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Old 03-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #286
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^^Thanks for that honest review of Juno. I've been contemplating seeing it and almost went yesterday but decided instead to see In Bruges only to discover it wasn't playing anywhere nearby so I didn't even go to the movies after all. I will for sure go see Juno now though. So thanks for that
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:10 PM   #287
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After Hours
A strong contender for Martin Scorsese’s most random film. The whole film takes place over the course of one very memorable night for desk jockey Griffin Dunne, as he meets a girl in a coffee shop, gets her number and then accepts a late night invitation to pop over to her apartment. Things start going wrong before he even gets out of the cab and proceed to snowball into a chain of events that seem absurd individually but are pulled off in such a way that you just keep going with it.

Apparently Scorsese picked the script after plans for The Last Temptation of Christ initially fell through and pretty much did it just for the crack. It shows. But whilst not nearly as personal as many of his more well known films, the lack of a deep affection for the source material seemed to liberate Marty and he created an aloof, darkly humorous film that remains an intriguing entry into his CV. I have yet to see his version of Cape Fear (it seems to be my white whale) but they seem to have this in common. But while that one was Marty aiming for the box office, this is just him having fun and making a film just because he can.


The Legend of 1900
Whilst watching I found it hard to shake off the memory of Cinema Paradiso and in quite a few ways I found it very similar. For example, the rose-tinted spectacles narrative, the three act structure with the way both of 1900’s loves were established, even the fate of the main location. But such familiarity can be forgiven when the end result is as well crafted as this. Tim Roth delivers a career highlight performance as the titular 1900, a boy born at the turn of the century on the SS. Virginian, adopted by the crew and who spends his entire life making the crossing from Europe to America and back again, never once setting foot on dry land. An unusual life affords him an unusual philosophy on it and it is this combined with a paradoxically adventurous spirit that attracts trumpeter Max to form a close friendship with him.

Tornatore plays to his Paradiso strengths with many beautifully composed shots brimming with warmth along with the heartache of lost love, but ultimately I didn’t find it as deeply affecting as his earlier film. Maybe it was the lack of such a fantastic ending or slightly-too-misty-eyed voiceover, but it didn’t quite reach quite reach those previous heights. But it was still a fabulous film to watch, so cheers laz.

After Hours is a bit of a blip in Marty's career, but it's a very unique film. While it's obviously a comedy, it is a very tense experience because of the way it's directed, and also because of the performance of the frazzled Griffin Dunne. You can totally tell this was from Marty's cocaine period, or maybe the after effects of it. In a way it's a bit like The King of Comedy, which is more ambitious yet a rather unpleasant experience in terms of the cynicism and tense nature of the film, and not as visually stimulating as this one.

I find After Hours to be one of Marty's most entertaining works, and I wish more people would see it so they would know what I was saying when I quote it all the time ("Horst! Kiki! I didn't know!!"). This 80's cast is to die for, though...Rosanna Arquette (brilliant), Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Linda Fiorentino, Will Patton, and of course, Cheech & Chong.

Glad you liked Legend of 1900. I hope I didn't build it up to be as good as Paradiso, it definintely doesn't have the same scope. But man, that scene where he plays the piano while watching the girl through the porthole...that's just one for the ages. Morricone owns that film.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:41 PM   #288
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Juno 6/10

While it certainly did not live up to all the hype, if you're taking it in as just a movie and not "omg it was up for all these awardz!1!!1" it's entertaining enough.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:44 PM   #289
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^^ Exactly.

laz you're definitely right it's a blip in Marty's career and certainly an oddity anyway you look at it. Shame it's not usually mentioned then, as I find blips and oddities just as interesting as career highlights.

And I don't think you bigged up 1900 excessively, I just couldn't help but compare and contrast it to the only other Tornatore film I'd seen. But oh that piano scene was brilliant. I loved the way that composition was used throughout the film and what the recording of it represented.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:18 PM   #290
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I like After Hours a lot. Disturbing, paranoid & funny. I like the way he is torn between getting the hell home & staying for some possible action with a girl, barely avoiding harm many times over. Then he is saved by being wrapped & concealed in paper macher Griffin Dunne really is good in this.

I love the scene when his money flies out the cab window at the beginning, setting everything in motion



And Morricone, FTW
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:15 PM   #291
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I just saw Blow-Up for the first time, on Criterion laserdisc.

I don't know why, but for some reason I expected this to be more plot-driven than most Antonioni films, but that's really not the case. Yes, there is something of a murder mystery, but things aren't resolved in conventional fashion, and of course the film is more about capturing a time and place, namely London during the Swinging 60's, which it does very well.

Of course the direction is masterful, and as ususal you feel like you're watching with the eye of a god. By making the main character a rather unpleasant character, all you're left to sympathize with is the notion of the artist mired in a malaise, that only extraordinary events can pull him out of and feed his creative urge.

The fun of the film is really putting all the pieces together, not necessarily being able to look at a whole completed puzzle. And the final scene at the tennis courts is hard to pin down in terms of meaning or symbolism, but it's sure poetic, and leaves you with a whiff of something on a higher plane than what you've been watching. 40 years after the fact, it now reeks more of an elegy for the era that it portrays.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:51 PM   #292
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I watched that not too long ago myself. Very much of its time and I agree about the plot, it's more abstract than standard story telling. That final scene was in my head for quite some time afterwards.

