^ Lol – I guess didactic films just don’t go very far for me.
“What does it mattah if it was 15 seconds or 20 seconds?? We’ve been ovah all this befoah – these people ah bohn liahs!!”
“Fire Over England” (1937) – Olivier was in this film. I thought he over acted. In fact, the whole film seemed plagued by it. Not Olivier’s best but Flora Robson was true to form. 2.5 / 5
Why so “messy” about FELLINI’S ROMA?
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (Tom Shadyac, 1996) – 5 out of 5 stars
A long-time childhood favorite, still the funniest thing I’ve watched.
NEAR DARK (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987) – 4 out of 5 stars
Just watched it again but this time on TV (TCM Underground), one of the best in ’80s cult cinema.
L’ARGENT (Robert Bresson, 1983) – 5 out of 5 stars
Bresson’s final film, like his other films (still working on watching more of Bresson’s films myself).
FIRE ON THE PLAINS (Kon Ichikawa, 1959) – 5 out of 5 stars
A fine Japanese WWII classic.
DEVIL INSIDE: Don’t ask. Wow this is bad. Didn’t pay for it thankfully, and generally i HATE these found footage films, but this was even worse than others i’ve seen. The ‘acting’ was tritely self conscious, the exorcism scenes were corny and predictable, and the film lacked any real sense of mood, which is something you couldn’t even say about The Last Exorcism, which was far from being a masterpiece but certainly a lot better than this!! It’s also too talky. Too much time devoted to completely banal discussions about the spiritual/metaphysical/neurological basis of exoricism, and they are obviously written by people that know absolutely nothing about the subject(of course). I feel sorry for whoever was duped into paying full price for this during its theatrical screening. The ‘creators’ are laughing all the way to the bank of course(film grossed over 100 million on a 1 mill budget) but due to poor word of mouth i can’t see this becoming a franchise anytime soon. The ending was the last straw for me. I’m almost tempted to give this zeros stars but sheer gall alone compels me to give it 1. The balls of these assholes to end the film in such a horrible way then put up website details in the final credits for audiences interested in ‘researching’ the case further makes me wonder how they sleep at night. On a pile of money i guess!! Hopefully they will pay for their sins in the afterlife. 1/5
KING OF KONG: 3rd rewatch. In its own unique and idiosyncratic way, this documentary says more about American culture than most more obviously ‘serious’ film of the last decade, and perhaps not just American culture, but also human nature. It’s both hilarious and ‘sad’ in equal measure, and it’s a fascinating expose of a world most don’t even know exists, despite whatever creative liberties it may have taken with the Mitchell-Weibbe rivalry 8/10
@ Scorpio Velvet
Yeah in my mind I actually read/replaced ROMA with SATYRICON, not sure how that happened exactly but uh, yeah… O.o
BROADWAY — 4/10
I was glad to attend Film Forum’s screening of Paul Fejos’ BROADWAY last night, but the gladness didn’t last. The film is pretty bad by any standard. The dialogue creaks, the storyline creaks louder, the music creaks louder still, the acting is stereotypical early sound acting (the sole exception being Evelyn Brent as Pearl). There are some remarkable moments of full-gonzo camera crane movement, but way too much of the film is pretty standard issue. It looks they took a silent film and reshot most of the dialogue scenes for sound, and they did a pretty clumsy job, and it looks even clumsier when the sound in the musical numbers goes way off sync. And the print was incomplete — the final long-promised “Broadway” number never materialized, the film stopped and the lights came up and that was it.
In two weeks they’re running LONESOME, which I hope won’t be the sad experience that BROADWAY was.
^ Oh no! That’s bad news about Broadway… I really hope Lonesome is better.
CARNAGE: Amusing film. I don’t think it really gets at anything essential, but i’m not sure it is even trying to, despite being ostensibly a satire about gender, class, and ‘civility’, among other things. Polanki’s attraction to the material is obvious, even if it isn’t a ‘typical’ Polanksi film. parts of it almost reminded me of Death and The Maiden too, at least in terms of themes and the restricted setting. Performances were uniformly great, although Foster overdoes it at times imo. Her passive aggressive behaviour in the first half is excellent and completely convincing though, as she eventually steps over that fine line separating righteous indignation from petty egotism. John C Reily and Waltz were the clear standouts for me. I couldn’t stop laughing at either of them. Wickedly funny movie. Nothing overly special, but certainly worth a look. 7/10
Doomed Love – What a waste of four and a half hours. Pretty much a filmed theatre performance, and a pretty shonky one at that. I still have high hopes for the Oliveira films I plan to watch, so I hope this is just a one-off thing and not what all his films are like.
EDIT: I didn’t actually dislike as much as that, it did have many very nice to look at scenes, and it was engaging enough every now and then.
Where did you see it, G-legs?
