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Movies i've seen...

319 posts in this topic

Posted

The Seven Samurai was a Kurosawa fil as well, was it not? Even if not, it's well worth a view.

The mother in law insisted on babysitting for us last night, so we went out and saw Walk The Line. If you aren't partial to biographic films or the music of Johnny Cash, you probably won't find much of interest in this one. Since I happen to like both, I thought the movie was brilliant. I can deifinetly see why Pheonix was given an Oscar nomination for his role as Cash.

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Posted

Those visuals are astounding. Now, as to the slinky ... dare I ask about it?
Please don't! I want to be able to read this thread! :p

#125

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Posted

Those visuals are astounding. Now' date=' as to the slinky ... dare I ask about it?[/quote']Please don't! I want to be able to read this thread! :p

#125

Maybe cragwolf will PM me about the slinky. Inquiring minds want to know. :)

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Posted

By all means. Much better way to handle it!

Anyway, saw Sophie Scholl yesterday. Excellent film, excellent performances. More detail later as I'm off to work now.

#131

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Posted

I watched an excellent movie called Junebug this weekend. In it Madeliene, the owner of an outsider art gallery travels down to North Carolina from Chicago with her husband George to convince an artist to work with her gallery. George's family happens to live in NC, so Madeleine (who's never met them) and George decide to visit for a few days. In the hands of the wrong director or writer, this is the perfect setup some sort of "culture wars" movie, but thankfully that didn't happen. All of the characters have their flaws and the movie doesn't make us laugh at the country yokels or despise the city slickers. It was probably one of my favorite movies of last year.

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Posted

The site on which I hosted the pictures above went belly up, so here they are moved to my new web host:

beehive.jpg

suspiria1.jpg

suspiria2.jpg

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Posted

In the spirit of four-dimensionalism and perdurantism, a part of me has seen Rocky VI.

I've seen a trailer - basically just Rock cut and bleeding with a Stallone voicing over about the better man being one who can get hit, rather than just hit, because you can hit as hard as you want, but nothing and nobody hits as hard as life.

And stuff like that

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Posted

If anybody is in the mood for something quite unusual, I happened to see, on an impulse, an absolutely incredible film the other night, unlike any I've ever seen before. (Maybe my film horizons are just quite narrow.) It was called 'The Colour of Pomegranates', a Russian drama about an 18th century Armenian monk, recluse and poet. It proceeds in chapters that correlate to stages in the poet's life eg: 'The Poet Enters The Monastery', and has absolutely no direct dialogue. The only sound is music and the odd bit of monks' chanting. (Subtitled.) The best way I can describe it is as close as a film can get to a literal work of traditional art; it's like a constantly changing canvas, with every single scene, however short, planned out meticulously in terms of colour, light, perspective etc, with some fascinating results. Its an astoundingly shot film, and some (most) of the acting, which is, of course, entirely facial/physical, is amazingly evocative. The face of the poet in his old age where he is weary of the world is the epitomy of complete sadness and weariness.

I found a link to a description/review on google; http://www.kamera.co.uk/reviews_extra/pomegran.php

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Posted

I just watched Primer, the so-called "Donnie Darko for adults". Apparently made for only US$7000, it was pretty special and had some interesting philosophical implications, being something of a unique take on the possibility of time travel (amongst other things). I strongly recommend it and may have more to say when i've seen it a few more times.

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Posted

Dr. StrangeLove: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb directed by Stanley Kubrick. Yes, I'm late but has to be one of the funniest films I've ever seen and it really has to be considering the plotline involes an "accidental nuclear attack." The film is biting satire of the cold war raising issues relevent even today. Peter Sellers turns in an incredible three role performance and the film perfectly captures the paranoia surrounding the cold war but more importantly raises some serious questions about deterrence and what it could lead to - one blunder after another in the film causes the eventually destruction of the earth. There are some truly hilarious scenes in the film but I was impressed with the wordy jokes - nothing really beats watching an all out battle on an army base with the phrase " Peace is our Profession" scrolled on the headquarters building. Or the writings on the nuclear bomb itself "nuclear weapon. Handle with care." This seemingly harmless phrase becomes hilarious because of the surrounding situation. All in all, this deserved all the praise and i'll be watching it over many more times.

