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Old 11-20-2007, 06:31 PM   #271
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I don't think I'm going to be able to see this until Friday, which is going to be like waiting to score more rock for my habit.



I need a fix!
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:52 PM   #272
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Anyway, I'm now waiting eagerly for:

I'm Not There
Juno
Charlie Wilson's War (Could go either way methinks)
Atonement
Youth Without Youth (despite all the poor early reactions, I'm still interested)

and There Will Be Blood
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:07 PM   #273
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I have a feeling I'm going to like YWY a lot, because I don't mind brilliant directors disappearing down the rabbit hole (as opposed to disappearing up their own assholes, as David Lynch sometimes does). I love alternate reality/time travel type stories like this, or however you want to classify it.

Juno looks like it's going to be funny, and I do plan on seeing it, but that guy from the U.S. version of The Office (who is SO terribly inferior to Gareth in the BBC version) annoys the fuck out of me, and every time I see that trailer and he says "That's one doodle that can't be undone, homeskillet" I want to kick him in the fucking face and than strangle that ex-stripper screenwriter for her WAY-too-precious, unrealistic dialogue.

I want to see Atonement as well but that trailer's getting on my nerves, especially that line "I will come back for you!" It already seems too close to The English Patient, and now they're lifting cliche lines like that to make it seem even more similar? I've heard great things about it and I love war/love story epics so I'm not worried.

I despise Julia Roberts with every fibre of my being, as I think she's marginally talented, and whose obnoxious laugh and horrifically wide mouth make her unattractive to me as well. I've also hated Tom Hanks for most of the last 20 years with a few exceptions (Apollo 13, CastAway, The Ladykillers--his performance, the film was godawful), and this seems like another one of those smug, cocky do-gooder kinds of roles that I can't stand.

I'm Not There is still sitting at the top of my list for this year.

I never got to see Lust, Caution while it was in theatres and now I'm pissed I'm not going to get the chance.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:14 PM   #274
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Lust | Caution really reminds me a lot of The Assassination of Jesse James (maybe because I saw them in the same day) in that they're both deliberately paced, silent, and very lyrical films. Both of which have some of the most beautiful photography I've seen this year. And like I said before, Caution's quiet finale is one of the most beautiful conclusions I've seen in a long while.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:57 PM   #275
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Just saw Donnie Darko for the first time. I liked the atmosphere Kelly sets up and the whole idea of time travel. The Swayze as a self-help guru was pretty inspired casting, I gotta admit, but the super-emo subtext throughout the whole movie really got to me. And while the conclusion was interested and sort of fulfilling, there's absolutely no way on Earth anyone other than Richard Kelly can "understand" the movie after just watching the original cut. I looked the info up on IMDb and Wiki and it's impossible. I'm tempted to watch the Director's Cut next for comparison, but I don't know, the whole thing bothers me too much. Either way, it's a visually and thematically interesting film with solid acting and character development, but didn't completely gel with me upon first viewing.

***1/2 out of *****
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:40 AM   #276
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The Director's Cut is a huge, huge mistake.

Don't ruin your good impression by watching it.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:47 AM   #277
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I've heard mixed opinions about the Director's Cut. I think most of the positives were from people who have only seen that version and not the original.

I would've liked the ambiguity of the original cut more if there wasn't such a specific ending intended, you know? It was like putting together a puzzle with 1/4 of the pieces missing.

What was your experience with both cuts?
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:55 AM   #278
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I only ever experienced the original cut and wasn't a fan.

I did like some of the humour in the film though.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:28 PM   #279
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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Boisterous and witty film from the great partnership that was Powell and Pressburger. Charting the military career of Major Candy, the various women in his life (a triple role for Deborah Kerr) and his long lasting friendship with a German officer, the film is a delight from start to finish. I love watching old Technicolor movies to see a director revelling in a new and expensive toy and when compared to the colour palettes used today (especially in the digital age) it takes on an almost otherworldly look. Powell and Pressburger take this gift and run with it, creating a film that’s peppered throughout with wonderful locations and inventive techniques. The best of these techniques is marking the passage of time between The Boer War and The Great War with a new animal head trophy appearing on the walls of Candy’s house. Ultimately this is a film about the passing of time and the need to change as it marches on. Indeed, war no longer begins at midnight.

