Post by Tommen_Saperstein on Jul 17, 2019 0:26:07 GMT
I knew the day would someday come when I'd have to sit through The Alamo (1960), and that day has come and thankfully gone. Basically all of the things you don't like about John Wayne's politics condensed into 2 hours and 40 minutes, and I'm not talking about his acting range. And while it is true that the film is obnoxiously preachy and dated and revisionist and overly sentimental, by far its worst quality is that it's fucking tortuously dull. 3/10
It's ironic that this came out the same year as Spartacus, and a poetic justice that Spartacus is remembered so fondly while this blast of hot air has been all but forgotten.
7/10. Finally watched this, it's been my #1 wanna-see-but-can't-find for years, so thx to Kanopy. The script is a ponderous dodge, its ideas peak early, and the twist flapjacks the themes (guilt, identity, memory), but the filmmaking and acting make it worthwhile. I was grinning most of the movie just seeing one of my favorite actors (I'm talking Top 5 ever) and my favorite director spar.
Lotta detail in the set and use of props - the buckets, towers of books, empty wine bottles as makeshift candlesticks, a chipped coffee mug, a mousetrap. Tornatore’s editing is smartly timed, he fills the periphery with a great stormy atmosphere that levels everything up with danger, with help from the tense Morricone score, and I loved the Panavision visuals that amass the sylvan drabness (and six split diopter shots but who’s counting). Depardieu very effective, his hulking frame is perfect for the character - heavy and burdened by the third-degree and his tricked cognition, he eludes feeling guilt by avoiding his own mental recess which troubles his testimony in turn arousing suspicion. Note: he gets his ‘Out damned spot!’ moment in the clever bathroom scene.
Polanski is also perfect bc like the character he comes across piquant, sharp, nosy (you know what we do with nosy fellows?). He’s underrated as an actor to begin with and while not his best (The Tenant) he’s great here - adding littles notes, glances, and towards Depardieu he’s studying, suspecting, and admiring, all at once.
Last note: between the interrogation and the quick subliminal inserts, reminded me of pacinoyes fav Lumet's The Offence
Post by Tommen_Saperstein on Jul 17, 2019 15:19:19 GMT
Little Women (rewatch) - the Winona Ryder version, which is the only one I know and love. I grew up with the VHS, or I guess my sister did and I tagged along begrudgingly until I started to realize that Jo March was both attractive and super interesting. Now I love the movie more than ever. I feel so at home with these characters. And as much as I love Saoirse Ronan, I'm just saying Winona Ryder is going to be a HARD act to follow. She had a lot of moments of greatness in the 90s (especially the early 90s) but this was easily her greatest. I love Jo March.
And I'm going to double down on the brilliance of Sarandon, whose solid-as-a-rock warmth and tender empowering presence emanates throughout the whole film (good comparisons might be Ali in Moonlight or Dern in Wild). She absolutely is nomination-worthy in a quiet but essential role and it's a shame she's so underrated here. Dern is a brilliant choice for the remake but again, Sarandon is going to be a hell of an act to follow.
And no one will ever be a better Amy March than sassy little Kirsten Dunst
My one consistent complaint is just that it's too short. The film covers so much ground and some of its independent little chapters can sometimes feel disconnected from a greater narrative. That doesn't hinder a miniseries like Anne of Green Gables where there's plenty of time to allow the viewer to get comfortable with the characters and their little mini-adventures while telling a greater story, but it does hinder Gillian Armstrong's adaptation here because there just isn't enough time. Really I just wish this film was an hour longer and that's literally my only complaint. I don't want it to end. 8/10
The Jungle Book (2016) (rewatch) - Needed a refresher before the new Lion King. Maybe takes a slight hit, but still really good stuff. One of the few Disney remakes that can exist independently of its inspiration, that feels both familiar and fresh. More of a director’s movie than a screenwriter’s, but that technical prowess is on point. Photorealistic CGI may not be able to be as expressive as hand-drawn, but this movie is smart to work with its limitations, forging a nice blend between realism and fantasy, and makes every animal feel soulful and distinct. Probably the best of the recent remakes.
they all wanna be u mmmmmmmmyeah - chunky_lover_68
The Art of Self-Defense had like a couple good scenes but overall was just exhaustingly “quirky” and an utterly lame attempted riff on Fight Club. Though I’m starting to think that that Cats trailer may have ruined my ability to enjoy films anymore.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2019 19:53:23 GMT by DeepArcher
Post by Tommen_Saperstein on Jul 20, 2019 13:39:12 GMT
saw a couple yesterday worth mentioning:
Rohmer's The Aviator's Wife (first of his Comedies & Proverbs series) which was the defintion of loveliness. I just love his ability to take these relatively simple moments and ideas and anchor whole movies around them by deconstructing and dissecting them. This one is quite funny (due mostly to Anne-Laure Meury's performance as a mischievous and playful student, who takes the protagonist's relationship plight as an opportunity to combat her own boredom), and also quite affecting, not as much as My Night at Maud's but almost. I really cared for these characters by the end and really wanted them to be happy.
Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May, his big mid-60s anti-McCarthy political thriller. Not nearly as sweeping or exciting (or gritty) as the history-based political thrillers to follow from the likes of Costa-Gavras, this one still has that big Hollywood sheen--the big ensemble of stars, the speeches, the romantic melodrama, and these elements hold it back for me. The plot is pretty boring which is not something I'd expect from a story like this, and once the plot is recognized the President undermines it quite quickly. Frankenheimer's directing shines most in capturing moments of high tension that's bubbling over the surface; a peaceful demonstration that erupts into violence, a political rally rife with hysteria.
Don Siegel's The Beguiled, which I really enjoyed. I dug its overall vibe, its pulpy Freudian trashiness and Siegel's transgressive approach. I think what I most like about it is its departure from the idea of a noble protagonist beset by evil on all sides. Corporal John McBurney is a poison seeping into the school, a nefarious serpent, a low-rent casanova exploiting the repressed sexual hysteria of these isolated Southern women and getting burned for it by overextending himself. I think that's what sets it apart so much from the 2017 film; Eastwood feels much slimier in this version than Farrell did in Coppola's take, and Siegel clearly intended to depict the character as such because he goes out of his way to subvert McBee's attempts to ingratiate himself with his captors by showing us footage of who the man really was, and outing him to the viewer as a total fraud and a festering malevolent presence. Coppola's version is so much less pulpy fun (also it doesn't have Geraldine Page or Elizabeth Hartman).
It's honestly incredible how much this still grows on me with subsequent re-watches given my initial adoration after seeing this for the first time a year and a half ago projected at my favorite theater on 35mm.
Here's a bold and brash statement: The way Visconti & co. plays with fate, coincidence, and randomness is the best balancing acts in the entirety of any medium ever. Many things just happen without any rhyme or reason and people bump into each other on multiple occasions without any precursory forewarning and nothing comes of it. Yet, because of the set design that was constructed to resemble a handful of Italian city blocks entirely in a studio there is this artificial quality that establishes the immediacy of character actions within the claustrophobic confines of this city. There is a conviction of each character that spoken entirely in absolutes, there was ever going to be one outcome.