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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 38548 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #3045 on: January 04, 2008, 01:48:25 PM »

jbottle --
We await your re-review with baited breath.  I have to agree with  you. Fine piece of writing.
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madupont
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« Reply #3046 on: January 04, 2008, 01:59:07 PM »

Barton,

Do you think maybe we should petition to get somebody to roll up the Holiday Movies? Or, should we let it just lay there and rot?

Unless they would like Twelfth Night movies we remember. Or, here's what I liked about movies released around Valentine's Day which was probably big date night once upon a time?  We know there are Halloween movies but gosh that is years away from now.  There have even been 4th of July movies, or your last chance to see Abbie Hoffman, in Born on the 4th of July (I think maybe I will bring A.H. up in memoriam for the World History reading of 1968 by Kurlansky. I lived close by when he died, in the neighborhood, and had some real insights with the evidence before my eyes as to why.)
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3047 on: January 04, 2008, 02:04:14 PM »

I think Fink is a likable character because of his self-delusion, it's almost endearing, but... I don't think the Coens want us to dislike Barton, but to dislike that quality of "not listening" in ourselves, because that's what they are saying they dislike about themselves most, I would guess.

Very nice!!  

I guess I may have cited him as an example of a main character that is not likeable in that I never got the feeling that the movie was rooting for him or that it wanted me to root for him.  There was also, in concert with the "not listening" thing, the whole thing about how he saw his work as "important" and the folly inherent in that.

Those elements, in retrospect, form a base for many other aspects about the movie that worked well in my estimation, e.g., the melancholy and at times grand-sounding music, which enhanced the comedy, like "Oh, BF, you poor thing, suffering over your typewriter for the good of the common man," and "Behold the great writer, the great creator, etc."

Anyways, I'm with you on BF not being an "unlikeable" character - I guess it would be more accurate to say that he wasn't a character I found myself "rooting for" or whatever, it was more like, "man, I wonder how things are going to turn out for this guy, etc.," without the feeling of "I hope thing work out well for him" or whatever.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3048 on: January 04, 2008, 02:20:17 PM »

No, I see what you mean about Barton, but Turturro is so funny in the role so hapless and pathetic that his face just makes you laugh, so I kinda know what you mean and agree that the "not listening" is something that can inspire rage in the common man, ironically, his target audience being somebody he can't imagine.  Another one I need to see again.  I remember watching it in the theater and an old guy is laughing the whole time and I didn't know what was going on the first time around, and it really worked for me later, I get a sort of dim appraisal of some films the first time around, but this is usually a good sign if it's a good film because when I get it it feels better and better, and the nuances like the swelling music, like you say, intensify the absurdity even as to Barton, his paralysis is very real at the same time, which makes it scary/funny all at once sometimes.

Yeah, a lot of domestic thrillers work because the main character is a wuss, so that you are rooting for Ray Liotta in a sick way instead of Kurt Russell, even if ultimately you want Russell to win.  Alicia Silverstone making a schmuck out of Cary Elwes' wuss writer with a photographer girlfriend was pretty good too.

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jbottle
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« Reply #3049 on: January 04, 2008, 02:20:56 PM »

Oh, and thanks, maud.
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harrie
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« Reply #3050 on: January 04, 2008, 02:22:00 PM »

jbottle, thank you for your reasoned response.  I agree with madupont, very well said.

I agree about Magnolia starting off very strong and then easing up a bit; but I wonder if it's as much a case of how long can the audience keep the balls in the air as well as PTA?  That is, we (speaking for myself and possibly a chunk of Amurrica) are conditioned to 90-110 minute movies and have an attention span issue once you get past two hours.  Yeah, there's the LOTR trilogy, GWTW, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.; but in the really, really big picture, those movies aren't a large percentage of releases.

I actually liked Tom Cruise's performance, even with the distracting boner scene.  I should clarify -- my distraction came about from wondering "Prosthetic?  Socks?  Willpower?"  Cruise was over the top, but I thought his character was over the top as well so I didn't have a problem with it. Compared to the whole "I love this woman," couch-jumping episode, he actually seemed kind of restrained.

Not an Altman afficianado, but I saw Magnolia as a Crash predecessor, which took Crash down a peg in my book (since I'm one of the few who liked, not loved, Crash.)  Magnolia is, IMHO, much more subtly woven together with better characters, better writing, better everything I think.

