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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 33898 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #930 on: July 05, 2007, 02:27:01 PM »

Oilcanboyd23< #930-something
"They wrote the book on mannered-sounding dialogue...," but for some reason it's just different, I don't know why."

ARE YOU overlooking the fact that you are discussing period movies? That is: movies made in a period when the dialogue was perfectly understandable to the movie goer because the movie goer spoke that way. I've been going to movies since prior to age three, there was no other way to go, so I've heard everything. Sounded perfectly normal to me. In fact, it is entirely possible that Americans now learn their language from not just movies but those fave celebrealities in that other forum. Some nits did a show last night that I overheard while typing because i couldn't bother to get up from the computer and turn it off as background noise. They were discussing why we pick on celebrities and what do people in the rest of the world think of us for doing so; American custom?

Then the blondes rattled off that it is almost always the blonde who gets picked on (who can't learn her dialogue anyway). Britney,Paris, and Diana are the big three this week.  Well the latter was just shy, supposedly, she eventually found her tongue effectively enough.

As someone guilty of bashing the Bush "babes" yesterday, I shouldn't complain or even run out and do a survey on who is cool for dialogue and who isn't but I maintain we get it from them because they go to better parties than we do.

You can't do a thing about the titles, unless you want to approach the studios and pitch yourself at them, these guys are generally in your age group aren't they or are  you more or less?  You have got to become a producer. Snarky job but they seem to make a living at it, if you call that a living, yeah baby!
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #931 on: July 05, 2007, 02:44:51 PM »

Oilcanboyd23< #930-something
"They wrote the book on mannered-sounding dialogue...," but for some reason it's just different, I don't know why."

ARE YOU overlooking the fact that you are discussing period movies?

Yeah, I guess so, I don't know.  Maybe people in the 1930's and 1940's and 1950's really did walk around saying things like "Hello joe, whattaya know?" and "Yaaah, see," and so forth, all using an Edward G. Robinson impression-voice.

I remember seeing a documentary about the communist hearings with Senator McCarthy and all of that, and they showed some actor testfying before Congress.  I don't remember if it was Cary Grant or if he even testified, but I do remember the guy I saw was a handsome leading-man type.  They asked him "What do you think of Communism?" and he replied, "Well, I don't know what I'm talking about... but I don't like it, because... it's not on the level..."

Anyways, all I know is that when I see/hear the old-timey-talk in movies, it sort of makes me tune out or whatever.  I guess that makes me small-minded or something, but that's just one of many things in that category, etc.

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desdemona222b
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« Reply #932 on: July 05, 2007, 02:50:14 PM »

I know what you mean - things like "Wow!  That's swell!"

Cagney is the one who always got me.   That was during a time when most of the movies were made with actors who hailed from the New York City area.  "I'm gonna be watching ya - ya see?  Ya see?"
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jbottle
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« Reply #933 on: July 05, 2007, 04:38:29 PM »

Yeah, but I like "The Big Sleep" a lot, and it was written by William Faulkner, and I think more of the pace of the dialogue than the words said.  If you're looking to noir, especially something like "Miller's Crossing" there's really no other way for Bernie Birnbaum to talk, or the Buscemi character, because they are fast-talkers, the same way the Italian is, and the funny thing that sets the pace off is how measured the dialogue of Tom is, unless he is angry or intent on making a point, of course, he is also often half-cocked and sarcastic, you know, drunk.  So I really don't know what's not to love about old movies when for one thing they were more driven on words and exposition, rather than the visual, and I think you went through a star-period where it was more about showing pretty people on screen, but it's also not like there were a lot of car-chases and planes either.  So, there's probably no movie more "talky" than "The Big Sleep," and I like when Bogart tells somebody and his ape to climb some other tree for a while, etc., you can't watch "The Big Sleep" and think, "I don't like old movies," because to me that would  be the equivalent of saying "I don't like movies...," and I know you're not saying that oil, but it's really a matter of what's tiresome and what's not.  Tom in "Miller's," and I'm glad that you brought this point up, is decidedly not a fast talker, and a great listener, like when he lets Finney or anyone else talk, because at the heart of it Tom is a cold-blooded killer, or at least cold-blooded, or at least a killer, except for the fact that he's got no good reason but love to initially spare Bernie, except for the other reasons he has for doing it...

