Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Walter Hill, The Long Riders, 1980

The fifth Jesse James movie I've seen, and this one has the added plus of real brotherly love - cast includes three Carradines, two Keaches, two Quaids and two Guests. Fine action sequences - watch the squibs fly! - great stuntwork, smashing soundtrack (both diegetic and otherwise, Ry Cooder, yo), fine performances all round. What's your favourite Jesse James film, folks? So far I've checked out those by Sam Fuller, Nick Ray, Phil Kaufman and Andrew Dominik, as well as this one. (To answer my own question, I think I might vote for Kaufman.. but would like to have the time to see them all again first before someone shoots me in the back)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Archie Mayo, Illicit, 1931

Some of these Pre-Codes have dated horribly, but this alarmingly sophisticated and often extremely wordy meditation on the pros and cons of marriage (and subsequent questions of parenthood and fidelity) is worthy of Rohmer, or Woody Allen (in Bergman mode, not the slapstick Woody). Another terrific performance from Barbara Stanwyck (and, goody, we get Joan Blondell as an added bonus). 1931? Wow.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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RUN LOLA RUN (1998) -- Pure fun! Charming and imaginative adventure movie, loved all the running and the unexpected meta-twists. Nothing heavy, but a joy to watch.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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This was one of the first foreign movies I've seen. Agreed.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Andrey Zvyagintsev, Vozvrashcheniye ("The Return"), 2004

Dad reappears after a 12-year absence (we never find out where) to take his two teenage sons on what is ostensibly a fishing trip to a remote island in the Gulf of Finland - anything more by way of plot summary will spoil what is a great film, beautifully shot and acted (one sad piece of trivia is that the elder brother actually drowned shortly after the shooting, jumping from the very tower you see above), and strongly recommended.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Patrice Leconte, Les bronzés, 1978

Well, it's aged a bit, but if you can keep up with the frantic pace there are still a few good chuckles in this tacky Ivory Coast Club Med. Notable perhaps for the emergence on the scene of a whole slew of actors (the café-théâtre Splendid crew) who have dominated French mainstream cinema ever since - Lhermitte, Clavier, Jugnot, Balasko, Blanc. Probably won't mean much to many of you outside France, but never mind
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jack Nicholson, Drive, He Said, 1971

With Michael Margotta as the anarchist draft-dodging pothead, Bill Tepper as the college basketball star torn between following his mad buddy and balling Karen Black, underpinned by a magnficent David Shire soundtrack and terrific camerawork from Bill Butler, much of which was shot during real campus protests - they don't make movies like this any more. Sez Wiki: "A scene was surreptitiously filmed of Michael Margotta running naked across the campus. The contract with the University of Oregon stated no nudity to be filmed on campus. The word got out, officials of the university objected, but that part of the filming had already been secreted out of the state." Haha, great stuff, Jack
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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John Ford, Two Rode Together, 1961

Even the director said it was crap, and he was right - what with Stewart and Widmark both wearing hairpieces (and both half-deaf to boot), this sorry, flabby return to The Searchers is best forgotten.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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How I love Karen Black.....
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Shion Sono, Tag, 2015

Yep, you saw that correctly, an entire school bus full of girls sliced in half.. and there's also a schoolroom massacre, a kung fu showdown with broken bottles and a giant bloody pig running a marathon.. this guy Sono is out there - and if you thought drones were only useful for taking out unwanted jihadists, you should check out how he uses them here. Haha
do you have a torrent link or stream for this ?

