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Offline beardo

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1100 on: February 25, 2015, 11:32:53 AM »
heavy and serious subject matters
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1101 on: February 25, 2015, 05:26:43 PM »
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer)

Although it is a documentary, this must be one of the most surreal films I've ever seen. The director approached several members of the Indonesian death squads tasked with rooting out and killing communists and Chinese in the 1960s, and asked them to recreate their own massacres and executions as fiction for the big screen. They happily agreed to do so. I don't really want to say much more about it (honestly I'm not sure that I could even if I did want to) because I think this is a film people need to see for themselves, it is harrowing in ways no fiction film could ever be.

N.B.: I saw the theatrical cut, which is just under two hours, there is also a 160 minute director's cut available. I'm not sure I'll be ready to face a longer version of this for a good while.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 05:29:02 PM by Crudblud »

Offline Blanko

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1102 on: February 26, 2015, 04:18:30 AM »
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)

I guess I share the common sentiment in that this film is pretty hard to follow, with most major plot advancements being introduced with mumbled delivery. A lot of it contributes well to an atmosphere of weed-induced haziness and post-Manson paranoia, but the film is too fixated on plot to really sink into its vibe - it really just feels like there was too much source material to cover for a feature-length film. I guess this is the sort of film that improves on repeat viewings, but for now I'm giving it a 7/10.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1103 on: February 26, 2015, 01:02:46 PM »
Putney Swope (Robert Downey)

Yes, Iron Man's oft-ignored dad used to be a filmmaker (might still be, though he hasn't directed anything in ten years, it seems), creating some of the most insane satires of the 1960s. Here, an advertising company holds an impromptu secret vote for succession after the boss suddenly keels over and dies in the middle of a meeting, and almost everyone votes for the board's token black man Putney Swope as a joke, each believing the others would not be crazy enough to do so. Swope fires all but one of the white employees and leads the company down a bizarre path that is outwardly righteous but inwardly corrupt, and is the main subject of the satire on advertising, greed, politics, and the stereotypical portrayals of black people in movies at the time. It's really good, standing alongside De Palma's Greetings as one of the best underground films of the 1960s.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 02:28:24 PM by Crudblud »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1104 on: February 26, 2015, 01:10:06 PM »
Swope made some of the best ads in the history of fake ads.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1105 on: February 26, 2015, 05:19:52 PM »
Swope made some of the best ads in the history of fake ads.

My favourite is the Fan-a-way advert.


Offline Blanko

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1106 on: February 28, 2015, 08:06:27 AM »
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)

Watched this on Crudblud's recommendation as well. Overall, a fascinating look into the psyche of killers, and it's the brutal honesty of all of it that makes it as effective and unique as it is. Without spoiling too much, the last 20 minutes or so are absolutely stellar – so perfect in a narrative sense that it could be scripted, yet I know that no actual script could make the same impact. It's one of the best endings to a film I've ever seen and emotionally draining in a way that I've never felt before watching a film. There were parts where I wasn't totally invested into it, but the ending more than made up for it. 8/10

Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

Not my first time seeing this, but I felt like watching something fun (you can probably guess why), which this film certainly is. It's pretty much entirely due to Refn's absorbing neo-noir style that this film achieved the cult-like fame it did – you could take the exact same script and with a different director it would most likely turn into something completely unremarkable. There's some action and a love interest, that's pretty much  it as far as story is concerned. But you're really into it for the atmosphere and seeing Ryan Gosling be a real human bean and a real hero. 7/10

The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)

A man is wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child, leading his community into mass hysteria and himself into persecution. The script and performances are fantastic and they make the whole scenario presented seem totally believable and terrifying, especially given anyone could be a victim of being falsely accused and persecuted. This is a great film to watch if you want to feel like shit. 9/10

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Offline beardo

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1107 on: February 28, 2015, 12:27:35 PM »
The analysing of films.
The Mastery.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1108 on: March 02, 2015, 01:43:04 AM »
Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang)

