Discussion in 'Community' started by TheEmperorsProtege, Aug 15, 2004.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
you're all about the docs recently, tom.
i watch a lot of documentaries anyway, but right now i'm trying to watch all the oscar nominees in as many categories as i can. this is going to be the first oscar night i haven't had to work in 12 years so i'm having fun with it.
Schindler's List: Ho boy not the best film to watch on a Monday night that's for sure. Fantastic film though. Liam Neeson was great and should've won the Oscar for leading role over Tom Hanks that year. Ralph Fiennes was terrifying while at the same time somewhat sympathetic. It's one of those movies that's 3 hours long, but it sure doesn't feel that way.
The last new movie I saw was Django Unchained. I enjoyed it. Plenty of good dialogue and action. Kinda suprised that it wasn't in non linear format though.
sounds good, tom. keep roggin' those doggs.
I'm pretty sure that's Ralph Fiennes' entire career.
Well, that and the occasional romance-dramady.
he wasn't a very sympathetic voldemort.
He was pretty terrible as Voldemort in GOF, but he got better as the series went on.
Harry Potter would disagree with you, especially after meeting Vold-abort.
EDIT -- And the awkward drunk-uncle hugs.
haha it looks like nanakin is saying that haha
Mary and Max. God, that was shockingly depressing.
I fully expected her to go through with the suicide.
I saw this pretty cool movie on TV this afternoon but I don't know what it was called. There was this ex-military guy in a shootout with these cops and he this big long back story about him fighting police corruption and the cops were out to kill him before he could speak out and they chased him to a cabin in the woods and he locked himself inside and wouldn't come out so the cops lit the cabin on fire and he still didn't come out and they thought they killed him but then they totally didn't! Then the president came on and I got bored and watched a hockey game instead. Seriously though, great flick, would watch again. I also watched Groundhog Day recently.
I'm sure she has much more to be proud about in her recent work in "Supergator."
In honor of Soderbergh's retirement, I rented Gina Carano Fights a Succession of Major Male Movie Stars in Ascending Order of Fame, AKA Haywire. It's Soderbergh, so it's stylish and clever and an interesting experiment. Unfortunately, it's a failed experiment. In the abstract, I like a lot of what Soderbergh was going for -- a genuinely kickass female action lead; an intense, low-dialogue, direct action movie -- it's just that it didn't work in execution. The film never really establishes any reason to care about what's going on inside it. Soderbergh structures the film to try and keep a lot of reveals until the end, but when the reveals are basic stuff like motivation, it means that we've got to sit through over an hour of unmotivated, "Here's a thing happening. And then here's another thing happening. Here is something else out of sequence where a thing happens," and it's just impossible to get invested. It's not even propulsive enough to just get you caught up in it and swept along. It doesn't help that Carano can't act. She's a badass, and she's great in the fight scenes, which are all solid if totally unspectacular, and she's not even bad in the physical aspect of acting, but her line readings are just hilariously bad. They're a whole new level of flat, and they're at the worst in the talkiest scenes. There are a few witty moments, but mostly it's just a giant waste of time. I respect Soderbergh for trying, but he didn't try hard enough, and the result is an emotionless flop.
Also, Moonrise Kingdom. I love this movie and everything about it. Anderson perfectly captures that point of youth where you're young, naive, just starting to not be wholly ignorant, and completely and totally convinced of your own adulthood. The child stars are incredibly good, not just the leads but in the Khaki Scout troop too. Willis and Norton are both great, playing against type as sad-sack but earnest authority figures, and national treasure Bill Murray is always delightful. Completely wonderful.
The Sum of all Fears
i actually liked this a little bit better than side effects, but it's still infuriatingly subpar. maybe soderbergh has been depressed/ticked off these past couple of years. i just do not know. however, did you know that carano's voice was dubbed over by this actress?:
i thought the fight scenes were pretty incredible, though.
I saw on imdb that her voice was apparently artificially deepened. I hadn't heard about it being totally dubbed.