A more thorough review can be found here: http://www.dvdjournal.com/reviews/d/drstrangelove_40ae.shtml

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Posted

Recently, I purchased Kieslowski's The Decalgoue and have only watched Decalogue 5 so far. It may be ridiculous praise to say this "Short film about Killing" is worth the price alone but....its very good. The film is just as it says: two acts of killings occur in film: the first, a 'random' killing one of an innocent, but mischievous cab driver and the subsequent killing of the cab driver's killer by the state. I use the somewhat neutral 'killing' to emphasize questions the film raises. We think of the first act of violence as murder but then what the state's justice- which, other than being more efficient than the first killing, bears no appreciable difference?

The question whether or not the the death penalty is raised graphically here: both 'killings' are shown in graphic, harrowing detail though there is hardly any blood spilled. Instead, Kieslowski forces us to watch the different steps of both killings of the murder take place -refusing to sensationalize the violence but instead showing us the process and effort it takes for each killing to occur. Kieslowskie deftly does not provide any answers for the audience though, in this particular film, one is suggested.

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Posted

Being a huge fan of his work, i went to the cinema to see M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water and can say it was mesmeric - a truly beautiful and film. Apparently reviews of it are pretty bad but it was a magical experience and it's a shame some people can't see past the exoteric plot to what is going on beneath.

In any case, Shyamalan is now a master of his craft and can scare you half to death with next to nothing. It's also a highly self-referential movie, with the script mocking itself at times and one scene with a critic should have the viewer in stitches. That Shyamalan doesn't take himself too seriously while producing a work like this is both interesting and impressive.

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Posted

Cache. This is perhaps the most dense film I have ever watched but is so, so good. Basically, Haneke uses the suspense, mystery genre to explore guilt - particularly colonial guilt explored in the apparently normal life of a French couple. The basic story is of a couple who discovers that are being watched - anonymous videotapes are sent to them of them doing rather mundane activities, like getting in their car for work. I can't do justice to Haneke's set up here but it is brilliant: the mundane nature of the tapes obviously has to perplex the couple but what is it also suggestive of? Guilt.

That is, the camera represents their ever present conscience - it doesn't go away because you or I don't see it. As such, the mundane activities the camera records do not say anything in of themselves - being neither explicit scenes of adultery, murder or the like that if caught on camera will do serious damage. Instead, the camera captures their 'ordinary existence' and why would this be of any interest? It merely forces the protoganists to analyse their lives, to come up with explanations rather than the footage being in any sense threatening and revealing its motives by being so. I won't ruin the film anymore for you but it deserves to be seen - be prepared for a dense but intriguing, amazing work.

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Posted

I just watched an Aussie movie by Greg McLean called Wolf Creek. I feel ill now - it was probably the scariest and most horrible film experience i've had, particularly something the main character does to stop one of his victims escaping. As this would indicate, there's some violence but McLean did a wonderful job of increasing the tension throughout. He also made excellent use of his "stage" - the outback.

I wish i could say more to do justice to it but i really don't feel good at all. This is a genuinely disturbing movie.

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Posted

I just came back from seeing Little Miss Sunshine, a wonderful comic drama that actually deserves the many accolades it's been getting. The film is skillfully done - emotionally strong but also very funny. In fact, it is the hardest I've laughed in the theater this year yet I was on the verge of tears at some moments. The film effortlesly walks the line between comedy and drama. If you've seen The Royal Tenebaums you'll have an idea of what I mean.

