Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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madupont
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« Reply #3990 on: April 23, 2008, 06:33:59 PM »

Thanks, Harrie,

I thought I'd found everything  internet available, so I'm glad you found more to examine.

(including that  choker on Paltrow, with hanging paillettes, I have one very similar from back you-know-when intricate woven Chinese celadon-green silk that I don't dare clean, from which swing the strands. Instead of a bead like Gwyneth's have, mine end in cowrie shells; if you remember when those became popular, I think because of a tv production series of "Roots".)
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harrie
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« Reply #3991 on: April 23, 2008, 06:41:50 PM »

It took me a little while to get to jbottle's link, but boy am I glad I did.  Thanks for providing that!

That Pyun guy's a classic -- he had to be the "Anonymous" who wrote his bio.  Looking over his films, we've seen a bunch -- not all of which I'll admit to -- largely thanks to Joe Bob Briggs and a love of schlock.  Knights wasn't all that bad if you buy into Kris Kristofferson's portrayal of a cyborg torso strapped to a teenage warrior girl's back, from where he teaches her to fight (and watches her back, of course).  And Radioactive Dreams has special meaning for us -- I think it was the first movie the not-yet-hubby and I were watching when he turned, looked lovingly into my eyes, and said....

"This movie is terrible."
"Yes, it is."
"I think I like it."
"I think I lovvvve it."

And thus was an epoxy-like mutual love of tacky, cheesy gooey cinema discovered.  The rest is history (at least for those who accept non-ancient events as history).  The wedding anniversary's coming up; hope I can locate a copy.  (Best bit in Radioactive Dreams -- small people dressed in white Tony Manero suits and known as Disco Mutants.)

Thanks again, jbottle -- that was a great ride.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3992 on: April 23, 2008, 07:26:10 PM »

You definitely should see "Ticker," it works on a number of levels from poorly exectuted plot to poor performances from Peter Greene who is clearly a heroin addict barely able to show up, to alcoholic Seagal, to speed freak Tommy, to some jokes that I shouldn't reveal because, like the Russian wooden doll egg thing, there is something more terribly illustrated with each pop.  You have to rewind and freeze frame to figure out some of the WTF cuts, but you know, enter at your own risk, but I love that you and the Man sort of "Lost it at the Pictures," cute (really).  Good Meet Cute, as well to reference Kael and Ebert, the importance of movies in my life can not be underestimated, and you (and your husband) share that...

...barton argued that "Mr. Brooks" was sort of a "guilty pleasure" but I thought that it was an inexpertly executed black comedy because Hurt didn't chew enough scenery and unlike Pacino, Costner can't tell whether he is in a black comedy or a romantic comedy, or a thriller, just no fu**ing idea, which is great when he is trying to maintain a straight face in "Waterworld" and tells Jay Leno "I don't make bad movies...," and I'm thinking, no you take bad movies away from your friend who made you Kevin Reynolds, and taught you, and then the studio hires a crack editor to make "Waterworld" so audacious and true to the dumb script (if only Devlin and Emmerich had been a little more dedicated to the silliness of ID4), and he (Reynolds) was using you perfectly.

So, anyway, Nathan Rabin finds "Mr. Brooks" to be a guilty pleasure when really it's a mess, utterly. 

"Ticker" is a guilty pleasure, "Mr. Brooks" is an unamusing waste of time, but I did want to note the the estimable Mr. Rabin happens to agree with our barton, but I am sticking by my guns.  Glad you like the Pyun run.

http://www.avclub.com/content/blog/guilty_pleasure_monday_mr_brooks
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jbottle
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« Reply #3993 on: April 23, 2008, 07:53:08 PM »

I also really encourage "Submerged," from Anthony Hickox, quoted below (whose "Sundown" is pretty damned good), if you haven't seen it, seemingly pieced together from one incomplete Seagal film added onto another financial surge into 90-some tolerable min, it's really odd there at the very edge of the pictures, Hickox really is a talent, though, and so is Pyun, in a weird way, I almost buy the avant-garde excuse out of making a movie for $2M, I do.

Hickox:  "[about working with Steven Seagal] He is a nightmare! He's impossible; he doesn't turn up, he refuses to say any line that's written, it's just ridiculous. I sat back when I was making it [Submerged (2005) (V)] and said "I'm a better director than this" so I went back to what I like to do, which is write and direct horror."

