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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 40595 times)
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rmdig
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« Reply #2115 on: October 06, 2007, 12:36:19 PM »

madupont

Having worked in and near the criminal justice system for now almost 30 years, I've seen more than my fair share of senseless acts of violence.  Bergman managed to do something with that material that I haven't seen done as well in a film before.  It helped, of course, that he didn't sensationalize the violence.  And he also portrayed the young woman as being surprised -- can't think of a better word at the moment -- that I found really effective.  Surprised and helpless and alone.
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rmdig
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« Reply #2116 on: October 06, 2007, 12:38:53 PM »

barton

I haven't seen any of those other films.

The best of the new "multiple plot" films I've seen so far is Crash, at least it worked best for me.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 12:42:05 PM by rmdig » Logged
martinbeck3
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« Reply #2117 on: October 06, 2007, 02:16:15 PM »

Did anyone mention Babel?
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rmdig
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« Reply #2118 on: October 06, 2007, 06:13:13 PM »

martinbeck

Scroll up a few posts.
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harrie
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« Reply #2119 on: October 06, 2007, 11:13:04 PM »

Oh, madupont.....tomorrow's NYT Magazine has a story on the Bob Dylan flick.  Here's a link - http://tinyurl.com/24jqjr

rmdig, I liked Crash (not the Cronenberg one) a lot; though at times I felt like I was being whacked over the head with "the message," sometimes I think a good whack to the head or other body parts is in order.  The direction/writing were my only complaints, and mild ones at that -- I thought the performances were very good.  I haven't yet seen Babel, though, so I can't make any comparison/contrast.
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madupont
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« Reply #2120 on: October 06, 2007, 11:34:55 PM »

Thanks, harrie.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2121 on: October 07, 2007, 05:38:43 AM »

21 Grams didn't do much for me, which is why I've been avoiding Babel.  It was so overwrought with emotional anguish that it reached a point I just couldn't stand it anymore, especially since all these emotions were contrived.  There wasn't a "gram" of humor in the movie. 
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2122 on: October 07, 2007, 05:43:12 AM »

I see you are putting your downtime to good use, rmdig, catching up on some mighty fine films.  I have the Criterion complete edition of Fanny and Alexander that is well worth, as it was originally conceived as a television serial, before being shortened for theatrical release.  The Critierion edition has both versions.  Still waiting for The Best Intentions to be released on DVD,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_Intentions
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rmdig
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« Reply #2123 on: October 07, 2007, 09:58:43 AM »

harrie

The messages these multiple plot films deliver typically verge on heavy-handedness and/or obviousness.  Maybe that's the only kind of delivery that will get through to the average movie-goer.

dzimas

No humor in Babel, I'm afraid.

These films -- Crash, Traffic, Babel -- all share at least one weakness: they are very short on character development.  I don't know if anyone has garnered a best actor nomination or won a best actor Oscar but I sure hope not.

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harrie
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« Reply #2124 on: October 07, 2007, 10:24:51 AM »

For Crash, I think Matt Dillon got a Best Supporting nomination but did not win.  IIRC, though, Paul Haggis got the Best Screenplay award, which is sort of rewarding the lack of character development. 

Plus, as you noted rmdig, I think the lack of character development and the heavy-handedness go hand-in-hand, almost by design rather than by accident.  Given that most American movies run 2 hours or less -- and those that run over are almost always scrutinized by reviewers about what could have been cut out -- the writer/director has to give us thumbnail sketches of the many characters so that we make the appropriate (for the story) assumptions about who these people are, thereby making us appropriately shocked when the stories take their respective twists.

Like the Shamalayan (sp?) movies, I think this may become overused and abused as people begin to expect the big twist.  So in the movie of this ilk down the road when Christian Bale is tying puppies to railroad tracks while we hear the train whistle in the background, the audiences are going to be thinking "Yeah, yeah -- when does he climb the tree hanging over a power line during a thunderstorm to save the kitten?"   Just my opinion, but overkill -- it's the American way.
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madupont
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« Reply #2125 on: October 07, 2007, 11:27:58 AM »

harrie,

I  loathe Shymalan's movies, although I can not resist peeking through my fingers to see what in the world he has done now. They are usually really in bad taste and, I keep thinking, is it just all strange to him having become a director of American films?  They are missing in intellectual continuity; something does not get verbally translated anywhere in the film's dialogue, you are left instead to imagine what the film is probably doing because after all haven't you been given the appropriate visual clues to the point of schmaltz.

His films suffer from an Occult deficit but then most American films do. But you expect more of someone from India, wouldn't you say?  Americans like Horror films,so do the contemporary Japanese; but never once do they currently create the eerie,livid occultism that was so evident in  the first Japanese films we began to receive in the 1950s. Nor have we come up to the French taste for the supernatural in human experience, something as frightening as the original Diabolique, which you can later shrug off because you are among the inheritors of the Enlightenment with a rational mind but, it still got you going didn't it? It haunts you for the rest of your life.
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« Reply #2126 on: October 07, 2007, 12:42:15 PM »

He's an American.
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barton
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« Reply #2127 on: October 07, 2007, 12:46:56 PM »

Shyamalan managed to get one of them right, Unbreakable, perhaps because it came from a comic book sensibility in which he was fairly comfortable.  The Sixth Sense, which took a plot twist more familiar to Japanese audiences and presented it to an American audience, had some moments but unfortunately many of them seemed to invite parody.  Didn't care for Toni Collette in that.  I will say that it's one film where Bruce Willis managed not to do his trademark smirk.

Here is possibly the worst top ten list I've come across recently -- it's of "greatest" movie scenes....

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article2538370.ece

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« Reply #2128 on: October 07, 2007, 06:22:48 PM »


He's an American.


He is now.
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madupont
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« Reply #2129 on: October 07, 2007, 06:34:01 PM »

barton,

If Unbreakable was the film that was on last night, which I think it is, I'll say this for it.   It stops you for more than a minute, really gets your attention as the thing begins. But that opener is so good that it leads you to expect something that doesn't fulfill your expectations.  I stayed with it awhile through the great Willis discovery of his newfound state and then I lapsed off and checked out.

You see it held just that much of my attention, playing to realism, and it was because I've seen this film before, coming into the story much further along so that, according to that experience, I would never have been able to predict this beginning as seen last night.   

That said, on neither occasion did it hold my attention to a willingness to see it through.  I have no idea why.  I just chalked it up to a Samuel Jackson performance, one of several that hasn't had it for me, whereas there are tons of others which have really been enjoyable works of art.

I was even willing to accept the intro of the Willis character for what it was; and, unlike  Demi, I have never ever had even one occasion where I really wanted to observe what he was up to--I should take that back and allow for an interesting thing they did together involving a cover up of a murder if I remember correctly. Back in their hey-day.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 09:34:33 PM by madupont » Logged
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