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Old 07-06-2009, 11:25 PM   #796
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Wow, Vice at the top?

I'm impressed. And REALLY curious where Public Enemies is going to fall in there.

To be honest, I'm not sure how confident I feel about my rankings. I don't own The Insider or Manhunter, and really need to give those a rewatch.

Have you seen the director's cut of Mohicans? Not very different but it has a better flow to it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:36 PM   #797
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Manhunter has about 4 DVD releases. The one with the anamorphic theatrical cut has absolutely no special features. Pissed me off tracking it down.

Next time I head down to MovieStop, I'm picking up Mohicans and The Insider. Or the rest of Fincher's work instead - got the Criterion of Benji Button today.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:42 PM   #798
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Yeah, I remember we were talking about the different versions, and it looks like a big clusterfuck. I can't even remember which one seemed to be the best one.

I really need to get Button, but I'm weary of buying non-BluRay now, just in case I get one in the not-too-distant.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #799
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Yeah, I remember we were talking about the different versions, and it looks like a big clusterfuck. I can't even remember which one seemed to be the best one.

I really need to get Button, but I'm weary of buying non-BluRay now, just in case I get one in the not-too-distant.
This is the version I was talking about:

Amazon.com: Manhunter: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Stephen Lang, David Seaman, Benjamin Hendrickson, Michael Talbott, Dan Butler, Michele Shay, Dante Spinotti, Michael Mann, Dov Hoenig, Bernard Will

I get you. I almost picked up The Game today, but it's fucking non-anamorphic. That bugs me beyond belief.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:07 AM   #800
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I picked up a shitty DVD of Manhunter without realizing. It was in a Walmart bargain bin so I didn't exactly waste any dough on it, but I haven't watched it since I bought it. Fucking full frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Wow, Vice at the top?

I'm impressed. And REALLY curious where Public Enemies is going to fall in there.

Have you seen the director's cut of Mohicans? Not very different but it has a better flow to it.
Miami Vice probably lacks the formal excellence of Heat and The Insider, but I find myself returning to it more often than any of his other work. I know you'll agree it's a phenomenally expressive visual work of art, and I think Mann and Dion Beebe were really heading into progressive new territory with the HD video. There are many sequences of pure cinema in that film, and I can't get enough.

One of my biggest reservations about Public Enemies is pairing up Mann's greatest film DP with his new DV palette. I still haven't heard much word on whether PE continues much with Mann's digital artistry aside from lame reviews commenting "digital video! EEWWW" or "movie looks REALLY KEWL!" which doesn't offer much insight. Then again not many people view Miami Vice with the same perspective so it's to be expected I guess. I just sort of wish he had worked with Beebe again, who would surely have continued to push the envelope as with Mann's last two films.

I'm actually not sure which cut of Mohicans I saw. But it didn't do anything for me. I don't remember much of that brilliant visual storytelling Mann achieves in all of his films, and I can't say anything about the on-screen story interested me. Then the ending came around and I was more or less "Oh? That's it. OK..." when it felt like the film was revving up for a final 20 or 30 minutes. Guess not. I didn't dislike the film by any means, but it came off totally forgettable for me.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:09 AM   #801
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I've yet to meet anyone who's seen The Keep.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:38 AM   #802
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The Big Lebowski

It's been a long time coming, and it was everything everyone said. Awesome. 10/10
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:44 AM   #803
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The Big Lebowski

It's been a long time coming, and it was everything everyone said. Awesome. 10/10
You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie theater--
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:27 AM   #804
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You see what happens, Larry?
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:13 AM   #805
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"I'm just gonna go find a cash machine..."
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #806
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Wow, your first time seeing Lebowski? I'm probably in the twenties already.


