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Film of the Week: Una pura formalità

Which films Did You See Last Week? 06/01/19 - 12/01/19

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sol
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Which films Did You See Last Week? 06/01/19 - 12/01/19

#1

Post by sol » January 13th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Which Films Did You See Last Week?

Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be awesome if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings (if you're like me, "real life" sometimes gets in the way, so no need to feel obliged).

This is what I saw:

Amazing week. The new year gets off to a good start with seven new favourites this week and only one dud. :D

★★★★ = loved it / ★★★ = liked it a lot / ★★ = has interesting elements / ★ = did very little for me

Die Puppe (1919). Uninterested in getting married, a young nobleman is persuaded to marry a lifelike animatronic doll in order to please his family and gain a lucrative dowry, but embarking on the ruse brings unexpected problems in this early career Ernest Lubitsch comedy, also known as The Doll. While bits and pieces of the film feel awfully silly (being chased Scooby Doo fashion by forty potential brides; dishes thrown around a kitchen), this is for the most part a droll and amusing comedy that takes a satirical stab at the institution of marriage and conformity to social expectations. Ossi Oswalda is terrific as the 'doll', the film is full of experimental editing and animated cutaways, and the whole film feels so inventive that it is hard believe that it is a pre-Keaton and pre-Lloyd production. Lubitsch makes an amusing appearance too at the start of the film. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Zvenigora (1928). Hidden Ukrainian treasure, deep forest spirits and a superstitious old man come together in this first full length feature from Aleksandr Dovzhenko of Zemlya fame. The ins and outs of the plot are a little hard to nut out with limited exposition and title cards, but this remains a breathtaking silent film thanks to Dovzhenko's effective experimental visuals. Dissolve edits are used to excellent effect, especially as the face of a Devil character is plastered on top of those he has chased out of a forest. Rapid fire cuts are used very well too to tie reaction shots together a la Potemkin, with a firing squad scene and a theatre performance sticking out as particular highlights. Dovzhenko plays around thoughtfully with film speed too, opening the film with majestic slow motion shots. It is just a shame that the plot is nearly indecipherable. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Cinderella (1947). Shot in vivid colour and full of simple but effective special effects, this Russian version of the classic fairytale is a pleasant if not especially remarkable film. The best thing that it has going its favour is the way the King is frequently played for laughs, constantly wanting to run away and join a monastery and bantering with his guards like something out of a Monty Python sketch. In fact, with both the title character and the prince coming off as quite lifeless, he is by far the most interesting character here. The costumes are pretty nifty too and the interior sets and not half-bad, though at least half of the exterior shots feature noticeably painted backgrounds that never once look real. The songs are not particularly great either, however if nothing else, this is a rare film incarnation that actually casts prettier actresses than the lead as the wicked stepsisters. (first viewing, online) ★★

Gamlet (1964). Filmed at an actual seaside Estonian castle, this Soviet take on Hamlet is perhaps the most cinematic version to date, never once feeling like a confined stage play. The filmmakers use the natural exteriors to perfectly moody effect as waves crash against shores and the father's ghost appears eerie against natural nighttime backdrops. The film's best aspect is the gorgeous black and white photography with the palace often shot from disquieting low camera angles and as Hamlet's face is cut partially off screen at times as he walks and ponders. The music is beautiful too. The performances sadly get a little lost amongst the audiovisual sumptuousness with none of the supporting turns making a mark. Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy is fine in the lead though, and his delivering of "To be or not to be" as an internal monologue in voiceover is an excellent touch. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Vinyl (1965). Intent on avoiding jail time, a juvenile delinquent agrees to undergo an experimental process to cure his antisocial tendencies in this Andy Warhol movie. If this sounds a lot like A Clockwork Orange, it is because the film is based on the same novel as the iconic Kubrick film, though with a low budget and nonprofessional actors, it stands greatly in its shadow. The project has its virtues though. The vast majority of the movie fascinatingly plays out as one single unbroken take with a perfectly disorientating jump as the film suddenly cuts to close-up at around 48 minutes in at the height of indoctrination. Having the protagonist describe what he is being shown in treatment (rather than showing the clips themselves) is a neat touch too as we have to fill in the blanks. It is just a shame that Gerard Malanga does such a poor job adding emotion to his dialogue. (first viewing, online) ★★

Sportloto-82 (1982). Unable to find a winning lottery ticket that he placed in a book, a hapless young man tries to track down three train passengers who might know of its whereabouts in this late career comedy from Leonid Gaidai of The Diamond Arm fame. The plot is too coincidence-heavy to add up as it turns out that each of the passengers had the exact same book as him, all of which became mixed up. The gags also vary in effectiveness with some terribly unfunny moments involving stolen spoons, the lack of a can opener and bags falling on heads. Mikhail Pugovkin is very feisty though as the closest the film has to an antagonist and with zany bits like Pugovkin forcing his friend to eat oranges in order to coax the truth out of him - and popping out of a crate full of money in a dream sequence - the film comes with some creativity and a lot of energy. (first viewing, online) ★★

El Sur (1983). Fascinated by an attic that she is not allowed in and her father's mysterious hobbies, an impressionable girl becomes convinced that her dad is leading a double life in this moody Spanish drama. With wide expressive eyes, Sonsoles Aranguren is well cast as the preteen protagonist and with several exquisite shots (dangling pendulum beside her face), the first hour of El Sur is pretty solid stuff. The last half-hour is sadly less interesting as it jumps ahead to the protagonist as a young adult, more cynical and less filled with wonder about the world, and then the film ends on an abrupt note that even director Victor Erice apparently disliked. Add in sometimes intrusive narration that spells out more than it should, and this is a fairly flawed production, if one with several magical moments in its first hour and some very nifty elapsing time dissolve edits. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Dr. Caligari (1989). More of a tribute to Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari than a direct sequel, this horror-comedy has the granddaughter of Caligari conducting unethical sexual experiments on her asylum patients. Full of crooked lines and captured in expressionist lighting, the sets feel just like those in the silent classic and the dialogue-free first nine minutes are breathtaking as we simply bask in the asylum's weirdness. The overall film is very Cronenbergish, with extra orifices growing, a character glued to her television screen, tongues protruding from walls and so on. Bits and pieces are overly theatrical with the actors and actresses talking to the camera (rather than across to one another) and some of the drag performances are a little campy, but this remains a very interesting look at the ramifications of trying to repress one's sexuality through treatment. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Go Further (2003). Canadian documentarian Ron Mann (of Grass fame) follows Woody Harrelson and a bunch of activist friends here as they go on a road trip all across the North American continent to promote vegan lifestyles and environmental sustainability. A charismatic individual, Harrelson is always fun to follow around, and the trip has quite a few highlights as Harrelson makes public speeches, visits a specific action training camp for activists and spends time with a woman whose factory is producing paper out of hemp as opposed to wood. Mann's frequent attempts to inject humour into the proceedings are less successful. Harrelson being mistaken for Woody Allen is only funny the first couple of times and it is far more silly than funny when one of his friends uses a megaphone to speak to cows about not letting farmers inject them. (first viewing, online) ★★

Night Watch (2004). Vampires, shapeshifters and other ghoulish creatures surface as a battle between good and evil wages in contemporary Moscow in this Russian thriller. The film features some really out-there imagery and pure WTF moments as, for example, a group of shapeshifters shoo away a doll with spider legs while they stop a witch from casting a spell with a frying pan. Unfortunately, all of this makes relatively little sense. Based on a 500 page novel, the story is built on a mythology that is too complex to properly flesh out in a film running under two hours, and what can be nutted out feels overly simplistic in terms of good and evil. The special effects are at least pretty decent, and some of the action sequences are well-filmed too, though the filmmakers' favouring of frenzied and constantly moving camerawork does the story a disservice. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★

Kaboom (2010). Plagued by bizarre visions and recurring nightmares, a college student has trouble determining where he sits on the sexuality spectrum in this characteristically offbeat Gregg Araki offering. While the imagery is more outlandish and artistic with blue, pink and purple hues used to superb effect, the film is very reminiscent of Araki's earlier Nowhere and its protagonist who begins to have visions of the universe collapsing as he realises his latent homosexuality. The big difference here is that Araki focuses more on the visions and a resulting conspiracy, which makes it less character-based than Nowhere - and leads to a far less memorable final note. Still, there is lots of interest going on here with Araki successfully paralleling the mysteries at hand to the student grappling with his sexual fluidity, and his recurring nightmare is amazingly visualised. (first viewing, DVD) ★★★★

Elena (2011). Desperate to see her layabout grandson attend college, a retired nurse hatches a plan to get the funds denied to her by her wealthy second husband in this drama from Loveless director Andrey Zvyagintsev. While it never quite enters full thriller mode, this is a surprisingly intense ride with Nadezhda Markina excellent as title character who finds her morals and nerves tested. There are also some interesting dynamics at play in how ungrateful the grandson is, how much his father (her son) sponges off her, and how she still feels compelled to support them. Zvyagintsev's extremely long takes are not always advantageous here, full of shots that dwell for a long time on minor characters performing menial tasks. With Philip Glass on hand, the film has a perfectly moody, throbbing music score though and the ending kind of works despite odd loose ends. (first viewing, DVD) ★★★

Your Name. (2016). Caught in an inexplicable paradox in which they wake up in each other's bodies on alternating days, a teenage boy and girl agree to help each other out in this fascinating anime. The film is beautifully animated with vivid colours and moody skies and writer-director Makoto Shinkai successfully milks the dilemma for both its comedic and dramatic potential. This is noticeably a film with two halves though and while the second half is more curious as Shinkai reveals an unexpected twist, the mystical way in which it is dealt with leaves a bit to be desired, and therefore the first half stands stronger. And yet, the overall project is riveting from start to finish. The two protagonists are developed in ample depth and the film makes a case for them being kindred spirits, rendering their quests near the end gripping and only ever occasionally overly sappy. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Gerald's Game (2017). Handcuffed to a bed frame at a secluded cottage, a housewife finds herself in dire straits when her husband collapses of a heart attack during BDSM activities in this Stephen King adaptation from Oculus director Mike Flanagan. The film takes its unnerving premise and milks it for all the suspense and thrills it is worth -- the threat of a hungry neighbourhood dog in particular. Where the film succeeds best is having her rationalise and talk out what to do by conversing with both her husband's ghost and a more cynical version of herself. These conversations really get at her psyche while at the same time painting a mind driven mad by lack of food, water and exercise over several hours. The final fifteen minutes are sadly a bit of a drag (and actually entirely superfluous) but this is generally very well done if a little gruesome in the third act. (first viewing, online) ★★★

