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Old 06-10-2008, 04:49 PM   #856
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COLD MOUNTAIN

Really enjoyed it.

I'm a sucker for anything Civil War-era involved. That time in our country's history is rich with folklore, legend, and the obvious human drama. And I thought that Minghella did a great job of bringing that to life and, also, he made the movie look stunning. Where was this film shot anyway? (It doesn't look like it was shot in the U.S. but I honestly have no idea)

Also, Jack White. I had no clue this dude was in this movie. And he did a good job...practically playing himself. He was a pleasant surprise.

My favorite moment of the movie is the encounter between Law and Portman's characters. Really intense, powerful stuff. Especially when the Union soldiers show up to rape Natalie and steal her food and Law comes in to save the day. I guess you could say I'm a sucker for Natalie Portman, too.

Also, the ending was satisfying. As I said, I really enjoyed it.
I should go look it up, but, if memory serves, it was shot in Romania.

Lovely film, great book.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #857
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I loved the book but thought the movie was just okay. I wasn't feeling well at the time, however, so maybe I should give it another chance.

I loved the soundtrack, too. It was my first exposure to that old "Sacred Harp" / shape note singing style that's an old southern gospel tradition. It's really cool and sometimes spooky-sounding.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:59 PM   #858
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The DVD has a live performance from UCLA where some of the musicians and actors perform songs and read from the novel, and runs at least an hour. If you can find a cheap copy it's worth a buy just for that. The director's commentary is also one of the better ones I've ever heard, Minghella just has such a pleasant way of speaking, and he's joined by legendary editor Walter Murch, who's an absolute genius.

And yes, you should give it another chance.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:52 AM   #859
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Alright, so back to Cold Mountain.

I've really been thinking a lot about this movie today since I finished watching it. It's stuck with me. So I just wanted to ask really quickly about the director Anthony Minghella. I went to look him up to see what he's working on and was struck down by the brutally sad news that he just died 3 months ago. Wow. I had no clue.

So my question is...what should be the next Minghella movie I see? Sadly, for me, Cold Mountain and the Talented Mr. Ripley are the only two movies I've seen by him. I'm fond of both.

The obvious answer would be English Patient, right? I know it won Best Picture. Was it worthy of that honor? I've heard good things about it, but I've also heard VERY bad things about it. And, other than that, I'm not familiar with his stuff. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:29 AM   #860
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Alright, so back to Cold Mountain.



The obvious answer would be English Patient, right? .
I saw all three of those movies the week they came out on the big screen and liked them all.

I rarely go back and watch movies on T V if I have seen them at the theater.

I liked English Patient a lot more than Cold Mountain.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:08 AM   #861
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The English Patient has unfairly been much-maligned. The problem is, it's too artsy and deliberately-paced for the mainstream crowd (see the Seinfeld episode that gave it that reputation), but it's also too old-fashioned Hollywood for the independent crowd. So it winds up getting shit from both sides.

What you have here is a film that was adapted from a very unique and acclaimed novel, where there is very little dialogue, and much of it is recollected fever dreams from a burn victim on morphine. It's not easy to take stream-of-consciousness material and make it come alive in any kind of linear sense. The character that Kristin Scott Thomas plays was completely fleshed out by Minghella, where she only has a few lines in the book.

Anyway, in my opinion this is the best Best Picture winner at least since The Last Emperor in 1987. The direction is on a creative level that sucks one in deeper each time one watches it, so expertly handled. The use of sound, the transitions, the difference in the way the "present day" and flashback scenes are photographed...so much thought went into the writing, production, and editing (done by best-in-the-business Walter Murch). And one of the greatest scores you will ever hear. The actors are firing on all cylinders as well.

I'm probably hyping it up way too much, and to be honest I wasn't even a huge fan after my first viewing. But there are a lot of little things that make more sense on repeat viewings, and have greater resonance.

Hope you like it.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:54 PM   #862
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Thanks, Laz. It's high up on my list of movies to rent. I don't mind a deliberately-paced movie at all, and Minghella's direction on Cold Mountain was just stunning so I don't think I'll be disappointed in that sense.

Best Best Picture winner since '87, though? That is high praise, for sure. There are some Best Picture winners since then that I really really love. Gump, Titanic, American Beauty, Shakespeare in Love, Return of the King, and No Country being among those.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:58 PM   #863
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I loved English Patient. It's one of those films I watch over and over, and love it a little more each time.

I actually disliked Cold Mountain quite a lot. I know, it's weird, everyone loved it, I didn't.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:02 PM   #864
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Looking at this list of Best Picture winners...how the HELL did Gangs of New York not win it that year?

That is a travesty.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:32 PM   #865
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DiCaprio didn't have the respect he does now, and was viewed as being out of his element. Cameron Diaz wasn't loved by everyone either (I think she was great, miscast or not). The screenplay, while having a lot of great lines and an interesting story, also had a lot of cooks in the stew and was choppy at times. Supposedly the film went through hell in the editing room.

From a visual standpoint, though, I thought it was amazing, and I love these kind of epics. One of my 2 or 3 favorite films of this decade.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:46 PM   #866
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DiCaprio didn't have the respect he does now, and was viewed as being out of his element. Cameron Diaz wasn't loved by everyone either (I think she was great, miscast or not). The screenplay, while having a lot of great lines and an interesting story, also had a lot of cooks in the stew and was choppy at times. Supposedly the film went through hell in the editing room.

From a visual standpoint, though, I thought it was amazing, and I love these kind of epics. One of my 2 or 3 favorite films of this decade.
Plus, the Academy had been snubbing Martin Scorsese for years at that point.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:03 PM   #867
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DiCaprio didn't have the respect he does now, and was viewed as being out of his element. Cameron Diaz wasn't loved by everyone either (I think she was great, miscast or not). The screenplay, while having a lot of great lines and an interesting story, also had a lot of cooks in the stew and was choppy at times. Supposedly the film went through hell in the editing room.

From a visual standpoint, though, I thought it was amazing, and I love these kind of epics. One of my 2 or 3 favorite films of this decade.
Oh, we love Gangs around here. The dearly departed Lance tried to make love the film, such was his passion for it.

"You see this knife GAF? I'm going to teach you to speak English with this fucking knife!".
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #868
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When should we make the officially Lance S.O.S. thread?
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:23 PM   #869
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When should we make the officially Lance S.O.S. thread?
Soon.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:27 PM   #870
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Maybe he's just chilling in U2 Purgatory.
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