Movies You've Seen Recently: Return of the Revenge of the Curse of the...

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De Sica!

And I think the fact that Scorsese can branch out and make a film that is unlike anything he's made is a good sign, rather than bad.
Misspelling.

Also, what I meant, more deeply than "the film is a different style," is that I don't feel like the film really had any of what makes vintages Scorsese such a wonderful director. Like most of what he's made in the past decade or so, there's nothing in it (save maybe some of the camerawork) that really distinguishes it from the sort of fare that any good Hollywood studio director might make (though with Hugo, Scorsese's love for early cinema also shines through, which is a plus). Granted, the movies are still at least good, so I guess that's fine, to an extent, but coming from somebody like Scorsese, who could lay claim to having made maybe the greatest character study of all time, it's just a bit disappointing, is all.

Edit: CaptYamato, yes, it IS a neorealist film, but the fact that the title is not what the director intended doesn't matter at all to me. I've ALWAYS argued that the intent of an artist doesn't matter against the quality of a work of art, and "The Bicycle Thief" is no less accurate/real in that it expresses what sets the wheels of the story in motion, while simultaneously doing all of the things that I said it does in the previous post as well as
capturing the nature of what "the bicycle thief" really was in that time and culture.
I say again that merely honoring the artist's intent is not a compelling enough reason for me to choose a worse title for a movie when a fortuitous mistranslation exists.
 
Misspelling.

Also, what I meant, more deeply than "the film is a different style," is that I don't feel like the film really had any of what makes vintages Scorsese such a wonderful director. Like most of what he's made in the past decade or so, there's nothing in it (save maybe some of the camerawork) that really distinguishes it from the sort of fare that any good Hollywood studio director might make (though with Hugo, Scorsese's love for early cinema also shines through, which is a plus). Granted, the movies are still at least good, so I guess that's fine, to an extent, but coming from somebody like Scorsese, who could lay claim to having made maybe the greatest character study of all time, it's just a bit disappointing, is all.
I swear you are the absolute king of backhanded compliments.
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
Cosmic, have you seen L.I.E.? What did you think?
It's been several years, but I liked it well enough at the time. Looking back, the whole thing was somewhat heavy-handed and approached the subject with kid gloves (despite me probably thinking it was really edgy and dangerous back then) but I can appreciate what they do with the concept. Cox was very good, and who expected Paul Dano to turn into one of the most promising actors? I had a brief crush on Billy Kay because of this movie.

Cuesta's 12 and Holding, while far less provocative, is worth checking out even though the closing stretch goes in a pretty questionable direction.
 
I swear you are the absolute king of backhanded compliments.
Well I think I qualified what I said pretty well: "at least good" is fine, but disappointing coming from one of the great American auteurs of the 1970's and 1980's. "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans" is nowhere near Aguirre or Nosferatu as Herzog films go, but it at least feels like a Herzog film, which is more than I can say for The Aviator or Shutter Island with regard to Scorsese's filmography. The Departed kinda feels like a Scorsese movie - though really, it is to Casino what Casino is to Goodfellas, in terms of quality - and as I said, Hugo at least has good camerawork and a passion for early cinema that shines through, but they both lack that "oomph" and energy that made Scorsese so distinctive in his prime, making them somewhat sterile by comparison.
 
I always call it "Thief" just because the other title is a spoiler, even if it is what the director originally intended.

Honestly? The more movies I watch and the more writing I read, the more Charlie Kaufman just kind of annoys me. I've come a LONG way from being a big Synecdoche, New York defender, to the point where I almost don't understand what I saw in the movie except that I hadn't seen other, better things that it (and other Charlie Kaufman works) is (are) derived from. He is what I think Woody Allen detractors think Woody Allen is, if that makes any sense.
Does Synecdoche, NY being derivative of 8 1/2 and other, better movies make it any worse, really? If so, we might as well discredit The Coversation and Blow Out for being totally derivative of Antonioni's Blow-Up. I think we can still call Synecdoche an original work even if it does borrow just about everything from Fellini. And I can definietly understand disliking Kaufman's overt and unsubtle symbolism, but I think knocking the movie for failing to reach the heights of its influences is reaching for negative criticism.
 
