Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 40682 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #1140 on: July 18, 2007, 10:46:01 AM »

I really didn't know much about The Band at all, but I just liked the movie, the Southern guy on drums who did "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down" was really into the song and did a good job.  Neil Young shredding was a high point.  That Dylan felt a little uncomfortable with an electric guitar or content to let Robertson handle the hard parts was kind of surprising.  I think Marty added a lot by using multiple cameras and cutting between the players.  I guess it was 1978, and there's a sort of melancholy about the end of the band that hangs over the movie as well, and the sort of generation of white guys of the Vietnam/Hippie generation who had grown up admiring the blues, especially when you consider that Soft Rock, Disco and then Punk and New Wave and Metal were all coming or had arrived in some early stages that sort of represent a break from the tradition of rock coming directly from a blues tradition.  They are just a great live band, obviously, and I enjoyed hearing them play.  Van Morrison sounded great.  Dr. John in his pink tie who I'm not familiar with was pretty funny.  I think the highlights were Neil Young sort of holding back on shredding when Robertson was pretty aggressively wailing away almost competitively it seemed, as he was all warmed up, and then Neil just crushes on the guitar at the end, really cool.
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barton
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« Reply #1141 on: July 18, 2007, 11:48:35 AM »

Little Children wasn't too bad as a basic Bovary-esque tale of suburbia, though I think the voiceover was sometimes intrusive and a bit too literary in places where the director needed to just do good visual storytelling, i.e. make a movie.  Still, some fine acting, not only from the A listers, but also the guy who played the pervert bringing some compelling nuances to his character.  Some scenes were played for sly humor and succeeded, such as the shots where Jennifer Connelly is getting suspicious and examining Winslet's painted toes under the dining table or questioning him in bed, or the massive pool evacuation when the pervert shows up for a swim -- reminiscent of a beach scene in Jaws. 

Some suspension of disbelief required when the Prom King guy describes his wife as beautiful and Winslet as more plain, as he puzzles over his attraction.  Jesus, buddy, did you just have an aneurysm?  Winslet is an earthly incarnation of Venus and who would even think of questioning the thickness of her eyebrows or solidity of her hips?  In another scene, he tells her "beauty is overrated" in a way that implies that his wife is beautiful but Winslet is not.  First of all, who says this to their paramour, unless there are issues of severe retardation in play?  Moreover, who would say this to Kate Winslet?  Geez Louise, Connelly is a bland and sexless stick figure next to Winslet.  (rant continues for several paragraphs...writer abandons all semblance of objectivity regarding Winslet....)

The real problem with the film is that the affair just isn't set up in a credible fashion (no matter what your perspective is on the relative charms of the two women).  Winslet's alienation from Mr. Masturbo makes obvious sense, but what precisely is the problem with Prom King's wife that sets him on a course of infidelity?  Aside from a brief allusion to the child sleeping in their bed (which seems temporary, and something easily worked around -- the house is equipped with a shower, and other rooms with closable doors and soft furniture), it's hard to get a real sense of where Connelly is falling short beyond the fact that she holds down a job and has a reasonable expectation that her husband, after completing law school, might want to get it in gear and pass the bar exam.  This does not seem to me the stuff of which emasculation is made, but maybe young guys just aren't as tough as they used to be.  The overall effect, for this viewer, was to eventually see the Prom King as a whiny idiot, and then call into question Winslet's judgment --- but then, the final resolution in the film does address this in a sort of oblique and confusing way.

 

 
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madupont
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« Reply #1142 on: July 18, 2007, 01:09:24 PM »

Excellent review, barton!  That is what I saw, mentally as well as visually but really could not cope with describing it because it took a while to define the threads of the themes (which may develop) which are defined from Winslet's view point. I think, I've had friends like her, at least in the perspective of not believing in frosting the cake. They have complete self confidence.

So although I came to the same conclusion, who says things like that to their "paramour"(?), maybe it is a guy who is caught up in his imminent  orgasm, while Winslet has just started to ponder the inbuilt competition in their particular situation and like most women can not leave the subject along. I thought it a neat way to "physically demonstrate" the difference in female think from male think, other than doesn't everybody really crave the experience of making out on top of a washing machine(or was it the dryer?)or in a hot stiffling attic?  But I have no doubt that Wilson(the actor) is also carrying the "luna" that casting directors and particular directors want when deciding their film leads; if they want to cut the crap ( I mean, I am a person who clocked the scenes of: 8 and 1/2 to determine how the point is put across by an obviously visualist director when one can not claim to understand all the emphatics of the Italian language).

Wilson is carrying his Angels in America "shadow"; who can shake that after being mothered by a determined Meryl Streep?

In any other circumstance Jennifer would have been,pardon the pun,
stiff competition, which is why I sent a picture or a link to it(for dzimas)  of how Connelly does Mulholland Falls. She's not too bad on the eyebrows herself.  Not to mention one of the most under-rated bosoms in Lalaland because they are usually suppressed or tucked out of the way so she can do a role like Mrs. Nash in:A Beautiful Mind; but when somebody wants a hooker to rile up John Malkovich, Jennifer's bustline is suddenly given moral support and at least some part of the audience is thinking where has this been all along?

The problem really is the ruse of the child in the bed, as you said she works for a living; and there is the balance of what you referred to as "reasonable expectation" on her part and how is dad doing as a house-parent and where.  I agree, "the massive pool evacuation " was probably the best shot  in the entire film, from a cinematographer's point of view.
It was even underscored in the line of dialogue given the pervert who emerges in his underwater gear.

