Film discussion / critique is a strange beast, sometimes I hate hearing other people’s take on a movie, there is a kind of innocence lost when you mix your own personal, pure interpretation with outside contaminants. I understand and respect, and am very thankful that movies are open to all shades of interesting interpretations… but it’s like, I like mine, and if I sacrifice it and mix it and weld it together till it’s just the same as everyone else’s…
….except that’s also kinda the whole point, expanding your horizons, all that… There’s a certain fundamental human satisfaction in simply agreeing with someone. “Oh, you liked that same movie? You had the same reaction to that one moment?” Relating to another person, whether that be to the director, a character, or another “audience member”… what it’s all about, more or less.
Interesting sometimes to juggle and balance those two opposing forces, curiosity vs. fear of the unknown, ect.
Good luck with your analyzing, Jazz. I hope you don’t need to go into analysis yourself after. I’ve said enough about the film (maybe too much – some on the very threads linked above), so will just say that Antichrist is a film, like Werckmeister Harmonies, that either kind of works for you – or it doesn’t. We all know the blah blah blah about how von Trier was working through his depression while making this film. Seems he really didn’t get through his depression until Melancholia, where he needed to blow-up the Earth (oh sorry, should have a spoiler alert) to get rid of it. Now, he is apparently cured! I tend to think of Antichrist as a sort of an X-rated version of Where the Wild Things Are (though I haven’t seen the movie version of that, yet).
I can also really identify with Axelumog – sometimes it’s just best to go by one’s own reaction, or keep the analysis basic. I am still toying with the fact of whether I should screen Antichrist for my wife, who doesn’t really like graphic scenes, but generally likes von Trier. If one can get past the over-the-top scenes, there might be some pretty interesting symbolism hidden in von Trier’s spooky woods.
Yotsuya Kaidan Parts 1 and 2 (Dir. Keisuke Kinoshita, 1949)
Fairly entertaining version of the Yotsuya Ghost Story. Most of it has nothing to do with any ghosts, though; rather, it is standard issue spousal murder and consequences stuff. Kinoshita is gifted enough to keep things moving along nicely, though. The performances are all very good and when the film does get into ghosts (and/or visions of a tortured conscience), it’s really riveting. The climactic sequence really is worth the 2hr 45min ride.
GRAND ILLUSION – 10/10
After years of trying and failing to sit through this film, I was glad to be able to see the brand new restored blow-out version of the film that is currently playing in NYC at Film Forum. So this is what the shouting is all about. I can’t wait to see it again.
If this restoration plays anywhere near you — DON’T MISS IT. Cleaned up and restored to a bright fresh clarity that puts all those years of dark and grainy VHS and DVDs to shame. It looks like it was shot yesterday. Ravishing on all counts.
We Bought a Zoo (Dir. Cameron Crowe, 2011)
The next time someone complains about how Steven Spielberg tries to manipulate his audience, I’m going to refer them to this movie. My gag reflex was tested tonight.
The Avengers. 3/5 Entertaining. Went for my kids. I think I am starting to rate all superhero movies as 3 from now on. They are entertaining, and formulaic, and do what they are supposed to do. My son in particular (2nd grade) is loving them. Ah, childhood… it’s sweet. :)
^^Hey Odi, you are meant to be taking a break from this place!! ;-)
So am i! haha
Odi, I think Joss Whedon’s spectacular was a little better than that. He’s certainly no Joe Johnston.
Balls, I just DP’d
Meh, Joks, I pop in and out, ever so briefly. ;)
Hey Stephen, it’s all actually starting to become a blur for me. I never read comics and well, the reason I’ve seen 2 superhero movies this year was for the sake of my son, and it’s a joy to see him loving these movies. It’s kind of nostalgia for me because I remember the guys in my neighborhood with their comics and antics and action figures. (and of course my younger brother when he was very young wearing a blanket as a super hero cape and jumping off the couch)
You may be right, but I guess… I am… a…. typical…. girl…. therefore… entertaining, explosions, jokes, non-stop action, and then I leave the theater and forget about it. (except to rate it here to prove that despite my busy life, I once in a while actually am lucky enough to watch a movie (in the theater even!)). :)
No disrespect to comic book fans! :D
I see where you are coming from, and by no means I don’t want to force you to change your opinion. I just look at Whedon works as he’s making fun of superhero movies while having fun making a superhero movie. I don’t know if he quite grasped the large scale of the film compared to his smaller scale, enclosed series Firefly, but he certainly was extremely creative with crafting a story to fit all of the superheroes. I too am not much of a comic book reader, but I was thoroughly impressed. For me the film is on the levels of Raimi’s Spiderman and The Dark Knight (as much as I don’t like being part of the bandwagon, the film was made very well). It has its flaws, yes but I thought the satire of Whedon is on levels that most filmmakers try to have yet to comprehend.
I kind of felt like you the first time, and because it was very late when I saw the film (at the midnight premiere). The second time, however, the film surprised and I focused less on the superficial explosions that kept me awake at some points when I first saw it.
I agree with you, Stephen. :)
I was awake the whole time, and covering my daughter’s ears (too loud for her).
The humor in the movie was a gem. (flying monkeys reference that Captain America piped up and said he “got,” the Hulk’s sucker punch (left side, without even looking) to Thor, Thor’s “he’s adopted…?” about Loki, many other things)
The first superhero movie I saw was Superman with Christopher Reeve back in the late ‘70s when I was actually a kid. I really do enjoy them, I have no problem with films as pure entertainment – it’s always a great antidote to the heaviness of life to be able to lose yourself for a little while in a completely fictitious story with amazing special effects and kinetic action.
