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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 51672 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #2475 on: November 03, 2007, 06:12:45 PM »

Oh, and I missed the pun the first time around, good'un.

Anthony Bourdain was in South Cack for one of his shows and had oysters, barbeque, grits, peach cobbler (not all at once or at the same sittin') and seemed quite pleased.
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madupont
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« Reply #2476 on: November 03, 2007, 09:03:44 PM »

Return of the Movies

I was about to go to bed Friday night and went into the bathroom before turning off the tv.  Came back out to find Charlie Rose in process with Denzel Washington, Brian Grazer prominently closest to  camera/best lighting for fullest display of his curious hairdo, Ridley Scott  tired of being famous and looking like I suspect jbottle does, and Russell Crowe.

They spoke in the latest vocabulary of film makers, except for Denzel who does not know how to talk that jive re: conceptualism. He can not talk spontaneously, as I have noticed from time to time. Goodness knows he makes the attempt. He is best when provided with lines. This is however no problem, for Russell. He is ready to improv on the spur of the moment.

Just when I thought that they had explained enough of the movie to a degree that it might not be necessary to actually see the flic which had been misnamed several times over, Brian Grazer explained how that was worked out. He won.

I might as well tell you that, yesterday there was some consternation at large, with a theoretic black population of the US weighing the proposition not to spend any money on Friday,the 2nd.  I say theoretic because nobody exactly counted how many knew about it much less whether or not who would do it  (or, who wouldn't); so Denzel's name was mentioned quite a lot.  There was a lot of representation of the thought he had managed to earn quite a lot of their money already so therefore they were not to concerned about box-office.

Anyway, I once again headed for the bathroom,yet without turning off the tv.

Surprise! once again, I come back and now we have moved to another level. If chapter one was "creation of the film" now known as,American Gangster, chapter two was meet the gangster (why not, Denzel has)and a few of his best white friends after they grew on each other in close proximity (or, the project which led to the film project).

Frank Lucas is not the most pleasant fellow you are likely to meet via the tv screen, even if Denzel waxes enthusiastically about this old man who has the subtle ability to assert power outward to all happening to be on his radius of which he is the center. He learned everything about that from a man named Bumpy, who is  played by Billy De Williams for a moment or two at the start of the film but I can't spot his cast-credit when the thought occurred to me this evening.

In the studio with Charlie Rose, he sits at the round table not quite directly opposite the real Richie Roberts, New Jerseyean to the core, the character played by Russell Crowe. Nicholas Pileggi, writer of: Casino, and Goodfellas (who talks some about corrupt police and how the story of Frank Lucas ultimately became the biggest of the corruption stories). He is accompanied on the other side of Richie Roberts by a man whose name I did not catch, from whom I got the impression this is the actual official police presence and who is exceptionally good at catching an insinuation or nuance, from whatever is offered at the table, which he immediately elaborates.  I get this feeling that I've left someone out. But it was bedtime.

Today, when not finding Billy De on the cast listing, I am however informed that Denzel made 20 million, twice-over, on this film, a cool 40 million; or, no wonder there were some gripes about having added enough to his earnings, without guilt about calling an economic boycott of white people.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 11:51:04 PM by madupont » Logged
madupont
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« Reply #2477 on: November 04, 2007, 07:47:08 AM »

Act two, going to the movie with a shortage of Black people.

I'm sure if you go to see this film in an urban area, you will have a different experience than I had.

Bottom line: this is the action film with the most action filmed. It is a nostalgia trip musically into a period where the music is used as a bridge to drop you into each of the major cities of New Jersey without getting bogged down, merely to give you a glimpse of the reality between your first introduction to the major characters, what they are into , how it goes down, and the way it all works out in the end as to be expected.

Other than that the scene opens in Harlem and ends where  expected.

There is a cast which will make it to the list of movies that have more Black cast than any other or, since you saw(?), but never mind...it's all relative.

One of my faves is a guy named Roger Guenveur Smith, who is not easy to like but he grew on me as soon as i'd seen him do Huey Newton with the intense speed rap and continuous motion of the nerve endings having gone through several withdrawals. 

From then on, I paid attention to Roger Smith. In,American Gangster, he is the guy who fills Frank Lucas' orders in Vietnam (which for film purposes is actually Thailand with some of the same field workers and heroin processing people who originally worked for Lucas.  Look closely, and see how much you know about plants.  The man who looks like Mao, seems to have been cast to play Mao on previous film occasions but, is meant in this context to represent the Kuomintang's agent for former Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek (in case you ever wanted to know where his former troops from the Mainland and now persona non grata went after Mao and the Peoples Liberation Army defeated the right wing Nationalists in 1948. They went South which is a direction called Nam.
If this changes your take and what was really taking place in Vietnam during the 1960s into the '70s, so be it. Consider yourself better educated for having accepted the Dominoes Game Plan without having a score-card to know the identity of the players).

