*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1000 on: December 26, 2014, 10:15:24 PM »
The Great McGinty (Preston Sturges)

While funny in spots (possibly three), it's not all that great. It's too flimsy to be a good satire, too serious to be a good comedy, and too silly to be a good drama. The best parts of the film may be Brian Donlevy's snappy dress sense, and the tropical bar scenes, which are too few and too far between. In fact, had the screenplay gone a different way, the "banana republic" setting could have made for a fine noir mystery as McGinty's past catches up with him, but the backstory itself is not very interesting.

JFK (Oliver Stone)

It's hard to be an Oliver Stone fan, mainly because he's nuts and the films he makes are often pure distillations of that, full of street preacher intensity and a dogmatic pressing for "the truth", whatever that may be. JFK is one such film, taking the Jim Garrison inquiry into the Kennedy assassination as the absolute truth on the matter and pulling pretty much everyone in the world except Lee Harvey Oswald into a massive conspiracy. The first half is definitely the strongest, as a series of bizarre characters played by such actors as Joe Pesci, John Candy, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and Kevin Bacon are introduced and connected to the madness, with some great eccentric performances being delivered in the process. Kevin Costner is a good fit for the lead, whose lines, delivered in what I assume to be Yat dialect, start off hammy ("I'm ashamed to be an American today.") veer into Alex Jones "wake up sheeple" territory, but with at least some semblance of sanity beneath them, and by the end of the film I did come to sympathise with him and his cause, even if in reality the whole thing may be nonsense — but isn't that the joy of a good conspiracy theory, that the crazier it gets the more enticing it becomes? I saw the directors cut, which comes in at a whopping 3hr20m duration, but it never really felt like it was dragging, and that's no mean feat. It's definitely an entertaining film, and while craziness abound from very early on it is never so dense as to require a huge amount of effort to follow.

Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1001 on: December 27, 2014, 02:57:31 AM »
JFK is a well-put together film, but as a true historical account, it's crap, and both it and Garrison's original, ahem, "investigation" have been very extensively debunked over the years.  If anyone's interested in learning more, here's a great website that goes into a lot of detail about it:

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/jfkmovie.htm

Here's my favorite article from the site:

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/jimloon5.htm

Quote
In an effort to get Garrison's story into focus, I asked him the motive of the Kennedy conspirators. He told me that the murder at Dallas had been a homosexual plot.

"They had the same motive as Loeb and Leopold, when they murdered Bobbie Franks in Chicago back in the twenties," Garrison said. "It was a homosexual thrill-killing, plus the excitement of getting away with a perfect crime. John Kennedy was everything that Dave Ferrie was not — a successful, handsome, popular, wealthy, virile man. You can just picture the charge Ferrie got out of plotting his death."

I asked how he had learned that the murder was a homosexual plot.

"Look at the people involved," Garrison said. "Dave Ferrie, homosexual. Clay Shaw, homosexual. Jack Ruby, homosexual."

"Ruby was a homosexual?"

"Sure, we dug that out," Garrison said. "His homosexual nickname was Pinkie. That's three. Then there was Lee Harvey Oswald."

But Oswald was married and had two children, I pointed out.

"A switch-hitter who couldn't satisfy his wife," Garrison said. "That's all in the Warren Report." He named two more "key figures" whom he labeled homosexual.

"That's six homosexuals in the plot," Garrison said. "One or maybe two, okay. But all six homosexual? How far can you stretch the arm of coincidence?"

The homo tension.

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1002 on: December 27, 2014, 08:00:56 AM »
Quote
He told me that the murder at Dallas had been a homosexual plot.

Haha, what?

Ghost of V

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1003 on: December 27, 2014, 08:28:04 AM »
Funny how JFK glosses right over those bits.

