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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 33215 times)
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #2640 on: November 21, 2007, 02:07:38 PM »

[But that's just me, asking too much of a hot sex scene, I guess.

"A History Of Violence" *** SPOILER ***

I liked "AHOV" but the sex scenes were unecessarily explicit, a distraction.  Not because they were "hot" or anything - they were just gross and the movie didn't need it.  Not so much the angry/shoving on the stairs scene, but more the earlier scene, especially the 69 shots.  This is a real movie - you don't have a 69 shot in a real movie, especially this movie.  You show the couple in the bed, and pull back and fade to black or whatever. 
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jbottle
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« Reply #2641 on: November 21, 2007, 05:17:30 PM »

My significant bother rented it because it was so highly critically praised, WITH HER MOTHER and sister.  The cheerleader outfit, and various positions tend to make one uneasy with the mother around.  Just the other day I had to kind of talk over "the do you know what 'pulling a train' is??" Rick Von Slonneker bash in "Metropolitan," which is basically a comedy of manners, and one of my favourite movies, but even that, you don't want to know that your mother knows you know what that means, and you certainly don't want her to know that you know she knows what that means, if she does, gee whiz, so yeah.....

I'm glad NCFOM is great and I'm not scared but it's kind of like recommending "Goodfellas" or "Dead Alive" or many films, you kind of don't know how to tailor a recommendation because you don't know whether they will be disturbed, or more amused or don't mind being disturbed, etc.
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madupont
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« Reply #2642 on: November 21, 2007, 06:39:12 PM »


I just got floored by "NCFOM" - simply brutal.  I can't even recommend it.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it, it was great, etc., but if you recommend it to someone, the next time you see them, they'll say, "Man, why the hell did you tell me to go see that?"




oilcanboyd23, 

That's all I was trying to tell you (from the trailer that I saw on tv) and I seem to recall, it was hardly two days ago that in your best Dalai shtick, you said,
"don't let a little something like that....get in the way of appreciating it as a film, I paraphrase of course.   

And mind you, I like the guy!   It's just that now I will always be scared that some interesting role that he does in future, he might suddenly revert!

I mean, this is way more, as Coen said, "Perverse" than anything Viggo Mortenssen logically and automatically responds with when his family or he himself is threatened in History of Violence.   But I'm glad we compared these films.
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madupont
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« Reply #2643 on: November 21, 2007, 07:23:38 PM »

Something really interesting about the reactions on the last page,thus far, to the sexuality as played, in The History of Violence, does surprise me a little.

After all, sexual behaviour, over the millennia since our origins such as they are, would argue against there being anything out of the ordinary about the conduct of this particular married couple; other than that given the age of their kids, one has to give them a few rah,rah,rahs for actually getting it on.

Cronenberg has admittedly cut pretty close against the groin in the past. Think about Genevieve Bujold's prim little snub-nosed face  with the carefully modulated French sound of her dialogue shaped in her mouth with the most serious of expressions on her face, while Jeremy Irons waxes,"clinical", as either one of the Mantle brothers who are a dynamic duo of doctors who do as Dead Ringers.

Reverting back to regular married, after entertaining that threesome, makes impassioned marital coitus circumspect.

I just think Cronenberg is pushing the envelop a little. Apparently, he has a wide repertoire of stunts he'd be glad to have performed on camera just to discover your reaction.

So getting back to The Origin of Species,as expressed in my opening sentence, what could our parents have been doing differently than we do?
I think this is possibly how they became parents, isn't it?   (Or, anybody's parents. You know what I mean.)

I did know of a painter who seemed to be having a problem with expressing sexuality as sexual relations, because he preferred to paint his sexuality;which was internalized.  He made it very obvious, on canvas, in notebook after sketchbook.  Somehow, possibly after having some of his buddies over at the house, maybe his mother overheard something being said just among guys but she later expressed to him what he felt was hilarious when she stated flatly that oral sex was disgusting.  He thought she was cute, always having been this prim little German lady in the old fashioned lace veil for her wedding picture;you know the kind from back in the Thirties, where unsophisticated,very ordinary average Germans posed solemnly with something that looked like the lace tablecloth had just been snatched off the table and arranged around her head,maybe tied there with a ribbon?

It was easy to see where he got his lack of outgoing interest in sexuality other than his contemplation that maybe his penis ought to have wings.