Anyway, I think that the pace of his dialogue is important, and changes depending on who he is talking to, it's almost as if the faster you talk the more of a liar you are except for Tom and Verna, who talk quite normally, and Finney who is tired.
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peloux
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« Reply #934 on: July 05, 2007, 10:13:31 PM »

I liked Once We Were Warriors a lot.  Sad movie but so well done.

Another "Sad movie but so well done" is, IMO, The Dead Girl, a fairly recent release. Although the title is fairly revealing, I would probably have not walked out of Blockbuster with this one in hand if I had taken the time to read the blurbs and the summary on the back of the case.* The subject matter is just not my cup of tea but I was interested throughout. A girl is murdered and we learn how that effects a number of people, some who knew her and some who did not. The acting is excellent. This is an indie made by a woman whose name I don't even remember but she did real good. (**** Netflix rating system)

Pet Peeve Alert
*Summaries give generally more about a movie than I want to know about a film and I try to go as cold turkey as I can when choosing a film. Recently I saw a movie knowing nothing about it going in and then read the plot summary on Neflix. I was amazed. I went back through the movie and made notes as to when the main points given in the summary actually became known to the viewer as the movie progressed. There were five points made in the summary. The first one did not make itself known until 21 minutes into the movie. The next, at 44 minutes.  You had to get to 67 minutes into a 114 minute movie for the last piece of information given in the plot summary to reveal  itself. Clearly, this is knowing too much for too long.  I’m sure a moviemaker does not make the assumption that the viewer is aware of the plot beforehand.  Therefore (I would think) a great deal of care is taken at the exposition stage. All this care and hard work is for nought if we are told in advance. I want the movie to reveal itself to me, and I would think that's the way the moviemaker would want it as well. Most summaries reveal far, far too much. When is the last time you watched a film knowing next to nothing about it. It's fun. Still (uncomfortable disclosure), I am not so brave as to turn off the summaries altogether (Netflix does give you a preference), but I let my eyes fall to the bottom to see who the actors are and I’ll scan the first couple of lines of the summary, but that’s it.

 
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madupont
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« Reply #935 on: July 05, 2007, 11:04:31 PM »

Oilcanboyd  re:#941

"Yeah, I guess so, I don't know.  Maybe people in the 1930's and 1940's and 1950's really did walk around saying things like "Hello joe, whattaya know?" and "Yaaah, see," and so forth, all using an Edward G. Robinson impression-voice."


 By today's standards, I don't find that odd because most of us do off the cuff approximations of the people who impress us with the most audacious way of putting something.  It is apparently socially effective.

The guy that you probably saw as a Hollywood Lead type was probably Gary Cooper who was known for having ratted out his fellow-members of the Screen Actors Guild, not to mention writers, directors,etc.   I got the impression that he was none too bright, sort of the George Bush of his time.  People seen as heroic types then, usually effected a home-spun simple naivete as if that made for honesty and virtue. I guess,grown women liked him.  i wasn't.   Maybe he was the Matthew McConnaughy of his day?  They put him in a Marlene Dietrich film for one of his early roles; I bet that impressed her. She was going with people like Erich Marie Remarque and one of those Italian sportscar company owners and racers but don't remember which one anymore, plus long term friendship with Hemingway, a husband at home, eventually Frank Sinatra and Yul Brynner.  At least she did something for the country, ours, during the war, which is more than I can say about Gary Cooper.

I liked the weirdos, Peter Lorre, for example. And villains like that Sanders guy, who was actually twins.  For some reason, I can't think of any "heart throbs" of that era. Nobody stands out in my mind. Of course, I confessed over in American History that I wanted to  run away to sea and be a pirate along with Tyrone Power.

As time wore on, I absolutely hated Michael Douglas father before I knew there was a Michael Douglas to detest, Kirk --that's right with the almighty cleft-chin, whereas on the other hand come to think of it Stacy Keach with the cleft lip was endlessly fascinating by the time he made it to the big time.  His television performances had been menacing. Did he ever play a good guy?

And then there was the fastidious Clifton Webb....
Who turned out to be the bad guy in, Laura.

Dana Andrews was a real pain; but so were a number of character actors who did Westerns, and crime stories as punks because of some physical distortion that kept them on the books because that type-cast them and that was convenient for casting.