Finally got around to seeing this one after Blanko's recommendation some weeks (or longer?) ago. The thing that really stands out for me about this film is the cinematography, the way it uses windows and mirrors to distort space is really inspired and adds a lot of vital visual content to a film that could have easily been televisual in nature. Yang often seems to take inspiration from Ozu, using space very economically and keenly applying pauses in the action to emphasise layers of meaning beyond the superficial. It is a heartfelt, quality piece of filmmaking through and through. Yang walks a tightrope between the heavy and the banal, and never falls into the safety net of cheap emotionalism, or perhaps it is better to say that he strips banality away in order to find something more profound in the ostensibly simple drama. Unlike some longer films which ponderously plod along to little effect or purpose, right now Tarkovsky springs to mind, Yang and his fine cast earn every minute of the film's near three hours.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1109 on: March 06, 2015, 04:09:42 AM »
The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has)

Boasting some of the best visuals of any film I've ever seen, this strange trip through a mental maze of oddly lit decrepit buildings sort of comes off somewhere between the narrative sensibilities of Lynch, the cinematography of Gilliam, and the "colour sense" of Argento. I don't really know what any of it is about, but the beautiful sets, atmosphere, and cryptic lyricism of the dialogue kept me hooked all the way through. I think this film is going to stick in my memory for a very long time, and for all the right reasons.

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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1110 on: March 13, 2015, 05:06:07 PM »
The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)

A man is wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child, leading his community into mass hysteria and himself into persecution. The script and performances are fantastic and they make the whole scenario presented seem totally believable and terrifying, especially given anyone could be a victim of being falsely accused and persecuted. This is a great film to watch if you want to feel like shit. 9/10
I missed this review before, but I have been wanting to see this. I figured it had to be decent with Mads Mikkelsen as the lead.

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Offline beardo

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1111 on: March 14, 2015, 12:20:38 PM »
Dracula Untold. I liked it.
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1112 on: March 23, 2015, 02:13:21 PM »
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)

A secondary viewing of most films will confirm near enough one's general feeling about them.  Inherent Vice is no exception to this general rule.  On my first viewing I gave a lukewarm response, owing mainly to the liberal cuts made to the plot of the source novel by Thomas Pynchon, which I had read some months before the film's theatrical release and loved.  It was my opinion then that it was not a good adaptation, which is about as kind as I could hope to be to any attempt from any director to turn the prose of one of America and the world's greatest writers of fiction into a visual language.  The thing with a Pynchon novel is that for all its mystery, unanswered questions, deep unidentified longing, and zany humour, there is never a moment that the prose becomes ponderous, ill fitting, devoid of lucidity and flow, alienating to the reader, even when found in its strangest, wildest, most impenetrable habitats. Inherent Vice the novel is not among his most complicated of plot, dense in subject matter, or broad in scope, its action takes place in a relatively small enclosed geographical space, and is played out by a paucity of characters in comparison with most of his books, yet even this most graciously straightforward offering proves to be too much for the big screen to handle.  The cuts which so abhorred me on first viewing were not so much an issue on the second, budget must be taken into consideration, and no one could do a direct translation of pinecone scratchings into celluloid without a figure well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and yet I can still only extend my respect to Paul Thomas Anderson for having the guts to take on Pynchon and fail, for it is not within me to call this a good adaptation.  So much of what makes the novel work is in the prose, here lost to visual references which, unless viewing the piece as a frame by frame still gallery, are likewise lost to the rushing current of a film trying to fit everything into a tight temporal framework.

But the real question is not whether Inherent Vice is a good adaptation, no sane Pynchon fan (there are a couple out there, somewhere, I'm sure) would expect any one of his novels to work well on screen, but is it a good film?  My answer to that question is:  yes, mostly.  I can fall into neither one of the camps of love and hate that make up its present status in the pop culture, nor can I walk the middle road of apathy, because I like this film, mostly.  “Mostly” is the crux of the issue.  A few bum notes ring hard through the film's hazy beach mélange:  great-reading, sloppy-speaking novelesque dialogue peeks out from behind naturalistic doper talk, as if the actors are on a pivot between two extremes, that of exhaling clouds of mumbled but with attentive listening coherent phonemes, and that of verbatim enunciating with great exactitude a sentence from page one-hundred-something — the script or the speaker's fault, who can say?  Sudden bouts of expository verbal diarrhoea, more than tangentially related to the prior concern, while contained in an odourless fashion, trip up the pacing of the film in ways avoided on the page, interspersed with jokes timed to obscure rhythms that sometimes hit their mark, sometimes don't, like everyone's phasing in and out of each other's conversational space at all times, occasionally snapping back into awareness and pausing like emerging from a deep meditative apnea. The sum effect, not as one might assume the engendering in the viewer a feeling of being stoned, but of being taken outside and asked to watch voyeur-like through the window.  Inherent Vice is a film whose flaws keep it at a distance, very slight, and occasionally hard to put your finger on, but there and distracting.