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Claud601 wrote:do you have a torrent link or stream for this ?
Karagarga has it, of course. This too, which I certainly wouldn't have bought otherwise -

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Paolo Sorrentino, Youth, 2015

The image more or less says it all - a giant, pretty bubble which bursts as soon as it touches a hard edge. Not without things to admire - Keitel and Caine turn in fine performances, and Jane Fonda's three-minute scenery-chewing cameo is worth the wait (love how she pronounces the word "shit"), but everything else drags horribly. Each line of dialogue is intended to be profound - which means, ultimately, that none of them is - and in choosing to set his tale in the selfsame Swiss sanitorium of Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain, Sorrentino is just begging to be compared to Mann and his hero Fellini, but lacks both the depth of the former and the lightness of the latter. It's middle-of-the-road, rich, empty, clean and dull, like Davos. Instead of Nino Rota there's another slab of ersatz postminimal pomposity courtesy David Lang. The film's portrayal of women is also worrisome: either subservient (Fred's daughter, the masseuse who says she has "nothing to say") or senile, but always pushed to the margins of the story, such as it is. If Sorrentino really let himself go he could probably come up with something as potty and leftfield as Holy Motors - the technique is there for sure, as La grande bellezza (which I enjoyed very much) proved, but I doubt he will.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Frank Perry, Mommie Dearest, 1981

Apparently, Ms Dunaway refuses point blank to discuss this film in any interviews, and you'd probably get a slap like the one above if you tried. Though to be honest, I don't see what she's ashamed of: sure, she even runs Rod Steiger into the ground for overacting, but as she was playing Joan Crawford to start with that shouldn't be a surprise. As far as I'm concerned, this is a fabulous performance - like Ms Crawford, Dunaway hauled herself out of bed at 4am during the shooting to get that makeup just right - and she did a great job: sometimes she looks more like Crawford than the original. As far as the film itself goes, well, it's a rather episodic and shambolic treatment of Christina Crawford's tell-all bestseller. Contrary to what her character says at the end of the film about mommie dearest not getting the last word, there's no doubt that everything in the movie orbits around Joan. Not helped perhaps by a rather pale performance from Diana Scarwid. There's no mention of the other three brats Crawford adopted, nor that Christopher was reassigned to his birth parents, practically nothing on Crawford's husbands (except for Alfred Pepsi-Cola), only one Crawford pic actually namechecked (Mildred Pierce) and, alas, no juicy spat with Bette Davis (ha! who could have played Bette in front of Dunaway? Susan Sarandon?). But if you enjoy the guilty pleasures of camp as much as I do, take off your jacket and sit down with a bottle of vodka. But remember NO WIRE HANGERS :lol:
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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I seem to remember one shot (behind a bar?) showing a bunch of cleaning products that didn't exist yet, but my memory doubtless has many more continuity and anachronism errors than that film.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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walto wrote:I seem to remember one shot (behind a bar?) showing a bunch of cleaning products that didn't exist yet, but my memory doubtless has many more continuity and anachronism errors than that film.
You win the IMDb Goof Spotter Christmas Grand Prize, Walt! There's a whole list of major league problems there - like you can see the (clearly male) stunt double who Faye tries to strangle - but (reminded of that last of anachronisms posted here re No Country for Old Men) who cares? I loved it!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Raoul Ruiz, Klimt, 2005

Malkovich tends to come in for some flak online, but his laidback, laconic delivery works well here - of course, the pack of idiots over at IMDb moaning that this was not a "real biopic" (what is a "real biopic"?) know very little either of the aesthetics of Gustav Klimt or the cinema of Raoul Ruiz.. sure, perhaps the longer Director's Cut (which I have yet to see) explains a few more details, but I'm inclined to doubt it. The wild camera movements, elliptical script, multiplication of characters and difficulty on the part of both viewer and director to determine whether they're "real" or "imagined" all adds to the fun. A rich, rewarding experience, both sensually (irrationally?) and intellectually (rationally)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Ruggero Deodato, Uomini si nasce poliziotti si muore ("Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man"), 1976