The Purge: Election Year (2016). Surviving the annual purge proves challenging for a senator with an anti-purge stance in this third film in the horror franchise. While the plot dynamics are very similar to the second film as the senator scours the streets with a recast Frank Grillo to guide her, writer-director James DeMonaco still includes new material, as well as some very vivid and memorable images, from street-side guillotines to cars covered in Xmas lights, as the year's purgers go insane. Particularly interesting this time round is the concept of "murder tourism" with young people travelling from overseas specifically to purge. The film also addresses insurance questions that the first two films left hanging. What really resonates about the movie though is its portrait of humanity among rampant inhumanity with underground triage units; human decency still survives. (first viewing, DVD) ★★★

The First Purge (2018). As per the title, this prequel to James DeMonaco's Purge trilogy imagines what the very first Purge might have looked like. It is an interesting idea as the "experiment" gains media attention with proponents calling it a necessary "societal catharsis" and the film looks at how the very first guinea pigs of Staten Island were bribed to participate so that certain interested parties could documentary desired results. While this offers a fresh and new spin for franchise, it is unfortunately far less interesting. The never-ending talk about ramifications leads to the purge action not occurring until a third of the way in, and when it does occur, the film never manages to up the ante on purge behaviour as each subsequent entry in the initial trilogy was able to do. All the talk also leads to the film being pretty blunt and unsubtle about its messages. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★

Mute (2018). Set in near-future Berlin, this neo-noir follows a mute bartender on a quest to find his missing girlfriend. The film is mostly of note for being directed by Duncan Jones - the creative genius behind Moon and Source Code - but this is a much more muted effort. The biggest issue is that the protagonist is fairly dull and his unrelenting search is one-note and formulaic. The future setting does not really affect the plot much either, though it does provide some amazing visuals and ample comic relief with sex robots and voice activation technology. The main supporting characters (two black market American surgeons) are also far more interesting than our hero, with Justin Theroux terrific as the more sinister one. It takes a while for their plotline to collide with the protagonist's though, making this an uneven affair, if not an uninteresting one. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Meg (2018). Living at the bottom of the ocean and thought to be extinct, a prehistoric shark struggles to defend itself against scared scientists who are intent on killing it in this big budget Jaws variant. Jason Statham brings a nice dose of sarcasm and dry wit, the special effects are very decent and the underwater labs interiors are magnificent. The film expects us to sympathise with Statham and his team though, who want to kill the aquatic beast out of spite and revenge, rather than study it. This may have worked if the film had characters as three dimensional as those of Jaws, but sadly they are mostly stock types and standard horror movie fodder. The overall film is moderately entertaining with some really spectacular set pieces in the mix, but it is hard to really warm towards a film that encourages the killing of what we do not understand. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★

Eighth Grade (2018). Nervous about entering high school without a boyfriend or any close friends, a socially awkward teenager faces a challenging final week of middle school in this comedy starring Golden Globe nominee Elsie Fisher. It is a very dynamic performance with Fisher conveying the most when diverting her eyes away; her fuller figure and imperfect complexion render her down-to-earth too. Josh Hamilton is Fisher's equal as her befuddled father; his reactions also lead to some of the film's funniest moments. Bits and pieces here misfire (Jake Ryan's character; interruptions for Fisher's video blogging) but the overall concoction is great. The 80s style music and bursts of Enya's 'Orinoco Flow' add plenty of mood and director Bo Burnham captures so much with the smallest touches, such as a gradual zoom-out to convey her anxiety at a pool party. (first viewing, cinema) ★★★★
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Perception de Ambiguity
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » January 13th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Outing (Sebastian Meise & Thomas Reider, 2012) 6/10

Manzelské etudy po dvaceti letech / Marriage Stories: Ivana and Pavel (Helena Trestíková, 2006) 7/10
(Manželské etudy: Ivana a Pavel (c.1987) 6+/10)

Up the Yangtze / 沿江而上 (Yung Chang, 2007) 8/10

Die Erben von Papas Kino (Wilhelm Roth, 1968) 5+/10

Here Be Dragons (Mark Cousins, 2013) 5+/10

Deux fois (Jackie Raynal, 1968) 6+/10

Désiré (Sacha Guitry, 1937) 7/10

الهائمون /Wanderers of the Desert (ناصر خمير/Nacer Khemir, 1984) 5+/10

小早川家の秋/The End of Summer (小津安二郎/Yasujiro Ozu, 1961) 4+/10

浮草物語/A Story of Floating Weeds (小津安二郎/Yasujiro Ozu, 1934) (1 1/2 viewings) 8+/10

Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995) (2nd viewing) 5+/10 (from 8)

The Driver (Walter Hill, 1978) (4th viewing) 9/10


shorts

directed by Tim Cawkwell
Light Years
Sections 1-6
6,6,6,6,5,6/10


Inaudible Cities - part 1 (Semiconductor) 7/10

The Sound of Microclimates (Semiconductor) 8-/10

Do You Think Science... (Semiconductor) 5/10

All the Time in the World (Semiconductor) ?

Der Mond (Lutz Dammbeck, 1977) 7-/10

Lebe! (Lutz Dammbeck, 1978) 4/10

Der Schneider von Ulm (Lutz Dammbeck, 1980) 6/10

Florence (Peter (B.) Hutton, 1987) 6/10

Landscape (for Manon) (Peter (B.) Hutton, 1987) 7/10

指压之王 / The Master of Shiatsu (石井岳龍/Sogo Ishii/Gakuryu Ishii) 7+/10

Come Out (Narcisa Hirsch, 1971) 2/10

Vesely Cirkus / The Merry Circus / Le cirque joyeux (Jirí Trnka, 1951) 3-/10

Canon (Norman McLaren & Grant Munro, 1964) 4/10

Chat écoutant la musique (Chris Marker, 1990) 6/10

Le déjeuner du chat (Louis Lumière, 1895) 3/10

Oberhausen Manifesto
Notizen aus dem Altmühltal (Hans Rolf Strobel & Heinrich Tichawsky, 1961) 6/10

Das Unkraut (Wolfgang Urchs, 1962) 6+/10

Süden im Schatten (Franz-Josef Spieker, 1962) 3/10

Plakate, Parolen, Signale (Haro Senft, 1962) 4+/10

Kommunikation - Technik der Verständigung (1962) 6+/10

Es muß ein Stück von Hitler sein (Walter Krüttner, 1963) 4+/10

Marionetten (Boris von Borresholm, 1964) 4/10

Anmeldung (Rob Houwer, 1964) 5/10

Das Dorf Granstein (Christian Doermer, 1965) 5/10


RiffTrax & MST3k

Norman Checks In (Shevard Goldstein, 1984) 1/10


music videos

Korn: Blind (1995) (umpteenth viewing) 4/10

Korn: Shoots and Ladders (1995) (umpteenth viewing) 4/10

Korn: A.D.I.D.A.S. (1997) (umpteenth viewing) 7/10

EAV: Küss die Hand schöne Frau (umpteenth viewing) +

iLOVEFRiDAY: Mia Khalifa (Smoke Hijabi & Xeno Carr, 2018) 1/10


series

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: "Bystander Ben"(w/ Steven Wright, 1995) 5/10

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: "Mask"(w/ Steven Wright, 1997) 5/10


other

Autour de (Jacques) Baratier (Jackie Raynal, 2003) ("Deux fois" DVD extra) 5+/10

Up the Yangtze - DVD extras


didn't finish

Moetsukita chizu / Man Without a Map (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1968) [38 min]
Obrazy starého sveta / Pictures of the Old World (1972) [14 min]
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018) [12 min]
Saido kâ ni inu (Dog in a Sidecar) (Kichitaro Negishi, 2007) [7 min]
Nova: "Extreme Animal Weapons" (Peter Fison, 2017) [5 min]


notable online media

top:
Everyone's A Critic - SNL Digital Short
Interaktive Filme? BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH - Kritik & Analyse
rest:
Steven Wright Is A Confessed Butterfly Killer [rewatch]
[old Jim Carrey late night appearances - all rewatches, prob.]
[Jim Carrey Golden Globes and SNL stuff]
Brian "Head" Welch of Korn at Replay Guitar Exchange
Ernie Ball: String Theory featuring Daron Malakian from System Of A Down [partly]
I Built a Guitar Out of 1200 Colored Pencils [partly]
Professor Slavoj Žižek | Full Address and Q&A | Oxford Union [partly]
Are Native Americans Offended By Cultural Appropriation?
[even more Happy New Year wishes by Content With Jeremiah that are still not the least be awkward, less than ever, really]
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LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

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Onderhond
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#3

Post by Onderhond » January 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm

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01. 4.0* - Crank (2006)
Superb first feature of Neveldine and Taylor. Smart story about a hitman who must keep up his adrenaline levels to survive some messed up poison. It's the ultimate excuse to go completely mad and have Statham do the weirdest, craziest things while trying to find the antidote. Exemplary action cinema.

02. 3.5* - After the Rain [Koi wa Ameagari no Yô Ni] (2018)
Fun and quirky drama that tackles some tougher issues. Komatsu and Oizumi form the heart of this film and both deliver strong performances. Nagai's direction is fresh and perky, but lacks some finesse. The result is a solid drama that flies by, engages, but fails to be truly magnificent. Still worth watching though.

03. 3.5* - Army of One (2016)
Mad comedy in which Nicolas Cage plays a goofy man who is out to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, though the craziest thing of all is that is based on a true story. Charles has a knack for comedy, Cage is perfect and the film is genuinely funny. The direction is a little sloppy maybe, but an otherwise welcome diversion.