Does Synecdoche, NY being derivative of 8 1/2 and other, better movies make it any worse, really? If so, we might as well discredit The Coversation and Blow Out for being totally derivative of Antonioni's Blow-Up. I think we can still call Synecdoche an original work even if it does borrow just about everything from Fellini. And I can definietly understand disliking Kaufman's overt and unsubtle symbolism, but I think knocking the movie for failing to reach the heights of its influences is reaching for negative criticism.
I don't mind something showing its influences. For example, I think "Stardust Memories" is a superior film to "8 1/2," despite it taking clear cues from it.

My problem is that I don't think Charlie Kaufman particularly works even in his own context. His scripts essentially consist of a gimmicky premise mixed with the utterance of pseudo-existential banalities that go right for the easy emotions instead of attempting to engage the issues that he deals with to the level that they deserve. "The Player" did what "Adaptation" did a decade prior, for example, and did it in a far better, more intelligent, and mature way, for example. Woody Allen dealt with neurosis and bad relationships with greater depth and understanding than "Eternal Sunshine," even if "Eternal Sunshine" is a good movie. Etc. It's one of those things where I don't really understand what motivation I have to watch a Kaufman movie when there are any number of better, more original, and less pretentious choices at my disposal.
 
I watched We Need to Talk About Kevin tonight. Now that's a film I won't forget in quite a while. Really fascinating and disturbing.

Tilda should have the Oscar for it. Easily. Such a shame she wasn't nominated.
 
I don't mind something showing its influences. For example, I think "Stardust Memories" is a superior film to "8 1/2," despite it taking clear cues from it.

My problem is that I don't think Charlie Kaufman particularly works even in his own context. His scripts essentially consist of a gimmicky premise mixed with the utterance of pseudo-existential banalities that go right for the easy emotions instead of attempting to engage the issues that he deals with to the level that they deserve. "The Player" did what "Adaptation" did a decade prior, for example, and did it in a far better, more intelligent, and mature way, for example. Woody Allen dealt with neurosis and bad relationships with greater depth and understanding than "Eternal Sunshine," even if "Eternal Sunshine" is a good movie. Etc. It's one of those things where I don't really understand what motivation I have to watch a Kaufman movie when there are any number of better, more original, and less pretentious choices at my disposal.
Oh, I wouldn't argue that other writers/directors haven't done what Kaufman has done much better. I have not come across many directors who describe that certain relationship as well as Allen, and Kaufman's works certainly don't reach the heights of any of Allen's best movies. My point was simply that just because movies like 8 1/2 and Stardust Memories (both of which are far better than SNY) exist, doesn't mean Synecdoche, NY is nullified. You said it yourself: Eternal Sunshine is a good movie even if it does not reach the depth of greater movies of the same kind. To me it just seems pointless to say that a movie or director is irrelevant because they've been outdone before. It's not a competition.
 
Oh, I wouldn't argue that other writers/directors haven't done what Kaufman has done much better. I have not come across many directors who describe that certain relationship as well as Allen, and Kaufman's works certainly don't reach the heights of any of Allen's best movies. My point was simply that just because movies like 8 1/2 and Stardust Memories (both of which are far better than SNY) exist, doesn't mean Synecdoche, NY is nullified. You said it yourself: Eternal Sunshine is a good movie even if it does not reach the depth of greater movies of the same kind. To me it just seems pointless to say that a movie or director is irrelevant because they've been outdone before. It's not a competition.
Art's not a competition, but it should build on the successes of its past, at least ideally, hence why people have a tendency to say that "x was done better in (insert title here)" or its variants.
 

AlternativeUlster

Absolutely pathetic part deux
Wait, did I somehow win that argument with you Snowy on accident since now you have seen more Woody Allen films? Are you turning into me? Perhaps you should play me in this film I am making where I am in it too and we can get someone to play you playing me playing GOD.
 