That personality having been been one of those theme threads from the beginning,although Winslet didn't know much about it at all; but the persistent pursuit and harrassment of him by the former cop with too much time on his hands is the development out of Winslet's mere summation that the townswomen in the children's park are judgmental nobodies who are mental midgets in comparison to her own observations.

I think,you do have to in the end question Winslet's character's motivations unless you realize there really weren't any other than the obvious which women preferably suppress from the rational mind and then rationalize after the fact. It's just the way we are. Which is probably why, unlike yourself, I never recall the resolution in a film,except in an oblique and fuzzy way. That always allows me to do it again and see the  thing from other angles. Let's me know if I've grown.
 
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jbottle
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« Reply #1143 on: July 18, 2007, 09:28:25 PM »

Hey, has anyone heard when there's a new torture porn movie coming out, big fan of the GENRE?  Thanks in advance.

"A Portrait Torn" has just been greenlighted by Fox Searchlight.
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harrie
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« Reply #1144 on: July 18, 2007, 10:46:39 PM »

Congratulations, jbottle, for being in the forefront current events-wise.  One of the teaser articles on MSN tonight is about torture porn -- something I hadn't heard in that term until a couple of days ago, thanks to you. 

http://movies.msn.com/movies/torture?GT1=7701
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jbottle
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« Reply #1145 on: July 19, 2007, 12:04:36 AM »

You're welcome.  Not all filmgoers--or those who didn't see the films of which they speak--need sully themselves in exposure to the genre to understand that Roland Joffe makes ART TORTURE PORN.  I think I made that clear with my rant, and I'll not see "Captivity," having successfully scared myself off with rumination and conjecture.  For me, the psychological intervention of irony, hyperbole, jest, and whimsy, are the first defense to certain degredation and ordinary prurience.  I'm proud that we can live in a society where Eddie Murphy can dress up in a fat suit and tens of millions and where Roland Joffe can make a torture porn art film that meets with barely a ticket torn, but I'm not so uncynical to think that my assertion that the debasement of the cineplex will be an actual if not seemingly ordinary and safe (read "RV"), will be a near certainty as horror audiences seem the only reliable crowd other than those that want to watch Martin Lawrence play fat-suit, or someone buddy cop with Jackie Chan.  "Suspense/Comedy" has a decent run, I guess, and so will TORTURE PORN, lets just hope we can fight them in the Cineplex so we don't have to fight them in Europe.
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madupont
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« Reply #1146 on: July 19, 2007, 12:18:42 AM »

How was Ron Wood?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1147 on: July 19, 2007, 12:52:07 AM »

Unfortunately, Scorsese wasn't able to do for The Blues what he did for The Band. His multi-part series for PBS was a bit of a dud, I thought, but the Last Waltz concert of The Band has to be the finest concert movie ever done.  Although The Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense is a close second in my mind.  I thought Demme also did a nice job with Neil Young in Heart of Gold. The best concert movie that never was has to be the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter, as the Hell's Angels upstaged the Stones.  Fascinating to watch just the same.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1148 on: July 19, 2007, 12:53:10 AM »

As for favorite Scorsese movies, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore stands out in my mind.
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barton
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« Reply #1149 on: July 19, 2007, 09:50:50 AM »

Madupont --  I like your notion of not paying attention to endings, playing it out in one's mind in various scenarios.   I had that open-ended feeling from the vigilante guy (Noah Emmerich? ), who experiences the heart-softening at the end.  You can picture him becoming a good friend to the "pervert" in later life.  All the major characters seem to have grown, most out of a sort of adolescence.  This emergence is made direct and physical, of course, with Wilson's character, who has to crash on a skateboard in order to realize he doesn't have to regress to his teenage years to find meaning in life. 
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jbottle
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« Reply #1150 on: July 19, 2007, 11:27:43 AM »

nytperdu:  Yeah, I thought maybe Dylan was too stoned or something and couldn't remember the song; Robertson kind of switches gears pretty easily into something Dylan knows at least how to sing, and so it wasn't too much of a problem but an interesting moment.  It has to be hard to come into a situation where the other players are drenched in sweat and feeling it, and you come in cold expected to start jamming.  Neil Young warmed up rather quickly once he saw Robertson seemingly or momentarily showing him up on guitar.  I'm sure the competition if any was fun and genial, but it looked like Young was sort of laying back and waiting for his moment.  When Young comes back on stage at the end he is visibly plastered and wild-eyed, another funny moment.  Robertson comes off as thoughtful, funny, whimsical and remarkably nice. 
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jbottle
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« Reply #1151 on: July 19, 2007, 11:43:07 AM »

"Sunshine" is getting the slowly roller treatment trying to generate some buzz I guess by coming out in about 10 theaters this weekend, which means LA, NY, and Huh  The review I read was positive saying that it started out strong angling at "2001" but then devolved into an alienesque (pardon) actioner.  That sounds right up my alley despite my disappointment at them ripping my idea from the NYTFF (joke).
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barton
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« Reply #1152 on: July 19, 2007, 12:27:30 PM »

Hey, you know I thought of your "Sundiver" (IIRC the title) when I saw the ad for Sunshine somewhere.   The greatest films are always the ones they don't make.

 
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jbottle
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« Reply #1153 on: July 19, 2007, 12:52:18 PM »

"Sundive," e.g., a "solar incursion," once thought impossible.
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jbottle
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« Reply #1154 on: July 19, 2007, 12:57:25 PM »

http://www.tmz.com/photos/celebs-who-balloon/73493/
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