The basic plot chronicles a family's effort to get their daughter to a beauty pageant, Little Miss Sunshine. Along the way, they face disappointment after disappointment to what end? Well, you decide. Proust, says Frank ( a reputed Proust scholar in the film - which is not played up at all), having looked back on his life said he enjoyed( maybe valued?) his sufferings more than his happier times because he learned more from it - his content state being devoid of knowledge or learning. This film can really be taken as an exploration of this theme with higly comic and again, emotionally strong results.

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Posted

I just watched an Aussie movie by Greg McLean called Wolf Creek. I feel ill now - it was probably the scariest and most horrible film experience i've had' date= particularly something the main character does to stop one of his victims escaping. As this would indicate, there's some violence but McLean did a wonderful job of increasing the tension throughout. He also made excellent use of his "stage" - the outback.

I wish i could say more to do justice to it but i really don't feel good at all. This is a genuinely disturbing movie.

Having just obtained this movie on DVD, I'm now gonig to watch it in the dark on a 27 inch LCD with subwoofered surround sound.

Because nothing intensifies a scary movie like enlarged bad guys and spooky sounds behind you.

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Posted

I went to see The Illusionist this weekend. It is a beautiful looking film - great costumes, sepia-leaning nostalgic color tone, country and city scenery and interiors that are perfect backdrops for the action. Although I enjoyed the movie, I can't seem to recommend it without reservations. I think it may have to do with the plot twist at the end (which I won't spoil here).

There have been other recent movies using the plot twist device. M. Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense and The Village come to mind. In the Sixth Sense the plot twist seemed to follow the sense of the story. It was quite plausible that Bruce Willis's character didn't realize he was dead. It didn't change the experience of the movie for me.

The plot twist in The Village, however, took the movie in such a different direction that it was difficult to reconcile the two parts. The movie before the twist focuses on the relationships between the characters, and on their (mostly) quiet lives. The twist snatches the viewers out of that story and thrusts them into a different story. I'll rent it again to watch it while knowing what is to come and perhaps be able to better appreciate the movie and the point of the twist.

The plot twist in The Illusionist is not as jarring as that. However, it left me with the feeling that it was an ending decided by a sales committee trying to keep its customers satisfied.

I said earlier I can't recommend The Illusionist without reservations. But I do think it is an enjoyable movie to see. Paul Giamatti is especially fun to watch and Edward Norton is a perfect choice for the brooding main character. I'll be interested to see if others feel the way I do about this movie or think I am out in left field on this.

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The plot twist in The Village, however, took the movie in such a different direction that it was difficult to reconcile the two parts. The movie before the twist focuses on the relationships between the characters, and on their (mostly) quiet lives. The twist snatches the viewers out of that story and thrusts them into a different story. I'll rent it again to watch it while knowing what is to come and perhaps be able to better appreciate the movie and the point of the twist.

I had similar reservations about the film but have changed my mind. Hugo wrote a fine essay on The Village available here in Manuscripts and here on this very page. I never got around to saying anything about the essay though it was instrumental in my greater appreciation of the film.

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Posted

I just watched an Aussie movie by Greg McLean called Wolf Creek. I feel ill now - it was probably the scariest and most horrible film experience i've had' date= particularly something the main character does to stop one of his victims escaping. As this would indicate' date=' there's [i']some violence but McLean did a wonderful job of increasing the tension throughout. He also made excellent use of his "stage" - the outback.

I wish i could say more to do justice to it but i really don't feel good at all. This is a genuinely disturbing movie.

Having just obtained this movie on DVD, I'm now gonig to watch it in the dark on a 27 inch LCD with subwoofered surround sound.

Because nothing intensifies a scary movie like enlarged bad guys and spooky sounds behind you.

Good film. I like to see symbolism use to foreshadow literal events later in a story, and the scene with the 4 emus impressed me quite a lot.

In this four second scene, three emus walk past the camera, looking somewhat desolate, while a proud and larger emu strolls cockily behind them. One could almost imagine that this bird is marching the others to their deaths.

On point of the abduction, maybe it's because I knew what was coming, but I think the backpackers were far too trusting. He drove them miles into the outback, and I can forgive that because they would have been stranded otherwise. However, at one point he gives them water to drink. OK, fine, they're thirsty, but he takes his from a different container.

