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So what monumentally classic film did you only just watch now you witless imbecile? - Page 33

post #1601 of 2263

What do you mean by "set free by it"? What's your perception or understanding of how going digital opened things up for Mann? I think we're ultimately going to agree to disagree, but I'm intrigued by how much you (and others) love the visual in latter day Mann. I can't help but view MV as all style and no substance; an empty and often visually harsh (not beautiful) exercise in composing images rather than telling a story and developing character.

post #1602 of 2263
Cinema is "about" image (and by "image" I really mean an aesthetic moment, since cinematic images are dynamic, experienced over durations of time and in juxtaposition with other images, often accompanied by sound) more than it is "about" story or character. Story and character are not ends in and of themselves, but means. Great cinema is moments of enduring fascination, when the multiple aesthetic tools of cinema come together in an almost metaphysical harmony (like the finale of MOROCCO). So "style over substance" is a phrase that I'd dispense with, since I think it has no legitimacy. You can never distinguish between style and substance, and to do so misapprehends the nature of cinematic form as a vehicle for meaning and pleasure.

When I say that digital cinema set Mann free, I'm saying that it released Mann from the restraint of classical cinema to pursue something more spontaneous and impressionistic. MIAMI VICE is not so much a story as it is a conversation between discrete cinematic moments. It's as attentive to small, almost inconsequential human moments as he is to the sweepingly beautiful geography and structures of the world in which they occur, a soulful depiction of longing painted in the hues of a new, emerging digital world. What you see as harsh, digital texture I experience as something startlingly alive and immediate.

I don't think Mann's attempts to translate that aesthetic to a period piece works very well (and Mann seems to think so as well, given his stated attempt to return to film for his Enzo movie). It is a fundamentally contemporary style.
post #1603 of 2263
Nooj, quick! M:I2 is starting on Showtime, east coast time!


Oh god, it's just as terrible as when I saw it in the theaters 16 years ago.



Sorry, pls get back to your serious discussion on film vs digital.
post #1604 of 2263

Agentsands, I love what you wrote. I admire your deep love of the form and ability to separate medium from story. I, generally, can't do that. 

 

"MIAMI VICE is not so much a story as it is a conversation between discrete cinematic moments."

 

I agree. I just don't agree that it works. :)

post #1605 of 2263
It's "just my opinion" time!

Collateral is, to me, the most crisp and least pixelated of all of Mann's digitally shot films. It was jarring at first but once I got used to it, I felt it worked wonderfully for that particular story he was telling. It gave it an immediacy that it wouldn't have had otherwise. LA is a vibrant, pulsating, looming entity in Collateral. Every bit a character in the film as much as Cruise or Foxx.

Mann should've shot Public Enemies traditionally. The digital photography clashes BADLY with the period piece aspect of it. And, somehow, it's the least crisp of his digitally shot films. In fact, it looks TOO smooth bordering on blurry most of the time..
Edited by Fraid uh noman - 7/16/16 at 9:29am
post #1606 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil spurn View Post

Nooj, quick! M:I2 is starting on Showtime, east coast time!


Oh god, it's just as terrible as when I saw it in the theaters 16 years ago.

 

I had a blast watching M:I2 in theatres, but found it lost all impact on home video.

post #1607 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

MIAMI VICE is not so much a story as it is a conversation between discrete cinematic moments. It's as attentive to small, almost inconsequential human moments as he is to the sweepingly beautiful geography and structures of the world in which they occur

 

Oh, I agree.  Each piece of dialogue is there for a specific reason and meant to be savored.  For example:

 

Det. James 'Sonny' Crockett: "I'm a fiend for mojitos."

 

poetry...

post #1608 of 2263
Mojito is a bit of a sissy drink for someone like Sonny Crockett..
post #1609 of 2263
"Collateral" captures what L.A. really looks like.
post #1610 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

"Collateral" captures what L.A. really looks like.

 

Grainy and pixelated?

post #1611 of 2263

It's called smog, Michael.

post #1612 of 2263

After a chatting with a colleague about Tarantino and his work, I thought I should go back and catch up a little on a few of the genre staples that inform his work. With that in mind, I cued up The Dirty Dozen, The Guns of Navaraone and Kelly's Heroes. Kelly's is still on deck, but I finished the other two and...eh? Both were OK, but whether I'm just not a huge fan of the genre or they're more movies of an era, I didn't find myself falling in love with either.

