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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 33696 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #4200 on: May 20, 2008, 01:19:03 PM »

What I like about Paul Verhoeven is that sometimes in a moment when you think he has kept the incident on camera a moment too long, like taking something from the oven that is overdone, is the instant when you  recognize: "but in real life" the reality of the situation is that is exactly what human being incessantly do to each other. Humans overdo. This is particular true of the excrement scene in The Black Book.

If you will look back over his work, those that became immensely popular and those that met with "criticism" that forever pushed them aside("seemingly"), you will find how he has always noticed the need of humans to get carried away and usually over the things that the body politic would consider the most objectionable. Which is probably the basic human motivation anyway.  His villains do it; and his  heroines do it. Sometimes you can't tell them apart.
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jbottle
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« Reply #4201 on: May 20, 2008, 04:57:11 PM »

...and that he thinks it's funny to get rich making fun of American movie appetites...
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jbottle
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« Reply #4202 on: May 20, 2008, 08:26:52 PM »

By the way, "Speed Racer" appears to be one of the largest financial miscalculations in movie history.

I made my name when "private_joker" claimed pre-release that "Inspector Gadget," which went on to break world records in combining animation, CGI, and live action, would fail miserably.

I had no idea that I had hatched a box-office phenom with my obsessions here.  Harrie, my hat is off to you, the writing was on the wall and you called it, and you have the calling.

Don't ignore it, cultivate it like a seedling, for, you have joined the proud ranks of old time proggers who wouldn't know number of seats from ad expense to prior year comparison.  The select, have a sense of smell and a wetted-finger to the wind, the better to adjudge the prevailing pop-whimsy of fizz-slurping pizza-faced 14-25 yr. olds.  It's not easy.

Heavy on the head is the crown, just ask a person who has pulled his share of one-percenter bullseyes as well as suffered severe miscalculations as in the cases of films as disparate as "Scooby Doo," and "Hollywood Homicide."

It will never be easy, but the knowledge that you join a rare assembly of ill-mannered, disgruntled, taciturn, and flawed seers, on the right days, let you never lack the courage of your convictions, never sway from the more spiritual and less number-munching branch of the clan, seek your answers in the ether, and make your calculations in your soul.

I remain, yours truly,

Jbottle.
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harrie
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« Reply #4203 on: May 21, 2008, 01:17:14 PM »

jbottle, I am humbled and moved by your words of wisdom and proud to join the few, the proud, the box-office prognosticators.  I can only hope to live up to your fine example.

Now -- about the new Indiana Jones flick.  I've heard stuff ranging from "meh" to "ick."  It's hard to live up to the first one, admittedly; and the third one not so much but it was still a decent entry.  The second Jones flick stunk up the place, IMO.  I'm thinking about whether it's harder to come back after  -- what, ten? No, 19 actually -- years (since #3 came out). Like the series becomes bigger than life over time, and the poor wayward installment that straggles in years later will never measure up to the memory (and the reality with regard to Nos. 1 and 3) of its predecessors.  Or maybe they should only make odd-numbered sequels.

Hey, I saw a good movie.  I didn't mean to, it just happened.  The Legend of Roan Inish is an Irish fable-type thing directed by John Sayles -- who I love, but I was genuinely surprised to find he directed. The flick dabbles in Irish folklore, ie selkies -- seals who take the form of women on occasion -- and is very straightforward in its telling. A little girl is sure she has seen her little brother, who went missing shortly after their mother's death, on an island that was formerly inhabited and tries to convince her grandparents of this.  No scenery chewing - though it was shot in Ireland, scenery on which I would be glad to chew - no big, raging climax; just a simple story told simply, and I really enjoyed it.  If you run across it, take a look, if only for the scenery.  Or don't.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 03:06:58 PM by harrie » Logged
oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #4204 on: May 21, 2008, 02:14:39 PM »

Hey, I saw a good movie.  I didn't mean to, it just happened. 

I also liked "The Secret Of Roan Innish" and admire the variety in subject matter from one John Sayles movie to another.  Good call, Harrie!!
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harrie
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« Reply #4205 on: May 21, 2008, 02:17:48 PM »

Hey, thanks oilcan!  (I always vacillate between "Secret" and "Legend" and then choose the wrong one.)
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madupont
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« Reply #4206 on: May 21, 2008, 02:32:05 PM »

Oh, harrie, Roan Inish is just the start of it. I recall seeing this at the Rocky Hill film theatre which had a built in audience of oldtimers from the Princeton "suburbs"(not to be confused with the Rocky Horror picture show) and then just before leaving just over a decade ago and not knowing that I would never again have as great a film environment as existed between the above and the Frick auditorium in the Chemistry bldg which was kind of the "summer stock" of what you missed when you were less bright than you eventually became, Rocky Hill expanded their program and a   small renovation project made it possible to select from two or three different films.

