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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:55 am
by Dan Warburton
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Joon-ho Bong, Okja, 2017

Not since Bruno Dumont's Ma Loute have I disliked a film more, and what's even more depressing is that this disgraceful mess currently holds an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes - but then again, why should the film "critic" of the Armpit Nebraska Daily Burger say anything more intelligent than the vidiots over at IMDb? Yep, this is the big succès de scandale of Cannes 2017, the Netflix-exclusive (another good reason for steering clear of Netflix) tale of the lovable giant pig and one little girl's heroic mission to snatch her from the jaws of death at the hands of corporate nastiness in the form of Tilda Swinton, playing not one but two (twins) evil CEOs of Mirando (read Monsanto if you like), planning to flood the market with more GM fast food, bla bla bla. Except that the girl - a nondescript role, and a nondescript actress - recovers the pig but fails to save the hundreds of others who are duly slaughtered and butchered (everyone who works in the abattoir seems to be Hispanic - one of many insulting little details, like "the Mexicans like eating the feet, go figure" or words to that effect). Okja fails on every level except the CGI (which is indeed truly magnificent - but I do hope the folks who probably gave up six months of their lives to work on exploding pig farts and snot feel that their time and effort was worth it): the script, by hack Welsh author Jon Ronson, is just terrible - and the dreadfully OTT performances of Tilda Swinton (who really should know better.. Derek Jarman must be turning in his grave) and Jake Gyllenhaal (who can't know better as he's never been able to act at all) only make it worse. It's just so vulgar: hey, I like swearing as much as the next man, but each one of the 29 (cheers IMDb) uses of the F-word or its derivatives is quite gratuitous. Sure, what with that and the pig rape and the slaughterhouse scenes and the police brutality, this is not a film for kids.. but who is it for? It should be a film for kids, after all - pull at the little dears' heartstrings about the evils of corporate greed, meat-is-murder, GM-induced obesity etc etc before they grow old enough to start posting selfies of themselves holding cheeseburgers - I mean, 101 Dalmatians was just fine (even the later film adaptation: Tilda should have spent some time studying Glenn Close) - but the profanity and violence rule that out. You wouldn't want your kids to watch it with their granny either. And, as I assume, maybe mistakenly, that most adults with an IQ of more than 60 can recognise a lousy script, incoherent plot and seriously bad ending, the target audience must be somewhere between 15 and 17. Anyway, we watched it until the bitter end, but we won't be watching it again. Simply appalling.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:37 am
by Mo Noyz
Steve Minkin wrote:Well, I hope you enjoy the Coltrane film more than I did, Dan! I finished it today, and found it easier to take this time than my first crack at it, probably because I came to accept it on its own terms: targeting 7th graders who may have heard about jazz.

There are great film and archive photos throughout, along with the music, and those make it worth watching if you don't get too caught up in yelling "Shut up!" at the screen.

No sight nor mention of Dolphy. Nor of Earl Bostic, Red Garland, Don Cherry, John Gilmore, Interstellar Space, Meditations . . . The whole post-Love Supreme/ Crescent period is treated as the inscrutable explorations of an unknowable genius. Nobody who actually likes free jazz speaks about the late works.

There are occasional interesting stories or insightful comments, but these are overwhelmed by the vapid pretensions of Wynton, Cornel West, Bill Clinton . . .

A wasted opportunity.
No mention of Dolphy?! So no mention of A Love Supreme?

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:43 am
by Mo Noyz
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Joon-ho Bong, Okja, 2017