04. 3.0* - Lifechanger (2018)
Lifechanger isn't a bad film. It has an intriguing concept, it carries it some interesting places and it never takes the easy way out, but even though it earns itself a lot of goodwill along the way the execution just isn't quite there. Questionable actors and tepid direction stand in the way of an otherwise solid film.

05. 3.0* - Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)
Two comedy dudes (Segel and Helms) doing the dramady dance. It's not a new concept, the result is predictably decent. There are some good chuckles, a few proper dramatic moments, but overall it lacks something that truly sets the film apart. It's nice enough filler, but it fails to rise above its (many) peers.

06. 3.0* - Iceman: The Time Traveller [Bing Feng: Yong Heng Zhi Men] (2018)
Decent sequel to Law's Iceman. Donnie Yen reprises his role while this follow-up turns things upside down, warping the Ming warriors back to their own time in order to alter history. Some decent action scenes, some doubty CG, no time to get bored. It's not a bad film, but Wai Main Yip can do a lot better.

07. 3.0* - Deaf Mute Heroine [Long Ya Jian] (1971)
70s girl power. A remarkably fun and creative martial arts film with a female lead that kicks some serious ass. The fight choreography is original and effective, the rest of the film is solid but basic martial arts fare. This is clearly fans-only material, but seeing how obscure this film is, it's a pretty cool find nonetheless.

08. 2.5* - Into the Forest (2015)
A somewhat tepid and confused drama that borrows a lot from post-apocalyptic genre films, but fails to do anything interesting with it. It's not the first drama to plunder genre elements in order to present itself livelier than it actually is, but Rozema's attempts don't amount to much. It's not bad, just not very good either.

09. 1.5* - A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
Starts off okay, but gets considerably worse as time passes. The romance is cheesy, the fantasy elements are somewhat cheap and the trial at the end is dull and lifeless. Niven is the only actor who makes something of his part, the rest is ultimately forgettable. Just like the rest of this film really.

10. 1.5* - Parenthood (1989)
Like most American comedies, the film start off as a full-blown comedy but is ruined by some ill-advised drama during the second half. The characters become truly annoying, the light-heartedness disappears almost completely and the drama has absolutely no impact whatsoever. Should've been 30 minutes shorter.

11. 1.5* - Get a Job (2016)
A hang-up comedy about finding a job. Could've been fun, if only it wasn't o preoccupied with lame life lessons and poorly fleshed out drama. Apart from Kendrick, the actors aren't really suited for comedy either and the film could've used a couple more jokes that actually landed. Short, but not very good.

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sol
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#4

Post by sol » January 13th, 2019, 2:13 pm

PdA:

Damn, you don't know what you're missing out on with some of those films that you're giving up on. Last week it was Sorry to Bother You, which you stopped watching before the left of field twist; this week it is a Teshigahara movie from his peak period (though I'll admit outright that it is not as good as his Fingerprint films).

Onderhond:

Yep, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a pretty nice film. Really unusual premise; I liked the way that I had no idea what to expect as much of the film circled around his quest to find "Kevin".

I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I definitely liked Deaf Mute Heroine, which I watched for one of last year's challenges. Some very cool effects on a budget.

A Matter of Life and Death is one of Powell & Pressburger's better films, but I wouldn't rate it in their top 5 or anything. P+P's best ventures, for my money, were their black and white movies (in general). I Know Where I'm Going! and A Canterbury Tale are breathtakingly shot.

Seen Parenthood a couple of times. Some amusing bits and pieces (Rick Moranis teaching his preprimary daughter square roots and whatnot and his wife only able to communicate with him through flash cards). I think I preferred the drama in general though. Not so much from Steve Martin, but I thought that Jason Robards was terrific.
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#5

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » January 13th, 2019, 2:58 pm

American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014) - 6-

Top of the Lake: China Girl (Jane Campion, 2017) - 5

Song to Song (Terence Malick, 2017) - 8-

Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan, 2012) - 7

The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943) - 8+

The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack, 2018) - 7
Patchwork as a way of life.

L'inconsolable (Jean-Marie Straub, 2011) - 5

Jodie Mack shorts:
Persian Pickles (2012) - 6
Curses (2016) - 6
Point de Gaze (2012) - 7
Posthaste Perennial Pattern (2010) - 6

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#6

Post by joachimt » January 13th, 2019, 6:49 pm

13 features, but a few are rather short:
A Quiet Place (8/10)
One of the scariest movies I've seen in a long time. Because it is so silent and the music is scarce and effectively used, every moment is intense. You might think that could become boring after a while (and for some it probably is indeed), but I was digging it. I was constantly nervous about everything that happened.
Too bad there are too many things that I have questions or doubts about:
SpoilerShow
How can you run without making a sound?
Where did they get all that white sand to create so many tracks even into the city? That's a lot of sand and it takes a LOT of time to create all those tracks.
Why didn't they live near the water?
How did that one creature get into the silent room suddenly?
If these creature are blind and respond to sound, how can they walk around in buildings without constantly bumping their heads?
Etc......
Amy (8/10)
Never suspected to be moved by a documentary about Amy Winehouse. This is such an honest and personal document! I never really listened to her music and judging on what I heard in here I don't think I will, but I do admire her as a musician. Too bad she had too many problems as a person. She was already a troubled person before she got famous, but becoming famous made her problems bigger. A shame. She could have done a lot more musically.
Paddington 2 (8/10)
Even more fun the first one and a visual delight. Also, Paddington must be the most charming and cutest CGI ever made so far.
Roma (8/10)
Beautiful cinematography and camerawork. Story could have had more depth, but following the hardships of the main character was enough to keep me interested.
SpoilerShow
But is it really too much to ask to take a dog out twice a day to have a shit? :shrug:
Fences (7/10)
Clearly an adaption from a stage play. Great performances by the two leads. Denzel really got on my nerves, but that was part of the character. I thought the whole movie was too long though. The first part was pretty slow. The first time they sat in the yard seemed to take forever.
I for India (7/10)
Nagaya shinshiroku AKA The Record of a Tenement Gentleman (7/10) Even a lesser Ozu is still a decent movie. I especially liked the outdoor shots with the typical Ozu music.
Footsteps in the Night (6/10)
Enjoyable noir. Nothing special though.
Lust for Life (6/10)
I didn't like the exaggerated acting of Douglas in this movie. He became a caricature. I would have preferred if the movie focused a little less on the character and more on the actual story of his life, because that part felt a bit rushed.
Tarzan (6/10)
Fun.
Het paard van Sinterklaas AKA Winky's Horse (5/10)
I thought this was a Sinterklaas-movie, but it appeared to be a movie about a Chinese girl dealing with lack of integration of her parents and ignorant Dutch people about her situation. I thought it was all very amateuristic though. The school teacher was terrible, completely unrealistic. The acting was meh, also by the kids.
White Heart (5/10)
Random experimental stuff. Didn't feel coherent.
Elf (4/10)
I don't like Will Ferrell. :yucky:
He's decent in dramatic comedy, but in straight comedy he's just annoying.

1 short:
Music of the Spheres (6/10)
Last edited by joachimt on January 13th, 2019, 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#7

Post by joachimt » January 13th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Huh? I posted about 13 features and 1 short, but only 4 features are showing up. When I click edit, I see the full post again, but when I submit that I only see the post up to Roma.

Is anyone else seeing more than I'm seeing?
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#8

Post by maxwelldeux » January 13th, 2019, 7:07 pm

joachimt wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 6:52 pm
Huh? I posted about 13 features and 1 short, but only 4 features are showing up. When I click edit, I see the full post again, but when I submit that I only see the post up to Roma.

Is anyone else seeing more than I'm seeing?
Looks like the code for your second spoiler tag is wonky - when you open it, everything is there.

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#9

Post by Coryn » January 13th, 2019, 7:09 pm

joachimt wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 6:52 pm
Huh? I posted about 13 features and 1 short, but only 4 features are showing up. When I click edit, I see the full post again, but when I submit that I only see the post up to Roma.

Is anyone else seeing more than I'm seeing?
The movies after Roma are in a spoiler. :D
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#10

Post by joachimt » January 13th, 2019, 7:25 pm

I should have figured that out myself. :facepalm:

Fixed it.
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#11

Post by sol » January 14th, 2019, 4:19 am

viktor:

Only seen Lawrence Anyways and The Leopard Man, both of which I liked. I don't think the latter is anywhere near Val Lewton's best work, but the former is pretty solid in the Dolan canon; long but involving with all the usual slow motion musical interludes that he does so well.

joachimt:

Yeah, um, I agree with most of what you wrote under your spoiler tag, hence why I rate A Quiet Place lower than you. I suppose I would rate the film as average-scary at best. The creatures looked a little too comical in close-up. Also, I watch a lot more horror than you, so my scare-meter is probably naturely quite different.

I barely remember Lust for Life. Yes, Fences was quite decent, though Paddington 2 is indeed my favourite of the other stuff of yours that you saw.

Carmel:

MIA :ph43r:
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#12

Post by mightysparks » January 14th, 2019, 5:39 am

Fell a bit behind on writing the reviews.. Funny that we both watched The Purge sequels this week though, sol!

Nijûshi no hitomi (1954) 4/10
A young teacher arrives in a village to teach the first-graders, with whom she forms a bond, and they continue to affect each other through their lives. With the amount of crying and singing, this is practically a cross between Hababam Sinifi (minus the comedy) and The Legend of 1900; combined to create one of the most painfully sentimental pieces of trash ever filmed. What could've been an epic journey of growth and character drama was instead a wafer-thin overdone weepy. The children actors were some of the worst I've ever seen, and did not feel genuine or natural at all, and there is a ridiculous amount of crying for no reason (that godawful crying walk to see the teacher in hospital, jesus christ). There was absolutely nothing convincing about the bond between the teacher and the students and no reason to believe that they'd had any significant effect on each other, other than the fact that they cried every time they saw or spoke about each other.