If you think the red paint above looks cheesy, wait till you see closing shot of the model boat exploding :D One of Tarantino's favourites (though that wasn't the reason why I watched it), this is what happens when the nice buddy cop movie meets the nasty, seamy side of Italian crime films. Our "heroes" think nothing of breaking a few necks here and there, let alone executing an entire band of bank robbers before they even get into the bank they're supposed to rob.. but their boss (Adolfo Celi - remember the baddie in Thunderball? yep, him) is happy to turn a blind eye as long as they deliver the villains - dead rather than alive. Typically hysterical cameo from Franco Citti as one of them. Not at all subtle - but worth a watch if only for the opening 8-minute hair-raising motorcycle chase. And, yes, when you see a blind man about the cross the street you know his labrador is in deep shit..
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Benoît Jacquot, La désenchantée, 1990

To quote the site I swiped the screenshot from, this is "a coming-of-age story with surprisingly dark undercurrents. The Disenchanted (La désenchantée) follows young, beautiful Bêth (Judith Godrèche) as she navigates a world of men who all want to possess part of her youth and beauty. Her never-named boyfriend (Malcolm Conrath) starts off the film with a self-serving request that Bêth should find an ugly dude and sleep with him so that she can appreciate him better. Needless to say, our heroine doesn't take this suggestion in stride, although she decides to give it a whirl out of spite. She finds the perfect mark, a rich, pimply nerd (Francis Mage) who doesn't even know what to do with her. (Their initial meeting on a youth club dance floor is a brilliantly executed moment of unflinching cringe comedy.) It turns out that even on a dare, Bêth can't bring herself to do it.
But, even then, Bêth isn't off the hook. Her ailing mother (Thérèse Liotard) has been keeping the family going, with the financial support of a man (a family member?) nicknamed Sugardad (Ivan Pesny). Sugardad has presumably tired of the older woman, because he has begun withholding money until 17-year-old Bêth gives herself to him. (I told you it got dark!) As she ponders her possible fate, Bêth works on a graffiti stencil with her nice-guy school friend Chang (Hai Truhong Tu) and later picks the brain of an interesting, middle-aged knife enthusiast (Marcel Bozonnet).
The film is light on plot but heavy on characterization. Every interaction between the characters is loaded, creating small mysteries about their internal life and interpersonal dynamics at the same moment that other, older mysteries are solved. Judith Godrèche, who later came to international attention with the Oscar-nominated Ridicule, is impossible to look away from in this film. It's not just because she is beautiful -- and because Jacquot is highlighting that beauty at every moment -- but because her face is so open that you can read her every thought and emotion as if you were telepathically linked with her. It is startling and electrifying. And yet, we never know until it is almost too late what Bêth is going to do about the Sugardad situation. And that's what keeps us watching."
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Edward Dmytryk, Walk On The Wild Side, 1962

This is one of those strange, flawed films that feels like it was made 15 years too late - in 1962 a younger generation of directors (Penn, Lumet, Frankenheimer) was already taking up where Kazan left off, and the later offerings of old school pros like Dmytryk now seem awkward in comparison. It doesn't help to cast a Lithuanian-born Brit as a Texan, or try to make Anne Baxter into a Latina barmaid (they both sound utterly ridiculous), but feisty turns from Jane Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck make up for it, just about. That said, A Streetcar Named Desire this ain't. Great Saul Bass cat fight opening sequence though.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Maurice Pialat, Van Gogh, 1991

Olivier Assayas raved about this in Cahiers du cinéma, saying it was as good as Renoir - and I can go along with that 100%. I don't know if Pialat was using mirrors to dapple the French countryside with flecks of light worthy of Renoir père, but visually the work is utterly gorgeous. And Jacques Dutronc is magnificent as Vincent - he doesn't have to say very much (but what little he does say certainly reveals the same sharp intelligence we find in his letters to his brother), but we see him thinking - thinking people, spaces, light, time. I don't know of any truth regarding his supposed liaison with the daughter of Dr Gachet - he didn't stay in Auvers-sur-Oise more than three months anyway - but you know what I feel about biopics anyway (see above). No bullshit, Pialat - this is as solid and committed as one of Vincent's brushstrokes.
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