The Hangover Part II - Pretty much what I expected, some funny moments, but that's about it - 6/10

Puss in Boots - Same thing. Didn't really like the story too - 6/10

The Third Man - Very good. Amazing atmosphere, especially towards the end, great use of lighting. Loved the last scene as well. The score was pretty unusual and I thought it was great - 8.5/10

Tokyo Story - Pretty disappointing. I get what the movie was all about, but I thought there would be more ... things happening. I really don't mind slow movies, but this was too much for me. And some of the acting was god awful - 7/10

Who Are You Polly Maggo? - Had to watch this. Loved it, the visual style was amazing, it was almost hypnotizing. Dorothy McGowan was great too, shame it was her only role - 8.5/10

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance - Great stuff. The story was really crazy. Loved the cinematography - 9/10

Oldboy - As good as the first time I saw it - 9.5/10

Lady Vengeance - Really different from the two above, from it's visual style, to the story, also way less graphic. Still good though, really original story and I thought the last act was pretty funny, just so unusual to see - 8/10
 
Tokyo Story - Pretty disappointing. I get what the movie was all about, but I thought there would be more ... things happening. I really don't mind slow movies, but this was too much for me. And some of the acting was god awful - 7/10
wat

I at least get the "nothing happened" criticism, even if I think it wrong, but damn, I can't imagine thinking this movie has bad acting.

Seriously, Tokyo Story is pretty much filled with some of the best acting and writing ever, and its ending is one of the most melancholy in all of cinema.
 
Everybody looked like a wooden stick when they had the camera on them.
The acting is highly realistic, and their eyes and faces are extremely expressive, albeit subtly.

I don't even know how to respond except to say that you're wrong and that the acting in the movie is better than in almost any other ensemble film that I can think of.

Edit: The state would like to call the court's attention to Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNUzimUStwg

I defy anybody to tell me that that acting's not way more realistic, deep, and subtle than what Hollywood tells us is good acting.
 
What other things could happen in a minimalist family story? It's pretty powerful in showing the subtle drift between different generations without ever relying on forced on contrived emotions. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I don't remember any bad acting either.
 
What other things could happen in a minimalist family story? It's pretty powerful in showing the subtle drift between different generations without ever feeling forced or contrived. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I don't remember any bad acting either.
Well honestly I didn't know the movie was going to be about that, and I probably wouldn't have watched it if I knew it beforehand. It's just a subject that bores me to death. I think it's a repetitive theme in Ozu's films if I read correctly, so I don't think I will bother watching is other stuff. The movie was well written, and had a very good meaning behind it, but it was just too boring (yes I said it!) for me and personally the acting distracted me a lot.
 
All I will say is this: don't give up on Ozu after one movie. The first time I watched an Ozu movie, the slow paced turned me off, but they really grew on me. Even though they are old, I find that I can relate to the situations and characters in a lot of his movies. Early Summer is my favorite for the humor. He has actually become one of my favorite directors, and I find his movies endlessly rewatchable.
 
Thanks for the advice, anyway I was probably going to watch Tokyo Story again in the next couple of days, as I always give a second chance to a movie I wasn't particularly fond of, especially when it's a movie that is so highly praised, watching a movie in a different mood can make all the difference.
 
Thanks for the advice, anyway I was probably going to watch Tokyo Story again in the next couple of days, as I always give a second chance to a movie I wasn't particularly fond of, especially when it's a movie that is so highly praised, watching a movie in a different mood can make all the difference.
No problem. Tokyo Story was my first Ozu as well, and it took me like 4 separate viewings to get through it the first time because I was getting so bored, but now I love it. His movies aren't for everyone though, so if you can't get into them, you are not alone!
 