*Solyaris (1971)* 6/10 (rewatch)
A psychologist is sent to a space station orbiting an ocean planet called Solaris that seems to be a sentient being capable of materializing the memories of the scientists doing research, and causing them to go insane. It's been a little over 8 years since I first watched this. After watching it and not being particularly impressed, I read quite a bit about it and loved the concepts that I felt weren't really apparent in the film. I vowed to give it (and Stalker which I really did not like) another shot when both the original film and the stuff I'd read had disappeared from memory and with the Russian and Sci-fi challenge happening this month, it seemed to be the perfect time. The first half is quite a terrible mess. It comes across as an amateurish version of 2001 (which I read in the trivia Tarkovsky claims to not have seen and to have called sterile, which is surprising because this is by far the more sterile film), attempting to be meditative and subtle but just being pointless. The second half, and the introduction of Hari, is significantly more interesting but still fails to rise above its ideas. The story and ideas are great, but are let down by dull imagery (and cheesy effects) and a meandering pace. Will definitely check out the novel at some point, but I feel no differently about this film now than I did back in 2010.

Star Trek: Beyond (2016) 5/10
The crew of the Enterprise are left stranded on an unknown planet and face an enemy who plans to destroy the federation. I remember enjoying the first film of this rebooted series but this an especially pointless sequel. Not only are none of the characters likable or interesting, they are completely over-the-top and the serious/emotional moments are laughable. The story is not that exciting with not much at stake. It follows a generic action film template with just a bunch of action scenes strung together but the action scenes are just as dull as the attempted drama. The climactic space race explosion thing at the end was so dumb. The cast seems bored, the writing is lazy, and it is completely lacking in passion.

Bird Box (2018) 5/10
A mother and her two children attempt to find safety in a world where an unseen presence causes those who see it to commit suicide. Going back and forth between two timelines; five years into the future where Malorie and her children are attempting to make it across a river and the past, when the presence first makes it's appearance, the film loses any real tension and suspense. Malorie shacks up in a house with a bunch of other survivors and from there it plays out like a typical zombie/post-apocalyptic film with the same stock characters making the same stupid and unrealistic decisions. There are some interesting ideas and some tense moments, but overall you're really just waiting until it ends.

O Ritual dos Sádicos (1970) 3/10
A group of psychologists debate the effects of drugs by telling each other stories involving drug use and sex. There isn't really much of a plot in this film and there's not much of a point other than trying to be perverse and weird. There's some rape that the psychologist's then blame on the female for being on drugs making her more 'sexual' and after that I lost interest. It's not trippy, it's not weird, it's just amateurish and boring.

Tau (2018) 4/10
A scientist kidnaps a woman to study her brain for his artificial intelligence project, as she attempts to befriend the house's AI in order to escape. There have been enough of these types of films in the last 10 years or so that this film should be a lot smarter than it is. The AI's journey of learning and discovering what a 'person' is is so dumbed down its insane. It's like Ex Machina but for children. All the performances are terrible, with Gary Oldman's voice acting as the AI being especially ridiculous. As Julia gains the trust of the AI, TAU, and her captor, Alex, the relationships and bond between them all never feels genuine and the film follows predictable and contrived beats.

The Purge: Election Year (2016) 6/10
On the night of the Purge, a senator who vows to end the annual Purge if elected comes under attack from her opposition. So far this has been one of the most solid horror trilogies, with each film showing a different aspect of the Purge, though the first film is clearly the strongest. This was still relatively entertaining, and I liked Elizabeth Mitchell here much more than I did in Lost and her character was someone who did feel important so there was a sense of urgency to her survival. The other characters don't offer that much aside from glimpses into the way the Purge affects others. The story does drag though and the film loses its tension and pacing at times during its talky scenes.

The First Purge (2018) 5/10
As the New Founding Fathers of America come to power, they run an experiment on Staten Island where there will be no laws for 12 hours and anyone who stays on the island will be given $5000. The lamest attempt in this series and the first to not really offer a new perspective. Instead it becomes a dull 'battle' between the evil white guy politicians and the poor drug dealing black community good guys but failing to really explore any racial or social issues beyond stereotypes. This could've been an interesting look at the way people slowly let go of their morals when laws are suddenly taken away but is too broad to really tackle this effectively. There are no real emotional stakes or tension either.

La nuit a dévoré le monde (2018) 6/10
A musician in Paris visits a party hosted by his ex-girlfriend to retrieve some tapes, but falls asleep and wakes up to find that Paris has been attacked by zombies and is forced to make the apartment building his new home whilst battling his loneliness and sanity. This was a refreshing change of pace from the usual generic action-filled zombie trash, or even a survival-based film, and was a happy coincidental find just hours after talking to my housemate about my preference for zombie/post-apocalyptic films that take place in one location and never show anything outside (ala The Desert). Although this film is a bit thin and has some poor acting and doesn't quite have a powerful character arc, it is a nice quiet film that follows Sam as he succumbs to loneliness and boredom being trapped alone in this apartment building for months.

Cam (2018) 6/10
Alice is a camgirl desperate for her channel to rise in the ranks but finds her identity and channel hijacked by a doppelganger. This was a surprisingly solid thriller that is more focused on competitiveness, fame, and self-esteem rather than some moral story on internet dangers and online sex. Due to Madeline Brewer's performance, Alice is sympathetic, interesting and likable and the character makes mostly reasonable decisions; although some of her later actions are somewhat questionable and with more of a backstory and motivations she may have felt like a fuller character. This is not a cliche internet stalker type of story, however once it's revealed what is happening it loses a lot of steam and feels anti-climactic. It also could've been a deeper critique of the porn industry but tends to skip over a lot of these interesting ideas.

Revenge (2017) 6/10
Three married men go for a hunting holiday in the desert, with one bringing along his younger mistress who is raped and left for dead. The cinematography and soundtrack really elevate this film beyond 'typical genre fare' and is way more stylish than you'd expect a rape and revenge film to be. The actors are all solid, with the guys bringing the creepy toxic masculinity and Matilda Lutz' brilliant transformation from 'sexy bimbo' to vengeful survivor. It doesn't quite tonally get it right though, with elements of black comedy, seriousness and playfulness that don't really work together and take away from some of the awfulness of the men's actions. The copious amounts of blood add to the aesthetic and some real stomach inducing moments but sometimes feels over-the-top and misplaced.

*The Purge (2013)* 7/10
During the annual Purge, a 12 hour period where all criminal activity is legal, a wealthy family come under attack in their own home after a murderous group comes knocking for a stranger they have hidden in their home. Having been nearly 6 years since having seen the first one I thought I may as well rewatch it while I was in the mood. This definitely stands above its sequels as its a solid home invasion film that is more self-contained with its focus on how this one family is affected by the Purge and leaving the outside to the imagination. The teenage characters are pretty lame and their stupidity feels a little contrived but once the 'action' begins, it's quite a thrilling and tense ride. The ending works really well too.

Marrowbone (2017) 5/10
A British family flees to America to hide out in a remote house in the woods, but after she passes away the siblings keep her death a secret in order to remain together. The disjointed narrative turns this film into a bit of a mess, and its revelations lose their power as most of the film is spent in confusion. It lacks atmosphere, and though has a few creepy moments and sense of dread, it is never effective. Things are kept secret from the audience only to reveal them as a 'shocking twist' but they aren't shocking and it feels like a dupe. The characters are all quite annoying and too goody-goody, but the actors all put in decent performances and are really what keep the film together.

Hold the Dark (2017) 4/10
A writer is hired by a mother in Alaska to find the wolves that killed and took her son. Since his masterpiece debut, Murder Party, I have kept my eye on Saulnier's work but he has yet to make anything close to the perfection of his debut and this is his weakest film yet. Perhaps this is partially to blame on the source material (that I haven't read), but the story is not very interesting, the characters are realllllly slow and vague and it feels very artificial. Character motivations and the story are never really revealed but hinted at, yet by the end it's difficult to understand what you have actually just watched. There's no real experience, and after reading some explanations the film is even worse than I thought when watching it because it is utterly pointless.
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#13

Post by mightysparks » January 14th, 2019, 5:43 am

joachimt wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 6:49 pm
13 features, but a few are rather short:
A Quiet Place (8/10)
One of the scariest movies I've seen in a long time. Because it is so silent and the music is scarce and effectively used, every moment is intense. You might think that could become boring after a while (and for some it probably is indeed), but I was digging it. I was constantly nervous about everything that happened.
Too bad there are too many things that I have questions or doubts about:
SpoilerShow
How can you run without making a sound?
Where did they get all that white sand to create so many tracks even into the city? That's a lot of sand and it takes a LOT of time to create all those tracks.
Why didn't they live near the water?
How did that one creature get into the silent room suddenly?
If these creature are blind and respond to sound, how can they walk around in buildings without constantly bumping their heads?
Etc......
I loved the use of sound/silence, I was really glad they didn't just use it as a hook and then waste it. I thought the film was extremely intense too (and gave it the same rating as you), but there were a lot of inconsistencies that bothered me too. Some of them I didn't think about until after the film, so I think it did a somewhat decent job at suspension of disbelief.
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#14

Post by Onderhond » January 14th, 2019, 6:25 am

sol wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 2:13 pm
Yep, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a pretty nice film. Really unusual premise; I liked the way that I had no idea what to expect as much of the film circled around his quest to find "Kevin".
I had seen some Duplass before, so even though it was hard to predict where it would all lead too, I got a pretty good idea of the kind of ending it would be. I think the ending is actually one of the weaker parts of the film, but mysteries are rarely resolved in a satisfactory way :)
sol wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 2:13 pm
Seen Parenthood a couple of times. Some amusing bits and pieces (Rick Moranis teaching his preprimary daughter square roots and whatnot and his wife only able to communicate with him through flash cards). I think I preferred the drama in general though. Not so much from Steve Martin, but I thought that Jason Robards was terrific.
Robards was a highlight indeed, but wasted in a film like this. I just don't like these kind of "hang-up" comedies where everything revolves around the same kind of problem, especially when it's problems I can't very well relate to. Get a Job also suffered from it. On top of that, I really dislike the comedy/drama balance in most American (mainstream) comedies and I dislike Steve Martin. At least my expectations were low went I watched it :D

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#15

Post by sol » January 14th, 2019, 7:16 am

mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 5:39 am
Fell a bit behind on writing the reviews.. Funny that we both watched The Purge sequels this week though, sol!
I regretted not making time for them in October (IIRC, Purge: Anarchy was the last film that I watched for the Horror Challenge) so when I realised that they were also eligible for an Official Challenge this month, how could I resist? ;)

Some comments on your own viewings:

Interesting to hear that Solaris did nothing more for you the second time round. It is a rare film that increases exponentially in my esteem every time that I see it. I originally gave it a 5/10 way back in the day when I first saw it (probably around 15 years ago). Something though has always kept drawing me back, and after six viewings, it now has a safe spot in my all-time top 5 movies. I like 2001 a lot myself (I have the monolith as my avatar on both iCM and IMDb) but Solaris is something else altogether. "Sterile" is probably the wrong word, however, Solaris ventures deep inside the mind of its protagonist, so I guess I find it more of an emotional wallop of a movie, though I do also love Keir Dullea's character and performance in the Kubrick film.