My other fave actor is of course John Hawkes (or, Jack) who starred in Deadwood as Mr. Bullock's partner, Sol.

There is another little guy who is presently big among Black Celebs whom I see go by every few days with an arrogant air for his fan club and I have not followed him closely enough to know why. I am sure to find out now that I've seen him play Lucas youngest nephew, the one with the good arm(which in this film is a cheap shot). He doesn't have a lot of lines but, when questioned by Denzel as his uncle, he replies that he didn't want to play ball as he'd rather "....be like you Uncle Frank. I want to be you." Thus a good clean arm.

The actual Frank Lucas was not as sweet as debonair Denzel waxes enthusiastically about him. A number of the New York dailies displayed photos of him prominently in articles that were then used as intros on Charlie Rose where I noticed them between the two-level show of Production and Real Life Cast.  It was at this latter point that Lucas himself referred to a guy who in his day was so big and black that if you saw him coming toward you down the street, you turned in the opposite direction and got out of there as fast as you could.  In real life, Frank Lucas was that man.

There are scenes in the film right from the start where he brings his cousins, the Country Boys, from Carolina to Harlem, where you get to see why; and he means it as a lesson to them up front, and it shocks them, which is why I will say that it may surprise you too. However, I live in the part of the country now where exactly the same thing happened in approximately the same period of time with another gang of brothers, only here they are white.   My initiation to relocating here was the escape from prison of one of the major players, and nobody there could understand how he did it?  It threw the fear of God in us, locking down the house as thoroughly as possible in our part of the country where he was headed because he knew it and it was home.  However, once he was out of the joint, the new world that had emerged out here while he was serving time in there completely befuddled him. He was spotted and picked up, and we sighed with relief.

But that's another movie starring Christopher Walken, with Sean Penn as his son. You'll love it on DVD; if they put it there?

American Gangster being a movie, they have to give you the format of movies, so even a gangster falls in love which Frank Lucas does when he introduces himself to the lady who asks," You are (that)Frank; and this is your place?" referring to Smalls. Where we've all been in the day...

I heard that it closed down after P.Diddy's ownership or perhaps I heard it opened again; but there you go, too much happening to keep up with.

A nice Jewish girl who used to make the scene at the watering holes of the Jersey Shore during the "Season",escorted by her husband, asked me one August, if "we" couldn't go to Harlem.  To hear music, I suppose. I was considering why and her usual reasons for going to the Shore every night, when her husband immediately capped that, "I don't think so".  After their divorce, when she had her degree from Rutgers up in New Brunswick, she applied for a job and moved immediately to Lexington Avenue. Never been heard from since.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 07:51:59 AM by madupont » Logged
barton
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« Reply #2478 on: November 04, 2007, 01:32:48 PM »

2046

This film was erroneously labeled sci-fi on at least a couple of websites -- there is the occasional use of a time travel metaphor to talk about remembered love affairs and emotional life, but the film is primarily a period piece set in the Hong Kong of the 1960s and concerns the loves and peccadillos of a heavy-drinking writer of erotic novels.  My description makes the film sound much more coherent, and interesting, than it really is.  Though the shots are visually lush, the characters are curiously opaque, drifting in and out various paths that somehow don't resolve into a graspable narrative.   It was hard not to hear a little voice whispering "Inland Empire" as I struggled grimly to find something to engage with.   This may be the least-compelling film I've watched this year.

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jbottle
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« Reply #2479 on: November 04, 2007, 01:47:08 PM »

Maude:  What's your source for the alleged 40M Denzel was paid, that sound like about 2.5 times what I would figure his going rate would be.  In a character piece where you assume that Crowe gets 15 at a minimum, the proposition becomes financially unfeasable.  You are talking about a budget of around 140M, and another 80M in advertising, you can't tell me that the studio has a quarter-billion in a cop story, I mean, you're source may well be correct but ordinary extrapolation makes it seem like an outlandish proposition.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2480 on: November 04, 2007, 02:13:41 PM »

Well, AG had $16.5M friday, respek, and hate to say it so crassly maud, but "so much for black theory," or if you are correct and only white people went on Fri., then it could punch through 40 over the weekend, but I'm guessing because of football, people in general will have gone on Fri. to appease their wives, or are slobs who might see it later on sometime.  Looks to be having an especially good opening for a Nov. release and may break a record in that regard, and hype plus $$$ means Oscar for Denzel Lead and Crowe Supporting, lock it up.
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madupont
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« Reply #2481 on: November 04, 2007, 09:16:56 PM »

Whoa! jbottle,"hate to say it so crassly maud, but "so much for black theory," or if you are correct and only white people went on Fri., then it could punch through 40 over the weekend,".