And I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that even though Magnolia had scads of unlikeable characters, I liked the movie a lot!
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harrie
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« Reply #3051 on: January 04, 2008, 02:26:06 PM »

Oh, and Valentine's Day flicks - Sleepless in Seattle is one.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3052 on: January 04, 2008, 02:46:28 PM »

Sheesh, we just got over one round of holidays and you have to remind me that I have to make a significant bother purchase.  David Yermin?  Ouch.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3053 on: January 04, 2008, 03:26:41 PM »

I never have nor will I ever like the whole "ensemble" thing, with 15 different main characters, etc., like "Magnolia" and "Crash" and so forth.   

It's just one of those cup-of-tea deals, I guess, and it's not really a genre thing.  Like, even if you don't like splatter/monster movies, you should still be able to see why "Evil Dead" is brilliant or whatever.   Or an even better example is, I hate musicals.  I hate the whole notion of people singing dialogue at each other.   However, when I watched "Mary Poppins", I was like, yeah, sure, I see why this movie gets 5 stars, it's obviously great.  That I realize "Mary Poppins" is a great movie doesn't change the fact that I don't like musicals - it's just so obviously great that even someone like me, who isn't a fan of the genre, can see that it's great. 

Anyways, the point is, the whole "multiple main characters" thing isn't the same as the genre thing.  I'm not a fan of musicals, but notwithstanding that, the greatness of "Mary Poppins" is clear to me.  However, "Crash" or "Traffic" or "Magnolia" may be great, but I won't ever know it, because whenever I see an "ensemble" movie, my head will start hurting because it isn't wired to keep up with 15 different main characters.



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harrie
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« Reply #3054 on: January 04, 2008, 03:41:54 PM »

Okay.
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harrie
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« Reply #3055 on: January 04, 2008, 03:46:12 PM »

Does anyone know why/how so many rugby players get thumb injuries?  (Besides the thing about not taking them out of their bums before sitting down and stuff.)
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3056 on: January 04, 2008, 04:37:40 PM »

Okay.

Oh, so you wanna fight about it, huh??
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jbottle
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« Reply #3057 on: January 04, 2008, 04:40:38 PM »

In "Traffic," Michael Douglas gets on the plane to LATIN AMERICA and he looks around and asks "Who do we have from 'treatment' here?  Huh?  Huh?  I can't believe that there is nobody here from TREATMENT..." [paraphrasing]

In "Traffic," Michael Douglas plays a former FEDERAL COURT JUDGE appointed by THE ADMINISTRATION  to be the DRUG TSAR, and he asks his "team" who the Mexican DRUG TSAR IS?  and [crickets], "Uh, sir, Mexico doesn't, uh, have a drug tsar..." "WHAT?  [Douglas, exasperated for some reason, i.e.,  MEXICO SHOULD HAVE A DRUG TSAR, too.

In "Traffic," dramatic irony is express fairly directly as the DRUG TSAR's blonde high-school daughter becomes a heroin addict from hanging around with the bad prep-school crowd and stoops to sleeping with a black guy and a middle-aged white guy for DRUG MONEY.

In "Traffic," when Douglas is out of town on DRUG TSAR business to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here his daughter does smack and acts like a WHORE.

In "Traffic," there is a sort of CONSEMBLE, with Benicio Del Toro and his sidekick providing comic relief.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3058 on: January 04, 2008, 11:25:18 PM »

Sorry for the DRUGHUMOR.
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madupont
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« Reply #3059 on: January 05, 2008, 02:52:16 AM »

oilcanboyd23, re:#3077

I don't think that, Crash, is an ensemble cast.   An ensemble requires one to play together well with others. Pardon the pun.  Crash seems rather to deal with two or three characters at a time relating to each other; and then it goes on a bit to another situation with another two or three in their own world, and so on.   Eventually you get somewhat of a chain reaction of their all being interrelated to each other without entirely having met but nonetheless having an effect upon the others' lives.  When all was said and done, I had a showcase of some new talent being brought to some more general attention  for those of us who knew vaguely and recognize  the faces of Ludicris and Terrence Howard. And while I could appreciate the emotions inherent in the situation, it left me feeling jerked around and that this did not merit the praise or honors by people who are expected to have spot-on judgement because they are professionals in the same trade.

Although I always feel that Don Cheadle is at the top of the form playing an average-better-than-average-man, whatever the situation or the setting is the variation  with which the exceptional average has to deal, the total concept of Crash was a total hype that does nothing morally for anybody; like going to church on Sunday because it is expected of you and is really not your choice because unfortunately that is the way you are. This film was a phoney.

But I can give you an example of a ensemble, which I am afraid could knock your socks off.

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