I wouldn't call the first half of Solaris a mess. I totally get where you are coming from with things being "more interesting" when Hari appears since it creates more immediate conflict and dilemmas to be dealt with, but I love the way that Tarkovsky draws out the suspense and mystery. There's a point where it is unclear whether or not Kris is imagining things as he keeps hearing those bells, thinks that he sees a child's ear sticking out and so on. Burton's recounts (the black and white video) are pretty gripping too for my money and I really dig the way Tarkovsky films his grilling in court with all those disorientating sound effects and switching of camera perspective. But I suppose what I love most about the first half are all those nature scenes of the landscape around his father's house. Kris seems like such a lost man, fascinating by rain dripping into cups, unable to be happy in all the natural beauty etc. that it is easy to see why he would be so prepared to venture into space. I wouldn't think to call the images in Solaris dull or cheesy either. The 30 seconds of weightlessness is such a beautiful moment and I absolutely love the ending, gradual pullback and all.

All that said and done, I certainly understand why Solaris might not be someone's cup of tea, but it's one of few films where I think the meandering pace really helps the project out. I always feel like I get deeply under not only the skin of Kris but Hari too with her confusion and uncertainty over what exactly she is in.

It seems that we have a similar opinion of the original Purge trilogy. Definitely agree that each of the first three films shows us something different. I also like the way the ante is upped in each of the three instalments as we see just how crazy the purging phenomenon has become (murder tourism!). I wanted to like The First Purge more, but yeah, I can only echo what you've said. I think the message just becomes way too pronounced in the fourth film: "evil white guy politicians and the poor drug dealing black community good guys" - yup. None of the first three films were ever that concerned about shouting this point across.

I absolutely hated Marrowbone. :yucky: I suppose the performances were decent overall, but Anya Taylor-Joy was so pathetically wasted that I could only cringe and between all the other detractors that you have mentioned, the film ended up in my bottom 10 first-time viewings of 2018.
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#16

Post by mightysparks » January 14th, 2019, 7:59 am

sol wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:16 am
Interesting to hear that Solaris did nothing more for you the second time round. It is a rare film that increases exponentially in my esteem every time that I see it. I originally gave it a 5/10 way back in the day when I first saw it (probably around 15 years ago). Something though has always kept drawing me back, and after six viewings, it now has a safe spot in my all-time top 5 movies. I like 2001 a lot myself (I have the monolith as my avatar on both iCM and IMDb) but Solaris is something else altogether. "Sterile" is probably the wrong word, however, Solaris ventures deep inside the mind of its protagonist, so I guess I find it more of an emotional wallop of a movie, though I do also love Keir Dullea's character and performance in the Kubrick film.
I think of 2001 as the most visceral film ever, like it just awakens everything in me, but Solaris feels dead and flat and emotionless so sterile works for me :P I never felt like Solaris ventured deep into anything, it was really like a shallow list of ideas that it didn't know how to explore so thought some exposition would do (and they are interesting ideas, but I just kept thinking the book would be more interesting since this film is pointless visually). Hari was the most explored and interesting character (as you say, her confusion and coming to terms with what she is) but I didn't care about anything else, and since she was supposed to be Kris' memory personified I really needed to care more about Kris and I didn't feel he was developed enough. The imagery probably looks more cheesy because it looks really dated, and when I think of how beautiful and timeless 2001 is, it just makes Solaris look even sillier (and I know it's unfair to keep comparing it to 2001, I didn't even think of it when I was watching it but after reading the trivia I started comparing). I thought the court scenes were dumb too because I was like why did they make a film out of court proceedings, we don't need all these angles. The ending probably looked cool in its day but it just made me laugh.

Even though I'm sober now, I kinda want to get stoned and watch 2001 on a big screen :think:
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#17

Post by Onderhond » January 14th, 2019, 8:23 am

mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:59 am
how ... timeless 2001 is
*hngh* :shrug:
2001 is one big succession of outdated ideas and designs.

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#18

Post by sol » January 14th, 2019, 8:28 am

mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:59 am
Hari was the most explored and interesting character (as you say, her confusion and coming to terms with what she is) but I didn't care about anything else, and since she was supposed to be Kris' memory personified I really needed to care more about Kris and I didn't feel he was developed enough. The imagery probably looks more cheesy because it looks really dated, and when I think of how beautiful and timeless 2001 is, it just makes Solaris look even sillier (and I know it's unfair to keep comparing it to 2001, I didn't even think of it when I was watching it but after reading the trivia I started comparing). I thought the court scenes were dumb too because I was like why did they make a film out of court proceedings, we don't need all these angles. The ending probably looked cool in its day but it just made me laugh.
I don't know. While I personally like the look of the ending of Solaris, the emotional weight of it is what really resonates with me. I mean...
SpoilerShow
...we initially think that he is back on Earth and everything's fine, until we realise that it is raining indoors (as one of the other scientists states, the Solaris planet sometimes gets small details wrong). Realising that he is not actually back home, he then collapses in his father's arms and the camera pulls back to reveal the fact that he is on one of the "islands" that the scientists said started to crop up with the last lot of radiation fired at the planet. I guess what the ending signifies to me is that Kris is destined to be stuck in his memories/mind for the rest of his life; sort of trapped in that deepest Inception level or like the protagonist of Brain Dead or Jacob's Ladder. And conceptually, I really dig the idea of a mystical planet able to defend itself by trapping any threats in their own minds.

As for the court scene, I always thought that all those weird camera angles and cutaways were deliberate to play around with our perceptions. I mean, the whole film is kind of about what we perceive.

Anyway, I'm sorry that Solaris didn't work better for you this time. I can't remember what I thought about Kris as a character the first time round, but I have grown to really like him in all his melancholy with each repeat viewing - and his confusion and internal dilemmas about what to do; cling on to memories or try to destroy them or whatnot, grief metaphors and all.

If you're interested in getting to know Kris better as a character, Soderbergh's version may appeal to you. It fills in a lot of background detail about Kris and his wife and the causes of her suicidal tendencies. I can't say that I like it half as much as the Tarkovsky take, but it tries to do different things at least.
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#19

Post by mightysparks » January 14th, 2019, 8:33 am

Onderhond wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 8:23 am
mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:59 am
how ... timeless 2001 is
*hngh* :shrug:
2001 is one big succession of outdated ideas and designs.
Idk no other film affects me like that one and all the other films that tackle similar ideas usually fall flat. It’s a special film to me
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#20

Post by Onderhond » January 14th, 2019, 8:37 am

mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 8:33 am
Idk no other film affects me like that one and all the other films that tackle similar ideas usually fall flat. It’s a special film to me
Fair enough :) I'm just saying that it's very much a product of its time.

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#21

Post by mightysparks » January 14th, 2019, 9:27 am

Onderhond wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 8:37 am
mightysparks wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 8:33 am
Idk no other film affects me like that one and all the other films that tackle similar ideas usually fall flat. It’s a special film to me
Fair enough :) I'm just saying that it's very much a product of its time.
Well technically everything is :P
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#22

Post by peeptoad » January 14th, 2019, 1:26 pm

I have only seen The Meg of your week's views, sol... and I didn't care for that one much. Statham is still pretty decent to look at given his age, but I didn't feel they used the size of the shark to its full effect. And (not that I was anticipating this really) it wasn't at all scary. The 5 and 6-year old kids who were in the cinema when I saw it were having a great time though!
Eighth Grade is on my watch list so hopefully I'll catch it soon. Good to see you thought highly of it.

Now let's see if I can recall my views from memory-

The Time Travelers (1964) 7 pretty cool for lower-budget fare. They did a good job on limited funds with the costumes, etc. imho. This movie is featured on the screen in the Bleecker St Cinema in Desperately Seeking Susan (in case anyone is keeping tabs).
Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) 6 cool in some ways, bland in others... this was my second attempt at this film and I finished it this time. My previous try was about 9 years ago so it was due.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) 4 comically bad in the acting department
Brain Dead (1990) 7 you might like this one given your affinity for the The Brain and some of the others we've discussed.
Etoile (1989) 5 bordered on... boring for me.
It Came From Outer Space (1953) 7 finally got to see this after having seen the first half of the 3D feature (Creature from the Black Lagoon) in the theater when I was 5 or 6.
The Last Battle (1983) 8 Besson's best (that I"ve seen so far). Notable for its lack of dialogue and it breaks the fourth wall nicely, among other things.
It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) 6-7 the guy in the rubber suit did a good job
The Stone Tape (1972) 8 my top view so far this month. Interesting premise, visually enticing, creepy sequences and setting, and I enjoyed the characters well enough.
Paris n'existe pas (1969) Paris Does Not Exist 6 interesting idea that had a lackluster execution. And I am not a real fan of Gainsbourg onscreen. His music is another story...