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1004 on: December 29, 2014, 08:27:59 PM »
The Muppets (James Bobin)

I have to admit, despite it being no secret that I love the shit out of The Muppets, I was a bit reluctant to watch this, and the opening scene did nothing to assuage my doubts and fears about a return of something that, to be fair to villain Tex Richman, does seem terribly outdated now. How stupid I was! After all this time The Muppets still have all the charm, wit, and madness that characterised the classic TV show. While the plot may give a little too much of the limelight to the human stars, the cast of classic Muppet puppets, plus some new ones, also have plenty of time to do what they do best. The voice cast is also, as expected, absolutely astounding, with some new names doing spot-on imitations of the original cast.

The film isn't perfect. Ill-executed musical numbers such as the Amy Adams disco bit and Chris Cooper's money rap, no matter how clever I can believe they looked on paper, came out of left field and not in a good way, but these parts are few and far between. Then again, that may be the point; after all, a large chunk of the film revolves around satirising the idea that family entertainment in the tradition of old-timey variety shows is a thing of the past, yet when they try to change that at all the film is poorer for it. The show (and I call it that because really it really is so close to the variety show feel of the original Muppet Show, rather than most of the Muppet feature films of the past) has some great numbers too, such as Am I a Man, or a Muppet?, and a finale that subverts so many expectations as to redeem any problems encountered earlier in the film.

Ghost of V

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1005 on: December 29, 2014, 08:39:30 PM »
"Man or Muppet" was written by Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) and won an Oscar, I believe.

Great song.

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1006 on: December 30, 2014, 06:41:14 AM »
Anyone
I just got back from watching the last Hobbit movie.  It's about as bad as you've heard, and the reasons why should be obvious.  What's left of the story is basically split into two subplots; one in which Thorin turns paranoid and possessive due to something they call "dragon fever," and the other being the big battle referenced in the title.  The first one is stupid, boring, and doesn't have a very good payoff.  The second one is even more stupid, but at least it looks cool, and fortunately that's where the bulk of the film is spent.  As far as garish, over-the-top, spectacular, CGI-fest battle scenes go, this movie does them very well.  If you can watch a movie and be satisfied with seeing that and little else, it's safe to say you'll like this one.

Considering how much filler and extraneous material - for lack of a better word, fanfiction - that they added, it's interesting that I really only actively disliked a couple of them.  One of them was the character Alfred, whom you might remember as being the Master's toady in the last movie.  He's basically a ripoff of Wormtongue from LotR, and he keeps constantly showing up just to remind everyone what a slimy douchebag he is.  There's literally no point to his frequent appearances.  He's not funny, he's not a foil to anyone, he's just...there.  The movie doesn't even show him getting killed or anything.  My other main issue is the same one that I had with the last film, all the foreshadowing of LotR.  The story of LotR has already been told.  It took three very long movies to do it, but now it's complete.  It does not need to be told some more.  And yet this movie continues to flash Sauron's fiery eye, play ominous music whenever the camera is on the Ring, and have characters drop vague hints about the dark power that is rising or whatever.  For fuck's sake, Jackson, the film is called The Hobbit.  The story you're telling should be the story of The Hobbit.  Why can't you fuck off with the LotR shit already?

There's a lot of additions to these films that are really weird, and I can't help but wonder why Jackson decided to include some of them. Is he just a shit editor? Are the studios breathing down his neck? Does he just want to make money? It's pretty obvious he still cares, because the movies are crafted well and many small details (like Bilbo seeing elf spirits when he puts the ring on) are included. But there's so much crap that just didn't need to be there at all.

In any case, I found myself agreeing with the RLM guys once again on this movie. It's probably the best of the bunch, but while the third LOTR movie had me on an emotional rollercoaster, this one failed to make me feel anything outside of very fleeting moments in the final battle. I just didn't care about any of the characters.

Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1007 on: December 31, 2014, 04:25:47 AM »
I have a different issue, though, and maybe the comparison to that issue is why I don't really mind all the additions to the story they've done.  To me, the action scenes have been the big weakness of this series, in all three films.  I said that they were done well earlier, but that needs some qualifying.  They're done well in a technical sense, in the sense of visual spectacle, and sometimes they're even pretty creative.  But they're not done well from a storytelling perspective.  In the LotR movies, the battles felt so much more real.  It was probably due to lots of subtle details like the lighting and makeup as well as the directing, but there was a lot more connection to the characters.  You could tell when they were supposed to be injured, when they were tired, when they were desperate, etc.  They may not have been "realistic," per se, but there was always at least one foot firmly planted in reality.

Needless to say, there's none of that in the Hobbit movies.  I was going to call the battle scenes cartoony, but that's not fair to cartoons.  They're more like video games than anything else.  They're bombastic, they're over-the-top, and it's impossible to maintain even a shred of suspension of disbelief for them.  And because they're so silly and so detached from the story, they get old very quickly, and then they just drag.  Compare that to watching a few talented actors have a dialogue about some event that happened long ago to provide background.  Both scenes are technically padding, but one of them is much more bearable than the other.

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1008 on: December 31, 2014, 09:47:51 PM »
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg)

Is it great, stupid, both? I don't know, man. It has some great and terribly powerful moments, then seems to shift around oddly, as if it's hiding something. I don't doubt that it is good, after all Cronenberg has built the latter half of his career on films that are difficult and challenging in ways that make them easy to dismiss as misfires, but then you think about them the next day, as I did with his previous film Cosmopolis, and a whole other dimension becomes apparent. This is one I have to see again, because there's something else there that I'm just not getting. On the absolute downside, I never thought I'd be criticising a Cronenberg movie for bad special effects, but there's one CGI shot in this movie and it stinks! Cronenberg... bad effects... how?!

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1009 on: January 01, 2015, 12:43:39 AM »
Snake Eyes (Brian de Palma)

I'm pretty much sold on any Nicolas Cage movie by virtue of it having Nicolas Cage in it, he is my favourite actor, hands down. And this is a really fun little movie, with slick camera work and great pacing (Gaspar Noé take note, you can have both) that makes the 90 minute runtime breeze by in what felt like 30. The plot, once laid bare, is pretty silly, but Cage delivers a great high energy performance typical of his '90s era work and Gary Sinise provides good counterplay.

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1010 on: January 03, 2015, 01:29:04 AM »
Burn After Reading (Ethan and Joel Coen)

This comedy of extreme errors takes a little while to get going, but once the ridiculously deluded characters begin to weave around each other the film becomes rather enjoyable. It's not first-rate Coen Brothers material, and a lot of the gags, especially early on, feel like a case of going through the motions. I did find myself laughing a lot more during the second half of the film, as the actions of the characters start to veer towards Fargo territory in their insanity, but the real let-down in terms of comedy is the under use of J.K. Simmons, who really nails every line with excellent timing and delivery but only has two brief scenes. It's a decent film that kept me reasonably entertained, I won't deny I expect more and better from the Coens, but it's a well made, well acted piece with plenty of good laughs once it gets rolling.

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1011 on: January 04, 2015, 02:40:09 AM »
Iron Man (Jon Favreau)

Iron Man is a difficult film to talk about, not because it's complex or terribly unique, but because it really didn't make much of an impression on me. Things I liked included the suit assembly sequences, which were nicely detailed, and the final line transitioning into the end credits, which was the only humorous part that really worked for me. Aside from that it was pretty much things blowing up and people talking for two hours. It wasn't bad, but I can't imagine I will remember much of it when I wake up tomorrow.

