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Old 09-25-2007, 09:39 PM   #871
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The Brave One

9/10

Just got back from seeing this. Amazing movie, starring Jodie Foster as a broadcaster on a quest for personal justice. I won't give away the plot. I will tell you that it made me think profoundly about the nature of violence and vengeance in society. As I was leaving, I noticed the wording on the poster: "How Many Wrongs to Make It Right?" It just might be the biggest question of our times, and this film asks it better than anything I've digested lately. Much of the greatness is because of Foster, who gives an incredible performance as someone who is shattered by society--yet yearns to understand it, and most disturbingly--control it.

Almost as impressive as the performance is her seemingly endless supply of very cool t-shirts (I had to give something away). Also, a there's a couple of very quick mentions of Radiohead and U2. And there's a dog. A spunky German Shepherd. Okay, I'll stop now.

Great movie.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:54 AM   #872
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American Beauty

I'm still trying to take everything in, but after first viewing... wow. I absolutely loved the arc of every character and how it all gels perfectly at the end without explaining everything Kingsley Sit-Down Style. There's so much I can say about this movie: the symbolism, color imagery, etc... that I cannot do justice to at this time of night.

SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!


I was bawling like a baby during that extended sequence after Lester's death, rarely happens for me, so that's gotta give it some bonus points.

END SPOILER

My only gripe is that the beginning seems too artificial, but after thinking about it, there's no way that wasn't the original intent. I'm sure this will be even better during the 2nd viewing.

**** out of ****
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:17 PM   #873
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Scarlet Street
Reuniting the stars and director of The Woman in the Window, this film noir again explores greed, human weakness and justice. I preferred this to the earlier film mostly due to the far more satisfying ending, as the story and character arcs are fairly similar. I’m also surprised to see how often Edward G Robinson appears to have played the sap, although this is due to having seen Double Indemnity and Key Largo first.

All Quiet on the Western Front
Brilliant American war film that follows a young German solider through World War 1. Showing every stage of his service during the Great War, how it affects him and those around him, as well as including many asides and short scenes to provide a fully rounded account, it drives home many points on the various attitudes people have towards war depending on their situation / proximity to it. Letters From Iwo Jima recently did a similar trick by showing us the “enemy’s” perspective during the war and allowing us to sympathise with them, but this film got there first way back in 1930. The fact that all of the German troops have American accents inadvertently underlines one of the film’s key points.

Wild Strawberries
Much warmer than the other Ingmar Bergman films I’ve seen, this beautifully shot film focuses on one old man’s recollections of his youthful innocence along with his current regrets. Perhaps also my favourite out of this, Persona and The Seventh Seal after one viewing apiece, it still finds room for some startling imagery and offers plenty to mull over.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:06 PM   #874
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto
American Beauty

I'm still trying to take everything in, but after first viewing... wow. I absolutely loved the arc of every character and how it all gels perfectly at the end without explaining everything Kingsley Sit-Down Style. There's so much I can say about this movie: the symbolism, color imagery, etc... that I cannot do justice to at this time of night.

SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!


I was bawling like a baby during that extended sequence after Lester's death, rarely happens for me, so that's gotta give it some bonus points.

END SPOILER

My only gripe is that the beginning seems too artificial, but after thinking about it, there's no way that wasn't the original intent. I'm sure this will be even better during the 2nd viewing.

**** out of ****
just wait to you see it on a regular screen/tv/monitor
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:21 PM   #875
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My thoughts exactly.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:25 PM   #876
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still stuck watching movies on the ipod eh? I remember seeing AB in the theatre... excellent movie
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:30 PM   #877
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Only a few of them, so it's not a big deal. I'll re-watch them at some point.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:39 PM   #878
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Just saw ONCE on the planeride home.

Amazing film.

Simple, honest, and a wonderful representation on the power of music without being over hyped or slick like a Dreamgirls or Chicago.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:04 PM   #879
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Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyskin
Scarlet Street
Reuniting the stars and director of The Woman in the Window, this film noir again explores greed, human weakness and justice. I preferred this to the earlier film mostly due to the far more satisfying ending, as the story and character arcs are fairly similar. I’m also surprised to see how often Edward G Robinson appears to have played the sap, although this is due to having seen Double Indemnity and Key Largo first.
God, what an amazing film. I just saw it for the first time about six months ago. I can't imagine them releasing a movie with an ending like that anymore.

It is superior to Woman in the Window, but to me they are very much companion pieces.

Fritz Lang has slowly become one of my favorite filmmakers, and not even for his early German work like M and Metropolis. I think he's one of the greatest noir directors.

Have you seen The Big Heat, While the City Sleeps, or Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? All great.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:20 PM   #880
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Quote:
Originally posted by elevated_u2_fan
I remember seeing AB in the theatre... excellent movie

I remember seeing AB in the theatre like 4 or 5 times!

No. I wasn't obsessed with Kevin Spacey.



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Old 09-26-2007, 05:00 PM   #881
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus


God, what an amazing film. I just saw it for the first time about six months ago. I can't imagine them releasing a movie with an ending like that anymore.