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#23

Post by peeptoad » January 14th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Oh and I rewatched Back to the Future. 10/10

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#24

Post by Carmel1379 » January 14th, 2019, 2:13 pm

sol wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 4:19 am
Carmel:

MIA :ph43r:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTc3zcnIZOw

No, but to be honest I'm kind of losing it, well, at least my film-enthusiasm to some extent, ie. I doubt I'll average more than 1-3 a week over the next foreseeable weeks, if not months. :(

From yours I've seen 'Eighth Grade', good stuff obviously, and 'Your Name.', which was conceptually appealing and I could've seen working for me (perturbations of slice of life, depersonalisation, 'teaching' someone else to inhabit your life/body which is inevitably altered, impossible communication, finding the other person within the vast labyrinthine world, following connections across spacetime, bla bla), but it just didn't at all, the execution was much too sappy for me and I couldn't care less about whatever shifts took place in the second half. Will watch the Araki eventually and I've added 'Dr. Caligari' to my watchlist.

Mine:
Groundhog Day (1993, Harold Ramis) (4th viewing) 8/10
Before Sunset (2004, Richard Linklater) (3rd viewing) 8/10
Jeune fille au jardin (1936, Dimitri Kirsanoff) (short) 5/10
Ghost World (2001, Terry Zwigoff) (2nd viewing) 7+/10
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#25

Post by Coryn » January 14th, 2019, 2:23 pm

6. 06/01 Grave of the fireflies (1988) *****
7. 06/01 Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory (1971) ****
8. 07/01 Blade Runner (1982) ***
9. 08/01 Roger & me (1989) ***
10. 08/01 Witness for the prosecution (1957) *****
11. 09/01 The great dictator (1940) ****
12. 10/01 Phantom thread (2017) ***
13. 10/01 Irréversible (2002) ***
14. 11/01 Like father, like son (2013) ****
15. 11/01 Love actually (2003) *
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#26

Post by sol » January 14th, 2019, 3:26 pm

peeps:

I wasn't expecting The Meg to be that scary either. In fact, I was expecting to be a borderline comedy since that's what the trailers that I saw at the time sold the film as being. Regarding the size of the shark, I still have little comprehension of just how large it was meant to be. I do recall a couple of characters wowing at its length when told, but I was like "I have no idea how large a real shark is, so this means nothing to me". Eh. The film was okay for a check under the premise of Sol wants a Bronze on the All-Time Box Office list without watching those superhero movies, but I think I liked the performance of the young girl more than the performance of Statham or his aquatic on-screen partner.

Seen nothing else of mine? Dr. Caligari might appeal to the horror lover in you with all its Cronenberg influenced imagery (and a few nods to the 1920 original) but it's quite sexually explicit, so you have be prepared for that.

Eighth Grade is a really nice film. I described as a "less pretentious Lady Bird" when telling someone about it.

Yes, I have seen Brain Dead and indeed I loved it. Brain Damage is another great horror movie with the word "brain" in the title.

I liked It Came from Outer Space and The Stone Tape enough at the time. Back to the Future is of course a classic; I have been meaning to rewatch the first two films back-to-back for some time because I have a sneaking suspicion that the sequel will end up getting my preference with its chic editing of the original's timeline. Let's see if I manage to squeeze it in this month...

Carmel:

Sorry to hear about you losing your film enthusiasm. Any particular reason why? That is, if you feel comfortable with sharing. I just hope it's due to you taking up a new interest/hobby and not due to personal stresses or depression.

I'm too much of a cynic to really enjoy romantic movies, but I found Your Name surprisingly palatable. It certainly gets a little sappy towards the end, and even a bit whimsical (drinking sake cures everything?), but as you've mentioned, there are lots of interesting themes and issues that are very much up my alleyway. And I loved the comedic first half.

Yay - more Eighth Grade love. The whole quietness of the film is great. More communicated by what is said rather than unsaid; the awkward silences etc when with her peers, and the contrast to the difficulties of maintaining a conversation with her father. I also really dig the set up of her bedroom. Made me want to go out and buy Christmas lights to hang all over my bed.

The Araki film made me think of you... you remind me of the protagonist (!)... so good to know. I'd recommend seeing Nowhere first since Kaboom is a bit of a spiritual sequel. If memory serves correct, you have seen The Doom Generation but not Nowhere? I forget. And yeah, Dr. Caligari is awesome: a great look at a possibly not-so-mad doctor trying to transplant sexual desire in her patients. Oh, yes.

Recently saw Groundhog Day myself. Surprisingly heart-warming for a movie in which the protagonist repeatedly kills himself. Ghost World is a grower; a film I like more and more with every viewing. Very touching drama, but some kooky funny parts too and awesome music throughout. Not seen Before Sunrise or Sunset. Don't like romance that much as mentioned.

Coryn:

Wh★t is ★p with ★ll th★se sm★ll st★rs? D★n't y★★ w★nt s★m★thing bigg★r ★nd c★★l★r?

Seen 8 of yours this week. Witness for the Prosecution with all its twists and turns is my favourite of the bunch, with Grave of the Fireflies close behind it. I liked Irréversible the least of your viewings this week, but it deserves a rewatch. Love Actually is silly and sappy but some of the performances are just terrific. Absolutely love Bill Nighy in the film.
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#27

Post by GruesomeTwosome » January 14th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Hey sol. Only seen Eighth Grade from your viewings, and I'm glad to see you liked it, it's high up on my favorite 2018 films right now (I have it at #2 on my list over on the current 2018 poll on the forum). Great work from Burnham and young lead actress Elsie Fisher.

I watched just one film last week. Too tired at night during the work week to commit to any films, and busy on the weekend. I thought I would be able to fit in Cuaron's Roma during the weekend, but I could only manage the other big recent Netflix film:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018, Joel & Ethan Coen) - 8/10. The Coens are pretty big favorites of mine, and this anthology-style offering features their trademarks in spades. Split into 6 separate vignettes set in the old American West, the Coens' penchant for dark humor and bursts of violence are on full display. I felt that the six stories definitely varied in quality, but on the whole this worked really well for me. My ranking of the 6 vignettes:

1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (1st story, starring Tim Blake Nelson)
2. The Gal Who Got Rattled (5th story, starring Zoe Kazan)
3. Meal Ticket (3rd story, starring Liam Neeson)
4. Near Algodones (2nd story, starring James Franco)
5. All Gold Canyon (4th story, starring Tom Waits)
6. The Mortal Remains (6th story, starring Brendan Gleeson/Saul Rubinek/Tyne Daly et al)



TV stuff:

True Detective: S03E01 "The Great War and Modern Memory" (2019, Jeremy Saulnier) - pretty solid start to the new season, with Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff.
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#28

Post by Coryn » January 14th, 2019, 4:17 pm

Smoll star is good star sol.

Absolutely loved witness for the prosecution, I thought I knew what was going to happen and then it didn't, then I thought I knew what was going to happen and then it didn't again. Amazing acting as well.

Grave if the fireflies totally destroyed me and had to watch willy Wonka right after that to recover.

I liked how the story was backwards as it gave the infamous scene and the start of the film some substance but I'm not going to re-watch this one.
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#29

Post by Good_Will_Harding » January 14th, 2019, 4:44 pm

Mr Arkadin (1955) - Apparently I'd already seen a version of this, according to my IMDB ratings, probably back in college, but I have absolutely no memory of it. Anyhow, whichever version that's currently on Amazon Prime is the one I watched, and I really liked it quite a bit. Even within the circles of most hardcore Orson Welles fans, this one seems oddly overlooked. Maybe it's all the different cuts that keep people away, but I'm sure whichever version a person comes across, there's still plenty of enjoyment and technical mastery on display here for a worthwhile viewing.

Le doulos (1963) - Another Melville crime caper, and this one I actually found to be top trier from what I've seen of his works. Like the Welles film, I'm surprised this isn't more widely talked about in conjunction with the director's other similar works, but regardless of reputation, I found a great deal to be impressed and entertained with herein.

Lenny (1974) - Very well crafted and uniquely presented biopic of a rather well known comedian from the time. I probably don't need to elaborate here - this one already seems pretty beloved already and I was just playing catch-up.

Solo con tu pareja (1991) - Alfonso Cuaron's debut feature; while there are certainly glimmers of his forthcoming technical prowess to be found, I honestly didn't get a whole lot out of this. Maybe I was expecting a bit much coming right off of his latest, but there really wasn't much to connect with here.

Sommersby (1993) - Corny, but well made and watchable bit of dated 1990's cheese. I was in the right mood for something like this I guess and I didn't hate watching it.

Vice (2018) - Something where I admired the intentions and the effort more than I actually enjoyed watching it, though I did get a kick out of tackling the traditional "cradle to the grave" bio formula with such an obvious contempt for the central subject. The ensemble cast all does very well - though nobody here gives my favorite performance of theirs - and the whole "funny Oliver Stone" shtick doesn't wear as thin as I was expecting. But as much as I agree with the political angles taken here and the overall message, it's all just a bit blunted and too obvious to either make a strong point or just be purely entertaining.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) - Another beautifully crafted and understated gem from Barry Jenkins. Doesn't quite reach the heights of Moonlight (the out of sequence, fragmented structure hindered my engagement a bit and a few scenes go on for much too long) but on the whole absolutely worth seeking out. Shot to perfection and with a gorgeous musical score to boot; Regina King has rightfully been taking her share of the awards, but I found newcomer Kiki Layne to be just as intriguing of a presence here.

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#30

Post by peeptoad » January 14th, 2019, 6:57 pm

sol wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:26 pm
Brain Damage is another great horror movie with the word "brain" in the title.

Back to the Future is of course a classic; I have been meaning to rewatch the first two films back-to-back for some time because I have a sneaking suspicion that the sequel will end up getting my preference with its chic editing of the original's timeline. Let's see if I manage to squeeze it in this month...
Brain damage is great. I love me some Henenlotter on occasion. Still need to see Bad Biology actually.
I have meaning to rewatch the BTTF sequels as well... tonight might be the night for #2 since I'm feeling like I need to watch something un-challenging later. We'll see what happens when I get home. :P

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#31

Post by Carmel1379 » January 14th, 2019, 9:31 pm

sol wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:26 pm
Carmel:

Sorry to hear about you losing your film enthusiasm. Any particular reason why? That is, if you feel comfortable with sharing. I just hope it's due to you taking up a new interest/hobby and not due to personal stresses or depression.