It was not until I shopped around the nytimes forum that, in 2003, I found my first Irish friend from Princeton Junction.

Truthfully, if you put John Sayles aside in a niche somewhere so as not to completely lose him for posterity, The SECRET* of Roan Inish is just the start of a weird Celtic world of selkies et al. My Scots great-aunt had already alerted me to: Lady into Fox.(which is both a once popular Bloomsbury Circle book, and also an old film in which Jennifer Jones is "the fox").  correction provided thanks to oilcanboyd23

I have a sneaky hunch that J.S. just made it possible for Sean Penn to indulge in another freaky movie about being a poet with a midlife crisis who descends into a watery world of possible extramarital sex and a nether world of incest and Norse methods for dealing with cabin fever in isolated locales where people revert to their pre-Christian Jungian memories and their inescapable Northern sexuality. This is not to say that Ingmar Bergman did not cause some subliminal influence here; along with just a touch of The Widow of St.Pierre.    

Must look up the details for you as I had forgotten the existence of Penn's weirdness until you mentioned Roan Inish. Hadn't imagined it was that traumatizing.  

As for Harrison Ford's comeback, I just read an excellent review in an unlikely place so will search for that as well. It is six of one and half a dozen of the other because another generation has been added to the audience.

However (as I always say), I did catch the prevue when viewing Iron Man
--"What in the world!?", because to my generation, the first thing that I saw was Marlon Brando coming at me on his Harley in the exact same outfit that he wore for The Wild One with his black leather jacket and his cap set at the exact angle it had been back then in the 1950. (This caused quite a conniption in our suburban household in that era, because my mother's driveway was soon full of jack-booted bikers  as she believed her children should bring their friends home. This was just the start.

The MB look alike at a distance is really the new young man Indiana Jones has added to the line-up to keep the young girls buying his ticket. As I've told you before, there is a world of difference between what we Old Ladies see in Harrison compared to the younger generation. As it is too early for him to retire from films, something had to be done! Personally, I can not see what he does as to the female love interest in his Jones films(forgive the double entendre).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 02:35:30 PM by madupont » Logged
harrie
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« Reply #4207 on: May 21, 2008, 03:03:47 PM »

madupont, the review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which I am henceforth calling "IJ4") that stuck with me is from the WSJ; not because I put a lot of stock in their reviews but because it's easy to read the whole thing (versus skim) and look like I'm working.  But the WSJ guy went to some length to say that Harrison Ford did nothing wrong, was again great as Indy; Cate Blanchett did her usual excellent job but with a dog of a part and basically the same thing, a little less glowing, for Karen Allen; and that Shia LaBoeuf is a talented actor who went to waste in his role.  The WSJ guy pretty much laid the blame* at Spielberg's feet, if I understood/recall correctly.

That being said, I think IJ4 is still going to be huge, I just haven't decided how huge. I'm not really a finger-to-the-wind gal, that takes talent; I'm more along the lines of drink half a box of wine, close my eyes and type.  So I should have some kind of prediction later this evening.

*blame, meaning the shortcomings with which this reviewer had issues (like inconsistent cinematography, continuity, excessive use of CGI, and did the truck/waterfall stunt serve any purpose?) fall under the realm of the director, not blame meaning the film sucks and it's all Spielberg's fault. Because despite picking at the movie, the reviewer's main complaint was that it didn't capture the magic of the first one.  And the first IJ movie is a hard act to follow.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 04:17:58 PM by harrie » Logged
jbottle
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« Reply #4208 on: May 21, 2008, 06:35:35 PM »

Also a big fan of Roan Inish, which I haven't seen since it's release to video, and which I remember returning a person wistfully to a kind of child's imagination, a difficult feat without being too pandering or twee, and it might even be a kids movie but for the menace of the knife scene, which would probably be too much for children under 12 or so, but maybe not.  I don't know what qualifies as magic realism, but is Sayles experimenting with that idea in film?? 

As far as the WSJ critic, if I'm thinking of the right guy, he's pretty much a ding-dong.

I'm looking forward to IJ4 and don't plan to read too much beforehand.  Harrie, if you are going to post a number do it before the Thurs. of release, that's not tomorrow is it??  This martinizing trust fund is more difficult to manage during tax season and my time has felt a mild squeeze, whither to turn, calisthentic or cold one.  Easy pick.

