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The Re-up Thread

post #1 of 971
Thread Starter 

Truly miscellaneous. I was trying to find a thread to post my thoughts on a past film without resurrecting an old thread or creating a new one devoted to just that film, so I've come up with this as an alternative. Like the Western Society thread, this one is almost impossible to derail as it can be about any odd film that you've not seen in a long time and were perhaps surprised by or reminded of something you really liked about it. Whatever you like. 

 

The film in question: Robert Zemeckis' 2007 film BEOWULF. 

 

Most everything that's good about the script could arguably be attributed to Neil Gaiman, but some of the performances are quite good, including Crispin Glover playing what is in my mind the most inspired and definitive version of Grendel. I saw it again recently and was reminded of how sympathetically the film treats him. He's in constant pain and his eyes are so expressive and tragically human and child-like that you can't help but feel something for him even as he stomps, tears and chomps his way through innocent people. I'm not especially fond of the full on mo-cap thing, but aside from snagging Gaiman, casting Glover to do what he does was maybe the brightest decision Zemeckis made. In contrast, Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mother via Alexander McQueen is probably the least interesting thing about the film, even if they use her cleverly as the fulcrum on which to pivot and add shade to certain characters and to deepen the plot.

 

Also, Winstone is still great as a hero who is utterly amazing at what he does, knows this to be a fact, but still can't help but pay tribute to himself every chance he gets. His Beowulf is the most competent narcissistic asshole ever. 

 

It's a male fantasy film made for a male audience about how ludicrous male fantasies can be.

post #2 of 971
I love Winstone's performance in this! He and Glover really are the best elements of the film. Gleason is really strong too as a supporting character.

At the time, I think the final close-up of his character is the one that most impressed me in terms of subtle performance through the mocap animation process.
post #3 of 971

I agree with most your thoughts about it, but what exactly is the problem with resurrecting an old Beowulf thread to post thoughts about Beowulf in?

post #4 of 971
Thread Starter 

Nothing, really, but I wanted a visible thread where we could spin random thoughts on movies and not worry about threads that are circling the rim of a black hole in some of the barely there forums. 

post #5 of 971
people kinda use the I'M ABOUT TO WATCH thread for that

kinda
post #6 of 971

It's kind of crazy how similar, intentional or not, this and the Christopher Lambert are. Of course, the Lambert one is kind of a bullshit post-apocalyptic Mortal Kombat retelling of Beowulf, but all the stuff with Grendal being the bastard son of Hrothgar and Grendal's Mom being a sexy lizard seductress is all in there.

post #7 of 971
BEOWULF is great. It feels like the portent of GAME OF THRONES.
post #8 of 971

I got to see the beautiful Criterion blu-ray of Wim Wenders' THE AMERICAN FRIEND.

 

I'd never even known of the film until tonight.   It's not really the type of film I can watch very easily, but I really enjoyed this one.  Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper are constantly compelling even when Wenders clearly has no interest in plot (which is an approach that I can have trouble with at times).

 

Gorgeous film.

post #9 of 971
THE AMERICAN FRIEND is a flippin' masterpiece. The best of the Ripley films.
post #10 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

I got to see the beautiful Criterion blu-ray of Wim Wenders' THE AMERICAN FRIEND.

 

I'd never even known of the film until tonight.   It's not really the type of film I can watch very easily, but I really enjoyed this one.  Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper are constantly compelling even when Wenders clearly has no interest in plot (which is an approach that I can have trouble with at times).

 

Gorgeous film.

I can have trouble with plotless (or plot-light) films as well, but Wenders' major works have always worked for me, and I'm almost certain it's because of Robby Muller's cinematography. I don't think I'd like this or Paris, Texas nearly as much if they weren't so beautiful.

 

Last night I watched The Neverending Story for the first time in decades. I'd kinda forgotten how weird that movie is. I can only describe the production design as "Peak Cocaine."

post #11 of 971

I get the impression that many put THE NEVERENDING STORY in the category of kids films which do not hold up (a la THE GOONIES), but I couldn't disagree more.  Simpering moments aside, I like it even more as an adult.  Give me tactile puppets over weightless CGI any day.  And the Rock Biter lamenting the loss of his friends remains as devastating as ever. 

post #12 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

I get the impression that many put THE NEVERENDING STORY in the category of kids films which do not hold up (a la THE GOONIES), but I couldn't disagree more.  Simpering moments aside, I like it even more as an adult.  Give me tactile puppets over weightless CGI any day.  And the Rock Biter lamenting the loss of his friends remains as devastating as ever.

The facial work they put into the puppets is really something. Falcor's expressions are great, as is his constanty yelling of "WAAAAAGGGHHHHHHH" whenever he swoops. I certainly like it more than The Goonies, that's for sure.

post #13 of 971

And of course Gerald McRaney is the dad who admonishes his son to get the fuck over his mom's death already.

post #14 of 971
THE AMERICAN FRIEND's train sequence is as great a suspense sequence as I've ever seen. It's Hitchcock-grade mastery.