But obviously film makers like Cronenberg are testing the waters out here to see where we're at.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2644 on: November 21, 2007, 09:23:54 PM »

Cronenberg should stick to whacked-out fare, as he's not as much of a dramatist unless you are talking about something which removes the viewer from a point of observation of an objective narrative, like with "Existenz" you have science-fiction high concept hollywood satire and an examination of life as game, movie as game, game as a living organism, the horror of having a screenplay cobbled together from a lot of organic parts and being a metaphor for organic aversion and bite the hand that feeds you collaboration resentment, all while making a highly unusual yet highly entertaining arch noir corporate-competition where all might be settled over sushi with a gun made of bones that shoots teeth.....see, this and "Naked Lunch" and other of his films have a way that's more accessible to him, while perverse comedy fits him like a glove, straightforward drama, while formally presented and technically precise, has an awkwardness because the emotions that it should provoke are familiar ones:  revenge, lust, voyeurism, defense of family, lying, seeking redemption; when at arms length these things seem hard to emotionally invest in by proxy, and it's more the intellectual curiosity about behaviour and perception and the nature of reality that is his ordinary concern, his ordinary love.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #2645 on: November 22, 2007, 09:18:09 AM »


That's all I was trying to tell you (from the trailer that I saw on tv) and I seem to recall, it was hardly two days ago that in your best Dalai shtick, you said,
"don't let a little something like that....get in the way of appreciating it as a film, I paraphrase of course.   

I take it back - I was wrong...

No, just kidding.  I stand by the whole "don't let the fact that the story is the opposite of life-affirming prevent you from enjoying the mastery of the craft, etc."  In this case, the story is sooooo the opposite of life-affirming, that the craft darn well better be mastered or else you're looking at an unwatchable bomb.   Thankfully, in this case, it is. 

All of that notwithstanding, I still can't recommend it.   I could recommend it and, in the next breath, give the Dalai pep-talk, but I think that in most cases, even if the recommendee nodded vigorously in agreement at the message of the pep-talk, when I run into that person later, they'd be like, man, why the hell did you tell me to go see that movie?

The movie is great, but please be warned, when it's over, you'll be sharing the sentiment of the Tommy Lee Jones character as to the future of mankind. 


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madupont
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« Reply #2646 on: November 22, 2007, 09:25:01 AM »

jbottle,

Re:Cronenberg
"he's not as much of a dramatist unless you are talking about something which removes the viewer from a point of observation of an objective narrative,"

I've been noticing this about him, just recently with these last two films --The History of Violence, and Eastern Promises, where it stood out to me that there is something awkward about these films and I think you've nailed it.

Eastern Promises was particularly bad from the point of scenario having any liveliness; scenes, as they proceeded in an accumulative order as they would in drama,(once past his opener murder for shock value, for which I will make exception because it is an introduction of the main character, Viggo Mortenssen), have a peculiar woodeness. After the introduction  of our "heroine", where Cronenberg lays down blood on the floor, we have those glimpses of life among Russian immigrants* in small digs,East End? Everything looks like a stage setting from here on in, their aspiring to middle class apartment, the small Russian restaurant,Transiberia, the hang out of the proprietor's heir apparent as keeper of the brothel.

By the way, I found the casting of Joan Cusack*, as a convenient Russian type for the heroine's mother, somewhat a misuse of stock British type. Unless Cronenberg is trying to convey that his heroine is half- Russian/half British but he isn't because it appears to me her uncle doing the translating is the brother of her mother; or am I just reading into it? And does Cronenberg want us to do that? He does after all cast Cassel as Kirill, and Vincent Cassell like his father before him is French( although father chose a name with a soupcon of Russian Jewish suggestion to it).  Nevertheless, Cassel convinces me on the spot of his authenticity. I suspect that  "theatrical" stock drama is an illusion that Cronenberg decided to use since it becomes almost an experiment in Ingmar Bergman-ism, in which a little suggestion creates a very illusionary mystification.

"...straightforward drama, while formally presented and technically precise, has an awkwardness because the emotions that it should provoke are familiar ones:  revenge, lust, voyeurism, defense of family, lying, seeking redemption; when at arms length these things seem hard to emotionally invest in by proxy, and it's more the intellectual curiosity about behaviour and perception and the nature of reality..."

I'm quoting you here (but thinking about The History of Violence) and this is definitely a good description(above, in your words) of Bergman-ism.  If the actors in THoV were unknowns to us, the parallel of Bergman and Cronenberg would seem obvious.
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madupont
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« Reply #2647 on: November 22, 2007, 09:27:00 AM »

oilcanboyd12,re:#2668

In other words, does the latest Coen brothers' have a potential for more distancing of viewer to watching big screen violence at home on the small screen aka tv?
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #2648 on: November 22, 2007, 09:28:51 AM »

Anyone see "The Lookout" yet?  I liked it - sort of like "Memento, Jr." or something.

JGLevitt did a good job playing the head-injured main character, but especially impressive was the bad guy, played by

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0328828/ 

He always plays a wealthy English dandy-type guy (which I guess is what he is), and this was the first time I've seen him play a different kind of character.  He was very naturalistic or whatever as an ex-con from Kansas City or some other mid-western city, and his scenes where he's using his charisma in talking JGL into helping with the caper are the best in the movie.  It was almost like he was channeling the great James Russo of about 10 or 15 years ago.

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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #2649 on: November 22, 2007, 09:32:33 AM »

oilcanboyd12,re:#2668

In other words, does the latest Coen brothers' have a potential for more distancing of viewer to watching big screen violence at home on the small screen aka tv?