Harrie there's a pretty good analysis of the first Raider's by one of Onion's non-movie critics that's funny but captures the appeal and enjoyment of seeing it for the first time, check it out.

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madupont
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« Reply #4209 on: May 21, 2008, 08:49:57 PM »

HERE GOES,the follow up to Roan Inish (from a Sean Penn view point)no, not really. More a lot of women, director, writer(whose book I must now look up) and quite a few  female actors. Oh, there are men in this film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210382/

The Weight of Water

It isn't that I totally forgot Elizabeth Hurley. She's kind of obvious putting herself in the way of Sean Penn. It was just that I could not recall her name since I think of her only as the former girlfriend of the Englishman Who Went Up the Mountain (or, whatever that was).

Sean Penn kept registering for the camera that he really didn't much like having her around all the time as a bit of the casting to whom he was supposed to relate. Screenwriter novelist of this work obviously wrote his character Thomas Janes  as some poet of the kind that she probably always ran into academically, so she wrote accordingly what his problem would be from her perspective.  I wouldn't doubt that Penn hated this film, not having realized that he was supposed to be a complete prick with quite so many women around who saw him that way.

jbottle, got to hand it to you that you use the word "twee" quite so naturally that it sounds like dialect. Like "she was a twee lass",etc. or, a
"twee colleen".
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harrie
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« Reply #4210 on: May 21, 2008, 10:32:15 PM »

Okay, here's what I know/think about IJ4:

Uwe Boll says: "We will destroy Indiana Jones at the box office!"   I'm with him, he's a professional.  Whatever IJ4 does, I say Postal does that plus 1. Okay, not really.

The hubby says $125M, and he's standing firm with that low number.

I've seen guesstimates of $160-$170M. This is tempting, since it's sort of a five-day weekend, four if Monday doesn't count, and ... it's Indiana Jones!, fer crissake. I'm going a little low, though, because I play by The Price is Right rules - you're over, you're out.  So out on that prognostication limb I go and say IJ4 will do $153M this weekend.  Not particularly daring, but hey.
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jbottle
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« Reply #4211 on: May 21, 2008, 11:34:19 PM »

"jbottle, got to hand it to you that you use the word "twee" quite so naturally that it sounds like dialect. Like "she was a twee lass",etc. or, a
"twee colleen".-maud

Down here we would say "she's a pretty little thing..."

"Oh, thank youuuuuu..."

"Look at that smile.  You got a purty one."

or

"Lord, he looks like he's going to give the ladies trouble..."

"He's got that glint in his eye..."

On the theory of every now and then you'll find a good woman, but every man's got a little 'dog' in him.

But nevermind.

IJ4:

$188M
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harrie
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« Reply #4212 on: May 22, 2008, 10:02:07 AM »

Roan Inish is just the start of it. I recall seeing this at the Rocky Hill film theatre which had a built in audience of oldtimers from the Princeton "suburbs"(not to be confused with the Rocky Horror picture show)

You mean...they didn't bring toast and umbrellas to the movies there?  Sorry, couldn't help that one.

I think, if I understand correctly, I respectfully disagree about Sayles paving the way for The Weight of Water to be made; I think it would have been made anyway, with or without Sean Penn.  The Irish film industry has long been churning out excellent stuff, from lighthearted-ish, slice-of-life stuff like The Commitments and The Snapper trilogy of films to dark, brooding and (for me) disturbing drama like The Field (Tom Berenger making a good flick - check that out!).  It just seems natural to me that with the rich Irish culture of storytelling, that storytelling is going to extend to the medium of film; so I'm not a bit surprised that something like The Weight of Water is one of those films.  Of course, if I misunderstood you, my apologies and never mind.
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harrie
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« Reply #4213 on: May 22, 2008, 10:05:13 AM »

jbottle, must say I also appreciate your use of the word "twee," not to mention the regional dialect. 
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barton
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« Reply #4214 on: May 22, 2008, 10:21:24 AM »

Save the twee!

I will check out Roan Inish -- the local library has it.  I'm discovering they have some pretty good films, if you can catch them on the shelf, so they are filling the gap following my departure from Netfarce.

Just checked out The Lives of Others --  excellent.  Or, "ausgezeichnet."  The way it brings off your sympathy shift for the Stasi officer is awe-inspiring.  Shooting scenes of Berlin on the east side of the Wall was reportedly tricky, as the freedom and relaxation of the 90's gave rise to profuse graffiti and street art, and so the film crew had to keep cleaning and painting over many areas where exteriors were shot to get the correct pre-gorby look.



 
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