ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANY MORE – 4.5/5
I’d been wanting to confirm my suspicion that Martin Scorsese used to make movies about actual human beings rather than automatons. The film has some problems, but the incredibly high quality of the acting makes it all go down very easily. The scenes between Ellen Burstyn and Diane Ladd, in particular, are as warm and alive as everything in HUGO wasn’t. That gorgeous scene where Burstyn finally makes friends with Ladd is one for the ages, funny and moving and surprising, and only throws the posed overacted phoniness of his last decade’s work into stark relief.
Roscoe : I think TCM is having an Alice themed night in May, and I was going to record this one. Now I’m even more excited to watch it.
I saw The Raven in theaters. Rating : 2/5. One reviewer noted that it wasn’t horrible to watch, but The Raven ultimately leaves the viewer with an empty feeling. It’s true. I love EA Poe. I love John Cusack. I love horror mysteries, but something about this film just didn’t work.
Stray Dog/ Nora inu 1949
Japanese noir in a heat wave
8/10 my stock rating if I write on it, it has to be at least an 8Link
Brief Interviews with Hiedous Men 4/5 stars.
Sucker Punch- 2 1/2 / 4
BONJOUR TRISTESSE 0.5/5
Dreadful, a pretty piece of polished Bleak Chic. Lovely location scenery and sumptious color cinematography, in a beautifully restored digital restoration, can’t disguise the vapidity of the proceedings. There’s more profundity in an episode of FRIENDS. Ms. Seberg manages some fine moments, but her efforts are undercut by a voiceover narration of just astonishing lameness, it makes BLADE RUNNER’s v.o. seem like Shakespeare.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Dir. Daniel Alfredson, 2011)
This just in: Nathan M… discovered that he does not care about British spies, even if they come wrapped in one of the most meticulously crafted, gorgeous cinematic packages in recent years.
Ha! 100% with you there Nathan… you can dress up a “Spyfest” in all the prettiest and most “intelligent” adornments in all the lands, but at it’s heart it is still just that: A Spyfest, and all that implies.
The Skin I Live In
my rating: A-
Sickly fun and very fascinating. It has all the best things about an Almodovar film except for an emotional sucker-punch at the end. The biggest flaw is that Almodovar tries way too hard to provoke a reaction from the viewer.
The Way (Emilio Estevez) 2010
Unless you are particularly interested in seeing the Camino, there is not much on offer here. The narrative is laboured mush really, and performances middle of the …trail
booooooo @ Nathan
That was more or less my reaction to The Way as well.
Heckle me all you want, Santino. It won’t change the fact that Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy is just a bunch of tired espionage junk wrapped up in pretty garments.
Do you have to care about the subject matter to really enjoy/appreciate even love a film? Jazz have you ever asked this in a thread? Was just wondering about Nathan’s comment….I don’t care about Brit spies either but I loved Tinker Tailor
Whatdya got against pretty garments???
I appreciate and respect TTSS, but I just don’t care.
well don’t care was made to care, don’t care was hung, don’t care was put in a pot and cooked til he was done
that’s what my mum said anyway
I could reverse my equation. The British spy drama is not a genre that interests me at all. If there was going to be a great Brit spy movie, I guess this would be it. But…there aren’t any great Brit spy movies as far as I’m concerned.
I think if you don’t like the genre, Tinker is probably not for you. I just eat that shit up. It’s weird that you don’t like Tinker though, given your affinity for Zodiac. Though obviously different in plot, they seem to share similarities in their procedural element, which is what I dig. And in both cases, so much is left unsaid and forces the viewer to pay attention.
For me it’s about the people. I felt like the “point” or the focus of TTSS was more the “spying”, the suspicion the betrayals, who dunnit and all that… less about the characters. I’m interested in characters and relationships, moods and ideas… not so much history or “thrilling spy antics”.
I mean Let the Right One In was great for me not because it was some clever take on the “vampire genre”, but because I believed and came to care for the characters, and I thought the moods and tones were more interesting and original. I didn’t feel that way about TTSS, which I guess I fault the source material for more than anything.
