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Old 23rd-October-2017, 04:32 PM   #1651
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Don't Look Now (1973) -- Great acting and some really novel edit techniques (esp for the time period). Also it's clear that a lot of the story and filming was thought out ahead of time, with recurring imagery (the color red, the theme of water, the purposeful lack of subtitles in spots, and so on). Unfortunately, I had no emotional response to this movie. I did not care about the protagonists, I was not shocked by anything that happened, and the ending while cathartic for one of the main characters had no impact for me. Worth watching if you're a film person to study film technique but otherwise... I'm not sure.
Ah that's a shame to hear you didn't enjoy it. I agree with your assessment but don't mind those aspects as much. It could be read as off kilter with it being a film primarily about grieving but I think the emotional coldness / deadness, and obsessive, traumatic recurrings of the child's death are likely deliberate aspects of that. Nicholas Roeg's films tend to be more technical than emotional though so it could also just be a reflection of his style.

I largely love it for the editing, techniques and formalism like you say. I became fascinated with how it compacts time into a singular, compressed moment, where all the repeating motifs, imagery, and events, accumulate into the single, inevitable event of death that appears to dissolve time and echo past, present, and future. Using a linear time-based medium to depict the communication of something that cannot be portrayed in and breaksdown time. It's rare that films involving supernatural elements try to depict the connotations of an alien presence rupturing and communicating through the laws of normality in such a detailed way, and I think I admire it for that as a horror film.

Could go on longer but don't want to tl;dr
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Old 23rd-October-2017, 06:01 PM   #1652
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Diabolique: I wouldn't necessarily call this "horror" especially by today's standards, although I bet in 1955 that "money shot" later in the film shocked audiences world-wide and is even a bit unsettling nowadays. What it is is great filmmaking in terms of story. Half the film covers the murder plot by a wife and her husband's mistress, to take him out because he's such as asshat... and what got me is how much of a gaslighting verbally controlling/abusive prick the guy actually is. I love older movies that don't adhere to some "pie in the sky" formula, and the school the woman owns and runs is shown in realistic seediness.

Dialogue is pretty awesome, the characters are interesting, the b&w shots are beautiful. The climax of the film caught me off-guard, although once I saw it I also figured everything else out immediately.

It also has a shabby retired detective who sticks his nose in where it doesn't belong and comes off as far sharper under the surface than he pretends to be.


Raw: Seeing this movie through to the end, it's kind of "Ginger Snaps" without any transformation sequences. I can't say I knew what to expect going into it, but it held my attention and was just really... interesting. The characters, the conversations. And yeah, then every so often are some lurid and even crazy scenes. I heard some people passed out watching it or had to leave. I understand why, although it did not have that effect on me. I think I also liked that it's a French/Belgianese film, so it's happening in a different culture than the one I'm used to. The movie kind of comes together and answers my basic questions in the last few minutes.

I really like those shots of the road with the lines of trees running down them. Superfluous, but they stick in the mind.
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Old 28th-October-2017, 01:33 PM   #1653
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footprints of war (2013)

a disturbing examination of the devastating ecological impact of industrialised warfare and the multiple "ticking time bombs" that the planet is facing, including dumped chemical munitions sufficient to "kill all life" which lie on ocean floors in corroding containers
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Old 28th-October-2017, 01:34 PM   #1654
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Watched Thor: Ragnarok. Quite a fun and colorful ride. Will not describe more detail so as not to spoil it to you guys.
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Old 28th-October-2017, 08:47 PM   #1655
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Will not describe more detail so as not to spoil it to you guys.
aka "i cbf to write an actual review" :P
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Old 28th-October-2017, 09:38 PM   #1656
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Ooo gonna see Thor on Monday
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Old 29th-October-2017, 02:37 AM   #1657
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aka "i cbf to write an actual review" :P
Lolz

@onestep if you can bring a gen Xer with you theyll really appreciate it. The movie is one big 80s tribute.
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Old 29th-October-2017, 05:36 AM   #1658
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Inside (2007): Geez. For a 2000's french gore horror flick centered on a woman trying to steal another woman's unborn child, the drama/music aspect + directing approach was actually great... it's what allows the movie to not feel exploitative. But for those who couldn't handle the original Martyrs and similar films, I'd advise against it -- the violence is pretty crazy and off the rails through the last moments of the film. The feelings and images are gonna stick in my mind a long time.

