Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 34023 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2007, 12:24:03 PM »

Barton:  I see the logic of Hilary/Obama but feel that a Southerner to the left of Hilary would bring more strategy to the table regarding electoral votes:  You've got to win some Southern state even though Hill/Ed is DOA in Edward's home state of NC and birthplace South Carolina.  Because there is such a great population of blacks in the South, Obama is largely irrelevant as far as trying to motivate a populus that fails to vote more than any other groups for a variety of factors. 

Without a Southern State you have to have a sweep of Ohio, Michigan, and a handful of other states that could go blue or red.  I don't know if Illinois is a shoo in with Obama, but even so, that probably means the Dems are winning Ohio and Mich anyway.

Edwards doesn't bring any more gravitas to the table than Obama, maybe less despite their shared lack of experience in foreign policy, but it's a little troubling that Obama has admitted to using Cocaine, and I think that it gives the ticket a decided disadvantage in the South (and wherever else this may be true) because of lingering racism, unfortunately. 

Southerners don't like Hilary's tough demeanor in the same way they love Mrs. Bush's demure and dignified and soft-spoken manner and apparent kindness.  Add Edwards though and you have "one of us" on the ticket who is genteel and kind and I think it goes a long way in balancing the feel of the ticket.  You also get the sense that like Hilary, Obama is a shrewd shark and you don't get that feeling from Edwards, in other words, his lack of seeming ambitious despite running for President again helps as well in the intangible way you look at a "team" in the race.

I thought that Guiliani was especially poor last night, though, because he has that glib manner typical of dealing directly with difficult constituents, and he really needs to humanize his delivery, slow down, appear thoughtful rather than knee-jerk in his responses.  I don't think he was ready but he could do better with fewer men on the stage and I expect the field to thin out in 4 months time because of money.

In a perfect world, I don't mind Hilary/Obama, but I feel strongly that it's too problematic a team that could derail in a way that Hilary/Edwards could seemingly not lose simply by not dropping the ball, especially now that McCain is so levered to Iraq and seems to have lost his Maverick credibility by getting his ass kicked around by Karl Rove and the Bush Cabal, taking it, and then getting on board by supporting the administration.  I know that he has to actually hate Bush/Rove, and the fact that he has cut a deal with them for support after they lied about him and called him insane puts his credibility on any subject at about nil for me. 
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jbottle
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« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2007, 10:16:12 PM »

Oil:  I regard the demise of print "Premiere" as a "Film Threat" win, despite the fact that "Film Comment" and "Cinema:  Not Cinema" seem to dominate the academic and generally erudite and educate film Community.  I've never felt like a snob when I saw an article pointing out the Marxist subtext in "Freddy Got Fingered" and "The People Under the Stairs," in other words, there's a place for rhetoric, both common and more advanced.  The article on the irony of direct Freudianism in a purported teen sex farce about "The Party Animal" led to a departure en masse of the entire secretarial staff during the late '80's, all 3 in fact, and yet "Cinema: Not Cinema" has remained a steady voice of calm pseudo-intellectual rabble-rousing that separates itself ever so discreetly from tabloid journalists content to look up the skirt of pop icons which, with disgust, we all see on various internet journalism sites.  I raise a champagne glass to "Premiere," and hope that the integrity and je ne sais quoi that they always have had remains, salut, and best wishes.
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jbottle
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« Reply #62 on: May 06, 2007, 01:41:14 AM »

The sigboth has said tonight that my primary objection to "The Black Dahlia" being "too yellow" was shortsighted and without merit.  She conceded that while the film was very yellow, that there were a number of dramatic elements to appreciate, and I reckon there's where we disagree.  Eckhart stops talking about halfway through the film, and that was a problem for me.  Also, the number of dangling threads we're photo-finish with the red herrings, thanks, I imagine, to a well-paid studio editor, pissed-off director and line producer, or whomever is supposed to keep the plot straight, if possible.

