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Old 02-13-2017, 02:03 PM   #181
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Watched Lion and Fences this weekend. Now I have seen all 9 Best Picture nominated films. All deserving to be there. I'll rank them later tonight as if I were a voter.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:30 PM   #182
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1. Hell or High Water
2. Manchester by the Sea
3. La La Land
4. Lion
5. Fences
6. Hacksaw Ridge
7. Moonlight
8. Arrival
9. Hidden Figures
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:50 AM   #183
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Random Movie Talk XV: You Asked For It, Cobbler

La La Land was dazzling. Chazelle is such a talented director and he really went above and beyond with this one by organizing great talent and seeing them through to a polished conclusion. Lovely color palette, detailed set design (especially near the end), A1 cinematography, this really was a delight for cinephiles and Chazelle's skill is hands down the best reason to see this movie.

The whole musical aspect of this musical was fine. Neither of the leads are great singers, but they get by. I love jazz and love that Chazelle loves it too, so it went over well for me when they kind of dumped the broadway shit for it in the second half when it "forgot it was a musical" (while still bubbling over with music cues). I hope he distances himself a bit from the jazz fetishism in the future, but it worked well here.

The writing was better than usual for a musical and I give it points for not cramming in unnecessary, highly expository musical numbers where the plot should have been. Lots of good show don't tell stuff going on. There's the usual stupid get-a-job-or-follow-your-dreams binary and the emotional climax of the film is really forced but the actors are game to pull it off. Stone is a treasure and crackles with energy. Gosling is whatever. He makes the Gosling-Refn face a lot, but at least he talks in this one.

8.5/10, rounded up to a 9 because I saw it at the TCL Chinese Theater in downtown Hollywood and I got really emotional watching it and when it was over I felt like going home and writing. It made me extremely proud of everything that Ashley and I have accomplished since we came out here. This film was a really powerful, necessary experience for me. And yet, somehow, I still thought Whiplash was better. Can't wait for Chazelle's next film.

Looks like a Burbank AMC is getting Silence on Friday, so that and Fences are up next.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:11 AM   #184
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I loved it, too. Thought the songs were pretty damn good for the most part except for the one she sings at the audition near the end because it was a rip off of Kermit the Frog's "Rainbow Connection".
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:40 AM   #185
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That review reads like you don't like musicals.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #186
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Looks like a Burbank AMC is getting Silence on Friday, so that and Fences are up next.
You buried the lede.

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Originally Posted by Lancemc View Post
That review reads like you don't like musicals.
Which is fair enough. And likely why this film has gone over so well among general audiences.

But as I said before, it may be modern with its song-styles and scarcity of big musical numbers in the second half, but it deserves praise for the restrained long takes and nods to Demy.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:38 PM   #187
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Random Movie Showerthought:

If there was a Bono version of 'I'm not There' where you had different actors play Him I have 3 so far.

- Sean Penn (post 2000 Bono)
- Jason Isaacs (long hair Patriot villain role. Reminds me of JT era Bono)
- Robin Williams RIP (Popmart muscle shirt goggles cameo)
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:31 PM   #188
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Random Movie Talk XV: You Asked For It, Cobbler

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That review reads like you don't like musicals.


I generally do not. Granted, the number of musicals that I enjoy is slowly creeping up over time, so I'm open to changing or at least heavily qualifying that opinion. All that Jazz is one of my all-time favorite movies.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:57 AM   #189
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So, Silence was really fucking good. As a fan of the book, I think the screenplay (which should have been nominated for an Oscar over Fences, a brilliant piece of playwriting with absolutely no interest in being a screenplay) did tremendous justice to not only the plot but its larger themes. It's a wonderfully complex story with a challenging, thoughtful perspective on faith and self-sacrifice and I'm glad Scorsese was at the helm for the adaptation because the final product was extremely well executed. The editing, cinematography, score, set design, all of it was on point and a labor of love.