I never saw what Doris Day saw in Rock Hudson. I never could get with Paul Newman until he was a gorgeous scrappy old man who had mellowed. Jack Lemmon had a bad start also, but some of that was due to the Squareness of the era we were enduring; his talent blossomed as another time loosened up,  Forerunner of Jack Nicholson, no doubt. Best Nicholson performance, opposite Faye Dunaway with  Polanski to contend with, in the Robert Towne classic, Chinatown.

They all used the colloquialisms of their time.
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jbottle
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« Reply #936 on: July 05, 2007, 11:45:41 PM »

Regarding "Once Were Warriors," I would point you toward any lawn management crew, they are mostly Mexican, too, and, as I'm sure some of us were, "Once Warriors..."

I'm sick of Mexicans, sorry...
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jbottle
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« Reply #937 on: July 06, 2007, 01:38:32 AM »

And everything adds to 23 if you have the stones for it...
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jbottle
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« Reply #938 on: July 06, 2007, 01:41:00 AM »

'I never saw what Doris Day saw in Rock Hudson. I never could get with Paul Newman until he was a gorgeous scrappy old man who had mellowed. Jack Lemmon had a bad start also, but some of that was due to the Squareness of the era we were enduring; his talent blossomed as another time loosened up,  Forerunner of Jack Nicholson, no doubt. Best Nicholson performance, opposite Faye Dunaway with  Polanski to contend with, in the Robert Towne classic, Chinatown.'

The way I do it I say "I like 'Chinatown'"
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jbottle
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« Reply #939 on: July 06, 2007, 01:50:31 AM »

...as a senior member, with an open j-bottle, [glug]...if you know me as incoherency boy, welcome, if not, go paint yourself on a wall with a shotgun, sheesh, did I just say that?, heck, I kind of like that line, no prob and only jokes as usual, yours, jbottle...
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Dzimas
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« Reply #940 on: July 06, 2007, 02:37:32 AM »

Maybe we are thinking of different movies here, but Once We Were Warriors was about the modern-day plight of Maoris in New Zealand,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110729/
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Dzimas
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« Reply #941 on: July 06, 2007, 02:39:08 AM »

... but then I guess you were referring to your lawn crew.
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barton
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« Reply #942 on: July 06, 2007, 09:34:10 AM »

1408 is the best horror film I've seen in a long time. 

Adult diapers recommended.

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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #943 on: July 06, 2007, 10:49:13 AM »

1408 is the best horror film I've seen in a long time. 

I liked "1408", but my perception was a bit skewed (or slanted or whatever) in the movie's favor, because I was sitting next to a group of early-teen-age girls who were screaming their heads off at every "boo!" shot (and there were a lot of those), and they would moan "ohhh noooo...." (one was actually crying) whenever it seemed like there might be a "boo!" shot coming up soon. 

It wasn't moaning/crying like "get me out of here" or whatever, but rather the kind you see on a roller-coaster ride, like yeah, the person is moaning/crying, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're not enjoying the ride.

Anyways, for all I know, the movie may have actually sucked, but when you're sitting next to a group of people who are that into the movie, how can you not enjoy it?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Hey Barton, were you a little miffed that Cusack didn't go meet with Sam Jackson at the end?  I know you get the shot of Jackson admiring Cusack's moxie in managing to escape (something like "Well done, Mr. Ensling" or whatever), and I know that Cusack emerges from the experience a changed person, ready to move on with his life and shed the cynicism he harbored after his daughter's suffering, etc., but still, all of that notwithstanding, you would still think that Cusack would feel compelled to go visit Jackson, especially given the depth of their discussion at their intial meeting, no?

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madupont
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« Reply #944 on: July 06, 2007, 11:23:27 AM »

oilcanboyd23   Re:#955

Anyways, for all I know, the movie may have actually sucked, but when you're sitting next to a group of people who are that into the movie, how can you not enjoy it?

The one and only time I saw that happen with a mixed audience of all ages, including a large adolescent contingent, was Fahrenheit 9/11, in a place where I never thought he'd have fans!  They absolutely agreed with his take on the war.

The not less odd response unexpected  was when the lights went up after Broke Back Mountain; and clusters of senior citizen women were gathering in the top rows to swap stories of memories brought back to them of relatives whose true life experiences they were sharing with each other.

These two occasions did much to convince me that the so-called Red states were being incorrectly represented, by their Representatives who wanted to look good to each other in Congress by boasting I've got the nastiest bunch of redneck constituency supporting the President, a much tougher bunch of hell-raisers than your constituents, etc.
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