Days of Wine and Roses
Bleak and uncompromisingly raw study of alcoholism. Jack Lemmon stars as public relations man Joe Clay, a man with a fondness for Grampa’s old cough medicine, especially when his boss prefers to use him for tasks more likely to be found on a pimp’s CV. The story follows Clay as he meets his non-drinking wife-to-be, seduces her to join in with his passion and their subsequent battle with alcohol. Jack Lemmon is superb as he struggles to stay on the wagon but for one reason or another falls off again at various stages throughout the movie. Although I know him best for his comedies, along with Glengarry Glen Ross and The Apartment I have found him to be an extremely gifted dramatic actor.

The narrative jumps from year to year with little warning but some character is usually on hand to mention that “it’s been four years since…”. This technique is used rather well as it allows the film to show the prolonged affects on this couple sharing their marriage with a third entity. Special mention must also go to the final scene and in particular the last shot. Poignant and in no way a cop out or an easy answer to the preceding action, it’s also perfectly ambiguous as to what will happen to Clay in the future.

2046
Ah. After recently seeing and instantly falling in love with In The Mood For Love I was very eager to see this, especially after the recent buzz surrounding it. Unfortunately it left me cold for much of the run time and I just couldn’t engage with much of what was going on until the final twenty minutes. Not that I think it was a bad film. The acting was strong all round and it would be unfair to even single out one person. The direction was fluid and captured the emotions running through the film in every frame, be it real life or fictional. Something was just missing for me and I don’t know what it was. I’m keeping it for a future re-evaluation but it won’t be anytime soon. I find I come back to films much more favourably after at least a year or so.

Sherlock Jr.
Downloaded this from Archive.org and I’m so glad I did. I’m not sure it qualifies as a feature film as it’s only 44 minutes long but meh, it’s short and very sweet. It’s an old Buster Keaton silent film where he plays a projectionist accused of theft and when he falls asleep on the job he dreams of becoming the titular detective and solving the case. It kind of plodded along for the first section but as soon as Buster drifts off and his dream self appears onscreen next to him it’s pure magic. The sequence when he climbs into the screen and the background keeps switching behind him is brilliant and the motorcycle handlebars stunt has to be seen to be believed. The fact that he did the majority of it for real is insane. Do yourselves a favour and watch it. Don’t let the fact it’s a silent film put you off, as soon as he falls asleep you’ll be laughing too much to notice.

http://www.archive.org/details/SherlockJr

American Gangster
While not a bad film this wasn’t anything spectacular either, a shame considering the enormous talent on both sides of the camera. Denzel gets to show off how cool he is while Russel gets the harder job of playing the honest, shabby cop trying to take him down whilst fighting his personal problems. The main problem is that there’s a real lack of flair from Sir Ridley and the script doesn’t offer much depth to fill out the lengthy run time. I must say though, the two and a half hours went by pretty fast. Overall it’s a decent film but one that would be best viewed away from the hype it doesn’t deserve and judged on the merits it does have.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:18 PM   #280
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Just got back from my Dollar Theater Double Feature of 3:10 to Yuma and Superbad.

Yuma was enjoyable, it's hard not to like a badass western with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, but I wasn't expecting Wash from Firefly and a random cameo by Luke Wilson anywhere. I liked it, I'll definitely see it again and the ending didn't rub me the wrong way like I heard it would. I don't know, definitely fun.

I had already seen Superbad, but it was great to see it again (the snotty lady behind the counter asked for ID, so I went to "see Bourne" instead, gimme a break.) I laughed harder the second time already, even at the period blood joke.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:40 PM   #281
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Jack Lemmon is/was one of the best
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:49 PM   #282
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Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyskin
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Boisterous and witty film from the great partnership that was Powell and Pressburger. Charting the military career of Major Candy, the various women in his life (a triple role for Deborah Kerr) and his long lasting friendship with a German officer, the film is a delight from start to finish. I love watching old Technicolor movies to see a director revelling in a new and expensive toy and when compared to the colour palettes used today (especially in the digital age) it takes on an almost otherworldly look. Powell and Pressburger take this gift and run with it, creating a film that’s peppered throughout with wonderful locations and inventive techniques. The best of these techniques is marking the passage of time between The Boer War and The Great War with a new animal head trophy appearing on the walls of Candy’s house. Ultimately this is a film about the passing of time and the need to change as it marches on. Indeed, war no longer begins at midnight.


I'm so happy!