Stranger....outback....different containers....I would not drink it.

I also wanted to see everyone die. The whole 'at least one good guy escapes' is done to death, is is the eerie 'the bad guy is still at large' malarkey.

Overall, great film. Not as horrific as I inferred from Hugo's posts, but maybe I have a stronger stomach.

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Posted

Hugo wrote a fine essay on The Village available here in Manuscripts and here on this very page. I never got around to saying anything about the essay though it was instrumental in my greater appreciation of the film.

Thanks for pointing that essay out to me. It was thorough and convincing.

I can't remember - did The Village posit a reason why Walker couldn't go himself to get medicines for Lucius? He already knows about the outside world so presumably it wouldn't taint him. Would a father really send his blind daughter on a dangerous quest because of a self-imposed rule that he's already willing to break?

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Posted

I went to see The Illusionist this weekend. It is a beautiful looking film - great costumes, sepia-leaning nostalgic color tone, country and city scenery and interiors that are perfect backdrops for the action. Although I enjoyed the movie, I can't seem to recommend it without reservations. I think it may have to do with the plot twist at the end (which I won't spoil here).

The plot twist in The Illusionist is not as jarring as that. However, it left me with the feeling that it was an ending decided by a sales committee trying to keep its customers satisfied.

I said earlier I can't recommend The Illusionist without reservations. But I do think it is an enjoyable movie to see. Paul Giamatti is especially fun to watch and Edward Norton is a perfect choice for the brooding main character. I'll be interested to see if others feel the way I do about this movie or think I am out in left field on this.

I saw The Illusionist also. I thought the film was well done, the pacing was very good and the general 'look' of the film and magic were superb. I don't know if I'd be hesistant about recommending the film on the basis of the ending since it as you say, its not as "jarring" or completely contrary to what we've seen. I do agree that the ending is 'safe' though if I'm right, people are much more willing to accept an alternate ending than presumed ( the audience in the theater seemed satisfied but dissappointed - " Cool, but it'd be great if...").

Your comparison with The Village is dead on and it'd be interesting to see to what extent the same kind of things are happening in how we judge the film ( particularly how well it has convinced us).

And for a totally different kind of movie Beerfest. I saw this over the weekend and was surprised at how funny the film is. If you do not drink or have never been around drinkers, you probably will not enjoy the movie. Though the film is funny for other reasons than merely drunken gags. If you've seen Super Troopers, they same people did this film so you know what to expect.

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Posted

I can't remember - did The Village posit a reason why Walker couldn't go himself to get medicines for Lucius?

There's a key scene in which Walker's wife insists that he has made a vow never to return and cannot break it. She then says "we" cannot go, meaning the elders, and puts extra emphasis on this word. It may be that Walker decides to send Ivy because she cannot see and hence become "tainted" but i prefer to think that he has faith in her motives; i.e. she is driven by love (he says as much) and therefore all obstacles will buckle before her, which is the point of the impassioned speech he gives to the other elders.

Whatever the case, he is trapped between his ideal of a closed community and the reality that medicines are available that can save Lucius, a dilemma that only arises because he withdrew from society in the first place. He must ask himself if this ideal is worth a life and he concludes that it isn't - that the love Ivy and Lucius share is the true ideal he has been trying to achieve and shelter from the world. He realises that in fact nothing can harm it or prevail against it, and hence Ivy is safe.

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Posted

I've rented and watched The Village since my last post. It was much more compelling because of this discussion so my thanks to both mosaic and Hugo for giving me the push to take another look.

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I just wanted to add something that recently occurred to me; namely, that there is something of 1 Corinthians 13 in this. The villagers could let Lucius die and not take the risk of contact with the towns, but Ivy tells her father that if this happens "all that is life to me will die with him". This is the lesson of the biblical passage, writ large:

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Walker thus takes the risk because he realises that otherwise he - and the village - will "become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal".

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