It took me a while to get used to the casting, I'll admit (in general, the first quarter or so of Silence, book and film, is pretty average to me and it's the first martyring that really ratchets up the tension). Eventually, Andrew Garfield won me over (especially once he started to confront his doubts) and I think he shows far more impressive range here than in Hacksaw Ridge. Adam Driver was fine. Neeson was incredibly convincing and deserved more screen time but, alas, Ferreira's role doesn't allow for very much of it.

I wish I had more to say, but most of what's running through my head concerning Silence is of a theological bent that isn't particularly fitting for this section. It's a great novel and the film is an auteur working at a high level. I really need to get around to seeing The Last Temptation of Christ.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:32 PM   #190
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Just got around to Paterson, and speaking as a longtime Jarmusch fan this still managed to blow me away. Easily his best since at least Ghost Dog... but maybe more like since Mystery Train or Stranger Than Paradise. Really one of his best.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:48 PM   #191
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Silence got fucked out of at least 5 Oscar noms. It's not my favorite film of the year, but the bias against religious films is pretty blatant here.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:11 PM   #192
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And their bias against Scorsese of course.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:34 PM   #193
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Glad you two enjoyed it. I saw it again today and I would be fine with a life mission of hunting down every Academy member who ignored it and subjecting them to some of the trials found in the film.

The other large bias is against Asian actors, and I think the ones in Silence are superlative. Critics groups and SAG love to hand out awards for Best Ensemble, and this one was about as good as it gets. When you're thrown into this small village of peasants, you can feel the sense of secret community. When its two local religious leaders Ichizo and Mokichi sacrifice themselves as "hostages" to save the villagers, it's powerfully moving, culminating in the scene where Mokichi gives the cross he made to Rodrigues. The shot of them on their knees facing each other with Garrpe in the background, who is blocked when the two touch heads, is out of this world.

On the other side the actors are just as good: Issey Ogata received a lot of great press for his Inquisitor, and rightfully so (his shading makes him more than the mere cackling villain he seems on the surface), but I also loved Tadanobu Asano as the Interpreter, who alternates between sensible advice and cruelty, much like his counterpart.

And of course in the middle is the recurring apostate Kichijiro (played by Yosuke Kubozuka), who is arguably the most sympathetic in the film. A man who doesn't have the courage to die for his faith, but also can't seem to let it go. He's the example by which Rodrigues (via his narration) truly learns the meaning of his calling--to help those in the most need.

I already mentioned the brilliance of the film's epilogue, a section I could watch over and over again, and what likely puts this in the cinematic pantheon, but the climax of the film
 
where Rodrigues finally capitulates and apostatizes
is absolutely perfect, with Scorsese applying slow motion in a non-gratutituous way that amplifies and draws out the emotion of the moment but also gives us some great imagery (there's a shot of the Interpreter raising his hand to signal the raising of the people in the pits as the flames shoot up beside him) heightened by the sound totally dropping out for about a minute.

This is one for the ages.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:14 PM   #194
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Just got around to Paterson, and speaking as a longtime Jarmusch fan this still managed to blow me away. Easily his best since at least Ghost Dog... but maybe more like since Mystery Train or Stranger Than Paradise. Really one of his best.
That last scene left me with a huge smile on my face. Such a beautiful, touching film.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:21 PM   #195
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Glad you two enjoyed it. I saw it again today and I would be fine with a life mission of hunting down every Academy member who ignored it and subjecting them to some of the trials found in the film.

The other large bias is against Asian actors, and I think the ones in Silence are superlative. Critics groups and SAG love to hand out awards for Best Ensemble, and this one was about as good as it gets. When you're thrown into this small village of peasants, you can feel the sense of secret community. When its two local religious leaders Ichizo and Mokichi sacrifice themselves as "hostages" to save the villagers, it's powerfully moving, culminating in the scene where Mokichi gives the cross he made to Rodrigues. The shot of them on their knees facing each other with Garrpe in the background, who is blocked when the two touch heads, is out of this world.