 

With Dozen, I just didn't find myself that interested in the characters outside of Marvin and Bronson (Cassavetes' ACTING! didn't do much for me), and there was a weird disconnect between the premise (murderers and rapists doing dirty deeds) and the wacky, Animal House hi-jinks that doesn't really resolve itself until the end of the movie, when things get a lot more grim. I get that they were trying to endear these characters to us, but they're either given such little screen-time or are such one note caricatures that it wasn't particularly dramatic when most of them buy it in the end. [Side note, but am I crazy or did they not show what happened to Posey?] I will say though that the actual final mission was fun, and to reiterate I could basically watch Marvin and Bronson just hanging out and be at least moderately entertained. 

 

Navarone suffers from a similar problem in terms of some dull characters (namely Knife Guy and Young Guy), but is helped by the more straightforward nature of its narrative and Gregory Peck putting the damn movie on his back with another great performance. I probably could have done with one less monologue from Bomb Guy (though overall I did like his character) but my only real complaint is the SUPER contrived ways they come up with to kill/maim members of the team. Again, I'm not upset these guys bought it, but plot dependent stupidity always grates on me, and this had that in spades. Knife Guy apparently can't knife a guy, Young Guy gets killed so stupidly even his teammate calls him out for it, and why the holy hell did they make Stiff Upper Lip Guy climb up a slick, dangerous shaft without a rope? YOU'RE STANDING AT THE TOP, THROW HIM A ROPE YOU DICKS. I can usually handwave a lot in a movie if it's in service of something, but it's annoying when a movie jumps through hoops to be dumber than it needs to be. 

 

Oh, and I followed up my dip into Blaxploitation, Coffy, with Black Caesar. Fred Williamson and Pam Grier aren't great actors in the traditional sense, but they have a ton of charisma, ooze cool, and both look REALLY good in the buff. I wouldn't call either good movies per se, but I did find them both entertaining because they very smartly play to those strengths.

post #1613 of 2263
THE SCARLET EMPRESS.

Another triumph from Sternberg. Dietrich is a goddess.
post #1614 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splatoon View Post

 

 

Oh, and I followed up my dip into Blaxploitation, Coffy, with Black Caesar.

Black Caesar is absolutely insane.  It was on at a bar and I stopped hanging out with my friends because I could not believe what I was seeing.  There wasn't even any sound.  Rented it immediately after that.  I wouldn't say I loved it, but it definitely was a wild experience, especially given the subject matter and time period.

post #1615 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA View Post
 

Black Caesar is absolutely insane.  It was on at a bar and I stopped hanging out with my friends because I could not believe what I was seeing.  There wasn't even any sound.  Rented it immediately after that.  I wouldn't say I loved it, but it definitely was a wild experience, especially given the subject matter and time period.

 

It's a shame there isn't an R-rated version of MST3K because this would make an amazing entry. The taxi chase, that awkward "we want Tommy" chant, him stumbling around  (and taking the subway) for about 20-30 minutes after being shot in the stomach. My favorite bit though had to be the inclusion of scene after scene after scene of people just gawking directly into the camera. This thing had to be shot without a permit right? Yet again it reinforces just what a pitch-perfect homage Black Dynamite was, and how little they had to move the needle to reach spoof territory. 

post #1616 of 2263


I'm a little cold on Malick's work after Tree of Life and Knight of Cups; ambitious, yet still hollow for me (Knight of Cups feels like a Malick parody at times.) I call it his Perfume Commercial Phase, and I considered Badlands and Days of Heaven his best works, until I saw this. (I concede I haven't seen Thin Red Line or To The Wonder)

 

I loved, loved this. It filled me with all of those feelings Malick fans assure me reside within every film he does, but this is the first of his modern films to move me in that way. There's just enough narrative and character arc to give me something to cling to, and the imagery might be his best. For me, this covers the same philosophical concerns as Tree of Life, but weirdly I find it so much more universal. So good that I bought the new Criterion as the closing credits rolled. I think it's the apotheosis of Malick's style. Completely immersive; without feeling like a faux-documentary. I was inside this film for its running time. It pretty much rewired my brain.

post #1617 of 2263

I think you'd definitely like Thin Red Line, then. That one is still my favorite Malick.

 

I also watched New World for the first time recently, the extended version. It could've lost about 5-10 minutes of frolicking, but overall it was quite good.

