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#2881

Post by kongs_speech »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 19th, 2022, 12:24 am Those two kids in Armageddon Time were fantastic. Easily among the best child performances in recent memory.
Absolutely. Anthony Hopkins will probably get the awards love, but I wish Jaylin Webb wouldn't be forgotten.
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#2882

Post by outdoorcats »

Three people here talking about Armageddon Time! That's more people than how many saw it on the first week of its theatrical run! :D

@kongs_speech - They fit in really well, so it's even more of a surprise that all of that really happened, that a young Gray really did meet those two people and listen to that speech. A great case of "truth is stranger than fiction."
@Gruesome - They were really, really good. Repeta nailed a difficult balance between playing a character meant to be precocious, annoying, and awkward, but still sympathetic. (for example, some of his behavior at the first dinner scene makes more sense in hindsight when you consider that
Spoiler
children who receive physical discipline/violence actually tend to become more rebellious and aggressive.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#2883

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

outdoorcats wrote: November 19th, 2022, 1:18 am Three people here talking about Armageddon Time! That's more people than how many saw it on the first week of its theatrical run! :D
Yep, I was literally the only person in my screening…
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#2884

Post by 1SO »

At Long Last Love (1975)
★ ★ ★
The briefest chapter in Tarantino's new book is a defense of Peter Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller (1974) and the performance by Cybill Shepherd. Tarantino believes Bogdanovich bends the film to Shepherd's strength by turning this period comedy of manners into a Howard Hawks style fast-paced screwball. I watched it, and I don't agree at all. The story doesn't lend itself to screwball comedy and won't be bent except in brief moments. As for Shepherd, she isn't comfortable in the time period and among these characters, and she sticks out as a disastrous piece of casting (★ ½)

At Long Last Love is Bogdanovich's love letter to 1930s musicals, with over a dozen Cole Porter songs. (This is aggressively musical, with maybe two minutes of dialogue between songs.) Barely released in 1975 by a studio that sold it as a rom-com starring Cybill Shepherd and Burt Reynolds, destroyed by most critics for the cast not having musical credibility and quickly re-edited into a version that cuts out a lot of Shepherd's songs. In 2013 a proper "Definitive Director's Version" was released. It's what I saw, and once I got over the cast not being as good as Fred and Ginger I have to admit, it's lovely.

The casting is odd, filled out by Madeline Kahn and an Italian named Duilio Del Prete who speaks like Chico Marx. There's also a 3rd couple played by Eileen Brennan and John Hillerman, and they're excellent throughout. It's a story where they keep changing (hetero) partners, and all four are given equal weight while they sip the songs like champagne. All four throw themselves into the spirit of the project, and Shepherd is the best of the bunch. This is the charm Tarantino saw in Daisy Miller, the most I've enjoyed Shepherd outside of Moonlighting. Burt Reynolds is surprisingly good too, once you get past the fact that he's singing and dancing. He brings his twinkle to this and not his "too cool" detachment.
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#2885

Post by kongs_speech »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 19th, 2022, 1:54 am
outdoorcats wrote: November 19th, 2022, 1:18 am Three people here talking about Armageddon Time! That's more people than how many saw it on the first week of its theatrical run! :D
Yep, I was literally the only person in my screening…
I went with my roommate and his mom. We were the only three people, the screening had open captions and the movie was only there a week. It wouldn't shock me if we were the only people who saw it in that theater all week.
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#2886

Post by Torgo »

kongs_speech wrote: November 19th, 2022, 3:01 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 19th, 2022, 1:54 am
outdoorcats wrote: November 19th, 2022, 1:18 am Three people here talking about Armageddon Time! That's more people than how many saw it on the first week of its theatrical run! :D
Yep, I was literally the only person in my screening…
I went with my roommate and his mom. We were the only three people, the screening had open captions and the movie was only there a week. It wouldn't shock me if we were the only people who saw it in that theater all week.
Beware that Onder doesn't find this thread and use it as an argument in the theatrical discussion .. :P
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#2887

Post by Onderhond »

I'm not out to convince others what they have to think of/feel about the theatrical experience. People like what they like :)
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#2888

Post by OldAle1 »

Good_Will_Harding wrote: November 18th, 2022, 2:07 am
She Said

The latest procedural journalism awards hopeful in the vein of All the President's Men, The Post, and Spotlight, the latter of which this very clearly tries to emulate, from the tone to the pace and structure, as well as the musical score and overall aesthetic, with this making good use of its New York locales the same way Spotlight did with Boston. As someone who majored in English-journalism back in college, I'm required by law to see any film remotely dealing in that world ASAP and luckily this one was pretty engaging throughout, though I didn't like it quite as much as any of the three I mentioned.