Don't leap to any conclusions, --where I went on Saturday, the massive majority were white! This does not indicate all venues.  Have you ever tried to see  a movie which appeals to a black audience where the black populace has the nearest access; unless it is definitely a major dating night, what you get is the "family matinee" and
the whole family is  here. I do mean the whole family such as can be obviously seen in--
American Gangster. 

This involves children running up and down the aisles, throwing popcorn at each other, audiences talking back to the actors on screen ala Rocky Horror like they invented it. So do tell, my favourite line?

"This is your Brother, Negro.

My source. Black Voices,Black Spin on the Headlines,Posted Nov 1st 2007 12:33PM by Jeff Douglas
Filed under: blackspin  At AOL   

It was reported or we were rather reminded that when Denzel was first 
approached with this role, which involved getting next to Lucas, it was offered on a "play or pay contract" (or, do they call it pay or play?) while they were yet in the phase of what do we call this mf.  It went through two titles before settling, and the one that I first heard which left me saying,"what are they talking about?" was  The Return of Superfly.    This simply does not cut this movie, it is old hat. I thought who ever came up with this was out of their minds.    The next title off the top of somebody's head was something like True Blue.  How lame.

So Brian G. got his way eventually in the end.  But while waiting to settle they had to pay up.  I guess you could compare this to 'playing cards' because it is based on the premise that Denzel's time is money and he could lose income on not doing another project;so they have to pay to hold him while they haggle. It's a gamble. Worth 20 mill; then he gets paid again for coming through/playing. Another 20 mill.

Wait till you see the "outlandish proposition" that was made with extra-ordinary extrapolation.  It's a circus.   

(and I haven't even begun to name actors playing  roles in this number; as I began to realize sitting in another kind of theatre today)
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madupont
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« Reply #2482 on: November 04, 2007, 09:45:20 PM »

Ps, jbottle,"but I'm guessing because of football, people in general will have gone on Fri. to appease their wives,". Humph, there is no such thing as an appeased black woman.  She don't give a damn whether you take her to the movies. She will get up a party and go.  Women go to a movie together with all their best girlfriends to ooh...and ah! about Denzel (and in this case, a large stable of other suitable dudes for fantasy that suits anybody and everybody).  After you endure the noise of a number of ladies comparing their likes and dislike, in front of you, in back of you, on the side,etc. , they will then go out and party because it is their night out.   Very independent broads. 

(and this is not strictly a Denzel thing. The two biggest current interests to women at present are the long ago fired Isaiah Washington, and "Chief"; of surgery that is.){by the way, they have heard about Izzie having made a movie; and that is the film that they will avoid like the plague.  Don't tellme you don't know who Izzie is? She's the blond from the trailer park who became a doctor and undercut Isaiah Washington following the Golden Globes or whatever award show it was; I watched it,half-heartedly, but I can never remember which awards were taking place.}final word on that upcoming at local theater,just a bummer because even Ms.Kudrow is obviously aging, too much dark eyeshadow on everybody  to make them look hot.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2483 on: November 04, 2007, 11:34:26 PM »

Nothing against the fairer of the species; just saying that there is a contingent of attached females that are subjected to men who go, yeah, Fri. night looks good to me and then turn into couch monkeys for football the rest or the weekend.  It's a fairly anecdotal and largely non-methodological assertion, but I can live with that, I'm not a social scientist, a number-muncher, and have always kept a divining rod in my kit rather than a calculator.  Looks like we got a 46.4 weekend, exceedingly good if not a record weekend number, but I'm still suspect that Denzel did not get 40 up front, I'm willing to believe 16 and a piece of the back end but even if it turns out to be a good bet those rarely pay off and 40 up front is just nutty, maud, but I'm willing to believe you if you produce some evidence.  I don't think Crowe's people are going to let him make even 40% of whatever the DZ is making, not happening...but it looks to be a major hit in a minor movie market (Nov.).  I hope he made every penny, but pardon the expression from "The Sopranos,".....".....those are some tough Jews....."  As well they should be.