So what are we saying here, it's a good film that isn't all that good? Well, no, it's just that what's bad about it tends to be in the foreground, while what's good about it, though by far the majority of its contents, is often glanced at an angle, in the distance, through dense fog.  I sense an attempt, somewhere in there, to make up for the missing pieces of the source material by embodying the nature of the source author, to always be hinting, suggesting at the moreness of what's out there, but Anderson as a director is simply not there yet, still a journeyman in the adaptation trade, but with an ambition that demands respect and admiration, for I dare say no one could have done a better job.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1113 on: March 23, 2015, 03:19:54 PM »
The thing with a Pynchon novel is that for all its mystery, unanswered questions, deep unidentified longing, and zany humour, there is never a moment that the prose becomes ponderous, ill fitting, devoid of lucidity and flow, alienating to the reader

I beg to differ.  What I read of Mason & Dixon suggested that it was all of those things, all of the time.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1114 on: March 23, 2015, 05:28:13 PM »
The thing with a Pynchon novel is that for all its mystery, unanswered questions, deep unidentified longing, and zany humour, there is never a moment that the prose becomes ponderous, ill fitting, devoid of lucidity and flow, alienating to the reader

I beg to differ.  What I read of Mason & Dixon suggested that it was all of those things, all of the time.

With such a limited frame of reference it seems odd that you would imagine yourself to have any grasp on the matter at all.

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Offline Roundy

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1115 on: March 24, 2015, 02:02:09 AM »
The thing with a Pynchon novel is that for all its mystery, unanswered questions, deep unidentified longing, and zany humour, there is never a moment that the prose becomes ponderous, ill fitting, devoid of lucidity and flow, alienating to the reader

I beg to differ.  What I read of Mason & Dixon suggested that it was all of those things, all of the time.

With such a limited frame of reference it seems odd that you would imagine yourself to have any grasp on the matter at all.

I think the fact that you included "never a moment" in the statement Saddam responded to makes his response worth consideration, at the very least.  Maybe you should add the clause "who is already used to his ponderous and alienating prose" at the end for clarification.
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1116 on: March 24, 2015, 06:25:10 AM »
The thing with a Pynchon novel is that for all its mystery, unanswered questions, deep unidentified longing, and zany humour, there is never a moment that the prose becomes ponderous, ill fitting, devoid of lucidity and flow, alienating to the reader

I beg to differ.  What I read of Mason & Dixon suggested that it was all of those things, all of the time.

With such a limited frame of reference it seems odd that you would imagine yourself to have any grasp on the matter at all.

I think the fact that you included "never a moment" in the statement Saddam responded to makes his response worth consideration, at the very least.  Maybe you should add the clause "who is already used to his ponderous and alienating prose" at the end for clarification.

Saddam didn't say "it was alienating for a moment," he said "it was all of those things, all of the time." My wording is not the issue.

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Offline beardo

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1117 on: March 24, 2015, 06:36:07 PM »
I just watched the two Hercules movies from 2014. The Dwayne Johnson one was clearly the winner of the two.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1118 on: March 24, 2015, 06:49:01 PM »
I just watched the two Hercules movies from 2014. The Dwayne Johnson one was clearly the winner of the two.
Oh yeah, I forgot about the other one. Did that other one even make it to theaters?

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1119 on: March 24, 2015, 06:54:10 PM »
I just watched the two Hercules movies from 2014. The Dwayne Johnson one was clearly the winner of the two.

But still falling short of the sublime beauty that is Lou Ferrigno punching a bear into space.