Not since Bruno Dumont's Ma Loute have I disliked a film more, and what's even more depressing is that this disgraceful mess currently holds an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes - but then again, why should the film "critic" of the Armpit Nebraska Daily Burger say anything more intelligent than the vidiots over at IMDb? Yep, this is the big succès de scandale of Cannes 2017, the Netflix-exclusive (another good reason for steering clear of Netflix) tale of the lovable giant pig and one little girl's heroic mission to snatch her from the jaws of death at the hands of corporate nastiness in the form of Tilda Swinton, playing not one but two (twins) evil CEOs of Mirando (read Monsanto if you like), planning to flood the market with more GM fast food, bla bla bla. Except that the girl - a nondescript role, and a nondescript actress - recovers the pig but fails to save the hundreds of others who are duly slaughtered and butchered (everyone who works in the abattoir seems to be Hispanic - one of many insulting little details, like "the Mexicans like eating the feet, go figure" or words to that effect). Okja fails on every level except the CGI (which is indeed truly magnificent - but I do hope the folks who probably gave up six months of their lives to work on exploding pig farts and snot feel that their time and effort was worth it): the script, by hack Welsh author Jon Ronson, is just terrible - and the dreadfully OTT performances of Tilda Swinton (who really should know better.. Derek Jarman must be turning in his grave) and Jake Gyllenhaal (who can't know better as he's never been able to act at all) only make it worse. It's just so vulgar: hey, I like swearing as much as the next man, but each one of the 29 (cheers IMDb) uses of the F-word or its derivatives is quite gratuitous. Sure, what with that and the pig rape and the slaughterhouse scenes and the police brutality, this is not a film for kids.. but who is it for? It should be a film for kids, after all - pull at the little dears' heartstrings about the evils of corporate greed, meat-is-murder, GM-induced obesity etc etc before they grow old enough to start posting selfies of themselves holding cheeseburgers - I mean, 101 Dalmatians was just fine (even the later film adaptation: Tilda should have spent some time studying Glenn Close) - but the profanity and violence rule that out. You wouldn't want your kids to watch it with their granny either. And, as I assume, maybe mistakenly, that most adults with an IQ of more than 60 can recognise a lousy script, incoherent plot and seriously bad ending, the target audience must be somewhere between 15 and 17. Anyway, we watched it until the bitter end, but we won't be watching it again. Simply appalling.
The trailer told me everything I needed to know about this film: “From the visionary director of Snowpiercer”.

I got suckered into watching that shitbag due to all the gushing reviews. That movie was so awful I nearly didn’t finish it.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am
by Dan Warburton
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Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth, 2006

Plenty of rave reviews online for your perusal, so you don't need another one from me.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:16 pm
by Dan Warburton
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Maurice Tourneur, La main du diable, 1943

This is a terrific twist on the Faustian pact-with-the-devil - and wait until you see the devil, a dapper little gent with his bowler hat (Pierre Palau, great performance) - with Pierre Fresnay trying to save himself from eternal damnation by paying his way out.. but that debt has a nasty habit of doubling every day. A splendid story, fine performances, cool sets and costumes and strong dialogue - and as this one of the legendary Goebbels-financed Continental films, along with Clouzot's Corbeau, Decoin's Les inconnus dans la maison and Christian-Jacque's L'assassinat du Père Noël, you can read it on several levels. Practise yr French http://www.dvdclassik.com/critique/la-m ... e-tourneur

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:56 pm
by Antoine
Mo Noyz wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:
Joon-ho Bong, Okja, 2017
The trailer told me everything I needed to know about this film: “From the visionary director of Snowpiercer”.

I got suckered into watching that shitbag due to all the gushing reviews. That movie was so awful I nearly didn’t finish it.
Curiously, he also directed "memories of murder" (mentioned in the previous page by Dan), which was very different from these 2

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:50 am
by Dan Warburton
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Jean Rollin, Les raisins de la mort, 1978

Provencal (I think) winemaker tries out new-fangled pesticide in his vineyards, and everyone who drinks the resulting cuvée ends up as festering zombie. Including porno queen Brigitte Lahaie - who of course can't resist getting her kit off to show us she's not infected (but she is after all). Some amusingly gooey FX, and a strangely slow, dreamlike feel to it all. Does it end well? Watch it and find out. But avoid the Beaujolais Nouveau at all costs.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:55 am
by Dan Warburton
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Barbet Schroeder, Maîtresse, 1975

The eternally fascinating Bulle Ogier has a ball dressing up in those Karl Lagerfeld dominatrix outfits, and Gérard Depardieu has as hard a time figuring out what's going as we do - an intriguing and striking film, another great foray into the world of the marginal and the addicted courtesy Schroeder. Fascinating director. Here's some more French for you http://www.dvdclassik.com/critique/maitresse-schroeder

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:50 am
by Dan Warburton
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Frank Tuttle, Gunman in the Streets, 1950