What is also interesting to me is how each of these superheros are so different and have whole histories about them. I think that the world of comics is a great vehicle for movies and due to the ongoing length of the stories of these characters, a really fertile field to explore for a long time. Not that every story in every comic book will be made into a movie, but you could do a number of them for a while, certainly.
Also, that these movies are coming out at this particular time in American history, anyway, reminds me of this quote from Wikipedia about how some in the film industry approached the purpose of film during the Great Depression:
Will Hays remarked in 1932:The function of motion pictures is to ENTERTAIN … This we must keep before us at all times and we must realize constantly the fatality of ever permitting our concern with social values to lead us into the realm of propaganda … the American motion picture…owes no civic obligation greater than the honest presentment of clean entertainment and maintains that in supplying effective entertainment, free of propaganda, we serve a high and self-sufficing purpose.
That is a very meaningful and perfect quote to summarize the current state of the film industry. I appreciate you finding it, as the economies from then and now are similar and we see a rise in entertainment because of it.
It’s an interesting quote because it shows that there is more than just the motive for profit there.
Art can always be viewed through a historical context – i.e., not just taking into account the personal experience of the artist, but what is going on around him or her. We are social creatures and even in some kind of relative isolation, the happenings of the world around us will influence our artistic output in some way, even if not necessarily obvious at first glance to the viewer. It’s a kind of osmosis-like influence, which sometimes the artist is conscious of, and other times he is not.
At any rate putting film into context in this way (historical), or putting any artistic form into context like this, is really interesting to me. It’s a bird’s eye view but nevertheless, an informative one. It helps me get perspective.
Has anyone seen Headhunters? I have nothing to do today and I’m trying to decide between that and Avengers.
Another great Ray film. Before the first DC I had only seen Pather Panchali, and I’m glad his stint in the Cup introduced me to more of his stuff. I missed this one when it was played.
It did, however, suffer from a poor localization. Not only did the disc have poor audio, the subtitles kept randomly disappearing. Way worse so than Kino’s translation of The Mirror or the pre-criterion localization of Bicycle Thieves, entire sections of dialog just not translated, which also gave me the impression that a lot of subtleties in the dialog were simplified out.
Le Navire Night 1979
Marguerite Duras words and direction
8/10 original and cerebralLink
“Not only did the disc have poor audio, the subtitles kept randomly disappearing”
I had the same issue. I ordered my copy from Netflix and it was all messed up. The picture was also a bit sketchy. But yeah, the film is fantastic and I’d like to watch it again in better condition.
Your comment about The Mirror worries me. That is the next film on my DVD queue.
My second time seeing Altman’s picture and this time I found it to be more enjoyable, I guess it helped having more knowledge of it this time around.
Another film I have only seen once before now and I remember finding it dull and the camera work got on my nerves, nothing has changed since then. I found it remarkably dull and I couldn’t connect with it.
HARRY POTTER AND THE FINANCIALLY MOTIVATED OVER-PROLONGED FINAL CHAPTER PART 2 — 6/10
Some good fun when it finally decides to get off its ass and get moving, which it finally does about 40 odd minutes in. The set pieces are entertainingly done, and Ralph Fiennes seems at long last to have been given a good cup of strong coffee — his Voldemort finally means business.
@ Nathan – First Jack & Jill and now We Bought a Zoo.
Man, things must be pretty tough over there.
@ Jirin – If you’re still deciding between Headhunters and The Avengers, see Headhunters. This is a really well made Norwegian thriller.
Or if you don’t like subtitles, wait for the inevitable American remake (which I’m sure is coming). lol
The Avengers 3/5—-a perfectly satisfying entry in the superhero genre….not the greatest superhero movie ever made as I’ve been consistently told by the fan boys (it will be the greatest superhero movie ever made until the next superhero movie which will then be the greatest superhero movie ever made). See how it works?
Pure escapism. Every character gets enough screen time, that whether you’re a fan of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor or the Hulk you should get enough to satisfy. It’s a significant accomplishment on the part of Whedon to meld all of these characters together and still make the plot coherent….luckily it’s pretty simplistic for the most part.
The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man are still better films.
“The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man are still better films.”
That may be the single harshest statement on THE AVENGERS I’ve yet read.
Casting issues any? That woman is less plausibly black than Anthony Hopkins in Human Stain. Even if two different children of a white man and black woman had that radically different skin tone, you’d think their facial structures would be a little more racially ambiguous.
That would be forgivable though if the entire film weren’t so ‘Nail on the head’ about the race issues.
my rating: B+
Cagney just ripped this damn thing to shreds. He is a joy to watch and gives one hell of a performance. But the rest of the film can’t keep up with his rabid dog character.
Nathalie Granger (1972)
Marguerite Duras words and direction
I Wish – 3.5 stars
I think maybe my expectations were unfairly high for this one. After Still Walking, I was giddy for this movie. And it was good, it was sweet, but it wasn’t heartbreaking. It was poignant. It didn’t move me emotionally the way Kore-eda’s last film did. But of course it wasn’t supposed to. It’s a much more upbeat film (just look at the music, which was borderline annoying). Anyways, a decent film and it certainly does a great job of capturing elements of childhood that we tend to forget as adults.
Perhaps a bit too emo for my tastes but finally a superhero film that I generally liked (it’s like Donnie Darko meets Kick-Ass, perhaps?). It also uses the found footage fake doc genre better than most (of course, not that it makes any sense how they managed to somehow edit the final product together).