You have to pick your spots but if you have the three-disc Netflix deal, then try "Under Suspicion" with Freeman and Hackman, directed by a Brit whose name I don't recall at the moment but I had to watch the "commentary" and so have seen it in it's entirety twice because Freeman contributes, whenever the director says "this is an homage to a Scorcese dolly shot from 'Goodfellas'..." and Freeman goes "mmmmmmm-hmmmmmmmm??"

That's my three-fer if you can handle multiple WTF's without it affecting the daily routine.

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barton
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« Reply #3994 on: April 23, 2008, 08:27:07 PM »

Jbotnik won't draw me out on Mr. Brooks again, but I will say in a general way that I grow more of the Huey Lewis School, i.e. that "sometimes bad is bad."  Yes, there is a mood that tugs me towards EdWoodian cheeseballs, but I find that too much saturated fat wears on the soul after a while.

I liked your reminisce, Harrie.  Seems like the ex and I attended something pretty cheesy around third date or so, but it wasn't pivotal in the bonding or anything.  It might have been "Tron" which was about as deep in the cheese as Jeff Bridges ever submerged.

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barton
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« Reply #3995 on: April 23, 2008, 08:37:06 PM »

The first few dates we also survived "Yentl" if you can believe that.   Clearly not my idea.  The things we do for love.

 
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jbottle
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« Reply #3996 on: April 23, 2008, 09:05:04 PM »

I'm not trying to get you to defend Brooksy again, just saying that you have a great support-buddy in Rabin, who is frequently very funny, as are you, it was more of a "do I not get this" than a "step into the Brooksy cage match," I don't know, I just think there's a fundamental raison d'etre, or the objective correllative, or whatever, that the head of a movie at any level (or any artwork at any level) is responsible to tell us that he is aware of what he is selling, and "Mr. Brooks" wasn't a disaster, and for that matter "Fracture" wasn't either, and both needed to be, both movies had to realize they were less than profound and full of red herrings, etc., take "Striking Distance," I would rather watch "Striking Distance" or "Point Break" or many other before "Mr. Brooks," because it's not defined by incompetence or any sort of ironic stance, but you have to have one or the other to deliver something from mediocrity. 

That's why when Pacino meets DePalma, the collision is cinema history, or even DePalma meeting Lithgow, it's an understanding of the product, often even a revultion for it that is liberating.  It's why pulp poorly executed is better than black comedy from people who think black comedy is serial killers killing people with a smile or an alter ego.

Don't get me wrong:  I'm more angry at "Mr. Brooks" for not being much more fun than it should have been, but it was a dumping ground film because it was the amalgam of elements that Altman successfully lampoons in making "The Player," while actually delivering a film that is a "suspense-comedy," or a "thriller" or a "black comedy," depending on your level of engagement with the drama/comedy.

I'm not actually saying that you should waste your time watching "Ticker," but I'll bet you'll have a better time with the triumvirate that I suggest as an alternative.  There's something sublime about DePalma, and sleazy, and something incompetent about Pyun, because of budget restraints and in spite of them, both of which are more rewarding to me than a movie that can't bring itself to revel in the fact that it's a shitty Hollywood thriller, please see "Basic Instinct," total lampoon, or "The Player," otherwise you don't have to rescue movies with high production value, two star entertainment, like "Brooks" or "Fracture," by saying that they are "guilty pleasures," I call that "guilty of sucking."

"The Devil's Advocate" and "Point Break" and "Turbulence" get it:  Brooksy doesn't, but that's me.

Barton:  I kind of got off on a rant and I'm not saying I'm right and only that you have an (also) admired critic in Rabin backing you up.  Taste, of course, depends on what something tastes like.
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harrie
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« Reply #3997 on: April 23, 2008, 09:30:44 PM »

And now for something completely different.....Hollywood bear kills his trainer with one bite.  http://tinyurl.com/4goshn 

I think when Into the Wild first came out there was talk about trained and "star" bears. So there's the bottom line -- approach with caution.

The Mr. Brooks debate is intriguing -- makes me want to keep an eye out for it, just to see for myself. 