I did like that the fights were shot well, without choppy editing, but they tended toward fairly standard people-fighting-across-room stuff, nothing groundbreaking. It wasn't enough to save the movie.
Hopefully her voice won't be dubbed in Fast 6.
Soderbergh casting a chick that can't act? Like that would ever happen!
The Wind That Shakes the Barley. This one left me cold. It's a very unusual film, in its own way. The tone is just so weird. It's well-shot, and well-acted, as far as that can go, but it doesn't have any characters in it. The film never bothers to spend any time really building characters, and treats scenes of oppression as a substitute for character development. Cillian Murphy starts the movie as someone who isn't interested in Irish nationalism despite witnessing a friend's death at the hands of the British, then a British soldier beats up a train engineer and he's suddenly a true believer. Why is he such a true believer so fast? What increasingly radicalizes him? The film doesn't really care. Here are some scenes of walking, here are some scenes of raids, here are some scenes of arguments, and he believes because that's what the movie's about. But we're never really allowed into his head, and the film never lets us build an emotional connection with him. I really can't emphasize enough how totally bereft the film is of character. The characters all end up feeling less like actual individuals, and more like props being moved around in a Irish War of Independence reenactment. And it really does have the feeling of a reenactment, like a Civil War reenactment. You're not seeing a narrative or a story, you're not seeing characters, you're just watching generic men in costumes gravely replaying historical events for your education and their self-therapy.
That combination of grave tone and emptiness of content really destroys the movie experience. After it was over, I felt like I'd just been preached at for two hours, but I couldn't tell you what the point of the sermon was. The tone of the film is incredibly didactic -- it spends the whole time sort of shouting, "LOOK AT HOW SERIOUS THESE HISTORICAL EVENTS ARE" and almost fetishistically staging acts of violence and oppression against the Irish in a sort of maudlin, self-pitying masochism (it has absolutely no other modes than prestige-drama self-importance and prestige-drama self-important masochism) -- yet it never quite seems to know what it's saying, a problem probably exacerbated by the blankness of the characters. Murphy's Irishman becomes increasingly radicalized, until his socialist, nationalist fervor causes him to reject the peace treaty, keep fighting, and force his treaty-backing brother to kill him, and Ken Loach doesn't even seem to know what he thinks about that. It wallows too much in didacticism (and isn't handled quite deftly enough) for it to just shrug and retreat to being a thought-provoker about the complexity of the historical situation, but it also refuses to really suggest a message of either the costs of radicalism or principled martyrdom. The result is a message film without anything to say, a movie that doesn't know what it thinks about itself other than that it's serious and sad, a self-important prestige tearjerker where a bunch of cardboard cutouts go through the motions of an ugly war so that we can all remember how important the movie is and the Irish can all pat themselves on the backs about how much they suffered. But it's just too bereft of genuine emotional content to actually connect and be anything other than an empty exercise in masochism. I sat through two hours of cardboard cutouts reenacting the Irish War of Independence so that I could be informed that the Irish War of Independence was sad.
The Apartment. A great Billy Wilder dark comedy. Lemmon is spectacular, it looks gorgeous, and it's hilarious (especially the corporate satire). Absolutely loved it.
Strangers on a Train. It's what you expect of a Hitchcock thriller -- well-made, witty, and psychologically tense. The Hays Code sort of eliminated the ability to deal with the double murder of the source novel, so it got turned into a thriller focused on Haines's fear as Bruno stalks him. It works, thanks to a great performance by Robert Walker, and while the need to have a heroic and ultimately happy protagonist does limit the film, Hitchcock is able to get enough darkness in to make a really good film noir, without ever losing his clever sense of humor.
flight. so yeah, this was probably not the best movie to start after having a few beers. it was pretty good though. denzel did his thing.
Bamboozled: I hated the way it was shot. It looked like they were using crappy digital cameras from 1999, so it looked incredibly grainy. Marlon Wayans voice was incredibly annoying as well even though that was most likely the intention. It's kind of a cross between The Producers and Network, but it's nowhere near as absurdly satirical as the former and nowhere near as well-acted as the latter. Meh.