 

For some reason I found the cutaway to Newfoundland hilarious. I imagined poor Colin Farrell drinking vodka up there in the cold and the wind for weeks to get that one scene.

post #1618 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

I think you'd definitely like Thin Red Line, then. That one is still my favorite Malick.

 

I also watched New World for the first time recently, the extended version. It could've lost about 5-10 minutes of frolicking, but overall it was quite good.

 

For some reason I found the cutaway to Newfoundland hilarious. I imagined poor Colin Farrell drinking vodka up there in the cold and the wind for weeks to get that one scene.


Watching New World made me very eager to rewatch TRL; both of those films were shown during IFC's last gasp of showing movies, and I saw just enough of both to be curious. I think I'll always respect Tree of Life more than actually like it.

post #1619 of 2263

Just finished up the '87 flick Angel Heart. Overall I'd say I enjoyed it, but I had a sneaking suspicion about a third of the way in it was all building up to a big fat nothing and...bingo. The big "twist" is obvious in all but mechanics (which are very "uh, I guess?") and while I loved the alternately surreal/grungy aesthetic the film cultivates, the supernatural elements would have been more fun if they weren't in service to such obvious cliche. A real bummer, as if they'd manage to do something more interesting with the central mystery I would hold it up as a great piece of noir, but as it stands the movie seems to spend a good 30+ minutes spinning its wheels to put off telling us what we already know. Really dug Rourke as the lead though, him just doing detective stuff was probably the most enjoyable part of the film. DeNiro is fun as the devil when he plays it low-key early on, but much like the movie itself his performance loses something at the end when he reverts to...well, basically being Robert DeNiro. 

post #1620 of 2263
Yeah, ANGEL HEART has some nice aspects (the setting, for one thing), but it never really comes together.
post #1621 of 2263

Lisa Bonet's sex scene was a big deal for the ratings board at the time of release. How does it hold up now?

post #1622 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

Lisa Bonet's sex scene was a big deal for the ratings board at the time of release. How does it hold up now?
That was mostly because of her age, right?

Otherwise, it's not too remarkable.
post #1623 of 2263
I thought it was mostly because she was Bill Cosby's TV daughter.
post #1624 of 2263

An innocent time.

post #1625 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

Yeah, ANGEL HEART has some nice aspects (the setting, for one thing), but it never really comes together.

Mileage varies, but that was one of more unsettling first viewings of any film for me. The sense of just how deeply fucked he is at the end, the way our emotions are played with as the logic of who is the victim and who is the evil doer get flipped, and how utterly smug Lou Cypher is about the whole thing really got to me, and still does when I think about it.
Edited by jhp1608 - 8/4/16 at 2:12pm
post #1626 of 2263
The Deer Hunter remains the most disturbing first viewing ever for me. Considering I saw it after my military service. Absolutely shattering. It's GREAT...but I have no desire to revisit it or any other realistic war films..
post #1627 of 2263
On a more upbeat note, I watched Lynch's Dune for the first time a couple weeks back. It's a mess, but it's certainly a fascinating mess. I love the crazy Art Deco production design - between that, the use of a rock band for the soundtrack, and Dino de Laurentiis in the credits, it makes the whole thing feel like Flash Gordon on peyote. It's just a shame that there isn't more of Lynch's touch evident; given how weird the source material already was, it really could've been something to see him take the strangeness and run with it.
post #1628 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post

On a more upbeat note, I watched Lynch's Dune for the first time a couple weeks back. It's a mess, but it's certainly a fascinating mess. I love the crazy Art Deco production design - between that, the use of a rock band for the soundtrack, and Dino de Laurentiis in the credits, it makes the whole thing feel like Flash Gordon on peyote. It's just a shame that there isn't more of Lynch's touch evident; given how weird the source material already was, it really could've been something to see him take the strangeness and run with it.

I'm gonna try to watch this soon when I do a Lynch countdown to the TWIN PEAKS revival. On my first dive into Lynch I actually skipped this one because of its rep and Lynch himself disowning it. After seeing various clips on YouTube, I'm more tempted to get into it just to get that over with.

As for the comment on lack of Lynch's touch, I've read that he really dial himself back for this film as he got further into development, which likely explains his disowning it. It sounds like a film that's neither a true Lynch product or a proper adaptation of the source. Just a weird something of a film.
post #1629 of 2263
Sometimes just a weird something of a film is just what the Dr ordered..
post #1630 of 2263

Dune has a few rough patches, but it's fuckin great. It's full of iconic moments that no remake (or Scifi Channel miniseries) could hope to top.