And I saw 16 Blocks, a Midnight Run/Precinct 13 re-re-re-redo with Bruce Willis, Mos Def and David Morse.  It wasn't that bad, largely because of Morse (as usual).  But I must say, while Willis isn't exactly a great actor, he was almost not that bad in this one. He played a schlumpy, battle-weary, heavy-drinking older cop and sometimes overplayed the "here's where I walk slowly, maybe gimpily, down the street with my shirt hangin' out a little over my belly" bit. But other times, he did a great job with the "yeah, I'm a beaten down old guy facing ridiculous odds, but dammit, I'm gonna do the right thing" bit; the right amount of grizzled and weary mixed with just enough resilience and determination.  At least in this flick, they did sort of an homage to Midnight Run by naming Willis' character Mosley. I mean, there was no pretense of originality or anything so the flick was easier to look at and handle than if they tried to pass it off as anything else but a rehash. All in all, though, not that bad.  (What a ringing endorsement!)

And sorry if I got overly schmaltzy/TMI with the Puyn stuff -- just got carried away.  (Yentl - can't say I've done that one even once.)
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jbottle
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« Reply #3998 on: April 23, 2008, 11:10:55 PM »

No, I think liking shitty movies is a virtue.

The overwhelming point is that Bruce Willis is a movie star that is funny the way Paul Newman (later) or Bill Pullman or Warren Beatty or Nicholson or DiCaprio (not yet burdened with having to work slowly), or the penultimate, Kilmer, no, Pacino, someone who overwhelms the picture by being funny to get to hang around for an hour and a half.  Costner is not that.

If you felt too TMI with the other talk think about how many times I've gone stream of conscionsness on the NYT, the return of non-sequiter boy, over and over, that was no information, and we don't need information.

We need you to rent "Ticker."
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harrie
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« Reply #3999 on: April 24, 2008, 09:54:22 AM »

We need you to rent "Ticker."

It's on the To Do list.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #4000 on: April 24, 2008, 10:11:00 AM »

We need you to rent "Ticker."

Word.  Ice-T is in it for like 10 seconds.  

The bad guys hire some elite-force team of mercenaries to take out Seagal, and Ice-T is supposedly the baddest of the bunch.  They ambush Seagal in this non-descript dimly-lit empty office building, and the sequence of cuts in the fight scene is priceless.  You see one guy jumping over a box or something, and you're like, oh, that must be Ice-T, even though you can only see his face for like a millisecond.  We cut to Seagal swinging his arms around, then we cut to a bunch of guys flying around, presumably as a result of being hit by the punches thrown by Seagal.

Then we cut to Ice-T moving in, then we cut to Seagal doing some kicks and swinging his arms, then we get some quick millisecond cuts back and forth, then we cut to a close shot of a leg (presumably Seagal's) between someone else's legs (presumably Ice-T's), and right as we're saying okay, I guess that means someone kicked someone else in the crotch, we cut to an exterior shot of some builiding, presumably the one that Seagal is in, and some guy (presumably Ice-T) comes flying backwards through a window, and just as he smashes through the glass, we cut back to Seagal inside, presumably satisfied with his vanquishing of the elite-force mercenaries.

My description doesn't do justice to how mind-boggling the whole sequence is.  Why did they need Ice-T for that?  You barely even see his face.  I could have put on a pony-tail wig and played the part and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  

Long live Albert Pyun.  I took Jbottle's advice and scanned the IMDB - that he did a guest spot on Joe Bob Briggs' show is enough to put me in his corner.  

Oh, speaking of Jbottle, here's a scene I'm working on:

---

SIGBOTH

So, I guess you're fired up for "Prince Caspian"...

JBOTTLE

Prince who?

SIGBOTH

"Prince Caspian"... You know, the sequel to "The Chronicles of Narnia" that's coming out soon?

JBOTTLE

Sequel to what?

SIGBOTH

"Narnia"...  Didn't you see that like 10 times?  All those ticket stubs on your dresser?

JBOTTLE

Oh, right, "Narnia", yeah, that was great.  Can't wait for the sequel.



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barton
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« Reply #4001 on: April 24, 2008, 10:23:01 AM »

Jbot, I think films like Brooks come down to taste, as you suggest, more particularly to what degree Costner convinces you.  No argument that Hurt's influence was fairly narcotic, though.  Sometimes you want low-key and then you call Bill Hurt, but it was a mistake there.  A psychosis isn't supposed to make you feel full of warm milk.