The Ghoul (2017): More of a mind-twisty subjective pic with an unreliable narrator. If you enjoy mindfuck movies with ambiguous endings and explanations, you might be interested in this, a low budget about an undercover cop pretending to be a depressive.... or perhaps a depressive who imagines himself to be an undercover cop.

Gerald's Game (2017): Decent adaptation of the King book -- it simplifies the things it needs to and makes the text accessible to a wider audience. Carla Gugino owns this role, and Greenwood does decently -- the best things are her internal conversations extroverted into other personas.

The Woman (2011): Another "geez" movie, kind of an exploitation feature of a backwoods cannibal who is discovered and captured by a supposedly civilized guy in order to "fix" her. There's an obvious thread of female empowerment in the film in the face of oppression by male culture (it's pretty on the nose and a little extreme) ,but the ending really isn't as interesting as the idea of 'civilized' -- who depends on "civilization" for their survival, who is truly civilized versus not, and so on. And the acting is decent enough.

Eraserhead (1977): I dunno if I could sit through it again, it's a very slow-paced film, but trying to write a synopsis defeats the purpose -- it's vintage Lynch, turning a man's anxieties over sex and parenthood into audio and visual surrealism... the whole point is to turn indescribable feelings and dreads into sensory information that can be experienced by the viewer. The sound track (not music, but the sounds/audio) is pretty incredible at relaying impressions. I saw this in a dvd quality stream and it was beautiful b&w imagery; I can only imagine bluray/HD/4K.

Happy Death Day (2017): For what it is, it's actually decently done... another "Groundhog Day" style spin, except here the coed is being murdered on her birthday each time and ends up reliving the day until she either expires for good or ends up stopping herself from being murdered. Of course, there's a lot of red herrings, but the film tries to play up comedy, adds some meaningful learning experiences, and the lead has a decent sense of comedic timing and some emotional versatility.
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Old 6th-November-2017, 10:13 AM   #1659
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Saw Thor: Ragnarok.

I like the movie overall and how it started, but I felt like the ending was subpar. Hela and the Surtur should have had a more epic fight, or at least the whole ending sequence should have had more depth to it. Fenrir used like that without much story element was disappointing too, that wolf is supposed to be like a central thing in the mythology. The comedic aspect of the movie was a departure from the previous Thor movies, and it's a good one. It really takes on the vibe of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but with Avengers vibes. I'm also disappointed that the Valkyrie sequence was just part of a flashback... I mean they could have incorporated that into the end and it would have been fantastic. I've give it 7/10.

I also saw Stranger Things 2. It was okay, but there was a single episode that sort of dragged the series down a bit. Eleven should have been introduced to the crew much earlier too. There's basically like three story lines in that series that sort of jumbles together haphazardly in the last two episodes. Personally I think the first season was a bit better.
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Old 6th-November-2017, 03:23 PM   #1660
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My Criterion copy of Gilliam's "The Fisher King" arrived over the weekend. I haven't seen it for some years now, so I could hit it with a fresh perspective. I just think it's a great movie (aside from Mercedes Ruehl pulling in a Best Supporting Actress)... as others have noted, it's one of Gilliam's most "normal" films in terms of the story, compared to the stuff he usually does -- the most trademark Gilliam touch is of course The Red Knight that threatened Parry repeatedly throughout the film.

But the script just seems to be put together very well -- both Parry and Jack's stories seem to reflect each other, as well as the stated Fisher King myth, all leading to Jack getting his soul back so to speak and finding contentment in life, while Parry is trying to find footing to deal with his trauma and move forward in life.

This is also the film where I first ran across Amanda Plummer. I think she's so great. (I figure if you didn't see her here, you'll remember her with Tim Roth in the bookends for Pulp Fiction, the two "natural born killers" who try to rob a diner until they run across Jules.) She has a really great sense of the comic while playing everything so straight (the character doesn't know she's funny), and she has a heartbreaking speech while walking home with Parry, well, it has so much underlying pain and disappointment... heart-rending stuff.

---

I also am watching Stranger Things 2, but the funny thing is that so far it's far better than Season 1. (I'm only up to Episode 5.) I really disliked the first season, which is funny because I'm a big King fan and one of my favorite movies is Pan's Labyrinth (I like the speculative fiction / horror / fantasy genres). But it scanned to me as a hack job. It seemed to want to earn kudos for tossing in random 80's nostalgia without substance or necessarily accuracy, and the acting was rough, the emotional arcs were not steady, Eleven's delivery was annoying as well (one of those things that looks great on paper but too much heard in the ear gets old FAST), and for me it was a forced march until maybe episode 6 and then I could struggle through the rest with less effort because shit was finally going down. It really felt like a first effort from amateurs and had a lot of bare patches that made it hard for me to invest until the plot picked up a bit.