While Carey Mulligan turns in a reliably solid performance, it's actually Zoe Kazan who impressed me more out of the two leads. I've seen and liked her in plenty of stuff beforehand, but here's she able to exhibit a real sense of vulnerability that pairs very well with the subject material. This might be a strange thing to highlight, but the way she listens to testimonials of victims is really strong display of non-verbal acting, not just with her facial expression and eyes, but also with her posture and body language doing a lot of heavy lifting as well. Can't really explain why, but those are the elements of her performance which immediately stood out to me.

All in all, a pretty solid film that probably could or should have been great, but this sometimes tends to get lost in a more self-congratulatory tone, when the systemic trends of abuse and sexism this seeks to expose are still very prevalent issues in the film industry and didn't exactly go away when he-who-must-not-be-named did. For a much better film handling that same thematic material, seek out The Assistant from a few years ago. Even still, I'm glad this is out there to tell the story to as wide of an audience as possible.
I just saw this myself, and my thoughts are pretty much in line with yours. It's very much the traditional journalists-as-heroes story-of-the-moment kind of film and the ones you call back to are obvious antecedents (and all of them better films I think, though none are great pieces of filmmaking IMO). Agree with you about Kazan vs Mulligan - I think if it were to get one Best Actress nom, I'd hope it would be for her. And her emotional scenes, particularly the one where Ashley Judd calls her at the end, were very strong. But the cast in general is very good - I also loved Andre Braugher as no-nonsense editor Dean, who from the first moment obviously thinks Weinstein is pure scum, but has enough self-control and integrity to keep it all in at all times. And I suspect Jennifer Ehle will be getting some awards consideration for a strikingly emotional and powerful performance as a woman whose life was clearly derailed by her early encounter with HW. Actually, I think her performance points to the best thing about the film - how clearly all of these women, and by implication large numbers of women worldwide and through history, have had their lives altered by the abuse or even just condescension heaped on them by powerful men. I think the film could have been better had that theme been kicked up a notch and the, as you say, self-congratulatory "aren't we at the venerable Gray Lady so wonderful for finally getting this story out there" element were muted or just left out altogether - I mean, those who see this film get the journalistic points.

All in all, fine, glad I saw it. There were three young women sitting right behind me and they didn't make a sound through the whole film except to sigh bigtime at the end.
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#2889

Post by blocho »

OldAle1 wrote: November 23rd, 2022, 10:26 pm I also loved Andre Braugher as no-nonsense editor Dean, who from the first moment obviously thinks Weinstein is pure scum, but has enough self-control and integrity to keep it all in at all times.
I just want to jump in here to mention that the actual Dean Baquet is a man who is sorely lacking in journalistic integrity. This is not meant to disagree with your understanding of the character or of Braugher's performance. I couldn't do that -- I haven't seen the movie.

There were many problems with Baquet's tenure as the executive editor of the Times, but if I had to point at one thing that showed a lack of integrity, it would be how he handled another story that involved an accusation of sexual assault.

I apologize for this random digression away from movies.
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#2890

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Yeah, the whole cast of She Said was pretty great, and Andre Braugher's editor was definitely a highlight too. No comment on how the real life person may or may not have done their job well, since that conversation, while interesting and worth having, doesn't necessarily impact my views on the film as a whole.

The Fabelmans

Mama Spielberg: "Son, you are going to have to make a choice about whether you pursue a career in film at the expense of alienating those closest to you, or you can compromise and quietly suffer like your father and I."

Stevie Jr: "I am going to direct Bridge of Spies."

I haven't exactly been shy about how much I was looking forward to this puppy, and while it met my expectations in a number of ways (hands down the most deeply personal film Spielberg has ever made, a reverent and detailed recreation of his earlier life, probably the most unapologetically Jewish film made by an A-list Hollywood auteur since A Serious Man, featuring one of the most understated and minimal scores from the genius John Williams), there were still plenty of surprises to be found here as well.