Like most of the movies, directed by Roman Polanski, ‘Carnage’ is also a reflection of the master’s deft touch in creating the appropriate atmosphere in a movie. Be that ‘On the edge of the seat’, holding-your- breath moments in ‘Chinatown’ or the brutality of the Nazis in ‘The Pianist’, Polanski always gets his audience involved in the proceedings or experiences that the characters of the movie goes through. ‘Carnage’ does not disappoint in that case either.
The entire movie revolves around two married couples and their discussion that goes haywire, following an altercation between their respective sons, in a posh apartment. The Longstreets, played by Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly host the Cowans (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz). What at first seems to be a humble dilation, gradually turns out to be, as the name suggests, a warfare of words and views.
Apart from the scenes where credits roll, the entire movie is set on, from what we get from a follow shot, a rich apartment. Credits to Polanski and Yasmina Reza, whose play ‘God of Carnage’ was adapted to make this movie, that the audience is always engaged. Though the movie starts off with the parents, wanting to mitigate (a little reluctantly maybe) the issue of their sons; it slowly but deftly moves into contrary outlooks of each character. Marriage problems, some universal issues and virile issues: the couples talk and argue about all of these against and between one another. If ‘John Wayne kinda manhood’ forms an alliance of the husbands then the wives also make an alliance.
Performance of the actors keep the essence of the movie perfectly. For a portrayal of husband and wife both pairs of actors are very much in tune with one another. Christoph Waltz is very appropriate as the workaholic lawyer. John C. Reilly is excellent. His character, Michael is the one who seemed the most calm and seeker of peace at first, but later he gave in to the arguments and became argumentative and bent out of shape. Reilly portrayed all those emotions deftly. The actresses were brilliant especially Jodie Foster with her jives under the layer of subtlety. This movie really questions whether we are superficial in order to become sociable and civilised, like Michael said ‘I am not being aggressive, I am being honest.’ Overall this movie is an ambit of emotions that one should definitely love.
The Melbourne Cinematheque. Great way to see otherwise unavailable films on the big screen. As you may know, these sort of places get films that are constantly being transported around the world to similar facilities, so it’s obviously not exclusive to here.
I feel both anger and admiration for this film… Does it even deserve it? Damn, damn, damn…
^that scene in the woods with him and the girl is powerful stuff.
I did not expect it to take that turn. Quite powerful indeed…
Wings (dir. William Wellman, 1927) 5/5
This film definitely deserved the first and only best production academy award. Great buddy, romance and war film. There’s no action films today that can touch the excitement of some of these sequences.
Stuart Little (Dir. Rob Minkoff, 1999)
Screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan.
Decent kids movie. Surprisingly competent on a formal level. Remember, Miknoff was responsible for The Lion King.
I did not watch Stuart Little of my own choice.
^ LOL M. Night Shyamalan wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little??? Whaaaaat? I saw that in the theater when I was a kid (10)!
Anyway, I just watched the American version of Bava’s Black Sabbath – without realizing it was different from the original Italian one. I think it’s 3/5, mostly for the Drop of Water section, but I wonder how I would have liked the Italian version. I really loved the score of this one (which I understand is different in the Italian one), but I also love lesbian subtexts and more violence (which I understand is in the Italian one), so… I don’t know.
Bava fans, am I really missing out? Regardless, I think I need to see Black Sunday soon…
The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1948) [rewatch] 9/10
@DFFOO – That piece of trivia had been buried in my mind when we picked the movie out, but seeing his name in the credits caused an audible giggle from me. The kid I was with asked me what was funny. It was hard to explain. At any rate, I don’t know what the screenplay read like, but the movie had a nice structure to it and some imagination. I’ve never read the E.B. White book, so I can’t comment on how much the film owes to it.
Tiny Furniture (Dir. Lena Dunham, 2011)
Seeing this after Stuart Little was a strange experience.
Tiny Furniture is a difficult one to comment on. I have no insight as to the verisimilitude of the movie and I have no sympathy for the situation it presents. If the movie is undermined by anything, it’s Dunham’s insistence that Aura regularly declare that she’s just trying to figure things out. 100 minutes of pouting?
This movie probably can’t stand on its own, but it does get me curious to see Girls.
Cramming Lena Dunham into a feature film is near unbearable. She works much better in half hour increments.
After what you just said… I’m less eager to see it. I’ll let it collect dust on my queue… Ghost World was enough pouting for me.
re: tiny furniture
I can see where you get the pouting criticism from. But she balances that by being extremely self-critical. Loved the film. I thought Lena wrote the male characters really well. She holds everyone accountable. Herself included.
a great topic for a horror film (being that it’s one of the creepiest around).
loses a bit of points for some standard scares and for lingering on the big reveal a little too long
but gains greatly from the performances. When I was watching, I kept thinking why is the dad treating this girl like she is fragile and why is she acting like a scared kid, bravo acting work.
now i need to find the original
The original Silent House is great. Some have already disagreed with me on that, but the seemingly single take makes everything all the more tense. I heard that they changed elements of the story for the remake, so I’m interested in seeing it.