As for liking shitty movies -- I don't know -- you have to ask, are you watching Movie B because you've seen all the good movies and you just want to stare at flickering images for a couple hours?  Are shitty movies better to watch than, say, a roaring fireplace?  A lava lamp?  A cat?  And there's the active v. passive conundrum -- is a book too much work?  Is fatigue taking over and you want the simple comforts of stimulus/response?  Speaking as a thrifty man (two kids in college, what else am I gonna be?),  I favor ephemeral tv like for example.....

CSI:New York -- the central mystery is not hard to follow, there's the soothing ballet of lab techs moving around their machines, squirting goo on slides, poking at stuff with q-tips, there's the cool exterior shots of Manhattan and David Fincher-like camera trips down streets and up wound tracts, and endless contemplation of Melina Kanakarede's nose in all its perfection, and Gary Sinise forever poised over gore and guts like frowning Roman statuary, the very avatar of swift justice.

So do I choose, on those evenings when lassitude and sheer biochemical low-batteries triumph over the higher aspirations of the soul, the comforts of known characters and situations, or do I delve into the dark and festering demimonde of B movies and all the complexities of distinguishing campy fun from the merely awful?



  
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barton
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« Reply #4002 on: April 24, 2008, 10:29:04 AM »

Oilcan, I'm seeing Kate Beckinsale as Sigboth (we'll change the name to Sigrid in the shooting script, sorry, it's just sexier) and Luke Wilson as Jbottle. 

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madupont
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« Reply #4003 on: April 24, 2008, 11:42:12 AM »

BARTON:"...  we also survived "Yentl" if you can believe that."

HARRIE:"(Yentl - can't say I've done that one even once.)"

JBOTTLE: "No, I think liking shitty movies is a virtue.

The overwhelming point is that Bruce Willis is a movie star that is funny the way Paul Newman (later) or Bill Pullman or Warren Beatty or Nicholson or DiCaprio (not yet burdened with having to work slowly), or the penultimate, Kilmer, no, Pacino, someone who overwhelms the picture by being funny to get to hang around for an hour and a half. "

I have to agree with jbot because Barton and harrie: Can't say that I have. I just never mix sex with the movies. Never have;never will. But then, at my age most sex in the movies is funny. While everyone else is getting all upset, I'm reviewing the sex like a film critic reviewing a film. You know, "I've seen better".

(with the exception of one movie that proves that sex does belong in movies but I'll save that for later or last; and then you can look it up sometime at the usual source where you can see why it was important to make this movie about sex)

If I don't go to the movies to have sex, what do I go for?  Long-term relationships are better when you want feedback analytically on a film.

I go for Bertolucci.  (but then, he also is interested in sex; it is just that no wise-acre in the audience walks out of one of his movies because of the sex. That would be defeating their purpose as they never heard of Bertolucci until they hear of the scandalized fracas that this Italian actually put a forbidden sex scene into one of his movies, which they've just gotta see so,no, they don't walk out on his movie until the end. They may stand around in the parking lot before driving away; specifically to let you know what a scandalizing movie that pervert made which shouldn't be allowed.)

In fact, when you see a guy walk out on a Bertolucci film, this is a guy who thinks he is making a political statement but would never be so crude as have anybody think he would stoop to saying something so gauche as "fuckin' communist".  In other words,jbottle, I take my sense of humor to the movies.   They will also do that(walk out), "to my last picture show", when we get there, because their distaste for left wing ideology is a symptom of the correlative sexual incapacity on their part; and you know which part that is.

Thus from first to last here goes with what counts. Novecento. I call it that because there are Two "1900's" and the other one is known as:
La Leggenda del Pianista sull'oceano

by, Giuseppe Tornatore.  That is Tim Roth on piano, and also Clarence William III, on the same piano, may the best man win.   I don't remember a single sexual scene in this film, although it must be there somewhere because we are after all at the movies but I go to this film time and again for the fortissimo.

The other 1900 is my first Robert DiNero.  Maybe even my first Gerard Depardieu, as Olmo. Because Novecento  deals with the idea of Two. They have a sex scene together because they are brothers,  half-brothers actually, so the better off brother treats the illegitimate peasant to a brothel. Big deal.   I think this may even be Donald Sutherland's break through film although it is kind of hard to tell because not only does he play(seriously) Attila Mellanchini, for Bertolucci but this is the year that he works with Fellini, same year, as Casanova which I do not see until I am nearly seventy so I can better appreciate what a break through movie this is. There you have it, two break through movies for Sutherland in one year,when he was somewhat a young man as yet or else how could he simulate so much sex for Fellini, where the absence of sex on display directed by Bertolucci lets you in on the big secret that aos is Violence.