First and foremost, this isn't entirely the wistful, steely-eyed look back at Stevie's early days that many of us justifiably assumed it would be. Oh, there are definitely elements of that in here, mostly early on and almost all to do with the discovery of his passion for filmmaking, and how he's able to channel any feelings about his turbulent home life through his craft. However, with the depiction of Spielberg's home life and his parents' marriage... well let's just say that I see now why he wanted to wait until they had both passed before he decided to make this. Now of course neither of them (played well by Paul Dano and Michelle Williams) are portrayed in a completely good or bad light, but this does get pretty direct and confrontational sometimes, and even Spielberg's self-insert protagonist isn't shown in a completely flattering light at all times either. In a lot of ways, the film this reminded me of most wasn't anything Spielberg has made, but actually Richard Linklater's Boyhood, as it covers nearly the exact same period of time in the lead character's life, and even ends at a similar point.
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#2891

Post by kongs_speech »

Bones and All.

Disappointment of the year. It's nothing but a self-consciously artsy Twilight that thinks it's a profound statement on romance and generational trauma. Taylor Russell is great in the lead, especially given the questionable dialogue she has to perform. The cinematography and score are beautiful, and I appreciate the attention to 1980s period detail. There is one really enjoyable scene featuring David Gordon Green and Michael Stuhlbarg, which unfortunately doesn't really matter at all in the overall storyline. Otherwise, I found the film to be kinda awful. I'm on record as not being a fan of Timothee Chalamet's acting style, but jeez, he's dull here. Russell is doing all the heavy lifting in their scenes together. They have no chemistry. Mark Rylance is hammier than a Thanksgiving pork dinner. His character is impossible to take seriously, despite the film's insistence. There's also a mean streak that feels unnecessary and off-putting. Now, you might be thinking "no shit, Kong, it's a cannibal film." That's not what I'm talking about, obviously. It's a cannibal movie. People are going to be butchered and eaten. It's more the casual, tossed-off way in which the film treats two specific truly heinous acts, especially a reveal during the climax that simply felt cheap.

I am still excited for what Luca Guadagnino does in the future. Suspiria is remarkable. But yeah, Bones and All sucks.
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#2892

Post by Ebbywebby »

kongs_speech wrote: November 28th, 2022, 12:14 am Bones and All.

Disappointment of the year. It's nothing but a self-consciously artsy Twilight that thinks it's a profound statement on romance and generational trauma. Taylor Russell is great in the lead, especially given the questionable dialogue she has to perform. The cinematography and score are beautiful, and I appreciate the attention to 1980s period detail. There is one really enjoyable scene featuring David Gordon Green and Michael Stuhlbarg, which unfortunately doesn't really matter at all in the overall storyline. Otherwise, I found the film to be kinda awful. I'm on record as not being a fan of Timothee Chalamet's acting style, but jeez, he's dull here. Russell is doing all the heavy lifting in their scenes together. They have no chemistry. Mark Rylance is hammier than a Thanksgiving pork dinner. His character is impossible to take seriously, despite the film's insistence. There's also a mean streak that feels unnecessary and off-putting. Now, you might be thinking "no shit, Kong, it's a cannibal film." That's not what I'm talking about, obviously. It's a cannibal movie. People are going to be butchered and eaten. It's more the casual, tossed-off way in which the film treats two specific truly heinous acts, especially a reveal during the climax that simply felt cheap.

I am still excited for what Luca Guadagnino does in the future. Suspiria is remarkable. But yeah, Bones and All sucks.
Why does the story need to take place in the '80s?
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#2893

Post by kongs_speech »

Ebbywebby wrote: November 28th, 2022, 8:29 pm
kongs_speech wrote: November 28th, 2022, 12:14 am Bones and All.

Disappointment of the year. It's nothing but a self-consciously artsy Twilight that thinks it's a profound statement on romance and generational trauma. Taylor Russell is great in the lead, especially given the questionable dialogue she has to perform. The cinematography and score are beautiful, and I appreciate the attention to 1980s period detail. There is one really enjoyable scene featuring David Gordon Green and Michael Stuhlbarg, which unfortunately doesn't really matter at all in the overall storyline. Otherwise, I found the film to be kinda awful. I'm on record as not being a fan of Timothee Chalamet's acting style, but jeez, he's dull here. Russell is doing all the heavy lifting in their scenes together. They have no chemistry. Mark Rylance is hammier than a Thanksgiving pork dinner. His character is impossible to take seriously, despite the film's insistence. There's also a mean streak that feels unnecessary and off-putting. Now, you might be thinking "no shit, Kong, it's a cannibal film." That's not what I'm talking about, obviously. It's a cannibal movie. People are going to be butchered and eaten. It's more the casual, tossed-off way in which the film treats two specific truly heinous acts, especially a reveal during the climax that simply felt cheap.