I'm too much of a cynic to really enjoy romantic movies, but I found Your Name surprisingly palatable. It certainly gets a little sappy towards the end, and even a bit whimsical (drinking sake cures everything?), but as you've mentioned, there are lots of interesting themes and issues that are very much up my alleyway. And I loved the comedic first half.

Yay - more Eighth Grade love. The whole quietness of the film is great. More communicated by what is said rather than unsaid; the awkward silences etc when with her peers, and the contrast to the difficulties of maintaining a conversation with her father. I also really dig the set up of her bedroom. Made me want to go out and buy Christmas lights to hang all over my bed.

The Araki film made me think of you... you remind me of the protagonist (!)... so good to know. I'd recommend seeing Nowhere first since Kaboom is a bit of a spiritual sequel. If memory serves correct, you have seen The Doom Generation but not Nowhere? I forget. And yeah, Dr. Caligari is awesome: a great look at a possibly not-so-mad doctor trying to transplant sexual desire in her patients. Oh, yes.

Recently saw Groundhog Day myself. Surprisingly heart-warming for a movie in which the protagonist repeatedly kills himself. Ghost World is a grower; a film I like more and more with every viewing. Very touching drama, but some kooky funny parts too and awesome music throughout. Not seen Before Sunrise or Sunset. Don't like romance that much as mentioned.
Oh, a combination of both I s'pose. Prioritising studying, reading, and playing piano more than last year is part of it, but the prospect of sitting down to watch a film in general fills me with less excitement than it used to. But it's fine, I'll watch stuff I really feel like, follow intuitions and recommendations anyway. There'll just be far less viewings on average I guess.

You haven't seen any of Bo Burnham's videos or stand-ups, right? I was well familiar with those before I had even heard of 'Eighth Grade', which as a film is exceptionally congruent with the trajectory of his career and thought; it was almost inevitable he'd make a work like that. And his sensitivity and deep awareness of social interactions & media entirely imbues it. No doubt it will go down as a classic on Gen. Z.

Christmas lights in bedroom - Can't recall any girl I know across the universities I've visited who didn't have them in their room lol. Always thought they looked cool too.

Wait, really? Now I'm gonna have to see 'Kaboom' sooner. :D
I liked 'Nowhere' okay, but far less than 'The Doom Generation' (or 'Mysterious Skin', obviously). But based on your review I'd imagine I might like 'Kaboom' more than 'Nowhere'.

I know, I rewatched 'Groundhog Day' because you saw it. Now that's a film that has grown on me with each viewing. I'm now making it an annual winter tradition to see it.

Before trilogy - Oh, this surpasses mere "romance" by miles. The two characters and dialogue are in a synergetic positive feedback (each make the other more interesting and rounded), they have a near archetypal relatability and deep understanding of living, relationships, & encounters. Jesse & Celine's relentless conversations are exceptionally philosophical. Moreover the three instalments are all very different in tone and outlook on romance, probably best because of their temporal separation and how each reflects varying parts of a lifetime. I'd definitely recommend checking it out, there really is nothing quite like it. Which Linklater movies have you seen then?
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#32

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » January 14th, 2019, 9:40 pm

Hi all,I hope everyone had a good weekend, and @Sol,how would you rank Purge films? Mine is 2/3/1/4. With the 4th, the thing that stood out like a sore thumb to me, is that in Purge 2 and 3 it is shown that social media is used to spread anti-Purge messages, yet in the 4th, social media does not even get mentioned!

Along with watching some great recs,I've at last done notes on my favourite X-Mas FTV:

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The Favourite (2018) 9

Signalling the corridor the film will be walking down with the very good Mark Gatiss of The League of Gentlemen and James Smith from The Thick of It and In The Loop being given prominent supporting roles, auteur director Yorgos Lanthimos and cinematographers Robbie Ryan & Stephen Murphy playfully retain the elegance of the Costume Drama, whilst undressing it of the self-importance usually featured in the genre. Incredibly lighting the night time scenes with just candlelights, Lanthimos and Ryan (with Murphy stepping in when Ryan took a break after his dad died) shine a grotesque atmosphere in the darkness, from the pulled faces of Abigail and Lady Sarah eyeing up in the shadows secrets to one-up each-other. Determined to not use Steadicam to follow the trio down the corridors of the lavish Hatfield House location, Lanthimos bask in brisk natural lighting eye the power-play unfolding in ultra-stylised gimbal rigs wide-lensed winding shots spanning the huge rooms and subtly bringing Sarah and Abigail's feud down to size against a regal backdrop.

Playing fast and loose with the real events, ( Queen Anne had a husband, who does not feature in the movie) the screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, (main writer of wonderful Aussie TV series Puberty Blues)flies in with wickedly jet-black comedy dialogue and macabre physical comedy leaving Sarah blood-splattered. Modernising the language used, the writers take great care for it to be a natural fit, as the modern swearing digs into the poisonous state the relationship between Anne, Sarah and Abigail becomes. Surrounding Queen Anne with her rabbits/ "children", the writers gradually place the surrealist fur of Lanthimos's other works (this being the first of his directed films he has not written) by opening the cages to excellent, brittle battle between Sarah and Abigail in who can become top dog/the royal pet.

Looking unrecognisable, Olivia Colman gives an outstanding performance as Queen Anne,who Colman has bellow with pain and anger from the minimal power she still holds. Reuniting with Colman and Lanthimos from The Lobster (2015), Rachel Weisz gives an intense, expressive performance as Lady Sarah, whose "friendship" with Anne is captured by Weisz with a plastic smile, and a viper spit towards Abigail's power-play. Hiding her US accent under regal clothes, Emma Stone gives an excellent turn as Abigail, thanks to Stone nailing Abigail's attempt to present a refined image, while ruthlessly fighting to become the new favourite.

(Big) O Cum All Ye Faithful...with a Golden age of (Christmas) Porn!

The Passions of Carol (1975) 10

Image

Going way over budget (from $14,000 to $18.000) taking three months longer to make than planned, and ending up missing the Christmas season and flopping at the box office, co-star/producer/ co- special effects and credits maker/ editor/ writer/ director Shaun Costello carves up a gloriously ambitious festive frolics folly. Shooting on a sound stage for the first time, (and sometimes having to work 24 hours a day on the project) Costello & cinematographer Bill Markle make excellent use of their new surroundings with stylish ghostly dissolves bringing Scrooge’s spirits to life, and rumbling smoke creating a divide between Scrooge and the visions. Bringing a rare thoughtfulness to the soundtrack,Costello pounds the sex scenes into the rest of the film with a subtle use of music underlying them, from Hatchets love making being done to a jolly X-Mas song, (sadly no Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree used) to Scrooge’s vision of sex from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come being unsettling stone cold silence.

The first time he had written a full script (instead of a short outline/ improvising on the day) the effort Costello made to (somewhat) faithfully adapt Dickens shine in dialogue from the novel being slotted with ease into Scrooge’s Adult vision. Whilst offering plenty of sexy eye candy, Costello leaves out Tiny Tim and brilliantly models this version on the “Me” generation, with Scrooge looking into the camera and listing how she will improve herself, rather than he she will improve things for the employees. Joined by an lively Adult all-star line up of Jamie Gillis, Costello, Sonny “that guy from Predator” Landham and fellow director Carter Stevens,Mary Stuart gives an excellent turn as possibly the only woman to play Scrooge on screen, thanks to Stuart giving Scrooge cool icy vibes which are thrust by Stuart into cheery optimism that hits the climax of Scrooge emptying the Jingle Bell Rock.

Image

Velvet Hustler (1967) 9.

Beaming with colour, co-writer/(with Kaneo Ikegami) director Toshio Masuda continues his collaboration with cinematographer Kuratarô Takamura in giving the Nikkatsu Diamond Guys genre a French New Wave twist. Retaining the precision displayed Red Pier with Goro's hat being framed in the corner of the screen, Masuda and Takamura make Goro's time in hiding one lit in delicious Pop-Art candy colours of red, pinks greens and blues bubbling away to a rebellious youthful atmosphere. Closely working with editor Shinya Inoue, Masuda sharply uses side cuts to give the flick a real snap, and swings into the post-WWII optimism with hip song and dance numbers. Stating in the dialogue about Goro being in Kobe, not the usual Tokyo, Masuda takes advantage of the setting and uses it to finely balance the burst of young energy with a Neo-Noir brittleness panning from outstanding extended shots gliding Goro against the imposing backdrop of Kobe, which go down to the stark docklands where Goro looks across the sea to freedom.

Expanding on the outline of Red Pier, the screenplay by Masuda and Kaneo Ikegami brilliantly make this one which can wear its own hat proudly,with the writers giving the sweet-appearance of the movie a surprising level of grit in the laid-back dialogue on casual sex from Goro, along with a tightly strung, bitter love. Gliding round the Kobe underworld, the writers throw balls of lively dialogue into an excellent animated mix of Pop-Art gangsters, happy snappy reporters and the looming shadow of dames with doomed love. Finding himself hiding in Kobe with no friends, Tetsuya Watari gives an outstanding performance as Goro, whose chilled rebel without a cause swagger is pinned by Watari with an awareness of being a Noir loner, who is heading out to sea like a shooting star.

Image

The Christmas Chronicles (2018) 7

For his first non-animated project, director Clay Kaytis is joined by Robert Zemeckis's main cinematographer Don Burgess in wrapping up a jolly slick atmosphere of Christmas red splashed all over the screen. Although the Minion- wannabe CGI elves look out of place due to the CGI taking away the warmth more fitting practical effects would have given them, Kaytis does very well matching the traditional X-Mas appearance with off-beat with colourful, Elvis-style music interlude and noisy gadgets used by Santa and the Kids to try and save Christmas.