Mulholland Drive: I always liked "The Elephant Man", but only recently have I looked into Lynch's other films (Blue Velvet and now Mulholland Drive). Mulholland Dr. was pretty awesome. At first it seemed sort of nonsensical, but when you piece it together it makes a lot of sense and makes you realize that it's a pretty deep movie. It's really well shot and has great atmosphere and some very memorable, albeit strange, scenes. I still enjoyed Blue Velvet more, but this is also great.
Adaptation: Great movie, really creative and unique. Definitely the best acting I've ever seen by Nicolas Cage. It's a shame he doesn't do as many 'serious' roles like this anymore, he can definitely hold his own. Chris Cooper was also great.
Joint Security Area: Just saw this today. I loved Oldboy, and I also really enjoyed this. I really grew to care about the characters and what happened to them, and the story was told in a very compelling way. Definitely recommend this movie to anybody, so long as you don't mind subtitles.
 
I saw the devil
Bleh... The middle part was pretty good but the whole plot is beyond ludicrous and I found the clinical cinematography (looks like it was shot by a computer) boring for the most part.

Min-sik Choi is amazing though and the sister is mighty cute.
 
The Grey

Was expecting more action, but the movie was decent nonetheless. It is a psychological thriller and I got me out of my seat a few times during the film. Neeson is a stud!
 

When Harry Met Sally... (1989) - It has aged really well, no wonder why people hold this up as one of the best romcoms. Having Billy Crystal cast was genius, because he's not handsome compared to most romcom leads. The character development is great, thanks to the time-lapse where it makes sense they become less pedantic as they grow up. Rob Reiner acting out the fake orgasm is some damn dedication!

Also, the use of swearing and dat scene is still tasteful to not be compared with raunchy romcoms. Borrowing from the best of Woody Allen like the sexual politics and truths, and then adding the generational time-lapse elements makes it out to be a very believable classic. It's pretty hard not to get a bit welled-up at the end.

When Harry Met Sally 2 is hilarious on FunnyorDie.

There aren't many interesting romcoms in the aughts, but In Search for a Midnight Kiss and 500 Days of Summer deserve mentions.
 
Just saw The Woman In Black, which I thought was a really nice throwback to the type of classic horror film studios don't seem interested in making anymore. Very effective atmosphere and some incredibly tense and creepy scenes, one or two of which was genuinely scare-inducing, something which a horror film hasn't evoked in me in some time.
 
Tangled - despite the horrible trailer and lower than low expectations, quite awesome Disney "classic style" movie.
Bronson - Fun to watch, but i'm still not sold on Refn, it feels like the style eats up on the rest of the elements of the movie. (still have to see the Pusher trilogy and Drive, though)
Twentynine Palms - Godamnit, i know it'll take a week to
get those final moments out of my head now
. Good one though.
 
Bronson - Fun to watch, but i'm still not sold on Refn, it feels like the style eats up on the rest of the elements of the movie. (still have to see the Pusher trilogy and Drive, though)
Yes watch the Pusher trilogy! They are not arty films like his newer stuff. The focus is completely on the characters and the story. Best thing that i've seen this year.
 

If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front -

A pretty heart-breaking, anger-inducing documentary and one that deserves discussion about what it means to be an "eco terrorist". This is my first introduction to the ELF, so excuse me if I'm ignorant on all the arguments. It gives a pretty strong argument in their case but it's well-handled on the other side of the logging companies and FBI about the property damage.

95% of United States' forest has been cut down, and ELF wants to save that last 5%. The logging company says, "We plant 6 trees for every tree we harvest". But when these are 500 year old trees, you won't see them grow in your lifetime so all you'll ever see is the forest rampage.

There's also that ELF is a smaller target than the big oil companies with their oil spills, and FBI isn't raiding into those executives' homes and arresting them. They pay a fine and move on to the next quarter.

How can you be called a "terrorist" if there's been 1200 ELF-associated attacks without a single injury?

When all the non-violent protesting and civil disobedience doesn't work, instead leading to police prying your eyes open and stinging you with pepper-spray, what is there left to do? Those scenes are pretty sickening.
 
Do you really think destroying property is a valid act of speech? They suck as much as PETA.

Messofanego said:
When all the non-violent protesting and civil disobedience doesn't work, instead leading to police prying your eyes open and stinging you with pepper-spray, what is there left to do? Those scenes are pretty sickening.
Oh, I see; you're one of those Malcolm X types. Carry on.
 
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