That demonstrates that Wenders really does know the nuts and bolts of his craft, and that his refusal to follow conventional structures and rhythms is a purposeful move. And it's pretty potent.

Hopper's Ripley is nothing like Highsmith's, but the chilly mood of the movie is 100% Highsmith.
post #15 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

THE AMERICAN FRIEND's train sequence is as great a suspense sequence as I've ever seen. It's Hitchcock-grade mastery.
 

It's funny that I saw the movie the day following the JOHN WICK 2 screening, which also has an extended train station sequence!

post #16 of 971

I was cleaning the hard drive of my table computer, and found a grainy 480p resolution version of the motion picture masterpiece ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL. Watched it all the way through. I didn't remember it being that emotional, so many shots of people crying. Got something in my eye during some of the scenes where Lips loses his shit.

post #17 of 971

The thing about Anvil! I can't get over is that one of the band members is called Rob Reiner.

post #18 of 971
Got to see Coppola's DRACULA for the first time.

Gorgeous filmmaking!
post #19 of 971

I'm a diehard Keanu fan, but that one tested my faith a little. It is indeed gorgeous, though.

post #20 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Got to see Coppola's DRACULA for the first time.

Gorgeous filmmaking!
It is breathtaking. I always enjoy watching it, even when it's at its most goofy.

In its fearlessness to explore cinematic effect, it foreshadows the glories of Coppola's YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH, TWIXT, and TETRO.
post #21 of 971
I LOVE Coppola's Dracula. Just such a feast of style and technique. It's funny how it takes a sexy, sympathetic take on the title character, but also succeeds in portraying him as this truly, profoundly terrifying and otherworldly demon, a malevolent force of nature, a Satanic presence walking the earth in the flesh. Casting Keanu and Winona was kind of brilliant in a way, because it only emphasizes how out of their depth their characters are in going into battle against this thing. God, what a great movie. I never get tired of it.
post #22 of 971
Thread Starter 
I vacillate between Gary Oldman, Christopher Lee and Max Schreck as my favorite cinematic Draculas. All completely different, but perfect for whatever mood I might be in.
post #23 of 971
Klaus Kinski was the best Dracula. FIGHT ME.

Oldman and Lee are pretty great, too, though. I used to think Schreck got a lot of his mystique just from the fact that records about the actor disappeared behind the other side of the Iron Curtain after WWII, but Willem Dafoe's Schreck impersonation in Shadow of the Vampire is one of the most mesmerizing performances of his career.
post #24 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

I get the impression that many put THE NEVERENDING STORY in the category of kids films which do not hold up (a la THE GOONIES), but I couldn't disagree more.  Simpering moments aside, I like it even more as an adult.  Give me tactile puppets over weightless CGI any day.  And the Rock Biter lamenting the loss of his friends remains as devastating as ever. 
I rewatched it and the sequel recently. The first Neverending Story is a great, beautiful, nostalgic wonderful thing. I was excited to watch Neverending Story II when I saw that it was directed by George Miller.

Turns out it wasn't THAT George Miller and the movie itself is fucking tedious, awful, shit..
post #25 of 971

The Neverending Story is one of the better kids films buoyed by nostalgia.  It actually has some pretty strong performances by the child actors, and the direction, world building, music and visual FX are solid.  It also has a pretty heavy duty existential theme which is virtually unheard of for a "kids" movie.

 

The sequel on the other hand...

 

I don't think I've ever been more let down watching a movie at the theater.  I actually felt bad because I begged my dad to take me.

post #26 of 971
terrible son!!!
post #27 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

The Neverending Story is one of the better kids films buoyed by nostalgia.  It actually has some pretty strong performances by the child actors, and the direction, world building, music and visual FX are solid.  It also has a pretty heavy duty existential theme which is virtually unheard of for a "kids" movie.

 

The sequel on the other hand...

 

I don't think I've ever been more let down watching a movie at the theater.  I actually felt bad because I begged my dad to take me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

terrible son!!!

He's not the only terrible son in this thread, Nooj.  Luckily for my father, he wandered into L.A. Story instead.

post #28 of 971
I dragged my father to Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child. My little brother was his favorite long before that, so I don't blame that movie, but it didn't help.
post #29 of 971
Fucking DREAM CHILD.

Every Nightmare outgrossed the previous until Part 5 - which is why New Line followed it up with the (supposed) finale, because they saw the series had plateued.

I maintain that if they had gone through the trouble of developing a, you know, script, for the fifth movie instead of rushing something out to meet the bone-dumb release date of: less than 12 months after the fourth movie, they might well have discovered there was yet milk left in the cow.

Still, it might have been for the best that the original Nightmare series died with the 80s. It very much belonged to the decade that invented it, as the colossally miscalculated Twin Peaks aesthetic of FREDDY'S DEAD unequivocally demonstrated.
post #30 of 971
Dream Child is the last one I enjoy watching (aside from Freddy vs Jason) but it's also a movie that I CAN NOT separate from part 4 in my mind. I can never remember ANYTHING specific about that movie except for "kid with creepy eyes from Jurassic Park" is in it. It's like a non-movie..
post #31 of 971

Well I just got done watching 13 Assassins for the first time...