I don't know whether The Duffers feel more comfortable this season, or they were given tips by consultants, or they brought in folks to help them shape the scripts, but it's vastly improved. The acting is better, the scenes actually flow rather than feeling disjointed, there's far less "stupid" on the part of the characters, the production quality is better. There's still some occasional dumb stuff but it's passable when it happens rather than a showstopper for me. It feels more professional this year, more advanced in terms of the skill brought to bear.

Like I said, I've only watched the first five segments. I'm aware episode 7 has really crappy reviews (involving Eleven). The Eleven segments are okay. What I do like is that she rarely talks, so her forced "I don't know many words" thing doesn't derail the episodes like what happened in Season 1. I don't know what it is, whether the actress can't deliver it convincingly or whether it's just really difficult to do convincingly, but the less they have of her struggling to speak, the better; so I didn't mind the alone stuff. But her arc isn't bothering me a ton, and I thought the parent/child dynamics between her and Hopper are kind of interesting... he's the Directive guy who has forgotten how to be a dad and she's the kid who never got to be a kid, so it's no wonder they end up at each other's throats for a time.

I am also getting a kick out of D'art and where that's going. Holy Motherforking shirtballs, ha ha! Yeah, this is why we don't bring home strange pets.
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Old 8th-November-2017, 07:57 PM   #1661
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I got tickets for Saturday morning for Thor: Ragnarok. I figured it sounded like something that ought to be seen in 3D for the spectacle. I really hated the other two Thor movies, mostly because of bad/boring writing and plotting. Hopefully this is an improvement.

---

After the Halloween blitz, I've been kind of laying low with movie watching. But I think my goal is now to cram on high-quality pics that will likely be Oscar contenders in some category (as normally I spend much of the year hitting older movies I haven't yet seen).

Currently on my to-see list before end of 2017:
- Lady Bird
- Ingrid Goes West
- Mayhem
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- The Big Sick
- Good Time
- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
- Detroit

I'm not sure where "The Lure" and "Silence" fall, but I'd like to see those as well. I still haven't seen "Hidden Figures" either.

and yeah, I will see Justice League and Star Wars 8, although they're more for kicks.
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Old 12th-November-2017, 11:33 PM   #1662
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Saw Thor: Ragnarok over the weekend. I don't think it's nearly what the gushers are trying to say about it (best MSU movie ever? Whut??), but it's easily a huge step in the right direction from the first two self-important, stuffy, bland, boring Thor movies that were released. This is more your Walt Simonson's "Thor" and a Thor that was fun to watch. It wasn't that deep but at least was amusing.

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I also am watching Stranger Things 2, but the funny thing is that so far it's far better than Season 1....
Finished it yesterday. I still hold to this -- it's simply tighter, better acted, better scripted, more coherent, less wandering. Everything has a point and seems to dramatically build to the conclusion.

It was interesting how they took Steve and developed his character in Season 2. He was just a bland asshat after Season 1 but seems to have a lot more depth now.

I wasn't really big on Episode 7. The main problem is that the "gang" was just kind of silly -- ironically, like something ripped out a Marvel comic in the 80's where they were trying to seem edgy but just seemed goofy instead. I get the point -- they're leaving a thread for a later season (more experimental subjects out there) and trying to make Eleven/Jane happy where she's at, plus they set up the resolution in the finale. But I can't say it was that fulfilling. For every cool moment (like when the police storm the warehouse -- yeah, that's how an illusionist DOES it), there's a dumb moment (as they leave the warehouse).

I like they took about 10-15 minutes to wind down the season versus just leaping to an ending. And it looks like things are going towards what you suspected, relationship-wise, from Season 1.

Anyway, there was some real character development this season that actually felt pretty smooth overall.

Also about Bob:
Spoiler:
He was on such borrowed time, and it was all kind of dumb. I mean, who in their right mind slams a door, then stops for 15-20 seconds to get his breath when the front door is just 20 feet away and he knows these things have already busted through super-tough windows and doors? The whole season was kinda setting him up to die, so it was pretty predictable.
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Old 13th-November-2017, 01:22 AM   #1663
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Yeah poor Bob. I was like shit, Samwise Gamgee should be smarter than this.
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