It is superior to Woman in the Window, but to me they are very much companion pieces.

Fritz Lang has slowly become one of my favorite filmmakers, and not even for his early German work like M and Metropolis. I think he's one of the greatest noir directors.

Have you seen The Big Heat, While the City Sleeps, or Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? All great.
Funny you mention those 3 at the end, they were all shown during a short season of his films along with Scarlet Street here in the UK a few weeks back. I'd already seen The Big Heat (loved it), wasn't too keen on While the City Sleeps but like an idiot didn't set the VCR correctly for Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. I'll have to rent it.

I agree with you on everything else, I couldn't believe they actually went there with that ending, it was absolutely haunting. Of his that I've seen M would have to be my favourite, it kept me gripped the entire time with the still frightningly relevant storyline but also the use of sound, imagery and performances were all amazing. The Big Heat comes a close second, a black as you like film noir with memorable, unexpected moments and brutal characters.

Have you seen any of his Dr Mabuse films? They seem interesting but the first one is a 4 (or 5) hour silent movie which could test my patience.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #882
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Criterion has I think the only non-silent Dr. Mabuse movie (Testament of...), and I keep putting off buying it for other things. I'll have to get around to it. But no, I've never seen any of them. The other Lang noirs I'm trying to see is Cloak & Dagger, The Blue Gardenia, and Secret Behind the Door. Other good Lang films I have seen are Ministry of Fear, Clash by Night, Moonfleet, and Rancho Notorious.

I recently found used copies of Lang's "Indian Epic", consisting of the two films The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb. It's weird because it's set in India, the "heroes" are mainly British, but the dialogue is in German. I had to watch the English dub because it was too distracting. Anyway, this didn't go over with the highbrow critics because of its pulpy origins, but there's some great filmmaking in there. You can also see where Lucas & Spielberg ripped off the stuff for Indiana Jones (esp. Temple of Doom) that they didn't take from Gunga Din.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:07 AM   #883
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Superbad - 7.5/10

I love me some crude adolescent humour and this movie kept me in stitches. I think it worked best when it focused more on its three leads - which were all fantastic - rather than the crazy cops who were funny but less interesting than the kids and kinda outstayed their welcome by the end.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:12 PM   #884
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The Illusionist

Finally got to see the whole movie in one sitting, after seeing bits & pieces. Really liked it. Wasn't quite expecting the twist at the end. I wanted to rewind to see it, but didn't have that option on the TV I was watching (no TiVo there!). Norton & Giamatti were both very good. Haven't seen much of Norton's work, but the one I had seen before, Primal Fear, he was great
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:43 PM   #885
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Mate's have been away the past week so I've been at home with a big stack of films:

Hard Eight
Finally got around to watching this after seeing it mentioned quite a few times in this forum. I liked it, the style and acting helping along the essentially drawn out short story. Not that that was really a problem. I also really loved Philip Baker Hall in this, his voice and style of acting kept me alert to everything going on around him.

The Sunshine Boys
I was expecting a sports comedy (got it mixed up with The Bad News Bears) but I was more than entertained by Walter Matthau and George Burns as as a feuding ex-partnership trying to revive their vaudeville act for a one off show. Not a great film by any means, but their (long) scenes together were hysterical.

Stage Fright
Hitchcock #1, a comic murder mystery set in London that has tension in all the right places. After one viewing it's even nudging my top 10 Hitchcocks. Anyway, Marlene Dietrich is as good here as she ever was (i.e. very) and Jane Wyman is cute as the undercover assistant. And regarding the plot point that apparently split audiences, I liked it. Maybe because it's been done a few times in recent years so it wasn't anything too radical for me, but I can see why there would be frustration back in the day.

Frenzy
Hitchcock #2, also London, also (blackly) comic, also a murder story. This one was more standrad fare for Hitch, so still well above average compared to a lot of films, but the part that left a sour taste for me was the explicit murder scene. There really was no need for it to be that graphic or long, the way he handled the second murder was much more satisfying (great camera work there).

Cyrano de Bergerac
Wonderful adaptation of the old tale, with Gerard Depardieu in the title role. He plays him with a much bigger chip on his shoulder and a far greater level of arrogance than Steve Martin did in Roxanne, but by the time the plot kicks in properly he still had my support behind him. Great costumes and scenery too.

Michael Clayton
George Clooney delivers in this slow burning but rewarding semi-legal drama. He is far and away the best thing in this, but that's not to say it's a bad film. It's great to see him continue to do projects like this (whether as an actor, director and producer) in between the commercial fare like the Ocean's franchise. He's definitely my favourite working actor.

Blowup
My first exposure to Michelangelo Antonioni was rather successful as this kept me intrigued from start to finish. Like Hard Eight the plot wasn't really the focus of the film, but there was plenty to ponder over once it had finished. Also, it's better than Blow Out, starring John Travolta. Whilst that wasn't bad, it was just plain silly.
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