Offline Blanko

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2471
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1012 on: January 04, 2015, 03:02:07 AM »
Synecdoche, New York (Kaufman, 2008)

This is a film I saw for the first time a week ago and I decided to watch it again because it begs to be seen at least twice. There's a lot of finer details in the film that I missed on my first viewing that could be analyzed to death, but Kaufman was really careful about not having analyzing be necessary for this film to be understood. It's ultimately very explicit about its central themes and my second viewing more than anything made me realize how every scene very deliberately fits in presenting those central themes and ideas. The fine subtle details this film is filled with are great for rewarding repeat viewings as well, and I'm sure I'll be seeing this one again. All in all it's a very ambitious film and Kaufman did a stellar job in executing it, with the performances from Hoffman and the other people being all-around great as well. 9/10

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1013 on: January 04, 2015, 03:17:09 PM »
Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen)

If Iron Man left almost no impression on me, Inside Llewyn Davis left an impression, but I'm not sure what it was. I really like the film, it has a typically bizarre Coen sense of humour, but it is also heartfelt in a way I'm not sure I've seen them do before. That's not to say it's sentimental, it has a kind of neutrality about it, almost like a Todd Solondz film, and never really tells you what to feel about the lead. I will have to see it again, as it does seem like there's a whole other layer to this thing that one simply cannot get on first viewing, but I'm already content to call it one of the very best recent (as in past couple of years) films that I've seen.

Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1014 on: January 05, 2015, 01:46:38 AM »
<Crudblud> I might watch more Marvel movies in future to see if they get better
<beerdo> just watch them in the right order
<Crudblud> I've got them ordered by release date
<beerdo> Yes
<Crudblud> Which means if I want to do a capeshit odyssey my next film is The Incredible Hulk

No, Crudblud, no!  Don't watch that one.  It's entirely skippable.  I mean, you might want to watch it if you're a huge fan and want to see them all, but it's probably the worst of the MCU so far.  Or maybe the one that follows that one, Iron Man 2, is the worst.  It's hard to choose between them.  Anyway, for a newbie taking their baby steps in the vast world of capeshit, you don't need to start off on such a mediocre note.

*

Offline beardo

  • *
  • Posts: 4567
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1015 on: January 05, 2015, 01:53:07 AM »
Shut up, sadaam
The Mastery.

Offline Blanko

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2471
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1016 on: January 05, 2015, 01:56:22 AM »
beardo is the true king of capeshit

*

Offline beardo

  • *
  • Posts: 4567
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1017 on: January 05, 2015, 05:23:38 AM »
I'm Batman.
The Mastery.

*

Offline Ghost Spaghetti

  • *
  • Posts: 908
  • Don't look in that mirror. It's absolutely furious
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1018 on: January 05, 2015, 02:36:29 PM »
Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen)

If Iron Man left almost no impression on me, Inside Llewyn Davis left an impression, but I'm not sure what it was. I really like the film, it has a typically bizarre Coen sense of humour, but it is also heartfelt in a way I'm not sure I've seen them do before. That's not to say it's sentimental, it has a kind of neutrality about it, almost like a Todd Solondz film, and never really tells you what to feel about the lead. I will have to see it again, as it does seem like there's a whole other layer to this thing that one simply cannot get on first viewing, but I'm already content to call it one of the very best recent (as in past couple of years) films that I've seen.

I loved ILD, the soundtrack is one of the very few movie soundtracks that I've bought

*

Offline Crudblud

  • *
  • Posts: 1679
  • A Moist Respectable Gentleman
    • View Profile
Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1019 on: January 05, 2015, 03:48:40 PM »
I agree, it's a great film. The music is very good, and I was especially impressed, as so many have been, by the fact that Oscar Isaac and others actually play and sing the music live instead of having a pre-recorded take added in post-production.

Blow Out (Brian de Palma)

Typical de Palma: stylish as fuck with little to offer in the way of script and performance. It's a shame, too, as the idea of having to reconstruct an assassination from recorded sound alone is pretty interesting, but the plot just doesn't lead up to much. Some scenes display a good sense of humour, but often it takes itself too seriously for its own good, and the cheesy music more clashes with than counterbalances this so that there is an uncomfortable tonal imbalance that is distancing and distracting in a clumsy way. John Lithgow gives the best performance in the film, putting on a variety of voices and acting creepy, but there is little suspense in his scenes, and the great visuals can only do so much to make up for the "why am I bored?" factor in the final act.