--------------------------------

Casualties of War
After a wobbly start this turned out all right. I don’t know if was just poor filmmaking or intentional to make some kind of point, but the first act just seemed full of overacting and sensationalist shots / editing. The guy that’s gets shot on the plains was so bad as he’s struggling to hold on to life, it completely pulled me out of the film. It was like an amateur high school production. Anyway, once the focal point of the story gets underway everyone involved seemed to find their way. Michael J Fox was believable as the appalled grunt disgusted by his comrades’ actions but firm enough to stand up to them. His screen persona was perfect for the role. Sean Penn played crazy but didn’t grate too much; it worked well with the style DePalma employed for the film. The ending lacked any real oomph though, again something that may have been intended as this is hardly a happy ending.

Chicago
Visually impressive but ultimately unsatisfying sums up my thoughts here. My main problem was with the lead character Roxy. For starters I’m not a fan of Renee Zellwegger, so when she plays such a loathsome character with absolutely no redeeming qualities it’s a chore for me to watch. I really wanted her to hang at the end. Luckily there’s some fine support from Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta Jones (in an all too small role). Gere dazzles as the fast-talking, morally bankrupt lawyer only interested in his fee and publicity. It’s the fact that he is completely aware of his lack of scruples that makes him fun to watch. And Zeta Jones’ opening number was the easy highlight for me. Special mention must also go to John C. Reilly as the one innocent character in the film. Sure he’s a complete schmuck and it’s hard to warm to him because of it, but his final exit is both dignified and full of genuine sorrow. I appreciated the concept of the musical all taking part in Roxy’s head, it’s just a shame I hated her. Scorsese’s The King of Comedy also had a similar ending, but pulled it off better with a more ambiguous tone. And was just plain better.

Double Indemnity
Even though I’d seen examples of both before, this was the film that really got me into film noir and Billy Wilder. As it’s also a shining example of both, it’s one of my favourite films of all time. If I tried to write a proper review I’d end up gushing through at least five rough drafts before saying anything of substance, so I won’t bother. Suffice to say it’s a must-see, with a vein of dark wit pumped throughout the film by a none-more-black heart.

(It’s also one of the answers to my movie quotes list.)
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:53 PM   #293
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..................on Criterion laserdisc.


wow.

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Old 03-04-2008, 07:05 PM   #294
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Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson is a God. And the short film beforehand was gorgeous. Why it wasn't shown in the theatre before the feature (or so I've read) I have no idea. If you see the short, you get the movie.

I need to go revisit The Life Aquatic again - besides Darjeeling it's the only Anderson film I've seen just one time.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #295
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Originally posted by LarryMullen's_POPAngel
Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson is a God. And the short film beforehand was gorgeous. Why it wasn't shown in the theatre before the feature (or so I've read) I have no idea. If you see the short, you get the movie.

I need to go revisit The Life Aquatic again - besides Darjeeling it's the only Anderson film I've seen just one time.
Hotel Chevalier was before the movie when I saw it in theaters.

I fucking love The Life Aquatic. It may not be his most accomplished (like Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums), but it's definitely my favorite.

Then again, picking a favorite Wes Anderson film is like picking a favorite porn site... it's anyone's game.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:16 PM   #296
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Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto


Hotel Chevalier was before the movie when I saw it in theaters.

I fucking love The Life Aquatic. It may not be his most accomplished (like Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums), but it's definitely my favorite.

Then again, picking a favorite Wes Anderson film is like picking a favorite porn site... it's anyone's game.

The Royal Tenenbaums is in my top five movies of all time. I've never made an official list or anything like that, but you can bet your bootie that it would be in there if I ever do.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:14 AM   #297
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Then again, picking a favorite Wes Anderson film is like picking a favorite porn site... it's anyone's game.

You're totally a BBW man, so I'm guessing your favorite Wes Anderson film would be The Life Aquatic--isn't there a whale in there somewhere?
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:26 AM   #298
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Rushmore for me!

in keeping with the thread's theme...
hmmm, i'm probably late to the party since I just saw Michael Clayton...and well I was pleasantly surprised, a slow thriller, nothing too surprising but the development of the characters was captivating enought. 8/10

Goya's Ghosts - This should have been good, it stars Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman but ultimately it induced my much needed sleep.
6/10

Elizabeth -the Golden Age- Cate Blanchett was spectacular (nothing new), cinematography was better than I would have expected, dialogue was superb. BUt when it all comes down to it, I will be completely shallow and say that the reason I watched it with such vigor was due to Clive Owen. He's a damn talented actor in just about every other film..In Elizabeth? Mehh.. not so much,..but there wasn't much magic he could have brought to the role. This film is owned by Blanchett, and rightfully so.
7.4/10

Second Time Through:

Darjeeling Limited - a classic W.A. film, family dilemma, wit, charm, awkwardly beautiful
9.5/10

Into the Wild - visually breathtaking, a rare but riveting book-to-screen adaptation, intense, raw, heartbreaking
9.6/10

Big Fish - not my all-time favorite Burton film but easily his best. warm, funny, and...well..interesting for lack of a better word. it never gets boring.
9.8/10
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:24 AM   #299
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Gladiator
To be honest, I'd never seen it, and it's not the sort of movie I'd usually watch. But I've been interested in historical fiction lately, so I thought this was a necessary thing. Great story, plenty of stale dialogue, but that seems to exist in every single ancient-themed epic. Phoenix actually impressed me the most. Top story too. Solid 8 out of 10 for me.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:32 PM   #300
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You're totally a BBW man, so I'm guessing your favorite Wes Anderson film would be The Life Aquatic--isn't there a whale in there somewhere?
Son of a bitch dolphins.
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