Sneaking Kate and Teddy into Santa's sleigh, the writers send them off on a charmingly funny action adventure, which in a similar fashion to The Santa Clause (1994) pulls the cracker on peoples expectations of St. Nick in funny exchanges over Santa refusing to say Ho Ho Ho, and remember the presents requested from everyone he meets (even when they are adults!) Gifting the message of believing in yourself, the writers hold it from snowing the rest of the movie in by having it mentioned during the most frantic moments of the adventure. Fittingly a family occasion with son Oliver Hudson and partner Goldie Hawn joining, Kurt Russell brings magic to the film with a wonderful take on Santa which keeps the warmth jolly whilst lighting up a sarcastic streak and a welcomed Elvis impression intermission as Santa,Teddy and Kate (played by the sweet Darby Camp and Judah Lewis) start to believe in saving Christmas.

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#33

Post by flaiky » January 14th, 2019, 10:42 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:51 pm
My ranking of the 6 vignettes:
Ooh, fun. I rank them:

1. Zoe Kazan
2. Liam Neeson (though Harry Melling clearly owns the segment)
3. Tom Waits
4. Tim Blake Nelson
5. James Franco
6. Brendan Gleeson (the only part that I wasn't keen on)

I could've watched whole films of those top 2.
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#34

Post by sol » January 15th, 2019, 2:59 am

Gruesome:

I'm starting to run out of superlatives for Eighth Grade and Elsie Fisher, so the only thing that I would add at this stage is that I really liked Josh Hamilton's performance as her father too. His reactions were priceless (watching her eat the banana; ducking behind a pole in the mall) and of course he has much of the film's heart and soul.

My brother bought me a Netflix subscription for my birthday (hence why I have been catching up with the likes of Gerald's Game and Mute) so I should probably also check out Buster Scruggs before the subscription expires. I'm putting it off until next month though since it will be valid for the Academy Awards Challenge so long as it receives at least one nomination, as is predicted. I'm not sure how I feel about Netflix releasing certain films for a single week in theatres before pulling them just to meet Academy minimum quotas, but that's another story altogether...

Coryn:

If Grave of the Fireflies "totally destroyed" you, I can only imagine how you'd react to Barefoot Gen; a similarly themed Japanese anime that makes Fireflies look like a breezy walk through the park on a sunny afternoon.

Good Will Harding:

Don't remember much about Mr. Arkadin either, which I similarly haven't seen since my university days, and then under the title 'Confidential Report'.

Yes, Lenny is pretty good. Great black and white cinematography too; something that I wasn't aware about until I sat down to watch it.

Good summary of Vice. It's a film done with a lot of energy and passion, but yeah, the messages are way too blunt and simplistic ("he was evil; deal with it") for the film to really resonate. A disappointment on the heels of The Big Short. I can't believe how well it is doing in this year's awards season, but I guess that's what you get when folks vote for films based on their politics more than anything else.

peeps:

Bad Biology is awesome. Not as good as Frankenhooker or Brain Damage, but I would definitely take it over the Basket Case trilogy.

Carmel:

Nope. I wasn't even aware that Bo Burnham was a former YouTuber or that he had made Make Happy (which recently did well in some forum poll) until after I saw Eighth Grade. Obviously, I'm intrigued now, though I am not a big fan of stand-up comedy in general. I've seen some of the classics - Eddie Murphy etc. - and a lot of stand-up comedy seems to be directed towards "easy" laughs, which isn't quite my cup of tea.

Huh, you've made the Before trilogy sound more intriguing than ever before, though on the same note I don't know if I should just wait until 2022 to watch Sunrise, Sunset, Midnight and Before Twilight (guessing a title here) all in the course of the same week.

Linklater seen, in rough order of preference:

A Scanner Darkly
Waking Life
Slacker
Me and Orson Welles
School of Rock
Bernie
Dazed and Confused
Fast Food Nation


Of those, A Scanner Darkly is an all-time favourite. Waking Life is also very good. The rest those would be 6s and 7s.

m-d-f:

Well, the fourth Purge film is the earliest-set, so I would chalk that up to both the infancy of social media and the infancy of the Purge program itself.

I don't really have a preference between the first three Purge movies. They are all on pretty much equal level for me, all taking the premise in new and different directions. At a pinch, I might agree with your order, though the Polite Purger in the first film is still one of the creepiest performances that I have ever seen in any horror movie. Certainly the fourth film is well below the standard set by the first three.

Always great to see more love for The Favourite. The more I think about it, the more that I feel that it really is the best thing that Yorgos Lanthimos has made to date. Career best performances from his trio of main actresses too.
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#35

Post by GruesomeTwosome » January 15th, 2019, 1:38 pm

flaiky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 10:42 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:51 pm
My ranking of the 6 vignettes:
Ooh, fun. I rank them:

1. Zoe Kazan
2. Liam Neeson (though Harry Melling clearly owns the segment)
3. Tom Waits
4. Tim Blake Nelson
5. James Franco
6. Brendan Gleeson (the only part that I wasn't keen on)

I could've watched whole films of those top 2.
Yeah, pretty much. I could have watched extended versions of all of the first 5, actually. The last one with Brendan Gleeson was still OK but it was somewhat unfortunate to end the film on what I thought was the weakest segment.
The gauzy thoughts of the sturdy Scots
Wrestle with the elements
Up on the trail high
I need to know where does it go
How do I get there and what will I find?


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#36

Post by GruesomeTwosome » January 15th, 2019, 1:46 pm

sol wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 2:59 am
Gruesome:

I'm starting to run out of superlatives for Eighth Grade and Elsie Fisher, so the only thing that I would add at this stage is that I really liked Josh Hamilton's performance as her father too. His reactions were priceless (watching her eat the banana; ducking behind a pole in the mall) and of course he has much of the film's heart and soul.

My brother bought me a Netflix subscription for my birthday (hence why I have been catching up with the likes of Gerald's Game and Mute) so I should probably also check out Buster Scruggs before the subscription expires. I'm putting it off until next month though since it will be valid for the Academy Awards Challenge so long as it receives at least one nomination, as is predicted. I'm not sure how I feel about Netflix releasing certain films for a single week in theatres before pulling them just to meet Academy minimum quotas, but that's another story altogether...
Josh Hamilton in Eighth Grade, yes - what a great dad! Poor guy, he was really trying with this daughter, haha. I really liked that whole shopping mall scene too, with him trying to discreetly check that his daughter was doing OK but getting caught, heh. He's certainly a key part in making this film work, for sure.

My brother lets me use his Netflix subscription, I didn't use it much for a good while but I've watched more stuff on it of late. I have a 3-day weekend coming up and I think I'll use that time to see Roma (among other things) on Netflix this weekend. It looks like the closest theater playing Roma is still about an hour away; if it was at one of the many theaters in my immediate area I'd definitely go see it on the big screen, but it looks like watching it on my TV will have to do.
The gauzy thoughts of the sturdy Scots
Wrestle with the elements
Up on the trail high
I need to know where does it go
How do I get there and what will I find?


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#37

Post by sol » January 15th, 2019, 2:23 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 1:46 pm
My brother lets me use his Netflix subscription, I didn't use it much for a good while but I've watched more stuff on it of late. I have a 3-day weekend coming up and I think I'll use that time to see Roma (among other things) on Netflix this weekend. It looks like the closest theater playing Roma is still about an hour away; if it was at one of the many theaters in my immediate area I'd definitely go see it on the big screen, but it looks like watching it on my TV will have to do.
The range of Netflix Australia at least is certainly very limited. There's barely anything of interest that I don't already own (Your Name was a rare exception) and most 'new release' movies cannot be found there, so I still have to find other ways to source much of what I want to watch. The one worthwhile thing is access to Netflix Originals; I need to remember to finally check out Beasts of No Nation and I Don't Feel at Home... before the subscription to expires.

Interesting about Roma being released theatrically in certain countries. Netflix are not releasing it in cinemas down here. I don't know if that will change if/when it wins the Best Picture Oscar, but it doesn't really affect me because it's not a high priority film for me anyway. Cuarón and myself don't mix well from experience.
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#38

Post by Onderhond » January 15th, 2019, 2:39 pm

sol wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 2:23 pm
The range of Netflix Australia at least is certainly very limited.
Are you using third party services/websites to keep up to date with their content or are you just sticking with the Netflix app? I must say I'm often surprised how broad (though not very deep) the Netflix catalogue really is. It's a bit hard to believe Netflix Belgium would have a broader range than Netflix Australia.

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#39

Post by sol » January 15th, 2019, 2:46 pm

Onderhond wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 2:39 pm
sol wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 2:23 pm
The range of Netflix Australia at least is certainly very limited.
Are you using third party services/websites to keep up to date with their content or are you just sticking with the Netflix app? I must say I'm often surprised how broad (though not very deep) the Netflix catalogue really is. It's a bit hard to believe Netflix Belgium would have a broader range than Netflix Australia.
Just sticking with the Netflix website.

I have searched both Letterboxd and iCM for lists of films available on Netflix Australia and was only able to found out-of-date lists. :shrug:
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#40

Post by 45MinuteZoom » January 15th, 2019, 2:53 pm

Sebastiane (Jarman, 1976) - very little story and a lot of slow motion nude male wrestling. Jarman did do a good job of showing off how aesthetically pleasing the male body could be. I appreciated it being filmed in Latin and liked that the translation of mother fucker was Oedipus. After seeing Caravaggio last night I’m very surprised to say that this was better. 5/10

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Herek, 1989) very forgettable, jokes just didn’t connect with me. 5/10

Roar (Marshall, 1981) Absolutely insane, it just feel fundamentally wrong to see anyone pounced on by a big cats. Very little to the movie other than that. 5/10

Roma (Cuarón, 2018) still processing this movie now, but it was by far the best of the week. Very emotional. I think my favorite Cuarón is still Y tu mamá tamién though.

Empire (Warhol, 1964) The Whitney was showing this as part of the Warhol retrospective, so I took a trip up to NYC to see it again. I’ve watched it all once at the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh but wanted to see what it was like in a theater. Biggest impression is that the Whitney needs to do a better job of letting museum goers know that there is a screening going on, there were a ton of bad interruptions from people during the 6th hour. The movie just gives you a lot of time to think to yourself, and staring at a mostly static image for 6 hours makes the image warp a little bit. There are still some ligit shocking moments, and thank god for the Met Life Tower light blinking on top of the hour and every 15 minutes. I swear it didn’t blink for 11 pm though.

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