An entertaining oddity of a film, ostensibly set in Paris - DP Eugen Schüfftan skilifully intercuts stock footage of the French capital with some well-crafted sets - with everybody except the "hero" (who's not a hero at all, but a rather vicious escaped gangster) speaking English with goofy French accents. Except Simone Signoret, of course. She's as gorgeous as ever (but notice she's almost always shot in three-quarter view), though one wonders how she can fall for Dane Clark. Hardly great acting, but a couple of well-staged shootouts, the first of which looks like it was actually shot in the Place des Vosges. Not essential viewing, but recommended for noir fans.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:07 am
by Dan Warburton
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Josh & Benny Safdie, Good Time, 2017

Robert Pattinson was so taken with the Safdie brothers' earlier work that he insisted on working with them - and he's very good indeed as the streetsmart petty criminal trying to get his mentally challenged (as they say) brother out of a prison hospital after he was banged up following a botched bank robbery. Fine performance from Benny Safdie as the brother in question, and some excellent minor roles for first-time actors. I enjoyed the filming too very much - tight, kinetic close-up shots à la Frères Dardenne (and of course both were inspired by Cassavetes), and a couple of spectacular helicopter tracking shots along the Queens expressways. A good time indeed - but it doesn't end well for those involved :)

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:10 am
by walto
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Maurice Tourneur, La main du diable, 1943

This is a terrific twist on the Faustian pact-with-the-devil - and wait until you see the devil, a dapper little gent with his bowler hat (Pierre Palau, great performance) - with Pierre Fresnay trying to save himself from eternal damnation by paying his way out.. but that debt has a nasty habit of doubling every day. A splendid story, fine performances, cool sets and costumes and strong dialogue - and as this one of the legendary Goebbels-financed Continental films, along with Clouzot's Corbeau, Decoin's Les inconnus dans la maison and Christian-Jacque's L'assassinat du Père Noël, you can read it on several levels. Practise yr French http://www.dvdclassik.com/critique/la-m ... e-tourneur
Strange--if you had just provided the pic and not the description, I'd have immediately thought of The Devil and Daniel Webster (Dieterle, 1941) anyhow.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:11 am
by walto
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth, 2006

Plenty of rave reviews online for your perusal, so you don't need another one from me.
I remember being whisked away by that movie.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:34 am
by Dan Warburton
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Vittorio De Sica, La ciociara, 1960

Sophia Loren scooped up an Oscar for her performance - standing in at the last minute for Anna Magnani, and just as hysterical - and the film has a(n absurdly high imo) rating of 7.9 over at IMDb. But it's an odd one - set during WWII but filmed at a time when Italian cinema (and audiences too, presumably) had moved into the much more sophisticated and cynical world of Fellini, Risi and Antonioni - a tale of a single mother fleeing wartorn Rome with her 12-year-old daughter to return to where she grew up further south. The alternative title "Two Women" gives the game away a bit - in a fine (and nicely understated) moment early on, we learn that little Rosetta has had her first period - but the contentious scene comes later when she and her mum are gang-raped in a church. By a band of hairy Arabs too (oooh, politically incorrect or what - what were the Moroccans doing with the Allied forces in Italy? Presumably historically accurate, but why didn't De Sica dare to have a band of GIs do the dirty deed?). Loren throughout is the screaming stereotype of the big-bosomed, loudmouthed, wide-hipped Italian MILF - it's a fine performance but she was capable of much more nuanced work than this. De Sica treads that fine line between neorealism and teary melodrama, and all often the film topples into the latter category. True also of his earlier masterpieces Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves too, of course, but here Loren's oversexed performance detracts from, rather than enhances, genuine emotional attachment.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:43 am
by Dan Warburton
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William Wyler, The Desperate Hours, 1955

Bogart's always better playing a villain, and here he's particularly good (bad good) as the leader of a trio of escaped convicts who take a family hostage while waiting for the moll - who doesn't show up. You may recall I wrote something about Andrew Stone's The Night Holds Terror above, which deals with the same (originally true) story. Though Cassavetes is wicked in that one, Wyler's film is much more polished. They should have killed the brat though. With very few exceptions, all American child actors should be seen and not heard.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:15 am
by walto
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Vittorio De Sica, La ciociara, 1960

here Loren's oversexed performance detracts from, rather than enhances, genuine emotional attachment.
But look how freaking beautiful she is!!