That's a very good question - I don't know the answer, but I can see that happening.

And again, none of what I'm saying is anything but the highest compliment to the Coens.  If the movie wasn't devastating, brutal, opposite-of-life-affirming, etc., then it wouldn't have been a successful/honest adaptation of the book.  That the movie hits the viewer like a ton of bricks is one of those things where it really couldn't have gone any other way.
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madupont
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« Reply #2650 on: November 22, 2007, 09:40:22 AM »

ocb23:
I have the feeling that I saw this but just as likely mixed it up with another outstanding Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin,which is outstanding.

Anyway, I'm here to say to HARRIE, what I forgot yesterday.
Todd Haynes' experimental Bob Dylan project I'm Not There. in nytimes.com Movie section has an excellent portrait profile of Chris Bale as B.D that almost conveys the funkiness of the Dylan mood; with the exception of the familiar droopy bone-structure of Bobby's nose. Have not gone through the slides as yet. Thumbs up review from nytimes point of view.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2651 on: November 22, 2007, 11:56:53 AM »

Maude:  Not that familiar with Bergman, and I don't blame Cronenberg for not seeking out or imagining more esoteric fare, imagining it and being inspired is difficult enough, but selling it is another, maybe he just wanted to be a director instead of fighting so hard, he's been well-reviewed and I'm sure that it's been financially rewarding, and I don't doubt that he'll seek out something odd again--he seems like a natural for one of the Alien movies where his sensibilities and the material might be more in synch.  I'm happy for his ability to continue to work and survive in a tough industry, and if you think about it "Existenz" is basically a screenplay about being at your wit's end and seeing the process of moviemaking as a perverse process or organism that he'd had enough of, so it's not surprising that he took a step back where he is setting up shots and doing what he can with the material and actors.  He's had good luck in some of the casting of his more quirky films such as Weller and Woods, and I imagine that some of the wooden-ness of AHOV could be attributed to casting about which he had little choice (biggest name we can get for __ dollars), rather than Weller signing up for "Naked Lunch" with the understanding that he would be underpaid and not caring.

I'm not that familiar with Bergman's films, one of those things that I've been meaning to do but go with "Disturbia" or something stupid instead, but liked you thoughts.

"The Lookout" is here and I'll try to get to it now that a few have seen it.
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harrie
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« Reply #2652 on: November 22, 2007, 05:40:28 PM »

madupont, thanks for the heads up!
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madupont
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« Reply #2653 on: November 23, 2007, 04:04:29 AM »

Hi! harrie, and jbottle, et al

I had gone on at length about directors and Viggo versus Weller vis a vis James Woods, and into Ingmar Bergman 1957 to about 1967(?) and then timed out, so all I can say is that the front page of the nytimes.com has a video play from those who have seen and come to review I'm not there.

And guess what, now that I've glimpsed the action, Cate Blanchett is, well, Cate Blanchett, it's her voice mostly that does you in but it is a cute idea because the reflection gives you Dylan as woman if you have a woman as Dylan.  There, much, in the D.A.Pennebaker, Don't Look Back, is made of misunderstood Dylan; thus approximating the trip, Cate lights another cigarette, opens the car door, ducks out before anyone knows where Dylan is going, and speaking in cadences like his renditions but in her female voice, makes obvious while every one is in panic where's he going that women haven't always been?  No wonder, I responded in 1967 through 3 quarters of 1969.

It's a lot clearer now.  Somehow.

Then we get Christian Bale (did I call him,Christopher, yesterday?). And, it's him; but looking like Abe Lincoln of course, playing to darkies (during Voter Registration?). Man, I had a lot of those friends, they liked to play me their records, sitting on the floor in unfurnished apartments,after coming back (alive) from "The South".   Just a settin there in their old levis and scrappy shirts and with their beards and all. Now that is the one thing that Bale has down, when Dylan is interviewed, Christian Bale talks like Dylan talked, the interviewer can't understand a word he is saying, the public can't understand a word Dylan is singing, they just think they do.

(rising crescendo, repeated, on the guitar).  Make that, geetar.

I guess we'll survive it.  We did once before. Or, several more befores, while we were trying.
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barton
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« Reply #2654 on: November 24, 2007, 11:54:48 AM »

Oilcan, after reading NCfOM, I could have predicted that any film from it would be intensely brutal and fairly grim in its outlook.  I've sort of been dragging my feet about seeing it, for that reason.  If I hadn't recently seen Eastern Promises and American Gangster, maybe I wouldn't feel quite so glutted on blood.


Glad you caught The Lookout, an underrated film, mostly shot around Winnipeg and thus engendering confusion in people who know the Kansas City area as well as I do.  I agree that Goode stood out as a villain, and JG-L did a fine job making a more accessible Memento-type character, neither as bizarre as Memento nor as emotionally oversimplified as your standard Hollywood fare.   
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