 

It's one of those endlessly fascinating flawed sci-fi epics where you notice new things every time you revisit it. It's reputation as a failure is way overblown.

 

Note: Don't bother with the "Extended TV version", there's no real alternate director's cut. The theatrical one is Lynch's preferred version.

post #1631 of 2263

If you know the book, there are a couple of restored scenes in the extended "Judas Booth" version that you'll be happy to see, if you're not too frustrated by the more drastic changes to care.

 

The SciFi miniseries looks cheap in spots and the casting isn't as spot-on, but its handling of the story and characters is superior.

post #1632 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

Lisa Bonet's sex scene was a big deal for the ratings board at the time of release. How does it hold up now?

 

Uh...it's kind of wild I guess? I can see how in '87 it would have pushed some buttons, but I'll admit it's a bit hard for me to judge that kind of thing on a "think of the children!" scale having grown up in the internet porn era.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

Mileage varies, but that was one of more unsettling first viewings of any film for me. The sense of just how deeply fucked he is at the end, the way our emotions are played with as the logic of who is the victim and who is the evil doer get flipped, and how utterly smug Lou Cypher is about the whole thing really got to me, and still does when I think about it.

 

Again,  I think part of the problem for me was the suspicion that he was basically fucked from the beginning. The one question I have though is...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Does the ending mean Angel's soul is damned as well?

 

That's where the murkiness sort of bugged me a bit. It doesn't really feel like a twist when you're just sort of making things up as you go. 
post #1633 of 2263

Finally sat down and watched American Ninja for the first time and boy do I see why people have a soft spot for this movie. Up until the last fifteen minutes or so it was fun but serviceable, never really hitting the heights of something like Commando or Bloodsport because it falls prey to the classic B-movie shortcoming of having literally nothing to offer outside the action. Which, to be fair, is fun and Dudikoff is more than capable as an action lead (he clearly put some effort into the martial arts stuff) but everything from the comic relief to the bipolar love interest to the villain is just...there. There's a handful of so bad it's good moments (the "that didn't look right at all" motorcycle jump, Dudikoff just DESTROYING some poor guard's junk) but it's really that last glorious battle that puts it over the top. Ninja lasers, dick punching AND a helicopter explosion? Great stuff, and enough to make me want to check out the sequel to see what they do to try and one up it. 

post #1634 of 2263
Hunkered down for Tron Legacy today, and I think I'm a fan. Obviously the score is amongst the best ever made, and that helps considerably. I've heard it called the most beautifully shot bad film ever made, and that's an extreme but valid thought too. I liked it because it handled the issue of its forbearers head-on and didn't falter like other new movies with old characters do. I'd argue that the legacy cast are better served here than in Terminator Genisys or The Force Awakens.

My own two takeaways are:

1. It's easily better than either Matrix sequel.

2. If you have no problem with humans being digitized going into the grid (and their bodies doing...what?) You have no right to squawk about Quorra coming out. Maybe she's assembled from base elements in the air and the room. Maybe Flynn keeps protein soup vats in his digitizer room for coming in and out. Who cares?
post #1635 of 2263
Oh, I'll take the MATRIX sequels over TRON LEGACY. No question.
post #1636 of 2263
Well, I have questions.
post #1637 of 2263
But what makes the Matrix sequels so disappointing is how great The Matrix is. Tron Legacy is about on par with the original but with better music.
post #1638 of 2263
THE MATRIX sequels are bad, but they have a pulse, unlike TRON LEGAZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
post #1639 of 2263
I need to give it a revisit, but I'd definitely agree that it's a better "revival" film than TFA, even if some key points of it make just as little sense (what exactly is it that makes Special Girl different from any of the other programs we see being more or less indistinguishable from humans behaviorally, again?) And it is hardcore locked into the orange-'n-teal color grading (I know, I know, the original is all flat artificial color in the Grid, but it was more than just those two!) But the visuals are gorgeous, and the soundtrack is terrific. I also remember being tickled at the time that the movie took the vaguely pro-open-computing anti-vendor-lock-in leanings of the original (where it was really more just a coincidental subtext of the main plot plus maybe a little influence from hacker culture of the time) and made it full-on text - I would never have expected that in a mainstream blockbuster, particularly at that time. (Making Flynn the intersection of Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was fun too, if a little on-the-nose.)
post #1640 of 2263
Comparing again to The Matrix, I much prefer a vision of living inside a computer as being one of personified lights and data than one where people live in a simulation of the Transporter movies. Both Matrix and Tron have a messiah fixation, but only Tron grounds that in having the messiah have real stakes in a he world presented. Neo is an accident, perhaps a cyclical one. Flynn is the actual God of his world.