 

HOLY FUCK! That sure got the blood pumping. 

 

"Ogura, kill anyone that gets past me." 

post #32 of 971

That same screen I got to watch Bram Stoker's DRACULA on for the first time?

 

Tonight, I got to see SORCERER for the first time through the remastered blu-ray.

 

JESUS CHRIST, THANK YOU FOR SUCH GORGEOUSNESS!!!   Seeing something look like this just makes me fall deeper into 'hating' the digital look of most current films.

 

The film itself was amazing once the 'plot' actually got going.  I knew almost nothing about the film (beyond knowing that the Mr Plow episode of The Simpsons referenced it) and that lack of knowledge made the first half of the film kinda bewildering!  I'm sure it's something that would actually be much more rewarding upon rewatch.


Edited by mcnooj82 - 2/16/17 at 9:58am
post #33 of 971

I saw someone describe that once as being maybe the most 'physical' movie ever made, in terms of everything looking tangible and such. I've wanted to see it for a long time, it seemed like a bit of a happy ending when it got reevaluated as a classic and given a loving remaster after being out of print for years.

post #34 of 971

Definitely check it out.

 

I was physically wincing through the tension.

 

a delightful PG-rated family film!

 

I'm gonna try to watch WAGES OF FEAR soon.

post #35 of 971

I don't know where we're at with Gangs of New York these days but I've been impressed by the fact that I've never really forgotten it.  I wouldn't say I liked it all that much, in the usual sense of plot and character and so on, but it sure is memorable.  It's like a fantasy movie, but historical and without dragons or anything else.

 

That early shot that pulls out, seemingly for no other reason, to show the inside of the brewery/pub/whatever with tunnels set that sort of tone with me.  It could be straight out of Lord of The Rings.  Watching it like that helps I think.

 

It's an odd parallel but it goes in sort of the same brainspace as Deadwood.  They don't have a lot in common as far as storytelling style goes (Gangs archetypal mythmaking.  Deadwood is slow and  impressively aimless),  but they both seem to be these sorts of dense almost hyperreal historical fictions that pack in a ton of stuff and tell American history with a blend of fact and allegory.

post #36 of 971
I like GANGS. It's fascinating.
post #37 of 971

To be honest it might have been better as a Deadwood style tv series.

post #38 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

To be honest it might have been better as a Deadwood style tv series.
It could certainly have worked that way.

But I'd still prefer it as a movie. It's *almost* a great, Sergio Leone-style epic film.
post #39 of 971

Yeah, the really great movie is quite visible within the half-chiseled chunk of marble that is Gangs.  It's biggest problem, I think, is that that sense of frustration becomes more pronounced the longer the (very long) movie goes on.

post #40 of 971
I rewatched Gangs last year after going on one of those historical tours of NY.

Removed from the general frustration I had with DiCaprio as the lead story, I was really able to engage with the film this time for everything else around it as a fantastical take on American history.

I used to not like the movie. Now I do. Still don't like DiCaprio in it.
post #41 of 971

If you don't like DiCaprio in it, you must really not like Diaz.

post #42 of 971
DiCaprio was wrong for the film.
post #43 of 971
Right I didn't like Diaz either. But I don't recall her being in enough of the film to really feel that strongly about it.
post #44 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

Definitely check it out.

 

I was physically wincing through the tension.

 

a delightful PG-rated family film!

 

I'm gonna try to watch WAGES OF FEAR soon.

I still really love Wages of Fear, although it might seem pretty slow compared to Sorcerer. (I also found the ending almost hilarious in its nihilism.) 

 

EDIT: The DiCaprio/Diaz stuff is as lame as the DDL stuff is great. The movie ping-pongs between lame and awesome, and never strikes the right balance.

post #45 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

I still really love Wages of Fear, although it might seem pretty slow compared to Sorcerer. (I also found the ending almost hilarious in its nihilism.) 

 

which ending?

 

the one for Wages of Fear? 

 

Or Sorcerer?

 

I could see the ending of Sorcerer to be almost funny in its nihilism.

post #46 of 971
Beyond Diaz and DiCaprio, GANGS is just overstuffed. Scorsese needed to follow Leone's lead and strip the story back to its most primal moments.

It's a movie that has clearly been built to showcase historical detail and attempted to fit a dramatic throughline to all the stuff it wants to show us. The emphasis needs to be the opposite: drama first, then add the historical detail where it compliments the story.
post #47 of 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

which ending?

 

the one for Wages of Fear? 

 

Or Sorcerer?

 

I could see the ending of Sorcerer to be almost funny in its nihilism.

I'm specifically thinking of Wages of Fear. I recall laughing out loud.

post #48 of 971

Can't wait!

post #49 of 971

Wages Of Fear was awesome. Sorcerer was great too, but it's hard to imagine watching it first, due to the specific moments that get remade.

post #50 of 971

I rewatched NIGHTCRAWLER earlier. God, what a fucking movie. I'm surprised more people don't talk about it, but then again given the internet and ubiquity of movie conversation I have a hard time telling what movies are becoming cult faves.

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