchairs ramming into each other are fun to watch, what the film mainly shows is that these guys are the same guys they were when they could walk. In a scene with two long-time friends of one of the quad rugby player Mark Zupan, they explain that Zupan was pretty much an asshole before the accident so if he tries to blame the wheelchair or the accident, it's a hoax. Another scene involves Zupan going to a rehab center to visit with patients there and to talk with them about quad rugby. When a quadriplegic named Keith, who recently lost the full use of his legs and the partial use of his arms in a motocross accident, gets into Zupan's rugby wheelchair, you can see his realization that this isn't the end of his life.

It was a good movie, I highly recommend it. There was also a trailer on the DVD for the documentary Born into Brothels that looked pretty good. Has anybody seen it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

OldBoy. Wow. Just wow. This film is AMAZING - probably the best film I've seen in the last few years and its unfortunate that I can't really say anything about it since it would spoil it but let me just say, what occurs in the film to one man is probably the cruelest thing a man could ever experience - directed with such flash and brilliance by Chan Woo Park you almost feel guilty about enjoying it so much. The film is beautiful to look at ( excellent cinematography) while being mired in very dark material. The score of the film is equally fantastic - I don't know how to describe the genre of music but it is a very 'modern', eccletic feel. The score really adds to the film in a way I can't explain.

The basic premise of the film: A man is imprisoned and does not know why for 15 years. After 15 years, he's released, again with no explanation. And he has five days to figure out why he was imprisoned and enact vengenanace on those that imprisoned. Let me just tell you that film does not dissappoint in the mystery and raises many interesting questions while being a quite deep, disturbing look at revenge. The film succeeds in so many different ways: the action is well done, the story is fascinating, the comedy is spot on( in Korean with English subtitles - the dubbed over English does not translate the interesting quips well and many other lines) the acting is superb...just a well done, but again, deeply disturbing masterpiece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yesterday i caught Downfall, Hirschbiegel's tale of the last days of the Third Reich told in claustrophic detail from the Berlin bunker in which the final acts of the Nazis were played out. Bruno Ganz provides a mesmerising portrayal of Hitler, utterly spellbinding in his transition from quietspoken father figure to apoplexy at the incompetence of his generals while hinting throughout at the insanity that was gripping him. The most chilling moment, as you might expect, was the horrific scene in which Magda Goebbels kills each of her six children in turn, unwilling to let them live in a world without National Socialism. There are many suicides throughout the movie, of course, some out of desperation and others borne of idealism or an unwillingness to accept that the Reich was dying and all set against the backdrop of the Red Army encircling and closing in on Berlin, a situation that Hirschbiegel never lets drift from the viewer's mind with the constant dull thud of artillery fire and a flickering electricity supply. The film is framed by excerpts from an interview with Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary who only late in her life was able to appreciate what her employer had done.

I suppose watching Ganz in Downfall is a good way to understand why using the Oscars as a measure of acting ability is something of a sick joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

King Kong. I laughed for a good five minutes after this film was over - the plot and 'love story' is so totally absurd and corny. The sentimental, supposedly 'sad' ending is so prepostrous, I had a hard time containing myself in the theater. See this film for the spectacular special effects, creature effects, and wonderful camera work. It really is a beauty to behold ( there are some amazing overhead shots at the end).

A technical masterpiece but utterly vapid in content - I cannot fathom taking this seriously. When a 25 feet gorilla stares longingly at a blond bombshell and she stares back with the same look - amplified by beady, sad, eyes the utter corniness of it all is overwhelming. I did discover that King Kong is just a misunderstood, 25 feet maniac Gorilla who is a teddy bear inside and really just wants his own, personal female clown...and better believe he's willing to kill any and everything in order that he can stare longingly at her. We should feel sorry for the poor thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I watched a documentary Saturday morning called The Aristocrats. It's about a ridiculously crude joke that comedians tell to one another and only very rarely perform on stage/in public. The entire length of the film was little more than comedians retelling their version of the joke or telling the funniest version of it that they've ever heard. After about twenty minutes, you're a bit over-saturated with the imagery and foul language to the point where you might want to take a break and come back to it (at least, I did).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thought I would comment on King Kong, as I did see it a bit ago.

Overall I think it was better then the original (in which acting isn't a concern), but I felt it was overlong. Scenes, even action scenes, dragged on longer and sillier then any I have seen. I was actually yawning about 45 minutes in. At 3 hours, you could have chopped off 20 minutes and not lost anything (like seeing the extended version of LOTR on DVD, it is nice to see more, but it isn't required)

As for the manic ape (mosiac) and the longing of Kong for the cuddly silly human, I think whether it was silly or not (which, it was overdone for sure), they gave the impression that Kong was the last of his kind, so him being a bit crazy and lonely, especially on that freaked-out island that goes the reverse of evolutionary pressures...who knows what you would turn out like? (besides being an 8" tall ape instead of 25')

I was laughing in the theater at how incredibly overdone the scenes were, in length and just overall sillyness. I mean, I wouldn't have stayed on that island. I would have waited for nukes to be invented.

What I also realized was that they made the "ape" the "human". He was humanized and nobody else was. I mean, the natives on that island were just, oh heck, I don't know, totally sick and orc-like.

Jack Black still seems like an odd casting choice, but I did like Naomi Watts, she did a good job in the face of, er, stuff. I also liked Adrien Brody, he gave a good performance.

I _still_ don't like hand-held camera moves that last more then 2 seconds. The only way I can see anything is to stop and go frame by frame, and even then, you can't see anything or get an idea of what really happened because you have no frame of reference (they do close-up's of action and you don't really know what is happening). I hate that.

At least in some scenes that James Cameron did, he slowed it all down, like in True Lies, so you can watch it happen. I enjoy that a lot more, takes more editing effort to make it look good. Makes you work for the effect.

Plus, Kong would have lost his arm twice!

-Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

After queuing for some time and paying an absurd entry fee, i caught Brokeback Mountain in London this past weekend. I don't think i can put into words just how majestic it was, so i won't try. Suffice to say that it is beautifully underplayed and heartbreaking, sneaking up on you quietly and without any pretense of a happy ending to risk ruining it. Indeed, that the situation plays out exactly as it must, given the circumstances, renders it all the more tragic. Some of the criticisms at the linked page make me wonder if the writers watched the same film or are just looking to disagree with the praise in order to seem controversial...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain yet, but Ang Lee's The Ice Storm was a wonderful movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

BTW, Hugo (or anybody for that matter), have you seen L'Enfer yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've seen the L'Enfer of 1994, which was a disturbing study of jealousy by Claude Chabrol with a wonderful performance by Fran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0