Anyway that should answer why I never watch Jack on tv(young Sutherland). He's too subtle for the old Scotsman that his father is.

What many people forget about Bertolucci's,1900, is the appearance of Alida Valli. I had. After reading 5 or 6 pages of critical crap(well, not all but mostly) when I get to a review by someone who says he is Graham Greene and he doesn't mention her, what can I say?

That Valli isn't her name and that she isn't Italian but Croatian but, then, if I accept recipes from Lidia Mattichio Bastianich, I can do the same for performances from Valli of Istria.

It isn't that I've skipped Last Tango in Paris or anything else by Brando or by Bertolucci because that was the guy in the parking lot who didn't know that Brando did things like that; nor the swell picky precise performance of Peter O'Toole in The Last Emperor, possibly at the same theater. But I'm still waiting to see the last Tim Roth; anybody seen it?
It's time for me to wind this up.

Therefore, another fave movie director, Louis Malle, did Pretty Baby, the film about actual sex, avoiding talk about it because again this is the historically factual film about Bellocq, New Orleans photographer in Storyville, which was a break through film for two ladies: Susan Sarandon(the mother) and Brooke Shields(her daughter.) imdb likes to refer to this as the latter's "film that made her career". All dialog is in time frame, you are just listening in, not being addressed, as you are there as a voyeur, which is why the political nerd again walks out two years after Bertolucci. Educated man that he is, he has no idea how much he has in common with the guy in the parking lot of Last Tango in Paris,( five years earlier).

He's a Midwesterner who has everything in common with his counterpart in California who is distressed that when Alfredo and Olmo were two 12 or 13-year-olds in Novecento comparing their penises, before they grew up to be acted by Di Nero and Depardieu, that this is what little boys do, and did, and probably always will, starting earlier and as late as adolescence  but somehow this man who goes to movies in California missed  all that growing up.

Oh,yeah,Yentl. Almost forgot. Jbot, you just have to accept that it exists because she wanted to star in it so she directed it and that's it. I always thought it was I.B.Singer's story, but now I don't think it was although they probably(I mean she probably) put it up there on the screen that it was "A story inspired by...." So she got to be a cross-dresser and sing a lot of her favorite songs.








« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 11:34:12 PM by madupont » Logged
jbottle
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« Reply #4004 on: April 24, 2008, 01:03:53 PM »

Okay, I accept that "Yentl" exists, I've never watched it really, just clips, but I believe that there is a feature length picture named "Yentl," if I'm spelling that right (I modified and had gone with "Yentyl" originally), but I just remember the whole cross-dressing and Streisand as easy target being a Johnny Carson joke that told itself, like he used to bash "Quest for Fire."

I'm not a huge fan of Pat Conroy, but he is a local and I liked "Prince of Tides" and a few of his other books well enough, but I thought it was a classic "screw the writer" move when she threw out the second act, the one about Tom Wingo's environmental activist brother, you know, the titular "Prince of Tides," and making it a straight up melodrama/romance, still, not a bad movie, as such, but she's made many more movies than I have and I have respect for her rise to entertainment power even though she's probably kind of a bitch, but that goes with the territory for divas and directors, and especially if you are both.

I like sex in the movies the old way where the sun goes down and you pretty much know what happened.  Or in "Basic Instinct" or "Body Heat" where the urge to sex is so comically, uh, urgent, but I think Verhoeven was lampooning Hollywood Movie Sex of the '80's.  "Take My Breath Away" with Cruise in "Top Gun" is also classic cheese even if it's just suggested, but again Tony Scott is much craftier than he wants the average viewer to appear him as, great director.  I think of the lascivious revulsion that Altman registers in his lampoon of Hollywood Sex in the '80's in "The Player," that said, I think sex belongs in pornography, which you have to admit, exists.  As David Duchovny said in his Playboy interview (seemingly excited to be talking to Playboy and hilariously thinking almost boyishly that he had to address "sex"):  "Was Ona Zee better than ____, yeah, I've watched it.  I like to watch other people ____, there I said it..."  He wasn't even prompted to but I guess if you are talking to "High Times" you are going to eventually have to address "the green bud."

But I digress.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 01:07:47 PM by jbottle » Logged
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