I am still excited for what Luca Guadagnino does in the future. Suspiria is remarkable. But yeah, Bones and All sucks.
Why does the story need to take place in the '80s?
There's a pickup truck with a Regan/Bush '84 bumper sticker, and that's about as deep as its political commentary goes. They did a nice job making it look like the '80s, but I suppose there's no real reason why it actually needs to take place then.
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#2894

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

I LOVED the technical aspects of Bones and All. It really is gorgeously photographed; off the top of my head without looking at a list of every 2022 film I’ve seen so far, it would currently top my list of “best looking” film I’ve seen for the year. And I had no idea that was a Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross score until the end credits, and the music was excellent.

But yeah, as much as Guadagnino brings on the blood and puts together some pretty fucked-up scenes, there’s no escaping the story’s YA book origins. Taylor Russell was quite good in the lead, but Timothee Chalamet is doing his “aren’t I just too cool and irresistible to young women (and men)?”, wannabe this-generation-James Dean thing, and I agree with kong about Mark Rylance’s ham of a character that seems to belong in a different movie. I think the film would have been better served if Rylance’s initial scene was his only time on screen (but even then, I still don’t much like his theatrical, mannered approach here). And Chloe Sevigny (who I love) was utterly wasted in her role. The cinematography, music and atmosphere in certain points of the film were enough for me to mildly like it I suppose, but overall a disappointment for me too.
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#2895

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Haven't seen Bones and All yet, but I hope to get around to it this week sometime (Glass Onion takes priority though, since that leaves theaters tomorrow). I thought Guadagnino's Suspiria remake was actually quite good, so I'm curious to see how he handles this particular subject matter.

Image

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Leave it to the busiest travelling days of the year for there to finally be some great films in theaters. As expected, on a purely aesthetic and technical level, this is nothing short of exceptional. I never fail to be impressed by stop motion animation, whether in short or feature length, and this is one of the most detailed and singular I've ever seen; to say nothing of how deeply moving the manner in which this adapts its classic story is. Add to that some really lovely music (both the musical score and the original songs, with the "Ciao Papa" sequence damn near bringing me to tears), and this amounts to one of the better films I've seen in what's turning out to be a pretty impressive fall/winter season. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen if you're able.
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#2896

Post by OldAle1 »

:( I REALLY feel like I'm in the boonies these days - I'll have to drive 1 1/2 hours (each way) if I want to see Pinocchio - and almost the same to see The Fabelmans. And of course they aren't at the same theater. Difficult, if not impossible, to see them both on the same day, and I don't know if I'm up to driving that much two days in a row this week (because I think Pinocchio will be gone after Wednesday, hell the Spielberg film might be too give the poor box office).

I did go to see Glass Onion today, which was pretty much what I expected, all in all, after it's predecessor. I think I have to continue to see every Ryan Johnson film in the cinema - I've seen all of them and that's probably some kind of feat given the 1-week-only rollout of this one, and the fairly minimal release of his first two films. What a strange career he's had in just 6 features. Anyway, like Knives Out this has a large and entertaining cast, but like that film this ends up just focusing on a few of the characters, in this case our suave detective (Daniel Craig), a woman (Janelle Monae) who had her great idea stolen by a billionaire, and that billionaire (Edward Norton). It's all in the context of a murder-mystery game that billionaire is hosting on his private island, with the other players all also being current or former business associates, all of whom just might have reasons to want to kill him. Like the first film this is really a 1920s-30s idea dressed up in modern clothing, but that's all fine. And it's fine that the billionaire is sort of an amalgam of Zuckerberg and Musk, and is quite odious and stupid - more films that mock billionaires, please. What's less good is that the mockery doesn't go far enough, the film is longer than it needs to be at 140 minutes, and there are too many characters that really get short shrift - Peg (Jessica Henwick) for example seems to be there just for a scene where our rich guy treats her like a lowly servant. Anyway, it's enjoyable I think for those who like this sort of film, and the main actors - those for whom those are not appealing enough pulls can probably find something better to do with their time.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#2897