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madupont
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« Reply #2484 on: November 04, 2007, 11:53:58 PM »

Will see what I can do, can't promise that I'll find it faster than you but it stuck in my mind so I know I read it in the last 24 hours or so ago.
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madupont
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« Reply #2485 on: November 05, 2007, 02:05:57 AM »

jbottle:

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117938111.html?categoryid=10&cs=1&p=0

'Gangster' redux
Scott, Crowe revive pricey U drama
By MICHAEL FLEMING

A correction was made to this article on Feb. 15, 2006.
"American Gangster" is back.

Ridley Scott is in talks to direct Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in the Brian Grazer-produced drama that had its plug pulled in late 2004 by Universal. The hope is to shoot this summer.

U brass will decide this week whether to finance or co-finance the revamped '70s crime drama, or possibly let it go.

Two other studios are circling the project if U backs down.

The drama has a checkered past. In late 2004, Antoine Fuqua was a month from starting production in Harlem with Washington and Benicio Del Toro when U Pictures chairman Stacey Snider canceled the film over fear the budget would cross $100 million. Pay-or-play deals with Washington and Del Toro got settled, and the studio wrote off more than $20 million.
>
Imagine's Grazer, who developed the drama from a New York magazine article by Mark Jacobson, kept trying. "Hotel Rwanda" writer-director Terry George was brought on to rework Steve Zaillian's script and rein in the budget. Scott is working with Zaillian's draft.
>
...As adapted into a (somewhat fictionalized) screenplay by Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List"),

[Haven't found the article of the 15th.as yet; because, interested to see whether it contradicts?]
>
"American Gangster" sold $46.3 million worth of tickets during its first three days,"American Gangster," a $100 million project that took producer Brian Grazer seven years and three directors to bring to the big screen. Universal said it was the second highest-grossing R-rated film over 150 minutes, coming in about $500,000 behind Brad Pitt's 2004 movie "Troy."
>
Ridley Scott packs the film with period detail and vivid, violent energy reminiscent of high-grade Scorsese, then mixes in a Lumet-like, keenly observed outrage at systemic corruption.

(Dallas Morning News)

Martin Scorsese will buy the movie's poster and frame it on his bedroom wall.

(Arizona Daily Star)

More Black Spin,Nov.1 interview
>The film takes place during the Vietnam war and we are living during the Iraqi war. What is your take of the moving or transportation of drugs and the revenue and the gangsters in society today compare to back then?

DW: Who is the new American gangster? Oh man. They get voted in now. Next question.
>[The question is not whether the Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe film "American Gangster," opening Friday, is any good (it is), but why no one has ever made a movie with that title until now. NEWSDAY

But it's the American gangster movie that offers a spot-on critique of capitalism, and a way to gauge which ethnic and racial groups are rising on the country's cultural food chain.]










« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 02:08:14 AM by madupont » Logged
TrojanHorse
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« Reply #2486 on: November 05, 2007, 11:13:13 AM »

No, trojan, I was just saying that I don't like sliced ham, not suggesting that we have pink barbeque, in fact, SC is recognized as the most distinctive barbeque, and it's easy to find a diagram of three barbeque regions, "mustard-based," tomato or "ketchup-based," and my favourite, "vingear-based," to which I add a sweet mustard sauce and some hot sauce.

Sorry, but I don't think that a little food-talk is that out of bounds after the fetishistic art thread.

Again, no sympathy for fish nor fowl.

ahhh...ham.  I guess that would be the most obvious "pink sliced variety"  just missed it somehow...
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #2487 on: November 05, 2007, 11:34:09 AM »

I watched 1408 the other night.  The beginning of it was pretty well done - I experienced the frisson when things started happening in the room, but then it got a little too overboard.  For example, I liked the air conditioner duct scene until the head of the thing grabbing at his foot cracked open.  Too much of a close-up to imagine it was real.

All in all, I'd give the film a 3 star rating.
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barton
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« Reply #2488 on: November 05, 2007, 11:54:51 AM »

I enjoyed 1408 as above-average horror flick -- saw in theater.  Some of the f/x were over the top -- I'd for a bit subtler Hitchcockian approach myself -- but Cusack turns in a good performance and is perfectly cast.

I wish I could say 2406 is almost twice the fun.

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notrab
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« Reply #2489 on: November 05, 2007, 12:55:34 PM »

If you start down that road, then Se7en is only a small fraction of the fun.  And that's just wrong.

However, "8 1/2" is slightly better than Se7en.



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