Some fine work, but I couldn't help, with all the yellowness, of being reminded of Michael Cimino's fine western, cut to shreds, and had the vague idea that maybe at DePalma's age he was going to make an expensive yellow one for the suits to chew on and fuck you...but I couldn't really even sell that idea to myself but for a second.

In terms of Hartnett being a decent guy for things to revolve around like the best of Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen, I thought he was adequate, but I would've liked to have seen Eckhart in that role, but then you have to scuttle the boxing line, and, as if the movie weren't problematic enough, more problems...

Whether the two-time Oscar winner was miscast or just awful is of similar interest, especially when DePalma is a slash and burn filmmaker who wouldn't mind showing a failed performance in a failed movie, but you always get the feeling of failure with DePalma, and if he had to take Hilary Swank with him, ah, wtf?

Johansenn is about fifty-fiddy, with good and awful scenes, and the only unscathed one who emerges is Eckhart, and as usual, DePalma, who obviously got his child taken from him as soon as the umbilical cord could be cut, so that the real cutting might begin...I would've liked to have seen his version, but I also think that with noir you might have to make that fundamental decision to push toward postmodernism or parody ("The Long Goodbye," "The Big Lebowski," no particular order), or else make it a digestible police procedural that one can follow and enjoy.

But then we're talking about Brian DePalma, for whom a nearly indecipherable studio cut of his sloppy film set and made in Hollywood just adds mystery and folklore to a guy that's capable of almost anything and powerful enough to have nearly everything taken away. 

Huh?
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2007, 09:05:08 AM »

Rule of 2's with "Hollywoodland"?  I haven't seen either, but still.

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fartonbink
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« Reply #64 on: May 07, 2007, 11:46:04 AM »

The Host is at the univ. theater here -- being hyped as a Korean monster film on the level of "Jaws" -- anyone seen it?

Jbot -- you make a good case for Edwards, and I must defer to your more direct knowledge of the southern voter.  Not being clear on where the boundaries of the South lie, I am wondering if her time spent in Arkansas would help in softening some of those flinty Northern edges.
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jbottle
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« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2007, 03:53:14 PM »

The boundary is basically what people in Maryland consider themselves, and whether you count Texas and Oklahoma (I don't).  I don't really count Florida either, for reasons that should be obvious (...the historical presence of Spanish-speaking people, a disproportionate number of retirees, the predominance of a particular type of white trash that may have come from anywhere in retreat of somewhere, etc.

I think I'll netflix "Hollywoodland," and yeah, it fits the rule as a period thriller though the subject matter is somewhat more differentiated than, like, "asteroid," or "volcano," more on the level of "Dragonfly," "The Mothman Prophecies," and to a lesser extent "The Butterfly Effect." 

Sometimes you just go on feel, as with "Bless the Child" and "Lost Souls" in 2000 or say "The End of Days" and "Stigmata" from 1999, which (please note) feature Gabriel Byrne prominently in performances that require the nuance of "creepy."

"Autumn in New York" and "Sweet November" are self-explanatory though problematic from the "Did we really need two movies where the hot girl dies from a terrible disease that makes the new romance fleeting by design?" 

But I digress.
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fartonbink
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« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2007, 10:37:26 AM »

You may digress, but I have to admire the way you keep applying the paddles and shouting "charge!" as you try to get a steady pulse from the new message board here.  I still think of "Mothman" as a Jewish surname, for some reason, e.g. Leonard Mothman.  But you have to remember I'm still struggling to understand "Copland" as a film that is NOT a biopic of a great 20th century American composer.  The Butterfly Effect stands out in my memory as maybe the worst film ever made in the time-twist genre.

It's amusing when politicians try to absorb some southernness, in search of widening the voter base --- I wonder to what degree Hillary will try to do this.  I remember Bush Sr. and his attempts to be somewhat Texan, though his roots and upbringing were pure New England brahmin.   
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harrie
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« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2007, 11:05:04 AM »

But you have to remember I'm still struggling to understand "Copland" as a film that is NOT a biopic of a great 20th century American composer. 