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:54 pm
by Dan Warburton
I had a premonition you'd post something along those lines, Walt, remembering your comments on Silvano Mangano in Riso Amaro a few pages back :)
The problem is I suspect Loren netted the Oscar more for looking good than for great acting. It's a problematic film in that respect - while she's a decent mother, she's far from a chaste saintly widow (she succumbs quiet easily to the charms of Raf Vallone five minutes into the movie), and perversely she's at her most attractive - see above - right after she's been raped. The spectator - well, this one at least - is distinctly uneasy at being, for the want of a better word, turned on at the sight of a woman who's just suffered appalling abuse. But check out the film and tell me what you think.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:56 am
by Steve Minkin

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:34 am
by Steve Minkin
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FACES PLACES (2017)

Charming, easygoing documentary about "89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR" doing road trips around the French countryside and coastline, swapping stories and creating huge photographs which JR and his crew then paste on to buildings, water tanks, ship containers, bunkers . . . Winner of this year's documentary prize at Cannes. Probably not up to the unrestrained raves we read beforehand -- it's a little too lightweight for that -- but still a very enjoyable and unusual visual treat. Recommended.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:02 am
by Claud601
Mo Noyz wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Joon-ho Bong, Okja, 2017

Not since Bruno Dumont's Ma Loute have I disliked a film more, and what's even more depressing is that this disgraceful mess currently holds an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes - but then again, why should the film "critic" of the Armpit Nebraska Daily Burger say anything more intelligent than the vidiots over at IMDb? Yep, this is the big succès de scandale of Cannes 2017, the Netflix-exclusive (another good reason for steering clear of Netflix) tale of the lovable giant pig and one little girl's heroic mission to snatch her from the jaws of death at the hands of corporate nastiness in the form of Tilda Swinton, playing not one but two (twins) evil CEOs of Mirando (read Monsanto if you like), planning to flood the market with more GM fast food, bla bla bla. Except that the girl - a nondescript role, and a nondescript actress - recovers the pig but fails to save the hundreds of others who are duly slaughtered and butchered (everyone who works in the abattoir seems to be Hispanic - one of many insulting little details, like "the Mexicans like eating the feet, go figure" or words to that effect). Okja fails on every level except the CGI (which is indeed truly magnificent - but I do hope the folks who probably gave up six months of their lives to work on exploding pig farts and snot feel that their time and effort was worth it): the script, by hack Welsh author Jon Ronson, is just terrible - and the dreadfully OTT performances of Tilda Swinton (who really should know better.. Derek Jarman must be turning in his grave) and Jake Gyllenhaal (who can't know better as he's never been able to act at all) only make it worse. It's just so vulgar: hey, I like swearing as much as the next man, but each one of the 29 (cheers IMDb) uses of the F-word or its derivatives is quite gratuitous. Sure, what with that and the pig rape and the slaughterhouse scenes and the police brutality, this is not a film for kids.. but who is it for? It should be a film for kids, after all - pull at the little dears' heartstrings about the evils of corporate greed, meat-is-murder, GM-induced obesity etc etc before they grow old enough to start posting selfies of themselves holding cheeseburgers - I mean, 101 Dalmatians was just fine (even the later film adaptation: Tilda should have spent some time studying Glenn Close) - but the profanity and violence rule that out. You wouldn't want your kids to watch it with their granny either. And, as I assume, maybe mistakenly, that most adults with an IQ of more than 60 can recognise a lousy script, incoherent plot and seriously bad ending, the target audience must be somewhere between 15 and 17. Anyway, we watched it until the bitter end, but we won't be watching it again. Simply appalling.
haha same here

The trailer told me everything I needed to know about this film: “From the visionary director of Snowpiercer”.

I got suckered into watching that shitbag due to all the gushing reviews. That movie was so awful I nearly didn’t finish it.

Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:34 pm
by walto
Watched another very good Lonergan movie--You Can Count on Me (2000). Ruffalo is particularly brilliant.

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