On the other side the actors are just as good: Issey Ogata received a lot of great press for his Inquisitor, and rightfully so (his shading makes him more than the mere cackling villain he seems on the surface), but I also loved Tadanobu Asano as the Interpreter, who alternates between sensible advice and cruelty, much like his counterpart.

And of course in the middle is the recurring apostate Kichijiro (played by Yosuke Kubozuka), who is arguably the most sympathetic in the film. A man who doesn't have the courage to die for his faith, but also can't seem to let it go. He's the example by which Rodrigues (via his narration) truly learns the meaning of his calling--to help those in the most need.

I already mentioned the brilliance of the film's epilogue, a section I could watch over and over again, and what likely puts this in the cinematic pantheon, but the climax of the film
 
where Rodrigues finally capitulates and apostatizes
is absolutely perfect, with Scorsese applying slow motion in a non-gratutituous way that amplifies and draws out the emotion of the moment but also gives us some great imagery (there's a shot of the Interpreter raising his hand to signal the raising of the people in the pits as the flames shoot up beside him) heightened by the sound totally dropping out for about a minute.

This is one for the ages.
All too often I'm posting from my phone or at work these days, and not voicing as much of my opinion as I like, but I'm sincere when I say, "all of this". The acting in this film was incredible, from everyone (but best director nom? Nah Fuck that, right?). The interpreter was especially good.

God, I loved the nods to Kurasawa in this film, and other greats as well. Kichijiro almost walked right out of several classics, such a fantastic character.

I get angrier the more I think about it.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:09 AM   #196
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The Oscars are definitely worth being angry over.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:58 PM   #197
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I'm even more sour on the critical establishment, which also seems to have trouble dealing with films containing heavy theological issues. Aside from a handful of notable enthusiastic supporters (Glenn Kenny, Bilge Ebiri, Joshua Rothkopf, David Ehrlich), the attention was directed more at competitively insignificant works. I love Toni Erdmann, for example, but it shrivels up in my king next to such a monumental film. The institutional indifference is shameful, and will be widely seen as such years from now.

Not that Scorsese is alone in being an old master taken for granted during the latter part of his career and shoved aside in favor of younger, fresher filmmakers. You'd just think we'd know better now after seeing it happen over and over again.

Assuming you still haven't seen it yet?
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:58 PM   #198
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I really love the Oscars and usually I think they get pretty close to on the money when it comes to nominations, more so than other awards programs, at any rate. This is the most baffled I've been by a slighting, though. This film is easily better than Lion, Fences and probably Hidden Figures as well. There was room for a nomination, the film is breathtakingly beautiful, wonderfully acted, obviously the direction is superb, and it's a fantastic adaptation.

I don't know how you overlook it for BP, Director, Cinematography (obviously it got that one), Adapted Screenplay and Acting (Garfield is better in this than Hacksaw). Plus, of course, the Japanese cast getting overlooked, which is a painful given.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #199
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Assuming you still haven't seen it yet?
Not yet. I mean I get what you're saying. These sorts of things have happened consistently throughout the history of the arts and I don't doubt it's a film that will see a bit of a surge in the coming years if people take the time to discover it anew. Hell, it's happened multiple times in Scorsese's career. It's received almost nothing in terms of awards recognition but I don't really feel like it's being ignored critically. Or maybe I just follow the right people (all the ones you listed, actually, so yeah(.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:58 PM   #200
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As a random aside, am I the only one who actually REALLY loved the movie Jackie? I noticed Laz has it in his honorable mentions. At the moment, it's sitting in my top ten, a couple spots behind Silence.

This is not a one-dimensional movie led by one brilliant performance, as I was led to believe. Outside of some fairly choppy editing and a suspect accent from Sarsgaard, this film was stunning, in my opinion. The sets were fantastic, the tone was just right, I loved the narrative style and the way the story comes to a head in its close. I just got way sucked into that film and I'm sad that it's getting almost no love.
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