Did you really dislike this film, or is this all about the joke?  I like Copland a lot, but don't like Copland at all, just for the record.

And I'm sorry, but after watching Bushie's escapades with the Queen, I think New England as a whole has disowned him.  W's birth city of New Haven let go of any claim to him loooong ago, and I believe they were happy to do so.  Texas can have him.  As soon as HRH returns to the homeland, I wouldn't be surprised if she declares war on us.  Unless she pities us too much because we have a dumbass President.
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fartonbink
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« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2007, 12:47:09 PM »

I like "Copland" -- twas joking about names.

Yes, I think of Bush the Younger as Texan, though I think even Texas might want to get some distance from him after his attempts to talk trash with the Queen of England.  Though I did my level best to ignore all news of her visit, and Bush's usual inanities, I was unable to escape hearing of his joke about QEII being at least 300 years old. 

Classy.

Bush the Elder at least had some brains and some polish.
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jeniferlewis
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« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2007, 02:41:36 PM »

Harrie, you don't like Aaron Copland?  Is it his work you don't like, or did you meet him and find the experience less than satisfactory?  Personally, I find his Appalachian Spring to be a masterpiece and his film work (e.g. Our Town)  most effective.

Speaking of films, my favorite films this year so far are The Queen and Pan's Labyrinth.  I have no wish to see Spiderman 3 but Mr. Lewis wants to see it so he'll go on his own.  I can already hear his "You were right."  We both want to see The Hand That Shakes The Barley.

(Thanks for the link BTW!)
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2007, 03:24:38 PM »

"Pan's Labyrinth" was great - I almost tried to start a chant of "G-D-T! G-D-T!" as the credits rolled.

For another good artsy movie, try "Das Leben Der Anderen" or something like that - "The Lives of Others", about a writer and a Stasi officer in the last days of the GDR.   

I've heard good things about "The Hand That Shakes The Barley".  All I know is that there hasn't been such a great spoonerism-potential title since "A Tale of Two Cities".
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2007, 03:31:09 PM »

"The Shand That Bakes The Harley", by Darles Chickens
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jbottle
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« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2007, 03:40:57 PM »

The only movie I've seen at the Cineplex this year was "Fracture," which I liked as a title but I thought it was going to allude to a sort of multiple-personality disorder like Ed Norton had in "Primal Fear," and spoilers for those who didn't see that one, when I say "had" I meant "faked."  Now that Norton performance was the thing that elevated another pretty dumb script by taking his character seriously enough to be creepy, but not serious enough to be hammy, like Hopkins does with Lecter.  I was hoping of more from Hopkins, but not his fault, there was just not much there to do...

...at least you can could count on Pacino for being able to sniff out where, okay, the only way this is going to be fun for me or the audience is for me to take over and go for broke, who cares, I'm playing a lawyer/devil, there's really no other choice...

Denzel has the breezy charm to get you through some of his more-poorly penned films, I don't know, I find myself missing movie movies, I guess I'll have to go see "Disturbia" now.
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jbottle
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« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2007, 03:52:38 PM »

As it turned out, all "Fracture" meant was "This is a cool-sounding movie title..."
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harrie
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« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2007, 04:47:29 PM »

Harrie, you don't like Aaron Copland?  Is it his work you don't like, or did you meet him and find the experience less than satisfactory? 

Hey, Jenifer -- I think it was the overzealous elementary school music teacher who shoved Hoedown down our throats.  A large portion of the class was scarred for life by the experience.  When they ran those "Beef -- it's what's for dinner" spots a while back, it was hell -- I'd twitch every time one came on.

We finally saw Boogie Nights -- that's a great movie, a wild ride that we enjoyed very much. 
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