Obvies, different movies, different plots. But if you're hating on the plot of Tron Legacy it has most certainly stolen beats from all three Star Wars films.
post #1641 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning Slim View Post

My own two takeaways are:

1. It's easily better than either Matrix sequel.

 

Well you're half right. 

post #1642 of 2263
The Matrix Reloaded didn't become bad to me until Revolutions. Once I'd found out that the 2nd movie was making promises that the 3rd one wasn't gonna keep, the whole thing came crashing down.

See also: POTC 2 and 3
post #1643 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

That was mostly because of her age, right?

Otherwise, it's not too remarkable.

Her age was a factor, but I'm pretty sure it was also because the unsubstantiated rumor that Bonet and Rourke were actually filmed having sex during the scene.
post #1644 of 2263
I have a real soft spot for RELOADED. As badly clunky as it is, I love a lot of the ideas it toys with and how insanely goofy some of the sequences play out. It's sort of bringing out the best and worst traits of the Wachowskis.

I don't care for REVOLUTIONS though. I've seen the first two plenty, but only saw this one maybe three times. It just never plays well. The Wachowskis would have been wiser to just make RELOADED as one production and then move onto the next after giving it more thought.

Then again, looking at all their other work, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.
post #1645 of 2263

Whelp, last night was another trip back into the Rom-Com well, this time with Four Weddings and a Funeral, and...eh? The first half was fine, but it dragged towards the back-end and coming to this after Notting Hill, boy is that Andie MacDowell a step down from Julia Roberts. There's always an element of suspended disbelief in these "love at first sight" movies, but here the attraction is just baffling. She's not particular charming or ludicrously attractive, so we just have to kind of take Hugh Grant's word for it, and as good as a lot of the periphery stuff is ('dat John Hannah) with the driving relationship being a complete nothing it just left me wishing the movie would focus on the other relationships and eschew the big romance plot entirely. Also, the more serious elements, while handled well (to reiterate: 'dat John Hannah) made the already mediocre "big movie" stuff even more underwhelming. By the time we got to the scene in the rain, watches were being checked all around. Ah well, the tally now stands at an even 2/2, but I've got Overboard on deck and plan to put Bridget Jones into the line-up after that. 

post #1646 of 2263

The Odd Couple

 

 

Matthau and Lemmon bouncing off each other is a pure fucking delight. 

post #1647 of 2263

Finally got around to The Duellists. I was expecting a relatively low-key debut for Scott but as it turns out it's as lush as anything he's made. No great shock that he was put on big budget studio stuff in short notice, it feels 100% confident, which is what you get when you practice on adverts for years I suppose. Quite ironic considering what Scott did immediately afterwards that the climax is quite reminiscent of Predator.

 

I'm sort of inclined to knock points off for fairly obviously aping Barry Lyndon, but with less psychological depth, but it's no less enjoyable for it. Not sure if it was intentional but when Keitel is stomping around in his massive Napoleon hat towards the end it makes him look like a petulant 10-year old, which fits the character pretty well.

 

Having the two leads talk with American accents was a slightly odd choice, though especially when you have laid-back Californian Keith Carradine drawling away with his sister and her clipped English accent.

 

Elsewhere you get lots of "oh look who it is" faces, including a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by our late great mate (Pete Postle)thwait!

post #1648 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavez View Post

The Odd Couple


Matthau and Lemmon bouncing off each other is a pure fucking delight. 

"So in other words, you want me outta here?"

"Not in any other words! Those are the perfect ones!"

And..

" Fine! I'm sorry! I'll just kill myself!"

"MURRRR-EEEE!"

Love that movie.
post #1649 of 2263
Mean Girls.

Lindsay Lohan was my high school crush but I had never seen this film until now. Watching it made me pine for her pre-coke days.
post #1650 of 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post
 

Finally got around to The Duellists.

 

Hell yeah, I love The Duellists. The painterly color scheme is incrdedible, especially the horseback scene in the woods and the ending.

 

Carradine kinda bugged me the first time I watched it, but then his oddness clicked with me on second viewing. The main frenemy relationship over the years is quite compelling.

 

The DVD features were very interesting, covering the dangers of swordfighting, and Keitel's inexperience with period films.

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