Well, I agree that Let the Right One In is more character driven however I felt very compelled by Oldman’s character in Tinker. He seemed like such a fascinating person and I really felt a huge amount for him. He seemed so detached, so distant, even from his own wife, who he loved even after he found out she was cheating on him. I’m sure the miniseries (and book) go into more detail but I almost didn’t need the exposition because there was so much subtlety in the small details about him that revealed so much. Just the way he sat revealed so much about who this guy was. And like I said, the fact that Alfredson had so much faith (aka respect) for the audience that he let them figure it out for themselves and didn’t hammer us over the head with exposition and overly-obvious cliches made me relish the experience even more. Because yes, while there is a lot of spy stuff and “boys playing games”, there was a real humanity to the players that I really connected to.
I agree about Gary Oldman, but I didn’t connect with anyone else. For example, I thought they should have ended on the shot of Gary Oldman coming home to his wife. That, for reasons you hit on, was interesting… but instead they ended on the previously spoiled menu shot of him “becoming head of the division” and getting his job back, triumphing in the end ect…
Don’t get me wrong I love Gary Oldman, and the film did have its merits. It looked good, had some scenes and moments I liked, you could tell there was intelligence and craft behind the filmmaking. I’ve just seen the “find the mole” spy film play out a few too many times, and Gary Oldman aside, the characters and filmmaking didn’t counterbalance this incredibly stale spy scenario, for me.
“I’ve just seen the “find the mole” spy film play out a few too many times”
Where have you seen the “find the mole” spy film play out?
Off the top my head I think of Breach, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Where Eagles Dare…
… basically any james bond or “spy” film that involves a double agent and “finding the double agent”, right?
I would also point to The Departed and Infernal Affairs as I’ve seen those recently, not spy films but you can insert many a procedural involving a “good cop” investigating his peers to find the “dirty” ones… Everyone is a suspect, no one is innocent, plot twists abound… you know the drill.
The Sound of My Voice – 0 stars
The worst film of the year. Bad acting, cringe-worthy dialogue, mediocre direction. This movie looked like it was shot on the 5D. Sci-fi mumblecore.
@ Axel – I agree with you that your ending would’ve been more impactful in telling the emotional story of George Smiley. But in a weird way, that might’ve been too on the nose. The ending that is in the movie is more consistent with the rest of the film in that it’s focused on “the boys with their games” and not on belaboring who this one specific character is and what he’s going through personally. So it’s weird, I hear what you’re saying but part of what I appreciated about Tinker Tailor was how subtle the character stuff was – even by the end. But saying it’s subtle doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s not there or that it’s surface. Because I don’t think it’s a shallow portrayal. Just not very obvious, kinda like the film itself.
The Yup’ik Way 4/5
dir. Beth Edwards
I’m not particularly a doc guy, but I found this one to be quite exceptional and even quite impressive since it was made by a young, first time director. In a way, it reminded me of Herzog’s 2010 doc Happy People: A Year in the Taiga. I met the director while working on another project and she’s super nice and I showed some interest in the film so she gave me a copy.
Here’s the trailer. Embeding has been disabled.
Hooper Bay or Naparyarmiut is the largest native Yup’ik village in southwestern Alaska. Of the 1023 village inhabitants, 62% are under 18 years of age. With the majority of the village being so young, traditional ways of life are diminishing by the lure of western culture, technology, and language. Children wishing for McDonald’s and movie theaters, while at the same time loving their close knit community, are faced with the decision of staying in the village or moving to a larger town or city. With over 80% of the village on state or government assistance the prospects for the future of the village are pretty grim. If a young person decides he or she would like a higher education, it more than likely means not being able to return to the village and pursue his or her chosen field, due to lack of opportunity.
That is interesting, I’ll give you that. I can certainly applaud not making the “obvious” choice, next level thinking ect.. so I can appreciate what you are saying in concept.
However, I think that sometimes the obvious choice is actually the right choice. I wonder if what you suggest isn’t trying a bit too hard, going too deep… putting all that effort into keeping that element “subtle” and stifled. It’s like being clever, most of the time I feel like people would be better off being less clever, and just be more straight up.
That, and just the thought of “boys and their games” makes me want to throw up ;)