I finally watched The Hammer yesterday. I'm a big fan of Carolla, so I obviously wound up liking it. Definitely one of the better sports comedies I've seen in a very long time.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #807
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For a second I thought you were talking about NSW's favorite film:

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Old 07-07-2009, 12:50 PM   #808
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Lance it scares me every time we agree, and I can't believe Miami Vice is one of those times. Its complex, and not as action-oriented or as involving as mass audiences wanted, but there's real talent behind it, and it takes more than one watching to see the whole picture. The first time I saw it, I liked it for the action and cinematography and was reasonably interested in the characters, but I did think it dragged, and that the plot was purposefully convoluted to cover up not really being about anything, but I caught on a lot more the second time (the first time was really late, and I eve dozed off in the theater a bit haha). I appreciate the kind of screenwriting that doesn't give exposition, it just drops you into a story, because exposition is only ever clearly written for the audience, it takes away from the realism. Its the main reason why I like this screenplay, and why I love Susanne Bier's films like After the Wedding. The story and its characters are just organic, not constructed in front of you.

As for Public Enemies, I think people are missing the point, both Purvis and Dillinger were two very isolated and not understood individuals despite their huge fame, I think that's what the screenplay meditates on, and the hero-worship of an outlaw. Even the audiences for this movie are probably rooting for Dillinger more than the FBI. We really won't understand these two characters all that much, and so Mann uses them as a vessel for putting us in the shoes of the American people during the time period, and makes a very interesting topical display of the lengths to which we should go for law enforcement. However, Hoover while well played by Crudup, was a drawback for me I feel the movie only adds to the one-sided maligning our culture now has for him, like claiming he had no field experience, which is untrue. I was skeptical of Mann using his 2000's era grit for a period piece , it surprisingly worked, even using the weird video feel during quick-motion in low light to give those moments an unsettling edge, it was bold but I think it payed off. And it was electrifying to see the real crackle of Mann's gunplay in the period/true-crime setting, the scene in the woods rivals his best from Heat, and the climactic shootout in Miami Vice.

It could have been a bit tighter, but its not the one-note missed opportunity people seem to be crying about (or echoing critics about).

Also, to me Mann's best film is The Insider, an incredibly taut slow-burn character film, and perfectly rendered true story. Its quiet, and not for those who only appreciate Mann as an shootout maestro and creator of Miami Vice I guess. And to me some of the best directing of actors he's done was on Last of the Mohicans, so its hardly true to say he should stick to crime movies in LA. I applaud him when he tries something new, like with Ali, another wholly misunderstood movie.

For me:

Insider
Heat (a hit with mainstream audiences for pairing De Niro and Pacino and featuring killer action, but it is the best in-depth analysis of cops/robbers out there, and just a brilliantly written film. Pacino's finest role of the 90's I think, and even De Niro isn't over the top.)
Collateral (the thriller of the decade as far as I'm concerned, electrifying style, unnerving/different performance from Cruise, and an excellent/vulnerable one from Jamie Foxx)
Manhunter (a gem of an early effort, and my favorite portrayal of Lector, because he's unnervingly believable as a real person, and he's not the central character, the way the book intended. Whereas Hopkins' later performances were amazing for a screen-villain, but there's no way you'd ever believe there could be a person like that, and the screenwriters shifted too much of the focus on him.)
Miami Vice
Public Enemies
Ali
Mohicans (that said I still love these last few, they're just a little more ambitious than they can pull off)
Thief
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #809
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So I finally got to see Tarsem Singh's The Fall, and damn if that's not one of the most staggering films I've ever seen. I'd heard that it was visually stunning and filmed all over the world, but that the story was lacking. I have to say I disagree, the leads were great (I'd only ever seen Lee Pace on Pushing Daisies, his dramatic work he really impressed me), and the weaving together of the story was really imaginative, and dark as hell, the story seems innocent but wow, quite the gutpunch, the climax of the story as he and Alexandria are fighting over the control of the story was just exhilarating. Complimentary and not distracting music as well. The one thing I didn't love was just how it ended, I suppose it shows her innocence is still somewhat intact, and the his life went on, but I thought following that sequence I was talking about, it kind of let the air out.

Talk about dedication to a vision as well, as he financed the whole thing himself, its just too bad no one saw it.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:58 PM   #810
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So now I want to watch more of Michael Mann's films. I've seen Heat, Miami Vice, and Collateral. I need to watch Collateral again since it's the only one I own (buy one, get two free previously viewed at a blockbuster a few years back). Since I'm reading Red Dragon now, I suppose Mannhunter will be next.
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