"...and that is a pond." SO heartbreaking.

Have you seen any other films by The Archers, MS?

A Matter of Life & Death isn't available on DVD in the States, but you should be able to get it overseas.

And of course there's The Red Shoes.


A note about Technicolor--it took me a while to get used to it, even after I was a fan of black and white film. I just thought it looked cheesy, and everything looked like The Wizard of Oz to me. Now appreciate it for the much more artistic use of color than what we see today. Jack Cardiff, who shot three of The Archer's best films (esp. Black Narcissus) was just a genius at composing color photography. Now it's taken for granted, back then it was a new tool to help fulfill a vision.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:47 PM   #283
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Speaking of Technicolor... Vertigo

Holy shit, this is my new favorite Hitchcock film. This had maybe one of my favorite plots ever, actually leaving me guessing what was going to happen after the first visit to the tower (that really took me by surprise.) The use of color, especially green, was exceptional, especially in the nightmare sequence, which may or may not be one of my favorite dream sequences ever. Jimmy Stewart's descent into obsession and madness was gripping and believable, with Kim Novak acting as the perfect siren pulling him into that sea. I could go on for hours about it, so you should see it if you haven't already.

****1/2 out of *****

(There's little doubt this movie will get a 10 from me after I see it a second time.)
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:21 PM   #284
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Saw No Country today and I'm still trying to figure everything out. Reading the conversation a few pages back helped a little.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:49 PM   #285
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Short reviews again (I promise, I'll try no to ramble)

28 Weeks Later - 6.5/10
Lacking none of the quiet beauty or subtle subtexts of Danny Boyle's original film, 28 Weeks Later tries to pick up the slack with lots of gore, lots of fire, and a completely ridiculous plot. Really, this movie almost makes less sense than The Mist (I'll get to that one in a bit), and the latter film has giant walking Lovecraft monsters from a parallel dimension.

The characters all did stupid shit, the "zombies" suddenly behave completely differently than they did in the original, and the American Military is presented straight out of a Steven Segal flick. That said, it was still entertaining, and there were enough good scenes and decent enough filmmaking to make it worth seeing, especially if you really liked the first film. Just don't expect much.

The Squid and the Whale - 8/10
I've been hearing about this one for a while, and finally caught it on Encore on Demand last night. It's a painful film to watch, but for good reason. It's a haunting and seething criticism of parenting and the increasing acceptance of divorce as a quick fix for the unhappy family. The four main characters were all brilliant played, and the script was tighter than Ana Paquin's pu... nevermind.

This is a film well worth watching once, though it'll likely be too painful to watch again.

The Lives of Others - 10/10
It won Best Foreign Film at the Oscars this year, and for obvious reasons. This is a stunning film that really says more about contemporary American society than any political thriller that's come out of Hollywood in the past 10 years. Beautifully shot, and beautifully lit, this is a gem of a film, in a setting I have yet to have the pleasure of exploring in a movie. The themes aren't new, but they're rarely this well studied. The film has been criticized for its sentimental ending, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Truly touching, and still remarkably understated. The plot never went where I thought it was going to go, which was refreshing for a film that's decided slow and meditative. Probably the second best film I've seen from last year.

The Mist - 5/10
This was an enormous disappointment given Darabont's track record with King adaptations. That said, it wasn't too disappointing considering the course material wasn't really that great to begin with. I'm still trying to figure out why he chose to adapt such an underwhelming King story. He really should have waited and adapted King's latest, Lisey's Story. I would kill to see a Darabont creation of that story.

Anyway, The Mist has a lot of problems. First and foremost is the script, which really remains far too faithful to the source for most of the runtime, and finally decides to find its own path during the last 10 minutes, which is a huge mistake. The acting is pretty bad in the leads, and some of the creature design is pretty lame (not helped by the film's low budget). There are giant spiders who shoot acid-webbing though, which provide the scares in the film's greatest scene.

It's far too fast in getting through the set-up, but it's still entertaining for the most part, though not quite as thrilling as the better King adaptation of 2007, the more accomplished 1408. Then there's the ending, which really never should have strayed from King's vision to begin with, but didn't have a terrible concept. It just fucked that up too. It's really an awful sequence at the end, and doesn't make a lick of sense. It's one of those awful film moments when a movie completely fails to adhere to its own internal logic, which is really the only true cardinal sin of any motion picture.
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