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Oof, yeah the release strategies for everything that isn't Black Panther 2 this fall have been extremely confounding and frustrating. For the Spielberg and Del Toro films, I had to drive nearly an hour to see them (also at separate theaters). Glass Onion is also playing at one of them, but I need to go tomorrow or I'll miss out. At least this is consistent with Netflix's anti-release strategy since the beginning, which always seemed to me like poor business to just abandon what amounts to money on the table in numerous cases. But the meager rollout for the latest and most clearly personal work by one of the architects of the modern blockbuster mold is especially puzzling. :think: I think it's even playing on less screens in the US than Netflix's one week rollout for their next franchise hopeful. Maybe Universal is playing the long game for awards season, or they could've just gotten cold feet after She Said did such poor business.
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#2898

Post by OldAle1 »

So yesterday's hour-plus-each-way drive - necessary these days to see just about anything that's not superheroes, horror, or animation - was for

The Fabelmans

First I will note that this was playing on one screen in one cinema in a county of 600,000 that holds the state capitol and a major university. And while admittedly I was seeing an early matinee and on a weekday, the fact that there were only four other people at the screening for an extremely well-reviewed film from one of the very few directors who is a household name was pretty depressing. The film at this point looks like it will be *very* lucky to hit $10 million total domestically - and I assume it will make very little elsewhere, as these kinds of domestic dramas about specifically American subjects really don't tend to travel well. Even if it ends up with lots of awards nominations and wins, it's chances of breaking even or turning a profit are slim. Spielberg's previous West Side Story ended up with only $76 million despite equally high praise and many Oscar noms. All part of the gloomy and obvious conclusion that I have to make now, that cinema not involving lots of action, blood, or cartoons is essentially dead as something that can be seen on big screens in the USA. I hope those of you who appreciate things other than the MCU, Halloween and Pixar in other parts of the world continue to have better choices than we in the increasingly adolescent-defined American culture.

Thankfully the film was worth the drive, though after one viewing, and a day to think about it, I can't yet say that I find it "great". It's certainly, for me, Spielberg's best since A.I., but then I haven't loved any of the films in that period so that isn't on it's own high praise. What the film really manages to achieve that surprises me a bit is a certain amount of self-criticism, most especially of the director's treatment of women in his films as secondary characters. It's not just that the mother figure of Mitzi (Michelle Williams in a performance that I think certainly could finally get her an Oscar) dominates and centers the film, but also the subtle (yeah, a weird word to use about a Spielberg film, but I think fairly accurate here) critique of how the young Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle as a teenager, another really fine performance) is only really interested in "boy's adventures" type stories - westerns, war movies, etc - and how he just doesn't seem to understand or take girls seriously. I was thinking that the fairly minimal attention played to Sammy's three sisters was a bit of a problem in the film, but I think it sort of falls in line with how the young Fabelman/Spielberg seems to see girls - as just something there, or a nuisance, or a sexual fantasy - his first halting experience of romance seems highly colored by an inability to see women as "real" in the same way that the soldiers and cowboys in his films are. The other major element in the film of course is the relationship between Mitzi - the somewhat free-spirited, emotional, artsy pianist - and hubby Burt (Paul Dano), an intellectual scientist and engineer who, while not portrayed as cold or distant or anything, still seems at times to be a bit unable to relate to others on a simple emotional level. And of course this gives us the push-and-pull of Spielberg's own filmmaking career, the technical wizardry mixed with huge dollops of sentiment. Here we see how equally his parents' legacies both affected him.

Cinematically this has plenty of callbacks to earlier films, both Spielberg's (E.T. in particular, especially in the dreamy, over-lit lighting) and his models/idols De Mille and Ford - with David Lynch's humorous, over-the-top take on the latter director acting as sort of a punchline at the end of a film which at times does seem to take itself a bit too seriously - at first I wasn't crazy about it, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. It's an "it's only the movies" moment, after 2 1/2 hours of characters showing us that, yeah, maybe movies don't change the world in the same way that computers or wars do - but they're still pretty damn important. We need them. And The Fabelmans in showing us how Steven Spielberg became who he was through the push-and-pull of his parents, and just as much through their breakup, articulates this as well as most autobiographical films have.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#2899

Post by outdoorcats »

I apparently missed any chance to see Pinocchio in theaters. Thanks, Netflix.

I did manage to catch Glass Onion at literally the last possible screening, and it was super, super fun. Not quite as good as Knives Out - mainly because it doesn't have a perfect ending and last shot like Knives Out did. I very much want there to be many more movies with Benoit Blanc as this generation's Poirot.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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